Making Your Routine More Convenient

Just because you’ve done something a certain way for a long time doesn’t mean there isn’t another better or more convenient way. Things take up a lot of time, especially beauty-related things. 20 minutes to curl your hair, 30 minutes to take off, reapply and let nail polish dry. Before longtime is being sacrificed from other places such as your sleep schedule, leading you to do spend more time on your makeup the following morning. If there are short-cuts I try to find them,

Get on a shaving schedule. The first one is kind of out there, but for me I find it to be a timesaver. What does everyone complain about shaving? That it’s a chore! I divide my legs in half and shave the lower halves one day, the following, the upper. The best part is each time it takes half the time and you’ll always have smooth legs. Of course this is not just limited to legs. Putting things on a rotating schedule allows things not to build up making whatever you more appealing.

Let your hair air-dry as much as possible. This keeps you mobile and shortens the amount of time required to blow-dry it .

Use products that give you more bang for your buck. If you are really pressed for time and need to look ready quickly have the products on hand that’ll take you the furthest. It’s nice to spend time perfecting a 15-step full makeup application, but I know for myself a darker lip color with mascara will take me pretty far and that’s only 2 steps. Maybe for you it’s making sure your brows are filled in, covering up your dark circles and using highlighter.

Similarly, lately I’ve been choosing balms and thick creams for my body as opposed to lotion because it only takes a dab and you might be able to go longer without reapplying.

Lay out your clothes out the night before. This is cheesy…that’s what I always thought. I’d imagine all the goody two-shoes of the world would do this before they go to sleep. I never used to lay out my clothes the night before, and I still don’t every night, but if I think of it, it does make a difference. How many times do you have to play the game of looking in your closet/dresser, closing it, looking again, then searching through the laundry to see what’s been washed and dried. Apparently my capacity for that is endless, but I suggest we both move out of that phase and take the guessing out of the mornings.

Go through what you own. Less equals easier. It seems like when you are aiming for convenience or quickness you’ll grab everything that you don’t want. It’s never the first eyeliner you pull or the boots on the top of the pile aren’t the ones that are comfortable enough to spend the day in. If you sort out what you actually use and like you’ll find things becoming easier.

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If you have any tips, feel free to share!

 

 

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Eco-Friendly Beauty Tips

I recently finished a Bio of Environmental Concerns class in school, among many other things during the class we discussed how much waste is produced, the quality of products, how all of it is disposed of and how it impacts the environment. Of course everything needs to be done on a very large scale for it to make a real difference, but there are things we can do even during our beauty routine that can help out. A lot of these options have other benefits as well, such as saving money, time and effort.

Air-drying hair– Most of the time I air-dry my hair anyway because blow-drying my hair is time consuming and not that fun. It’s easier I find to just let it dry on its own, especially now that it’s summer it is is easy to brush out your hair and let the sun hit it.

Using everything to completion– Scrape the bottom, cut the container, use every last drop. Don’t throw things away that have product left. If you aren’t crazy about what you’re using and are tempted to throw it out offer it to someone else or sell it.

Taking shorter showers– This one is the least appealing, I know. Sometimes it is nice to take a long shower, but it’s all water being used. I found out that we are consuming water 50% faster than what can be replaced. Most of the time we just stand under the water, the actual time that it takes to shampoo/shave/wash etc. is relatively short. It’s nice to know also that your skin won’t be as dry.

Making it yourself– DIY is great because you’re using things you already have, most of which are natural ingredients.

Buying palettes vs individual packages– The palettes that allow you to switch out products are especially good. Rather than buying something with extra packaging get it down to the bare-bones and have the palette. In the end it is more economical plus you’ll have everything in one spot. Reusable packages, palettes, containers are what we are looking for.

Passing on the wipes- On a field trip to a sewage plant (yes it was as gross as one would imagine)  I was told that wipes never break down. They might say they are recyclable, but apparently none of them really do what they are supposed to do. Now, this was referring to baby wipes, but I would make the assumption that none of the wipes are good.

Thanks to that class I am almost hyperaware of what is going on all around us, however it is nice to be able to identify opportunities where I can do things differently. Most of it is really small and accessible to anyone.

Money Saving Tricks: Beauty Products

Why spend when you don’t have to? Over time I’ve found a couple shortcuts to save money here and there. If possible, I like saving money. I find it’s getting more and more difficult to find bargains so you kind of have to create them for yourself. In this post I’ve listed a few of my tricks.

 

  1. Order directly from the brand itself. This one I only started doing recently, but it has made quite a difference. The benefit to this is being exposed to sales that only happen online, free samples and not having use any gas. There are however some downsides that I feel necessary to mention, you’ll have to sign up with each brand if you want to take advantage of this, for example, if you use Sugarpill, Bare Minerals and Tarte, you’ll be receiving e-mails from each of them as compared to only receiving an email from Ulta or Sephora. Secondly, there is shipping and handling, so if you want to get free shipping you’ll have to spend a certain amount, without that I guess you could say that the gas argument is off the table.

    2. Use what you need and nothing more. It’s easy to grab a big handful of something out of a jar and waste half of it, but if you’re more conscious of what you use versus what you need you’ll extend the product. If you normally use 3 swipes of something try 2 and see if you notice a difference. I know we are getting down to the nitty gritty with this one, but that’s what saving is sometimes.

3. Check your kitchen first. If you can make it from things you already own why wouldn’t you. If it’s a make-it-yourself beauty treatment or remedy from the kitchen I’ve made it. From egg masks, to sugar scrubs to coconut oil deodorant (do not recommend that one, too messy)

4Don’t rule out what’s already cheap. If you’re faithful to expensive brands, once, just once try a drugstore dupe. You may be missing out. Some things can be uncomplicated if you let them be.

5. Buy in bulk. This is not always possible, but if the opportunity presents itself, jump on it.

6. Try before you buy. It’s always worth asking for a sample or tester to see if you like it.

7. Look for reusable products/ multitasking products . Towels vs. paper towels, brushes vs. cosmetic sponges, makeup removing wipes for the entire face vs. wipes for eyes and wipes for face (that is if you can tolerate that), you get the picture. You want something that can be used again and again, things that will last as compared to things you have to throw away after one or a few uses. Please do not apply this if you are doing makeup on someone else, use disposable wands, brushes if they are cleaned and everyone gets their own lashes.

 

 

Making The Switch: Cruelty Free

There are so many little signs and stickers on products that the “Cruelty Free” mark usually goes unnoticed. Before I begin I’ll say that I didn’t know how bad animal testing really was. The phrase “animal testing” is said frequent enough, but very few know what it really entails. You might be thinking, “Okay they test on animals for products that are being developed to see if they are dangerous, it needs to be done and it’s better than having a person!” That coupled with companies ability to make it seem like it’s not that big of a deal will have you not considering what’s really going on. The truth is there’s absolutely nothing humane about the tests conducted and there are alternatives to animal testing.

At this point if you have a weak stomach or are sensitive I encourage you to please not  continue reading, as the details it is extremely heart-wrenching and graphic.

As many as 200,000 animals are killed due to animal testing every year.  It is a painful death that is not guaranteed to be accompanied with injections or being euthanized. Chemicals are applied topically and orally documenting reactions both long term and short term and the “lethal dose” would be.  No method can take away the pain experienced during life, but there are options that would minimize the transition to death. Unfortunately those are not always used and it is cheaper and faster to let the animal die from extreme illness, any number of organs failing or breaking their neck among a few other terrible realities.

A lot of brands try to sweep under the rug that their products are sold in China. Really, this is as bad as testing on animals anywhere else, only it’s done overseas where it’s easier to keep quiet. In China they are required by law to test the toxicity of products using animals, so by agreeing to sell in China a company DOES comply with harming animals.

After doing some research and reading into company policies I have made the switch to only buying Cruelty Free products. There is no way to enjoy an eye shadow, toothpaste, lipstick, skin cream, etc. knowing what was done to get approved. It may sound silly, but I actually feel guilty in wearing it, not that I had anything to do with it, but by buying those products you are indirectly (some might say directly) supporting animal cruelty. Once you see it that way I’m sure you’ll also find it difficult to view things the same way.

There’s no doubt you’ll be giving up some good brands. That is without question. To name a few:

  • Benefit
  • Bobbi Brown
  • Clinique
  • MAC
  • YSL
  • Makeup Forever
  • Dior

 

Thankfully there are a lot of makeup brands that are on board with sparing animals from pain. Such as:

  • NYX
  • Pacifica
  • Urban Decay
  • Too Faced
  • Tarte
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills
  • Sugarpill

I’m grateful that in 2017 more people are becoming aware of their power and the part they play in bettering the situation. I hope that I have inspired you to consider choosing Cruelty Free instead. Animals deserve better.

More info on Animal Testing in Beauty Brands

 

 

Same Product for Face and Body…Time Saver or Time Waster?

Lately more and more products are multitasking, covering a couple of different needs. There are body washes that double as shampoos and bars that allow you to use the suds as you please either for your body, your hair or even a shave. Is all this multitasking a good idea? Is it a stroke of genius resulting in an all in one product or just putting off the inevitable of having to purchase for every part?

In hotels I’ve been forced to use those shampoos/body washes/ hand soaps. Usually it’d go on a scale of being fine for my hands, a little drying on my body and being terrible for my hair. However in hotels it’s mostly about keeping things industrial and cost efficient, so can’t exactly point to that.

Men as a whole are really into anything that makes their already relatively fast “beauty” regime even faster. It’s not uncommon that I run into guys that use the same bar of soap for pretty much everything. Companies that market to them giving their seal of approval stating that you can double everything up and get it all done in one shot just reinforces that. Now, that being said I’d also like to speed up and price down my daily skincare routine.

Recently I ran out of my face cream and the next batch wouldn’t show up until a few days later. I couldn’t not use anything. I had a body lotion that I noticed was technically okay to use on the body and or the face. Usually in these cases it results in a very thin, liquidy moisturizer for your face but your body feels okay or your body is coated in an obviously too thick face moisturizer while your face couldn’t feel better. I hadn’t tried anything out that was truly interchangeable. To my surprise the lotion didn’t break me out, it was a little more watery than I like for my face, but it did a good job of keeping it moisturized. I was in shock. I’ve been using it now for the past few days.

What has continued to cross my mind is that the skin on your body and the skin on your face is different. Different areas need different care. Even on your face there are areas that respond differently (take for instance the delicate skin around your eyes as compared to your forehead.) What I have ultimately decided on is that although there weren’t any negative side effects of using this body/face lotion I want to provide my skin with as close to the best as possible. Somehow I think that if the formulation is “decent” or able to be used anywhere it has to be lacking in one department or another. In a pinch I think it’s a great option, or even on vacation when you need to pack light, but for the time being I believe the best way is to go specific, even if it ends up taking a little longer.

Packing Mistakes You Should Stop Doing

Looking back on the ways I used to pack I shudder. I packed too much, I’d forget things and leave the destination feeling like I only used a fraction of what I brought.

Here are a couple things I wouldn’t go back to and I recommend you do the same.

  1. Not “rolling” clothes. Packing traditionally you’d fold the clothes neatly and push them down hoping to make enough space. What you get is an easy way to make a pile of clothes that all have wrinkles where you so neatly folded them. It’s not fair, but that seemingly “right” way to pack isn’t so efficient. Thankfully you have the option to roll your clothes. It saves so much room and leaves your clothes without any wrinkles! Try it next time you pack and see for yourself.

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  1. Packing full-sized products. Not sure where I was going with this one, but I’d always bring the big bottle or the big jar along with me.There’s no way you’ll need a couple months worth of whatever for the length of you trip. I started to think of myself at home and how much I actually go through as compared to imagining myself on vacation wishing I had all of everything. It’s not realistic and it’s just too much.

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  1. Speaking of too much…OVERPACKING. Think of it this way, you have to lift that heavy suitcase full of stuff you can’t live without. You’re making it harder for yourself. Look at each item and really think “Do I need this?,” “Will I actually get this on?” Sometimes we get a little out of hand thinking that since you don’t wear something at home it’ll work on vacation. Just to let you in, you won’t wear it on vacation either.
  2. Not taking care of jewelry properly. When packing, or in a rush, or packing in a rush there’s the thought that the necklace will be okay, or the bracelet will be fine with the other jewelry. However, when you unpack you discover a ball of jewelry that you won’t be able to untangle. It’s frustrating and with a little more consideration you can have jewelry that is ready to be worn.
  3. Packing too last minute or packing too early ahead of time.There’s definitely a packing sweet spot. If you pack to early you might start wearing stuff out of the suitcase out of necessity, if you pack to late you’ll forget things. The perfect time to pack depends on where you’re going and for how long. Most trips I’ve found 2 days before is just about right.

Well I’m off to keep packing! I’ll be back in 3 weeks.Let me know if you have any packing tips or ideas!

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Happy Holidays!

How To Celebrate A Birthday

I spent some time thinking how to properly phrase what I’m trying to say. This post is not exactly how to celebrate a birthday, I trust you know how to do that at this point. It’s more of how to celebrate your birthday and enjoy it. Recently it was my birthday and I was thinking that there are actually expectations of what your birthday should look like. I think we all have similar things come to mind when we think of a birthday. We’re all different people, different ages and live different places, we are unique, so why do we follow these guidelines of what to do on your birthday. After all it’s your day.

If I’ve gone too far already I’m not saying get rid of the birthday cake. I’m trying to get across to customize your birthday. You don’t need to do the typical birthday activities to get something out of it.

Every year I do something new, but certain things I keep on the “schedule.”

I do something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. We all have something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Maybe you’ve been craving to go on a road trip, or you’ve really been in the mood for a movie. Today’s the day to do that. In my case, I’ve been working almost everyday and it’s been a beautiful fall. All I wanted to do was spend time outside that day. I did and it was one of the most satisfying things I’ve wanted to do in a long time. I sat outside and went for a walk. By doing what you’ve been feeling like doing for a long time and allowing yourself to experience that is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

I spend time alone and with people I love. You don’t need to be someone who likes alone time to appreciate a few moments with yourself after another year is completed. It can give you time to think back to everything you’ve accomplished as well as things you want to accomplish by the time you are there again next year. Spending time around people you love is really nice on a regular day, but your birthday is an opportunity to reconnect. I like to make it a time other people can enjoy, it’s an excuse to get out, get together and have fun.

I only do things that make me feel good that day. Whatever your bad habits are that day try your best to keep away from them that day. If you bite your nails or spend too much time online, take a break that day to make yourself feel especially good.

Make your birthday memorable for one reason or another. You don’t need a big party or your name on a banner to feel special.