Category: Lifestyle

Zodiac Beauty Series: Aries (March 21-April 19)

Photo credit: Pinterest

I’m nothing if not two things: (1) a wannabe beauty maven and (2) a devote astrology nerd. I mean, seriously, makeup tutorials? I watch them. Zodiac dates? I know them. Cutting edge cosmetics? I review them. Astrological birth charts? I read them. Winged eyeliner? I attempt it. A vaguely presumptuous but nonetheless intimate understanding of acquaintances based on their birthdays? I got it.

So in this brand new “Zodiac Beauty Series,” I’m combining my two passions into 12 distinct articles featuring makeup ideas for each of the zodiac signs, inspired by the signs’ own characteristics.

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10 Spring 2019 Beauty Trends You Can Achieve with Green Beauty Products

I was a proud subscriber of Seventeen Magazine for a good half dozen years or so from my tweens to mid-teens and, as such, have always considered myself “hip with the trends” to a certain degree. I mean, all it really takes is flipping through two or three “Back to School” issues to realize that denim is, and will forever be, “in for fall.”

That being said, I have dipped out of mainstream beauty trends over the past few years as I’ve replaced my old sold-at-Sephora favorites for niche green beauty staples. As spring peaks it’s head over the horizon, however, I thought it might be fun to get back in touch with what mainstream designers and brands are wearing on their face for the Spring 2019 season and see how much of it I can recreate with green beauty options.

Just as my time with Seventeen taught me to expect, looks for spring are largely light, airy, and clean. Dewy skin and little-to-no mascara make for some youthful, almost ‘70s “peace and love” sort of vibes, while bright swatches of color across the eyes and nude lips act as a modern take on ‘60s mod makeup styles.

Overall, nothing astoundingly revolutionary, but plenty that can be captured with green beauty products:

1. Brushed Out Brows

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Credo, Plume, Beautyhabit

The Trend: Eyebrow trends of the past few years have been boggling to say the very least, with Instagram artists popularizing their infamously chiseled brows, while avant-garde cosmetologists tried to make wavy brows a thing. This season, brows are getting a well-deserved break and returning to their natural form of thick and bushy, though no-less immaculately groomed.

The Brands: Monse (pictured), Tom Ford, Julien Macdonald, Nicole Miller, Oscar de la Renta

The Products: Thin-browed individuals looking to bulk up their natural brow game can turn to PYT Beauty P.O.V. Eyebrow Pencil, which can be used to both shape the brows and sketch on realistic looking hairs to add the illusion of volume. Those with well-endowed brows, on the other hand, will find a friend in Plume Nourish & Define Brow Pomade which quickly and easily shades brows into place while filling in any sparse patches. Need a quick spruce up? Ilia Essential Brow Gel brushes brows into place with just a few flicks of the wrist.

2. Barely There Mascara

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Ere Perez, Root, Amazon

The Trend: Ask a handful of a makeup-wearers on the street what their go-to beauty product is– you know, the one cosmetic bag staple that instantly makes them feel put together– and the response you’ll most likely get is a resolute “mascara.” This spring, stylists are bucking the big lash trend for sparsely adorned eyes that won’t smudge in the impending heat.

The Brands: Emporio Armani (pictured), Giambattista Valli, Cedric Charlier, Area

The Products: If the goal is goop-free but perfectly curled lashes, you’ll want to swap your usual mascara formula for a lash curler and Ere Perez Aloe Gel Lash & Grow Mascara, then buff a taupe colored shadow into your crease, such as Root Pressed Eyeshadow in Duke, to add some definition to the eye. Really can’t part ways with your wand? Opt for a brown formula, such as Mineral Fusion Lengthening Mascara in Rock to keep your long lashes looking mellow.

3. Bright Red Lips

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Gressa, RMS, Y et Beauté

The Trend: Honestly, is there ever a bad time to wear a red lip? Stylists are keeping this classic look in the running for spring with bright, opaque reds in a variety of finishes. Ere of the side of simplicity with the rest of your makeup to keep things bright and simple for spring.

The Brands: Escada (pictured), Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Burberry, Ryan Lo

The Products: It’s hard to beat Y et Beauté’s comfortable matte formula in No. 21— a vibrant, pinky-toned red blossoming with red carpet appeal. RMS Beauty Wild Desire Lipstick in Rebound is also an accessible blue-toned red that would work on cooler skin tones. Those looking for a little sheen will enjoy Gressa Lip Boos in Aux Rouge.

4. Bright Eyeshadow

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Gressa, Credo, Alima

The Trend: Bold beauties will feel at home wearing the striking, single-color eyeshadow trend that cropped up on runways this season. All it takes is a vibrant bright color and a thick brush or, heck, even your finger, to pack it onto your lid– very little blending required.

The Brands: Rodarte (pictured), Erdem, Byblos, Lutz Huelle, Paul Costelloe

The Products: Gressa has your back with its Eye Tint in Envee— a grass green shade perfect for haphazardly packing all over the lid. Aether Beauty Crystal Grid Gemstone Palette offers a one-stop shop for a handful of punchy colors while Alima Pure Pressed Eyeshadow in Siren is an easy place to start for those just beginning to play with color.

5. Glowing Skin

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Vapour, Beauty Heroes, W3ll People

The Trend: Several artists eschewed full-coverage foundation for dewy looks with an angelic glow. Some even went completely foundation free, relying on blurring primers and concealer to brighten up model’s faces.

The Brands: Noon by Noor (pictured), Brock Collection, Michael Kors, Balmain, Proenza Schouler

The Products: Vapour Beauty Stratus Soft Focus Skin Perfecting Primer can be used sans foundation to provide a gentle soothing effect to the skin, while W3ll People Bio-Correct Multi-Action Concealer can be used to spot correct dark circles and blemishes. A serum highlight, such as Maya Chia Highlight of the Day adds a lit-from-within radiance.

6. Gold Eyeshadow

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Credo, RMS, Zuzu Luxe

The Trend: Spring runways saw gold eyeshadow being used as both a glowing eyeliner option and quick, yet radiant, eyeshadow look. It’s a great alternative option for those who tend to stick to neutral shades on the eyes and play up other areas of the face.

The Brands: Temperley London (pictured), Monse, Kim Shui, Adeam

The Products: When it comes to green beauty shimmer eyeshadows, RMS Beauty Eye Polish has the game on lock. Lunar is a lovely, cool toned gold that would brighten up any complexion. Alternatively, the recently dropped Crop Natural Bio Metal Liquid Eyeshadow in Gilded provides a deeper golden hue. Those who prefer powder eyeshadows should check out Zuzu Luxe Eyeshadow in Egyptian Gold whatever in whatever for a buttery formula that can be used on a pencil brush to line the eyes.

7. Just-Bitten Lips

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Credo, Vapour

The Trend: Runways of lightly stained lips stirred up thoughts of hand-picked berries and popsicles straight from the freezer. Mostly appearing in warm pinks and berry tones, this trend provides an easy way to wear color without having to worry about touching-up throughout the day.

The Brands: Badgley Mischka (pictured), Paul Costellow, Jonathan Simkhai, Kim Shui, Brock Collection

The Products: To achieve this look, tap a creamy but deeply pigmented product, such as Rituel de Fill Forbidden Lipstick in Love in Madness or Vapour Siren Lipstick in Coquette, onto the center of the lip. Kjaer Weis Lip Tint in Sensuous Plum is also a good option for blackberry-hued stain.

8. Nude Lips

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Goop, Kari Gran, Ayla

The Trend: Some stylists chose to “detox” from the richly hued lip looks often popular in the fall and winter by staying away from pigment, entirely. A swipe of balm or gloss was enough the give the lips a healthy sheen and compliment other aspects of the makeup.

The Artists: Michael Kors (pictured), Bora Aksu, Arthur Arbesser, Versace, Giorgio Armani

The Products: Olio E Osso Lip & Cheek is often touted as one of the most nourishing green beauty lip balms, while Kari Gran Lip Whip in Shimmer adds a fuss-free glint to the lips. Really can’t give up your lipstick? Kosas Cosmetics Weightless Lip Color in Undone is an infallible my-lips-but-better option.

9. Peach Everything

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Antonym, Kjaer Weis, Root

The Trend: Are any of us really surprised that peachy hues are back for the warmer months? They provide the most irresistible sun-kissed glow whether placed on the eyes, lips, or cheeks that just begs to be worn while on vacation.

The Brands: Antonio Marras, Altuzarra, Genny

The Products: Want an easy single-product look? Buff Antonym Baked Blush in Peach along the highpoints of your cheeks and all over your lid. Alternatively, Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Sun Touched is just darling when patted into the apples of your cheeks, and the shimmery Root Loose Eyeshadow in Ginger adds an alluring sparkle to the eye.

10. Touseled Hair

Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar, Credo, Rahua

The wet hair trend has dripped it’s way down runways for long enough! This season, stylists have decided hair is finally allowed to be worn dry again, and is making its return in barely brushed waves.

The Brands: Genny (pictured), Jeremy Scott, Kate Spade, Nicole Miller, Coach

The Products: Captain Blankenship Mermaid Sea Salt Spray is a long-standing green beauty favorite when it comes to achieving slightly messy waves. Those with curly or frizz-prone hair, however, might prefer the deeply nourishing and effortlessly taming Rahua Control Cream Curl Styler. Or, if your waves have a tendency to fall flat, try a few spritzes of Josh Rosebrook Lift.

What an Emergency Fund Really Means

The median amount Americans hold in a savings account is about $5000, 57% of Americans could not afford a $500 surprise expense, and only 39% of Americans could pay for a $1000 surprise expense. Most folks know that having savings is a good thing and have been instructed time and time again that an emergency fund is an important financial asset to build up as you enter the workforce in your 20s, but what does this really entail, and what is it for?

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5 Things No One Told Me About Having Anorexia

Pause for a second, close your eyes, and conjure up an image of someone with anorexia. What do they look like?

If you’re like most people, they’re probably female with a waist you could cold hold in a single fist, skeletal limbs, a visible rib cage, and sharp joints that cut through the air like a razor. This person probably hasn’t had breakfast or lunch or dinner the night before. She probably spends a lot of time on the treadmill, and maybe she chews gum to keep her hunger at bay.


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Product Review: Kosas Makeup Color Trifecta Weightless Lip Color Trio

Lip colors have been the bane of my makeup bag since the very beginning of my makeup-wearing days. From texture to tone to staying power, it seems like they’re the hardest product to get right, and, when they’re wrong, there’s no working with them. You can’t blend them to oblivion like you would an off-color foundation,  powder them down like an oily concealer, or spritz them like a chalky eyeshadow. If it’s not working perfectly, it’s stuck to your teeth, bleeding outside of your lip line, sticking to your hair, making your teeth appear yellow, etc. etc. etc.


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The Winter Blues is Real. Here Are 5 Ways to Make It Less Awful.

You know, winter has the potential to be a truly fantastic season. It’s front-loaded with some awesome holidays, invites in the best of all fashion trends (layering), and serves up scrumptious seasonal recipes (I’m looking at you, butternut squash soup). But, alas, there’s a hidden side to winter not depicted in any of the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies I’ve been marathoning since Thanksgiving: the Winter Blues. Yes, it’s a real thing.

The shift into the colder, darker days of winter leaves many feeling down and lethargic. This is a bummer, but it’s also natural as the lack of sun plays with our circadian rhythms and levels of serotonin. Hopefully, these seasonal blues don’t cause much more of a hindrance than a few slow-to-start mornings, but, if you feel your lust for life completely obliterated over the colder months, you may be dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD (the saddest of all mood disorder acronyms).

SAD is a type of depression related to the change of seasons that begins and ends around the same time every year, usually lasting from fall to late winter. SAD can affect individuals who don’t otherwise deal with mood disorders throughout the rest of the year, or it can be the cherry on top of another long-term mood disorder. I, for example, have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, but find my conditions become more bothersome in early September through late March– that’s the period when SAD kicks in for me.

Now, I’m not going to sugarcoat this: SAD sucks. It can be disheartening to deal with and a burden to manage, but it can be managed through a combination of medicinal and lifestyle interventions.

If you suspect you have SAD or any mood changes associated with winter, I recommend talking to your doctor ASAP. It took me at least a decade to bring it up with mine and, trust me, my past 10 winters have been severely lacking in the holiday spirit that I don’t want you to miss out on.

In the meantime, there are a handful of lifestyle interventions that can help improve your mood. Please note that they are not sure-fire cures for SAD or any chronic mood disorder, but they can certainly help lift you out of the run-of-the-mill winter blues and support any efforts recommended by your doctor for treating more serious mood disorders.

Here are my top 5 lifestyle interventions for supporting your mental health this winter:

1. Light Therapy

My real #1 tip for those dealing with the winter blues? Just don’t. If you have the means, it may behoove you to migrate somewhere far sunnier during the winter months. Go, have fun, and be sure to send me a postcard. The rest of the population (myself included) has to take the sunshine and push it somewhere else, which happens to be a lot easier than it sounds thanks to the rising popularity of light therapy.

Light therapy is a way to treat SAD and other mood conditions with the use of artificial sunlight. There are tons of therapy lights on the market that fit within every budget (my personal favorite is the Verilux HappyLight). Just be sure to purchase a lamp that emits at least 10,000 lux of light, as that’s been found to be the therapeutically effective dose. Most therapy lamps filter out harmful UV light, so you won’t have to worry about sunburn, but do avoid looking directly into the lamp, as you would with any light source, to avoid eye damage.

How to: Sit in front of your lamp for at least 15 minutes every morning. If you don’t begin feeling benefits in about a week, slowly increase your exposure by a couple minutes at a time every few days, preferably under the guidance of your doctor. Light therapy can affect your circadian rhythm, so concentrate your lamp use in the morning to avoid disrupting your sleep patterns. For reference, I keep a lamp on my bedside table that I turn on as soon as my alarm goes off in the morning and keep on as I get ready for work. I also keep a lamp in my cubicle that I use for 45 minutes- 1 hour once I get to work. That’s a lot of exposure because I deal with some pretty severe SAD, but most people feel results rather quickly with far less.

2. Aromatherapy

Anyone who’s caught a whiff of their favorite cookies baking in the oven or stepped into a serenely scented spa knows what a powerful effect scent can have on our mood. Aromatherapy, as this phenomenon is known, is a holistic healing treatment that uses essential oils to improve the health of the body and mind. Essential oils can be found anywhere from specialty shops to Whole Foods Markets to many CVSs.

Essential oils come in just about any natural scent you could ask for, but, to combat SAD, you’ll want to focus on using bright citrus scents, such as lemon and orange, soothing florals, such as lavender and juniper, and crisp herbs, such as basil and peppermint. These scent families bring ease to low moods/lethargy, restlessness/lack of sleep, and scattered thoughts/lack of concentration, respectfully.

How to: You can either purchase an essential oil diffuser (which can be found anywhere essential oils are sold) to distribute your choice of scent throughout the room much like a plug-in air freshener would. Or you can place a drop or two of oil on the inside of your wrists and back of your neck throughout the day (test a small dot of essential oils on the inside of your arm to ensure your skin doesn’t have a negative reaction to it, first). I like to keep peppermint essential oil in my car to lift my moods on long, dark commutes home, an earthy, herbally blend of spruce and pine at my desk to keep stress at bay, and diffuse lavender essential oil at night to help with sleep.

3. Stay Cozy

I don’t know if there’s any scientific connection between fleece pajamas and positive moods, but my psychiatrist recommended dressing warmly and comfortably to combat seasonal depression. While I know it’s the lack of sunlight and vitamin D that trashes my mood during the winter, the cold certainly doesn’t help, and taking her recommendation to heart has made the change of season slightly more bearable. It’s also one of the easiest tips to follow since all it takes is putting your coat closet to good use.

My cozy factor just got upgraded a few days ago when I received a weighted blanket for Christmas. Weighted blankets have recently become all the rage for their health benefits, such as reducing insomnia, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, stress, and more symptoms related to SAD. I have a 16-pound blanket, and sitting or lying under it feels like nestling into an extended hug from your favorite Hollywood Chris. I’m in love.

How to: Simply throw on an extra layer before heading out the door (which I take to mean “all the faux fur my body can hold”) and change into cozy clothing, such as sweatpants and a sweatshirt, as soon as you return home for the day. I also keep a faux fur blanket in my cubicle for extra snugness (and a rather comically luxe reputation) at the office.

4. Exercise

Alright, kids, it’s time to put your New Year’s resolutions to the best of uses. Staying active through regular exercise is continually found to be a sure-fire mood-booster for those suffering from SAD and other mood disorders. It’s all about spurring the release of endorphins, our body’s feel-good chemicals popularized by one of Hollywood’s most famous law students. More exercise leads to more endorphins which lead to better moods over an extended period of time.

How to: Trust me, I get. When you’re feeling down and out one of the last things you want to do is get up and out on a run. Try starting slowly by designating 5-10 minutes to stretching every morning or by using your lunch break to go on a walk around your office. Also, experiment with what time you work out and what exercises you do (weight-lifting, cardio, yoga, etc.) to find the right activity for you. Bonus tip: studies find that working out in a group can be even better for you than working out alone, so gather up some friends for support (the other The Postirder editors and I are hoping to create some sort of exercise accountability system for each other this year as part of our first annual life audit).

5. Be Social

As the recipient of a degree in Health Promotion, I’ve taken enough health classes to know that there are a handful of consistent factors that influence the health of an individual, and one of the greatest influences is one’s social circle. For better or (hopefully not) for worse, your social circle has the power to influence your physical and mental health as you silently and, often times, unknowingly adapt to the eating and activity habits, as well as positive/negative moods of those around you. The more supportive your friends are of your health and happiness, the easier it will be for you to make decisions that support your mental health.

Additionally, your social circle can act as a safe outlet for you to talk through your experiences with SAD and other mood disorders, as well as a safe place to go for cheering up. I’m very lucky and grateful to have to the friendship/familyship of the two other editors to help keep my head above water and stay smiling despite my winter blahs.

How to: You don’t need a thousand-million friends to reap the benefits of a social circle. All it takes is a few, quality bonds that help you feel understood and supported. Bonus points if they can make you laugh and cook at least one killer dinner recipe for when you need an extra dose of pick-me-ups.

There you have it, 5 simple lifestyle interventions that can help you start feeling better today. Again, there is absolutely no replacement for the treatment recommendations your doctor can provide, but every little bit helps.

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