We all know that tanning beds and UV rays are terrible for our skin, but many of us still crave that lightly bronzed look–especially during the seemingly endless dark days of winter. Fortunately, there’s some makeup products that can help smooth the way without increasing your risk of melanoma.
I don’t like new year’s resolutions because they usually amount to more pressure and disappointment. I try to look at life as progress – are every few years getting better than the last? Are we happy? Over the past two months I’ve been focusing on living simply, eliminating stress and organizing life. Along with drinking lemon water, buying a juicer, there are 10 things the family has undertaken to ensure we are living simply with as little stress as possible.
1. Unsubscribe from as many email lists as possible. Keep the ones that you covet, but recognize that your time – even that 5 second glance to your phone when it dings – is worth gold.
2. Do a closet overhaul. (It doesn’t have to be a What Not to Wear episode where you feel guilty and depressed.) Put anything that doesn’t quite fit in a suitcase labelled with the size and date. We love Mabel’s Labels new Scan and Store barcode labels with an app so you know what’s in the box and where you put it! Check for stained items, holes, pills and shoes beyond repair. Invest in new, thin felt hangers (Homesense is a great place for these) and take metal hangers back to the drycleaner.
3. Place all of your jewelry on the bed. Separate any broken pieces that need repair, and start a collection of unwanted or broken costume pieces for a little girl in your life. When I was a little girl, a friend’s grandmother did this for me and I was thrilled by my treasures. Polish the silver and clean gold, pearls and gems with a soft cloth. I hung chunky necklaces on scarf hangars and places bangles in shoeboxes.
4. Pull out your makeup and toss anything that is too old. Wash brushes with Dawn and water and dry flat on a cloth. 97.9 % of us, according to a 2003 study on the use of cosmetics, are guilty of using make-up after the expiration date, with mascara being the most frequently mentioned product. Products with a higher water content have a shorter lifespan after opening due to the ability for bacteria and microbes to breed in moisture. Curious about expiration dates? Here’s a cheat sheet:
Expiration Dates for Makeup:
Mascara (regular or waterproof), liquid, pencil or gel eyeliners: 4 to 6 months
Cream, Liquid or Stick Foundations or Concealers: 6 months to 1 year
Powder-based products (including mineral makeup): 2-3 years
Lipsticks, Lip Gloss, & Lip Pencils: 2-3 years
Cleansers: 1 year
Toners: 6 months to 1 year
BHA or AHA Exfoliants: 1 year
Facial or Body Moisturizers and Serums: 6 months to 1 year
Lip Balms: 1 year
5. Eliminate undue travel stress. Note passport expiry dates in your calendar and apply for a Nexus/Global Entry pass to skip long airport security lines. Keep travel chargers and ziplocks sorted with different currencies from past trips in your go-to suitcase, and have a few key seasonal clothing items at the ready in case you take a trip to a different climate. Check balances on hotel points cards and ensure you are using them to your advantage.
6. Be ready for sick days. Check first aid kits for expiration dates on medicines. Have homemade chicken soup in the freezer. We use the homemade chicken stock recipe from Kitchen Stewardship, which provides incredible healing benefits, including boosting the immune system, aiding digestion, increasing efficiency of protein use and providing easily digestible minerals, including calcium. You also get none of the ‘fake’ foods and preservatives when you make it yourself. Get rid of the dust. Give your kids an extendible Swiffer duster once a week and give them a quarter if they can cover it with dust from the tops of frames and chandeliers.
7. Grab all of your gift cards and see if some can be amalgamated. If you have a stack of cards you will never use, use Cardswap.ca to exchange them for cards you will use.
8. Are your computer and mobile phone systems working well? I hadn’t backed up files, and my phone and computer contacts were duplicated or not being saved properly. Not being able to find a number for a mom during a playdate or losing precious photos to power surges can be devastating or just stressful. Calling Geek Squad or heading to the nearest Apple or Microsoft store could sort out all of your tech woes. Oh, and write your printer toner numbers in your wallet along with your license plate number. (Or am I the only one who always forgets these?) You can also photograph it all, along with membership cards and parking passes and store the photos in a special account in the cloud.
9. Evaluate the entertainment options. Our family is a bit over the top. We have a huge cable package, a Netflix subscription, Next Issue, and regularly make purchases on iTunes and Google Play. I sat down with the family and we discussed our needs. There isn’t enough time in the week to watch, play and read everything. We decided what is most important (English football and Netflix) and eliminated a few unnecessary distractions from there. It can be worth a call to your providers to check the options. Amazon Prime can cut down on entertainment costs. For film buffs in the US, Fandango is your best friend.
10. Do you and your kids do a weekly activity? We were always searching for shin guards, cleats and ski helmets, so we now have a system. Monogrammed bags for each activity (ours are from Land’s End) are packed and in the mudroom. We take them to the activity and then right to the laundry room afterwards. When the clothes are clean and dry they go right back into the bag and to their permanent home. Ditto for library book bags.
We’d love to hear your tips and tricks for living simply! Write them below and we will choose our favourite at random for a special gift card!
Disclosure: This article is not sponsored. UrbanMommies does receive samples to test from time to time, and some Proctor and Gamble and Mabel’s Labels items are shown here, however all creative and selections are my own.
Our friends at Make Up For Ever have sent along a treat just in time for the Hallowe’en transformation. You can find tips and step-by-step instructions on becoming an underworld beauty, glampire bride, otherworld beauty, skull candy character, Hallowe’en Queen, or Mod and Monstrous creepy person in these Halloween Face Charts. FYI – They’re pretty scary so you may want to close your eyes.
My Mom is a natural beauty. She writes poetry. Plays piano. She breaks nails while gardening and her navy blue suits and gold hoop earrings give her a classic, Jackie Onassis look. Mom is pretty savvy, but has not treated herself to the latest, cutting-edge products in a long while. So here’s my Mother’s Day plan – treat her to some great beauty products that suit her natural style, reduce the signs of aging and make her feel young and hip. (I may also throw in some lessons on Pinterest and Skype while I’m at it). I’ll present them to her with a hot chocolate in hand and proceed to teach her how to apply everything as I recreate a spa at home.
Did you know that what goes on your skin goes into your body? We were recently invited to try some great makeup available at Whole Foods. Zuii Organic and Gabriel Skincare offer amazing shades and are both fully natural. Zuii Organic has embraced the essence of nature and created a totally unique range of colour cosmetics, blending Certified Organic Flower Petals, essential oils, vitamins and minerals while offering a colour pallet previously only available from chemical based cosmetics. Both lines improve your skin’s health, look great and have good karma.
We’ve all been there – about to rush out the door, and we happen to catch a glimpse of ourselves in the mirror. Wow. No Makeup. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel vibrant and productive all day while we were getting groceries and schlepping kids? How much earlier would we have to wake up to make ourselves look presentable in 5 MINUTES. FLAT. (Honestly). Many busy moms don’t even attempt lipgloss half the time even though our appearance affects self esteem and confidence. So we asked the lovely Sarah Norris-Jones from Kiss and Makeup for a 5-minute face for busy moms .