Getting better every year

New Years Resolution Traditionphoto by free + native

So its time for New Years resolutions. I really love the yearly tradition of taking inventory of my life and thinking about how I want to improve myself and my life in the upcoming year. It feels like going into a new year with intention honors time’s passing and the fresh opportunity that a new year is. And while I definitely don’t accomplish all my resolutions (becoming a consistently  timely person is a hard hurdle for me, getting parking tickets, etc), I do manage to succeed at many of them and providing myself a new, improved “normal” with each year that passes.

Go about your resolutions any ways that feels good to you but I’ll share a bit about how me and my hubs do ours. Every year we celebrateNew Years Eve on our own with a staycation in a fun hotel. We order room service, watch movies, and do our resolutions. We have all our previous years of resolutions tucked in our respective New Years notebooks (it’s fun to refer back and see what used to challenge us 10 years ago and what continues to challenge). We write a recap of our year highlights and lows, what we listened to, watched, and read. and then we move on to the resolutions. We review how we did on the last years and write our new goals on a framable card and then share them with each other. Sometimes we have tons of resolutions, and sometimes just a few and we keep them framed on our bathroom sinks where we see them daily.

So while we usually have a list of good beauty-centric resolutions on the blog, this year we’re rounding them out with just good life ones, kay? These are resolutions that I’ve worked on in the past year that have made a big difference for me. So here goes….

Be SMARTER

New Years Resolutions |Be Smarterphoto by the zoe report

I spend less time in my car than I used to which means days go by without listening to NPR to stay current on whats happening in the world. Now I get The Skimm which is a weekday newsletter that shares the key points of what happened in the previous 24 hours broken down in a entertaining, brief, and concise way thats a lot like having your journalist BFF tell you the news. Reading The Skimm is the first thing I do every day and I really look forward to the email.

Another way to get smarter is with Highbrow which offers a choice of 65 free, bite-sized courses delivered to your inbox daily. Highbrow’s offered topics range from “Ideas that Changed the World”, to “Incredible Female Leaders Throughout History”, and “The Science of Happiness”.

Between The Skimm and Highbrow, it couldn’t be any easier to get smarter.

Be HEALTHIER

New Year Resolutions - Be Healthierphoto by julie’s kitchen

Ugggh, gluten free, organic, local, cardio, turmeric, probiotics, blah, blah, blah, right?! Unfortunately, no. We have to do better taking care of our bodies in consideration of our food choices and general living habits more so than our parents generation had to because we are living in an absolutely different world. Ignorance is bliss until you have a health problem so “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies.  I’ve had to discover this the hard way with an array of health stuff coming up for me, I’ve spent the past couple of years changing my habits. The single most important source of info on health, habits, and thriving is the book CLEAN by Alejandro Junger who, as a NYC cardiologist turned function medicine doctor, explains why our collective health is declining as a population (cancer, anxiety, depression, food allergies, arthritis, infertility and so on).  Hunger also makes doing better for your health beautifully practical and manageable. This book was life-changing for me.

I also love the newsletters I receive from GOOP, Dr. Mark Hyman, Well+Good, Pure Wow, and The Chalkboard Mag, all of which have a whole-person approach to living a happy, healthy life.

And remember, you don’t have to turn into a joyless monk in order to become healthier, but what ways could you incorporate healthier habits that you wouldn’t even mind?  Just do better than last year! And being healthier leads us to the importance of the next resolution….

Be CLEANER

New Years Resolutions Clean Beautyphoto from chalkboard magazine

This effort is one that being a well-established beauty connoisseur, I DID NOT want to look at. When it came to considering my beauty products I took the hear “no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” monkey emoticon approach. I mean, I wanted to use the products I wanted to and not factor in any larger issues into my beauty rointine choices.  I felt like “green” and “healthy” products were for crunchy hippies and people who don’t really appreciate red-lipstick and sexy hair. But alas, because of both fertility issues we’ve had and a load of GI issues I’ve had, I couldn’t avoid acknowledging how my beauty products factored in. I mean, have you noticed how many young people have fertility issues now or are developing food allergies out of nowhere? There are reasons this is happening, and our food and products are two very large reasons. So I began the year by ruthlessly purging my bathroom cupboards of all unnessecary toxic products and educating myself and finding their replacements. I am not perfect in my beauty choices (I still Shellac my nails every two weeks and use my beloved Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara, and NARS Concealer) but I would say that I made a 85% improvement.  I aimed for better, not perfect, and now most of my products are very healthy, conscious, and I don”t feel like I’ve compromised my glam-factor at all.

Sooooooo,

-if you want to learn about WHY you should care, go here, here, or read CLEAN.
-to know where each of your products stand on the dirty/clean continuum use the Think Dirty app which gives you each products score form 1-10 and if its dirty shows you in which why it’s dirty (carcinogen? reproductive health compromising?). You can also put your favorite products on your “bathroom shelf” to see what your combined beauty routine score is.
-throw out the all the dirty offenders you can!  Can we agree that pretty isn’t better than healthy? And what if with a little effort and refocusing you don’t have choose.
-replace your old nasties with new loves. Great places to shop for excellent, healthier picks are Honest Co., Cap Beauty, Spirit Beauty Lounge, and The Detox Market.

clean beauty

After lots of trial and error, my favorites are as follows….

Hair & Body
body wash  one/two
shampoo one/two/three
conditioner one/two/three
toothpaste
body oil one/two
body lotion one/two
body scrub
deodorant
perfume

Face
face wash one/two
toner
serum one/two
face oil
moisturizer
eye cream
lip balm one/two/three/four

Makeup
foundation
powder
shadow
blush one/two/three/four
lipstick & gloss one/two/three/four/five
Sadly, I still haven’t found a good healthy mascara, concealer, or eyeliner.  Let us know if you do!

And while you’re busy being healthier, smarter, and cleaner can we all just…..

Be NICER

New Years Resolutions Be NICEphoto by wishful printing

If you’re reading our beauty blog, you’re happily reading our blog and thinking about how to have prettier skin and perfect lipstick(rightly so), let’s take a second to be grateful that we get to enjoy the lovely perks in life and think about how we can add goodness to other people’s lives as well.  This can look like so many different ways…..being kinder to other women, taking the time to ask people questions, donating your time or money or extra items to a cause you’re into.  We’re on the younger side of life but we can still take mini-breaks from our busyness and ambition to make the world a little nicer.

HAPPY NEW YEAR pretty ladies! We shall meet again here in 2016!

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