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Archive for the ‘lifestyle’ Category

10 Morning Hacks To Help You Get Started With Your Day

In lifestyle, productivity on November 4, 2018 at 10:20 am

For some people, getting up early and starting the day (or week) is easy and the fresh start is something to look forward to.  For others, getting up early and starting the day can be traumatizing.  There can be many factors that may cause one to feel that way such as not being a morning person, always feeling tired or just not looking forward to the events of the day.  Whatever the case, staying in bed seems like a better idea.

For most adults however, staying in bed all day is not an option.  So what is the fix? Planning ahead and establishing a routine and certain tasks, especially if you have to get up before the crack of dawn, can make your process more tolerable and your day run more smoothly.  So the next time you have to get up super early, consider the following:

Set your alarm to your favorite song.  This song should be a song that will hype you up and make you want to dance first thing in the morning.  And when that song no longer gets you excited, switch it out to another song.

Give yourself some time.  Make sure you give yourself a few minutes before jumping out of bed to give yourself time to meditate, pray and review your schedule.  Nothing is worse than waiting until the last minute to get out of the bed then making a scatterbrained leap out of bed.  Not the best way to start your day.

Turn on all of the lights.  This has helped me tremendously when I have to get up before sunrise (especially in the winter).  Consider getting a timer to turn on the light a few minutes before you have to get up so you don’t have to physically walk throughout the house to turn on lights.

Eat a delicious breakfast.  Take the time to have a wholesome breakfast before heading out.  Doing so will put you in a good mood, help your concentration and improve your memory.

Drink ice cold water.  Doing this will help you wake up instantly.

Buy some new underwear.  I can’t tell you how many times I have gone shopping for new underwear and couldn’t wait to wake up in the morning to shower and put them on.  What is it about new underwear that makes one feel powerful, sexy, ready to take on the world?

Get a morning exercise routine.  It might be stretching, yoga, or a full out HIIT workout which might take place in a physical gym or in your living room.  Wherever you choose to workout and whatever workout you choose to do, take a few minutes to do something which will get your blood flowing, burn some calories and make you alert, ready to take on the day.

Prep your meals and outfits ahead of time.   Eliminate the morning frenzy around food and clothing by preparing ahead of time.  It might be the day before or a plan for the week but whatever the case do it ahead of time so you can focus your energy on other important things.

Be realistic about your time.  Nothing is worse than rushing to get things done.  Do you find that you are late often or that you are making it to your destination just by the skin of your teeth?  Oftentimes we underestimate the amount of time it takes to get ready in the morning or for any event so make sure you are giving yourself enough time to get everything done.  For instance, just walking to the car, getting in, putting on your seat belt, turning on the car take up time that counts so plan accordingly.

Don’t get caught up.  In your cell phone or laptop that is.  Email and social media can rob you of precious time.  If you aren’t in an industry like customer support where you have to answer email right away, set up a time where you will check all of that stuff or at least wait until you are done with your morning routine to check in.

What are your best morning hacks to keep you on track for a productive day?

Don’t Sleep Your Day Away: 5 Benefits Of Getting Up Earlier

In lifestyle, productivity on October 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm
sunrise on village

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

As a child, I never had trouble getting up early – and I mean super early.  Like 5 am early.  This was not a problem during the week when I had to go to school.  The weekend, on the other hand, was a different story.  My mom, after having worked all week, looked forward to getting some extra shut eye – at least until 6:30 but there I was – padding into her bedroom, waking her up, wanting to eat and play.  At 5am.  On a Saturday morning.

Not wanting to stifle all that young energy and realizing that I might just be one of those early risers, she would set up my snacks, toys, books and showed me how to turn on the television so I could entertain myself until she awakened from her slumber.  She also purchased dark blinds thinking they would keep the sun out of my bedroom and make me sleep a little later.  Those didn’t work.

Fast forward to my adult years.  I still wake up between 430 and 6am – depending on what my schedule is.  Do I occasionally fall into a pattern of hitting that snooze button and sleeping later?  I sure do.  But since I don’t like feeling frenzied or like I don’t have any control ever my life, I usually get up when I wake up.  Waking up early helps me to be productive, focused and punctual.  I like the feeling of easing into my day and having a good amount of time to do things like workout, review my day, get dressed – all without arriving at my destination all batsh*t crazy.

But then there is you.  Maybe your internal clock doesn’t go off that early or you get up 45 minutes before you have to leave your house.  Perhaps you are a shift worker who gets off work at 1130pm so waking up at 5am is out of the question.  You might be a night owl and find yourself to be more productive later in the day.  Cool.

If, however, you are looking for reasons why getting up before sunrise/ 5am-ish can be beneficial, continue reading…

Fewer Distractions.  First off, when you get up earlier, you get the opportunity to reflect in peace.  This is particularly important if you have a family or roommates.  You will also have free range of your entire living space before everyone else gets up.  Serenity is a beautiful thing.

Gain More Time.  If you are an entrepreneur, student or even someone who is working on a particular project like writing a book, you can gain an extra 5-10 hours a week (or more) just by getting up 1-2 hours earlier.  This can be a good thing especially if you have a full time job.  You will have more mental clarity when you get up earlier and when you get home from work (or wherever), you can focus on other things that require your attention – like your family and friends.

Peak Energy, Creativity And Better Organization.  Assuming that you have had a good night’s rest, you wake up with better mental clarity and you will have more energy to actually start your day.  Those ideas that were on your mind before you went to bed are more likely to be executed.  You can also do things like get ahead of traffic and make sure you have everything you need for your day before you run out of the door.

Wellness Habits Are Put Into Practice.  How many times have you said you want to work out, eat a healthy breakfast, pray/meditate or even take the time to look nice before running out of the door?  Well when you get up earlier, you can actually do all of these things.  When you are able to put these habits into practice, it can enhance your overall well being, focus and confidence.

Sets The Tone.  Getting up early helps to set the tone for your day.  Doing so can foster a sense of accomplishment which can be the foundation of your day, making you feel in charge, able to make solid decisions.  Imagine feeling like a boss before you even leave the house?

Interested in learning how to get up earlier and take charge of your day?  Try the following:

  • Know your why.  Figure out why getting up early is important to you or why you think you should.  Do you have a specific goal you are trying to reach like start a business, write a book or workout and can’t seem to find the energy to do it after a long day? Do you want to feel more focused and in control of your day.  Knowing your why can help you stay committed to you goal or focus.
  • Start small.  If you are used to sleeping to whenever, abruptly trying to get up earlier can be painful.  Start by setting your alarm for an earlier wake up time in small increments.  If you usually wake up at 7am and you decide you want to start waking up at 5am, the thought alone is agonizing and chances are you won’t make that transition.  Instead, start by setting your alarm 10-15 minutes earlier and once you adjust to that time, then you can add on another 15 minutes or so until you are accustomed to waking up at your new time.
  • Plan to go to bed sooner.  Simply put, getting up earlier can be related to getting in bed sooner and getting a full night’s rest.
  • Put the alarm away from the bed.  Having your alarm clock by your bed can encourage you to keep hitting the snooze button and sleeping longer than you planned.  Instead, put your alarm clock on the other side of the room.  But please, when you shut the alarm off, don’t crawl back into bed.
  • Leave the room.  After shutting off that alarm, turn on the lights and leave your room and don’t look back.

If waking up earlier is something you are interested in and you aren’t successful at first, be gentle with yourself and give yourself some time to adjust.  Also, getting up early is not always about being productive.  Sometimes it’s about being able to take your time which is the most relaxing, loving thing you can do for yourself.  At the end of the day, you have to do what works for you.

Are you an early riser or do you sleep in?  What reasons for getting up earlier resonated with you?  Share your thoughts below.

 

 

On My Radar: Weekly Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Roundup

In beauty, jewelry, lifestyle on August 31, 2018 at 2:00 pm

On My Radar is a roundup of all the things I love, discovered, and that have piqued my interest this week that you should know about.

Discover one product to exfoliate both your scalp and body, cut down your clothes drying time in an eco-friendly way, learn how to build your social capital and more this week On My Radar.

Ouai Scalp and Body Scrub $38.  Dry, itchy scalp be gone with this luxurious, creamy scalp and body scrub.  Use this as a pre-wash to prep your scalp for your shampoo and conditioner or use it as a body scrub to reveal smooth, silky, radiant skin.  Key ingredients include sugar to exfoliate, probiotics to balance scalp/skin and coconut oil to nourish and moisturize.

Dr Dennis Gross SpotLite Acne Treatment Device $52.  Reduce menacing pimples fast with this compact, FDA cleared treatment device.  By using medical grade blue and red LED light technology, SpotLite reduces inflammation and other symptoms related to breakouts such as scarring.

Alexis Bittar Armor Cuff Bracelet $195.  Be art in motion with this beautiful sculptural cuff.  Big and bold, this rose gold tone cuff will create the ultimate fashion statement this season.

Grove Collaborative Wool Dryer Balls $15.95.  Eliminate the need to buy dryer sheets and cut down your drying time with these eco-friendly wool dryer balls.  Hypoallergenic and reusable (lasts 1000 loads), these dryer balls help to eliminate wrinkles and make your clothes soft and fluffy.

Safavieh Bar Cart $397.79.  Stock your adult beverages in style with this beautiful chrome framed bar cart, making this an elegant addition to your home decor.  If alcoholic beverages aren’t your thing, this cart serves a multitude of other uses such as a plant holder, bathroom organizer, book shelf, bedside table or even a coffee bar.

Never Eat Alone And Other Secrets To Success One Relationship At A Time $17.  Master networker Keith Ferrazzi discusses the importance of building relationships with people to foster mutual respect and success.  Reaching out to others before there is a need, mastering social media, building your social currency and your brand are some of the key attributes of those who are successful and are covered in depth this must have book.

Not Getting Enough Sleep Can Affect You In More Ways Than You Think

In lifestyle on August 30, 2018 at 12:00 pm
bed with white bed sheet and pillowcase set

Photo by William Sun on Pexels.com

Remember back in the day when you had to take a nap in pre-school?  Or when your mom made you take a nap – in broad daylight?  Being forced to take a nap or go to bed for the night was the worst thing your young mind could imagine.  All you could think about was what you thought you were going to miss by being sleep.

As adults, although no one is forcing you to go to sleep, there is still a FOMO mentality.  There is so much to do, so much to see and so many places to be that it’s a wonder we get any sleep at all.  Demanding work and school schedules, family responsibilities, full social calendars and entrepreneurial pursuits keep us going for hours, sometimes days on end.  Add to that the “#grinding” mindset or the “sleep when you are dead” mentality as well as our accessibility to technology and non stop social media engagement, a good night’s rest isn’t always at the top of our list of priorities.

Add to that our societal conditioning to think that sleeping is for lazy people which can make one feel like a loser for needing some downtime.  The truth of the matter is that sleep is very healthy.  Deep, restorative sleep heals, restores, and resets.  It keeps us looking beautiful and reduces accident risk and brain fog.  Conversely, not getting enough sleep can have negative effects on our health.  Sleep deprivation affects melatonin production, and can cause weight gain and increase the risk for chronic diseases.

The Relationship Between Sleep Deprivation And Melatonin Production.

Melatonin is a hormone that is made in the pineal gland and controls your sleep and wake cycles.  Production begins to rise mid to late evening after sunset and tells your body that it is night time.  Melatonin also controls other hormones in the body as well as the circadium rhythm which is your internal body clock.  Remaining awake well into the late hours of the night/early morning with regular lighting and the blue light from cell phones and computer screens interfere with melatonin secretion and makes the body think it’s still daylight  which can cause you to have trouble sleeping.

The Cycle Of Sleep Deprivation And Weight Gain.

Everyone has had those days of being tired at work.  For whatever reason, your eyelids are heavy and you are desperate to stay awake.  What do you do when this happens?  You reach for soda, coffee, or some other sugary snack – anything to help you make it through your day.  But wait – it doesn’t stop there.  You get off work, skip that soulcycle class, grab some take out and go home to get some other things done. You don’t go to bed until after midnight, only to get up at 5 or 6 am to do it all over again, thus repeating this sleep(less) and poor eating pattern for days on end.

When you are fatigued, you not only have less physical activity but you make poor food choices.  In fact, studies have found that “a sleepy brain not only responds more strongly to junk food, but also has less ability to rein that impulse in” (1).  How does this relate to weight gain?  The simple explanation is that sleep deprivation affects your metabolism which becomes slower when you don’t get enough sleep.  Everyone knows that low metabolism equals weight gain.  The not so simple explanation:  during sleep, our bodies secrete hormones to regulate things like appetite and glucose.  Three main types of hormones become affected when you don’t get enough rest:  ghrelin, leptin and cortisol.  Grehlin is the hormone that tells you when to eat and when you are sleepy, you produce more ghrelin.  Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating and when you are tired, you have less leptin.  More ghrelin + less leptin equals more weight (2).  Lack of sleep also raises the stress hormone cortisol which increases your appetite as well as belly fat.  Cortisol is not all bad.  In fact it is necessary but in adequate levels and not before bed.  Sleep deprivation and stress cause cortisol to be secreted in large amounts and doesn’t have the opportunity to decrease.  This also leads to insulin resistance. (3).

The Relationship Between Sleep Deprivation And Chronic Disease.

Chronic diseases are increasing because of numerous lifestyle factors, including poor sleep.  Some of these diseases include:

  • Diabetes.  Remember insulin?  It’s the hormone that regulates glucose processing and promotes fat storage.  Fat storage leads to weight gain which is a risk factor for diabetes.  Glucose is the carb that cells use for fuel and when you get less sleep, you process glucose more slowly.
  • High Blood Pressure/Heart Disease.  Less sleep can cause more stress which can elevate blood pressure to unsafe levels.
  • Low Immunity.  Chronic fatigue can negatively impact the immune system.  When you have compromised immunity, it can affect your ability to fight off infections (4).

Here are 6 things you can do tonight get better sleep:

  • Be Consistent With Your Sleep Schedule.  Go to sleep and wake up the same time every day, even on the weekends.  This can be especially difficult for those who are shift workers, flight attendants, those who travel for work and even new parents.  The most important thing is to be purposeful and strategic about your sleep schedule and set boundaries with those around you to ensure you get the 7-8 hours of rest that you need.
  • Keep It Cool.  We all know how difficult it is to fall asleep or stay asleep when you are hot.  Be sure to lower the temperature before bed to help you remain comfortable.
  • Power Down/Unplug Before Bed.  Surfing the internet, texting and scrolling through social media can make you anxious and keep you awake instead of putting you in a relaxed state before bed, thus affecting your sleep.  Put your phone on silent and begin to power down an hour or so before bed.  Consider reading or meditating during this time.
  • Consider Using White Noise.  The gentle hum of the air conditioner or the steady sound of rain outside can lull you into a deep sleep.  Don’t have access to a clothes dryer or rain is not in the forecast?  Download a white noise app like White Noise Deep Sleep which can help you feel calm and block out unwanted noises.
  • Keep Your Sleep Space Tidy.  Do you ever feel anxious when you have items scattered throughout your room?  Clearing your space can help to clear your mind which can lead to you being able to fall asleep easier, faster and deeper.
  • Avoid Caffeine for obvious reasons.

What are some ways you ensure you get a good night’s sleep?  Share your ideas below.

Sources:

(1) How sleep loss adds to weight gain.  https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/how-sleep-loss-adds-to-weight-gain/

(2) Sleep and weight gain    https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain#2

(3)  The stress, Cortisol and weight gain connection  https://www.restartmed.com/cortisol-and-weight-gain/

(4) Sleep and disease risk  http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences/sleep-and-disease-risk

 

On My Radar: Weekly Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Roundup

In beauty, fashion, lifestyle on August 24, 2018 at 12:00 pm

On My Radar is a roundup of all the things I love, discovered, and that have piqued my interest this week that you should know about.

This week it’s all about products that keep your skin glowing, invisible bust coverage that can possibly solve your low cut/strapless clothing dilemma, a stylish way to drink on the go, and a more efficient way to get your workout on.

Nars Illuminating Loose Powder $28.  An ethereal glow is at your fingertips with Nars Illuminating Loose Powder.  Created in the cult classic, universally flattering shade Orgasm, this powder is soft, silky and blendable.  Apply directly to wherever you want to glow or mix into your favorite lotion, body butter or foundation.

Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Toner $28.  This purifying toner is great for those with normal, sensitive, combination and oily skin.  Natural salicylic acid helps to control oil, reduce breakouts and minimize the appearance of pores.  Grape seed polyphenols provide antioxidant protection while grape water and rose water calm and soothe the skin, leaving it radiant, smooth and refreshed.

Brassybra $35.  Goodbye duct tape and hello to breast tape that actually works – even if you have a larger bust line.  Brassybra, a disposable adhesive breast tape, provides invisible support where and when it matters the most.  Made with Second Skin Technology which is a 97% cotton based material with elastane, Brassybra is like a second skin that promises to be invisible, breathable and waterproof – yes you can even go swimming!  Even more exciting is that unlike other products which stop at a D cup, Brassybra goes up to G(DDDD).

Soma Brew Bottle $40.  Coffee and Tea lovers rejoice!  Take your pour over coffee, cold brew or loose leaf tea on the go in this sleek, beautifully designed bottle.  The Soma Brew Bottle is as durable as it is beautiful with a leak proof flip lid, stainless steel filter and double walled borosilicate glass, all to keep your beverage contained, hot and delicious.

Trtl Travel Pillow $29.99.  Sleep comfortably while traveling and say goodbye to the nodding head that often comes with sleeping in an upright position.  This ergonomically correct travel pillow has internal ribs that provide head and neck support, is smaller than traditional u-shaped travel pillows and is machine washable.

Powerblock Sport 24 Dumbbells $159.  Be done with multiple pairs of dumbbells in your home gym with the Powerblock Sport.  The best in downsizing and multi-tasking, these dumbbells come in multiple weight ranges that are adjustable anywhere between 3-90 pounds per hand.

On My Radar: Weekly Beauty, Fashion, And Lifestyle Roundup

In beauty, fashion, lifestyle on August 17, 2018 at 5:00 pm

On My Radar is a roundup of all the things I love, discovered, and that have piqued my interest this week that you should know about.

Peter Thomas Roth 24 K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Hydra Gel Eye Patches $75.  Firm, lift, calm and brighten in one step with these gold, anti-aging eye patches.  Perfect for when preparing for an event or even before work, these luxurious patches deliver 24k gold, collodial gold, hyaluronic acid, hydrolized collagen, and caffeine which helps with hydration and reduces puffiness.  Great for all skin types.

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm $34.  Cleanse and nourish your skin at the same time with this amazing cleansing balm.  Perfect for all skin types, this cleanser removes all forms of makeup, including waterproof.  Because no greasy residue left behind, there is no need for a double cleanse.

Rag & Bone Army Cheetah Low Top Sneakers $275.  No footwear collection is complete without animal print.  Update your sneaker game and any outfit you wear with these super cute cheetah print sneakers.

Mango Leather Envelope $59.99.  Show up in style with this envelope clutch.  Made of bovine leather, this clutch is large enough to hold all of the items you need for a night out but small enough to not feel like you are carrying luggage wherever you go.

Aveleda Vinho Verde $6.99.  This medium dry white wine is crisp, light and delicious.  Perfect for a mid day snacking on the balcony and is also a great base for adding your favorite juice for a refreshing spritzer.

Hadley Cheese Knives, Set of 4 $48.  Elevate your flatware collection and serve delicious cheeses (and wine) to your friends or yourself with these beautiful imported handcrafted cheese knives.

Jonathan Adler Canaan Marble Tic-Tac-Toe Set $298.  “Is it modern art or a luxe pastime.  Let your guests decide.”  Decorate your space and change the face of a classic game with the impeccable craftsmanship of this Canaan Marble Tic Tac Toe set.

Don’t Forget These 7 Places When Applying Your Sunscreen

In beauty, lifestyle, skincare on August 13, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Remember back in the day when wearing sunscreen on a regular basis wasn’t really part of your skin care routine?  No one concerned themselves with the dangers of bathing in the sun for hours, and slathered in baby oil at that.  And if you had a deeper complexion, you thought you were immune to the effects of sun damage because of the depth of your built in melanin.

Fast forward to today where people are more educated about the dangers of UVA and UVB rays.  There is now a lot more information available about the various forms of skin cancer, how they develop, as well as the steps you can take to protect you and your loved ones.  Startling statistics show that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States (1).  In addition, skin cancer in people of color is usually detected in later stages when it is more difficult to treat (2).  The key is understanding that absolutely no one is immune to this disease, which, in most cases, if detected early can be cured.

Now you may be thinking to yourself that because your makeup has SPF or because you don’t spend your days outside in the sun, that all is well.  Not so fast.  SPF in makeup is insufficient because it (SPF) should be reapplied every 2 hours and most people don’t even apply enough of said makeup to get enough protection in the first place. Furthermore, ultraviolet light penetrates windows and clothes so you still need a sunscreen.

With that said, although people are actually taking the time to apply sunscreen before leaving home, there are still sensitive areas of the body that are often overlooked and are some of the places people wouldn’t necessarily consider developing skin cancer:

Lips. Fresh Sugar Sport Treatment Sunscreen SPF 30.  This targeted, nourishing formula is water resistant and perfect for the lip, eye and face area.

Ears/NoseAlgenist Sublime Defense Ultra Lightweight UV Defense Fluid SPF 50.  This lightweight, oil free sunscreen is fast absorbing and contains anti-oxidants that help delay the aging process.  Sublime Defense does not leave a gray cast on deep skin tones.

Eyelids.  Shiseido Sun Protection Eye Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 34.  Gentle and non-irritating is the way to go when it comes to applying anything to the eye area.  Anything you apply in that area should also treat.  This sunscreen eye cream is fast absorbing, lightweight, hydrating and makes the eye area appear brighter.

Scalp.  Coola Organic Scalp & Hair Mist SPF 30.  Even though your hair may be covering your scalp, both are at risk for sun damage.  Good for all hair types including tightly coiled, Coola Organic Scalp & Hair Mist keeps hair moisturized, manageable, protects color.  Contains monoi oil and panthenol and is vegan, cruelty free, and non-gmo.

Feet/HandsMD Solar Sciences 40 SPF Quick Dry Body Spray.  Oil free and water resistant, this sunscreen is great for those who live an active lifestyle and is safe enough to use on children 6 months and older.

The great thing about these sunscreens and many others is that they come in various forms like finishing sprays, primers and balms, making it easier to choose a formulation that fits your preference and lifestyle.  And remember, sunscreen (between 30 and 50 SPF) isn’t just for the bright sunny days of summer.  It is to be used every day of the year.

(1) https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/statistics/index.htm

(2) https://www.aad.org/media/stats/conditions/skin-cancer

UVA rays are associated with aging the skin.

UVB rays are responsible for burning the skin which can lead to cancer.

Find out more about blue light skin aging (HEV) here.

On My Radar: Weekly Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Roundup

In beauty, fashion, lifestyle on August 10, 2018 at 12:00 pm

On My Radar is a roundup of all the things I love, discovered, and that have piqued my interest this week that you should know about.

Bite Beauty French Press Lip Gloss.  Rich, creamy and smooth, these coffee inspired lip glosses describe the perfect cup of coffee and are the perfect addition to your lip gloss collection.  Available in 6 sumptuous shades, French Press Lip Gloss is made with coffee butter and arabica cold press coffee oil which keep your lips smooth and conditioned.  These won’t be around long so hurry up and choose from these limited edition colors which describe the perfect flavor of coffee such as Flat White and Salted Caramel (a personal favorite).

Tom Ford Ombre Leather.  Experience how sultry leather notes in a fragrance can be with Tom Ford Ombre Leather.  A “textural scent” with notes of jasmine sambac, black leather, and white moss, this fragrance which comes in a minimalist matte black bottle is bold yet gentle, adventurous and sensual.

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Concealer.  This lightweight, medium to full coverage concealer hydrates and blurs and it’s fluidity makes application and blending a breeze.  Flawless Fusion doesn’t crease or fade and holds up against 12+ hour days.

Drunk Elephant C Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream.  C Tango eye cream is rich and creamy without being heavy and suffocating, leaving the under eye area smooth, bright and hydrated.  Formulated with five forms of vitamin C and eight peptides, C Tango is great for all skin types and can be used am and pm.

Zara Floral Jacquard Pants and Blazer.  These are the perfect two pieces that look great together or worn separately.  The rich texture and color of the fabric are perfect for the upcoming fall/winter season and can be dressed up or down.  Pair with a loafer or sneaker for a paired down look or with a heel to dress these pieces up.

Alexis Bittar Folded Knot Ring.  NEVER shy away from a beautiful piece of jewelry.  This brushed gold tone ring is bold without being over the top and is the perfect addition to your ring collection.

H&M Wool-Blend Coat.  Although it’s still warm outside, now is a good time to consider what cold weather outerwear pieces you need to add to your wardrobe.  This soft wool belted coat can be one of those pieces that can take you from late fall to early winter.

Modern Alchemy Hyacinth & Bergamot Candle. This beautiful blue marble candle is the perfect pop of color for any room.  In addition to the beauty of the candle, The lingering scent is like that of a cool, gentle ocean breeze that lasts long after the candle stops burning.

World Market Oval Gray Faux Shagreen Katy Desk.  This glamorous desk is the perfect accent to any room in your apartment/home.  With a soft grainy textural finish, deep drawer and gold steel legs, you can use this as a vanity entryway table, as a desk in your home office.

The Art Of Wearing Fragrance-Part 3. How Concentration Affects Fragrance Longevity

In beauty, fragrance, lifestyle on May 4, 2018 at 12:00 pm


How many times have you applied your favorite fragrance before leaving the house only to have it fade away rather quickly?  You find yourself re-applying throughout the day but still don’t get the satisfaction of your fragrance lasting more than an hour.

You are not alone.  With the amount of money you spend on your fragrance, you would want it to stick around for a bit and radiate off of your smooth, silky skin.  You want to be excited about what you smell like and perhaps impress or excite those around you.  However, before you reach for that bottle to have yet another spritz, make sure you understand the composition of what you are spraying.  This will give you some insight regarding scent longevity.

Any time you shop for fragrance, you have the option of choosing from various formulations which include parfum, eau de parfum, and eau de toilette.  Every fragrance formulation is made up of varying concentrations of perfume oil which is the base of any fragrance and is what makes the actual smell.  This smell is usually unpleasant by itself and needs to be paired with or diluted by something else like alcohol (ethanol) and water to create various concentrations.  These concentrations are what gives fragrance their staying power.  There are many fragrance concentrations but here we will discuss the five most common:

  • Perfume (or parfum) is the most concentrated of all forms of fragrance.  Created with a perfume essence of 20-30% concentration, it is usually thicker and oilier and lasts the longest (up to 24 hours).  It is the most expensive and is usually sold in bottles with stoppers for the least amount of evaporation.  The best way to wear parfum is to dab in a few key areas such as behind the ears and/or the wrists so as not to overwhelm your nose or the nose of others.
  • Eau de Parfum (EDP) has less perfume essence (15-20%) and is diluted with alcohol and water.  It can last up to 8 hours and can come in a bottle or spray.  Although it is lighter than parfum, it can still be strong.  You can be a bit more liberal in your application, applying lightly during the day and and more for the evening.
  • Eau de toilette (EDT) is a perfume essence of 5-15% which is dissolved in an alcohol and water base.  It usually lasts up to 3 hours, and can be a better option for work, interviews and even first dates because it is lighter.
  • Eau de cologne which is usually reserved for masculine scents, only has 2-4% perfume oil concentration and lasts up to two hours.
  • Eau fraiche is the most diluted form of fragrance.  Almost like a body splash, eau fraiche has only up to 3% of fragrance oil and lasts up to an hour.

In addition to understanding scent concentration as it relates to longevity, there are some other things to consider when wearing and storing fragrance to make it last longer, such as:

  1. Spray your pulse points:  inner elbows, back of knees, ankles, back of ears, chest/decolletage, and inner wrist.  These places are warmer and will help emit the fragrance better.  When applying, be sure not to rub as that breaks down the fragrance.
  2. Use a combination of ancillary products.  These are the accompanying products such as shower gels, body lotions and powders in the same scent as your fragrance that you will layer to help that help to carry the scent and make it last longer.  These are usually purchased separately and can also be found in gift sets.
  3. Consider using a hair perfume or same fragrance in your hair.
  4. Moisturize your skin.  Fragrance evaporates more quickly on dry, flaky skin.  Try exfoliating first and following up with a rich body butter or oil (preferably light in fragrance or no fragrance at all if not using ancillary products) then layer your fragrance on top.
  5. Store your fragrance in a cool dark place.  Fragrance can go bad (discoloration and rancidity) so be sure to keep your fragrance in the original packaging, keep the top on and keep it away from heat and humidity.

The Art Of Wearing Fragrance-Part 2. Understanding The Evolution Process Of Scent Through Fragrance Notes

In fragrance, lifestyle on April 11, 2018 at 12:00 pm

 

English: A fragrance pyramid

English: A fragrance pyramid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Understanding the process of how fragrance notes develop and evolve can help you make a more informed decision when choosing a new scent.

 

When shopping for a new fragrance, chances are you have heard references made to fragrances in terms of notes.  Just as a musical note is assigned to the sounds in the music we hear, fragrance notes describe the scent you smell.  These notes, whether in music or fragrance, evoke memories and moods that can usually be recalled in an instant.  These categories of scents are expertly crafted with the knowledge of how they interact with each other and how they evolve over a period of time.  Actually, this process can be thought of as an exact science.

Perfumers often refer to the fragrance pyramid when creating fragrances.  The fragrance pyramid is composed of the three notes (categories) that make up a fragrance and are referred to as the top (head), middle (heart) and base (bottom) notes.

The top note is the initial scent that you smell.  It is your first impression of a fragrance, usually lasting anywhere from 5-30 minutes.  As the most volatile, the top note is made of lighter ingredients, including alcohol, and will evaporate very quickly.  From the top note you can get a slight idea about the fragrance and if you are somewhat intrigued but not really sure, allow the fragrance to continue to develop.  Common top notes include bergamot, lemon and grapefruit.

The Middle note, often referred to as the heart note, develops 10-30 minutes after the initial top note.  Here is where you get to “know” the fragrance.  It is usually composed of more oils since it will need to last on the skin as opposed to the alcohol in the top note. It is the body or foundation of the fragrance and is usually warmer.  It can also act as a buffer between the bottom note which may or may not smell pleasant on its own.  Common middle notes include lavender, cardamom, and black pepper.

The bottom, or base, note gives the fragrance its weight and slows down the evaporation of the fragrance that has developed after a few hours.  This is where the true scent of the fragrance lies once the top and heart notes have evaporated and can last anywhere between 4 to 6 hours, sometimes longer.  Common bottom notes include vanilla, jasmine and sandalwood.

In addition to the traditional pyramid fragrances, there are some fragrances which are referred to as linear.  With a linear fragrance which doesn’t “develop”, one will usually experience a singular note or a group of similar notes at the same time.  “Juliette Has A Gun – Not A Perfume” is a fragrance in the linear category.  Made of a single element called Ambroxan, it is used in perfumery as a back note.