With winter officially here, it is natural to have an energy change as we transition into the next season. Spring and summer set the stage to be extroverted and enjoy outdoor activities (especially water activities). While fall and winter allow us to be introspective and do more solitary activities — curl-up with loved ones next to a fire, enjoy a hot cup of tea, and get out in the snow. Stay present and try to appreciate the benefits that each season brings. If the seasonal change gets to be too intense, please consult your physician and consider the following information.
Living in areas void of sunlight during the winter months can cause symptoms associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) like lethargy, depression, sleep difficulties, anxiety, poor cognitive function, altered eating habits, and more. But there are ways of combatting alteration of mood during the winter season.
Check your Vitamin D levels:
My favorite time to check vitamin D levels is in the fall after summer sun exposure, but anytime is a good time to check. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, so the body is able to store it unlike water soluble vitamins (example: vitamin C and B vitamins). You can test vitamin D in the blood by asking your doctor for a 25-hydroxy Vitamin D test. Optimal levels are above 45 ng/dl.
Keep up with Exercise:
Exercise naturally increases happy endorphins, dramatically improves energy and mood, and increases body temperature. During winter months, consider trying yoga in a warmed room, aerobic exercise like an energetic spin class, or sauna therapy. Exercise’s effect on mood are consistent and quick, so ensure you make exercise a priority in your schedule.
Invest in a Light Box:
By sitting in front of the light box for 30-60 minutes per day and allowing the light to shine through your eyes, you can supplement the lost daylight during the winter months. You do not have to stare at the box directly, but can keep it at your desk at work or breakfast table.
Make sure to take time to enjoy this winter with your loved ones. Despite the cold weather, there are many ways to enjoy the changes winter brings. Outdoor activities like skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, or simply bundling-up to take a long walk can be great bonding moments for your family. If you need to get cozy indoors, check out some of our fun DIY activities or warming recipes!
Tell us, what do you enjoy most about winter?
This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of treatment or dietary/health changes, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.
Attending a party can be the silver lining to a busy month, especially December. It’s a time when you can take a break from the shopping, present wrapping, and traveling of the season to relax with family and friends. So throw on your festive cocktail dress, slip into those killer high heels you love, and follow these makeup tips from our co-founder Jessica Alba for a gorgeous holiday party look.
First thing’s first, though, read labels on your beauty products and know what to avoid. After years of getting her makeup professionally done, Jessica has tried tons of products. Some work wonders, while others can cause breakouts, trigger allergic reactions, or expose you to questionable ingredients. (Yikes, considering that whatever you put on your skin ends up in your bloodstream — and that exposure can add up, possibly impacting your health!). But worry not, Jessica has used her personal experience in combination with current scientific research and advice from our Chief Product Officer and co-founder Christopher Gavigan to clean out her beauty cabinet and find the safest makeup and skin care products.
Jessica opts for natural or non-toxic makeup products that are free of the following ingredients:
Now the fun part — getting Jessica’s stunning nighttime look! Here’s what she says:
Even for a holiday party, I like to keep my makeup simple and sexy. I’ll do my basic makeup routine, but bump it up a notch by wearing a red lipstick or a dramatic shade of eye shadow. The trick is to highlight one feature, not both. Right now, I’m a big fan of a bold lip. Then I finish the look by adding a little shimmer into makeup to make my face glow.
1. I used to think primer was a waste of time, until a makeup artist made me try it. Now, I’m a convert. It is the best investment you could make in your beauty routine because it makes your skin look poreless and keeps makeup fresh longer.
2. Next, apply a light layer of foundation starting on the outside of your cheeks, working toward the center of your face and blending it well with a sponge.
3. I apply concealer over the foundation because it gives me a much cleaner look. I use a brush or sponge to apply concealer under my eyes and along the sides of my nose, and any areas that need spot treating.
4. Powder is essential for setting makeup and preventing too much shine (although a little shine is always a good thing!).
5. Speaking of shine, you’ll also want to add some sexy shimmer in the form of highlighter to make your face really glow. My dear friend and makeup artist Lauren Andersen applies it to the tops of my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose, and under my brow bones. It’s very subtle but brightens up my face!
6. When it comes to blush, I prefer a cream blush to give my cheeks a nice stain without leaving chalky powder behind, but you can use either cream or powder (powder usually works best for oily skin). Just remember to apply it where you naturally flush using a brush or sponge for a natural look.
7. Keep eye shadow light since you’ll be playing-up your lips. Bronze colors look great on brown eyes. Dusty silvers make blue eyes pop. And red-toned browns look great with green eyes.
8. I love the drama that eyeliner brings to my eyes, but the key is not to overuse this powerhouse, especially when doing a bold lip. You can use a thick pencil with a smudge tool to create a smoky eye, or for something more polished, go with liquid eyeliner. If your eyes are small or closely set, only line the outer third of your eyelid to make eyes appear larger and wider.
9. Brows frame the face, so fill in any sparse areas with a brow pencil. I buy brow pencil one shade lighter than my hair color so they don’t look overdone.
10. Curl lashes and apply mascara. Inky black is perfect for a nighttime look.
11. To create a sexy red lip, line your lips starting from the inner crease, and then even that line out by retracing it. Completely fill in your lips with liner and top with a matching lipstick. To make the edges really crisp, with a steady hand apply some concealer to the outside edges.
Voila! Your makeup look is complete and now you’re party-ready!
Adapted from “The Honest Life” by Jessica Alba. Copyright (c) 2013 by Jessica Alba. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.