Monday Meditation: Shakespeare on Making Merry

Monday Meditation Shakespeare

Jessica Alba’s Party Makeup Tips

JA makeup

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:

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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.

 

The Steps

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.

 

Easy-to-Make Organic Holiday Chocolate Bark

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The holidays are a time for giving, sharing, and creating memories with loved ones. Some of the memories my family and I enjoy around the holidays involved delicious meals and some yummy treats!

Today I’m sharing a treat you can feel good about giving to your kids and enjoying some yourself — homemade chocolate bark. I like to consider chocolate bark the new fruit cake. It makes a great gift for friends and relatives, plus my version is a lot healthier than any you could buy in the store. This chocolate bark is also fun to make — you get to choose the toppings and make it personalized. You don’t have to worry about it going old like baked goods since it has a pretty long shelf life. And even if you’re not a pro in the kitchen, chocolate bark is super simple to make. It’s truly the perfect hostess gift, stocking stuffer or treat for a holiday party!

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Ingredients

  • 3-4 organic dark and white chocolate bars for white and dark bark

Toppings

  • Toasted nuts and seeds, chopped (pumpkin, hazelnut, almonds, walnuts)
  • Dried fruit, chopped (cranberries, raisins)
  • Shredded coconut
  • Sugar in the raw (I use turbinado sugar)
  • Flavored sea salt
  • Candy cane pieces
  • Get creative – whatever you like pairing with chocolate works!

You’ll Also Need

  • Parchment paper
  • Small high wall cookie sheet or pan

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Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove wrappers and put chocolate bars next to each other, side by side, on cookie sheet.
  2. Bake until chocolate is melted and not burned, about 5 minutes. Maybe longer depending on your oven, so be sure to check them every few minutes to see if the chocolate is melted enough to spread with a spatula.
  3. In the meantime, prep toppings.
  4. When chocolate is melted, remove the cookie sheet from oven. Using a flat spatula, evenly and gently spread the mixture over the parchment paper on cookie sheet until completely covered. Note: If you would like, you can add a flavoring, like cinnamon, peppermint oil, sea salt, orange essence, vanilla, even peanut butter and blend it into the warm chocolate mixture.
  5. Next, sprinkle all toppings evenly over the top layer of the warm chocolate.
  6. Freeze or refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, until mixture is hard again like a chocolate bar.
  7. Gently great apart chocolate into large or small pieces.
  8. Enjoy!

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~ Juli Novotny of Pure Mamas 

Printable Winter Fox Activity Booklet For Your Little Ones

Winter Fox Activity Booklet

We can’t get enough of this cute winter fox our design team created. It’s on our winter diaper patterns collection, as well as woven into Honest’s first story The Little Woodsman & The Winter Fox. And in the past couple weeks, we’ve shared a couple very cute winter DIYs inspired by this image. This week, you can give your little ones the Winter Fox activity booklet for some creative fun! You can download the four-page activity booklet by clicking on that link and printing it — just in time for winter break!

Winter Fox Activity Booklet

Once your kids have completed the activity pages, post their versions of the winter fox image in the comments below, and share it on our Facebook page or Twitter

What is Ethyl Alcohol?

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This is part of our ongoing series to help consumers better understand chemicals, chemistry, and product formulations. We translate the science, bust the myths, and give you an honest assessment, so you can make informed choices for your family!

Ingredient: Ethyl Alcohol (Also called ethanol, alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, and ethyl alcohol denat., or “denatured,” which means a denaturant has been added to make the product taste bad to discourage consumption.)

What it is: Our natural ethyl alcohol is fermented from non-GMO corn sugars.

What it does: Ethyl alcohol is extremely versatile and in our current products, it performs different functions depending on the specific formulation. At the level found in our hand sanitizer, the ethyl alcohol kills bacteria on contact, but at the lower levels found in our cleaners, it helps cut through grease and grime.

Why we use it: People have been fermenting plant sugars into ethanol since the beginning of time (well, archaeologically speaking, we know they have for at least 9,000 years). It’s a relatively simple process and can be made from widely abundant renewable resources, so it’s a very eco-friendly choice. It’s also very versatile and effective in a variety of applications while also being safe when used as directed. All in all, a high quality and dependable ingredient by our Honest standards!

Why we’re featuring it today: People have expressed concern over our alcohol-based hand sanitizer — mainly due to hearing stories about children ingesting these types of hand sanitizers and getting alcohol poisoning. But, as mentioned above, it’s the safest option currently approved by the FDA. The thyme-based formulas that have become increasingly popular are not actually FDA approved for efficacy, though they are currently being reviewed.

Others have made the analogy that the alcohol level in our hand sanitizer is equal to several shots of vodka — and that’s true. And just like you wouldn’t leave shots of vodka where your child could reach or drink them, you shouldn’t leave hand sanitizer where it’s easily accessible either. Still, The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) and other experts agree that the benefits of ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizers definitely outweigh the dangers.

Ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizers help prevent the spread of colds, seasonal flu, and serious infectious viruses like H1N1 back in 2009. Used according to directions, the alcohol in the hand sanitizer evaporates very quickly — a VERY minimal amount is absorbed. And once your child’s hands are dry, you do not need to worry about any residues with our formula because there are no additional nasty ingredients like some other products.

All in all, it’s extremely effective and as safe as it gets for this specific product category.

Have any other questions about ethyl alcohol or our hand sanitizer? Let us know in the comments. We’re always happy to help!