Raise your hand if you can walk into your bathroom and find some unused shampoos, makeup, nail polish, or personal care items lying around? If you’re like me, you probably have way more than you need hiding in the great depths of ‘Under The Sink’ or ‘In the Back Of The Drawer’. All of the leftovers from the Birchboxes, the free samples with purchase, the hotel room shampoos that you steal “for the guest bathroom!” - Am I right? I thought so.
A friend recently commented that my bathroom looked like a Sephora Pop-Up shop...While my initial gut reaction was to say thanks, I quickly realized they had just written me a great big Reality Check. That very innocent comment coupled with my recent discovery of Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (yes I finally read it)... I was at risk of a guest appearance on Hoarders and clearly, it was time for a change.
As my “Konmari” Quest for Inner Bathroom Zen unfolded, I saw an abundance of shampoo’s, mascaras, body creams, small tubes of toothpaste, nail polishes and eye color pallets slowly becoming a scale version of Mount Everest outside my bathroom door. I glanced over with a sigh and thought “What do I do now??” Hail the almighty Google!
I typed in “where to donate unused cosmetics,” and Project Beauty Share appeared.
Project Beauty Share is an incredible organization that will take your unused (or even used cosmetics—as long as it fits within their guidelines on what to give) and distributes these items to nonprofit organizations “who serve women overcoming homelessness, addiction, and poverty.”
I know and you know, that inner beauty is the most beautiful of all. Though there is always something to be said for that feeling you get when you wear red lipstick.
We want all women to feel beautiful, empowered and ready for the next great adventure in life. We rise by lifting others. Donate your unused products to give a fellow female a little extra shine and sparkle.
It's easy to get fatigued and uninspired by all the Hall-marketing that surrounds Valentine's Day. While giving love to others is essential, giving love to yourself, even more so. "Self-care" is becoming an exhausted term in the wellness world, but if you look below all the Instagram clutter and dig into the heart of it, you might find something useful, maybe even life-changing.
Cliche self-care mantra I secretly love:
"You can't pour from an empty cup."
When we get caught in the throes of life, the daily hustles, the errands the to-do lists - putting yourself first can feel so negligent and just plain selfish. Pouring from an empty cup is just status quo for so many of us (myself included some weeks). But, making time for you is essential to achieve our best work and become our most genuine self. When our cup is full, we have more to give to our friends and loved ones. Taking on a regular self-care ritual isn't something you should do just because I am telling you to - its something that will only work if you discover the benefits for yourself. My recommendation: take a week and explore a 'Self-Care Ritual' - then check in after a few days and see how you feel. Any difference?
Try a 7 Day Self Care Ritual
Here's how it works
Every day for the next 7 days, set aside 30 mins or so to do something for yourself. It doesn't need to be the same thing every day, it doesn't need to be vigorous exercise, but it should be something you feel you need at that moment. Maybe today you just need 30 minutes to sit, breathe and be alone. Making some space for yourself where you don't have to think about work/the kids/your boyfriend/that argument/that deadline. Maybe you just step outside, take in some fresh air, go for a walk. Or you could make some tea and do some easy stretching. Maybe you just give yourself permission to read a magazine or watch silly cat videos that make you laugh. Whatever it is, it shouldn't feel forced, or uncomfortable. It should be something you feel you need at that moment. Something that will energize you and "fill up your cup."
Some ideas to help you get started:
1. Find some Headspace
Headspace is a fantastic meditation app that has all sorts of exercises and mindfulness practices. You get to pick how long the session will last and they even have specific packs for Flying on an Airplane, Boosting Creativity and Reducing Stress (plus a ton more). You can try Headspace for free or subscribe for around $8 per month.
2. Write It Down
If you do a Google search for "Benefits of Journaling." you will find an endless list of the positive things that can happen in life if you start writing down your thoughts. We're not talking about extra long, heartfelt Instagram captions - this is something you're going to want to do old school, like with a pen and paper. Personally, I keep a journal - but it's not a "Dear Diary" situation (if that's your jam though, awesome!) My journals are full of to-do lists, and doodles and all sorts of randomness. The point being, there are no official rules for journaling. You can write a lot or a little; the only requirement is that you have a pen and paper and just let it flow. How to get started? Keep a notebook right next to your bed, wake-up, write down the first three things that are on your mind.
3. Take a Deep Breath
If you spend all day in front a computer or are constantly being bombarded with calls from clients and customers, taking time for yourself can simply feel impossible. I love using Aromatherapy to help me to fully take a "time out".
"Benefits and popular uses of aromatherapy include reducing anxiety and depression, colds and coughs, fatigue, pain, PMS, menopause symptoms, nausea, ulcers or indigestion, and arthritis joint pain." >
Smells can have a strong influence on your brain by triggering emotions and memories (There's a reason why Smell Marketing exists.) I love to carry a Roll On Essential Oil in my bag to have at the ready whenever I need a little pick me up. Just roll on your neck, temples, wrists and take a long and replenishing breath in.
Hopefully, these recommendations got you excited to dive into your Self-Care journey. Let us know how you feel after your 7 days!
Thanks for all of your love and support,
Renée + Erin
By: Sharon Kim
Aging. It’s going to happen whether we like it or not. There are people who try to slow the process down by doing their best to avoid squinting, smiling, sunlight—and generally having fun—as much as possible. I am most definitely not one of those people, and I’ll do my best to reserve my judgment if you are, but I really hope you aren’t because we really like having fun at Arrive Well.
I mean...I want to live an exciting life full of laughter and vitamin D, and I still want to look pretty while doing it. Is that too much to ask? I think not.
First things first: young or old, daily sunscreen is always a must. According to a study that tracked 900 people over the course of 4.5 years, researchers concluded that those who used a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily had healthier, smoother, and younger-looking skin, compared to the control group that did not apply daily sunscreen after the 4.5 years were over. Yikes. Better start now.
But, let’s say it’s too late. You’ve lived an incredible life, soaking up the sun and smiling along the way, but unfortunately, you have some signs of aging to show for it. Alchimie Forever—a brand I discovered at Heyday Facial Spa in New York—has awesome products to ameliorate current wrinkles, and to stop the aging process in its tracks so you can say sayonara to new ones forming.
Why We Love Alchimie Forever for travel:
First of all, Alchimie Forever products are free of parabens, sulfate, phthalates, synthetic dyes, and gluten. And, it should also go without saying that Alchimie Forever, never, ever tests on animals. Better yet, since 1997, it’s been family owned and operated, starting with illustrious works of Dr. Luigi Polla, a dermatologist, and Dr. Barbara Polla, a biomedical researcher.
So, ladies, no need to worry—actual professionals who know what they’re doing made these skincare products. So, instead of harsh chemicals that will likely reverse wrinkles, but will also likely harm your body while doing so, their products are made out of iron, antioxidants, stress proteins, and botanical ingredients. Science, for the win!
Vogue, Marie Claire, and many other well-established and highly esteemed publications have featured these products. And, something we love? A discount: You automatically get 10% off your first order by joining Alchimie Forever’s mailing list.
Some of our faves:
But, anyway, tl;dr?
Alchimie Forever is pretty, pretty cool for your time-traveling, age-reversal needs. A brand free of all that nasty gunk that’s high-key, long-term bad for us, the gluten that many of us are allergic to, a brand that respects our fluffy, furry friends and is family owned, operated, by medical professionals?! Uh yeah, they have my anti-aging vote. See what catches your eye and let’s conquer the world (and our wrinkles) together!
Whether you have dietary restrictions or are trying to continue eating a diet focused on functional foods, travel is not always easy. Have a glance at these tips to make your next travel experience a little more nourished and a lot easier.
First, take a deep breath.
Connect with how you're feeling. When your food choices are out of your control it can feel a bit uncomfortable. When you're home, you're in control. If you find yourself asking questions like, Where will my next meal come from? Is there even going to be food? Am I going to feel like s**t after eating that? Take a hot minute to do some alternate nostril breathing, maybe close your eyes.
BYOS. (bring your own snacks).
Perhaps to avoid a sense of insecurity, have a plan before you travel. I travel with snacks and even full meals prepared ahead of time on some flights or rides. Avoid the stress by meal prepping and bringing your own snacks. Additionally, it's infinitely cheaper to bring your own food than to buy food at an airport or train station.
My favorite foods to take on a the road with me are sprouted hummus and roasted vegetables, hardboiled eggs, leftover nut pulp crackers, and energy balls. I have a whole bunch of Stasher Bags made from silicone that you can wash when you're done eating. #Sustainable(ish)Travel
Do your research.
If eating well is important to how you feel (which, it should be), research your eating options at your final destination. Check out restaurant menus, look up city guides, even look at their tagged instagram photos to get a sense of the menu. The internet has a wealth of information for us to make a food plan. Talk to locals about their recommendations, too.
When there is no "healthy option".
Do your best to eat what makes you feel good. Focus on what will be most satiating like proteins and fats, but don't beat yourself up if that's not an option. Don't be shy to ask a server kindly to make accommodations, it's usually not a big deal in today's world.
Kristine is a Denver based chef and wellness expert. You can find delicious recipes on her blog, Function of Well. Follow along for functional nutrition goodness, tips on sustainable living and track her journey on mastering the art of gluten-free sourdough.
I have naturally difficult hair.
But, no one is aware of this inconvenient truth, as, over the course of my whole life, I’ve gotten accustomed to spending hours upon hours, using products upon products, to make it look even somewhat nice.
So, washing my hair was something that needed to be scheduled into my calendar, far in advance. If disaster struck, and some horrible event required me to wash my hair when I just didn’t have the requisite two hours to make it not look like a thick, globular, heap of frizz that surrounded my head...well...that’s when it was time to wear a hat. Or, just not see people. Either one. Do a cursory Google Image search for “Veronica Crabtree,” as that is to whom I often liken myself when my hair is au naturale.
Unfortunately, sometimes neither wearing a hat, becoming a hermit, nor resembling Veronica Crabtree is an option. I used to whine that it was just was not fair some people were blessed with such beautiful, effortless hair! I would envy my friends who could just leave their apartments fresh out of the shower, allowing it to dry naturally with an understanding that their locks would not let them down; their hair would ultimately dry in a luxuriant, frizz-free, L’Oreal commercial type-way.
Oh, how I wish I had that sort of relationship with my hair!
“Please, please dry beautifully,” I used to whisper into my dripping wet, split ends, each and every time I got out of the shower. I had not gotten any favorable responses from them...
One average Saturday, my brother walked over to me and said “Here, do you want this?” In his hand was a chic looking white box with clean black lettering that read: Gloss Moderne Discovery Set. He explained that he had ordered it accidentally while holiday shopping and was too lazy to deal with the hassle of a return.
Not one to give up free stuff, I took the kit. Inside I found a travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, and hair mask. I was unfamiliar with the brand, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Certainly not anything magical, because why would these clean, luxurious, all-natural hair products be any different from anything else I’d ever tried?
And, plus, the discovery set came in individual packets. I assumed this would be annoying since I was under the firm belief that no one is able to accurately predict how much shampoo I’d need, since I’ve got a whole lot of hair.
Boy, oh boy, was I wrong on every front.
I have literally no idea what sort of voodoo the Gloss Moderne people put inside their wonderful coconut smelling, pearlescent gold-colored hair potions, but I came out of the shower after having used the shampoo, hair mask (for 5 minutes, which I thought would be annoying, but it was no biggie to cover my hair with a shower cap while I shaved), and conditioner—all of which included the perfect amounts of product inside the packets, said my run-of-the-mill hair prayers -- but this time, they worked.
My hair has never, ever dried so beautifully, frizz-free.
And now, it’s the only set of hair care products I use when I travel. Who wants to travel with approximately seven different hair products and a hair straightener, and still have to spend hours styling it? Nope, not me.
I’ve got my Gloss Moderne full-sized products for when I’m home, and I’ve got all of my travel sized versions for when I’m away. I’m good. I’ll leave the enormous bag of hair products at home, so I can add an extra 2 hours to my weekly itinerary for travel, and pack an extra pair of shoes. It’s a win-win.
Thanks for letting me in the shampoo commercial club, Gloss Moderne. I’m a new proud member, and I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.
Whether over the river to Grandma's house or on a flight across the country to visit the in-laws, traveling at this time of year has a way of finding our inner Scrooge. Here are a few of our top recommendations for ways to stay relaxed, smiling, and still on the nice list this season.