Hump Day Hacks: Put On a Happy Face

Dear friends,

I’ve been off my writing game for over a week now, thanks to a nasty cold acquired while traveling despite copious applications of hand sanitizer and Wet Wipes.

Finally emerging from my self-imposed cocoon (and beauty purgatory), I wanted to share five quick tips for a flawless finish, now that summer’s in the rearview mirror.

  1. Prime skin with moisturizing sunblock.  I like L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Miracle Blur with SPF 30. Smooths out imperfections, protects from damage, easy to find and quite inexpensive. You might not even need foundation, but if you do…
  2. First, add highlights.  It’s counterintuitive to do this before applying foundation, but makeup artists swear it leaves skin glowier. Dot liquid highlighter (like the classic Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat) on brow bones, cheekbones, the bridge of your nose and the “Cupid’s bow” above the center of your upper lip. Once you add your foundation, the highlights will blend in beautifully.
  3. Get even.  This often means combining lighter and darker shades of foundation to get the right custom color.  At this time of year, you may be phasing out a tan or finding that your face and neck are slightly different from each other.
  4. Apply from the center out.  Start your foundation application with a light dab in the center of your forehead, nose and chin.  Blend outwards with a sponge or brush for a light touch that avoids the dreaded mask look.
  5. Save concealer for last. Let your foundation dry so the concealer has something to cling to, and don’t go more than one shade lighter than your base.

Stay gorgeous!

oval brown wooden framed hanging mirror

Photo by Nadine Wuchenauer on Pexels.com

Good News Monday: Trash to Treasure

Remember the Prada nylon backpack everyone carried in the 80’s/90’s? (The Vela was introduced in 1984.) It’s back, with one big sustainable difference.

This time around, the bags are made from a recycled/recyclable plastic created from salvaged waste including used fishing nets and ocean pollutants.

According the yarn’s manufacturer, for every 10,000 tons of ECONYL® raw material, they can save 70,000 barrels of crude oil and avoid 57,100 tonnes* of CO2 eq. emissions.

ECONYL® regenerated nylon also reduces global warming impact by up to 80% compared with nylon made from oil.

Currently, it’s being used by Prada, H&M, Speedo and dozens of other apparel companies, as well as carpet manufacturers such as Milliken.

*BTW, “tonnes” isn’t a different spelling of “tons”. (I had to look this up.) A tonne is equal to 1,000 kg. A ton in US/Canada is just over 907 kg.

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(September Vogue)

Good News Monday: Your Obscure Talent

Are you the only one of your friends who can decipher your doctor’s scrawl? The US Library of Congress has a request.

Their program, By the People, is looking for volunteers to help transcribe and review historic documents, diaries and more that can’t simply be scanned by machine.

Sign me up!

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Good News Monday: 5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Bones

Despite alarming statistics (during their lifetimes, 50% of women over 50 in the US will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture), there’s a lot we can do.

  1. Lift weights. In addition to your usual strength training regimen, try HiRIT (High Intensity Resistance and Impact Training) twice a week for 30 minutes, lifting heavier weights more slowly in a variety of moves.
  2. Eat Mediterranean. The general rules of this diet: high amounts of fruits, veggies, grains and olive oil; moderate fish and wine; low meat and dairy. In research, postmenopausal women who ate this way were less likely to have lower bone mass.
  3. Go probiotic. Increasing “good” bacteria in your gut reduces intestinal inflammation, which is linked to bone degrading activity.
  4. Say hello to yoga. It improves overall strength, coordination, balance and range of motion. And in a 2016 two-year study of women whose average age was 68 when they started, daily yoga was more effective at improving spinal bone density than medication.
  5. Step to it. In another study, adding 1,415 extra steps a day increased bone density, especially in the hip.  And just a minute or two of daily weight-bearing activity triggers the release of chemicals that rebuild bone. Dance, run, jump rope or climb stairs to boost your heart rate as well as your bone density.
    selective focus photography of skeleton

    Photo by Chris J Mitchell on Pexels.com

    (Adapted from September O magazine article by Karen Asp)

Unboxing: One of Life’s Small Pleasures

I’m a sucker for a great presentation.  And what’s more enjoyable than ordering something you want or need, and having it arrive beautifully packaged? Suddenly, it’s a special occasion that’s all about YOU.

My old passport case was getting a bit ratty, and it was a dark brown, always difficult to find in my bag. I finally found what I wanted online and decided to treat myself.

  1. Plain carton arrives.  I know what’s in it so no surprise there, right?
  2. But… when I open it, a beautiful card pops up on the lid.IMG-1347.jpg
  3. Cool! This has my initials on it. IMG-13484. A box within a box…IMG-13495. And now, the box my item is actually in….IMG-13506. Safely protected in its little pouch…IMG-13517.  The perfect shade of red.IMG-13528. With lots of room for credit cards and money too.IMG-1353 (1).jpg

Why shouldn’t something practical also be beautiful? Just looking at this makes me eager to plan my next trip abroad.

Treat yourselves to a great weekend, dear readers! xoxo, Alisa

Good News Monday: Ailing Orchids

Admittedly, this is not everyone’s #1 healthcare priority, but I was amused to read about Chadwick’s orchid “hospital”, which restores problematic plants to their former glory.

For a $2.00 per month boarding fee, the Richmond, VA shop will nurture your sick orchid in their greenhouse until it blooms again. Each flower receives a “physical” when it arrives, and is checked for conditions such as excess sun exposure and overhydration. Repotting, if needed, may cost a bit more.

Chadwick’s top tip: Keep plants in indirect light and water them only with warm water. They are tropical, after all.

pink and white orchids

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

 

 

Reflections on #ThemToo

I recently learned of sexual misconduct allegations against someone who used to be a good friend.

Although I am unfamiliar with all the sordid specifics or accuracy of these allegations, they don’t align with this individual’s character as I knew it.  That doesn’t mean they aren’t true, but they just don’t jibe with my own experience.

As I was attempting to wrap my head around this, I started thinking about other victims we don’t hear about: an accused person’s friends and family. They may or may not have been aware of a problem.  They may or may not have been complicit.  But surely they must be experiencing some fallout themselves — perhaps from friends, family, colleagues or neighbors who want to distance themselves from someone connected to scandal.

That’s a pretty lonely place to be.

My point is, it’s always more complicated than the headlines suggest.  And maybe, amongst all our collective outrage, we might spare a little compassion for #themtoo.

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