When Acceptance Becomes Truth

When Acceptance Becomes Truth

While we are all trying to be the best versions of ourselves, when does the pressure to be perfect become too much? 

This post comes from Holistic Nutritionist and Wellness Coach, Nicole Granato.
In our quest to follow a new diet, try a new skincare brand, adopt a new way of thinking, I wonder if we are ultimately distracted from what make us truly amazing… not acknowledging our beauty and strengths as we are constantly focused on what could make us better. When does enough become enough? When does the word acceptance become our truth?
Perhaps it’s due time that we check in with ourselves — to acknowledge where we can slow down, be KINDER to ourselves and just simply be. Here I’ve collected a few simple tips that have allowed me to slow down and appreciate myself, my body, my flaws and my weaknesses, and to be okay with them and nurture them. 
Consider what eating well means for YOU, not what a diet tells you is right.  
Exercise to balance your outer AND inner health. Change your focus from exercising solely to stay fit, to exercising to make you feel good. This alone could alter the effects of your next workout!
A nighttime ritual can offer relaxation and the opportunity to feel calm, and to feel my best. For me, this means lighting a beeswax candle, playing soft music, drinking a warm tonic (last night it was tea), washing my face, applying face cream and rubbing  body oil on my chest. (Taking care of your breasts daily is a must!) Some nights I might call a friend, watch a silly TV show or movie, or just fall right to sleep. 
Let’s face it — self-care can be a challenge. But I’ve realized that we are actually the best versions of ourselves when we learn to let go and find acceptance. We become more relaxed, more authentic, probably funnier because we are no longer worried about what other people think. We all possess the ability to be amazing. While it may be easier said than done, I encourage you to look at yourself, identify one thing about yourself that you may have been a little hard on, and let go and accept it!

Free People Blog

The Color to Wear for the Most Mood-Boosting Workouts

The Color to Wear for the Most Mood-Boosting Workouts

You guessed it: It isn’t black….

This post is part of an ongoing collaboration with Well+Good

Your black leggings have always been the anchor of your tried-and-true workout look, but a brighter color is having a major moment in the world of athleisure: Pink.

Yup, rosé all day just got taken to a whole new level courtesy of FP Movement, our chic activewear line that combines fashion and function for head-turning looks that will take you from yoga straight to brunch. FP Movement’s take on the flushed-fashion trend is inspired by the philosophy that when you look amazing, you feel amazing. And what inspires good vibes more than happy hues? (Specifically, the color of watermelon and girl power.)

From high-performance leggings to cozy hoodies and matching yoga mats, these are the looks that will give you that post-workout-endorphins feel…before class even starts.

Scroll down for 8 pink activewear looks that will make you stand out at your next workout class (in the best way).

Kyoto Legging + Lua Bra

Finally, leggings with pockets are a thing (insert praise hands emoji here). Pair these extra soft leggings with the high-neck bra you’re going to want to wear with everything, and strike a (yoga) pose—without having to juggle your tangle of headphones, phone, and keys.

Yella Hoodie + Harem Jogger

For ultimate freedom of movement, this roomy hoodie-jogger combo is a fashion-forward take on the tracksuit that’s ideal for layering over your gym-wear (or for lounging if you want to call it a rest day).

 

Pop Color Sports Bra

Underneath your bold outer layer, rock a super supportive sports bra that doesn’t skimp on style. Adjustable straps prioritize comfort, while high-tech fabric proves pink isn’t just for looking pretty.

Breeze Yarn Turtleneck + Shade Flare

ICYMI: Flowy pants are the new leggings. Pair these ultra-soft oversized sweats with a form-fitting long sleeve for an active-layering look that’s made for outdoor runs and covering up after a sweaty indoor class. (Think: post-Peloton once the weather turns.)

Techloom Pro Trainer

Your toes can get in on the all-pink trend, too (beyond your pedicure, of course) courtesy of these blush APLs that are sleek enough to wear with a dress, but sturdy enough to crush a 10K.

Twist and Shout Tee

Great for layering (so you can add more shades of pink to your outfit, obviously), this tank is made from FP Movement’s Wicked Triblend fabric—which wicks away moisture to keep you comfortable even during your sweatiest HIIT seshes.

Barely There Bra + Barely There Leggings

But if you want to lose a layer, show off your rose-tinted sports bra and coordinating leggings. The Signature Seamless fabric is super flexible yet durable enough for a hard-hitting boxing class—so it’s basically like working out in a second skin.

Sun Salutation Yoga Bag + Rose Deodorant

For the full effect, give your accessories the blush treatment, too. A hot-pink yoga mat will keep the good vibes flowing, and with a rose-and-vanilla-scented vegan deodorant, you’ll have the whole matching-scent thing down, too.

 

+Looking for more Well+Good? Check out our collaboration with them here

Free People Blog

3 Things to Do Today

3 Things to Do Today

To break my Sunday cycle, I started off by telling myself this: You are a beautiful, hard-working, selfless being, and you deserve this time. Treat yourself.

So I did. Three things, every Sunday, for myself. I’m sharing them to give y’all some ideas, and hopefully inspire you to take a day off — completely — and cater to your needs. Follow along with this series if you feel like your “you” time is missing.

Visit a farm.

I spent half of my childhood running around my Aunt and Uncle’s farm. Summertime meant corn stalks above my head, fresh honeysuckle by the creek, and picking my supper straight from the back garden. Visiting a farm is nostalgic to me, but could be a new adventure for you. Look up local farms, and I’m sure they would love a visit from you. Snip fresh herbs from their fields, grab a basket of juicy peaches, and absorb that homegrown feeling.

DIY.

It’s easy to build a long list of DIY’s that you want to try, and never get to them. I challenge you to complete one today. I’ve been creating nature preserves out of forged flowers, leafs, sticks, and nests. Whenever I go on a hike, I collect these gems, dry them out, and frame them. Each one has a little note scribbled throughout with a memory from that day. I always feel super accomplished when I finish one.

Find a drive-in.

I really can’t think of anything more romantic and magical. My boyfriend and I packed up the truck last Sunday and headed to the Drive In. Finish today off with a movie under the stars. What to pack? I suggest lots of blankets, a big vegan cheesy pizza, and something refreshing to sip on. Favorite Drive In Tip: wear pajamas 🙂

I’m challenging you to clear your schedule today and do 3 things for yourself. You work your butt off, and deserve some time for yourself. If you try this out, let me know how it went, and if you feel rested and rejuvenated, let’s keep this up.

+ Follow FP Madisyn on Instagram + take a peek at her blog!

Free People Blog

Good News to Make You Feel Good

Good News to Make You Feel Good

Your healthy dose of feel-good current events in pop culture, fashion, travel, science, and everything in between…

This post comes to you from our very talented friend, Arden Andrews.

Our third round of carefree weekly updates has arrived, giving you the opportuuunity to take some time to deeply breathe in the scent of this coming Saturday and those no-rules good times that lie so very directly ahead.

Consider this is your summer reading, relaxed- a chance to unapologetically recline, perhaps in a cloud-fluffy robe, and lounge worry-free with some harmless (yet fascinating) stories that have been selected to give you some clickable, likeable news that’s finally worth sharing with your favorites.

Peruse, ponder, audibly “awww,” lol a little and enjoy the ride:

Read your grammatical horoscope with MiriamWebster.com’s new feature, Time Traveler, which lets users see the words that were introduced during their birthyear (or any year, for that matter). There’s something incredibly satisfying about finding out that “alternative pop,” “French tips,” and “tankini” could all be part of some personal, star-written poem.

As a beautiful, unexpected flourish to this Monday’s solar eclipse buzz, Bonnie Tyler will perform her 1983 firepower jam “Total Eclipse of The Heart” aboard Royal Caribbean’s vessel Oasis of The Seas during the actual eclipse. When asked if she was worried about getting motion sickness onboard or thrown off by the natural phenomenon, she fearlessly quipped, “I have a ship of my own — I go with the flow, darling. I’m not worried about things like that.”

Snuggled into Paris’s low-key apartments, this technicolor basketball court is a sparkling hombre dream. Take a spin through French youth culture via photographer Lotte Van Raalte’s snaps of neighborhood kids hooping it up.

Your new favorite reason to exercise has, at long last, surfaced. Better than a prescription pill, and arriving in the form of lithe limbs and lower cortisol levels, these yoga stretches are designed to enhance your favorite activity—sweet-dreaming sleep.

A 98-year-old message in a bottle was found off Scotland’s coast by Fisherman Andrew Leaper, winning the world record for oldest ever recovered. Andrew beat the previous record holder by five years — who, now known for being a bit of a brag, also happens to be his best friend.

This chill Brazilian dad is sharing a favorite pastime with his daughter’s cat, Paçoca. Making room to lounge for two, he strung up a tiny hot pink hammock next to his own for them to relax and take naps in tandem.

Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner takes us for a stroll through the experiences that paved the way for her newest album Soft Sounds From Another Planet. Finally slated to play live with husband Peter Bradley on guitar, she doesn’t worry about getting lonely on the road anymore. “I think that both of us seem to believe our imprint in the world is by making things,” Zauner says of the duo. “Now that he’s coming, I feel like I could just tour forever.”

Once it was leaked that Game of Thrones costume designer Michele Clapton had used Ikea’s sheepskin rugs to craft the fur capes worn by the likes of Jon Snow, the Swedish powerhouse embraced the good news. Behold Ikea’s comic pictogram of how to make your own iconic woolly cloak in three simple steps.

Just a quick behind-the-scenes look at producing the most ambitious baby panda photo of all time.

To the delight of all Prince fans, The Pantone Color Institute announced this week that their newest shade “Love Symbol #2” has been added to their collection in honor of the icon. The understated shade of eggplant was inspired not only by the artist’s body of work, but also by his custom-made Yamaha purple piano.

Free People Blog

Wellness Wednesday: The Coconut Cure-All

Wellness Wednesday: The Coconut Cure-All

If you haven’t yet adopted at least one of these five tropical quick-fixes, consider embracing the benefits of coconut ASAP…

If you could only live off of one ingredient, coconut would make for a quality choice. The superfruit is packed with natural fats and nutrients that deeply nourish you from the inside out. Still, if you’re like me, you might be new to experimenting with this food-grade beauty find. Can you really slather it on your toast in the morning AND the tips of your hair? I’ll admit that concept took me a minute to get used to. But after cracking into a jar of Kiki Health’s Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil, I’ve become a coconut convert. For the newbies out there, here are 5 fun ways to embrace this tropical wonder.

Mix it into your smoothies.

Add a tablespoon to your go-to recipes — it’s especially great alongside slightly bitter-ish greens like spinach and alfalfa. And thanks to its high concentration of antibacterial, anti-viral lauric acid, coconut helps support your immune system. Cheers to that.

Swap it for butter.

One of the amazing things about coconut oil it how it can change states, morphing from a liquid to a creamy salve, depending on the temperature at which you store it. If you put it in the fridge, coconut oil hardens into a butter-like consistency, which makes it ideal for spreading on everything from toast to bagels.

Blend it into your coffee.

Brew your favorite cup and while it’s still hot, put in the blender along with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Combine and you’ll end up with a delicious frothy concoction that you’ll want every morning for a bit of long-lasting energy.

Drizzle it on popcorn.

Turn regular popcorn into a gourmet experience — just pour a tiny bit of melted coconut oil into a just-popped bag, shake and voila: movie popcorn like you’ve never tasted it before.

Let it cool down your skin.

After a long day at the beach or an intense workout, store your coconut oil in the fridge and scoop out a little bit to spread over your limbs. You’ll instantly rehydrate your skin and bring down your body temperature. Plus, the subtle scent doubles as your perfume.

What else makes coconut so amazing? Here’s a quick recap of its wellness benefits:

Supports immune system 

Deeply hydrates skin and hair 

Boosts energy

Promotes digestive health 

Increases nutrient absorption 

Maintains a healthy heart 

 

Free People Blog

Meet the Green Beauty Brand that Started A Revolution

Meet the Green Beauty Brand that Started A Revolution

Oh hey, Juice Beauty…

To call the green beauty movement a revolution is not an understatement. In the last five years, a sophisticated fleet of botanical brands has emerged, made with clean ingredients, sustainable methods and recycled packaging. But Juice Beauty was one of the first companies to lead the way toward greener pastures and practices. Founded by Cali wellness guru Karen Behnke, the San Francisco-based company launched in 2005 — more than a decade ago, long before parabens were on everyone’s radar and going organic was as basic as breathing. Karen firmly believed in the natural, beauty-enhancing power of plants and other farm-fresh essentials, which she extracted into a potent juice that fueled her passion and original skin collection.

Now the cult-classic brand is a go-to for earth-loving notables, including Gwyneth Paltrow, who is a shareholder and creative director. Juice Beauty is also still on the forefront of new green technologies, as proven by its pretty stellar lineup of innovative skincare and SPF. Here, we take a quick look at what makes this antioxidant-infused brand so iconic, and why you’ll want all their creations:

 

At age 22, Karen Behnke started her wellness career by launching “Get Fit Aerobics,” a fitness class that she taught to members of the army and military near San Francisco.

 

Karen became pregnant with her first child; motivated to find healthy, safe beauty products, she began scrutinizing ingredient labels for the first time.

 

Karen purchased the rights to use the “Juice Beauty” name from a small brand based in Mill Valley, California, with a handful of conventional (not-so-natural) products. Alongside her husband, Karen began researching how they could create a new line using organic, botanical juices (aloe, grape) as a base, instead of water or petroleum glycol fillers.

 

Karen contacted many laboratories to find a partner. Almost all of them turned her down — no one wanted to formulate with organic juices at the time. Finally, she tracked own one laboratory that was on board with the company’s innovative mission and concept.

 

Juice Beauty officially launched! The Juice Beauty Daily Essential Collection made its debut — containing the Cleansing Milk, Green Apple Peel Full Strength, Hydrating Mist and Nutrient Moisturizer. The line was first carried in Whole Foods and Pharmaca among other boutiques.

 

JuiceBeauty.com went live!

 

Kate Hudson casually mentions that Juice Beauty is one of her favorite beauty lines in a cover story for Harper’s Bazaar, which instantly puts the up-and-coming green brand on the map.

 

The Blemish Clearing collection launches, becoming one of the first acne skincare ranges with benzoyl peroxide and a revolutionary new method to clear skin with organic fruit acids, salicylic acid, willow bark, CoQ10 and vitamin C.

 

 

A U.S. Patent is awarded to the Green Apple Peel for its unique ability to brighten and even out skin.

 

Juice Beauty enhanced all formulations under a new product development team. It’s a turning point for the brand, as an outside clinical lab confirms that the products outperform typical conventional chemical brands.

 

Growth spurt! The rapidly-expanding brand opened a new distribution center to get its botanical goods into the hands of more fans. Juice Beauty’s products get the stamp of approval from PETA and Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free.

 

Juice Beauty turned on the lights at their new sustainable headquarters in San Rafael, California, utilizing all recycled and reused materials and furniture.

 

Gwyneth Paltrow joined Juice Beauty as a shareholder, business partner and creative director, praising the brand for being at the forefront of “making organic beauty products that work.”

 

Juice Beauty launched in Free People, spreading the feel-good message that healthy is beautiful!

Free People Blog

The As Yet Uncharted Territory of My Heart

The As Yet Uncharted Territory of My Heart

Bethany Toews‘ exquisite take on navigating through our parks, and how such treks mirror the unfolding roads of our relationships…

13 days. 3,977 miles. 8 states. Enough miles and minutes to see deeper, truer. Perspective gained. High highs and low lows. Elation and frustration. Elevation change. Voices raised and then lowered as the scenery morphs. Camp sights and smelly motels. Nice hotels. Lots and lots of Dairy Queen Blizzards melting in the summer sun.
Long. Awkward. Silence. . . Laughter. Communicating logistics and obstacles, hopes and fears, and the need for a bathroom break. Winding up and breaking down. Being witness to all the emotion that only motion can draw out.
Travel shows us who we are, what we value, and what we long for. Traveling with others can strip away the excess, the niceties, the added padding we put on so many of our proclamations. The open road and confined spaces have a special way of exposing still-tender wounds and forgotten scars. Old memories are remembered as new ones are being made. No adventure comes without its fair share of heartache. No journey is complete without surrendering what was for what is becoming.
When I set out on this epic adventure, I knew I was heading into unknown territory. Not geographically speaking. I had been to pretty much every place we had mapped out for our grand loop through the Western United States. I knew I was about to head into an as yet uncharted territory of my heart. I was going to venture into the mysterious terrain of shared space with a 39-year-old man and his 8-year-old son. I knew I would not return to my home the same. I knew we would all come back with lessons and opinions and feelings that would remain long after the car was parked back where it began. For better or worse…
The last 15 minutes of our long journey ended with us all in laughter, delighting in a shared joke. This is important. There was plenty of time on this trip when I thought I couldn’t go another mile drowning in the annoyance, or the isolation, or the silence. There were days when I looked at them and thought how strange it was to find myself an intruder in their well-established belonging to each other. And then there was the night on Orcas Island, when the 3 of us curled into our sleeping bags in our shared tent, giggling and breathing together, still learning each other, but silently aware that we were slipping into something familiar, something familial. A new kind of family. Something that is complicated but powerful in its realness. Something that takes a lot of time, patience, creativity, surrender, forgiveness, flexibility, humor, and ultimately love to grow. Something that will require newer and truer parts of you to come forth. Hopefully the bigger and better parts, but most likely something in between.
When you realize what you want, you might be surprised to find it looks nothing like what you thought it would. I never thought I would fall for a man with a child that wasn’t my own. I never thought I’d need to learn the tricky territory of loving and leaving space with someone that you know will never see you as their mother, and yet, will hopefully over time see you as an important source of love and support in his/her life. I never thought I’d be sitting in the passenger seat reading the I Survived series out loud to an enthusiastic boy in the backseat. At first rolling my eyes at the juvenile language and then being moved to tears. The simple language of the stories of sinking ships and shark attacks drawing out how complicated love can feel. How hard it is to stay open and soft when we’re all scared of being hurt. I never thought I’d feel the tender and complex love for a mother who was navigating her own feelings as she had to accept her child was growing to feel comfortable with another woman.
It’s scary. I don’t want to overstep any boundaries. I don’t want to do more than is wanted or welcome. I don’t want to threaten anyone, or take away. But I do want to honor the truth of who I am. I want to be allowed to love more each day. To impart wisdom or guidance where it is needed. When possible, to make life a little lighter, more beautiful, more secure. To honor the wishes of my partner, who is a wonderful father, while also believing that I have something to offer. Some new ways of seeing, of being. Some new ways of being good to and for each other.
On the road, we were stuck with each other, quite literally. Perhaps that is what raises the stakes. This movie trailer for what is your unfolding life. The road that stretches ahead becoming a metaphor for the bigger commitment you are making to each other. The ways you are forced to depend and negotiate and compromise. The way you have to stay in the tent in the middle of the night in Montana, no matter how much part of you may want to run away. The way you fall asleep hurt and wake to feeling another’s breath on your face. The way it softens your desire to leave and imparts in you a primal need to stay.
I couldn’t have known how 2 weeks on the road would make me feel. That’s why I was nervous the morning we set out. That’s why I stayed nervous, when we went to Portland to stay with his his ex-girlfriend, his first love, his now dear friend. But she was lovely, and the more I challenged myself to keep my heart open, the better it felt. And then visiting my family in North Idaho. Worrying how it would go. Melting into a puddle when it went so much better than I could have hoped. Feeling almost confused at how immediately comfortable it felt. How everyone settled into each other. How in the midst of my history, I could see a future unfolding, and how right that felt.
We have the measure of days and miles that we traveled, but there is no way to quantify what was gained. What was surrendered. What memories etched their way into our minds and how differently those memories will be remembered in future moments of our lives, together or apart. For now I am trying to keep it simple. For now I am trying to gratefully and graciously take my time. Offer what I have and who I am. Try not to ask for more than is gratefully and graciously given. And to trust that we come into each other’s lives for a reason. And if we meet with open hearts and open minds, wherever the road may take us, we will discover more truth and love and beauty along the way. And if that’s not the point to all of this, then I don’t really know what is.
Photos by James Adolphus. Follow Bethany on Instagram.

Free People Blog

You Are What You Eat, Pt.2

You Are What You Eat, Pt.2

What happens when you eat clean for two weeks? My truth…

This is part 2 in the You Are What You Eat series. If you’d like to know what I’m doing and what this is all about check out my original post here.

It’s officially been two weeks since I started my clean eating mission, and this is what happened . . .

Let me start this off by saying that I messed up, quite a bit. I warned you, didn’t I? Was me ordering a pizza in celebration of my first blogpost an accident? Not at all, but for the sake of this post, I’m going to include it as one of my many bumps in the road these past couple weeks. Below is a digital copy of what I recorded in my journal during this, for lack of a better word, experiment. Bon appetit!

WEEK 1

DAY 1

I meal prepped. That’s a sentence I never thought I’d say in my life. I packed salmon and rice lunches. Go me!

DAY 2

Slowly learning the in’s and outs of how to not get tired of eating salads every day; apparently, vegetables mixed into a salad can actually be enjoyable? Stay tuned.

DAY 3

I’m starting to recognize how often I used to consume sugar — WAY TOO OFTEN. I find myself reaching for random foods that contain sugar and having to stop myself. This is hard.

DAY 4

I’m trying to push myself to exercise more and walk more than I normally would. Running has felt amazing, eating healthy gives me this energy to want to keep going. Is this what it feels like to be a vegan Instagrammer?

DAY 5

Cookie cake. Whoever brought that cookie cake and left it in the work kitchen was testing me, and I gave in after about two minutes of internally fighting with myself. Major slip-up today, but moving past it. Only carrots in my future.

DAY 6

Today was average. I didn’t have time to run so I feel a little off… besides that, I ate really well and tried to consume a lot of water. Boring stuff.

DAY 7

I did happen to order myself a pizza, which is quite embarrassing, because I had the whole time while ordering it to back out and never did, but also I’m human and sometimes pizza is a necessity.

WEEK 2

DAY 1

Back in it. Pizza slip-up is forgiven. I’m still running every day and I’m not sick of eating salmon, salads and rice! Look at me.

DAY 2

Today, I went out to eat with friends and it was a serious struggle. I’m starting to understand the interference that sometimes comes with trying to create a healthy lifestyle for one’s self.

DAY 3

I miss pizza so much. I’m also craving gallons of ice cream. Maybe there’s a period of separation where you just dream of these things when you’re removed from them, but today is especially hard. I want my pizza back.

DAY 4

It was a really bad day today, just in life, in general. Usually when I have bad days I go to happy hour with friends, which is exactly what I did today. Did I feel better after spending happy hour with friends? Yes. Do I regret it because it broke my rules with the diet? Not at all. I ate healthy the whole day and I had the greatest time with people I loved. Nothing to be ashamed of there.

DAY 5

I ran so fast today. Maybe because I splurged and made myself avocado toast and it boosted me, but I ran fast. It’s cool to physically see that this is making a difference for me.

DAY 6

Grocery shopping day. I feel really broke, and purchasing so much healthy food seemed unreasonable since I’m moving in a few days. I should have just bought the six dollar blueberries, but instead I got a jar of peanut butter. Does this mean I failed?

DAY 7

I’m excited for this to be done. I’m thankful for being able to experience a healthy lifestyle and for seeing how food truly does impact you, but I also miss not worrying all of the time. I invested a lot of time and planning for this, and accommodating it. I have a lot of respect for people who continuously live this way.

Conclusion.

I’ve learned that you must do everything in moderation. I didn’t let my little slip-ups get me down, nor did I convince myself that eating healthy was done for. I accepted that I ate the pizza, and I moved on and ate a salad. Besides my moments of weakness, I actually did a great job at sticking to my plan, and I already feel a few changes occurring, both mentally and physically. I ran faster than I ever have before, and I feel more confident in myself because I know what I’m putting into my body. Knowing that is enough for me to recognize the positive results.

Will I go back to eating pizza? Most definitely. Except now I consider what it’s worth and have second thoughts when it comes to potential bad decisions. I won’t regret a fun pizza night with friends, but I’ll be mindful with what I’m consuming and try and make small changes with my habits. 

Hopefully one day I’ll get to a point where I want to fully embrace healthy eating, but until then . . .  

At least stay away from the cookie cakes.

Free People Blog

I Broke Up With a Guy Because He Hates Beyoncé

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/story/i-broke-up-with-a-guy-who-hates-beyonce along with the image used.

Dating in New York is hard. Especially with Beyoncé haters on the loose. Read on to see why our editor broke it off with a fellow who can’t stand Beyoncé

Having trouble with losing hair or thinning hair?  Our blog takes the best around from the internet about hair care and beauty.  Reverse female hair loss with us today!

Fall Cleaning

Fall Cleaning

What better time to tackle that bathroom cabinet…

Spring cleaning gets all the glory, but if you ask me, fall is the best season for a purge. You finally got to open your windows during spring and set foot outside without a parka and layers of wool to keep warm. Then you basked in the long, lazy days of summer. I’d bet cleaning your home and tossing things you don’t want or need was the literal last thing on your mind from April to August.

But there’s something about the first notes of fall that make me want to shut those windows halfway, dust off the cute mid-weight jackets that haven’t seen the light of day for half a year and get to cleaning. The trees are shedding their leaves so why can’t you shed some of the stuff that’s been piling up for months?

After you’re done moving bathing suits and cutoffs to the back of your closet and chunky knits and booties to the front, it’s time to tackle that bathroom cabinet. I guarantee there’s something lurking in there you definitely don’t use regularly/you definitely don’t remember owning. Rather than let it languish in the depths of your bathroom for another year, get rid of it. Seriously, nothing feels better than taking a few hours to clean and organize. After all, the more you toss, the more space you have for fun, new stuff.

First thing’s first — clean your dang brushes!

Take a look at your makeup brushes. Are they caked with layers of makeup from months of use or are they clean and shiny? If you remember to clean your brushes and tools regularly, kudos. If not, you’re like the majority of us who only remember when someone tells you to. So this is me telling you to clean those little bacteria farms.

All you need is a gentle foaming cleanser, water and your hand: Mix a few drops of the cleanser in your palm with a bit of water, then swish one brush at a time around in the mixture until it starts to foam. You’ll see the foam start to take on the color of makeup hiding in the bristles — that means it’s working. Repeat this process as many times as is necessary for that foam to stay clear or white, which means you’ve removed all the makeup. Then gently rinse the brush in warm water, swirl around a little on a clean towel to remove excess moisture, and then lay flat to dry.

And if you just can’t be bothered, invest in a new set. The bristles are breeding grounds for bacteria that can’t wait to take up residence in your pores. While you’re out it, get a new konjac sponge and loofah, and please, for the love of all that is holy, change your pillowcase.

Check expiration dates.

Now that you’re well-versed in the language of when things go bad (cough cough READ THIS cough), you know how to interpret packaging, symbols and language as far as expiration and use-by dates are concerned. If anything is past its prime, toss it.

The same thing goes for stuff you only use during the summer that won’t make it to see another solstice. If there’s a heavy-duty sunscreen you only wear at the beach and you know you won’t be headed back to the sand and waves until winter break at the earliest, get rid of it. Even though it may still be good for another month or two, you won’t actually use it before it goes bad and it’ll sit in your bathroom, forgotten. Then, months down the road when you do need a heavy duty sunscreen again, you’ll likely just grab last summer’s because it’s there — even though its active ingredients aren’t effective anymore. Save yourself the trouble of zinc oxide that won’t rub in and a killer sunburn by just throwing it out. Then you’ll know you need to replace it when the time comes and you’ll be able to pick up a fresh batch that will last you well into next summer.

When in doubt, get rid of anything you’ve had for more than a year.

Unless it’s shampoo, conditioner, or a dry product (like a clay mask you add water to), you’re better off safe than sorry. That goes for the glittery eyeshadow you bought for a theme party last fall, the deodorant you’ve had since college, the mascara you don’t remember buying that you just found under your couch and the sample of face oil you got with a purchase you made years ago. Not only will this help you free up space and declutter, but it’ll help put into perspective what you actually use regularly.

Admit you have a thing for season-specific makeup.

Far be it from me to dictate what type of makeup you wear when, but if something really screams summer (like that coverup that only matches your skin after a tropical vacation or the bronzer that makes you look crazy when you’re dead-of-winter-pale), I’d advise getting rid of it. As you know, natural and organic products have a limited shelf life and like I mentioned above, that seasonal makeup will likely go bad before you get the chance to wear it again.

Rather than be stubborn and insist on wearing a shade of makeup that doesn’t work on your skin post-summer, invest in a few products that will last you through the whole year. Find a coverup that makes sense for your skin when it’s at its least sun-kissed, then mix it with a complimentary bronzer as the seasons change. Or learn to mix a powdered bronzer with face oil for a subtle glow when you need it. More ideas here!

Embrace seasonal scents.

No, I’m not talking about that sickly-sweet pumpkin pie candle your great aunt insists on burning as soon as Labor Day rolls around. What I am talking about is the stuff that lends itself to cooler temperatures and cozier vibes. If you’ve been rocking a light floral or bright citrus scent all summer, think about switching it up with notes of musk, chai and other earthy smells. Fall is the time for cozying up and allowing smells to linger a bit longer, so you need something with more oomph.

Whether it’s a musky body oil you slather on post-shower, a rich aromatherapy oil you dab on your pulse points for a pick-me-up as the days get shorter or a smoky cinnamon-based perfume for nights out embrace the smells of the season — don’t fight the gorgeous, spicy, crispness in the air.

+ Let’s get Fall ready… Check out more articles from Allie here

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