Celebrate life at any & every age!
Here are some of my favorite
lifestyle tips + beauty products
Nothing says beauty more than a healthy, happy, vibrant person who takes care of herself and feels good in her own skin. Looking great is often a byproduct of that. (And let’s face it, some good beauty tips can be helpful too!)
Good health, wellness, a positive mindset and a smile are the cornerstone for beauty inside and out. Great sleep? That’s a good one too! But as everyone knows…. those aren’t all “givens.” There are those days when we can’t quite achieve all that. Some days we need life hacks. Tricks of the trade. Mental pick-me-ups….a change in perspective….. a scent that jettisons us back to a happier place….skincare tips or sometimes we may throw on some make-up! Join me as I explore and share some fabulous finds in the realm of inner and outer beauty.
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“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
sometimes your smile
can be the source of your joy.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh
Smiling is one of the most powerful beauty secrets I can think of and it never goes out of style. (Well…okay, maybe it goes out of style for a brief period during the teenage or goth years but even then, some smiles do tend to eek out occasionally.) Not only has smiling been determined to make people appear more attractive (see article links below) but smiling is contagious, like some kind of exponentially growth-oriented social networking program.
Smiling also has amazing health benefits: it affects your brain by activating neural messaging and neuropeptides that can have beautiful, transformative, positive benefits that include: releasing “feel good” neurotransmitters such as endorphins, dopamine and serotonin that can act as a natural pain relievers, relax your body, lower your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and combat depression…..all with no side effects (well…other than attracting people to you.)
Studies also show that smiling activates the part of your brain that detects and processes “reward” so, this means that when you smile at someone, not only do you feel better and look better but those seeing you smile may have their own little “jackpot” moment in their brain as well. And when THAT happens…and they smile, well…then it’s like that old Organic Fabergé shampoo ad where they tell their friends, and then they tell their friends, and so on… But in this case we spread smiles instead of shampoo advice and the benefits come back to us like self-addressed Karmic envelopes.
Smiling can also make an impactful first impression! Don’t believe me?
Like to geek out on the science of it like I do? Watch this great TED Talk on
The Hidden Power of Smiling
And here are some interesting articles from Psychology Today about the power of smiling:
There’s Magic In Your Smile: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile
About Smile Therapy (and that “stick a pencil in your mouth to force a smile and try to get the health benefits trick”): https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/isnt-what-i-expected/201207/try-some-smile-therapy
So go out there and show your pearly whites!
Favorite smile-related products:
Fave toothpaste: Xyli-White (Fluoride is a neurotoxin, people! I don’t give fluoride to my kids either and no cavities thus far.) This is also SLS free, so if you get canker sores- this may help reduce the occurrence.
Best dental floss: Glide (so silky smooth)
Best Dentist: Dr. Bill Dorfmann, Century City/ Dr. Grant Loosvelt, Century City
Eager to Try: oil pulling with organic coconut oil. Have you tried it? Please let me know results in the comments below.
2. Great Sleep!
Great sleep is excellent for rejuvenation, vibrant skin, lowering cortisol, clearer eyes, better mood, hormone balancing, cell-renewal, weight loss, brain function and so much more! Women especially need this after 40, just at that same time when they may be waking more due to hormone shifts and their taxed adrenals. Alzheimer’s research has shown that good sleep is one of the best things you can due for your brain so it pays to make it a priority, not just to look good but for the sake of mind clarity and longevity.
I find that if I have caffeine after 11:30 AM, my sleep is disrupted, so now I use that as my cut-off moment. (Sure, I’ll splurge if I REALLY want to…but I pay for it by inadvertently waking up around 2AM….which leads to hamster brain….which leads to exhaustion the next day. Less pretty. Less “feel good.”)
Also, drinking a bit of tart cherry juice is known to aid sleep, and it’s also reported as being beneficial due to the antioxidants. I add mine to warm water and drink it like an elixir while doing “evening writing pages.” (I like the tartness, but it can be added to chamomile tea or any number of concoctions if preferred. Honey works as a nice natural sweetener too.) Try it and let me know your thoughts!
Life hack for great sleep: Switch to organic coffee! There are often ALARMING amounts of pesticides in conventional coffee. It can really do a number on our neurological state which can affect our bodies in so many negative ways, but one measurable way is with our sleep. Don’t believe me? Do a litmus test. Commit to drinking only organic coffee for one week and tell me if you see a difference. This is not just the placebo affect…. I recently bought a new bag of coffee (and I only buy organic coffee.) I started waking up….one, two, three, nights in a row. By the fourth morning, I was so cranky and exhausted! I went to see if I had accidentally purchased some kind of triple-caffeinated power coffee or something and that’s when I saw: “Nope. Just conventionally grown, non-organic!” What a waste of four good nights of sleep! So, if you are sensitive at all– I promise, it’s worth checking out! Was a life-changer for me.
What does that have to do with beauty? Only everything.
When you are looking at yourself in the mirror, seeing yourself through the eyes of gratitude vs. criticism it is one of the most beautiful things you can do for yourself. True self-acceptance oozes self-confidence, and that’s attractive inside and out. I know that it is easier said than done, especially if we’ve been bashing ourselves for so long that it’s become part of our neural pathways. But you can change that! Decide NOT to say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your very best friend! You can CHOOSE to be grateful vs. critical. (I assure you, there’s someone out there who would LOVE to have whatever body part you are busy under appreciating.)
I had a melanoma on my leg, and as a result I now I have a 3-inch scar over my knee. I can choose to look at that scar as an ugly flaw on my leg or I can look at it like a remembrance of that time I listened to the wisdom of my inner gut and made doctors biopsy the mole even when they didn’t think it was necessary. I’m grateful for that scar now because it means I trusted myself and caught cancer early enough. (Which means I got to keep my leg, and my life.) As we age we may scar, we may have the markers of age, but there are ways to look at ourselves that make us feel like Super Woman vs. Super Old. It’s a matter of perspective:
Criticism tells you “Yuck. You look droopy. Don’t you dare go walk down to the beach and swim in that ocean.”
Gratitude says “Your glutes still work beautifully, girlfriend. Take them for a walk on that gorgeous beach and go jump in that warm water while you still can, lucky soul!”
Criticism gives up and writes you off.
Gratitude lifts you up and shows you the vast possibilities still left.
Which feeling do you think is more motivating and makes you feel more vibrant?
Get over the self-criticism and talk to yourself as nicely as you would that best friend. Go lounge on the beach. Take the girls trip. Swim in the ocean. Drink the umbrella drink! Whatever it takes, just get out there and LIVE!
4. Writing pages
Writing pages can be the daily ritual that helps you sleep better, pulls you back into a place of gratitude and helps you achieve your goals. What does that have to do with beauty? It depends how you use it….
What started out as “morning pages” for me, a practice to incite my creativity, I have now adapted into “evening writing pages.” (Creativity has never been my problem! Organization, squirrel-brain and creating sustainable rituals has.) Before bed, I use this practice to drain my brain of details, appointments and to do lists. It’s those task type things that pop into my head and keep my squirrel brain going all night and popping up like a whack-a mole at 2 AM. But I’ve found that when I put them down on paper (draining my brain of all things random) I can sleep more soundly knowing that my executive-functioning can finally take a well-deserved break. Writing it all down means I’m not suppressing anything….just organizing it and “shelving it” in a way that comforts me and gives my brain permission to take a rest! As a result– I wake up feeling more well rested and organized too. Of course, one of the most important elements of my evening writing pages is that I make a column for that which I’m grateful for — a gratitude list.
Any piece of paper can be used, but I utilize a notebook and orient it in a way that’s conducive to left-handedness. It has these columns:
- To Do
- 5 Things I’m Grateful for Today
- A Good Deed I did Today
- 1 Turnaround (pick something you don’t like about yourself and turn around the perspective/ find what you can be grateful for about it.)
- Goal for tomorrow
5. Fave products
There’s a lot more to wellness and inner beauty but I’m going to take a commercial break and post some of my fave finds in the “fave product” category.
Below is the “By Terry” Eye pencil in Brown Stellar. I write more about it on my Instagram feed aging.gracefully but what I love most about it is that it feels like velvet going on and it stays put. (And that is my eyeball after a good night of sleep!) This particular color has a bit of sparkle to it which I like better for night than daytime. I’m looking forward to trying the other colors as well.
I LOVE this trio of products from Passport to Beauty. I call them my Goddess Trifecta, as they are as close as one can get to beauty Elixir!
Spanish Riviera Collection Set Includes
- F.A.C.E Flash Nourishing Face Oil Infused with Vitamins F,A,C, and E
- Whipped Face & Body Bronzing Elixir Infused With Spanish Saffron
- Spanish Riviera Sea Salt Body Scrub
stay tuned for more product updates….
6. Hydration, hydration, hydration!
One of the best things someone can do for her skin! Does it make me boring that Spa-Water has become my drink of choice? (I mean, a girl needs her antioxidants, so red wine and plenty of other libations still happen on occasion. But this really is what I crave the most.) Add a lime, a squeeze of lemon….maybe a slice of cucumber..whatever inspires you to drink more glorious water! Your skin, your liver, your cells, your hair and your nails with thank you.
7. Goop Exfoliating Masque
This is seriously the most magical masque. It leaves skin feeling so smooth, soft and practically poreless. I feel like I’ve aged-backward every time I use it! Made from organic ingredients. Can be found on the Goop website and while it’s expensive, I have to admit that it is worth the price. It’s that good.
8. Sunlighten Infared Sauna
Infared saunas are all the rage amongst physicians, researchers and wellness gurus alike, and for good reason. Did you know that harmful toxins are stored in our fat? Saunas help us eliminate them efficiently, among other benefits. Here’s an excellent post by Dr. Hyman on Detox sharing why we need to sweat out our toxins at least 3x a week. The sauna he uses is Sunlighten Infrared Sauna, and I recently purchased on as well.
Here are just a handful of the benefits associated with Infared Saunas:
- Shrinks belly fat
- Energizes your cells /better oxygenates them
- Boosts immunity
- Reduces Pains
- Lowers blood pressure
- Promotes relaxation and better sleep
- Rejuvenates skin
- Improves circulation
- Helps heal wounds
- And more…. !!!!
This is one of the best wellness hacks around. Skin tends to glow too! I LOVE mine.
Sunlight Sauna Website — ask for Micah
9. Pre-biotics and Probiotics!
I know, I know. Probiotics are a weird thing to recommend as “beauty products.” But here’s the thing…. pre-biotics and probiotics will keep you healthier by contributing to a healthier microbiome, and a healthy microbiome contributes to better health, better skin, balanced weight, fewer toxins, more vitality, glowing skin, stronger bones and more energy to do the things that make you happy. A healthy microbiome can even be a mode enhancer that helps improve coping skills & better relationships — it’s THAT powerful. So in this way (and many, many more that you can read all about by googling “benefits of a healthy microbiome”) pre-biotics and probiotics are really some of the most powerful beauty tools out there when combined with a healthy diet! The kind of probiotics I like are Garden of Life. They are plant based, easy to purchase on Amazon Fresh and they come in an innovative container that is sealed in a way that they do not require refrigeration. (Need to make sure you look for that indicator of the bottle.) Since they don’t require refrigeration I never forget to take them because I can now keep them next to my bed and take them on an empty stomach before I go to sleep, giving them plenty of time to work their powerful healing magic. Pre-biotics I get by adding fermented foods into my diet, many of which are easily found at Whole Foods.
10. Tidal by Sunday Riley
Wow… this product is well named. It does look and feel like your face has been drenched by a tidal wave of moisture and nutrients! I discovered it via the Subscription box ordered from Rachel Zoe. I was already using a product that I liked so I was reticent to switch things up in my facial care routine considering I already (finally!) had a good thing going. However, my go-to product was out of reach one day (okay, I was writing and didn’t feel like going upstairs to get it) and Tidal was sitting on my desk so I went ahead and used it. I was immediately impressed! It makes my face very dewy, glowy and soft….and it stays moisturized for hours. I have such sensitive skin that can get discolored easily, so going around completely make-up free isn’t always an attractive option. But wow…I’d show up anywhere right now with this clear, plump skin. Getting so many compliments!
-Lightweight, oil-free formula
-Solutions for: – Dryness – Dark spots – Uneven skintone
-This product is oil-free, noncomedogenic, cruelty-free, vegan, hypoallergenic, and gluten-free.
11. Total Gym
You know those people who LOVE working out and are in a terrible mood if they do not get to the gym everyday?
Well, I am not one of them. (Wish I were. But… nope. Perfectly happy skipping it.)
However, I DO appreciate the long, lean pilates-esque physique I can achieve with this machine, the Total Body Gym. And more importantly, I definitely understand the fact that exercise and movement are crucial to my health. I also love that it is right in my home… where I can record my fave shows as an incentive (you know….the shows that I do not really have time to watch…BUT if I combine viewing them with my workouts, well Voilá! Win Win.)
12. Exercise that’s right for YOU
Everyone knows the benefits of exercise by now. It’s essential to achieve an optimally healthy body and mind. It’s been proven so many times over that it’s no longer even a question. But what kind of exercise? What works for me is Yoga, Pilates and beach-walks. Surfing in tropical water…I love that too. I tend to do best with “gentle but consistent” work-outs because that is how my particular body thrives. When I do I achieve the long, lean body I want. (When I don’t…I do not achieve the body I want. Simple as that!)
You will not find me doing an intense Boot Camp, climbing Kilimanjaro or doing sets that make me bulk up vs. lean out. But for others, the endorphin rush from intense workouts is everything and they absolutely thrive doing it. Each person needs to find their own pace and challenge themselves– but let it be their own. Find what suits you, your own body, your own body goals and do what YOU love. Try new things, switch things up, keep some novelty, try new classes if things are getting stale. Just remember: You do not need to exercise the way other people do. What works for their body/mindset/goals may not work for yours and vis-a-versa. In other words… do YOU.
I happen to love Pilates, nature walks in interestng places, yoga and using the TotalGym, an affordable Pilates-like machine that I have in my garage. I DVR something good and use in front of the TV!
Seriously…almost nothing is better. The endorphin rush, the oxytocin that comes from connection, the ab crunches that come from great laughter….
It’s a TRULY BEAUTIFUL thing!
14. Easy Recipes & Life Hacks for Eating Well Sustainably
Eating right for your own specific body is so essential to feeling well and looking good! (So much so that an entire video series of tutorials and interviews on sustainable clean eating is forthcoming!) For me, learning to eat right for my particular body was an absolute game changer…you can read about my journey in the Soupure blog below titled “Restoring Your Glow at Any Age”
But for now, here are two interviews I did on the subject of nutrition as well as my prized-possession for creating easy family dinners: my rice cooker (it does WAY more than cook rice, my friends. Check out this link!) AROMA RICE COOKER RECIPES
Celeb Chef & wellness expert Serena Poon, founder of Just Add Water (my absolute FAVE food-based supplement that simplifies & optimizes daily nutrition, probiotics & adaptogens!)
When I practice mindfulness I achieve more calmness. When I am more calm I am more appreciative. When I’m more appreciative, I cope better. When I cope better I’m less grouchy. When I have “grouch face” I wrinkle more.
So in other words: meditate more, for fewer wrinkles 🙂
Mindfulness can be achieved in various ways. Not everyone can just sit criss-cross-applesauce on a tufted pillow and clear their head of all noise. There are other ways…. walking meditations. Guided meditations. A nice calm bath can trigger your parasympathetic system and take you to a calmer state whereby your busy brain can get some relief.
Sometimes I loom hats because I like the repetitive, brainless motion because that tends to take me to a place of more clarity. Some get there through yoga…others through sitting upright n a chair and returning to their breath. Point being…there are many ways to progress, so do not give up. There’s so much good to come out of a mindfulness practice!
(….which brings me back to #1 which is “Smile more!”)