Wednesday, March 20, 2013

spring cleaning: when to toss your makeup

It's here! Today is finally the first day of spring. Of course, we have some snow on the ground, so it's not really looking like spring yet. But, the sun is out and the snow is melting away. So, it's a start anyway.

With spring comes spring cleaning, and I've been doing a lot of thinking about spring cleaning. Note that I actually haven't done any spring cleaning. Just thinking. Eventually I'll get around to it. I do kind of enjoy cleaning out stuff. There's something really satisfying about purging and getting rid of a whole bunch of clothes that you never wear, or clearing out all the junk that's piled up under the sink in the bathroom (I totally toss things under the sink just so that I can close the cabinet doors and pretend that there isn't a disastrous mess). One thing I definitely need to clean out is my makeup case. I always wonder how long makeup products last and when they should get tossed. And then I never remember to look it up, and then my makeup continues to sit in my makeup case, and then I continue to wonder when I should get rid of my makeup...anyway. So, here's a handy-dandy list of when to toss out your makeup (in case you were wondering, too!)

Powder: up to 3 years
All other formulas: 6 to 12 months

All foundations are water-based (except for powder foundations), so it's an ideal spot for bacteria. An unopened bottle of foundation can last a couple of years, but once opened, foundation should be replaced every 6 to 12 months. Foundation should be stored in a cool, dry environment (i.e., not the bathroom. I definitely keep all my makeup in the bathroom. Oops!) If the ingredients have separated, or there is a change in the color or consistency, or if it smells funky, then it's time for some new foundation! 

Powders and sticks: up to 2 years
Liquids: 1 year

You'll know it's time to toss your concealer when there is a change in the color. Just like powder foundations, powder concealers can last a long time. Liquids should replaced after one year. 

Face Powder
2 years

Powders last a while, but some may contain some water from botanical extracts. Water means the potential for bacterial growth, so be sure to store makeup in a dry environment. Ingredients like oat extract, aloe, and chamomile may contain small amounts of water.

Powder: 2 years
Cream: 1 year

Again, powder blush can last up to two years, just like face powder. However, cream blush should be replaced after a year. In order to make your blush last, store it in a dark, dry place and clean your blush brush (try saying that ten times) regularly. Moisture and oils from lotions and foundations can stick to the bristles on the brush, which promotes bacterial growth. So, after applying your moisturizer/foundation, wait for a few minutes before putting on your blush. You can also use a blotting sheet to get rid of any excess oil. Once you've applied your blush, wipe the brush with a dry towel to remove any residue, moisture or oil.

Eye Shadow
3 months

Though eye shadow is generally a powder formula, they should be replaced more frequently since they're in contact with the eyes. If the color of your shadow changes or if there's an odd smell, it's time for some new eye shadow. 

Mascara & Liquid/Pencil Liner
2 to 3 months

Liquid-based mascara tubes are the perfect spot for bacteria to grow. Since mascara is applied to the eye area, you really don't want to mess around. Itchy eyes, sties, and conjunctivitis are no fun. Once mascara has gone bad, it emits a gasoline-like smell. And, of course if you develop any itchiness, sties, or any symptoms of conjunctivitis, throw out your eye makeup.

Both liquid and pencil liners should be replaced about every three months because -- you guessed it -- they're used in the sensitive eye area. Pencil liners might last a little longer if you sharpen them regularly. A white film at the tip of the pencil is a definite sign that it's time for some new liner.

Lip Gloss and Lipstick
1 year

Lip gloss and lipstick last a while because they don't contain water -- which means less bacteria growth. Look for changes in texture with your glosses and lipsticks. If your lipstick has hardened, it's no good anymore. If your lip gloss has globs in it, then it's time to toss it.

Nail Polish

Nail polish can last seemingly forever. However, the formula will eventually dry up. If you shake your nail polish bottle and the polish remains separated, then it's time to say goodbye.

And, while we're on the topic, here's a quick list of skincare products and their expiration dates:

Primers, eye firmers and other silicone-based products
12 months 

Cream cleansers, masks, moisturizers and eye creams
4 to 6 months

Gel cleansers, masks, acne treatments and eye gels 
6 months

Water based toners (you can keep in the refrigerator to extend the shelf life)
4 to 6 months

Cream or gel scrubs and shower gels 
4 months 

Serums and boosters
4 to 6 months

Generally, sunscreens have an expiration date of two years, but it's recommended to replace sunscreen every year

So, in conclusion, store all your makeup in a cool, dry, dark environment (like in a box in your closet) and keep all tools and brushes clean. In order to keep track of when to toss makeup and other products, you can get those little round stickers (like these), stick 'em to the bottom of your makeup/skin care product and write the date that you opened them. Or, even better, write the date that they should be tossed.

Now, I've got move my makeup out of the bathroom and clean some stuff out! And just think, if you have to toss some stuff, then that definitely means that you can buy some new items. Right? Oh yes.

Sources: Allure, Fitness Magazine, Parade, Tips on Home and Style, and Parenting

Monday, March 18, 2013

thai chicken quinoa bowl

So, March is absolutely flying by. Like a peregrine falcon. Exactly like that. Spring starts this week! Like, this Wednesday! Holy macaroni. And we're supposed to get snow tomorrow. Of course. You know you live in New England when spring arrives and it snows. Real spring here probably won't start until, like, May. Sigh. I'm so ready for some nice spring-like weather! The cold and gray skies are driving me crrrazzyyy. I'm actually missing living in Savannah right now. I never thought I would miss Georgia -- I was constantly complaining about the heat. But now that I've had to deal with a New England winter after a year of not having to deal with a New England winter, I'm kind of preferring a Savannah winter right now. And a Savannah spring would be nice. But I like New England autumns. And it would be nice to have snow in December and January. But then the snow can stop and it can get warmer. Do we have a deal, Mother Nature? Because that would be awesome.

Until the weather actually turns springlike, I can pretend it's spring and eat springlike things. Like this thai chicken quinoa bowl. Oh my goodness, I could eat this everyday. With fresh taste of sugar snap peas and cilantro and the utterly delicious sweet chili thai sauce, it feels like it's practically spring. I am addicted to the thai sauce that goes into this. It's also perfect for sauteing and stir-frying. I sauteed brussels sprouts in this sauce and it was deeeeelicious. Multi purpose! This dish is so easy to throw together and it's super healthy too! Win-win! Don't eat meat? You could definitely swap the chicken for tofu or chickpeas, or even forgo the chicken completely. Oooh, some sprouts or shoots would also be really good in this! Or even some red pepper. The possibilities are endless!

thai chicken quinoa bowl 
gluten free, soy free, peanut free
adapted from How Sweet It Is
yields about 2-3 large servings, or 4 small servings

// ingredients
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into strips (or shredded)
2/3 cup chopped carrots
2/3 cup sweet snap peas
3/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

for the sauce
4 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons sunflower seed butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

// directions
 Prepare quinoa according to directions. Use 2 cups of liquid for every cup of quinoa. I actually like to use water over vegetable or chicken stock so the other flavors can really shine through, but if you like your quinoa cooked with vegetable stock, go for it!

While the quinoa is cooking, whisk all the ingredients for the sauce together in a bowl. I like to use a micro planer to mince the garlic -- so much easier! You can just grate the garlic straight into the bowl; no knife skills required! Also, heating up the sunflower seed butter in the microwave for a little bit also makes it a little easier to whisk into the sauce.

Once the quinoa is done cooking, stir in sauce, chicken, snap peas and carrots (I had cooked the chicken in a large saute pan, so I just transferred the quinoa to the saute pan to stir everything together. You'll just need a bowl/pan that's large enough to mix everything together in). Taste to see if any additional seasoning is needed. If so, just add some salt and pepper. Toss in half of the cilantro, stir, then serve in a large bowl. Add some more cilantro on top and enjoy!

>> print recipe

Saturday, March 16, 2013

happy weekend

Happy weekend, everyone! I don't usually post on weekends, but it's pretty much been forever since I last wrote here. Sorry about the long absence! It's been pretty busy around here, between job searching and figuring out life. Also, my brother and his girlfriend came home for a surprise visit this week, which was awesome. I think that's the most surprised I've ever been in my entire life. I could not form a cohesive sentence when I found them standing in the living room. It's going to be hard to ever top that surprise! It was fantastic to see them and a much needed break from all this life-figuring-out stuff (I'm still not sure I'm ready for this real world thing. Or ready to be a real adult, for that matter. Nope, nope, nope.)

Anyhow. That's what's been going on here lately! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, March 4, 2013

pros and cons of going freelance


Okay, so this is another lazy post, but I really wanted to share this post from The Austin Eavesdropper. This is an awesome article on the pros and cons of going freelance -- something I've always wondered about. It's always super helpful to get some perspective from someone who's actually doing it. The article is about writing freelance, but it's definitely applicable to anything freelance. Go read it here!

monday monday monday


Happy Monday, everyone! Can you believe it's March already? Seriously, where did February go? I feel like I say this at the beginning of every month. We're getting closer to spring -- thank goodness!

Sorry for the lack of posts. I promise a real post will be coming soon!
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