Happy 2017, y’all! After nearly eight (!) years of blogging, I am still reinventing—and still surprised by what topics grab your attention. Just when I think you no longer care about makeup, a foundation recommendation goes wild. I was curious about what other posts rose to the top this year, partly as a way to plan and partly because who doesn’t love a good list?! Turns out, you still take baths (or really want to lose weight), are super curious about the latest treatments (the weirder the better), and eat as many avocados as I do. Last year, I made a resolution to get more personal with my posts—I wanted to push myself as a writer but also add more value to the blogosphere. And it worked. We got vulnerable together, opening our hearts and sharing our soft underbellies in conversations that I cherish more than you know. More of that, please! But first, the most popular posts on Beauty Bets last year:
Is it really a party without bubbles? Hardly. In fact, 25 percent of yearly champagne sales are made between Christmas and New Years.We indulge even though we are old enough to know that a few too many glasses of the good stuff will leave us feeling anything but bubbly the next day. I get tired, cranky, and yes…even hungover. Sometimes my skin even gets dry and dull looking. Enter my secret weapon: the Recover Smoothie.
Sure, it sounds like a post-workout bevvie, but it’s actually a lifesaver for beating the booze blues. Simply blend the ingredients together, toss it into a pretty glass, and sip on the couch with your latest Netflix-binge-of-choice (we can’t stop talking about The Crown). While you relax, this little elixir works it’s magic. It’s chock-full of superfoods that help you heal from the inside out, including dates, cucumbers, ginger and coconut water.
Ginger aids digestion and can soothe any lingering nausea. The banana energizes with healthy carbohydrates and a dose of potassium to calm muscle contractions. Cucumber is a fast and powerful way to rehydrate the body, and coconut water packs an electrolyte punch. Lastly, adding a teaspoon or two of seeds (pumpkin, flax, hemp or sunflower) will add fiber to help extract extra toxins and support digestion. Remember: This too shall pass!
INGREDIENTS 5 ice cubes
1 in. knob ginger
1-2 tsp. ground seeds (I used sunflower)
¾ cup coconut water (I used Vitacoco)
DIRECTIONS Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and pulse until smooth. Pour into your favorite smoothie glass and enjoy!
The holiday rush is ON and even though though I’ve been hoarding gifts all year long, there are always a few that slip through the cracks until suddenly it’s THE week. At this point in the game it’s about finding the best gift that will arrive on time. If there’s a winner that works for a number of people of my list, even better. This year, Pique Tea Crystals is saving me. The individual packets of instant tea crystals (think Starbuck’s Via but in tea form) are as delightful to look at as they are to drink. Simply boil some water in the kettle and pour over the crystals. No steeping required! Perfect for on the go, traveling (I always keep tea in my carryon), busy people, anyone who has a desk, and healthy friends who will appreciate the delicate green tea varieties—my personal favorite.
The feel-good story behind Pique Tea is also the stuff of holiday gifts: Founder Simon Cheng suffered from serious respiratory problems growing up. In a quest for inner healing, he traveled the world searching for masters of Qigong meditation, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Taichi. During a visit to the tea producing regions of Yunnan, Simon discovered a 1,300 year old tradition called Cha Gao. Lost to all but Himalayan villages and ancient records, Cha Gao was used to extract the powerful medical properties of tea into a dissolvable tea paste. So inspired by the incredible health benefits of Cha Gao, Simon spent years in collaboration with leading tea farmers and tea masters to integrate ancient tradition with modern science and create Pique Tea Crystals. Thankfully, we don’t have to go to the other end of the earth to experience these healing flavor bombs. They’re available at Amazon.com, ready to ship ASAP. Pique also offers gift boxes and tea plans—monthly subscriptions for the connoisseurs in your orb.
It’s hard to believe that Dani has been working with me for six years! She been a contributing writer on Team Beauty Bets since early 2011 and has also been my secret weapon for keeping on top of everything from Twitter trends to iphone photography. Dani is the ying to my yang, the butter to my sprouted-wheat bread, the details to my big ideas. She is organized with a capital O (just look at her Instagram), gracefully juggling a social media business, an Etsy shop, her own blog, and volunteering (PUPPIES!), all while maintaining a life that is equal parts healthy and fun. If I didn’t adore and admire her so much, I’d hate her. Today Dani is letting us in on one of her secrets weapons, including a freebie to help you get started—no New Year’s resolution required. —Bets
Last spring Bets asked if I’d be willing to share a bit about my journey to a healthier life. I thought about it for a long time (okay, like 6 months) and wasn’t sure which approach to take, even though I could have told you my answer in about .2 seconds. About 7 years ago, just before Bets and I started working together, I took control of my health and with the help of a nutritionist I lost nearly 30 pounds. The process was life-changing. I learned about food. I drank more water in a week than I could recall drinking in my entire life. I had energy. I could think clearer. I felt amazing.
I could have written a post about my favorite dinner recipes, my favorite workout, or how I manage to drink 150 ounces of water every. single. day. But the fact is that succeeding at all of those areas comes down to one thing: my Daily Page. It was during the weight-loss process that my first Daily Page was created. I needed a 1-page design that allowed me to not only track my ever-growing list of projects, but also helped me plan meals, track water, set fitness goals, and take care of myself mentally. I put my original design on my blog for free, but got so many requests for a notepad version of it that I soon opened an Etsy shop and went to work. Over the years the design has evolved and changed, and is now available in several variations as well as digital downloads and iPad versions. No matter which page I’m using, one thing is clear: being able to track both my productivity and my overall wellness (spiritual, mental and physical) in one place is my secret to professional and personal success.
We’re all busy! Taking 5 minutes to organize my day and set goals is my method for bringing peace and organization into my routine. I’ve been filling out a Daily Page for seven years and I rarely miss a day. If I don’t fill out a page, I feel an instant fog settle over me. I can’t decide what needs to get done and I lose motivation. I get to the end of the day and the entire thing is a blur.
There’s a peaceful sense of clarity that comes over me once my page is filled out. I know exactly what my day needs to look like, the hydration tracker helps me make sure I’m consuming enough water, and having a place to write down my fitness and wellness goals makes me 100x more likely to make sure my body and mind are getting just as much attention as my long list of work projects.
My latest design, The Weekly Planner, was made for those of us who are juggling it all, 7 days a week. I like to sit down with all 7 pages at the beginning of the week and plan my meals and workouts, then I use the pages to keep my to-dos and projects organized and prioritized. I prefer to fill my page out the night before (it helps me get a full and stress-free night of sleep). At the end of the week, the pages help me feel accomplished, assess where I might have fallen short with self-care, or estimate how many hours I spent on a client project. This design is available as a digital download, which will provide you with 7 pdf files that you can print, or 7 jpg files that you can use digitally on your iPad.
I’m honored that Bets asked me to share my tools with you, and to say thanks I’m giving you access to this Free Blank Calendar Printable that you can use to get the New Year off to a great start! For my other designs and planning pages visit My Etsy Shop. Happy Organizing!
Maybe it’s my snow white skin or flair for the dramatic, but I’ve been a blush devotee from the time I had enough babysitting money to buy my first covergirl in what I can only guess was an unflattering shade of dusty rose. Back then, blush was more of a statement streak informed by 80s music videos and my older, cooler cousins then a foil for the flushed-face glow you can otherwise only get from ice skating or cross-country skiing—a look that I have nearly perfected over the years without doing much of either. A rosy cheek is that much easier now that super-bright blushes are the rule, not the exception. Don’t be scared: they look more clown-like than they actually are. The key is to apply a wash of color right where it would naturally emerge on your cheeks. You’ll know it’s rosy not ridiculous because you’ll suddenly look younger, more well-rested, and like a prettier version of yourself. Yep, blush can do all that. Once you master the rosy cheek, you’ll never want to leave the house without it. And holidazzle season is the perfect time to experiment with this look—whichever of the three variations below makes you happy. Just add mascara and a swipe of gloss or lip stain. —Bets
Ideal for big-blush newbies because the shade is so natural, a little of this warmer red goes a long way to creating instant flush. Pop onto the apples of cheeks for a rosy, not ruddy, result. Try: Marc Jacobs Shameless Bold Blush in Rebellious ($30)
My everyday cold-weather look, a true pink yields that lit-from-within rosiness that makes skin look flawless and really lights up your entire face. Try: Bobbi Brown Blush in Warm Pink ($20).
Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.