Friday Five: Here Comes the Sun

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAs a child, spring cleaning meant a trip to my grandma’s house to help her clean the baseboards, dust her beautiful tea service, and shine my Easter Sunday shoes into sparkling white submission. As an adult, spring cleaning has taken on a dual meaning–yes, definitely baseboard cleaning, but also taking time to overhaul my beauty routine for the change in seasons. I use spring as a primer for summer, a time to repair my winter weather beaten skin, hair, and sun and prepare them for the coming of (sometimes fleeting) warm weather months here in Seattle. Here are the five products that help me shift into high gear for the return of the sun.

  • Caudalie Eau de Beaute ($18 for a 1 oz bottle, $49 for a 3.4 oz bottle) This darling of the beauty blogger world is actually all it is cracked up to be. I like to think of it as a combo toner/liquid version of the smelling salts fancy ladies use in movies about the Victorian era. It’s filled with essential oils and the soothing smells of mint and lavender, and leaves your skin feeling refreshed, while adding a wonderful glow to your skin. After a winter of loading my skin up with moisturizer, it’s nice to use something so lightweight.
  • The Body Shop Almond Body Butter ($20 for a 6.75 oz tub) I wandered into The Body Shop one day a couple weeks ago–I hadn’t set foot in a store for years and years, but the smell of an Almond Body Butter sample being distributed out front drew me in. Despite the name, this will not clog up your pores. I use it after I shower–it doesn’t leave a greasy film and it’s actually lighter in weight and texture than the body moisturizer I use in the winter. I think the scent is a good spring scent–light, bright, refreshing.
  • The Body Shop Shea Body Scrub ($20 for a 7.9 oz tub) I recently read some horrible statistic on Twitter (one of those accounts that has “facts” without sources, so I definitely should’ve taken it with a grain of salt) about the amount of dead skin cells that make a sort of layer of filth on top of your actual alive skin. That, coupled with my increasingly gray winter pallor, creeped me out on a level I’m not totally comfortable with, so when I saw that body scrubs were on sale during my trip to The Body Shop, I snatched one up immediately in the hopes that I could make my skin feel totally clean and new again. This scrub does the dirty work of essentially dusting (exfoliating) your skin, but also rehydrating it, and boosting it with Vitamin A and E. Perfect for the spring cleaning your skin so desperately needs post winter weather.
  • Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil ($36 for a 1.7 fl. oz travel-sized bottle, $48 for a 3.4 fl. oz bottle) During the winter, I generally use one of Oribe’s Leave-In Conditioners as my hair moisturizer. But in the spring and summer months in Seattle, when the moist, humid, marine air returns, the leave-in conditioner becomes too heavy and leaves my hair a little greasier than I’d like. So I switch to Oribe’s Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil–it’s lightweight but packs a heavy punch in terms of protecting your hair from heat damage (I love my flat iron) and also keeping your hair shiny and healthy looking, without being too heavy. It’s not cheap, but I only need to use a pea-sized amount for my thick, curly hair.
  • Julep Nail Kit (Free With Julep Manicure) I am not really a mani/pedi kind of girl. I categorically loathe not just all feet, but mine in particular, and because I am incredibly clutzy and hard on my hands, nail polish chips away in record time (yes, I have tried Shellac manicures. EVEN THOSE CHIP.). But I still see the importance of well-groomed nails, so I recently stopped into a Julep Salon for the first time. The whole experience was blog post worthy, so I might save that for another time, but one of the things I loved most about the service was that they send you home with some of the tools the technician used on your paws–a nail buffer, nail brush, and nail file. After a few months of shoving your hands deep into gloves and pockets for warmth, your cuticles and nail beds could probably use some love. And this mini kit sets you up nicely with all you need to make your hands worthy of warms rays of early spring sun.

Recipe for Success: Wardrobe Planning

photo(1)Spring is slowly unfurling its leaves here in Seattle–beautiful cherry blossoms providing technicolor relief from the rows and rows of evergreen trees, and an occasional burst of Vitamin D and warmth from the elusive sun mean that I will soon have to retire my trusty Spanx tights in favor of bare legs. Which means this is a great time to do a inventory of my closet, and get started on updating one of my Sunday night rituals–planning out a wardrobe for the week ahead.

As I noted in my Dress for Success post, I lay out my clothes for the next day every night before I go to bed. It’s a habit hard wired from childhood, and one that I love more and more with each passing year. I’ve recently upped by type-A quotient by laying out my entire wardrobe for the week on Sunday nights. Insane? Possibly. Wildly efficient? ABSOLUTELY. I wake up at 5:45 each day (my dog requires a long a.m. walk), and even though I’m a morning person, I would be lying to you if I told you I am at 100 percent the moment my feet hit the floor. So, in order to avoid repeating that one time where I wore two different black shoes to the bus stop, I plan pretty far in advance now.

Here’s what you need:

  • Five hangers
  • Five Ziplock/Plastic Storage Bags
  • Your Local Five Day Weather Forecast
  • A hole punch

Sunday morning is laundry time chez moi, so as I fold my clothes, I make a small pile of things I think I might want to wear the next week. I then take a look at the five day weather forecast for Seattle, have a good laugh and make sure my trusty umbrella is in my purse (people will tell you that Seattleites don’t use umbrellas. This isn’t true. People who walk/take the bus/have curly hair live and die by umbrellas in Seattle), and figure out how I will layer things to ensure that if the sun does come out, I won’t be boiling in a thick sweater. I put my clothes (usually dresses, to be perfectly honest) on the hanger, and then put any accessories, as well as…under things, in the Ziplock bag, and loop it onto the hanger. Hang it up in your closet, with the shoes that you’d like to wear with your outfit underneath it.

I know it sounds a little insane, and maybe over the top.  I like to think of it as the low-tech version of Cher Horowitz’s closet. But, all jokes aside, people frequently ask me how I look so put together each day at work, and the answer is that I am in fact a deeply lazy person who enjoys planning. With my wardrobe planned out for the week, all I have to do each morning is get up, clean up, and get dressed. There’s no thinking about where an earring back is, or where those tights might be, or where that one shirt is. It’s all laid out, and I can get ready in 20 minutes or less. So, embrace your inner type-A, Cher Horowitz, and do a little wardrobe planning in advance of your work week. It’ll save you a few minutes each morning, and give you an extra dose of sanity before heading into the office.