Faking It

Have you ever arrived at work, caught a glimpse of yourself in the bathroom mirror and wondered, “What the hell happened?” This happens to me on a daily basis. Each morning I leave my house confident that I look somewhat presentable (my expectations aren’t low, just realistic… There’s a difference, right?), yet arrive to school looking more like something that the cat dragged in.

I can say with some degree of certainty that lack of sleep (and perhaps bad lighting?) is the largest contributing factor to my less than ideal appearance these days, although the extra glass of wine each night isn’t helping my cause. I have come to terms with the fact that I will not be getting more rest any time soon, but I am holding out hope that I can perhaps find a way to at least fake a full night’s sleep.

Instead of grading the stack of papers that I have managed to avoid for the past week, I’ve decided to scour the internet for tricks and tips to help me look more rested. My theory is that if I look more rested, I will feel more rested, and if I feel more rested I will finally get around to grading all of those papers. So you see, this endeavor is completely warranted and not another way to procrastinate at all.

Here are some of my favorite ideas that I plan on trying out STAT. And by STAT I mean when I get paid.

1. Line Your Lower Lashes

tarte-emphaseyes-inner-lip-brightener

But don’t use black. To make your eyes look bigger and brighter, trace a nude eyeliner (like Tarte EmphasEYES™ Inner Rim Brightener, $18; Sephora.com) on the inner rims of your lower lashline. “Make sure the liner is a beige-y color and not too white,” says Tim Quinn, celebrity makeup artist for Giorgio Armani Beauty. “Beige looks more natural and does a better job of neutralizing redness in or around the eyes.”

www.oprah.com

2. Even Out Your Complexion

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A sheer, dewy foundation can do more than a concealer alone to make you look beautifully awake. Case in point: An actress we recently worked with arrived at our O shoot straight from a red-eye flight—yet looked as if she’d just woken from a long, delicious nap. She credited a layer of Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation ($62,KohGenDoCosmetics.com). “It’s luminous and totally imperceptible,” she raved. “Even though it’s light, it evens out redness and discoloration, and makes me look instantly refreshed.”

www.oprah.com

 

3. Deflate Lids

To counteract puffiness, choose an eye treatment containing a mix of peptides — some of the least irritating anti-aging ingredients — and caffeine, which has a diuretic effect. Try First Aid Beauty Detox Eye Roller ($24, Sephora). Stash it in the fridge before applying under eyes. “Coldness counters puffiness,” says Elise Brisco, O.D., an optometrist in Los Angeles. Or, rest refrigerated 2nd Skin Moist Burn Pads ($8 for six, drugstore.com) on lids for five minutes. They’re filled with a soothing gel that’s 97 percent water.

 2nd_skin_moist_burn_pads

www.goodhousekeeping.com

4. Hang Around the Water Cooler

Sleep deprivation can mildly dehydrate you, even if you’re not suffering from a happy-hour hangover. And dehydration actually compounds fatigue, Breus says—so sipping water will help lessen sleepiness. Drink enough so you’re not thirsty and you have clear-ish urine, Breus recommends.

Another trick: Throw in a few ice cubes. “Unlike warm drinks, which tend to relax you, cold beverages can increase alertness because they are more refreshing,” Kennedy says.

www.health.com

*I am really good at this. I drink water all day long at school, and wine all night long at home. 

5. Don’t Skip Your Lids

If you’re focused on under eye circles and puffiness, it’s easy to look right past another dead giveaway of exhaustion: pink eyelids. Baumann tells patients to dab them with a cotton ball soaked in (of all things) Afrin.“Nasal sprays contain something called oxymetazoline, which addresses both redness and swelling,” she says—and notes that it’s particularly effective when you’ve been crying. If they still look pink, makeup artist Troy Surratt recommends applying an eye-shadow base. “One that’s peachy will neutralize blue, purple, and gray tones,” he says. In a pinch, yellow-based concealer will work on purple circles—just be sure to pick a formula that isn’t thick or drying. Try: Estée Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow in Peach

afrin

www.allure.com

6. Conceal

An under eye concealer is a new mom’s BFF. Try: Benefit’s Erase Paste ($26; benefitcosmetics.com)

www.parenting.com

erase

7. Brighten.

A dab of eye brightener in the inside corner of each eye diverts attention from dark circles.

www.parenting.com

*I use a white, shimmery eyeshadow & dab it in the inside corner of each eye with a Q-tip. Sometimes I think it makes my eyes look awkwardly close together. Perhaps I am not applying the shadow correctly?

8. Exercise for dull complexion

If skin isn’t allowed time to renew overnight, it can look sallow, ashy, and pasty. “When you don’t sleep, your body doesn’t have a chance to increase microcirculation, which means it can’t deliver key nutrients to the skin, ” says Jeanette Graf, M.D., a dermatologist based in Great Neck, New York. Even a short morning workout session can help boost circulation, as will a dry body brushing before you shower.

www.naturalhealthmag.com

*Good in theory, at least.  

9. Eyelash curler–  Curling your lashes opens up the eyes and will make you look more awake and alert. This eyelash curler by e.l.f. retails around $1.50! Eyes Lips Face (e.l.f.) products are not only inexpensive, but cruelty-fee, as well. You can find e.l.f. products at Target & Walgreens.

CURLER

10. Blush- NARS Blush provides a healthy glow to flatter any skin-tone. Orgasm Blush makes cheeks blush a perfect pinky-peach flush and subtly highlights with accents of golden shimmer. The perennially pleasing, universally flattering shade is again and again a makeup artist and beauty editor favorite. According to Sephora.com, “the super sexy pink flush gives the effect of a radiant afterglow.”

*Sign. Me. Up.

nars

www.sephora.com

11. Birth Control Not going to help you look rested, but will pretty much guarantee a better night’s sleep. 

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I am definitely going to try some of these ideas over the next few weeks. I’ll keep y’all posted on how it works out. Do you have any tricks to help you appear rested when you actually feel like the walking dead?

XO,

Elleigh

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A Few of Our *Least* Favorite Things

As a follow up to our previous post, we thought it would be helpful to highlight some of our least favorites products of 2013, as well. We hate to be Negative Nellys, and we’re certain that there are plenty of people out there that absolutely love these things… Just not us. 

Our *Least* Favorite Baby Gear of 2013

mamaroo1. mamaROO– Aside from the aesthetics, which are totally not my style (hello Startrek!), I really wanted to like this one. Thankfully, I did not shell out $200 only to learn that my little booger did not in fact want to take a ride in the Cadillac of infant seats. I borrowed it from a friend, whose son coincidentally hated the Roo, as well. 

Learn more here.     $200

 

babybath2. Blooming Bath for Babies- So dang adorable, but not a practical option for me. Unfortunately, this flowery bath did not fit very well into our kitchen sink. Baby J was forced to sit completely upright, which not only made for a difficult bathing experience, but a pretty pissed off baby, too. Needless to say, my husband, Baby J, and myself were all scarred by the experience. No joke, we did not bathe him for 2+ weeks following that experience.

Buy the bath here, or contact me and I’ll sell you mine for half-price!     $40

ktan3. Baby K’Tan– I just know that the Baby K’Tan is a great product, and I sincerely hope that Baby #2 loves it, because he/she may not have much of a choice! Baby J despises infant carriers however, and trying to manipulate the K’Tan into place with a screaming baby just didn’t work for me. The B’jorn was also a no-go, but I can occasionally use the Ergo at the grocery store without someone calling CPS.

Check out the K’tan here.     $50

nosefrida4. Nosefrida- In addition to the ick-factor, this thing just can’t compete with the good ‘ole fashion blue bulb snot sucker that our moms used on us. No matter how hard I suck, I just can’t get the boogers out with the Frida.

See what all of the hype is about here. I’d offer you mine, but that’s just kind of gross.    $15

book5. Moms on Call Basic Baby Care: 0-6 Months– I read this book cover to cover leading up to the birth of sweet Baby J. I memorized the schedules and prepped my hubby on how our days with a newborn would play out. I just knew that things would fall right into place as the book suggests. WRONG! Trying to get an infant on a schedule is just flat out ridiculous, and it took two long months, a ton of tears, and a “Come to Jesus” talk with my husband to realize that I had lost my mind somewhere along the way.

*Do yourself a favor, and do not buy this book.*

 

XO,

Elleigh

LWO

A Few of Our Favorite Things

Here at Little World Organics, we have babies on the brain. Whether we have one and/or are planning for our next- Have we lost our minds?– babies pretty much rule the roost in our homes. With that said, we have some pretty solid experience with baby necessities, and we thought it would be fun to share some of our new found wisdom with our readers.

Our Favorite Baby Gear of 2013

original-tahiti-on-floor1. The Woombie– Greatest. Invention. Ever. I’ll let you in on a little secret… I don’t know how to swaddle. Gasp! My husband was the official “swaddler” in the hospital, and like everything else they taught us during our stay, we forgot it as soon as we arrived home. This simple swaddling device saved our lives during the first few months of Baby A’s life. It’s very user-friendly; Just pop your baby in and zip them up- It’s really that simple. We don’t recommend the “Wrap and Snap” style, however. It was way too tight around our little one’s necks. And yes, it kinda resembles a baby straight jacket, but it gets the job done.

Buy the Woombie here.     basic model:$26

pitcher2. Dr. Brown’s BPA Free Formula Pitcher- The good news is Holle Organic Infant Formula does not clump like a lot of the formulas found in the USA, which probably has something to do with the lack of Frakenstein-ish ingredients in Holle. We still love this pitcher, however. As a matter of fact, both June and I have two. Essentially, the pitcher is used to mix formula with water resulting in a creamy, clump-free texture. You can store pre-mixed formula in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Buy the pitcher here.     $16.99

ROCKNPLAY3. Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play- Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably heard of the Rock ‘N Play. It is a hammock of sorts that has the capability of rocking with baby’s movements when placed on hard surfaces. Baby A was not a huge fan of the Rock ‘N Play at first. She was a small baby, and the Rock ‘N Play absolutely swallowed her. The Snugabunny bouncer was much more her speed, and I highly recommend that, as well. Around 4 months however, she started favoring the Rock ‘N Play- Unfortunately over her crib, where she had previously slept like a little baby rockstar. It was especially handy when she had a respiratory infection, as she was able to sleep safely on an incline. Baby A still enjoys napping in her Rock ‘N Play, but she is thankfully back in her crib at night.

Buy the Rock ‘N Play here.     $43.99

jumperoo4. Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo- It ain’t pretty, but once your baby starts bouncing, you won’t care. Baby A will happily bounce for up to 45 minutes while mama gets things done around the house (watches the Today show and guzzles coffee).

Buy the Jumperoo here.     $89

liltummys5. Little Remedies for Tummys Gas Relief Drops- Baby J had major gas issues when he was a newborn. When he passes gas now, it hardly fazes him, but as a newborn you’d think he was dying. Little Remedies was the only product that worked for him. We still use it on occasion, but after switching to Holle, we rarely need gas drops.

Learn more about Little Remedies here. Buy at your local pharmacy or grocery store.     $7

soundmachine6. Conair Sound Therapy Sound Machine- If you read June’s Confessions of a Stay at Home Mama post, you know how she feels about white noise. Unlike June, I embrace white noise, as it has lulled my little one to sleep since birth. Yes, I will admit the actual white noise option is a little creepy, and if you listen to it long enough you start to hear what sounds like voices, but the ocean waves option is a winner. This is probably the closest I will get to a beach for some time. Sigh.

Buy the sound machine here.     $17.99

baby4117. Baby 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Baby’s First Year- This is by far the best book I have ever read for new mamas. I spent the first month of Baby A’s life with her on the boob and the book in my lap- TMI much? And even if Dr. Brown wasn’t our pediatrician, I would still recommend it. She’s a big deal, y’all.

Buy Baby 411 here.     $10

tturtle8. Tranquil Turtle Sleep Machine by Cloud b- Can you live without the Tranquil Turtle Sleep Machine? Yes. Do we recommend it? No! I didn’t register for this but received it as a shower gift anyway. I sort of dismissed it, as I really didn’t understand the turtle and all of her glory. Shame on me. The Tranquil Turtle has two sound options, waves, and a peaceful medley that sounds like something you would hear at the spa. Now here is what really seals the deal for me- It projects waves on the walls and ceiling. Whaaattt? Yeah, it’s awesome. Even if you don’t have a child, go buy one. Now.

Buy the Tranquil Turtle here.     $45

If you asked us for advice on what to register for, these products would definitely be on the list. We would love to hear what some of your favorite things are, too!

XO,

Elleigh & June

LWO