Couple jogging during winter.

How to Boost Your Winter Workout

The benefits of exercising outdoors in the fresh include things like more energy, less tension and lowered rates of depression. However, when it’s freezing outside you may be tempted to just stay indoors and cuddle up under your blanket. Fitness expert Sean Burch says that winter might actually be a better time for outdoor workouts than summer. “The heat and humidity in the summer can drag you down and tire you faster, but cold weather is invigorating. It stimulates your senses, tunes you into your surroundings – it makes you feel alive.” We’ve got three ways to boost your winter workout so it is most effective and so that it is also safe for you to complete outdoors.

Play it Safe
In warmer months with less dangerous weather hazards, choosing challenging terrain for your outdoor exercise is often beneficial to your health, but when the temperatures dip it’s best to play it safe. For outdoor winter workouts, you want to stay closer to home than you normally might so that if you do slip and fall or overexert and exhaust yourself, you’re close to the warmth and protection of the indoors. If you exercise early in the morning or in the evening after the sun has gone down, you’ll want to look for areas near your home that are well-lit and plowed. Lighting is important so that you can spot potentially icy areas and steer clear of them to avoid injury. Additionally, it’s not just important to you that you have light, you need to be positive that you are visible to motorists who may have difficulty stopping quickly. Wear reflective or colorful clothing and use bike or flashlights to remain as visible as possible.

Warm Up and Cool Down
Before you head out the door, experts advise that you spend some time indoors preparing your muscles for your cold weather workout. Jog in place for five minutes before you plan to go outside to get your muscles revved up. The freezing temperatures can be an incredible shock to your muscles, so once you do step out the door, experts suggest taking short 30 second breaks during the first few minutes of your workout. This allows them to acclimate to the climate and helps prevent damage or discomfort.

Winter workouts also require a cool down period. Three to four minutes before you plan on stopping your workout, slow your pace down. Do your stretching indoors and remove any extra layers of clothing after you’re done. Walk around for another four to five minutes before showering for the most effective cool down.

Know Your Limits and Have Some Flexibility
In the summer, you may be able to run six or seven miles without a problem. During the winter, although you may be able to do the same amount of miles, it takes a much larger toll on your body. When the temperatures are freezing, your body is working overtime to keep you warm and overexerting yourself subjects your body to unnecessary stress. Experts recommend starting the winter slowly and then building up to a longer workout. For example, instead of running six miles, start with three and gradually add a bit more mileage each day.

If you enjoy working out as part of your routine and you keep to a certain schedule, winter can be a very frustrating time for your outdoor exercise. By taking necessary precautions, you can safely work out first thing in the morning, but experts suggest being a bit more flexible with your routine. If possible, stick to late afternoon hours for outdoor exercise when the temperature is at its peak and the roads have been attended to. It’s noble to believe there is no such thing as weather that is too bad to stop you from working out, but trainers and athletic experts remind you to put your safety first. Ice, snow, sleet, hail, unplowed roads or extreme darkness are all serious challenges and it’s best to know when to say no to your outdoor routine.

According to Dr. Kevin Plancher of Plancher Orthopaedics and Sports Medicines, NYC, exercise can help in increasing endorphin (feel good hormones) levels, but since the body has to work harder due to the cold, the endorphin production is further boosted, leading to an even more happier state of mind. Exposure to natural light, of which there is a shortage in the winter, is also proven to help alleviate depression. Your winter workout provides so many benefits, and using these three tips, you can be sure that you’re working out effectively and safely.

Turkey and wine

Best Wines to Pair With Turkey

Thanksgiving is all about coming together with friends and family to give thanks and show appreciation for all of the blessings in your life, and if you’re like us, one of those blessings is an incredible glass of wine. Your turkey dinner is an amazing time to sit and truly enjoy some great wine pairings. Ultimately, wine pairing is a matter of personal preference. While it’s great to try new things, if you know you absolutely hate a Zinfandel, try the less intense Pinot Noir instead. The only real rule to wine pairing is to do what makes you, and your palate, happy. That being said, we’ve got some guidelines as to where you might want to begin your search for the perfect wine/turkey pairings.

Champagne/ Sparkling Wines/ Rose
If you want a super simple pairing that will work with everything served from appetizers to dessert, look to Champagne, Rose and other sparkling wines. Sparkling wines have an acidity level that makes them easy to pair with dishes filled with herbs, cranberries and turkey. The effervescent quality of Champagne and sparkling wines help them to cut through truly rich foods like that gorgeous pecan pie.

Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is perhaps the most traditional red wine pairing when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. It has a lighter body than red wines like Cabernet and is softer on the palate than a Merlot. Pinot Noir typically features lush, berry fruits with an earthy undertone that pairs well with everything from the turkey to the cranberry sauce.

Zinfandel
Nicknamed the All-American grape, Zinfandel is another versatile red that pairs well with not just your turkey, but other trimmings on the table. Zinfandel is fuller in body than Pinot Noir and has a more intense flavor profile. As with Pinot Noir, Zinfandel has impressive fruit notes and it also features a bit of spice, both of which make it an excellent accompaniment to herb-laden dressings and both white and dark meat turkey.

Chardonnay
Another traditional Thanksgiving wine, Chardonnay is a pretty standard white at the table. An oaked Chardonnay has a round mouthfeel and is usually a bit creamy. The toasty oak flavors combine well with holiday classics like mashed potatoes and gravy and of course, your turkey. If you aren’t a fan of oaked Chardonnay, an un-oaked version of this white wine features more crisp citrus and apple flavors.

Riesling
Depending upon the Riesling, you may find that it is quite sweet or very dry, but the flavor profile of Riesling’s make them an excellent white wine choice for Thanksgiving dinner. Fruits such as apricots and apples and hints of delicious honey make this wine a great pairing for your sweet potato casserole as well as your turkey.

Remember that when it comes to wine, your tastes and preferences are more important than sticking to traditional wines that you don’t enjoy. If you feel adventurous, try pairing a few wines with your meal. Serve rose with appetizers, Pinot Noir or Riesling for dinner and finish with a sparkling wine. Savor your wine and your time with family and friends by picking a wine pairing that is meant for turkey.

Thanksgiving recipe.

Eat Well: Our Favorite Simple Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is as much about the food and flavors as it is about giving thanks and practicing gratitude. Your table is likely full of dishes and recipes that have been passed down or are traditionally served for this holiday, but this year you may want to consider trying something new. Our super simple Thanksgiving recipes are quick and easy to make and are sure to please everyone gathered together. We’ve included a breakfast, appetizer, side dish and dessert so you can enjoy new flavors at any meal.

Pumpkin muffins

Pumpkin Muffins
Thanksgiving dinner steals the show this holiday, but you still need to eat breakfast to get your body going so you can make all the delicious dishes to fill your table. Start your morning with these super easy and festive pumpkin muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 1 18.5 oz box yellow cake mix
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease muffin tin (or line with muffin paper liners). Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl and spoon equal amounts of batter into muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean.

Fresh Cranberry Salsa
Say goodbye to the can of cranberry sauce and hello to the taste of fresh cranberries. This easy cranberry salsa makes a great Thanksgiving appetizer served with cocktails.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions cut to 3 inches in length
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and minced
  • 2 limes juiced
  • ¼ to ½ cup white sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese

Add cranberries, cilantro, green onions, jalapeno, lime juice, sugar and salt to the bowl of your food processor. Chop to a medium consistency and refrigerate. For best flavor, allow the salsa to refrigerate for 24 hours prior to serving. To serve pour salsa over softened cream cheese and serve with tortilla chips.

Roasted red potatoes

Honey Mustard Roasted Red Potatoes
Who says you have to eat mashed potatoes? If you feel like switching things up at the table a bit this year, try this delicious take on roasted red potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon rosemary
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 5 red potatoes quartered or cut into 1 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Add all ingredients to a large bowl except the potatoes. Whisk the olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper together. Add potatoes and toss to make sure all potatoes are coated. Roast in preheated oven, turning occasionally, until tender. Depending on your oven this may take anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes, potatoes are done when a fork easily slides into potatoes.

Chocolate rum balls.

Chocolate Rum Balls
Traditional desserts like pumpkin and pecan pie are definitely a tasty treat, but sometimes you’re a bit too full after dinner to enjoy a slice. These simple, bite-size desserts are made a few days in advance (to allow for best flavor) so they won’t take any time out of your holiday.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
  • ⅓ cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup spiced rum
  • 1 gallon plastic zip bag
  • Additional confectioners sugar

In a large bowl, mix vanilla wafers, confectioners sugar, unsweetened cocoa and nuts. Once well mixed, blend in honey and spiced rum. Refrigerate for one hour. Shape rum ball dough into one-inch pieces. In a gallon sized plastic bag, add some additional confectioners sugar. Pour confectioners sugar into bag, add rum balls and shake well. Once coated with confectioners sugar, set aside in an airtight container for a few days to develop flavor.

Our favorite simple Thanksgiving recipes don’t require much time to prepare but they sure taste like they did. Wow your crowd with some new flavors by whipping up one of these tasty recipes. Start a new tradition this year with our favorite simple Thanksgiving recipes that your friends and family are sure to look forward to all year.

Friends shaking hands

Live Well: Links Between Gratitude and Depression

The holiday season has begun and while this is a festive and joyous time, many people still experience anxiety, depression and stress during this time of year. If you find yourself struggling with depression in the midst of all the holiday cheer, you might be interested to know that perhaps the most important aspect of Thanksgiving actually can lift your mood. The links between gratitude and depression are backed by studies and scientific research that tell you that giving thanks can make you a healthier, happier individual.

What is Gratitude?
Gratitude is derived from the Latin word, gratia, which can mean several things depending upon the context. Gratia means thanks, being grateful, graciousness and gracefulness. Harvard Health states “[i]n some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible.” To practice gratitude, you must acknowledge that your life is full of great things, even if you don’t always feel that way. In doing so, you will usually realize that there are many things outside of yourself that you are appreciative of and that give your life meaning and pleasure. Harvard notes that “…gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature or a higher power.”

It is important to note that realizing how much better off you are than others does not equal gratitude. You can certainly appreciate that you have a car that drives you where you need to go, that you don’t have to worry about where you’re next meal is coming from or that you have clothes that fit and are clean, but gratitude is not about making comparisons. Gratitude is all about you taking the time to truly acknowledge and appreciate what you have in your life.

Gratitude and Depression: The Science Behind it
In an article published on Psychology Today, author Alex Korb, Ph.D., several studies on gratitude and your health and happiness are summarized with the links being clear. A 2003 study lead by American researchers recruited young adults to see what effect gratitude has on happiness. One group of young adults was asked to keep a daily gratitude journal and to write in it every day. Other groups of young adults was also asked to keep a daily journal, and one group was told to write about things that annoyed them while the other was told to journal about ways in which they realized they were better off than others. “The young adults assigned to keep gratitude journals showed greater increases in determination, attention, enthusiasm and energy compared to the other groups.” The same researchers then conducted a separate study on adults and the findings were consistent with those of the young adult study findings. In the adult study, the links between gratitude and happiness were observed even if the adults did not write in the journal daily, and the researchers also noticed that exercise patterns approved in adults who were mindful of things to be thankful for.

How to Cultivate Gratitude
“Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone’s gratitude, it’s a quality that individuals can cultivate further,” according to Harvard Health. Your daily life is filled with so many stresses and obligations that it can be all too easy to forget how so many amazing things happen each and every day. It doesn’t have to take a natural disaster, like Hurricane Katrina, for you to realize that the simplest of things are sources of gratitude: running water, electricity and shelter. Practicing gratitude requires commitment and consistency in order to truly live a grateful life. One quick and easy way to practice gratitude daily is to keep a small notebook beside or near your bed. At night, before you tuck yourself into bed, write down at least one thing for which you were grateful that day.

Anxiety, stress and depression are incredibly common occurrences and taking proactive steps to combat these feelings can help empower you and significantly improve your mental health. A gratitude journal is an excellent way to decrease feelings of depression. Investing just a small amount of money for a notebook and pen (both of which you probably already have in your home) and a small amount of time each night can help significantly reduce depression.

Laser treatment

All About Laser Treatments

If you’ve ever considered laser treatments for your skin concerns but have been worried about looking like a lobster for several months, we’ve got some good news. Laser treatments have advanced significantly since their inception and while there are treatments that will leave you looking like you just got a sunburn, there are also procedures and treatments that provide great results with minimal side effects.

What is a Laser and How Does it Work?
The word laser is actually an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. What this boils down to is that lasers work by generating a concentrated stream of pulsed bright light that can be strategically controlled and directed over the surface of the skin. Unlike a regular white light bulb that contains a spectrum of colors, lasers only contain one specific color. These intense rays of light are used to destroy unwanted pigments, hair or other skin concerns. Lasers are classified as either ablative or non-ablative.

Ablative Lasers – Ablative lasers work by targeting the surface of your skin (epidermis) as well as the lower, deeper (dermis) layers of skin. In order to penetrate to these lower layers of skin, ablative lasers injure or ablate the surface of your skin. Ablative lasers can be used to:

  • Fade skin discolorations
  • Remove sun damage
  • Reveal healthier skin
  • Improve appearance of deep lines and wrinkles

Non-ablative Lasers – Non-ablative treatments target the lower layers of your skin, but they leave the surface of your skin undamaged and intact. Non-ablative lasers are used to:

  • Improve or eliminate redness from broken capillaries or rosacea
  • Remove superficial spots
  • Improve appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Stimulate collagen production

Types of Lasers
Laser technology has advanced significantly since the treatments were first offered. Today’s lasers are able to provide more precise results with less damage and side effects. Some of the most common types of lasers used for laser therapy include:

  • CO2 Pulse Laser – This ablative laser is one of the oldest lasers in use. It provides significant results following therapy, but the side effects are intense with the potential for skin to remain red for up to two months following treatment.
  • Erbium YAG Laser – Another ablative laser, this machine is less invasive than the CO2 Pulse Lasers, but it also does not treat wrinkles as deeply as those machines. There is also the Variable YAG Pulse Laser, which is a popular option for its ability to work almost as effectively as the CO2 Pulse, but without as much damage.
  • Fraxels – These non-ablative lasers are some of the most frequently used because they deliver impressive results with minimal side effects and risks. The name is derived from the word fractional, which is how fraxels work. Instead of one, steady stream of light, fraxels pinpoint target the skin with a polka-dot type pattern of light that causes less tissue damage. Fraxels are used for a large range of skin concerns from wrinkles and stretch marks to hyperpigmentation.
  • Long-Pulsed YAG Laser – This laser is also non-ablative and is used mainly for wrinkles and reducing the appearance of acne scars. These lasers, while less invasive than others, provide more subtle results than others.

What to Know Before Laser Therapy
That’s definitely a question for your doctor to decide. If you are considering laser therapy, it is a great idea to do some research, but remember that your doctor is the expert. Look for offices that feature multiple types of lasers, because an office that only has one may use it on your skin to keep your business, but it may not be the most effective or safe treatment for you. Laser therapy costs range widely depending on the type of laser, the number of treatments, your location and what type of laser therapy you are having done. Laser therapies come with varying amounts of pain. The majority of laser treatments do not require numbing before the treatment, but if you are having deeper resurfacing done, your doctor may use “…a topical anesthetic or a combination of a topical and pain injections plus anxiety drugs such as Ativan or Valium,” says Brian Biesman, clinical assistant professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Laser treatments are an effective way to treat a large number of skin concerns from resurfacing to deep-set wrinkles. Prior to undergoing any type of laser therapy, we recommend doing some research to find a doctor that you trust and the laser treatment that is right for you.

Portrait of smiling mature woman with white hair

Makeup Tips for Mature Skin

It is so easy to fall into a beauty rut, using the same cosmetic products decade after decade. However, your skin, as well as your features, change as you age, meaning that your makeup products and application techniques need to evolve too.

From foundation to lipstick, here are some guidelines when it comes to makeup for mature skin.

Start With Your Skin

The best-looking makeup begins with good skin, which is why this should always be your initial focus when evaluating cosmetics.

Before applying any makeup to your face, you need to ensure that your skin has been thoroughly cleansed. Exfoliating it will be a bonus, as this will clear away any dead skin cells and rough patches from the surface of your skin, giving you a blank canvas to work with when it comes to your makeup.

Immediately after exfoliating, you need to moisturize your skin.

This is even more important for mature skin…

Why?

Because one of the main skin issues that mature skin faces is a lack of moisture, as skin loses its ability to retain moisture as it ages. This can result in a rough and dry complexion, which will only end up being accentuated, rather than hidden, by your makeup.

A thick and rich moisturizer is best, and it should also contain plenty of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and resveratrol

Another bonus to moisturizing before applying any makeup?

It will give your face a smooth and dewy finish, meaning that your makeup will just glide effortlessly on afterwards.

woman applying primer or moisturizer

Primer

Primers are not strictly essential, but do have quite a few benefits, especially when it comes to mature skin.

Here are a few of the reasons as to why you should be using a primer:

  • Hides visible pores
  • Smooths and softens the skin
  • Gives makeup a base to grip on to, meaning it lasts for longer 
  • Prevents foundation from oxidizing and changing color

When choosing a primer for mature skin, you want the formula to be a lightweight and moisturizing one, without containing any shimmer. As with any product you use, try to pick one that contains added antioxidants. If your skin is sensitive, look for a primer that contains soothing ingredients, such as niacinimide or green tea. 

Foundation

When it comes to choosing a foundation for mature skin, thick formulas, or loose powders, are a big no.

woman applying powder foundation

Why?

These products will only end up settling into any creases in your face as your skin moves, making any fine lines or wrinkles so much more visible.

Instead, go for a light liquid foundation, or a cream foundation.

Wondering what the main differences between the two are?

Well, a cream foundation is more opaque, meaning that it provides better coverage if you have age spots or broken capillaries. Using a cream foundation means that you will likely need to use less concealer on any of these blemishes.

Another bonus to using a cream foundation formula is that these will usually be more moisturizing, making them great for drier skin types.

On the other hand, a liquid foundation will tend to have a lighter texture, and, if you only have a few minor imperfections, a liquid foundation will likely do the job.

When it comes to actually applying your foundation…

Begin at the center of your face, and use a foundation brush to blend this outwards.

Wondering how to stop your foundation from settling into any lines or wrinkles?

This is often inevitable, no matter which foundation you choose. When this happens, all you need to do is blot the area with a Q-tip, before fixing it up with some powder.

Alternatively, if you are dealing with fine lines rather than deeper wrinkles, try pressing a finger gently against your skin, rocking it back and forth in a slight rolling motion. This will help to disperse the foundation that has settled into your lines.

Don’t like using foundation but still want a bit of coverage?

Try a CC cream instead. These are actually perfect for mature skin, because not only will they disguise any redness or imperfections, but they will also refine your skin’s texture.

Concealer

While some may strongly believe that a concealer should be applied before a foundation, it should really be the other way round.

Why?

Because your foundation will already cover up quite a few imperfections, so you will only need to use the concealer on areas that actually need the extra coverage

Want to know the best way to use a concealer to hide blemishes?

Simply dab a small amount onto your blemish, and then use the tip of a brush to blend this into your foundation, until you cannot see it any more.

In addition to using your concealer to cover up any blemishes, you can also apply it in a way that will help to give your face more of a lifted appearance.

How?

Use your concealer to draw a triangle on your cheek, with the base of the triangle underneath your eye, and the other two sides pointing down towards your cheek. Then, blend it in.

woman using concealer under her eyes

So, how do you actually go about choosing a concealer for mature skin?

Well, just like with your foundation, liquid or cream formulas are best. Liquid is usually preferred by those with mature skin, as its lightweight texture means that it is less likely to gather in wrinkles and creases during the day. If you opt for a cream, you may need to set it with a powder afterwards to ensure that it does not crease.

You will also likely need two different shades, one for underneath your eyes and one for your face.

Here are some tips on choosing the two shades:

  • For underneath the eyes, choose a concealer that is one or two shades lighter than your natural skin tone. However, do not go any lighter than this, otherwise you may end up with an obvious light circle around your eyes
  • For the face, your concealer needs to perfectly match the shade of your foundation

Blush

While a cream blush looks great on bare skin, a powder blush tends to be the better option if you are also wearing foundation. However, in order not to dry your skin out, you need to make sure that you opt for a powder that has a fine and light texture.

When it comes to color, do not be tempted by strong and harsh shades. As the face ages, it becomes more angular, and stronger shades of blush will only make this seem hollow.

Instead, go for a softer shade, such as apricot or rose, making sure that it complements your skin tone.

Woman applying makeup

When it comes to actually applying your blush…

Many tend to apply this on the apples of their cheeks, but this often only ends up drawing attention to sagging skin.

What should you do instead?

Apply your blush to the highest point of your cheekbones, using a large brush to lift this upwards, making sure that you do not apply any color too close to your nose.

Eyes

Did you know that your eyes change shape as you age?

Your eyelids become more hooded, while wrinkles around the eyes can also affect their shape.

So, what is the best way to deal with this when it comes to eye makeup?

A subtle wash of a light colored shadow is really all you need, with satin finishes in particular helping to brighten up the eyes. Matte and sparkly shadows do not work too well on mature eyes, as these tend to settle into the fine lines on eyelids, making them looked creased.

If you do decide to go for a shadow with some sparkle or shimmer for a special occasion, keep this away from the outer corners of your eyes, as it will only emphasize fine lines. Instead, keep the sparkle for your inner corners, the center of your eyelids, and your brow bones.

What about eye liner?

This is great to make your eyes really pop, but a liquid or gel formula can sometimes be too harsh on mature eyes, making an eye liner pencil your best option.

Do you find an eye liner pencil difficult to apply?

This is a common issue, but an easy solution is to just make sure that your eye liner pencil is soft, so that the color comes out smoothly and easily.

When applying your eye liner…

Make sure that you apply more to your top lash line than your bottom.

Why?

Because this helps to prevent your eye liner from dragging your eyes down. Eyeliner on your lower lash line will also make your eyes look much smaller, and will draw attention to any dark circles. Try to also ensure that the line you draw becomes thicker towards the outer edge, because this will give you a lift in an area where mature eyes tend to droop.

Do not forget about your eyebrows either…

Eyebrows naturally thin with age, and filling these in can really subtract decades from your appearance. Use either a light colored brow pencil or a shadow, as you want the color to look subtle and natural. Make sure that you blend this in well, following your eyebrow’s natural shape and ensuring that they do not look as though they have been drawn on. 

Just like with your eyebrows, your eyelashes will also naturally thin with age…

Mascara is great for this, but do not be afraid to experiment with individual false eyelashes, as these are perfect for filling in any gaps.

Giving your eyelashes a curl before applying your mascara can also make a huge difference, as this will instantly open up your eyes, making them appear bigger and brighter.

When applying mascara to mature eyes, you would be best off staying away from your lower lashes, and only applying it to your top lashes.

Why?

Because mascara on your lower lashes will only emphasize any dark circles or crow’s feet, whereas a deep, black mascara on your top lashes only will make your eyes look brighter and whiter.

Lips

Your lips will change quite a bit as you age, becoming much thinner, with wrinkles appearing around them. 

This means that you will want to use makeup in a way that plumps your lips out, so that they appear fuller and smoother.

How can you do this?

With a sheer, moisturizing lipstick. Neutral shades are usually best, as you want to enhance the shape and color of your lips without drawing too much attention to them. The most flattering shades for mature lips tend to be a color that is only slightly darker than your natural lip color.

senior woman applying lipstick

Try to avoid dark or bright lipsticks, as well as those with a satin finish.

Why?

Because these often only end up drawing attention to thinner lips, as well as to fine lines.

Don’t forget about lip liner either…

This can be used to give your lips a slight boost in volume, while also preventing your lipstick from bleeding into any wrinkles or lines. All you need to do is trace the lip liner around the outside of your lips, so that you have slightly over-lined them. However, make sure that the shade of lip liner you choose matches the shade of lipstick that you are going to be wearing with it, and try not to be too heavy-handed when applying the lip liner

Wondering whether or not you should be wearing lip gloss?

The answer is no. While there is no denying that lip gloss can really help to plump up your lips, it will also highlight every single fine line that is on your lips, so is best avoided.

In order to really look your best as you age, your makeup needs to evolve in the same way that your face and features do. From your eyes to your lips, make sure that you are constantly assessing each individual feature, so that you can determine exactly what they need in order to really shine.

Woman applying lipstick.

Anti-aging Makeup: How Resveratrol is Making its Way Into Cosmetics

We love resveratrol, and we have been big fans of this potent antioxidant for some time. The benefits that resveratrol provides are so incredible and so varied. From anti-aging to fighting cancer, resveratrol truly is a superior antioxidant. Quality skin care lines have been incorporating resveratrol into their products for some time, and now it seems that the entire beauty industry is taking note.

Resveratrol and Aging
Resveratrol is a chemical produced by various plants in order to fight off attackers or to withstand a lack of water or essential nutrients. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that protects your cells against free radical damage. Free radicals are created by exposure to oxygen and sunlight, and they damage collagen and other active enzymes necessary for healthy, youthful looking skin. The subject of much scientific study, how resveratrol works is just now being understood. It is thought that resveratrol works not only by eradicating existing free radicals, but also prevents new free radicals from forming. Applied topically, resveratrol has also been shown to inhibit UVB oxidative stress and to prevent UVA damage.

Resveratrol Beauty Products
While skin care is currently the biggest source of resveratrol products in the industry, makeup companies are beginning to follow suit. BITE beauty, founded in 2011 is one brand that has started incorporating the power of resveratrol into their cosmetics. BITE was conceived when founder Susanne Langmuir developed sensitivities to non-natural beauty ingredients and fragrance chemicals. The idea behind the BITE brand was, “you eat what you put on your lips, so your lipstick should be good for you.” The result was a collection of moisture-rich and creamy lip products that were made using antioxidant ingredients which are actually good enough to eat.

The BITE Luminous Creme Lipstick, is a long-lasting, moisturizing lipstick made from 95% natural contents. One of these natural antioxidant ingredients is resveratrol. The concentration of resveratrol in each lipstick is equal to anywhere from five to 10 glasses of wine. BITE Luminous Creme is available in 24 shades, so you’ll certainly be able to find one that suits you and that protects your lips against early aging.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of skincare and makeup products that contain resveratrol is the level of resveratrol you receive. As we noted, one BITE Luminous Creme Lipstick contains concentrations equal to five to 10 glasses of red wine. While you can certainly receive the benefits of red wine by ingesting it, the concentration of resveratrol is significantly higher in products designed for topical use as opposed to drinking wine. Consuming resveratrol does not provide as much of the antioxidant than topical skincare and cosmetic items containing this skin-saving ingredient. A great beauty routine starts with excellent skincare, but using makeup that contains resveratrol is a great way to increase your defenses against aging and environmental damage.

Nutrient supplements

Judging Vitamin A Supplements: Which are the Best?

Vitamin A is absolutely critical for proper body functioning. This vitamin works in many areas of your body from your eyes and skin to your bones and reproductive system. Dietary sources of vitamin A are plentiful, particularly among fruits and vegetables like carrots, kale, spinach and sweet potatoes. If you are worried about a deficiency in vitamin A, talk to your doctor about vitamin A supplements.

Why Take Vitamin A Supplements?
Vitamin A is essentially a blanket term used to describe retinoids. Retinoids are biologically active complexes found in both plants and animals. Vitamin A is essential for your body as it assists with numerous aspects of your overall health. Perhaps most famously, vitamin A is vital to your eye health. Remember the whole carrots are good for you saying? While it’s not entirely true, it’s also not entirely false. The beta-carotene in carrots converts to vitamin A in your body, and benefits your eyes by helping you distinguish colors, protecting the cornea (outer surface of the eye) and preventing vision loss. Additionally, vitamin A has been shown to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, though more study is needed.

It isn’t just your eyes that benefit when you are receiving proper vitamin A levels. Vitamin A is also essential for bone growth, reproduction and your immune system health. You may be familiar with vitamin A as retinol, one of the greatest skin care ingredients you can use. Vitamin A repels bacteria, making it an excellent anti-acne treatment, and helps to turn over newer, healthier skin cells.

How Much Vitamin A do you Need?
The amount of vitamin A, like all vitamins, depends upon several factors including your age and gender. In general, the following are the recommended daily intake of vitamin A:

  • Men – 3,000 IU (900 micrograms)
  • Women – 2,300 IU (700 micrograms)
  • Pregnant Women – 2,600 IU (770 micrograms)
  • Lactating Women – 4,300 IU (1,300 micrograms)

Because vitamin A can interact with other things and because taking too much causes adverse health reactions, it is highly recommended that you consult with your doctor to learn the appropriate daily intake for you.

Which Vitamin A Supplements are the Best?

  • NOW Foods Vitamin A from Fish Liver Oil – These are a highly rated supplement with satisfied customers raving about improved vision and skin.
  • NOW Foods Beta-Carotene – This supplement is produced from carotenoids that occur naturally in D. salina sea algae.
  • Nature Made Vitamin A – The Nature Made Vitamin A supplements take their primary source of vitamin A from sardine liver oil.
  • Source Naturals Vitamin A – These tablet use palmitate and are suitable for vegetarians.
  • Solgar Dry Vitamin A – Derived from deep-sea, cold-water fish these softgels have been molecularly distilled to remove any contaminants.

Warnings About Vitamin A Supplements
It is definitely true that vitamin A is crucial for your body, but there are some caveats when taking vitamin A. The U.S. National Library of Medicine states vitamin A may be unsafe when taken orally in high doses. Long-term use of large amounts of vitamin A might also cause serious side effects such as irritability, fatigue, anorexia, mental changes, nausea, stomach discomfort, vomiting, excessive sweating, mild fever, and more.

Experts recommend trying to get your daily intake of vitamin A from dietary sources and to use supplements as needed. Because there are potential interactions with medications or other herbs and supplements, it is advised to check with your doctor before beginning a vitamin A supplement regimen. Specifically related to beta-carotene, smokers are advised against using the supplement as it can increase the risk of lung cancer, though more research is required. Use of vitamin A supplements can be a great way to make sure you aren’t deficient in vitamin A, but be sure to consult with a healthcare professional so you take vitamin A supplements safely.

Child eating a carrot

Live Well: Can Vitamin A Improve Your Eyesight?

When you parents told you to eat your carrots because “they’re good for your eyes,” they weren’t just trying to get you to eat more vegetables. Carrots by themselves certainly are not solely responsible for your eyesight, but the vitamin A that is contained in carrots is definitely an important factor in your overall eye health.

What is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds and these compounds are responsible for the maintenance or regulation of a variety of functions in your body. There are two types of dietary vitamin A: preformed vitamin A and pro-vitamin A. Preformed vitamin A is prevalent in meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. Pro-vitamin A is found in plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables. The most common form of pro-vitamin A found in plant-based sources is beta-carotene.

Vitamin A and Eyesight
Vitamin A does promote good visions and it is especially important for your ability to see in the dark or areas that are not well lit. This fat-soluble vitamin is also important because it aids your eyes in distinguishing colors. Another reason vitamin A is so essential for eyesight is that this vitamin protects your cornea, the surface of your eye. The mucous membrane that covers your eyes is responsible for acting as a barrier to keep viruses and bacteria your eyes, preventing infection. Vitamin A is so crucial to your eyesight that frequently the earliest and most common signs of a vitamin A deficiency are night blindness and/or vision loss.

Vitamin A and Overall Eye Health
In addition to improving and protecting your eyesight, there are multiple other eye disorders and conditions that vitamin A helps combat. Dry eye syndrome is uncomfortable, but highly treatable with eye drops. Vitamin A can fight some types of eye inflammation and the use of vitamin A eye drops can help cure dry eye syndrome. One study found that using over-the-counter lubricating eye drops with vitamin A was every bit as effective as using a more expensive prescription eye drop treatment for dry eye.

A study sponsored by the National Eye Institute suggests that vitamin A in conjunction with other antioxidants may play a role in decreasing your risk of macular degeneration, a condition that results in vision loss. Macular degeneration affects 10 million Americans, more than glaucoma and cataracts combined. The study focused on age-related macular degeneration and it indicated a 25% reduction in the risk of age-related macular degeneration over a six-year period.

Vitamin A not only improves vision, it also prevents the risk of vision loss and increases your overall eye health. The best way to get some added vitamin A is to increase your consumption of foods that are rich in vitamin A. Dietary sources of vitamin A include carrots, beef liver, kale, spinach and sweet potatoes. Vitamin A supplements are also an option for increasing your vitamin A intake and your parents were right….carrots are good for your eyes.

Healthy colorful salad

Eat Well: Recipes High in Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential in order for your body to function healthily. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements says, “[v]itamin A is important for normal vision, the immune system and reproduction. Vitamin A also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs work properly.” One of the other organs that vitamin A benefits is the largest organ of your body, the skin. Vitamin A is excellent for helping to treat acne and aging and it was the first retinoid to be approved by the FDA to effectively treat wrinkles. While vitamin A may help skin a bit more when applied topically, having some in your body certainly helps your skin and it provides essential functions for other areas of your body. Here are our three favorite fall recipes that are high in vitamin A.

Seared Sesame Tuna

Seared Sesame Tuna
Tuna is a good source of vitamin A. In a one ounce serving of tuna, you receive around 15% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A. This recipe calls for 6 oz tuna steaks, meaning that your seared sesame tuna accounts for over half of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tuna steaks (6 oz)
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (a sweet Japanese wine)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup black sesame seeds

Grab a small bowl and add soy sauce, sesame oil, raw honey and mirin together and divide into two equal parts. Pour one part into another bowl. Stir in rice wine vinegar and set aside. Spread black sesame seeds out on a plate. Brush soy sauce mixture onto the tuna steaks and press lightly into the sesame seeds. In a pan, heat olive oil on high heat. When very hot, place tuna steaks in the pan and sear each side for about 30 seconds (or longer depending on how you prefer your tuna cooked). Remove from pan and serve with the dipping sauce you set aside.

Roast Veggies

Harvest Vegetable Bake
This comforting dish combines three amazing sources of vitamin A. Just a one-cup serving of kale provides you with 354% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A. This recipe also calls for red bell peppers, sweet potatoes and squash which are all great dietary sources of vitamin A.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes diced
  • 2 red bell peppers diced
  • 1 small acorn squash diced
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 4 sprigs fresh sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add olive oil and butter to a pan over medium heat. Allow butter to melt, then add the sweet potatoes, bell peppers, squash and shallot. Season with garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. When sweet potatoes are tender, stir in the chopped kale and sage. Continue to cook over medium heat for five more minutes, until kale is wilted.

Dried Apricot Jam

Dried Apricot Jam
Dried apricots can be enjoyed on their own, but for a bit of variety mix up this tasty jam that a perfect addition to your morning oatmeal of slice of toast. A half-cup serving of dried apricots contains 151% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin A.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ cups dried apricots
  • 4 ½ cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup stevia powder (or less depending on how sweet you want your jam)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 1.75 oz package powdered fruit pectin

Bring water to a boil and add dried apricots. Cook for 30 minutes, or until apricots are hydrated. Take the apricots and water and place in a food processor with vanilla bean paste. Working in small batches, blend until well combined but still slightly chunky. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the processed apricot mixture with pectin and cook just until boiling. Add stevia powder and lemon juice and boil until dissolved, about one to two minutes.

In a stock pot, sterilize jars and lids for canning for five minutes. Pack apricot jam into jars, leaving about ¼ inch of room at the top. Once jars are filled, run a butter knife along the inside to get rid of any air bubbles and remove any jam residue from the rims of the jars. Add lids and screw on rings. Place a rack in the bottom of the stock pot and fill about halfway with water. Bring water to a boil, then using a holder, place full jars on the rack. Leave space between each jar and if necessary pour more water into the stock pot, enough so that there is about one inch of water on top of the jars. Bring the water to a roaring boil, cover the pot and allow 10 minutes to process. Remove jars from the stock pot and allow to fully cool, about one hour. When cool, press the top of each lid down to ensure it is airtight for storage.

Carrots, bell peppers, squash, kale and other dark, leafy greens and tuna are all excellent sources of dietary vitamin A. You can whip up a simple kale salad for lunch and add some chopped bell peppers, carrots and sliced tuna on top. Eating for your body doesn’t have to be boring or difficult, these three fall recipes that are full of vitamin A are simple, delicious and nutritious.