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I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. It’s a really bad idea for someone with my brain. Nevertheless, the beginning of the year is always a good time for me to take stock and get stuff done. While December is always the absolute craziest time of year for me, January and February are always the slowest.
A couple of weeks ago I attended an event at the Citizen Watch flagship store in Times Square to learn some quick tips to make a better me. I knew nothing about Citizen watches before I walked into the store. In my mind I had lumped them together with those super expensive watches that I would simply never spend money on – pretty, but out of reach.
What I found in the store, however, was a huge range of watches for just about every budget, from about $200-$5,000. Now, I’m never going to spend $5,000 on a watch, unless I win the lottery. So, I’m never going to spend $5,000 on a watch. But I found three watches that I fell in love with, and they were all in the $200-$300 range – totally affordable for me. Changed my whole perception of how much money it takes to wear a classy, stylish watch.
The reason I trekked out to Times Square was not just to look at watches, though. The idea behind the event was that improving yourself doesn’t have to take a ton of time. You don’t need huge changes to make an impact, you can just do some quick, simple things every day and make a difference.
This has always been a tough concept for my brain to wrap itself around. I always trick myself into believing that if I don’t make huge, sweeping changes I shouldn’t bother doing anything, and the results of that kind of thinking are apparent in my house, my wardrobe, my life in general. So I have been trying to make smaller, more consistent changes lately. The tips that I learned at this event fit right in to the trend I’m trying to keep up in my daily life.
10 Minutes A Day To A Powerful Core
We started out by getting some workout tips from celebrity trainer Scott Hamilton (no, not the skater!). I’ll just let you see the whole video because he had some good exercises that you could do in a hotel room or your living room without any special equipment. I’ve been doing a plank a day for a couple of months now (I’m up to 90 seconds!!), but I could definitely use more help with my core, and this workout is quick and doable.
5 Minutes A Day To Drop-Dead Gorgeous Eyes
Next we saw a presentation from make-up artist and lash specialist Christian Zamora, whose work has appeared in Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily. And, if you’re in the NYC area, he’s also available for make-up lessons and consultations.
He stressed that you really just need to focus on a few simple things to make your eyes look gorgeous.
Lids: Start with a lighter shadow color and press it into your lids. Using a contour brush (a soft round brush that’s pointier in the middle) sweep a darker color onto the crease in your lids. Then, go over that darker color with the lighter one to soften and blend it.
Brows: Using a brow pencil the same color or slightly lighter than your brows, use short strokes to fill in between the hairs to make your brows look more lush and full.
Eyeliner: Starting from the outside of the upper lid, use short strokes to make a soft line, then smudge it gently with a brush. Line the lower lid just inside the eye, on the water line.
Lashes: Always finish your look with either mascara or lash extensions.
I cornered Christian after his presentation and told him my main make-up problem: When I try to dress like a grown-up and put on make-up, I just don’t look like myself and I feel ridiculous. He recommended that I don’t wear eye shadow if I don’t feel comfortable in it, because when women overdo it on make-up it’s usually eye shadow. Good advice. I feel like he gave me permission to leave my lids bare (except for liner), although I’m also going to try his method for applying shadow, which was much more of a make-under than I’m used to seeing from make-up artists.
1 Minute A Day To Tie The Perfect Scarf
Lynn Roberts of Echo showed us several different ways to tie a scarf. Her grandparents started Echo in 1923, and it was apparent that she really loves the family business. She demonstrated how quick and easy it is to brighten up a plain outfit.
I checked out the Echo website, and they have some really beautiful pieces – not just scarves, but also bags, gloves, swimsuits, ponchos, and more.
The Art Of The 5 Minute Snack
Carol Rubin, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, shared several products with us that she says make quick, healthy snacks. We didn’t get to taste any of them, so I can’t say one way or another whether or not they taste good – it all starts with the taste for me – but they look interesting.
Qi’a Gluten Free Oatmeal – I love oatmeal, and this version has some extra stuff in it to make it extra healthy.
Aloha drink mixes – These powder mixes contain two servings of fruits and vegetables per pouch, and can be mixed with smoothies, juice, or water for a nutritious drink. I’m not a big drink mix or smoothie person, so I’m not the best person to judge this one. But the reaction in the room was very positive.
Trader Joe’s Omega Trek Mix – I can’t with the dried fruit, but all of the people around me were drooling over this one.
Kind Healthy Grains Bars and Clusters – These look amazingly tasty, and they’re from the same people who make those yummy candy bars. I’ve already ordered a variety pack from Amazon, which includes the dark chocolate and peanut butter dark chocolate varieties. I’ll give the pumpkin seed ones to my husband. ;-) [Update: These are AMAZING!! Both of the dark chocolate varieties are incredibly tasty. My husband hasn’t tried the pumpkin ones yet.]
Mary’s Gone Crackers Everything Pretzels – I love everything bagels, I love pretzels. So I decided to give these a try too. I’ll let you know how they taste! [Update: these were not for me. I thought they tasted like burned cardboard. Disappointed!]
An Elegant Accessory With No Batteries Or Winding
Ellen Seckler, Citizen’s VP of Marketing, showed us some gorgeous Citizen watches, all powered by Citizen’s Eco Drive system. These watches never need winding or a battery. They’re powered by any type of light – sun, artificial, whatever. And once your watch is charged, it will stay charged for six months – even if you throw it in a dark drawer!
This is really cool, because I own about a dozen watches and never wear any of them – their batteries are all dead. And whenever I’m near a place that changes watch batteries, I don’t have the watches with me. If a watch is running, I’ll actually wear it.
We saw the new Sunrise series of watches, each featuring a mother-of-pearl face with a swirling sunrise pattern, some with diamonds, some without. The stainless steel with diamonds was my favorite – very much my style. (In the big picture up there, that’s a Sunrise watch that Ellen is pointing to.)
We also saw the new World Time A-T, which synchronizes with the Atomic Clock and keeps time in 26 time zones – the cities are written around the circumference of the dial, so you just turn it to the city you’re in for the right time! There’s even a second mini watch face within the larger watch face that keeps time concurrently for a second time zone – if you’re in Italy, you can easily see what time it is back in NYC. What an amazing gift for frequent travelers.
I was given one of the Sunrise watches to keep, and it been a pleasure to wear it. I don’t put it on when I’m wearing sweats (so, never when I’m home alone), but it gives pretty much any other outfit an instant boost. Not to mention, I don’t have to pull out my cell phone to know what time it is! What a novel concept in 2015.