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How to Turn your Tax Refund into Better Health

The IRS says that the average tax refund is around $3,000 so how are you spending all that cash? Here are six smart and healthy ways to spend that tax return on your mind and body.

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Tax Season is here and so are the headaches that that entails. If you planned everything out just right, you should be getting back some nice change from the U.S. government. What to do with such a nice cash windfall is the real question? Are you going to throw it away on something frivolous or spend it on something that benefits your health? I hope it’s on the latter.

The IRS says that the average tax refund is around $3,000 so how are you spending all that cash? Here are six smart and healthy ways to spend that tax return on your mind and body.

 

Join a gym

This is a simple and obvious way to spend the cash. Gym memberships can be pricey especially if it has al the bells and whistles. Why not join a huge gym chain and have tons of options across the globe to workout? No real excuse, so let’s get that butt in gear and join a gym. Figure out what you want in a gym, do your research and pick the right one. Take the leftover tax return and buy yourself some snappy new workout clothing so you can really stun at your new gym.

Buy new workout gear

Maybe you already belong to a gym, great, so let’s gear you up to stunt like a baller at the gym.   New running shoes, yoga pants, sweat shirts and of course new socks, all for your sporty fashion. It’s time to ditch those old stinky gym shoes and buy you some fresh gear.

 

Better meal prep

Meal prep can be so beneficial to your diet but can really be a drag, so why not pay someone else to do it. Instead of standing n your kitchen for an hour or so on a Sunday night, try a service like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh or Plated. These services will deliver fresh food to your door and all you have to do is cook it. Sounds simple enough so let’s try it. You can get deals for 3 meals a week for under $60 pretty regularly. Convenience is worth the price when it saves you time. As we all know, time is the only thing you can’t get more of.

 

New fitness equipment

Build up your home gym with some new fitness equipment. Tired of heading to the gym to run on a treadmill? Simple, buy yourself one for home and run in the convenience of your own home. You can get some free weights or maybe those trendy fitness bands. A home gym is a great investment, because you are investing in your own health.

 

Better juicer/blender

Upgrade your juicer or blender so you can eat and drink healthy all the time. Maybe you don’t even own your own juicer, what is going on in our world? Get that juice flowing and your health improving in no time.

 

Find your inner peace

Can someone say spa day?!? Treat yourself, you obviously deserve it and that tax return is your money anyway. A spa day or massage can really do wonders for your overall health. Relaxation is important to recovery and strengthening your mental health.

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Beauty

Beauty Brands are Now Turning Focus on the Home

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Work-from-home (WFH) arrangements and stay-at-home routines are now preventing many from using their makeup collections. These days, most do not have the opportunity—and need—to wear those red lipsticks or smoky eyeshadows that used to drive women in droves to boutiques, salons, and other beauty stores. In fact, many beauty brands have been experiencing a drastic decrease in sales due, especially, to the prolonged onslaught of the epidemic.

Just last week, Ulta Beauty Inc. reported an 8.9% decline in sales during this last quarter. For the upper echelons of beauty brands and products, the NPD Group reports an unfortunate drop of 17% in sales during this year’s third quarter as compared to that of the same period last year.

Nevertheless, the waning of foot traffic and walk-in clients are only some of the reasons why many beauty brands are experiencing massive setbacks. Experts believe that the reasons are more intricate and convoluted that these mere numbers stipulate. Fortunately, these beauty brands including their retailers and resellers understand the root of the problem.

While it is understandable that most people have no reasons to purchase these beauty brands during this time—due, of course, to the lack of opportunities to dress up during this pandemic—many of these beauty brands draw a bulk of their sales from having prospective clients try on their lipsticks, eyeshadows, pencils, liquids, and creams.

Because of the necessity of heeding the anti-COVID-19 protocols, however, many customers are not provided with this age-old activity. So, the less opportunity to check out this makeup implements in person, the less sales are made.

As it happens, several beauty brands like Sephora and Ulta were forced to label their testers as “For Display Only.” This means, then, that customers are hindered from outrightly experiencing these products first-hand, which causes a huge fall in potential sales. Key selling strategies like open conversation between salesperson and client, for instance, have been made limited as well. To that effect, many of the beauty meccas have become ghost towns since the onset of the pandemic.

However, there is hope for these beauty brands—they can cater to stay-at-home individuals, increasing their products for people who are forced to work from home. Because, beauty and self-care are not only needed outside of the home. It is essential for people to maintain a sliver of their beauty regimen even as they are driven to remain within the enclosures of their houses.

Nail care products saw a 13% increase in sales as compared to last year’s third quarter. Body exfoliating products witnessed a 48% climb as well. Hair colors, masks, and other treatments also saw a 48% sales increase.

There is still hope for these beauty brands, then, if they turn their focus on products that can be utilized within the safety of the home. In truth, these cosmetics can even provide psychological and mental health improvement especially for those who are used to being in beauty salons regularly. These do-it-yourself beauty treatments can help.  

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Beauty

A Guide to Better Scalp Care

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It is frequently easy to disregard the things that we cannot see. With scalp care, for instance, most people simply adopt the habit of shampooing their hair regularly. Some wash their scalps—and hair—daily while others prefer to do so every other day. Depending on your preference, you might even do the washing only once a week.

Nevertheless, beauty experts assert that it is essential to have a better scalp care routine. The scalp is a literal extension of your face and disregarding its condition can easily lead to several conditions including itching, dryness, and irritation—and dandruff. A dirty, uncared-for scalp can potentially become a breeding ground for unwanted parasites like lice, or even cause unnecessary hair loss.

But what does the scalp do for us and why do we need to take better care of it?

The scalp is not different from the skin in the body. Although it grows thicker and longer hair than all the other parts of the body, it is anatomically the same as all the other areas in the human body. The scalp, however, has more oil glands, 100,000 hair follicles, and five levels—or layers—of tissue.

The scalp’s sebaceous glands produce sebum or oil which, then, helps determine the condition of the hair and the scalp’s skin. The specific production of sebum is different from individual to individual. The scalp does not simply provide us with hair. It also protects our skull from infection and trauma. Regular scalp care, then, is important as this promotes both the healthy hair growth and scalp protection.

When questioned about the best scalp care routine, Michelle Henry, a dermatologist, says that a healthy scalp must not have any problems. “We shouldn’t see redness, we shouldn’t see irritation, and we shouldn’t see a lot of scales or buildup. It should not feel tender and it should not have an odor,” she shares. Henry adds that it is always best to consult a dermatologist if you experience any of these scalp conditions.

Scalp care is similar to the overall skin care regimen. The scalp must always be clean, replete of dirt, debris, and oil. Nonetheless, it is also essential to let it stay hydrated. Like with skin hydration, hydrating your scalp must be dependent on the type of scalp you have. For instance, if you have dry scalp, it is recommended that you avoid over-stripping it with scrubbing.

Shampoos and hair conditioners are dependent on the type of scalp you have. If you have an oily scalp, you can use sulfate-free shampoos. You can even purchase a shampoo that exfoliates your scalp. One with sea salt can work wonders. Those with dry scalps, however, must use a scalp toner which helps moisturize the scalp. A moisturizing shampoo and conditioner can also help.

Scalp care is as important as overall skin care. Longer and thicker hair can be achieved when the scalp is allowed to remain healthy, clean, and moisturized. Depending on the type of scalp you have, however, you should only choose products that are entirely right for you.

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Beauty

Masks Take the Fashion Industry by Storm

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Masks are now taking the fashion industry by storm. Instead of the normal-looking masks of old, more and more people are now donning various styles. Aside from the light blue surgical masks and white N95 masks typically worn by doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners, many people are now wearing masks with different styles and colors. In a sense, these masks are now fashion statements, permitting the wearers to showcase their tastes, personalities, and even identities.

Before, disposable light blue surgical masks were the regular ones worn by health workers especially when on duty in various clinics and hospitals all around the world. Now, these masks have been replaced by homemade and store-bought alternatives. Due to the earlier scarcity of surgical and medical-grade masks earlier this year, people were forced to make masks at home. Different text guides and video tutorials even gradually appeared online, instructing viewers on how to sew their own. By using different materials including used cotton-based clothing and other breathable implements, many were encouraged to create their versions of the anti-COVID-19 shield.

A recent survey done by Statistics Indonesia (BPS) involving more than 90,000 respondents showed that 92% prefer wearing masks when in public places. The said survey also quantified that most respondents support the wearing of face masks over following the other mandated guidelines including frequent handwashing and social distancing. Thus, these significant results stipulate that face masks such as the light blue surgical masks, N95 masks, and alternative ones have now become essential, everyday accessories.

Subsequently, Musa Widyatmodjo, an Indonesian fashion designer, predicts that facial masks will be a far lengthier fashion trend. Although an effective vaccine against COVID-19 may be in sight, these masks will stay with us for longer than we think. Widyatmodjo supposes that fashion masks, if not light blue surgical masks or even N95 ones, will still be fashionable even when the present pandemic finally ends. He, then, thinks that this period can be a great opportunity for designers and artists to develop trendy masks innovations.

“In the past, we made face masks [without considering other features],” he says, as he relates the widespread availability of different mask designs in the market. He mentions that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can further capitalize on this current trend and hopefully find an excellent livelihood opportunity during this dragging pandemic. Widyatmodjo, however, stresses that there is a need to create safer and more durable face masks, noting the rapid spread of the infectious disease.

The production of these face guards, including light blue surgical masks and N95 ones, has aided various businesses as they strived to save themselves from the massive recession brought about by this deadly pandemic. At present, more and more designers are seen to be producing various face mask styles. Big designers are now selling stylish face masks, as well. A more diverse selection of face masks can be browsed online, although many purchase the good ole’ light blue surgical masks still.

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