5 Things That are Drying Out Your Skin

Shocker for you all – it’s freezing in New York again. With the weather going wacky, it’s important you take care of your skin so you can at lease look and feel like it’s about to be spring. We wanted to share one of our favorite posts from one of our favorite bloggers, Nichole at Vanilla Extract, and her tips on keeping your skin soft and snow-bunny like during chilly days.

5 Things That Are Drying Out Your Skin (& How to Avoid Them!)

I love winter and all, but it seriously wreaks havoc on my skin. There’s nothing sexy about dry flakes and when you have ‘em, makeup application is the most frustrating process in all of the land. To avoid dry skin depression (trust me, it’s real), I like to eliminate all of the pesky little things that sap moisture. Here’s to kicking parched, flaky, and itchy skin in the butt!

1. Spending time in heated air.

Dry outside air + dry indoor heat = dry skin overload. B and I have a humidifer next to our bed that we keep on while we sleep. It pumps hydrated air back into our room to keep our skin and sinuses moist. (If you ever get a bloody nose in the winter time, this will help!) We love the Crane Drop Humidifier because it’s quiet and low maintenance. Just make sure to crack a door if it’s in a small room so you don’t get any condensation on the walls.

2. Taking long, hot showers.

Long, hot showers strip the skin from protective oils that it naturally produces. When those oils are gone, water from the skin also escapes. It’s best to shower in warm water, wash with a rich body wash, and limit your overall shower time. Make sure to smooth on body lotion within three minutes of getting out of the shower for best results.

3. Skimping on the sunscreen.

UV rays can prevent skin from holding onto moisture even in the winter, and although it may be cold out, you’re not shielded from sun damage. Use a sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, two ingredients that literally block UVA and UVB rays. Vive Sana’s Solar to Polar Ultra is an all-natural, deeply moisturizing favorite.

4. Wearing itchy fabrics.

Tis the season of bundling up! I love wool sweaters, but they have a way of drying out and irritating your skin. Wear a long sleeve cotton shirt (Alexander Wang and James Perse make the best, but Forever 21 also has good contenders!) underneath your scratchy fabrics. It’s way more comfortable and non-irritating.

5. Wearing a matte or long-lasting lipstick.

Long-lasting lipstick may have one serious perk, but a lot of them contain alcohol, which can leave your lips dry, chapped, and cracked. If you want to be smooched under the mistletoe this season, try an all-natural lip balm like Burt’s Bees. They also have tinted lip shimmers, which I love!

You can follow Nichole at Vanilla Extract on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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Saying, “I Don’t Know”

It’s one of the hardest things for a PR girl to say. We’re so obsessed with being on top of everything all the time that when where confronted by a question we’re unsure of by either a client, co-worker or media outlet, it’s difficult to say the words, “I don’t know”.

I Don't Know

A common mistake we make in this industry, and life in general, is making guesses. This problem is particularly common on job interviews and with interns and co-workers in entry level positions. We don’t want to say we’re unsure of something because we don’t want others to think we don’t know what we’re talking about. The problem is that most of the time we end up giving the wrong information. Starting a sentence with, “I think it is…,” usually has a high chance of being inaccurate. Giving the wrong information to media outlets in particular could ruin your credibility and ultimately be detrimental to your career .

The reality is that we’re all juggling multiple clients, managing our peers, creating press materials and speaking to hundreds of media outlets every week. We’re not expected to know every single details of everything all the time. When asked a question in which you’re unsure of the answer simply state, “I’m not sure, let me get back to you on that,” and follow-up with the correct answers. This is much better than taking a risk and giving the wrong answer that ends up ruining your credibility. Seems like common sense, right? Even I’m guilty of taking guesses not only at my job, but also in my personal life.

The next time you’re asked a question with an answer you’re unsure of, feel confident stating that you don’t know and will get back to the person. State that you don’t want to give false information and will double check on the answer. Remember that this doesn’t necessarily make you look bad – instead you come off as a person that wants to give the most accurate information.

What are your feelings about saying, “I don’t know”?

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Are You Ready to Move to the Big City?


That’s it – the city is calling your name. Maybe you’re about to graduate in May, or you’ve been living in your hometown for sometime and you need a change. Maybe you just woke up this morning and decided you’d like to live in a place where you can get Chinese food at 2am and meet interesting people on a public-transportation-dependent commute to work. Congratulations, you’ve been bitten by the urban living bug (not talking about a cockroach, but we’ll discuss that later).

Before you pack your bags and move to your new city dwelling, whether it be New York City or Denver, there are a few things to make sure you’ve got a handle on, or at the very least understand come with the territory of living in the urban jungle. Below is a quick checklist before you make the big move. If you’re not quite aligned with the below yet, print this out and tack it to your fridge. Brainstorm ways you can get yourself to your dream destination over the next few months, whether you need to save up some dough or come to terms with giving up your dream of a big dog and a big backyard.

  • Understand you’ll be paying more in rent than most people pay in their monthly mortgage payments (when my mother still reminds me of this fact, I die a little inside). Put aside 1/3 of your total pay for rent
  • Be prepared to make compromises – it may be finding a roommate or giving up cable TV so you can cut costs of living
  • You need to either work with a broker, or put in some serious time searching for apartments yourself
  • Your dream couch may not fit in your starter apartment. Your bed might not fit into your starter apartment. Your collection of One Direction posters shouldn’t fit in your starter apartment. You need to buy new furniture
  • If you haven’t before, you’ll be cooking for yourself now. May be good to experiment with a few recipes and take-along meals for work if you haven’t already so you’re not spending your paycheck on Seamless Web once you move in
  • You’ll need to navigate public transit. Cabs are expensive in any city. New York is lucky to have a pretty comprehensive system. Though during the winter it’s annoying, walking to and from the subway is great exercise
  • While dorm life is fun since everyone is at the same stage of life, apartment life is a bit different. You’ll hear what other people are doing around you, and it will get annoying. Your 21 year old neighbor may have just discovered old school ska music. Your 50 year old neighbor may have a thing for DIY projects at 3am. Your 80 year old neighbor may have a thing for inappropriately loud soap operas at 5am in the morning. Be prepared with ear plugs and a polite demeanor to ask for quiet at reasonable times
  • You’ll also need to be respectful. If you have a quiet family living downstairs, you’ll need to try to avoid stomping around in heels or yelling on your phone in the hallway
  • Do you have a family to support you back home? Even if you’re moving to a city where you know no one, having a “homebase” is key. You’ll need to call someone in tears when you find your first cockroach curled up behind your malfunctioning Time Warner Cable box
  • You’re about to embark on one of the most exciting times of your life. Are you really ready? If you have some unfinished business, whether it’s relationships, work, network – make sure all loose ends are tied. This doesn’t mean cut ties necessarily, but bring those experiences and relationships with you that benefit you the most. They brought you to where you are today – a newly minted city girl

PR Girl PRowess: Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot

It’s been getting progressively busier each week which can lead to burn out, frustration, and an eagerness to get everything done and checked off the list. When you’re working your hardest, these negative feelings and urgency may trick you into thinking it’s “pushing you” to do better, but really it’s tiring you out and clouding your gut instincts. This is usually when we get tired, make mistakes, and are unclear how to handle hard choices that would have been handled in a snap in less stressful times.

Don’t worry girls, you got this. Below are a few reminders to get your questioning mind out of your way and get shi* done the smart way.

strong armed

You’re stronger than you think. Time to get out of your own way

When you haven’t heard back from that interview you had – Avoid the urge to continuously follow up. After you’ve sent your thank you notes, give it about 10 days until you follow up again with a quick call or another quick note to one or two of your contacts you met with. If you do need to follow up again, it’s best to just do so with the person who gave you a deadline of a decision, rather than the entire team. Sending more emails, references, or a new portfolio when they are not asked for will seem desperate. And begging for the job is desperate. If they are slow to respond, chances are it wasn’t a fit. And that just means the company wasn’t right for you either! Time to move on.

When a client refuses to answer your calls – Don’t go into a worst-case scenario spiral. Send one quick note to the client offline, letting them know you’ve tried them a couple times and were hoping to catch up for just a few minutes today. If still nothing, leave a voice mail at the end of the day. Chances are they had a crazy day themselves and will catch up with you overnight via email.

When you get a job offer from a so-so agency – You’re desperate to get out of your crazy-house of a job and find something new. You haven’t secured anything you love, but an agency with an “okay” reputation gave you an offer. Refuse to settle. The only thing worse than working in a job you hate is leaving that job and going to another office that doesn’t fit you or your career goals. You need the best environment for your best career. Wait it out.

When deadlines are making you their b*tch – Raise that red flag. I used to HATE telling my managers what was on my plate for the day (what are you, my babysitter?), but really it helps to get your schedule moved and adjusted for you. Your managers can also help you delegate work you weren’t sure you could move. Swallow your pride, talk to your supervisor and then you gotta get to werkkk. Shut off social media, gchat – everything. Keep on music only if it helps you focus.

Now break the rules and have a cocktail on a Tuesday. You deserve it.

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