Make-up and Money

Does wearing make-up mean more zeros on your paycheck?

Achieving a seamlessly blended smoky eye or perfectly fitting foundation can be tricky. If your coworker’s eye liner is more even than yours, does that mean they are getting paid more? As we continuously push for equal rights in the workplace, this tidbit seems overtly superficial. Let’s check out some facts…

First, we differentiate between attractiveness and grooming:

  • Attractiveness is boils down to how appealing or alluring an individual is.
  • Grooming relates specifically to how clean, well dressed, and “put together” an individual looks.

In 2016, a long term study was published that dug deeper in the pay differences between attractive vs. unattractive and well-groomed vs. not-so well-groomed individuals. Conducted by two sociologists, Jaclyn Wong of the University of Chicago and Andrew Penner of the University of California at Irvine, the study found that among 14,000 participants, attractive workers earn roughly 20% more than average looking workers. This is solely based on attractiveness. Let’s turn to the grooming differences.

If we think of the average woman’s grooming routine (hair styling, lipstick smearing, foundation dabbing, blush brushing, perfume spritzing, bra clipping, heel slipping, dress zipping, stocking pulling, etc.), there are more steps than the average man’s grooming routine (shower, maybe shave, tie shoes and maybe tie, button shirt, zip-up pants). Comparing the two morning routines, one looks much less labor intensive than the other.

In the end, is it all worth it for a woman to go the extra mile in polishing herself?

Well, if it’s money she’s after, the answer is apparently yes. Penner and Wong’s study showed that the “average-looking, well-groomed woman” earns around $6,000 more annually than the “average-looking, averagely groomed woman.” Nicely groomed men vs. not-so groomed men have little to no variation on their pay levels.

But what about other aspects associated with grooming?

In 2011, Procter & Gamble, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston University, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute funded a study that found women wearing make-up scored higher in other’s perceptions of thier competence and trustworthiness compared to women without make-up. Perception of professionalism seems to be impacted by make-up also. To quote a study in the London Times, “64 percent of directors said that women who wore make-up looked more professional.”

The truth is, trustworthiness, competence, and professionalism come in people of all styles.

While we all know that we shouldn’t judge a book by its’ cover, the truth is apparent once again; perception is reality.  Make-up or no make-up, a woman should have the right to express herself authentically without being deemed less competent or professional. That being said, we owe it to each other to check in with ourselves on what is driving our perceptions. Likewise, we owe it to ourselves to be prepared to rise above the perceptions of others that may be less than fair.

Be Kind Behind the Screen


What was the last human interaction you had that totally made your day?  It could be a simple passing smile, a stranger giving you a compliment, or the barista that made your coffee extra special that morning. How did it feel walking away from the situation? Pretty good, right?

Why are these situations considered exceptions instead of the norm?

To answer that, let’s look at how technology has changed the way we interact. The screens on our cell phones, computers and tablets, create a buffer to the real world.  We can say whatever we want to whoever we want with no immediate consequence.  Today, a few swift taps on a keyboard and click of a mouse, send our thoughts and emotions into cyberspace with the effort and care it takes to swat a fly.  Many times, these are unfiltered thoughts and visceral emotions that yield to sharp criticism of others or their opinions.

On the contrary, someone can give praise just as easily. Take Facebook’s “like” button for example. You have the power to approve of someone’s idea without even talking to the person. You can support someone’s opinion from the opposite side of the world with just a click of a button. Want to learn more about this mysterious entity? Send the person a message or an e-mail! Now you have an instant connection with someone you never would have before. This is a new power for people if you think about it. Let’s use it for good, not evil.

Is anyone coming to mind right now? What if you look at your own social media posts?  If you were in a room of strangers, would you be comfortable saying those things out loud or directly to one’s face? At the end of the day we know what Mom always said is true, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say (or type) anything at all.”

So, what was the last human interaction you had that totally made someone’s day?

Time to Recharge

baby with headphones

Productivity at work or in life is effected by many different factors. One of the subtler factors is your sleeping habits. Sometimes it’s harder to get the right amount of sleep. Luckily, they are many steps you can take to help yourself fix your problem.

  • Take a warm shower. According to Sara Schartz, a writer for, this could help you fall asleep faster. Studies show that “rapid temperature change will prepare you for sleep”. Not to mention that warm showers are a great way to relax your muscles after a long day.
  • Grease up! Oil is essential to getting massages in spa because its’ warmth helps you relax. When you’re getting ready for bed, use oil after a hot bath to moisturize and relax.  By warming it slightly and really massaging it in, you will help relax your muscles.
  • Don’t use your phone as an alarm. Phones are great for many reasons, however, they are not great to bring to bed with you. They will result in you being distract and using it instead of sleeping according to Drake Baer, a writer for Business insider. Use an alarm clock if you need one.
  • Dim the light on your phone or don’t use it. The light from your phone has been proven to keep you up. It makes it harder to fall asleep while also straining your eyes. An hour before bed, use dim light and try to put any screens away: TV, Computer, Phone etc. Whatever you are engaged in right before going to sleep will be picked over in your mind so be sure it’s content that helps you unwind and doesn’t wind you up!
  • Exercise later in the day. After exercising people are often exhausted but continue with the rest of their day. They progressively get less tired but this exhaustion could be put to better use. It could make it easier to fall asleep due to some of the exhaustion still being there from your work out.
  • Counting. No, not sheep. Baer advises that counting backward can help settle your mind. One suggestion is to count backwards from 100 in multiples of three. This brain exercise will distract you from everything else you have to do while helping tire you.

As easy as it is to sacrifice sleep for whatever passion you have, remember that it will catch up to you. You will eventually not be able to sleep at the same time or way which will eventually hurt your productivity in life. Remember, sleeping is the only way to recharge your body.

Treat Yourself!

halloween witch isolated over white background

It’s that time of year again. No matter where you look, spooky goblins and ghosts will be parading through the streets on Saturday night.  You may be excited and ready for the masses of kids coming to knock on your door or you may shut off the lights and ignore ever ill fated attempts to illicit candy. Regardless, of whether you like Halloween or not, why let kids have all the fun? Adults can just as much fun at Halloween once their little ones are done trick-or-treating.

  • Have family time. Put on family appropriate Halloween movies and marathon them all night. The great thing about Halloween being on Saturday is that kids won’t be exhausted from getting up early for school and won’t have to go to bed early for school either.
  • Stay up late watching horror movies. Once the kids are asleep, staying up late and watching real horror movies could be fun. Invite friends over and make a night of it. Watching movies is much more fun in a group.
  • Go to costume parties. No, costume parties aren’t just for awkward teens. Going to a costume party at a friend’s house could be tons of fun. Plus, you can wear whatever you want. Try something new or funny. Halloween is one of the only nights you’d be able to wear something as risky.
  • Go on a haunted trail. Haunted trails maybe be corny but the feeling of anticipation that builds while walking through the woods could scare even the bravest of people.

Halloween may not be one of the more popular holidays but it is a fun one. It involves a lot less stress and allows for many different ways to have fun.  Don’t let this Halloween be like all the other. Do something exciting!

The Oprah Aha

A surprised adult male. Age 25-30.

As the years add o to my life, my ideas and opinions become more set in stone every day. Then something always comes around that makes you rethink your life. On Wednesday night, I attended a poetry slam that did exactly like. It felt like I was having an “Oprah Aha” moment. The way the poet spoke made the foundation in my life seems less stable. As scary as it was, I was thrilled. I realized that in my life, I never really thought about other people or the world the way the poet did. These “Aha” moments are rare but easy to fin without going on any kind of spiritual journey.

  • Poetry readings or poetry slams are amazing because they present ideas in fresh ways using metaphors and simile. They mention ideas that may not be at the forefront of your mind. Spoken word is written in a way that makes it less obscure than regular poems. Plus, it is presented in a way that makes it conversational as oppose to a recitation of a poem. Another great thing about slam poetry is that it creates a calm environment and allows the audience to connect with the writer in a small setting.
  • We all love a good laugh, but lately comedy sketches have been more than just a good laugh. They have been a way for people to introduce very complicated ideas in a new form.  As our politicians become comedians, we now turn to our comedians for news. Only comedians don’t just talk about news, they talk about everything there is to talk about. Despite the fact that they are funny, comedians have a lot to teach us about more serious matters.
  • Volunteering isn’t just for kids trying to get into college. Adults should try to volunteer when they can. Being around people who aren’t as fortunate or are going through a hard time will give you more perspective on life. It will make you realize everything you have and everything you take for granted. Volunteering is also a great way to learn about different issues and different people. Exposing yourself to other groups will help you become more cultured also.

Sometimes we need reminders that we’re not done growing yet and that things aren’t always how they seem. There is so much going on in the world that we still need to learn about and so many experiences out there. Gentle reminders and giant Oprah Aha moments are the only way we will continue to grow.

New Reasons to APPreciate

Throughout the day, I receive about twenty notifications for tasks I should have done the day before. Because I’m constantly busy during the school year, I’ve been forgetting almost everything that I’m not notified of. In our hectic lives, it seems like everything gets lost and forgotten unless it’s on our phone. The calendars and planners we promise ourselves that we’d use every year still aren’t helping us keep organized especially since most of them probably haven’t been opened yet. For me, the best way to stay on top of everything was by going paper less. There’s an app for everything and here are some of the best apps and websites to keep you organized.

  • Wunderlist is a modern to-do list that you can access from their website and their app through your laptop, phone, and tablet. It lets you organized task by subject and allows for reminders and due dates to be set. The tasks you create can also be shared with others and there’s an option to send messages out to other users. The app could also be used in a professional setting as a way to manage group work.
  • Scannable. Scannable by Evernote is a useful app for scanning documents. It takes a picture of a document, cleans it up, and lets you export it. You can export the document in many ways including sending it to your Evernote account and sending it via email. This is a great way to escape the clutter and still have documents at the palm of your hand.
  • Evernote and OneNote basically serve the same purpose of allowing you to take notes on the go, on their websites, and through their downloadable computer software. Both are available on your laptop, phone, and tablet. They could be used for everything from work tasks to grocery shopping. The great thing about these apps is that they let you use bullets and bold text which is formatting that most note taking apps do not allow.
  • Hours is a time tracking app that I use for work. It’s great because it lets you time activities, enter the time in manually, or both. The app also creates reports which you could send out via email. Using this app could add accuracy to your time sheets and help you stay more organized.

Despite how cute and funny they are, you can do so much more with your phone than just watch cat videos. However, remember that despite the convenience in going digital, sometimes sticky note can do the trick. I think I’ll start by opening that agenda I bought two months ago. Good luck and get organized!

Sarcasm: No Longer Servered All Day

trying to seal the deal.

I admit that I love sarcasm way too much. I constantly use it in my daily life without thinking about it. I’ve barely thought about it before my friend pointed it out to me. I didn’t think anything of it until I realized I was really hurting her feelings. I would never intentionally insult her but I realized that my comments weren’t very nice. Despite the fact that sarcasm is funny on TV and in movies, it doesn’t always translate well to real life. Luckily, there are easy ways to break the habit and be a nicer person all around.

  • Identify the problem. Sarcasm often comes from a place of anger or frustration according to “Sarcasm: Why It Hurts Us”.  It may also come from a place of insecurity. Identifying the problem will make it that much easier to stop being sarcastic. If you are facing a problem in life, sarcasm is just stopping you from solving it. Try talking to a family member or a friend about how you are feeling. It could make you feel a lot better and you may notice a shift in how you talk to others.
  • Try changing your routine. You might want to try sleeping more. People get cranky when they don’t sleep enough. You could also try cutting back on coffee which may be causing you to act less nice. Things like listening to happier music, exercising more, or making time for your hobbies can also help a lot. Finding something that makes you happy will make you nicer to be around.
  • Be more patient. According to Allison Richard’s article “15 Tips to be Nice and Loved By All Instantly!” being more patient will make you nicer. She says it’s important to understand that people will not always understand your ideas or your way of thinking. If you’re constantly getting annoyed at coworkers or fighting with your spouse, try to listen more, really understand, and explain yourself giving time for them to understand your point of view. Even if you have to repeat yourself, try not to get frustrated. The more patient you are with people (including yourself), the nicer you will become.
  • Listen closely when people talk to you. One easy way to be a nicer person is just to listen to people. Ask them about their hobbies and what they are doing in life. Ask them about their day too. One of the easiest ways to be nice is just to be interested in other people’s lives. Don’t interrupt or talk over them. Just listen. People will appreciate this and it may make your connection stronger.
  • Avoid complaining. Venting and complaining are two very different things. When people vent, it’s just to get out their feelings. Complaining is consistent and often not useful. Sighing, rolling eyes, and saying thins like “I hate” will make people not want to be around you. You’ll come off as harsh or angry.  Instead of complaining, try focusing your frustration in journaling. Journaling is a great way to let out your feelings without taking out your aggression on others.

Despite how funny it may seem, sarcasm may really hurt the feelings of the people you care about. Being a nicer person all around will only make your life better and the people around you happier. It will also strengthen your connection and in turn, you will feel happier too.

Is it time to leave your job?

Young manager

You’ve been working long hours for months and your workload keeps mounting on an already impossible backlog. No one seems to notice what you do (except when it’s not right). Other people are not pulling the same weight and you can’t imagine why “that person” was promoted.

Thank God it’s Friday! Your boss brings a project and puts it on your desk at noon….on his way out the door for an early start to the weekend. You barely look up from your work but manage your most cheerful “have a good weekend” before you answer the ringing phone. It’s an angry customer. You need to escalate the issue to your higher-ups. You get your VP on the phone to explain. Suddenly she snaps at YOU over something you have absolutely no control over anyway.

You pause, calmly say something really clever and hang up the phone. Then you gather up the family pictures, your personalized clock, and your coffee mug. With your arms full and head held high, you walk through the office, heads bopping up over cubical walls as you pass, and you go straight out the door.

Suddenly everything is suspended in time. The air sweeps across your skin like a cool cloth. It’s so fresh to breath, your lungs take it in like a vaccum. The slow motion of a birds’ chirping scores the entire scene like a ribbon around a package. The sun shines as if directly to you casting droplets of warmth through the chilled air. It’s so bright, you have to blink hard. Then, you open your eyes.

Your computer screen is staring at you with the same blank expression.  The voice is coming back through the phone like a dial tuning in a radio station. “Problem”…”Ball dropped”…”Can’t have…”

You missed at least a few sentences but not to worry, you’ve surely heard them before.

Ever consider what place and time would be better than this one right now? A beach. The movies. Your bed. The unemployment line. The unemployment line?  Boxed Mac ‘N Cheese really isn’t that bad!

We’ve all had “one of those days”.  We’re only human and we can only take so much. When our emotions run high from stress that spikes or just runs on relentlessly, it becomes hard to see and think clearly. In these moments, we need to pause and take stock. Don’t hand in your pink slip or start packing up just yet. If you need to make a change, make a plan first.

  • Have you saved up? Before quitting, think seriously about where you’ll be getting income and if you have enough saving for the necessities. Living without a source of income or any savings won’t be any better than working at a job you hate.
  • Are you likely to find another job? Do you have a job lined up or are you going to look for one later? If you lack experience, it may be better to stay at your current job to get experience. Also in today’s job market, it takes time and a lot more work to get a good job. Before your leave your job, be aware you may spend months looking for your next one.
  • Is there a chance for improvement at your job? Sometimes talking to your boss about your concerns could be what helps the most. Most times, your boss will listen to you and try to find a solution. It won’t be a magic cure, but it could be extremely helpful in the end. If you don’t get the help you need from her, you can turn to your coworkers. You may benefit from their advice and work as a team to solve the problem.
  • Staying put may help you get ahead. When you work at the same place for the right amount of time is important for your resume. You don’t want to stagnate but you also don’t want to come off as disloyal or jumpy. When hiring authorities and recruiters are looking at resumes, they are looking for stability and progression. You want to avoid both instability and regression at all costs. Also, you want to do everything possible to leave in such a way as to maintain credibility and respect. Having your boss as your reference can really help you in the future.
  • Are you leaving because you hate your boss? If your boss isn’t the nicest or most understanding person, or if he is just simply ineffective, working for him could drive you insane. If you quit your job, your boss won’t be the one suffering and trying to find a new job. He won’t have to start over somewhere new. Are you willing to sacrifice your happiness for him?
  • Consider taking a sick day. Also known as a “Mental Health Day”, one day off may help you gather your perspective and consider the situation more fully.  Take this time to have fun and relax. Maybe you are just overworked and need a break. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. The reason you might be thinking it’s time to leave your job may have nothing to do with your job itself. Make sure you have clarity on this.

At the end of the day, it’s your life. You are in control of your decisions and no one can make them for you. Just make sure to take the time to think about what you’re going to do and the best way to do it before you take action.


Falling in Love with Fall


Summers end can bring on a somber feeling for a lot of people. As the cold weather starts to roll in and hours of daily sunlight get shorter, it may be hard to feel as energized. If we look to nature, it seems we’re not alone. Animals hibernate through the winter for good reason. As the warmth and colors fade, all the white and grey can leave you feeling pretty blue.

So how can you embrace this season and recharge your spirit? First of all, simply decide to make this an enjoyable time. Focus on the things you enjoy; Pumpkin Lattes, football, time off with loved ones, Bing Crosby, the smell of pine throughout the house… The more you find to be grateful for, more reasons to be grateful will find you.

Start with some deliberate actions to get your inspiration flowing. Here are some activities to get you going:

  • Go outside. Running outside is possible in the winter and it’s a great opportunity to get a bigger bang for your buck from a fitness standpoint. Running in cold weather burns more calories because your body is working extra hard at keeping your temperature up. Enjoy a run in park during the day when the sun is at its peak and enjoy the foliage or the glisten of snow on the trees. If you are not a runner, a walk will certainly do. Maybe you would prefer to take a friend or a hot mug of tea and make it a relaxing stroll. Either way will be good for your body mind and spirit.
  • Take pictures. The beauty of taking pictures is that you have to stop and look at your surroundings in detail. So often we are caught up in our day with busy schedules and busy minds, we buzz right past the splendor around us without noticing it. Grab whatever camera device you choose and start snapping. Stuck in traffic, waiting at the bus stop, on a conference call… If you can see outside, you have a shot!
  • Go to a football game. Whether Pro or not, a football game brings friends together and gets a lot of us fired up. If the game isn’t being played by “Your Team”, you can still enjoy watching the strategy and athletic performance. Not to mention good ol’ nostalgia.
  • Change the decorations in your house. Changing the décor and the scents in your home can really help you to settle into the fall. Gather the family together to go pick out some pumpkins, mums, a bushel of apples, cinnamon-spiced pine cones and have a decorating party. Don’t forget the mulled cider or wine for added warmth!
  • Complete your Holiday prep. Tis the season to celebrate! To get into the spirit, go get your holiday preparation done now. Get your list out, go shopping, wrapping, mailing, writing cards and start prepping dishes that can go into the freezer for holiday parties. You’ll be able to really sink into the season and then unlike so many, sit back, relax and really enjoy yourself- especially if you are hosting holiday parties. Instead of slaving away in the kitchen and barely getting in a quick shower before guests arrive, you might want to hit the gym or the spa and be a refreshed “host(ess) with the most(ess)!

Whatever you choose that fits you, keep saying thanks for what you love and enjoy!

Adjusting to Being Laid Off


Getting laid off from your job can be an awful experience from having to tell your friends to having to rearrange the way you live financially. Despite the pain and possibly fear you may feel at the moment, the important thing is to stay hopeful and know that it will not be permanent.  Here are some tips to give you a positive emotional boost and help you take action to secure your next position more quickly.

  • Make a new budget. Regardless of your living situation, losing a job will mean that you need to figure out a new budget. Consider how you will pay bills and provide for yourself and your family. Find ways to cut costs by couponing or reducing the amount of time you eat out. Creating a budget will give you one less thing to worry about.
  • Don’t question it. It is not always clear to people why they’ve been let go. Regardless, after being laid off, the best thing to do is accept it. When you do, you’ll be able to move on quicker. It is important to take responsibility for what you may have done or to understand that nothing could be done.
  • Talk to a friend. Being fired will result in a certain level of panic which you shouldn’t keep bottled up. Try getting together with one friend to talk one on one about the incident and how it happened. This friend could even help you figure out ways to stay afloat after being laid you. Telling them about your frustration will help you feel better in the end.
  • Make time for hobbies. Being laid off will result in copious amounts of time. This will leave you free for hobbies you couldn’t enjoy before. Go out with friends or read a book. Cherish the free time you have.
  • Revamp your resume. When you decide to starting looking for a new job again, try rewriting your resume and updating your skills. This is give recruiters and hiring managers a better idea of your qualifications and talents.
  • Go to networking events. Networking is a great way to meet new people and hear about new opportunities. Before you go, Paul Anderson suggests that you research the people who will be there. This will make starting conversation much easier and more effective. Bring your personal card to swiftly exchange information.
  • Think about a staffing agency. Staffing agencies are a great way to get a sneak peek into jobs that aren’t available to the public. Staffing agencies coach you and prepare you for interviews they work with.

As they say every ending is just a new beginning. While you look for a new job, follow your budget and enjoy your free time. There are so many resources out there. Stay hopeful and focused on doing the right things.