We made it you guys! Another year, another election, a non-mageddon, and a whole lot of clean beauty. :) Don’t know about you, but we’re feeling pretty excited about what 2013 holds—and not because we’re wearing rose-colored glasses. This life stuff continues to be hard, but we’re of the mind that the more you work through your crap, with each passing year, the more rewarding the challenges become.

Anyways, on my very long drive back from Utah, where I spent the Christmas holiday, I listened to a lengthy (and kind of boring) interview about New Year’s resolutions. It turns out something like 46% of them actually stick, and that when you take the time to make a resolution on a chosen day (it doesn’t have to be New Year’s), it has a way better chance of surviving than just having an intention to make a change.

According to the piece, certain things really help make a resolution real. First off, you have to be serious about and truly ready for the resolution. It’s better if the resolution is clear and measurable, ie. instead of saying, “this year I’m going to be a better friend,” you say something more specific like, “this year I’m going to make an effort to call my close friends at least once a month” or whatever it may be. The buddy system seems to help too, or some kind of accountability to someone (your bud doesn’t need to have the same resolution as you). The expert also says that most people usually slip up pretty early in the game, but as long as you don’t let the slip be a fall, you’ll be fine. Last but not least, it’s important not to make too many resolutions at once—one is best, but two can work if they’re compatible.

Keeping all of this in mind, I am going to share my resolution for the year with you guys. Siobhan and Rebecca will share theirs in the comments, and we hope you tell us yours as well! That way we can all be accountable to each other here.

My resolution for 2013 is to become an intuitive eater. The good news there is that I’ve already started this practice! But I want to make sure it sticks for, well, my whole life. What do I mean by intuitive eating? I might have to save some of it for a longer post, but for most of my life I’ve been a pretty restricted eater in some way or another. While on the surface, this appeared to be very healthy—and was often done in the name of health—I’ve finally acknowledged to myself that it’s an obsessive type of behavior that has more to do with control than health. Some of the tenets of intuitive eating are: Eating when you’re hungry. Asking yourself what you truly want to eat instead of eating what you think you should eat. Stopping when you’re full, even if that means there’s still food on your plate. Not using food as a reward (or a punishment). Not really thinking about food unless you’re actually hungry—I come from a family that plans dinner before breakfast is even finished!—and so on. This book on intuitive eating has been really helpful to me, so if any of you feel a bit out of touch with your natural rhythms when it comes to food, I highly recommend it!

I have other intentions for this year, too, like being a better listener, and nurturing my spiritual practice. But as some of you surely know, the obsessive day-to-day stuff really detracts from the higher-self goals. So that’s where I’m gonna focus my energies for now.

Can’t wait to hear what you have planned for 2013. Happy New Year everyone!!!

I’m really pretty pink. Of course, there are triggers that worsen it, like standing on my head for too long, or red wine, or sending embarrassing text messages. But even when I wake up after a deeply restful nine-hour sleep, I tend to be a little bit flushed.

For a long time I didn’t really think about it. I didn’t wear much makeup, so color-matching wasn’t an issue, and I grew up around a lot of other Irish kids, so they were kind of pink, too. At some point, though, I started thinking about the color of my skin as a problem that had to be fixed. Indeed, my pink skin had become the thing I hated most about my appearance.

It started when a famous dermatologist, who I went to see for an annual skin exam, walked in the room, took one look at me, and said “Okay, so the rosacea. There’s a new pill out…” as she reached for her prescription pad and started scribbling.

That was the first time my pinkness had been “diagnosed,” and it was the first time it occurred to me that it wasn’t stray blemishes or moles I had to worry about, but my whole entire face.

I’d never heard of rosacea, and the last thing I wanted to do was take a pill for a problem I didn’t even know I had. I left her office feeling horrible (and hideous).

It’s hard to explain, but there is something about being told your whole freaking face is a problem that really kind of stings. Since then, I’ve had makeup artists suggest I prime my entire face with something tinted green; I’ve been prescribed topical steroids; I’ve had estheticians suggest expensive five-packs of “cool” lasers; I’ve had ayurvedic doctors forbid me from eating tomatoes for four months; and I’ve had makeup-counter people point me to lines for women with “rosy undertones” by Clinique or Origins. There are even infomericals on TV for skin like mine.

In our book, we interview Evan Healy, a holistic esthetitian who has a skincare line that we really like. She talks a lot about rosacea, and how common it has become, suggesting that the widespread use of aggressive peels and acids has resulted in an increase in the number of women with red, irritated skin. Even Alexandra, who is anything but pink, battled with redness a few years ago when she was still using acids on her face and getting regular facials.

But here’s the thing. I don’t do that stuff, and I never really did. Over the past two years, I have completely detoxed my skincare regimen, I am incredibly gentle with my face, I am careful about what I put in and on my body, and yeah, sure, my skin has calmed down a little. But it’s still totally pink. And I still have doctors suggesting I fix it with topicals and drugs.

This isn’t life or death stuff, of course, but these are nonetheless the things we all live with—our own impressions of our own appearance, based on personal hangups as well as what we are told is pretty. And for whatever reason, this one has been the hardest for me to make peace with.

And yet…I kind of have. It’s part of what this natural-beauty thing is all about for Alexandra and me. Somehow, along the way, your perspective shifts, and you stop feeling like your hair, or your skin, or your body are things that need to be tamed and molded into submission. You learn to smile when doctors give you bad advice, because you know your skin better than they do, and you trust yourself. And then you go stand on your head for as long as you want, and you eat tomatoes because they’re delicious, and you send those embarrassing text messages. Sure, your face turns pink as hell, except now, you really, truly don’t care.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Beautiful girl via

Hello! I’m Virginia of Beauty Schooled, a blog where I investigate the price of pretty. I’m so excited that Alexandra and Siobhan asked me to guest post, because I am obsessed with their book to the point that I carry it in my purse when I go to the store to stock up on conditioner and face wash (that’s not weird, right?) and also, they are totally awesome people.

A little while ago, I bullied these ladies into guest posting on my blog, and we started talking about how cleaning up your beauty routine can lead to you also feeling maybe a little bit free from all those “you MUST look like [insert-whomever-in-Hollywood-here]” beauty standards that we all hold ourselves to, often to a pretty major degree.

And it was a little bit of a light bulb moment for me.

Keep reading.