7 steps to the perfect shade of lipstick

Switching up your lipstick shade can dramatically affect your overall aesthetic. With so many rainbow hues to choose from, however, it can be challenging to find the most flattering formula for your beautiful face. Try these tips to locate the lipstick that works best for your look.

Uncover your undertones

Does your skin have warm, cool or neutral undertones? The answer will inform your lipstick choice since you'll likely look better in reds and oranges with a warm complexion and purples and blues if your skin has a cooler tone.

To figure it out, check the veins in your wrist. You probably have cool undertones if they appear blue, while green means warm. If you still aren't sure, take a tour of your jewelry collection. If you usually reach for gold because it looks great against your skin, you probably have warm undertones, while a preference for silver usually spells cool undertones.

Talk about tones

In addition to your skin's undertone, you might also want to consider the tone of your complexion while choosing a lipstick. Most cosmetic companies categorize skin tone from darkest to lightest as deep, tan, medium, light and fair. If you have dark skin, you'll look fabulous in bright jewel tones - think caramel and claret for warm undertones or plums and blue-toned reds if your undertones are cool.

Tan tones look amazing in popping shades of hot pink for cool undertones and corals and true reds if you have warmer skin. Tomato reds look amazing with warm undertones for medium-toned complexions, while mauve and berry shades are best for cooler customers.

Shape your pout

The size and shape of your smile might also dictate your lipstick choice. To plump up thinner lips, go for creamy, glossy formulas of lighter lipstick. Choose a darker color if you want to draw attention to your perfect pout.

Consider your hair color

The tone of your tresses also plays a role in which lipstick colors look best. If you're a blonde with skin on the lighter side, try lighter pinks with lilac and brown undertones or brighter pinks and peaches when you have a tan. If your hair is dark brown or black and you have fair skin, consider hot pink, plum and cherry shades. With tan and dark hair, go for the gold with bronze and beige.

Brown-haired gals with medium-toned skin look amazing in deep coral and beige hues. If you're a redhead, natural or not, try warmer shades like salmon and terracotta.

Examine your eyes

You can highlight your eyes and create a look that pops by choosing a coordinating lip color. Neutral shades of plum and nude bring out the best in gray eyes, while pink and terracotta tones will flatter your green eyes. Scarlet and cherry colors create contrast with your baby blues, while brown-eyed girls tend to like the way they look in true pinks and reds.

Get high-tech

Want to see how you'll actually look in that shade before you spend your hard-earned cash? Brands like MAC have apps where you can upload your image and virtually "try on" lipstick hues until you find your ideal match.

Try out the trends

If you love to be on the cutting edge of style, you need to know which lipstick colors are trending for the upcoming season. For example, pastel peaches and pinks, bright bold reds, deep burgundy, and warm gold are all slated to be hot in summer 2022. A gloss finish is also the cutting-edge choice, although matte lips are always a classic look.

With these smart tips to choose your best lipstick shade, you'll be ready for the runway in a show-stopping new look.

Cream Versus Powdered Beauty Products: The Winner Is…

When you look at your makeup collection, you likely see a variety of products. Most people have creams and powders for different occasions, but is one better than the other?

Selecting the right makeup or beauty products for your routine depends on many factors, from staying power to skin type. However, in most cases, you can choose a preferred medium.

The Pros and Cons of Cream 

Cream beauty products can help keep the skin moisturized while creating a protective barrier for the skin. The makeup products also provide a somewhat glossy or glowing finished look. However, the makeup choice is not without its drawbacks.

Pros

The primary benefit of cream makeup is the blend-ability. Creams require little effort or skill to apply, so they are great for people who are not confident with makeup techniques and blending. Additionally, creams do not require tools to apply, like brushes, adding to their ease of use.

Wearers can also rejoice in using less of the product. Creams are highly pigmented, meaning only a tiny amount of the product is necessary for preferred looks.

Finally, creams are ideal for drier or more mature skin types. Powders tend to sit in fine lines and pores; creams do not, leaving the skin hydrated and glowing.

Cons

Unfortunately, creams do not last as long as powdered makeup. Additionally, creams are not ideal for oily skin types.

Cream makeups tend to crease around the eyes, possibly becoming shiny. The makeup can also move around depending on the application and environment.

Finally, cream products only work on top of other cream products, and colors do not blend easily. You cannot use a cream on top of a powder; it will ruin the entire look.

The Pros and Cons of Powder 

Powdered beauty products offer pathways for customization, personal style, and texture. While pros and cons still exist, powdered makeups are often more popular than cream options.

Pros

Powdered makeups are long-lasting, especially when used with a foundation. The velvety, matte finish provides an airbrush quality to the skin, which many people find appealing. Additionally, powder is the best option for oily skin types.

Powdered options can also blend easily and can be layered on top of other powders and creams. Most people prefer powdered makeup around the eyes because it does not crease easily.

Cons

Powder makeup can make the skin look dull and flat when too matte. Additionally, the makeup tends to settle into wrinkles and fine lines, potentially aging the wearer.

Powder also requires makeup application tools, like brushes. Because tools are necessary, powdered makeup takes a little more skill and technique than cream.

Finally, powder makeup can appear less natural because of how it sits on the skin. It can also cause the skin to feel dehydrated.

The Verdict 

For versatility alone, powdered makeup wins the challenge. However, the verdict does not discredit the use of creams. Powders win because they allow for easier customization and can work on top of creams. Still, creams provide a more natural appearance, and for the right skin type, they might be a superior choice for some users. Ultimately, you need to determine which makeup is best for your skin and preferences.

3 5-Minute Routines To Start You Day Off on the Right Foot

Though most people dream of being the types of individuals who wake up each morning with hours to spare in which they can exercise, meditate, journal, read and simply do whatever makes their souls happy, the truth is that most humans are the get-up, get-dressed and run-out-the-door types. While there is nothing wrong with sleeping in now and then, living your life in a harried state is not fun, nor is it healthy. You need a little “you” time, and it’s hard to find that once the rest of the world wakes up. The good news is that you can get that you-time by carving out just 15 minutes of your morning to dedicate to three simple yet, refreshing routines.

Meditate

Per several studies, mediation has several benefits for the mind and body. Among others, included are stress reduction, improved memory and a strengthened immune system.

While these benefits may sound good, you likely think you don’t have time to sit and “ohm” for an hour or more each morning. Well, you don’t have to.

Sitting for just five minutes each morning to detach yourself from all thoughts can profoundly positively affect your entire day. For help with getting into the habit of meditating properly, check out UCLA’s resource of free guided five-minute meditations.

Make Note of 3 Things You’re Grateful For

Similar to the “three good things” strategy used by Martin Seligman, this strategy — as brought to you by a user on Quora — involves writing down three things for which you are grateful each morning. The user encourages you to think about what you have in your life that is good, beyond material objects. These can include friends, family members, helpful neighbors, the laugh of a child, a shift in mindset or a positive development that occurred the day before.

If you have time after coming up with three items, provide an explanation for why you are grateful for them. Starting the day off by showing gratitude — rather, than, say, bemoaning your early work schedule — can help you approach the day with a more positive mindset.

Make Your Bed

Making the bed is a simple habit that has several powerful and surprising benefits for people who actually do it … Which, most people don’t. According to the data, as many as 59% of people don’t make their beds at all, while 12% pay people to do it for them. Only 27% of individuals make the bed on their own. Those individuals are happier and more productive. This is not just a broad generalization, either. Per the data, 72% of bedmakers claim to be happy, while an astonishing 62% of non-bedmakers say they are unhappy.

There are a few reasons this may be so. For starters, making the bed is a keystone habit, which means it can start a chain reaction that could help other positive habits take hold. It’s also a manageable task that, once completed, contributes to a sense of accomplishment. In addition, Bedmaking helps to improve the visual appeal and reduce the clutter effect of your bedroom, which can help to alleviate stress. It also prepares you for things you don’t want to do.

Finally, and interestingly, making the bed may contribute to a better night’s sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, individuals who make their beds every day are more likely to enjoy a good night’s sleep every day or almost every day compared to individuals who leave their beds a mess.

Starting your day off on a positive note does not have to involve hours of free time in the morning. By setting aside just 15 minutes to meditate, express gratitude and make the bed, you can improve your morning routine and your life.

Try This Easy Way To Work Your Glutes Just While Walking

Do you get tired of living with shapeless buns that can barely hold your pants up? The good news is that you don’t have to do endless squats or walking lunges to get some shape to your derriere. Though it may sound too good to be true, you can tone and challenge your glutes just while walking! You just have to focus on how you walk to make sure you get maximum butt-toning benefits. Here’s how I keep my backside in shape during my daily walks.

Step 1: Take Time to Warm Up

I get it, warming up seems like a waste of time when you’re already busy and struggle to fit a workout into your day. But don’t skip it! Warming up primes your muscles for movement and helps you avoid injuring yourself. Though walking isn’t exactly a high-risk exercise, it is still possible to twist an ankle or pull a tendon if your body isn’t sufficiently warmed up before you hit the trails.

Step 2: Find a Slight Incline

It’s pretty easy to walk on flat ground without breaking a sweat. But if you want to tone those glutes, you need to look for an area with a slight incline (or a steep incline, depending on your fitness level). Once you find the ideal destination, it’s time to get your form right so every step helps firm up that booty.

Step 3: Roll Through Your Steps

To recruit your glutes into your walking motions, you need to roll your feet from the heel to the toe with every step. Take this movement slow in the beginning to make sure you get the motion down. Each time you step forward, let your heel be the first part of your foot that makes contact with the ground, then sweep the motion through to the ball of your foot and push off the ball of your foot as you continue forward with the next step.

When your heel contacts the ground, squeeze your glutes together. Imagine someone just gave you a pencil and you have to hold it between your cheeks so you don’t drop it. That’s a strange place to put a pencil, I know, but the visualization really helps keep those glutes firm and strong. Only release the squeeze when you push forward off the ball of your foot into the next step.

When you’re first getting started with your “glute walk,” try to hit a goal of 100 “squeeze” steps during your walk. After that, take a break and see how you feel. If you think you can do more, go for it! Just don’t overdo it or you may not be able to sit down the next day due to soreness.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Small Movements

Right now you’re probably thinking, “This sounds too easy. I doubt it will make much of a difference for my glutes.” But don’t underestimate the power of small, concentrated movements when building muscle and definition. Think about pulse squats, for example. You’re only moving your body an inch or so up and down, but the burning in your muscles is evidence that you’re doing some serious work and can expect great results.

I have no doubt you’ll feel the burn in your muscles when you do regular “glute walks.” In fact, you’ll probably be surprised to discover just how tired your glutes are at the end of each walk. Once your glutes get stronger, you may want to move on to more intense workouts to shape and build your behind. But glute walks are a great way to begin your journey to a more shapely behind. What are you waiting for? Get out there and start walking!

Six Stretches to Liven Up Your Morning Routine

An incredible good morning stretch makes my list of all-time top-ten best feelings. While the old-fashioned arms to the sky pose is a classic, of course, sometimes you just want to switch it up. When the urge for something new arises, wake up your senses with one of my x favorite morning stretches.

Child's pose

You can do this yoga resting pose on the floor with a blanket or mat. Start on your hands and knees, with knees aligned with your hips and big toes together. Lengthen your spine as you inhale, then tuck your chin to your chest as you rest your rear on your heels and exhale. Stretch your arms overhead, palms flat on the ground, and rest your forehead on the floor. Hold for five deep breaths to beat early morning fatigue and soothe any stiffness that's cropped up overnight.

Cat and cow pose

More of a flow than a stretch, cat and cow works wonders for the spine. Start on all fours on your mat or blanket with hands directly under your shoulders. As you breathe in, drop your torso down and lift your gaze to the sky. Raise your tailbone as you gently press your stomach toward the floor.

On the exhale, bring the belly back up and drop the chin. Round the back (think of a Halloween cat) as you tuck in your "tail." Do several reps at the pace of your own breath for a quick asana to get your day rolling.

Knees to chest 

Next, flip over on your back and pull your knees toward your chest, exerting only gentle pressure. Hold for about 30 seconds and do three reps for a stretch that can alleviate bloating and back pain. In other words, you need this stretch when you have PMS.

Neck stretches

This stretch is especially important if you spend a lot of time looking at a screen or working at a computer. Over time, the muscles in the neck and shoulders become tight and tense, especially if you tend to hold stress in those areas. Sit up straight on a chair or your bed, then place your hand on top of your head and carefully press your ear toward your shoulder. Stop right away if you feel pain or discomfort. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat for 10 reps on both sides.

Standing quad stretch

Ready to get moving? You don't have to have a run planned to stretch out your quads. Stand up and place your right hand on a solid object for balance. Bend your left knee with your heel toward your rear, then grasp your left ankle firmly with your left hand. Feel the delicious stretching sensation as you hold for about 30 seconds with three reps on each side.

Toe touch

Also known as a standing forward bend, this stretch has a spot in your regimen long past middle school gym class. It helps your internal organs work efficiently while reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.

Start this stretch in mountain pose, a yoga position in which you stand up straight with hands at your sides, palms facing out. As you inhale, sweep your hands out and up, then draw them together over your head. Try to keep the length in your spine as you fold your body in half at the hips, hands on your legs or on the floor. Hold the stretch for five deep breaths.

You'll feel alert and energized with these stretches, but that's not their only benefit. Over time, a regular stretching routine can reduce stress and improve mobility and flexibility. Best of all, these stretches put you in the right mindset to make the most of your day.

The 20 Worst Skincare Ingredients for Oily Skin

Knowing which skincare products to select isn't easy when you have oily skin. Here are five of the worst skincare ingredients for people with oily skin, plus what to choose instead.

1. Alcohol

Many cleansing products use different types of alcohol. When your skin feels oily, you may think that the solution is to strip away the oil with an alcohol-based toner. In reality, alcohol can make your skin produce more oil, not less.

It’s easy to confuse oil and moisture. They’re not the same thing. Alcohol-based cleansers mainly remove water from your skin, leaving it feeling fresh, but only for a moment. Afterward, pores shift oil production into high gear to compensate for the moisture removed.

A better solution is to choose a natural cleanser that gets rid of oil, makeup and dirt, not your skin’s moisture. Toners with aloe vera, salicylic acid, rose water, chamomile, witch hazel or alpha-hydroxy acid are excellent for people who are prone to acne.

Alcohols to avoid in skin products: SD alcohol 40, denatured alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol and ethanol.

2. Petroleum Jelly (Petrolatum)

Petroleum jelly gives moisturizers and creams a thicker, more luxurious feel. Unfortunately, for people with oily skin, these heavy skincare products can cause many problems:

  • Clogging pores
  • Trapping extra oil
  • Contributing to acne breakouts
  • Not allowing the skin to breathe properly

Other occlusives to avoid: Paraffin, beeswax and mineral oil.

3. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains numerous vitamins and antioxidants that are healthy for the skin. Plus, who can resist that tropical smell when you’re pampering yourself?

If you have oily skin, though, heavier oils such as coconut oil tend to clog pores quickly. Avoid using it on your arms or face. Applying a little to elbows or hands may be OK during winter weather, though.

Lightweight oils are a better choice. They can hydrate your skin and add softness without overdoing it. Grapeseed oil, sunflower seed oil, hemp seed oil, sweet almond oil and rosehip oil are all good choices.

Heavy oils to avoid: Argan, avocado, camellia, soybean, flaxseed and hazelnut oil, plus cocoa butter and shea butter.

4. Lanolin

Many women love moisturizers and hand creams that contain lanolin. It leaves skin feeling exceptionally soft. The downside is that, like petroleum jelly, it can clog pores and cause acne. People who have sensitive skin may want to avoid it as well because of the possibility of allergic reactions.

5. Silicon

Skincare experts are divided about ingredients such as dimethicone. On the one hand, this oil substitute can give lotions a silky texture and help smooth your skin. On the other hand, silicon forms a protective layer that can trap oil. With this ingredient, you may want to test it out and see the results for yourself.

Common Oily Skin Mistakes To Avoid

To look your best, avoid these common mistakes:

  • Being too rough: Oily skin isn’t invulnerable to damage. You still need to use sunscreen, avoid irritating chemicals and take off your makeup at night.
  • Over-exfoliating: Some exfoliation for getting rid of dead skin and oil is good. Doing it too often hurts your skin and triggers heavier oil production later.
  • Not hydrating: Oily skin still needs moisturizing. Just choose lightweight lotions instead of heavy creams.

There’s nothing wrong with having an oily skin type. With a little cleaning and care, you can rock a healthy glow that wows friends, coworkers and romantic interests.

Dealing With Allergies? Try These Springtime Allergy Tips

Spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year. If you live in a climate that gets snow in the winter, you probably welcome the warming temperatures and the drying ground that come in the spring. Other lovely things about spring include the birth of baby animals, birds singing beautifully all around, and trees developing gorgeous blossoms.

Unfortunately, all of these beauties come at a price for many people. If you have allergies, you probably have a love-hate relationship with spring. I understand because I’m right there with you! The good news is that you may have more control over your springtime allergies than you realize. Here is a list of some of my favorite allergy tips. Give them a try and see if they help you enjoy the spring season a little more.

Try Nasal Sprays

If you’re experiencing fun symptoms like post-nasal drip and nasal congestion as part of your seasonal allergies, there are nasal sprays that may help. Nasal steroids such as Flonase® and Nasonex® are non-sedating, so you can use them in the daytime without worrying about unwanted drowsiness. It is important to keep in mind that these types of nasal sprays don’t have immediate effects, so you’ll need to be patient and give them time to work.

Understand That Herbs Might Make Things Worse

Listen, I like herbs and think they make great remedies for a lot of conditions. But when it comes to seasonal allergies, some herbs can make your symptoms worse. This makes sense when you consider the fact that in the springtime, it’s pollen from plants that make your allergies flare up. So even if you like to use herbs for other ailments, remember that they are plants as well and you may be allergic to some of them without realizing it!

Take Antihistamines

Antihistamines block histamine release. Histamines are chemicals in your immune system that cause your allergy symptoms when they’re triggered by one or more allergens. While histamines are important, they become highly overactive in people with seasonal allergies. Antihistamines can help calm them down to ease your springtime allergy symptoms.

Stay Indoors on Windy Days

Pollen is airborne, which means that it has an easier time making its way around when the wind is blowing. If you know it’s going to be a windy spring day, do your best to stay indoors as much as possible so you can avoid airborne allergens. You should also track the pollen count so you can avoid being outside on days when the pollen count is high.

Vacuum Often

Vacuuming isn’t my favorite pastime, but when I do it regularly, it helps reduce my springtime allergy symptoms. Vacuuming is a great way to get rid of the pollens and other allergens that make their way into your home on your shoes or clothing. Dusting is also important for the same reasons.

Consider Allergy Shots

If all else fails, you may be a good candidate for allergy shots. Talk to an allergist to find out if this is a good option for your springtime allergies. Allergy shots are also known as immunotherapy. These shots can decrease your sensitivity to pollen and other allergens.

The shots work by exposing you to small amounts of a specific allergen. For example, if tree pollen triggers your allergy symptoms, you would receive an allergy shot containing tree pollen protein. It sounds counterintuitive, but when you receive small amounts of a particular allergen, it helps to desensitize you so your body doesn’t react so strongly to future exposures to that allergen.

Give These Remedies a Try

These remedies may not be a cure for springtime allergies, but they can certainly help minimize your symptoms! Give them all a try until you find out what options work best for reducing your allergy symptoms this spring.

The SPF Debate: Protecting Your Skin Against Blue Light

Research suggests blue light emitted from smartphones and computer screens can damage the skin. It is crazy to think that checking social media or writing a term paper could harm you, but it can.

It seems like every day there is something else that leads people to distrust technology. Still, despite the hoopla, research suggests blue light is not as scary as some make it out to be. Yet, it is still advised that you take necessary precautions to limit your exposure to blue light.

The Dangers of Blue Light 

Like the sun, blue light emits high-energy visible light, but it is not as dangerous. Long-term and unprotected exposure to the sun can cause DNA damage and cancer. You will not fight the same threats sitting in front of your computer screen.

Still, while smartphone or laptop use isn't life-threatening, it is harmful. The HEV light can generate reactive oxygen species — compounds that damage the cellular structure. The compounds hinder collagen production, affecting elasticity in the skin. Long-term exposure to blue light can lead to wrinkling and pigment changes in the skin.

The good news, no current research points to blue light causing skin cancer. Still, the pervasive light can cause harm, including:

  • Collagen breakdown 
  • Hyperpigmentation 
  • Premature aging 
  • Inflammation 
  • Redness 
  • Swelling or Edema 
  • Oxidative stress

Additionally, blue light affects sleep-wake cycles. Sleep interruptions can interfere with hormone production, causing skin problems. Still, more research is necessary to determine the full extent of blue light risks.

The Benefits of Blue Light

Despite the proposed risks of blue light, it does have its benefits. Medical researchers now use controlled blue light to reduce the chances of skin cancer. Controlled blue light can have positive effects. It can boost your energy levels, decrease inflammation, and reduce bacteria.

Uncontrolled blue light is where risks live. Light therapy maintains wavelengths of 415 nanometers — the proven wavelength for benefits. Sitting in front of a screen is not the same as therapeutic light, so you can't claim phone time as therapy (darn).

Protection From Blue Light 

Protection against blue light is essential. Thankfully, you do not have to spend a lot of money to protect against the HEV light. Many computers and portable devices have blue light filtration options. Additionally, you can find several apps to protect your skin and eyes. Physical products, such as blue light glasses and screen protectors, are also available.

Still, for complete skin protection, dermatologists recommend using a blue-light-blocking sunscreen. You may want to find an SPF product with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide because each is reflective. It is also possible to find newer products with beneficial antioxidants and vitamins.

People might discount the need for sunscreen indoors, but indoor environments are changing. The addition of electronic HEV-producing devices demands extra protection and concern. While indoor blue light is not as intense as environmental wavelengths, it can still harm the skin.

Researchers continue to learn new things about blue light every day. Still, what seems to become clearer is the need for added protection. While you may not be ready for indoor SPF, at least consider downloading an app.

Are All Energy Drinks Bad for You?

Energy drinks have been around for a few decades now, and they’ve exploded in popularity.
They’re a big hit with teens — around 30% of teens drink them regularly — but their biggest
audience is actually people 18–34 years old. It’s pretty obvious that these drinks aren’t “healthy,”
but the billion-dollar question is whether they hurt you or not.

Too Much of Everything

Are energy drinks good, bad or ugly? For the most part, they fall into the “bad” category. Some
take it to the extreme and land squarely on the “ugly” list. The main reason is that have way too
much of things your body doesn’t need:


  • Sugar
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Caffeine

Did you know that most energy drinks are packed with more sugar than a can of cola? The American Heart Association recommends keeping your sugar intake under 25 grams for women and 37 grams for men. How much is in one can of Monster or Rockstar? Over 40 grams.


Now, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying some caffeine. Most adults can have up to 400 mg a day without any negative health effects. A regular cup of coffee has around 100 mg of caffeine,
although tall versions (24 ounces) may have as much as 300 mg. A 16-ounce energy drink clocks in at 160–200 mg.

The Marketing Hype Behind Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are big business. In the U.S., they bring in about 14 billion dollars every year. That means manufacturers are eager to downplay risks and get consumers on their side.

Have you seen ads that make it seem like energy drinks are what cool or creative people drink? It’s pure marketing speak. There’s nothing active or awesome about these sugar-laden drinks. Unless you’re preparing to run a marathon, you’re better off staying hydrated with water.

 What about the talk about ginseng, taurine and L-carnitine in many energy drinks? Well, these amino acids and herbal extracts can be good for mental focus, metabolism and energy. But mixing natural ingredients with junk food doesn’t miraculously make energy drinks healthy. That would be like putting vitamin C in a chocolate cake and saying the cake is good for your immune system.

The Real Effects of Energy Drinks

According to many studies, going overboard with energy drinks can have real consequences for your health:

  • Stress
  • High blood pressure and heart problems
  • Risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Stomach irritation
  • Problems sleeping at night
  • Alcohol dangers
  • Dehydration
 It’s not just the number of cans you drink; it’s also how often you have them. In just one year, energy drinks were connected to over 20,000 visits to the emergency room in the United States. Too much caffeine sends your heart into overdrive. Mixing energy drinks and alcohol is even more dangerous.

Healthy Drinks That Can Boost Energy Levels

The energy drinks mentioned above are bad because they combine excessive levels of caffeine and sugar. Other options for increasing concentration and energy can be perfectly healthy if used in moderation:

  • Brewed coffee
  • Green tea (matcha)
  • Yerba mate
  • Guayusa tea
  • Acai berry smoothies
  • Banana-protein smoothies
  • Turmeric lattes
  • Green juice with leafy greens, apples and oranges
 If you go the smoothie or juice route, choose options that are low in sugar. Some independent brands of energy drinks offer recipes with nutritious fruits and veggies, tea leaves, B vitamins and other energy boosters. Healthy supplements for mental focus give you even more flexibility.

6 Teas To Lift the Clouds and Boost Your Mood

What could be cozier than a warm cup of tea on a cold, rainy morning? If you feel like you need to shake the blues before you snuggle up with your favorite throw and relax, consider that some types of tea can actually help alleviate unpleasant feelings like sadness, anxiety and stress. Here's the tea on the six best mood-boosting herbal blends to try.

1. Feel Calm With Chamomile

You're probably familiar with the tiny, adorable chamomile flower buds that commonly show up in bedtime tea blends. In addition to its relaxing scent, chamomile can create a soothing, warm sensation that helps with restful sleep. Research published in the journal Phytomedicine in 2016 even found that a regular regimen of chamomile tea reduced symptoms of moderate to severe generalized anxiety disorder.

2. Turn It Up With Tulsi

You might not even realize that you have the ingredients for tulsi tea growing in your garden. Sometimes called holy basil, tulsi has been shown in studies to improve mood and sharpen concentration when consumed in tea form. Simply steep the leaves along with a bit of ginger and cardamom for about five minutes, then add your preferred amount of honey and lemon for an instantly revitalizing brew.

3. Savor St. John's Wort

Although St. John's wort is a common supplement for depression in capsule form, it can also benefit your mood when taken as a tea. Some research suggests that this herbal ingredient can relieve symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, insomnia, anxiety and depression. In fact, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that St. John's wort may work as effectively as prescription antidepressants for some people who have mild to moderate symptoms, though it's important to make sure it doesn't interact with other meds you take.

4. Adapt With Ashwagandha

Look no further than this ancient tea if you need relaxation. Ashwagandha actually qualifies as a substance called an adaptogen, which allows your body ADAPT (get it?) to stress. Humans have been drinking this herbal tea for thousands of years to support maximum function of the brain, lower stress-causing cortisol levels and resolve symptoms of anxiety and depression. A 2019 study published in Medicine (Baltimore) found that drinking ashwagandha tea effectively reduced feelings of anxiety among participants.

5. Love That Lemon Balm

Part citrus tang, part minty zip, this tea is nearly guaranteed to become your new go-to. Lemon balm has a long history as a remedy for stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression, and it can also help sharpen your mental focus. It's no wonder that this herb, native to West Asia, North Africa and Europe, is now a popular potted plant all over the world. A study published in the journal Nutrients in 2014 even backed up lemon balm's ability to relieve anxiety and soothe stress.

6. Go for the Green

Why is green such a great color for foods and beverages? You know your green veggies are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and green tea has similarly impressive health effects.

First and foremost, it contains an anxiety-alleviating amino acid called L-theanine. An animal study published by the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences also linked green tea to higher levels of serotonin and dopamine, two mood-regulating chemicals in the brain. In addition to the mental health benefits of green tea, it's packed with antioxidants that help fight cancer-causing free radicals and may support loss of fat cells.

When adding new herbal teas to your diet, check with your health care provider to make sure they don't interfere with any prescription or over-the-counter remedies you take. Some supplements can have unwanted effects when combined with other medications.