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Moody Baby, Author at Mood Baby
It’s science: You’re so exhausted because your ‘surge capacity’ is depleted

Posts by Moody Baby:

It’s science: You’re so exhausted because your ‘surge capacity’ is depleted,25 Oct 2020 in Tips

https://www.mother.ly/life/surge-capacity-and-burnout

You found your new normal during these busy times of quarantine, and you were doing all right. But now each day seems more difficult than the one before, and you feel like, Why bother? Trying to do any of your everyday activities feels like swimming in molasses… and you. just. can’t

It is hard. And it seems unfair that the world keeps turning while your life is on hold… indefinitely. You are not alone in this feeling. And maybe knowing that you have a virtual community in the same boat will help you through these heavy days. So might knowing that what you are feeling is nature’s way of helping you shift your energy to the things that can help you survive in the long run.

Most likely you are experiencing depletion of your surge capacity, which is a collection of adaptive mental and physical responses used for survival during short term stressful situations—like all the adjustments you made to your sleeping, eating, socializing, working and exercising habits to manage at the onset of quarantine. But as quarantine has become long term and continues to disrupt and threaten lives, the more stress you experience wears you out and leaves you lethargic, unable to concentrate or care.

Here’s what science tells us about our “surge capacity” for handling stress—and why you might feel more burned out than ever right now.


If someone had told you on New Year’s Eve what the next year would hold, you would not have believed them.

Founder of stress research Hans Selye (1907–1983) defined stress as the “nonspecific response of the body to any demand.” In his research, Selye distinguished acute stress—like the fight or flight you feel when you run from a bear—from chronic stress—like all the hard things you have to do during an ongoing pandemic.

Calling this the “general adaptation syndrome (GAS),” Selye summarized the total response to stress in three stages:

  1. The alarm reaction
  2. The stage of resistance
  3. The stage of exhaustion

Applying this theory to the journey many of us are experiencing during the pandemic sheds a light of solidarity on how months of uncertainty, anxiety and stress impact our well-being.

The pandemic was a surprise that caught the world off guard. Reeling back on your heels, you entered the first stage of pandemic stress with the fear of catching COVID-19. Adrenaline and cortisol ran through your veins to help you think clearly and act fast to restore your balance as you navigated the new terrain.

Then, the second stage of stress emerged with life under quarantine, where you found ways to adapt and developed defenses to strengthen your mental and physical resistance—you surged in order to manage quarantine on all levels and in all facets of life.

No wonder six months later, as the pandemic continues, you are exhausted—this final stage renders ineffective all that you did before to cope.

The COVID-19 pandemic seems like it will never end, and the chronic stress it causes is burning you out.

It can be difficult to rally and meet the day head-on when every day feels the same. “This feeling of hopelessness wears you down, leading to a higher level of stress than you’re accustomed to, for a longer period of time than you’re accustomed to, without access to the usual coping mechanisms you’re accustomed to,” explains Dr. William Orme, a psychologist and behavioral health expert at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas. “As a means of self-preservation, you disengage to avoid the stressors altogether,” he continues, and “in the process, you avoid doing things you know you should be doing.”

But as quarantine persists, so must you.

When you can’t change the situation, “the only thing you can change is your perception of it,” said educator and family stress researcher, Dr. Pauline Boss. Her definition of ambiguous loss—a loss that’s unclear and lacks a resolution—describes clearly what is being experienced to some degree by everyone these days.

“In this case, it is a loss of a way of life. It’s the loss of our freedom to move about in our daily life as we used to,” says Dr. Boss. “What we used to have has been taken away from us… all things we were attached to and fond of, [are] gone right now, so the loss is ambiguous,” Dr. Boss explains.

This kind of loss can leave you searching for answers, complicating and delaying a natural part of the experience of grief—acceptance. But acceptance doesn’t mean giving up, just changing how you look at things. By accepting that life is different right now, instead of resisting or fighting reality, you are able to use that energy elsewhere to be proactive and constructive so that you can find meaning, satisfaction and motivation again during quarantine.

Here are some ways to shift your energy to what you can manage:

Focus on maintaining and strengthening important relationships
Nothing can replace being with family and friends in person, but embracing your way of staying connected —zoom, a text, email or phone call—allows you to feel a sense of control and community.

Focus on what you can do right now, not what you can’t
Take care of the little things you can control, like nutrition, sleep, exercise and hygiene. Enjoy the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction they can bring to boost your mood and help face your stress.

Focus on what life holds for you right now
Pay attention to and appreciate what the day brings you right now, finding the hidden positives that could help you face the actual tasks and stressors in front of you.

Focus on new and old activities that fulfill you
Creative activities like cooking, gardening, painting, or house projects can be especially satisfying right now because they have a planning element and a here-and-now experience element that can be grounding.

Bottom Line: A sense of control in your daily life can be the self-care that gets you through these uncertain days. And knowing that you are not alone in this experience can be a relief. By being patient with yourself and with the situation we’re all in now, you can use your energy to tend to the things that help you build the resilience to face anything that comes your way. You’ve got this.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Burnout is not depression. If you suspect what you are feeling goes deeper than you feel you can manage, contact your medical provider for prompt attention.



Why science says we need to open schools—and shut bars,25 Oct 2020 in Tips

https://www.mother.ly/child/close-bars-gyms-reopen-schools

School administrators, public health officials and parents have struggled to answer the question of how—or whether—to send kids and teachers back to school this fall, with COVID-19 cases on the rise in the majority of states and local transmission rates remaining high in many areas.

The biggest voices have picked up their megaphones to amplify the debate, with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control coming out in support of reopening schools with specific protections in place. Other organizations, such as the National Federation of Teachers, urged a gradual, cautious approach.

But recent data seems to point toward good news: Preschools and elementary schools are not superspreaders of the virus, according to researchers. The major outbreaks that some educators and parents feared might result from schools re-opening for in-person instruction do not seem to be coming to pass.


Shockingly (and sadly) there is currently no coordinated, federal effort to track COVID cases in schools. So all of the information that we have is coming from uneven reporting from school districts and from independent researchers, such as the National Covid-19 School Dashboard project, led by parent and researcher Emily Oster of Brown University.

And admittedly, it’s still early days yet—cold and flu season has scarcely begun, and the New York City public school system, for example (the nation’s largest, with over 1 million students) has only been open for hybrid instruction for six weeks. But in many states, schools have been open since late July or early August, and in numerous other countries schools have reopened, to various degrees, without a corresponding surge in coronavirus infections.

A recent report on school reopening research from the United States and internationally put it clearly: “Widespread transmission can occur among school-age children, but that there is very little evidence, at least in the context of relatively low community transmission, that schools have been a driver of transmission.”

That sentence bears re-reading, though, because it puts the good news about schools reopening into an important context: where there is relatively low community transmission, schools can reopen safely without fears of creating a major outbreak.

In almost every conversation about reopening schools, the focus has been on what schools need to do to lower the risk of viral transmission: Temperature screens, frequent testing, student cohorts, in-school health clinics, planning for outbreaks, spacing out desks, serving lunch in classrooms, staggering arrivals, alternating schedules, requiring masks, washing hands.

But according to health experts, reopening schools safely isn’t about what schools need to be doing. It’s about what our country needs to be doing. And we’re not doing it.

The sad truth is, when coronavirus transmission is unchecked in the community that a school serves, no amount of hand-washing or social distancing will prevent the risk of infection from traveling to the school community too.

This summer, the New England Journal of Medicine published its own paper on reopening schools, voicing its support for reopening elementary schools but shifting the focus away from a laundry list of to-dos and must-haves for beleaguered school administrators, underfunded school districts and overtaxed teachers.

Instead, the health and education experts who wrote the opinion focused on what should be painfully obvious to all of us by now: We need to close nonessential indoor services, such as restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters and bowling alleys, in order to lower local virus transmission rates so that kids can go to school safely.

As the NEJM article explains, “It would be best—and evidence from many countries demonstrates that it’s possible—to lower community transmission rates by means of stringent control measures…so that schools can reopen this fall with an acceptable level of safety.” Epidemiologists have been urging for months that communities work to get their transmission ratio down to 10 (or fewer) new daily cases per 100,000 people in order to safely reopen schools—although with the virus out of control in many states, some infectious disease experts have suggested that the case ratio could be as high as 25 in 100,000 before shut-down measures need to be put into place.

Under conditions of controlled community spread, however, more schools could reopen with more confidence, as long as they were also supported and funded appropriately. “We believe that primary schools should be recognized as essential services—and school personnel as essential workers—and that school reopening plans should be developed and financed accordingly,” the NEJM article notes.

Controlling community spread of the virus is an achievable goal, as has been observed in other countries where schools have managed to reopen without seeing an accompanying spike in transmission—bu that requires both national leadership and responsible local prioritization. “This should be a national priority,” Anita Cicero, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told Pro Publica. “It’s measurably more important than reopening bars and restaurants.”

And therein, apparently, lies the real problem. We have chosen, as a country, to prioritize non-essential services and activities like bowling alleys and restaurants over schools.

The authors of the NEJM paper, Dr. Meira Levinson of the Harvard School of Education and epidemiology experts Dr. Müge Çevik and Dr. Marc Lipsitch, addressed the risks and benefits of children and teachers returning to schools, emphasizing the many reasons why in-person school is such a high priority—for our economy, for social equality and children’s well-being and development.

“The fundamental argument that children, families, educators, and society deserve to have safe and reliable primary schools should not be controversial,” the authors write. “If we all agree on that principle, then it is inexcusable to open nonessential services for adults…if it forces students to remain at home even part-time this fall.”

So how do we make schools safe to reopen? We choose to, by making decisions that prioritize controlling the spread of the virus.

We choose to open schools for kids by choosing to wear masks.

We choose to open schools for kids by choosing not to open non-essential services for adults.

We choose to open schools for kids by choosing to fund schools so that they can afford the services, tools and staff they desperately need in order to follow public health recommendations.

We choose to open schools for kids by making responsible decisions—the kinds of “adult” decisions our kids are relying on all of us to make.

“Our sense of responsibility toward children—at the very least, to protect them from the vicissitudes of life, including the poor decision making of adults who allow deadly infections to spiral out of control—is core to our humanity,” the authors write. We can be the grownups our kids need us to be.

Close the bars. Close the bowling alleys. Close the gyms, the indoor restaurants, the indoor movie theaters.

That way, we can really show that we prioritized reopening schools.

This post has been updated.



Can you prevent your child from becoming a fussy eater?,25 Oct 2020 in Tips

https://babyology.com.au/podcasts/feedplaylove/can-you-prevent-your-child-from-becoming-a-fussy-eater/

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as watching a child eat with a healthy appetite. The reverse is also true. When a child is fussy, you can hover over them at the dinner table, hoping against hope that they will eat something you have cooked. Dr Jen Cohen is a nutritionist at University of NSW who […]

The post Can you prevent your child from becoming a fussy eater? appeared first on Babyology.



54% Off Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends TrackMaster, Cave Collapse,25 Oct 2020 in Tips

https://babycheapskate.com/?p=108269

Save 54% on the Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends TrackMaster, Cave Collapse at Amazon right now.

It’s $22.90. List price is $49.99.

Hurry! This deal could end at any time.

Free shipping with Prime or when you spend $35 or more.



Dear 2020 baby: Thank you,25 Oct 2020 in Tips

https://www.mother.ly/life/dear-2020-baby

Sweet 2020 baby,

I just want to say thank you.

Because in many ways, this year has been a mess.

A bit of a disaster, really.

But you.

You’ve been the light in the darkness.


The calm in the chaos.

The joy in the midst of a whole lot of hardship and pain and frustration.

So I know people will talk about 2020.

They’ll talk about the stress and the fear and the sadness.

They’ll recount every bit of the hard stuff that’s brought tears to my eyes more times than I can count.

But I’m just so glad that, when I think back on this year, I also get to think about you.

Because you’re such a gift.

The sweetest blessing.

And even though things looked a little (okay—a lot) different than I’d planned, and it certainly wasn’t always easy or comfortable, your timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

So thank you, little one.

Thank you for allowing me to be grateful for 2020.

Because it gave me you.

The post originally appeared on Kisses With Boys with Krista Ward.



Playing with stuffed animals is the worst—but I still do it for my child,25 Oct 2020 in Tips

https://www.mother.ly/child/playing-with-stuffies

Their faces haunt me. Their little glittery eyes. Their sewn-on mouths. Their expressions: innocent enough, until you swipe your thumb across the plush… and reveal the face of pure, bottomless evil.

The stuffies.

As a parent, you are forced into an uncomfortable familiarity with
your child’s stuffed animals. You are forced to get to know their personalities, their preferences and where they like to “sleep” at night. I had to learn, for example, the critical difference between the mostly-identical-to-the-naked-eye light gray kitty and striped gray kitty, and I was taught in no uncertain terms that Little Dog and Dog Dog were not just wholly separate entities but also specialized in completely different fields of stuffed dogness.

But more than just being able to tell the difference between your child’s stuffed animals, there’s also the exquisite torture of being forced to
play with them.

True life: I have literally fallen asleep while playing stuffed animals with my daughter, it is so soul-piercingly boring.


Parents (and “fun uncles”) will recognize the truth of this statement: One of the worst things you can do is to come up with a game your kid loves, or a joke that makes them happy, or a facial expression that makes them laugh. Because guess what? Now you’re telling that joke, making that face or playing that game for the rest of time, until you die.

When my daughter was 3, I made the mistake of coming up with a (if I say so myself) pretty awesome way to play with stuffies: I adopted my best, most sonorous
David Attenborough voice and narrated the wild coming-of-age trials and tribulations of my kid’s stuffies. Kittens were hunted by wild raccoons until they, improbably, learned to make friends and banded together against their common enemy, a giant owl. Baby deer attempted to climb waterfalls with guidance from some fish. A bear adopted a piglet. Planet Earth had nothing on what was happening at our house.

Guess what. We played
Planet Earth: Stuffies until it actually, literally put me to sleep mid-narration. David Attenborough would never.

But I didn’t learn my lesson—I did it again when my daughter was 5, and every day when she came home from preschool we sat on her bed playing
Harry Potter Stuffies, re-enacting Quidditch games with a kitten, a puppy and a stuffed baby dragon as Hermione, Ron and Harry. (Okay, actually, Harry Potter Stuffies was kind of fun. Until the thousandth time we played it, anyway.)

Research tells us that getting down on the floor with our kids and playing with them is one of the best ways to
boost their cognitive and emotional development. While children benefit from independent, unstructured playtime, children also learn valuable social-emotional skills—like patience, empathy and sharing—from playing with their parents. Playing with your child promotes bonding and creativity. There are real health benefits for parents in playing with our kids, too.

So, file under “boring-but-necessary part of parenthood:” Playing stuffies is sweet, and it
brings you closer to your child—until the repetition and the exquisite boredom put you to sleep. (I wish I had known some of these social-skills-boosting games to play with kids to mix up the David Attenborough routine a bit.)

And I admit, I do really like one of my daughter’s stuffies. He is an unassuming, dorky-looking knitted bunny doll with a blue striped coat and absurdly long arms, legs and ears—really, he bears no resemblance to any actual bunny, anywhere. I just like the look of him.

Floppy Bunny doesn’t always get picked for a Quidditch team when we play
Harry Potter Stuffies. He doesn’t always make it to the treetop with the other stuffies during Planet Earth: Stuffies. But sometimes I’ll sneak Floppy Bunny into the mix, just to make sure he feels included. Because I guess I’m learning something from playing with stuffies, too.

More than just another teddy bear: Offbeat and adorable stuffies for imaginative play.

Otto narwhal knitted plush toy

narwhal plush toy

Made of organic knit cotton and beautiful attention to detail, this adorable and magical narwhal will provide hours of imaginative play for all.

Moo Moo the cow

cow plush

Mooove over, a new stuffie is in town! This little cow serves as nighttime companion and new favorite plaything for every farm animal loving kid.

Painted Pony soft toy

painted pony toy

This adorable pony stuffie comes with Mary Meyer’s signature tags, which little ones absolutely love touching and playing with.

Putty sloft plush

sloth plush

Sloths are all the rage right now, and with this soft little buddy, you child will be sure to fall in love with them, too.

Lily Llama Plush

llama plush

Soft, snuggly and oh-so-fun, this llama plushie is as fun to play with as it is pretty to look at.

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You’ve got this.



11 products to help ease the daylight saving sleep fight,24 Oct 2020 in Tips

https://www.mother.ly/shop/daylight-savings-products-that-help

Daylight saving is coming for us once again, and as any seasoned parent knows, your child’s sleep is about to get messed up (again) for a week or so. You could be in the lucky group of parents whose children are pro sleepers and don’t even realize the clock changed, but since I’m not one of them, I’ve done all the research about what helps kids sleep better and longer for my own sanity.

The most important thing is creating a routine for your children so they know what to expect when bedtime rolls around. The routine can be anything that fits your family. Bath time? Yes, that helps children relax and also get a little bit more time for play, but with three under 3, bath time is not an everyday thing at our house (no judgment please). Story time? Absolutely. Even a quick book can get them in the mood for some sleep. There are other products, classics and new inventions that deserve a shout out because they have been so useful with my children in setting up a great sleep environment.

Here are my favorite products to prepare for daylight saving time:


Blackout shades

Gro Anywhere Blackout Blind

These Tommee Tippee blackout shades are ideal to take with you wherever you go. Perfect for traveling or naps at the grandparents house, these will make any room pitch dark. I use them as we all adjust to time changes so we’re not waking up when the sun’s up an hour before we’re used to.

Weighted sleepsack

DREAMLAND BABY  Dream Weighted Sleep Sack, 6-12 months

Just like your favorite weighted blanket, this weighted sleep sack helps little ones sleep better by making them feel secured and hugged. It’s a best seller for a reason, it works!

A mighty sound machine

YOGASLEEP  Dohm Connect Sound Machine

I’ve had a Dohm machine since forever for my toddler, but the new version is so much mightier than the original model. The sound is louder and easier to turn on and off thanks to the button being at the top (I can even do it with my foot!). This sound machine will keep unwanted noises from disturbing your kids, like birds chirping or your neighbor’s loud car as they go off to work.

Sleepy time oil blend

BAMBINI FURTUNA  Dreamy Hush Time Roller

This roller comes filled with an oil blend of blend of herbs and flowers that smell delicious and can be introduced at bedtime as a cue for sleepy time. Plus, you can use it on yourself as well.

Hatch light

Hatch Rest

If you have kids sleeping in big kid beds, this Hatch light + sound machine is the perfect tool to teach them when it’s time to get out of bed. Choose your family’s wake up time and the unit illuminates to let kids know it’s ok to leave their room. You can also control the color it glows via the app.

Portable sound machine

LectroFan Alpha

If your baby wakes up ahead of time and messes up your whole schedule, don’t panic. You might need to embrace naps on the go, and for that, I swear by this ‘LectroFan portable sound machine. It gets my twins to sleep in their stroller in literally seconds.

Calming bubble bath powder

NOODLE & BOO  Calming Bubble Bath Powder

Pediatrician-tested, this bubble bath is enriched with gentle moisturizers leaving skin extra soft. Safe to use from 6 months and up, it will make any bath time more enjoyable for everyone.

Soft lovey

SLUMBERKINS  Narwhal Snuggler

Introduce a new friend to keep them company in bed. These Slumberkins loveys are my children’s favorites. They are soft, durable and all come with a story to read, which is ideal for a routine. I seriously cannot recommend these enough.

Super soft PJs

Kyte ZIPPERED FOOTIE IN EMERALD

If you haven’t heard about Kyte Baby, you are missing out because OMG their PJs are so soft! They will make your babes feel totally comfortable and snuggly in time for rest.

A blanket to hug

Organic Cotton Oversized Baby Blanket

Reserved only for big kids (babies should not sleep with anything in their cribs), this blanket is perfect to tuck them in, keep them warm, but also allow them to hug something as they drift away for the night. Made of 100% organic cotton, it comes with two chic shades of colors.

A travel crib

BABYBJu00d6RN  Portable Travel Crib

If in a pinch (or working with those naps on the go) this BABYBJORN travel crib is perfect for your babe to nap anywhere. I’ve put my babies in it inside our closet (hey, it’s the darkest room in the house!) and they slept like the best babies they are.

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You’ve got this.



The Problem With Saying 'When Things Get Back To Normal' After COVID-19,24 Oct 2020 in Tips

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/problem-things-get-back-to-normal-covid_l_5f8a0478c5b62dbe71c2b105

We won’t resume regular life for a while ― and some things have changed permanently due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s how to deal with our new reality.



54% Off Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends TrackMaster, Cave Collapse,24 Oct 2020 in Tips

https://babycheapskate.com/?p=108269

Save 54% on the Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends TrackMaster, Cave Collapse at Amazon right now.

It’s $22.90. List price is $49.99.

Hurry! This deal could end at any time.

Free shipping with Prime or when you spend $35 or more.



Our editors tried Drew Barrymore's new beauty line—here's what we thought,24 Oct 2020 in Tips

https://www.mother.ly/shop/drew-barrymore-beauty-line-flower

Every time a celebrity launches a beauty collection, my reaction is meh because it always feels so unattainable to me, both in price but also in skills required to use the products. As a mom of different aged kids, my routine is basically as fast as I can possibly accomplish this task while trying to also check work email. So no, I don’t have time to contour my face like the Kardashian sisters. I do, however, have time to put some Chapstick on my lips.

But then came Drew Barrymore‘s new beauty line, FLOWER Beauty. She’s a super relatable person to begin with, but also a mega honest mom. She got our attention so we decided to test some of her products, thinking about other moms out there who might need a little extra self-care without breaking the bank.

Here are our FLOWER Beauty by Drew Barrymore reviews:


Supernova celestial priming whip

FLOWER by Drew Supernova Celestial Priming Whip

I’m obsessed with using a good primer because without one my makeup just doesn’t last as long or look as smooth. The one I’ve been using has been on the spendier end so I was eager to see what a more affordable (and whipped!) version would be like.

Well, no joke, it’s amazing. It’s so incredibly light, but also hydrating for my dry skin and gives me a soft-focus glow almost as if someone airbrushed me. I couldn’t believe how smooth and glowy I looked just with the primer alone. I can see myself using this on no-makeup days just to give my skin a little love, and with how affordable this one is, I think I might just kick my spendy version to the curb. – Karell

Chill out calming skin serum

Flower by drew chill out calming skin serum

I stay up too late and don’t drink enough water. At 38, I should be better about things like this, but lately I’ve decided acceptance is easier than change. And as a woman who’s obsessed with skin care, it speaks to how stuck in my ways I actually am. Yes, breaking those habits could have a positive effect on my skin, but so can buying the right products. Like this one.

I’ve used a couple dozen hyaluronic acid serums over time and this one ranks right up there with the best of them. I love them for their plumping and moisturizing abilities while providing a fresh, dewy look that says “sure, I drink plenty of water!” Like most, it’s lightweight and absorbs nicely. It’s not sticky at all and the infusion of CBD helps alleviate any redness which is a real bonus. – Sara

Rotating styling iron

Flower Hair Tools Titanium 1.25u201d Rotating Styling Iron

Let me start by saying that I’m not a pro when it comes to styling my hair, however now that my time is very limited with all kids at home all the time, and having not look put together since basically 2018, I wanted to try this brush to see if it could control my hair.

It’s super easy to use and it heats fast. My hair didn’t look like it was styled professionally, but it really smoothed my wild curls without making my hair frizzy. If you are concerned about heat damage, this iron doesn’t come with different heat settings, just on and off. I’m looking forward to getting good at doing my hair with it, because just with one try it was already a game-changer. – Conz

Powder Play lip color

Flower by Drew powder play lip color

I’ve never used a powder lip color before so I was extremely skeptical about how this would be. My lips tend to be on the drier side so I actually don’t like using matte or “everlasting” lip products because they tend to make my lips feel dull. Imagine my surprise when I put on this lip powder and it actually felt hydrating.

The powder turns into a soft cream once you put it on and it’s completely weightless on your lips. The color I tried, Tease, is the perfect color for a no-makeup makeup look because it adds just the right touch of pink and brightness to my lips. And it seriously feels like you’re wearing nothing. I want to buy one in every color. – Karell

Chill out smoothing color corrector

Flowe by Drew chill out smoothing color corrector

When I look in the mirror, the first thing I see are the dark under eye circles I’ve battled since, oh, forever? I’ve lost count of how many formulas I’ve tried, from drugstore to fancy expensive brands, to help banish them and have yet to find one I’m particularly loyal to. That said, this one does a pretty darn good job.

With a peachy tone to offset the blueish skin, the creamy formula neutralizes the area instantly. It’s also infused with vitamin E and jojoba extract to help moisturize, so it doesn’t settle into the fine lines and bring attention to the second thing I notice when I look in the mirror. My only request? More shades. – Sara

Scribble stick

Flower by Drew scribble stick

As a busy working mom, I’m always looking for multitaskers to make my life easier, and this scribble stick is exactly that. It’s billed as being for eyes and lips, but I even used a little on my cheeks and blended to make a great, easy blush. I love the pigment on the color I tried, Plumsicle, which gives you a dramatic vampy lip, and is perfect for making a lazy smokey eye. This is a great one to toss into your bag for on-the-go application. – Karell

Color shift lip smoothie

COLOR SHIFT LIP SMOOTHIE

After a week of wearing this lip treatment, my lips feel amazing even more so considering it’s already super cold where I live and by now my lips are usually so chapped. The pH adjusting technology changes the shade of this lip smoothie for the best for your lips, so it adds a little touch of color without it being a full on lipstick type of coverage, which I was really into. – Conz

Fiber Fix brow gel

Flower by Drew fiber fix brow gel

Boy Brow? Never met him. I’m totally crushing on Flower’s affordable fiber-infused brow gel these days. I have a pretty basic make up routine, but defining my light brows is a foundational part of it. It works wonders for making your eyes pop, making you look awake even if you’re riding the struggle bus at 7am after being woken up six times in the night. I’ve been using this one for a couple weeks now and I’m impressed with the way it stays put throughout the day without flaking off. Also, the tiny brush is just right for applying it like a pro even though I’m very much not. – Sara

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You’ve got this.