Friday, June 5, 2015

Apple Watch: Where Fashion Meets Technology

I tried to resist buying the Apple Watch, I really did. Who, after all, needs a computer on their wrist? Well, no one, but I'm an Apple fangirl at heart, so I placed my order.

Then it arrived, and I fell in love so quickly that it surprised even me. I'll say it again before I dive in, no one needs an Apple Watch. No one needs a Keurig machine to make coffee, either. I save only seconds, maybe a couple of minutes in prep work and cleanup each day using K-cups rather than brewing ground coffee. Nor does anyone need diamonds, or jewelry, or designer bags/shoes/clothes. Still, there is a basic pleasure in indulging in life's little luxuries sometimes. The Apple Watch is highly individual. If you ask five different people what they like about it, you'll get five different answers. If you're interested in what I like about the Apple Watch, personally, read on.
Photo from StyleCaster
I love Apple's aesthetic, the clean lines and rounded edges. Now I can wear it on my wrist. Though it's hard to tell from my sunset picture at the top, I have the same watch as the model just above. I love the shiny stainless steel casing. The white band probably wouldn't be my first choice for daily use, but it's neutral, and I plan to collect some third-party watch bands in "my colors" to supplement it. It definitely makes a statement. No one said a word about my Movado watch in the 15 years I wore it (other than "How do you read that thing?"); but people notice the Apple Watch. I expect this will change once it's been around for a while, but being an early adopter means getting comments and questions.

I enjoy being able to change the very face of the watch. In my top photo, I confirmed that yes, the sun was indeed setting when the watch told me it was. :) I've included some of my favorite faces below, but there are more, and more features and options within each one. Rather than choosing one favorite face, I move between them as my mood (and my outfit) dictates.

While all of this is very nice, the real reason for the Apple Watch is its functionality. I won't try to outline all of its features here, but I have a few favorites.

I had a FitBit prior to the Apple Watch, and I liked how it kept me accountable and helped me make sure I moved at least 10,000 steps per day. The Apple Watch takes it a step further with its three circles. In order to fill all three circles each day, you have to 1) exercise at least 30 minutes 2) burn a certain number of moving calories (determined by your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level) and 3) stand and move around for at least one minute of every hour for 12 hours. Getting those circles closed each day is quite motivating, and I do find myself moving more, not just working out and then spending most of the rest of the day on the couch.

The camera remote is a nice touch. I set up my iPhone wherever, then tap my wrist and smile! Instant selfie or group photo without the outstretched arm (or dreaded selfie stick).

I use the iPhone's GPS to get around, and the Apple Watch adds an extra layer of assistance. Wrist taps tell me which way to turn, in case I miss the spoken directions from the phone.

The notifications have really helped me stop looking at my phone so much. If I'm expecting a call, or a text, or an email, I don't have to keep pulling out and booting up my phone to see if anything's happening. A gentle tap to my wrist tells me something important is going on, and a split second glance tells me if it's something that needs my immediate attention or not. As a result, I'm not worried every second about my phone being on my person. I leave it in my purse or on the charger and go about my day. When I'm out to dinner, I don't keep my phone on the table in case one my kids is trying to reach me anymore. I won't miss anything.

The complications on some of the watch faces give me split second access to my activity levels, the date, the weather, my next appointment, and of course, the time. There are lots of other options to add, but those are my favorites.

I haven't even gotten into the apps, but I consider those secondary. If I'm going to go digging around into apps, I'll usually pull out my phone. It's the quick stuff I really enjoy on my Apple Watch.

So is there a killer feature? No, not really. But all of the little things add up to something I really enjoy wearing.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Best Face Wash I've Found for Cleansing Skin and Removing Makeup in One Step

I've tried quite a few face washes over the past year or so, which I've like to varying degrees. I have combination skin. I tend to get oily in the usual places (my T-zone, plus the middle of my cheeks) and dry around my mouth area, especially in the winter. I wouldn't call my skin overly sensitive, but I do tend to break out if a product doesn't agree with me, and I do have a bit of rosacea. I do like a cleanser that makes my skin feel clean but not taut and dry. I also like to wash my face and remove my makeup in one step, rather than having to use a separate makeup remover. And price matters to me as well.

Here are some of the ones I've tried recently:

I'd heard that Cetaphil was very gentle, so I gave it a shot. Surprisingly, I did not particularly like it. It left my skin rather taut, plus it seemed to exacerbate my rosacea. And it did not remove much of my eye makeup at all.

Next, I tried Garner Clean + Makeup Removing Lotion Cleanser. I didn't like this one at ALL. It felt waxy in my hands, waxy on my face, and did not do a good job of removing my eye makeup.

I got a free sample of Clinique's Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser. I do like this one, and will continue to use the free samples that often come in their Gift with Purchase bags. It feels luxurious to the touch, and I like how it makes my skin feel - soft. It doesn't do a perfect job of removing eye makeup, but pretty close. It is, however, pretty expensive, so I kept looking for one I could buy at the drugstore.

I finally found a drugstore cleanser I really like. Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser is reasonably priced and does the job. This one leaves my skin soft and doesn't aggravate it. It's still not perfect at removing every bit of eye makeup, but it's the closest I've found. I did try another cleanser in this line and didn't like it as well. This will be my go-to cleanser from now on.

What's your favorite face wash?

Monday, March 9, 2015

You Say You Want a Revolution....Gray

I just wanted to give a shout out to Revolution Gray and thank them for including me on their fabulous list of 25 "Gray Hair" Bloggers Who Rock - 2015 Edition.

It's so flattering to be noticed at all, not to mention being grouped with so many fabulous ladies. If you haven't already, you should also check out their 25 "Gray Hair" Bloggers Who Rock - 2013 Edition. Some of those ladies provided me with much needed inspiration to take my own silver journey.