How fun is Instagram’s new “Ask me a question” feature?! After receiving a few fitness-related questions, some of my followers insisted I put together an updated health and fitness routine for the blog–and how could I resist?! I really haven’t discussed anything like this in over a year, so it is about time I catch all my readers up.

Although I love staying in shape, I am slightly nervous to post anything health-related because I definitely am not a health or fitness professional. I do not feel that the information I have will work for everyone; I can only share what works for me. Of course, I encourage all my readers to consult a physician before upgrading their diets and/or fitness routines.

So, what’s changed?

My lifestyle did a major 180-flip when I decided to give up a full-time freelancing gig. Instead of a work-from-home job that allowed me to travel (both for work and for pleasure) as much as I pleased, I now work Monday through Friday in New York City.

Of course I was a little nervous starting out. For the most part I used to prepare food, eat and work out whenever I felt like it. I thought the lifestyle change would cause a decrease in how much and how hard I work out (and that the potential stress would cause me to binge eat more often). But I was totally wrong! I almost always make it to the gym five days a week (though which five days changes from week to week).

Being healthy and in good shape is really important to me, so I do my best to always make time for either a gym or an at-home workout. But when I am feeling run down, I listen to my body and skip it if necessary. It’s not a big deal and it doesn’t happen often when I am taking care of myself.

Not to mention, I have always been a take-the-stairs kind of gal, so I get a ton of extra exercise I wouldn’t normally be getting. In fact, my walks to and from the train station add up to 30 minutes total per day. I definitely break a sweat on most days, and I’ve learned to love it! It’s really rewarding and WORTH IT because it is part of an exciting career.

In addition to my take-the-stairs habit, I have been a pack-my-own lunch gal since, well, my mom stopped packing my lunch in high school. I bring healthy snacks to work with me every day (nuts, popcorn with sea salt and raw veggies are my favs), and I hardly ever eat out.

If given the choice between sleeping in or going to bed early, I would have a hard time choosing because I LOVE sleep. And having an extra-busy life has made me appreciate sleep so much more. It is so important to your health and your overall wellbeing. I never go to bed past midnight on a night before work. This keeps me energized and focused throughout the day. Plus, lack of sleep causes sugar cravings, and I can vouch for that firsthand; when I don’t sleep enough, I crave candy and carbs like crazy the next day. 

I’ve never been a heavy drinker; three drinks are more than enough to get me buzzed. So, I’ve never had a hard time limiting my alcohol consumption because I’ve never needed to. Since leaving college, I no longer have an excuse to drink on weeknights (and I miss Thirsty Thursday’s terribly), but that doesn’t mean I go crazy every weekend. When the occasion calls for it, I will enjoy a couple cocktails or a glass of wine on the weekends, but that’s only once or twice a month. And hello—drinks in the real world cost upwards of $10, whereas a gin and tonic cost me anywhere from 50 cents to $4 in college.

Surprisingly, a lot is still the same.

My eating habits haven’t changed a bit, with the exception of the times of day that I eat. Now, I have a bowl of oatmeal around 7:30 a.m., as opposed to my usual 9 a.m. when I was freelancing. I’ll eat my snacks throughout the day at work to avoid that too-full, sluggish feeling I get after eating a lot at once, and dinner when I get home from the gym around 9 p.m. This works perfectly for me, and I am never starving or left with crazy cravings at any point.

Like I said, though, my diet in terms of what and how much I eat is still pretty much the same as it has always been. I don’t have any restrictions; I just limit processed and packaged foods, as well as refined sugar. Carbs (including sugar) from fruit, quinoa and anything else natural and nutritious are perfectly fine with me! I eat meat or seafood most days a week, and dairy occasionally and in small portions. And yes, I give into cravings once or twice a week, too (I love fried foods, chicken wings and sour candy).

How do I workout?

It’s cliché, but I just don’t feel like myself if I’m not working out enough! To stay challenged, I have a three-day cycle. On Day 1 I do an hour of varied cardio, 10 minutes of stretching and 10 to 15 minutes of ab exercises. Lately I have been loving Alexis Ren’s video on YouTube, but sit-ups on a stability ball work perfectly fine, too.

I have the flattest feet, so running really hurts my knees and hips. That’s why I love the stationary bike! Over the years I have taken so many cycling classes, which means I really know how to get a good workout when I’m on the bike by myself. To make my workouts as effective as possible, I cycle in positions 1, 2 and 3 (if you’ve ever gone to a spin class, you know what I mean) and increase the resistance throughout.

On Day 2 I do half an hour of cardio (almost always on the bike) plus stretching and a number of exercises from Katrina Brodsky’s pilates-based Curve Builder workout program. Because this program requires purchase, I can’t share any information beyond that; Katrina developed Keller Rose Fitness alongside her personal trainer. It lengthens and strengthens the muscles while toning and enhancing your curves! I love that Curve Builder is easy to do at home or on the go (equipment is minimal).

Day 3 includes weight training. I warm-up with 20 or 30 minutes of cardio, stretch, then head into the weight room. To tone my bod without building bulky muscle, I do light weights (nothing over 120 pounds) and high reps (two to four sets of 15 to 20 reps). If I notice I’m not breaking a sweat or feeling a burn, I increase the weight and/or reps. Mainly, I keep the focus on my back and legs, but I like to work my arms, too.

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In addition to quite a few of the new launches in the beauty world this month, I got my hands on several other products that I’ve been wanting to try–and I am so happy I did! I fell in love with so many great skincare and makeup items this past month, all of which I definitely see myself using throughout the summer.

New York City is currently in the midst of the first major heat wave of the season, making light, easy beauty a necessity. Many of my picks for the month of June quickly became staples in my “no makeup” makeup routine.

Haute Mess readers got a sneak peek of this month’s favs in a recent makeup look I shared, and now I am ready to dish all the details!

Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint (Sand): If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I love my Bali Body BB Cream, but recently, this lightweight, hydrating formula has stopped sticking to my skin. Instead of sinking in, it has started pilling up no matter what I do–so frustrating! I tried a couple different primers (as well as no primer at all), and nothing seems to make a difference. So, I decided to try something new!

Much like Bali Body’s BB Cream, Milk Makeup’s Sunshine Skin Tint is loaded with good-for-you, nourishing ingredients and gives the skin fresh, glowing, semi-sheer coverage. It blends evenly, and looks incredibly natural, which is why I prefer skin tints and bb creams over traditional foundations. Plus, Milk’s formula has twice the SPF as Bali Body’s.

BECCA Be A Light Face Palette (Light To Medium): BECCA’s powder bronzer and highlighter formulas are perhaps the best on the market, so I just *had* to try this new face palette with four shades: brighten, blur, blush and bronze.

I use the brightening shade to set concealer under my eyes, the blur powder to set the rest of my face and reduce the appearance of pores, the blush to give my cheeks some color and the bronze to add definition and warmth.

Because BECCA products unbeatable-ly high quality, all four powders in the Be A Light Face Palette have a silky smooth luminous finish that never look patchy or flaky!

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dawn & Storm: After a few months of hoping for new Cloud Paint shades, Glossier delivered! I was thrilled when these arrived at my doorstep. Initially, I thought Storm, the deep rose shade, was going to be my new go-to. And while it is gorgeous, I can’t seem to get enough of Dawn, a refreshing tangerine.

I am obsessed with bright orange hues for the summer (did you catch my orange lipstick post?), and Dawn helps satisfy my craving day in and day out. For a sunny, fresh-from-the-Italian-Riviera wash of color, I tap Dawn on the tops of my cheeks and across the bridge of my nose.

Benefit Cosmetics Gold Rush blush: Ever since I tried Rockateur in 2013, I have been loving Benefit’s boxed blushes. The newest addition to the range is Gold Rush, a warm, glowy, gilded peach. It works as a pretty everyday blush for a little pop of color, as well as a far-from-overbearing finishing touch that pairs well with bold eyeshadow or lip colors.

Fenty Beauty Killawatt Foil in Sand Castle/Mint’d Mojito: I am a huge fan of Fenty Beauty (and Rihanna herself), and when she dropped her summer collection, the Killawatt Foil highlighter duo in Sand Castle/Mint’d Mojito instantly called my name!

Sand Castle is a hyper-metallic, high-intensity version of the pale bronze highlighters to which I am normally drawn, while Mint’d Mojito is an insanely reflective icy blue; both have that wet look that I love! I use my ring finger to apply these shades directly to my face for a casual daytime look, and a setting brush when I want to go full glam. Either way, Killawatt Foils feel creamy and melt into the skin without much effort–just blend around the edges for a seamless application.

ColourPop Fortune eyeshadow palette: It is safe to say that I am hopelessly addicted to ColourPop’s Pressed Powder Shadows; I simply don’t see a reason to try anything else at this point. They are pigmented, creamy and blend beautifully. Oh, and did I mention single pans are only $4 each? Unreal.

Although I love mixing and matching to create my own custom palettes, sometimes ColourPop really wows me with the palettes they launch. And that was definitely the case with Fortune.

I am without a doubt more drawn to warm eyeshadows than I am to cool shadow shades, so I feel like Fortune was made for me! Every time I create an eye look with this palette, even if it is something really simple, it blows me away.

The matte berry hues look bright, clean and crisp, while the golden metallic shades take the palette from day to night. Plus, I love how the rustic reds, oranges and pinks make my blue eyes pop!

Fortune has everything I need. It is full of must-have crease colors, deeper shades for accenting the eyes and both matte and metallic options for the lids. Additionally, there are ultra-natural shades (perfect for setting down eyeshadow primer!) and inner corner/brow bone highlights.

ColourPop Lux Lipstick in Third Eye: So, I am slightly disappointed I waited a bit to try ColourPop’s new-ish Lux Lipsticks, because Third Eye is my new everyday lip color! This matte pink-beige gives me that nude “Em Rata” lip that I am always after, and the formula is easy to sheer-out so I can create a fuss-free blotted/melted lip.

FUR Oil: The review I wrote on FUR Oil wasn’t enough to express my love for this super soothing product! If you use a razor to remove body hair, this is an essential product to have on your shelf.

For years I was fed-up with shaving; I hated the irritation, the bumps, the fact that I could never get close enough. I thought there was nothing I could do about it, but FUR really made the whole process so much more enjoyable. This oil calms irritation, reduces itching and redness, minimizes bumps and ingrown hairs–all while softening the skin and the hair itself, allowing for a closer shave with continued use.

(p.s. Use my code maduhlyn15 for a discount on all your FUR goodies!)

Alexis Ren’s 10-minute ab workout: Like many others, I have a major girl crush on Alexis Ren. If you do too, you’ve likely wished she would release her workout routine (or at least part of it). I followed her on YouTube a few weeks ago and was happy to discover she has a 10-minute abdominal workout!

I really feel the burn with this one–even if I only do half of it! It requires no equipment, so it is totally doable at home or while traveling. Alexis Ren’s tricks for a toned stomach activate more muscles than traditional crunches or sit-ups alone, which has been a really effective change of pace for me. Can’t wait until she shares more of her secrets. 🙂

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Earlier this week I received an invitation to join The Newsette‘s ambassador program. I am so excited to share this amazing beauty, wellness and lifestyle site with my community!

As I just mentioned, The Newsette shares informative and motivating original content on two of my most favorite topics: beauty and wellness. I am a *huuuge* lifestyle junkie.

It is geared towards an audience of busy, career-drive women (much like myself), who don’t have time every day to catch-up on all of their go-to lifestyle websites–let alone traditional magazines! Every morning, The Newsette delivers the stories I want straight to my inbox.

Per The Newsette,

The Newsette was started back in 2015 by Daniella Pierson as a way to inspire women everywhere before a busy day of work. As a college sophomore, Daniella found that she didn’t have enough time to visit her 50 favorite websites every morning, so she set out to design a newsletter that would deliver everything her subscribers wanted to read right to their inboxes. Now, The Newsette is delivered to hundreds of thousands of inboxes daily, and includes a site that is meant to inspire, motivate and inform career-focused and busy women before their first cups of coffee.

I have been obsessed with reading (and writing!) magazines since I learned to read (and write), so of course I instantly jumped on the opportunity to represent such an esteemed digital publication! The Newsette has a already worked with quite a few brands I love, including HUM Nutrition, ELLE and Coveteur.

Additionally, I really respect the fact that The Newsette publishes truly informative and interesting articles; one look at their site and you will notice immediately the complete lack of puff pieces. Scrolling through BS Cosmo and Galore posts during my daily commute is so boring and a waste of valuable time. I really don’t care too much for celeb gossip, trendy fast fashion retailers or cliche relationship advice.

To get The Newsette newsletter straight to your inbox, subscribe here!

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This month I chose to read Ivanka Trump’s Women Who Work: Rewriting The Rules For Success! It was a great read and really inspired me to put together a post all about my strategies for staying productive at the office throughout the day (and even throughout the week).

The President’s elder daughter is an excellent role model for women of all ages. As a successful businesswoman, entrepreneur and a mom to three young kids, Ivanka inspires many young professionals–especially women–all over the globe.

I read her first book The Trump Card a couple years ago, and was so excited when she debuted this one a number of months back. To this day I still keep a lot of what Ivanka has to say in mind, both on and off the job.

Write it down: Before I start anything work-related, I make sure to write it down. This is how I start any and every assignment or project because it really helps me to organize my thoughts. Plus, it’s great to have a physical record of everything tucked away safely in a notebook.

I also keep track of everything with the help of a weekly/monthly planner! Writing down my daily goals and plans really helps me stay on-track.

Organize your space: My ability to concentrate is severely diminished by a messy workspace. Whether I’m at home or at the office, I always keep everything in its spot.

Several times a day, I will take a few minutes to tidy up my space. This technique is definitely more effective than letting the space get super-messy and having to spend a half hour at a time getting all my things organized again.

Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water isn’t so much a rule for the office as it is a rule for life in general! I feel unstoppable when I am hydrated, and that is essential because I go from task to task often throughout the day. To stay alert and keep from crashing during the afternoon, I always carry a reusable water bottle with me, which brings me to my next piece of advice…

Ditch coffee: I’ve never been a coffee drinker. Instead, I go for green tea or other healthier forms of caffeine and energy. This helps me avoid distracting jitters while working, as well as crashing before the job is done.

Dress comfortably: Looking polished doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort! There are so many timeless, gorgeous and–most of all–comfortable pieces on the market today. Recent trends and changes in style have also made it acceptable to wear comfier, more casual pieces as part of your everyday wardrobe. (Meaning certain sneakers look fashionable, as do baggy sweaters and slacks.)

At work, I tend to go for simple, relaxed pieces. Then, I add a few statement-making accessories or fun makeup to dress things up. I find that I am my most productive when my outfits are tidy and I am not distracted by how uncomfortable I feel. My go-to combos are high-rise cigarette jeans and a fitted t-shirt, or ankle-length slacks and a chunky knit sweater.

Take time away from screens: Even if tech helps you get the job done, don’t be afraid to step away from your phone, tablet and/or laptop/desktop during the day! As a PR professional, these digital tools play a huge factor in the work I do, but I understand that to be my most productive, I need to take regular breaks from them.

A few times per day, I’ll turn my computer to “sleep” mode, put my phone in a drawer, and do some work behind the camera or in a notebook. This always leaves me feeling refreshed and productive. I am definitely very lucky to have a dynamic career that allows me to be on my feet often, talking with clients and co-workers, and observing the daily operations of the company.

Collect inspo: This is especially important for those of you who, like me, work in a creative field. At work and at home, I love to keep tons of magazines and books for reference–I’ll even pull out the pages that really catch my eye and hang them on my bulletin board.

Collecting inspiration this way is great because it’s affordable and easy to change as needed. Plus, you have direct access to it throughout the day (and it is another productive activity that doesn’t involve screens)!

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A busy schedule is something that takes some getting used to. Throughout college, as well as now, in my professional life, I was able to adapt to an on-the-go lifestyle with the help of a few necessities.

Finding the right products and the ones that worked perfectly for me and my life was a process that definitely took some trial and error.

To make it easier on other women, I decided to share my must-haves for a busy life here on Haute Mess! I truly believe that the secret to a happy life is a busy life.

Erin Condren LifePlanner: Staying organized is *so* important–and so much more so when you are always on the go! My LifePlanner helps me keep track of literally everything.

I looove that it has an overview of each month, as well as weekly spreads with room for more details. This setup is essential for me; I won’t ever buy a planner that is not in this format. LifePlanner also comes equipped with tons of useful stickers that help me on top of everything.

The best part? These guys are completely customizable. You will feel like you’re treating yourself when you order your personalized LifePlanner (but you won’t feel guilty because it’s something important that you will use day after day)!

Unlike planners from office supply stores or chains like Target, Erin Condren’s are top-quality, so they will actually last the entire year without getting worn and torn. The thick paper, durable covers and strong spirals are ah-mazing. Prices vary, Erin Condren

Pop & Suki Leather Notebook: When I say that I would be nowhere without my Leather Notebook, I mean it. I cannot do anything work-related without it. From brainstorm and creating lists to writing first drafts, I put it all in my P&S Leather Notebook.

I am really old-fashioned in that I just *have* to have everything written down. It helps me think more clearly and stay more organized in general. Plus, being able to physically cross something off my list is so satisfying and makes the task so much more rewarding. $40, Pop & Suki

Jao Refresher: Fellow Glossier Rep Amy Serrano introduced me to this product a couple months ago, and now I am a changed woman!

I used to be completely against hand sanitizers; not only are they extremely drying on the skin, they kill *all* germs–even the good ones.

But, when I began taking the train to and from work every day (while spending 8 hours in Manhattan in between), I quickly realized that I’d need to swallow my pride and pick one up.

Jao is a lot chicer than Purell, so I don’t mind keeping a larger one at my desk and a smaller one in my bag. Prices vary, Jao

Glossier Balm Dotcom: If you don’t have a bedside Balm, a vanity Balm, a car Balm and a purse Balm, what are you even doing? I’ve talked about this cult-favorite universal skin salve ad nauseam on here, so I am doing my best not to go to in-depth on here.

But, Balm Dotcom is hands-down the best lip balm I have ever used–and I’ve tried pretty much anything. Now, I don’t want to try anything else!

A little goes such a long way with this product, so one tube lasts forever. Plus, it is extremely long-wearing (even through intense workouts), which is a must for me and for anyone else who is super busy on the reg.

It comes in five yummy flavors, plus Original, which is unflavored. The Cherry and Rose flavors have a red and pink tint, respectively, while the Birthday flavor is un-tinted with a subtle holographic shimmer. I love them all. Currently in my bag? Coconut and Mint. $12, Glossier

Micellar wipes: Whether you are taking your makeup off, or you just need to refresh your face on-the-go, micellar wipes are a must!

I use Bioderma’s because that’s a brand I know I can trust. Sensible H2O Wipes are extremely saturated (so just one works wonders); they are spa-quality at an affordable price. $9.90, Beautylish

Facial spray: Soothe tired, irritated and dry skin easily and quickly with a facial spray! There are so many great options on the market.

You guys already know how much I love Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber & Green Tea, as well as Lush’s Tea Tree Water toner. Because they both are available in multiple sizes, there is definitely one that will fit in your purse. Currently, I am keeping the smaller Tea Tree Water in mine because I know it has the power to fight all that NYC pollution and bacteria. $11-$23, Lush

Teeth whitening pen: This product is a godsend, so thank-you, Tarte! Not only is it vegan, it’s bleach-free, so it is gentle on teeth and actually protects the enamel.

Pearly Girl perfect for keeping in your bag post-lunch or post-gym (or post-wine). Don’t be that person brushing your teeth in a public bathroom. $22, Sephora

Glossier You Solid Perfume: We’re not in middle school anymore, so I forbid you all from keeping actual perfume bottles in your bag. Time to invest in a solid perfume like an adult.

Because I’m a Glossier Rep, I am way partial to You Solid; it smells exactly like the original You (only a bit stronger because it’s more concentrated), but it is much more travel-friendly. I love how the waxy formula melts into skin, leaving the clean, warm and sparkling scent behind all day long! $22, Glossier

Portable charger: Don’t get caught waiting for the train, the bus or an Uber without your phone! People hate on smartphones, but in my opinion they are necessary for safety and for life in general in 2018–especially if you rely on public transportation like I do.

I am all for leaving your phone in the hotel when you are on vacay or in your bag when you are out with friends, but during the work day, there is no question that it is an essential. So, invest in a portable charger if you are out of the house all day, every day!

This one from Free People easily slips into my smallest bags. (It’s also gorgeous.) $24, Free People

Sensible shoes: Don’t get me wrong–I love getting dressed up and wearing heels to work as much as the next 20-something. But oftentimes, I trade my heels for a sleek pair of sneakers or my Gucci loafers.

I’ve never been a ballet flats type of gal; I don’t like how they look at all, plus they’re not supportive and they do very little to shield your feet from the elements. That’s why I picked up a timeless pair of black Horsebit loafers from Gucci.

The style I chose can be worn as standard loafers, but the backs can also be folded down so that they become slippers. I love how versatile they are, and I know I will gave them forever.

Umbrella, sunglasses and other practical accessories: For me, accessorizing has always been about practicality, not fashion. But that doesn’t mean you can’t look good while being practical.

To avoid a major wardrobe malfunction (like being soaked to the core during an unsuspected rain shower on the way to work), I always keep an umbrella in my tote–particularly, my Little Brown Umbrella from Bloomingdale’s.

Other notable items? Sunglasses, of course, as well as a water bottle by S’well.

Moon Juice Power Dust: I picked this up during a recent sale at Free People on somewhat of a whim.

Moon Juice Beauty Dust and Sex Dust have been all over social media lately, so I’ve definitely been wanting to give the brand a try. Because I’ve never been a coffee drinker, I decided to go with Power Dust.

Basically, you empty a pouch (or two!) into water, tea or even pancake batter to reap the benefits. Power Dust has an interesting (but not unpleasant) taste. $35, Moon Juice

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