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Our 7 Most Impactful Life Tweaks for 2014

We learned a lot in 2013 and can't wait to make 2014 healthier, happier and more beautiful. Here are our biggest little changes.

Here at YouBeauty, we get flooded with amazing information—new research findings, experts who give us stellar advice, amazing new product launches, insider beauty tips, etc. We love the *idea* of all of it, but we're only human, so implementing all of it is a different story.

So what really stuck out in 2013 for the editorial team at YB? Read below to see the life tweaks—big and little—that we're bringing with us into 2014 and how you can, too.

Happier Social Media: Courtney Dunlop, Executive Editor
I love Twitter (follow me @beautyeditornyc) but it was making me so depressed. A constant feed about war, animal abuse, gun violence and environmental destruction was seriously affecting me. I would read about a whale living his entire life at Sea World and then lie awake all night crying over it. I've stopped following the most Debbie Downer accounts and will use our social media manager Julie's tips for making my Twitter world a happier place in 2014. Once a month I'll check their feeds to get updates, but I can avoid the daily deluge of depression.

Dry Shampoo: Amy Marturana, Editorial Assistant
I have very thin hair and an oily scalp, so I used to shampoo every single day to keep my hair looking clean. Until finally, this past year, I learned how invaluable dry shampoo is. Now I make it a point to only wash every other day. One day of clean hair, one day of dry shampoo. Hair is more delicate and prone to breakage when it's wet (and I have long hair, so it gets quite tangly), so cutting back on my shampoos has helped prevent extra breakage and keep my hair even healthier.

A Lactose-Free Diet: Rachel Grumman Bender, Health Editor
After a lifetime of loving—OK, worshipping—ice cream, I gave up most types of dairy in 2013. Milk products had upset my stomach for years, but after having my twins I became lactose intolerant to the point where I literally couldn’t stomach dairy anymore, except for low-fat yogurt and a few aged, hard cheese like Parmesan, which are inherently low in lactose. Sure, I miss ice cream and pizza, and I could take pills to help me digest milk products, but for me, cutting them out was easier—and safer than chancing having an upset stomach in case the pills didn't work. Bonus: After drastically reducing dairy, I lost 10 pounds and am back in my pre-baby jeans!

Drinking More Water: Amanda Schupak, Science Editor
The standard wisdom says you're supposed to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. But that recommendation could be based on bunk. And it may not adequately account for how much water is in the food you eat. Regardless, I'm pretty sure I don't drink enough. So this year I've started downing a full glass of tap as soon as I get up in the morning. (Room temp, to avoid brain-freeze.) I don't feel thirsty first thing, so I chug it like it's medicine, and it wakes me up so much that sometimes I can even skip coffee. One glass down, and I haven't even left for work yet. With this cemented into my morning routine, maybe I'll add a pint at midday and another in the evening. 2014 is going to be my most hydrated year ever.

Workout Motivation: Julie Giusti, Social Media Manager
I’ve always preferred running (at my own pace, on my own schedule) over attending a spin class or an intense bootcamp. The downside to this is, there’s nothing to really motivate you when you want to blow off a run because a "Teen Mom 2" marathon is holding you hostage. I found an easy fix for that in 2013! Earlier this year, I started aiming for 10,000 steps a day, per the American Heart Association’s recommendation. This daily goal gives me motivation and structure that's not overwhelming. I track my steps to stay on top of how much I move around, whether I run or not. I’ve been using the Moves app (I love its sleek design and non-intrusive notifications) but I asked Santa for an Up24 by Jawbone so I can really step it up in 2014. (Hopefully, he got my letter.)

Eyeliner: Valerie Fischel, Creative Manager
I always thought eyeliner weighed down my eyes and made me look sad, and part of that may be because I hadn’t really touched it since middle school when I WAS weighed down and sad. But that changed when I was working on our eyeliner tips gallery—I identified my eye shape and saw the beautiful hues that were suggested for my eye color. I grabbed some liners in various colors and pencil widths and textures. Unfortunately, the day I had the courage to start playing with them was a work day, and it resulted in me being an hour and a half late to the office as I bravely embraced my inner Cher Horowitz. (Thankfully at a beauty company that's an understandable excuse.) Now I am much more comfortable using liner and really appreciate what a difference it makes in my appearance. Dressing up (or down!) is much more exciting now that I’ve added eyeliner to my beauty arsenal.

A Gluten-Free Diet: Laura Kenney, Editor in Chief 
I've had eczema since birth, ranging in severity from a few flakes to full on flare ups. As gluten-free diets have sprung into popularity over the past few years, I heard murmurings about mythical people who had given up gluten and their eczema cleared up. In some cases, they swore their breakouts did too, which made me further obsessed. This past October I finally took the plunge—which was a challenge, considering pasta is the basis of my diet—and lo, it worked! The places my eczema appears are still drier than the rest of my skin, but they no longer itch. My face has never looked clearer, and I even lost a few pounds, though that's due to the fact that I've replaced the wheat pasta in my diet with lean proteins and salads. The affects of gluten on eczema have not yet been proven, but I'll be sticking with it in 2014—when I cheat and fall back on gluten-packed staples (hello, holiday season) the itchiness immediately returns. 

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