8. The Biggest Beauty Trends of 2013

Hooray, I have officially kept my New Year’s resolution for a week! You may laugh, but that is quite an accomplishment for me…I have become quite good at procrastination over the past several years. As you may have noticed, since my earrings post on the first of the year, I have categorized each day of the week into a different category. I thought this would help me narrow down a list of what I wanted to learn each day, rather than just sitting down at the computer and typing ‘how to’ into Google to check out the top results. For the most part, the categories came to me pretty easily, I just pulled ideas from things that I wanted to learn about, but when I got back around to Tuesday’s I was pretty stumped. I couldn’t think of a category that I was super excited to learn about 52 times this year, let alone one that I could start with a ‘T’ (I absolutely adore alliterations). I was kind of leaning towards a miscellaneous category, for those days when I wanted to learn something, but not necessarily on a weekly basis. After some brainstorming and collaboration I (my sister) came up with ‘Trendy Tuesday’s’. What the heck does that mean you ask? Basically, it’s a fancy (and alliterative) miscellaneous category. If I’m being honest, while I can definitely use the fashion tips, I am really looking forward to a second day to learn how to make crafts and accessories like the earrings I made last week. Looks like it might be time to learn how to knit/sew/crochet. Anyway, moving on (forgive the ramblings, I have been working on my website for the past 12 hours and I think I am suffering from html brain), today I decided to check out some of the beauty trends that are going to be hot this year, aside from emerald green.

I checked out this article to find some of the biggest beauty trends.

The Middle Part
So, apparently I need to brush up on my trends more desperately than I thought. Good news: the middle part is back. Bad news: I didn’t know it had gone anywhere, not to mention that it is considered a “70’s” hair style. I am going to go ahead and say I was just FAR ahead of this trend coming back.

Bold Brows
If you recently removed your eyebrows in order to draw them back on with an unnatural color of eyebrow pencil, you might want to make sure to draw them on a bit thicker this year. Sorry!

Bold brows

Skin Care for Tweens/Teens
“Many spas are noticing the need to teach tweens and teens the importance of proper skin care at an early age…to instill a healthy skin care regimen.” Really? Step 1. run water until warm, not too hot, not too cold. Step 2. splash some of said water on your face. 3. pump some sort of soap/facial cleanser etc. into your hands. 4. Lather the product between your hands, apply to your face. 5. Rinse your face. 6. Dry your face. I think that about covers it for the skin care regimen. Now tell this to your Tween/Teen and take the money you were going to spend on their spa treatment and treat yourself because you are the one raising the tween/teen. Or, alternatively, put it into their college fund, donate it to the charity of your choice, you get the picture. Just saying.

Affordable, All-Natural Beauty Products
The article focuses on products that are coming down in price, made from better-for-you natural ingredients. I am actually excited about this trend because I have been seeing a lot of recipes for natural beauty products and even household cleaners that you can make yourself at home. I look forward to trying a few of these out this year.

Hair Accessories
I absolutely love hair accessories, so I was happy to see they were making a comeback this year. Anything that saves me time from fighting with my hairstyle sounds like a good trend to me!

Hair accessories

Moon Manicures
A moon manicure is pretty much the opposite of a french manicure from what I can tell. You leave the bottom sliver of your nail unfinished or paint it a different color. I’m not a big fan from the photos I’ve seen but maybe in the right color combination it could be cute.

Stiletto Nails
Suddenly, I am understanding why moon manicures are so appealing. These are also referred to as talon nails. I want to know who a.) thought ‘pointed’ should join alongside rounded or square – edged and b.) who started calling them talon nails and STILL decided it was a good idea.

Stiletto Nails

What is your favorite trend for 2013? Which ones have you (hopefully sans talons) scratching your head? Let me know in the comments.

Thank you to pumpkincat210, Bellafaye and Nic Senior for the photos in this post.

4. Tax information you should start tracking in January

Before buying a house in 2011, my taxes were simple and required little to no thought.

1. Get W-2(s) in the mail
2. Get Financial Aid form in the mail
3. Sign up for some online tax preparation service
4. Plug in numbers from said forms
5. Wait for the return

However, with the house purchase (not to mention moving from a state with no state tax to California), I now have to do this scary thing called itemizing, and I’m realizing I did NOT prepare for this very well. Since we are at the start of a new year, I decided it would be a good idea to find out what records I should start keeping today to make my life easier next year. These are the most important things you should keep/file/do something with, and how they can help you come next tax season.

Medical expenses

What you need to claim them: Itemize your deductions (unless you are self employed).

Qualifying Deductions: Health insurance premiums that you pay out of pocket are all potentially deductible. Medical expenses must exceed 7.5% of your AGI before the give you a benefit, or if you are self-employed and not covered by an employer-paid plan you can deduct 100% of insurance premiums.

Childcare expenses

What you need to claim them: You and or your spouse must both have earned income, unless your spouse is your disabled dependent.

Qualifying Deductions: Expenses that allowed you and your spouse, if applicable, to work or look for work. The credit is only available for childcare provided for a child under 13 who you claim as a dependent.

Work-related expenses that you are not reimbursed for

What you need to claim them: Itemize your deductions; Keep your receipts.

Qualifying Deductions: “The cost of tools, equipment,supplies, required uniforms that are unsuitable for wear outside of work, protective gear, professional dues such as union dues or membership to professional organizations, subscriptions to professional journals, and even expenses you pay when looking for a new job in your current field.” Other situational deductions include, training and education related to your field of work, business use of your home and mileage driven for business use (but not commuting).

Self-employment expenses

What you need to claim them: Be self-employed, keep receipts of your bills and purchases

Qualifying Deductions: “…materials, supplies, marketing, office expenses, insurance, and travel can be deducted when you file your income taxes. Certain utilities, vehicle expenses, and expenses for operating a business from your home may also qualify.”

Charitable expenses

What you need to claim them: Itemize your deductions.

Qualifying Deductions: The value of your donated items can be deducted. This is something I often forget to get a written receipt for, and if you get audited, you won’t be able to keep these deductions. You can get a list of common items values on the Salvation Army’s website.

Miscellaneous expenses

There are other expenses you may be able to deduct depending on your particular situation, so if you think a purchase you are making will be tax deductible, make sure to keep the receipt and paper work until you find out one way or the other. Some of these include tax on large purchases (cars, RV’s etc.), educator expenses, points on refinancing and other situations.

This information and more can be found at MSN Money and in this article from Turbo Tax.