I should start this post admitting that I’m no beauty expert. I typically put on some mascara and go. However, occasionally, I enjoy being a girly girl, and there’s no better time to stock up on makeup goodies than at Sephora’s sale. All Beauty Insiders get 10% off, and all VIBs and VIB Rouges get 15%! Scroll through below to see some of my favorites.
As much as I’d like to be in a springtime frame of mind, the forecast is looking a little bleak. We’re talking 45 degrees next week. Not cool. The only good thing about it is that I’ve been watching the prices of winter outwear online, and there are some incredible deals right now if you’re in the market. (If you’ve been thinking about getting into skiing – or you just want to go on a fun ski trip with your friends but actually stay in the spa – now is the time to buy!) Scroll through some of the best deals below, and I’ve also included links to some retailers who are offering 30-70% off!
BackCountryEdge – 30-50% off
Sierra Trading Post – up to 70% off
MooseJaw – 20% off all items (including sale) with code YAY20
In case you’re curious what I ordered, I got the Patagonia Fitz Roy from Backcountry (45% off – best price online!) and paired it with the Patagonia Piolet (I got it 40% off at BackCountryEdge, but it’s no longer on sale; keep your eye out). I also ordered the Marmot Alpen Component Jacket (less than $200 with various promo codes they’re always offering!) to see which I liked best. While I certainly liked the price of the Marmot jacket, it wasn’t as warm as the Patagonia combo, and Patagonia’s warranty cannot be beat. To me, it was worth it to pay more, but it totally depends what you’re using it for. I wanted something for those days when it’s below 30 degrees and the wind blows right through you, but you may just want something for those 30-45 degree days when you’re running errands. Happy hunting!
I don’t know about y’all, but I do not appreciate losing an hour of sleep. A girl needs her beauty rest! However, I was awakened to an insane amount of emails alerting me of sales, so that softens the blow. Check out some of the bests below!
Ann Taylor – 40% off with code FRIENDS40
Gap – 30% off $100 or more with code DOCTORISIN
H&M – up to 60% off of 100+ styles
J.Crew Factory – 350 styles are all under $35 + free shipping
J.Crew – 30% during the 23 hour sale with code TIMETOSHOP
Jack Rogers – 20% off wedges with code SPRING16
Neiman Marcus – double gift card event (spend $250, get $50; spend $500, get $100; spend $750, get $200; spend $1000, get $300)
Pottery Barn – 20% off pillows with code PILLOW
I recently got the chance to review some pretty great products from CoverGirl thanks to Influenster. I’m pretty basic when it comes to makeup, but I love to try new products to share with you guys – especially those that help you stick to your budget, like CG.
Oh Sugar Lip Balm in Caramel – This color did not work for me. At all. I’m also not completely sold on the idea of tinted lip balms, either. I don’t think the colors ever last long enough. That said, I like how smooth it is and the level of coverage, so if tinted lip balms are your thing, this is definitely worth the $8.99 price tag.
TruNaked Eye Pallette – Love love loved this. I’m not a huge eyeshadow person, because it tends to rub off for me after a few hours. (Okay, that’s probably user error.) However, this stayed put through an entire night out filled with dancing. Plus, I like how it has all the complementary colors in one handy place; makes it easy for us lazy makeup girls. These shades not for you? They also offer several other options.
Plumpify Mascara – I’m a mascara snob. I think everyone is making insanely shapes brushes that don’t live up to the hype. However, I was very impressed with this mascara. It volumized just as well as my They’re Real, and it’s half the price.
As you probably already know based on previous reviews, I’m a member of the Influenster community. It’s an awesome program for bloggers in which great companies send out their products in exchange for honest blogger reviews. I enjoy trying new things, but I’m sometimes afraid to unless a friend or a blogger I really trust recommends it, so I love the opportunity to do the same for you!
The latest box I received is the Jingle Vox Box. It came with seven great products that I recently tested and would love to share.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream – I actually already use this cream. I love how hydrating it is, and I use it year-round.
Hallmark itty bittys – So cute! I don’t have kiddos, so I’m going to give this to one of my coworkers, but how sweet are these little cuties?
Pure Ice Nail Polish – I received this in Home Run. It’s remarkably similar to Essie’s Mint Candy Apple for a quarter of the price. Seriously.
KISS True Volume Lashes – I’m a total novice when it comes to false lashes (my makeup routine is very basic), but these were surprisingly easy to use and will be part of my NYE outfit. Wish me luck!
NYC Cityproof 24HR Waterproof Eye Liner – I can’t attest to whether it lasts for 24 hours, but this definitely lasted through an entire evening of drinks with friends, which makes it good in my books. Plus, it’s half the cost of everything else I’ve ever tried.
Ore-Ida Tater Tots – I won Best Girlfriend award when I busted these out for breakfast this weekend. Their website actually has a bunch of neat recipes that incorporate tater tots, which I’m looking forward to trying.
Thanks to Influenster and all of these great companies for sending me these products to review. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!
While I love all things girly, at heart, I’m a traditionalist. You’ll find more plaid than glitter in my house. If you have a friend like me, this is the gift guide you need!
Monogram Gloves // Headband // Tartan Loafers // Fair Isle Socks // Phone Case // Plaid Pumps // Bean Boots // Handbag // Candle // Camp Socks // Plaid Glass Decanter // Leather Watch // Sunglasses // Leather Loafters // Leather Weekender // Monogram Scarf // Plaid Low Ball Glasses // Sleep Mask
So I goofed. I told you guys I’d post my final review in two weeks, and, after I wrote the post that Thursday night, I accidentally scheduled the post for 09/18/2016. Oops. Anyway, it has officially been four weeks since I started using Smile Brilliance, and I’m excited to share my final thoughts with you.
Here’s the before:
Edit: I figured out why the first picture looks brighter than the after. Flash. Duh. I’ve taken another picture (no photoshop!):
Final thoughts? It definitely whitened my teeth. I already had fairly white teeth (I told you: I’m obsessed), so I only expected them to get a shade or two whiter, and they definitely did. After the first two weeks (during which time I used the product three times a week), I slowed down to just once a week for maintenance. This is working super well, as I haven’t noticed that my teeth yellow at all (as opposed to white stripes, where your teeth are back to normal after two weeks). To me, this is a huge selling point and differentiates Smile Brilliant from everyone else out there.
I thought I’d also share some tips that I learned along the way. Less is more. I was putting way too much whitening gel in the trays, and it was hurting my gums. The desensitizing gel made the pain go away, but I wasn’t super comfortable using it again. I checked the website and looked at the directions (imagine that), and I realized I was using waaay too much product. After I corrected that mistake, it was smooth sailing.
On your first application, only leave the trays in for 15-20 minutes and eventually build your way up. When I had too much gel, leaving them on for more than 15 minutes was not an option. After I finally figured out that mistake, I realized I could increase the amount of time I left them on without causing any sensitivity. I’m up to about an hour now.
Use them at night. The chemicals in the gels essentially open the pores of your teeth (just like your face!) to let in the whitening products. Doing it before bed gives those pores all night to close up so that when you’re sipping your AM coffee, your teeth are protected. Otherwise, you’re basically opening up your pores and inviting black coffee to stain them. Kinda counterintuitive. Plus, the desensitizing gel coats your teeth in a bunch of minerals, and you don’t want to wash that away with your breakfast or lunch.
For some other great tips, check out this video. Enjoy!
True life: I have a slight obsession with pearly whites. I’m laughing about 75% of the time I’m awake (my sense of humor isn’t at all discerning), so, if my teeth are yellow, everyone knows. I’ve used whitening tooth pastes, white strips, and natural remedies, which have all been great, but, with all the coffee I drink, they just haven’t been able to get my teeth as white as I would like. I was debating going to the dentist to get professional trays (which work better because they fit your teeth perfectly, so the peroxide is, of course, going to be more effective), but $500 seemed a little crazy. So when I found out that Smile Brilliant could provide the same results for under $120, I was very intrigued.
My package arrived in less than a week. The one they sent me came with three Whitening Gels, three Desensitizing Gels, a carrying case, two trays, and two sets of putty in case you mess up. Good thinking, because, of course, I did. You mix the blue and white together until it’s a nice shade of periwinkle, then you place it in the blue trays and put it in your mouth. Make sure you have a lot of putty in the front. I didn’t have enough my first time, so, when I put the trays in my mouth, my teeth pushed through the front, so there was no mold of my two front teeth! Once I finally got it right, I placed everything in the prepaid envelope, sent it off, and I received my personalized trays in a week! My dad (who’s done the dentist trays in the past) was a little skeptical, but when the trays and molds (so you can create trays again in case you lose them!) came back, he said it was just like what he had paid five times as much for. Pretty awesome.
Now the fun part starts. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be using the gel to whiten my teeth. I took this “before” picture so you guys could keep me honest at the end. Basically, you take the gel in the syringe labeled “Whitening Gel” and put some into the trays. Be careful, though. When I did my test prior to writing to this post, I put way too much in, and my gums were not happy. Fear not. My favorite part about this system is the Desensitizing Gel. It’s packed with vitamins, so, after you finish the whitening sesh, you clean out the trays, squeeze this in, and let your teeth and gums soak in the minerals. It really helped prevent any sensitivity after using the gel, which is amazing for someone with sensitive gums like I have.
I’ve done a few applications, and I can already see a difference! I’ll do another post in two weeks to let you know how things are going and provide my “after” picture so you can be the judge.
True Life: Living With My Boyfriend Has Ruined My Healthy Diet. Seriously. The kid’s main sources of nutrients are Gushers and tortilla chips. In order to combat this apocalypse on my body, I’m always looking for meals we can agree on.
Cue Home Chef. Answer a few questions about your diet preferences (are you vegan? allergic to nuts? prefer meat over fish?), choose the amount you’d like each week, and viola! You’re getting fresh steaks, burgers, chicken, and salads to your door each week. A friend send me an invitation, which included one free meal, so I couldn’t say no. Free steak? Yes, please!
The week I received food, they were offering Bacon Jam Burgers (amazing hamburgers topped with bacon sauteed onions and strawberry preserves – think fancy BBQ sauce) and New York strip steaks with Yukon potatoes. Yes, the all-American dream. However, they have a lot of fish and chicken options, as well as smoothies and fruit if you’re one of those super healthy girls.
The food comes in a crazily well-packaged box filled with ice packs to keep your food cold. Everything is pre-measured for you (they even include the butter you’ll need) in little baggies like the photo above. Each meal comes with a recipe card, which includes instructions + ingredients in case you ever want to try on your own. Both meals I tried took way less than 30 minutes to prep, making them perfect for all you busy bees out there. I ended up ordering four of each so I could share with The Boy and my dad, and both were obsessed. My dad even wants to sign up, and he’s not exactly the gourmet type.
So the question on everyone’s mind: how much does it cost? Each serving is $9.95. If you went to a restaurant to get this meal, depending where you live, you’d spend at least $15. If you made it at home, you’d maybe break even, but you’d have more prep work to do. And I know if you live in the suburbs like I do, you will not get meat this good. Plus, if you use my link, you’ll get $30 off your purchase, which equates to three free meals. (Then, use this link to send it to your friends and keep the dinners coming!) If you’re in PA, I expect a dinner invite. Not kidding.
Side not: I was not endorsed for this post or rewarded in any way (although, Home Chef, if you’d like to send me free food, I’m totally game). I just seriously loved this food and wanted to share!