Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tip Thursday: Plastic Jungle

   I'm not very daring when it comes to trying new stores.  I pretty much stick to the same few stores when it comes to purchasing my clothing.  Since I know what stores I like, I've started purchasing discounted gift cards at Plasticjungle.com to use at my favorite stores.  I first heard of this site through the news and I haven't tried it until recently.  It's not a scam- it's legit!  I use this site to purchase gift cards for myself and to purchase gift cards for others.  It's not a huge discount, but if I can get $50 worth of merchandise for $45 it's still a savings!


Have you ever used a site like Plastic Jungle before?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What's In My Gym Bag?

   I recently started a new gym that is very close to my house.  I only have a two month trial membership because the gym is very pricey, but I thought it would help get me on a positive track.  I normally use the cardio machines or take one of their awesome zumba classes.  I don't shower at the gym since I live so close and the most I'll do after a sweaty workout is stop for gas or a quick bite to eat.
Here are my gym bag essentials:


The Bag:


This is definitely a small gym bag for those who drive to the gym not those who commute via train or bus  since it doesn't zipper.  I got this as part of the Bath and Body Works VIP Bag like three black Fridays ago.  It doesn't have compartments or anything, but it totes around my stuff and the bag itself is lightweight so I like it.

The Little Things:

*A comb- I don't know how people work out with their hair down.  I need it as far up off my neck as I can get it.  I use a comb to tie my mop up into a tight bun.
*Kirkland Brand Facial Towelettes- I go to the gym usually straight from work so I use one of these babies to take my makeup off prior to working out.  I used to workout with my makeup on and my skin just did not approve.  After my workout I just splash some water on my face since I know I'm going home to shower soon anyway.
*Summer's Eve Cleansing Cloths- This may be a touchy subject for some, but working out and not showering shortly thereafter can be just as bad as sitting around in a damp bathing suit.  Unless you are going to shower right away, I recommend cleaning down south with one of these cleansing cloths.
*Deodorant- Who wants to stink during a workout? Even though I apply deodorant in the morning, I give an extra swipe before working out.
*Headphones- I need to watch my tv or listen to my music while working out.  It's an absolute necessity
*Pink Body Splash- Just in case I'm not going directly home, I throw on some body splash to feel a bit more girly.  Ok, I may also apply some body splash before working out if the cute trainer is working that day haha.
*Headband- I have super long bangs and they always get in my way.  I like headbands because they keep the hair out of my face and help keep my bun more secure.

The Big Things:


*Appropriate Sneakers- Tailor your sneakers to your exercising needs.  I'm not a runner so I use cross trainers- these take me from the eliptical to the zumba class.
*Bottoms- I prefer capris when working out.  If I'm working out at home I wear shorts, but in public I prefer capris.  A lot of the time yoga pants are too long on my little legs.  Try to look for a fitted pair if you're going to be taking a class with a lot of movement and look for a pair with sweat wicking material.
*Padded socks- I used to work out in whatever little socks I bought from the dollar store.  My feet would not be happy with me after a workout.  Now I buy running socks which have a bit more padding than normal thin ankle socks.  I really like Puma socks and I find that Marshalls and TJ Maxx sell them for great prices.
*Well fitting sports bras- I hate spending money on sports bras, but they are well worth the price if you can find one with good support and that isn't too tight.  I used to wear cheapie sports bras and would realize that after a high intensity workout not only would my back hurt but my chest would hurt as well.   Again I find TJ Maxx and Marshalls a great place to purchase sports bras.
*Tank Top With Support- I really like adding even more support to the girls by wearing a workout tank top with a shelf bra.  I find these to be most comfortable for working out and wearing an actual exercise tank gives me more motivation.

I just ordered a heart rate monitor to get a more accurate count of my calorie burn while working out so that will definitely be an addition to my gym bag.

What are your gym bag must haves?


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring Lust List: Beauty Edition

   Last week I posted my Spring Fashion Lust List and today I continue with the beauty edition.  I've been trying to go a more natural route with as many products as I can, so this shopping list contains products more on the natural side.  These products are so affordable that I may just be ordering them all!


Tarte Awaken Your Complexion Set



This value set from Tarte contains quite a few of their amazing products, but the big draw for me is the Maracuja Creaseless Concealer.  I've been searching for the perfect undereye concealer and the girl at Sephora recommended this to me but I have yet to try it!

A Tarte Blush and Bronzer



I must be the last girl alive to try one of the highly popular Tarte blushes.  I am also in need of a summer bronzer, so I want to give this set a try to see how I like both products.

Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil




I read about this on Tammy's blog and after doing more research on it and realizing the 9,000 things it's just a must have product for me!!

Vegan Brow Wax from The All Natural Face



I've been very happy with my purchases from The All Natural Face and my next item I plan on purchasing is this brow wax.  I use a brow pencil, but I've noticed that I have slightly unruly brows so it's time to begin to use a wax as well.

Desert Essence Hair Defrizzer and Heat Protectant






I've been watching a lot PinkSoFoxy's videos on YouTube and have made quite a shopping list from watching her videos .  I've been looking for a new heat protectant lately and I think this ones sounds great.  I also love the smell of coconut so that's just an added bonus.

What items are on your spring beauty list?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tip Thursday: Poor Girls Gym

  As some of you may know I've been trying to adapt some better eating habits and get into the routine of working out.  Right now I'm concerned more with burning calories and cardio than toning so I don't need to go out and buy hand weights just yet.

  My favorite weights to use with my at home workouts are simply products taken from my kitchen!  These weight substitutes aren't for those of you who have been working out regularly for a while or are super toned, but for the beginning exerciser or weakling (which both describe me) these little guys are perfect!


What is your favorite non-fitness related exercise tool? I'd love to try them!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Spray Tan Experience

   As you saw in my previous post, I had to get all dressed up last weekend for a gala.  With my dress being gold and sparkly, I thought that my pale self needed a spray tan.  Now I have gotten the occasional spray tan here or there during the summer, but never during the winter.

  Here are my tips and tricks for getting a spray tan from a booth.  I've never gotten air brushed or sprayed from a person so I can't give my personal tips regarding that.

Before Spray Tanning

*Shower, shave and exfoliate the night before ( or no less than 6 hours prior to) your spray tan.  If you shave too close to the time of your spray tan your pores will be open and that will lead to those dark freckle like spots that you may have seen on people before.

*Moisturize on only super dry areas (a few hours prior to tanning).  I moisturized my face lightly (because it's super dry at the moment) the heels of my feet and my knees.  A lot of people experience dryness on their elbows as well so I would recommend moisturizing them too.

*Get your spray tan wardrobe ready- you're going to want to wear loose fitting dark clothing and flip flops.  Shoes or boots can rub off some of the tan.

*Throw some vaseline in your bag.  You're going to want to coat your lips and your brows if they are light.

*Do not get a spray tan the day before an event.  While spray tanning has become pretty fool proof, you don't want to deal with uneven coloring or streaks for a big day.

During Your Spray Tan

*Pick the appropriate level tan for you- Different tanning booths have different levels so consult with the person helping you to pick the appropriate level.  I am super pale and got a level 1 (brand: California Tans) and was super happy with the results.

*Put the barrier cream on appropriately.  The place I went to had me putting it thoroughly on my hands, nails, and sides and bottoms of feet.

*Wear the shower cap just a little bit above your hairline.  If you wear it too low you will have a straight tan line right across your forehead.

*Wear skimpy cut black underwear

*If you are a girl with bigger boobs, do not make the mistake of going topless like I did.  The tan lines were weirder than if I wore a small black strapless bra or bikini.

*Follow the directives that the spray tan technician or directions of the machine give you.

*After the spray tan, blot any dark spots off thoroughly..this is just excess tanner.  Don't swipe or rub!

*Wait as long as you can prior to getting dressed.

After Your Spray Tan

*Do not shower until the day following your spray tan to ensure that the color is fully developed.

*Do not exercise or sweat until the day after your spray tan.

*Take shorter showers than you're used to and try to limit the hot water.

*Don't use a loofah or an exfoliating shower gel.

*Moisturize as soon as you get out of the shower.  For an added bonus use a gradual self tanning moisturizer.

*Pat dry with a towel instead of rubbing dry.

*With good care and moisturizing your tan can last anywhere from 4-10 days.

Here are my before pics:


After pics:





Is anyone else a fan of spray tanning?  I'd love to know any further tips or tricks.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Doing Good, Looking Good

   If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you probably know that I am a very proud Penn State graduate.  People can hate on me, but I know what an amazing place my university is and the amazing things that they do.

Personally, I feel the most amazing contribution from Penn State is a 46-hour student run dance marathon to raise money for pediatric cancer affectionately titled, "Thon".  Every year there is a fundraising gala held in New York City for Thon called The Hope Gala.  My college roomie and I are trying to make it an annual tradition for us.  We rent a hotel room, get dolled up and do a decent amount of drinking and eating!

This year the event was held at The Edison Ballroom in Times Square and it was beautiful!  The event itself raised $74,000!

Here are some pics from the event and of course our super budget friendly gala ensembles!




 Ashleey's OOTN
Dress- David's Bridal 
Bracelet- F21
Shoes- DSW
My OOTN
Dress: Express (On super clearance for $26!!)
Cuff- Charming Charlies
Shoes- Target

If you'd like to learn more about Thon please visit thon.org.  It's an amazing event and organization and something quite beautiful to witness!



FTC Disclosure: Not a sponsored post.  All items mentioned were purchased on our own.  No affiliation with Thon.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spring Lust List: Fashion Edition

   I don't go super crazy over spring.  As a person who hates winter, I know I totally should, but spring is an odd ocurrence in my neck of the woods.  It doesn't start getting warm sometimes until May and by then the temperatures usually sky rocket into the 80's.  I would love to have a month or two of temps in the 60's and 70's.  Fingers crossed that 2013 is the year of spring!

   While spring may not be that long of a season here, I do love spring shopping.  All of the bright colors and florals just helps me forget how cold and nasty winter has been.

Here are some of the items on my spring fashion lust list!

Corset Style Dress



I love these subtle corset style dresses.  People hear corset and automatically think sexy, but this shows that it can be very feminine and shapely as well.

Now some spring days are way too chilly for this dress, but throw on a denim jacket over top and some heels and it's a great dinner or going out look.  Just make sure not to stay outside too long!

Crochet Toms



I bought my first pair of Tom's from Zulily a couple of weeks ago and I automatically became hooked! I love the easy breezy feel of the crochet versions.  I want one in every color!

A White Designer Purse



I know a white handbag is as impractical as one can get, but I just LOVE the classic look of this Michael Kors.  It just screams HAMPTONS to me!  This bag is perfect for spring and summer so it may be worth the investment for me.

Distressed Skinnies



Can you believe I still haven't gotten my perfect pair of distressed skinnies? I had this on my lust list LAST year!  I've been yo-yoing between sizes so frequently lately that I'm going to wait until I even out and find a pair of American Eagle.  I love the fit of their jeggings.

Super Light Wash Denim Jacket



I have quite a few dark wash denim jackets, but I love the light weight look of the washed out denim jackets.  Cropped ones can be tricky to pull off with pants, but I love cropped jackets like this one for dresses!

A "Chanel-esque" Jacket



I've always wanted a Chanel tweed jacket, but come on! I can't afford rent let alone a damn Chanel jacket.  I really like this take on the Chanel classic from F21.  In a mint like color it looks more spring than winter.  May have to order this beauty ASAP!

What are some of the items on your spring fashion lust list?  Give me some more ideas before I go shopping.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tip Thursday: Timer Time

   I have some serious issues remembering the simplest things.  I started a new vitamin regimen and I have to take them at specific times.  I can't tell you how many days I walked around with the little packet of vitamins in my purse because I kept forgetting to take them.  Finally, I set the alarms on my iPhone to remember and voila! I've been through three packets of vitamins in three days.

Common sense I know, but it helped me out big time!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: The All Natural Face Vegan Deodorant

  After seeing Tammy talk about her haul from The All Natural Face, she sent me a daily deal to get $50 worth of products from The All Natural Face (ANF) for only $19.  I hesitated a bit at first because I was on a "no-buy", but I couldn't resist so I snatched it up and placed a large order!

  As I began doing research on beauty products and going natural, I learned that one of the most chemically heavy products we put on our body is deodorant.  Deodorants are full of harmful ingredients that can travel directly into our blood stream after we apply it.

  Now, I eat a lot of crap and apply a lot of crap to my skin and my hair and what not- so I'm not preaching an all natural lifestyle here.  But if there are simple changes I can make to be even a tiny bit more natural or healthier I'm going to make that change.  I feel that using a natural deodorant is one of those small changes I can make.

  So (sorry- long explanation!) I purchased the Vegan Aloe and Crystal Deodorant Stone Roll-on in Lavender.  The price was $4.60 and can be purchased in several different scents.  I'm personally not a fan of heavily scented deodorants, but lavender was the only scent that I didn't think would bother me out of the options.


  Ok, time for gross honest time.  I'm a sweaty gal.  I'm always hot at work and sweating or get nervous sweats, but it's something that I'm obviously embarrassed and concerned about.  So that being said, I was very hesitant to try a natural deodorant because I've heard not great things about it.




Product description from ANF website:

I have been working on this crystal based deodorant for quite sometime now It has gone through several incarnations and has now been perfected It is just like the crystal deodorants available in roll on form at the health food store the difference Mine contains soothing Aloe instead of water and real essential oils instead of fragrance oils In other words its cleaner! I offer more scent options than the recognized brand as well Scent Options are :Lavender, Lemongrass and Rosemary, Lemongrass and Grapefruit and for the more sultry and unisex scents:Patchouli, Sandalwood, and Nutmeg. I also may add more to the line as well Why does crystal stone deodorant work? Odor is caused by bacteria. Deodorants mask odor while my Deodorants are made with natural mineral salts to prevent odor from happening in the first place. They actually neutralize the bacteria and prevent odor from occurring. What isnt in my deodorant? Aluminum chlorohydrate parabens and alcohol. ALUMINUM CHLOROHYDRATE which has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer disease. My deodorant contains Potassium Alum not to be confused with aluminum. Aluminum is a metal and regulated by the FDA in products used on the body. Alum is a naturally occurring mineral. Aluminum molecules can be absorbed into the body because they are small. Alum molecules are too large to be absorbed. Aluminum can accumulate in the brain over time and studies have shown that it may be linked to an increase in the chance of Alzheimers disease and breast cancer. It is also a neurotoxin that alters the function of the blood-brain barrier. You can use this anywhere you sweat My hubby uses it on his feet He recently went for 2 whole days without bathing( yeah..I know:( however..he did not re apply the deodorant and he works a very physical job. He had no odor whatsoever at the end of day 2 and woke up smelling fresh on day 3 as well This will not prevent sweating! You want to sweat. It is your bodys way of releasing toxins. But it does stop odor dead in its tracks!

   Soooo..... this deodorant was a pleasant surprise.  I apply this at night after I get out of the shower and in the morning when I'm getting dressed for the day.  It does tingle a little when I first apply it.  When I first applied it and I got this tingly/itchy sensation I almost didn't use it again.  The more you use it, the less strong this sensation gets.

  In terms of keeping me smell free- it worked very well!  I wore this at work, while going out, and during a few workouts.  I was testing it a bit with the workouts, but I think most people smell a little less than pleasant after working out.  I was super impressed at how effective this deodorant was and I also liked that it didn't really have a lavender scent.  Definitely a repurchase for me!

Pros:
♥ All-natural and cruelty free
♥ Super affordable
♥ Smells strong in the bottle, but not as much on the skin
♥ Effective at keeping smellies at bay

Cons:
-Only available for purchase online or at the ANF store in Massachusetts
-Not an antiperspirant

Will I be repurchasing: Absolutely!!!

Has anyone else ever tried a natural deodorant? Any other recommendations for natural deodorants that actually work?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Current Empties: Revlon, L'Oreal, Fun Stuff!

     I'm amazed at how quickly I've bee going through products lately.  It took me like a year to go through my last batch of empties and just two months to go through the next batch.  However, I was near empty on a lot of these products for a while.  Here are my current empties and what I thought of them!


♥ Mary Kay Satin Hands Peach Hand Cream- I got this cream from a friend at work and even though it looks like a small package, it took me quite a while to go through this.  I really liked this cream and even liked the peach scent which isn't usually my thing.  I don't think I'll be repurchasing this, because I didn't love it enough to justify the price.

♥ White Barn Candles in Hot Buttered Rum and Winter Nights- I know it looks like there is still wax in it, but I keep burning that same little amount of wax and it doesn't even have a scent anymore. I loved both of these scents, but Hot Buttered Rum was just so yummy! That will definitely be one of my go to winter candles!

♥ Vaseline Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning Cream- Now this baby took me QUITE a while to go through!  This is a great lotion to use as soon as you get out of the shower.  The smell is delightful and it sinks into the skin very quickly.  It provides a great amount of moisture and is so affordable.  I have a lot of body lotions to go through, but I will most likely be repurchasing this.


♥ Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup in 220 Nude- For me to finish a foundation before it "turns" is a milestone! Let alone finishing two in one month!  This Revlon makeup is by far my favorite foundation.  The coverage it provides is flawless and it lasts all day.  I have repurchased this and I'm already using my second jar.

♥ Be Fine Food Skin Care Exfoliating Cleanser- I think I received this in a Birchbox over a year ago.  This was the cleanser I used when I would sleep over at my dad's house and I really liked it.  It's a very thick formula and the grains are very large.  I wouldn't recommend this for daily use, but for once a week or so it works quite well.  While I did like this, I don't think this is a must repurchase for me.

♥ ELF Waterproof Eyeliner Pen-  Ok I didn't use this up as much as it dried out.  I've written several times about how terrible I am with liquid liner and the fact that this guy dried up is proof of that!  I will be repurchasing this though because it's cheap and can help me practice.

♥ Revlon Double Twist Mascara- I bought this during one of the CVS Beauty Sales and it was just ok.  The brush is very large and it's actually difficult to get the brush out of the packaging.  The formula was very dark which I liked, but clumped too easily.  Not a repurchase for me.

♥ Beauty Addict Show Off Mascara- You can see my review of this mascara here.  I did really like it, but the formula was just too messy and too pricey for me to repurchase this.

♥ L'Oreal Mascara- I don't know the actual name of this mascara because it just says "L'Oreal" on the packaging.  I actually really enjoyed this mascara.  It's very dark and very lengthening.  It really helped open up my eyes under my glasses.  If anyone knows the name of this mascara, please let me know!

♥ Love & Beauty by F21 Rice Moisture Facial Mask- I bought this sheet mask at F21 while waiting in line.  I'm very happy I did because I really enjoyed it!  It didn't really have a scent which I like with sheet masks and it left my skin feeling very smooth and took away some of the dry flaky spots I had popping up.  For only $1.80 I will definitely be repurchasing this mask.

♥ Revlon Age Defying DNA Advantage Cream Foundation in Bare Buff- This was the foundation I'd use while at my dad's and I really liked it!  It provided a lot of moisture to my skin which I liked and the coverage was pretty good.  The staying power isn't as good as the Colorstay, but I would definitely repurchase this foundation for those lighter makeup days.

What products have you guys used up lately?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tip Thursday: Mineral Foundation + Moisturizer

  There was a time where I was on a huge mineral foundation kick, but that faded out.  After purchasing a lot of foundation samples from The All Natural Face, I began playing around with them again recently.


Image from Google Images



 I remembered that one of my favorite ways to wear mineral foundation was to mix a scoop of mineral foundation with a little bit of my favorite moisturizer and apply it as a tinted moisturizer.  I find that this method really suits my skin better in the winter since it's so dry.

What is your favorite way to apply mineral foundation?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Beauty Things I Suck At

  I've seen the tag, "Beauty Things I Suck At" going around Youtube and I LOVED this idea, because there are quite a few beauty things I suck at.  Here are the main ones:


**Teasing my Hair (I know this is not a proper teasing comb!)- I have purchased so many different types of teasing combs and teasing brushes.  I've tried different hair sprays, texture sprays and dry shampoos and I still can't get a decent tease in my hair.  My hair can be teased, because my friend Ally was able to get me massive volume, I'm just seriously unable to do it myself.

**Filing my nails to an actual shape- Yes, I suck at the simplest act of filing my nails into that basic "squoval" shape.  It's always uneven or jagged.

**Painting my nails- Keeping with the nail trend, I suck at painting my own nails.  If I don't have pointed q-tips and remover around my nails will look a hot mess!

**Blowing my hair straight- Can you sense a trend? Hand eye coordination is not a strength of mine.  I am completely unable to blow out my hair.  I normally just rough blow dry my hair and then flat iron it into submission.

**Liquid lining- I'm so bad at liquid liner that I don't even have a liquid liner!  It's a beauty goal of mine to master liquid liner, but I have had no such luck yet.

What are some beauty things that you girls suck at? Please tell me I'm not the only one who lacks these basic beauty skills!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Heat Free Curls: French Braid

   I'm continuing my quest to find the best heat free curling method for my stubborn hair.  So far I've had successes with the  foam roller method , sock curl method,and  headband method and failures with the standard braid method, sock bun method and french twist method.  I've found another success in the french braid method.

This curling method simply consists of french braiding your hair when it is slightly damp and sleeping in the braid.  It's comfortable to sleep in, unlike some of the other heat free curl methods.  Only downside with this method is, you have to know how to french braid.  I don't know how, especially on myself, so my friend Danielle braided my hair for me.



From the back it looks quite crazy!  Next time I have to ask Danielle to braid further down.



However, I LOVE the way it looks from the front.  It's definitely not a curl, as much as it is a wave/soft crimp.  It looks a little like lioness hair and provides great volume.  It's a very soft look and I think it will be perfect for spring and summer.  Plus, this is a heat free method where you don't look crazy when you're going to bed!

Friday, March 1, 2013

February Favorites

  February was definitely a month that seemed to fly by.  I came in on such a high and then February just seemed to take over, go crazy and end in me suffering with the flu and bronchitis.  Needless to say, it was a low key beauty month for me.

Here are the products I was reaching for the most during this short month....




♥ Scent Bar Cabana Body Lotion from Target- My friend Lori gave me this for my birthday and I began using it in early February and quickly became obsessed with it!  It smells like heaven and summer.  I should've saved this lotion to use in the summer, but I needed a dose of summer during storm Nemo!  It does take a bit to soak into the skin, but the scent more than makes up for it.

♥ Philosophy Hope in a Jar Moisturizer- I bought this when my skin had a bad reaction to Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizer.  It works very well for my sensitive skin and provides just the amount of moisture needed.

♥ Essence Stay All Day Long Lasting Eyeshadow in Copy Right- I got this from my Tammy in my birthday package.  This is actually the first Essence product I've ever used and I really like it!  It's great for those days when I don't really feel like doing a full eye look.  It's a beautiful, soft, coppery color and looks like an eye gloss when it's on.  I really want to try more Essence products after using this!

♥ Mally Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Liner in Black Violet- I love this liner! It reminds me so much of my beloved Almay Raisin Quartz liner, but a bit more black and less brown.  It's a beautiful shimmery liner and it stays put all day!  It works really well under glasses since it has a bit of sheen.

♥ Tarte Skinny smolderEYES in Jade- I think I got this liner in a QVC Beauty Tube and it took me a while to try it, because of the different color.  The first time I tried this it was a love!  It's a super dark green color and applies very creamily.  It comes with a built in smudger and I love wearing this liner with some concealer on my lids and this liner smudged into the lash line and that's it.  The green in the liner also really picks up on the green in my eyes.

Essence Shadow
Mally Liner
Tarte Liner

♥ Gold Plated Monogram Necklace- I'm so mad that I forgot where I ordered this online!  I've recently become obsessed with monogram anything and this necklace was my first monogram purchase.  It was also my first yellow gold purchase.  I know monograms are technically with your last name in the middle, but I like to switch it up and have my middle name in the middle.  It's my favorite name anyway!  I like the personality this adds to any outfit.

What have been your favorite beauty and fashion products this February?

FTC Disclosure

All products are purchased by me unless noted otherwise. If a product is supplied for review, this does not affect my opinion. My opinions can not be bought.
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