Review: Jamberry

I am not a nail-painting artist. I’ve tried to recreate those Pinterest looks and ended up with utter disasters – from crooked stripes to non-existent ombre affects to polka dots that look more like eggs than dots. I’m pretty sure chimpanzees would out perform me when it comes to extravagant manis (bam! a new internet sensation #chimpmanis).

So, you can bet every time I hear about the new-best-longest-lasting or easiest-to-apply craze, I am all over it.

Stickers – tried ‘em. “New and improved” press on nails – tried ‘em. At home gel manicures – tried ‘em. You get the gist.

That’s why I was introduced to Jamberry. They’re like the Twinkies of nail products. Made to last and last and oh so delicious (do not actually eat them, it’s just a metaphor). Enter Mandy (see her Jamberry site here) who agreed to let me give them a whirl and provide you with my honest opinion. And here it is.

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My Jamberry nails lasted a full 7 days. *Cheering* This included 2 days of gardening (one without gloves – oops), 4 trips to the stable and 3 retail shifts. I couldn’t believe it! Generally these are the activities that destroy even the most durable of manicures – often the very next day.

I did struggle putting them on (see previous chimpanzee reference) but I can tell it will get easier. Perhaps I should’ve watched the application video but noooo, I’m a rebel. I wouldn’t say it was easier than at-home gel stickers/manicure but for me it did last significantly longer.

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We are all so busy and who has time to do their nails every couple of days. Perhaps you’ve opted for skipping manicures all together but I recommend you give Jamberry a try. They were durable, easy to remove and didn’t harm my nails. They have so many fun colors and styles available that the most difficult part will be deciding what to buy!

What are you waiting for? Visit Mandy’s page and share the love on Facebook.

I had this whole graphic swirling around in my head to compare different types of manicures but those things always take longer to create than I originally anticipate. I’ll try to still work on it though!

Disclaimer: I was provided free product in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Simple Skincare

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Ladies, we’re always looking for better ways to care for our skin. If you haven’t heard of or yet tried the Simple® skincare line, please allow me to share this great product with you. Most of us are finally protecting ourselves from the sun but in a recent survey, Simple® has learned that city living can also have a big impact on the health of our skin. Their time-lapse video dramatically depicts the potential effects city living can have on a woman’s face in just 14 days. Eeek! Never fear. Here are a few tips to protect your skin:

  • Eat skin loving foods. Though half of respondents claim they’re striving for a healthy diet specifically to keep skin in good shape, thousands of women are missing out on certain foods that could work wonders on skin, such as Brussels sprouts, walnuts, salmon and avocados.
  • Unplug and relax. Yep, stress shows up on your face. Make a dedicated effort to unplug and unwind. It can make skin less permeable to external factors like weather and makeup.
  • Get moving. It’s not just good for your heart and your waistline. Exercise increases blood flow and helps flush cellular debris out of one’s system – contributing to the overall appearance of skin.

I love the ultra-light gel moisturizer. No annoying fragrance. It doesn’t make my skin feel greasy (I’m oily enough as it is!) so I like it for a daytime moisturizer. I do wish it had some SPF (they do have a product for this) because my fair skin needs all the help it can get from soaking up those sun rays. Their Cleansing Facial Wipes and Eye Makeup Remover pads are great for travel and make the important night-time skincare easy – no excuses for sleeping with your makeup on!

Simple® Skincare encourages us to care for our skin from the inside out with a holistic approach. This includes the right facial products and regimen, but also lifestyle considerations like diet, fitness and stress management. Improve your skincare habits with tips and product recommendations with the Simple® Skin Forecaster tool on www.simpleskincare.com.

Now it’s your turn to protect your skin. Enter below to win a care package from Simple®!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclosure: I participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.

Review: eShakti Emma Dress

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If you still haven’t tried eShakti yet, let me tell you why you simply must do it. First of all, they offer a wide range of colors, cuts, patterns and materials that change frequently. Secondly, you have the option to customize your order to fit your style and your body. They also feature their clothing as seen on their customers and bloggers in their “Real fashion for Real people” marketing which showcases all of our beautiful and unique shapes and sizes. Hooray for real beauty!

I decided on the lovely Emma Dress (see my previous selection here). I have been attracted to vintage styles lately and I liked the color and pretty neckline. I opted to include sleeves (since I always seem to be freezing when I wear sleeveless dresses) but kept the length as below the knee. I love how it turned out!

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One of my favorite details are the pockets! I just love a dress with pockets.

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When ordering from eShakti it is important to know your measurements, not just your size. So get out your tape measure and use your bust, waist and hip measurements to get a perfectly fit garment. If you are in between sizes on their size chart, I recommend going up a size. I find that their items fit snug and you’ll appreciate the wiggle room.

eShakti style So, what are you waiting for? Grab a new dress (or skirt or top) for spring and strut out in style. As an extra incentive use code HIGHHEELEDS at checkout and receive 10% off your order. This code is only good until 4/30/14!

 

 

 

Linking up with Pleated Poppy, Random Wednesday, and Style Sessions.

Review: Bitter Root Vintage

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I’m very lucky to call Bitter Root Vintage one of my sponsors. Their vivacious dresses, skirts and accessories are demur and sexy. Vintage cuts and gorgeous fabrics are yet another reason to peruse their shop.

And let us not forget the details of pretty packaging and a hand written note!

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This Two for Tea dress is a classic 40’s inspired navy blue & white polka dot tea dress with a subtly flared hem & charming keyhole neck and back line. Silky soft and stretchy fabric, fitted and lined bodice. Feminine, pretty, and perennially stylish!

I decided to add some red details with a sash belt and tri-colored Jessica Simpson peep-toe pumps. It would also look amazing with mustard, cobalt or green. This dress would be easy to wear to work or a special occasion.

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Just in case you’re not yet inspired to add a Bitter Root Vintage item to your wardrobe take a gander at some of my other favorite picks:

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BEAUTIFUL! What item would you like to add to your closet?

Join us! Click the Spotlight

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Event: The Limited Red Carpet Party

The majority of my wardrobe consists of pieces from The Limited. I find their styles mesh with my desired aesthetic, the fit works for my body type and man, oh, man when they have a sale, you can score some amazing pieces.

When I saw the invite for the Red Carpet event I knew it would take an incredible amount of discipline to not spend ridiculous sums of money. Overall, I behaved myself by bringing home 2 clearance shirts, a pair of pants (50% off) and a simple necklace (also 50% off)!

The event included a quick make-up session by the talented ladies from Shiseido who helped reduce my shine and make my eyes stand out.

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And of course, no Red Carpet event would be complete without a fashion show. Models were decked out in professional styles for work or winning that new job.

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I loved the Spring color palettes!

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The Limited crew was fantastic and helpful as always and clearly having a good time themselves.

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What are you waiting for? Go grab some new, stylish pieces to update your Spring wardrobe. Here are a few of my favorites (click the image to purchase):

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Review: Pure Indulgence Skin Rejuvenation

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Thanks to my friend, Cheryl, from The Skinny on Beauty, I was offered a trip to Pure Indulgence Skin Rejuvenation to try an IPL treatment done by the capable hands of the owner, Bridget “Gigi” Goddard. I have considered laser hair removal before but I was not familiar with laser treatment for your skin. I was both nervous (would it hurt, would I look like I had an allergic reaction to lobster for a week, would it make any difference in my skin) and excited.

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Before: First, you must know that I never leave the house without any make-up. I’ve always been self conscious about my uneven skin. I have scaring on either side of my chin from adult acne that I experienced in my 30s. These make-up free (well I couldn’t skip the eye make-up), un-retouched images were taken at home right before I left for my appointment.

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After: I walked out of the office and snapped these in the car. There is a little bit of redness but nothing too embarrassing. The “sunburn” sensation only lasted about an hour. The procedure itself was uncomfortable but not unbearable.

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Next day: My skin was definitely smoother/more youthful looking. As Gigi stated, my age spots darkened* (even some that I had not previously noticed). No dryness, no discomfort but I did apply the Skinagain Rescue lotion regularly (check out all their great products). Over the next few days the age spots continued to break up and flake off. I’m a little weird but I found that just fascinating!

Overall, I found this to be a great procedure to improve your skin without having to go through any dramatic surgery. Since most of my sun damage happened in my youth, I’m hopeful that being diligent with the sunscreen will make the effects of this procedure last. So, if you’re looking for a little boost in the appearance and health of your skin, connect with Pure Indulgence Skin Rejuvenation and tell those signs of aging goodbye!

* This is only temporary and will diminish even further with future treatments.

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I was provided this treatment at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

Blue Nile Giveaway

2014Welcome to 2014! I hope you had an invigorating end of the year and are ready for all that is in store for you this year. What better way to start the year than with a giveaway? One lucky reader will receive this gorgeous branch necklace courtesy of Blue Nile.

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If you’re not familiar with Blue Nile, they are the largest online retailer of certified diamonds (sorry I don’t have a diamond to give you) and fine jewelry. They use only the finest materials to create jewelry with exceptional craftsmanship. You won’t find a better diamond or piece of jewelry for the price.

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Ideal for a touch of unique style, this chic branch necklace is complete with a cable chain and crafted from sterling silver. The perfect dainty accessory for any outfit.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linking up with Pleated Poppy and Style Sessions.

Listed on ILoveGiveaways.com

Outfit: BRFS Sparkle

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To be honest, I haven’t been to a Banana Republic store in years. I remember the style of their clothes to be a little boxy and outside of my price range. So the opportunity to visit the Banana Republic Factory Store was a nice reminder that it’s important to keep an open mind and to continuously step outside your comfort zone.

Two steps in I spotted red slacks. I snatched them up so quickly you would’ve thought there was a pack of pants stealing gnomes hot on my heals. In less than 15 minutes I was carrying a pile cardigans, button down shirts and colorful sweaters. I was definitely on a mission to beef up my winter wardrobe and all the sweaters were 50% off! Oh, happy day.

Despite my normal fitting room avoidance, I did try on everything. Sadly, the red pants were a no go but the sweaters were all fabulous. The best part…I had been searching for a purple cardigan (for some reason purple is a terribly underrepresented color in my wardrobe) and there it was, shouting at me to take it home (what? clothes don’t speak to you?).

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I decided to pair it with the fun sequined polka dot shirt (which was also on sale), an existing black skirt and new Steven heels from Shopbop (only $59.50 right now). Topped off with some fun jewelry to add to the overall sparkle. The resulting outfit would be great for a dinner date or even the office holiday party.

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If you haven’t been to the Banana Republic Factory Store lately, give it a try. As an extra incentive shop the BRFS 50% off all dresses event from 12/2 – 12/12. You’re sure to find the perfect dress for any occasion.

Join us! Click the Spotlight

Orange County Goodwill #BuildAScare

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I was invited to Goodwill of Orange County’s Build a Scare event with several other bloggers. We had a silly and fun time building costumes in crazy categories (like Granny Gaga) just by searching through the aisles. Here are a few pics from the night:

Now it’s your turn! Join the spooky fun in their #BuildAScare DIY Costume Photo Contest. Snap a picture of your costume, submit it to the contest, and you may be one of the two lucky winners of the grand prize package including an iPad Mini, iPod Nano, and a $200 Goodwill gift card.

Get started here: http://bit.ly/18w9GWQ. Good luck!

Review: Influenster VoxBox

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I’ve really missed my Pop Sugar Must Have boxes. So when I got a chance to review the Spring Fever VoxBox, I jumped on it! Lucky me, it showed up last week. It’s definitely not as awesome as Pop Sugar but it was still great to try some new products. So here you go…

  • Broadway Nails Press-on Manicure: I haven’t worn press on nails since 1989 but I was curious to see how long these would last. The box says “up to a week” but one pinky bit the dust in less than 24 hours. I’m pretty hard on my nails (I do have two horses to work) so I only made it a little over two days. The nails were much longer than I’m used to and had an annoying plastic nub on the underside which led me to fiddle with them non-stop. I even did it at night! In the end, I’m not a press-on kind of girl. If these do last up to a week under normal wear and tear then their $5.99 – $7.99 price tag beats most manicures. See a glamor shot below.
  • Secret Outlast Clear Deodorant: I’m not entirely sure how to review deodorant. Did I sweat while using it – yes. Did I smell after sweating – yes. It doesn’t leave white residue which is nice so I’ll keep it around for tank top season and black dress occasions.
  • NYC Applelicious Glossy Lip Balm: Did it smell applelicious? Yes. It added a nice, subtle amount of color to lips and cheeks. I actually liked it better as blush than lip balm and have added it to my purse make up kit.
  • OSiS Dust it: I was most intrigued by this product and also a little confused. I wasn’t sure how to use the product. Its a “mattifying powder that adds incredible root lift, texture and control.” So I sprinkled some on the roots and some on the tips of my hair. I did add some volume without the stickiness of wax but didn’t offer much in the way of hold. I’m going to keep playing with it though.
  • Tastykake Kandy Bar Kakes: Notice that this is not included in the photo? That’s because my husband ate it. Since I’m gluten free it wasn’t something I could actually try. He’s not a huge marshmallow fan so the S’more flavor was only ho-hum to him. Sorry I can’t give you any more than that.

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Interested in getting your own VoxBox? You can find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster. The opinions shared are all mine.