Suave Professionals Moroccan Oil Body Products Review + Sweepstakes

 

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Things you should know about me: I cannot spell Moroccan correctly without consulting spell check. Ever. Nor can I spell Sweepstakes. Can you imagine the distress writing this post caused me?

But after I just recently gushed about how GREAT the shampoo + conditioner in this line is (without anyone asking me to try/buy/or post about) you know I was over the moon to be offered an opportunity to review two new Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion products: the Dry Body Oil Spray and the Body Lotion. I think I got the email asking if I wanted to review these the day after the other post went up. It was kismet!

Except, of course, that it required I type the words Moroccan and Sweepstakes multiple times. But you know, life isn’t all fun and games. :)

 

Let’s Talk Products

The Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Care line includes Body Lotion, a daily moisturizer that absorbs quickly for up to 24 hours of non-greasy hydration, and a Dry Body Oil Spray, a non-greasy formula that absorbs instantly, locking in long-lasting moisture. What is cool about the Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Care is that it offers women everywhere access to premium products infused with authentic Moroccan argan oil.

I mean listen, I am totally interested in high-end, miracle beauty products as much as the next person, but there is something really nice about being able to try out new things JUST by running over to Target and throwing down a few bucks, AMIRIGHT?

Real Life Style + Beauty FOR THE WIN.

 

Let’s Talk Promises

So as with most products, Suave makes a few claims with these products:

*NEW Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Lotion is a daily moisturizer that absorbs quickly for up to 24 hours of radiant, non-greasy hydration.

*NEW Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Dry Body Oil Spray has a non-greasy formula that absorbs instantly and seals in long-lasting moisture.

*NEW Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Care products, clinically proven to moisturize as well as Moroccanoil®1, feature a light, luxurious fragrance and are infused with authentic Moroccan argan oil, a lightweight miracle oil known to be rich in nutrients and antioxidants.

My Thoughts

So hey — did you get that they’re NEW? :) In all seriousness though, let’s talk about what they *actually* do.

So let’s talk absorption/hydration. I found that both the oil and the lotion absolutely did absorb quickly. I am a big fan of dry oil sprays and I think they are a great way to hydrate your skin without feeling greasy. The lotion is also hydrating as well, and doesn’t require you wait 10 minutes for everything to sink in.

So for me, the hydration was more than adequate, but consider that I live in California, and we aren’t having an extremely cold winter. Quick Tip:  We did have one super cold and dry day when I was sampling the two and I actually mixed them together in my hands before applying. It felt very emollient, and worked just perfect for my needs.

Now let’s talk fragrance. Both products are infused with a fragrance that you smell in most argan oil based products—I mentioned this in my last post about the shampoo and conditioner, but the products definitely have a distinct smell you will either like or dislike. Honestly I think it smells perfumey, but in a really clean way, so it doesn’t bother me at all.

Funny Sidebar Story: On Super Bowl Sunday — a day that I was bound and determined not to shower and/or even get out of my pajamas (What? Sorry!), I ended up needing to run to the grocery store. I quickly changed clothes, and then because my skin was feeling a bit dry, I put on some lotion. As I was getting ready to leave (looking just BARELY appropriate enough to leave the house, trust me), Garrett was like “Uhhhhh, did you just put on perfume?”

PUH-LEEZ. Like I would be super mangy and then just put on perfume to cover all that up! Anyway, it took me a minute to realize that he was smelling the lotion. So yes, it totally has a smell. But it’s a pleasant one, and after a while the intensity fades to a more muted scent.

 For More Information

Find more information about the Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Care products at www.Facebook.com/SuaveBeauty. Visit the Suave Beauty Facebook page to get tips for radiant skin, style advice from celebrity stylist Brad Goreski and enter the “Radiant Wishes” sweepstakes for a chance to win Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion products, a spa day or a trip to Los Angeles

 

Sweepestakes

For a chance to win a $1,000 gift card (just think how many awesome Suave Products THAT would buy), let me know which of the Suave Moroccan Infusion Body Care products you would most like to try!

 

Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 2/7/2014-2/28/2014. Be sure to visit the Suave Professionals® brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

 

 

“1 When clinically tested vs comparable Moroccanoil® products. Moroccanoil® is a registered trademark of Moroccanoil®”

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Winter Blues

winter blues 1

We’ve been improvising winter a little bit out here in Northern California because so far it has been a long, dry season. The last few days of cold and rain though have me in a very blustery state of mind. These are a few favorites that have kept me embracing Winter Blues but with one eye on Spring. (Come on sunshine! Get Here!)

1. Bath & Body Works Rio Glow Candle

A yummy mix of tropical mango, papaya and guava this candle looks seasonally appropriate, but is a nice reminder that warmer weather isn’t too far off.

2. Paula’s Choise RESIST Ultra Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum

I added this to my routine shortly after I told you what was new with my skincare stuff and it’s been such a light, but moisturizing step I can’t imagine going without it! I’m hoping, as the weather warms up, to be rocking a more natural makeup look. It’s never too early to start prepping my face for less makeup (EEP!)

3. Julep – Octavia

I am 100% OBSESSED with navy blue nails. They just feel so simple and pretty! Appropriate for winter, but I feel like even as the weather changes these will still look cute.

4. Village Naturals Therapy Liquid Mineral Bath – Stress & Tension Relief

This bubble bath is heavy on the menthol and soothing on the muscles. It’s been a wonderful addition to my mid week + weekend baths when I really need a piping hot soak, a deep breath and a moment of relaxation.

5. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Abyss

I’ve been toying with my eye makeup lately and switching up my eyeliner to make it a little more fun. I’ve been doing a lot of dark, smokey black and then sometimes just for fun I’ll add a hint of blue. This Urban Decay pencil is just playful enough, but not full on 80s crazy.

6. Le Creuset 5.5 Qt Round Dutch Oven

It’s soup season, for sure, and I have never made better purchases than my collection of Le Creuset cookware. WORTH EVERY PENNY. Chilis, Stews, Soups — OH MY! Your stovetop (and your belly!) will thank you. But it also helps get great color on chicken and makes spectacular carnitas when I’m looking to cook up something to top my fresh spring/summer salads.

7. Old Navy Pointed D’Orsay Flats

These shoes, while not appropriate right this moment, remind me to keep me one eye on spring. (IT’S COMING, BABY!) I want a pair in every color, but I am DEFINITELY going to come home with navy. Classic and cute, I think they’ll be just the nautical ticket when things warm up.

*****

Hoping the winter isn’t getting you too down in your neck of the woods!

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A Very Long Post About My Updated Skin Care Routine

Updated Skin Care Routine

I’ve written so much about my skin care struggles here and it continues to be a work in progress. In an effort to improve what has been a 15+ year struggle I have tried many things — medications, antibiotics, expensive facials, and even Accutane (CLIFFS NOTES: DO NOT RECOMMEND!) — but since about 2010 I’ve taken a different approach.

The History

I changed my diet to a Paleo template and as most most people know, many folks in the Paleo community have a real shared love for finding the root cause of health issues instead of just trying to make the symptom go away — myself included. I firmly believe acne is a symptom of an underlying health problem, and more specifically an underlying gut problem. I don’t think it’s just something that happens as a fluke, it’s absolutely an indicator of something going on inside your body.

With that in mind, over the last few years I’ve tried many different things in order to uncover a solution. I have experimented with eliminating foods, learned a ton about digestion and it’s relation to skin, I’ve added helpful supplements (Liz Wolfe’s Skintervention Guide has some great advice here) and then in the middle of 2012 I made a marked effort to move all of my products toward the “natural” side of the spectrum. I know “natural” doesn’t mean a whole lot these days, but essentially I decided I was going to simplify the sheer amount of products I was using, and leave as much of the chemical skin care stuff behind as I could.

I focused on gut health and how it relates to skin for about a year and in many ways my health got better. But my skin results were always inconsistent. I’d go through periods of time where it was great, and periods of time where it was only ok with no rhyme or reason, but even at its best, my skin was still so very far from where I wanted my skin to be. Also not to state the obvious, but I’ve continued to get older. Prevention is still important with respect to skin, but also I would like to UNDO some of the damage, scarring and pigment issues I’ve got going on as well.

Recent Developments

In October of last year, I decided go back to a few “more traditional” skin care items. I did it in response to giving nutritional ketosis a try (man I still have to blog about my Keto experiment)  because among many  developments, my face was overtaken by SUPER SEVERE acne. So bad it felt equivalent to the time in my life when I decided I should try Accutane.  I was literally having some mini panic attacks about it and my coconut oil and baking soda face wash was basically laughing at me on the sidelines. I was fretting about the potential for scars (I already have enough!) feeling sad about the additional pigmentation problems (I’ve had freckles since I was born and breakouts don’t make it better!) and so one day I just impulsively made a bee-line into some retailers who sold my old tried and true skin products from my back in the day.

Probably two weeks later I was ASTOUNDED by the change in my skin. But truth be told, I was also conflicted about the positive results.

The Conflict

Day after day my skin was improving — the look, the spots, and the texture were all getting better. Consistently. All of the things that I had hoped to attain by moving toward more natural solutions were happening — except natural skincare lovers would certainly say my products had “questionable” ingredients in them. I wrestled with this for a while, and then one day I woke up, shook myself, and said “Save your stress for the things that matter, Holly! You can’t win every battle at the same time.”

The facts are: I am really happy with my current results. Do I wish I was accomplishing these results with only coconut oil, baking soda and the sweet breath of unicorns? YES! Absolutely! And someday I might get there. I aspire to get there, actually. But I also have a lot going on in my life right now, and a finite amount of resources in the problem solving department. I believe in allowing yourself some evolution (Paleo Joke!) and in my opinion, the people who are the best example of this Paleo LIFESTYLE (gag) are the people who interpret all the ancestral wisdom through a modern lens. And right now, I’m happy that in these modern times I have a Clarisonic and a Sephora.

I know this has been a lot of words so far and I haven’t even talked products, but I wanted to give you some context. If you have any other questions about why I turned on a dime and went running back to retinol — feel free to leave them in the comments. But for now, here are the things that are just rocking my world lately when it comes to taking care of my face.

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The Game Changer: Clarisonic Mia 2
Clarisonic Mia 2

At the beginning of last year I finally ponied up $100+ for a Clarisonic because I couldn’t go five feet without hearing someone rave about it. I used it for a few months and was only mildly impressed. Then I found out IT WAS A FAKE! A fake that I had purchased on Amazon from an unreputable retailer. (Be ye not so stupid. Only buy on Amazon from legit places!) I went most of the rest of the year without it but when I had my skin care scare that I mentioned above in October I decided that the next time I saw a good deal from a legitimate retailer, I would pounce. And on Black Friday I did just that. I purchased a kit from QVC, that included a cleanser that I didn’t care about at all and a travel case, and from the first week on I’ve been absolutely in love. If you need additional endorsement? I got Garrett to use it (“Hey babe, try this vibrating hot pink face washer the next time you’re in the shower, ok?” HA! You should have heard his response) and even HE is an evangelizing devotee now. Masculinity be damned. It is worth it.

The AM/PM Everyday Cleanser: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
Fresh Soy Face CleanserRemember the cleanser I got with the Clarisonic that I couldn’t have cared less about? It was this! And I was shocked by how much I loved it. It’s incredibly gentle, has only a few ingredients, a very light cucumber scent and it makes my face feel wonderful. When I first purchased it I was just using my Clarisonic with Cetaphil thinking the cleanser you used didn’t really matter, but the difference was remarkable. I’ve already repurchased a second bottle. It’s pricy, but it’s so worth it.

The Wild Card: Acure Unscented Argan Oil Facial Cleansing Towelettes
Acure-Organics-Argan-Oil-Cleansing-Towelettes

Sometimes on days when I am wearing a lot of makeup I like to do a little pre-wash before I use the Clarisonic. These work great to get a ton of makeup off. Also, these are awesome in my gym bag. They don’t dry out my skin, are very gentle, and have a non existent scent.

The 3 Nights Per Week Cleanser: Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Wash
Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser

I used this years ago when the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion was all the rage and I didn’t even have a hint of a reason to use anything glycolic (For the record, the drying lotion does NOTHING for me.) I picked this up on a whim at Ulta around Thanksgiving and it’s just an awesome AHA exfoliating face wash. I only use it 2, maybe 3 times a week (usually at night) — depending on if my skin is feeling dull and it brightens it right up. This is also one that Garrett rolled his eyes at and is now using religiously. It’s a really great product that makes a noticeable difference in my face.

The Toner: Dermalogica Multi Active Toner or Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist
DermalogicaPost washing, I like to use a light toner, but I don’t have the patience for liquids and cotton rounds and all of that. Dermalogica makes, HANDS DOWN, the best toners out there in my opinion. I’ve been a long time user of the Multi Active Toner, but decided to try the Antioxidant Hydramist because it is a part of their Anti Aging Line and I am VERY. ANTI. AGING. :)  Not sure which one I like better, but I will always keep at least one in the rotation. I love that Dermalogica makes travel sized products, and it is a great way to try out their line without breaking the bank. I think it is worth every penny, but it’s always nice to try a small size if you’ve never used something.

The Everyday Moisturizers: CeraVe AM Lotion with SPF 30 + CeraVe PM Lotion
CeraVeAbsolute Drug Store STEALS, and really amazing moisturizers. I like the separation of AM and PM because of the sunscreen issue, and they are really hydrating without using a lot of product or making you feel greasy. I find the bottles last a long time too, which makes a $10 purchase feel like even MORE of a deal.

The (2-3x per week) Night Cream/Tip Toe Into Retinol Products: RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream
Roc RetinolThis was an impulse purchase (what isn’t in my life, JEEZ!) and honestly I am not that up to speed on Retinol type products so I’m still sort of researching my holy grail version of this or if I even want to continue using it. But I got it in a 2 pack, and I’m going to use it all up. Mostly because it is gentle (probably because it doesn’t have a large percentage of retinol? retinoids? See? I’m still researching) but when I use this a couple of nights a week, I wake up with the tiniest pores in the morning. It’s actually kind of weird. But good weird, you know? Plus it doesn’t smell too chemically.

The Spot Treatment: Bremenn Clinical Zit Stick
Zit StickI’ve already raved about this. Seriously, do yourself a favor and go get it.

The Occasional Nightime Dry Skin Reliever: Julep Luxe Repair Skin Serum
Julep Luxe Repair Skin SerumThis is a little too oily for me to use on a daily basis, especially as part of my morning routine, but we’ve had a couple of weeks this winter where it was really cold (For California! I know!) and the first thing to revolt was my skin. Those days when I was feeling a bit parched, I would just slather on this serum and be right as rain the following day. And despite it’s viscosity, no breakouts at all. I’m on the hunt for a better serum, but I do like this one in the meantime and will happily use it all.

The Once Per Week Anti Aging Treatment: Philosophy The Microdelivery Triple-Acid Brightening Peel
Philosophy The Microdelivery Triple Acid Brightening PeelHands down this is my favorite skin discovery in probably the past five years. It is an at home chemical peel that I use once per week (I do some juggling with my skin care schedule to use all of the products for sure!) and usually once I put it on my face and neck there is enough to use on my chest and hands. It’s amazing, feels luxurious, and in is far, far better than similar products like this that I’ve tried by Bliss and Peter Thomas Roth. The best price around is at QVC and while it seems spendy, it last forever because and remember it is only a once per week treatment that you will make a NOTICEABLE difference.  $4 each is a steal and I’ll skip a latte in favor of this brightening peel any day.

The 2x Per Week Spa Solution: Karuna Masks
Karuna MasksI have always been a sucker for masks, and I find that as well as they work for my skin, they also work for my LIFE — because to sit down (on my couch or in a bathtub) twice per week for 20 minutes to do a mask on myself is such a great stress reliever! I love these Karuna masks but you can always find fun ones at TJ Maxx or Ulta to stock your collection.

 

*****

What I’m Still On The Hunt For: A “worth it” Vitamin C Serum. Haven’t found one yet — any suggestions?  Anything surprise you? Any questions for me?

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Four Cheap Thrills You Totally Need

I’ve mentioned before that I think January is the perfect month for cheap thrills. We’re all having a little money hangover after December, but if you’re anything like me you miiiiiiiiight have gotten used to being a little bit indulgent at the end of last year and who wants to just quit that cold turkey? (Related: Can somebody come over here and delete the QVC app off of my iPhone, please. My credit card thanks you!)

With that in mind, I wanted to share a few fun things that I am absolute loving lately because they are making me feel all special and luxurious and stuff but they are super duper inexpensive. In fact, they can all probably be impulse purchased at a drugstore near you! (PS — this post is not sponsored by anyone except my wallet and my need to have a shower overflowing with awesomeness.) So let’s get to it, shall we?

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1. Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Shampoo + Conditioner with Argan Oil

Suave

I picked these babies up on impulse at Target (WHERE ELSE?) and at under $4 per bottle I thought to myself “Moroccan Oil? This is probably more like Canola Oil at that price.” But every once in a while I like to add a little drugstore shampoo combo into my rotation. My second concern was when I first smelled them. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like them because they were a little bit perfumey, and I’m usually a more “natural smells” kind of person. That just made me sound like I like the smell of body odor. For the record: I DO NOT!

So hey, this is a ringing endorsement so far, right? WOW.

But here’s the thing, when I got them home and start using them, they made my hair SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO soft and silky. And while the fragrance was outside of my fruity/citrusy scent comfort zone, I thought that it made my hair smell super clean and delicious all day long. It was sort of the hair equivalent of having your clothes smell like clean laundry detergent. So if you are someone who likes that (and soft hair) then you need this! (Trust me. Even if you do think it smells strong and perfumey at first!)

I figured because it was a cheapy relatively inexpensive shampoo/conditioner it would eventually weigh my hair down and stop working, but I am about to be done with my first bottles and I am literally chomping at the bit to pick another couple of bottles up. Suave Professionals, you have stepped up your game! I’m even considering buying this 4 Piece Gift Set on Amazon because it’s only TEN BUCKS! And on Prime! Which means it will show up at my house in two days and I won’t have to go to Target where I can’t be trusted not to make impulse purchases. And THAT, in itself, is priceless!

2. St. Ives Revitalizing Pear and Soy Body Wash
St Ives

This is probably the most non-natural, non-hippie body wash you could possibly buy (and for only $4! WOOT!) but hot damn does it lather well, smell edible, and probably the most surprising — moisturizes like a boss! I’ve been so exceptionally dry skinned this winter and I find the difference notable when I DON’T use this product. And it’s a $4 product. I mean — what the heck?

If you are a fruity/citrusy fragrance lover, hightail it to your nearest retailer and get your hands on this. You won’t regret it. And if you use it on a little puffy loofah spongy thing (the technical term, I’m sure) BONUS POINTS! You’ll practically be taking a bubble bath in your shower.

3. Spongeables Pedi Scrub Foot Buffer

spongeables-pediscrub

Listen, it’s January. I’m not actively getting pedicures. My feet are all mashed up in boots. Real Talks: they need a little TLC. And these old school foot scrubbers have been a totally fun addition to my shower. I have the Tea Tree Oil version, and whenever I use it I just want to shout “Treat Yo Self” but I can’t really do that without gesticulating wildly, and since I’m in the shower and also clumsy, that’s an unnecessary danger. But this little foot spongy thing? DEFINITELY necessary.

4. Bremmen Clinical Zit Stick

zit stick

This easy to use salicylic acid based cream treatment has totally helped me out of a pinch in the last month since I purchased it. (At Costco, in a 2 pack, for $8, so try that if you’re a member.) It dries clear, doesn’t irritate, and most importantly: TOTALLY WORKS. I feel like I will never be without this again, it has worked that well for me. The applicator is gentle, it hasn’t dried my face, and I’m just so happy with it! Highly recommend! Oh but wait, YOU don’t have any zits. Nevermind. :)

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So there ya have it. If you bought everything on this list it’d cost ya a little over thirty bucks, but I swear it’d make you feel like a million! Tell me about your newest cheap thrill discovery, because I do have a Target trip in my future… :)

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It’s That Time Again

Internet, I’d say twice a year I make you pick out a haircut for me. Man, I’m just a TYRANT aren’t I?

So hey, guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow? Snip snip!

So, do you have your voting fingers ready, because here’s the deal. My hair right now is kind of Ugs-ville. I got it cut 6 months ago, and what do you know, if you don’t keep it up or something, it just turns into a shaggy mess that doesn’t cooperate:
Blazer weather is back! YESSSSS! #ootd

I’m not saying I look like Medusa or anything, but it takes a long time and a lot of product to work with it in the morning to make it look decent, and by the middle of the afternoon it looks crap-tastic no matter what I do, so therefore I can never leave the house without a ponytail holder for fear of an EMERGENCY. It’s time to let my favorite hair genie work her magic, is what I’m saying, but I need to bring some inspiration.

Here are the random picture options from Pinterest (what did we do without Pinterest?):

Option A – Super short with bangs

short hair

Pros: Hello, how cute is this hair? It’s short. It’s sassy. It has bangs! But not COMMITMENT bangs, you know. And she looks like she has a rounder face so maybe if I do something similar I won’t look like a weeble wobble. Thumbs up.

Cons: There are two. One is that short hair gives me workout rage. I LOVE LOVE LOVE short hair in real life but I have yet to find an acceptable system in my workout life to really enjoy working out with short hair. The second is that I anytime I have hormonal breakouts (chin/neck) there just won’t be ANY hair safety net. All my business will just be OUT ON THE STREET. Nervous about that.

Option B – Leave the Length, Change the Part, Get Some Layers

Jessica Biel

Pros: I kind of love a middle part and I have been wanting to change it for a while. It would be nice to actually cut my hair with the part in mind. Other pro – it’s taken 6 months for me to get any length going, and it is a GREAT length for workouts. I can put it up, get it out of my face – YAY! Also this cut is versatile style wise. Maybe I just need some layers and shape to my current hair length.

Cons: Let’s be real, I am not Jessica Biel. I am also not doing any color and part of why this style looks so great is because she has some fun ombre action going for her. Also, this overall look requires curling, which I don’t usually do on the daily, but could. But then again, my hair is very fine/thin and I imagine from this picture hers is not.

Option C – Side Part, Layers, Bangs

side part short with layers and bangs
Pros: This is cute, same side part. More layers. Bangs. The haircut definitely has SHAPE. Clearly I’m potentially feeling out bangs again (as I always do.) Scarves look cute with shorter hair!

Cons: It’s getting to be winter and hats look stupid on me when I have short hair. Let’s revisit Workout Rage.

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So — let’s discuss!

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Real Life Style: Tide Pods Review (Sweepstakes Closed)

You all know I am the queen of wash and wear fashion. I have an entire category on this blog devoted to Real Life Style + Beauty because I have no desire to be an aspirational arbiter of fashion. Yes, I love pretty clothes! But I also know myself really well, and the truth is if I buy something with a Dry Clean Only tag on it, chances are I’m skipping it in favor of something I can wash and wear. Afterlight The Laundry Room is my church. Here is the Stackable Altar where I pray And while I am outing my style sins can I tell you one more superficial confession? I HAVE A LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE SMELL OF LAUNDRY DETERGENT! And dry cleaned clothes kind of smell icky. There, I said it. When I was offered a chance to review Tide Pods — calling it a powerful 3-in-1 detergent that cleans, brightens, and fights stains — I thought sure I’ll try it — my life right now is in serious need of some short cuts — but will it still make my clothes smell like laundry detergent? We shall see… photo I spent a weekend doing my laundry with the Tide Pods, and I’m happy to report they were easy to use, unfussy, and MOST IMPORTANTLY my clothes still had the fresh laundry smell I was used to. I washed a jacket I recently picked up at Target that I think is going to be one of my FAVORITE pieces for fall and now it is just waiting for the weather to cool down so I can wear it! YAY! Fresh Smelling Fall clothes! target jacket I’m a simple gal, and if my clothes look stylish, can go in the washer and dryer and smell like a Spring Meadow all day, well COLOR ME HAPPY! I’d like to color YOU happy as well, which is why I’m going to suggest you enter the Sweepstakes below by telling me about your favorite fall pieces for a chance to win a $100 gift card. Tell me – what is your favorite item to wear for fall?

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.   The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 10/3/2013 – 11/03/2013.

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A Well Kept Shoe Secret (Giveaway Closed)

That moment at the end of the day when you finally get to kick off your heels! For a long time this, right here, was my favorite moment of the day. Standing in the parking garage at my job when I’d kick off my heels and throw on the pair of flip flops in my car for the drive home. I mean, SWEET JESUS, I know you know this feeling. Garrett is always giving me a hard time about wearing uncomfortable shoes, and I always say back, “Baby it hurts to be beautiful.” But you guys, WHAT IF IT DIDN’T? I’m sort of at this crossroads in my style life. I love looking and feeling cute and on-trend and like I am taking care of myself, but I am also 100% OVER walking around in shoes that bring me more excitement when I take them off, you know? When I got an email from BlogHer at the end of a long work day asking if I was interested in a campaign opportunity with Clarks I took a long deep breath. Because the truth was, HELL YES I was interested. Comfortable, quality well-made shoes sounded AWESOME. But then, honestly, I had a moment where I was like, “Wait a minute, am I turning into an old lady? SAY IT ISN’T SO!” So of course, I took to the internet to do some research. I hopped over to Zappos and was actually very surprised by what I saw: Yes, shoes that were well made and crafted with comfort in mind. But also beautiful, stylish shoes for someone who is NOT an old lady. I rejoiced right there in my car! :) photo Clockwise from top: Valley Moon // Purity Snow // Sapphire Stel Immediately I knew I wanted to participate. Because stylish ladies of the world, HEAR THIS: you can totally have both gorgeous AND super comfortable shoes. It can be done! And no one will be the wiser. Clarks sent me a few pairs of shoes to review and honestly they have really worked well into my wardrobe. My feet are ready for fall! If only the weather would catch up! #booties #ootd Wessex Azure I wore the booties they sent me the other day and all day long people kept complimenting me. Each time I felt the need to lean over to whisper “You’ll never guess where they are from…” Every single lady I spoke to was shocked to hear they were from Clarks, but I think the secret is getting out. And the best part? At the end of the day, I didn’t even look for my flip flops!

The Giveaway!

You can call (800) 927-7671 or go to the Zappos site to purchase your own Clarks! But Zappos and Clarks have teamed up to offer one lucky winner a $100 Zappos Gift Card! For a chance to win, tell me in the comments below: 

“What comes first when you’re buying shoes? Style or comfort?”

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner  will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 10/1/13 – 10/31/13.

Be sure to visit the Zappos page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

 

 

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Review and Giveaway — Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer

vaseline-spray-moisturizer_a

This is a sponsored review for Vaseline® Spray & Go Moisturizer and BlogHer. While I was compensated for my review and provided with free product, all opinions are my own.


True Story: My mom & dad used to call me the ‘queen of lotions & potions’. For my entire teenaged life I had no less than 20 different scented lotions and body sprays sitting on the top of my dresser to mix and match as I saw fit. Every birthday or holiday that was what I asked for.  I wanted it. Of course, when you aren’t responsible for paying any bills, spending all of the money you own on ‘mall lotion’ seems like a good idea. Also, when you have nothing but time on your hands to do homework, gossip about boys, and hang with your friends, your moisturizing routine seems like a reasonable priority. But these days things are a little different. I still love things that smell delicious, and I will never NOT be a moisturizing junkie. Whether it be on my face or on my body, there is nothing that skeeves me out more than itchy dry skin, so I will always stay on top of it. But I have to be honest, during the summers in Sacramento when it’s over 100 degrees outside and I have to shower and blow dry my hair in the morning, I don’t always feel like making the time to moisturize and then stand around and wait for the lotion to dry, you know? Obviously when BlogHer asked if I wanted to try new Vaseline® Spray & Go Moisturizer (specifically the Total Moisture® variant)– a continuous spray lotion that moisturizes (and absorbs) in seconds– I was interested just out of pure curiosity. While I don’t have quite the lotion collection that I used to have, old habits die hard, and I am always interested in trying out the newest products on the drug store shelves. Going into it, I thought it would feel a little bit like using spray sunscreen so I was doubtful it was going to be super moisturizing. I was also afraid it would be sticky (spray sunscreen PTSD, again) so I wasn’t expecting to be impressed. But after using it for a few weeks now, I have found myself grabbing for it over any other lotion I own. It absorbs quickly! And more importantly, it doesn’t go on super thick, but it still hydrates your skin appropriately. And while it feels NOTHING like sunscreen, the scent is super light and smells just like summer should smell. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a fun new shake-up to your moisturizing routine. Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer is the perfect hybrid for summer, and it genuinely has saved me time in the mornings. Head over to their Facebook page to learn more about their Spray & Go products!


******* Think Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer could help maximize your morning? Leave a comment on this post with your answer and each comment will automatically be entered for a chance to win a $1,000 SpaFinder gift card :) Entries will be pooled from participating blogs and one winner chosen. 


 

Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner  will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

 

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 7/1/13 – 7/31/13.

Be sure to visit the Vaseline® Spray & Go page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

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Creating an Intentional Wardrobe

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A peek into our closet

I read a great post on Wardrobe Oxygen this weekend about Honing Your Personal Style Through Closet Organization and it struck me that this is *exactly* how I taught myself to get dressed. I am an organization JUNKIE, and it was actually a closet organizing technique that spawned my desire to think more about my personal style.

A decade ago I loved having a closet FILLED TO THE BRIM with clothing. The more shiny, crappy, polyester clothing options I had the more abundant I felt. During a closet organizing whim one day years ago, I decided to try this little trick and I realized what I was REALLY wearing. I consistently wore clothes that were comfortable, well-fitting and were in similar colors and styles. I am no minimalist and I’m certainly not advocating owning one pair of well fitting jeans and fiver shirts in different colors, but when I did that exercise I realized that there was a method to my dressing madness, even when I thought there wasn’t.

Unsurprisingly, what was happening was that I was consistenly wearing the clothing that made me look and feel good, and ignoring the large majority of my shiny, glittery, “fun” wardrobe. It was clear that I was living in fantasy land when I shopped, but in reality when I got dressed. There was lots of lovely clothing (ok and some that wasn’t so lovely) but for one reason or another, the stuff I wasn’t wearing just wasn’t a fit — for my shape or for my lifestyle. And it was a wasteful disconnect that made me want to start building a more intentional wardrobe. (I say start becuase it is an on-going process.)

These days, even though I deal with a much smaller and more specific wardrobe, I feel much more abundant. Part of that on-going process is that every few months I clean out my closet to remove things I’m not wearing or just generally not digging, and then twice per year I do one BIG closet switcheroo based on the seasons. I try to only keep two seasons worth of clothing out at a time (Spring/Summer clothes and Fall/Winter clothes.)  Despite the fact that my closet can accommodate all of my clothing being out at once, the hanger exercise taught me that when my visible wardrobe is a little more tightly curated, I seem to feel more creative. (Strange, but true.)

Perhaps you like to look at all of your clothes at once, and that is okay too! But I thought we could talk about where one would start when they want to build an intentional wardrobe; which to me, is a wardrobe where the clothes that fill up your space are the clothes that you actually WANT to wear. Revolutionary, it is not. But despite its simplicity, it actually took me a while to get the hang of. In case I’m not the only person who learned this a bit late in life, I thought I’d share some of the steps I took to get there and some fun resources that might help:

1. Define YOUR Signature Style

As with anything important, there must first be a vision, right? Your clothing is reflection of who you are in your life, whether you are are making an effort at it or not. I want to look nice, but I don’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about it. It has been helpful to pick a mission statement for all of my clothes and stick to it. They must be classic and comfortable, but with a little bit of flair. For me that ends up being simple prints, bright colors or dramatic accessories. It helps me to have a checklist in my head to walk through so I can say “No Holly, despite the fact that you think it is beautiful, you don’t need this white lace dress with 900 buttons, even if you do have just the place to wear it!” (Uh, except I don’t. haha)

Related Reading: How To Find Your Personal Style

2. Determine Clothing Staples That Work For Your Body

I am attracted to so many different styles and types of clothing just because I think fashion is creative and artistic. But I don’t need the analysis paralysis that comes with buying an entire closet full of artsy clothes. I’ve learned through trial and error the silhouettes that do and don’t work for my body – and honestly, taking daily photos of what I’m wearing helped that immensely. Now that I know what works well and what to AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE, I try and keep things in that arena and buy variations of those. It may sound boring, but these days there are a million different pencil skirts out there, so knowing that this is a flattering cut on me doesn’t actually make my wardrobe boring it actually helps keep focused so I can seek out the most fun versions

Related Reading: Fashion 101: Proportions – How to Achieve the Appearance of a Well Proportioned Body

3. Start With a Capsule Wardrobe

I’m sure you have heard this advice a million times but if you are just beginning thinking about style I absolutely think a capsule wardrobe is a must. Of course you can expand on this idea once you get comfortable, but start with a small grouping of versatile, well-fitting items that you can mix and match and you will be amazed at how many outfits you have.

Related Reading: Wardrobe Oxygen is a gold mine of Capsule Wardrobe Ideas from realistic retailers

4. Buy Clothes That Fit You Well Regardless of Their Size

I currently have 4 different sizes in my closet and shockingly: THEY ALL FIT. Clothing Manufacturers have no regulation about sizing and sometimes the sizing within the same store can be weird based on the style of clothing or place the clothing was made (I’m looking at you, Old Navy. The store where I own clothing all the way from Medium to Extra Large — what???) As a consumer I will acknowledge that this is totally annoying, but being flexible an unattached to the size of your clothing often allows you to access to better fitting clothing. And more styles! I often hear people saying “Oh I just can’t wear skinny jeans, they don’t fit me.” Well they wouldn’t fit me right either if I bought my regular size. But sometimes if I go up a size (or two!) they end up looking AWESOME!

Related Reading: What Size Are You Really? The Truth Behind Vanity Sizing

******

Hopefully that has given you a few ideas for creating a more intentional wardrobe. I’ve found it to be so helpful for getting dressed! You don’t have to have a huge budget, or an innate knack for what looks great. Also you don’t have to shop at a million stores. Find what you like, what looks good on you, and then (here’s the big secret) BUY THOSE THINGS! It will make shopping and dressing a more creative and satisfying experience. If you have any other awesome tips to share, please do so.

A Few More Fun Resources:

*The True Longevity of Timeless Items

*A handy dandy flowchart showing How to UnF**k Your Closet.

*A Guide on How To Set Your Wardrobe Budget

*The Truth About TJ Maxx

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Real Life Style: February Closet

What I Wore - February

As always, click any of the links below for details about all the items I’m wearing and where they came from.

1. Failing at Stripe Rehab, 2. Turquoise Pants!, 3. Super Bowl Party, 4. More Stripes. Crap., 5. Cold., 6. Layers, 7. Color Happy, 8. Friday, casual., 9. Saturday Afternoon, 10. Pink Shoes!, 11. Polka Dots, 12. Linen, 13. V-Day ❤❤❤❤, 14. TGIF, 15. Monday. Un-Creative, 16. Yay Jeans!

So hey, I’m a little behind on this, but I thought I’d revisit how I got dressed in February. If you remember, my goal was to wear less stripes than in January.

What I’m Currently Loving

It shouldn’t be  a shock that I’m still loving scarves this month. It was February and it was COLD! Also I was feeling a dark palette with just a little bit of color. (Not a pop! Down with the expression POP OF COLOR!) I get this way every winter, February especially, but I just want to wear cozy black things and leggings. Obviously I had to spiff up that concept a bit for “business casual” attire, but it was definitely what I was feeling.

Tights + Leggings 4 EVA!

What Inspired Me While Getting Dressed

The first half of the month was me trying to back off on the stripes and honestly getting layered. It was cold outside, it was cold in the office, and layers were a serious necessity but I didn’t want to look like a bag lady. I got offered my new job mid month, so honestly I didn’t even take outfit photos for a few days because I was inspired mostly by the concept of “Just get dressed and get to work.” Not that fun. Towards the end of the month it was beginning to feel like spring so I got slightly more colorful and I will keep that up. I love color! (And polka dots, apparently.)

Hits

This was my favorite outfit of the month. It’s not super exciting but it had all my favorite elements: scarf, simplicity, black, comfortable but not boring. And um, leopard shoes, HELLO.

Misses

This was my lease favorite. I think busted out the linen a little too early. It was super springy day, but by the end of it I just wasn’t feeling “light and bright” clothes yet. Also: I hate how that sweater hangs every time I wear it. I should really just get rid of it. Maybe it’s time to do a Shop My Closet cull again.

******

So that was my February closet! March should bring some more spring-y looks and some new jeans. I had to throw away my FAVORITE jeans this month (my 1969 Gap Boyfriend Jeans) because…uh…well after owning them for forever the thigh area sort of…uh, gave out. WHAT? Shit happens. My thighs touch. THIS IS REAL LIFE STYLE, Y’all. :)

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