InStyle’s #SummerSocial Recap

instyle event

As a blogger, I get invited to quite a few blogger events. Ok, not as many as the ritzy fashion bloggers who have their own photographers, but it’s enough for my liking. Due to my busy schedule and introvert tendencies, I try to only attend ones that I’m really interested in, and one of those is the annual InStyle events put on in collaboration with Single Edition Media. The ladies who I’ve been in contact with over there — Sherri and Melysa — have always been super sweet and helpful, and I’ve participated in a few of their campaigns over the last year or so.

This year, the InStyle Summer Social event was held at 404 NYC in Manhattan, NY on August 18th. Below are just some of the highlights from the event.

One of the most popular sections of the event was a manicure station sponsored by Essie. The wait list was really long by the time I ventured over there, so I ended up not being able to get one. Sad face. Wine was provided by Brancott Estate and small bites were provided by Gardein. I first heard about Gardein at last year’s event, and was excited to see them come back once more. Even though I’m a meat-eater, I love Gardein products and try to go “meat-free” a day or two a week. My personal favorite is their fried fish fillets — they taste legitimately like the real thing and are healthy. I enjoyed snacking on a few of their appetizers, but I wish they had more food. This girl is hungry by 7 pm after a long day of work, so I discreetly ate a Cliff bar as I watched the other bloggers give each other air kisses.

The one area I love visiting is all the booths of the beauty brands. This year they included Dickinson’s (I didn’t realize their product offerings were so large until this event), Jose Eber (my infrared hair drier is my holy grail),  and Neutrogena (a solid favorite – I’m excited to try their HydroBoost Gel Cream they provided in our goodie bags).

single edition media event

My Favorite Engagement Ring Trends of 2015

Over the past few months (or really the past year), my social media accounts have been flooded with engagement announcements, which I think is awesome. If you came here hoping for a post complaining about this, you picked the wrong girl. I’m not one of those girls who rolls her eyes at engagement photos or subtweets things like “All my friends are getting married and I can’t even commit to what I want for dinner.” If you are one of them, please read this. I wrote it for you a while back.

Anyway, back to the topic. I love seeing my friends and acquaintances being happy and going through this exciting life stage. I also, like most women, enjoy looking at the rings. Not really in a superficial way, but more because I like fashion and jewelry and seeing these types of things excites me. So even though I already have my dream ring on my finger (thanks, James!), I still love looking at other women’s rings.

Here are a few of my favorite wedding ring trends of 2015- colored gemstones, floral shapes, marquise cut, and oval.   Which one is your favorite?

engagement ring trends 2015

Gemvara Cushion-Cut Aquamarine Candace Ring  |  Gemvara Matilda Red Garnet Ring  |  Wedding Day Diamonds 14K White Gold Sabrina Artcarved Engagement Ring  |  Sylvie Floral Round Brilliant Halo Diamond Engagement Ring  |  Sylvie Classic Marquis Diamond Engagement Ring  |  Gottlieb & Sons Ring Number 28973  |  Brilliant Earth Delicate Antique Scroll Diamond Ring  |  Brilliant Earth Waverly Diamond Ring

My Drizly Experience

how to make gin rickey

When it comes to apps, there’s one for everything you could possibly imagine. Maybe I’m behind on the times (or just not cool anymore), but the fact that apps that delivered alcohol to your location was new to me. So when Drizly reached out to me to try out their service, I was excited. Free alcohol to mix some cocktails with my coworkers? Sounds good to me.

So what is Drizly? Drizly is an on-demand alcohol delivery platform. By partnering with local liquor retailers, Drizly makes alcohol delivery fast and convenient by bringing your favorite beer, wine or spirits directly to your doorstop in less than 60 minutes. The great thing is, Drizly prices are never marked up. They  partner with some of the best retailers in each of their cities so that they are not only providing fast, convenient delivery, but at the best prices too. The only expenses are a $5 delivery fee and a tip for the driver.

I placed my order and let my coworkers know that on Friday at 4 pm we would make some cocktails to celebrate the end of the week. Unfortunately, that’s when things went wrong. I placed my order after having some difficulty with my coupon code. Turns out I had to hit a certain monetary amount prior to tax, which also resulted in me having to pay the tax and tip (for a service I was told would be 100% free for me to try out as a blogger). I was a little turned off — sure the tax and tip only amounted to around $15, but I wasn’t expecting it. Especially since I had never heard of those rules before and have received free alcohol plenty of times (probably around 4 to be exact) from partnering with similar liquor brands and retailers.

An hour before my order was set to arrive that Friday, I logged in to my account just to doublecheck what I had ordered. I’m anal. Sue me. And good thing I did, because it was then when I realized there was an “error processing my order” and the liquor I ordered was out of stock and could not be shipped. Shit. I read the Drizly FAQ which said to contact the store and not them. I did so, only to find that the store had absolutely no record of the order and they couldn’t help me (not to mention they said Drizly was a “nightmare to work with”). I messaged the customer service team and my representative at Drizly and got a response within 20 minutes saying “Yes, we realized this was an error but decided not to inform you and to just deal with it on our own”. Cool. So you thought that you could hide your own error (the second error, may I add) from the customer and just “cover it up” yourself by not informing me? That’s shitty customer service.

I finally received my alcohol, 20 minutes after the stated delivery time of 4 pm (when I placed my order, I specifically chose 4 pm. After receiving my confirmation, the email said it would arrive “between 4 and 5 pm”. They need to get their story straight). I lugged the heavy bag back to my desk and we started making our cocktails.

gin rickey

The one part that was good? The order came exactly as I had ordered it. We got Hendrick’s Gin, lemon-lime seltzer, fresh lime juice, ice, and mint to make Gin Rickeys, a yummy summer cocktail. My coworker Alexa runs an awesome NYC cocktail website Dipsology, so I appointed her as our bartender for the day. Our drinks turned out great, and they were a nice relief to all the customer service issues I had getting my order delivered.

A few days after my order, I saw a charge of $41.00 to my bank account. Yup, you guessed it, Drizly charged me for about half of my “free” product. After speaking to customer service again, I was finally refunded.

Would I order from Drizly again? No, probably not. I think the concept is cool, their General Manager of North America did some good damage control after I complained to him, and the drinks were yummy. But it’s not worth the hassle, IMO.

Things I Can’t Deal With Lately

One of my favorite writers is Emma Golden, the woman behind the hilarious blog Emmas’s Thing and a contributor to Thought Catalog, Elite Daily, and more. Every week (or so), I enjoy reading the posts in her “I Can’t” series, which are posts where she complains about things she just can’t deal with. As she says herself, “Being an adult is rough and by bitching and moaning about it openly on my blog, I believe I succeed in saying most of the things everyone else is probably thinking but can’t bring themselves to say because they actually have “filters” and “social awareness.” In these posts, Emma often says what’ I’m thinking — so there’s no need for me to write it twice, right? However, I’ve been lately rage-y lately, so here’s my installment of “Things I Can’t Deal With Lately”.

tory burch sandals

I Can’t Deal With…

High-end brand flip flops. Flip flops are essentially a piece of rubber shaped to your foot and two pieces of fabric to go between your toes. Paying anything more than $15 for a pair of flip flops is ridiculous. What’s even more ridiculous is the people who will buy these name-brand flipflops and shell out $250 bucks on shitty sandals solely because they have a Tory Burch logo or “MK” written all over them (for Michael Kors, of course). You could buy 20 pairs of flip flops at Old Navy in a rainbow of colors with that money!

 

flailing arms while walking

I Can’t Deal With…

People who swing their arms in an extreme manner when walking. This excessive flailing of the arms tends to be a crime committed more often by women than men, and becomes more apparent and annoying during my walking commute during rush hour. It’s like they are a helicopter planning to take off (which would actually be a blessing since I wouldn’t have to deal with walking behind them). I’m so annoyed by these people that I walk really close to them on purpose so they “accidentally” hit me with their swinging arms, thus making them aware of their embarrassing habit and hopefully forcing them to say “Sorry” and evaluate their life choices.

nj tranist meme

I Can’t Deal With…

New Jersey Transit. I live in New Jersey and commute every day and night to my job in New York City. The commute itself isn’t too bad — it’s a 30-minute train ride, followed by another 10-minute train ride and a 10-minute walk. But from door to door, with delayed trains, a shitty train schedule, and slow people in general, it’s around an hour and 20 minutes door to door. Woof. Usually I don’t mind the commute as it goes by quickly, but the past few weeks have been filled with delays upon delays. Trains just don’t show up. Trains are parked outside the station for a half hour due to “signal issues” or “wire problems” that have been broken for years and they are too cheap to fix. Amtrak trains are sucking at life, which somehow affects NJ Transit passengers and we have to suffer as well. To make things worse, NJ Transit and Chris Christie both handle the situation in terrible ways. Commuting sucks in general, I get it. But this is just incompetence at its finest. Oh, and they’re raising the prices by 9%. So my $250 commute will now be even more. Great.

My Summer Beauty Holy Grail Products

summer beauty holy grail products

If you’re like me, you tend to use wear less makeup in the summer. But that doesn’t mean I give up completely on my routine — I just switch from my winter/spring products to ones that have words like “waterproof” or phrases like “frizz elimination” on the bottle. We’re right in the heat of summer (ba-dun-dun), so I thought I’d share with you all a handful of my holy grail beauty and hair products for the summer.

summer feet products

Band-Aid Friction Block Stick– If you’re anything like me, you despise wearing uncomfortable shoes. I love summer because it means I can get away with wearing no socks and just slipping on a pair of worn-in sandals every morning. But then there’s those fancy occasions — weddings, bridal showers, you name it — where I have to break in that new pair of wedges or heels. This is where the Band-Aid Friction Block stick saves the day. I’ve been using this product for a few years now and yes, it really does work. Just slide on a little bit of the stick to the areas where you normally get blisters (for me, it’s the outer side of my pinky toe when wearing wedges) prior to slipping on the heels and you’re good to go. I love the deodorant-like applicator and the small size, which makes it easy to fit in my purse for touch-ups on-the-go. One caveat- it’s hard to find in stores! I suggest buying a few in bulk online because a lot of drugstores don’t carry it.

Essie Nail Polish in “Tart Deco”– This peach shade with a hint of pink is perfect for lightly-tanned skin, which makes it one of my favorites for the summer. I rarely go through an entire bottle of nail polish (which is weird, right? How do they last so long?), but I’m almost done with this one.

best summer hair products

L’oreal Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hair Spray- I’ve tried numerous hairsprays over the years, and this is the clear winner. I use it year-round, but it’s especially useful in the summer heat, when my hair doesn’t want to hold a curl or my wispies are just flying all over the place. The formula isn’t sticky, doesn’t have a crazy floral scent, and doesn’t create crunchy hair. The bottle lasts me a long time, even with everyday use. This spray keeps my updos looking great for weddings and holds my style in tact throughout the entire workday.

The Wet Brush– People always tell others “Don’t use a brush on wet hair, use a comb!” But I disagree. Combs just do not work on my long, wavy hair at all. They take forever and just create more of a mess. So I use a brush — the Wet Brush. The Wet Brush detangles my wet hair (and works on dry hair as well) in a matter of seconds and doesn’t snag on my hair like other brushes. Plus, it comes in a variety of bright colors for summer, which I love.

summer makeup products

NYX Cosmetics Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray– In the summer heat, makeup washes right off. While I don’t really wear foundation in the summer, I’ve seen girls who have and it’s not pretty when they sweat it off. This makeup setting spray (which is a dupe for the Urban Decay one, in my opinion) sets my makeup so it lasts all day. Just a couple of light sprays and you’re ready to go. The formula comes in matte or dewy to match your skin needs, but I prefer the matte since my skin is already a little dewy from the heat.

Garnier BB Cream Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector– In the summer I rarely wear foundation. I prefer the sheer tint of a BB cream (which has built-in SPF for the days I forget to put it on in the morning) that’s barely noticeable, yet somehow makes my complexion even. I’ve tried a few higher-end brand BB creams, but I always end up going back to this drugstore version.

Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip And Cheek Creamy Oil– On hot summer days, most powder blushes slip right off, so instead I use this creamy oil. I use the “Limitless Pink” shade, which is a great everyday color, but I’m dying to try the other, brighter shades. If only my wallet was larger…

What are your summer makeup and hair holy grail products?