Favorite Beauty Products of April

Another month, another round of beauty products to try. One of my favorite parts of ordering something from Sephora or Ulta is getting free samples- which sometimes are almost full-size, actually. Every item below was a sample from an order or a starter kit and I’ve already purchased a few full-size versions because I loved them so much. What new beauty products did you try this April?

april beauty favorites

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream-  I’m a big fan of BB creams, especially in the summer. During the winter and early spring, I mainly used my L’Oreal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Foundation, but once I get a little color from the sun, I switch to a BB cream. My favorite has been the Garnier BB Cream, which I think is a great formula at a drugstore price. However, after trying this Smashbox product, I’ve found a new favorite. Unlike some BB creams, it’s not oily and goes on in a thin and consistent matter. I don’t remember which shade I had a few samples of, but it matched my tone very well and I was pleased with the results. I’d splurge on this in the future for sure- I think it’s worth every penny.

DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel- I wear my hair in its natural state- wavy, mermaid-y curls- most days and let my hair air dry. Because of this, I was on the hunt for the perfect product to hold my natural waves without making them crunchy, greasy or frizzy. I received a sample of this gel with a Sephora order a few months back and immediately purchased a large bottle. It smells fruity (my boyfriend even commented on it once) and holds and shapes my waves perfectly. And the best part- although it’s technically a “gel”, it’s not crunchy or sticky at all.

Benefit Cosmetics BADgal Lash Mascara- I’ve mentioned before how I love Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara, so I was excited to try the mini size of it’s “older sister”. While I found that They’re Real curls better, I love the thickness and length this one adds. I will be purchasing a full size soon.

Clinique Happy Fragrance- Now that spring is here (well,  sort of), I switch my fragrances to lighter, more fruity and floral scents, like this one. Although I know many women wear this, I consider it a classic scent that never goes out of style. It just puts me in a good mood and makes me happy. Go figure.

NYX Cosmetics Butter Gloss in “Meringue”- This shade is the perfect “my lips but better” color- it’s just a shade or two off from my natural lips so it can be worn to work and on weekends. The gloss goes on thin and doesn’t get cakey. A bonus? It tastes and smells yummy!

An Inexpensive Date Night In

tonys pizzeria

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Tony’s Pizza, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #tonyspizzeria http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV.”

While I enjoy going out with friends, sometimes I just want to stay indoors in my PJs and not leave the house. Anyone else? Sometimes I’m just way too tired from a week’s worth of work on a Friday night that nothing sounds better than eating yummy snacks, making a margarita and binge-watching a TV show of my choice. Luckily, I have a boyfriend to keep me company, so these nights in turn into a date night.

Our date nights in consist of a mixture of the following (if not all)- watching our favorite TV shows and movies, me making a trip to the local store to buy lots of candy (like the yummy Starburst Fruit Candy Corn I scored 50% off at an Easter sale), playing board games like Taboo and making margaritas with our Magic Bullet.

starburst fruit candy corn

date night snacks

Another staple for our date nights in? Pizza. Although it can be fun to make it from scratch, sometimes I’m just too lazy. Thankfully, there are frozen options that are just as yummy and made with real cheese, sauce and tomatoes- like Tony’s Pizza. I picked up the pepperoni version at Walmart for my most recent date night in.

Interested in hosting a date night in or pizza party yourself? Make sure you take advantage of this Coupons.com offer.  You can save 75¢ on any two TONY’S® multi-serve pizzas (11.04 oz or larger) in the freezer aisle offer. This coupon is available while supplies last here. While you’re at it, why not follow Tony’s Pizza on Twitter and Facebook for future deals?

What are your date-night-in staples?

tonys pizza

Promposals

promposal cat

It’s that time of year when high-schoolers are obsessively getting ready for prom while I sigh and wish I could go back in time to re-live those years. I attended my prom and was one of “those girls” who really looked forward to it. I searched for the perfect dress, made sure I was tan and bought every prom magazine I could get my hands on. High school in general was really fun for me, so it’s not surprising that I thoroughly enjoyed my prom (I was prom queen 2006, afterall!) But one aspect that seems to be taking over the internet that I apparently missed out on was the “promposal”.

What’s a promposal, you ask? It’s like a proposal for marriage, except you’re asking someone to be your prom date. The ridiculous name isn’t even half of it- there’s a trending hashtag on Twitter chronicling the over-the-top ways 16-year-old boys are asking their classmates to prom.

Maybe it’s just me, but this was definitely NOT a thing when I was in school. Couples who were dating didn’t even bother asking their significant other to prom since it was a given. If you liked someone, you had a friend-of-a-friend subtly hint that you two should go to prom together. And if you were single, like I was, you might even- GASP- ask a boy yourself to go simply as friends. I don’t have any elaborate stories about boys asking me to dances (it was pretty much just them straight-forwardly asking me), but I don’t think I really would want to have any. A marriage proposal? Sure. But it seems silly and a little too grown up for 17-year-olds.

A prom date is just that- someone to take photos with, dance with occasionally, split the cost of a limo with, etc. It’s not this elaborate thing that deserves a proposal with roses, buying your date a puppy or spray-painting her lawn with the word “PROM?” Who does that!?

All these promposal articles I’ve seen on sites like the Huffington Post and Jezebel shed some light on this crazy and expensive phenomenon, if you’ll even call it that. It’s like everyone has to out-do the others, and whoever has the most elaborate story wins. But what are they really winning?

Why are teens so eager to grow up these days? Your prom isn’t your wedding. You will probably never speak to your prom date 10 years down the road. I was too busy having fun with friends at my prom to even care about the drama of who asked who to prom and what elaborate promposals there were. What about you?

Does Oil Pulling Work?

does oil pulling work

I’m one of those people who rolls their eyes when I hear about most of the crazy beauty trends people rave about. No, I will never put mayonnaise in my hair no matter how great you say it is. So when I heard all the hooplah about oil pulling last month, I figured it would be a fun experiment. My goal was to try it out for a month and report back with my honest results. I had high hopes that oil pulling would work mainly because the supposed benefits are awesome, but also secretly hoped it didn’t work so I could make fun of everyone who raved about it. I know, I’m a terrible person.

If you’re not familiar with oil pulling (which means you’re probably a dude or someone who doesn’t read Allure- no judgement here), I’ll give you a brief lowdown. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that is supposed to help improve your oral health. Basically swishing the oil around in your mouth helps to remove toxins from your body.

So you’re wondering how to oil pull? It’s simple. Take a tablespoon of your favorite coconut oil (you can find it at most grocery stores, health stores or the nearest Target) and put it in your mouth. “Bite” the oil so it’s less chunky and turns into a liquid. I don’t have a bad gag reflex, so this was fine for me, but many people can’t get past this point. I also enjoy the taste of coconut oil, so I didn’t mind the taste, either. Then swish the liquid around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes, as you would with a mouthwash. Yes, your jaw will hurt a little but you’ll get used to it. After the time is up, spit it out. You’ll notice the liquid is now milky after being swished around and mixed with the toxins. DO NOT SWALLOW IT.

What are the benefits of oil pulling? Everyone and their mother has their own list of the potential benefits, with some as weird as curing hangovers or eliminating migraines. Yeah… ok. Other, not-so-far-fetched benefits of oil pulling include whiter teeth, better overall oral health and digestion help.

So, does oil pulling work? After a month of oil pulling, I have found that my teeth are whiter. No, not crazy white like Crest White Strips would get them, but I did notice a change of a few shades. Overall I think my oral health is pretty good- I haven’t had any canker sores, sore gums or weird mouth issues since I started. As far as all the other supposed benefits? I think it’s too hard to trace those to swishing oil in your mouth, but that’s just me.

I’m curious to read other’s experiences with oil pulling, so spill! Would you ever try it? Have you tried it? What were your results?

Copycat: Olivia Palermo

olivia palermo white top blue jeans

Gap Eyelet Peplum Top  |  Tory Burch Tortoise Sunglasses  |  Gap 1969 Legging Jeans in “Washed Ink”  |  Marc by Marc Jacobs ’Turnlock – Katie’ Large Bracelet  |  Sam Edelman ‘Felicia’ Flat in “New Nude Leopard”  |  Twin-Set Floral Crochet Tote Bag

Olivia Palermo is one of my style icons. She always dresses well without going overboard or being too boring. Plus a bunch of my co-workers tell me I look like her (I can only wish), so I pretty much try my hardest to be her. . She’s even made me contemplate chopping my hair off someday down the road. Maybe. I own almost identical items to this outfit (I’m more of a silver girl than gold, so I’d switch out the metal of the bangle) and plan on wearing it multiple times this spring and summer

This easy outfit is something I wear all the time- dark jeans, a simple top, minimal accessories, tortoise sunglasses and a feminine bag. In fact, the words on the graphic, “blue jeans, white shirt” are from my girl Lana Del Ray’s song “Blue Jeans”. There’s something timeless about the perfect pair of dark blue jeans and a white top- it never goes out of style and it’s one of James’ favorite looks on me. I’m sure the brands she’s wearing are high-end, but you can easily copy her look without breaking the bank with the pieces above. P.S. I own the Gap 1969 skinnies and they fit amazingly.