Influenster SweetHeart VoxBox Review

This year I got a belated Valentine from the team at Influenster!
It was stuffed with four goodies to help a lady look and feel her best.

beach babe spray1. Not Your Mother’s Sea Salt Spray, $6- The spray has a nice tropical coconut smell making you feel like your tousled hair was blown just so on an island beach. I try to avoid putting salt in my hair because I don’t want to dry it out, but this spray didn’t make it stringy and lackluster. My hair is very thick, and I think may have worked better with less hair. It did add a subtle kinkiness, but not the effect I would expect from actually taking a dip in the ocean. At six dollars this product sounds like a bargain, but it is easy to make yourself. I’m always reading magazine recipes for achieving sexy, beachy hair. If you look at the ingredients in this bottle it’s primarily water and sea salt, two products you already own! I would recommend this product instead of concocting it yourself if: you feel lazy, want to experience the redolent scent of the tropics, or you made your own spray and didn’t get the results you wanted.

peanut2. Skinnygirl Daily Bars, $10 for a pack of 5- These come in four flavors, all which sound excellent. I tried the Coco-Nut with Peanut Butter, so that’s the only one I can comment on for taste. It is delicious! …That is if you like coconut and peanuts since you’ll be tasting plenty of both. If you recognize the brand, that’s because it was created by  Bethenny Frankel who first started Skinnygirl healthy indulgences with lower calorie margaritas. The bars do have some benefits. This one has 8 grams of protein, provides 5 grams of fiber, and 20% Vitamin E. They fall about where I would expect with sugars (8 grams) and calories (180). While they are all Kosher and and remain similar as far as the nutrition listed, some are much higher in fat than others. The Banana Oatmeal Dark Chocolate and Greek Yogurt Blueberry Crisp have 13% saturated fat; that’s half what the Coco-nut one contains! Of course coconut, dark chocolate, and nuts are all high in fat so it isn’t so radical. At two dollars a piece, you can get two Luna Bars for the price of one Skinnygirl Bar. Overall, I don’t plan on buying these all the time, but I am curious to try the flavors that are lower in fat and compare the taste. It could be a good pre-workout dessert.

olay2. Olay Fresh Effects Shine Minimizing Cleansing System, $13- I think of Olay as a brand that focuses on wrinkle prevention and fine line solutions. It was exciting to see them expand their market to teens and young women. When I used this product it was hard for me to say what I was hoping to get out of it. It says it’s supposed to clean, but I was wearing mascara so I carelessly wiped off my makeup beforehand.  My fear with these products is always that the bristles will be abrasive, but instead it provided a gentle cleanse. I wanted to be able to remove the product without the need for five cold water splashes, but I was out of luck in that department. I’m not sure what the tool is supposed to do? Exfoliate, minimize appearance of pores, massage? But either way I liked that it was a fun gadget that allowed me to clean my face without it touching my hands. The cream was a peculiar silver color, but it smelled fine. I would tell you to try this product if you’re interested. Maybe it’s the placebo effect, but I do feel like my skin feels smooth and looks fresh today. Plus, this is a bargain compared to other similar facial cleansing products.

secret stress sweat3. Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response, $7.99- I was looking for a new deodorant and with tons of competing commercials out there it is hard to know what is good without testing it. Needless to say, I was happy when this was put on my doorstep. What’s interesting is that this deodorant is designed to specifically combat stress sweat which they say it the worst smelling of the causes (ick!). You should know that it is not just a deodorant, it is an antiperspirant too. This means that it’s scented, as well as made with aluminum to help you stop sweating. Researchers are still up in the air about the health effects of using antiperspirant. It has 20% of the active ingredient, where as other “no sweat” antiperspirants have 15%-25%. To get one with more you need a prescription. The Secret roll up is great for a job interview, a first date, or a stroll in the park with your boyfriend on a hot summer day.  I would recommend it for big events, especially because the scent is amazing. It’s “serene citrus” and smells like an orange blossom garden. It’s good to also have an all natural deodorant on your dresser for daily use, such Tom’s of Maine.

**I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes

 

What To Wear This Spring

This February our fuzzy friend, Punxsutawney Phil, brought us good news. Expect the snow storms to be replaced with sunny skies and warm weather very soon. With spring around the corner we can start to live out the dream of shedding layers and flaunting fabulous new sundresses without the hassle of accessorizing with scarfs, mittens, hats, and snow boots. So what should you purchase to be a style icon this spring? Below is a list of trends to buy, replenish, and replace for the 2013 season.

Black and white stripes- The Hamburglar look appeared in a lot of designer collections. Just the colors black and white together is a popular style this spring. To be one with the “in crowd,” nix the colored accessories overload and try simple black shoes instead.

Wishlist- Marc Jacobs, $1200

Marc Jacobs stripes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy now- Michael Kors, $120

 

striped maxi dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer sleeve peplum top- You’ll see tons of racerback tank tops and scoop neck t-shirts with the peplum frill. The look goes nicely with slim pants or a pencil skirt and a blazer for dressier days at the office. A strapless version is also a great choice for a sexy night out.

 

Wishlist- BCBG, $178

peplum

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy now- Lulu’s.com, $30

peplum

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look at me sunglasses- These protect your eyes with style. Go bold by choosing a cat eye frame with tinted lenses.

 

Wishlist- Shopbop.com, Marc Jacobs, $325

sunglasses

 

 

 

 

Buy now- Free People, $18

Free People Sunglasses

 

 

 

 

Save- Tie dye denim, Express, $80

tie dye denim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save- Skater dress, Nordstrom, Lush, $52

lush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save- Hi-Lo Dress, SoieShop.com, $30

soie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swap- Neon capris for jewel tone ankle pants, Ann Taylor Loft, $70

ankle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swap- Pin up, high brief bathing suits for smaller, strappy ones, Victoria’s Secret, $83

vic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swap- Baggy crop tops for tighter, solid colored ones, American Apparel, $24

akris camels

What’s In The Box?

BirchboxThe newest trend right now isn’t a pair of booties, a dainty chain necklace, or even a colored satchel, it’s a box, or to include the one variant on the list, a package. Subscription boxes come just like magazines, once at the beginning of every month. They include an assortment of products that ship for a flat fee which frequently includes free shipping. Most of these are beauty boxes, but the market is starting to expand beyond makeup and body products to fashion and accessories. It began with Birchbox and now has the concept has soared. If you love surprises, then be sure to read on!

Birchbox: You get five customized premium beauty and grooming samples from popular brands, mostly those sold at Sephora
-$10/month + ability to earn points
A sample box might include- Beauty Blender sponge, Korres shower gel, Nail polish remover pads, Juicy Couture perfume sample, and Ghirardelli chocolate

Pro- A selection that is tailored to your appearance and your beauty preferences. They also sell a kit for men!
Con- The box is only stuffed with samples, so it’s more of a chance to test what products you might be interested in rather than an opportunity to get something that will last for 6+ months.

POPSUGAR Must Have Box: Get beauty, fashion, and home items that are favorites of the POPSUGAR team
-$35/month, worth over $100
Last month’s box included- Revlon lip stain, Hanky Panky thong, Brokedown wrap, Connoisseurs jewelry cleaner
, Safe Haven book, MarieBelle New York’s Trésor Box, and Conversation Hearts candy,

Pro- Definitely sounds like it’s worth the money, and everything is selected by editors who have tested tons of loot.
Con- Although there was a theme to the February box, you don’t really know what to expect. It’s a big motley package of girlie products.

The List gift bag by I-Ella: Submit a style profile and then choose from one of three levels. It’s hard to say exactly what you’ll get, but I think the lower end ones include makeup and jewelry while the two more expensive sets have clothing and accessories. With all bags you will get 3-5 items and 1-2 of them will have a designer label.
-Must subscribe for 3 or 6 months, $59/month, $129/month, $389/month, worth almost double the price
A sample Soho box might include-The Entrepreneur Equation book, Sam + Lavi blouse, and Elena Rubin Carpe Diem lotion

Pro- It’s fun and will make make you very excited to check the mail. They sell it using the pitch that it’s like getting a mysterious swag bag at a fancy fashion party.
Con- It is clearly very pricey.

Ipsy: Created by makeup artist, Michelle Phan, famous for her blog with loaded with tutorials, this also includes samples and occasionally full sized makeup, hair, and body products from less familiar brands. The box looks nice, but it hardly differs from Birchbox.
-$10/month
A past box included- A makeup bag, Coastal Scents eye shadow palette, Mirenesse lipgloss, Bombshell mascara, Pequi oil treatment, and a Circus nail polish

Pro- Includes full sized as well as sample sized products. They are also open with what comes in the box. Members can review what they received and view past and even current arrivals. Best of all, the site operates like a social media platform where you can access awesome video tips and how-tos from other users.
Con- Seems awfully similar to what the ladies at Birchbox started but with a slight twist.

Sample Society- Beauty Bar and Allure have teamed up to create another box of deluxe samples. Each month you get sent five samples and a mini beauty magazine. You may get makeup, skincare, and/or hair products, and it seems most boxes come with more body and skincare products than makeup.
-$15/month with the chance to save money on a full sized item, it seems the value really ranges but is often 3x the price paid
A sample box may contain- Oscar Blandi mousse, Exude lipstick, Herbal Essentials towelettes, Lord and Berry eye pencil, and Borghese body lotion,

Pro- The brands are really pricey so even with sample sizes you get your money’s worth.
Con- Maybe it’s just me but it seems the contents aren’t that useful. I own a handful of eye liners and don’t need fancy body schmears or eye cream…even if it’s infused with caviar.

Glossybox- Another service that allows the you to share your preferences and promises that you will be satisfied with the careful arrangement of five samples to suit your fancy.
-$21/month
A previous box included- Tarte Glamazon Lipstick, OPI Sand Nail Lacquer, Sebastian Professional Potion No. 9, Narcisco Rodriquez Eau de Toilette, and Prime Style Extender

Pro- They reveal the products after they have been sent out so it makes it easier for you to decide whether or not you want to continue the service. Last month they had the blogger of the Man Repeller compile her favorites for a special box.
Con- At $20/21 (depending on how many months you choose) it’s a little steeper in price than some of the other deluxe sample sites.

I would love to hear your opinions and reviews on any of these boxes!

*Picture from Birchbox

 

 

Product Review: Luva Huva

box setSome women are shoe people, others have an affinity for cocktails rings. Me? I’m tempted by dresses and sleepwear. That’s why I couldn’t keep my eyes off of the cute products from Luva Huva. Joanna Ketterer is the designer behind Luva Huva, a lingerie and lounge-wear shop on Etsy. She sells a sweet and simple selection of undergarments, chemises and other comfy items to hang around in. The brand is different from its competitors because of the environmentally ethical fabrics used such as, organic cotton, bamboo, soy and hemp. I was confident I would like what I received when I saw the 100% approval rating from 115 customers! Joanna sent me an pair of classic white “knickers” (the products are made in the UK) with gathered elastic which makes ruffled edges topped with a pretty blue bow in front. (The middle pair in the top left picture.) The underwear may seem expensive, ($25 for the basic pair) but shipping anywhere in the world is free over $40, not to mention the high quality materials which feel a lot softer than the stiff glittery ones sold by PINK. Even though Valentine’s Day is over, the box set is the perfect anytime gift for a friend. They fit true to size and feel great! These are my picks:

Slip and panty set- $98

luva huva

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japonica Short- $29

luvahuva

 

 

 

 

Nightgown- $69

luva huva

Spring Themed Accessories

A huge selling point for an article of clothing is versatility. If you can wear it more than one way, people are interested. It means they can maximize their style without expanding the budget. For example, a chambray snap down can be worn by itself or with layers, dressed up or down, and you can adjust the sleeves and tie the bottom. But often pieces are special because you can only wear them on certain occasions or during a specific time of year. Here are some spring/summer pieces that will boost your homemade cutoff shorts. You might like these accessories so much that you find yourself wearing them every sun shinin’ day.

Spring

Made in the Shade Necklace, shopgracieb.com, $19

Flower Crown Headwrap, Urban Outfitters, $20

4/4S Phone Case, Free People, $28

Tie Dye Scarf, PacSun, Kirra, $15

Popsicle Candy Earrings, Betsey Johnson, $45

 

 

 

Colors Of Spring By Pantone

Spring may be the rainiest season, but the sum of showers plus sunshine equals beautiful rainbows. While we say farewell to the long, dark days of winter, nature greets us with optimistic splashes of color seen in blooming plants and flowers and the plumes of birds. The best way to express our appreciation is to echo the view with our clothing. Pantone, the authority on color, gives us the titles of spring’s hottest hues. This year ten specialty colors were selected, all of them are reminders of the warm days ahead. Here are my picks for great wardrobe additions based on the chosen palette:

Nectarine- Dress, Motel Rocks, $90tangerine dress
Lemon Zest- Purse, Piperlime, Milly, $198lemon purse
Aafrican violet jeansfrican Violet- Jeans, Bloomingdales, Rag and Bone, $185
tender shoots dressTender Shoots- Dress, Victoria’s Secret, $88
Monaco Blue- Dress, Bebe, $149monaco blue dress
Linen- Shirt, Guess, $79linen color shirt
poppyPoppy- Skirt, Lulu’s, $33
Emerald- Sweater, Ann Taylor, $50emerald top
purseGrayed Jade- Clutch, Shoptiques.com, Pampa & Pop, $107
Dusk Blue- Dress, Modcloth.com, $100dusk blue dress

Motel Rocks Contest

Still looking for the perfect Valentine’s day outfit? Check out what Motel Rocks has to offer, here are three reasons why I’m loving Motel Rocks right now! Hint: Valentine’s Day apparel is number two!

1. You can get 15% off with the discount code “fashionscoop.”

2. They have tons of spirited apparel

Tights, Pamela Mann- $18, Dress- $60, Romper- $100

heart tightsMotel Rocks dressMotel Rocks Playsuit

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  There is a contest right now to win 10,000 pounds to Motel Rocks! I know that’s British currency, but I believe it is open internationally. It ends on February 18th, so be sure to enter before then! Click here to enter now on Facebook.

*Pictures from Motel Rocks

Lipstick Pairing For Valentine’s Day

Just like the pairing of wine and cheese, lipstick is better as part of a duo. The color you paint your lips looks smarter when you complement it with the right outfit. Here are five dresses for Valentine’s Day, coupled up with their lipstick mate. You will definitely seal the night with a passionate kiss in any of these styles.

lipstick pairing

1. Piperlime, Pim + Larkin- $90, Sephora, Korres “Natural Pink 13″- $18

2. Modcloth, $80, Sephora, Makeup Forever “Red”- $19

3. TheOutnet.com, Thakoon- $275, Sephora, Bite “Apple Red”- $24

4. RicketyRack.com- $120, Sephora, K Von D “Backstage Bambi”- $19

5. Windsor- $34, Sephora, Nars “Honolulu Honey”- $26

If none of these colors suit your fancy check out selection at StudioGearCosmetics.com and score 10% off with discount code- FSB13

Trends From Fall 2013 New York Fashion Week

Even if you don’t follow Fashion Week, but you care about style, you know how important this time is for determining what you’ll eventually be wearing or at least seeing everywhere. The runway looks carry a big impact in determining what’s available, even affecting those who couldn’t care less. (Remember when Miranda Priestly, the demanding magazine Editor in Chief in The Devil Wears Prada, explained the trickle down effect?)  So while studying the designer looks, I compiled a list of common trends spotted during Fall 2013 New York Fashion Week. I will continue to add to the list until the week concludes on February 14th. I would love your input too! Any trends I missed? Which looks did you love the most? Leave me a comment, and I’ll be sure to write back! <3

Black leather jackets- One theme this year is “punk,” and there is no better way to incorporate that than with a black leather biker jacket. Pants and dresses, or even both (see left image) were displayed with the versatile jacket. If you’re looking to get on board with the trendiest styles, find ones with a collar and a diagonal zipper. The bottom of the jacket should hit the top of your hip for a youthful, flattering fit. There were other variations of the jacket as well, including ones that only have leather on the sleeves and button up like a letter jacket. (Tanya Taylor, Kimberly Ovitz, Jason Wu)

 

kimberly ovitz look 7jason wu look 26tanya taylor look 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

60’s style plaid- Mad about plaid? This year plaid was thrown into the mix on all basic garments. Holmes & Yang even made a blue formal dress with the busy print; but it’s not small cowgirl checks that we saw. Most of the plaid looks had a vintage (and British) vibe. The prints in Creatures of the Wind creations had me pining to locate the old photo album of my grandfather in his early parenting years. To pull off plaid, incorporate it  from other trends from the season that didn’t exist in the 60’s, such as liquid leggings. If you’re still unsure if your look is cool, then try it out with simpler pieces, such as a shirt or layered vest rather than a long coat or dress. (Veronica Beard, Creatures of the Wind, Tanya Taylor)

plaid veronica beard look 1

creatures of the wind look 19tanya taylor look 5

 

 

 

 

 

Baggy silk trousers with a graphic print- Okay, I’m not talking about baggy as in the imprecise fit of men’s dungarees in 1993. I merely mean these pants give your legs room to move. They are not parachute pants or even wide legged, in fact they usually taper at the very bottom. Many people will see this as a welcome change to the skintight skinny jean which we keep in our closets only as a weight loss goal. Because everything about these bottoms screams sophisticated, don’t take the easy route and dress them down with a plain white t-shirt. They might feel as lounge-like as pajamas, but reward the glamour with a similar print in opposite colors. (If the flowers were purple and the background was pink try a top that’s violet with pink flowers.) I love the white and black look on the right by DVF. If the brand sells opposite sets then you’re in luck! Everyone will think you’re a true style star when all you did was buy two pieces on adjacent hangers. (ICB, Zero + Maria Cornejo, Diane von Furstenberg)

ICB look 13Zero + Maria Cornejo look 12Diane von Furstenberg look 11

 

 

 

 

Long black gloves- My favorite trend rocked the runaways! The world returns to the accessory popularized centuries ago but with a twist. The elbow length gloves of 2013 come only in black and (usually) leather, instead of the pure as snow silk gloves the Daughter’s of the Revolution ancestors . Best of all, this seasonal femme fatale piece might be acceptable even without other outerwear… but that will determined in the fall. (Vera Wang, Donna Karan, Wes Gordon)

vera wang look 26Donna Karan look 33wes

 

*Pictures from Style.com

Studio Cosmetics Review And Discount Code

Meet Studio Gear Cosmetics! They were kind enough to send me a goodie bag of their top selling products AND a discount code for all of you! You get free shipping and for a limited time you can get a gift with a purchase of $35 or more. The discount code for 10% off is: FSB13

Studio Gear linerInline/Outline Pencil- When I received this I had to look up what this was supposed to do… just to be sure. Because of the nude shade I thought it was an invisible lip pencil but it looked like a eyeliner. Sure enough it is both! You can use it to brighten the rim under your eyes or circle your pout to make your lipstick pop and keep color bleeding at bay. I used it for my eyes and I was shocked at how well it worked. I instantly looked more awake! It’s perfect for days when I want to skip the heavy eyeliner and go for a fresh faced look.  However, after using it on my eyes I had no desire to trace my mouth… during flu season no less! My tip would be to get two of these, color one cap with nail polish to distinguish it, and use each for only area only. It’s even great for an on the spot concealer for fair skinned women. My only warning is that my cap doesn’t stay on well. It’s a long pencil and you can sharpen it, but if you pop it in your purse and the cap falls off the tip might crumble off. This may not always be the case, it may just have been that mine had a looser top than usual. I’m also not sure if this product can be used on darker complexions since it’s not entirely invisible but rather a light color. ($17)

Complete Color Lipstick in Candlelight- Obsessed with this color! You know how makeup is intended to bring out your best features not cover them up? This lipstick does that. The color is one you can wear everyday. I wore mine to an interview and then took it to watch the Superbowl. It comes in a sleep black case and is shaped the classic way with a slant tip. The color is a bit shiny opposed to matte but nothing obnoxious. It really is the perfect red that will get people to notice you, not your makeup. It warms your whole face! Of course, you still need to wear lip balm since it’s not going to do the hydrating for you, but if your lips are smooth this is the product and shade you will want to top them with! ($16)

studio gear primerPrime Objective Face Primer- I don’t use face primer often so I don’t have much of a comparison for this product, but the day I wore it I got a compliment on how I looked. I also did feel like it enabled my foundation to be smooth and even. You may need someone else to tell whether or not it diminishes wrinkles, but I can say when I applied the rest of my makeup I was dealing with a prepped surface and my skin looked more refreshed. ($30)

Definitive Mascara- I would describe this product exactly as they do on their website. “Lengthens and thickens every lash from base to tip evenly and effortlessly. Our state-of-the-art hollow bristle brush assures superb lash separation and shaping. Does not clump, smudge, or flake.” I was extremely impressed with how it separated my lashes. I’ve tried many mascaras and they always clump, this one never does. Beyond that, it did darken my lashes and make them appear somewhat lengthier. The bristles of the brush are short, numerous, and close together, a design that works well. ($15)

studio gear eyeshadow3-1 Harmonic Eyeshadows- Brown happens to be my favorite shadow color and I thought the shades in this palette worked really well for contouring. It’s easy to tell which one is dark and should be used as the liner, which one for the lid, and which one to use as a highlighter. They all have a little shine and can be worn night or day, alone or together. It goes on velvety and remains until you wash it off. The product only comes in one option, but if you like browns then I recommend this product. ($24)

 

Soie Shop Review

soieI’m always looking for new, inexpensive places to shop, so I was grateful when I found Soie Shop, an online retailer that sells dresses and tops with low price tags and a healthy sprinkling of sparkles.  I was lucky enough to receive two products from the company, a dress and a top.

soieI ordered the Studded Hardware Blouse.The shirt was better than I had imagined! Online it was hard to tell what material it was because the picture made it look thin and gauzy. In real life, it’s sheer (the fabric you would expect) with pretty gold and silver studs on the collar. It has hidden buttons and a sleeve button so it can be rolled up. It comes in a magenta, blue, or black, and I decided to go with black because I can literally wear it with everything! My only complaint is that its static material attracts hair and fuzz.  Be sure to travel with a lint-roller! The shirt fits true to size and is intentionally longer in the back. soie

The other item, the sequin embellished day dress, is beige and luckily it doesn’t wash me out, even with my pale skin. It has two colored stripes on the bottom and the quarter top is embellished with hologram sequins. They look nice but they are bright so it’s crucial that you like shine if you consider buying this dress. The middle is cinched with a simple matching tie. Although it is light, it has an attached slip which is thick enough that you can’t see any undergarments. A huge plus since I have so many summer dresses that are a tad too transparent. In the back, the spaghetti straps are closer together and create a racerback shape instead of the subtle v in the front. This soiedress would be great for a summer picnic, yet it is still fancy enough for an indoor party.

Love what you see? From now until Valentine’s Day you can get 30% off! Free shipping is available with any purchase over $50. Below are more of my favorites. Which is yours?

These are my other picks:

Crossroad Peplum Bustier- $27

peplum top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meshing Around Sequin Top- $23

 

mesh sequin top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chiffon Dress- $28

 

chiffon dress