Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sale of the Week: GiGi New York





GiGi New York is having an incredible sale right now. They're offering up some of their most popular styles at 40-60% off!  I'm so impressed by the variety of styles that GiGi is able to offer. They have everything from flirty clutches for a night out to fun and functional bags for travel to the perfect bag to bring to work every day.

GiGi is a personal favorite of mine. I first heard about them at the Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference back in early 2013. Based in Long Island, GiGi is a family-owned company that uses some of the highest quality leather in the world. I was impressed to hear about all of the detail and craftsman ship that goes into the making of each bag. Be sure to check out this video "The Making of  GiGi New York Handbag", it will definitely give you a new appreciation for the product! 



One of my absolute favorite GiGi styles is the All-in-One Bag. It's the perfect clutch for a day-to-night look. It easily fits a phone, wallet, keys, make-up, - even a camera or hairbrush! During the sale, this bag comes in a bunch of styles for just $75! I am a total sucker for monograms and initials. So, I have to admit that I've added the personalization option on all three GiGi bags that I own. For the All-in-One Bag, it's an extra $15 - and so worth it!




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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Walmart Beauty Box Summer 2015 Review



It's taken a little while for me to post this, but last month I received my fourth Walmart Beauty Box (see my firstsecond, and third here). This one came with a whole bunch of products - 7 samples and some foil packets too. There were also coupons included in this one, just like in the previous ones. Again, this is a free box for everyone who subscribes.  You just get charged $5 for shipping each time - which is quarterly not monthly.


St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub (full size, $3.87)

This scrub works to clear blackheads and calm redness. I don't have any blackheads at the moment but my skin does get a little red and splotchy at times so I will definitely try this one out. It's oil-free, paraben free, and sulfate free.  It has salicylic acne medication (1%) and contains 100% natural exfoliants. There's a warning on the label that it might dry out your skin a bit and mine is already dry. So, I'll probably start out by trying it just once or twice a week rather than the recommended 1-3 times daily. It is a kiwi-green color just like green tea and has a fairly neutral scent that isn't very noticeable. The exfoliants have a texture similar to fine grains of sand, so it isn't too harsh but could be a bit rough on sensitive skin if used more than once daily.

Nivea Soft Moisturizing Cream (full size, $3.74)

I really like all Nivea products I've tried so far. I find that they work really well on dry to very dry skin types. I typically use their original Nivea Creme which is primarily for use on your elbows, heels, and hands. This cream is can be used on your hands, body, and face. So, it seems like a slightly less greasy version of the original Creme. I found that it definitely had a thinner consistency than the original Creme and is more like a lot of other mosturizers I have used. I don't think it moisturizes as deeply as the Creme does, but maybe that is necessary for facial use so it doesn't clog pores. I really like the scent which seems powdery fresh.

Dove Go Fresh Nutrium Moisture Body Wash (full size, $5.47-5.97)

The Dove body wash was actually quite a disappointment because I received the exact same sample in the exact same scent in my Spring 2015 Walmart Beauty Box the previous quarter (March). I didn't think that subscription boxes were supposed to send repeats at all, let alone in consecutive boxes. It's not a bad product by any means but it's not very exciting to receive the same item twice in a row.


NYC (New York Color) Liquid Lipshine Lip Gloss (full size, $1.87)

The color I received was 579 Fashion Ave Fuchsia. NYC cosmetics are good in a pinch - they are super cheap and are sold in most big box stores and pharmacies, so they are easy to pick up when you're on-the-go. This lip gloss contains Vitamin E which leaves lips moisturized and soft. It's ultra-shiny and pretty sheer. So, if you're not layering it on top of lipstick, I would recommend at least two coats. It's a nice rosie shade of pink. Admittedly, I didn't like that it was very sticky and the scent was kind of sickeningly vanilla cupcake sweet.

Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Complete Care Shampoo (full size, $4.98)

This is a nourishing anti-dandruff shampoo with ten vitamins and nutrients. I actually already use Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy products quite a bit. I don't like to use the same shampoos and conditioners on a daily basis because I find that daily use creates root build-up. So, I usually have 2-3 of each in my weekly rotation. I pretty much always have one Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy product in the rotation. Right now I'm using the Intense Hydration Shampoo which I received at an Allure Magazine event.

Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70 (full size, $8.49)

This sunscreen lotion is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and contains helioplex broad spectrum UVA / UVB protection. It goes on in a nice thin layer so it's not hard to apply and rub into your skin - no white streaks here! It has a very light citrus type of smell too it. So, it definitely doesn't have a strong smell like traditional sunscreens.



This comes in two skin tone options, Fair to Medium and Medium to Tan.  The samples I received were for Medium to Tan so unfortunately I wasn't able to try them. They looked like they would be way too dark on my skin tone.  It looks like a pretty intriguing product that gives you "natural-looking color just by moisturizing".  Since I have dry, fair skin I would definitely be interested in trying it. It's a shame I did not receive the Fair to Medium sample.

You & I by One Direction Perfume (full size, $39.50)

The perfume vial I received was about 1/4 empty. It doesn't look like that happened in transit, so maybe that's just the way the sample is packaged. I fall a bit outside of the One Direction fan age group, so I can't say the band's association is a big hook for me. However, the scent is actually really nice. It's pretty sweet (kind of like Riana's Fierce perfume) but has nice fruity and floral notes - it reminds me grapefruit, cantaloupe, and fresh wild flowers. It's definitely a nice spring/summer scent. This does not appear to be on Walmart's website and is sold out at Ulta and Sephora - it's potentially only available at Kohl's. Right now Walmart only seems to have One Direction's other perfume, "Our Moment".

Last but not least, there were quite a few coupons again. This time they were for makeup brushes from Real Techniques by Sam & Nic Chapman, Ecotools, and Essential Tools ($2 off brushes from each but the coupons expired quickly, at the end of June).

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

In Defense of Amazon's Prime Day...


So, I know a lot of people were really disappointed about Amazon's Prime Day yesterday...although it did create some hilarious memes and tweets! There was so much hype built up around it that it would be bigger and better than Black Friday. Admittedly, I was in the same boat as everyone else for most of the day.

I continually checked the "Lightning Deals" throughout the day hoping there would be something amazing hidden in amongst the baby bottles, tupperware, shoe horns, and camping lanterns.  I had gotten some great deals in the past from similar promos during Black Friday, like wonderful Monster DNA Headphones for $75 vs. regular price $230 (and I wouldn't mind an upgrade to some Bose QuietComfort Headphones!).

Sadly, what few things I was excited about like a pair of Jack Rogers sandals, a $25 Sephora gift certificate for $20 (ok not huge savings) and "The Theory of Everything" on Blu-ray sold out incredibly quickly. Even the waitlist was full.

However, what I discovered later in the day was just how closely you needed to look at the day-long offers posted on the site, especially those that were posted on the homepage well below the various "lightning deals".  There were some great discounts on some of my favorite snack foods and there were actually some really incredible brands included in the fashion sale which took off 30% on select items at checkout. 

Some of the brands included in the fashion sale were: Kate Spade, Diane von Furstenberg, Joie, Dogeared, Gorjana, Vera Bradley, Mara Hoffman, and Alice & Trixie! There were some good deals to be had from pretty high-end brands, but like at TJ Maxx, you had to do some digging.

I walked away with the impulse steals pictured above. The white Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C. Purse and Platinum Jack Rogers Navajo Sandals are such classics, the individual bags of Stacy's pita chips are just enough to satisfy my cravings without my feeling bad about the calories, and I've had my eye on the Rifle Paper Co x LeSportSac collection since I went to the launch event on Madison Ave with Anna Bond a couple months ago! Items were 25% off at that event and I hadn't seen them on sale anywhere else. What a surprise that they were included in the 30% off sale on #PrimeDay!

Best of all, if you feel some post-shopping guilt or wanted to try out two colors and decide which you liked best, you could shop worry-free. With Amazon Prime, there are free returns!

I can't say I'm completely sold on Amazon Prime yet at $99/year. I used the 30-day free trial to shop the sale. The main reason is that I feel like I could only justify an Amazon Prime membership if I took advantage of both the free shipping and the Instant Video service. However, I think Amazon still has a ways to go to catch up with Netflix. So, for now, I'll keep my Netflix and add orders of $35 or more to my Amazon carts. 

Amazon Prime members, what do you think of your membership? Did anyone else get some really great deals yesterday? Let me know in the comments!


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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sale of the Week: Macy's Surprise Sale



One Day Only
Wednesday, July 15th

Sale ends at 11:59pm EST tonight.

A little underwhelmed by Amazon's #PrimeDay sales today? Well, never fear! Old reliable Macy's has stepped up to the plate with some great deals - even better than their frequent "One Day Sale" offers. 

Today, for the first time ever, they are offering free shipping with no order minimum! They are also offering an extra 20% off nearly all sale and clearance merchandise with the code "DEALS". As if that weren't enough, they are also offering literally 1000s of surprise deals today - beauty department included!


If you are the ultimate coupon-clipper, I'll let you in on a couple secrets to save even more:

1) Sign up for Ebates.com and access the Macy's site through the links on their site. You will get 8% cash back in the mail on everything you purchase from Macy's today. It's completely free to sign up and I can attest from several years using it that it is a very reliable service.

2) This one's just for American Express card holders. If you have certain AmEx cards, and I'm assuming this applies to most since I have their free Blue Sky card, you can sign up on their website to load a special Macy's deal to your card. My account has a "Spend $100, get a $20 statement credit" by using my enrolled card online or in-store at Macy's before August 31st.


My sale picks are (pictured above):

Originally $69.50, Now $26.39
Available in: Yellow, Navy, and Light Grey

Originally $79.50, Now $26.39

Originally $15, Now $7.50

Originally $20, Now $10

Originally $25, Now $12.50

Originally $99, Now $69.30

Originally $12, Now $6

Originally $40, Now $25


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Monday, July 13, 2015

Get Floral and Fresh with Spongelle!



Spongelle's Boxed Flower Body Wash Infused Buffer is a great multi-functional addition to my bath routine. Since it already has body was inside it, there's no need to add anything to it.  Additionally, the sponge starts off a bit stiff which makes it a nice exfoliator too. Best of all, it lasts for 14+ washes!

The packaging of this product definitely makes it a very nice gift. I think the box looks pretty elegant and the ribbon that you can use to hang the sponge is also multifunctional - it's the same decorative ribbon that fits through the hole at the top of the gift box. 

The only thing I don't love about the packaging is that the box isn't lined in foil and/or there isn't a plastic "soap case" so there is no way to use the packaging to ensure that the product stays clean between uses. You definitely need to use the string to hang it somewhere in your bathroom. The sponge does collect hair or towel lint pretty easily, so you need to make sure to rinse it well at the end of each use. If you share a bathroom with a bunch of roommates or want to take it on a trip, it could be tricky to find a good way to store it if you don't have hooks in your shower like I do.


Once you open the box, the sponge is shrink wrapped in plastic, so you know that is is sanitary and has retained its original scent.  The sponge itself is completely hard the first time you take out of the package. 

The instructions for using the sponge are very simple. Just run it under the water while you're taking a shower, then use it like a regular sponge or loofah.  When you're done, wring out the extra water and use it again next time. I found that the sponge definitely started to soften up and feel more like a regular sponge rather than a rough loofah during the process of my first use.  However, it wasn't completely soft after my first use - which I actually like, I felt like it sloughed off some of my dry skin. I went to look at it a few hours later when it had dried and I noticed that it retained the softness. So, I think that after multiple uses the sponge becomes completely soft.

The scent I received was Papaya Yuzu which has extracts of Edelweiss, Yuzu, and Vetiver. It definitely smells like Papaya when you first take it out of the box; however, I felt like it smelled more like a fresh lemon scent when I actually used it. I thought it was nice that I could still smell the scent on my skin after I dried off from the shower. This product currently comes in 5 scents: Papaya Yuzu, Coconut Verbena, Ginger Bergamot, French Lavender, and Bulgarian Rose. You can get them on the Spongelle website for $16 each or without the gift box for $12 each.


The Pedi-Buffer also comes in a decorative box and is protected with shrink wrap. It's significantly smaller than the Flower Body Wash Infused Buffer, but lasts nearly twice as long - 30+ washes! 

This product doesn't come with a hanging ribbon like the other. So, you'll definitely need to have a spare soap dish handy to keep this product fresh. The lather appeared more quickly and was thicker than the body wash buffer. Since I have fairly tough, callous-prone feet, this felt really good on the balls of my feet and my heels. They definitely felt considerably softer and more smooth because of all the essential oils in this sponge.

The scent I received is Beach Grass which I actually liked even better than Papaya Yuzu. It's not as sweet but has a really nice, clean scent that reminds me of the beach. The Pedi-Buffer only comes in two scents, Beach Grass and Mandarin Mint. You can get them on the Spongelle website for $16 each.


Overall I really liked both of these products. They are easy to use, come in wonderful scents, and are long-lasting. I will definitely use these two for the suggested 14+ and 30+ washes. I have a feeling they'll become an integral part of my skincare regimen, especially after tough days at the gym! Also, to put you in patriotic spirit this month, these products are all made in the USA! Who doesn't love that?

This is a sponsored post. Spongelle provided me with a Boxed Flower Body Wash Infused Buffer 
and  a Pedi-Buffer for review purposes via Brandbacker.

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Happy 1st Anniversary, Birchbox Soho!



Happy Anniversary, Birchbox Soho!

This month marks the 1st anniversary of Birchbox's first permanent venture into 
brick-and-mortar. The Birchbox Soho retail store is a fabulous place for product discovery, personalized service, express beauty treatments, and special events. If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, be sure to read the post about my first visit last July (shortly after it opened!) to learn more. I'm pretty thrilled that I've had the chance to come along with them for the entire journey thus far - Birchbox Local, Customer Appreciation Day, and more!

To celebrate this special occasion, Birchbox is offering a special promo for all Birchbox subscribers who began there subscriptions 1 year ago or before. Just go to the store any time during the month of June and pick at 5 samples in the "Build Your Own Birchbox" in the back. Then, proceed to the register and let the sales girls know the email address that you use for your subscription. Voila! You will get your personalized box for free.

I posted the samples I picked in the photo above (from my Instagram) - what do you think? See any favorites?




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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale Starts Today!





The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts today! If you're a Nordstrom card holder you can get exclusive Early Access to all the incredible deals on offer until July 17th. After that, the sale will be open to the rest of us! 

Not a card holder? Don't worry, you can preview all the sale items now and start to make up your wish list. Click on my edit above to view the awesome deals I've already put on mine.

Go forth and shop, Nordy girls!

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