Monday, October 31, 2016

Pumpkin Patch Perfection with Tobi

Happy Halloween, guys and ghouls! I hope right now you're admiring some finely carved jack-o-lanterns while binging on some of that leftover candy. 

One of my favorite things about Halloween is visiting a local farm. It's so much fun to shop for fresh autumn fruits and vegetables like acorn squash, apples, and of course...pumpkins! My go-to place the last couple of years has been Stults Farm in Cranbury, NJ near Princeton. One thing that always makes it extra special is that you can actually walk out into the pumpkin patch, find your perfect Halloween pumpkin (or two), and carve it right off of the vine.

This year I found a beautiful pumpkin on the vine and also made sure to pick up some smaller decorative sugar pumpkins to display on my mantle. I love the white sugar pumpkins because they match with any interior decor. They're also super easy to decorate, especially if you like to paint your pumpkins rather than carve them.

I was definitely in the holiday spirit when I went to the farm this year. I decided to get decked out in black and white in anticipation of Halloween - everything from my sweatshirt and skinny jeans to my statement earrings, scarf, and embroidered suede cowboy boots.

As you'll have seen from my previous post, TOBI has become one of my favorite new online shopping destinations. Their clothes are so on-trend and very affordable. Since the weather was still relatively warm last week - with just a slight breeze - I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to wear my new Georgia Cold Shoulder Fleece Sweater from TOBI. I paired it with some Madewell skinny jeans, Jack Rogers boots, vintage Tacori earrings, and a Snoozer Loser scarf (originally from one of my favorite sites, MadeClose, now available on Etsy).
Top: c/o TOBI / Jeans: Madewell / Scarf: Snoozer Loser / Boots: Jack Rogers

I wasn't sure how a shoulder-less style top was going to look on me, but I've noticed that a lot of brands are including this new trend in their lines this season. It actually made the outfit really comfortable and provided some good ventilation in the heavy fleece sweatshirt. This sweatshirt has a sort of high collar (kind of like a double-sided halter neck) that could definitely hide some bra straps. However, I decided to take the safe route and wear it with a strapless bra.

It's an extremely comfortable sweater that is definitely very versatile. You can dress it up or down. I wouldn't recommend it for a night of dancing because it is a heavyweight fleece sweatshirt, but it is perfect for autumn/winter activities like ice skating, football games, or brunch. I'll definitely be getting a lot of wear out of this over the next few months! The Georgia Sweater is just $58 and comes in Black, White, and Heather Grey.

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The Georgia Cold Shoulder Fleece Sweater was provided to me by TOBI.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Anthropologie Sale - 20% Off

Anthropologie is running a sale right now in stores and online that offers 20% off all full-priced items. Right now they have the type of selection we've all come to expect from this creative and whimsical retailer. There are lots of bohemian and delicately feminine fashion, home, beauty, and accessories items. There are also some really great retro and nostalgic Christmas gifts. Everything has such a fine attention detail - the little things like intricate embroidery, gilded edge pottery, and fine ruffles and pleats. You won't want to miss out! Just sign up for their loyalty program and you'll receive 20% off (this weekend only).

Here are a few a few of my fave items:

Happy Shopping!

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Valentia Night Revive Retinol Serum Review

In case you missed my previous review of the Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer, this is the second product I'm reviewing from luxe brand Valentia. Like my previous post, this is another brand that is formulated with natural (and organic!) ingredients. Want to learn more about this brand? Be sure to check out their great Instagram and Facebook pages.

Turning 30 this year, I have to admit serums haven't been the #1 items on my beauty checklists up to this point. I'm not yet focused on diminishing wrinkles or stimulating collagen to firm/tighten my skin. However, it's never to early to start! On top of those "older age" concerns this serum also aims to manage breakouts, improve skin tone, and hydrate. So, it's great for anybody really.

Generally, I like to use serums to eliminate redness / calm skin and to keep it ultra-hydrated because it's usually very dry. So, a little trick I like to do when applying serum is to mix it in with whatever hydrating cream I plan to use that night. That way, I can ensure it is applied evenly and enhances the moisturizing effect of my cream treatments. Besides, who doesn't love to wake up with radiant, smooth skin?

Valentia's Night Revive Retinol Serum is a little bit different then some others I've tried. First off, a lot of others come in a teeny tiny bottle for around $30-40. This product costs just $35 on Amazon for a really generous 1.18oz (35mL) bottle which will last you a long time, trust me! So, it is an excellent value. The other immediate difference I noticed is that many other serums have a clear oily consistency. This one is a bit more milky white and I find that it blends in a bit faster than something that feels strictly like an oil, which rests on the surface of your skin for a bit.

So, you might be wondering what is in this serum that makes it so unique. A few of the key ingredients are: Retinol (Vitamin A) which works on reducing wrinkles, managing breakouts, and evening out skin discoloration, Vitamin C which guards skin against environmental free-radicals to prevent premature aging, Vitamin E to provide intense hydration and diminish the drying effects of Retinol, and Squalane, which is derived from pure olive oil to soften and condition delicate skin.

I really enjoyed using this product, which made my skin feel silky smooth and hydrated each morning after I used it. If you want to try it for yourself, use code 985YWOR2 at to receive 20% off your total purchase - a special gift to my readers!

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This product was provided to me for free for review purposes by Valentia via Brandbacker.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Derma E New Packaging and Cream Review

As my regular readers will know, my biggest skincare concern is dry skin - especially as winter time approaches! Derma E was recently kind enough to send me their two best-selling hydrating products to test and review, their Hydrating Day Creme and Hydrating Night Cream.

You may already be familiar with the Derma E brand, which was started back in California in 1984 and is currently available in major retailers nationwide like Whole Foods, CVS, Walgreens, Target, and ULTA. All products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. They are also free of parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, petrolatum, mineral oil, artificial colors, gluten, soy, and GMOs. They are still keeping their same eco-ethical formulas, but have recently done a re-brand with some beautiful new packaging!

The first product I have up for review is the Derma E Hydrating Day Creme . The photo below is of the sample I received, which is in their original packaging. This Day Creme is thick enough to make you feel like it is deeply moisturizing, but not so thick that it feels like it's clogging your pores. It applies really nicely to our skin and it doesn't require a lot of product to cover your face and d├ęcolletage.

It does have a noticeable fragrance which I would liken to tropical fruits like mangosteen. This creme did dry a bit firm which I felt overall was probably a good thing, as it felt almost like a mask that was tightening my skin a little bit - but not in an uncomfortable way. The hydration is long-lasting. I applied this when I woke up in the morning and although my skin wasn't moist to the touch by the time I went to bed, it did still feel pretty supple, smooth, and elastic. This product is currently on sale at Ulta for just $19.49!

The second product I have up for review is the Derma E Hydrating Night Cream. The photo below is of the sample I received, which is in their brand new packaging. I definitely prefer the new packaging a lot. I think the clear label on the product is a massive improvement. It gives you a good idea of what to expect from the cream before you open it. It also allows you to see how much of the product you have left! The old packaging, in my opinion, made the product look a bit clinical, kind of like a prescription cream you'd get from your dermatologist. The new packaging is a bit more soothing and makes the product look more like it's from a luxury spa brand. The new packaging also highlight's the brands commitment to the community and the environment.

There were definitely distinct differences between the Night Cream and the Day Creme. I know with some brands that can be a concern and it can sometimes feel like they are trying to pitch you to buy two different products when really they are practically the same thing. I found the Night Cream to be a bit more thick and rich. I think that makes sense because you don't want to walk around all day with a thick cream on your face. However, you also don't want to clog your pores at night. I imagine because of the natural ingredients in this, that is probably not a concern. I certainly didn't notice any negative effect. The scent of this cream is also more subtle than the other one. It's bit more floral than fruity, and I actually find it a bit more relaxing and perfect for application right before bed.

Because the cream is thicker, it does require a bit more product for each application. However, I found this one noticeably hydrating. In the morning, my skin practically felt like I'd just put it on!  I saw especially great results when I used this cream to apply some of my favorite night serums. Just scoop out a dollop or two of the cream and place in the palm of your hand, use the serum's pipette and add 3-4 drops to the cream, and blend with your finger. It's really easy and will amplify the moisturizing and anti-aging effects overnight! This product is also currently on sale at Ulta for just $19.49, in the old packaging. The new packaging is due in stores very soon, rolling out between now and March 2017.

Here's a look at the complete hydrating line, available at stores nationwide:

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These products were provided to me for free for review purposes from Derma E via Brandbacker.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Bloomingdales Friends & Family Sale is On!

The Bloomingdales Friends & Family Sale opened to the general public this week, offering 25% off a large selection of items, $15 off a beauty purchase of $150+, and a $25 reward certificate for every $100 spent on almost everything else. The sale goes on until October 10th, so you still have some time to shop the site and our local store to pick up some great deals.

Here are a few of my picks, including some essentials for Fall / Winter weather!


Tops & Knitwear

Dresses - Formal

Dresses & Jumpsuits - Casual

Winter Boots

Home & Accessories

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Vibrance Pure Hair Vitamins Review

I think this is the first time I've done a post solely devoted to a hair product - and this is a pretty unique one! Eu Natural has created the Vibrance Pure Hair Vitamins which are intended to support thicker, longer, and more healthy hair.

This product is especially great if your beauty concerns include: hair loss, thinning hair, split ends, or hard-to-manage short hair. Admittedly, I have quite a lot of hair and it is pretty strong, but I thought I would try out this product myself to see if it made it look more shiny and healthy.

I was a bit wary at first about taking an unfamiliar vitamin. However, my fears were quickly put aside once I learned more about this product's contents. Each capsule is packed 23 vitamins, minerals, and herbs. These include: OptiMSM® (a natural compound rich in Sulfur), BioPerine® (black pepper extract from India), Biotin, Bamboo Extract, Vitamins A/C/D/E/B Complex, and Zinc, Copper, and Selenium. 

The capsules do not container any "fillers" or artificial ingredients, which can be a bit of a concern when you take a supplement. They are gluten, wheat, and dairy free. They are also never tested on animals and are CGMP Certified and made in the USA. So, I was pretty satisfied from that information that they were safe to take and during my time using them I experienced no negative side effects.

Before (July)

This product is really easy to use. It doesn't particularly matter what time of day you use it. I tend to use it late at night, shortly before bed, because it's easy for me to remember. You just take 2 of these capsules each day and it is recommended you taking them with a meal and 8oz of water.

The suggested length of time to take this product is 8 weeks. Admittedly, I have only used it for 3 weeks. Regardless, I have already noticed a difference. This summer my hair looked a little dried out and lackluster. I knew it was likely a combination of the sun and my color treatments because I use some really great shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in products that keep it looking pretty healthy most of the time.

After (September)

After three weeks of using this product, I think my hair has become more shiny, soft, and billowy. it was definitely a lot more stiff (straw-like) earlier in the summer. Now, it bounces and is much easier to style. When I went to the salon to get my hair colored in early September, I expected to need a haircut too. My hair professional actually told me that I didn't have any split ends this time and that I should wait until the next time I get my hair colored to get it cut. So, I thought that was a pretty clear indication that my hair was becoming stronger and more healthy.

If you are interested in trying out this product, it is available via Amazon and the Eu Natural website for $29.99 (60 capsules, 1 month supply). Eu Natural has actually extended a special discount to my readers. If you are interested in trying out this product and seeing what you think, but the $29.99 price tag sounds a bit high, they are offering an introductory $5 rate on their website. 

There is little risk involved in giving it a shot, since they provide a 100% cash-back guarantee for 90-days.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone who has concerns about hair growth and hair loss.

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This product was provided to me for free for review purposes by Eu Natural via Brandbacker.
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