Jamberry Nail Wraps Review (One more try…)


My relationship with nail wraps is complicated at best. I was always intrigued by them, but never found one that truly worked for me. After making the switch to cruelty free cosmetics and household products, I came across  Jamberry Nail Wraps and received a set to review. My first experience with Jamberry was lukewarm at best. The wraps were thick and made my fingers feel heavy. So, when my pal Stacy told me that she was a Jamberry Consultant and that I should give them another go, I was hesitant. What’s changed since my last Jamberry review? Pull up a chair!





The wraps are much thinner and more pliable than they used to be which was a plus for me. I went into this whole experience with an open mind (and snagged two different designs with my own moolah), so when I felt the new formula I was pumped. I also enjoyed both prints that I purchased. My kids said my nails were “poppin'” as a matter of fact. However, despite the new designs and the new formula, the application process for me is a bit dramatic. Unlike NCLA or even the more well-known (and not animal friendly) Sally Hansens, these babies need heat to cling to your nails. Your choices are a mini-heater (which Jamberry sells) or a hair dryer. I went with the latter and used my hair dryer. This design only lasted about 5 days until the sides began to lift up. I had some bubbles right from the get-go, but that’s more operator failure than the product’s fault. 





This vintage design (please ignore my nasty blister on my palm), was a favorite of mine…but again, the application process was a turn-off for me. There are plenty of tips and tricks for smoothing out your cuticles, using other heat sources, and applying different types of pressure, but for me it’s too much. I am open to trying their lacquers, but for me the filing, ironing, and shaping just isn’t my style. 

The pros? The designs are way cute and they are cruelty free. The cons? I’m just not into a complicated nail art system and don’t have the patience (both applications took me an hour and they still are not perfect) to manage the upkeep and applications. Jamberry…make something that doesn’t require an extra appliance and you might see me writing another post again! :)

December 2014 Vegan Cuts Beauty Box Review

It might not be Christmas anymore, but it still feels like Christmas to me since I’ve been having a ball with my December Vegan Cuts Beauty Box! The Christmas season is always super busy for me, not to mention right after New Year’s we took our honeymoon. So some extra pampering products were just what I needed this month. Interested? The Vegan Cuts Beauty Box is a monthly subscription box that starts at $19.95 per month. It’s a great way to try new brands and new products without the commitment of buying the full-size version and can be shipped anywhere!



Cutest packaging ever!



Cutest packaging ever!



I added an accent with ELF vegan glitter. :)



I added an accent with ELF vegan glitter. :)

Bella Pierre Nail Polish in Copper Brown: When I saw this color in my VC box, I was pumped. I’m a major lover of all things metallic and sparkly and this hue did it for me. I painted my digits with this color right before Christmas Eve for a fun holiday tint. This lacquer, however, didn’t have the staying power I would have wanted. By New Year’s (less than a week!), I was repainting my nails and touching up. I’m not giving up on this brand though! Perhaps a good cruelty free and/or vegan topcoat will do the trick? This lacquer is also 3-free goes on well! Two coats and I was good to go!

North Coast Organics Spray Lotion: This lotion isn’t really a lotion, per-say. It’s really more of a body oil which is fine with me, just unexpected. North Coast Organics is vegan, organic, and all of their products are handmade which I love. The consistency of the oil is velvety and warm. I used this after shaving and after showering regularly. I love the lavender and rosemary scent. To me, this lotion smells like the holidays!

Delizioso Skincare Natural Cream Blush: This little guy was my absolute favorite product from the packaging (the adorable white purse in the above photo), to the scent (a little sugary sweet), to the consistency (smooth and sultry) to the shade (the you just went sledding and have a winter glow cheek of yesteryear). I’ve actually NEVER tried a cream blush until this beauty box came to me last month. I loved the idea of using it as a stain for my cheeks and lips as well. For me, the cream blush blended well with my other makeup (primer and bronzer) and looked NATURAL whereas powder blushes can look cakey. I’m hooked!

21 Drops Essential Oil in Focus: This essential oil was “essential” (lol, ok…cheesy), for me to have during the holidays. The Focus sample I received smells like Frankincense, Rosemary, and Peppermint. I used it on my temples and wrists and the peppermint (which was the strongest scent to me), woke me up and left me feeling refreshed instead of run-down. I’ve always been a fan of essential oils and this one was perfect. I also enjoyed using this before I began a new project during the month like wrapping presents or preparing for guests!

Becca & Mars Lavender Love Mask & Scrub: Last, but definitely not least…B&M’s luscious scrub! I’m a huge fan of anything scrubby and squidgy. On their website they say, “We believe that nature creates the best ingredients,” and I couldn’t agree more! This mask/scrub contains white corn meal, almond meal, essential oils of lavender, bergamot, and clary sage and smells amazing. I simply add a little bit of water when I’m going to use this as a scrub on my face and form a nice paste. I’ve also used this on the backs of my legs to get rid of that dull winter skin. I love, too, that B&M is an Etsy brand! Yay VCUTS for supporting brands of all sizes, right? This mask works as a great once a week gentle exfoliator and reviver while soaking up oils and dead skin with the corn and almond meal. It’s like a superfood smoothie for your face!

I had a blast with this months beauty box. Did you have any favorites from this month? 

Editor’s Note: The product(s) featured in this post were provided by a representative of the company named in this post for editorial consideration. I was not in any other way compensated for this post. All reviews are 100% honest and of my own opinion.

That New Year’s Blog Post: 2015 Style

I think the idea of 2015 hit me when my students said to me…”so 15 years ago you were in 8th grade like us? DANG, MISS! Did you have Internet?” Seriously? I explained that we had a modem that used the phone to connect and that you couldn’t be on the phone at the same time. They stared at me with sympathy and concern. If I think back to 15 years ago, I try and remember how I even viewed a new year. Probably the same as I do now, a chance to start fresh and get recharged and a chance to try new things! So, here’s what I’ll be doing this 2015. Maybe you’ll add some of my tools to your new year arsenal? 



2015



What’s in your toolkit?

 
Most of these are pretty self-explanatory. The weird white stuff? Yep. It’s Tofu…and I’m going to create a recipe that I like once and for all. I’m also going to use my Thug Kitchen cookbook to help me. I’ve tried some recipes, but I’m just not in love with Tofu. I’m convinced that 2015 is going to be the year I cook a Tofu dish that doesn’t make me want to cry. Another note about my new favorite cookbook? I purchased it this year to add to my cookbook collection and this one is hysterical. I love profanity and plant-based cooking, so if you’re into that…you’ll need this book in 2015. Here’s a screenshot from one of their pages to give you a taste (no pun intended).

LULZ and NOMZ. This screenshot is tame.

Next up? I’m re-reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s “ING“. I want to compare my 2014 ING to my 2015 ING. This is kind of a self-reflective/meditation based thing I’ve been curious about. So, we’ll see how that goes. I’ll also be coupling my Yoga practice in with my journaling and re-readings. I’m hoping to see more positive change and growth since 2014. I also hope to get on my mat and to my classes more often. I’m going to try and make some time for my mind this year.

You might be wondering who Savvy Boheme is and why they’re in my 2015 toolkit. Because…if you’re NOT rubbing their Tall Americano vegan body oil all over your sexy self after a shower or bath you’re not living. All of their oils are great, but I’m a coffee girl at heart. I’ve reviewed this oil a while back, but their products need another mention. I’ve been obsessed with body and facial oils so I’m making that a real regimen come 2015. My skin looks and feels amazing! PSA: Oily skinned girls need body and facial oil. Don’t let anyone tell you differently!



Still throwing deuces, still wearing scarves 24/7, still battling big hair. Happy 2015, ya'll!



Still throwing deuces, still wearing scarves 24/7, still battling big hair. Happy 2015, ya’ll!

Peace out, 2014. You were pretty darn good! Started a new job, got myself hitched, and had an all-around great time! It’ll be hard getting used to not celebrating 24/7, but some normalcy will be nice, too.

eShakti Fashion Dress Review

I’m finding that the busier I get each year, the less time I spend actually going to stores and shopping for my wardrobe updates. I still love sifting through racks of clothes, but finding the time is hard and frustrating, especially during the holidays. So, when eShakti.com, a custom clothing apparel website, offered to send me a custom dress of my choice, I couldn’t turn it down! eShakti has amazing styles ranging from size 0-36 and they boast a claim of creating “real fashion for real people.” I’m down with that!

I chose a dress based on a more demure style. I wanted something I could wear to teach. Though, if you’re looking for something to wear to a NYE party or other more formal gathering, there are plenty of options! 

I measured myself with a simple tape measure and followed their sizing chart directions. After taking my measurements, I ordered a size 6. It fit well everywhere I measured (bust, hips, waist), and the neckline allowed me to wear a small necklace or a scarf. I loved how it looked both with the cardigan and without!



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The length of the dress fell nicely with my flat shoes that I was wearing in this photo, and it also fell nice with a short heel both of which I wear to work on a daily basis. I also liked the bright colors of the birds and how it matched with the khaki. This dress could probably be seen as plain color-wise, but the blues, yellows, and reds warm it up. I’d most likely wear this throughout the Fall and even Spring since the sleeves are 3/4 length. This dress is a soft cotton which needs a quick press after washing, too! Iron this dress after you wash and dry it and press it to make the pleats pop. 


FullSizeRender


Love those little birds!

My good friend got me really into birds which went into my major reasoning for choosing this dress. Here is the close-up of the skirt with the pleats and the print design. How cute, right? 

Because eShakti is all about real fashion for real people, they feature their favorite looks on their Facebook, Twitter, and their Pinterest pages (which has TONS of amazing fashion inspiration!

So, check them out and let me know what you think. With the holidays coming up save yourself some time and get a custom outfit that will wow everyone!

Editor’s Note: The product(s) featured in this post were provided by a representative of the company named in this post for editorial consideration. I was not in any other way compensated for this post. All reviews are 100% honest and of my own opinion.

 

Things I’m Loving: Thanksgiving Edition

It’s that time of the year! Thanksgiving is almost upon us here in the states, and I’m ready to relax, kick back, and enjoy some family (and shopping) time. There’s lots to love during the October, November, and December months and I figured what better time to start than now? Here’s what I’m loving this month: 

I’m a tad bit late on this since we went to a lot of farmer’s markets and flea markets before we got hitched in October. We scoured the markets for old books for our centerpieces, and we also found some amazing cruelty free soap artisans who are both practically in our backyard.  



The colors of her soaps are all so unique!



The colors of her soaps are all so unique!

First up was Handcrafted by Virginia, a local soap artisan out of Middletown, CT. We purchased her Cotton Candy soap and had a blast chatting her up. You can find her shop on Etsy and browse through her amazing soaps and creations. She also donates 15% of her Etsy profits to organizations that help those affected by Lyme Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Juvenile Diabetes. I love her “giving back” philosophy and her cruelty free, sustainable ingredients. 



It might be possible that I want all of these!



It might be possible that I want all of these!

We stopped next at Lovely Lathers, based out of Wallingford, CT. You can check them out on Facebook. We purchased their pumpkin spice soap (how appropro) and a “manly” scented clean soap for Keith to enjoy. I’m obsessed with having these amazingly creative ladies so close to home. Who knew I could snag some amazing cruelty free (and some vegan) soaps and skincare goodies? 



Give me all the apples!



Give me all the apples!

The Thanksgiving season also gives me some time to have fun with recipes. I’m loving that I can take some time to experiment in the kitchen. For the months of August and September, when I’m in crazy teacher prep mode, I don’t spend as much time in the kitchen as I would like. This bad boy is a double crisp apple crisp. Yes, I doubled the crispiness. I’m out of control!



Pacifica is my jam, son!



Pacifica is my jam, son!

Finally, I’m a total groupie for anything Pacifica, especially their nail colors. I fell in love with this color, Red Red Wine, and rocked it for all of October and November. Even my students liked my “vampy” hue! Next on my list is their BB cream. :)

What are you loving this month? This season? This minute? I love reading about your favorite things! 



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