My Review: Stitch Fix Personal Stylist In Home Clothing Shopping

Have you heard of Stitch Fix?  The in home online styling service that sends you a shipment of new clothing, shoes and accessories to try on in the comfort of your own home.  Return (free shipping) what you don’t want and purchase what you want to keep.  Here is my review of this service with the pros and cons that I experienced using Stitch Fix.

First, I filled out an online style profile.  I was asked what styles I prefer based on theme, price, cut, designer, stores I like to shop at and also what types of clothing I desired.  Did I need or want work attire, special occasion pieces, casual wear, etc.

Once that was completed (it didn’t take too long and I thought it was fun), I moved to the next step and picked the date that I wanted my clothing pieces shipped to my home.  Then my online personal stylist selected my items, so I was charged a $20 styling fee. That $20 is applied as a credit toward anything that I decide to keep from my shipment.  So far, so good.  I was only out $20 and was excited to receive my first box with my mystery items packed nicely inside.  And this is when it got really fun.  If I choose to purchase all of the items that I receive, then I get a 25% discount off of my entire purchase.  Would I like the pieces?  Would I buy it all, some of it or none of it?  Read on to see what I did!

My box arrived!  I set aside 30 minutes to open and try everything on.

I like that the inside of the box has easy instructions on the required next steps.

Nice touch! You are welcome Stitch Fix!  Pretty presentation of items, too.

Cool cards from my personal stylist.  Check out the personalized letter to me…

 

Let’s see if I agree!  Onward to the contents of my mystery clothing box!

 

Hmmm…what is in here?  The box is small. Must be an accessory.

Yep! Pretty earrings by Kate Spade. I didn’t keep these because I don’t need black earrings.  Now onward to the bigger wrapped package inside of my box!

Hmmm…what is in here? I was anxious to find out. This was fun!

The first piece was this figure flattering dress that my stylist commented would be nice for me to wear on my morning show. However, I didn’t like it on me, so that went in the return bag with the earrings.

Next up was the Fleur and Stone Calista Textured orange red knit dress. This one intrigued me.  And as you can see, this one became a keeper as I wore it on my morning show a week later….

Promo shot of my healthy snacks segment and I was pleased with how the dress looks on camera. Yay!

On to the Bailey 44 Kelli Knit Dress. My stylist said that this one would be great on a date night as I had listed in my profile that I like to go on date nights with my hubs.  So, I tried it on…

Not a keeper. I didn’t like this one because I really had to hold my tummy in to make the dress flatter my mid-section. My daughter liked it on me, but I was happy that I wasn’t in love with it because I needed to fill that return bag, so I didn’t overspend.  Next up was a very different dress from the others that I normally would not have picked out myself, but I was curious to try this one on…

The Noora Embroidered Dress. I like the embroidery a lot, but would I like the dress on me?  I wished it hadn’t arrived so wrinkled because that made me wonder if this dress would wrinkle too easily while wearing.  But I was anxious to try it on.

I was surprised just how much I liked this! So comfortable, soft, breezy and flowy. I liked that I could try it on at home with my own shoes and necklace on hand.  And as you can see, I had zero makeup on since I could shop at home.  Nice!

So, what was the verdict for me?  You guessed it!  I purchased the red dress and the embroidered one.  The red one has been great for work and I plan to take the embroidered one with me this summer as we travel to see family.  I think it will be perfect for that.

With that, I put everything else in the prepaid return envelope that was in my Stitch Fix box and dropped it off at a UPS store two days later.  Easy!  Customers are given three business days to return the unwanted items.  If the items don’t come back to Stitch Fix in three days, then the customer is charged for the items kept.

Since I kept two items, my credit card that I provided when I signed up was charged.  The red dress cost $78 and the embroidered number was $74 with a total of $152, which is a little pricy, but these dresses are good quality and I can tell my stylist to send me less expensive styles in the future, which is a good thing.  Tax in the amount of $13.07 was added to the $152 making it now $165.07, but then the $20 styling fee, as promised, was taken out of that for a grand total of $145.07.  I received an email from my Stitch Fix stylist asking me to list what I was keeping and what I was returning with my included feedback.  I could express what I liked and didn’t like based on fit, price, style and more.  That worked for me!

Now for my pros and cons…

Pros:  Shipped to my home.  So convenient!  I can try on with own shoes and accessories and I have three days to try the items on again as I make my decisions.  It was fun having a personal stylist give me ideas. The style card is nice as it gives ideas on how to pair the new items with accessories and other items that I may already have on hand like a denim jacket.  The process from start to finish is super easy and fun.  I also like that doing this keeps me dressed in the latest styles and trends, especially since I appear monthly on a morning show.  Something about turning the big 50 has kept me wanting to stay on task with what is currently in vogue.  It must have something to do with my new Fab 50s stage, as I call it.  I want to be fresh and keep up with what’s trending, but I don’t want to have to go to the mall to do so.  Having a personal stylist accomplishes this nicely and easily as well.  Also, if I know I have a special occasion coming up like a wedding, then I can ask for an earlier shipment and let my stylist know to send pieces that may work for that upcoming event.

Cons:  You will be tempted to spend money on clothing that you may otherwise not have if you had to drive to a mall.  It is a bit too easy to receive it, like it and then buy it with a click on the keyboard!  It is a membership and you must pay $20 for each fix, as they call your experience/shipment.  It is a good thing that the $20 goes toward your purchase. However, depending on how much you spend, sales tax eats up a portion of that discount.  Also, if you don’t buy any of the garments or accessories, then you don’t get your $20 back.  I did change my frequency from monthly to every three months to keep myself disciplined.  I can always go back into the account and change the frequency to every month or every other month.  The Stitch Fix website says that on average, the pieces are $55, but customers can ask for lower priced options to be in their personal fix.

ONE big surprising pro for me that I didn’t see coming is motivation!  The orange red dress has become my new favorite piece, but if I overindulge, it becomes tight around my middle.  Knowing that I want the dress to continue to fit as well as future Stitch Fix shipments to fit right, I have become more disciplined about going to the gym regularly and eating sensibly while also logging my calories.  When I want to overeat, I remember that I have a Stitch Fix box coming and I don’t want to have to email my personal stylist larger sizes than I had originally provided.  That has been a big plus for me with my Stitch Fix experience/fix.  I got my fix!  I do get my clothing fix when a shipment arrives.  I also now stay out of clothing stores so I have some budget for my next Stitch Fix box.

If you want to try Stitch Fix, email me at [email protected] and I will send you the link on how to get started.  I receive a discount if you use my link, which I will gladly take to use when I get my next fix!

Have any of you tried Stitch Fix?  Tell us about it in the comments section.

Top Travel Sized Toiletries for Guys & Gals

With spring break and summer vacation just around the corner, here are our top travel sized toiletries for both the guys and the girls.  My blog beauty expert, Bianca, also a beauty expert for Walgreens, showed me what’s hot for the travel beauty bag based on quality and customer feedback.  Take a look and don’t pack until you check out our list that I showed in my 3TV Your Life Arizona morning show segment that aired last week.

Did you know that coconut oil comes in a multi-purpose travel size?  Some of your favorite brands are now made travel sized, which is so handy for your next getaway! And most are sold at the drug store, so see below to see the stuff you can conveniently buy at Walgreens and another awesome product for all over (especially for dry heels) called Toe JuiceIt is all below.

But first, note that we will give away some of these goodies this Friday in our Freebie Friday drawing.  If you are a managedmoms.com subscriber, you are automatically entered.  If you haven’t become a subscriber, do so because most Fridays we do a drawing for cool prizes.  And you don’t have to enter as being a subscriber to this blog automatically enters you.  The winner is drawn on Fridays through random.org.

Now let’s get to the good travel sized stuff…

For the Gals

*Soap & Glory She’s A Natural Day & Night Face Palette ($20 at Walgreens) – Perfect for travel because you get six products in one compact easy to pack palette. A creamy blusher & highlighter, a bronzer and three eye shadows are all included in this pretty pack by the very reputable Soap & Glory line.  This palette also works for day and night makeup, so less face makeup to pack for numerous events while traveling.

*Real Techniques Base Mini Expert Face Brush ($5.99 at Walgreens) – Love this mini makeup brush that sports a full-sized brush head for foundation application on the go.

*Soap & Glory Poutstanding Lip Contour Crayon ($6 at Walgreens) – Pack two in one products with this handy beauty tool because one side is matte lip color and the other gives the lips a glossy shine.  So, the matte end is used to line the lips and then simply flip the stick to fill in with the shine side to get full luscious lips. I personally tested this lip crayon and I loved how smoothly and evenly it went on my lips.  Plus, it felt light, but it also gave me full color shapely lips.  I am a fan of the Poutstanding Crayon by Soap & Glory!

*Secret Freshies On-The-Go Deodorant ($5.99 at Walgreens) – Small handy little ball shaped deodorant that fits in a purse, so it takes up less room when packing.  This is one beauty item that you don’t want to leave behind. So handy and we dig the relaxing lavender scent.

*Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate Shea Butter Shampoo & Conditioner ($3.29 at Walgreens) – My daughter and I tried this line last year and we fell in love with it, so we are thrilled to see that it comes in a travel size.  It is sulfate-free, smells incredible and is organic.  Just look on the side of the bottle to see that this line contains no synthetic dye, no mineral oil, no parabens, among other unwanted ingredients.  It does contain pure coconut water and pure aloe juice.  Such good stuff and travel friendly!

*Batiste Dry Shampoo ($4.29 at Walgreens) – Dry shampoo is the perfect beauty product to have when traveling just in case you need to skip washing your hair due to accommodations or just to take a day off from the daily routine.  This brand has a nice scent that is not overbearing, but is a fragrance you desire when needing to use dry shampoo in the first place.  The coconut tropical scent is perfect for the spring and summer season.

*Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack Under Eye Brightening Hydrogel Patches ($5 at Walgreens) – Bianca tells me that one of her customers places these under her tired eyes in flight while she naps on the trip!  The patches are clear, and she says that placed them under her eyes on a recent flight to Chicago, set her phone alarm for 20 minutes and then removed them.  She had refreshed eyes with no bags when she landed, she tells us!  So cool!  They are lightweight and easy to pack, so for an under-eye pick-me-up on a long trip, throw this in your makeup bag. The price is good, too.

*Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes ($2.49) – The most travel friendly make-up remover item are the wipes and Neutrogena makes a good one that is gentle while also removing mascara.  This brand is alcohol free, ophthalmologist tested, dermatologist tested and allergy tested, so we give these travel sized wipes a travel thumbs up.

*Botanical Sunscreen 30 Broad Spectrum SPF ($3.99 at Walgreens) – Made by Australian Gold, which is a reputable company for good sunscreen that is non-chemical and doesn’t leave a greasy residue.  Perfect travel size that offers UVA/UVB protection.

*Soap & Glory Hand Food ($4 at Walgreens) – Don’t forget hand lotion when traveling because flying, different climates and excessive hand washing (which you will want to do, especially during travel in cold and flu season) will dry out your hands, so having this stuff on hand (no pun intended) is handy!

For the Guys

*American Crew Fiber Hair Setting Gel ($11.49 at Walgreens) – This is what the pro barbers use and men love this product, so being able to get it in a travel size is a bonus.  It has a nice light scent, sets hair well without being greasy or too stiff.  This also works well as a sort of a dry shampoo for the men, too.

*Men Degree Cool Rush Antiperspirant ($1.69 at Walgreens) – Just for him and the travel size is perfect.

Shared His & Her Travel Toiletries

*Toe Juice ($7.20 at www.toejuice.com) — I have showed this product before and love how it heals my dry heels (no pun intended!), so I am thrilled to share that this is sold in a travel-friendly sizeToe Juice features DermaVine, a healing combination of plant-based extracts like lemon peel oil and willow bark extract, that work to heal all kinds of skin ailments.  Developed by a high school chemistry teacher for his infant son’s cracked feet, this product works beautifully for the extra dry heels I get on my feet when I wear daily flip flops and high heels.  Since that is common foot attire during travel, pack a travel sized Toe Juice and a pumice in your bag to rid those dry heels quickly and efficiently when you shower or bathe at your hotel.  Great product!

*Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play ($5.99 at Walgreens) – This brand is popular for both the girls and guys and it doesn’t leave hair crunchy and tough but is volumizing with a good hold.

*Hempz Original Herbal Body Moisturizer ($6.99 at Walgreens) – Enriched with 100% pure hemp seed oil and paraben free and vegan, this brand is popular for both the guys and gals, so the travel size is a nice option to buy.  Top ingredients like shea butter, ginseng, vitamin A, C and E are also great for the skin.  The scent is light, which is why it appeals to the menfolk.

*VitaCoCo Coconut Oil (2.99 at Walgreens) – This little travel sized jar of the good stuff serves so many purposes for both sexes.

Amazing product that can be used for both gals and guys on cuticles, lips and more. For beards on men, too!

*Well Walgreens Dental Travel Kit ($2.59 at Walgreens) – I am going to buy a stack of these for my own travel and to have handy for guests.

Perfect dental travel kit behind the dry shampoo we like. The dental kit is under $3 at Walgreens. Good buy for products that you don’t want to leave behind!

This little kit is perfect because it contains a mini tooth brush, small mouthwash and little toothpaste.

Did I forget any of your favorite travel sized beauty go to products?  If so, share in the comments section.  I love covering travel related topics.  Happy travels!  Now you can pack!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Week’s 3TV Segment: Hot Walgreens Beauty Buys for Less!

Too hot to drive all the way to the mall for your beauty products?  Go no further than your local drugstore because Walgreens just added a bunch of hot beauty products with prices that are cool.  Many of these items can replace the more expensive drug store brands.  We found some splurge vs steal stuff in the beauty aisle.  I got the scoop from Walgreen’s beauty consultant, Bianca, who is also a part of my blog’s managedmoms.com team.  Look at what we found to keep you and your beauty budget looking good all summer long.

What’s Trending in Summer Beauty

Every time I research a beauty segment with Bianca, I learn about beauty trends.  And to be able to buy them for less at the drugstore is a bonus.  As you read about each product in this article, you will see the following trends:

*Metallics – read on below to see what the metallic trend is and how one drugstore beauty line is comparable to three department store lines that cost significantly more for similar products (in our opinion).

*Lush lashes – long lovely lashes continue to trend so read on to see which new mascara we like for summer.

*Unicorn – read on to see how the rainbow glow is one of the beauty stars of the summer show.

*Pure Pigments – this trend is made of concealer shades with colors that do different things when it comes to concealing redness, dark circles and more.  More later in the article.

*Clay Cleansing – different clay properties for your facial cleansing routine.  We cover that in this report, too.

*Brows – groomed and defined brows continue to rage on in the summer months, too.

*Multi-purpose beauty products – because time and money are both saved.  One of our faves for the summer is listed in a bit.

*Unique at home spa stuff picks – spa treatments continue to trend, but since we can’t always afford to visit the spa, read on to see our pick for a truly unique at-home two week facial spa treatment.

 

L’Oréal Infallible Paints & Metallics

Just like the more expensive Urban Decay line, L’Oréal brings this splurge vs steal to the drugstore.  Like the Urban Decay, Jeffree Star and Kylie lines, but for a lot less, L’Oréal offers Infallible Paint Metallics.

The L’Oréal Matte lip colors are very like the Kylie Jenner Lip Kit line in Kylie Cosmetics, but hers sell for $29 for both a lip color and lip liner versus Walgreen’s steal price of $7.99 (with a $2 off coupon offered through July 29th as regular price is $9.99).  Choose between matte or the L’Oréal Metallics, which gives a metallic shiny pigment look that lasts all day long.  Strikingly like the Kylie Metal lipsticks, but at more than half the price since L’Oréal sells for only $7.99 compared to the Kylie stick at $18.00.  Our testers tell us that the L’Oréal line stays on all day and looks brilliant, making this a successful dupe on the Kylie line.

L’Oréal also offers a metallic eye shadow that brightens the eye and give a nice full pigment of color with a great price of only $7.99 (with $1 off coupon now at Walgreens through July 29th).

 

Lush Lash Trend – Lash Paradise Mascara

One of Bianca’s top picks of the summer is L’Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara.  Extremely like the much more expensive Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara that sells for $23, the L’Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise at Walgreens costs only $9.99 (or even better get 2 for $15 through July 9th).

Photo from Maybelline website showing Unicorn makeup applied

Unicorn Beauty Trend

A beauty trend that I had not heard of is unicorn beauty.  I had seen the Starbucks unicorn drink and apparently the unicorn rage has hit the beauty shelves, too. Maybelline’s Master Fairy Highlight by FaceStudio Illuminating Powder gives a rainbow glow to the cheeks and other desired facial highlighting areas.  Up until now, the unicorn beauty products weren’t available at Walgreens, but the drugstore just added this to beauty shelves this month.  Get your trendy unicorn palette for $7.99.

Pure Pigments Trend

This trend speaks to me because I have long battled under eye circles and puffiness, so the Maybelline pure pigment Master Camo Color Correcting Pen line works great for all different skin types.  We are big fans of the crayon corrector applicator that applies the product just right.  The dark circles concealer works best under foundation and provides intense coverage, so a little goes a long way.  These sell for $7.99 each.

Spa Like Facial Clay Cleanser

We are loving L’Oréal’s new clay to mousse cleansing trio options that are free of parabens and silicones.  Each one contains a different clay element and they all remove everyday impurities like dirt, oil and pollution.   Pick the one that is right for you with three types to choose from.  The first product is the L’Oréal Pure-Clay Cleanser Detox & Brighten that is a detox-brightener made with the popular charcoal that is nature sourced.   The second option in the collection is the Pure-Clay Cleanser Exfoliate-Refine that exfoliates and refines skin with the red algae ingredient and the other one in this cool trio is the Pure-Clay Cleanser Purify-Mattify with eucalyptus.  This one felts so soothing on my skin.  Not sure which one to choose?  Check out L’Oréal’s website with a thorough explanation of each and recommendations based on skin type.

Still Trending: Brows!

Beautiful brows continue to be the beauty rage so be sure to check out Maybelline’s Browdrama Shaping Chalk Powder that has a cool applicator that sports both a wide side and a narrow side.  The wide side is for the inner brow and the narrow side is for the tail of the brow.  This is my personal favorite as it fills in brows easily for a full and natural look.  This sells for $7.99.

Our Fave Multi-Purpose Beauty Product

Summertime means constant shaving, so we are loving the super cool Soap & Glory line that offers The Righteous Butter Creamy Body Wash.  This 3-in-1 product is perfect for cleansing, shaving and moisturizing.  Contains shea butter, cocoa, grapeseed, sweet almond and macadamia nut oils. No wonder we love this stuff! Sells for $14 at Walgreens.  Plus, the Soap & Glory line has a $2 off coupon through December at Walgreens.  We will take that!

Truly Unique At Home Spa Treatment 2 Week Facial Treatment

No7 Youthful Vitamin C Fresh Radiance Essence is our pick to get brighter and more radiant looking skin.  This unique formula contains 5% Vitamin C powder that you release yourself into the bottle for a two-week treatment.  After two weeks, the Vitamin C loses its potency, so the treatment is not meant to go longer than that, although the box says that any leftover can be used for one month.  Very cool that the drugstore sells this and it costs $24.99.

There are so many more hot drugstore products that I could show, but I am out of time.  Just visit your local Walgreens and ask the store’s beauty consultant to show you more.

Happy Summer beauty shopping and thanks to Walgreens for offering so many items that are trending, compare well to more expensive department store brands and do the job while keeping us on our beauty budget.  More money left over to travel with and escape our desert heat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From My 3TV Segment: Spring Beauty Product Trends

Although it may not feel like it in some parts of the country, spring has almost officially sprung…and it does feel like it here in Arizona.  So with that, I decided to feature what’s trending in spring beauty products on my 3TV morning show, Your Life Arizona (new name, same great show) today.  A big thanks to my blog beauty expert, Bianca, professional beauty expert for Walgreens, for working with me to feature some terrific beauty must haves, that are also affordable.  Take a look!

Spring Clean Your Face

Just like you do your home, give your pretty face some attention, too.  Here is what we like for facial care this spring…

*L’Oreal Pure-Clay Mask, Purify & Mattify and Exfoliate/Refine Pores Pure Clay Mask– ($12.99 each at Walgreens) – This will spring clean your face.  Plus, this line reminds us of the more expensive Glamglow mask that sells for over $50 at Sephora. Instead try this, L’oreal variety that is sold at Walgreens.  The pure clay mask can be layered and left on face for 15 minutes and then rinsed off.  It is great to use the Purify & Mattify twice a week and the Exfoliate & Refine Pores variety once a week to exfoliate.  This is definitely spring cleaning for the face that has perhaps just endured a harsh winter, hectic holiday season, cold and flu season and more.  Your face will feel and look refreshed.

*Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water – ($9.49 at Walgreens)  — Brand new from Garnier, for oily skin types and for sensitive skin, try this cleansing water to remove makeup and cleanse and purify pores all in one.  This is used as a rinse with no harsh rubbing required on the delicate facial skin. The mattifying formula makes this oil-free and fragrance free cleanser ideal and gentle for spring cleaning the skin.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Mineral Water Gel Cooling Effect – ($31 at Walgreens) — This allergy tested facial gel works for sensitive skin and provides a cooling effect, a nice touch for the many women who experience hot flashes.  This hydrates for 48 hours and can be worn day or night, but do note that there is no SPF in this formula.  It is also oil free.

*La Roche Posay Acne Innovation – ($29.99 at Walgreens – a $48 value!) — I have not personally tested this as I have been lucky to have not had acne (although I am told it could be coming with menopause!).  My blog beauty expert, Bianca, professional Walgreens beauty expert, says that this worked for numerous customers who used this 2-month supply, 3-step regimen to clear their acne.  The value is also good and Bianca tells me that many dermatologists provide coupons for this product, so if acne is an issue for your family, ask your dermatologist about this line and if they have coupons to give you. This set comes with a medicated gel cleanser, a clarifying solution and a dual action acne treatment product.  Also, clears up blackheads and whiteheads, too.

Spring Beauty – Lighten Up Beauty Products

*Maybelline Dream Cushion Fresh Face Liquid Foundation On-The-Go – ($15.49 at Walgreens)  — With warmer temps and lots of sun, it is nice to go lighter with makeup in the spring and summer season.  This foundation achieves that.  Do note that this base does NOT contain an SPF, so be sure to use your daily moisturizer that includes SPF sun protection.

L’oreal True Match Super Blendable Blush – ($12.99 at Walgreens) — Pretty light floral shades for your blush to complement your bright pastels summer shades of makeup and clothing.

*Maybelline Illuminator Corrector Cremeux – ($7.99 at Walgreens)  — With lighter foundation in the spring and summer months, it is also nice to use a lighter concealer.  This one accomplishes that with a nice corrector stick that also illuminates skin so your face looks rested and bright.

Body Fun in the Sun Spring Stuff

*Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer – ($10.99 at Walgreens)  — Apply this moisturizer/subtle self-tanner in the shower on wet skin…hence the name, wet skin.  Our testers say this did not streak and lasted for a few days.  So, this is a lotion and self-tanner all in one.  No harsh odor either like so many self-tanners have.

*Banana Boat Dry Balance Sunscreen Lotion – ($11.99 at Walgreens)  — With an SPF UVA/UVB protection of 50+, you get coverage and sunburn protection, plus this unique formula is a matte finish.  Runners love this because it goes on like a matte, not oily or greasy and dries almost instantly.  This one is also recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.  This just arrived hot on the shelves and the matte finish makes this a unique and protective sunscreen.

*DermaVine Head to Toe Scrub Pink Coconut Head to Toe Scrub – ($9 at toejuice.com) – Dermavine has introduced several new products to the line that gave us one of my favorites…and funny-named products…Toe Juice!  Meet DermaVine’s Head to Toe Scrub Pink Coconut made of plant based extracts. This scrub perfectly hydrates, refreshes and repairs dry skin while also exfoliating, which is important to do.  This is especially true for our heels that get rough when exposed to the air with flip flop season in full swing.   

Still Trending:  Lush Lashes

*La Roche Posay Effaclar Clarifying Oil-Free Cleansing Towelettes – ($9.99 at Walgreens)  — For gals with eyelash extensions (and a lot of women are wearing them now), this is the right makeup remover to use because it is oil free.  The oil in typical makeup remover products may loosen the glue on the lashes and shorten the lifespan of those lush long lashes.  So, use this product for removing makeup and to cleanse away oil and pore-clogging impurities.

*Rimmel ScandelEyes Waterproof Mascara – ($7.49 at Walgreens) — For those of us who aren’t doing the extensions or fakes, this is our top pick for a good spring/summer waterproof mascara that also won’t break the beauty budget.  Rimmel, the original inventor of mascara, does it right again with a wand that doesn’t clump and a formula for lovely lashes, even when swimming or doing water sports.  Ophthalmologist tested and suitable for contact lens wearers and sensitive eyes, plus it contains collagen, so this mascara does it all.

Hair Flair

*HASK Chia Seed Volumizing Dry Shampoo – ($8.49 at Walgreens)  — Bianca tells me that this dry shampoo is flying off the drugstore shelves.  There are several varieties, so I decided to try the Chia Seed one.  The long lasting dry shampoo is free of sulfates and parabens, another reason why we like it and with our warm temps just around the corner, you are sure to sweat, so this dry shampoo will buy you a few extra days in between shampooing.

*HASK Greek Yogurt Hydrating Deep Conditioner – ($3.29 at Walgreens) – And when you do return to shampooing your mane, don’t forget to take a little extra time to deep condition, especially with pool season here.  The dual conditioner formula combines Greek yogurt with fig and honey…so springy and good for your hair. Greek yogurt contains protein and calcium to help nourish and moisturize hair.  Vitamin rich fig and honey fight dryness and give hair a glossy shine, which is very nice for your spring nights out on the town.

Mani/Pedi Spring Shade Trends

*Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish – ($8.99 at Walgreens) — Sally Hansen has a bunch of pretty springy shades with the barely there color trend offered as well.  Light, natural and pastel shades like Sheer Nirvana and Re-Nude are right on for spring weddings, graduations, Easter and all the other celebrations that accompany this time of the year.

Did I miss any spring shades or trends that you love?  Share in the comments section and be sure to check out my blog at www.managedmoms.com for more beauty news and spring trends.  Happy Spring!

 

 

 

 

Ten Under $10 Fabulous & Frugal Beauty Products

As seen in my morning show segment that aired on KTVK 3TV today on the Your Life A to Z show.  I love doing this segment because who says that beauty has to be expensive?  Plus, this is one of my favorite segments to do because I get to work with my blog’s beauty expert, Bianca to share beauty products that are fabulous and frugal, so they won’t break your beauty budget.  Take a look at our ten under $10 beauty products that won’t break the bank!

For the Face

*No 7 Beautiful Skin Micellar Cleansing Water ($9.99 at Walgreens) – This hypo-allergenic cleansing water spray is applied to the face after makeup removal to truly get every bit of product off the skin.  Plus, this product leaves the face fresh and hydrated, which is especially crucial here in our desert climate.

*Aveeno Positively Radiant 60 Second In-Shower Facial ($8.29 at Walgreens) – This non-drying, hypoallergenic cleanser for sensitive skin is meant to be used in the steamy shower to gently exfoliate skin.  So clever as the steam and moisture helps to open and cleanse pores, so this in-shower facial works well. With lemon peel extract, this shower facial works best when done twice a week.  Do note the instructions on the label advising that sunscreen be worn on the face while using this product and up to a week afterwards since alpha hydroxy acid, that is part of this formula, can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

Eye Beauty

*Maybelline Monos Expertwear Eyeshadow ($3.99 at Walgreens) – This nice eye shadow reminds us of the more expensive Becca shadows that sell at Sephora for a lot more. These can also be used as highlighters and we love products that multi-task.

*Maybelline Master Prime Eyeshadow Base ($8.79 at Walgreens) – We like and recommend the primer as a base for the eye shadow that we just discussed above.  With the primer applied first, the eye shadow will go on smoother and last longer.  Plus, that annoying eye lid crease can be avoided with this product.

Lovely Lips

*Maybelline Color Jolt Lip Paint ($5.99 at Walgreens) – Want intense lip color that lasts?  Try this!  This lip paint gives lips full color with the first layer.  And check out the product below to enhance this line.

*Maybelline Shine Shot Glossy Shine or the Maybelline Shine Shot Prismatic Lip Topcoat ($5.99 each).  Try the ombre look (as it is called), which means to blend two different lip shades together so that they fade into each other.  This line of lip paint is perfect for that trending makeup technique.  My blog testers also love the applicator on this line.

Healthy Hair

*Scunci Hair Bands ($4.99 a pack at Walgreens) – We love that this big variety of Scunci hair bands doesn’t leave an annoying dent in hair. We compare this line to the pricier line of hair bands called Invisibobble, sold at Nordstrom’s, which sells for double the price, making this is a good splurge vs steal item.  Scunci has a big selection with sporty styles, dressy styles that look good in an updo, little girl styles and more.

*Maui Moisture Nourish + Moisture Coconut Milk Conditioner for dry hair ($9.49 at Walgreens) – We love the organic ingredients in this amazing hair conditioner.  With creamy coconut milk, sheer guava oil, wholesome mango butter and more, this ahhmazing hair product does not contain mineral oil, silicone, parabens or synthetic dye.  Bianca says that this is the most organic hair care product that Walgreens carries at this point.  Aloe Vera is used in place of water, which is not organic since water is processed with reverse osmosis.  Try the Maui Moisture Shea Butter Hair Mask to further save money as a little bit of this hair mask goes a long way.  We are loving this new organic healthy hair line!

Nails & Hands

*impress Press-On Manicure One-Step Gel Nail Set ($8.49 at Walgreens) – This is the first time this press on nail line has offered nails done in gel color, so no light is needed. Just press on and go.  Our blog beauty testers tell us that the nails stayed on very nicely for over a week, too.  We did hear that removing the nails takes some time and patience, but that no one had damaged nails after removal, so that is good.

*eos hand lotion ($2.29 at Walgreens) – My teenage daughter and I swear by this stuff.  The fast absorbing 24-hour moisture lotion comes in an easy to pack compact container for quick on-the-go hydration for hands. It is also paraben free, hypoallergenic, gluten free with no animal by-products.  One of our faves!

Bath & Body

*ME! Bath Gotta Have It Pomegranate Mini Bath Cream Mini Bath Soak Bath Bombs ($9.99 for a bag of six bath bombs) – If you are a bath fan like me, these mini bath bombs make your bath complete and your skin soft.  Plus, this makes a great gift, too.

Did you see anything you like and want to incorporate into your beauty routine? And if you have a favorite budget beauty product, tell us about it int he comments section.  We love to keep each other informed at managedmoms.com. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

What’s New in 2017 Drug Store Beauty Products

As seen in my 3TV KTVK morning show segment that aired today.  Here is the list of the beauty products I showed with many more that I didn’t have time to get to this morning on the program. All items are sold at Walgreens, which keeps us on our beauty budget.  Gotta love that!

Our awesome managedmoms.com blog beauty expert, Bianca, is an official beauty product expert for Walgreens.  So, I met her at the store, looked at what’s new, and bought a slew of stuff to show you.  Fun!

Here is what’s new in 2017 drugstore beauty products that you will want to know about…

Nail News

*OPI Nail Polish — Big news!  Walgreens now sells OPI nail polish!  Get yours for $9.99 a bottle. The line just hit store shelves this week. 

For the Eyes

*Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara ($8.49) – Maybelline says that their new mascara will give lashes fully loaded volume in one coat.  Our blog testers had to apply two coats, but we are happy with the volume that our lashes exhibited with just two coats.  We compare this mascara to the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, which sells for $23, while this Maybelline Big Shot only costs $8.49.

*L’Oréal Infallible Paints Liquid Eye Liner ($9.66) – New to this eyeliner line is the intense color options and our test panel thought it was as good as MAC’s eye liner, which sells for much more, around $20, in department stores.  For a performer or a person on camera, this liner really shows up.

Loral Infallible Paints Eye Shadow ($8.99) – We love that this cream eye shadow stick didn’t crease.  With this double ended stick, you get two shades that can be worn alone or blended.

*Maybelline 24k Nudes Eyeshadow Palette ($11.99) – This is like the more expensive Urban Decay nude eyeshadow palette that is very popular.  And this one is much cheaper at only $11.99 compared to Urban Decay’s Naked Palettes that range between $24 to $54.  So, this is a terrific value.  It is in smaller packaging, but I think the savings is still good.

Lovely Lips

*L’Oréal Infallible Lip Paints ($9.99) – These full colored lip sticks promise to stay on all day and my blog testers and I did get a full 8 hours of wear. We did have to reapply for evening, but we were impressed with the work day longevity of this lip paint. Wear this lip color with a liner, otherwise it will bleed.  We found this line to be like the Too Faced Melted Lip Color, which costs $21 and we like the under $10 price tag of the L’Oréal one for sure. We are also big fans of the lip applicator that makes the sweetheart shape of lips easier to achieve.  Plus, the color is shiny and vibrant and we like that!  This is also smudge proof and water proof.

*Wet n Wild Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick ($4.99) – This lipstick reminds us of Jeffree Star’s matte lipstick that sells online for $18.99.  At $5, we like this one just as much. The applicator brush is similar and both lipsticks wear nicely.  Jeffree Star’s can only be purchased online plus shipping, so we think Wet n Wild’s new lip color is the steal vs the splurge. Kudos to Wet n Wild, as they became cruelty free this year as well!

Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon Gloss ($8.99) – New from Burt’s Bees is this nice tinted shade that wears like a gloss in a smooth crayon applicator.  We like it and like when Burt’s Bees introduces new products to their line.

Beautiful Brushes

*Real Techniques by Sam & Nic Techniques Finish Sculpting Set ($19.99) – Sisters Sam & Nic Chapman are professional makeup artists with a popular YouTube channel that shares all kinds of makeup tutorials. With each purchase, head to their YouTube channel to learn tips on how to best use their products.  This three-brush set includes a sculpting brush with a wide angled head that will create defined contours using cream and liquid bronzer or contour makeup.  The second brush in the set is the fan brush, which softly sweeps on powders and whisks away excess makeup.  The third brush in the set is the setting brush and it completes a look with a controlled dusting of powder or highlighting.  For $19.99, we also like that it comes with a brush holder that stands upright to keep brushes clean and organized.

 Sponge Love

*Real Techniques Eyes Miracle Mini Eraser Sponges ($5.99) – These are the perfect mini size for under the eyes.  We like this one over the Beauty Blender line because this cost less and we think works just as well, if not better.  We also love that you get two of these cute little blenders because, as the Real Techniques YouTube tutorial on this product explains, one can be used for applying makeup and the other for cleaning up.  So, the flat side of this teeny eraser sponge works great for blending under eye concealer.  The tip fits around the nose contour and the tiny place on the inside of the corner of the eye perfectly.  Use the rounded sponge side to blend eye shadow.  These two teeny sponges do so much, so we give a thumbs up to these cute and useful mini eraser sponges.

*CoverGirl Outlast All-Day Matte Finishing Powder ($9.99) – One of our favorite new products because this compact powder works great in the morning and as a touch-up throughout the day.  It is lightweight, hides imperfections and minimizes shine without clogging pours.

All About Brows

*L’Oréal Brow Stylist Kabuki Blender ($12.99) – For those who want a thick brow, check out this brow stylist soft and creamy crayon that has a kabuki brush on one end that enables smooth blending. Use lightly for a more natural look and go for it with heavier blending to show off a statement brow, which continues to be all the rage in 2017.

*L’Oréal Brow Stylist Frame & Set ($12.99) — Anastacia Brow Beverly Hills is a popular expensive brand that is all about the brow and is very popular.  We think that this L’Oréal product is just as good.  With this L’Oréal set, you get both the two-ended styling brush and the cream makeup for $12.99 and with the more expensive line mentioned above, the duo brush sells for $18 and the makeup costs $18 compared to this set of all three for $12.99.

*Maybelline Brow Precise Highlighter ($7.99) – Brow highlighters are in and this one does the job.  With the angled tip applicator, this creamy highlighter goes above and below the brow to highlight and shape nicely groomed eyebrows.

For the Face

*Maybelline Dream Cushion Fresh Face Foundation ($15.99) – Dream foundation by Maybelline is loved by many, so it is cool that this year it is offered in a transportable on-the-go convenient compact.  It comes with a cushion applicator with a little sleeve so that fingers can be inserted in the pad and applied to give buildable coverage.

*Maybelline Master Camo Color Correcting Kit ($12.99) – This cool kit does three things that include correcting, concealing and highlighting.  The green palette reduces redness, the orange and apricot reduce discoloration and the yellow brightens skin.  For undereye circles and to blend over imperfections and to highlight brows as well.  This palette does it all.

Wet n Wild Concealer Corrector ($3.99) – Our testers loved this creamy concealer that hides under eye circles, blemishes and discolorations well.

*Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Purifying Foam Cleanser ($12) – So fun that Walgreens carries the unique and trendy Soap & Glory line.  New for this brand is this foam cleanser that contains witch hazel and helps to shrink pores.  I didn’t try this since I have sensitive skin and use specific facial cleansers, but our blog testers tell me that it worked well for them.

*Wet n Wild Mega Cushion Contour ($5.99) – Wet n’ Wild has some fabulous new products out this year including this cool compact that enables a smooth and contoured blush line on the cheeks. The shade that is out now is the Café Au Slay! color.

*Wet n Wild Mega Cushion Highlight Illuminator ($5.99) – This one is similar to the cushion contour above, but this one is used to add highlights that illuminate and give a glow to the skin.

As you can see, there a lot of new products in the 2017 beauty aisle.  Do you know about a new beauty item that is a must have?  Share in the comments section.  Happy 2017 beauty shopping!

 

 

 

BadLotion Means Good Body Oils

You go girl, I say to local BadLotion owner, Jenny Isabel.  BadLotion is a Phoenix based (love supporting local) labor of love by a solo female entrepreneur that offers carrier based oils that nurture the skin.  BadLotion-Oil-Menu-1024x344All of BadLotion’s amazing oils are organic or organically grown and are beautifully displayed in recycled glassware with packaging that is close to 90% recycled materials, with the goal to be at 100% soon.  oil-botsI am a fan of products that are organic and earth friendly and BadLotion achieves both so right off the bat, I was intrigued to learn more about Jenny and her oil selection.  She gave me a sample box to experience for myself so I could share my thoughts with my readers.

The outer and earth friendly box is so pretty and I immediately thought what a great holiday gift this would make for friends and family. outer-pkgAnd the inside is very inviting in the environmentally green bottles.  I couldn’t wait to dive in and try my oils! inside-bOne thing that makes BadLotion unique is that Jenny offers personalized suggestions about which oils and oil combinations may best suit her clients’ skincare needs.  This is helpful, especially if you are new to the many benefits of carrier oils, which would describe myself.

So I asked Jenny for her oils suggestion for this manic managed mom and I like what she recommended. She gave me Green Coffee (great name), Hemp and Pracaxi.  oil-from-siteLet’s talk about each…

*Green Coffee – right away this name intrigued me.  I love coffee and I love earth friendly green, which is also one of the stones in my wedding ring.  I like all things emerald, so I thought it was interesting that Jenny chose this oil sample for me.  This particular oil contains wonderful antioxidants and enzymes that help to repair skin.  This is quite helpful for those of us living in our dry desert climate.  This oil is also skin smoothing so I believe it helps with anti-aging so I choose to apply it all over my almost 50-year-old body.

*Hemp – this oil moisturizes, builds and helps to maintain healthy skin.  I like the light, almost nutty scent.  Jenny suggests applying the oil after a shower when skin is damp and pores are open as this absorbs the nurturing oils that much faster.  And a teeny bit goes a long way so I use just a dab that I rub on my palms first.  Then I apply all over and it feels great and my skin looks healthy and glowing.  Love that!

*Pracaxi – this oil helps with cleansing and restoring damaged skin and many of us Arizonans have such skin from the overabundance of sun exposure we get living here.  So I also use this one as an anti-aging property.

I am very new to these oils, so I am experimenting as I go.  Jenny is the expert and she can share her suggested oil combinations for different skin types and needs.  Her website at badlotion.com thoroughly explains each oil and the categories they fall into along with how each can treat, repair, moisturize and more.  I recommend checking out badlotion for an education on the multiple benefits of oils and to see a local, organic product that is the real deal in oils.  Your body will thank you!

I will say that since I have made a few changes, I feel…and I think I look…so much better.  Woo hoo! pushin-50My changes have been cleaner eating, 4 to 5 times weekly gym workouts, finally treatment for my thyroid (that blog post coming soon) and these incredible oils from badlotion.com!

 

Managedmoms thanks Badlotion for the samples.  My opinion about how much I love these oils is 100% my very own. 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Just Eye It: All About Reading Glasses

managedmoms_1checkAs I stood in the sunlight last year squinting while I looked down at the instructions on the vitamin bottle, my daughter asked me what in the world was I doing and did I need help reading something.  Yes indeed I did but I wasn’t ready to mess with learning about and shopping for reading glasses.  A few days later while out to dinner with pals, I was annoyed by the nice candlelit atmosphere and quickly turned the flashlight on my cell phone to read the menu.  OK time to get the readers I had to admit!

Being in my late 40s, this is pretty typical for a lot of us, so when our host on the morning show I work on asked me to do a little research on readers, I agreed that this is a good idea. And because I hadn’t done the research before I bought my first pair (I chose only on the snazzy factor!) I was wearing the wrong strength which wasn’t good for my eyes.  So be sure to read on to learn how to quickly and easily take a visual test to determine which strength is needed and where to find cute styles for less.readers-stuff

Check out a great website called Readers.com because the site has a handy simple one sheet guide that quickly and easily helps you determine which strength is needed for your reading glasses purchase.

Go to my link below to see this chart on the readers.com website. Then you can take the quick quiz to find your reading glasses strength.

Go to this link to see this chart on the readers.com website. Then you can take the quick quiz to find your reading glasses strength.

With the strength number ranging from +1.00 to +3.25, with lots of numbers in between, it is useful to know the exact strength needed before buying the glasses.  After I took the 2 second quiz, I now know that I need a +1.50 strength.

Once the strength is determined, it is time for the fun part…shopping for a stylish pair.  Readers come in very basic styles or fun and trendy looks, too.  I even found this stylish pair called The Topez Sun Reader on Readers.com that double as sun glasses with 99% UVA/UVB sun protection so no one will even know that my shades are readers.  readers-shadesI paid $21.95 for mine and readers.com shipped them to me.  The only disadvantage of buying readers online is that I couldn’t try them on first, but I was happy with my purchase.  They have a wide selection of reading glasses for everyone with a good variety of the readers sunglasses, too.  Readers.com even has a celebrity page that shows stars wearing stylish readers.  Similar styles can be purchased on the site.

When it comes to economical shopping for reading glasses, consider buying in bulk from Sam’s Club or Costco.  Since I can get four pairs for $15.88 at Sam’s Club, that is a good value. sams-readersAnd with my oldest kid in college now, we are on a pretty tight budget these days.  The styles aren’t as trendy as what is offered at readers.com but you will pay more for the stylish ones.

I also found some fabulous readers at Urbayn gift stores. This pair below cost me $20 and Urbayn had fancier glasses for $35 and some even that cost as much as $70.  I am happy with my $20 pair below. urbayn-readersUrbayn has two hip locations in Scottsdale and in Chandler.  Other sites like overstock.com have some good looking ones with mid range prices.

So figure out your reading glasses strength and have fun shopping.  Do get them if you need them so you stop straining your eyes, which also enhances wrinkles, too.  You and your eyes will be glad that you finally gave in to your need for readers!

 

 

Anti Belly Bloat Water Recipe, Homemade Grits, Pony Tail Styles, Hot New Beauty Line at Walgreens and More!

Last week I got to cohost KTVK’s “Your Life A to Z’ show and among lots of other cool things, I showed a simple recipe for a refreshing spa water that hydrates and helps with belly bloat (fast forward to 13:47 to find that).  Plus I got to learn how to make hearty and flavorful grits and a spicy shrimp dish with Chef Christoper Collins from Grassroots Kitchen & Tap (at 4:53 in show).  I also showed the hot new beauty line called Soap & Glory from the UK to hit Walgreens stores plus the show had several other segments that included fitness, stylish pony tail tips for different hair lengths (seen at beginning of show) and more! And check out the super food that the show’s fitness expert says to eat daily to help to lose weight (at 13:16 in show) So take a look in case you missed it!

 

Pamper Mom Or Yourself With Celeb Favorite Facial At MD Skin Lounge!

Our managedmoms.com team writer, Julie accompanied me to the new MD Skin Lounge in Scottsdale to try out the facial that celebrities like Madonna receive before her shows called the Intraceuticals Oxygen Facial. I have super sensitive skin so I was a bit worried about how my delicate facial skin would react to the treatment while Julie is an experienced spa treatment gal so she has tried a variety of facials and has experience with which ones work well.  So here is Julie’s review first of the MD Skin Lounge Oxygen Facial followed by mine…

Julie says:

Walking into MD Skin Lounge in North Scottsdale is like walking into spa heaven.  IMG_0645--Pristine white, glass shelves with the best of the best in skincare products and plush gray chairs invite you in. IMG_0641The receptionist was friendly and offered us one of their complimentary juices. I tried the watermelon hydration juice and loved it so much I’m going to look for a recipe to make one at home! juice bottle

The treatment I received was an oxygen facial by Intraceuticals, a celebrity favorite before red carpet events. Now I see why! If I had the budget I’d have this treatment done weekly or buy a machine like Madonna has. My skin normally has a healthy glow. I use a professional lightening and brightening product by Skinmedica called Lytera so to notice a glow beyond that was impressive. I also noticed my pores had pretty much disappeared and my skin felt hydrated and healthy.

Receiving the treatment was relaxing as a pen delivers a cool mixture of Hyaluronic Acid, vitamins and peptides that brighten and firm the skin. Adding a blanket to keep you warm makes the experience that much more relaxing. Unlike with some procedures, there is no downtime and you walk out of there looking instantly radiant.

Since most of us don’t have a pop star budget and can’t afford our own machine, I would highly recommend this treatment before special events like weddings, graduation season, the holidays, your birthday or when your skin is looking dull and sluggish and you just want a pick me up.  Or if you really want to jump start your skincare routine, have a series of weekly facials and then do monthly maintenance as was suggested by another skincare professional.

Rachel’s take:

Julie gave such a good description that I don’t have to say much except to tell you that my super delicate skin did great!  While relaxing with the comfy spa blanket over me, the very skilled and very nice aesthetician did a fabulous job of applying the facial to my skin while also explaining the steps of the process.  I was ultra relaxed and my face responded beautifully with no redness, no reaction and instead a healthy glow with a face that felt and look refreshed, plump and rejuvenated.  I see why celebrities love this treatment!

This place also stocks quality top of the line professional skin care products for your every need.  IMG_0668--We were impressed with the selection and the quality offered at MD Skin Lounge.

Specials & Mother’s Day Discounts!

Want to try this and other great treatments at MD Skin Lounge, too?  Great news!  To celebrate Mother’s Day, MD Skin Lounge is offering a $20 bonus with the purchase of a $100 gift card for the entire month of May! They also are hosting a special Mini Peel event this Wednesday, May 4 where patients can receive a 30-minute peel for $50 (regularly $150). To book appointments, call 480.878.5213.

Both Julie and I highly recommend MD Skin Lounge for the Oxygen Facial and we are anxious to try other services at this very nice spa soon!  We were so relaxed from the minute we set foot into MD Skin Lounge until we left a few hours later.  IMG_0679--Busy women need to remember to take time out of hectic schedules to pamper and care for ourselves and this place does just that for us gals!  We can’t wait to go back!  Give it a try!  Book a girls day and/or let your peeps know that this would make one terrific Mother’s Day gift!

 

 

A big thank you to MD Skin Lounge for the trial facials for this review.  Our opinion about how much we truly loved our spa experience and the facial is 100% our own.