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Apr 26, 2016

New Year, New Look with Clairol Nice ‘n Easy Hair Color

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Clairol Nice ’n Easy for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I've been dying my hair for as long as I can remember. It's to the point where I don't believe that my natural hair color is, in fact, what it is and of course my hair decides to grow longer than a temporary color stays in. Needless to say, I was ready to try something new.

Clairol Nice ’n Easy hair color was that something. One of the first things that stood out to me about the brand was that they have 45 shades that range from the brightest blonde to a deep natural blue/black. This was important to me because it meant that I had more options to choose from. I have dark brown hair with red undertones so finding the perfect shade is very important. After all, I always want a hair color that looks natural and doesn't make it obvious that I've colored my hair. Choosing the right shade was easy because the back of the boxes lets you know what the hair color would look like based on the shade you currently have now.

Even though I've dyed my hair before I did the skin allergy test that was recommended because I've never used this product before. Every brand and product are different and sometimes a company changes their ingredient and even the slightest change can cause an allergic reaction. It's best to do the skin allergy test in an area that is discreet, like the inside of your elbow or the back of your neck, 48 hours before you plan on dying your hair to ensure that you'll be good to go and not have any issues while coloring.

 


Clairol Nice n' Easy hair color came with the instructions, gloves and three different bottles that are labeled very detailed so you know exactly what to do. The color blend formula is to be added to the color activated bottle and shaken with the tip still in place or a gloved hand to avoid putting color all over your walls that should go on your head.
 



Check out this quick how-to video that I created discussing what my process was using this product for the first time.



Once the product was in my hair I let it sit for 25 minutes before rinsing it off. It wasn't long before the water ran clear and all the excess dye was gone from my head. My hair felt a but dry at that time so it's great that their CC+ Colorseal Conditioner gave it the moisture that it needed. Even with my thick head of hair I only had to use a little more than half of the tube and when I rinsed it off after 2 minutes the softness was back.
 

Since I have extremely thick and curly hair it took about 2 hours to get it completely dry and straight. The end result was a color that was a bit darker than I thought it would be but that was perfect because even though I living in sunny SoCal, the days here have not been so sunny lately, so having it a bit dark was great. Plus, it got rid of the red undertones in my hair that I am really not a fan of. Check out the end result below. Compared to the color in the video, I'd say it's a bit more natural because it's not as light as I had it before.

I'm awful at straightening my roots but I'm loving this new color!
It's a new year so why not try something different. Coloring your own hair at home is quick, easy, and not to mention inexpensive so head over to their website to read up on their product before you go out and pick the perfect shade for the look you're going for.

Don't forget to check out some other how-to video's on the Clairol YouTube channel and link up with them on Clairol Twitter to stay up to date with their product line!
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Apr 24, 2016

Let OrthoSnap Help Straighten Your Teeth!

photo by OrthoSnapNY
 

I had my teeth straightened about 8 years ago and I was really happy with the results. I didn't need wires, my teeth got super straight and it gave me confidence with my smile. Fast forward to today and after not wearing my retainer for a few years.....I'm back to square one. All my fault, I know!
The cost to get it all done was hefty, as was the time it took for all of the appointments. But that was when there was only one brand of clear aligners out on the market. Now there's OrthoSnap, a better alternative to braces that can result in straighter teeth with less visits to the dentist which of course, cuts the cost overall.

Apparently, OrthoSnap work better than other aligners like Invisalign and to top it off they won't charge for lost aligners,  additional ones if the job isn't done exactly how you want them and they include a retainer if needed. The fact that they say they will give a free retainer if needed means that they really have a way to straighten teeth better than with metal braces or Invisalign and won't make your teeth go back to their old crooked ways immediately after you stop wearing them.


photo by OrthoSnapNY

OrthoSnap has two offices in NYC-one in Manhattan and another in Brooklyn, and they offer online and in person free consultations that you can schedule by calling 1-844-678-4676. I know so many people that are still trying to find ways to keep their appearances up and having a nice, straight smile is totally the way to go about it.

Apr 22, 2016

Keeping Up With My Natural Lifestyle with Tom's of Maine's Products at Target

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tom's of Maine. All opinions are 100% mine.


The longer I stay in Los Angeles the more natural my life is becoming. It's not as a way to "fit in" but having almost unlimited sunshine makes me want to take care of myself, and all that surrounds me, more than usual.

Tom's of Maine Luminous White Made to Matter Toothpaste is one of the things that is helping me with this. Not only do they have a reputation for using the most natural ingredients, but their new products work really amazing while doing so.





I purchased their Luminous White Toothpaste which is exclusively sold at Target, and was very happy with the results from the first use. Not only did it not include ingredients that I didn't need, but it left my mouth and teeth feeling extremely clean and fresh.


I've never been one to "celebrate" or do anything for Earth Day but now I realize that I'm celebrating it every day. I walk a lot more than driving or taking mass transit, I started to grow my own herbs and vegetables in order to ensure that I'm only putting the best, organic ingredients into my body and I try to not be wasteful overall in terms of saving energy when it's a cool night out, etc.



All of my loyal readers know that I'm slowly making the transition into living a greener lifestyle and I can't only do that with the foods in eating.
Buying from a company like Tom's of Maine, which I never would have done before while I was living in New York City, is just an extra step in helping me live a better a greener life. It's especially easy when the product totally rocks and I can give it a glowing recommendation. Make sure to put these items on your Cartwheel App and take advantage of their cartwheel offer so that you don't forget to grab it on your next trip to Target!

And if you've got a man in the house or kids that you're buying toiletries for check our their other Made to Matter items like the North Woods deodorant for men as well as their Wicked Cool! one for kids so that the whole family can get involved!


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Apr 21, 2016

Aromatherapy Diffuser & Oils




I love using essential oils but have never been a fan of having to light a candle in order to release the scent. It makes me paranoid and as soon as the tea light candle burns out...there goes the scent! So I was super excited to finally get an electric diffuser that wasn't plain or boring looking. Not to mention all the oils I've been craving so it was cool that Anjou let me give their diffuser and oils a try. 

I really like how this Anjou Diffuser has the oil come out as a mist and it's not too little or too much. The light in it is pretty amazing too. I usually keep mine set to change but if I'm in the mood for a nice blue light of a deep purple I can have it stay in that position.


I'm glad I got it and use it every night before I go to bed. It lets me wind down after my long workday before I get some shut eye. The Anjou Aromatherapy Oils that are my favorite are the lavender and lemongrass but the tea tree oil is starting to grow on me as well. So far I've been using the oils in my diffuser as well as for my very own sea salt scrub that's really invigorating and relaxing. Just a few drops was all I needed to give my scrub a really strong scent and I bound the salt and oils with just enough honey to keep things together but not too much that it would be sticky or overpowering.




If you want to give them a shot for yourself Anjou is letting me give my readers 20% off until May 31st so you can get one or both of these items at a discount.



Apr 20, 2016

Okay, I Admit it: I Take Selfies



I can see how this will come in handy for my iPhone 6 photography. I don't do selfies on a regular basis, however, I do like getting photos with better lighting, and this device lets me do just that!

The LED light comes with a charging cord and is charged individually of it's own: when you plug it into your phone, it isn't using your phone's battery resources. It has several settings of light: high, medium and low. It's helpful to know that this device does not "Flash" when you take the photo, but stays on when you turn it on.

Another thing that is helpful to know is that if you have an iPhone 5 or later, because the headphone jack is on the bottom of your phone, you're going to have some weird lighting if you are doing selfie's. The photo of the device shows that it is plugged into an iPhone and that it is upside down: notice that on your iPhone camera, you will have to press your shutter button from the top (or use your volume button). It's a bit awkward, which is why I made my review a 4 star.

Aside from this fact, it's definitely going to be a useful product for my purposes: thinking outside of the box and will be using it for different purposes.

I received this product at a reduced cost in exchange for my honest review. Thanks ActionFly!

Apr 19, 2016

Moving Around Until You Set Down Roots Shouldn't Be a Burden

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CORT. All opinions are 100% mine.
Staying in one place for long is not my idea of fun!



I'm that one obnoxious person that can easily say they're a NYLA. Or that wants to say it at least! With my heart and soul in New York City and my body in Los Angeles it's hard to do certain things that mean I'm setting roots. Getting a California ID was tough and I cringe whenever I call a highway the freeway but one thing that I haven't done yet is fully furnish a place.

Next month is my four years anniversary (or moviversary, because why not?) and it's a great time to reflect on how deep my roots here have gotten. I went from living in a studio apt with a Murphy bed in a questionable part of North Hollywood to one of the most coveted luxury buildings in the area but I can count on one hand how much furniture I've actually purchased. Committing to a couch means I'm committing to this city and while I love it I love that Paris and London are in my not so distant future.

When I moved into my new building I was checking out all the things offered and saw that I would get discounts from CORT Furniture Rental. I checked out their site, their offerings, and thought it was a great idea for someone like me. Fast forward to now, three months later, and the opportunity to delve deep into what CORT was all about and share it with my readers landed on my lap.





I love that CORT has more than one option
 

What initially drew me to CORT was that they had items listed by room or by piece. I'm good on bedroom furniture but my living room still needs a lot of work. I've been hesitant to purchase anything pricey because I feel like I'd rather do that when I buy a home. I've also avoided buying second hand items from online sites because I would feel a lot more comfortable knowing that everything in my place has always been well kept.

The great thing about CORT is how convenient it is. If you're like me and like to move around a lot it's so much easier and convenient to not have to deal with moving large items from place to place and rent furniture instead. For someone like me, with very little things in terms or furniture, their move in ready package is amazing because all you have to do is go on their site and pick things out room and room and voila...no need to wait months to have a fully furnished place with things that may not work out with the next apartment.






This is what my latest apt looked like for almost 3 months as I slowly got it furnished

There are always two things that happen when I move. One, I end up getting rid of a ton of things and then two, once I move into my new place, I go through another purging. With my clothes, shoes, records and sentimental items being the main focus of my moves I'm so glad I don't have to worry about whether or not a couch that I bought secondhand is worth the move.

If you're thinking of making a big move across the country or are moving out on your own for the first time you should totally give CORT a try. They have a wide range of styles that you can chose from and if you decide that the place you're in isn't for you it relieves you of the stress of trying to sell things you don't deem worthy enough to move!
 
 




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Light Your Purse Up



I like big purses and I cannot lie. Sadly though, this means that whenever I need to find something it takes ages and it usually ends up with me in panic mode thinking that I lost something.

I usually have to use the flashlight on my phone to get light to shine in but there are moments where my phone is the item that I'm actually looking for. Having a purse light is something I never knew I needed. This light is great and works a lot better than I expected it to.

I have this light by Wasserstein on the zipper of the inside pocket of my purse and I like that it turns on automatically due to its sensor and it's actually really bright. I use it for my current purse, which is a larger one, and I keep it filled with everything that I need if I'm going to be out all day. Having a light that helps me find things in my purse while in the back of a car or just when the lighting is low.


This is a must for everyone that carries a big bag around and doesn't want to freak out while looking for something important in their purse and the fact that there's no need to find the light to get it to work--since when I just had it thrown in my purse it would go on automatically--makes it all the better.

You can grab it on Amazon here. Actually, make sure you grab more than one, you're going to want one in all of your favorite purses!

Apr 16, 2016

Smoothly Shea Unrefined Shea Butter


I am a certified Shea Butter groupie. I love how soft and smooth it makes my skin feel and the smell is heavenly and unobtrusive.

Smoothly Shea Premium Grade A Unrefined Shea Butter is a great moisturizer for anyone that suffers from dry skin like I do. A little bit goes a long way and this nice 8 oz package I'm sure will last me a long time.

Unlike other Shea butters that I've used this one has no artificial, overpowering scent and isn't greasy at all. Plus it's organic which means you're not letting chemicals seep into your system if you're someone really into that stuff. The more you apply the longer it takes to seep into the skin so it's a good idea to start with a smaller amount and build up. I tend to rub this on my skin after I shower but before I get dressed to give it time to absorb while I go my hair or get my lunch ready for the day.

It's a great size for the price and I highly recommend picking one of these up from Amazon. Most Shea butter moisturizers on the market will cost a dry arm and leg for such a large package and will not be natural.

Apr 13, 2016

Organo Oil's Peppermint Oil




I've become really into oils lately because I like how fresh some of them make my place smell. Although I love the smell of vanilla and sandalwood but recently I've stayed away from heavy scents in lieu of refreshing ones like peppermint, lemon and lemongrass.

I recently received a package from Organo Oils with a 4 oz bottle of their peppermint essential oil. I was really happy to receive the peppermint oil because I plan on using it to help keep cool during the super hot fall mornings. My apt is massive with a cathedral ceiling so despite the cooler fall weather my apt is a hotbox in the mornings.

Along with using the peppermint oil to help keep my body cool after a shower I like using it to give my apartment a refreshing scent. I mix about two drops of the peppermint oil in my diffusers that I have places in my bedroom and bathroom and the smell is absolutely amazing and awakening. Living in such an airy place now let's it travel down to the main level in my apt as well as out on my balcony.

All in all, this is a pretty solid oil. It isn't runny or thick and doesn't smell synthetic. It's potent, the amount in the bottle is great and  I can totally see myself picking up more of their oils!


Apr 12, 2016

All Shoes are Make For Walking Thanks to Foot Petals Sock-free Saviors

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Foot Petals for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
Having had to commute to school and work using mass transit for over 15 years has made a walker out of me. Even now that I live in LA I prefer to pound the pavement if I'm going somewhere that requires a walk that's 20 mins and under. I take a car to and from work about 6 times a week and I walk the others. I like walking because it lets me see things that I miss when I'm in a car and it lets me stop and smell the roses, or go into a shop to try on a pair of shoes on a whim.

Walking also gives me time to think. I remember years ago when I was in Paris for a solo trip I loved getting up early and go for walks so I could soak up the sights and sounds, and also get to know myself. With all that being said, sometimes walking gets on the way of my comfort. During my NYC days I lived by the theory that beautiful shoes required Tylenol because they were hardly ever comfortable. These days I'm a whole lot practical but still wear some shoes that aren't the best for walking, especially when my job requires me to look nice and run around taking care of our clients. 
I love how thin these are!
No need to worry about one size that doesn't fit all!

The Foot Petals Sock-free Saviors were easy to get fitted. I put the heel of my foot at the bottom edge of and checked to see if I needed to leave it as it was or cut it to medium or small. I had to go for medium so I went to work cutting them out and put them in my favorite pair of booties. With my Sock-Free Saviors I was ready to head on to work and then run some errands after wards without bringing along a pair of sandals or sneakers in order to really put them to the test. 

Making sure my favorite booties will always be comfy!
I decided to walk a little more than normal today because I wanted to see how long it would have taken for my feet to start getting tired and it took a bit longer than normal. I wasn't rushing to sit down whenever I had a free moment and the soles of my feet weren't in pain. I manage a lot of people at work and am always walking around the office answering questions, going to the printers or getting tons of coffee and I have noticed a major difference in how my feet feel afterwards.

 I'm really happy with these and even though they are made of materials that I can wear over and over, I think I'm going to get a few extra pairs to keep inside the shoes and boots that I wear the most when I'm ready to hit the town. I tend to wear a few of the same pairs of shoes over and over (creature of habit!) so the fact that they over odor control, keep my feet dry and are machine washable is amazing. I've never used any kind of insoles that were able to give me all three so I was walking on cloud nine over that.
 
These Foot Petals make being on my feet at work all day a dream!
 
April 1st is National Walk to Work Day and I plan on making full use of these. Let me know in the comments below if you plan to take advantage of it as well! And be sure to check out (and like) the Foot Petals Facebook to stay in the loop!
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