Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: Influenster Uni Voxbox!

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Ciao dears,

        I’ve been super busy lately, as always, I know.  I’ve missed blogging and talking to you all.  I’ll be done with my graduate classes after this Thursday though, so after that I’ll have one less thing to keep me from having time to blog.  I’m intending on making it a priority after that (Sorry, school, work, and life had to come first.)

        So, the purpose of today’s post is to show you guys some awesome products that I was sent in a Uni (University) Vox Box last month to review.  Although I’m not an undergraduate college student, I’m guessing they chose me for this box because I’m still in college/university as a graduate student.  All of these products aren’t really specific to college students anyway, just useful products for women/girls. 

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1.) NYC Cosmetics: Expert Last Lip Color in Forever Fuchsia

        This was one of my favorite products. I wore this lip color quite often and will continue into the rest of spring and summer. It’s the perfect bright pink shade for these seasons! It also stays on really well and even stained my lips for a few hours even after it started to wear off or was wiped off.  It’s also very smooth and easy to apply.  Here’s a couple pictures of me wearing this pretty shade.

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2.) Rimmel London: Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation (Shade: Light Porcelain)

        I have been using this foundation everyday and have loved it as well!  It does definitely keep your face staying matte all day long.  I chose the lightest shade because I generally need very light foundation because I’m so pale, but this one might have been a tiny bit too pale.  I have mixed it with another foundation a few times to darken it a bit, but it’s my fault for choosing the shade.  It’s fine on it’s own though as well.  It’s very light and doesn’t feel too heavy.  It stay smooth and lasts all day, keeping my skin shine free.  My only issue with this was that sometimes it got a bit drying and got clumpy under my eyes.  I still like it though,, I just need to use concealer under my eyes instead.  I’m also wearing the foundation in those 2 pictures above,

3.) Broadway Nails: ImPRESS Press-On Manicure 

        I gave these pretty purple nails to my mom to wear because my nails are currently pretty long and I didn’t want to put shorter ones on top of them.  They were easy for her to apply and stayed on for a few days, about 5.  I’m not a big fan of press on nails personally, but they’re nice if you want quick nails or if yours are short. I’m sorry I forgot to get a picture of these on her.

4.) Pilot Acroball Pure White Pen

        This pen was bright white with fun bright orange details.  Who doesn’t love a pretty pen?  The point of the pen was very sharp and easy to use.  I’ve been using this pen often at work as a teacher and it’s lasted a while so far. 

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5.) Playtex Sport Fresh Balance Tampons

        I asked my 16 year old niece to use these and review them for me because I don’t use tampons ever.  ( I use pads, and have just never wanted to use tampons for personal reasons).  Her first reaction when she opened the box was something like “Oh my gosh, it smells like flowers!!”  So, I ‘d say if safe to say they smell pretty and floral. Smile  She is also a dancer at an arts high school as well as on a soccer team and she didn’t have any issues with them leaking or anything.  So, these are great for sports or dancing as well.  

6.) Red Rose: Real Tea Premium Water Enhancer

        I loved this stuff!  I’m always drinking some kind of diet/low calorie water enhancer or iced tea mix, so this was perfect for me.  I added it to my water bottle every day and it was so tasty!  Unlike some other similar drink mixes, this one has no dyes or colorings and is made from real tea.  You can really taste the difference, it tastes just like homemade fresh brewed tea, not the powdery stuff.   

 

P.S. These products were received courtesy of Influenster

♥♥ Xoxo Gabriella

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Easy Salon Straight Hair: Coolway True Smooth Spray Review!

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Ciao dears!,

        I’ve missed you!  I posted a bunch of posts in the beginning of March and then got super busy, as always.  I still have a ton of new posts coming soon, so keep checking back!  Today’s topic is a review of a hair product I know lots of girls would love: Coolway’s True Smooth Spray!  It is basically a straightening spray that also strengthens your hair, protects it from heat and prevents breakage.  How awesome is that!?  I love products that don’t damage your hair but protect it while styling it, especially since I have so much hair.  Here’s a quote from a Beauty Stat newsletter to further describe the spray:

“True Smooth™ contains °Coolway’s groundbreaking Amino Lock MAB molecule, which is activated by your own blow dryer to hold your style from the inside of the hair as you are drying it. You’ll get the same smooth, frizz-free results you would get from a flat iron without the damage and actually using one. True Smooth™ customers are calling it “a blow-dry bar in a bottle.” It is even clinically proven to strengthen hair up to 4Xs and reduce breakage by 75%!”

Here are a few key points about True Smooth Spray as well (from the Coolway website):

  • Look like you just stepped out of a salon, everyday
  • Get flat iron results with just your blow dryer
  • Fast and easy! Blow Dry to smooth in half the time
  • Clinically proven to: Strengthen hair four times
    reduce hair breakage by 75%, and reduce frizz by 50%
  • Safe and effective for all hair types

        Sounds great right?!   The question is…does it really work?    I tested it out twice to find out just that.

Before: For reference, this is what my natural hair looks like if I blow dry it and let it be wavy/curly on it’s own without and kind of iron.

It’s super wavy/curly and frizzy and pretty much the opposite of straight and smooth.

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After:

Trial 1:

        Here’s what my hair looked like after the first time I tried the True Smooth spray.  After washing my hair, as it was very damp, I sprayed 45 sprays throughout my hair and combed it through.  It was recommended by BeautyStat/Coolway that you shake the bottle then apply either 25 (for short hair), 35 (for shoulder length hair), or 45 (for longer hair) sprays evenly throughout hair.

        It did make my hair pretty straight and smooth, not really too frizzy, as my hair tends to be.  If I try to blow dry my hair straight without any product, it’d be huge, poufy, frizzy, and in need of a flat iron, BUT when using the True Smooth spray, it’s much better looking.  I could use an iron to get a super straight look, but this is more voluminous and looks more like you just came out of a salon. Smile  Another awesome benefit of this spray is that it shortens your drying time.  I generally avoid blow drying my hair straight very often because it takes me about an hour, maybe a few minutes more.  Using this spray, it only took me about 35 or so minutes.  Keep in mind my hair is super thick, so of course most people would need a much shorter time.   

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Trial 2:

        I tried the product a second time, as was suggested by Beauty Stat.  It worked pretty much the same, but maybe a bit better.  My hair was again smooth and straight and frizz free.

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        Overall based on my results, I would definitely recommend this product.  If it works pretty well for my thick curly hair I’m sure it will work well for any other hair type as well.  If you’d like to buy and try out this spray for yourself, you can use the coupon code: BeautyStat14 to receive a 10% discount on all°Coolway purchases at www.coolwayhair.com (not including shipping revenue and taxes) or you can try it with a 30 day money back guarantee at getcoolway.com.  It sells for $24.95 a bottle.

P.S. This item was provided for review courtesy of BeautyStat.com.

                                                                                   ♥♥ Xoxo Gabriella

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Double Nutella Cake!: Nutella Layer Cake with Nutella Buttercream Frosting!

Ciao dears!,

        How amazing is Nutella?!  If you haven’t tried it (where have you been?), get some…now!  It’s choclately hazelnut spread that tastes magical.  For my boyfriend’s birthday this past July, I made him a double Nutella cake because it’s one of his favorite things to eat.  He’ll eat it out of the jar with a spoon if you let him (maybe I’ve done that too on occasion…it’s so yummy!).  The cake and the frosting both turned out super rich, chocolate-hazelnutty and delicious!  Try it! Smile Check out the recipe and more pictures below.  

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Ingredients:

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For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 Cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 stick butter at room temperature
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I sometimes just add a tsp. of lemon juice to whole milk or whatever you prefer and let it sit a few minutes)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 or 2 squares of baking chocolate

For the Nutella Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

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Directions:

Nutella Layer Cake:

1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed with a mixer for about 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (the batter will be thin).  Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans, and flip over onto wire racks. Cool completely. 

Nutella Buttercream Frosting:

1. In the bottom of a stand mixer (using the paddle attachment), cream the butter and sugar together on low until well mixed. Add the Nutella and increase speed to medium.  Beat for two minutes.

2. Add the vanilla extract and salt, beating for an additional 30 seconds.

3. Add the heavy cream and continue to beat for about one minute, or until frosting lightens slightly in both color and texture.

4. Frost all the layers of your cake, decorate it, and enjoy! 

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See, Nutella cake makes a happy boyfriend!  Smile

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Here’s some cute pictures of us on his birthday, being cute and silly. <3

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Dress: Target. Wedges: Avenue, Belt: Downtown Philadelphia somewhere?, Earrings: Forever 21, Lipstick: MAC Ruby Woo (one of my favorite reds!)

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Love!

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                                                                                              ♥♥ Xoxo Gabriella

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dreaming in Pink: Pink Princess Dress

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Ciao darlings!,

        Here is another fun day I had this summer playing dress up!  Of course, there are tons of pictures, as is to be expected on this blog. Smile  This was my bridesmaid dress form my sister’s wedding.  I loved it so much that I needed to create an excuse to wear it again.  It’s my favorite shade of pale pretty pink.  It’s chiffon and flowing and long. It’s a summery princess dress and I adore it.   I was super excited when I first tried it on and may have tried to convince my sister that pink was a good color choice.  I hope you enjoy the plethora of silly pictures of me twirling and having fun.  Have a lovey weekend! Don’t forget to follow the blog (all link on the right side!) and keep checking back for many many updates! Smile     

 

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Dress: Allure (style 1221 in blossom), Shoes: DSW, Flower Crowns: I made them (tutorial coming soon!), Necklace: Francesca’s  

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Red lips and roses change everything!  Not really…ha!  It does give it a bit of a different, less fairy princess look though.

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Shoes: Easy Pickens, Necklace & Earrings: Jewelry store in the Cherry Hill Mall

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Time for twirling…of course! Smile

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                                                                                       ♥♥ Xoxo Gabriella