Year: 2014


Fullest Coverage Around

I have looked high and low for something that matches my skin, let alone successfully hides whatever I’m looking to keep from the world. No matter what I tried, nothing was exactly what I was looking for; there was always some type of flaw on my skin, whether it was me or the makeup.

But I have found it – I have found my skin’s savior, and it’s Dermablend.

I had heard from some friends that this stuff was the real deal – the industrial concealer made to cover tattoos. It got me thinking that if this brand can cover ink, what can it not do?

Thanks to help from some friendly folks at Ulta, we went through the different Dermablend products and shades and found which one was the best for me. Due to me rockin’ on a budget as well, I went with the concealer stick. One year later – and I still have a little under half of it left.

The real secret is that this product needs to be used with a makeup sponge. Not only does that save you over-using your concealer, but it ensures that you get the best coverage possible with the best product currently on the shelves.

I have tried everything from powders to liquids to mattes, and I can safely say that I will never own another concealer that does not bear the trademark of Dermablend.

If my word isn’t enough, check out the Dermablend confessions for yourself.

Smooth to the Touch

We’re all on a search for the right lotion – one that doesn’t leave a greasy residue once, even after spending 10 minutes trying to work it into your skin. While I still haven’t found the right lotion for the rest of my skin, I have found that nothing is quite like AVEDA’s hand relief lotion.

Last year, I was gifted a three pack of this amazing hand moisturizer, and it’s been all I can do to keep people from swiping it in the office or at home. One dab of this miracle moisturizer, as I like to call it, is all you need to make your hands feel renewed and soft. Best of all, it doesn’t leave an annoying grease residue on my hands as well as my things.

While the price to size ratio is a bit out of my budget, its healing powers have justified the money spent. I’ll cross my fingers that I’ll receive it as another present this year, but if not – it will be in my medicine cabinet, office space, and purse all the same.

Let’s Go to the Beach

There’s nothing quite like having those wavy locks after spending the day in the sun and sand – and there are few ways to successfully get the beach look without actually going to the beach. While Sun-In is a popular way to make your hair lighter, like you’ve been in the sun and at the beach all summer – nothing quite compares to the waves you get from Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray.

To preface this post, my hair is naturally wavy – but not in the ways I would like. It poofs. It frizzes. And it’s anything but the waves I would get when I used to live by the beach. So, in my mission to regain those salty locks that I love so dearly, I have been on a mission to find the best texturizing spray possible – and I believe I have found it.

Spraying the sea salt spray into damp hair on it’s own will naturally give you those waves like you’ve just come from the ocean, if you’re naturally wavy like me that is. If your hair is of a more straight nature, you will have to work the product in more in a crimping like fashion. Regardless, this spray will take your hair from winter to full blown beach-tastic summer.

I Like My Eyes in the Nude

This is yet another product of Urban Decay Cosmetics that I will not leave my home without – the Naked2 Eyeshadow Palette.

This palette offers everything that I need to take my look from day to night and everything in between. Want something simple? Done. Want a more complex, smokey-eye? Done. All of this in a compact case, equipped with a double-sided brush and wide mirror.

While I could do without the palette being so wide, making it more easily concealable for night out touch-ups (hint hint, Urban Decay), it has become a staple in my routine for every-day makeup routine.

The Naked3 palette has been released, as well, and is flying off shelves. Since I have not had this product for more than three months, I can not review it to the fullest extent – but all I can say is in nine more months I will have even more praise for this knock-out company.

I Choose Bank of America

I am a Bank of America customer, and I have been for 8 years. Before that, I have been a customer of Barnett Bank of Florida – another bank which I did not dislike. For a time I was a customer of Washington Mutual when we lived on the West Coast. Wells Fargo for mortgages (twice). No complaints on either of these companies.  But for the last 2 years, all primary personal “traditional” banking services have been provided by Bank of America.

Marketers have a lot of opinions on what makes you select a bank, I kind of fell into the relationship.  First came a credit card from Fleet Bank in Boston. At the time, it was one of the top rated Platinum MasterCard’s in the industry. Bank of America (BOA) bought Fleet and did not change credit terms, interest rate or add a fee.

So it began.

A move required a change in banks. I picked BOA solely based on the fact that they had a good online banking product. While the branches were not convenient for me, there were a couple close to my husband’s office. Their online banking linked all of my accounts without me having to enter them myself. Funds could be easily transferred between accounts and the bill pay was free of charge. Since then, the site continues to upgrade and add new features that make it even more user friendly. The coolest upgrade they have is a check deposit at the ATM, where you just scan the check and your receipt has a copy of the check on it. Whoop! It gives you confidence that there is will be no missed dollars when you have a picture!

But the site and the ATM deposit are not the reasons why I stay. I stay because when, and if, I have an issue, there is always someone to call. And if the answer you get doesn’t sound right, there is always someone else to call.  Here’s an example:

Over a year ago we decided to downsize. Our big house sold before we had a new place to move to, meaning we needed to deposit the equity dollars. I took the mid-six figure check to the local branch where the teller guided me to an assistant manager who took me through the steps. We opened new accounts, changed my account status, received all kinds of literature, his card and cell number. I left happy.

When it was time to move into our new home, we made a decision not to pay cash. I wanted to put a mortgage on the new place to have a third party appraiser establish the value. To do that these days you need to get a pre-approval.  While I have had my mortgages at Wells Fargo for many years, I wanted to be a good BOA customer. I go online and go through the steps to get pre-approved. The system response gave me an 800 number to call for they could not approve me. A nice young man at the local office who took me through the steps and informed me that we could not get a mortgage because we did not have a recurring fixed monthly payment. I was stunned. We did have a history of a fixed monthly payment in a recent mortgage – we had rent payments on temporary housing. I asked to be referred to a supervisors and he politely informed me that the supervisor had already reviewed our information and we did not qualify he hung up. I was still stunned, more than a little miffed – wondering if we do not qualify for a loan, who does?

Continuing on the path of loan-discovery, I had the name and number of my friendly local branch person. So I sent him an email and he called within the hour. Clearly he understood my issue and I could hear in his voice that he was not sure he could fix it, but he knew who to call. Within an hour he called me back with a member of the mortgage center based in Texas on the line. I had my pre-approval in my hand by the end of business that day.  Now there were issues along the way (it was a mortgage after all) but nothing that we couldn’t fix by making a call.

I do not hate Bank of America. They give me the tools to do as much as I can for myself and then give me access to people who can make it happen for me.  Win-win. Maybe one day, I will not have not make that second call.

A New Years Resolution

Now that I have officially had this for a year, I can firmly say that this product is one of the biggest reasons I have gotten myself back in shape and my health back on track.

The Nike Fuel Band.

We have all had that moment of doubt when the elliptical has tracked the amount of calories burned and the only thought had is “there’s no way that can be right.” Or for those, like me, trying to get back in shape and unsure of how much energy was spent running up and down those stairs. The Fuel Band replaces all of that doubt with reassurance.

I first heard of this product through a friend who was pairing its data with the phone app “MyFitnessPal” while she was trying to lose optimal weight before her wedding. My initial reaction was an eye-roll, thinking there’s no way a little bracelet could help you lose weight – let alone tell you how many calories you’ve burned.

I could not have been more wrong.

Not only has the Nike Fuel Band helped me on my way to reaching my desired weight, but it has also brought to life of how active I really am during the day. Tracking my successes as well as my failures, pushing me to go out and do more than just sit on the couch and watch reality television.

It’s waterproof, so it can track your activity while swimming laps. It has bluetooth, making tracking your daily fitness as easy as opening an app on your phone. The pedometer feature lets you know how much you’ve walked in a day and it even has a watch. This little band is not just a calorie counter – it’s a lifestyle tracker.

Honestly, there’s a lot I owe to this band that I constantly sport around my wrist, but all I can give back to it is praise. If you’re looking to light your motivational fire, stop perusing “Thinspo” boards on Pinterest and invest in a Fuel Band. I promise you won’t regret it.