3.22.2015

100% Pure Vanilla Bean Body Wash and Lotion Review

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Let's talk about body care for a moment. For me, having soft supple skin is really important. I'm not sure how or why it's been this way but I have always found a need to use a nourishing body wash and lotion to achieve this. If not, I'm scale city. 

Last May, I picked up 100% Pure's Vanilla Bean Hydrating Body Wash and Body Cream. My Ulta was running a BOGO sale, so that's why I picked them up. Otherwise, they're $16+ a pop, which is way outside of my budget.

100% Pure is a company that derives their products from natural ingredients. The tout that their products are free of toxic ingredients. They are a cruelty free company. The products are available online or at Ulta. 

100% Pure Vanilla Bean

100% Pure Vanilla Bean

The body wash is still in my shower and has yet to be completely used up (I have a few more pumps left). I'm on 10 months with it! This was a huge surprise to me because body washes typically see 3-4 months in my shower. This wash pumps out into a foam. I need about 2-3 pumps to cover my whole body. The scent is a light vanilla and smells quite a bit like ice cream. It dissipates rather quickly, though. I don't find it particularly hydrating. It's a very average body wash. Due to cost and it not being a holy grail, it's not something I'm picking up again. The body wash is $16 for 17 ounces.

100% Pure Vanilla Bean

100% Pure Vanilla Bean

The lotion, on the other hand, lasted me only through summer. I had such mixed feelings about it. There were days I loved it and days I loathed it. When my skin was very thirsty, it absorbed this so quickly I couldn't spread it around. Therefore, I would have to use a ton of product. When my skin was fine, I had no issues. Either way, I did not find this moisturizing enough. For summer weather, it worked but I feel in the winter I would have been scaly. The scent is the same as the wash and doesn't linger on the skin. I chose not to purchase another bottle. The lotion is $17 for 8 ounces.

Overall, I really love 100% Pure's philosophy and ingredients. These are very safe products to use for those who prefer a more natural lifestyle. I won't be purchasing them again due to the fact that I can find products that are just as good for less money. If you happen to run into a BOGO sale on their products, I recommend giving them a shot at least.

xo, arielle

Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and/or make a purchase I receive monetary compensation.

3.02.2015

Pacifica Indian Coconut Nectar Perfume

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I know I haven't been updating at all lately. I have a lot going on in my personal life that has prevented me from doing so. I'm going to try to post when possible, so know that I haven't forgotten about BBA!

When I switched to natural products, I knew that perfumes were one of the most chemical laden product out there. I was shopping at Ulta and the only thing I could find that was remotely close to being clean was the Pacifica Roll-On Perfumes. I took a sniff of the available scents and went with Indian Coconut Nectar.

Pacifica Perfume

Pacifica's roll-on perfume comes in 14 scents. I picked this one up for $12. The full size are $22 and there are 18 scents. 

Pacifica touts that these are 100% vegan and cruelty free as well as paraben, phthalate and propylene glycol free. EWG rates this as a 4 (moderate hazard).

Pacifica Perfume

I chose Indian Coconut Nectar because I prefer spicy scents. Of what was a available, this one had the least floral or sweetness to it. There are times I have caught this smelling a little like cotton candy, though. For the most part, it's light but a little sultry. I plan to pick up the Island Vanilla next (I absolutely love it!!) but it's been out of stock every time I'm at Ulta.

Pacifica Perfume

I have been happy with the roller-ball application, too. It makes it very simple plus, it's been very easy to travel with. I have been using it since June and still have at least half of the product left. It's not the longest lasting perfume I have ever used, though. 

What is your favorite natural perfume?

xo, arielle

Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and/or make a purchase I receive monetary compensation.

2.16.2015

I Went to Mardi Gras

Since my birthday falls on Fat Tuesday this year, I wanted to cross Mardi Gras off of my bucket list. This past weekend I did!











xo, arielle

2.02.2015

My First Stitch Fix and Review

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In the past year, I have seen about a bajillion Stitch Fix posts. Every time, I was extremely skeptical (and judgey) about it, solely due to the cost of the items. I remember once someone received a t-shirt that was about fifty bucks. Which, honestly was crazy to me.

Since I was being so crappy about it, I thought I really needed to try it for myself before I could truly make a decision. I was on Amanda's blog and loved what I saw from her box. I completed my style profile and order my first fix on a Wednesday. It arrived by the following week.

Stitch Fix

In case you're not familiar with Stitch Fix, let me explain. Stitch Fix is a styling service. You order a fix as often as you wish and a stylist picks 5 items to send you based on your style profile. You pay a $20 styling fee with each box. If you choose to purchase anything from the box, the $20 comes off the total. If you don't buy anything, you lose the $20. The shipping is included. You are billed for what you keep, after you choose. Whatever you don't want, you send back in a pre-paid shipping bag. If you purchase everything from your box, you get 25% off. 

When you sign up, you complete a style profile with your preferences and sizes. You can even select if you're ok with expensive or budget friendly items or exclude certain items (I requested they not send jewelry). They also recommend you send in your Pinterest style board, as it gives your stylist a better idea of what you wear. Each box is tailored to you and your style. After you receive a box, you can send your stylist notes about what you liked or didn't like so they can make better choices for you next time.

In my first box, I received a sweater, two tops, skinny jeans and a clutch.

WHAT I KEPT:

Stitch Fix
RD Style Vivianna Open-Draped Knit Cardigan - $74

Stitch Fix
Market & Spruce Corinna Striped Dolman Top - $48

WHAT I RETURNED:

Stitch Fix
Urban Expressions Richie Asymmetrical Clutch - $40

Stitch Fix
Kensie Jeans Sophia Tall Length Skinny Jean - $88

Stitch Fix
Skies Are Blue Bruno Split Neck Blouse - $69

TOTAL: $319

I loved everything I received in my box. I returned items only due to fit. The jeans fit my butt amazingly (probably the best fit for skinny jeans I have had) but they were too long. I just don't use clutches, that's why I returned that. The Bruno Blouse didn't hang well once on. The items I kept I absolutely adore. I had been looking for a sweater with that draping for a while. I would never normally spend that much on a sweater but since I had a hard time finding one, I decided to keep it. I also love the fit and pattern of the top. They look great paired together, too.

I was really shocked at how well my stylist got me. I didn't expect to love all of it. When I go to the store I'm mostly meh about items, so to get 5 things that I would wear, was fantastic.

As for the price, I did request my items to be on the lower end of things so, I was surprised at how much my box cost in total. I would never spend that much on clothes. I never see myself buying a whole box. I felt pretty guilty about what I did keep as it was over $100. Having said that, I am a super duper budget shopper. I thrift nearly everything I own, so this was a total splurge. For those who don't shop like I do, the price really isn't going to be that big of a deal as it's on par with department store prices.

I will say, these items are much higher quality than I would normally invest in. So, it's not like it's cheap junk that you're dropping a load of cash on. To me, that did justify it slightly.

Since the price is up there, I decided to schedule my fixes every other month. I really like the idea of not having to shop, trying on items in my home and ending up with pieces that are uniquely styled to me. I'm also over my judgey stage with Stitch Fix. I still think they are overpriced but it's not a deal breaker as I loved my pieces. 

Overall, I think it's worth trying at least one box just to see if it works for you and your style. If you hate it, you're only out 20 bucks. If you like it, then you just added some great pieces to your closet.

Here are some examples of some other fixes from blogs I read: Rebecca Lately, Notes from a Newlywed, Pumps and Iron & One Little Momma

tl;dr
Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that will send you items as often as you wish that are tailored to you. The cost is $20 a box + the cost of the items you keep. If you have the budget, the pieces will be great to add to your wardrobe. If you're more of a thrifter or clearance shopper, you probably won't like the prices of pieces. 

PROS
  • Received 5 high quality pieces that were perfect for my style
  • Like not having to shop and trying on at home
  • Only get charged for what you keep

CONS
  • The pieces are pricey

If you would like to give Stitch Fix a try, here is my referral link (I get a $25 credit if you schedule a box). Please don't feel obligated to use it but I really appreciate if you do!

xo, arielle

Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase I receive a credit towards my own Stitch Fix.

***Update 3/22/15***
I ordered another box because I had a credit. I ended up hating everything I received. It was like the box wasn't even for me. I was a little frustrated because they didn't listen to my comments from the previous box. My friend ordered a box, too, and had the same issue. It was very strange. I have yet to order again due to this.

1.30.2015

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush Review and Results

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A few months ago, I received an email from Klout that I was eligible for the Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush as a perk. I have been using the Clarisonic Mia for a couple of years and I was very curious how this compared. Given the mass popularity of the Clarisonic, I felt it would be impossible to not compare the two. 

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

The Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush claims that it works with your cleanser to "create the greatest skin ever" (according to the website). 

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

The packaging comes with the system, a standard brush head and a charger. The charger is a stand up and the charge lasts forever. I think I've only charged it once since I've had it.

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

There's only one brush head available and Clinique claims it's for all skin types. The green part is to be used on "hard to reach" places like your nose or chin. You just use the tip to cleanse those areas. The movement of the brush is up and down. The cycle lasts 30 seconds. If you want to build up to a minute (which is what Clinque recommends) you just press the button again after your 30 is up.

Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

Since I am ultra cheap, I have really hated the $99+ and $25 brush head price tag for the Clarisonic. I have been trying to find a cheap alternative since I bought it, in hopes to save some cash. I didn't look up the price of the Clinique until I started writing this review, so I was really surprised to learn that it's $89.50 (brush heads are $26). All along, I guessed it was around $50. Had that been the case, I may have recommended this as an alternative, however since it's only 10 bucks less than the Mia, I say fork over your cash for it instead.

Out of the Clarisonic alternatives I have tried, I will say Clinique's is the best available. Especially if you find the Clarisonic hard on your skin. This one is far more gentle.

Since I have a ton of Blackheads, I found this wasn't nearly as effective on them. You can read my full Clarisonic review here, to see my results. I did think it was fantastic for exfoliation, removing dead skin and makeup, though. If you're acne prone, a good cleaning brush really can help your woes.

I now use this in the shower in the AM as an exfoliator. I still use the Clarisonic in the evening, as I need to keep blackheads at bay. I'm really on the fence about this and a lot of it has to do with the fact that it is 90 bucks and doesn't work quite as well as the Clarisonic.

tl;dr
A decent cleaning brush. Gentle on skin. If you're going to spending that much, I recommend forking over the $10 extra for the Clarisonic Mia, though. If you found the Clarisonic too harsh, you may prefer Clinique's version.

PROS
Very gentle on skin
Love the 30 second intervals for a quick clean
Charge lasts quite a long time

CONS
Cost is a bit high
Doesn't deep clean as well as the Clarisonic; those with lots of blackheads probably won't like this as well

What's your favorite cleansing brush?

xo, arielle

Disclosure: Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and/or make a purchase I receive monetary compensation. Product was sent by the company or the company’s PR group. All opinions are my own. PR companies never receive preferential treatment.