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My Thoughts on Jawbone UP Move, Fitness Tracker

Over the holidays, I was trying to think of gifts to get people on my shopping list.  My mom is typically pretty easy to buy for, she's very into fitness, so I usually go with some new workout clothes or shoes.  While I had gotten her a nice sports bra that had been on sale, I was wanting to get her a couple other small items.  I remembered I had been thinking about a fitness tracker.

I looked at Amazon and a few other websites to see what kind of options were out there especially in the way of budget trackers (under $50).  I came across the the Jawbone UP Move and I liked that it gave the option to wear it as a clip on and not just a bracelet (important if I ever wanted one since I'm not a bracelet/jewelry person).  I read some reviews and most the reviews were fairly positive as long as your primary concern was mostly just getting steps recorded, this one can also track sleep.  You're supposed to put it in sleep mode, but it will sense it as well and ask if you were asleep, same thing with activity, you can time activities, but it can detect as well.

After my research I was still drawn to the Jawbone UP Move, and it was bargain.  Depending on the color you choose they range between $9-$15.  This was a nice selling point since this was just an idea I had not something she had said she wanted.  I chose to get her the Ruby Red (which is more of a reddish pink), since it was a feminine color (plenty of neutral colors as well) and a bargain price, though I really liked the lavender (due to losing mine I do now own the lavender).    Another thing I liked is it doesn't require charging, it runs off a watch battery, and it does come with one so you should be set for a few months.

I gave it to her for Christmas and helped her set it up.  There is an app for it for both iPhone and Android.  She was intrigued by it and did put it on right away.  Now after a few months she doesn't go anywhere without the tracker and if she does forget it somehow, feels lost without it.

Needless to say I ended up buying one for myself as well.  With the Jawbone UP Move you can connect to your friends who also use the device and see their progress as well and compete if you would like (there's a duel mode).  

When you first set up the app and sync your tracker, you will enter you age, gender, height and weight. It will also ask if you are interested in maintaining your weight, losing or gaining.  In the app it will display your steps and sleep in a graph, you can also look at an overview of the week.  In addition to that you can see your active and idle time for the day and approximate calories burned (it takes into account the activity you have done as well as your BMR).  

The app also has your fitness coach and it will give you advice and tips for getting more steps and better sleep.  It will also inform you when you hit various milestones.  The Up Move links to your phone via bluetooth.  As someone who leaves their Bluetooth off to save battery I've had no issues syncing when I do connect a couple times throughout the day (though my random syncing and going from no steps to 10,000 makes friends who use the app suspicious).

Using the Jawbone UP Move myself and being a very goal oriented and self competitive person, I was determined to hit the 10,000 steps a day mark.  The tracker is automatically set with a goal of 10,000 steps, but you can change that if you'd like as well as the 8hrs of sleep if you want different goals.  One of my favorite things is that you can either time your activity or allow the tracker to pick up on activity, this will give you your average pace of walk/run.  My boyfriend and I enjoy hiking and while we aren't runners we do tend to hike difficult trails and keep a decent pace so knowing our average time over the rough terrain is kind of cool.

Having a step tracker makes you much more aware of how much or little you are actually moving.  Ironically part of what made me interested in a step tracker was Pokemon Go.  When the game first launched my boyfriend and I would regularly find places to go walk and catch Pokemon and the egg hatching made me want to know how many steps I actually got when the game wasn't running. 

I also found out that there are some websites or apps that reward you for your steps.  Achievemint is the one I found to be the best at least for rewards I'm interested in (points you can redeem for cash), other apps you earn coupon codes and I'm not that into those since most are for items I don't need or want.  I'm not going to recommend others since I've not tried them only registered to find out the rewards weren't of interest to me, but a quick search or browse through your app store should find them.

I did mention I lost my ruby rose tracker and that was while I was working and going between multiple places in one day and in out and of several cars searching all the cars with no luck and not going back to the other places again, I just went ahead and ordered a new one.  Now when I'm working I tend to wear the bracelet (which I easily adjusted to). Fortunately while annoying, at least it is a bargain so not a huge loss if you do happen to lose or misplace it. Jawbone does recommend using the bracelet for sleep and clipping it to your sleeve and the clip on your waistband during the day for more accurate tracking, so wearing the bracelet during the day might not get me the most accurate count, but a ballpark idea is still better than nothing.  My mom will sometimes just keep hers on the clip and put it in her pocket while working, or clip it to her bra.  Since I'm a bit particular about bra fitting and don't want to mess with the fit I don't do this.

I would highly recommend the Jawbone UP Move especially if you are curious about fitness trackers and unsure if you will actually use it (chances are you will get hooked), since other options can be a large investment.  Also a good option for kids/teens who are wanting a fitness tracker since this comes in at a lower price tag than many that are designed for kids and since it can clip on you don't have to worry about the bracelet fitting (there's also a  necklace you can get).  Since losing one, I did order an extra to keep on hand in the event anything happens just so I don't have to be without it for a few days while I wait on a new one to ship.  The tracker is also quite simple to learn to use, since changing functions just involves pushing and holding the button a few times depending on what you want to do.

How I Finally Established Credit at 31 for the First Time

This post while not sponsored may contain affiliate links.

I am nearly 32 years old and just opened my first credit card in March.  I had always avoided credit because I'd seen too many people use in inappropriately in my life.  I do own a home, but I purchased it in cash since having no credit history and no score in addition to working as an independent contractor scares lenders.  I pretty much decided to say screw credit and continue living my "unconventional" financial lifestyle of only using cash.

One of my friends (in addition to many others) had been trying to convince me for years to just open a credit card, so I could establish credit.  The whole idea of establishing credit had no appeal to me.  I own a house and have several cars (all older preowned, but I love them), to me it seemed there was just no point to it.

establish credit, credit over 30, first time credit, no credit score, get first credit card with bank

More recently my friend and I were discussing net worth and budget apps like Mint.  My friend also hadn't believed me when I told her I had no credit score.  I went online to Credit Karma and checked "my score" as usual it just said "file to thin to establish score", she was in shock.  She had been of the mind set you get some credit by just being alive an paying bills.  That is not how it works.  Utility companies only report if you don't pay and go into collections, I use a pre pay cell phone, and the only other non utility bills are my internet which is in my boyfriends name (he also had no credit and has had this bill in his name for probably a decade), and car insurance.  

During this discussion my friend brought up rewards and points that you can earn from credit cards.  While mildly intrigued by the thought of free money I mostly blew off her suggestion and also figured I wouldn't be able to get approved any card that had rewards.  Fast forward maybe a month later.  I went into the bank to deposit a check, something I rarely do, I usually just deposit it at the ATM, but there was a long line so I just decided to go in.  

I'm at the counter and get my check deposited.  The clerk proceeds to tell me that I am pre-approved for a Chase credit card.  I'm in shock and quite baffled.  I ask if any of them happen to be rewards cards and she says they have several.  I decide to sit down with someone and fill out the application.  It came back immediately and I was approved.  I assumed it would be for some small amount like $500 or something, nope I was approved for $1,700.  I found this quite interesting because I had tried to apply for PayPal credit quite some time ago because there was some special promotion which would have made my purchase nearly free, but I wasn't approved, and the item I was buying was under $100.

Now a bit of back story on my banking history. I have had an account with chase for probably close to 10 years now.  I have also maintained very stable balances in my checkings and savings for most of that time.  I had nearly $35,000 or better prior to purchasing my house for $28,5000 in 2013, and never let my savings drop below $5000 after that purchase I have since built my savings back up to around $25,000.  I also usually maintain between $1200-$2000 in my checking account.

Given my balance history I would have to assume this is part of why I was approved.  I'm guessing the amount I was approved for might be based off of my typical checking account balance.  I tried to search for information about this type of situation but couldn't find anything in regards to better odds of opening a credit card with the bank you use.  

The card I got approved for was the Chase Freedom Unlimited.  The Freedom Unlimited card gives 1.5% cash back on all purchases.  In addition to the 1.5% cash back, after you spend $500 in the first 3 months you get $150.  You can also earn $50 for referring friends if they are approved, right now they are doing a special and it's raised to $100.  Chase also offers the Chase Freedom card, which I wasn't offered at the time, but found out about later.  However, after doing some research the Freedom Unlimited is the better option for me.  The Chase Freedom offers the same introductory offers, but 1% cash back with 5% cash back in revolving categories up to $1500. If you don't spend the full $1500 in the bonus category you will earn more through the Freedom Unlimited with the constant 1.5%.  

Now the first thing I did when I got my credit card other than register it so I could use it, was set up auto pay to pay the full amount each month.  I have been using the card for all my regular purchases to maximize cash back.  Now when I log into my Chase account I see what I owe on my Freedom Unlimited card, when I see the balance I tend to not like seeing that I own on anything so I usually pay off my balance any time I login so probably once a week or so.

I've only had my Chase Unlimited Freedom card for about a month now and I have already went from no credit whatsoever to 684 which I believe is about average.  If you are like me and have never had any credit but have a decent banking history with you bank you might want to try to apply for a card with your bank if you are interested in either establishing credit, or just getting cash back or points.

Now I think my interest rate is on the higher side, but I have no plans to actually accrue interest on what I spend on the card.  I am only using the card to get the rewards so I 'm only using it for my regular spending and only buying things I can afford.  The interest aspect of credit had always confused me because I think for a long time I didn't understand that if you pay it off every month you aren't paying any extra on fees or interest.

Also if you want to earn cash back or other free money, but don't want to deal with the credit card route, there are tons of apps and websites out there that you can also earn money and points from.  Most of these work just by taking photos of your receipts. Here's a list of what I use.

Yaarlo $5 free when you use my referral link
Ibotta- rebate app
MobiSave- rebate app

establish credit, credit over 30, first time credit, no credit score, get first credit card with bank

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Skechers Reggae-Rasta Outdoor Lifestyle Sandal

I'm normally not a much of a sandal person aside from wedge sandals, which until my recent pair (also from Skechers), I haven't worn sandals for the past few years with  my old favorites being long past their life expectancy.  I had worked an event promoting Chaco Sandals and got a pair for free from working the event (gotta love my job). I was actually quite looking forward to trying the Chacos after seeing rave reviews and seeing they are podiatrist recommended and also a suggested sandal for Plantar Fascitis (not sure if I have it, but my mom does, and I do have high arches and get occasional symptoms of it).

I worked the 3 day event in the Chacos Z2 sandals and the Chaco Outcross (open air shoe/sandal hybrid), and while the arch support was great (almost too high even for me), the footbed was stiff.  I felt constant pressure on my arches especially in the sandals, in the Outcross, I felt the arch wasn't quite in the right spot, but still a very stiff footbed.  Each day I came home more sore and they were only 8 hour days.  I regularly work 10+ hour days with no issues (usually in a gym shoe, and my preferred footwear is usually Skechers).  My feet ached horribly from the constant pressure of the sandals.  Now I have heard a pair of Chacos can take a week or two to break in (I don't have patience for that, I want my shoes to be comfy immediately, I can barely stand to break in cowboy boots, I prefer mine pre loved and already broken in for me).  One good thing came from this experience though, I learned that I can tolerate a well designed thong sandal the Chaco webbing is very soft, and I kind of fell in love with the look of this type of sandal.

Since working an event and wearing sandals for a weekend, I really wanted to free my feet this summer.  I needed to find some sandals.  First I got my wedge pair which are cute, but I was still kind of longing for the Chaco style, but without the ouch.  I wanted something comfy and foot friendly for a decent amount of walking.

I had seen a few other options at Meijer, but their sale was over and they didn't have colors I really wanted.  My boyfriend was also interested in some sandals, so we decided to go to the Skechers outlet (it's always buy 1 get 1 50% off).  I was mostly looking for some slide type Go Walk sandals in a cuter color/ pattern than what I had seen at Meijer, somehow they didn't have any, I also found out Women's Go Walk sandals aren't included in the sale :(

After this discovery I looked at my other options I had seen the Reggae Rasta style before but thought the footbed felt tough (I don't think I tried it on before I was just looking for Goga Mat or Memory Foam).  I also kind of loved the print on this one, very colorful.  I tried them on and walked around a bit.  Surprisingly they felt quite nice.  I decided to get these, my boyfriend got a pair of men's Go Walk sandals (which were included in the sale...why men's not women's? It's ok I did find a pair of kids in a size that fit for $15 so I got those too).

I've been wearing the Skechers Reggae-Rasta sandals for the past several days, and have done quite a bit of walking in them.  I absolutely love these sandals, not only are they super cute, but they are astonishingly comfy.

The footbed on these has great arch support as well as a proper heel cup.  They support my feet perfectly (I do have high arches).  I haven't experienced any foot pain, or or any irritation whatsoever from these.  The thong piece between the toe is super soft and well constructed so it doesn't rub or irritate my toes.

I would highly recommend the Skechers Reggae Rasta Outdoor Lifestyle sandals, especially to those with high arches who need a more supportive sandal. Also great for those who love the Chaco style, but don't find them comfortable, or who need a more affordable option (Skechers range from $25-$60ish depending on model and color and where you buy,  Chaco's are around $70-$120)

 I'm actually thinking about another pair in a different color.  Sadly Skechers doesn't make this style for men, my boyfriend is kind of jealous of these, he likes his Go Walk sandals, but would like something other than a flip flop, and doesn't care for the other men's Skechers offerings (he thinks slides look too much like slippers, and while he likes the look of others doesn't like the ones that fully strap around the foot).

Again I would highly recommend going to a Skechers outlet store if you have one nearby.  You can also buy at or Amazon.  Also make sure you register for Skechers Elite Rewards program, earn $10 for every $100 spent, it adds up fast too.


Having worn these sandals during most my off time this summer I have logged a lot of miles in them. They continue to be very comfortable, and have held up very well.  I have also done a bit of hiking in them and they work fairly well, just watch out for rocks, I did scrape my toe pretty badly (ironically this was on a beach and the rock was buried in the sand).

I did not receive any compensation or free product, I am reviewing because I enjoy the product.

Skechers Cali Memory Foam Wedge Sandal

I haven't owned a pair of good wedge sandals in years.  I am super picky about wedge sandals and most the new styles I don't care for either because of aesthetics, or comfort reasons.  Many of the current wedge offerings with thse type straps extend back towards the heel which I hate the look of, and others are just to hard of a footbed, or the shoe is very heavy.

The Skechers Cali Memory Foam wedges have a very soft footbed (made of you guessed it.. Memory Foam), they are super cushy while still being supportive.  I have high arches and finding shoes can be a challenge for me, although I have great luck with most Skechers especially those with the memory foam, because it can conform to my foot.  These wedges do have a visible arch support on the footbed.  They are a fairly low heel at about 2 inches, I normally would prefer higher, but heel height is one area I'm more willing to compromise.

Another great feature is that sandals are very lightweight so you don't feel like you are walking around with anchors on your feet. 

I've worn these almost everyday for a few weeks now, and my feet have felt great.  I did buy these in a size 7 (I'm normally a 7.5 in gym shoes, but technically measure 7.25 so I size down for sandals), which I was questioning my decision for the first couple of days having not been able to try on an 8 (I bought the last pair anywhere near my size at my local Meijer on sale and with a coupon).  My main concern was the strap over the big toe pinched a tiny bit, but not all the time and it wasn't blistering or anything.  I did try on an 8 at some point at another store and thought it could have also worked.  However after a few days wear the strap has stretched out or softened up and no longer pinches or rubs at all.

Overall I am extremely satisfied with my purchase especially since my one issue has went away.  I would have liked to get a pair with thinner straps, but Meijer didn't have any and I wanted to get a good deal.  They are normally $40 or $45 at least at Meijer and they had a 25% sandals sale as well as a MPerks coupon for 40% off women's shoes (there was a men's equivalent as well), not everyone got this coupon though, my mom and boyfriend didn't have it.  After the sale and coupons I got these for about $20 which is a great deal.  If you don't have Meijer near you or the sale is no longer going on or you didn't get the coupon, I recommend going to a Skecher's outlet store, they have buy one get one 50% off with only a few exclusions (mostly shoes under $20 are excluded).  If you don't need 2 pairs take a friend and split the cost.

Chaco Outcross Evo 1 and Chaco Z2

chacos, outcross, shoes, hiking shoes, water shoes

I worked an event where I would be required to wear Chacos, and would be wearing the shoes while working.  I wasn't familiar with the brand so I Googled them prior to working, partially because I have some foot issues and wanted to see if I was going to be miserable in them or if they might actually work for my high arches.  I found out that Chaco shoes are podiatrist recommended and have excellent arch support and are also good for Plantar Fascitis.  I have high arches (as well as mild occasional symptoms of Plantar Fascitis) and am always looking for cute shoes that have good support.  These ideally should have checked both boxes. I wore both the Outcross Evo 1 and the Z2 while working, but could only keep one pair.

I really wanted to like the Chaco brand, but they just aren't working for me. I don't know if they need broken in more or if they just aren't for my feet. I have very high arches and have a hard time find shoes that are comfortable for me. I mostly live in Skechers especially those with memory foam, cowboy boots, or wedge heels, and my recent favorites Skechers Reggae Outdoor Sandals. The first time I wore the Chacos, the footbed seemed okay and the arches seemed supportive, but I only wore them for a couple hours. I did notice during that time that they were rubbing my little toes and my heel, so I switched to the Z2 sandal.  The sandal felt better, but the footbed has no give and puts constant pressure on my arches.

The next day I wore the Outcross again (this time with socks, since my biggest concern initially was the heel rubbing) them a full 8 hours on my feet working outside, this time wearing sock hoping to prevent the rubbing. I could still feel some rubbing from the heel, but I was also wearing short socks to maybe it was the sock maybe it was the shoe, I didn't notice the rubbing on my toes though. However I had quite bad foot pain even after being off work and not wearing shoes for about 4 hours, primarily in my arch. The shoes do still have a noticeable arch like the sandals but it's somehow less supportive, it is more on the side. I think the shoe lacks a bit of cushion in the center.

I think the reason I get irritation on my heel is caused by the seam stitching at the center of the heel. I do notice the irritation more on my left foot than my right. I also don't think these have enough ankle support either and I usually don't have issues with that. I do have a very hard time with footbeds and arch shape though, as I mentioned I have a very high arch so these might be fine for someone with a normal arch or flatter foot. I did find these fairly true to size, the opening is a bit tricky to get your foot into and I have a narrow foot.

I have also worn regular Chaco Sandals, and while I'm wearing them they seem comfy for awhile, and then hurt a bit and then feel great again.  However as soon as I take my shoes off my feet are in intense pain.

On a positive note, I do love the customization of the fit of the sandal from the one continuous piece of webbing.  I also learned that I can actually deal with a strap between my toes (I would always avoid any thong sandal before), but this is because of Chaco's super soft webbing. Also because of the one continuous piece of webbing if you do a get a toe loop pair and don't want the toe loop sometimes you can pull it flat into the footbed and wear it toeless, which I didn't need to do.

Over the course of the weekend, I wore both Chaco Sandals and the Outcross Evos for sevearal days alternating between the pairs and every night my feet would hurt especially the arch.  I don't know if they need a longer break in period with short periods of wear or what, but I can't deal with it and will not be trying any longer.

I have heard that Chaco's can take a week or so to break in, but I'm not patient, and with my existing foot conditions and sensitivites, I can't do it.

As a side note, Chaco claims to have a sole that is slip resistant, it rained as I was walking to my car and I was on fresh blacktop.  The soles would slide in both, and thank goodness I was paying attention when I crossed a metal plate, otherwise I would have fallen.

I know there are tons of people that love them, but I am not one of them.

(I received these shoes for free from working an event, all opinions are my own)

My Thoughts on Pantene Airspray

Thanks to Influenster I got to try Pantene Pro-V Airspray for free.  I am absolutely in love with this hairspray.  Prior to receiving Pantene Airspray, I had always used Rave hairspray because it's cheap (the only exception being a few other hairspray samples I've tried).  However, if you aren't careful Rave can build up quickly and make hair hard.

Before I get started on the reivew of Pantene Air Spray, a bit about my hair.  My hair is naturally wavy, varying between more loose waves and a bit more curly depending on what it feels like that day.  Below is a photo of my hair in it's natural state after air drying.

I first tried the Pantene Airspray when I straightened my hair (my hair naturally wavy).  I straightened my hair and then sprayed my hairbrush with the Pantene Airspray and brushed it in.  This helped to smooth frizz, it also managed to help my hair hold up to humidity much better as well so my hair remained straight much better then it usually would.

The next time I used the Airspray, I used it when I curled my hair.  Now since my hair does have some natural wave to it it usually holds curl decently but will sometimes flose some volume throughout the day.  My technique for using it with curls was to just spray directly onto my hair and tousle it in for a bit fuller look (I still need to try it with my old technique of spraying while hair is wrapped on the curling iron, that usually makes for log lasting curls, but can be crunchy at least with other hairsprays).  The Airspray succeeded in helping to hold curls and extra volume without being weighed down or crunchy so I was quite pleased.

I do love the Pantene Pro-V Airspray, it has amazing flexible hold that lasts, and it also has an amazing smell.  It's not the least bit stiff or sticky either.  I would  highly recommend this product.

How to Make DIY Banquette Seating from Ikea Kallax

I wanted a corner banquette in my eat in kitchen,but couldn't find anything I really liked. I decided to look into making one myself, after doing some research I chose to use the Ikea Kallax Shelving/Cubbie (any cube system would work though) The dimensions work really well for the space I have in my kitchen too.

ikea hack, ikea, diy,
Ikea Kallax

I chose to build my base first (the cube system), so I could get accurate measurements to purchase materials.  Obviously just follow your assembly instructions that come with your cube system.

Materials for Cushion:

Plywood- cut to size of your bench (Home Depot and Lowes can cut to size for free) I used 1/2 inch
Foam- I used 2 inch (buy at any craft store, check for sales and coupons, tip Hobby Lobby always has a 40% a single non sale item coupon online)
Quiters Batting- this is nice because it will hold together the foam and wood, and cover the bottom of the wood so you don't scratch your bench.
Fabric- I was able to cover both benches with 2 yards of 54" wide fabric (my bench is 57.75" X 15.5" I would recommend a vinyl or faux leather material for easier cleaning)


tools, ladies tool kit, purple tools
Staple Gun
Staples for your Staple Gun
Hammer- for any staples that don't go in all the way
Flat Head Screwdriver- remove staples if needed
Fabric Shears or Scissors
Electric Turkey Carver- makes cutting foam super easy (can find for under $20)

I would highly recommend getting a household tool set, my boyfriend recently bought me one and I love it.  It's great to not have to figure out where he put the tools or use greasy tools that have been used to work on cars. Unfortunately I didn't get it until after this project.


If you need to cut your foam to size I recommend using your plywood that is already cut and placing it on top of you foam. Trace around the plywood with a sharpie, and you are now good to cut.

The next few steps aren't required, but will make the process a bit easier.
1.Lay out you fabric, bottom side up.
2.Place quilt batting on top of fabric.
3.Set foam on batting centered.
4.Put plywood on foam and line it up.

Now you are set to assemble and won't have keep running around for your supplies and readjusting things.

1. Wrap quilt batting around foam and plywood, staple to ensure it holds,fold the sides like wrapping present.
2. Fold fabric over and staple. When you start the other side pull very taut to make sure it won't be loose. Again, fold sides like you are wrapping a gift.
3.Flip it over,and place on you bench.
4. Relax on your new bench!!

ikea hack, diy, banquette seating, dining

diy, ikea hack, bench seat, banquette

This project is super easy,and fairly quick do too. It took me an hour or so to make both cushions. Building the 2 Ikea Kallax units probably took longer.
ikea hack, banquette seating, bench seat, diy
ignore the ugly cord, the hidden cube is hiding our internet router.

Influenster #FrostyVoxBox

I received my very first #VoxBox from Influenster today full of awesome products for me to try for free. I was at home when the mail arrived today, and I heard the mail get put in the box, but I also heard more than just the mail being put in the box. My first thought was it must be my #FrostyVoxBox. I jumped up to check the mail and sure enough there it was my first #VoxBox. Thank you Influenster for involving me in this campaign.

Inside the Frosty VoxBox:

Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Liner
NYC ExpertLast Lip Color Sugar Plum
Celestial SeasoningsCandy Cane Lane Green Tea
Boots NO7
McCormick Gourmet All Natural Thyme
Fruit Vines Bites
Eco Tools Sleek and Shine Brush

I have reviewed my personal favorites from the box, which is all but 2 items I believe.  Continue reading for my reviews.

The first product I tried upon opening my #FrostyVoxBox were the Fruit Vines. I received the Strawberry,and they are delicious. They are similar to a Twizzler, but do not taste anything like a Twizzler. I really enjoyed these, they are sweet, but not overpowering.
Update: I think these  may have been discontinued.

Next I tried out the Eco Tools Sleek and Shine hairbrush, and Eco Tools also makes makeup brushes. I was looking forward to this one, I've been using my brush for quite sometime now and it doesn't really have any added benefits. The Eco Tools Sleek and Shine brush seems to be just what my hair needed. Upon brushing my hair with it for the first time it instantly felt softer and smoother. I went to look in the mirror, and to my surprise my hair seemed quite shinier. It has been awhile since my last color and the color has lost some vibrancy, the shine this brush is capable of seems to have restored some of my hair's lost sheen. I love this brush, and I would love to get the round brush that Eco Tools makes as well.

I got around to trying out my Rimmel ScandalEyes eyliner the other day. It goes on smoothly and has great staying power. While I didn't get to test it's waterproof abilities I did try to use my regular makeup removing wipes and they weren't working very well. I remembered I had also gotten Rimmel Eye Makeup Remover, I used a bit of this and it took the liner right off. Based on this I would say the liner must be fairly waterproof. I will use the liner again and try testing it in the shower and see how it holds up to that.

That same day I also tried the NYC ExpertLast Lip Color in #SugarPlum. I love the color of this lipstick, and I am usually more into gloss than lipstick, but this is a nice subtle color that would look good on almost anyone. I feel it did stay on well, and it wasn't drying like a lot of long lasting lipsticks.

I tried the Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea last night. I'm not usually a tea drinker unless it's really cold out and tea is my only option. However I do occasionally enjoy some flavored teas, so I was actually quite excited to see that Celestial Seasonings had some great flavors available. I was very pleased with the Candy Cane flavor of the Celestial Seasonings Green Tea, too bad it's a seasonal item, but I may stock up on this and some of their other flavors.

If you'd like to get your own VoxBox, sign up for Influenster

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Makeup By One Direction

I was chosen by Brand Backer to try One Direction Limited Edition Makeup by Markwins.  I am significantly older than the target demographic for this product, and to be honest I wasn't expecting much from the One Direction Makeup kits.  The kits all have the same makeup, but each features a different member of One Direction.

I received my One Direction Makeup and the other day and tried it out the next day.  One of the first things I noticed is there is no blush in the kit, but not a deal breaker by any means.  I used the eye shadow and the lipgloss, I have not tried the nail polish just yet, but plan to soon.

I applied the eyeshadow first and was pleasantly surprised it has great pigment. I was expecting I would have to layer on the eyeshadow heavily in order to get it to show, but that wasn't the case.  The eyeshadow went on smoothly and showed up very well.

Next I used the lipgloss, there are 4 shades and you can easily blend the colors together to get a more custom color.  I discovered this while trying to tone down the bright bubblegum pink shade, it's a pretty color, but a bit much for my taste, I added a bit of the darker pink to it and it was perfect.  The lipgloss is suprising long lasting, the gloss wears away after awhile, but the pigment does remain awhile longer almost like a lip stain.

Overall I was very pleased with the One Direction Makeup.  I like the makeup and Markwins did a great job with the color options in the palette. I would have like it to have blush because then it would be ideal for travel.  While I wouldn't have chosen to buy the One Direction themed makeup for myself, after trying it I would buy it just for the makeup, and I would be open to any other Markwins products.  I also think this would make a great gift for a One Direction fan or makeup lover.

Here's what is in the kit:

Eye Shadows:
Nobody Compares- Metallic silver
Tell Me A Lie- Metallic nude pink
Same Mistakes- Metallic mint
I Would- Smokey brown shimmer
Summer Love- Smokey purple haze
Everything About You- Smokey black shimmer

           Eye Pencil:
I Want- True matte black

Lip Gloss:
Loved You First- Bubble gum pink
One Thing- Frosted pink ice
  Irresistible- Shimmered pearl
Heart Attack- Creamy rose shine

Lip Gloss Top Coat:
Over Again- Silver glitter sparkle

Nail Varnish:
Stole My Heart- Magenta pink shimmer
Alive- Multi-coloured glitter flakes

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