Prefense Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer Review + Giveaway

One of my must-have beauty products may come off as a little odd, but it's definitely an important part of my regimen -- I'm talking about hand sanitizer!  Why and how could this possibly be a beauty necessity? Well think about how many products you apply on your face with your hands -- cleansers, masks, serums, moisturizers, foundations.  And think about all the other dirty things you touch throughout the day -- food, cellphones, computers, money -- the list goes on.  And finally do you ever wonder if that little bar of soap doesn't quite get it all off -- and the germs somehow end up on your face?

Call me overly cautious but what do you expect from someone who's been living the last few years of her life in nightclubs and casinos?  I absolutely carry a little bottle of hand sanitizer around in my purse at all times and keep a huge pump by my bathroom sink.  Before I apply anything to my face I use the hand sanitizer, and then follow with soap to get a thorough clean.

But the alcohol in the hand sanitizer has definitely done a number on my hands.  It's so drying and harsh, but it's the price I pay to save face.  Well now I don't have to sacrifice either!  The lovely people at Prefense have created an alcohol free hand sanitizer so I can remain germ-free to my heart's content. 

Prefense's hand sanitizer is made of all-natural ingredients, is non toxic, and safe for kids.  It won't even hurt of you swallow it -- although I wouldn't do it just for kicks.  It's also silica based so it actually smooths and softens your hands rather than drying them out.  And apparently "one spray lasts all day" -- protecting you for 24 hours or 10 hand washings.

So Prefense sent me a bottle to try out and I have to admit I'm quite impressed.  Each spray (it's more of a pump) generates a perfectly sized blob of foam that gives off the tiniest hint of a citrus scent.  After rubbing between my hands, my skin feels soft and silky and it doesn't have the slightest bit of residue or stickiness that most of the alcohol based sanitizers seem to leave behind.  I can't speak for the 24 hours of protection as it feels so good I find myself applying the stuff several times throughout the day.  You can check out their products on

Now while Prefense sent me the 1.5 oz size bottle, for my readers they will be giving away the huge 8 oz bottle -- enough for 640 applications! The only requirement for this giveaway is to leave a comment below telling me one product you apply on your face with your hands on a daily basis.  

Mask Hoarding + Sigma Giveaway Winners

It's an ongoing joke between my friends that I constantly compare my life's situations to TV shows.  "My face looks like that time in Sex & The City when Samantha got a chemical peel . . . This is like the time on LOST when John Locke fell out of his van. "

Most recently I feel like Lily Van der Woodsen/Bass/Humphrey on Gossip Girl when she had to go on house arrest and ended up going crazy shopping online.  What other way to get your shopping fix when you're stuck in the house all day?  I have to admit I went completely overboard on Sephora, Ebay, Frederick's, Sasa, and Nieman Marcus.  Tons of clothing, shoes, accessories and of course beauty products.  I know the mailman absolutely hates me because I've had at LEAST two packages arrive every day for the past 2 weeks.

One of my most consistent purchases has been sheet masks.  I am absolutely OBSESSED.  Ever since I figured out a way to reuse them, I've been applying them EVERY SINGLE night and I can't rave enough about how much difference it has made on my skin.  My face is so much more moisturized and far less prone to break outs.  And if I miss one day I can totally notice.

Of course there's tons and tons of different brands and masks and I seriously want to try them all.  I'm pretty sure I have enough to use every day for the next two years but I can't stop myself!  I've been raving about the daily use of sheet masks to all my friends and sending them gift boxes.  Please let me know if you are interested in an individual review on a specific brand!

And finally I have the winners to my Sigma Double Prize Giveaway!

The Cleansing & Polishing Tool goes to: #116 Ela.

After drawing the first winner I then removed her 3 entries and redrew from the remaining entrants.  And the F45 Buffer Brush goes to: #868 Ana Melo.  Ana you did not leave your full e-mail address so please contact me within 2 days to claim your prize.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who entered!

A New Way For Bloggers To Run Giveaways + BH Cosmetics Giveaway Update

Wow so much for keeping up with blogging!  Even that turns out to be difficult with my stupid broken foot!  Crutches make it hard to even get around the house -- it's a pain to mess with my lightbox, lug my camera around, and set up props or products for pics -- thus making me too lazy to take pictures for my posts.  I mean I could blog all day if it was just the writing part but who wants to see posts without pics??

It's officially been two weeks in my cast and I've done pretty much nothing except read and watch tv.  My brain has turned to mush from watching all four seasons of Gossip Girl.  I have to say, I don't think Blake Lively is very photogenic because I always thought she looked average and was surprised the model-loving Leo would date her.

That is until I saw her in the Green Lantern, which then in turn prompted me to finally watch Gossip Girl.  She looks gorgeous on TV!  The paparazzi pics really don't do her any justice.  And normally I wouldn't watch a show like Gossip Girl but I'm seriously in LOVE with the fashion -- it's like Sex & The City but younger -- absolute fashion porn!  I can't believe it took me so long to catch on!

So once again I've gotten TOTALLY behind on blogging -- I have tons of giveaways, lens reviews, and product reviews pending and also I know everyone's been waiting on the giveaway winners.  I actually have my Sigma Giveaway winners ready but will be announcing them in tomorrow's post.  Why do I feel as if I always lag on announcing giveaway winners haha?  Maybe because it takes AGES to organize spreadsheets and check the thousands of entries.  Which is why I was really excited to discover Rafflecopter!

Rafflecopter is an AWESOME new way for bloggers to run their giveaways efficiently.  Basically you can enter all the giveaway requirements, say how many entries each requirement is worth, and include a clickable link.  It saves so much time because it simplifies the entry to the readers -- they don't have to count or figure out how many points they have and they can simply click a link to follow you on Twitter or Facebook.

It also protects the privacy of the entrant so they don't have to leave their e-mail in a comment which can lead to spam, allows you to export the entries to an Excel spreadsheet, and my FAVORITE part -- it pretty much auto checks all entries for you AND detects any duplicate entries.  With this I can finally announce winners the next day!  Rafflecopter is still in beta so it definitely has some kinks they need to work out.  It's also currently invite only but if you sign up for the waitlist, they usually send out an invite code within a few days.  Sign up here.

So I'm giving it a little test run today.  I spoke with BH Cosmetics and they have agreed to give me an extension on my 88 Color Cool Matte Palette Giveaway.  I've already entered all the previous entrants into a form and the new entrants can try out my Rafflecopter form.  It will only run for 3 days from today until Friday at midnight EST.  I've had to change around the point system a bit but not to worry -- for those of you who already entered I added the correct number of points to match the new rules.  Please do not re-enter as Rafflecopter will find you haha!

The Cabbage Soup Diet -- IMPROVED!


I'll be the first to admit I'm the biggest sucker for fad diets.  Now before all the health buffs go all crazy on me let me explain why.  YES I understand that it's not the best or healthiest way to lose weight while diet and exercise are.  But sometimes we're just stuck in the pattern of life and it gets tough to break our daily habits.  A Starbucks muffin and latte in the morning, Chipotle for lunch, a vending machine candy bar or chips for a snack, happy hour with coworkers -- the calories just pack on and we stop having control over it.  Sometimes it takes something drastic to get back on track.

So how can a fad diet possibly be good?  First of all, to follow a seven day diet really disciplines you.  You have to grocery shop, plan out and prepare your meals ahead of time, and be restricted to certain foods.  This is a real shocker but for some people, like myself, any leeway and we just fall back into the pattern.  And at the end of it all, you really do lose weight.  Water weight or not, those 5-10 pounds will really motivate you to hit the gym and start eating healthy even after the diet is over.

I've mentioned before that I've completed the Master Cleanse/Lemon Aid Diet -- and I can honestly say I absolutely DO NOT recommend it.  Not only are you starving yourself, it requires two daily laxatives of salt water (which usually make you throw up) and the ingredients are SUPER expensive -- one bottle of grade b maple syrup alone costs $30 and it barely lasts you two days.  I feel like the Master Cleanse is a combination of anorexia and bulimia rolled into one -- and although I've completed it twice, I never really felt the need to talk about it here because it's just so wrong for your body.

I do, however, highly recommend the Cabbage Soup Diet!  I've done different variations of it -- the GM Diet, which is the same diet without the soup (pretty much just eating unlimited fruits and vegetables), the original cabbage soup diet, and most recently the improved version which I feel is healthier and easier to complete.  The GM diet is just too hard because you don't have the soup which really fills you up, and buying enough fruits to satisfy your appetite can get super expensive.  The original cabbage soup diet is actually pretty healthy -- I mean it's really no different then the raw foods diet which so many celebrities do.  I don't know why it's gets so much crap because all it is is vegetable soup (which I think is delicious -- tastes like French onion soup), fruits and veggies, and occasional protein and milk.

The biggest issue that nutritionists have with the cabbage soup diet is the lack of nutrients and protein.  So I recently completed a week of the IMPROVED cabbage soup diet.  There are many websites with information on it but I kind of tweaked it and made it my own.  First of all, I drank a protein shake and took a multi-vitamin each day along with the diet to cover the protein/nutrient issues.  I also occasionally added protein to my soup in the form of shirataki (tofu noodles), a can of crab (tastes like Maryland crab soup!), or lentils/beans.  It really helped to make the soup taste less tedious and I actually looked forward to my soup!

I also made sure to stay away from boring apples and oranges and eat my favorite and more "gourmet" fruits -- white nectarines, mangoes, Asian pears, and white cherries are all so delicious and I could eat them all day (I mean I literally did haha!)  For veggie days, try to think of creative dishes that you might find at a restaurant.  I made zucchini and tomato kabobs on the bbq.  Dieting is actually very psychological and if you can trick your mind into thinking you are eating really delicious/gourmet meals then you won't be craving other stuff.

Even though adding protein probably decreases the amount of weight you'll lose, you'll find yourself far less grumpy, more easily full, and more importantly, you can actually complete the 7 days!  You also have enough energy to workout.  I lost 5 pounds in 7 days and the best part was after the diet, I didn't have huge cravings for anything and my appetite definitely shrunk.  Before the diet I was eating McDonald's, Taco Bell, and Chipotle every day, and now I just want to eat healthy.  I think the improved cabbage soup diet could actually be a lifestyle diet -- in fact I took a few days off, and am currently on it again!

BH Cosmetics 88 Color Cool Matte Palette Review + Giveaway

Whoo hoo -- blogging 2 days in a row lol.  Thank you so much for the kind words and advice on my previous post -- it was also very cool to find that some of you live in DC as well!  Maybe we could all plan a blogger meet up some day!

So I received an 88 Color Cool Matte Palette to review from BH Cosmetics last week.  Amazingly this was my first 88 palette!  Although I've been hearing about BH Cosmetics and Coastal Scents for years, I was always reluctant to purchase one because it reminded me of those cheap palettes I used to play around with as a child -- you know the ones with tons of colors that they always sold at discount and dollar stores?

Well I should've taken the dive much sooner!  I mean just for the loads of colors you get for such a great price (it's currently on sale for only $13.96!), it's beyond worth it!  And the the variety is awesome for those of you who like following Youtube tutorials and don't ever seem to have the EXACT colors the guru is using.

The colors in this matte palette are exactly that -- matte -- so no sparkles of any sort.  You'll find rich, velvety blues, pinks, greens, and even neutrals of every shade!  The matte palette is perfect if you want crisp, clean, and bright colors.  I will definitely be revisiting some of those Youtube videos with brighter looks that I was never able to do.

While I didn't swatch all 88 colors, I picked a few of my favorite shades.  These were swiped twice with the included sponge tip applicator and no primer was used:

BH Cosmetics is having an insane sale right now that ends Sept. 14 with tons of products for 20% off and their most popular palettes for 30% off!  Check out the sale here.

The Giveaway
BH Cosmetics is sponsoring one 88 Color Cool Matte Palette for one of my readers!

UPDATE:  Originally this was a one day giveaway due to the company's deadline but I contacted BH Cosmetics and they have agreed to let me extend the giveaway.  Those who entered via comment below have already been entered into a spreadsheet and updated points given per entry.  Please DO NOT fill out the form.  For new entrants -- please fill out the form below to enter:

Why I've been MIA + Hello Kitty Giveaway Winner

Talk about a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week!!!

So I recently moved back to Washington, DC and was going to spend a few months bartending at a new nightclub in the city.  The grand opening is not until next week so we were just open for our preview parties -- aka practice runs.  I was pretty much busy training and working every single night which is why I haven't had any time to update my blog.

On the SECOND day of work I broke my foot.  At first I didn't realize it was a fracture, and since it didn't hurt much, I wrapped it in an ace bandage and continued to work on it for a week.  It was ridiculously swollen -- first, a baseball size lump appeared on my foot, and then the rest of it swelled to the point of me having kankles, bruised toes, and not being able to put on any shoes except for my Uggs.

Finally, at the urging of my friends and family I went to see a doctor.  I was super irritated because the receptionist failed to tell me that they only did x-rays on Saturdays before I went in and the doctor barely glanced at my foot before saying I would need to go see an orthopedic surgeon.

So I went to go get x rays at a radiology center and called the doctor a few hours later to get my results but turns out his fax was machine was broken and they told me to call back the next day.

Frustrated and impatient, I posted my x rays on Facebook to see if anybody could read them and tell me something and I got all kinds of contradicting feedback!  At first I got my hopes up because I was told by two doctors that it wasn't broken, but later a radiologist and orthopedist confirmed that I had a 5th metatarsal fracture, but that I could probably get away with wearing an air cast or boot, which allows you to still walk around.

The next day I went to a podiatrist who looked at the x rays and told me my foot was indeed broken, and due to me working on it for a week, the fracture had expanded and I was almost at the point of needing surgery.  He ended up putting me in a HARD CAST (no boot!) and now I can't go to work, drive, or walk for SIX WEEKS.  So so so so so frustrated!  To top it off my first doctor never even bothered to call back with my results -- I want a refund!

It's only been one day in my cast and I already have cabin fever.  I feel like John Locke from Lost -- it's ridiculous how I can't even do the simplest things like walk up the stairs!  And today I did the most ridiculous thing -- I was bored and decided to work out.  I was sitting in a rolling chair (my makeshift wheel chair) and lifting free weights.  I leaned over too far and somehow the chair toppled over and I fell on the ground -- and one weight fell on each hand.  Now my fingers are blue to match my toes. *Sigh* I don't know how I'm going to make it through 6 more weeks.

Well I guess the good thing is I'll have plenty of time to blog haha.  I definitely have a ton of stuff to catch up on and plenty of reviews and giveaways!

And now for the much anticipated winner to my Super Duper Hello Kitty Giveaway -- thank you SO much for being patient!

There were 1071 individual entries and 4,399 total entries including the bonus points -- craziness!

And the winner is .........

#2111 Meghan L!!!

Congratulations Meghan -- I sent you an e-mail so please respond with your mailing address!

Now I just have to find someone to take this to the post office for me haha!  Due to the success of this giveaway I will be doing another Hello Kitty giveaway in the future.  But stay tuned for my Sept giveaway -- it's gonna be a good one!  And get ready for tons of updates because for one month I'll have nothing better to do lol!