19 Crimes: The New Way to UnWine

Hey, yall! So sorry I have been soooo MIA lately but it has been for a good reason. DRUMROLL PLEASE: WE ARE MOVING TO NYC! Ahhh, I can not wait to bring you guys along with us for the ride, but to say its been a crazy AF time, would be an understatement!

Between all the recent travels back and forth plus our weekend work trips, a bish was in need to UNWINE… (get it?) Long overdue, tbh! My fave lately has been this 19 Crimes Cabernet. I can’t even remember the last time I just simply sat and sipped on a glass of wine… sans emails, sans WORK. Thankfully 19 Crimes saved the day.

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The traveling and the frenzy surrounding our move have really taken a toll on me and she knows no self care these days…le sigh.

I will say the few times we have planned for a good night in, Netflix and a wine sesh, we literally fall asleep on our couch within minutes… make-up on and all, yikes! So this time, we both said no more.  I grabbed my gratitude journal, actually sat down and simply chilled tf out.

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For some time now, our friends have suggested some wines to try, but as ya’ll know, two sips of alcohol and I’m out! AHAHA, so it’s been harder to find a wine that I can enjoy and actualllly finish. And when I say enjoy, I mean, thoroughly enjoy every sip. Many wines (to me) taste very alcohol-y and aren’t that pleasant.

But after some digging, bae and I found a bunch of reviews online about an interactive wine to sit, listen (I did just say listen, I know, weird, right? Just read on…), and unwind with. At first, the name didn’t register all that well and it wasn’t until we actually brought some home when it all came together. 19 Crimes, sounds a bit more like a novel and less like a wine brand, but it’s actually a bit of both, in a sense.

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Playing on the name, it really is criminal to taste that good, LOL… it definitely made me feel relaxed yet NOT sleepy.

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Maybe it was deep red blend of strong fruit flavors or the sweet blackberry hint, but it def had a nice balance on the taste buds. Smooth AF!

Bae was also loving it, and especially with the AR app, it really made for a fun night.

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Once you download The Living Wine Labels app, you get to scan the criminal on the front label and get to hear them tell their story about these 19 real world crimes that they partook in.

As the name suggests, 19 Crimes is really all about these short stories from prisoners who were sent to Australia. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I live for true crime, mysteries and cliffhangers, so as soon as bae and I heard the first story, we were so freaking hooked: such a fun spin on your classic glass of wine.

A message in a bottle so to speak…but these aren’t necessarily left in the past. Like I don’t geek out over many things, but this ingenious AR experience really makes that concept come to life. If you are having a bad day, escape reality for a bit, grab a 19 Crimes bottle, and hear stories that will make you want to pop open the next one.

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I know, right now, I’m like the last person to be talking about taking the time to simply pause and unwind, but I cannot stress enough just how much joy this little game/wine sesh brought. It really is the simple things.

Sometimes traditional escapism doesn’t cut it and we have to try new things that can come in different mediums, or in this case, experiences. At the moment, the whole move to the Big Apple has brought on so many doubts and anxieties but I am so excited…well, exhausted…but excited.

With so dang much to prepare and with such little time, I need to remind myself to let my hair down, more than once in a while and UNWINE. But this time, with 19 Crimes. Here’s to getting through stressful times, in the best ways we know how ❤

Although this post is sponsored by 19 Crimes, all opinions are my own. @19Crimes #LiveInfamously #19Crimes

Dazzle This Holiday With Crest

Although this post is sponsored by Crest, all teeth whitening opinions are my own 🙂

The holidays means lots of sipping and indulging in our favorite beverages and bites. My favorite part of this time of year, is sharing those memories with my peeps. Whether that be snuggling with bae near the fireplace with some hot cocoa in hand, enjoying a coffee date with a fellow blogger, or raising a glass of red vino with the fam over dinner; this season gives all the vibes! BUT that also means, tis’ the season for stained teeth, LMAO!

Like, I want to be able to dazzle on social media with a white smile, but like, all these sugary sweets are just TOO GOOD to put down! (I’m looking at you, Pumpkin Spiced Lattes!)

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So, before bae, my pup, and I send out our annual Holiday card, I NEED to show my grill a little more TLC…but honestly, who has the time…teeth whitening can be sooo tedious! Recently, my mom suggested for me to use Crest 3D Whitestrips, since she just completed her 20 day whitening with Professional Effects. And I am definitely my mother’s daughter because she has such a hard time keeping up with self-care routines, especially during busy times like the holidays, but she kept raving with how easy these were.

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It could not have been better timing, that Crest reached out because ya girl’s smile was looking a little rough! For the past two weeks, I’ve been using Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional Effects and my smile is significantly whiter. Tbh, I saw a difference after only a few uses!

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My favorite part about the strips is that they stay put until you take them off! So I can talk and even drink water while whitening! I can even multitask in a self-care moment while quickly rushing to get ready for our good friend’s holiday party! Hallelujah! No sticky gels or trays you have to worry about!

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Another problem I’ve had in the past with whitening products is that my smile is quite large and often only my front teeth would receive the benefits but Crests’ FlexFit technology allows these strips to stretch and bend, covering my entire smile!

After 20 mins, simply peel these babies off and you are good to go! No residue, no funky taste. The only thing you should notice is your smile visibly brighter. YAS QWEEN!

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OH! Another thing I should note is that my teeth are ridiculously sensitive! But with Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional Effects my teeth didn’t react one bit. That is major key in my book, because I am the last person on this planet to maintain a self-care routine that is remotely difficult or uncomfortable!

The best thing you can indulge in during this nonstop holiday season, is yourself! Squeeze in a few self-care moments with Crest 3D Whitestrips for a whiter smile, because after all… we carry it around with us every single day! You can get two Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional Effects for the price of one with their bogo deal! Shop HERE and SHINE BRIGHT, MAMAS!

Vitamin E Oil: Beauty’s Best Kept Secret

So as y’all know, I have been shamelessly promoting Vitamin E for YEARS now, but I ain’t mad bout’ it! I just wish I knew about this secret sauce, sooner! This local drug store product has not only transformed my beauty routine, but most importantly, my skin! Today, I finally have the skin I’ve always wanted: glowy, hydrated, and acne free! Prior to being introduced to Vitamin E, I was running through countless skin and make up products to better the conditions of my skin… and lets face it, that sh*t was discouraging! I had frequent break outs in my t zone, dry areas, numerous sun spots, discoloration, and scarring! I drank a lot of water, exercised, cleansed my face every day, always took off my make up, and ate semi-right (LOL) and nothing really seemed to improved. But since, I was put onto this product, I’m telling y’all, Vitamin E, has legit been THE sole reason that my skin has been treating a sis right all this time.

And before I go in, I just wanted to say how freaking happy I am that soooooo many of y’all have trusted in me enough to incorporate Vitamin E into your daily routine…like not exaggerating, over 100+ of y’all! I’m one happy Vitamin E mama!

SO, let’s go back three years ago. My skin was temperamental AF! I was venting to my fab work bestie bout’ it and he was like “girl, have you ever heard of Vitamin E? Well, that sh*t is $2.99 at CVS/Rite Aid, Target/TJs wherever you shop, and girl, it will change your life!” AND LEMME TELL Y’ALL, IT DID!

He mentioned that he suffered from chronic acne and scarring a few years prior and tried every procedure his dermatologist/esthetician offered. It was not until he began using Vitamin E RELIGIOUSLY that his skin found a new life!

That night, you already know, I rushed my ass to the closest drug store and purchased my first bottle of Vitamin E. LIFE CHANGING, HONESTLYYY!

So let’s get into the most frequently asked questions I’ve received from y’all.

WHAT DOES VITAMIN E DO?!

It HEALS damaged tissue.

  • Which means that Vitamin E’s role is to smooth and repair acne scars, sun spots, wrinkles, discoloration, and prevent any further damage from free radicals. It also moisturizes and softens the skin as well.

HOW DO I APPLY IT?!

This will be your last step of your skin regimen. Personally, I cleanse first, apply moisturizer, then Vitamin E! I know that my routine is pretty simple in comparison to others but whatever yours may be, my only suggestion is to apply Vitamin E as your final step. Personally, I apply Vitamin E twice a day. Once in the AM (right before applying my make-up) and then again right before bed.

I squeeze a generous amount of oil onto CLEAN hands and lather the oil onto my face. I do work it a bit into my skin and massage outwards. I then, bring it down onto my neck and rub any excess I have on my elbows and hands.

If its the AM, I would apply my foundation right on top of the Vitamin E, which will leave me with a dewy finish (which I live for).

If it’s before bed, I will make sure I am up for at least 10 minutes before laying down. This ensures that the product seeps into my skin vs it rubbing off on my pillows (especially if you sleep on your side).

** As a bonus step: invest in a jade roller. The simple hand application of Vitamin E will do the trick, but just recently, I incorporated a jade roller and man, is it heaven like! So, right after I apply Vitamin E, I grab the roller from the freezer, and roll upwards and outwards to really help the product seep into my skin.

WHEN WILL I SEE RESULTS?!

For the past 3 years, I have religiously used Vitamin E every morning and every night.

I’ve given my skin so much TLC, that at this point, it has completely been restored. Like my skin three years ago vs the skin I live in today, dang…almost feels like a different person.

It is all about consistency and trusting in the product.

But initially, I saw a different in my skin after the second weekend of use.

WHAT IF I ALREADY HAVE OILY SKIN?!

So there is a common misconception that oil-prone skin requires regimes that consist of oil free products. EHHHH, WRONG.

In fact, oily skin can be caused by using products that dry out the skin and hence, when the natural oils of our face are stripped off, our skin will tend to overproduce to compensate.

So if this is your skin type, you are actually the most ideal candidate for Vitamin E.

I also suffered from an oily T zone. In school, I would have my compact on hand, ready to dab away at any excess shine. But girl, let me tell you, those days are over!

WHICH BRAND SHOULD I TRY FIRST?!

Which ever drug store is most local to you!

I’ve used: Rite Aid, CVS, Trader Joe’s, & Target brand.

However, I do preferTrader Joe’s bottle as it’s slightly bigger by a few OZ and I believe the cheapest. But, all have worked equally as well.

CAN I USE VITAMIN E ON ANY OTHER PART OF MY BODY?!

Yes! I usually like to apply any excess from my hands onto the ends of my hair, cuticles, and elbows. Vitamin E oil will also work in the same ways to hydrate and moisturize dry hair and/or skin.

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SOOO, this post is obviously not sponsored but rather a little way I can help out a fellow sis (or bro) in need. Like I mentioned before, Vitamin E has been my biggest beauty “secret” (not really since I talk bout it’ so much, but you know what I mean) to date! If you have any more questions, I will be happy to help 🙂 Now glow TF up, queens!

Collab with Caseapp + Giveaway

If you know me, you’d know I am on my phone and/or laptop 24/7.

On this Earth Day, I’m pretty excited to be partnered with Caseapp to give away a custom iPhone case or laptop skin on the blog!

*My phone case and laptop skin were provided by CaseApp, but all opinions are my own*

Since Caseapp has been kind enough to reach out, I’d like to share my experience with their amazing choices and built quality. Caseapp provides endless possibilities for customizations and default designs. Just like any accessory, phone cases are crucial to compliment a given outfit and make it all come together. That’s exactly why I went with a more minimalistic look and a phone case that can offer versatility.  I searched through Pinterest for inspo of potential case/skin art. For some time now, I’ve been a sucker for succulents and the power of plant therapy. I feel like plants and greenery all together really combine well to add a genuine relaxing atmosphere whether it be at the office, home or when you are out and about. Similarly, with blogging, I think it’s important to create a space where you are inspired aesthetically. My iPhone case and laptop skin channel that for me.

Now through May 11th, you can save 20% with the code JASMINVANESSA20 during checkout at caseapp.com 🙂

Also, I will be hosting a Giveaway! It is open internationally and the winner gets one free product from their site. All you have to do is comment on my latest Instagram post or in the comments below and I will randomly select the winner this upcoming Wednesday, 4/25 🙂 Goodluck, yall XO

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The Holy Grail of Foundations

How many of us have struggled with finding the right foundation?! I know I have! It was either I used a brand that matched my skin tone, but was not a match for my skin type or vice versa. I am warm complexioned and have combination skin which means I have both dry and oily areas, so you can imagine how tough it’s been for your girl, haha. As most of us have, I started off with a drugstore foundation. For years I was not happy with the quality these brands had to offer, plus they were cakey or not long lasting.

I finalllly mustered up the courage to spend some real money on a high end brand, just a couple of years ago. But let me tell you, the quest to find the perfect foundation, left this girl feeling overwhelmed by options. There are so many different formulas, textures and ingredients out there. Knowing which one suits you is TOUGH. But after some trial and error, I’m pretty sure I have found the one!!!! To have and to hold, from this day forward…sort of thing. HA!

Drum roll please….

Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation

Illuminating, weightless foundation blurs imperfections while adding a dewy glow. The formula is infused with Vitamin E oil so you are sure to feel hydrated and conditioned.  This is a full coverage foundation but it is sheer. So if you do suffer from acne or scarring this may not be full enough coverage. I will say though, I do have sun spots and get the occasional break out and this is more than enough coverage for that. This product will leave you with healthy and radiant looking skin. I prefer to apply the product with a blending brush vs a beauty blender as it’s already so lightweight. What I love about it, is the formula takes less than a minute to bond with my skin! Plus, a little can go a long way. It is a buildable formula that blends well with concealers, bronzers, blushes etc. You will feel like your skin is able to freely breath (which was not the case for me with other foundations). In fact, I work out mid day with this foundation on and my face looks just as fresh as it did before my work out, can you say #qualitymakeup !?

I am truly amazed by this product and will repurchase time and time again. I use the product 7x a week yet the bottle lasts for about 4-6 months!! So, if you’re ready to serve those radiant, fresh, and healthy looks, this foundation is for you!! What are you waiting for? Head to your nearest Sephora and try it out for yourself!

P.S. If you are wanted to take this look to yet another level, I would suggest using it’s partner: Becca Backlight Priming Filter Face Primer. It helps create a smooth canvas and acts as an extra filter to flawless and glowing skin! Xo

 

Fave Drugstore Beauty Products

Let’s face it, makeup is ridiculously pricey. Although beauty products usually fall into the, “you get what you pay for” type category, this is not alwayss the case! In fact, my usual beauty routine is a blend of both drugstore and high end products. As there are a plethora of products on the market, here are my favorite makeup, hair, skin, and body finds you can score alongside your toiletries.

*For each drugstore product, I have listed its high end alternative (all in which I have used before) as a means of price comparison.

 

1) Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer – $9

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This product by far has been my on-the-go savior! I just apply the applicator directly onto the under-eye area, blending into my skin with either a beauty blender, blending brush, or my finger. In fact, I also use this product as a lid primer before I apply my eye shadows. Within minutes I see a significant difference in the dark hollows of my eyes, all while brightening and shaping my skin.

Its alternative: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer – $27

2) Wet n Wild Photo Focus Natural Finish Setting Spray, $4.99

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This product was actually recommended to me by a friend after years of using its high end alternative. I was skeptical at first, but now I can not tell the difference between the two. Both brands keep my make up long lasting, oil free, and give me that dewy skin I’m looking for. Currently I’m wearing this product full-time!

Its alternative: Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix Make-up Setting Spray – $48

3) Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder, $4.99Image result for WET N WILD MegaGlo Highlighting Powder (82) REVIEWS 0.19 oz Item 2516739 $4.99 Color:Precious Petals ADD TO BAG

This product has been my go-to! Whether I’m dripping in color or going for a more natural look, this highlight helps create the illusion of brightness and height onto my frame. A little product goes a long way, here!

Its alternative: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish- Soft & Gentle Highlight, $34

4) Rimmel Lasting Finish Lip Color by Kate, $4.50

I don’t have much of a lipstick collection, but the few I do own are basically all drugstore nudes! This brand is long-lasting and strong in pigment! I truly can not tell the difference between this lippie and its alternative. I wear this product at least 5x a week, and one stick lasts me a little over a year.

Its alternative: MAC Among the Fireflies Lipstick, $17.50

5) L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara, $9.99

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If I could bow down to this product, I would! I have gone through several high end and drugstore mascaras and none did the job for me as well as this brand has! I’m in L O V E  with this mascara! It spreads out your eyelashes perfectly; eliminates any clumps, and lengthens your lashes fully in one coat. I have stubbornly-straight eyelashes so with this thin of a brush, it allows for me to coat the root of the lash, giving me the fanned out – curled illusion.

Its alternative: Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara, $24

6) L’Oreal Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner, $8.95

THIS IS YOUR MUST-HAVE ITEM! I don’t even know where to begin with this product! I have been using this brand of eyeliner since 8th grade! Liner is my favorite beauty product, hand down! Truly without liner, I feel naked! For over 10 years now, I have perfected my wing with this long-wear, intense liquid color. My liner tends to be the most complimented aspect of my make up, as it literally stays fresh and vibrant even after all day wear. The best part: it’s smudge free! I have extremely sensitive eyes, and I’ve never had an issue with this product. I’ve found that higher end liners tend to crack throughout the day or have made my eyes water. All this to say, I literally do not know what I’d do without this product in my life!

Its alternative: Dolce & Gabbana Intense Liquid Eyeliner, $38

7) Covergirl Professional Loose Powder, $5.89

Extend your look with this rich product! This lightweight powder locks in foundation and concealer so that there are no cracks or creases in sight! In order to set my makeup for a flawless finish, I use this translucent powder primarily under my eyes. Not only does this powder give my makeup a seamless finish, but it also helps conceal any under-eye bags I may have. I truly can not tell the difference between this product and its high end alternative!

Its alternative: Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder, $38

8) Conair Hot Sticks Curling Iron, 3/4 Inch, $15.99

May sound crazy, but I’ve literally only owned two hair curlers in my entire life. Both, this exact brand and model. Just late last year, I had to retire my first curler as it was finally giving out after 12 years of use! I usually give myself waves, so I wrap a section of my hair around the rod as you would a wand and then let go after a few seconds. All this to say, this product is durable and is the only curler I will ever use.

Its alternative: I would not know, ha!

9) InfinitiPro by Conair Ceramic Flat Iron, $29

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This tool has been my full-time straightener for over 5 years. It provides fast, versatile styling options (waves or straight) and although the plates are only 1 inch, this flat iron can straighten thick sections of hair at once! I have pretty long hair yet I can complete my entire mane in about 10 minutes. Usually one glide per section will do the trick for all day (non frizz) results!

Its alternative: CHI Cermatic 1″ Hairstyling Iron, $85

10) Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes, $4.99

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I mean, the first step of having clean skin, starts with removing your makeup before bed! I have gone through numerous brands and I’ve either experienced irritation, have had to use several wipes at a time to do the job, or felt sticky. Neutrogena is truly the only brand that has successfully wiped off all of my make up (matte lipstick, mascara, bottom eye-lid liner, etc) with one towelette. My skin actually feels refreshed and looks radiant after use.

Its alternative: Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths, $15

11) Vitamin E Moisturizing Skin Oil, $5.50

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Last year, I was referred to this product by a friend. I was experiencing random break outs, dry skin, and numerous sun spots, basically my skin NEEDED help! According to him, this brand helped cure his acne, smoothed over any remaining scars, and brought this new found radiance to his skin. Over one year later, I too can attest to the wonders of the product! My face rarely feels dry anymore and my sunspots have nearly disappeared! The best skin product I have used thus far!

Its alternative: La Mer The Renewal Oil, $245

 

*Hope this list helps! Your body and wallet will thank you for picking up these finds!* Xoxo