Perfectly Pretty in Pink Valentine’s Day Gifts


perfectly pretty in pink valentines day gifts

I like to ditch the candy and flowers for Valentine’s Day—they’re pretty overpriced for the holiday! Don’t fall into that trap (unless you really want to), go for these gorgeous pink gifts instead. They’ll be around long after your chocolates and flowers are gone…

clarisonic sonic radiance

Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution Kit

I often have people ask me if I think a Clarisonic is worth the splurge, and my emphatic reply is always—YES! If I get a little lax on using mine, I can definitely tell a difference in the way my skin looks and behaves. Last summer, the Sonic Radiance set was introduced as an easy way to cleanse your skin to its brightest complexion yet. Since you’re cleansing your skin (or at least you should be) both morning and night anyway, take advantage of that time with a special dedicated cleanser for the morning, and a dedicated cleanser for evening use. When combined with use of the included Brightening Activator Serum, you’ll remove skin impurities, encourage faster cell-turnover, and brighten skin discoloration in just minutes a day. (The new Radiance brush head is super luxe and plush, too!) $249 ($314 value), sephora.com  [Read more…]

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab “DIRTY” Perfume Oil Review (BPAL)


BPAL oils

One of my goals here on the blog for 2015, was to introduce myself (and you!) to brands that are new—or in this case—new to me. Keeping with that promise, I’m bringing you an amazing perfume oil from an indie brand with an impressive cult following: Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab—which will be called BPAL here on the blog going forward.

BPAL has always been kind of an enigma to me. It has often enticed me, puzzled me, and seduced me at the same time. For a newbie like me, BPAL can seem a little intimidating—as it currently stands, there are hundreds of oils on their website, and from what I’ve researched, each one has its own complexities and characteristics that make it special and unique to the individual wearer. These are highly artisanal blends, carefully handcrafted in their “lab”. They’re not your run-of-the-mill perfume place, BPAL has perfected their art for over 15 years! There is even a BPAL Forum where devotees discuss reviews, and offer advice. Talk about being a cult fave indie brand!

So, without further ado—meet my very first BPAL perfume oil—DIRTY

BPAL Dirty fragrance oil

With this being my first, I didn’t know where to begin. It’s a good thing that Stef from we heart this is a good friend of mine, because she was my tour guide—having been a loyal BPAL devotee for years. First, visit the BPAL product & site directory, and on the left, you’ll see their categories. On the right, you’ll see perfumes by scents/notes, effects, or themes. BPAL often has a group of perfume oils with “themes”—kind of like how nail polish brands come out with themes for seasonal collections, but trust me—BPAL’s oils are even better when it comes to a theme! (DIRTY is part of the “Sin and Salvation” category.)  [Read more…]

Charlie Hunnam is the Face of Calvin Klein’s New Men’s Fragrance, and I’d Like to Buy a Case


Charlie Hunnam Calvin Klein Reveal Men

It’s Wednesday, and I’m feeling lighthearted around here—so I had to share my absolutely ridiculous, married-lady crush with you—Charlie Hunnam. I wasn’t into Sons of Anarchy at all until the final season, and I had absolutely no idea who he was before SOA. But let’s just say, I made myself very familiar during season 7, because hi—just look at him. And then I heard him speak with his native English accent, the deal was sealed.

For all of my fellow fans out there, Charlie is the face of the new men’s fragrance, REVEAL Men Calvin Klein. Spotted at the Calvin Klein Menswear Fall/Winter 2015/2016 show in Milan, he’s every bit as delicious looking as REVEAL Men sounds like it smells:  [Read more…]

Holiday Gifting 2014: Indie Brands


indie brand holiday gifts

I’m sure your holiday shopping is in full swing by now, and if not—it will be very soon! Are you stumped on gift ideas for someone special because you don’t want to give something that’s unoriginal, or something that can be found at every retailer in town? I’ve got some great gift ideas for you, and they’re all from indie brands—almost guaranteeing that you won’t be gifting them a dupe they’ll want to return!

I’ve searched for some unique items, and these are a few I fell absolutely in love with. Check out my picks from these indie specialty brands!

gnarly whale hair products

Hair Products from The Gnarly Whale

All of the products from The Gnarly Whale are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, and they smell delicious! This husband and wife team creates unique haircare and bath products with minimal ingredients for low-impact on the earth, yet still yield full efficacy. 10% of their sales each month are donated to earth and marine-friendly charities, like the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

My fave pick is this awesome haircare gift trio with their signature shampoo, detangler, and beach wave spray in their Thai Coconut fragrance. Just $20 will score you this substantial gift, and you can select your product fragrance from a list of 13, or opt for the unscented versions. Once you see the list of available scents though, I have a feeling you’ll go for a fragrance! Coconut Lime VerbenaCoconut Milk & Peaches, or Bubblegum anyone? $20, thegnarlywhale.com

strawn soaps

Olive Oil Bath Soaps from An Ancient Art Handmade Soap Company

My amazing hairstylist turned me on to the soap bars from this tiny artisanal shop out of Strawn, Texas. She gifted me a bar of their handmade Red Wine soap, and I immediately ordered more! I love supporting this small business, they have over 30 scents available in their handmade olive oil soap formula that I’m obsessed with! You’ve got to look at the list of soap fragrance varieties they offer. I’m also a fan of their Vitality Cuticle Cream, and their lip balms. I’ve got the banana lip balm on my desk (which I use very often), and due to its high shea butter and olive oil content, my lips feel like buttah! Soaps—$6.50 each ($6 each for 3 or more—mix & match), strawnsoap.com   [Read more…]

What’s New: SOFÍA by Sofia Vergara Eau de Parfum (Plus Bonus Giveaway!)


Sofia by Sofia Vergara Fragrance on HSN

I’ve been wearing this gorgeous new fragrance off and on for a few months now, and it comes from the most glamorous, vibrant (and pretty damn funny), exotic beauty I know—SOFÍA by Sofia Vergara. I had the chance to ask Sofia a few questions personally, and here’s what she told me!

You must be really excited about the launch of your fragrance at HSN. Describe SOFÍA by Sofia Vergara for me. 

The fragrance is a mix of berries and florals, and there is even a little bit of earthiness to it. The goal was that when women put it on, they would immediately feel a bit more glamorous. I’ve learned a lot through this process and within the industry, my fragrance is categorized as a juicy floral oriental. It incorporates my heritage through the notes and through the shape of the bottle, which is an emerald—the stone of Colombia and my favorite jewel to wear.

I have to ask—what’s the secret behind your killer curves? How do you manage to stay in such incredible shape for being so busy? 

How flattering. I am a very healthy eater and I believe in moderation. Exercise is an important part of my lifestyle. I try to do something at least three times a week. 

Sofia by Sofia Vergara Fragrance

Sofia is right…

This fragrance is not only deliciously juicy, it does have subtle earth notes that keep it from lingering on the too-sweet or youthful side. It has authentic notes of Colombian rose and Colombian orchid; making it truly an authentic scent from this famous Colombian beauty. There are true touches of Sofia here! Somewhat sunny, and somewhat provocative—I find a perfect balance here between sexy, and everyday glamour. This is a charming and sensual fragrance that isn’t too overpowering, so you can wear nearly daily. I just love it.

Right now, you’ll find it exclusively at HSN where it immediately became a top customer pick. It comes in a few different configurations to choose from at HSN which you’ll find here. I also hear the SOFÍA by Sofia Vergara Shimmer Body Lotion is killer, but I haven’t tried it yet! And a little birdie told me to expect SOFÍA to roll out to other nationwide retailers in the fall. Keep your eyes peeled, you’ll want to try it!

Want some great news? I have a brand new bottle of SOFÍA by Sofia Vergara sitting on my desk right now—just WAITING to send to a lucky winner. So look for the giveaway details below!  [Read more…]

Holiday Gifting: Affordable Luxury


holiday gifting affordable luxury

Spending a lot of money and the holidays kind of go together like chocolate and peanut butter—it may sound deliciously indulgent, but it’s not necessarily good for you (or your wallet, in this case). Check out these luxe (yet still pretty affordable) gifting ideas that seem like they could cost more than they really do.

ponds iluminage skin rejuvenatingpillowcase with copper oxide

Iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Pillowcase

Sleep on a well-known essential mineral that’s known to play an important role in skin cell regeneration, every night! This breakthrough innovation releases copper ions to the skin’s surface when in contact with the copper oxide fibers woven into the Iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Pillowcase. Clinically proven (in an independent double-blind placebo controlled study) to help reduce fine lines in as little as four weeks, enjoy getting your beauty sleep on this luxuriously smooth, eco-friendly copper fiber thread that’s soft and silky to the touch. It sort of feels like sleeping on silk, which is great at saving a hairstyle for a second day of wear, and reducing hair breakage! This intelligent textile that took over 10 years of research to develop is worth a look. bergdorfgoodman.com, neimanmarcus.com—$60 [Read more…]

What’s New: Marc Jacobs Honey Eau de Parfum


marc jacobs honey 1

I’m such a fan of Marc Jacobs…everything. His fragrance bottles, leather handbags, and nail polishes especially have a warm place in my heart! His latest fragrance has me buzzing—it’s called Honey, and it’s for those who like a brighter, sweeter fragrance.

marc jacobs 2

Marc Jacobs Honey

Honey opens with fruity notes of pear, fruit punch, and juicy mandarin before leaning into a peach and honeysuckle middle. Honey then finishes with warm base notes of honey and golden vanilla, with a touch of smooth woods. [Read more…]

Exclusive Q&A with NBA Superstar, Chris Paul for His New Fragrance—Untouchable


cp3 chris jrIt goes without saying, that if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter—you’ve seen my tweets and photos from almost every Los Angeles Clippers home game. We’re season ticket holders, and we absolutely love basketball. So it’s no surprise when I tell you, that my favorite NBA player ever, is the one and only, Chris Paul—aka, CP3. He’s our amazing point guard, and watching CP3 play is an experience. He displays tremendous good sportsmanship, and his plays are works of art!

Even if you’re not a basketball person, it’s hard not to love Chris Paul. He’s involved in much philanthropy through his CP3 Foundation, and he also just launched a new fragrance in partnership with Avon, Untouchable. I’m so lucky to have scored an exclusive interview with him to discuss his latest venture. Check out our chat below!

Amber: Can you tell me a little bit about what inspired you to partner with Avon for the launch of this fragrance?

CP3: Scent is so important, second to physical attraction. Fragrance is important to me, because it’s what defines you when you meet someone for the first time and that’s what the person is going to remember you by—so when Avon asked me to be the face of their new fragrance Untouchable, I was pumped. The campaign shoot was amazing because I got to share the experience with my son. It meant a lot and I hope he remembers that day too. I’m also excited it’s out for Father’s Day because it’s such a meaningful day for me and my family. This year we’re going to North Carolina. I’ll spend the day golfing with my dad, my brother and also bring little Chris, and then we’ll have a big cookout. There’s nothing like family home cooking.

untouchable fragranceAmber: Tell me about the Untouchable scent.

CP3: Untouchable is inspired by the competitive spirit and the drive to succeed. The fragrance starts off fresh with notes like water and grapefruit but has a spicy kick to it with energizing black pepper. I love the scent because I need to be energized in my day to day—whether I’m getting ready for practice or a game, or taking my kids to school.

Amber: I notice that off the court, you’re quite a sharp dresser! Does your fashion sense cross over into having favorite grooming products? Do you try the hottest new products, or are there favorites that you have and you stick with them?  [Read more…]

Beauty Quickies: Joie Folle de Joie Eau de Parfum for Women


Beauty Quickies is a series where I showcase a great product that I haven’t had the opportunity to write a comprehensive review for. These products pass my standards, and I hope you enjoy getting these beauty product stats at-a-glance!

joie folle de joie

Pronounced “juh-wa”, and meaning “joy” in French—comfy, modern, and casual clothing company Joie released an incredibly beautiful fragrance, Folle de Joie eau de parfum (“crazy with joy”). It’s everything I personally want in a fragrance. It’s light, sparkling, somewhat effervescent, and it’s as if the sun-kissed beaches of California met the streets of Paris. [Read more…]