About Amanda

I’m a disgruntled Metro-North commuter by morning, real estate journalist by day, insomniac by night, and cancer butt-kicker for life.

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Review: Radiant with AVEENO

Influenster and Aveeno recently sent me a jar of of Aveeno Positively Radient Intensive Night Cream to try out.


It’s a cream that you smooth over your entire cleansed face and neck; the product claims to improve your skin’s tone, dullness, brown spots, texture, and blotchiness.

For the past few weeks, I replaced my regular night cream (Clinque Youth Surge Night) with the Aveeno Positively Radient Intensive Night Cream, which I used both in the evening and in the morning after washing my face. I wasn’t expecting it to work as well as my $50 cream, but I was pleasantly surprised.

I have combination skin—oily in some spots and dry and flaky in the other, so it’s important that a night cream isn’t too heavy, otherwise I’m prone to breaking out. Aveeno Positively Radient Intensive Night Cream delivered just the right amount of moisture, not leaving my face feeling like it was heavily lotioned. A little goes a long way, and I’m still not halfway through the jar. The other plus for me was the smell—it’s light and not very perfumey.

My skin has retained its brightness and tone, while my blotchiness is less noticeable. I find I don’t need to use as much makeup to cover up in the mornings. I don’t have any brown spots, so I’m not sure how it would have worked on them. I haven’t seen much difference in the texture of my skin, besides its feeling soft from the cream.

At a suggested retail price of $16.99, I’m considering switching from my more expensive night cream to the Aveeno, as it seems to have the same effect on my skin as the $50 jar of Clinique. I’m pretty happy with the results (and the money it’s saved me!).

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Review: DOT by Marc Jacobs

Crowdtap recently sent me a bottle and samples of DOT by Marc Jacobs to try out and share with my friends.



If you’re not familiar with DOT (and its super cute flower-butterfly-ladybug inspired bottle), it’s a light, sophisticated fragrance perfect for the spring and summer. Its top notes include red berries, dragon fruit, and honeysuckle, while the floral notes include jasmine, coconut water, and orange blossom. The dry down note are vanilla, driftwood, and musk.

Even though three particular scents may strike you as strong—jasmine, musk, and driftwood—the fragrance is hardly overpowering. It’s very sweet and flowery, and has elicited many positive comments when I wore it (particularly people asking where the flowers are located). The fruity notes are also sophisticated, avoiding that sickly-sweet drugstore or teenage perfume smell.

The bottle is a piece of artwork in itself, and adds a touch of whimsy to your collection–so much fun to look at and display!

If you’re looking for a fruity, yet decidedly grown-up perfume, definitely check out DOT by Marc Jacobs.

You can join Crowdtap here to connect to companies and products like Marc Jacobs.


Burning Down The… Hood?

Today, I was in the beauty supply store that my sister works in, when a woman in her mid-70s walks in, reeking of cigarette smoke. Not in a “I smoke a pack a day” kind of way, but as in “I’m smoking in your store right now.”

I didn’t see any cigarette in her hand, but then I saw the source: Smoke was pouring out of her coat’s hood. I waved wildly at my sister’s co-worker Jaimie to show her, as I didn’t want to call out the customer when I didn’t work there.  Jaimie didn’t know what I was talking about, so I ran to the back of the store and told my sister’s boss, who walked calmly to the front, plucked the cigarette out of the woman’s hood, and said, “You have a burning cigarette in your hood.”

You think the woman would freak out, right? No. She didn’t know it was there, but acted like it was totally normal that she had a burning cigarette in her hood. Seriously?

Looking back, my reaction was a bit odd too. You’d think I’d pull out the cigarette myself. I don’t know what was going through my head at the time, but it was more along the lines of, “Oh, the woman must’ve stored it in there so she can resume smoking it as soon as she leaves the store.” Why did I even think something like that?

Review: Influenster Beauty Blogger VoxBox 2012

Today I received my first Influenster VoxBox with six different beauty, health, and home items to try. I was introduced to the website by a woman I follow on Twitter, but this is the first time I’ve ever been picked my Influenster to review items. (You can request an invite here.)

Here’s what I received in the VoxBox:

1) NYC New York Color IndividualEyes Custom Compact ($4.99) – The multi-color eyeshadow compact has four different shadows, a primer, and illuminator. I received the “Dark Shadows” palette, which is three smoky greys with an ivory illuminator. The compact has (what looks to be) foolproof instructions to creating a smokey eye, which I’ve always has trouble doing. Hopefully I’ll be able to recreate this! It looks like a paint-by-numbers kit, perfect for someone like me.

2) Kiss Ever Pro Lashes Starter Kit ($5.99) – The kit includes human-hair false eyelashes, latex-free adhesive, and a big applicator. I’ve never been good at applying these things, but hopefully the big applicator will help. They’re thick and dark eyelashes.

3) Bath & Body Works Mini Candle ($3.50) – I received the Slatkin & Co Cider Lane candle, which smells absolutely divine – like the caramel apple cider at Starbucks. Can’t wait to burn this one. It also came with a $10 off coupon for a three-wick candle at Bath & Body Works, so I hopped over there tonight to buy the larger version. However, the fall candles (including the Cider one) were already on sale and I couldn’t use the coupon, so I applied it to one of the holiday scents, Peppermint Mocha. If you grew up as an ’80s child, it smells exactly like the Chocolottie doll that came in the Cherry Merry Muffin line – that’s exactly why I bought it! I received Chocolottie for my seventh birthday, and she was one of my favorite toys.

4) EBOOST Daily Health Booster ($28 for a box of 20) – This is an orange-flavored powder you mix with water that is supposed to help with energy, immunity, and focus. I haven’t tried it yet, but it sort of reminds me of Emergen-C, with all the vitamins. I’m usually not a fan of these powders, but I’ll give it a whirl.

5) Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin ($7.29) – This is the one product I’ve already tried it and I’m in love! It’s a spiral shaped pin you stick in your hair to anchor a bun or updo. I have thin hair and it takes a lot of bobby pins to keep my hair in place. All I needed was one spin pin from the package (it comes with two) to hold my thin, shoulder-length hair in place. (And it’s much more attractive than using a pencil!)

6) Not Your Mother’s Smooth Moves Frizz Hair Control Hair Cream ($6.00) – This is another product I’m excited to try. I’m a big fan of Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe texturizing spray, which I recently discovered as a cheaper – and actually better – version of Bumble & Bumble’s Surf Spray. (I found it at CVS.) My hair does frizz in the winter, and I’m hoping this cream will keep it tame while not weighing my thin hair down.