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.

Old Navy’s Horrible Pricing Policy

Today, I took a trip to Old Navy to buy a beautiful scarf I found online—it was a pink and paisley, and I thought it would be fun to wear on Easter Sunday. I found it immediately, and also found three other scarves I liked. Right before I check out, I discovered each scarf was $14.94, not $12.94 as indicated online (which was not marked as a web-only price)—that’s an $8 total difference. When I got up the register, I asked the sales associate if she could please match the Internet price, and she said she was unable to do so. I then put the scarves back on the shelf, and left without buying anything.

That means I could have saved myself a trip to the store, bought the scarves online for $8 cheaper, and gotten them shipped for free (with a promo going on right now).

Old Navy is the first retailer I’ve encountered that will not match an Internet price. I was thoroughly disappointed because I spent time and money to get to the store, yet the above situation would have been much cheaper. In the end, I didn’t buy the scarves out of principle.

I sent Old Navy a letter expressing disappointment over its price-matching policy, and noted that I’d hope it would reconsider. I mentioned that I thought it would not only be a positive for customers, but for the company as well, since it wouldn’t have to use extra resources, like packaging, to ship out an online order.

We’ll see what sort of reply I get.

(UPDATE: An Old Navy representative reached out to me by phone and said that the associate was in error—the store does match Internet prices and he apologized for my experience. For my troubles, he’s sending me a gift card to spend in the store. Thank you, Old Navy, for your response.)

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: Palmolive Fresh Infusions

Influenster sent me three complimentary bottles of Palmolive Fresh Infusions to review. Each bottle is 16 oz. and comes in three fresh scents: Lime Basil, Lemon Thyme, and Ginger White Tea.



Unfortunately, when I first opened the box, some contents had spilled and everything was soap. But the bottles were still mostly full. It certainly gave me a first impression of the scents though – very fresh and light!

My favorite scent, hands down, is the Lime Basil. It’s lighter than most of the citrus-based dishwashing liquids you’re used to. It has a more sugary edge, and smells very much like lime candy (which is my all-time favorite candy flavor – maybe that’s why I love it so much!). The basil isn’t very apparent though – it’s much more citrusy than herbal.

The same goes for the Lemon Thyme. Again, it’s a very powerful citrus scent, but fresh, not chemically. You don’t smell the thyme very much. It was my second favorite of the trio.

The third is Ginger White Tea. It’s okay, but isn’t my favorite. I’ll use it, but it probably wouldn’t be my choice while shopping. It smells more like your traditional dishwashing soap than the others and as a slight antibacterial smell to it, like Dial soap.

I shared the Lemon Thyme with a friend (I was a bit greedy about keeping the Lime Basil). She absolutely loved it and said it would likely replace the lemon-based dishwashing soap she currently uses. We both found it washed our dishes very well: not overly sudsy, cut easily through grease, and didn’t leave an overwhelming, unappetizing scent on our dishes.

You can learn more about Palmolive Fresh Infusions at Palmolive’s website and read reviews from other Influensters here. They’re available at your local Walmart or you can buy them online for $2.69 each at Walmart.com.


One Man’s Trash is Another Amanda’s Treasure

A Writer’s Book of Days (01/15) – It’s Saturday. You’re Not At Home.

I rummage through the rack of scarves, picking up a gold-embellished pashmina. Only $2! I put it in my cart, which is filling up with clothes, books, board games, and other long-discarded items. It’s just another Saturday rummaging through thrift stores with Lexcie. He’s off looking for Coca-Cola glasses, which are found in almost every store we go to.

Flickr: Pete Boyd

Thrifting is relatively new to me. Once in a while, I’d stop at a garage sale or local thrift store to see what things people were getting rid of. Sometimes I’d end up with a new novel for a quarter or perhaps a nice basket. It wasn’t until Lexcie introduced me to the mega thrift store (Salvation Army, Goodwill, Savers, and consignment boutiques) that I’d really become a convert. I’m constantly finding brand new clothes, expensive books, and vintage accessories for mere dollars. (That is, unless Lexcie watches my shopping cart. A lot of things for mere dollars can add up to $50 or $60, I’ve learned, especially when you’re in Great Britain and thrift store density is akin to Starbucks in New York City.)

Some of my best finds include: a $60 pencil skirt for $3 (new with tags); a vintage teal Samsonite Fashionaire carry-on, which I now use as my briefcase; a $50 Ann Taylor scarf for $4; and plenty of spectacular, signed vintage brooches for my jewelry collection.

I hardly shop retail anymore, which is good for my wallet and overall materialism. It feels nice to give something a second or third home. I’ve found some really great buys that I may not have necessarily sought out elsewhere, opening me to new fashion, new ideas, and new inspiration.