5 CVS Summer Finds To Shop Now {+ $50 CVS Gift Card Giveaway}

For me I don't always have time to make a run to the usual suspects for my beauty needs, luckily there's no shortage of CVS stores on New York City streets. So if I'm ever running low on some of my drugstore favorites I pop in and grab what I need and then off to where I'm going, whether it be home, brunch or the park (in today's case, it's the zoo). So I'm rounding up my 5 favorite Summer CVS finds and giving one lucky reader a $50 gift card to shop their own essentials (enter below).

1. Sunscreen
I am serious about my sun protection all year around but I'm even more serious about once the temperatures start heating up. So, I opt for a 60 spf+ broad spectrum sunscreen. A LOT of people have been talking about LA ROCHE-POSAY so when I spotted it on sale for $20 at CVS, I grabbed it immediately. 

2. Two-In-1 Color
Next all over color is a must, even better when I can use it on the go. I was thrilled when I saw this All-In-1 Beauty Balm Cheek and Lip from Physician's Formula. The peach immediately caught my eye and the fact that it has an SPF 20! Yes please. 

3. Resort Ready Mani - Pedi's 
Also, since I've been skipping out on mani and pedi's since the whole unfair treatment of workers in the city exposé came out I've been opting to do them myself. Which turns out to be more cost effective and actually fun. How did I forget this! I'm taking a break from my lavenders and pinks and opting for pastel blues and green to pop with my hair. Essie's Fashion Playground and Bikini So Teenie are my newest picks! 

4. Summer Ready Primer
Feeling like you're face is melting during the summer is probably one of my least favorite feelings, I know you're with me on this. So a good primer is a must, this spray on, Salma Hayek Nuance (I love her line) Oil-Free Sheer Liquid Veil with an SPF 50 does the trick. And it's under $10!

5. Sweat-proof Eye Liner
 We know how much I love a good cat eye so I'm dependent on something that isn't going to give me raccoon eyes after a few minutes in the heat. NYX Super Skinny Marker in Carbon Black does the trick and if I need a touch up before dinner It fits perfectly in the smallest of bags. 

What are your Summer Drugstore Essentials?

Enter To Win $50 to Shop Your CVS Beauty Finds Here: 

Picnic In The Park

For me inspiration comes from all over, be it via the outdoors or the latest prints spotted on the runway. It’s everywhere and I’m always looking for the next thing to give me a creative boost. It is no surprise, then, that I found myself enamored by the HPx360 collaborative Behind The Scenes video chronicling the exploits of an international team of multimedia artists. Challenging me to take my own chance to bend the rules. 

First up, taking things outdoors! I knew Jackie would be up for the task of doing something on a whim and we quickly decided that it would be the most fun to skip the indoor activities (read: work) and head out for a picnic in the park. The weather couldn’t be more perfect this time of year.

So, we invited a couple of friends, packed a basket, and found ourselves an ideal location just under a tree at Madison Square Park. We had no trouble bending the rules just a little bit as we kicked off our shoes and settled on to the picnic blanket for lemonade, fruit, and french macarons. Forget that last half day spent in front of the computer when you have soft, cushy grass between your toes and an afternoon’s worth of laughs {including the moment I remembered that I only shaved one leg}. 
My Outfit Deets: Dress Chicwish, Shoes TJMAXX, Sunnies Sole Society
How do you #bendtherules?

The post is sponsored by HP.

Summer Leg Style

This post is sponsored by Veet.

Growing up in Florida spoiled me with short hemlines year-round. My first couple of winters as a city girl came and went and there was no way I was spending another second in jeans and boots. The moment the weather turns warm, my legs are out.

So naturally, smooth legs are an essential once the summer season hits, and more times than not I forget to shave. Truth be told, I absolutely hate shaving. It’s such a process and I almost always end up missing a spot that I later find when I’m out and about. (Please tell me it’s not just me.)

Which is probably why I’m now partial to Veet’s Fast Acting Gel Cream Hair Remover. A quick lather that’s easily wiped off with a wet wash cloth 5-10 minutes later with a Voila! Yep, smooth legs that last twice as long as they did in my shaving days. Which means more time to bare my legs with playful summer dresses and skirts, gladiators, and even a pair of distressed cutoffs. It’s not summer unless you’re showing off your gams, right? Obviously this Oasap dress pairing made the perfect leg baring piece to kick my summer-smooth legs off on the right foot. Am I right?

Outfit Details: Button Down Dress OASAP, White Dress Zappos, Shoes & Sunglasses Sole Society

See the difference Smooth can make at www.facebook.com/veet or www.veet.us

5 Minute (Post Workout) Makeover

This post is sponsored by Target
For me, I like to keep my post work out beauty routine pretty simple. The last thing I want to do after a relaxing yoga class is stand in front of the mirror and draw a cat eye. It’s just not going to happen. So, instead I opt for the 5-minute makeover. Sure, everyone is different when it comes to their makeup needs, but more often than not there are three essentials that are bound to give you a finished look every time.

So, I headed to the Target beauty aisle to do a little shopping and grab my essentials to take me from my workout to brunch with the girls in under 5 minutes.
First, I’m all about keeping the ‘flush’ look post workout, so a small swipe of cream blush on the apples of my cheeks and blended with my index finger gives me just enough color to get me out the door. Trick: You can double the use by lightly dabbing on your lips and blending with your finger.

Next, skipping right over liner and shadow and straight to opening my eyes with a nice bold lash. A couple coats of mascara does the trick and if I’m really in the mood to make a statement, I coat them with the eye boosting extensions for fuller, eye popping lashes.

Last but certainly not least, a dusting of mineral powder foundation with SPF to set and give me the coverage I lost during my workout. It comes with a brush, so no extra tools needed.

What I Used: L’Oréal True Match Minéral Makeup, $11.99, Target
What’s in your 5-minute workout touch up?

Find your style @targetstyle

A Day In The Life With smartwater

This post is sponsored by smartwater.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step” - Lao Tze.
No one ever said success was easy. To get anywhere or do anything worthwhile, you have to put one foot in front of the other; and every one of those steps can be the hardest you’ve ever taken.

 That’s why for this month I’m teaming up with smartwater to power my everyday progress and celebrate my ambitions. For me, organization is key when it comes to getting through my day.  Sure, I might not be the most organized person out there and I definitely fancy myself a last minute Lucy but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a method to my madness. Since I mostly work from home, sticking to a schedule is on me, otherwise I’ll find myself at 10pm wondering what on earth happened to the day. After a total week or three (or nine) of failure, I’ve learned a thing or two about staying organized while still being creative. The major key is repetition. I’ve found that the more I do something in the same way, the more likely the behavior is to stick. Keeping my day structured in the same way every day helps keep me focused on the work, rather than wondering, “What do I have to do next?”- a major creative drain. So to give you an idea of what I mean, I thought I would share the basic plan I work from. Naturally, days aren’t always the same and sometimes things come up, but having a regular structure gives me a foundation to be flexible if I need to.

8:30 am {if I’m lucky} : It all starts off with my wake up. I check emails on my phone - from bed.  Delete “spammy” emails and narrow it down to ones that need to be answered and prioritize.

Make sure all of my posts are live - check for errors. Get out of bed.

8:45 am: Grab breakfast. Sometimes I’ll feel inspired to go out for bagels before hitting the desk but in most cases, it’s yogurt and fruit or something else that’s simple.

9:00 am: Head to my desk and turn on the computer. Check my calendar for deadlines, meetings and events. Respond to first wave of emails.  Brainstorm & plan post ideas and schedule pictures. {Check weather for rain}. Get dressed.

12pm: Take and upload pictures. Write out posts & schedule. Respond to second wave of emails after lunch. Write down 3 things that inspire me - it keeps things creative.

3pm: Get ready for events and/or meetings. Head out.

10pm: Get home, schedule social posts for the next day and go to bed.

What are your steps throughout the day?

This story is brought to you by smartwater, who believes in making progress every day little by little and sip by sip. That’s how you move up up up.

Burt's Bees 28-Day Face Cleanse - Pt. 2

Ok guys, It's officially time to wrap up my 28-day face cleanse with the Burt's Bees The Renewal Face care line. Almost a month later my skin is definitely clearer, smoother and feels fresh. It is sad that I kind of don't want it to end? 

It's funny how just a few simple changes to my skincare routine made all of the difference. I actually started off not loving the Refining Cleanser because of the exfoliants but in the end I ended up loving it paired with coconut oil (to remove my eye makeup). The Renewal Intensive Firming SerumRenewal Firming Day Lotion with SPF 30 and the Renewal Smoothing Eye Cream came in a close second, and I plan on keeping all three around for my daily routine. The Renewal Firming Night Cream  felt heavy going on but I when the morning came my skin still felt soft, as if it hadn't rubbed off completely. Yep, I toss and turn, a lot. {note my usual hair situation.} 

So, now that it's over I'm naking a pledge to stay inspired by my experience and stay committed to going natural. Which means I should be drinking {tons} more water and opting for healthier options, ie: skipping the fries. A few yoga classes wouldn't hurt either ;).

Who else took the 28-day face cleanse? What did you think?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Burt's Bees. The opinions and text are all mine.

Style By Method

I don't know about you but I have a long history of laundry mishaps. One of my biggest disasters has to be the (brand new) BCBG plaid wool blazer that I made the mistake of throwing in the wash only to find it in a shriveled up mess when I pulled it out.  I'd love to say I learned my lesson after that incident with the 'washer sensitive pieces' but there's been plenty of disasters since, though probably not as catastrophic. Needless to say I make it a serious point these day to be smarter about my washing and shopping choices. Whether it's picking more washer friendly pieces (and limiting the dry clean only tags in the closet) or opting for a more efficient detergent.

Naturally, when I found that mega-brand, ASOS was collaborating on a machine washable only collection with eco-friendly detergent brand, Method, I couldn't resist grabbing myself a piece. With 10+ styles in the colorful, 70's inspired collection there was no way I was going to miss out, especially when I can skip the dry cleaning bill and toss it in the wash. Adios dry cleaners. Obviously I went for the boldest and brightest print to channel my favorite Method Detergent, Beach Sage. Flower power, oh yes please...

Now, for me Method isn't just about the (fully recyclable) sleek, transparent bottle that puts all my other cleaning products to shame. Though I will say it does make quite the statement on the shelf. It's the naturally derived, biodegradable & hypoallergenic cleaning power that takes care of my clothes without the excessive chemicals that got me on board. I don't have to think twice about throwing my new dress in the wash, because after a cold, gentle clean with Method it's going to be just as bright as when I popped it in. 

Save $3 on your online Method order with promo code "THREEFORME".

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Spiked Blackberry Lavender Lemonade

Guys, summer is on the horizon! It’s the perfect time to have a few refreshing cocktail ideas in your back pocket to spruce up brunches, picnics and outdoor get-togethers. You can never have too much inspiration, which is why I took to Twitter last week and asked about your favorite summer drinks. Naturally, most of you said it was all about the fruity flavors, and I couldn’t agree more.

To make it really exciting, I’ve teamed up with Pinnacle Vodka to craft a little something special with your favorites in mind. At first it was tough to pick from the 40+ flavors at Pinnacle, but I finally came to the conclusion that I should keep it simple and go with Original.

Since blackberries and lavender are a summer season favorite, I figured these two flavors would pack some punch to the reliable classic, lemonade. Refreshing and a little outside of the box. Of course this combination can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Don’t want to make the lemonade from scratch? Me either. I grabbed my favorite pre-made lemonade from the store and spruced it up with more lemon and a little zest. Trust me, they’ll never know you didn’t create the whole thing from scratch....

Spiked Blackberry Lavender Lemonade

Here’s What You Need:

{Yields 4 Servings}

4 oz. Pinnacle Vodka

32 oz. Lemonade {Store Bought or Homemade}

Dried Lavender Sprigs {Or Fresh}

1/2 Cup Blackberries

2 Lemons
In a bowl muddle together blackberries, lavender and 1 juiced lemon & 2-3 Tsp. Lemon Zest.
Pour into pitcher or carafe, add lemon slices.

Fill 3/4 the way with lemonade. Add the 4oz. of vodka {if you’d prefer light on the alcohol opt for 3}.

Add rest of lemonade.

Stir & Voila!

Serve chilled. Garnish with lemon slice & a few blackberries skewered on dried lavender sprigs.

Pinnacle Vodka shakes things up with unexpected experiences and delightful
discoveries. Explore with other fun flavors at http://www.pinnaclevodka.com

Pinnacle® is a registered trademark of Jim Beam Brands Co. and is used with permission. This is a sponsored partnership, with Pinnacle® Vodka, via Mode Media. The information, comments, and ideas expressed on this website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Jim Beam Brands Co., its affiliated companies, or any of their directors or employees.