I Tried Brushing with Activated Charcoal and Here’s What Happened

activated charcoal review

Hey everyone! I’m in full wedding prep mode and have been doing every physical self-improvement thing I can in order to look my best on my wedding day! I’ve been in the gym every day, watching what I eat, and taking care of my skin. One thing I’ve neglected up until recently however, is the lovely coffee stains on my teeth! When Avistar reached out to me with their charcoal teeth whitening solution, I figured I should give it a try. Here’s what I thought!

The Before & After

Genetically speaking, my teeth are not the best. Add in the fact that I’m an avid coffee drinker and BAM, I got problems! I’m always skeptical of teeth whitening solutions as they either don’t work well or hurt my gums because of how strong the chemicals are. With that said, I was really impressed with how well Avistar’s charcoal teeth whitening powder worked! The before is on the left and the after is on the right!

How to Get the Best Results

charcoal powder

Basically, its as simple as brushing your teeth! Dip your damp tooth brush into the powder and then brush for two minutes. Do this twice a day (I did it before work and then before bed!) Right away I could see results but after two weeks, my teeth were permanently whiter! Just like any beauty product though, you have to keep using it consistently to maintain the whiteness.

A great follow up product is the Avistar Activated Charcoal Mouthwash ! I rinse with this once a day and it pulls out all the “ick” in my mouth and I get a nice detoxed feeling. It’s minty without the awful taste of alcohol other mouthwashes have.

So yes, brushing with charcoal does work! My teeth are whiter and don’t look like I chug coffee all day long, which is a miracle because I do! Definitely give it a try if coffee stains on your teeth are becoming a problem!

Special thanks to Avistar for sending me their products to try for free! 


Beachy Waves are in and Here’s How to Get Them!

john freida air dry

john freida frizz ease review

air dry waves review

Hey lovelies! Most of the United States is mid-way through the summer months but here in Texas, summer lasts through October. Learning to style my hair in this constant heat has been difficult! I grew up in Maryland and the 85 degree days combined with humidity meant my hair just curled right up and I got great beachy waves in my hair. Texas is another story. Heat destroys my hair and it usually just lays flat and lifeless.

John Freida reached out to me and offered to send me their line of Frizz Ease products to try out on my hair! Here’s how I was able to get my beachy waves back!

My Summer Hair Routine

First of all, I try to keep the heat off my hair as much as I can. Hot showers, styling tools, and hours spent in the sun are no-goes for me. A cold shower does wonders for my hair and a simple towel dry keeps it from getting damaged.

If my hair is wet and I need to style it quickly, I use the Air-Dry Waves Styling Foam. A few pumps of this is enough to spread through my hair. I’ll scrunch it up a bit after I run it through my hair and then just let it air dry. This gives me great beachy-looking hair! Honestly, this was probably my favorite product I tried and definitely did its job. Pro tip: make sure you get the roots of your hair as well, not just the ends!

If my hair is damp, I’ll spritz the Leave-In Conditioner throughout my hair and that gives it a nice soft texture throughout the day.

The Touch-Up Cream and Extra Strength 6 Effects Serum are great for taming dry, frizzy hair. I would definitely recommend these products for anyone in a humid climate. The serum is really great for the ends of your hair as well as the annoying fly-aways that pop up all over the place!

If you want to give John Frieda a shot, you can find the product line on Amazon (Prime member baby!) Enjoy your summer hair!


How to Prevent Wrinkles When You’re In Your Twenties

Hey everyone! I hope your week is going well and you’re feeling fresh! One of my New Year’s Resolutions (yes, I’m still trying to keep up with those) was to take better care of myself. That includes a healthier diet, drinking water, staying active, and coming up with a skincare routine. VIIcode reached out to me and asked me to test out their T2 Oxygen Eye Cream as part of my skincare routine!

My Skincare Routine (it’s not complicated!)

I tend to take the most time on my face at night. Mornings are just not my thing! That’s why I liked this eye cream, you use it at night before bed to prevent wrinkles and brighten up your eyes! My routine looks a little like this:

  • Rinse face with warm water
  • Add gentle cleanser to remove makeup from the day
  • Remove makeup with makeup remover on a cotton ball (it’s easier and won’t stretch your eyelids!)
  • Pat face dry and dab on T2 Oxygen Eye Cream under each eye (a little goes a long way!)
  • Finish by sipping a cup of tea to rehydrate my skin and relax my mind!

Basic skincare like this works for me because I hate anything complicated that takes a lot of time. I’m busy and while I want my skin to look great, it won’t make or break me. VIIcode’s eye cream is easy to apply and even put in your makeup bag when you hit the road!

What Does the Eye Cream Do?

Every time I think of eye creams, I think of something my mom uses to keep the wrinkles away. Luckily, the Oxygen Eye Cream does that and a few other things. Preventing wrinkles starts way before they’re even on your radar! I’m almost 25 and using the eye cream helps my eyes look brighter and also helps rehydrate the skin cells under my eyes.

If you’re concerned wrinkles might be a big problem later on down the road, then invest in something that can help prevent them now. I still have that youthful skin everyone talks about, but let’s be real- life wears you down even in your twenties! Anything I can do to make sure I have nice skin and less wrinkles when I hit 50 is worth doing!

Be sure to check out VIIcode’s other beauty products (apparently their eye mask is amazing!) Enjoy your day!

*Note: this post is sponsored but all opinions are my own.

7 Beauty Products I’m Addicted to (and you will be too!)

must have beauty products

Happy Monday everyone! I made a New Year’s resolution to myself that I’d start trying to wear makeup more often because of how it made me feel. So far, I’ve been doing pretty good! I love looking in the mirror and seeing a fresh face as opposed to one that’s tired. For Christmas, I got a lot of makeup and I wanted to share with you all a few of my beauty favorites that I’m really liking right now!

Marc Jacobs Full Coverage Foundation

I can’t say enough good things about this foundation. Its definitely on the pricey side but well worth it. I splurged on it one day at Sephora after trying it on and realizing how light it felt on my skin. I hate when my face feels like it has makeup on it, that feeling is gross. This foundation doesn’t do that at all!

Ouai Wave Spray

My friend Laila gave me this little travel size wave spray and its really good! After I wash my hair, I comb out the tangles lightly dry my hair, then I spray on the Ouai Wave Spray. It really makes my hair look like I’ve been by the beach. #SaltyHairDontCare

Clarins Self-Tanning Instant Gel

Bikini season starts in April here in Texas because it gets so warm early! Not only am I working on my fitness, I’m starting on my tan. I really like this self-tanning gel. It isn’t  oily and so far, so good- its gradually giving my skin a nice glow!

Clinique Pretty Easy Lipstick Palette

This lipstick palette is so neat! You can combine different colors and amounts to give you the color you like. I’m still experimenting with ones I like but this is definitely a great palette if you like finding your own perfect color.

Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick in Dominate

Wow! I love this lipstick because it stays on forever! Influenster sent me two free samples of the matte lip and my favorite was the color “Dominate”. It’s really bold but goes on so nicely. This is more of a treat yourself item than anything because it is expensive but I think its worth it.

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Mascara

I switch mascara a lot just because most mascaras don’t do half of what they claim to. This one by Benefit I think is really good. I’ve been using the Rodan and Fields Lash Boost serum to grow my lashes and its really worked but in order to see them (my eyelashes are kind of light) I need some good mascara. This stuff does the trick!

Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer

A good bronzer that won’t make you look orange or give you a difficult time when putting it on is hard to find. The Hoola bronzer is a really nice rich color and it comes with a brush made for applying it. Definitely take a peak at it!

If you have any questions about these products, let me know! Although I do use affiliate links to help me pay for my blog, my opinions on these products are honest-  I really do love them!

Favorite Fall Skincare Products to Try

Happy Friday! I honestly can’t go another day without at least a little break so I’m thrilled that it’s the weekend and I can finally relax for a bit. If you read my last post on my crazy work week schedule, you’ll understand why! I thought today I’d share a review of a few fall skincare products I’ve been testing out. For full disclosure, several of these items were gifted for me to review but all opinions are my own!

Dermarché Labs Review

Ok so let’s start with the Instant Skin Smoothing Masque. I’m always skeptical with these masques simply because I feel like its just a bunch of gunk I put on my face with no real results. However, I liked the feeling of this one and the result! My skin was definitely brighter and I didn’t look exhausted so that’s always nice!

Next, is the Hyaluronic Acid Topical Wrinkle Filler! Obviously, I’m too young to have wrinkles so I can’t tell you whether or not this product really does work to fix that but I can tell you that it helped with the circles under my eyes. Usually my eyes look a little sunken and tired but they were less noticeable when I used this product. It was also really moisturizing, which is nice during the winter months when your face dries out!

Becca Blurring Primer

Oh my goodness, I love this product! Its a face primer you use before you put on your foundation and it’s amazing. It has a silky texture that feels so smooth on your skin. You don’t need much for full coverage. The best part is that you don’t feel like you’re even wearing it! Winning!

Silicone Beauty Blender

I had seen silicone beauty blenders all over the place and finally decided to try one from a Korean company that was at Style Con. I honestly love it so much! It makes putting on foundation so easy and you don’t use half the foundation you would with a makeup brush. Plus, it’s a million times easier to clean- you just wash it with warm water after you’re done using it! During the summer months I wear a powder foundation but when it gets chilly again, liquid foundation is my go-to!


Embracing the Hair I was Given

kenra professionals

wavy brunette hairwavy hair styles

In high school when all the other girls had pretty, long pin-straight hair, I had bulky, thick wavy hair. No amount of straightening would keep it the way I wanted it. I had the Hollister hoodie, fake Dooney & Bourke, Five Star notebooks, and all I was missing was that gorgeous highlighted, straight hair all the other girls at school had. After years of trying to get my hair to behave the “right” way, I’ve finally embraced the hair I was born with.

Loving My Waves Using Kenra

My mom and I both have wavy hair and frankly, neither of us have ever known what to do with it. Finally, I just started letting my waves do what they wanted and it felt so good! Moving to Texas made me rethink my hair routine though. I used a lot of great coconut oil products but I needed something that kept up with the heat, humidity, and the need to have “big hair” like the other girls in Texas. Enter the Kenra Grip Collection at Ulta.

Kenra Professional sent me the Air Grip Spray, Whip Grip Mousse, and High Grip Spray to try out! After showering, I let my hair air dry and then scrunch in the lightweight mousse to keep the wave from becoming fluff. When it’s finally almost dry, I spray in either the Air Grip or High Grip Spray to tame the inevitable frizz. The only thing it can’t quite control is the annoying cow-lick (I think that’s what it’s called!) that I was born with. Nothing, not even NASA, can control that little section of hair!

Loving who you are and what God gave you is so hard when you’re a fashion and lifestyle blogger. Everyone seems to have a prettier face, better hair, and thinner body than you. But as I’ve grown up a bit, I’ve realized how blessed I am to be born with my mom’s hair, my dad’s eyes, and my unique personality. Embracing who I am and what I look like is a slow process, but it started with my hair!

*post powered by brandbacker. all opinions are my own.


Father’s Day Gift Ideas from Harry’s

fathers day gift ideas

harrys razors review

what to get dad


Hey friends! Today I’m sharing with you a post all about Father’s Day (and great gift ideas!) Father’s Day always creeps up on me and I end up looking unprepared for my dad’s big holiday! This year, I teamed up with HARRY’S to share a sweet story about my dad as well as share nice, affordable Father’s Day gifts with you!

Growing Up With My Dad

My dad has always been the hard working, loving parent that every kid wants. Since I was little, he’s been getting up at 5am to go to work no matter how cold it is. He’s always been there for all of my accomplishments and cheered me on. He served our country for 20 years in the Navy. And he laughs at almost all of my dumb jokes. But I never realized how proud of me he was until the day I graduated college. In a crowd of several thousand people, I could pick out my dad’s face from the stage because he was just over the moon that day. For this Father’s Day, I’m letting my dad know how proud I am to be his daughter and how thankful I am to have him as my dad!

The Luxe Winston Shaving Set

Harry’s sent my dad a beautiful engraved Winston Shaving Set as a Father’s Day gift. I gave it to my dad just a little early (he was visiting me in Dallas last week) and he absolutely loved it! My dad isn’t the type to spend crazy money on “extra” things. Up until I gave him this shaving kit, he literally used disposable razors because he didn’t need anything nicer. It’s safe to say that he’s upgraded with Harry’s! After using it once he said it was the best shave he’s ever had!

The Winston Set comes with the razor handle, 3 blades, carrying case, razor cover, and foaming shave gel all for $25! It really makes a great gift without having to spend a fortune! I come from a very budget-conscious family, so this was right in my favorite price range!

Please share sweet stories about you and your dad or dad-figure! I love hearing from you!