Wednesday, June 20, 2012

ShopYourWay Personal Shopper Program

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of ShopYourWay Program for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

The economy goes up and down, but one thing never changes: those of us who enjoy shopping will always love shopping, whether or not we love footing the bill. Ever since I was a little girl, I loved going to Sears with my dad, and our family's loyalty to the store (and my love for shopping) has remained steadfast for decades. You can imagine, then, how thrilled I was when I found out there was a way to be rewarded for that loyalty and to share my friends.



ShopYourWay Personal Shopper program is not your average loyalty program. This social network of shopping rewards allows you to create your own catalog or search through members only deals at stores like Land's End, Sears Auto, Sears Outlet, Sears, and Kmart. You can uniquely engage with brands and provide feedback so your opinion as a customer gets heard. The coolest part about ShopYourWay, though, is your ability to network with friends.

Are you the fashionista, tech genius, or appliance aficianado of your group? You can actually make money putting those skills to work as a personal shopper, with no extra cost to you or your friends. When you sign up for the program, you can invite friends from Facebook, email, or other social networking sites as "clients." When you recommend items through your Personal Shopper homepage, your clients will be able to see your suggestions and buy them on-line or in-store. If they use their ShopYourWay Rewards card, you will receive 1% of their purchase price--that's mega money for items like appliances! Once you earn $20, you'll be mailed a check; it's easy to make hundreds of dollars a month just for loving to shop!

The true wonder of ShopYourWay Personal Shopper Program can't be truly comprehended without signing up and trying it. Not only is the program free, it's SO easy to sign up for! All you need to do is Request an Invite to ShopYourWay and click "Get Started."  Once you've provided your contact information, you simply need to agree to the Terms and Conditions before you can start inviting friends! ShopYourWay makes networking easy by allowing you to invite friends via Facebook, Yahoo! mail, Gmail, or your other email account. Once you've invited your friends, you can fill out your W9 form or go straight to the tour. It only takes five minutes, so what are you waiting for?

My welcome screen

Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, June 4, 2012

My Clubhouse - Hours of Pretend Play Giveaway!

Mom to Bed by 8 and Mom Does Reviews are happy to bring you this fun My Clubhouse giveaway!

Do your children love to use their imagination? For children over the age of two, My Clubhouse is the cutest playhouse on the block, so we're super excited to be participating in this giveaway! I know my godson would love one of these-- we're willing to bet that the children in your life will love it too!
  • Play make believe in this unique backyard edition perfect for multi-child play
  • Features a peephole, chalkboard, picnic table, and secret hiding compartment
  • Fabric roof is durable and weather resistant
  • Personalize the clubhouse by writing your child's name on the doorway
  • Opening side wall for hide and seek fun
  • Dining accessories not included
  • Adult assembly required
  • Clubhouse can be used all year long. Bring it inside in the winter so the fun can continue.
Giveaway is open to US residents only ages 18 and over. Giveaway starts June 4th and ends June 25th.
Enter on the easy rafflecopter below. Remember, you can't win if you don't enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. The Educated Beauty is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The 28 Days of Self-Improvement Project(s)

Here at The Educated Beauty, we love to do our research about health, beauty, and wellness. Unfortunately, we're just as much human as we are scientist, so we don't always follow the lifestyle that we know we should. We've done a lot of self-improvement projects to obtain a healthy, practical lifestyle; some stick and some don't, and it's usually all about timing and motivation. Recently, a family member we have tons of respect for made an incredible lifestyle change that inspired us to change our own in a way we've never been inspired before. We'd love to share our journey with you, but we also wanted introduce a new aspect to this site: four week self-improvement projects that are small and manageable enough for everyone.

Why four weeks? Depending upon where you look, it's said to take between 2-6 weeks to develop a habit. Two weeks is just too short to be sure, and six weeks seems like a long time to commit; four weeks, on the other hand, is just enough to get you into the groove without feeling too daunting. While you can make resolutions to change your life for the better any time of year, it is infinitely easier to feel optimistic during the sunny summer than in the dreary winter. And if you think you want to make a permanent change after your 28-day trial run, your habits (and willpower) will be fortified by the time the tempting winter holidays arrive.

Starting everything at once can be intimidating, but for those who like to throw themselves in to new habits, we'll be introducing a new, worthwhile one each day. In addition, we'll update daily (or every other day) about our progress for each goal. We're working ourselves into the Paleo Diet--while it's our ultimate goal, we're crafting our self-improvement projects to be attainable for anyone with a healthy lifestyle.

We'd love to hear your own progress each day or whenever possible-- reaching goals is easier with a support group. Feel free to start each "mini-program" whenever you'd like; there's no time table, and we'll be checking in regularly!

Tomorrow: Project #1: Get Hydrated

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Losing the Shampoo: Why You Shouldn't Be Scared

If you've never heard of the "No 'Poo" movement, chances are you don't hang around too many beauty blogs. As squeamish as the name itself may make you, you'll probably be even more revolted by the real meaning behind it.  It took me a long time to warm up to the idea, but once I did, my first thought was that it was totally revolutionary. My second was the realization that it was absolutely the opposite- which is why, after the 'gross' factor, it makes so much sense.

As far as I have found, the movement's roots (pardon the pun) can be traced back to the book  Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey. The "No 'Poo" concept itself is quite simple: ditch the store bought shampoo and use only conditioner or natural concoctions to wash your hair. As disgusting as this may sound, it actually has a solid scientific foundation. Shampoos rely on nasty ingredients like Sodium Laurel Sulfate-- which is actually a detergent-- to clean your hair.  By definition, detergents are used with water to clean away oil and grease particles. While this sounds great in theory, it isn't just the dirt that's being washed down the drain. The natural oils in your hair, which are necessary for its health and luster, are washed away too. This hardly leaves for glamorous tresses: really, have you ever tried shampooing without conditioning afterwards? 

So (if you've made it this far) we've established we don't want those nasty ingredients in our hair. How do we stay clean?!?  There are actually a surprising number of answers to this conundrum, but before we get to that, there are a few things you should know about going shampoo-free:

1) You WILL go through a transition period. This means that, for a span of a few weeks to a few months, your hair will be more oily and greasy than you have ever seen it before. The duration of this period differs for everyone: my boyfriend's hair adjusted to the B.S. method in a matter of days, while the same method took my long hair a month to fully adjust to. This transition is completely normal. Your body is used to producing oils at a high rate to compensate for your frequent shampooing.  As long as you stay away from the bottle, your scalp will slowly adjust and begin producing those oils at a much slower rate. My recommendation? Invest in hair bands and cute ribbons to tie your hair up with (braids are especially good at hiding greasy-looking hair).

2) You WILL be tempted to go back to shampoo once, only to immediately regret doing so. This says nothing of your strength of character. Just know that once you step out of the shower and feel your hair post-breakdown, you will be so disgusted that it will only strengthen your resolve to go 'poo-free. Really, quitters never win.

3) You WILL save money. A lot of money. And even more than a lot of money if you go with the W/O or sebum methods.

4) Once you have adjusted, you WILL wash your hair substantially less than ever before.  As much as I  love saving money, this was THE selling point for me. I used to have to wash my hair daily if I wanted to avoid a greasy, waxy look. Now I'm washing my hair every three days or so, though I can go substantially longer without it being noticeable. In fact, my hair looks better five days after a wash (it was an experiment...) as it used to look after twelve hours. If you adhere to the rules (which we will get to in the next post), this will never cause your hair to be dirty or smelly.

Sold yet? Of course not, but for all of the benefits, you'd be crazy not to at least try it. I'm hardly an eco-freak, but when something is so good for your body, the earth, and your wallet... it's really a no-brainer.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Olive Oil: The Essential Natural Beauty Product

Non-believers, back away slowly. If the last post about giving up shampoo made you cringe, you might want to skip over this one. If you're crazy committed to going all-natural, saving money, and getting the most out of minimizing, read on. Besides baking soda and apple cider vinegar (I'll be covering those more later), the multi-tasking beauty product I'm most excited about is something else all great chefs have in their kitchen: oil.  I'm not talking about just any oil; I'm talking about cold-pressed, pure extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) that's super great for your body, inside and out. As a Mediterranean girl myself, I'm familiar with the super health benefits you get from using EVOO while you're cooking and eating. What I wasn't familiar with was the way it could help my skin and hair from the outside in.


Just about every girl serious about great hair has heard about hot oil treatments. What you may not know is that you can save big money by giving yourself a homemade treatment using only EVOO. If you're going all-natural but miss the silky feeling of your hair after conditioning, EVOO will give you back all that and more. Even if you're still using store-bought shampoos and conditioners, you can get huge benefits out of one of these treatments. EVOO will seriously condition your hair, help with dandruff control by moisturizing your scalp, and leave your hair more lustrous than you've ever seen it before.

There are many different ways to make olive oil hair treatments, but as a minimalist I prefer not to add any extra ingredients. My EVOO hair mask method (modified and tweaked from many online sources) is as follows:

1) Jump in the shower so your hair gets nice and wet. Towel or air dry until damp.
2) Stick 1/2 cup (adjust based on the length of your hair) of EVOO in the microwave for about 20 seconds or until warm. (Warning: it can get HOT, so use caution and don't burn yourself)
3) When the EVOO is still warm but cool enough to apply to your scalp, massage your scalp with the oil. Apply some to the ends of your hair as well.
4) Comb through your hair with the EVOO and throw it in a warm, damp towel or shower cap. (It's important to keep the oil and your hair warm enough. Use a blow drier if it starts cooling too much)
5) After thirty minutes, rise the EVOO out of your hair and shampoo as normal if desired. If your hair is extremely dry, a lot of the EVOO will be absorbed. (Warning: the shower floor will be slippery if you don't use a mat, so if you don't have one, it's best to rinse hair out in the sink to avoid danger)


This is where you might get a little grossed out, but I promise it's worthwhile. For centuries, olive oil has been used as a moisturizer, as it is extremely effective for dry skin. Contrary to (very) popular belief, EVOO won't cause you to break out; in fact, you can actually use it to clear up your skin and replace all those expensive lotions! I've found that rubbing a few drops on my face at night leaves my skin feeling smoother than ever in the morning. More importantly, it has not once caused my acne to flare up, so I totally trust it! Some people use it as their moisturizer twice daily, but I prefer to only use it at night-- it feels a little too heavy under my makeup. To avoid getting oil all over your pillow case, be sure to continue to rub the oil in every few minutes until your skin stops looking greasy. If my super-sensitive skin can take it, I can almost guarantee that yours can!

If you're not ready to take such a leap of faith, EVOO can be used as a mask to draw nasty dirt and oils out of your pores. Just rub a little bit on your face, place a warm, damp towel over it, and relax for five minutes. Your skin will be instantly fresher and cleaner when you rinse it off with warm water!
Oh, and if you think that olive oil's uses stops there, think again. I've only scratched the surface of its uses-- it's actually a minimalist's dream! Check out this cool article I found that gives 25 practical uses for olive oil:

Get some of your own!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Milk: Which Do You Choose?

"Milk: it does the body good!" Got it? Not so fast. While decades of advertisement and scientific study have told us that dairy is a cornerstone of good health, recent scholarship has began to shed doubt on these long-standing claims. And we shouldn't be surprised: the average gallon of milk sold today is packed with antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides that cows and their food are treated with. Organic milk isn't necessarily safe from these; there is a lot of debate as to what qualifies as organic, and food labels like "natural" can be extremely misleading. The milk sold today just isn't the same milk our grandparents drank: it is commercially produced at a high volume that makes use of excessive processing. Of course, it isn't just these chemicals that make milk a questionable nutritional option. Think practically: as infants, we drink the milk of our mother until we reach about eighteen months. After that, our bodies (and the bodies of our mothers) instinctively wean us off this milk, just like dogs, cats, or cows. Our bodies were only built to drink milk at a young age-- hence the high rate of lactose intolerance developed in adults. As one of my high school biology teachers told me, "it's just unnatural for one animal to drink the milk of another! Can you imagine feeding your dog human breast milk?"

Of course you wouldn't.
Now, it's still important to recognize that the wealth of health benefits derived from milk are absolutely real. Many nutrients are derived from the drink: vitamins D, A, protein, and-- most notably-- calcium. While we have been raised to consider milk the most convenient way to get these nutrients, the fact is that many more natural, healthy alternatives exist... and some are even inspired by our favorite drink!

While there are a variety of ways to go about getting your milk fix-- cereal can be hard to give up, right?-- for now we will cover four of the most popular non-dairy "milk" products: soy, rice almond, and coconut milk. Each comes in a variety of brands and flavors, so in the sake of fairness we will examine the "regular" version of the most popular brands. The milks will be judged for nutrition, cost, other flavors, and taste (which is admittedly highly subjective). Here goes!

For a comparison point, we will use 2% Dairy Milk. Its nutrients of note (in 8 oz):
122 cal (43 from fat), 5 g fat, 12 g carbohydrates (0 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 8 g protein, 9% of your daily Vitamin A intake, and 29% of your daily calcium intake

Soy milk (Silk)

When I ventured away from dairy milk, the first type of milk I tried was soy milk. Obviously, it was tasty enough to lure me away from conventional milk for good.
Silk Original comes in two forms. Like many non-dairy milks, there is a shelf-stable variety that can be stored up to twelve months (translation: if it's on sale or you find a great coupon, you can buy it even if you don't need it yet!) While the vanilla flavor is Silk's most popular (and delicious), the original packs a tasty punch that won't leave you missing dairy.

Nutrients: 90 cal (30 from fat), 3.5 g fat, 8 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 6 g protein, 10% of your daily vitamin A intake, and 45% of your daily calcium.
...So what? With six grams of soy protein in every eight ounces, you're getting 2g less protein than you would in 2% dairy milk. However, Silk Soy milk is clearly superior to dairy in caloric, fat, carbohydrate, and calcium content.
Cost: $0.11/oz for a six pack of the shelf stable variety on amazon.

Taste: With a slightly nutty aftertaste (apparently a new development), Silk feels slightly thicker than dairy milk but goes down much more smoothly. As far as milk varieties go, the taste gets a 6/10. For a delicious taste with only a few more calories, try the vanilla-- it goes perfectly with cereal!

Flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Very Vanilla, DHA-Omega 3 (Plain), Organic Vanilla, Organic Original, Organic Unsweetened, Light Vanilla, Light Chocolate, and Light Original 
(Note: all light favors are sweetened with Stevia)

Rice milk (Rice Dream) 

Rice Dream is the overwhelmingly popular variety of rice milk made from organic brown rice. It can be found in both shelf stable and refrigerated forms.
Nutrients: 120 cal (20 from fat), 2.5 g fat, 23 g carbohydrates (0 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 1 g protein, 10% of your daily vitamin A intake, and 30% of your daily calcium. Also a significant source of Vitamin B12 (25%), Vitamin D (25%), and Phosphorous (15%).
...So what? Rice milk trumps dairy milk in its vitamin and mineral content. However, the low protein and high sugar value make it less appealing than other milk varieties.

Cost: $0.09/oz for a twelve pack of the shelf stable variety on amazon.

Taste: Definitely does not taste like dairy. It's thin, watery, and has a taste reminiscent of oat and something else I can't put my finger on. Closer to water than milk, but some may enjoy the lighter taste. A 4/10.

Flavors: Vanilla is available in both refrigerated and self stable form, but the rest are shelf stable form only: Enriched Chocolate, Heartwise Original, Heartwise Vanilla, Supreme Chocolate Chai, and Supreme Vanilla Hazelnut.

Almond milk (Silk)  

While Almond Dream sells another popular variety, we will review Silk in the interest of control. In the interest of full disclosure, this is my absolute favorite after sampling all three.
Nutrients: 60 cal (25 from fat), 2.5 g fat, 8 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 1 g protein, 10% of your daily vitamin A intake, and 45% of your daily calcium. Also a significant source of Vitamin B12 (50%), Vitamin D (25%), and Riboflavin (25%). 
...So what? As low calorie as milk substitutes get (the unsweetened flavor has just 35 calories!), the taste is unbeatable and the nutrition is impossibly good for those watching their weight.

Cost: $0.08/oz for a six pack of the shelf stable variety on amazon.

Taste: While the taste is undeniably nutty-- it takes a bit to get used to-- it tastes much more indulgent than its 60 calories without being too thick. Surprisingly good with cereal and coffee (although not as good as Silk Vanilla Soy Milk). On its own, though, nothing is better. 8.5/10

Flavors: Vanilla, Dark Chocolate, and Unsweetened.

Coconut milk (Silk)  

One of the newest nondairy milks, PureCoconut lets you buy into the current craze for coconut in our drinks.

Nutrients: 80 cal (50 from fat), 5 g fat, 7 g carbohydrates (0 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 1 g protein, 10% of your daily vitamin A intake, and 45% of your daily calcium. Also a significant source of Vitamin B12 (50%) and Vitamin D (25%).. 
...So what? The nutrients and calories have regular milk beat, although Coconut milk doesn't compare to almond or soy milk.

Cost: Not yet listed (will update soon!)

Taste: Despite the expected richness, Silk's coconut milk is surprisingly watery, with a strong aftertaste that is difficult to get used to. I love coconut, but coconut milk is like coconut water in its distinct taste. If you LOVE coconut water you might like this; otherwise, expect it to be an acquired taste. I give it a 5/10 here.

Flavors: Original and Vanilla (pictured)

Free Target Summer Beauty Bag!

We love how Target does their beauty bag giveaways-- they offer sweet samples for high-quality products and provide coupons to match! You even get a cute little clutch bag, perfect for makeup or other toiletries. Hurry to their Facebook page to score one of the 477,500 they are giving away RIGHT NOW... they go FAST!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Why Pale Skin is SO In.

I've got a lot of Mediterranean genes in me, so growing up I'd start my summers pale white and end them impossibly dark. As I grew into my late teenage years, I grew to love my end-of-the summer tan, because my olive-tinged skin is impossible to find light foundation for. I worked at a pool, yet the hours I wasn't spending in my guard suit were spent tanning in my back yard. I'd get dozens of compliments on my tan, and sometimes the lines would stick around year-round. It made me look fit, unique, and healthy.

So, why am I pale as a ghost now? The simple answer is that I've spent the last four years ferociously avoiding any sort of sun exposure. I work at the pool and now I wear long sleeves and 50 SPF instead of 15. I began doing so reluctantly-- the antibiotics I was taking for my acne made my once burn-proof skin as sensitive as a baby's. After doing a lot of research--and becoming a biochemistry major--I came to completely and totally reject my old tanning ways and realized that pale is in.

Why Pale Is In: Let's Get Real.
Here's the bottom line: a tan is an absolute indicator that you have obtained skin cell damage. Yes, a TAN, not a sunburn. Tanning is your body's mechanism for defense against UV radiation. I mean, did you think it was an evolutionary development to make you look super cute in this season's hot color? To attract a mate, maybe? No, I didn't think so. So why do so many girls keep insisting on ravaging their long-term looks and their health just for a few months of glow?

Tanning Beds: This Way to Skin Cancer
We all know the obvious cosmetic reason to avoid tanning beds: no matter what your skin tone, you will always come out with an unnatural orange tinge. Let's face it: you know which girls have a real tan and which have a fake. But did you know, really know, the cold hard facts about why tanning beds are not for us educated beauties?
Picture by Adem Kaya

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, people who tan indoors are 74% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never stepped in a booth. And do you think tanning before vacation is worth your while to avoid a sunburn? I know I once did, you you might want to check this out.

Yes, skin cancer can affect anyone, but why disrespect your body and yourself by drastically increasing those chances? People comment on my pale skin and, occasionally, it makes me feel self-conscious. But why should it? I'm protecting my body and preventing accelerated aging to an enormous extent.

BloggerPR Kickoff Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the BloggerPR Kickoff Giveaway Hop! We are celebrating the launch of BloggerPR, which is a brand new support and media group for bloggers. Over FIFTY blogs are giving away some amazing prizes valued over $25! This even will run from May 21-27, 2012. Join us as we kick off a brand new and exciting venture for our members!

We're giving away Lip Trio Lip Gloss & Plumper from Makeover Essentials, a $32.99 value! We totally love the day-to-night color concept, and the plumper is absolutely wonderful!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: We are not responsible for the content of linked blogs, your liking of the product given away, or the products offered by other giveaways. We adhere to the terms and conditions of the BloggerPR event and Rafflecopter. We have not been compensated for this giveaway and therefore can offer no exchanges for the prize. What you see is what you'll get. One winner only and open only to US residents.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Clarification on the BeautySage Freebie

We're just slightly annoyed with our sources. Remember our post about this? I think a lot of bloggers are steaming after this email from BeautySage:
In the past day or so, you signed up at BeautySage for a sample box offer. As we care deeply about our customers, we wanted take a moment to clarify the offer.
You are currently signed up to receive a coupon code via email after we launch, which can be redeemed for a free sample box (a $10 value) with your first purchase of $30 or more. As BeautySage currently ships solely in the United States, only U.S. mailing addresses will be eligible.
To be clear moving forward, we have updated our landing page and email confirmation to provide absolute clarity on this offer.
Of course, there is no obligation to participate in this offer, and you can always unsubscribe from our mailing list by clicking the unsubscribe link below or on any future email. With that said, if you would like us to remove you from this offer and our mailing list, please respond to this email and we will do so immediately. If you have any other concerns, we welcome your feedback.
We sincerely apologize for any confusion or inconvenience.
Thank you,The BeautySage team
We apologize if you are not interested... we don't know if we'll still be checking out the site after this. We just wanted to give you clarification as soon as we got it. Boo, it seemed like such a good deal, too.

Finding Your Best Look by Getting Real

Metaphorical show of hands: how many of us look in the mirror every other day and think "I'm too fat" or "I can't believe how awful I look today!" Yes, you do it, I do it, and almost everyone else you know does it. It's normal, right? It's too normal, really, and we all know what it does to our self-esteem. While whittling your self-image away slowly is bad enough (because even if you're saying those things in passing, that's what you're doing), you're also wasting precious time with the mirror. No, we can't stand in front of it all day, and most of us don't. We all want to look good and none of us have unlimited time to do it... so why don't we use our mirror time constructively instead of insulting ourselves half-heartedly?

I think the truth is that all of us are willing to deprecate ourselves for general, transient things like weight, hair, makeup, or skin. Very few of us are willing to give ourselves the constructive criticism necessary to take our appearance to the next level. This is because it's very hard to realistically assess our imperfections without having anyone around to defend them: for example, I'd often lament about the size of my nose, but only loud enough for my significant other to hear and refute it. I wasn't willing to look in the mirror and accept that it was better to accept my nose was large than to constantly hope my image of it was not what the rest of the world sees. Yes, it takes a lot of self-esteem and love to actually accept and embrace your flaws--it took me over two decades!--but when you do, you have a blueprint to drastically improve your look.

Here's my critical study of myself: my nose is wide and long. The length is fine, the width (often enhanced by allergies) is not fitting for the rest of my face. I know that, without makeup and with sunglasses, my cheeks lead me to be mistaken for an awkward teenage girl. What does this mean? I need to play up my brown eyes to draw attention away from the middle of my face. I may even have to break the eyes-or-lips rule to achieve that goal. And I certainly needed to learn makeup contouring.

While it sounds harsh, it's important to understand that beauty is, obviously, relative. The so-called "imperfections" of today were desired years ago, and today's standard of beauty will inevitably be replaced as society changes. We should be proud of how we look, but willing to conform our appearance to our times-- but only transiently. Beauty is transient, after all.

Review: Wet N Wild Liquid Eyeliner (Black)

In my arsenal of makeup, black eyeliner is my weapon of choice. My eyes are the feature I know I should be playing up: the more striking they look, the less my baby-fat cheeks and big nose get noticed as my primary features. With my dark hair and brown eyes, I am one of those rare people who benefit from the black eyeliner look (I recommend a soft black or deep brown to most people--more on that another time). While pencil liner is easy to apply and easy to remove, nothing is as gorgeous, as striking, or as precise as liquid eyeliner. Yes, liquid eyeliner is my weapon of choice, but it's also most likely to backfire; using tips like Little Miss Makeup's can help draw the perfect shape, but you've still got to find the right product. After all, the wrong liquid eyeliner can fade quickly, smudge easily, and have an awful applicator... and those are the problems you run into within the first five minutes. A liquid eyeliner that avoids fading and smudging all day? There aren't many, and believe me, price is no indicator.

Of course, in my younger days, I thought price was an indicator, which is why I was so hesitant to purchase Wet 'n' Wild Liquid Eyeliner in Black for just $2.99 at CVS at full price. I should note that I had tried the H2O Proof version before and hated it-- it was difficult to apply, had a weird consistency, and hardly lived up to its name. Alas, I had read good things about the regular liner, so I was sucked back into the Wet 'n' Wild drugstore-price vortex. And I am so glad I was.

Never again.
The eyeliner is super easy to apply: one dip of the brush is sufficient for seamless lines on both your upper and lower lid. The brush itself is durable and precise, leaving lines about 1-1.5 mm wide depending on the angle and pressure you utilize. After about fifteen seconds, the eyeliner is dry enough for your lids to bat against the skin above your eye without leaving reside behind. (Am I the only one with that problem?) The liquid's smooth application leaves the final product looking both striking and professional. It easily lasts eight hours without smudging... at least for gals with oily skin like me. Of course, it isn't rub-proof, but are there really many eyeliners that are?

So, let's go to the summary, shall we?
Pros: Smooth application, deep color, durable brush, and a little bit goes a long way
Cons: Few color options, H2O liquid liner is awful.
Price: $2.99 at
Bottom line: As an eyeliner aficionado, I truly believe you can't find any better for the price! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How Not to Do Homemade Beauty: Waxing

One of the big reasons I started blogging was because I spent so much time researching natural and homemade beauty solutions that it only made sense to condense and share it with others. I've tried a lot of things: olive oil on my hair and skin, going shampoo-free, and utilizing baking soda as an OTC skin care solution. These things were easy to do while I was away at school: they require minimum preparation, materials, and clean up (really, most natural beauty solutions do). One thing I was waiting to get home to try is homemade wax for leg hair removal... and while I'm glad I waited to do it until I came home, I'm annoyed with myself for choosing to try it in the first place!

Yes, natural beauty can be messy. So can natural eating. But, usually, it's worth it. I'm a big proponent of that concept of "don't put anything on your body that you wouldn't put into your mouth." While I don't always follow it (makeup and sunscreen are my exceptions) I have made a major effort to try. For hair removal, I cut out shaving cream (tough but worthwhile) and forced my skin to adapt to water and Gillette Razor Blades alone. While it gets the job done, the idea of waxing has always been a seductive one for me; the fact that waxing lasts longer than shaving is especially alluring for ladies with dark body hair. So, with no obligations to fill my day, I decided to attempt a homemade wax using the following recipe that I found here.

I want to stress that I am not insulting the recipe or methods of the authors. The good thing about homemade beauty advice is that bloggers are typically not sharing recipes for personal gain. There are usually pictures and testimonials in the comments section that can help you decide whether or not to do it. Of course, being so excited about the DIY project, I neglected to read that no one in the comments had actually tried it themselves, and that even the author did not testify to doing so. This, obviously, was an enormous mistake.

To make a long story short, I started by slightly burning my finger in the hot wax (my fault), made a mess of my bathroom while fruitlessly trying to spread the wax (price of doing business), and managed to achieve only minimal results despite trying both suggested methods to the best of my ability. Honestly, I lost more of my nail polish as the wax hardened to my fingertips than I lost leg hair. After practically peeling my fingernails off, I got to spend another thirty minutes cleaning the wax out of the container and off the spoon I had attempted to spread the wax with. Yes, it was an unmitigated disaster, but it was also a learning process.

The moral of the story is this: consult multiple blogs that contain testimonials before you try any potentially messy or dangerous homemade beauty products/projects. YouTube videos are best for any marginally complicated processes. Yes, the waxing worked to a certain extent for me, but now I realize that no matter how good I got at it, the results for this particular recipe wouldn't be worth my effort. It's not as if I won't try it again... I'm thinking of using a recipe like this, which includes intricate step-by-step directions vital for success. I'll let you know how it goes, but you should consider looking for a few more reviews before you try it for yourself... trust me.

Giveaways of the Week (5/16)

Here are the BIG giveaways of the week that are sponsored by major companies, not bloggers.

Ford F-150 XLT (and a $100 Instant Win Opportunity!)
Cruise for 2 from Glass Doctor® Cruise Away Sweepstakes
Head & Shoulders P&G Product Bundle and More
Apple iPad 3 from EBONYParent
Crane Animal Humidifier from Lullaby Lane
$500 SpaFinder Gift Card from EBONYParent
Fisher-Price Zen Collection from Lullaby Lane
Dyson Slim Vacuum from Lullaby Lane
Apple 3 iPad from Lullaby Lane

Free Sample Gift Pack from BeautySage!

BeautySage, an almost-ready-to-launch online shop for beauty and wellness products, is providing a box with five free samples to those who sign up before they launch (find their promise here on Twitter). All you need to do is go to this link and submit your email so they can contact you when it happens. They claim to only support proven products (although, who doesn't?), so let's see if it's worth a look.

(Note: You can find an important update on this sample here)

Custom Deck of Playing Cards for $5

Whether you're shopping for the mom that has everything or the significant other who you've been with forever, finding a unique and useful gift can be difficult. We were SO excited to find this deal from InkGarden, where you can grab a deck of custom playing cards for just $5.00 until 6/30. They normally go for $19.99 so this deal is HUGE! Find the deal here and be sure to type in the code PLAYINGCARDS3 when you check out. Shipping is $3.99, so the final cost will be $8.99. While it's probably not my father's dream gift, it is a cute idea for Father's Day, weddings, or summer birthdays.

Free Sample of Milk-Bone Trail Mix from Walmart

Okay, we're not always big about shopping at Walmart for a number of reasons, but they do have some great free samples. Today you can score a free sample of Milk-Bone Trail Mix from Walmart while supplies last, and we think it's worth taking advantage of if you love your dog!

Free Cutter Candle

We really adore FreebieShark--we find some of our best information through them! They've got an awesome way to score a free Cutter Candle here. You can print off the coupon from online, but you'll have to go to the store (Walmart) to pick up your candle.

Free Nature Valley Granola Bar!

Hurry and join EatBetterAmerica to score your delicious and free Nature Valley Granola Bar! Only the first 10,000 will win, so be sure to hurry here! Remember, free food always tastes best ;)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Win 1 of 1,000 Nuby No Spill Hard Spout Cups

Hey moms--here's a chance at a giveaway that's sure to make you happy! Fill out this survey to for your chance to win 1 of 1,000 Nuby No Spill Hard Spout Cups. You only have until tonight at midnight, so hurry up; you'll know by Thursday the 17th if you've won!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Home Made Simple Coupon Book from P&G

Didn't we just say how much we ADORE P&G? Right now, they're offering a Home Made Simple coupon book with $25 worth of coupons and tons of ideas for a simple, clean home. We just filled out the form for ours-- click here to get yours! Not a P&G member? Sign up is super easy (otherwise, we wouldn't be doing it!)

FREE 8x8 Shutterfly Photo Book

You have none other than Ellen Degeneres to thank for this awesome freebie. Shutterfly is offering a 8x8 Photo Book (a $29.99 value) and 50 free prints when you sign up for their site... and yes, it is absolutely free! Just click our link to get to the great offer; you won't regret it!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Extreme Couponing: A Great How-To Course

With a wedding, new job, and graduation on the way, we at The Educated Beauty realized that sometimes, minimalism and frugality can still leave you with a tight budget. While we've always used coupons, it was more of an occasional practice than a way of life. Sure, we've always laughed at those extreme couponing shows--I mean, who needs 400 cans of Campbell's soup?--but there is some real value to "extreme couponing" if you learn to do it right. The practice is sometimes confusing, but oftentimes it is highly rewarding. We're no experts yet, but we're learning. An invaluable resource has been The Krazy Coupon Lady's course for beginners. Not only does KCL teach you how extreme couponing works, you can find some awesome ways to stack the coupons you score for better deals than you knew you could get. Check it out--we've linked you to the beginner's guide--and let us know what you think!

Atkins Diet: Free Quick Start Kit and 3 Free Atkins Bars

Have you ever tried a low-carb diet? It's as difficult as it is rewarding, because the strict rules can sometimes leave your sweet tooth with major cravings. Luckily, products like those from Atkins make the carb sacrifice a little more bearable. While their bars aren't always as good as their sugar-filled counterparts, they're an invaluable way to keep you from straying from your diet. Atkins is currently offering three of these bars for free, along with the cookbook, carbohydrate tracker, and quick start guide. Coupons and a rebate are included! Everything is free, so at least check it out here.

FREE McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2012 is offering an AWESOME opportunity to score your free version of McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2012! Head over here and score the offer below. It's a little bit of work, but for $50 it's totally worthwhile. Never used McAfee? It's been my family's AntiVirus program of choice for years, and it was also my university's default program-- we both give a stellar review!

OneCare Bounce Coupons

We have a soft spot for P&G. We've heard they are an awesome company to work for (no, we have no connection to the company, just word of mouth) and they are wonderful about providing great coupons to loyal customers. Bounce Dryer Sheets are a favorite of ours--our house does about 3 load of laundry today, so we need something that really works, and Bounce does the trick. Do you love Bounce or want to try it? P&G is providing a Bounce eCoupon Book here so you can save big!

Free One Year Subscription to Better Homes & Gardens Magazine

Get a FREE year's subscription to Better Homes & Gardens Magazine from American Family! Unfortunately, it's only for new American Family members, and only the first 5000 to sign up are eligible. Hurry and click here to fill out the form!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Free Full-Sized Moisturizing Wash from MinuteClinic!

Click here to "like" MinuteClinic's product on Facebook! By providing your email address and zip code, you'll be sent an email within 24 hours containing a coupon for a FREE full-sized product. You'll have your choice of one of six invigorating scents. Be sure to redeem by May 20--this coupon expires quickly, and is only for use at CVS.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Free Pedometer from Golf Digest

Golf Digest is giving away FREE pedometers! Just click here, then click "enter now" on the right of the page and fill out your shipping information. You can say "no" to all of their offers and still score the pedometer, but if you have a golf lover in your life (I do!) you might want to take a closer look.

The coolest thing about the pedometer? You can connect it to your computer (not Macs) and log those miles! Get moving!

(Thanks to for the offer!)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Free One Year Subscription to Family Circle Magazine

Head here to get your FREE one year subscription to Family Circle Magazine by American Family! Only the first 4000 will snag the deal, so be sure to hurry! Feel free to say "no" to any other offers they present you with; you'll still get that subscription.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Free Stuff from Allure!

Here's an especially alluring daily giveaway (*groan*)! Each day at 12:00 EST, is giving freebies to  the first 500 people to fill out the provided form. The twist?: You won't know if you won until the freebie arrives in your mailbox! It's totally worthwhile, though, because these products are full-sized and not samples. Want to win? Make sure to go here at 12:00 EST! If you don't win now, wait until May 15... you can enter to win a trip to Turks and Caicos, products from all 60 of 2012's Readers' Choice winners, and more!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mother's Day Giveaway Event

Welcome to the Mother's Day Giveaway Event. We have partnered up with lots of different and wonderful bloggers to bring you some fabulous prizes, just in time for Mother's Day!
Giveaway starts May 1st at 12:01 AM EST to May 13th at 12:01 AM EST. Giveaway winner will be announced through the Rafflecopter widget and notified by email by the end of the day on May 15th, 2011. Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours of delivery, or a new winner will be chosen.
Participating Blogs that made these giveaways possible:

 * Winner will receive one Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display
*This giveaway is open to the US Only
*There will be 1 winner chosen to win this giveaway

Monday, April 30, 2012

Free Domino's Artisan Pizza

Here at The Educated Beauty we totally adore Domino's Pizza. Unpopular as it apparently was, we thought the old recipes were great... but the new ones are SPECTACULAR! That garlic-buttery crust... mmmmm. We haven't tried an Artisan Pizza yet, but--with a sweet deal from Domino's--we're going to be able to for free!

This is the second time Domino's has offered this deal, so we give them major props. If you head to their Facebook page (just click here) you can score a free pizza, no strings attached. The coupon is only good until May 6th, and only the first 75,000 will score one, so be sure to hurry over and indulge ASAP!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Save the date for our Mother's Day Giveaway!

I love the feel of a paperback book as much as the next person; I spent most of my childhood and early teenage years devouring historical epics, romances, and Agatha Christie mysteries. Unfortunately, I've found pages and binding to be less than convenient during days on the go, on the beach, or even in the car. I usually make it through books quite quickly, so when I'm traveling I have to carry at least half a dozen books around with me. While it took me a while to warm up to the idea of eBooks, there's no denying that they are the most convenient sort of device for a busy literature lover!

Since no one is more busy than mom, we've decided to celebrate with a gift that can be as versatile and busy as she is. Beginning at 12:01 AM, May 1, a group of us bloggers will be giving away a FREE Kindle! All you have to do is drop by The Educated Beauty (or another participating site) to enter. Each day gives you a chance at more entries, so the more you visit us, the more you can win! Why not check out all the features at to get yourself pumped up?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Swagbucks: Why You Should Be Using Them

We've all seen dozens of rewards programs online. Some seem too good to be true (they are), some require you to fill out obnoxiously long surveys just to earn a few cents, and some entice you to make major purchases you don't need just for "points." After searching far and wide, there seems to be very few rewards programs online that are legitimately exciting and worthwhile. The exception to this rule? Swagbucks, a favorite of mommy bloggers and young adults alike.

Show me the numbers!
Let's look at ways to earn points and the amount of points it takes to earn a reward.
A $25 PayPal gift card is 3,215 SB (that's Swag Bucks)

One time opportunities:
For signing up, you get 30 SB

Daily reward opportunities:
For watching a one-minute video: 2 SB
For answering a quick poll: 1 SB
For searching using the Swagbucks toolbar: ~5-10 SB

So, if this is all you do over the course of a year, it would take approximately 300 days to earn this reward. I'm willing to bet this wouldn't be worth your time, even if it only took three minutes a day, total.

So, what makes it worth my while?
Do you shop? Do you use coupons? If the answer is yes, then Swagbucks is a way to cash in more than ever on your coupon-cutting. Swagbucks is affiliated with, one of the most popular coupon-clipping sites on the web. Via the Swagbucks website, you can clip-and-print the coupons available on Alternatively, you can register your Savings Card from stores like Giant Eagle and send the coupons straight to that card, eliminating the fuss and cost of printing. When you use these coupons, your Swagbucks account is automatically credited (although you need to allow 8-12 weeks for processing). You receive 10 SB per coupon used. This means that you're compounding your coupon savings with a totally free rewards program... completely hassle-free.

Swagbucks also allows you to earn points with deals that include liking a company on Facebook or entering codes from events like their Music Bracket. It's a really easy site to navigate and even has a games section, where you can apparently earn points as you play for free. For a major boost of points, check their special offers each day; they're diverse enough that, after a while, you'll find a deal on a product or service you've been waiting to buy anyway. And if you're feeling lucky, there are even sweepstakes you can enter, using SBs as entries.

Bottom line: Any online reward program will take time to show benefits, and you can't expect to win prizes overnight. But if you use coupons from sites like, Swagbucks offers you extra rewards without hassle.

Beyond being a new member of Swagbucks, I am in no way affiliated with the program. They did not request me to write a review, nor am I being compensated for this review. I simply enjoy the site and think you will too.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Free One Year Subscription to Shape Magazine!

We've brought you Rewards Gold prizes before-- it's a totally legit program where you fill out a super-fast survey and get a free year of subscription to a magazine. Right now, they're offering a one year subscription to Shape Magazine for free. We like this giveaway because they don't ask for your credit card AND you'll never be billed for a second year. It only takes a second to get your subscription-- just click here!