Category Archives: Reviews

Harlow & Liv Review

In planning Cincy Chic‘s first big event of the year, “New Year, New You” on Jan. 24, I’ve been working with the two local ladies who recently launched Harlow & Liv (they’re our runway fashion show sponsor this year!). A danger of the job is that I end up falling in love with the businesses and their products that I work with, and man oh man is that true for Harlow & Liv. I’ve been on their site almost every week lately seeing if there are any new arrivals and just loving every single thing they post!

My faves that I’ve bought so far are the Snow White Peplum, Chevron Blouse, and Elbow Patch Stripe Cardigan. Below are a couple pics of me wearing them! I’ve worn them all several times…. they’re so comfortable, and go with so much, I’m probably wearing them TOO much! haha!

Now, I have my eye on the Chevron Poncho, Aztec Print Leggings, and the Studded Sweater Dress.  I don’t know though…maybe I should wait… I just saw on their Facebook page that they have new arrivals coming in special to release at the “New Year New You” fashion show! See how this is a danger? haha! But what’s nice about it is that everything on their site is affordable ($7.99-$55), so it makes you feel not so bad about splurging. Plus you’re shopping local and supporting two amazing women, who I hope you’ll come to “New Year New You” to meet in person! 🙂 Click here to RSVP!

Me wearing my Elbow Patch Stripe Cardigan!
Me wearing my Elbow Patch Stripe Cardigan!
Me wearing my Chevron Blouse (under a sweater) on Christmas!
Me wearing my Chevron Blouse (under a sweater) on Christmas!
Me wearing my Snow White Peplum top for an on-air segment for Cbus Chic!
Me wearing my Snow White Peplum top for an on-air segment for Cbus Chic!

 

 

“Turn It On Fitness” Crossover Fitness Fashion

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The Karma Top, by Turn It On Fitness, a new Crossover Fitness Fashion line launched by two Tri-State natives.

In last week’s issue of Cincy Chic, we wrote about “Turn It On,” a new women’s clothing line launched by two Tri-State natives. It talked about how a former Ben-Gal Cheerleader and model, Juetta West, and Althea Harper, the runner up on Project Runway Season 6 and designer of her own fashion line teamed up to launch this unique “Crossover” line. It’s designed to take you from the gym to work or play (and everything in between).

Me with Juetta at coffee!
Me with Juetta at coffee!

Juetta reached out to me a few weeks ago saying she’s been a long-time reader of Cincy Chic… even once she moved to Hawaii several years ago!  I’ve been following Althea since her pre-Project Runway days, so I was so excited to read the Cincy Chic story about how she and Juetta teamed up to create this great new line. I was even more excited when Juetta said she would be in Cincinnati to do a few trunk shows to launch the line and said she could meet me for coffee!

Then, when we met, she came bearing gifts! She wanted me to try out one of their items – the Karma top – to let her know what I thought of it. The top features a loose fit with open draping back and open shoulders. It’s made of 92% Supplex® nylon and 8% spandex with moisture wicking and 4-way stretch (click here to learn about the unique kinds of fabrics they use). This top is $80 on their site, and their other tops start at $80 as well; the skirts at $90; the pants at $105 and the jackets are typically around $140.

I love my new Karma Top because I can throw it on with skinny jeans and jewelry and I’m ready to meet my girlfriends for cocktails. A blazer, dress pants and pumps for work. Or workout pants, sports bra and gym shoes for a good workout. Check out a few ways I’ve worn my new Turn It On Karma Top thus far in the pics below, and click here to check out Turn It On Fitness for yourself!

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Review: G-Loves Workout Gloves

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Loving my new G-Loves weight lifting gloves!!!

The hubs and I hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year for the very first time. So, I consumed 80 million calories on Thanksgiving Day like every other red-blooded American. Then, because I had so many leftovers at the house, I consumed that much on a daily basis for the next two weeks as well. Oof.

Yeah, so, my New Year’s Resolution to fit back in my jeans came a month early. I’ve always been a cardio girl, but I read that muscle increases your metabolism, so I’m now adding some light weights into the mix. Of course, for any fashionista, cute workout wear can make any activity fun. So, I stocked up on some new gear!

Since weights are new to me, I had to get some weight lifting gloves. And I found the BEST site for them… they’re called “G-Loves” weight lifting gloves and they come in all different patterns, from plain jane to patterned and pretty in pink. Of course, I love everything pink so that’s what I got.

They’re about $45 for the women’s G-Loves workout gloves, and they also have wrist wraps, men’s gloves, and workout apparel. Pretty cool site full of functional fashion to keep you lookin’ and feelin’ good in the gym! Click here to check out their site!

Revamp Your Home for the Holidays!

Ok, ladies … our husbands all have one thing they’ve held onto from their single days that we just can’t seem to talk them into getting rid of. For me and my husband, Pete, it was the “Ugly Chair.” He bought it right after a bad break up when he moved into a new place, furnished the whole place, and this was his accent chair. Problem is that it looks more like the 80s threw up on it than an “accent piece.” And our dog has taken a liking to it over the years, which means it’s now covered in rips and tears.

I have been trying to talk my husband into getting a new chair, but he said he just couldn’t let it go. Then I looked into getting it recovered in distressed leather and it’s just as expensive  as a new chair, so I couldn’t let that happen. So we were at an impasse. That is, until I found this “Surefit” slipcover site that has a ton of different high-end fabrics, and they’re easy to put on…. a “sure fit” if you will. haha! The fabric is a bit stretchy and it’s elastic around the bottom, so I guess that’s what makes it fit so snug.

So, I ordered one, and I literally had it on in 5 minutes and I love love love it! I had it on the chair for Thanksgiving (I hosted for the first time this year!) and people thought we got a new chair! Little did they know that deep down, it’s still the Ugly Chair. What a happy compromise! 🙂

Check out their site at www.surefit.net.

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Review: UniqueU’s New Laser Hair Removal Services

Me getting my laser hair removal under arm treatment at UniqueU
Me getting my laser hair removal under arm treatment at UniqueU

A couple years ago, my friend Lisa Cooney at Channel 5 lost a ton of weight and I asked her how she did it. She swore by the docs at UniqueU Medical Weight Loss, who helped to get her on a customized weight loss plan. So, I gave them a call about the last few inches I needed to shed to fit back in my “skinny” jeans (not the hipster skinny jeans, we’re talking my last-worn-15-years-ago-in-high-school skinny jeans). I got a treatment called “Zerona” there and it was awesome and helped me finally get back in those high school skinny jeans that I’m STILL wearing today! (Click here to learn more about my “Operation Skinny Jeans” journey)

So, now I’m on their email list and get notifications when they announce new things at the practice, and they just announced a few new services they’re now offering, such as Botox and hair removal treatments. I actually have been thinking about getting laser hair removal for a really long time. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that I’ve already tried EVERYTHING… the NoNo, dermaplane, and electrolysis… but hadn’t given laser a try yet. I guess I was afraid of someone not knowing what they were doing with a laser around my face and eyes. EEK!

But since the docs did SO well with my Zerona, and they were medically supervising these hair removal treatments – versus other places that don’t have any medical physicians on staff supervising – that made me feel a lot better. So, I met with them and got my upper lip and under arms done.

I’m not really a blonde (shhh!!) so I’m actually very hairy and the hair is dark. Recently I had started to notice this dark shadow of hair on my upper lip and I didn’t want to shave it, so I just cut it back. But the shadow was still there. I’m happy to report that after only TWO treatments you can’t see any shadow! And also after only two treatments, my underarms are completely hair free! With my upper lip, I’m no longer self conscious, and with my under arms, I can’t believe how much time just that saves me in the morning! I’m thinking about getting my legs done! Now THAT would save some major time!

The staff at UniqueU was SO helpful about what to do prior and after my treatments to get the best results, and I loved that a doctor was overseeing the whole process! And it was super quick and painless… seriously, I’m a baby about pain, and I didn’t feel a thing! I just love love LOVE how it all turned out and I can’t wait to go back for more! Highly recommended! Five stars! Pixie dust and unicorns! They’re amazing! 🙂

To learn more about them, check them out at UniqueU.com or to ask any questions/make an appointment, you can call (513) 984-2700. OH! And the most exciting part! They said I could offer a special discount to all my friends and Cincy Chic readers! So, check that out below! Enjoy and happy hairloss! 🙂

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Review: L’Occitane Repairing Hair Mask, Hair Oil

It all started this summer… I decided to go much blonder than usual and then I went to the beach for two weeks instead of my usual one. Once I got back from the beach, I was talking to my girlfriend about how my hair felt crispy, and she recommended I try the L’Occitane Repairing Hair Mask. She said she had used it for years, then they discontinued it for a while (she managed to snag a few on eBay to hold her over though). She had just learned that they brought it back, and you’d think it was Christmas morning! haha!

No, but seriously, she was adamant that this helped her, and we have similar hair types (some wave that we use a straightening iron to straighten out every morning).

So, I got the mask and I’m now a HUGE fan, too! Here’s how I used it: put it in my hair, wrapped a warm towel around my head and left it in for about 10 to 15 minutes, repeated every two weeks. I could see an immediate difference after one treatment, and I’ve since done it about 4 or 5 times and I continue to see more improvement each time. You can’t do it too often, though as I learned because it will weigh down your hair. Every other week, or even every three weeks works perfectly! That’s just around the time your hair wants to go back to its crispy ways! haha!

What I love about it is that it not only repairs my color-treated, beach-fried ways, but it also protects my hair with all that daily straightening I’m doing. I also found that it works especially well on rainy days.

Now that I’m officially addicted to this stuff, I was on the L’Occitane site and found a hair oil that basically does what the mask does in terms of defrizzing and protecting, but in a leave-in treatment application. It’s nice to use if I haven’t had time to do the mask, or on the days I’m starting to feel more crispy than usual.

So, I just thought I’d let you know that these are some rockin’ products and that I highly recommend them. The reviews are great online too, and come in helpful because users share their special ways of getting the product to work just right for their kind of hair.

Thirty One Gifts by Talia Alexander

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They say third time’s a charm… well, that holds true for my experience with Thirty One Gifts. It all started at the beach this summer, where a gal sitting next to me had the cutest thermal beach tote. The pattern was so pretty and it had a monogram (I’m obsessed with monograms right now for some reason). Plus, it was big enough for the fam’s lunches and drinks throughout the day and it had an outer pocket for all your other essentials. Finally, after a few days, of eyeing her bag, I had to ask her where she got it. She said it was a Thirty One bag. I made a mental note to find a Thirty One rep to get one through as soon as I got home… but you know how it is when you get back from vaca… and of course I forgot. embroidery

Then, I was at the grocery last month, and this woman had this bag lining the inside of her shopping cart. She was putting all the groceries she was buying into the bag in her cart. It had handles, so when she was done shopping, she took the bag – with all her groceries inside –  from the cart to her car in ONE swift move. I was intrigued. I felt immediately dumb for lugging around my 20 small reusable bags to the grocery when I could just be bringing one like hers, and then carry everything into the house in one trip too! So, I HAD to ask her where she got it. She said it was a Thirty One bag. Humph. So, I made a mental note to find a Thirty One rep to get my beach bag and this grocery tote stat… except after unloading my groceries and cooking (grocery shopping always makes me SO hungry!!), I of course forgot.

Well, fast forward to this weekend when I was at an OSU tailgating party (I know, don’t tell my Miami friends) and someone had an amazing organizing tote that she had all her tailgating necessities organized into one OSU-logoed bag. It had a bunch of pockets, dividers and thick straps. I almost knew the answer before I asked, but I did anyway. Yup, Thirty One Gifts!

collegiateSo, I FINALLY found a rep I love! Her name is Talia Alexander, and I highly recommend her. She started with Thirty One about 2 1/2 years ago just make a little extra “Me” money, and now she’s doing it full time (rock on, sister!). I’m so glad I found Talia because she’s super helpful and knowledgeable. Plus, she does this full time, so she’s quick to respond and her turn-around is amazing.

I learned that right now is actually a really good time to buy, too. Not only because it’s plenty of time before the holidays (I found a personalized tote – pictured above – I want to get for my sister-in-law!), but it’s also a good time to buy because in September, they have double hostess dollars! So, that means that if you host a party, you get double the amount of hostess rewards. She said if you enroll as a consultant and you could add on an extra $175 cash, too. Might be nice for people to have that before the holidays, so I thought I’d mention it to all my readers here on the blog!

If you want to give Talia a call, her number is 513-673-9097, or you can email her at Talia.Alexander31@gmail.com. You can also check out all the designs and info about personalization on her website: https://www.mythirtyone.com/TaliaA31/

 

Kapture Kickstarter Campaign, New Wearable Technology!

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About a year ago, my friend Matt Dooley (who also writes for Cincy Chic‘s “brother” publication, Cincinnati Profile) told me about this idea he had: A watch-like device that records audio. He sent me some prototype pictures, asked my opinion of the concept, etc. I liked the concept and gave feedback on the look from a fashionista perspective. 🙂 My team even wrote a Cincy Chic story about the beginnings of the concept!

Since then, Matt has essentially made this his full-time gig with his co-founder Mike Sarow, partnering with my amazingly talented friends at the PB&J PR/Marketing firm and also Cintrifuse, a co-working business incubator and innovation campus downtown.

Basically the idea has developed into Kapture, a wearable technology accessory (looks like a watch or bracelet) that’s constantly capturing audio. When you want to save the last 60 seconds of audio (like your child’s first word, something funny your friend just said…or verbal proof that your husband promised to clean the dishes! haha!) all you have to do is touch the device and it will download that sound bite to the application that’s accessible from your PC or mobile device.

They have several chic and sleek designs (so excited that my fashionista insight helped! I’m LOVING the white band and gold grill design!!) and it’s getting some really impressive reviews:

– “A twist on the wearable tech and quantified self movement.” TechCruch

– “Put down the smartphone” Mashable– “Sure, your smartphone has the ability to record voice memos, but using it means you have to know ahead of time about something you’ll want recorded.” Uncrate

– “Shi*t people say gets a product” Upstart Business Journal

– “Candid moments are elusive gems of Internet content. So how do we capture more candid content more frequently?” Designed by M

– “Fashion (Finally) Meets Function: Ten Tech Pieces to Upgrade Your Wardrobe” Vogue Magazine

But they need your help to take the business to the next level. There’s a Kapture Kickstarter campaign going on right now. This project will only be funded if at least $150,000 is pledged by Thursday Oct 3, 12:52pm EDT. Currently they’re at the half-way mark. So, that’s where you come in. Click here to pledge whatever you can. Below is a list of what you get when you support the campaign. Also, check out the interview I did with Mike and Matt about the product and the campaign. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE support these local innovators! They’re brilliant minds and genuine people, and I truly think this product has a very bright future – but they need your help to make it possible!

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Pledge $5 or more
STAY CONNECTED: Give a little support and stay connected to all of our updates and progress.

Pledge $35 or more
SWAG BAG: Get a sick Kapture T-Shirt AND a Limited Edition Poster OR Laptop Decal. FREE SHIPPING to US, Add $15 for international shipping.
Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
Add $15 USD to ship outside the US

Pledge $75 or more
EARLY SUPPORT: (1) Kapture device in Black or White with App for $75 when you support us now. Hurry, limited quantity. FREE SHIPPING to US.
Estimated delivery: Mar 2014
Add $15 USD to ship outside the US

Pledge $99 or more
BLACK/WHITE KAPTURE: (1) Kapture device in Black or White with App.
Estimated delivery: Mar 2014
Add $15 USD to ship outside the US

Pledge $110 or more
EARLY HOT COLOR SUPPORT: (1) Kapture device in a trendy color: HOT ORANGE, SEAFOAM or HARD YELLOW, with App
Estimated delivery: Mar 2014
Add $15 USD to ship outside the US

Pledge $125 or more
CUSTOMIZED LOOK: (1) Kapture device in any available color: HOT ORANGE, SEAFOAM or HARD YELLOW, BLACK, WHITE with Kapture app. BONUS ITEM – receive a second band/grill in any color so you can start a custom look.
Estimated delivery: Mar 2014
Add $15 USD to ship outside the US

Pledge $149 or more
BANDS & GRILLS GALORE: (1) Kapture device in Black with App, plus every color Band and Grill (White, Hot Orange, Hard Yellow, Seafoam). Your style deserves the options…
Estimated delivery: Mar 2014
Add $15 USD to ship outside the US

Pledge $199 or more
CHROME GRILL: (1) Limited Edition CHROME Grill with a Kapture device in any color. Plus, SWAG BAG reward (see above).
Estimated delivery: Mar 2014
Add $15 USD to ship outside the US

Pledge $225 or more
NAME YOUR COLOR: (1) Limited Edition Kapture device with app in ANY color you want (really!!) BONUS ITEM – receive a second band/grill in any available color so you can start a custom look. Plus SWAG BAG reward (see above).
Estimated delivery: Mar 2014
Add $15 USD to ship outside the US

Pledge $249 or more
COLLECTOR’S EDITION: Get (1) of the first 100 Kapture devices off the production line – authenticated, individually numbered, and signed by the founders (with App, color Black). Plus, SWAG BAG reward (see above).
Estimated delivery: Mar 2014
Add $15 USD to ship outside the US

Pledge $299 or more
GOLD GRILL: (1) Limited Edition 14k Gold Grill with a Kapture device in White. Plus, SWAG BAG reward (see above). “Stay golden Ponyboy!”
Estimated delivery: Mar 2014
Add $15 USD to ship outside the US

Pledge $399 or more
BETA TESTER: Be in our Beta Test Market and get your black Kapture device with App months before everybody else. Provide input to the final design. Plus SWAG BAG reward (see above).
Estimated delivery: Jan 2014
Add $15 USD to ship outside the US

Pledge $1,999 or more
BE A STAR: Co-star in our first national advertising! This is your big break. Plus, receive (1) Kapture in color of your choice with App and SWAG BAG reward (see above). *Execution of advertising on or before March 2015.
Estimated delivery: Mar 2014
Add $15 USD to ship outside the US

Pledge $4,999 or more
INCUBATE with KAPTURE: Join the Kapture team for one month and learn how to get your hardware idea off the ground. Also, receive (1) Kapture device in any color with App and SWAG BAG reward (see above). *Limited to one person per pledge, Room and Board not included, on or before Jan. 2015, Cincinnati, OH.
Estimated delivery: Mar 2014

Maison Joseph Drouhin Wine Relaunch, Campaign to Win $5k!

imageI’ve been getting into wine for the past few years, and running an online business, I’m always on social media. So, when I saw that Maison Joseph Drouhin — a vineyard and winery based in Burgundy, France — is re-launching two of its signature wines, Laforet Chardonnay and Laforet Pinot Noir, with a social media campaign, you know it had my attention.

Instagram Contest: the #SummerOfLaforet Instagram contest will take place from 7/1 until 9/30. The contest is SUPER simple: follow @MaisonJosephDrouhin, post “summer-themed” pics, picture with the most “likes” by September 30th earns its poster $5,000! There will also be runner up prizes at the end of July, Aug, and Sept earning the post that has earned the most likes within that month $1,000. Check out the hashtag #SummerOfLaforet to join in on the fun, and for more contest details, visit www.summeroflaforet.com
Happy Hours: Maison Joseph Drouhin will also be hosting a series of casual happy hours, many of which will have live music, in cities across the country. Both wines will be offered for $5 per glass (which is significantly discounted compared to the usual price of between $10-15). The idea is to create a casual environment in which new consumers can discover the wine and learn about the style of the famed region from which it comes (Burgundy).

My hubby and I had the chance to enjoy the relaunched Maison Joseph Drouhin Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Pete likes his reds and I’m typically a sauvignon blanc (white) gal, but I thought I’d try something new. It was lighter and not as “oaky” as Chardonnay can tend to be. I did like it – especially when it was super cold (perfect on a hot day like this Saturday was!). Then we tried the Pinot Noir, and that was our absolute favorite. We used our wine aerator, which infused it with oxygen and gave it great flavor. We grilled out steaks and this paired perfectly with it. Yum yum yum… definitely recommend!

By the way, I’m “amy_scalia” on instagram if you’d like to follow… I’m kind of obsessed with my dog and shoes, so don’t say I didn’t warn you! 🙂

Review: Nourish-mint™ Rehydrating Lip Glaze

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I just went on a two-week long beach vacation (I know I’ve mentioned it in a few blogs since I’ve been back… just rubbing it in! haha!) I don’t know if it was the salty air or being wind-blown for two weeks straight, but my lips were super dry when I got back.

So, I did some digging and found that Aveda has a new line of  “nourish-mint” products. I found their nourish-mint rehydrating lip glaze, which is infused with plant emollients and is clinically proven to moisturize, plump and smooth the look of fine lines, while also refreshing with an organic vanilla and mint aroma and flavor. After eight weeks of use, it promises to significantly:

  • Increase lip moisture by an average of 25%
  • Tap peptide technology to plump lips by an average of 13%-for lips that appear naturally fuller
  • Smooth the look of fine lines by an average of 26%

Extra benefits include:

  • Glide on smooth for even color release and a satin shine
  • Nourish with pomegranate oil
  • 100% recycled newsprint shell

So, I ordered a tube ($18) in a really gorgeous color (Spiced Plum). I’ve been using it for the past two weeks and I honestly already see a difference. I don’t get that cracked/peeling lip feeling, and they feel minty cool right after I put it on and that lasts for about an hour. They stay really hydrated, even with only a few reapplications throughout the day. So, I highly recommend it!

They also have lip liners and lipsticks in this “nourish-mint” line, but I’m more of a gloss girl! I also took advantage of some of their offers on their site where you can get free samples and shipping. Click here to learn more about that!