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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Earn Cash Back On Your Online Purchases

Do you want to earn cash back for making purchases online (and even in some stores)?

Then you've come to the right place. Are you familiar with Ebates? 

One click could earn you anywhere from 1% to 40% cash back. With hardly any effort, I received $200 in the last year. 

Ebates has partnerships with almost 2,000 stores...Including:

Amazon
Macy's
Kohl's
BestBuy
Groupon
Sephora
Target
Buy Buy Baby
Orbitz
Ticket Liquidator


When you are ready to sign up, click the link below. You'll receive a $10 cash reward/gift card once you make a $25 purchase.  

Sign Up for Ebates

Ready to find out how easy it is? Here are step by step directions.

1. Click to Sign Up 
You'll be taken to the home page. In the upper right hand corner, click Join Now.


Once, you've created your account, you're all set to start earning money back. 


2. Search for a store. If they are affiliated with Ebates, you'll see the percentage back you will receive, as well as any current promotions (sales and discount codes) that are going on.





3. Click Shop Now. 

4. You will be taken to your desired shopping website.


5. Shop like you normally would. Ebates will track any purchase you make and credit your account within a few days. 

6. If you close the page, or want to shop on another website, you must return to Ebates.Com in order to get credit for a purchase.

You'll receive a check in the mail or a deposit via Paypal every three months. Make sure to go into your account settings to enter the necessary information. 


I sometimes forget to use Ebates and that's why I was excited to find they offer a Cash Back Button and Toolbar. 

The Button is available for Google Chrome and will remind you that you are eligible to receive cash back if you are on a website they have a partnership with. 

Here is an example. I typed in Target.Com and because I had the button installed, this is what popped up.



If you do not have Google Chrome installed (or prefer this plug in), you can download the Toolbar. What is great about the toolbar is that you can search for stores without having to go to Ebates website directly. 

It looks like this. 




If you make purchases using a phone or tablet, there also is an Ebates app you can download. It works the same way. You'll click on the app, find the store and be redirected. 

Finally, Ebates has just begun to offer cash back in-store. As of now there are a limited amount of stores, but the list is growing. If you click the link, you'll learn how in store credit works. In-Store Cash Back 

I hope you found this helpful. Remember to get your $10 credit, click this link to sign up.
Sign Up and get $10 Reward


As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment below or feel free to email me at TheZenFashionista@Gmail.Com :)

If you would like to subscribe to my blog, I would really appreciate it! You can comment your email below or give it to me personally. If for some reason, you are already subscribed and are not receiving an email in your inbox, check your spam folder.

Until next time,
XOXOTheZenFashionista




Monday, February 22, 2016

How to dye your hair vibrant colors without bleach!

A few weeks ago, I put a purple wash out color in my hair. I had a lot of people asking me what I used, how they could do it, etc. So, I decided to make a blog post to answer those questions. 

FYI: Generally, my beauty products are vegan...this one is not...but I did use it and think a lot of people will want to try this product.


If you're like me and have dark hair, the only way to get a funky color to show up, would be to bleach your hair. After trying numerous products, I finally found one that actually showed up! I used the Garnier Color Styler Intense Wash-out Hair Color in Pink Pop. With darker hair, the pink turns out as a purple. I have thick hair and was able to cover my hair with only one bottle. Doesn't hurt to buy two bottles, just in case. :)

It'll depend on the your hair type, but the color is supposed to last, 2-3 washes. For me, it stayed the nice vibrant color I started out with, for about three days. I used a flat iron and fading was of minimal concern.

When I first tried this product, I did just a couple of highlights. Strand tests are always recommended. If you're curious as to how it will wash out of your hair and how long it will last, try applying it to a single strand of hair. 

After reading some of the reviews (some were unfavorable), I was unsure about trying this product. I'm glad I decided to go ahead and buy the product. I had no issues and it gave me the color I've been wanting, with no bleaching required.  

Some complained that the texture of their hair felt chalky after application...Similar to using hairspray. The Color Styler uses a clay that coats the hair. Instead of penetrating into the strands, the dye stays on top of the hair until you wash it out. 

If you find your hair is dry or do not like the texture, apply some oil. I used argan oil; moroccan or coconut oil will work as well. 
In general, after surveying the reviews, many of the complaints seemed to have come from people with blonde hair / hair that was dyed a lighter color. I can only speak for someone with dark hair.  

The product runs for about $8 and can be found at the drugstore, Ulta, Target, or Amazon. 

Instructions:

As with other hair dyes, I'd recommend wearing an old T-shirt when applying, because the color will stain. Once dry, my pillow and clothing for stain free. 


You will want to do this process on dry hair. 

Put on the gloves that are provided and shake the unopened bottle. 

Squeeze a couple drops of the product and rub together. You do not want to apply too much at a time, or else it might leave a chalky/more dry texture or potentially result in some chunky pieces. If this occurs, once dry, you can brush or comb the chunks out. 

Run the product through the sections of your hair you want to apply the color. If you are like me, and want to apply it to the majority of your hair, do this in small sections. Keep applying until you get the desired look. 

When your hair has dried completely, use a comb. A brush may make the color fade faster. 

If you do apply oil, you may find some of the color comes off. 

I also like to flat iron or curl it a bit after its dry, because it helps the texture of my hair feel smoother.

This process takes approximately an hour. About ten minutes to put the product on, a half hour letting it dry (depending on your hair), and ten to twenty minutes combing and styling.


Color Selection:

The Garnier Color Styler is available in five different colors: Pink Pop, Blue Burst, Purple Mania, Bronze Attitude and Red Temptation. 

Below you can see how the colors will look depending on the shade of your hair. 





Here is how the Pink Pop looked after applying on unwashed, natural curly hair (January 29th). 


In daylight, after I used a flat iron (January 29th). 


Three days later, it started fading. This picture is from February 3rd. 



And this picture is taken a week after the color was applied, on February 5th. I ended up washing it that night. 



After my first wash, the dye almost completely came out. There was still a small amount of color that wasn't hardly noticeable. And by February 8th, it was entirely gone (If I had washed it after two or three days, I believe it would have left some color). 

I decided to see how the Purple Mania would look in my hair and thought it would be fun to also include some Blue Burst. This was done last night, February 21st. 

Before:


After Applying:

Final Result:





I personally like Pink Pop more than Purple Mania. You'll notice the Purple Mania is a more subdued purple on darker hair. I'm loving the blue mermaid look!

What do you think? Which color would you want to try? 


As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment below or feel free to email me at TheZenFashionista@Gmail.Com :)

If you would like to subscribe to my blog, I would really appreciate it! You can comment your email below or give it to me personally. If for some reason, you are already subscribed and are not receiving an email in your inbox, check your spam folder.

Until next time,
XOXOTheZenFashionista


Monday, February 15, 2016

February Finds

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend and a nice Valentine's Day. <3

Today's blog post is about some really unique items I recently acquired. 


Since Valentine's Day was yesterday, we will start with an adorable vintage find! One of my favorite vintage shops is Leah's Closet in Royal Oak. Leah is a good friend and I love going to her for unique pieces to add to my wardrobe and collection. A few weeks ago, I stopped by to say hello and found myself staring at a pair of red lips. I had seen it before, but this time I decided to take a closer look. I had originally thought it was there for decoration, but learned it was a jewelry box...something I had just been saying I needed. The best part about it is that it's portable and can easily fit in a suitcase.


How cute is this?




I absolutely love it!

If you live in the area and haven't checked this shop out, you definitely should. Tell her TheZenFashionista sent you. :)




A Saks off Fifth opened up recently near me and I went to check it out. I was excited when I saw Betsey Johnson purses. The brand is known for its statement pieces. Some of the purses that you can find at Saks off Fifth are still being sold on the official Betsey Johnson website and places like Macy's and Belk for full price.


Here are the two styles I now have:


In a Jiff Popcorn Crossbody




Fancy Face Chain-Strap Shoulder Bag





They also had a perfume bottle and pizza shaped bags, among numerous other styles.



Lastly, if you follow fashion closely like I do, you may be familiar with Karl Lagerfeld and the popular charms for purses that Fendi sells. Known as the "Karlito" Bag Bug, they retail for almost $2000. I met a sweetheart of a lady on Etsy named Nicole who sells a similar product for $20-$30. She will personalize the bag charm with your color preference, and also does customized orders on other bag charms you might want, such as Star Wars characters which you'll see on her page. I bought one as a gift for my best friend. Below you will find two different "Karlito" styles.





Nicole's Etsy Shop


What is your favorite statement piece? Leave me a comment below.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me at TheZenFashionista@Gmail.Com :)

If you would like to subscribe to my blog, I would really appreciate it! You can comment your email below or give it to me personally.

Until next time,
XOXOTheZenFashionista

Monday, February 8, 2016

Creating a Gratitude Journal

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a nice weekend. :)

This week I am writing about creating a gratitude/goal setting journal. You'll find, that over time this is something I will continuously blog about. To read my post that discussed the importance of gratitude and ways to show it in your life, click here


When I was about thirteen, a mentor of mine suggested that I start writing positive things about myself and what I was grateful for each day. Before going to sleep, I would write what I liked about myself...my strengths, talents and skills. I jotted down my daily accomplishments, and the reasons I was grateful. I had learned mindfulness at a young age!

Studies have shown, people who express gratitude are happier people. When I'm going through a rough patch, I find that it is the hardest to write about positive things; but that's when you need it most. Practicing gratitude and mindfulness impacts the way you think and will improve your well being in some way. 

When we face a hardship, or a challenge arises in our life, we can still find ways to be grateful. For me, I've learned lessons about trust and the need for setting up boundaries. Turn the negative into a positive - I intend on writing a blog post on reframing and reshaping ones thoughts in the near future. 

Your diary is a place where you can vent. This journal is unique, because it's going to help manifest wonderful things for yourself!

Here are some of the benefits associated with keeping a gratitude/goal journal:

Self awareness - Discover more about yourself
Better health - Toxic emotions are reduced and happiness levels are increased. Immune system is stronger because you are less stressed and more optimistic 
Self Esteem - A boost in your self esteem makes sense if you are writing what you love about yourself...right? 


We live in such a fast paced world, that we take things for granted. Wouldn't it be nice to slow down for a few minutes and appreciate the good things in our life?

I'm going to challenge you to keep a journal for the next thirty days. I believe it takes about two months for something to become a habit. I invite you to expand the length of this challenge, if you so see fit. 




So, how are you going to create your journal?

First, find a notebook or journal that speaks to you. Maybe it's one with a funky pattern or a plain one that you decide to decorate.

Keep in mind, there is not a wrong way to do this. Your approach may be different than someone else's and that's ok. What works for some, might not work for others. Find what you respond best to. 

Some start their day by writing in their journal, while others prefer to do so before bed...Don't limit yourself. If you are out and about and something comes to you, write it down! 

One day you may write five things you're grateful for; another day you could have a list of ten. It isn't about the quantity. Your goal is just to write something each day. 

Lists are great but also feel free to elaborate on why you're grateful. 

Depending on how you choose to express yourself, you may want to draw a picture. Be creative. This is your special journal. 

I will admit, when I first started this process, there were days where it seemed like a chore. I came to realize small things counted...I didn't need to over analyze. Starting a journal where I wrote what I was grateful for and the things I accomplished during the week, set me on a journey of self discovery. Who was judging? Me? If I couldn't be open with myself, then who could I really be honest with? 


I invite you to not only write down what you are grateful for but to include other things as well....

Write down your goals for the day or for the week 

When we physically handwrite our goals out, it's as if we are planting a seed, setting something in motion. 

What were your accomplishments?

Did you finish that assignment? Were you able to get more sleep during the week? Did you clean the bathroom?


Jot down what you like about yourself 

Do you like your eyes? That you're a compassionate person?

A quote that inspires and motivates you

When I'm feeling uninspired, I like to find a positive quote and then journal about the meaning and how I can apply it to my own life. 

It's important to set an intent as well. I found writing it on the inside cover was a good place for mine. Your intent can be as simple as, "I set the intent to be consciously grateful."

Review your journal each month or when you're having a bad day. You've begun to create new neural pathways which will trigger positive emotions.   

I have friends who find meditation to be too difficult for them. If that's the case, then why not try this? This is a a type of mediation because it relaxes and calms the mind. It grounds you when you are journaling about the positives in your life. 


If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me at TheZenFashionista@Gmail.Com 

What are three things you're grateful for today?

Have a wonderful week!

Until next time,
XoxoTheZenFashionista

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Makeup Review

I'm always looking for natural beauty products to add to my daily regimen. Most of the products I use are vegan/cruelty free, but even those products can still contain chemicals and unnecessary ingredients. I recently came across Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques and was pleased to see they sold sample sizes of all of their makeup so that you could try them and see what works best for you. I was able to buy foundation in more than one color, a couple of eye shadows, all of their highlighters, and a lip glaze. 

Foundation:







We'll start with foundation. They sell creme, powder and pressed. I went with a creme and two pressed foundations.  Personally, I wasn't too impressed with the pressed foundation, though it did say it was light to medium coverage, but their creme foundation is my new favorite. 

I chose "Natural No. 00"  

Pros: 
Doesn't look caked on
Doesn't feel heavy 
Made with natural ingredients such as Organic Argan Oil, Green Tea Extract, and Zinc Oxide
Comes in over 20 shades
28 SPF

I also found that it had a fresh, dewy look and for being so lightweight, had nice coverage. A little goes a long way! :)


The only "con" I could come up with is that once you blend it, it takes a couple of minutes to in a sense "set."

It lasted me the whole day. I did have to blot once near the end of my day but only in a couple of places. 

The sample size is available for $1.50, and the full size for $27.00. 


I'm planning on trying their powder foundation. They were out of my shade in the sample size, when I purchased the others. 

It's recommended to put the foundation on with a blending sponge, but I used my Urban Decay foundation brush and it worked great. 

Eyeshadow:




Like the foundation, their eyeshadow comes in multiple types. They have pressed, powder, and creme eyeshadow. I had been hesitant to try the creme, because in the past I hadn't been impressed with the creme eyeshadows I tried. I ended up getting sample sizes of two of their creme eyeshadows.

I chose these colors:
Plum Fairy (Matte Finish)
Wisteria (Shimmer)





Pros:
Comes in a variety of colors in a matte or shimmer finish
Easy to apply
With primer, was long lasting 
Made with natural ingredients such as Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, and Coconut Oil extract


It's suggested on their website to use the matte shades alone as a contour shade or underneath a loose powder. 

I personally used both of these alone, for a more subtle,  natural look and I really loved them. 

The sample size is available for $1.50, and the full size for $9.00. 

Highlighter:





They have three different highlighters (in warm, neutral and cool shades), I decided to try all three. I've really liked all of them, but my favorite is Brilliance. 

I usually use a powder highlighter from NYX or It Cosmetics. I also recently tried the L'OrĂ©al Magic Lumi Highlighter Pen. 

Pros:
Nice moisturizing feel
Blends well
Great glow
Made with natural ingredients such as Rosehip Oil, Argan Oil, Beeswax and Organic Neem


I can't wait until the full size highlighter gets here, because I absolutely love it and it now will definitely be a part of my every day makeup routine. 

The sample size is available for $1.50, and the full size for $9.50. 


ColourFusion Lip Glaze:





They ended up sending me a free sample of one of their ColourFusion Lip Glazes. It was the Strawberries and Cream one. It gave me a hint of color and left my lips feeling extremely moisturized and soft.


Overall, I'm really happy with my makeup from Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques. More companies should take notice and offer sample sizes of their products. Besides the samples I tried, they also sell skincare products (facial serum, eye makeup remover), blush, lip colors, and makeup applicators. You should definitely check out their products. Especially if you're into natural cosmetics. 


And if you click this link to their website, you can get 10% off your order! At checkout enter the code, "THEZENFASHIONISTA" 



I also plan to purchase their Coffee Scrub and compare it to the one I currently use (Frank Body). 


Let me know if you buy anything from Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques. I'd love to hear your feedback on what you think of the products. 



If you would like to follow my blog, all you have to do is go the top right hand corner of the page and type in your email. If you're on a mobile device, change to the desktop/web version. 
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If you have any questions, leave me a comment below, or email me at TheZenFashionista@Gmail.com 

Until Next Time,


XOXOTheZenFashionista


P.S. Make sure to use the code "THEZENFASHIONISTA" at checkout to get 10% off your order and to click the link above. :)