Neutrogena® Norwegian Formula Hand Cream Review

Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Neutrogena® Norwegian Formula® and Latina Bloggers Connect.  All opinions are my own.

Fall and winter are two of my favorite seasons, primarily because of the seasonal attire.  No surprise there!  But, one of the things I dislike is the fact that my hands get super dry.  So dry sometimes that they crack!  It’s the worst.  I had been on the hunt for a decent hand cream, and therefore was pleased when I was selected to participate in the Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream challenge.

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I was asked to try the lotion for 7 days.  I was not asked to note anything in particular, but simply to share my experience with you.  That seemed reasonable enough.  So here’s what I thought.

I love it.  Let me count the reasons why:Norweigian Formula Hand Cream

1.  It’s a light formula, so it spreads nicely and absorbs quickly.

2.  It doesn’t feel oily.  It sort of does at first, but soon there after, absorbs into the skin and the oiliness disappears.  I would say this takes no longer than 10 minutes.

3.  It smells nice!  Not like medication or overly scented.  It just sort of smells…clean and fresh!

4.  It works!  My hands were getting so dry.  It was awful.  Skin that resembles sand paper in texture is not attractive.  Thankfully, after my 7 day trial period, I no longer qualify to work on a construction site. 😀  I would say it took 3-4 days for me to notice a difference.  The formula was originally developed in Norway for Artic fishermen who needed to protect their hands from the cold and harsh weather they face on the job!  Thankfully, it has since been adapted for mass production and nicely packaged for our use.

Finally, I love that it’s relatively affordable, especially considering it’s effectiveness – only $4.99 for a 2.0 oz tube.  Notice the size is perfect for travel as well!  You can find it nationwide at food, drug and mass merchandisers.

Here are some additional factoids about this awesome hand cream:

  • It helps repair skin’s natural moisture barrier to keep hands, and especially cuticles,
    softer and smoother, longer
  • It eliminates 7 signs of damage – dryness, chapping, cracking, split nails, dry cuticles, scaliness, roughness
  • It’s long-lasting formula is clinically proven to heal dry hands
  • It noticeably improves the look and feel of your skin
  • It’s available in scented and fragrance free formulas
  • It provides effective relief that lasts up to 17 hours
  • The formula has been around since 1972!

Let me know if you have used the Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream or if you decide to try it for the first time, give the 7-day challenge a try and comment below with your experience.  I’d love to hear about it.  Finally, don’t forget to check out my daily outfit posts on Instagram, sources for outfit inspiration on Pinterest, and latest musings and retweets on Twitter.

Until next time!  Stay Chic!

A Girl’s Night Out with Gus Mayer and the Birmingham Humane Society

Last week, I attended Gus Mayer’s Fall Fashion Preview.  It was an incredibly fun event!  I didn’t get to go to New York Fashion Week again this year, but this set up and the event in general was a close second:




It was my first time getting a preview of a store’s Fall collection, so I was beyond excited to participate.  As per usual, my first reaction is always to figure out what I am going to wear.  No surprise there!  This time, I planned my outfit around a pair of earrings I won recently as part of a Society Social/Lisi Learch giveaway on Instagram.  Aren’t the just stunning?!


Here I am wearing the earrings.  In case you are wondering, they are not clip-on’s!  They are about 3.5″ in length and light enough to wear for a few hours.  Not light enough to wear all day every day. 😉


Next came the outfit styling.  I hadn’t worn this J. Crew skirt in a while, so I decided to pair it with a NY&Company flowy top and nude heels.  Since I was attending a Gus Mayer sponsored event, I also knew I had to wear the bag that I scored during their last major sale event – a chartreause, quilted, Rebecca Minkoff bag!


Top: NY and Company (old, similar here) // Skirt: J Crew (here) // Heels: BCBG Generation (old, similar here)

I actually have to thank Nancy Nagrodzki, the Gus Mayer Handbag and Accessories buyer, for this bag.  I arrived late to their previous sales event, so by the time I got there, all of the bags that were majorly discounted were gone.  Buyers in the store could only buy one bag however, so she kept an eye out for customers who were walking around with 2 bags, and when one customer decided to take another and not this one, she got it and handed it to me!  I was SO grateful!  Isn’t Nancy amazing?! I was therefore elated to see her at the Fall Fashion Preview and learn about the new bags and accessories for the Fall.  Take a peak at some of the handbags and accessories she curated Gus Mayer buyers:


For handbags, mixed media, such as shearling and leather will be popular this Fall. Bucket bags, clutches with a broaches, and backpacks in all colors will be on trend.


Jeweled embellishments on belts, handbags and headbands/combs will also be big hits.  Guess what’s also back in style??  You guessed it!  The FANNY PACK!!  Rebecca Minkoff makes a quilted version that is ALL the rage!


Scarves in floral and digital prints will be in all shapes and sizes will also be popular. Wraps, infinity scarves and cashmere scarves with fringe like the one Nancy shows us here:


Ponchos and capes are also in. Look for versatility and neutral colors. For outerwear in general, rain coats in fun prints, like polka dots or animal prints, leather jackets in all shades are going to be very popular this Fall.


Next, we heard from Cami Krablin, the Contemporary/Ready-to-wear and denim buyer.  I really loved many of the items she picked out for Gus Mayer’s Fall selection.  She described fall trends as “boho chic”, “leather and lace”, and “Janice Joplin meets 2014”.


Among some of the lines she selected for Guy Mayer is a clothing line by a new, up-and-coming designer, Benjamin Jay.  Not only were all of his clothes incredibly unique and well-made, but he is also formerly a microbiologist in training!  That’s definitely a brand that I can stand behind.  Check out the distressed tee’s I am still coveting:

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Finally, Rita Lindsey – the Cosmetics and Gifts buyer – talked to us about the new “it” Chanel nail polish hue, as well as a trapper keeper/planner of sorts made by Trish McEvoy, which comes with everything you need for lips, eyes, cheeks, and even includes foundation.  Make up trends for the fall include smokey eyes and a bold lip.  My favorite part of this presentation was learning about a fantastic new line called Royal Highnies.  It’s a line of men’s boxers and women’s sleepwear, boasting 400 thread count, soft cotton boxers and PJ’s.  What awesome stocking stuffers these would make!?

The best part of the beauty presentation was that we actually got to take some samples home with us.  I’ve since tried several Chanel and La Mer face products and am a fan!  The products not only smell amazing, but they are also effective!  Definitely going back for more of these products:


In addition to carrying a pretty amazing selection of clothes, shoes, beauty products and accessories, Gus Mayer sure knows how to host a fun event!  This one was a huge success in my opinion, but it was exclusive to bloggers.  This Tuesday, September 16th, you get a chance to shop TAX FREE and enjoy some appetizers and drinks while mingling with fellow shoppers at Gus Mayer’s Girl’s Night Out from 4-8pm.  That’s not all.  The event will benefit Greater Birmingham Humane Society with giveaways including $750, $500 and $250 Gus Mayer gift cards!  Pretty exciting, right?!  They may even have some pets on site that you can adopt.  Sounds like a win-win to me!

Here’s some additional information on the event:

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Sounds like fun, right?  AND, it’s a great cause!  If you are in the Birmingham area tomorrow, make sure to stop by Gus Mayer.  If not because you’re a shopper and lover of retail, then shop to support a worthy cause. 🙂

Until next time!  Stay Chic!

Two Bloggers, One Thrifting Challenge

About a month ago, my dear friend (also super sweet and so gorgeous) Amy from My Soapbox Moment, and I decided to take on a thifting challenge.  We agreed to spend $20 on a thrifted outfit, including shoes.

At first, I thought, oh sure, $20 dollars, no problem.  Then I got to the store and realized, this challenge was going to be more difficult than I thought!  That is, until I really started to actively look through the racks of clothing at the store.  Then, I had more clothes than I knew what to do with, haha!

I’ll tell you what prompted me to even consider this challenge.  A while back I heard a story on NPR (I wish I could remember the name of the segment…), where they mentioned that the average person in Alabama only has about $7 a month to spend on clothing.  $7 a month!  That’s nothing!!  So it made me think about the young woman going in for her first job interview, or perhaps the one that landed her first job out of college and needs an office-appropriate look for her first day of work. Or maybe the graduate student going to her very first scientific conference.  What can she afford to buy?

So off to Salvation Army I went.  With this young woman in mind.  And I was faced with racks and racks of clothing.  SO many clothes!  It can be a little overwhelming for the novice shopper, but not me!  I’m a pro. 😉

black rackHere’s how I approach racks.  Usually, they are categorized either by color (as in picture above) or type of garment.  So, I actively search the racks for colors or fabrics that stand out and catch my eye.  Take a look at this rack, for example:

Clothing selectionOf course it depends on what colors and prints you tend to wear, but in my case, I was immediately drawn to the cobalt blue top.  The color is very on trend and the fabric doesn’t look wrinkled, which likely means that it won’t wrinkle at home either.  By the way, this top came home with me. I’ll be styling this top on Instagram in the coming week!

After looking through multiple racks – okay ALL of the racks – I found two outfits, which I envisioned this girl wearing to work/conference during the day, then to happy hour with her girlfriends to celebrate her first day on the job or a successful poster presentation!  Take a look at what I put together for the ‘day look’:


0722141808aAn orange and black number for my day look.  I thought the top was feminine, conservative, and office appropriate.  I went with a basic, black pencil skirt that she could wear over and over with different types of tops. Finally, because it is summer, a pair of peep-toe heels. In retrospect, I could have done without the belt…but, the young woman I have in mind is a ‘chic’ academic, a ‘chic’ professional, so a chic belt it is!  The bag (a Phillip Lim for Target) was also not included in the budget, but it’s currently my go-to work bag.  Why?  Basically, my MacBook Pro fits in it, so it’s the perfect bag for work!

Here’s the price breakdown:

  1. Chico’s Black Label top, $3
  2. New York and Company pencil skirt, $2.50
  3. Anne Michele Peep Toe Heels, $4

Total cost for this outfit: $9.50 (sans accessories)

Okay, so a little more than $7, but maybe she can borrow $2.50 from her girlfriend, right?!

For the ‘happy-hour-after-work look’, I wanted to be able to stay within the $20 proposed spending limit, which meant, I only had another $10.50 left to spend.  So, I purchased the Bisou Bisou top you see below, which is super versatile.  It is another very on trend piece, reminiscent of Mara Hoffman or Clover Canyon, in my opinion.  Take a look and tell me what you think:


0722141820Here’s the price breakdown:

  1. Bisou Bisou top, $5
  2. Same New York & Co skirt from previous outfit, $2.50
  3. Same Anne Michele shoes from previous outfit, $4

Total cost for this outfit: $11.50 (but only $5 additional dollars from the $9.50 spent for the previous outfit and also not including accessories)

In all, I spent $14.50 and had two outfits to wear! With the $5.50 left, I could certainly have searched for some accessories, but unfortunately the ones available that day did not strike my fancy. 😀

The most difficult part was finding shoes that fit in my budget.  These shoes were actually tagged new, so I went with these shoes as opposed to a black-goes-with-everything pair of used shoes.  The orange tone was somewhat limiting, but I wanted to buy something that was going to last, that I would actually wear again, and that would work beyond the scope of this blog post.  So, orange it was and I chose clothing items accordingly. 😉

The shoes were originally $8, but on Thursdays at the Salvation Army, certain colored tags get discounted a certain percentage.  I didn’t know this when I arrived, but happened to chat with the security guard standing by the door, who spilled the beans!  Here’s what he had to say:

  • At least at the Hoover, AL store, Thursdays are the BEE-NEEZ.  That’s the day to shop because some of the items in the store receive an additional discount.  The discount varies from week to week
  • There’s no sales tax on items purchased at the Salvation Army.  I DID NOT KNOW THAT!  Did you?!  And some items are new!  Totally worth revisiting your opinion of thrift stores, if you had a bad one to begin with.  Don’t you think?
  • If at first you don’t succeed in finding what you’re looking for, try asking the sales associates.  They know the stores like the back of their hand and can almost always help you find what you had in mind.

The day I went, it so happened that the purple tags had an additional 50% discount.  So, the shoes, the skirt and the orange button down top were all 1/2 off!  The multi-colored Bisou Bisou top was originally priced $5, and didn’t have any additional discounts.  Do be very careful and inspect all garments and or shoes before purchasing.  Remember, these items are all donated…often because they have a defect of some sort.  Keep these tips in mind when considering thrifted clothing:

  • Inspect for holes, tears, snags, etc.
  • Smell the garment.  If it smells moldy, reeks of perfume/cologne, etc…you should prob stay away from it.
  • Take a look at where the tag has been placed.  At the Salvation Army, all price tags are stapled on to the clothes.  If the item is silk, or some other delicate fabric and the staples are placed somewhere other than the tag, chances are, you will have holes in your new thrifted item when you get home and remove the tag. No bueno!
  • Finally, go for fit versus brand when selecting items.  Sometimes, you’ll find gems in garments with no tags, unknown brands, or simply items that might be considered vintage.  No one is going to pay attention to the tag that sits INSIDE the clothes you are wearing.  They will, however, see if the fit is amazing, or if it makes you look like a frumpy grump. 😉

So, last night, Amy and I compared notes!  And guess what, she found some fab outfits as well!!  Visit her blog for details on what she paid for each item, but generally, I’ll tell you that she spent about $15 for her day look (vintage, thrifted necklace included), which is so FAB by the way:

photo 4and about $14 for her evening look (accessories not included, but were purchased at a significant discounted price!):

photo 1Didn’t she do an amazing job?  I LOVE the color of the evening dress…perfect for a dinner with the hubs, al fresco!  And the polka dot shoes, with the striped dress…LOVE!  Great pattern mixing.  I’m also in love with the day look…every girl needs a little black dress.  Amy is the sweetest woman I know on Instagram!  So full of energy, love, and happiness.  It shows through in every picture she posts. Make sure to follow her on Instagram to keep up with more of her fabulousness!

So, how do you think we did??! Comment below or feel free to head over to my Instagram or Twitter and leave comments there!

Until next time, friends, stay chic!

PS – A special thank you to my hubby hubs for taking my pictures for this post! Love ya, hubby!