Category Archives: Product Review

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Face - Product Review

3 of My Favorite Face Cleansers

December 21, 2017

I’ve been thinking a lot about what products to start our banter with and TBH, skincare has been my latest obsession. Gone are the days I can be frivolous about which products I use, and trust me, my skin went through hell and back when I moved to LA. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about what works for me, and I’ve been in good hands by getting occasional treatments by Dr. Nadia (her PRP facials have changed my skin — more on that later!). The hardest part about skin-related topics are the obvious disclaimer: everyone’s skin is different. My skin is pretty combination, that veers dry in the winter (even in LA!). Since there are so many I’m loving lately though, I figured I’d start with cleansers.

BATF-cleansers copy

First, one thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is my skin can use all the moisture it can get, so I try not to go crazy and overdo the cleansing (hence, stripping my skin of the oils it needs). I’ll usually skip a morning cleanse and use a micellar water if anything (more on that in a sec). But generally, this is what I find has been working best for me:

LATEST OBSESSION: Glamglow Supercleanse Clearing Skin-to-Foam Cleanse, $27

This is a little pricey as far as cleansers go, but there’s few that I’ve come across feel as good as this one does. It keeps my skin in check, and gets all the dirt out with the power of three different charcoals. A little goes a long way to remove all my makeup at the end of the day. It also has licorice and AHAs to help keep skin bright and encourage cellular renewal. I’ve even had friends stay over and use it, and notice the brilliance of this from the first go.

EXFOLIATING CLEANSER: Soap & Glory Vitamin C Face Wash, $11

If you feel your skin can use a little more of a deep clean, and you’re not looking to spend $30 on a face wash, I’ve been using and really liking Soap & Glory’s Vitamin C Wash. First of all, the bottle is massive — for 11.8 oz, it might as well be your body wash. In fact, I keep it in the shower so I can use it on my face and my upper back too after a workout. It has tiny exfoliating beads that helps get a deeper clean in, and it has mint and chamomile so your skin actually feels refreshed after using it. Vitamin c is also one of my favorite skin brighteners — which is also notoriously hard to stabilize, so I can’t speak to how effective it can be in this gel form, but it does make my skin feel clean without feeling tight or dry after.

GENTLE/EVERYDAY CLEANSER: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, $9
cerave cleanser

I haven’t used this one in a minute because I’ve been so happy with the two I’ve already mentioned, BUT I’m always asked about gentle, drugstore cleansers, and CeraVe has always been my favorite no-frills cleanser. My favorite thing about this one is it has ceramides, which helps protect the skin. If your skin is breakout-prone, you may also want to consider their SA cleanser that has ceramides AND salicylic acid.

TONERS: It Cosmetics Miracle Water, $38

I don’t use this every day, but on days I need a little extra, I’ll go over my face after cleansing with micellar water. Micellar water helps to cleanse the skin and leaves good-for-you ingredients (like peptides and skin softeners) behind so your skin benefits as well. This one from It Cosmetics is gentle and helps get every last bit of grime out before I go to sleep. It’s, again, a little on the high end as far as toners go, so if you’re looking for a good drugstore alternative, I also really like Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water ($7). I keep their makeup wipes next to my bed on the days I’m feeling extra lazy and just want to do a quick clean. Otherwise, I use toners sparingly, and mostly if I have a lot of makeup on that day.

I’ll have more AM and PM routines to come, and what products have been working for me to come! What have you been using that you love? Leave me a comment below!


Beauty - "The Lovely" - Face - Product Review - Skin

8 Skin Saving Winter Warriors

February 16, 2015

We’re basically walking around in the Arctic here in NYC. I think my eardrum froze yesterday. It’s bad. I’ve been loading up on these moisturizers though, so although I’m partially deaf and afraid that even my soul is frozen, at least you can’t tell on my skin.

Winter time saviors

1) Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream, $15 – This is like a tall glass of water for your skin. Almost literally, though: this is a water-based gel that’s super lightweight and not sticky. Plus it has skin-plumping hyaluronic acid that gives moisture back to the skin. The olive extract helps protect the skin from moisture loss. It basically locks moisture in your skin. It’s a great first-thing-in-the-morning moisturizer.

2) Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, $17 – I think I’ve sang my praises for this to all my friends by now. And I always say the same thing: the medicinal scent is not for everyone (I personally hate it) BUT. BUT. This is the best moisturizer I’ve found for my skin, hands-down. That’s why it’s always in my bag. Before flights, before bed, under my eyes, on my lips, elbows, everywhere. If my skin is ever acting up, I apply this before bed, and my skin is so much softer in the morning. It’s a thicker, gel-based cream that is a tad greasy, and glycerin-ey, but it hydrates my skin like no other.

3) Dove Quench Absolute Shampoo and Conditioner, $7 each – Sooo this is specially formulated for the curly haired — therefore not me, my hair is wavy — but that didn’t stop me from stealing a page from their book. The line is so nourishing for dried out locks, and it smells beautiful — like coconut and happiness.

4) BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Gel Cream, $29 – I already wrote how much I love this tinted BB/CC cream just the other day here, but this is seriously the only thing I’ll wear in the winter and it lets my skin show but also hydrates it so it looks like I’m wearing nothing.

5) Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair, $92 – This is a repair serum that helps fight signs of aging and just a little goes a long way. I recently re-discovered this, and apply a little under my cream at night. It also has skin plumping hyaluronic acid, and algae extracts which helps repairs cells. In their studies, 83 percent of women felt their skin looked healthier and more rested in just 4 weeks (*raises hand).

6) Aquaphor, $5 – If you want just one, affordable, heavy duty cream to ease your winter woes, then Aquaphor. This is another little tube I keep with me to use on my lips or under my eyes to protect against the blistery cold. Also great to apply to chapped heels or even as a hand balm/cuticle saver.

7) Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer, $39 – Seeing how much I love the original Eight Hour Cream, I had to try Elizabeth Arden’s Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer. The good news is they added a little lavender to this so it smells better than the original. It’s a thicker situation than the original as well so I only use it sparingly since it can be overpowering. I’ve been using a little under my eyes and on ares prone to turn patchy with the colder weather.

8 ) 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Eye Cream, $21 – I’ve loved this small brand ever since I tried their brightening pineapple enzyme peel mask. This eye cream has anti-inflammatory green tea, and the coffee helps reduce puffy under eyes and dark circles. And true to the brand’s ethos, it’s made only with 100% pure ingredients (also every single person who tested it said it improved skin hydration and moisturization).

What moisturizers are you relying on for the winter?

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BATF Giveaways - Beauty - "The Lovely" - Hair - Product Review

CLEAR’s new Active Damage Resist line is legit. Win it here & try yourself!

January 12, 2015

If you feel like your hair is fried, you’re not alone. Damage caused by styling products is a problem for 80 percent of women. Blow drying, flat ironing, or – in my case – being a wee bit curling iron crazed helps with a style for day, but the cumulative damage is staggering. I’ve been so relentless with my hair but I’ve always tried to keep a regimen to prevent it from showing. When I was introduced to CLEAR Scalp & Hair’s latest and greatest — their Active Damage Resist Ultra Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner, which claims to reverse visible damage by 100 percent – I had to give it a try.

Clear Scalp & Hair Active Damage Resist Shampoo and Conditioner

The duo is infused with Omega 3-6-9 complex, which helps rebuild fiber damaged by heat and chemicals from root to tip. My hair felt smoother from the first shot; by the second my hair was glowing. Usually my fear with products that claim to de-frizz is that my strands fall flat, but my hair still found volume after blow drying and brushing through it. Take a look – this is after curling my hair and not using any other styling products except CLEAR’s shampoo and conditioner:

Before on the right, and after using Clear's Active Damage Resist line

Good light and good shine

Took all these pictures with my iPhone -- no filter except the sun :)


Since I don’t consider giving up my heat tools for good is not an option, this is going to go a long way for me. Since I started using the line, I feel less guilty since it’s repairing my ends and my hair actually feels stronger (tests show that Clear’s shampoo and conditioner helps with 97 percent less breakage from combing on severely damaged hair with this line versus non-conditioning shampoo). My strands are even curling better with way more bounce and shine. Not bad for a drugstore brand that won’t break the bank either.


The line just launched this month – anyone else want to be one of the first to try it? Good news: I’m giving away a set of CLEAR’S Active Damage Resist Ultra Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner to a lucky reader this week and experience it yourself! All you have to do one of these things below (do either to enter, both to increase your chances of winning:

Like BATF’s Facebook page and comment on this giveaway post
Follow me on Twitter (@BeautyNDFeast) and tweet “Hey @BeautyNDFeast, I want to win @ClearHair’s new #ActiveDamageResist products for stronger, shiny hair! #giveaway”

Make sure you leave a comment below to let me know how you entered. Winners will be picked and notified by January 19th. Good luck! *Winners must have a US mailing address!

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*Products were sent for review. This post sponsored by CLEAR Scalp & Hair, but opinions are true and my own after testing the product. Visit to learn more.

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Body - Product Review

Moxxie: handcrafted plant-based bath products

December 6, 2014

More and more, people have been asking me for natural and plant-based beauty product suggestions. As if on cue, a line called Moxxie was sent my way and totally fits the bill if you’re going in a more green direction.

Moxxie's line of soaps, scrubs, balms, and body wash

The handcrafted line is 100% plant-based, vegan, and cruelty-free. The heart of their collection are their bar soaps which come in beautiful and varied herbal scents like Rosemary + Lavender (the one I’ve been using all month), and Lemongrass + Oatmeal. The soaps are infused with good-for-you ingredients like coconut palm, olive oil, and soothing olive oil.

Moxxie sugar scrub in lavender

My favorite by far though are their solid sugar scrubs. I’m so big on exfoliating in the shower. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my skin since I started being more diligent about it, since it not only sloughs off dead skin cells to make your skin smoother, it also helps your skin absorb any moisturizer or oil you apply afterwards. I’ve been looking for something heavy duty because too often the scrubs I come across are doused in gels or cream mixtures that aren’t as effective at exfoliating. That’s why I’m in love with these little cubes. They come in chunks that dissolve as you use, and is good to use from head to toe. Plus they’re infused with moisturizing oils like almond and grapefruit so your skin isn’t left parched.

Also, not to be missed: their Peppermint lotion which leaves behind a natural cooling feel. The line ranges from $3-$18, and right now their gift sets are on sale for $20-$60 — check them out :).

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*Products were given gratis to review but opinions are my own.

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Hair - Hair Tools - Product Review

Review: Conair Infiniti Pro Curl Secret

November 18, 2014

How many of you have heard of or seen Conair’s Infiniti Pro Curl Secret? My friend Heba texted me asking what I thought about it, a new patent-pending curling iron which clasps on to hair and automatically curls it. That was my first time hearing about it, but when I did look it up, I was curious to see if it really did work.

Testing, testing

Curl Secret

The way it works is you clasp down on to about 1/2 inch section of your hair from where you want your curl to start, and the motor will spin to automatically curl your hair inside the iron. After a few seconds, the iron will beep, and when you loosen your grip on the iron, your hair will fall out curled. If all that was too hard to follow, here’s their official how-to video on using it.

Conair Infiniti Pro Curl Secret

So back to the original question, does it work? The short answer is, yes, but it comes with a few caveats that I observed from using it a few times:

– First of all, it’s easy to use once you get the hang of it, but it does take some practice. The first time I used it, I was amazed by the shiny, bouncy curls it delivered, but the second time, when I was more impatient, my curls didn’t come out nearly as nice.

– Check your settings. I didn’t realize it there are 3 settings for how long you want to keep your hair curled (3, 10, and 12 seconds), and I always had it at the highest setting, which meant the longest amount of time. I kept loosening out my curls before letting it beep which meant looser, but sometimes weaker curls. Make sure you adjust it to whatever time you want it set for!

– If you clasp too much hair, your hair can get caught in it. Amateur mistake, but if this happens, just unplug and slowly untwist your hair out.

– If you clasp too much hair, your hair will also come out twistey, instead of curly. Just make sure you’re working with smaller sections especially if you have longer hair.

– I didn’t feel like it saved a ton of time compared to traditional irons. Yes, it does automatically curl it for you, but you still have to wait a few seconds before letting it fall to get the same curl.

– You don’t have as much control over how your curl looks, but with a little practice you can adjust to have tighter or looser curls.

After using Curl Secret

But I would note that one big thing this has on traditional irons is that you are way less likely to burn yourself with it since the iron isn’t exposed. This is coming from someone who is regularly fielding picture texts of her friends sending their burn marks from a clipless curling iron. I think they do this is their way of saying WTF to me since I’m all about them normally, but I concede that if you’re not used to them, clipless irons aren’t always the easiest to use either.

And while it did take the same amount of time for me to curl my hair with this compared to a clipless, for others who don’t use regular curling irons, it can be a time saver and may be easier to use. So the jury’s out. Have you used it, what did you think?

Infiniti Pro By Conair Curl Secret is available at for $120.

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Product Review

8 products that got me through the month

October 1, 2014

Sorry, it’s been a minute since I’ve done a product round up, but these are some tried-and-true ones I’ve been using over the month:


1. Simple Eye Make-Up Remover Pads, $5.99 for 30

These tiny pads are travel-friendly and take off every last bit of eye makeup without irritating my eyes. I thank its formula free of alcohol, dyes, oils, fragrances, irritants and on and on. It also is infused with vitamins B5 and E which protect the skin.

2. L’Oreal Paris Visible Life Blur Blush in Soft Berry, $12.99

This is the most gorgeous shade of pink, and off-label multitasker: dab a little on lips for the perfect fleshy nude.

3. Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels, $30 for 8 pairs

So I had a wee-bit of an insomnia problem that left me with only a few hours of sleep a night just a few weeks ago. These eye gels have been my lifesavers in the morning so I didn’t look like it (it has since, thankfully subsided). The gels impart the a nice refreshing, cooling effect and helps to not only de-puff with hydorlyzed elastin but also brighten with its gingko biloba leaf extract.

4. Benefit They’re Real! Push Up Liner, $24

If you love gel liners but hate that you have to carry a separate brush for it, this solves that problem and more. Benefit’s new stylo actually has a soft tip that dispenses a matte black gel liner by only a little twist of the bottom. The angled tip makes it super easy to get as close as you can to the lash line and perfect the cat-eye. AND it’s waterproof. Seriously, I jumped into a lake wearing this and it didn’t smudge in the least. I’m obsessed.


5. Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Cream Cleanser, $7.49

When I went to LA a few months ago to Neutrogena’s headquarters, it was a crash course on everything they make. I learned so much, but especially about their Naturals line. Kristen Bell — like the sloth-loving, funny, once-again pregnant actress — was there to tell us why she loves it so much (“I recently became a new mom and I think even more so than I was before, I read the ingredients of everything. I was acknowledging that the things I had to not eat or not use because things came into my belly or through my breast milk – my consciousness was heightened” — more on this in an upcoming post). ANYWAY, for now I can basically tell you Kristen Bell got me on to to Neutrogena’s more natural line…because how many people can say that? (You can too, now). Their Purifying Cream Cleanser is a super gentle, detoxing, cream cleanser that removes dirt and oil. It’s not a heavy-duty cleanser but a light one I like to use in the morning and in the shower.

6. Makeup Academy Color Infused Lip Balm in #280 Nude, $8

I don’t love a lot of lipsticks, but this won me over. This one from Makeup Academy (which is a new line exclusively at CVS) is a sheer nude that’s surrounded by a balm so it’s extra moisturizing, AND it’s under $10. The color is that pretty nude that I always have so much trouble finding, so I’m so glad I found one that’s not overly pigmented and comes in an even better price point.

7. Exuviance Perfomance Peel AP25, $75

I scored this at a beauty sale at work, but I’m always reading about how alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic and lactic acid helps to exfoliate and brighten skin so I was excited to give this a try. This has helped lessen the appearance of dark spots and every single time I use it, the next day my skin feels super soft and smooth. I’ve been alternating it with microderm (next product), and my skin has in turn been having much more glowing days.

8. Kelley West Microderm360º Dermabrasion Tool, $189

Also scored at a beauty sale, I was a little more timid to try microderm at home but this is a no brainer. It comes with fine surface for face and 60 filters (you change it every time you use it) to smooth skin and deep exfoliate. I highly recommend testing it on your skin before going all in. It leaves my skin just a tad pink in the areas I use it immediately after, but when I check the filter after use, I see just how much dead skin it’s picking up (TMI? Maybe). But using this once to twice a week is a nice alternative to going to a facialist or derm. Maybe more of a luxury item especially at its price range, but something I love using now.

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