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My Grandmother would always say to me, “Your smile is contagious!” I always knew since then; my best asset was my smile. When I was younger, during a family photo shoot, I noticed my teeth weren’t as sparkly white as I would like, which I felt needed to be corrected – ASAP! For Christmas, my parents gave me teeth whitening from our dentist office as a gift. YAY! The treatment worked, but my teeth became super sensitive, and I started getting headaches between treatments. However, I wasn’t going to let a bit of pain to stop me, as I wanted that contagious smile to look fabulous again!

Well, over the years, I’ve attended countless events and gatherings, where drinking red wine is on of my drinks of choice which, that did a number on my teeth. And the coffee – don’t get me started! Over time, I noticed my teeth were beginning to discolor, and my sparkling white teeth were no longer. Not only are photos a massive part of blogging, but feeling confident is something I don’t mess around with. I was satisfied with everything else but the damn color of my teeth!

After trying multiple options (i.e., white strips, whitening toothpaste, home remedies), nothing was doing the trick. I was very close to paying a ton of money to have my dentist LED white my teeth, but that’s when Smile Brilliant entered my life.  

I didn’t know what to expect but wanted to give it a try. I spoke with their team about my concerns from my previous encounter with at home teeth whitening, and they provided me with tips and best practices to follow to make this process better. I was blown away with how much interaction I had with them and how they genuinely care about their clients. And the price was a no brainer! After that, I ordered my kit and waited like a kid at Christmas for their package to arrive.

To say this process was easy is an understatement. Everything from opening the box, to following their step-by-step instructions was pretty straightforward! Making your personal dental impressions was easy! I love the fact that I could create my dental impressions without having to go to a professional. Everything you need is all right there in Smile Brilliant’s at home whitening box.

Here is a quick overview of what you need to do in order to get started:

  1. Follow the instructions, and less than 10 minutes, your dental impressions are made. I let my molds dry for one hour before I went to the next step.
  2. Place the dental impressions into the pre-paid package, drop off at USPS, and wait for the removable trays to return.
  3. Once your package arrives, you are on your way to whiter teeth! My teeth whitening treatments were either first thing in the morning (if I had time before work) or right before bed. I also loved right before bed because I knew I wouldn’t be eating anything until morning, which would help the teeth whitening process.
  4. Voila, you’re on your way to sparkly white teeth!

Here are a few tips my expert informed me of for teeth whitening with Smile Brilliant:

  • Brush teeth with water (not toothpaste, fluoride slows down the whitening process)
  • Whiten for 45 minutes-3 hours (3 hours max per day! Do not whiten overnight, it can cause extreme sensitivity)
  • Brush teeth with a non-whitening toothpaste
  • Rinse trays out with cold water
  • Desensitize for 20 minutes (do not drink or eat for 1 hour after each session)
  • Remove trays, but do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth, just spit (leave a thin layer of desensitizing gel on your teeth)
  • Sleep! It is the best to whiten before bed, so you are not introducing any staining food or drinks.

The gel syringe lasted me roughly four full applications – meaning both top and bottom teeth. I noticed a difference within five total applications (on average people will start seeing improvements within 7-14 full applications). During my teeth whitening, I tried to avoid consuming coffee, red wine, berries, and anything else that has been a factor of staining my teeth for at least 24 hours after each application. This wasn’t forever, as I wanted to go all in during my treatment process. My teeth never felt sensitive, and I think it’s because I chose to apply during the day and not overnight. That made a HUGE difference.

I’m ecstatic that I chose Smile Brilliant for my teeth whitening. Pictures do not do this product justice, but I know my confidence level is higher, and my teeth have never looked so sparkly. I love that Smile Brilliant has a maintenance process to assist with keeping my teeth white even after my wine nights! I am putting the color of my teeth first, and I am glad I have Smile Brilliant to thank for that.

Be sure to follow Smile Brilliant on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to learn more about their products and other results.

Order your Smile Brilliant kit today and receive 15% off storewide code: empoweringinheels15 and enter my giveaway here!

Follow Smile Brilliant on their social platforms: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

What is your experience with teeth whitening? Share below!

Before Photo

After Photo


Tooth Whitening Gel

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I’m sure like many of you; we’ve had our fair share of trial and error with brands and products. With the abundance of new products and brands hitting the market on the regular, it sometimes can be challenging to stay true to one brand – and why should we? I love mixing products that fit my needs, and I have rounded up a few of my favorite must-haves.

First, let’s discuss my outfit above, this jumpsuit is one of my many favorite pieces from Vici. They are by far my go-to online boutique to purchase affordable, chic, casual clothes. Everything is under $100, and I’m completely satisfied with every purchase. Many of my IG stories are based on outfits from them. Sign up for their newsletter to receive updated information on their weekly arrivals and coupons. To receive 20% off your purchase today, use code STYLE20. And of course, if I am not in high heels, you will find me in my Cole Haan white sneakers.

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With all my travels and the weather dramatically changing, it has left my skin extremely dry. I’ve tried countless moisturizers and creams, and it wasn’t until I found this one that I finally felt my skin refreshed and hydrated. I love the way it makes my face feel after I’ve applied it. You can instantly feel the moisture penetrating the skin and feel the hydration throughout the day. It doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily at all, and since using it, I’ve noticed fewer breakouts. I highly recommend this product as well as this one from their collection.

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By far the BEST dry texturing spray I have ever used. I was introduced to this line from my fabulous hairdresser, and I cannot leave home without it. When I am looking for glamorous hair day after day, I know I can count on Oribe. In-between washes, Oribe removes excess oil and adds the volume I need. Even in high humidity, my hair stays exactly how I intended it. The spray is invisible, which I appreciate as others have left my hair white/gray with a residue that made me want to jump in the shower right after using it. I carry the travel size with me at all times – just in case my hair needs an extra boost.

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Still, to this day L’ange Ondulé Curling Wand is my favorite. You can read more about this brand in my previous post here. It is super easy to use, and the curls last all day. I’ve become an expert with my wand – my thick hair can be curled entirely in under ten minutes.

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I was heading to Vegas for my husband’s birthday and I was in desperate need of a tan. Since I didn’t have the time to lay outside, I was in search of either a spray tan company or a self-tanner I apply in the comfort of my home. I researched for a while and my coworker mentioned this brand as she has used it in the past. My worry, of course, was I didn’t want to look orange, streaky or even smell like tanning products. Since using it, I am completely obsessed and use it all the time. Applying the product was super easy, didn’t have a bad odor to it and worked within minutes. They do have products for your face however, I did use this on my face before heading to Vegas and it was fine. I use the medium color.

Helpful Tips:

  • Apply in the evening to properly set while you sleep
  • Shower and fully exfoliated – I recommend not shaving before you apply but if you need to shave run cold water over your legs as the solution will penetrate your pores.
  • Make sure you are completely dry and do not apply other products like lotion before you use
  • Use glove and mitt and apply as if you are applying lotion
  • Let dry for five to ten minutes before you put on your clothes
  • I recommend not showering the next morning
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One of my favorite things to do is take off all my makeup as soon as I know I’m officially done for the day. Having a clean face makes me happy. I have always used these wipes and this cleansing mask. The Perfectly Clean multi-action foam cleanser/purifying mask is exceptionally refreshing and smells lovely. It lathers smoothly on my face and gently removes any outstanding makeup and helps unclog my pores. I use it daily as my cleanser, and my face has never felt better.

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I truly hate the look of my dark circles and have tried many products to reduce the puffiness and darkness. These three products are my must haves to assist with my annoying under eye issues.

Twice a week, I use this Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask. The next morning my eyes are completely rejuvenated, and I look wide awake. I use them when I have a big meeting the next day or after a long day of travel.

I am addicted to my full coverage under eye brightening corrector. It helps brighten my dark circles instantly and last all day long. I apply it right before my concealer and add a little extra under the corner of each eye. It helps counter my dark circles, brightens my eyes and leaves my skin looking natural. I don’t know how I went so long without knowing about this product.

I’ve just started using these eye contour hydra-gels and so far I am loving them. It has helped reduce my puffiness. I will keep everyone updated with my progress.

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I wanted to find some badass earrings that made me feel super chic. I found these earrings and instantly fell in love. They go with everything and elevate any outfit. After falling in love with these earrings, I explored the brand more and have found even more pieces that I must have. Not only do I love my Voyager’s Dream earrings but I have found another brand that adds an edger look.

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I love heels – hence my blog name. And it has taken me some time to find a pair of heels that are not only reasonably priced that I can wear all day without pain. I’ve been wearing my expense shoes at work and noticed the wear and tear and I wasn’t happy about it. When I found these heels, not only did they fit/feel great but they didn’t destroy as quickly as I thought. I was happy to save my investment with my other shoes while wearing these that save me money and still look great. I always check back to see what new colors/patterns have been released.

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Finding this product has by far helped me fall asleep much quicker than anything else I have tried. With my mind going a million miles a minute and never shutting off, I needed something to help me turn my brain off and get some much-needed rest. I LOVE these and take them every night. They taste good and work fast. I will never run out of this product.

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Of course, we cannot forget about a fabulous lip gloss. I personally feel having a great lip gloss completes any look. I love this brand, and my personal favorite is Sugar- Sugar Shimmer finish. The colors are bright, long lasting, and leave a manageable shine. There are multiple colors and finishes to choose from. A must have for those who love a beautiful glossy look.

I am always on the hunt to find amazing products to share with all of you. I am currently trying a couple of others and will have a blog review up in the next upcoming weeks. Stay tuned!

If you have used these products I mentioned above or have some of your personal favorites, please share.

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The holidays are upon us, and as cooler temperatures arrive, we start dreaming about sunny beaches and icy drinks with tiny umbrellas. More specific, the resort vacation! Am I right? Planning the perfect vacation is essential; although, having a fabulous wardrobe while on vacation is just as important. Once your vacation is planned, it’s time to execute the refresh of your resort wear and make sure it is on point for your upcoming resort getaway!

As I started to plan my wardrobe for an up and coming (hopefully) soon to be beach vacation, I came across a Caribbean inspired clothing company called HIHO. As I browsed their website, I was impressed with their collection. Their collection includes dresses, shorts, pants, tops, sweaters and additional casual wear at affordable prices. Not only for women but men as well. They have you covered for all resort wear essentials! I have rounded up a few of my favorites from their site to share with all of you.

Dresses

Off the shoulder, Sugar Cane Maxi Dress is perfect for elevating your boat game or perfect date night on the beach. The dress has an elasticized waist and is made of 100% crinkle cotton. This beauty runs true to size and is priced at a very reasonable $148.

For those who want to look fashionable while protecting their skin from the sun, the Boatneck Suntech Dress is calling your name. The dress is very flattering! The side slits add a little something extra to the mid length dress. The dress is currently available in Night Sky Stripe and Cherry Tomato Strip for $89!

My FAVORITE dress has to be their Cape Shirtdress- Tradewinds Multi Stripe for $89. It’s a very versatile dress you can wear all day long! It has the exaggerated turtleneck with a drawstring pull, which is perfect for those chilly nights. A total win!

You cannot go wrong with any of their dresses. Click here to shop all their new dresses.

Sweaters

Choosing a few of my favorite sweaters from HIHO was a difficult task because I loved them all! I can see myself wearing all of them during my trip or even at home. One that caught my attention was the Relaxed Crew Sweater – Night Sky.  I am obsessed with the color and how comfortable it is. You can wear it on its own or even over one of their button downs. It is a chunky knit sweater, drop shoulder and runs longer in the back. You can easily dress this up or down. This style sweater is available in a variety of colors; Night Sky, Night Sky Stripe, Mainsail White, White, and Aruba Blue. If you don’t want to rock the chunky knit, they have a lighter weight version available as well. You are guaranteed to receive compliments on this sweater every time you wear it.

Want to see what other sweaters they offer? Click here!

Tops & Cardigans

If you are looking to take your button down to the next level – check out their Twig Tops. My favorite colors would be their Chambray and Bright White. They have a couple of colors online now, and my favorite colors will be available soon – you won’t want to miss it! These sleeves are a perfect length, and the overall fit is incredibly flattering. You can wear the Twig Top on its own or under a sweater with a popped collar!

Off the Should Tops scream resort wear to me and their Lila Cold Should Top – Tortola Multi Stripe is right up my alley. It has an elastic top hem which helps keep the top in place. It runs true to size and is only $88.

One of my key accessories for resort wear has to be a cardigan. It is the perfect way to dress up an outfit or something easy to throw on when you’re cold. Their Long Flyaway Cardigan- Night Sky is a must buy! No matter what the season or location, this is a key wardrobe piece you should own. It’s super cozy and a truly classic piece.

See all their tops here.

Bottoms

Whether you’re a shorts or pants kind of gal – HIHO has you covered. They have a variety of styles, prints and all of your classic white attire. As many of you know, I am 5’11 and ALL LEGS! I have a difficult time trying to find pants that are long enough for me. When I came across their Marigot Roll Down Pants, I was in love. The pants are extremely comfortable and very resort chic. You will catch me wearing them beachside with a Painkiller drink in hand! The pants are 100% linen with a jersey knit cotton roll down top. You can match them perfectly with any of their tops or even wear them with a suit. Their Marigot Roll Down Pants is available in White, Coral Fishy, Palm Print and With a Twist.

If you aren’t in the mood to wear pants, check out their variety of shorts. My favorite shorts are their Kate Short- Bright White for $69! Classic white shorts is an absolute must for any resort/boating wear. These shorts have a 5″ inseam for a more comfortable fit. The material is stretch poplin and runs true to size. I love the look of these shorts so much. My favorite color is Night Sky.

Check out their full collection of bottoms here.

They have something for everyone. Now that I have rounded up a few of my favorites take a peek at their entire collection and let me know which ones are your favorites.

Get social with HIHO:

Website
Facebook
Instagram 

Take a peek at three new pieces to my resort collection:

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I am very excited to share today’s online boutique spotlight based out of Arlington, TX – The Front Porch Boutique. I learned about FPB from a mutual acquaintance who told me to check them out. I took her advice, did a little shopping on their adorable site and after learning more about their story…I knew it was a no-brainer to spotlight them here on Empowering In Heels.

Owner Rebekah wears many hats. She is a wife, mother of five and business owner. After having children, her body changed and she felt her wardrobe was no longer up to her usual standards. One afternoon she packed up the kids and went shopping. While in the dressing room, she was trying to multi-task – keeping her kids entertained inside the dressing room while of course trying on her quickly selected items – this was not an easy task. She had her aha moment when one of the kids crawled and escaped the dressing room. Staying claim and keeping the other kids in place, she jumped out of the dressing room wearing fewer clothes than she came in with and captured her adventurous child. That was the day she decided to turn to online shopping. Rebekah researched numerous boutiques, but their prices were outrageous. That is when her passion ignited! She wanted to start her own online boutique for women like her and select articles of clothing that wouldn’t break the bank. Making sure any women who are shopping on a budget could find something fabulous and still feel stylish. On January 2016, The Front Porch boutique was born.

Her passion shines through everything she does from hand selecting pieces that fit her and her audiences style to her creating a memorable post on Facebook – I cannot get enough. The Front Porch Boutique has a variety of items for any occasion. Here are details on the items form my first shopping haul – be sure to check out my Instagram for try-on details and future photos of FPB collection.

Emma Sweater
$40
When they say it’s the coziest sweater on the planet, they weren’t kidding! The yarn material will keep you very warm during the cold winter months and the shape is perfect for any body type. I am wearing a medium, and it fits just right!

Buffalo Plaid Weekender Bag
$38
To say I love this bag is an understatement! Because of my line of work, I’m always carrying around so many things and I have never had a bag that could hold everything AND also be stylish. I love the warm tone buffalo print – I can always find it! Weekender bag is perfect for getaways, work or as a gym bag. It can hold all your items, fully zips closed, has one zipper pocket inside and the bag itself is thinly lined making it super lightweight.

Cassie Cardigan
$33
I love a versatile cardigan that can go with almost everything. I love how the color blocking adds an extra element to any outfit. Very lightweight and can easily be worn all day. I am wearing a medium. You will find me wearing this around the office or cozying up on the couch.

After my first shopping haul, I went back to FPB website and they have added some new arrivals that caught my eye. I immediately had to share with all of you and rest assured – they are on my Christmas list!  Hint Hint to the hubby!

Annalise Top
$30
You know from many of my others looks how much I LOVE off the shoulder sweaters. This one looks super comfortable and the color is my favorite! You can never have enough chic, off the shoulder tops that are very versatile!

Jillian Top
$29
I love the detail in this top. It is something I have never worn before, and I want it in my closet! I totally see myself wearing this with some skinny jeans and heels brunching with my friends. Excited to see how it will look on me.

Joy Sweatshirt
$38
I pretty much live in sweatshirts when I am at home. With the holidays coming, I want to bring as much joy to everyone around me. This will be added to my sweatshirt rotation!

Each boutique has their own flare, which keeps everyone coming back for more. I love finding gems in all the stores I shop in, and I am delighted I had the opportunity to learn more about Rebekah and  The Front Porch Boutique. I’m happy to be supporting her and really looking forward to checking out her next round of new arrivals.

With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and of course the upcoming holidays – check out The Front Porch Boutique to find some great treasures. They offer free shipping on orders $20 or more!

Get social with The Front Porch Boutique
Facebook
Instagram
Website

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(click on any image in the guide to shop)

By far one of my favorite gift guides thus far. Why you ask? Well, I know for me, I love nothing more than coming home from a long day at work, slipping into comfortable pajamas and retreating to my bedroom. It is the best feeling ever! If I feel this way, I am sure you do as well. I collected these items for this bedroom retreat gift guide for you to either purchase for a friend/loved one or pass along to your gift giver. Whether you are receiving these items or gifting, you are on the right track to a more restful sleep for the New Year.

Here are some additional details on the items above:

Let’s talk about the sheets! If you haven’t read my previous blog on my hunt for the perfect sheets, you can read it here. It’s been almost a year strong with these sheets, and I am still in love!

I wear a robe every day! Finding a comfortable one can be tricky. This plush fleece robe provides softness all day long and is available in eight other colors.

Sleeping in total darkness is AMAZING! Shut out all the light in style with these faux fur eye masks. Complete comfort for the entire evening.

There are a large number of classic pajamas in department stores and rounding up a few of my favorites was tough. Last year I had these pajamas on my list (and still wear them today), and for this year, I have added three more to my nightly routine.

You can NEVER have enough of socks and cozy slippers. I love having socks or slippers on my feet at all times. I know there are many who either prefer none or maybe one or the other, and that is why I added one of each on this holiday guide. I love these soft, faux fur slippers with the added pom details. You can wear them around the house all day without having your feet stink. If you aren’t a slippers person, I found these holiday designed crew socks for only $10.

Give the gift of restfulness to yourself or loved ones. Drop a note here if you need any help with anyone on your list this year. Happy shopping everyone! More gift guides are coming soon.

Here are some other options for pajamas:

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I love cooking scrumptious baked goods at the house. The delicious aroma fills the house and nothing beats eating a warm, moist pumpkin muffin right after it’s been freshly baked (be sure to cool before eating). Over the years, I started adding baked goods into my routine and that seems to make people wanting more…especially my husband. My wonderful mother-in-law gave me a couple of recipes that were a huge hit with her family and I knew I needed to keep the traditional alive…and of course, my husband happy with home-baked goods like his moms!

I took her recipe and made my own tweaks. This recipe is perfect for either pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins that your friends and loved ones will devour.

Prep time is roughly 10-15 minutes. Cooking time is 35-60 (depending on if you are making bread or muffins). And you don’t have to be a trained chef to master these goodies. This recipe makes either one loaf of bread or 18-21 muffins. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread Recipe
1 cup sugar (1 ½ cup if you want it more sweet and ¾ cup if you want more of a healthier modification)
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt (¼ teaspoon)
1 teaspoon clove
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I love cinnamon so I add a pinch or two more)
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup oil (or applesauce)
1 14oz. can of Pure Pumpkin
2 eggs
Nuts or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grab all ingredients, mixing bowl and muffin sheet or loaf pan

Combine all dry ingredients (sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and whole wheat flour) in a mixing bowl. Then add eggs, oil (or applesauce) and pure pumpkin; mix until all ingredients are blended.

Pumpkin Bread: Place mixture in a greased loaf pan. Feel free to add nuts or chocolate chips to the top of the mixture then place in oven for 60 minutes

Pumpkin Muffins: Grab your muffin pans, place muffin cups in pan and scoop mixture evenly (18-21 muffins). Add nuts or chocolate chips to the top of the mixture, place in oven and bake for 35 minutes.

Just like that, you have a tasty treat that everyone can enjoy. Sometimes I will add a little more spices (from the list above), vanilla extract and some sweets like M&Ms. As long as you have the foundation down, you can start adding your own spin.

With the holidays upon us, be sure to bake this delicious pumpkin recipe, as they will be a huge crowd pleaser. Happy holidays!

If you have a pumpkin recipe you love, please share.

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I love this time of year! I am one of those people who decorate for Christmas right after Halloween. I spent the weekend searching for excellent holiday decor and wanted to do a roundup of a few of my key favorites.

Hover over any item in the above image to shop and below are others on my radar:

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If you are on the hunt for an artificial Christmas tree, Target is currently offering 20% off. You can also check out Christmas trees at Wayfair, Home Depot, and Williams Sonoma.

I cannot wait to show you what I’ve been working on for this year’s holiday season. Check back throughout the holidays for outstanding giveaways, gift guides and more. Cheers to a fabulous holiday season.

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I love getting all dolled up and wearing fantastic makeup. It has to be one of my favorite things to do. But I also enjoy taking it all off at night and having a squeaky clean face. With that said, if we were to look back in time at my makeup and skincare products, you would notice the only thing that has changed over time would be the quality of the products. In particular, my main issues has always been the foundation. I have tried a variety of makeup lines that have left me feeling unsatisfied. Until this year, I discovered the BEST FOUNDATION EVER! Not only do I love many of this brand’s products but I recently found out that they are recognized continuously and named as having the number one foundation on the market. This completely tops the cake!

Which brand am I describing? The fabulous, one and only, Estee Lauder. I have always been a fan of their Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask (it is a game changer), and then one day I decided to learn more about their makeup and skincare products. And from that point on, I was hooked!

When purchasing foundation, I would place it on my cheekbone to see if it matched my skin tone. Most times it would match well, and other times, it was way off. Instead of continuously guessing, I decided to book an appointment with Heather from Estee Lauder Macy’s located in Center City (Philadelphia, PA) to have a detailed conversation about everything imaginable about my skin. After a full Q&A, she used the digital shade finder device on my skin to see what was my perfect complexion shade would be. I didn’t have to guess anymore on what foundation might work with my skin tone. She placed the digital shade finder tool around my face in three different locations; that is how the device identifies your perfect skin tone. She then entered a few things about my skin, and just like that, she was able to find the perfect foundation and concealer shade for my skin color. It was super simple, and the device itself was only three clicks to finding my perfect match. Ladies, it is totally worth it.

The digital shade finder tool determined my perfect shade was the Double Wear Foundation color Ivory Beige 3N1, Double Wear Concealer color 3C Medium (cool), and my ideal day lip color Pure Color Envy 401 Burnt Raisin and Smash Up – Matte for night time. I didn’t stop there! I decided to review the rest of my makeup routine and purchased the following: eyebrow pencil, both this eyeliner and this one, Sumptuous Infinite Daring Lenght + Volume Mascara in black, Pure Color Envy Blush color 420 Mauve Mystique, the Bronze Goddess glow color 01 Heat Wave, which I love, and Pure Color Envy Eyeshadow color Ivory Power.

Their #1 award-winning Double Wear Foundation is incredible. It’s super easy to apply, and it will leave your skin feeling flawless. I love the natural matte finish and the fact it lasts all day long. You don’t have to use a lot of the product as it blends well in your skin with the smallest amount possible. Thus far, their entire makeup line has exceeded my expectations.

Since I fell in love with their foundation, I wanted to evaluate some of their other skincare products. Luckily, I have others products in my daily routine that I love, and it was easy to incorporate Advanced Night Repair (Repair Serum and Eye Repair Cream). One of my favorite skin care products is their Perfectly Clean. It smells AMAZING and leaves my face feeling extra soft and clean. Once a week (sometimes twice) I use their Advanced Right Repair Advanced Eye Mask. If you are looking for a bright eye the next morning, look no further.

If you haven’t checked out Estee Lauder, you now have a glowing recommendation from me to give it a try. If anything, schedule an appointment with one of their makeup/skin artists to understand your skin tone and what type of formula you should purchase that is right for you. Knowledge is king!

I would love to hear if anyone else has used Estee Lauder products, and if so, which products are your favorite?

EVENT DETAILS

Exciting news!!! If you happen to live in Philadelphia, PA, I will be attending Estee Lauder’s Fall Show where they will be bringing their national team of highly trained artists on Friday, November 30th from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM at their Macy’s Center City location. Be sure to call 215-241-9000 ext 2255 and schedule your appointment as slots are booking up fast. Each appointment is roughly 30 minutes, which includes mini facial, matching of your complexion perfection and applying of makeup. There will be small bites and refreshments as well. When you call, mention Empowering In Heels for your free gift when you attend on Friday! APPOINTMENTS ARE MANDATORY!

If you have questions about makeup, skincare or for Heather with Estee Lauder, either write a comment below or send me a note. I will be sure to get them answered.

Be sure to see Gabrielle, Heather and I at Macy’s on November 30th!

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I get it, sweaters for fall? Groundbreaking! Ha! Many of us are dealing with a bit of a fall heat wave at the moment, and I am breaking a sweat just writing about sweaters. All jokes aside, no matter what, we all know sweaters are essential for the colder months and it can be hard to find some trusty must-haves. I have found a couple of amazing sweaters over the years that are an absolute must for your closet.

Read on to learn more about my round up of my current favorites and a few that are on my radar. Cheers!

All That Ribbed Cashmere Blend Sweater from Vici

By far the most flattering, trendy, comfortable, stylish sweater you will own. It has the perfect amount of stretch, and the cashmere blend makes it super comfortable to wear all day. It is available in multiple colors: heather grey, black, ivory, light mocha, and wine. My personal favorite dark teal. The sweater is priced at $68 and sells out quickly! It runs true to size and can be worn for any occasion. Vici has a TON of fabulous sweaters. Find the full listing here! Save 20% on your entire order with code: FALL20

One-Shoulder Ribbed Sweater from Treasure & Bond

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By far the best seller last year and lucky for us…it is back in stock! This asymmetrical, ribbed sweater can easily be worn around the house or out on the town. Extraordinarily comfortable and you are guaranteed to receive many compliments. Does run large, I recommend going down a size. Available in beige oatmeal, black and purple impress.

Ottoman Slouchy Tunic from Free People

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This is a perfect sweater that can be worn either as a dress or a top. Winning! Since I am 5’11, wearing it as a sweater is not possible, so I opted to wear it with some kick-ass skinny jeans. The sweater is ribbed with a heavier weight, which keeps me warm. I also love the chic mock neck and the slouchy/oversized fit of it. It is available in multiple colors: plum, ecru, true coral, chambray, jade, nutmeg, and black. If you want to wear it as a dress, I recommend going up a size, but if you’re going to wear it as a top, go down a size.

Make Things Comfortable from Red Dress Boutique

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I love the cowl neckline of this sweater as it keeps me extra warm during the brutal cold. It is so comfortable, I feel like I am wearing pajamas. The sweater runs true to size and is available in desert sand, burgundy and grey.

Finders Keepers Leaving Navy Knit Sweater Top by KIN Boutique

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I recently discovered this fashionable boutique a couple months back, and I am glad I did (thank you, Lindsay). This sweater spoke to me on so many levels that I couldn’t wait to wear it. It screams preppy to me. I love the bubble sleeves, boat neckline with added button detail and the overall silhouette is super flattering. You can wear it on its own; however, I decided to layer it to add an extra element to my look. If you are in the Philadelphia area, be sure to check out Kin Boutique as they have incredible pieces.

Twisted Back Sweater from Halogen

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Whoever said you couldn’t feel sexy in a sweater was apparently mistaken. Professional in the front, a party in the back! I love the added sexy drama in the back with the twisted knot. Best part, it is bra friendly! This sweater is available in these colors: black, burgundy berry, grey heather, and pink peach. Vici recently added a few of these to their collection.

Phew, that was a bit difficult to round up some of my trusty sweaters, as there are so many contenders. No matter which one you choose, you’re making a fabulous decision.

Here are a few that are on my radar right now:

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I am currently searching for my next round of sweaters. If you have any sweaters that you are obsessed with, drop a comment below with the link.

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All photos are from Fighting Pretty’s Facebook page and or website

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to share with you a company that is making women feel extra strong and beautiful while they fight against cancer.

First, Cancer F**KING sucks! Furthermore, every time I hear or think of the word cancer, tears immediately run down my face. I’m sure each of you reading this can think of someone in your life who has dealt with or who is currently fighting this awful disease. Personally, I can think of too many loved ones and friends who have been affected by cancer. It is terrible, and even though medicine has come a long way, we still have a ways to go.

It feels like it was yesterday that my boyfriend (now husband) was diagnosed with cancer. I vividly remember everything about that day. And at that moment, I knew I was going to do whatever it took to make sure he felt supported, loved, and knew that he had a supportive team behind him to help him beat that. Sidebar – I can happily say my husband is cancer free as of March 2016!

I honestly cannot put into words the overall process of fighting cancer, and I couldn’t imagine doing it alone. My husband is one of the strongest human beings that I know, and it took a toll on him. Just like it would take a toll on anyone else for that matter. Going through it alone would be crushing.

As he started his treatments, I would make sure he had some sort of surprise waiting for him after each treatment. I then started sending little surprises to his family as well. I saw how much joy that brought to their lives. The smallest surprise would clear their minds even if it were just for a moment. When I noticed the joy, I thought about those who didn’t have a support system during treatments and would send flowers or small gifts to their rooms when I was at the hospital. I wanted to make sure people felt like someone carried for them and wanted them to keep fighting!

Last week, as I was on my way home, a news notification popped up on my screen about a young woman who started a company called Fighting Pretty to help bring joy to those fighting cancer. I quickly wrote the name down so I wouldn’t forget it and researched it later that evening. Here’s Kara’s inspiring story.

Kara Skaflestad found herself kicking cancers a$$ at a young age of 26, where she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. This empowering woman went through the ringer. She had a double mastectomy, eight rounds of chemotherapy, four weeks of radiation, fertility treatments, a year of Herceptin treatments and hormone therapy. Kara took her diagnosis into her own hands. She made sure to research everything about her treatment, medicine she would be taking, and everything else the disease threw at her. She knew losing all her hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes would be tough and make her not feel very pretty. So when her treatments started, she wanted to make sure she was always “Fighting Pretty.” What that means is she wanted to always have a smile on her face with amazing pink lipstick, wearing something bright like a pink scarf, and always wanted to make sure she was fully encompassing positive strength.

She had an excellent support system, and one of her friends (who is also a breast cancer survivor) had given her a pair of pink boxing gloves to help remind her to fight, which really helped her fight during her treatments.

Photo from Fighting Pretty Website

After her treatment was finished, Kara encountered another friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She wanted to share things that helped her fight during her treatment so she put together a “pretty package” and sent it to her, and that was the start of something remarkable. She started her Facebook page, and order after order was coming in to help spread strength to those remarkable women fighting breast cancer.

Photo from Fighting Pretty website

Her goal is simple: Help women feel strong and beautiful during and after cancer treatments with a Pretty Package. She began creating and sending these packages from her apartment in Brooklyn, NY which she now continues in her new home base in Portland, OR.

Kara is making a HUGE impact on women fighting breast cancer. She has sent over 6,000 Fighting Pretty packages all over the world. I am very blessed that I heard about her story, and I want everyone to know about her company.

NO ONE should fight cancer alone! Kara, thank you for creating this outstanding company, for bringing happiness, strength, and encouragement. You inspire me, and so many others in this world.

To all the extraordinary women out there fighting breast cancer, you are beautiful, you are strong, you are fierce, and you are FABULOUS! Keep fighting, and know you have others thinking of you.

To learn more about her company or to send a Pretty Package, click here.

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