Category :Reviews

Wilderness Dress *A Review*

Dress – c/o  DressStore  //  Necklace – eBay  //  Scarf – Unknown
Just recently I was contacted about doing a few reviews for the DressStore website.  It’s a site the specializes in formal, prom, homecoming, and fancy cocktails dresses.  I liked the idea of playing with gowns that I don’t normally get a chance to wear.  For my first piece I selected this lovely claret chiffon gown.  
The quality is to die for.  It has boning and so many layers.  It feels like a really durable piece.  Further, I love the color.  I think I may have to wear this color always.  I may even have to get every dress I ever own in this color.  I just love the combo of the red with the flowing nature of the dress.
Obviously, I’ve styled this down in a breezy, almost casual, way.  It’s certainly not a casual dress.  It’s something I can imagine wearing on a red carpet.  What I like about it is that it’s glamorous and red carpet worthy without being over the top.  Over the top has it’s place, but when I saw this dress I imagined a wilderness shoot, so flowy and delicate were on deck.

Girls4Sport Review and Giveaway

A while back I was approached by Girls4Sport regarding test driving one of their products.  Girls4Sport is a company that seeks to promote a non-objectified representation of women.  I had a look at their products and decided that considering my intense workout regimen, I could give one of their products a good and thorough workout.

So I got these fun pants!  They’re so comfy, and soft, and they are great for running.  I have run in them a while now *one run is typically 10K* and what I really appreciate is the breathability *not a word, I know* they have. 

Usually, when I run my pants tend to get sweat stains as I’m pushing really hard, and by the time I’m done, it’s not a pretty sight!  These didn’t do that.  When I was done, the pants still looked great even though I didn’t.  This is an important factor if, unlike me, you run in public.

I also think that they would be great for yoga as they have a wide range of movement.  But ultimately, it’s the softness of the material that totally wins me over. 

Girls4Sport is offering one lucky ModaMama reader a wonderful prize.  Your choice of either a wonderful women’s tank or a child’s board short if you’d rather get something for a little one in your life.  It’s totally up to you what you get!!

Here’s how to enter:
 Leave a comment with your favorite item from the Girls4Sport site.
*please be sure to leave a contact info so I can reach you if you win*
Like Girls4Sport on Facebook.
*leave a separate comment*
Follow Girls4Sport on Twitter
*leave a separate comment*
Be a reader of ModaMama (Any of these –  GFC, Bloglovin or RSS/Email  – are valid entries.)
*leave one comment saying how you follow*
Contest open until Tuesday October 30th, 2012.

Tuesday in Review: Annmarie Gianni Skincare

Being a natural and organic cosmetic nut, when Annmarie Gianni Skincare  asked if I would take a look at their products.  I agreed because I’m always happy to try something out and give feedback and to share my thoughts with you guys.

I suggested I pick one or two products, but had been told there was something they had already chosen. I was a little disappointed when what arrived was a tiny sample pack of their entire selection of products.  It disappoints me because I can’t really try them out. I would have preferred to have received one or two  full size product to really test it’s effects over a longer period of time.  I have about two uses of the product and that’s not enough to really tell you how it works. All I can give you is first impressions.

Several of them I won’t even use because they just don’t fit my skin type, but I gave their aloe-herb cleanser a chance the very first evening, as well as their anti-aging serum and anti-aging oil.  I have to say I really didn’t like it.  Everything had such a potent fragrance to it that I was quite turned-off the whole thing.  I dislike strong fragrances in products, and had to wash it all off with my regular cleanser within minutes.  Plus, the anti-aging oil felt very heavy on my skin, and this is coming from a girl who uses organic rosehip, jojoba, argan, and other oils on a daily bases.  So I’m not stranger to the feeling of oil on my skin.

A few nights later I tried the Deep Sea Facial Scrub.  That I quite enjoyed.  It had rough grit to it, and it felt like a mini microdermabrasion.  Again, I can’t tell you how it works because I only got two uses out of it.  Overall, I like what the company stands for, but I can’t really tell you whether their products are effective.  First impressions are that the fragrance is way too powerful for my tastes and sensitive skin and that one product – the Deep Sea Facial Scrub – seemed pretty cool from the two times I used it.

If you’ve tried these products, I’d love to know what you think.

Tuesday In Review: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment

I first stumbled across Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment last summer while bumming around Manhattan.  On a whim I bought one package because the sheer color and SPF15 caught my attention.  Since then it has become my absolute favorite lip gloss brand.

It’s deeply moisturizing and nourishing, but I especially love that it adds a touch of color to your lips as well.  Most days I don’t have the time to apply, much less re-apply, lipstick, but I also don’t want to go bare lipped.  I enjoy feeling a little bit special.  That’s where this is just so great.  It adds that little touch of color without me having to worry about applying it and dealing with getting everything right in a mirror.

I particularly like that it has SPF, because I’m a sun-phobic.  I slather on sunscreen even in winter, and I use make-up with sunscreen too, so it’s only natural that I would have a lip gloss that also had sunscreen in it.  Those lips need protection too!  Plus, it lasts forever!  I bought one tube and I’m just now finishing it – almost a year later.

I’m cheap, I’ll admit it, and usually there’s no way I’d shell out over $20 for a lip gloss.  But I will for this lip gloss because it’s just that luxurious and that long lasting.  I definitely consider this money well spent.  I think I might even go out and grab two – in two different shades.  How decadent!

Tuesday In Review: HANA Titanium Flat Iron 1.5″

This is me using the HANA to curl my hair.

I was recently contacted by Misikko to review one of their products – the HANA Titanium 1.5″ Flat Iron*Misikko also offers CHI Flat Irons as well, since I know that a lot of people are brand loyalists* I was nervous as I always am because I do offer honest opinions regardless of what the company may want. But Misikko wanted just that – and honest opinion.  And so I went for it!  I’m no beauty professional, but I do use a flat iron on a regular basis and therefore can tell you what a normal woman who needs a good product thinks.

First off, the delivery and packaging is beautiful which is nice.  I like it when companies go the extra effort of making their products attractive to open.  The package came with a pad that you unroll and place on the counter.  It allows for the flat iron to not slip off the counter and for the counter to be protected from any heat.  I had honestly never thought about it, and so I was pleasantly surprised to see how effective this was and how I didn’t have to be as careful when placing the flat iron down.  But honestly, I used this little pad for the first few days only.  As a busy Mama, I just don’t even have the time or energy to do that little extra step.  So I went back to using just the iron on my counter.

The nice thing is that I really don’t think it’s a problem.  You see, when I first turned it on and it heated up I was skeptical because it just didn’t feel as hot as my other one on the same setting.  There wasn’t the same amount of heat emanating from it – at least that’s what it felt like.  But once I started running it through my hair that didn’t matter.  It did a great job of straightening my hair despite what I thought wasn’t the same amount of heat.  In the end, I think that’s better because if it’s doing just as good a job with less heat *if that really is the case that there’s less heat* then it’s less damaging to my hair.  So, bonus!

I think it’s great for straightening.  The fact that it’s a bit wider seemed to also do a better job at straightening things out.  The curls it made *now granted, I’m not very good at this part* were softer than my narrower one, but I kind of liked that soft gentle wave look.

Overall, this is a busy mama’s product. It heats up really fast *really fast*, it does a great job just once through without you having to pull it through the hair multiple times, it doesn’t pull hair *yes, I’ve had that problem with my other ones*,  and it’s durable *I have dropped it on several occasions already when I’m rushing or looking after my Baby at the same time*

Tuesday In Review: The Legend Of Zelda Skyward Sword

I love games.  However, I’m more of a board game, strategy, puzzle kind of gamer.  I love to play Civilization, solve jigsaws, crosswords, and sudokus.  I hate fighting games.  I love to fight and train in martial arts, but the game fighting has no appeal.  Which is why I had been so resistant to Husband bugging me to play Zelda The Legend of Skyward Sword.  I have to say that I’m glad he did.

I love Zelda!  The adventure, the puzzles the exploring…especially the exploring.  I love that.  Husband says I’m anal about it because I explore every possible thing and do every possible side mission etc.  I figure that’s what it’s all about – getting the greatest and fullest experience from the game possible.  So that’s what I’m doing.

I still don’t like the fighting, not in the least, but at least there’s not too much of it.  And the intuitive controls of the Nintendo Wii make it a lot easier and user friendly for a non-gamer like myself rather then the button mashing and arrow pointing of other controllers.  Plus, it’s not so pervasive that it turns a non-gamer off, and it’s not so rare that it turns someone who likes it off too.

I like that the game has a nice balance of all these different elements,  It’s really a fun adventure game, and that has a huge appeal.  I must say though,  all the silly talking the other characters do gets on my nerves, but I’m not very patient when it comes to that sort of thing.

True Story:
Baby launched herself off the couch.  
Spread eagle style. 
Right into her toys. 
Cue: baby screaming.

Ahem, Ahem, Introducing…

Cardi – Nick&Mo from Trixie; Fifties Swing Dress – c/o eShakti; Tights – Hue; Shoes – Payless.

I’d love to introduce you guys to eShakti.  This site is so reasonably priced, and the selection is just superb!  What’s wonderful about this site is that it’s like having a personal tailor right at your fingertips.  For just a nominal fee you can customize everything: sleeve style and length, front and back style, hem length, and also send them your exact measurements to have the piece tailored to your individual body.  I particularly appreciate this feature since so many of my friends are so unique that standard cuts/proportions just don’t fit them.  I myself find that, though my size is pretty standard in proportion, I often face the problem of things being too short.  That’s why I found this site so delightful.  When offered the chance to select a piece and test drive the whole shopping experience I was excited.

Since I was looking for a simple blue dress that would give me a wide variety of styling options, I selected this beautiful piece you see in the pictures.  I customized it just a little by selecting a longer length, and eagerly awaited it’s arrival.  I was also a little nervous.  Why?  Because I’m committed to being completely honest with you guys, so I’m always worried that I won’t like the service or the product. I want to love it, so that I can say only the best things possible.   And I wasn’t disappointed!

When my dress arrived I was so amazed at the quality of workmanship and the material!  It’s so well made, stitched, and tailored, and the material *though polyester* is so rich that I could barely believe this dress is so reasonable on the site.  I threw it on right away and it immediately went on my ‘favorite dresses’ list.   I could not be more pleased with this piece.  I know it’s going to make many appearances on this blog! In the meantime, I have my eye on this piece and this piece as well.  Don’t you think they’d just be so darling?

And you want to know the cherry on top of this wonderful cake? Throughout the whole process, the customer service representative I was in contact with was so great.  She was efficient, helpful, and really quick to respond to all my emails.  I never waited more than 12 hours for a response.  So good product and great customer service?  Yes please!

Quote of Today:
“You look so wholesome. Very Pleasantville.”

Tuesday In Review: Balea Facial Cleansing Cloths

I recently bought this little package at the drugstore.  Why did I get these you might ask since I have facial cleanser at home?  Well really convenience was the main motivation.  Sometimes when I get home late at night from hosting the show I’m so tired that I really don’t want to wash my face.  But I have to.  I wear a lot of make-up for tv and if I don’t wash it off and sleep on it that’s just plain gross.  Having these nearby is great.  More than that, I also wanted to have them for when I’m on set for films and such.  I often don’t stop and take off my make-up when I’m leaving a set, but once I’m gone I realize that I have all this stuff on my face and I just want to get rid of it.  So that’s where these lovely things come in:  when I need to clean my face but either can’t, or don’t want, to go wash it all off.

Now, I haven’t tried a lot of these facial cleansing cloths, so I really have no point of reference, but I’ve found this one to be pretty good with a bit of a give and take in terms of what you get.  I really appreciate how gentle it is and how it doesn’t aggravate my skin.  I don’t, however, find it to be thoroughly and deeply cleaning, but it does leave my skin soft and not irritated.  So I guess it might be a bit of a trade off in that respect.  It’s not super deep cleaning, but it also leaves my skin such that I don’t need to apply moisturizer right away. 

An Open Email

Remember my review of this?

You better, it’s only been one day!  Well, I received a great email from the creator of these little gems. She didn’t mind when I asked to share her words with all of you.  Here’s what she had to say:

Dear Joanna,
I hope this finds you well.
Thank you for supporting mimiTENS with words and your hard-earned bucks.
I am happy that you like them and that your daughter tried with all  
her might to get them off...
This is the third year that mimiTENS are in stores and I do not tire  
of hearing stories from happy parents.
You mention that the price point is high.  I agree and it is my  
product!   mimiTENS are more expensive than most mittens but the  
reason is that they are manufactured in Canada.  Mine are the only  
mittens for kids that I know of that are.  There are lots of mittens  
for kids out there and some even claim to be "Designed in Canada, Made  
in China".  Mine are made in Scarborough.  Start to finish and it is  
super important to me to try and create work locally.  More than 80%  
of my costs are related to manufacturing.  My margins are slim but I  
am fine with that.
Also, I chose to use Recycled Thinsulate and and Oeko Tex certified  
bamboo fleece to line the mittens.  Again, the only one in kids-mitten- 
land that does.  I confirmed this with the makers of Thinsulate.
I hope to introduce some mittens that are at a lower price point  
without compromising my principles.  I have also asked that retailers  
lower the MSRP but many independent retailers want to make as much as  
possible.  They always make the biggest cut but small independents are  
the ones most likely to support a vanguard brand.  It is a delicate  
Thanks again for supporting mimiTENS.  I am a mom trying to make it in  
the big city too.  I really appreciate your time and energy.

I really appreciated hearing all the eco-conscious decisions made in their manufacturing, and the fact that they are made locally here in Toronto.  Thanks Anna-Maria for sharing the secrets behind mimiTENS!

Tuesday In Review: Mini-Tens Baby Mitts


I have this little problem.  My precious baby hates to wear mittens.  We put them on her and she flaps her arms like a little bird desperate to take flight until she has flapped them completely off.  I thought that the freezing cold would propel her to keep them on, but no.  I often end up chasing her around with a mitten in my hand – case in point.   But help has arrived! Recently on my way from the doctor’s office I walked past a shop that had these delightful things in the window.  I popped in and nabbed them ASAP. The stretchy cuff goes over her arm.  In fact we put it on over her long sleeve shirt and it reaches almost up to her armpit.  The jacket then goes over everything and voila!  Gloves stay on!

No amount of arm flapping gets these puppies off.
Trust me, she’s tried.
It’s really funny to see her flap for five minutes straight.
Plus, they’re lined with thinsulate so they’re nice and cozy for the winter.

They are a little pricey for me – about $40 after taxes – but I bought them a size larger so theoretically she can use them for three winters.  And if we do that, they’re just over $10 per winter.  I think that’s a good deal.

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