Empties is my series of beauty and wellness products that I’ve finished recently and my reviews on them. Watch my IGTV below and shop any of these products in the carousel linked.
This is what was finished in June 2021:
Necessaire The Body Exfoliator in Eucalyptus // Glossier Body Hero Daily Perfecting Cream // Tata Harper Hydrating Face Mist // Glossier Boy Brow // Green Foods Corp Matcha Powder
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Did a staycation at The Rockaway Hotel in Rockaway Beach, Queens, NYC in late March 2021 and it was the perfect escape! Just outside of NYC (but technically still part of NYC) in Queens with surrounding views of the Atlantic Ocean on the South side and Jamaica Bay on the North side of the hotel. There is a pool, which I assume will be beautiful in summer months (it was empty and closed on March 20th weekend).
The rooftop restaurant and bar was so chic, had live music and a really fun vibe! Food was great too!
Decor in the lobby of the hotel – they had the fire going all weekend and the couches were comfortable. Coffee in the morning and water throughout the day too 🙂
The vibe of this hotel is beachy, bohemian, chic and welcoming. Made me feel like I was at a chic hotel in Montauk or even Miami. Definitely did not have NYC vibes. Ironic because everywhere was so close (approx 40 mins driving to lower Manhattan) but about 15-25 minutes drive to Brooklyn, depending on what area you head to.
Saturday I headed to Brooklyn (Williamsburg area) to walk around and shop at some vintage shops & grab coffee at Butler (pictured below) Also headed to Industry City on my way back to Rockaway to look at my favorite hat shop, Teressa Foglia.
Checked out Rockaway Brewing Company (quick 5 minute drive from the hotel). It was an indoor/outdoor space, family friendly and had a food truck and some music. I enjoyed a NE style IPA 🙂
Rockaway Coffee Roasters was a great spot for me on Sunday morning – had a great coffee menu and lots of healthy options. Ordered a cappuccino & a green juice to start the day off right.
Lastly I went for a walk on the boardwalk and found some cool street art.
Anything that creates a sense of “ease” in the kitchen is a no brainer for me. I’m a fan of the tools – yes I have too many and no I will not stop!
This week I’m reviewing a few of my favorites from Zulay Kitchen!
Seeds are the worst! LOVE lemons, not a fan of the seeds in my beverages, definitely don’t love trying to pick them out of a salad or anything else I’m prepping – and this lemon & lime squeezer saves me from all of the above!
It’s a MUST have and I don’t know why I didn’t have a lemon squeezer sooner!
This one from Zulay Kitchen is easy to use and effective and I kind of love that it’s yellow and green. Makes it more fun and my kids love it – they’re obsessed with lemons!
No matter what type of milk, mylk, nut milk or milk substitute you use, this handheld milk frother is petite, chic & powerful!
It’s perfect to throw in any of your kitchen drawers and not sacrifice the space needed with larger style frother!
It gets the job done – you can use on hot or cold beverages – I used for making a morning matcha latte with almond milk.
I received this product earlier this week, and have been trying it for a few days already. I really love it for an everyday mascara.
FYI: I usually like a high volume mascara and have been 100% devout to Chanel Le Volume for several years. Different brush from what I’m used to – but into it!
Check my video, I feel like a YouTube girl, but I didn’t say any words, woops! No words needed – Lash Slick speaks for itself!
Description: Lash Slick does not clump, it goes on extremely easy, does not flake, and feels very natural on the eye, aka no sticking!
Lash Slick wears great throughout the day – I have not noticed any particles flaking off my lashes as I move through my day. No smudging under my eyes that I need to wipe away (even when I wear oil as a moisturizer). & Even after working out!
Removal was rather easy as well – nothing more than my usual! Comes off with Milky Jelly Cleanser and warm water – a bit more easy than my Chanel Le Volume mascara typically does. After Milky Jelly, I typically use a makeup wipe to get the remaining black under eye makeup off – works perfect! Going forward, I’ll absolutely be working Lash Slick into my daily routine. Ace!
Below you can see Lash Slick on only one of my eyes for comparison… 👀
Remember if this is your first time shopping Glossier, you will receive 10% off your order if you shop using my link!
A fragrance. That is easily you. It’s everybody & anybody.
Glossier outlines the notes in this fragrance below – ambrox, ambrette, iris, musk. It feels like so much more than a fragrance, it’s a feeling. That reminiscent feeling when a scent brings you back to a moment in time. The best time. Let’s go there real quick, ok? It. Will. Grow. On. You. It will also melt. into. your. skin.
At my first deep inhalation, I was shocked. Wowed. Not sure if I loved this. Gave it a minute and inhaled deeply by my wrist for the 2nd, 3rd time… I’m liking this more than I originally thought. It’s kinda sexy, in a non-sexy way.
Hard to describe, but easily appreciated.
The best part about this fragrance, which is very hard to describe is that it smells differently on each and every person that I’ve been around who has worn it. It adaptive and will change with you as you change, throughout the day. I’m for sure liking this scent on myself as the day goes on. You will not be disappointed!!
Tried out Dirty Lemon Detox and Dirty Lemon Skin & Hair. The skin & hair contains marine collagen, so you’re literally drinking the fountain of youth. V cool, however unsure if I saw any results. I got a facial around the same time and changed up some skincare products and my face has gotten generally much clearer and more fresh since September.
The Detox contains activated charcoal and the drink was black so I was also very much into that.
Mainly into this photo because it looks like a Dirty Lemon in the background of the Dirty Lemon.
It’s also a text-based ordering system which seems exclusive AF, so I liked that too. Into this.
A single succulent in a small terra cotta pot sits on each of the hi-top tables. There are two thin, windowsill bar tops and a largely open, clean space with brick walls. The setting is very urban industrial with contemporary vibes. The skylight up above let’s in a beautiful amount of light (I’m obsessed with natural light). It’s a mainly black and white aesthetic with the main way-back wall being a shade of Pepto Bismol pink. I had a Pepto Bismol pink wall in my college townhouse so I felt some weird connection to this room and wall. There’s an open back room with the huge coffee grinder machine (?), which I have no idea what it actually is… troubling. On the barista counter, the coffee grinder is bright pink and the espresso machine is a bright cobalt blue that reminds me of a car from the 1950s.
That unknown machine is loud in the back – sounds and looks like an industrial size vacuum. Whatever it is… It smells awesome in here. I can’t quite focus on anything aside from that noise so maybe this is not the best for concentrating or bringing your laptop. Although a man across from me is doing that.
I’m sipping on a coffee milkshake, which was $6. I would have paid $10 for it because it’s really good. But that’s just because I’m feeling generous today. Milkshakes are my favorite drink too. They serve bialy’s from Roberta’s (a local restaurant in Bushwick that’s super hyped for their pizzas).
Currently in Bushwick – where the cool kids live. Supercrown is probably a really cool date place if you’re the type that dates during the hours of 7AM-7PM. But weekends are an option. And coffee is always good. Back to date night, avoiding alcohol on dates is interesting and challenging so this could be a cool option. Although I’m pretty sure they make alcoholic coffee beverages – which could be a bonus. Lots of cute people are waking by the storefront. And in and out as I’m sitting here. There’s a guy at the bar right now that looks like a mix between Justin Timberlake and the oldest bully brother from from Home Alone. “Buzz your girlfriend, woof.” Weird mix – I know. That’s Brooklyn for ya.
FYI – It’s 11:15am – why did I just drink a milkshake?
An open letter about menstruation. Read further if you dare. If you don’t want to read about a potentially uncomfortable topic I would suggest you stop reading now. Men especially. But women, you’re welcome…maybe? Whatever. Here we go…
A few years ago, one of my BFF’s informed me of a product called “Diva Cup.” Basically, that she started using it and that it is life-changing, once you get used to it. She uses it, has been for quite a while and apparently loves it.
Click the Diva Cup link above or just Google it if you want to learn more about specific details. Basically, Diva Cup is made for females as an alternative to using tampons or pads during menstruation.
It’s a silicone “cup” that you virtually insert inside of yourself and it captures the blood. Benefits are that you can leave it in for up to 12 hours, it’s a 1-time cost of under $30 and lasts for a few years apparently (instead of spending a lot of $ on tampons/pads) and sort of saves the environment (less waste) and your septic systems! Score! Win! Great, I’m interested… let me find out more! Headed straight over to Amazon.com to order this puppy and give it a try… and by heading straight over, I mean I contemplated doing that for approximately 2 years and finally did when I had an Amazon gift card over the summer and was bored because I didn’t have a real job. Whatever…
I tried this product, not one time, not two times, not three times, but FOUR freakin’ times. I think that should suffice as me giving it an actual try… and certainly not just “giving up.” Even though, that is essentially what I did…. every. single. time.
Maybe for some women, Diva Cup is the end-all, be-all solution to menstruation. It does offer some great benefits. The problem with those benefits, are that I don’t exactly give a shit about them. I mean – I tend to be on the eco-conscious side of things in life – however, I don’t really 100% care. Do you? Do you really think that not using tampons is going to save the world? OK, fine if you do. Next, I want my body to be 100% healthy and try not to willingly induce tons of toxins inside of it, but I mean – I’m not 100% convinced that TSS (toxic shock syndrome – from keeping tampons in for too long) would ever even happen to me. I have to switch my tampon far too frequently for that ever to be a problem… so in reality, there is not a specific cause that’s leading me to really want to use this product. So I’m having no or low expectations and just giving it a whirl.
All of my viewpoints are speaking from a “first time user” perspective…. and after the 4th month of trying Diva Cup, I still feel like a “first time user”…. which is already saying something. Yeah, things may get easier and you can get used to it after time passes. But this was not easy to “get used to.”
Inserting Diva Cup is not easy in my opinion, AT ALL. On the instructions paper (yes…) there are 2 diagrams of 2 different techniques to “fold” the cup so that it inserts into your vagina in an easier way. I tried both. Several times. And failed. Several times. It’s also worked. Several times. But then later failed. Several times. (I’ll get into that later…) It’s also bigger than a tampon… when folded. So like, enjoy shoving that up into your vagina. I was considering using lube, but then….what? no, Ashley – bad idea. What? UGH. Didn’t.
If you’re lucky enough to get the insertion correct, GREAT JOB! Woohoo! You got it in and this silicone cup is now up inside of your vagina – score. Basically your vagina eats this thing up and good the fuck luck trying to get that puppy out again…. (those were my first thoughts). But then the instructions go on further… saying, now you must ROTATE this cup 360 degress!UM….. WHAT?!?!
So there’s a little tube looking piece (you can see it in the diagram above) that would compare to a tampon string and would essentially help you remove your cup when you’re ready to do so. But it specifically states on the directions, do not use this to do your 360 degree spin. I tried, they’re right… basically that thing is not going to spin. So you have to reach your fingers inside and squeeze them up against the sides of your vagina to hopefully grab the cup and do a full “spin” of 360 degrees on the cup. On separate occasions I’ve either done the spin, or I’ve avoided the spin. Avoiding is a poor choice. Basically, you have to do the spin so that the cup “unfolds” and slides into the shape of your vagina and so that it can open fully to catch the blood. If you do not spin it could potentially stay sort of folded inside of you and either not open at all to catch or just sort of open and either way you’re going to get MAJOR LEAKAGE. Which IMO is a MAJOR PROBLEM.
Ok, so say if you complete this step (DOUBLE SCORE!) and you have your Diva Cup inserted. You’re a fucking all star if you’ve made it this far. Now starts my rant about the biggest product flaw that I see with this product. I wish I would show you what I mean by this ,so I think I’m going to draw it. So you can see exactly what I’m talking about. Otherwise, it’s confusing. Please hold….
Dude – This is my SOOOOO not technical and obviously NOT TO SCALE diagram. Hand drawn. LMAO — I actually can’t with this one, and I think I’ve truly out-done myself. I can’t believe this is what I think a vagina looks like. I’m probably way wrong, I don’t care though. This is what I want to tell you!!!
The part of the wall of your vagina still has blood on it that is never going to get caught by the Diva Cup because it just will never have the opportunity to. It’s below the Diva Cup opening. Gravity says that this blood will come out of you… so virtually every single time you remove / re-insert your Diva Cup, you’re going to still bleed out that amount of blood.
I would always recommend using a light panty-liner or thin pad each and every time you’re using this product. Which sucks and is a total fucking bummer and completely defeats the purpose of the whole process at all… am I right?
The purpose of a tampon is to avoid wearing a pad / diaper. Keep it all inside so there’s less chance of a mess on the outside. Diva Cup in theory should keep it all inside and let you go for much longer extended periods of time without having to change tampon or have it pushed out if you use the bathroom in any other way…. so that’s cool. Except it does not.
Further, using this product is fucking gross because it gets you DIRTY. For example, when you do use Diva Cup successfully (me, every time). Or say even if you somewhat use it successfully. You eventually finally have to remove it. Removal will be 100% messy and gross. Aside from that, it sort of will sound like suction cup or plunger when you’re removing it. Think about making that noise with a product that’s coming out of your vagina. And immediately you’re going to want to die / vomit. You pull it out of yourself and try not to get blood all over yourself – your hands, your toilet seat, your floor? WTF, not okay. Then it’s going to be a total fucking murder scene. This thing is going to be full of blood, so you then…. dump it out into the toilet. Great. Now there’s excess blood / tissue, whatever the F is left on it. VOM DOT COM. So what are you instructed to do? Clean it out. So yes, you have to physically go to your sink and rinse this out. Aka more touching with your hands. And you should use a mild soap obviously nothing that will irritate the inside of your vagina because then… other problems when you put it back in there. Worst.
My biggest fear / concern is what if you’re out of your own fucking home? Are you going to change this thing in a public restroom? The noise factor is already a problem here for me. Not okay. Next, when you’re finished removing.. oh let me just flush and go out to the sink and clean out my bloody Diva Cup… which takes a minute or so… and oh, now let me get back in that bathroom stall there and re-insert my Diva Cup.. in whatever awkward position I decided to get into to actually figure out how to get this cup inside of myself. Hopefully on the first try, sometimes on the third try, though. And if there’s a line in this restroom, I’m sure all of those other women waiting in line will totally understand what you’re doing… NOT! They’re gonna be like wtf does this weird girl think they’re doing?! Playing with her period? What is she like a 3 year old toddler playing with finger paint? UGH. Ew. I rest my case. Except, unfortunately for you, I’m going to keep writing.
Diva Cup failed me. Every time I tried it. And I always got it in wrong. Which is painful. I always felt it. Tampons I never, ever feel. Maybe because I shove it far enough up there or just a normal amount because I’m normal? … and I never feel it. This thing I feel when I’m sitting on the couch, I feel when I’m working out or walking around even. Not 100% feel it but most of the time I did. Maybe I was hypersensitive to knowing it was there. But with a tampon, I don’t forget that I have my period. Like I know in about 2.5 hours I’m going to have to change that thing. Just inherent knowledge… and I never felt it. So Diva Cup, I’m just NOT A FAN.
I don’t want to ever have that feeling where I’m like OMG I’m sitting in the middle of a meeting or somewhere that I’m not close to a bathroom or worse, where I won’t be able to access a bathroom for an extended period of time and feel a leak. Like any girl that has ever felt that…. which is EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU!! KNOWS! That it is THE WORST FEELING EVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! If you think it’s not, you’re a fucking liar and I don’t think you have actually ever menstruated.
Further, I have no reason to ever try to use this product ever again. I do not recommend it if you have no particular reason (environmentally friendly chick, allergic to tampons chick, TSS aware chick). Those girls, I think maybe you’d like to try it out and this could potentially be a better solution for you… that is, if you’re willing to deal with all the downsides of it. But maybe those aren’t that bad of downsides since you’re usually downsides are WAY worse than these anyway… so I guess, Good luck!
One way I think this product may be super helpful is in this scenario: Say you know you’re going to get your period tomorrow. Like you’re a very regular period betch and you know exactly which day you’re going to get it. Unlike myself, when I go to the bathroom some random day and I’m like, “Oh nice! Got my period, sickkkk!!” Ruined another Cosabella thong, but hey at least I got it… better start heavily medicating with Advil to subside the pain. Also, that must definitely have been why I have been such a bitch the past 2 days. Now it all makes sense. Random tangent – sorry. So yeah, if you do know yourself very well, it could be great for you to insert the morning that you know you’re going to get your period to avoid the potential underwear stain if you’re super against a pantyliner or pad or maybe you ran out of them. IDK?
Disclaimer: If you do want to try this product for yourself, YOU MUST WEAR A PANTYLINER OR PAD. I repeat, you MUST. Otherwise, you will 100% leak / stain / ruin beautiful / expensive underwear and I’m not about that life for you, me or anybody!
Disclaimer: If and when you do want to try Diva Cup for yourself, think back to my blog post that you read about it and remember that I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO.
If you have any tips or great success stories that you want to share with me… please, please be my guest. I’d love to hear about your fantastic experiences. Maybe I’m doing something totally wrong and you can change my life and I can try doing Diva Cup your way and I’ll love it and live happily ever after.
Until then, I’m team tampon. Signing off as I live out the rest of my menstrual cycle. Until next month, betches…
So, this is kind of cool news – have you heard of a website called TimeOut New York? Likely. They keep you updated on what’s going on in cities all over the world everyday, every week… they provide news, give reviews, provide lists of “the BEST ____________ in NYC.” And I’m about that life.
Anyway, I was accepted into a group of 40 New Yorker’s who write reviews for places, events, restaurants, venues, museums, cultural experiences, etc. all over New York City. We’re called Time Out Tastemakers and we have to wear a badge that says it everywhere we go! I’m kidding about that, obviously.
But it’s really legit, I write verified reviews, provide info, updates & photos on the Time Out website for places I’ve visited in NYC. It allows me to go to places I would maybe have not visited and share my wealth of information to the public about my favorite and least favorite places. #TOTastemaker
The founders started giving out a weekly award for “Tastemaker of the Week” and I won the first week ever!! I don’t usually win things so I felt pretty stoked with that small honor. If you get their newsletters, take a look for places I may have reviewed. If you don’t, you can sign up by entering your email on the website here.