Updates from Hecate: I bought this maxi dress based on CB’s recommendation from a couple of weeks ago. I love how it looks on. The faux wrap top is flattering and the silky fabric makes me feel fancy. The only drawback is that I bought it for the summer and the fabric isn’t breathable so it’s not great on a really hot day, but it will probably become my go-to this fall. Also, we recommended this keyboard cover a while back. My dog just knocked over a glass of water and it completely saved my keyboard. The color has worn off some of my most used keys, but as far as a protector, it’s great. Lastly, I got this acupressure mat because the reviews intrigued me so much. OMG – I love it. I use it all the time and usually fall asleep on it. I swear I can feel the blood pooling at the pressure points, it’s a really interesting sensation.
An accurate, portable meat thermometer for just $14
From Hecate: I just ruined another pork shoulder attempting to make Bo Saam. Part of it was the salty rub but it was also completely dried out because I cooked it too long, worried about the internal temperature. What I needed was a good thermometer. This Amazon Best Seller has over 28,000 reviews and a very good ReviewMeta adjusted rating of 4.3. A lot of reviews say it is as accurate as the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen-recommended Thermapen that sells for over $100. Plus it’s magnetized so you can store it on the fridge. “This thermometer sub $20 bucks stands up well and accurate next to a friends $150+ Thermapen !!” Others said it’s versatile for a variety of ingredients, “From reading meat temperatures to reading hot oil temps the thermometer works great.”
Flattering workout shorts with pockets
From Hecate: It’s getting warmer earlier so I’ve been relying on shorts for my morning walk. But I realized I’d come to rely on the pockets on my long leggings. These have the best of both worlds. The biker length shorts got 4.6 stars from 539 reviews and Review Meta confirmed it at 4.6. Reviews said they hold up well, “These are good quality yoga shorts, the material is good, has a nice stretch to it, there are 2 pockets on either side which is good also it’s not see through.” That’s good because until I drop my quarantine weight, I need a short that doesn’t stretch too thin. Other reviews said that they hold without pinching, “I liked how they had good compression but weren’t too binding.“
A utensil drawer organizer to corral those loose items
From Hecate: We moved to a predominantly Asian community, so we make Asian dishes all the time now. As a result, we’ve purchased so many decorative chopsticks that I need a new utensil drawer organizer to house them. I really like this one because it elevates the utensils making them easier to grab. It also seems more sanitary since everyone can only grab the handles. This is the small version and only costs $10, but there is a larger version for $20 that could be used to organize knives or a junk drawer. This comes in two colors and earned 4.4 stars out of over 16,000 ratings, with a ReviewMeta adjusted rating of 4.3. Reviewers applauded that it stays in place, “The non-slip feature on the bottom is great- you won’t have cutlery sliding around when you open and close your drawers,” and ideal for those with little space, “We were short on storage and drawer space and this worked perfectly for our tiny drawer!” One note of caution, your drawers need a minimum height of 3.25 inches to fit them.
The easiest and best eyeliner I’ve ever found
From CB: I’ve been trying to replace my Kat Von D epic ink liner so I bought the Stila Stay All Day from Sephora. It was $20, it drags across my lid and smudges and it’s frustrating to use. I’m so disappointed because I had high hopes for it. I got this L’oreal Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner from CVS and I was surprised how awesome it is! It’s closer to liquid eyeliner, so it applies easily, but it has the precision of an eyeliner pen. It easily makes the inside line so thin and I don’t have to correct it multiple times like an eyeliner pen. Plus it lasts almost all day. (I do use NYX eyeshadow primer, which makes a huge difference.) This was several dollars more expensive at CVS and is under $8 on Amazon! It has 385 ratings and a ReviewMeta adjusted score of 3.7. Women call it “the best eyeliner I have found to date,” “my go-to eyeliner,” and “fabulous – you never fail to get a nice line with it.” They write ”
it can easily paint such a thin line that complete strangers ask me how I started my line so thin and so close to my lashes. It goes on very easily. I have bought everything from high end Sephora products, Urban Decay high priced liners, gel liners, all the while trying to replicate THIS ONE.”
Lip enhancement treatment that reviewers say works
From CB: I found this this lip treatment by Image skincare on a Popsugar list of the best beauty products. This balancing lip enhancement complex has 478 ratings and a ReviewMeta score of 4.4 with no stars off. Reviewers say it’s an excellent lip balm that heals chapped lips and that it also works to plum. They write “It gives your lips a healthy looking shine and really does create fullness over extended use,” “I used it 3-4 times the first day I received it and by the next day my lips weren’t just hydrated / not chapped, they were noticeably plumper on both lips.” It’s also said to have a nice smell “like an orange creamsicle,” to keep “lips smooth and plump” and to go a long way. “It takes only a very small amount to do the trick so it lasts a long time.”
An under-$14 teeth whitening solution that causes less sensitivity
From CB: My teeth are sensitive and whitening strips usually hurt my gums. I used to use the Luster teeth whitening kits with the light, but they stopped making those. This teeth whitening kit by Zero Glow has a $20 off coupon making it just is under $14. It has 2,279 ratings ratings and a 4.4 star rating on ReviewMeta. It comes with three pre-filled applicators of whitening gel, three mouth guards and a light. You use it for 25 minutes total each time, with the light on for just five minutes the first time. Reviewers write “I really saw a difference… I am VERY happy with the results after only two uses. So far still no sensitivity!” “There was a noticable difference in my teeth and they have improved each time I have done it” and “my teeth are several shades lighter than they have been in years.” One caveat, some people say that this can cause gum sensitivity. When I used to use Luster I would put part of a wet paper towel under my top and bottom lips to protect my gums so you may want to try that.
A non-streaky self tanner that gives a natural result
From CB: My legs are so white and I have some light bruises and marks I’d like to hide. I looked through so many self tanners to find this Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Mousse by L’oreal. (There are some Jergens products which have a lot of fake reviews.) This has over 1,000 ratings and a 4.1 score on Reviewmeta. Women call it easy to use, “the perfect tan in a bottle,” “the most genuine looking fake tan I’ve ever had,” and say it gives “a very natural looking tan that was very even, stayed on for multiple days and was totally buildable.” They also write “the results were a beautiful natural looking tan that was not too dark or too orange.” It’s said to be a little stick after applying so you’ll want to give yourself fifteen minutes to let it dry. This is the medium shade.
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