Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Good-bye Oompa Loompa, Hello Rocky Barnes

I thought writing a product review for my very favorite sunless tanner in the world Loving Tan (it’s nothing short of LIFE CHANGING) would be a breeze. However, after a week (or two) of writing and rewriting the opening sentences, I realized that this blogging stuff is much harder than it looks!!!  When it comes to beauty products, I think more in three part miniseries than half hour episodes and I apologize in advance if I get a bit carried away. 

I have been using various forms of sunless tanner after fear of skin cancer and wrinkles forced me to give up tanning beds and my search for the perfect self tan could easily be compared to the quest for the Holy Grail.  The biggest problem was finding the right color for my naturally pale skin.  Many tanners have a very artificial look and appear more orange than brown and if I used the right level of tanner for my skin (light/medium) the color change was minimal.  All I want is a product to transform me into a supermodel instantly with very little effort on my own- Is that so much to ask???

**clouds part, heavenly choir sings, radiant beams of light shine down**  TA-DAH!!! I found the Australian brand Loving Tan on instagram.  After seeing post after post of ghostly limbs suddenly bronzed and Gisele-esque, I ordered my first shipment.  At the time they only shipped from Australia, so I waited a few weeks for my first package to arrive.  Hallelujah!! My search was over.  Finally, I got the perfect golden tan of my dreams.

Ok, ok, enough about me- Here’s the product breakdown (luckily for this review, when I love a product, I tend to go a little nuts when ordering).
All of the sunless tanners on their site are a mousse formula. Their webpage is a little confusing by offering separate categories for “mousses” and “2 hr express” but both are mousses.  I am embarrassed to admit that I had tried all of them even before I knew I would be writing this review.  The 2 hr express mousse is $39.95 and comes in 2 shades, medium and dark.  The regular mousse is $34.95 for the medium and dark shades and $39.95 for the ultra dark version.  I prefer the 2 hr express- the color payoff is the same with a faster development time- and I like to layer the medium and the dark, sort of like a skin ombré.  The medium is an amazing golden color and I would compare it to a natural end-of-summer tan.  The dark is definitely more of a “WOW! Did you just back from 2 weeks in Tahiti??” kind of bronzed glow.  The ultra dark (I feel) had the same color payoff as the dark but with a slightly more reddish tint.  All of them have an initial color guide to help with application and with proper care your tan lasts about a week.  On average I probably get about 6 full body tans per bottle. 

They also carry instant body makeup and a couple different tanning accessories.  It is essential to protect your palms during application and their Deluxe Self Tanning Applicator Mitt ($14.95) is perfect.  I’ve used several different brand’s versions of these mitts and have always still had to wear a glove inside but this one not only helps with blending but will protect your hands from staining.  I bought the Easy-to-Reach Back Applicator ($24.95) for a friend with T-Rex arms and she likes to rubber band the applicator mitt to the back applicator to get to those hard to reach places.  

The Tan Removing & Skin Polishing Glove ($29.95) has two sides and is good for gently exfoliating and for removing those last pesky patches of tan.  
Last, but not least, the Instant Body Makeup ($34.95) comes in all three shades and OMG this stuff is concentrated and POWERFUL.   Believe me when I say a little goes a long way.  I had a massive bruise on my leg and squirted a glob on it while running out the door to an appointment, thinking I could camouflage it a bit.  I definitely underestimated the coverage and density of this product.  That small glob could easily have covered my whole body!!! It gives a nice airbrushed look and didn't smudge or transfer to my clothes even though it was a hot day and I was sweating.

SOOOOO- Final Verdict???? I love it.  I have back ups for my back ups.  This is a staple product for me and I totally recommend it.

Product Review: Sunless Tanner
Loving Tan 2hr express in Dark
By: Makeup By Megan // @makeupbymeganh

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Monday, June 29, 2015


The VGB fam couldn't be more excited to "go global" as they say. We are adding two Brits to our #GoldenGirl dream team! And while we haven't personally visited London yet we are excited to learn more about England + Europe through Asha and Samanta! Please please give them a warm welcome and feel free to ask away! You can see below that they are quite the travelers (and I'm oh so jealous right now). Let us know if there is anything you want to know about living in England, traveling to Europe, or just London in general!  

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Hey everybody! We’re Asha (brunette in the photos!) and Samantha (blonde in the photos) and we are SO excited to be getting involved with Verbal Gold Blog. We’re both just starting our last year at the University of Manchester in England after spending a year living and studying stateside (Asha in Minnesota and Sam in North Carolina). We both study International Business (sounds a lot scarier than it actually is) and live together in Manchester- we really can’t wait to show off where we’re from on the blog and give you guys some top travel tips for when you visit!

We obviously LOVE travelling, and have just spent 6 weeks touring America. We have loved every single minute of our time here and love it nearly as much as we love England! To give you a little more info on who we are we decided to tear ourselves apart from each other for five gruelling minutes (which was traumatic to say in the least) and write a little bit about ourselves so you can get to know us a little.

I was born in Leicester, which is a small city slap bang in the centre of England (about an hour and a half away from London, and a few hours away from Manchester) and I live with my mum, dad and not so little brother (at 6'2 he kinda towers over me).  I would say I am a girlie girl but I’m not afraid to get down with more boisterous activities (seeVerbal Gold Blogger Claire Loudermilch’s guide to Charlotte!).  I’m pretty well travelled and I try to get away as much as I can, especially to other places in Europe as they are quite close to England (lucky me!), and I love spending time in different cities in England too. I LOVE good food and dining out (aka spending money), shopping is another guilty pleasure and I love fashion and clothes. I strongly stand by the statement that Netflix is a girls best friend (I may or may not have just made that statement up) and I watch a mix of both American and English shows; my favourites being Gossip Girl (old but gold), the inbetweeners, outnumbered, girls, Dexter and surprisingly the US version of the office #MichaelScottForPresident.  I am so excited to get to you know you guys more!!

Hey! So I'm from Liverpool (yes, the place where the Beatles are from) and I love my hometown! I love going out both in Liverpool and Manchester and finding the best places to eat/drink.

I spend a lot of time travelling and when I'm not jetting off somewhere I'm planning my next trip (currently touring the states whilst simultaneously planning touring Europe in winter).  I have so many favourite places in the world and can not wait to see more of it! 

After having a language barrier- due to my strong accent this year (my names Som to most).  I can't wait for you to get to know me, and to share my experiences with you which are often very crazy + random!

You can find us on instagram @samanthaoswald + @ashakeane and of course @VerbalGoldBlog

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The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is on everybody’s bucket list, and rightly so! This past weekend we luckily got to check it off ours….

As two girls who are experts in getting lost we decided to leave the driving and touring to somebody else. After scouring the internet we decided to go with the Arizona based tour company ‘Detours’ as they stopped in Sedona as well as the Grand Canyon.  The tour included entry into the Grand Canyon National Park, a two-course lunch on at the Navajo Native American Reservation and unlimited bottles of water throughout the day (which was a complete must).

Being collected from our hotel first, our pickup time was really early (6:20am!). But being dragged out of bed at that deathly hour meant we could make the most of the day (14 hours of it to be precise). 

We picked up the rest of our group on the way, everybody was very excited for the day trip, and the group got along extremely well which really did make the day just that much better. (Hello multiple people to take photos for you!).

Our tour guide- Chad Williams was an angel as he made sure that us uninformed Brits knew everything you could ever want to know about the Grand Canyon and surrounding area. He made the perfect guide mainly because he put up with our endless questions and actually was really interested in what we had to ask (however it probably isn’t the best idea to continuously ask; are we there yet?).

Chad went out of his way to make sure our experience was memorable and even took us on a detour to take us to his personal favourite place in Sedona, the picturesque Chapel of the Holy Cross. As our first real stop, the views of the red rock formations were breath taking and unbelievably beautiful (little did we know that the Grand Canyon would knock that out of the water). The chapel itself inside was beautiful, and some of the tour group lit candles, which was a really sweet addition to the day. After that we hopped back onto the van and headed onward to the Grand Canyon (with a brief shopping stop in Sedona Village). 

Behind us are the Red Rock formations in Sedona

Our (free) lunch was delicious! We stopped at the Navajo Restaurant. The set lunch menu consisted of standard American food like burgers or chicken tenders as well as traditional Navajo food such as hot beef, or the Navajo Taco. We both opted for the Taco because you never know when you will ever get the opportunity to try native food again (until we come back to the Grand Canyon of course!). The taco was super good, they even give you a pot of the hot chilli salsa which was so amazing . Also the portion was massive, and we were both defeated after eating approximately a quarter of our plates (and believe me; we can eat!).

Following our lunch, we had a short while to travel before reaching the main destination; The Grand Canyon. But believe us- it was definitely worth the wait. 

The Grand Canyon was breath taking, and every body agreed that is definitely something you have to see for yourself, as pictures don’t do it an ounce of justice (not even the ones we made look dead professional on insta).  At this point I think we really realised how useful Chad was as a tour guide, as he knew all the best spots for photos that would be less crowded and where we could see the best parts of the Grand Canyon. He made about 3 stops in the Grand Canyon National Park so we could get the best views possible, whilst explaining the elevation and some of the theories behind how the Canyon was formed.

We eventually trailed off to the visitor centre, where the main hotel was with a bar (we have it on good authority that the prickly pear cactus vodka lemonade is absolutely delicious) and some gift shops including a Native American Hopi house store. 

In total we spent about 3 hours in the Grand Canyon National park and we definitely felt we made the most out of the day. More importantly we both agreed we were so glad we didn’t do the long drive from Phoenix ourselves- we just got to chill and look at the pretty views on the drive, and even got to nap on the way home, which ladies and gents we would describe as a double win.


Sam & Asha

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Bow to the Bow

Around here you know that shopping is for everyday Saturday!  Today I'm loving how one pieces are in style.  I've snagged my favorite 1 piece from Albion Fit because the bow detail on the back is to die for!!! It's so chic.  In chase you don't bow to the bow I've included our other favorites below!

The Albion Fit Sunset Blvd swimsuit comes in orange or black but all swimsuits from there are 15% off until July 9th with code summerswim15 

(PS. She specializes in weddings and boudoir photos and is an absolute gem to work with!)

Have fun shopping today!  Happy Saturday!  Tell us which ones are your fav here or over on insta @VerbalGoldBlog

xoxo Ady 
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Friday, June 26, 2015

Tory Burch Sale Alert!

Some of my favorite bags come from Tory Burch and I just had to share this sale with you guys because when does Tory ever do over 30% off?  How to get a $400 bag for less than $200 in 3... 2... 1... GO!


xoxo Ady

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Thursday, June 25, 2015


I had a blast in Australia and then decided to head over to Bali, Indonesia!  And to sum it up... LIFE. CHANGING.  It was incredible.  I never wanted to leave.  I strongly encourage and highly recommend traveling to Bali... like now! Go!  I would go back every year if I could.  

For starters, it's HOT!  You will sweat everywhere you go so au natural all the way!  But Bali is gorgeous!  It's cheap!  You are a millionaire with $100USD.  (I had a spa day with a 2 hour massage, facial, body scrub, foot massage for $15!  Crazy town!)  The people are so nice!  There is so much to do!  It's so romantic (you know, those infinity pools and sunsets be killin em)  Bali is truly so peaceful... literally some Eat, Pray, Love shit!  So calming.  We rented a driver for the day ($50 btw... 8 hours.. yeah) and as we were driving through Ubud and on the way I just found myself in awe and just smiling.  Not talking. Taking it all in.  Just in love with Bali!  Staring out the window.  Getting out, talking to strangers, checking out the rice fields... it was AMAZING.  I am forever changed.

rooftop pool

There is a tax on water and wine there ... it's the most expensive thing so I recommend drinking lots of coconut water.  Add sterile ice and lime.  It's delicious! 

rooftop views

The beaches there are great but the sand is FIRE.  I don't understand how they can walk on it.  I literally felt like my feet were going to burn off.... literally  Linda!  People walk up and down the beaches trying to sell you stuff kind of like Mexico but they sit and talk with you and are so nice.  But while I was laying out some kids came up to us and I couldn't help but wonder why they weren't in school.  I asked them to go get their mom and asked them some questions.   Here is what I learned.... 

"So that's the lesson, isn't it?  When you set out in the world to help yourself, sometimes you end up helping...Tutti." - Elizabeth Gilbert Eat Pray Love 

These children were unfortunately working the beaches in 95' heat because they can't afford school. Which for them is merely $200/yr roughly $17/month and it broke my heart. Small things go a long way in Bali so if you're looking to help and do more in the world check out www.balichildrensproject.org

Hanging Gardens ( I didn't get to go here but I am going back and it's my first stop.  That and the Monkey Forest)

I went to an elephant safari park where the elephants are 100% not harmed and well taken care of!  My elephant's name was Arum and my guide started singing The Lion King songs to me as we were "in the jungle the mighty jungle ahrumaway ahrumaway"  Then he said, "Oh you so lucky, you from America, home of Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber... baby baby baby Oooohhhhh!" And I swear I almost fell off that elephant laughing.  I wanted to pack him up and take him home with me.  

I got to feed the elephants and love on them!  It was probably my favorite thing ever! 

#TWINNING with Arum!  Flower crown power!


I got the idea to go see Ketut Liyer on a whim as we were driving through Ubud.... you know from the movie Eat, Pray, Love and luckily some kids playing in the street were able to show us to his temple.  We walked in and he was just sitting there eating lunch.  He smiled at me with his two teeth and mouth full of food and I melted.  He was in a tshirt and a sarong around his waist.  I asked his son if I could speak with him and for a small fee of $25 the answer was yes!  They handed me a little plastic number to wait.  While Ketut finished his lunch his son showed me around his family temple, the guest houses, where Julia Roberts was, the original drawings Ketut drew for Elizabeth Gilbert, the birds hung in cages above just like in the movie.  Everything was exactly the same.  

Now Ketut has a reputation as the Hugh Hefner of Bali and he's like over 100 years old so I didn't know what to expect from the medicine man, healer, palm reader, painter.  He's very old and frail and moved over to sit next to me very slowly.  We sat down and chatted for what seemed like forever and I'm sure he could tell I was a little nervous.  He asked me if I was married and when I said no, he then asked if I'd marry him and asked me to spend the night there with him but then later told me he already has two wives. haha We laughed and he smiled at me with his two teeth as his son (who is next in line as the medicine man/healer) sat next to us.  Then he burped. LOUD. IN MY FACE! I died and thought to myself is that real life?  Did I just travel to Bali and hunt down Ketut to get belched on?  haha Oh the experiences I had there I will never forget.

Ketut started by saying, "Oooookaaayyy Oookkaaayyy I very happy to meet you" then kept repeating to me in long drawn out words... " you so ppprrrreeetttyyyyyy, you very llllluuuuuuccckkyyyyyyy, you very successsssfuuuuuullllllllll."  Then he touched my ears, my eyebrows, talked about my eye color and then read my palm talked about my long healthy life and that I would have a lot of money.  He pulled each one of my fingers which represented different organs which he told me were all in good health.  He touched my knee and drew a line from my knee to my ankle.  He checked my elbow and arm.  Then he had me turn around and he said I have a lotus flower on my back and he drew it below the nape of my neck repeating how lucky I am.  The lotus flower represents one symbol of fortune in Buddhism. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower’s first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

And I have to say leaving there ... that is exactly how I felt!  Ketut did a little seated bali arm dance for us and waived goodbye.


We traveled through Ubud's rice fields and visited some temples before heading back to Seminyak to shop and head out to Potato Head and Ku De Ta for the night!

There are so many beautiful temples and family temples in Bali.  Everyone including places of business sit out "offerings" every day for good Karma and to say thank you and receive many blessings.

To be in Bali and see how thankful these people are really gives you a greater appreciation for life no matter what your situation is.  

Potato Head 

For how poverty stricken the streets of Bali look places like Potato Head and Ku De Ta make you feel like you're in paradise.  Infitity pools to the beach, sunsets, and gorgeous surroundings.  It's really indescribable.  It's a 180 from outside those walls.  The security to drive into these places in something I've never experienced.  They check your entire car and sweep the underneath also.  Really makes you feel safe. 


There are just streets and streets of shops.... open face shops... no doors.  So cool.  Great shopping is in Seminyak.  It would take 2 days to shop it all!  I would go back just for the shopping.  The custom leather stores.  The jewelry and bags. Oh my gosh.  And you can negotiate... bring cash!


I had a moment in Bali and I fell in love with it.  I don't know how to explain it... you just feel amazing and centered and peaceful while you're there.  It is truly a life changing experience and I am so blessed and thankful that I got to go meet the people in Bali and learn so much while I was there!  I can't wait to go back!  If you ever have the chance to go... take me with you!

If you've ever been... come reminisce with me over on our insta @VerbalGoldBlog

xoxo Ady

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