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December 8, 2017

Whitening coffee Stains: Does it work?

Do you drink coffee, tea, or wine…

listen to this little advice of mine.

With Smile brilliant you’ll have pearly whites,

your teeth will sparkle like Christmas lights.

You can whiten here or there,

you can whiten anywhere.

Whiten while you Instagram,

or while listen to your favorite jam.

Whiten while you paint your nails,

or scrolling through those online sales.

Perhaps while reading a really great book,

regardless, the results will have you shook.

You will be smiling bright in no time,

Are you laughing at my little rhyme?

Continue reading on for a honest review,

because trust me, I would never lie to you.


Okay, okay…. enough with the rhyming. All silliness aside, this sh*t works. I have to admit, after years of trying different kits, whitening tooth paste, and even attempting to ditch coffee (gasp!!! that obviously did not work), I was a little skeptical but still very eager to try it out. When I received my cute little blue box in the mail, I hurried into my apt to rip it open (but obviously tried to keep it neat, because hello, you know I wanted to do a lil insta story unboxing.) Inside was two mouth guard looking trays, little containers filled with blue and white clay, and two different color syringes.  However, the process couldn’t be any easier! All I needed to do was use the clay to create molds of my teeth and send them back! About a week later, I received my whitening trays…and yes, I did repeatedly show Joe saying “LOOK! This is what my teeth look like!” Hehehe, you could say I was kinda excited. (By the way.. a custom fitting tray from most dentists would cost at least $500. This whole kit is a FRACTION of that cost, and even less if you use this 10% off code: unconditionallycreative15)


Now here’s where the magic happens. All you do once you have your molds is line both top and bottom with the teeth whitening gel from the syringe, pop those babies in place, and you have 1-3 hours to pretty much do anything you would normally do. I usually like to do this before bed. This way, I can whiten while I watch Netflix with Joe, shower, maybe do a facial, check some emails, basically anything I would normally do to wind down before bed. Some nights I do an hour, some nights I even do 3! When you are done, you do the same process with the desensitizing gel but for 15 minutes – my fav part because it actually really feels nice.

The reason I do this before bed is because it works with my lifestyle and well… its recommended. Immediately after the process, the pores are more likely to allow stains in. Going to sleep afterwards gives your teeth the night to begin rehydrating and remineralizing (idk what that word is, but its on their website and sounded fancy…they know what they are talking about).

The one and only bad thing I can say about this product is the same as literally any whitening product I use… It kinda hurts me slightly, mainly because I have very sensitive teeth. GOOD NEWS though, there are different kits for each level of sensitivity AND they have many tips to help this issue. The company was so easy to contact and so incredible helpful!

So basically, now I’m just walking around smiling at everyone and humming “Shiny Teeth and Me” all day everyday (S/O to you if you know what song I’m talking about). If you’re tryna smile like a whole lot more, I definitely recommend using this! As always, I’m here for any other questions you may have about this product!



Smile Brilliant and I have teamed up for a GIVEAWAY ($139 Smile Brilliant credit) just in time for the holidays!! It’s super simple and easy to enter! Follow this link and fill out the form! It is open to USA, UK, Australia and Canadian residents. Good luck!!

P.S. all photos taken by my girl, Sami. If you missed it, check out the most adorable and inspiring interview I had the honor of posting riiiiight HERE! 🙂


Tooth Whitening Gel


July 2, 2017

Something I’d like to get off my chest…

UGH… Let’s get a little personal and talk insecurities. If you are a close friend of mine, you probably already know what this is going to be about.. If you don’t know, then I’ve done a good job at hiding it. I think it’s finally time to practice the self love I preach and share my biggest insecurity.

Let me start from the beginning. A couple years ago, I noticed a red dot on my chest. I wasn’t too concerned assuming it was just a blemish and would go away on its own. However, it did the exact opposite. It continued to grow bigger with time. I became very embarrassed and started to worry about my skin. Eventually, my Mom and I went to a dermatologist together. Part of me was terrified for my health and the other part was worried that it was just an unremovable blemish. Luckily, my health was in no danger, but I still left the office upset. This particular doctor made me feel as if there was nothing I could do, and I would just have this big read bump on my chest forever. OH, and that it could continue to grow (which it did.) He called it a “spontaneous keloid” and sent me on my way.

Yeah, I know, what the heck is it?? Heres some not so fun facts about keloids:

  1. Keloids are excess collagen produced by the skin in the process of healing…. so basically just a really interesting looking scar.
  2. They are rather common after surgeries and traumas to the skin.
  3. Even though they can be itchy or irritating, they aren’t in any way harmful to your health.

Since thats pretty much all I know about them, let’s get back to the story (I promise there is a happy ending.) I spent the past couple years searching for makeup to cover it, wearing shirts that hide it, and photoshopping it out of my photos. For example….

My frustration led me to see a second opinion. This time, I left with happy tears. There was an available treatment that would drastically reduce redness, size, and irritation. As happy that I am that it is getting smaller with these treatments, heres the real happy ending…

Self love. Cheesy, but true. In the middle of hating something that I couldn’t change (or thought I couldn’t) I put my energy into loving other parts of me. Instead of staring at my keloid all day, I taught myself to love my smile, my little birthmarks, and even the laugh lines already starting on my face. The pressure to hid my keloid began to vanish, because I was putting less focus towards it and more focus on the features I wanted to show off. Even though I’m excited to get this finally off my chest (lol, get it?), I’ve still learned to accept it. I’ve learned that this little insecurity of mine has played a huge role in my journey to self love.

The moral of this long story, I hope you find acceptance in your imperfections and fall deeply in love with at least one thing about yourself daily. At the end of the day, we all have something that we may not love about ourselves, but accepting these flaws makes us powerful.


June 17, 2017

Skincare that gives you all the FEELS

 Can you tell from this photo how happy Di-ver-gent makes me? No? It makes me SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS kinda happy. I honestly didn’t learn the importance of skincare until recently, and let me tell you, I am so much more confident now that I take care of my face. I don’t even see concealer as a necessity to leave the house anymore (GASP.) That for me is huge, since I struggled most (okay, all) of my teenage years with acne.  I’ve finally found the perfect skin care routine for my skin and a huge source of that happiness comes form Di-ver-gent.

Cruelty-free. Vegan. Natural. Responsibly-sourced. Made in the USA. Formulated for millennials by millennials. 

All that AND it works. Guys, this stuff makes my skin so happy and feel so healthy. My absolute favorite two products from the line “let me be clear!” and “staying’ hydrated!” “Let me be clear” is a face-mask made from Australian reef red clay and sea kelp that detoxifies, heals, and replenishes… sooo, basically its like a gift for your skin. Trust me, your face will immediately thank you. So soft, pores basically vanish, and complexion left glowing. It even comes with an adorable little white brush that makes the application so simple (and fun!)

Okay….”stayin’ hydrated” is SERIOUSLY a must have in my life. It’s the most refreshing, lightweight, and feel good moisturizer that I’ve ever tried. With all the work that “let me be clear” does to my pores, the last thing I’d want to do is clog my pores with a heavy moisturizer. I use this every night and go to sleep with very happy skin. I also like to use this in the morning before my makeup routine to wake up my skin.

But I haven’t even shared one of the best parts with you yet – the woman behind the brand! Her name is Cathy and well, you’ll see for yourself how kindhearted she is just by reading this incredible interview with her!

What was the thing that most inspired you to start Di-ver-gent?

I’ve had the I Am Selfcare Skincare line for almost 10 years and have great success! It’s the perfect anti-aging skincare solution for women ages 35 and older but the formulas are overkill for younger skin. For a few years now, I’ve wanted to create a line specifically targeted to younger skin – with the ingredients ideally suited to deliver the guaranteed results needed (and wanted) for the millennial gen. I really love how this generation cares so much about society and the world and knew that di-ver-gent’s social values would resonate very well with them. It was also very important to me to keep the price point very affordable because so many of this generation are buried in school debt, looking for jobs, etc. In short, I really wanted to help younger people look awesome, feel great and very confident about their skin. And to be proud of the quality of the products and the brand’s social values where they decide to spend their money.

What does a typical day in the life of Cathy look like?

I’m a very busy girl! My morning starts with taking care of my love-bug cats. I have 3. I had 4 but just lost one last week and I’m still tragically heart-broken about it. He had kidney failure and we had to put him down. I don’t think that I’ll ever get over it. I love my cats so much and they take a bit of time every day. One is a diabetic and I have to give her her insulin shot with breakfast so that’s the most important thing to start my day. I also have a ‘day’ job in Solon, OH where I manage transportation for my division of a huge corporation. It’s a very busy, high-pressure job and I’m always happy when the day there is done :). When I come in the evening, I make dinner for my family, take care of my fur babies again, and then do all of my work for my I Am Selfcare and di-ver-gent lines! That’s what I love doing! I love helping people have healthy, beautiful skin and making a difference in their lives.

In the light of the experience you have now, if you could give some advice to your 15 year old self, what would you say?

The advice I would give tell my 15 year old self is to BELIEVE in yourself and to never stop working toward what you want in life. In all aspects of life! Every step forward is going forward. Some things take longer than others but as long as you are working toward your goals you WILL make them!

Describe Di-ver-gent in three words.


What does “beauty” mean to you?

Beauty absolutely has a different meaning to me now that I’m older and more experienced. When I was young, beauty was all about physical beauty. Now, physical beauty is not all that important. Beauty, to me, is being a kind person. A person who truly cares about other living things and does what they can to help. That is a beautiful person. It’s awesome if you look and feel physically beautiful – for sure! But, the essence of beauty is to have a beautiful soul.

What’s the most rewarding thing about running Di-ver-gent?

 The very best part of running di-ver-gent, hands down, is when my customers email, text, call, message, etc. me and tell me that their skin has dramatically improved in just a short time by using the products!! And, I’m soooo happy to report that I get a lot of those messages!!

Click here to shop the full line of products and while your there sign up for the newsletter where you’ll be one of the first to hear about new products, great deals, and just stay in the Di-ver-gent loop!

P.S. All photos are done by Amanda Goodin Photography . These are unedited and “test shots” and can we just talk about how seriously gorgeous they are. This girls got MAJOR talent. Check out her work with the link above!

May 18, 2017

Moments with Mom

Lets talk about superheroes today… nope, I’m not talking about capes, invisibility, or anything like that. I’m talking moms. I could write a whole book (…or series) of all that I appreciate and love about my mom. Instead of telling you a HUGE list of all the reasons she is my best friend, I’ll share with you just a few of my favorite moments with her.

Okay, this first one I don’t exactly remember because I was just a baby, but it was probably the very first moment that I ever saw a paint brush. I imagine opening my sleepy little eyes, looking up in my crib, and watching my loving mother paint on my wall. She painted beautiful bouquets of wild flowers when she put me down to nap. That is just one tiny example of how my mother opened the doors to create. I am forever thankful that she passed down her artistic gift to me.

This next one is how she taught me about love. As you can imagine, it is difficult to narrow it down to just one moment. Every single day, she is showing my older brothers and I what it is to love and be loved unconditionally. This particular memory really sticks with me though. So…… as many young and naive girls do, I got myself into a little bit of boy trouble. I was in college about an hour from her and I called her bawling my eyes out – poor thing probably couldn’t understand a thing I was saying. However, none of that mattered to her. She dropped everything she was doing just to come hug me. That was the day that I fully realized that I deserve love from her, from my significant other, and from myself.

This one is the time she taught me the value of spontaneity, following dreams, and having fun.  Right after I turned 21, her and I randomly decided to drive to Florida – with my new kitten and our blind poodle, I might add. Since she owns her own business (yeah, I did say super hero, right?) she has the ability to make her office a little bit of paradise for a month or so. I could seriously start a whole new blog about the memories from that trip, but let me just say that  the entire trip was just amazing mom-daughter quality time that I will hold in my heart forever.

I can’t say thank you enough for being you, Mom. Like you always say, Mom upside down is wow… because WOW you’re truly incredible. Single mother of three that always stayed humble, true to herself, and loves with all she has. I love you more than words can explain.

Thank you so much for reading about something so dear to me. Stay tuned for an amazing giveaway with JORD watches on my Instagram, @danniiemae! In the meantime, check out this beauty here! Shop all the gorgeous styles here!