Love boutique shopping? Check out Boutikey!

I’m a big fan of local boutique shopping. Actually, who am I kidding, I’m a big fan of shopping in general. But nothing beats the service you often get at a small business. The attention to detail, the more personalized service…there are many reasons people opt for their local boutique vs. a big department store.

Over the last year or so, I’ve begun to follow some of my favorite local/Boston boutiques on Instagram and Facebook. Often learning about special sales or getting the first glimpse into new items. I’ve loved keeping up with these businesses through social media. Recently, I noticed a post from Boutikey on Instagram which featured a cute outfit (lovely winter white faux fur vest and some accessories – see below).

There it is - the original post that caught my eye

There it is – the original post that caught my eye

Click to –> Shop Boutikey styles now!

I commented on the post and got an almost immediate reply – that they had a few vests in stock at their “pop up” boutique location in Fenway (Boston, MA). I won’t lie, I actually tried to drive to Fenway but got lost and never actually found the “pop up” boutique. Thankfully though, the woman who replied to me on Instagram also left a phone number. I called and let her know I would love to pick it up but might not make it over. She told me the vest would soon be available online through their online boutique This news peaked my interest…

another cute look from the Boutikey Insta account

another cute look from the Boutikey Insta account

It led to me doing some digging on Boutikey. As their site says: Boutikey is a company that aims to bring the boutique shopping experience online. The founder, Tiana asked herself: What if she could find a way to bring the boutique shopping experience online, and help consumers and store owners engage beyond the typical store hours? And there you have it- Boutikey was born.

Boutikey aggregates inventory from local boutiques and also sells items direct (through Through, you can browse clothing and accessories from local boutiques – and even purchase from multiple boutiques at one time. Just add what you want to your shopping cart like any other ecommerce experience.

**Update**: there is a Boutikey app for the iPhone and coming soon for Droid. Through the Boutikey app you can:

  • Browse and discover new fashions/looks from your local boutiques (currently, just Boston boutiques)
  • Share looks across your social networks
  • Find a boutique in your area
  • Find out about offers & special events
  • Earn points/rewards for each dollar you spend
  • Through your profile you can track your favorite looks, favorite stores, and track your rewards

Yesterday, I stopped by Crush on Newbury Street and earned points by shopping…

Crush Boutique's feed from the Boutikey app

Crush Boutique’s feed from the Boutikey app

Click to –> Shop Boutikey styles now!

I earned 156 points yesterday for shopping. Once I've spent $500, I get 20% off my next purchase

I earned 156 points yesterday for shopping. Once I’ve spent $500, I get 20% off my next purchase

Currently, Boutikey is focused on the Boston area but there is interest in expanding. Looks like they’re expanding into CA and CT. And they encourage: If you have a favorite boutique you’d like to see online, email with your name and your store suggestion.

Boston boutiques you can shop through Boutikey: Ku De Ta (Chestnut Hill, South Boston), Habit (South Boston), Pretty Reckless (South Boston), Heart & Sole (North End), Crush Boutique (Newbury St.) to name a few.

What really sparked me to finally write this post was – I had added a couple items to my cart on and entered my info – but I had decided I didn’t want to buy “right now.” Unlike big department stores, I didn’t get a generic “you forgot something” or “you left something in your cart” email. Instead, I got an email from a real person. An email written to me – mentioning the items left behind and some additional info on them. And, a 10% discount offer. The personalized service you are used to getting “in store” definitely came through in this email. I was pleasantly surprised.

So, why shop Boutikey? 

  • To support local small businesses (woo hoo!!!)
  • Browse and buy from many different boutiques from your desktop or phone through FREE ground ship (or $12.95 for 2 day). Shop boutique items 24/7 from anywhere
  • Download the *free* Boutikey app to find new boutiques near you, browse new styles, and earn rewards just for shopping

Couple other things

  • Follow Boutikey on Instagram for hot off the press new items
  • Sign up for their email/newsletter and get 10% off your 1st order
  • They also have a cool blog: with outfit ideas galore
  • With “Small Business Saturday” around the corner – just another great reason to shop local on November 29th

Soooo check it out! Follow em’ on Instagram – at the very least you’ll get some funky wardrobe ideas.

Click to –> Shop Boutikey styles now!

In-office manis aren’t just for the CEO! CC&NP digs Manicube!

Today I FINALLY tried Manicube…this has been a long time coming for me. Let’s start with…

What is Manicube? (straight from their website):

  • If you dread running beauty errands on lunch breaks and weekends, you are in for a treat. Manicube liaises with your office to come to YOU to provide manicures desk-side or in a conference room. Our manicures are quick without compromising quality so you stay professionally polished. We currently offer services in the New York City and Boston area markets.
  • Manicube’s mission: The mission of Manicube is to make working women’s lives easier.
    • Manicube provides women with confidence by offering manicures at their place of work. We hope to make their lives just a little bit easier while adding a bit of color and delight to their workdays! CC&NP LOVES THIS!

Manicube came to my previous company, Hill Holliday and also comes to Digitas where I now work in Boston.

Manicube set up shop on the 8th floor @ Digitas

Manicube set up shop on the 8th floor @ Digitas













How much is it?:

  • I did the Everyday Mani for $15 not including tip (costs go up for other mani options – detailed below)
Manicube options

Manicube’s options







Why I love it:

  • I just love the business idea. I mean, how cool?! It is so smart to me – just knowing how it is being in a busy industry and that getting out of the office for a manicure isn’t usually in the cards. The concept of the mani coming to you is lovely. Also, that your company is essentially saying ‘hey, it’s ok to take a few minutes to yourself to get this done.’ Everyone needs a break once in a while. And we all know (as shallow as it may sound) there is something to “keeping up your appearance” in the professional world . I don’t know about you – but when my nails are all gaggly, I tend to hide my hands! – so hey, treat yourself!
  • You book online – pay with a cc and can include tip up front so all the $$ stuff is out of the way
  • They have a fair cancellation policy. I booked a couple of weeks back and had to cancel last minute. I logged on, cancelled, and they applied a credit to a next visit. I thought that was great. I mean, it happens, sh*t pops up at the last minute so at least you don’t lose your money!

My experience:

  • Today, I went down to the 8th floor where Manicube set up in one of the empty offices

a lot of colors to choose from!

a lot of colors to choose from!

  • My nail tech today was Dina and she was AWESOME. Super friendly and I learned that she also keeps a blog called: She loves beauty, fashion, and tattoo design. LOVE IT.
  • They had a bunch of different polishes to choose from (pic above). I went with “La Vie En Rose”/pastel petal pink by Deborah Lippman. I was pleasantly surprised to find they carried this brand. It’s on the pricier side – but its good polish and doesn’t include formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, dbp (dibutyl phthlate), or camphor, and are not tested on animals. No parabens, or sulfates

look at that pretty polish!

look at that pretty polish! La Vie En Rose by Deborah Lippman

  • It was a nice service – quick, friendly, and relaxing. Within 15 minutes I was done. Dina applied a couple drops of nail-dry oil. And I was out the door with an added spring in my step

love my new manicure - thanks, Dina!

love my new manicure – thanks, Dina!

Seriously, 15 minutes and I was feeling good. I think it’s an excellent idea for companies to offer this type of service. Either because people don’t always have time to get out of the office/fit these things in OR because it’s a nice, simple treat during a hard working day in the corporate world.

Link to Manicube: You can also email them to see if they could come to your office or corporate event @

Top websites of 2013 according to Cupcakes&Nailpolish

Like many people, I spend allotta’ time online. More than I’d like to between working a desk job and having a smartphone glued to my hand at almost all points of the day. I’m not saying I’m proud of it – but I can say that I’ve done a lot of searching…googling…and have found a handful of great websites. The below sites aren’t necessarily ‘secret’ but I’ve come to use them quite often over the last year or so. Maybe you’ll find them helpful (or already do?!) What websites do you “swear by”? Please share!

dermstore-dermstore_logoDermstore: not sure how or when I found this website – but what I love about it is, Dermstore has all the harder to find skincare and haircare brands. I’m able to find brands that are typically sold at smaller boutiques or spas through this site. And, I can usually find a coupon or discount through RetailMeNot (obviously on this list as well!) or from one of Dermstore’s emails. If you ever looking for a harder to find beauty brand, check out Dermstore – they have quick shipping and smooth returns too!

retailmenot logoRetailMeNot: I’ve long sung the praises of RetailMeNot. This site is my go-to for an online deal. I don’t make any purchase online without checking here first. This site often surprises me with the exclusive deals it gets access to. RetailMeNot also has a great iPhone app that is great to check when you’re on the go – because it also has in-store coupons/deals

makeupalley-logoMakeUpAlley: I love to review products – but where does one go when you want to read someone else’s review? And I don’t mean just one review – but a place to really understand how a product ranks with real people. MakeUpAlley is just the site. It is a user generated review site for all things beauty – make up, face care products, hair care etc. I’ve even downloaded the iPhone app so I can read reviews on the go. It’s a great resource when you’re in the market for something new

UnknownAModelRecommends: AMR is technically a blog – by model, Ruth Crilly. She does a lot of different beauty/product reviews…I find her super charming and fun to read and watch (she does video blogs/vlogs as well!) her site is beautiful. And she’s definitely taken it to another level because some of her posts are sponsored by big brands. Overall, I think she’s a great resource and I love to see what she’s testing.  Although she’s a model with a beautiful complexion and killer photos, she’s relateable! She posts informative reviews and cute pictures of her chubby marmalade cat…oh and, she’s British – rocks a great accent!l

drugstore com logoDrugstore: rather than brave the lines at Target, I opt for now when it comes to everyday beauty items (think swisspers, Q-tips, makeup remover, toothpaste etc.) A couple of the things I love about Drugstore – you can usually find a great discount, the site often has better-than-store prices, and shipping is super fast. Literally, get your stuff in 2 days. It is an easy site to search. Also, it is linked to that has a lot of dept store/higher end beauty and skincare brands…one shopping cart for both sites

abes-logoAbe’s Market: This last site is NEW to me and I have my friend Cristin to thank for introducing me to it. Abe’s Market is an awesome site that specializes in natural products. They have an amazing selection of natural beauty products…literally all the brands I’ve become familair with. They offer free shipping and seem to have regular discounts. This site seems like a ‘go to’ for any person who wants to buy their natural/organic products online and potentially avoid the craziness that can be Whole Foods on the weekend!

hukkster-logo1-e1366915531618Hukkster: I can’t remember how I came across this site – but I just used it to ‘flag’ a Chloe bag that there is a ice cubes chance in hell of me ever getting. BUT, the beauty  of Hukkster is, it will alert me if/when this item goes on sale. Which means, I don’t have to keep going back to look. If it hits the % off that I’m looking for, Hukkster will send me an alert. Beyond me “Hukking” things I probably won’t buy, it is actually a great way to monitor products that you know go on sale regularly and typically wait to buy until they are. Like my favorite Hanky Panky thongs – sold at a lot of dept stores. Hukkster helps me keep track of good deals! Download it!


10 tips/tricks to a healthier complexion

Work a couple (or all!) of these into your routine, stick with them, and you will see/feel a difference!

1) Drink MORE water/tea: Replace your afternoon soda with a sparkling mineral water or replace your 2nd cup of coffee with green tea (I ❤ MightyLeaf). Buy a portable, yet cute water bottle (CamelBak Groove Bottle; $19 on Keeping this full and on hand will make it easier to sip throughout the day. Keeping yourself hydrated will flush your system and you will notice it in your skin.

2) Use a Humidifier in your Bedroom: This appliance increases the moisture in the air…which helps alleviate symptoms of dry skin, eyes etc. Especially during winter months when heat can really parch the skin.

3) Wash ya face every night: Washing off the day’s dirt each night will definitely pay off in your complexion. Get yourself into a nightly routine where you cleanse, tone, and moisturize before bed:

4) Use a Silk Pillowcase: Even if your cotton sheets have a high thread count, silk is still easier on the skin because it is woven closer together. Buy a silk pillowcase to snooze on (you don’t have to buy the whole sheet set!) – it will feel luxurious and be gentler on your delicate facial skin

5) Routine Facials: Schedule a facial every 6-8 weeks. An aesthetician will know how to properly cleanse and treat your skin. By going regularly they can address skin problems/concerns over time.

  • offers spa gift cards that can be used at thousands of different spas throughout the US

6) Sweat (often): Beyond helping reduce stress – get in a good sweat at least a few times a week. Your body is your temple, treating it well will be felt inside and radiate outward.

  • Sweat for less by dialing up works-outs On-Demand through your cable box. From yoga to basic aerobics, On-Demand offers a variety of work-outs you can do at home.

7) Keep Moisturized:  Properly moisturized skin looks healthier and more even.

Try for day:

Try for night:

8) Get enough ZZzzzz’s: Stress and lack of sleep shows in your face… strive to get at least 6 hours a night. 2 ways to make it easier to fall & stay asleep:

  • TV sleep timer: although TV can lull some people to sleep it can often disrupt sleep during the night. Use your trusty TV sleep timer and set it for 30 minutes after you get into bed so it shuts off once you’re asleep
  • Noise Machine: be it breaking waves or whale cries, these repetitive sounds can help lull you to sleep

9) Get a fo-glow: The real deal is not a healthy avenue.  If you need to fake a little color to brighten up your complexion:

10) Eat (and drink) more Greens: Cut back on processed sugar and eat more fruits and vegetables. This will improve not only your general health but also your skin. Read this piece by Shape Magazine’s on juices for healthier skin

Birchbox #2 is here!

I was watching the pre-season Pats game with Nick and suddenly I spotted it – the hot pink package on top of our ‘mail stand.’ How didn’t I notice this earlier? And, why wouldn’t Nick mention this cute lil package with my name on it? Either way, everything stopped and for the next 10 minutes I focused on opening and exploring Birchbox #2. (don’t know what I’m talking about – scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post for a link to the original post on Birchbox!)

Again, getting the package in the mail was fun in itself

Again, presentation was a 10 out of 10 = high quality…cute box, 2 different colors of pink tissue paper wrapping the contents. And another smaller packet of goodies wrapped individually – I’ll let the pics do the talking – see below:

eek hot pink mail, how fun!

a box within a box, so pretty!

Birchbox #2 contents, wrapped so nicely!

clear shot of tha' goods

encouraging feedback/ marketing side likes this

note from the Birchbox girls, on the back is a description of each sample (along with full size cost)

Thoughts on the Birchbox #2 samples:

  • Befine night cream (white tube) – I’ve heard good things about this brand, maybe I’ll try it or pass it on to someone else
  • Befine – single serve exfoliating cleanser (came in the packet) – might be fun to try one night!
    • Befine products are paraben free, vegetarian proteins, allergen free fragrance!
  • Number 4 re-constructing hair mask (cylinder shaped bottle w/ black cap) – this looks cool – definitely want to try this on my dry summer hair
  • Also included a Fleur de Temps volumizing shampoo – my hair is large, I might not need this but the presentation is nice in the big white envelope
  • stila sheer color tinted moisturizer (tiny silver tube) – I probably won’t use this, maybe if I’m looking for a new tinted moisturizer next summer
  • TOCCA sunscreen towelettes – love these, and these will come in handy during my Vegas trip in 2 weeks!!
  • Lastly, and I didn’t even notice this at first – a ‘twistband‘ which is a soft elastic hair tie…’looks as good on your wrist as it does in your hand.’ UM LOVE THIS, excited to try

Love the variety this month. very good choice of brands! I might tuck a couple of these in my sample drawer…which may keep getting more and more full with Birchbox samples as time goes on! but whatever, more things to share with friends (and randomly dig through).

I will definitely put the hair mask, sunscreen wipes, and hair tie to use ASAP.

Yaa, for Birchbox…good feelings so far.