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How do you use Skype? Tell us for your chance to win a $100 gift card

Skype, Lara Eurdolian

Hi my loves! As many of you know I’m Skype’s Global Beauty Brand Ambassador and today my fellow ambassadors and I are kicking off the #SkypeSavvyChallenge! Here’s the deal, tell us how you use Skype creatively for your chance to win a $100 gift card to Sephora or Starbucks (your choice). Whether it’s using the message system to check your makeup, skpying with your friends for outfit advice or bringing them into a store with you through your phone to help them pick your wardrobe, we want to hear your secret!

Sun, Sand, Sandals: How to Stay Cool at the Beach

beach essentials

While you should never literally soak up the sun (at least not without a wide-brimmed hat and a minimum of SPF30), I can certainly understand wanting to spend every free minute at the beach. Personally, you can’t keep me away. Between the Hamptons, Rockaways and my upcoming trip to Costa Rica, I live for the weekends and my time by the water. When packing for the beach we start with the obvious: swimsuit, cover-up and wide-brim hat, flip-flops, towel(s) and/or something to lie on, beach bag, broad-spectrum sunscreen (with UVA/UVB protection), and of course sunnies.

Then comes the reading materials and music list, or beach games if you’re feeling especially sporty. If the humidity is getting to you here are some tips to help keep you looking fresh and refreshed throughout the day:

Sponsored Post: Need a boost, try Starbucks Refreshers

As many of you know (especially my twitter/instagram followers), I went straight from a trip driving up the coast of California, to going to Burning Man, to doing a mini half-cross-country trip to Colorado, only to fly into NY for Fashion Week and then depart for a press trip to Poland (and I just landed back in NYC this evening). Needless to say, life’s been exciting by my energy levels have been put to the test.

Enter Starbucks Refeshers. This year Starbucks launched Starbucks Refreshers™ which comes in three forms, VIA (the instant coffee packets — just add water), an in-store beverage which is available in Very Berry Hibiscus (my preferred flavor) and Cool lime, and their sparkling energy beverages which comes in Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Lemonade and Orange Melon flavors. I have actually tried them all… Starbucks Refreshers are naturally caffeinated from green coffee extract, and combines real fruit juice, B Vitamins, Vitamin C and Ginseng it makes for the perfect afternoon-pick-me-up.

I’m not usually one for bottled energy drinks, mainly because most of the cans on the market are filled with chemicals and are high in calories, but neither were the case with Starbucks Refreshers sparkling energy beverage. The ingredient list isn’t scary and it only has 60 calories per can.

It’s shocking to me that a beverage that tastes like a fruit spritzer is actually coffee. Or better yet, green coffee, which contains less caffeine then regular coffee so I don’t feel guilty about drinking them in the afternoon and/or early evening to recharge with the fear that they will keep me up all night. Plus it seems to chemically agree with my system better (I think my body is just immune to all of the dark roast coffee I drink) and is super convenient to stock up on in the fridge.

Picture from tonight: Straight from the airport I picked up some Refreshers!

It’s also hands down been my savior when it comes to jetlag. I boarded my flight to Poland drinking Starbucks Refreshers and it’s the first thing I bought when I landed at JFK this afternoon to keep me up until a reasonable sleeping hour (and be able to write this post). They have managed to keep me alert without feeling jittery or overly hyper. It takes about 20minutes for it to kick in and within that timeframe they completely dissolves that feeling of needing a power nap to go on.

All of the Refreshers are sweeter then I’d like but still enjoyable. My favorite flavors rank in this order: Orange Melon (it’s the most refreshing and natural tasting), Raspberry Pomegranate (which I’m also a fan of), then Strawberry Lemonade (which is the sweetest of them all).

About Starbucks Refreshers™ Ready To Drink: Each beverage is a sparkling, delicious boost of natural energy from Green Coffee Extract you can enjoy anytime. With real fruit juice, B vitamins, ginseng, antioxidants from vitamin C and only 60 calories per can, it’s a pick-me-up you can feel good about.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, produced in collaboration with Bliss and Starbucks.  I received a Starbucks Refreshers sample to review. The opinions shared in this post are my own. I have also since purchased Starbucks Refreshers.

Starbucks Launches Refreshers! Try it for free July 13th from 12-3pm (+ Tweet to win a $25 giftcard)

This giveaway has now ended

Last night I went to a summer soiree hosted by Starbucks in celebration of the national launch of their NEW Refreshers beverage. This product is B-A-N-A-N-A-S! (Figuratively not literally.)  It actually come in two flavors, Very Berry Hibiscus (my preferred flavor) and Cool lime and despite tasting closer to refreshing flavored lemonade type beverage, it’s actually coffee. Naturally caffeinated from green coffee extract (which offers about 1/4th of the amount of caffeine as regular coffee), Starbucks Refreshers combines real fruit juice to make this the perfect afternoon-pick-me-up. They have 100 calories and contains 50% of your daily value of Vitamin C. Prices start at $2.90 for a Tall size (12 fl oz.).

TRY IT FOR FREE! Starbucks is hosting an in-store promotion on Friday, July 13, where customers can stop by any Starbucks location and enjoy a complimentary tall Refreshers beverage from 12-3 p.m.

GET SOCIAL! Starbucks want’s to hear from you. If you’re on twitter, tweet them @Starbucks using the hashtag #StarbucksRefreshers and let them know what you think! Additionally,  Starbucks launched VIA Refreshers! At less than 40 calories (and still packed with Vitamin C), VIA bringing the instant coffee experience of Starbucks Refreshers to your home. Perfect for on the go, Starbucks VIA Refreshers come in the same flavors, Very Berry Hibiscus and Cool Lime and are available in a five-pack for $5.95.

WIN IT! We’re giving away a $25 gift card to Starbucks + Starbucks VIA Refreshers in both flavors + 3-pack of the Ready-to-drink Starbucks Refreshers cans (that launched in stores earlier this year). To enter, tweet us @PrettyConnected using the hashtag #StarbucksRefreshers on why you’d like the win OR tweet: Want to win @Starbucks $25 Gift Card + NEW #StarbucksRefreshers? RT & follow @PrettyConnected for ur chance to win! http://bit.ly/PR0k1Q

Celebrate Starbucks 40th Anniversary with VIA Tribute Blend

To commemorate it’s 40th anniversary today, Starbucks is launching a new limited edition VIA Ready Brew flavor, Starbucks Tribute Blend. The latest edition to the VIA family is a combination of four different beans – aged Sumatra, sun-dried Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, and Colombia.

If you haven’t gotten in on the VIA Ready Brew instant coffee craze yet (and you enjoy Starbucks coffee), I suggest you try them. Some of you may remember my post on being converted from a skeptic to an instant coffee fan (thanks to VIA). They are freakishly similar to their brewed coffee –but all you need to do to a VIA is pour the packet into a cup of hot water. It’s incredibly convenient for anyone on the go or who travels a lot. Plus it comes in a variety of existing Starbucks flavors so you’re not pigeonholed in your options.

Additionally to mark the big day, Starbucks is launching Tribute Blend Whole Bean Coffee, Canister, and Coffee Press.