Amazon Alexa Hacks

If you follow me on Instagram, you are probably familiar with my deep and abiding love for Alexa. We got our first Echo in December of 2016. I purchased it as a Christmas present for Jason and we put it in our kitchen, which is the main gathering place for our family downstairs.

Amazon Echo – Sandstone Fabric – $84.99

To be honest, I’ve always felt we didn’t use Alexa to her full potential. I occasionally ask her the weather, and I use her to play my Pandora stations when I’m cleaning the kitchen, but I just have never really understood all she could do. We don’t have smart devices in our home, so using her to turn off lights/change the thermostat/etc was out.

This Christmas my mom gave Jason an Echo Dot, which we are now using upstairs in our bathroom. I love it – it’s awesome to have as we are getting ready. I will say that Echo Dot is for sure the better value money wise, but in my opinion, the sound quality is less.

Amazon Echo Dot – $39.99

As I’ve said, lately I’ve felt like I wasn’t using Alexa to her full potential, so I’ve put together some great hacks for you if you are like me and feel like you don’t completely understand everything she can do.


First of all, did you know you can connect your Pandora stations to Alexa? Simply say “Alexa, play my Hillsong United Pandora station” and she will comply. She will also play I Heart Radio and Spotify!

If you’re a Prime member, you can stream over 2 million songs for free. Try saying “Alexa, play Michael Jackson music” or “Alexa, play pop hits from the 90s”.

I did start to find that when I would ask for specific songs or albums, they would sometimes be unavailable. I recently subscribed to Amazon Music Unlimited. I haven’t found an album or song they didn’t have available yet. To enable a free 30-day trial, say “Alexa, I’d like to try Amazon Music Unlimited.” Warning: it will give you a 30-day free trial, and it will cost you $3.99 monthly thereafter… for the one device you enabled it on. For additional devices (if you have more than one Echo in your home), you have to upgrade to a more expensive plan. Those options start at $7.99.

Ask Alexa for your favorite music playlists: hip hop, pop music, oldies, country hits, etc. While she’s playing songs, you can also interrupt and ask her “Alexa, who sings this song?” or “Alexa, what’s the title of this song?”


One way I love to use Alexa is to ask her to add items to my shopping list. As I’m in my kitchen each day, I often find items that we are running low on or need to replace soon. I simply say “Alexa, add toilet paper to my shopping list.” Then when I’m making lists for the store or am menu planning, I can open up my Alexa app on my iPhone and add items to my grocery list. This has been a huge benefit for me because I’m notorious for forgetting those little items and having to make multiple trips to the store during the week.

Another thing I love is that you can re-order Amazon items. Let’s say you order your child’s diapers through Amazon – simply say “Alexa, reorder diapers” and she’ll place the order for you.


You know how sometimes you are doing one thing, and you get sidetracked by the realization that you have something else that really needs to be done? (Maybe that’s just me.) Tell Alexa to add tasks to your To Do List. You can then access the To Do List in the Alexa app on your phone, or simply ask Alexa to remind you of a task later.


Here are a few ways Alexa can help you be more productive:

  • Alexa, set a timer
  • Alexa, what time is it?
  • Alexa, what’s the weather like today?
  • Alexa, what’s the forecast for this weekend?
  • Alexa, set an alarm
  • Alexa, read me a book (if you have an Audible account)


Here’s where I’ll admit that I’m sometimes woefully ignorant of what is going on in the world. I no longer watch the news, and our television is seldom live. I check in with Alexa each morning for headlines by saying “Alexa, give me my flash briefing.” This will give you an overview of the major headlines of the day.

You can also ask for local traffic. “Alexa, what’s local traffic like” or “Alexa, how long will my commute be today?” are two helpful commands.


Ask Alexa for recipes. I will often ask for conversions – “Alexa, how many tablespoons are in a cup?” or substitutions “Alexa, what can I substitute for buttermilk in a recipe”.

Did you also know you can ask Alexa to help you figure out what to cook for dinner? Say “Alexa, I have ground beef, onions, and potatoes; what can I cook for dinner?”


My kids love Alexa, and we have fun figuring out things she can do.

  • Alexa, launch spelling bee
  • Alexa, tell me a knock knock joke
  • Alexa, open a bedtime story
  • Alexa, listen to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
  • Alexa, play lullabies
  • Alexa, let’s play Simon Says

Kids MD is an Alexa app created by the Boston Children’s Hospital, and as a parent, this is a nifty tool for medical questions. Ask “Alexa, what is the Tylenol dosage for a 2 year old” or “Alexa, what are the symptoms of the flu?”


  • Alexa, use the force!
  • Alexa, tell me a random fact.
  • Alexa, play 20 questions.
  • Alexa, play Animal Game.
  • Alexa, what does the fox say?

Obviously, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of all Alexa can do. What do you use Alexa for? Do you have any Alexa hacks to share?

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small percentage of any sale if you use my links to purchase. Thank you for your support of Tickled Peach!

Dupe Alert? Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner VS Kat Von D Tattoo Liquid Liner

I’ve got another Dupe Alert for you today! Today two liquid eyeliners are battling it out to see which is best: Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner VS Kat Von D Tattoo Liquid Liner. Let’s dive right in!

First up, let’s chat about the Kat Von D Tattoo Liquid Liner. The Tattoo eyeliner is well known in the beauty world for being one of the best, truly waterproof liquid liners on the market. Does it stand up to the claims?

Before I started using the Kat Von D liner, I was using Lorac Front of the Line Pro. I loved everything about Front of the Line Pro – it applies so easily, the tip is flexible but stiff, and it is so easy to make cat eye lines with this liner. But my main complaint was that the line faded throughout the day. It would start off black but fade to grey by the end of the day. Also, if my eyes watered, the line would gradually disappear at the corners of my eyes. I had always just dealt with the drawbacks, but one day I watched an Instastory of my friend Tricia (the makeup artist). She was raving about Kat Von D Tattoo Liquid Eyeliner, so I decided to pick one up about a year and a half ago. I’ve repurchased twice since then.

Before I review, let me first state that I have extremely oily eyelids. I use a primer each day before I apply my eyeshadow, but naturally my lids are just oily. I also have allergies and wear contacts, so my eyes water and I rub them a lot. In addition, I have hooded eyelids, so it’s pretty common for me to experience eyeliner transfer to my crease.

Buy It Here

I’ve been really happy with the Kat Von D Liquid Eyeliner. The felt tip is very stiff, which is both a good and bad thing. I prefer the tip of the Front of the Line Pro, because I think a little flexibility is good when creating a cat eye. But the positive about the stiff tip of the Tattoo liner is that you can create very crisp lines. It is truly 100% waterproof. It lasts all day. It doesn’t transfer to my crease or smudge once it is set. The other thing I truly love about this liner is that is a carbon black – and it stays that black all day long.

One negative is that it can tend to feather as you apply – meaning, as you trace the liner onto your lid, if you don’t hold the liner a very specific way, the line blurs slightly.


  • It really is waterproof.
  • The color doesn’t fade throughout the day.
  • The felt tip makes it easy to draw crisp lines.
  • The color does not smudge or transfer once it fully dries.


  • You can experience feathering as you draw your line.
  • The felt tip is very stiff – which in my opinion can sometimes make it difficult to apply.
  • At $20, it is more expensive than the Maybelline version.
  • It is only available at Sephora and online retailers.

Amazon / Ulta

Next up we have the Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner. I really, really, really want to love this product. I DO love this product. I just love it knowing it isn’t perfect.

First up, the price: it is $5.49 on Amazon and $8.49 at Ulta. It’s a fourth of the price of the Kat Von D liner! This makes it much more appealing to me.

Application: I actually really prefer the tip of the Maybelline liner over the Kat Von D liner. It is felt tip, but the tip is longer. The base is stiff, but the tip is more flexible, meaning it’s just easier to get in and create those angles and curves. It comes out very wet, but it dries quickly. I find myself having to create a “surprise” face when I’m using this liner so that it can dry without transferring of smudging. The best part: the black is truly black. It doesn’t fade throughout the day.

HOWEVER, [crying emoji] it transfers.

I feel like I’ve tried this every which way to Sunday. The first time I wore it, I did not wear eye primer. Hmm, I thought, maybe that’s why it transferred. The next time I wore it, I set the liner with a bit of black eyeshadow. Nope, still smudged. In the picture you see above, I’m wearing eye primer, and still experienced transfer to the crease.

With that said, it isn’t like the smudging or transfer is impossible to work with. I know I sound wishy washy, but if you just need an affordable, easy to use liquid eyeliner this is for you. You will likely have to clean up some smudges, so make sure you stash a q-tip in your purse. They are easy to clean up with your fingertip or some light blending. But be prepared – it will happen.


  • Affordable: using a coupon or store sale, you can likely score this for around $5.
  • It’s widely available online and in stores such as Walmart, Ulta, Target, and drugstores.
  • The color is very black, and it does not fade throughout the day.
  • I really enjoy the packaging! It’s nice and sleek. It doesn’t look cheap at all.
  • Has a stiff yet flexible tip that allows you to create crisp lines and angles


  • It smudges.
  • It isn’t waterproof. Crying or watery eyes will cause the line to run or disappear.
  • It transfers to your crease throughout the day.
  • This is a tiny thing: when you shake the Kat Von D eyeliner, it makes noise. The Maybelline does not. I find something about the clacking sound of the Tattoo liner to be so reassuring!

Final verdict: although there are many things I DO love about the Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner, I do not love that it requires tending throughout the day. With the Kat Von D, I can apply in the morning and know it will still look the same when I take it off 12 hours later. For that reason, I recommend purchasing the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner over the Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner.

Dupe Alert? NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer VS Maybelline Fit Me Concealer

One of the things I always hear when I ask for feedback is that people want to know about makeup dupes. If you aren’t sure what I mean when I say dupe, a dupe is a product that performs just as well as the original. Oftentimes people want to find more affordable dupes for expensive, high end makeup. Sometimes companies can pull it off, and sometimes it is a big old waste of money. I’m working on a series of drugstore product dupes – I put them to the test to find out if they are worth the money!

First up in this series is NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer VS Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. Is it a dupe? Read on to find out.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, $30 at Sephora

I first heard about NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer from my friend, Tricia. She is a professional makeup artist and this is a concealer she uses on herself. It is exactly what it says: creamy. It just applies extremely smoothly, with no tugging or pulling. It really does glide across your skin. It provides full coverage and it doesn’t crease or wear during the day with the proper setting powder. I’ve been very pleased with this concealer, and it is one I’ve used often in my own makeup routine.


  • Comes in 16 shades
  • Lives up to its name: applies easily and is light and creamy on the skin
  • Lasts all day when it is set properly


  • At $30, this is expensive for such a small amount of product.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, $5.48 at Amazon and $6.99 at Ulta

I’ve been hearing great reviews of this Maybelline concealer, and several YouTube beauty vloggers have stated that it is a dupe for the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I decided to put it to the test! I have to say, the application is very similar. Obviously the more expensive NARS product comes in a more beautiful, luxurious package. But this concealer is extremely pigmented, applies well, and lasted all day! My one concern about this product is that it burned the area under my eyes slightly as I applied it. The tingle did go away once I had blended it in, but upon application there was a brief burning sensation. I’m not sure if that is just me or if it has happened to other people.


  • At $6, this is extremely affordable.
  • It applies easily and blends well.
  • It lasted all day with proper setting.


  • I did experience a slight burning sensation upon application. This did go away quickly, and my skin wasn’t red or irritated. However, it is a little off putting, to say the least. I wouldn’t let it stop me from using it, because it didn’t harm my skin or continue, but just be aware this could happen if you have sensitive skin.
  • It only comes in 6 shades.

So… which would I recommend? Well, I plan to continue to use my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer until I’ve used all the product, but I would definitely use the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer instead of purchasing more of the high end product.

Is it a dupe? I hesitate to say it is an exact match, but it is VERY close.

If you’ve tried this, please let me know what you think!

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will receive a small percentage of the sale if you decide to purchase the products. Thank you for supporting Tickled Peach!

Maybelline Matte Lip Showdown

One of the things people have asked me to blog about is makeup, and in particular, affordable makeup. Everyone wants to look good, but we want to do it on a budget, right? I certainly do! I’m working on a series of posts on drugstore makeup: stand out products, dupes for higher end products, and product reviews. This post will focus on two matte lip products from Maybelline. Which is better? Do they last as long as they advertise? Would I purchase again? Read on to see!

Matte lips are the trend in lipstick right now. Matte refers to the finish of the lipstick. Instead of a gloss or a sheen, matte lipsticks deliver a flat, suede-like finish to the lips. The benefit to matte lipstick is that is typically extremely pigmented, and it lasts longer on the lips than its glossy counterpart. Right now the trend is matte liquid lips – a highly pigmented, matte finish delivered in a lip gloss type applicator and form.

If the plus side of matte lips are the pigmentation and lasting power, the con side is that they typically dry out your lips. Also, ladies who are older may struggle with matte lipstick as it tends to emphasize every line in your lips. In addition, as the lipstick wears, you can end up with an unattractive “ring” around your mouth.

I definitely think matte lips have a place and a time, but there are tricks to application. I highly recommend applying a balm to your lips (EOS lip balm is my favorite!) before you apply. This will moisturize your lips and will help to prevent that parched feeling that can occur from liquid lipstick. It’s important to exfoliate your lips before application because the matte formula will emphasize dry or flaky lips. I like to rub my lips with a towel or damp toothbrush, and then apply balm. Lastly, when you do start to experience drying or the “ring”, a light layer of balm can re-hydrate and smooth out any cracked areas.

Recently I tried out two matte lip products from Maybelline and I thought it would be fun to do a brand showdown! Get ready for… a Maybelline Matte Lip Showdown!

Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink/ Target / Amazon

Maybelline advertises that this product will give you flawless matte finish for up to 16 hours. This retails for $9.49.

I purchased the shade Believer, which is a dark plum leaning towards burgundy. The product has a doe foot applicator with a pointed tip, which makes it easy to line your lips precisely. I found it very difficult to apply the product. This definitely was not a swipe and be done application; it applied choppy and I had to blend it out with my finger so my lips wouldn’t look patchy. However, once I blended, the product looked smooth and saturated on my lips.

This product is very drying. Most liquid lipsticks are; it is just the nature of a matte lip. However, I thought this was an uncomfortable wear. Even with applying balm prior to application, my lips felt dry right away. Throughout the day, I felt almost uncomfortable with how dry my lips were.

Now to the wear… I don’t have many good things to say, unfortunately. It does provide a 16 hour wear… however, the wear is very uneven. My lips cracked and I experienced flaking in some spots and “the ring” in others. I swatched the product on my hand the night before… that swatch stayed on my hand for 3 days, through washing my hands numerous times, showers, cleaning, etc. So it certainly does last – it just doesn’t last comfortably.

Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink actually reminded me a lot of LipSense. Now before you get offended, LipSense lovers, what I mean by that is the wear reminded me of LipSense if you did not include the glossy gloss application. It absolutely does last, but without some sort of gloss it just doesn’t wear on your lips well.

Pros: incredibly long lasting and highly pigmented. It comes in 10 shades. I also really liked the applicator.

Cons: It doesn’t wear well, period. It’s uncomfortably dry and wears off the lips unattractively.

Would I purchase again? No.

Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick/ Target/ Amazon

Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick is a liquid matte lipstick with a velvety matte finish. It retails for $7.99.

I purchased the shade Electric Pink, which is a bright hot pink shade. The product has a long, skinny applicator with a rounded tip. I found that Maybelline’s description of this product as having a “velvety matte finish” was spot on. It applies very easily to your lips, very much like a creamy lipstick. I did not find it necessary to line my lips. It smoothed on perfectly with no need for me to do any blending other than rubbing my lips together.

You will experience some drying with this product; as I said, it is the nature of matte lipsticks. However, my lips didn’t feel uncomfortable throughout the day.

Now on to the wear. This is not a budge proof formula. You will get transfer on cups or straws, and it does wear throughout the day. However, I still had product on my lip after eating lunch and wiping my lips with a napkin. What I really loved was that as the product wore off, it didn’t do so unevenly. There was no flakiness, patchiness, or “the ring” rather it just faded throughout the day.

Pros: very pigmented, smooth application, feels good on your lips, comes in 9 shades

Cons: it is not long lasting. You will need to reapply if you wish to have the 16 hour wear of the Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink.

Would I purchase again? Yes! I really like this product and it has gone into my lip rotation.

Ladies – what do you think? Do you own either of these products? Do you plan to purchase now that you’ve read my feedback? Do you have any matte lipsticks or liquid lips that you think I should try?

Please let me know if you would like to read more posts like this!

Links above are affiliate links, which mean I make a small commission if you purchase the products I have mentioned. Thank you for supporting Tickled Peach!