Tuesday, December 16, 2014

XTAVA Straightner Review! Straighten UP and READ!

Hey, guys!!

Anyone who's been near me for the past ten years or so knows that I LOVE my straightener. However, that being said...for the past three years, I've stopped using it almost completely because of the damage I could FEEL taking root in my hair. The straightener that I used before was a cheap Wet-2-Dry from Wal-Mart...and my hair was in terrible condition after I used it. It felt dry, brittle, and the worst part was the STATIC! When I saw the opportunity to test a high quality, Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron, I jumped on it! I wondered if the quality and materials that the straightener is made of would make a difference and I found...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Retinol Surge Moisturizer Review - Body Merry!

Hello, hello, again! :)

Yesterday, I reviewed a great little product (Azure Naturals Rosehip Oil), and today I wanted to continue my skincare streak with a review for a moisturizer I picked up via Tomoson! This particular moisturizer is from Body Merry.

I disclosed in my Rosehip Oil review that I tend to have very oily skin. Like...BAD. BUT...it's only oily on my cheeks, chin, and forehead. Other places (such as the top of my chin, the sides of my nose, and around my eyes) tend to be very DRY. Sometimes, to the point of being chapped. So what do I do? If I moisturize enough to ease the pain of the dryness, I'm a greaseball! If I don't moisturize, I'm still oily but I also have dry, flaking patches!

I knew I needed to find a moisturizer that wouldn't make me oilier and that would provide just enough moisture for those problem spots.

Enter Body Merry's formula.

My concerns with a Retinol moisturize were basically that it would be pumped full of chemicals. In the past, I've avoided them, even though I've heard great reviews. All it took was a little research to find that the company boasts:

"The formula does not contain any harsh chemicals such as Parabens, Sulphates or Phthalates. The moisturizer is made in the USA in an FDA registered and GMP compliant facility. It is not tested on animals."

Good enough for me! And I love that our furry friends don't have to suffer!

The moisturizer, when coming out of the pump bottle, is very thick. That being said, make sure you use it conservatively. There's no reason this one container shouldn't last months! I barely used half of a pump for my face and neck and felt VERY well covered!

Satisfied with the research, I slathered on. And yes, just like the Rosehip oil...I over did it. When applied CORRECTLY, this stuff works great! I wasn't too oily, as I expected from such a thick moisturizer, and my problem spots instantly became smoother and didn't hurt! I felt that it somewhat kept my oil under control and it definitely eliminated the shine that I so hate! I did notice a cleaner looking complexion, but as for if it firms, plumps, etc, I feel like I need to give it a little more use to be able to tell for sure. So, be expecting an update on this post...but I'm expecting great things! Overall, I am happy with this product!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Azure Naturals Rosehip Oil - Professional Strength - For Skin and Hair!

Hey, guys! I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving! As for me, I took some time to just NOT THINK about ANYTHING! It's really nice to have QUIET after having to match-wits with middle school students daily! (Disclaimer: I love my job and the kids...but they are SMART! :) I'm proud...but it can be exhausting keeping up! Haha! So over the break I took time to really get to know some products. One of those was Azure Naturals Ultimate Rosehip Oil. Now, if you know me...you know I'm somewhat impressionable. If someone has tried something and liked it, I WANT TO TRY IT! I had heard about the benefits of Rosehip oil, but I wanted to experience first hand what it would do for me. So for a week...I used solely the Rosehip oil to see what it would do for my complexion.

Here are my observations: 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

KidzLane Dinosaur T-Rex Room Guard with Motion Sensor Review!

Recently, I was sent a very unique product to review: the KidzLane Dinosaur T-Rex Room Guard with Motion Sensor! As a dinosaur lover myself, I was excited, but the little boy...that's a different story!! I'm so excited about this dinosaur for him because it not only fulfills the need for a toy to play with..but it's educational and exposes children to the world of dinos!

This toy is a combination of things: motion sensor and room guard AND projector! The motion sensor is located on the front of the chest and can detect motion from 1.5m away! This makes it IDEAL for keeping big/little brother/sister OUT! My favorite feature, however, is the projector! The giant lens on the chest of the dinosaur, of course, is where the image is projected from. The slot on the back of the dinosaur allows for easy insertion of the image wheel. Additionally, the dinosaur comes with two more reels of images that are GENIUS-LY stored in the back of the dinosaur, near the motion detector on/off switch.

Which leads me to...

The layout of the dinosaur is very easy to work with, and the fact that you can turn one aspect on and leave the other off is fantastic! The switch for the motion detector is in the wheel-storage compartment. The button for the projector is under the dinosaur's tail. This makes it easy to know what you're turning on and off. When you turn the projector aspect on, the dinosaur roars. That, to me, is a good indicator of battery life.

Old Factory Candle Gift Set Review + Giveaway

Hey, guys!

Today I've got a review that EVERYONE can get into! For me, personally, I was excited to receive this product for two main reasons:

1. The selection! There were a LOT of themes and it was SO hard to choose. I would make up my mind to get the Vacation themed set, but then would wonder what the Coffee Shop set would smell like. Then, there's the fact that the holidays are coming up and there were TWO holiday themed sets! In the end, I selected the Winter Wonderland set which featured Hot Cocoa, Roasted Chestnut, and First Snow. Between all of the sets, there are 36 scents! The themes range from holiday to baby to 50 Shades (if you don't know....Google it) to "Man Cave". There's literally something for everyone and it makes it REALLY hard to choose!

2. I have cats. I don't mean two. Or three. Or four. I have ELEVEN. And needless to say, sometimes, the house doesn't smell the best. So while I set to cleaning, I can light one of these candles. I can't stress how strong these candles are without being overbearing! They don't bother me, and I'm pretty sensitive to perfumes and scents. They are definitely there...and they definitely work! These are GREAT for pet odors! The scent isn't chemically or over processed. I'm not sure how to describe it except to say that it smells very natural. The Hot Cocoa is AMAZING! It smells NOT like fake chocolate, but like a Hot Cocoa straight out of the mug! I was blown away by how realistic it was! I'm sure that someone would fall for it should you blindfold them and put them to the test!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Yumi Beautiful Signature Antioxidant Skin Care Serum Review!

To begin: first impressions. When I opened my package (which was shipped super quickly, by the way!), I noticed a VERY professional looking box. There are no home-printed inkjet labels here. The design of the box was beautiful. The box is simple, but very bold in it's simplicity. The letters are spaced nicely and the consumer can tell that someone with graphic design experience put the box design together. The ingredients and instructions are very easy to understand and read. One of my main concerns on the first serum I tested was that the label was unclear and written in broken English. Immediate relief!

As I've mentioned before, freebie hunting and free sample websites were my gateway into product reviewing. I spent HOURS looking for free, small, samples and coupons. Then, I stumbled upon a product review group and said "see ya" to free samples. After all...who would waste time with that when you can review FULL SIZED products? Through a Facebook group, I received a face serum. The serum did the WONDERFUL job of clearing up my skin...but it had a lot of drawbacks that I happily ignored with the results it brought.

When asked to review another Vitamin C serum, I had to consider a few things: what made this product different than the last serum I had reviewed? Did it seem better? Worse? Was it something that I could tell my friends about and stand behind? How were the ingredients different? What about the company that backed it? Packaging?

Clearly I had a lot of research ahead of me.

I won't bore you with all of the specifics on one serum vs. the other. But I WILL tell you what I liked about the Yumi Beautiful Antioxidant Serum.

Ingredients: The #1 listed ingredient is Aloe. Typically, the first listed ingredient is the main component of the product. I'm glad that it's something natural and not something I can't pronounce!

Upon opening the box, the bottle is beautiful! :) It looks just as fantastic as the box does! The print and label are very clear and professional looking. The directions are printed on the bottle as well as the box, so you don't have to keep the box around to reference it!

The serum comes in a pump-type dispenser. This is so much more handy than a pipet because you can control how much comes out! The lid is clear with a silver edge on the bottom. It's a nice touch, design-wise, in my opinion (can you tell I'm an art teacher?).

Now: the dreaded part: actually trying the product. The last serum I tested smelled DISGUSTING! Think rotten oranges. I expect a Vitamin C serum to smell like citrus, but this one was terrible. The first thing I did after pumping the product out was to smell it. NO SCENT! This is especially helpful to those of you sensitive to perfumes! Hooray!

The consistency is a lot more watery than the thick, syrupy serum I used before. However, I realized that this is FANTASTIC when it comes to absorption. It glides on easily, and absorbs SUPER quickly. I had to wait about an hour for the other serum to absorb. This one takes a matter of a minute or two. With the other serum, my face felt extremely sticky. With the Yumi Beautiful serum, I cannot believe how soft my skin is after I use it! And the benefits go beyond that! My makeup goes on SO much more smoothly now! It's as good as a primer! AND you're treating your skin to Vitamins, Antioxidants, and other good things!

A final observation is that this product doesn't sting when I put it on. I feel no discomfort whatsoever, and I can see the benefits. It has been less than a week, but my discoloration and irritation has subsided and my blemishes are healing. My problem dry skin is correcting itself, and I'm an extremely happy "customer"!

Thank you, Yumi Beautiful!

What do you think? If offered the opportunity to win this product, would you participate?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

EcoTools Deep Cleansing Pure Complexion Facial Sponge: First Impressions Aren't Everything!

Thanks to PinchMe, I received my BEST YET freebie box! At first I was pretty bummed that I had only received one item: the EcoTools Deep Cleansing Pure Complexion Facial Sponge. When it arrived, I ripped it open and was pretty disappointed to feel that it was HARD as a rock.

"There's NO way I'm using this thing on my face", I thought. 

But then...I saw that it supposedly got softer when wet. What the heck? It was worth a shot.

I initially used this sponge in the shower, and had NO hopes for it. However, once I got the sponge wet, it almost melted in my hands. It's really squishy and almost slimy feeling. But in an AWESOME way!! 

Here comes the part where I fangirl.

What makes this product SO amazing is:

1. It's soft. It doesn't scratch your face up like you'd expect. It literally looks like a lava rock when you open it.
2. The shape. The shape of this sponge is genius! It's rounded for an easy grip, has a pointed "top" to get in spaces beside your nose, under your jaw, etc. The flat bottom side is broad and allows for quick, thorough coverage.
3. LATHER! I KNOW that my bottle of face wash will last FOREVER with this sponge. Just a TINY amount of face wash goes a REALLY long way with this sponge. Imagine my surprise the first time I used it and used a FULL PUMP of facewash. Now, I barely press down on the pump and it's PLENTY. You're going to be saving money on face wash because you're wasting less!
4. I LOVE how my face feels after I use this sponge. Compared to just using my hands to wash my face...my face feels MUCH cleaner and ZERO percent oily! I almost cringe to think about using just my hands again! The level of clean that this sponge provides is phenomenal. For me, this is a NEED IT product that's right up there with toilet paper.


You can purchase this sponge for yourself here. With a price like that, you can't beat it! ESPECIALLY once you feel how CLEAN your face is gonna be!! 


Smiley360 + Dial Acne Control Face Wash SAVED MY FACE! :)

Hi, guys!

This summer I had a TERRIBLE time with my skin...and it's still recovering. I've spent too much money on products and treatments to clear my skin up, only to have it not work. Needless to say I had two emotions when I was selected to review this product: 1. Skeptical. I've tried literally ten or more products in three months to clear my skin. One of them ALMOST worked (as in it worked for two weeks or so...). 2. EXCITED! There was a slim chance this product might work. And if it didn't....it was FREE! It was a win-win! I patiently waited for this product to arrive, and soon, it did! I was shocked to see a full sized bottle of the wash, but hey...I'm not gonna complain! The bottle came with three sample packets of wash and coupons to share with friends.

As I mentioned, my skin was in horrible condition. I began drinking ONLY water back in the summer and I never ease into anything...I'm all in all at once obsessively. When you do that with water...they say your complexion improves and you glow. But what they don't tell you is that you have to get all of the TOXINS out that are making your skin dull and acne-ridden. And how does that happen? Yup. MORE acne. It truly gets worse before it gets better. After I'd given it a few weeks to flush, I still had a bit of problem skin. This is me...do I look happy? No. No I'm not. At all. My face hurts and I'm insecure. I'm pointing out that I'm not wearing makeup here. The reasoning is that I figured my skin needed time to heal. It might have worked. I'm really not sure. Anyway...

I got the face wash and IMMEDIATELY used it. When I say immediately, I mean I threw down the box, ran to the bathroom, popped the plastic wrap off of that sucker and rubbed it on my face like it was water from the fountain of youth. I NEEDED this, guys.  It might have been a mental thing, but my skin immediately felt better. And within two days I noticed that my tone was more even, the blemishes were disappearing, and I just LOOKED healthier. I'm really hoping that this doesn't become something that my skin "gets used to", because I really like it. I'm going to finish out this bottle and let you guys know how it goes. So far, amazing! And THANK YOU SMILEY360 for giving me the opportunity to try this product FREE OF CHARGE! It will (hopefully) become a permanent part of my routine!
I still have a few problem spots, but they're clearing up. I definitely would have KILLED for the skin I have NOW back in the summer. I know it's a healing process but I'm really excited at how fast it's working for me. I've tried high-dollar stuff like Proactive and had it fail. This is so easy to get! I can find it on the shelves of my local drugstore/mass retailer!

GnomeWorkshop Battery Bar is POWERFUL!

Prior to getting this power bank, I had been using a slim, tiny bar of a thing. Honestly, my hopes weren't too high because the power bar that I was used to never got fully charged and also only lasted for about an hour. However, this one looked to be of a better brand. When I got it, it was already half charged! That's a plus! On HALF of a charge, this thing lasted me hours!! It DOES take a long time to recharge, but you get SO much time out of it by comparison. I have had it for a week or so, using and testing it. It can fully charge my phone battery within an hour. The LED flashlight on it is incredible. It actually works well! I am VERY impressed by this product and I couldn't even tell you where my old power bank is because it doesn't even compare to this one!! I am VERY happy with this product, and I carry it EVERYWHERE. It would be GREAT in an emergency situation!

Product Link: http://www.amazon.com/10000mAh-Flashlight-Compatible-controllers-Technology/dp/B00N9MF0RY/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

UPDATE: This bar takes about 8 hours to charge FULLY from completely (won't turn on) dead. HOWEVER, I can completely charge my phone and use it at the same time (videos, Facebook, Ebay, etc) and only take it down ONE light (look at the photo...the lights tell you how much "juice" it has left). 

Influenster Dean's List #VoxBox!

Sometimes, I hate being a student. I NEVER feel lucky as I slave over homework that I've put off until the last moment. When my neck cramps from bending over textbooks and writing countless outlines, I feel the COMPLETE opposite. Luckily, a site called Influenster was there to bring a little bit of sunshine to my day!

Influenster examines you're profile for little details about you. When a campaign comes up that matches one of your details (such as being a student, parent, female, etc.), you are offered a VoxBox! This was my very first one and the ANTICIPATION of waiting nearly KILLED ME! I creeped Instagram HARD to see that other people had already gotten theirs. I was so afraid mine had gotten lost! But then...


And BOY was I excited!! I mean who wouldn't be?? It's FREE, full sized product! And all you have to do is put the time into reviewing your products! You ARE required to share some of your reviews on social media, so if you're opposed to that, this may not be the program for you. Breaking down the name of the company, after all, means that you INFLUENCE others.

And after all of the amazing things that this wonderful company sent me, I'm PROUD to be an Influenster! My box was STUFFED full of things! I received:

Softlips Cube 3-in-1 Lip Care in Pomegranate Blueberry
Ready, Set, Gorgeous liquid foundation by Covergirl
Kiss Looks So Natural feather lashes
Playtex Sport Tampons
Frixion Clicker Erasable Pens (OMG THEY ARE AWESOME!)
Airhead Bites in "Fruit"
And Sinful Colors professional nail color in "No Text Red"

It was such a wonderful variety of things that I will ACTUALLY use! Some of the products (like the lashes, foundation, and lip balm) I never would have considered because I get pretty stuck in my ways when I have products I love. However, since trying these, I have SWITCHED to the liquid foundation for good AND I'm open to the idea of wearing false lashes!

There you have it, guys. It doesn't cost anything, and you have boxes of free products to gain! Why wouldn't you?? If you would like a referral email, comment here, and I'll hook you up! :)

Chapstick + Smiley360 = Healthier Lips for Me!

One of my VERY FAVORITE ways to get free products to test and review is called Smiley360. Basically, you take surveys to see which samples you are best suited for, you are sent the product, and you review it and complete activities within a given time frame. The product that I am SO EXCITED to tell you guys about today is the ChapStick Hydration Lock Moisturize and Renew. The reason I'm so excited about this one is because I am a LIP STUFF JUNKIE! I can't get enough. The biggest reason is that I am VERY prone to dry lips. When this happens, a sneeze can send my lips to bleeding (from tearing). Not only that,but I can't SMILE! I LOVE smiling! I typically use a specific line of balms called EOS. I love the products and was pretty set on being exclusive with them. Then, Chapstik Hydration Lock Moisturize and Renew came along and it was love at first application! Here is a basic comparison between the Chapstik and EOS:

1. The Chapstik lasts much longer. I don't have to reapply after I eat or drink. Somehow, magically, it's still there. It doesn't come off from talking and going about your regular activities (talking, yawning because it's too early to be at work, drinking, etc.). This means less fishing through my purse to find it to reapply.

2. It's SMOOTH but not GREASY. I can tell that my skin is smoothed instantly. It feels thicker than the EOS, which might be why it stays on longer. I'm not saying that EOS is greasy at all...it's not. But to me, regular Chapstick feels that way. It makes my lips perfectly smooth and smiling/sneezing/yawning doesn't hurt one bit! I'm not afraid of tearing my lip. Seriously, guys! My lips without balm feels like individual snake scales. My lip feels like one smooth mass when I use this stuff!

3. Selection: I can choose one of two options in each tube! One end is moisturize and one is renew! I can pick whichever one I'm feeling. I'm boring, though, and I alternate. Booo.

There you go, guys! Three reasons why I LOVE the new Hydration Lock Chapstick. I could go on and on about how the price is reasonable and the ingredients are natural, but I'll stop here for now! Go check it out and tell me what you think!