Tuesday, July 31, 2012

REVIEW: BIC Soleil Savvy

I received this razor from BzzAgent as part of their BIC Soleil Savvy razor BzzCampaign. I admit I was excited to be part of this campaign because I love trying out new razors especially if I can try them out for free. I have sensitive skin when it comes to shaving there are some razors I just straight don’t use anymore because they irritate my skin so much. I had high hopes for this particular brand of razors because I absolutely LOVE the BIC Soleil Bella’s – I’ve had a lot of good luck with that particular razor – both in the shave and in the longevity of the razor blades themselves.

Now fast forward to the BIC Soleil Savvy that I received. BIC actually stepped up their game with this design making the razor heads interchangeable. Meaning once the blade goes dull, you can simply click the holder, release the blade, throw it away and add on the new replacement blade. I do think this is a cool feature because it’s less waste (i.e., you are not throwing away the entire razor when the blade is dulled). BUT I do not like that this does not really mold to your skin as you shave. It just kind of stays put and you have to really manipulate your hand to get a close and decent shave.

Oddities aside I can say hands down I do not like this razor. As I mentioned I have sensitive skin and I can say SUPER sensitive skin under my arms. I used this to quickly shave my legs and it was fine – I can really use almost any razor on my legs and have an okay result (razor burn aside), but with my under arms? I really need to find a razor that works and stick with it. I tried this under my arms and it just flat out HURT. It was pulling the hair, didn’t give me a clean close shave, and it left me rather patchy with stubble. I’m not saying everyone would have these results – but my under arms hurt afterwards to the point I had to wait almost two days before I could finish up my under arms because applying deodorant even stung. Yeah – sensitive for sure.

<img src="http://img.bzzagent.com/image/bicSoleil.jpg?Type=activity&Activity=0255129975&Campaign=5138617452&Uid=1278590&token=fdaf12293dd2b6e5bb492c6bfecb2dd8" alt=""/>

I received my Influenster Summer Beauty VoxBox!

Well, I received it two weeks ago and am just now getting around to posting about it. I received an e-mail from Influenster alerting me that I was picked to receive the Summer Voxbox and I was thrilled. The last one I received was back in the winter-time and I had not been invited to another campaign since until this one. I was looking forward to seeing what was in the box especially after getting my e-mail which just gave a generic hint as to what the products in the box would consist of. I will say the feminine hygiene one raised a brow because that’s a whole new topic! The goodies I received in my box are as follows:

- Hawaiian Tropicc Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30 $8.99 for a 6 oz bottle
- Tampax and Always Radian Collection Prices vary per location
- Quaker Soft Baked Bar in Banana Nut Bread $3.29 per package
- Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color $9.99 value
- Sally Hansen Nails and Cuticles Hand Crème $5.99 for a full-size bottle
- Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy (Shampoo & Conditioner) $4.99-5.99 for a 12.7 & 12.9 oz bottle

Quaker – Banana Nut Bread Soft Baked Bars

I received this Quaker Banana Nut Bread soft baked bar in my Influenster Voxbox as a complimentary gift for reviewing purposes and I must say this is amazingly delicious!  I LOVE banana bread, especially with walnuts and this is a healthier alternative to it.  It doesn’t have the consistency of banana bread, but it gives you the illusion of having a yummy homemade banana bread with far less calories and guilt.  I will say I did warm mine up in the microwave per package instructions for 10 seconds and it was fabulous.  As soon as I opened the microwave door (at work mind you) all you could smell was banana.  Ahhhh, I’m a SUCKER for fragrant banana smells in food.  The almonds are on the top of the bar so they are nice and crunchy.  It’s rather filling and satisfying for a snack, it’s not overly sweet – which I appreciated, and it’s just a yummy snack.  I’m definitely going to be picking up a box or two of these next time I am at the market picking up some items to stock away in the cabinet.

Now in case you are wondering, here are the stats:

Made with real bananas and almonds, Quaker Soft Baked Bars Banana Nut Bread flavor has tasty ingredients and key nutrients to help provide fuel to start your day.

-5g Fiber*
-20% daily value of 5 B Vitamins
-6g of Protein
*Contains 3.5g of total fat per serving

Monday, July 30, 2012

SUPER late The Body Shop Birthday Haul!

And by super late, I mean it. This is like … from the end of May. There’s been so much going on that posting some things that are on my camera, or even on my phone has just been a chore. But anyway! Better late than never, right? This here is my haul from The Body Shop.
I knew I was getting a Clarasonic Mia from the LUUUX shop so I wanted to have some face was products to use with it. I also wanted some acne based products to use and figured I’d try some out since the shop was having a buy 2 get 1 free sale. Plus they were doing double points on purchases so I separated my transaction into 2 separate purchases to take advantage of my birthday gift and points, etc. Then the great thing was they had a combo bag with the shower cream and the oil for $15 which was a great steal!
Here’s what I picked up:

- Seaweed Clarifying Toner
- Seaweed Deep Cleansing Facial Wash
- Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion. (I really don’t know why I bought this, I have prescription acne products for this specific purpose – but I’m impulsive! Plus the girl that works there really talked this up so, I had to grab it…)
- Shea Shower Cream
- Shea Beautifying Oil

Sunday, July 22, 2012

REVIEW: Frizz-Ease Sheer Solution

I received a bottle of John Frieda Frizz-Ease Sheer Solution from BzzAgent as part of their BzzCampaign for reviewing purposes. I admit I was pretty psyched for this campaign because I have seen Frizz-Ease sold in stores FOREVER but had never given it a try.  Truth be told, I don’t like to spend a decent amount of money on hair products, particularly when my hair is quite a pain and doesn’t like a whole lot of product.

I admit I used to believe this product was to be used in only people who had curly hair.  My godmother’s daughter always used this and she had super curly hair so I felt the two just went hand-in-hand.  Plus when I did notice it on the shelf it was at least $10+ for a bottle and because I don’t really like throwing my money away on a product that may just not work for me, I never felt compelled to purchase.  Although now after using this product, I wonder what I waited so long for because this stuff is amazing!

I took the bottle with me on vacation a few weeks back – to the beach out of all places.  My hair tends to be rather straight and as the day progresses it can start to look a bit oily.  I do typically have flyaway’s as I don’t use product in my hair outside of an occasional pump of volumizing mousse or split end treatment.  Although in beach weather my hair takes on a new life of its own.  It’s just all around crazy, especially after sitting on the beach for a while – between the salty air, the moisture in the air, the heat, etc., my hair goes from normal to crazy.  As you can see from one of the photographs my hair was completely off the charts crazy with volume – volume I don’t typically have.  It was frizzy and just screamed helmet hair.  After washing my hair, towel drying and then applying 10 drops of frizz-ease solution into my hand (after shaking) I rubbed my hands together and smoothed into my hair.  The results were fabulous!  I was able to go out the rest of the night while on the beach and walking around and my hair was perfect.  Not a fly away in sight, no unruly frizz, no ridiculous beach weather infused volume.

This is very lightweight on my hair, which is a great thing.  If it wasn’t my hair would look weighed down, stringy and oily.  It did not cause any buildup on my hair which I loved because even certain brands of shampoo (not Pantene) leave this thick coating on my hair which can be visible by the naked eye especially when it stays on my scalp.  I will be purchasing once I use up the contents of my bottle – so thanks BzzAgent for turning me onto a fabulous hidden jewel.

Under the Bed Shoe Storage

I picked up this under the bed shoe organizer at TJ Maxx eons ago.  I put it in my closet and while moving things around spotted it and decided to put it to good use since my shoes (particularly the shoes for summer) had spiraled out of control.  A year or two ago I purchased a stand-up shoe organizer that turned out to be a piece of crap once I put more than 6 pairs of shoes on it.  The thing literally toppled over and the hinge parts snapped off.  I threw away the bottom part and kept the top 2 layers which were sturdy and have that in my closet -- but since my shoe collection is larger than just the 8 pairs of shoes on it I needed something else.  The bottom of the closet was riddled with shoes and my boyfriend would grumble every time he had to go in there.  Sooo... I felt this would be the perfect solution -- and it is!

It's a pretty sturdy nylon type bottom with a plasticy top that zippers together.  There are 12 compartments for shoes and it easily slips under the bed with ease.  I currently have a few more slots available for shoes but I need to find a few that have a missing half (weird how that happens to me).  I only paid $7.99 for this on clearance and it's been a space saver for sure.  It's also sleek, so if anything spilled on it, clean-up would be easy and it's very lightweight even with the shoes in it.  It also has 2 carry handles at the side in case you need to pick the bag up and move it elsewhere.  Overall I'm really pleased with my purchase.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Summer BBQ Cravebox

During the month of July, Cravebox put together what they coined “The Summer BBQ Cravebox” for their subscribers.  Firstly, if you are not familiar with Cravebox – it is a monthly subscription ($10/mo) for subscribers to receive a box of goodies which are generally geared toward health/beauty and food related items.  Yes, it’s similar to Birchbox, etc., but this one is linked in with food and health items.  So more of a lifestyle box.

Originally this was going to be a special edition Cravebox, which mean you would have to sign up fro it in advance and they would mail it to the select number of cravers who signed up before they were gone.  According to the Cravebox President, because this box was so great they made it their July box so all would enjoy it.  Considering it’s July, BBQ’s are typically going in full-force they wanted to share the wealth with all.  I will say this box is geared more towards BBQ seasoning and less towards food/health & beauty.  There was not a single beauty item in this box this month – but nonetheless for the $10 spent, I definitely got my moneys worth – particularly with the flame disk, the True Lemon box and the coupon for the free lighter.

This time around my monthly Cravebox consisted of:

-          BIC Flame Disk
-          Coupon for a FREE Bic Multi-Purpose Lighter
-          Mighty Leaf Sunburst Green Iced Tea w/ coupon
-          True Lemon Original Lemonade to-go packets
-          Mozaik appetizer trays w/ forks

The one food item that I had been really wanting to try for a long time has been the True Lemon.  I’ve seen it advertised years back, but since at that point in time it was only sold on their website I never purchased.  It’s now sold at my local grocery store – but I’m looking forward to trying.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

SWATCH: Shrimp on the Barbie – Spoiled (Wet n Wild)

Shrimp on the Barbie is featured in the Spoiled line by Wet n Wild which is sold exclusively at CVS. These nail polishes retail for $1.99/ea but you can get them for as low as $0.99 during a sale – even free if you have some ECB’s to throw at them. I had become quite obsessed with the shades and purchased a whole bunch – this particular shade being one of the ones I bought on a final around thru CVS after purchasing a whole lot of them. I found it was increasingly difficult to find a CVS that had a full display showcasing all the colors in this collection. The brushes on these are wider and remind me of the Sally Hansen Insta Dry brushes and the formula is pretty stellar for a $2 polish. I quite enjoy them.

Shrimp on the Barbie is a gorgeous red based coral-y shade that has a whole bunch of golden flecks in it. It takes only two coats to become completely opaque and I find it applies effortlessly. The color itself is reminiscent of a shrimps shell after it has been cooked thru. The flecks in it are a nice touch and they reflect beautifully in sunlight.

I do say this would be a perfect manicure AND pedicure shade, perfect for summer and even days where you’re lounging on the beach catching some rays.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

REVIEW: Aussie – Aussome Volume Shampoo & Conditioner

I purchased this Aussie brand Aussome Volume shampoo and conditioner at Target a while back. I’d say about two months ago? Since I purchased, I have been using this shampoo and conditioner since then. I originally purchased because of two reasons 1) the smell (it smells rather fruity) and 2) its promise to volumize. I have generally straight hair that has a very tiny bit of body to it., but on the other side of the coin my hair is also oily Unfortunately with my hair there are a number of things that work against me and any product that is too “heavy” is VERY noticeable in my hair. And by noticeable, I mean, it creates a build up on my hair and scalp and regardless of how much I scrub the heck out of it in the shower, it does not come off. I have to usually use a clarifying type of shampoo to strip my hair of whatever is on it. Plus if products are too heavy, my hair looks very weighed down and extra oily, looking rather … stringy for the lack of a better word.

I can say I absolutely LOVE both the Aussome Volume Shampoo & Conditioner. Not only do they both smell amazingly, they most definitely volumize and they do not weight my hair down in any way. The shampoo is rather lightweight in the fact that it doesn’t leave any sort of residue on my hair, it doesn’t make my scalp itch, nothing. It cleans very well and even if I use the shampoo alone it volumizes wonderfully. The conditioner reduces any tangles I have in my hair and leaves it silky smooth (I rinse all conditioner out of my hair BTW) and after combing my hair has a bit of oomph to it. As it air dries you can see the volume in it come to life. And I don’t mean crazy volume; it’s a nice noticeable plump.
The Aussie brand is relatively affordable. They tend to go on sale 2 for $5 at stores like Walmart and Target, but if not on sale the bottles are generally $3. I can say Target, Walmart and Big Lots all sell the large pump bottle of Aussome Volume shampoo for around $6. Big Lots has it for sale for $5, which is where I bought my last bottle and it now resides in my shower on a shelf.

Overall, I would give this product 5 out of 5 stars. Yes, I REALLY love both the shampoo and conditioner. I don’t see myself switching shampoos for a while now because this one just works fabulously for me.

SWATCH: Julep’s “Lily” - plus GIVEAWAY!!

 This is the final polish I received in my “It Girl” VIP Blogger box courtesy of Julep Maven. This particular polish is in the shade “Lily”. According to Julep this is described as a “sizzling fuchsia crème.” The fuchsia is true to shade, but I will admit I was a little surprised by the formula on this polish. The other 2 nail polishes I reviewed and provided swatches for were very much like a crème nail polish. Although, this one has the consistency and appearance of a matte nail polish. Not a true matte, but a matte polish.
 It took 2 coats for the polish to become opaque, but it dries really quickly on the nail and looks rather … well, matte. In order to make it look shiny, you would need a top coat to bring some sheen to it. In the photographs it’s the polish straight up on the nail with no top coat. I was actually quite surprised with how quickly this dried. It dried in a quarter of the time in comparison to the other two Julep shades I received in my It Girl box. It is a pretty shade and the formula is not hard to work – this one does not get goopy, it’s the easiest out of the 3 colors to maneuver on the nail.

If you want to enter my giveaway being sponsored by Julep to win the “It Girl” box I reviewed make sure to check out my blog post! Do take note, there’s only ONE DAY left!

If you’re interested in becoming a Julep Maven, I’d appreciate if you’d sign up using my referral link!

Monday, July 16, 2012

SWATCH: Julep's "Daisy" & GIVEAWAY!

Out of the three polishes I received in my “It Girl” Julep Maven box as part of their VIP Beauty Blogger box, I will say hands down; this nail polish is the one that surprised me the most.  My initial reaction to the polish in the bottle was disappointment.  Looking at it, it looks a little sheer – but as you can tell from the swatch it’s anything but!  I’m so happy that it’s opaque and just all around GORGEOUSNESS!

This particular Julep nail polish is in the shade Daisy.  According to Julep, Daisy is a “bright lemon yellow crème.”  The description is spot on.  I find with yellow polishes most of them are dull, soft, baby yellows. This is vibrant and bright – anything but a soft and gentle shade.  It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for in a yellow and I am so happy to now have this in my collection.  Yellow also happens to be my favorite color, so that’s another reason why I love it so.

It took only 2 coats for this to be completely opaque.  You could get away with one if you want it to be a bit more “dulled” down, but the second coat definitely reduces the streaks, builds up the color and gives it that crème finish.  The formula on this is pretty interesting.  It’s relatively thick, so it can get goopy on you if you apply too much, but it for some reason spread out over my nail and stayed put.  I’ve found with other polishes, the moment it starts to spread it’s all over the place – but this one didn’t do that surprisingly.

Overall, I really love this polish and am pleasantly surprised with the quality of it.

NOTE: If you’d like to enter my giveaway sponsored by Julep Maven, enter via rafflecopter here.  Also, if you’re interested in becoming a Julep Maven, I’d appreciate if you’d sign up using my referral link.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

SWATCH: Julep “Sasha” & GIVEAWAY

This is one of the nail polishes I received in my “It Girl” VIP Beauty Blogger box from Julep.  This is actually the nail polish that had me really intrigued in the box and end up deciding I wanted this one.  The shade is an absolutely stunning one and it reminded me a lot of Butter London’s Trout Pout (which I do not own so I cannot compare).

According to Julep, Sasha is a “fresh, cantaloupe melon crème.”  I’d say this is a pretty spot on description for the polish.  It wears beautifully, very creamy.  The polish itself is somewhat thick, so two coats and it’s completely opaque.  I will say if you’re not careful with application it can get a little goopy.  This is not a polish you want to apply with a heavy hand. You can see on my ring finger I had a little goopy action going on.  Of course a coat of Seche Vite may have smoothed that out and made it unnoticeable but I didn’t top it with Seche so I cannot confirm or deny if that’d work.

Overall I think this is a gorgeous and fun summer appropriate shade.  I’d really love this to be my pedicure because with my skin tone as the background the cantaloupe shade just pops!

BTW: If you want to enter my GIVEAWAY being sponsored by Julep to win the “It Girl” box I reviewed HERE, check it out!  Giveaway ends in 4-days!

Overdue CVS Haul

This is a super late CVS haul on my behalf - tsk, tsk.  This was actually my birthday haul (May 22nd) because I wanted to buy myself something for my birthday as a pick-me-up (like I need an excuse to shop, right?).  I popped into CVS on the way to see my father and picked up a few things for myself.  I ended up getting a few nail polishes and a lipgloss.  Not like I really needed any but, I'm impulsive and it's what I ended up getting.  I've really wanted Essie's Wrapped in Rubies for a long while now and this CVS happened to have it in stock, sooo I had to have it. Why? Because I'm impulsive and items just jump in my basket.  I really wanted Essie's Play Date but I didn't want to spend $16 on 2 Essie polishes so I ended up seeing a Rimmel duo and the shade was relatively similar.  I haven't tried any Rimmel polishes in the past, so I'd like to see how this lives up as a manicure.

So here's what I picked up:
- Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro Nail Polish in Wild Orchard
- Rimmel Base Coat & Top Coat Pro
- Rimmel Lip Gloss in My Eternity
- Essie Nail Polish in Wrapped in Rubies

90 CENT Amazon Haul - Replacement Battery & Screen Protectors!

I'd been complaining about my cell phone dying out after less than 10 minutes of use (particularly if using an app) and was getting ready to just take the plunge and buy a new phone (which would mean another 2-year contract).  My contract ran out at the end of last year and I find after 2-years my phones tend to start to act up.  Whether that's something cell phone companies do or just the general wear and tare on the cell phone itself and/or battery -- who knows.  But every time I get a new phone it costs me at LEAST $350 including the phone, the car charger, the case, etc.  I'm trying to pay off some of my bills at the moment so buying a new phone is not something I really want to do.  Anyway!

After my boyfriend heard me complaining about my phone, he asked me why didn't I just buy a new battery.  A new battery?  I had never thought of that.  I knew batteries thru my cell phone carrier could be up to $50 so I decided to do some research online.  I found the same battery for my phone, brand new being sold on Amazon for $5.20.  I did some researching on the company and from what I found out the batteries are new, but are 6-months old.  A new battery for $5.20 and no one has sent a negative review to say their batteries didn't work?  Sign me up!  I added the battery to my Amazon cart and thru the distributor it was free shipping -- so no need for a $25 minimum.

I then started looking for screen protectors and found a pack of 3 for 70 cents with free shipping -- so into my cart they went as well!

Now how did I spent 90 cents on both of these?  Well, I had a $5 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks, so I dropped that into the payment section and was left with a 90 cent balance.  SCORE!!

Both of my items arrived unharmed and so far the battery has been fantastic.  My phone isn't dying in 10 minute increments anymore -- so we'll see what happens after a few weeks of use.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shoebuy.com Croc's Haul!

Toward the end of June I received an e-mail from Shoebuy.com about a Special members only 2-day sale. I frequently get these e-mails on sales thru Shoebuy but since I had never purchased with them before (I signed up to look at their inventory many moons ago when I received a free $10 coupon off your purchase and never went further than browsing). When I saw the mention of Crocs I logged in and checked out the same which ran for 2 full days. Immediately I saw a pair that I wanted for myself and that I had seen in store but they had never carried my size. I knew my boyfriend wanted a pair of Classics since he basically stole my pair (they are the unisex classics in black) and I have to ask him all the time "Where are my Crocs?" since I don't walk around barefoot. Yes, oddity, but my feet are super sensitive. Anyway! And since my niece was turning 3 I decided to order her a new pair since she outgrew the pair I last bought her. She loved them because she could wear them in the water, out and about, etc. I got her a cute little black pair and (THANKFULLY) the order came in 2 days before her birthday party so I was able to include it in her gift bag. When she saw the shoes she gasped and went "THANK YOU AUNTIE!!" haha! I love her.
I realize thru researching Shoebuy online they have a somewhat middle of the road reputation -- generally a negative one when it comes to returning. So to make sure I didn't have to return, I only bought what I knew would be the sizes I needed. My order shipped right from Crocs warehouse with the Shoebuy paperwork in it. All the items I purchased were at least 50% off suggested retail AND shipping was 98 cents or something outrageous like that.

So this is what I picked up:
- Women's Crocs Cleo II in Black. Paid $15 Sadly these squeeze the heck out of my pinky toe. But my pinky toe is a problem in any shoe I wear -- I do know once I get these to stretch to my feet they'll be fine though.
- Infants' Crocs Shayna in Black. Paid $12.50
- Crocs Classic in Chocolate. Paid $15

So there you have it, my Shoebuy.com purchase and mini-review of sorts.