Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Eco Emi Review

My January Eco Emi box came yesterday!  This box is only my second "official" box, but I am so in love with this company.  I purchased two other boxes that weren't a part of my subscription, an extra October box and the most recent bonus box.  Eco Emi is a subscription service that, for $15 a month, sends you 5-10 sample or full-sized eco-friendly products.  They are a lifestyle box, so there is a good mixture of different types of things.

This packaging is so beautiful this month!  I rearranged the confetti snowflakes, but you get the idea.  The care that Christine, the owner, puts in to each month's box is so evident and I really appreciate her attention to detail.  All of the products were packaged in the dark blue velvet bag.

It's like Christmas every month, it really is!  The first thing I noticed was the Kelapo Coconut Oil.  I thought, "oh no, not more coconut oil!"  I actually received the same exact sample in my January Conscious Box, and also got a different brand in my Eco Emi bonus box.  But that's okay, now I know a few more ways that I can use it so I'll definitely put it to good use (thanks to Susan S for the suggestion of using it as a lip balm!).

More photos and information about the items, as always, behind the "Read More" :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

I'm a Lovable Labels Love Bug!

If you spend some time around the blogsphere, you may have already heard about Lovable Labels.  They are a company based out of Canada that creates an array of cute and functional labels for all sorts of items.  I'm very happy to have been selected to be a part of their Love Bug program, which aims to spread the word about their company and products!

I received my Love Bug kit in the mail the other day, and it was full of information about Lovable Labels.  It even included a few labels for me, along with a key chain and stickers!  Lovable Labels first caught my eye because I'm a sucker for cute things.  When you combine practicality with cuteness, I'm sold!

Lovable Labels was created by a mom after she entered her first child into daycare.  She was told that her children's belongings needed to be labeled, which included everything from his shoes to sippy cups to backpack.  This inspired her to create a line of personalized labels that were durable and would stand the test of time from active children.

A wide range of products are available.  Above are my Regular Sticker Labels, which are about 3 inches long and half an inch tall (on-the-fly measurements made by my thumb--but you get the idea).  They're so cute!  I'm a bit disorganized, so I'll definitely use these to label my things at work.  I like that they appeal to my more girly, young-at-heart side with the adorable little ladybug.

All of the Lovable Labels's products are dishwasher safe and microwave safe, as well as UV-resistant.  Their clothing labels are washing machine and dryer safe, so you won't have to worry about them coming off in the laundry.  Choosing a label is easy!  First, just choose which kind you or your child desires -- from the Regular Stickers, Slimlines (perfect for pencils), Shoe Labels, Fun Stickies, Press n' Stick Clothing DOTS, Iron-Ons, Allergy Alert Labels, Original Bag Tags, and Mini-Metal Tags.  Whew!  I told you they had a wide array!

My Slimline labels
After you choose which kind of label you want, you can then pick a fun design for them.  There are a total of 45 different pictures.  I really like the animal ones, especially the bunny.  The last step is to choose a color combo: the Cool Combo consists of racing red, olympic blue, and pumpkin yellow; while the Pretty Combo has princess pink, perfect purple, and apple green.

Two products that I really like are the Medical and Vital ID Wristbands.  I don't have children, but I recognize the need for items like these.  The Medical Wristband has the international Medical Emblem on it and contains a waterproof card where you can write your child's name, two emergency contacts, the doctor's name, medications and/or allergies, and any other important information.  The Vital ID wristband is similar, but boasts their Bear logo.
  • Visit Lovable Labels and browse their entire line of products
  • Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter
  • Use my personalized coupon DanielleSLB1 for 10% off any product!
    * This is valid online only, and may not be combined with any other coupon, offer, sale, or discount.  10% is deducted prior to taxes and shipping.  No cash value, one time use.  Expires 22 January 2013.
Bottom Line: I'm proud to be a Lovable Labels Love Bug, and I hope that you will check out their great line of products.  Even if you don't have kids, I'm sure you'll find something to enjoy at their website!  I love the labels that I got in my welcome kit and will definitely use them around the house and office.

*Disclaimer: I received the items in my Love Bug welcome kit free of charge from Lovable Labels. I participate in the Love Bug program and spread the word about Lovable Labels without monetary compensation, and the honest opinions here are entirely my own.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January MyGlam Glam Bag Review

There has been some serious craziness surrounding the January MyGlam Glam Bags.  If you haven't heard of MyGlam, you're probably lucky at this point.  They are yet another monthly beauty subscription service; they send out a cute makeup bag with 4-5 samples (and full-sized products) at $10 a month.  I was able to snag a January bag back in December, but new subscriptions are currently closed.

More on the drama at the end of this post, for now, the review:

What I like about the Glam Bags is that they're a little bit different than other services.  Instead of a box, you get a bag, which is a cute idea.  The only issue then becomes how many makeup bags does a girl really need?  At least with my boxes I can recycle them.  I was really excited to get the January bag because the theme was "Back To Nature," and since I like to focus on eco-friendly and green products, it was perfect!  The items in the bag were:

  • Wen Sweet Almond Mint Conditioner (2 fl oz) - I've heard a lot of good things about Wen, so I was really interested to try this.  It smells nice (I love mint), but I don't feel like it made my hair feel any different than my current conditioner.
  • Freeman Cucumber Peel-Off Mask (6 fl oz) - Some were upset that this wasn't a more high-end product, but I like that at least it's a full-sized bottle.  I love peel off masks, I think they're really fun, and this one was really easy to peel off.  It smells nice and slightly sweet.
  • SheerCover Duo Concealer in Light/Medium - I didn't think I would like this that much, but I actually do.  It might even be my favorite product in the bag.  I was lucky enough to get a shade that matched my complexion, I know some subscribers were not so lucky.  It has a good consistency and covers my blemishes well.  It also feels very light on my skin.
  • The Balm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Shameless Shana - This isn't shown in the photo above because I actually traded for another product, and already sent the eyeshadow on its way to its new owner.  You could have gotten either an eyeshadow or a nail polish, and I preferred the nail polish.  The shade I got, though, was a rich, shimmery brown/gold (Diane Cristi has a photo on her blog).

MyGlam is only two months old.  I like the idea behind it, and I like their products better than Birchbox so far (I didn't get a December bag, but I liked what they had in it based on other peoples' reviews).  The only problem is that I think they just exploded and got too big too quickly.  The fiasco with the January bags was that there was a delay in shipping that was mostly the post office's fault, but MyGlam didn't handle it very well.  A lot of people were upset because it seemed like MyGlam didn't address the issue professionally and right away -- to me it seemed like they kept saying "Your Glam Bag is coming, don't worry, kthxbai!!," when they should have announced to everyone sooner about the delay in shipping.

Honestly, I don't really mind so much when shipments get delayed.  Two other services I was/am subscribed to had similar issues between December and January, and I blame it on the heavy increase of parcel shipments for the holidays.  Sometimes stuff happens.  But some subscribers didn't receive bags at all, or received damaged products.  One girl posted on MyGlam's Facebook a photo of her bag, and the nail polish she got had broken open and spilled all over her other products.  I didn't have any issues other than receiving my bag late, but for those who had more serious problems like broken items or no bags at all, it seemed as though it was very difficult for them to get a straight answer out of MyGlam for a refund (but, then again--a lot of people were just complaining about it on their Facebook wall, which isn't the place to address such issues).

Bottom Line: I cancelled my subscription to MyGlam after this bag, but not because of the shipping issues.  I wanted to try them out, but based off of this bag I like my other two subscriptions better.  I'm limiting myself to only two for the sake of my bank account.  I think that MyGlam will be a lot of fun once they are able to iron out a few issues.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Short Personal Post

This is first and foremost a product review blog, but I'm going to take a quick detour and write up a personal post.

I realize that I may have come off as extremely negative and mean in my Cravebox review (the post before this one).  While I still am not entirely happy with the box, I'm really not as ungrateful as I sounded in that post!  I've been having an extremely hectic week with work, and it was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.  I kind of unfairly took out my aggression on Cravebox through that post.  It arrived on the day when I was having the worst day of the week, and by the time I wrote the review that night I was not in the happiest place.

I'm always going to be honest in my reviews, and I still agree with what I said about the box.  This blog brings me a lot of fun and happiness, but sometimes we all have bad days.  I just wanted to say this to you all because that post was so out of my normal attitude.  Thanks for reading this, and (hopefully) continuing to read my blog :)  I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January Cravebox Review

I received my first Cravebox today, and I have to be honest -- I don't really like it.  I was ecstatic to have been able to grab one of their very limited beta subscriptions last week, because the December box was awesome.  I jumped at the chance to subscribe when they sent me an email announcing that they opened up a few slots.

Cravebox is similar to Conscious Box in that it is a lifestyle box subscription.  For $10 a month, you are sent 4-5 items that are based on a theme.  This is not an eco-friendly or green-centric box like Conscious Box, though.  But, as I said, I loved December's box and was disappointed that I didn't subscribe in time, so I had high hopes for January's box.

Here is the box upon opening.  The first thing I noticed was the pink tissue paper (I mean, how could you miss it).  I can't say I love the pink because it reminds me too much of a certain other subscription service.  I know that no one owns the copyright on pink, but I think it would have been wise of Cravebox to choose a different color (or a different shade).

Like most other box services, Cravebox came with a card that described the month's theme and the items included.  January's theme is vitality for the New Year.  The side of the card in this photo is the list of items, and the flip side has the welcome/theme message.

And here is the loot!  Cravebox tweeted five hints about the items before shipping out the boxes, so I've listed them below alongside the corresponding item.

  • You'll be inspired to get moving - Switch2Health S2H STEP Pedometer with Points
  • Your gorgeous face will thank you - Mereadesso Face + Neck Toning Gel (1.7 fl oz)
  • A Healthy option the best chefs can't live without - Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil (5 fl oz)
  • A quick boost to keep you at your best - Emergen-C Vitamin Drink Mix (10 packets)
  • Entertaining and educational - you'll have all the answers - Prevention Magazine
So here's my deal with these items.  They certainly fit a theme of vitality and health for inside and out, but I won't use any of them.  Or, rather, they're nothing I was excited to receive.
  • The pedometer is a cool thing I guess, but I'm not going to use it.
  • The Mereadesso gel is probably the thing I dislike the least, but I still wouldn't ever buy it or want it.  I honestly don't even know if I'll use it because I just don't need it.
  • Okay, the Colavita Olive Oil actually kind of annoyed me.  I worked at a grocery store for 6 years and spent many an hour stocking and leveling items like this, and when I saw it all I could think was, "how cheap!"  I liked the hint and was interested to receive a food item, but I don't want a bottle of olive oil that I could pick up at the grocery store for $2.
  • I hate the Emergen-C.  I rarely hate anything, but I am so sick of getting these stupid things.  I got a similar product in a Birchbox and it left me scratching my head.  Now I have a whole box of them and I don't want them.  Another thing you could just pick up at the grocery store.
  • I have no need for the Prevention magazine, nor do I want a year's subscription to it.  My mom said she would read it, so I guess it's not a total waste.

I'm very disappointed with the January Cravebox.  I was so excited to be subscribed, and now I'm just..."meh."  This is only their second month, and since they're still in beta and not accepting subscriptions I'm not going to cancel and lose my spot, but I really hope that February's box is much better.  If this cost any more than $10 I would be legitimately upset at having wasted my money on it.  I know that the value of the box exceeds $10, but that means nothing to me when I am literally not going to use any of these items.

Bottom Line: Cravebox, I'm not losing faith yet.  Yes, this box was a huge disappointment for me but I'm willing to give you more of a chance.  I feel like this box is more appropriate for an older audience (no offense meant by that at all, but it isn't as young feeling as some other services), and I'm not impressed by the fact that I can get 3 out of the 5 items from my neighborhood grocery store.

More photos are behind the "Read More."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Eco-Emi Bonus Box!

I had a hectic and frustrating day at work yesterday, which made coming home to my Eco-Emi Bonus Box even more exciting.  I've blogged about my monthly boxes before, but this one is a bit different.  Every few months they sell a "bonus box" that has more than the regular amount of items and is a one-time sale.  So even people who aren't subscribers can pick one up.  It's a great way to try out the service (which brings you eco-friendly samples and products each month for $15/month) without the commitment, although since they are so infrequently offered you'd have to get lucky and catch them at the right time.

Here's my haul!  I was so happy with the box.  There are a few items that other people got that I was hoping for but weren't in my box, but that's okay.  It was really fun to have such a surprise -- normally I look at spoiler posts for the monthly boxes before mine comes, so I know what items will be in it (since everyone gets the same items for those boxes).  As you can see, this was well worth the $14 price.  I received 14 items, including the canvas bag they came in.  Some of them are items I've already received in past boxes, but I knew that was probably going to happen so I wasn't disappointed.
  • Visit Eco-Emi's website and see items from past boxes and/or subscribe
  • Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter
Bottom Line: Snag an Eco-Emi Bonus Box if you can!  Christine (the owner of the company) will make an announcement sometime this week that a limited number of boxes will be available.  Follow them on Facebook (link above) and keep an eye out for a post.

Check out more photos and a little bit more detail on the items behind the "Read More."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sparklehearts Review and Giveaway [CLOSED]

I first found out about Sparklehearts from my December Conscious Box; the box contained a sample of their Sweet Hearts Sparkly Body Lotion.  I really liked the cute branding and all-natural skincare products that Sparklehearts had, so I'm really excited to announce that they are sponsoring a giveaway for my readers!

Sparklehearts was created by best friends Hilary Orr and Darcy McMahon.  After learning that 60% of everything you put on your skin is absorbed into the body, they were motivated to create a completely natural beauty line.  The company was named by Hilary's daughter, Ava, and I think it's a perfect fit.

Sparklehearts is geared towards younger girls, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the Sweet Hearts lotion in my Conscious Box, as well as the Bubbling Blooms Body Wash (pictured above) that Sparklehearts sent me to review.  One might think that because of the name and their branding that their products are too saccharine for anyone over the age of 15, but  I want to let you all know that that is not the case!  The Bubbling Blooms Body Wash has a very light and pretty floral scent-it is scented with essential oils.  It's not overpowering at all.  It lathers up well and left my skin feeling very soft (I used it for a few days before writing up this review).  I also really like that it's a pump-top dispenser, it made it so much easier to dispense while in the shower--as opposed to fumbling with a squeeze bottle, etc.

As you can see, the Bubbling Blooms Body Wash is made from 99.6% organic and natural ingredients.  Evening primrose pampers the skin, sweet almond protein moisturizes, and natural coconut and sugar help create bubbles.  Sparklehearts products are ALWAYS free of parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl/laureth, and sulfates.  They are also made in the USA and never tested on animals.  Sparklehearts even goes a step further and packages all of their products in 100% recyclable packaging!  For anyone who wants to commit to an eco-friendly lifestyle, this company covers all of the bases for you.

Bottom Line: I really like the Bubbling Blooms Body Wash.  The packaging is so cute and fun, and the product delivers on all of its promises.  I appreciate that the scent is very light and natural and is made from organic ingredients.

The kind people at Sparklehearts have offered a Bubbling Blooms Body Wash to one of my readers!  To enter to win, please use the Rafflecopter form behind the "Read More."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January Conscious Box Giveaway! [CLOSED]

Hopefully you'll read my review of the January Conscious Box, because there are some great items this month.  Even better, the gracious folks at Conscious Box have offered a box for a giveaway to one of my readers!

If you want to win January's box, please use the Rafflecopter form below (click the "Read More" to get to it). Please be sure to take note of the rules and mandatory entries.

If you can't wait for the giveaway and want to get your hands on a box now, you can order one for only $9 at Organic Soul (click that link to check it out)!  But head over there quickly, only 50 are available and they're sure to sell out fast.  You can also sign up for a subscription to Conscious Box at their website.

January Conscious Box Review

A few days ago I got my January Conscious Box in the mail and it's a good one!  The box is packed with items this month, I'm thoroughly impressed that they were able to fit so much stuff in this box.

So many items!  If you're unfamiliar with Conscious Box, they are a subscription service where you pay $19 a month to have eco-friendly products delivered to your door.  Many of them are sample sized, and since it's a lifestyle box they include products that span a range of uses.  I like that better than getting just beauty samples.  The theme for January is renewal, which is reflected well in the products included.

The box comes packaged as a box inside of a box.  When I first opened the outer box, this is what it looks like.  The card on top is a "Welcome to Conscious Box" message, since this is my first (official) box.  Inside there are two more cards: one describes the monthly theme, the other gives a blurb about all of the items.

It looked like a jigsaw puzzle, or Tetris or something, when I opened up the box.  The first thing I noticed was the cutlery, since that was what made the box feel so heavy.

I have not used a majority of the products yet, so I won't be able to review them as in-depth as with December's box.  But here we go (clockwise from top left):
  • Golden Earth Chakra Oil in Miracle Energy - This cute little perfume vial is a chakra oil, which is meant to balance certain attributes based on chakras.  I'm not well-versed in this type of aromatherapy, but the one that I received was "Miracle Energy: Inspiring, Sensuality, and Grace."  It's made with a Jasmine essential oil blend, which is so nice.  I don't enjoy the way the vial is packaged, though--you have to pop off the top cap and it's difficult to do, and every time I try to open it I lose a bunch of drops of the perfume because they fly out.
  • CleanWell Instant Hand Sanitizer - This is a kid-friendly, eco-safe alternative to regular hand sanitizer that kills 99.99% of germs naturally.  When you pop the top over it's a spray bottle, which is nice.  It also doesn't have that offensive alcohol smell that regular sanitizers have.  The bottle says "Orange Vanilla," but I got more of a clean, green-ish scent (whatever green smells like, you know).
  • Eco-Dent - I have not actually opened up this packet yet, so I'm not quite sure what's in it.  The top item looks like a packet of toothpaste.  I'll have to let you know what I think of these after I try them.
  • Ancient Minerals - The packet is Magnesium Gel, and the bottle is Magnesium Oil.  I haven't used either of these yet because I'm a bit confused by them.  I read the directions on both things, and I guess you just spray or rub it into your body then wash it off after 20 minutes so your body can absorb the magnesium.
You can see and read about the rest of the products after the "read more"

Monday, January 16, 2012

Deep Steep Review

I am really excited to bring you this review of body care products because I have had an amazing time trying them out!  The kind folks at Deep Steep sent me a body wash, body butter, and body mist to try, along with some literature about the company.

First, a little bit of background information on Deep Steep: they create "Clean, Pure, Natural" products that are "Everyday affordable luxury."  Truer statements could not be said!  The company's philosophy is "to offer the world's finest natural personal care products guaranteed FREE of chemical preservatives, parabens, artificial fragrances, petroleum, mineral oil, lauryl sulfate and other questionable ingredients."  Along with being free of all of those previously listed products that really have no place in skin care, their products are guaranteed cruelty free.  Deep Steep is exactly the kind of company that I want to support!  I first heard of them through Eco Emi; their Candy Mint Foot Cream was featured in the November box (which, I unfortunately missed out on, but that's another tale).

At the request of Deep Steep, I used these products for a full week before writing up this review in order to really see how they worked and how they made me feel.  I can happily report that I LOVE them!  Pictured above are the Body Wash and Body Butter, which I received in Lavender Chamomile and Tangerine Melon, respectively.  I wanted to try a variety of their scents, because if you haven't learned by now, I'm a very scent-driven person.

And here they are outside of their packaging.  The Body Wash has the cutest slogan: "A rather luxurious lather."  Their formula combines shea and cocoa butters to hydrate and restore skin's elasticity, and has organic plant extracts to further moisturize and tone.  The consistency of the wash was on par with others I've tried, in that it lathered up very well on my bath pouf.  The scent is absolutely heavenly--I take my showers at night, and the lavender was really calming.  Combining the warmth of the shower with the relaxing scent was a great way to end my nights before going to bed.  Deep Steep products are also scented with natural essential oils, you won't have to worry about having an overpowering scent left on your body.  I found that the body wash left a very light and pleasing amount of scent.  If I had a body butter in the same scent I would definitely layer it over the wash after a shower to enhance it just a bit.

The Body Butter is equally luxurious!  To me, luxury is best found in life's simple pleasures--and one of my most favorite simple pleasures is indulging in organic and natural skin care.  I'm a lotion/body butter fiend; I can't get enough.  In contrast to the body wash, which I used at night, I used the Tangerine Melon Body Butter in the morning.  The scent is bright, citrusy, and a bit tangy--perfect for waking up!  It's a bit strong at first, but as with the body wash, it's made from natural essential oils so it doesn't leave an offensively strong scent on  your body.  Deep Steep uses "nature's hardest working emollients" to restore moisture to skin that's in need of intensive repair in this "supremely rich, quickly absorbing" body butter.  What I enjoyed the most about this body butter was the consistency.  It really is supremely rich, and the consistency is so creamy.  It's got a great texture that really feels the way I think a body butter should feel (thick, yet still silky smooth).  That may sound odd, because isn't that what all body butters feel like?  In my experience, no.  I've bought some "body butters" from mass-market retailers that felt like they were pure wax and petroleum--yuck.  This one from Deep Steep is miles above the rest!

How cute is their little duck mascot (next to the top of the barcode)?
Lasty, we have the body spray.  This is one of Deep Steep's newest products, and I was very thankful to get the opportunity to try it.  The scent is Rosemary Mint, which layered perfectly over the Lavender Chamomile body wash.  I sprayed it on my body after my nightly shower, and sprayed a little on my pillows, too.  Now, this body spray is different than some you may have tried before: their goal is not to create something that smells like a bubblegum-crazy preteen perfume (nothing against those, but they aren't my style), but instead something that you can really connect to and will make you feel renewed.  The Rosemary Mint scent is so clean and soothing.  I actually just sprayed some onto my arm and I can't stop sniffing myself (weird--I know).  But it really smells that good.  Imagine you're walking through the forest, and just breathing in all of the scents around you: that's how Deep Steep products make me feel.  I feel at ease, renewed, and also that I'm wanting more!

One last picture -- I love the "We aim to please" on the box flaps!
Bottom Line: Deep Steep creates an exemplary line of skin care products that is cruelty-free and made from natural ingredients.  I honestly can't rave about them enough!  I'm adding them to my list of top companies and plan to purchase many, many more items from them.  Their prices are very reasonable and well worth the quality of product you receive.  If you've never tried natural skin care before, I urge you to start with Deep Steep -- you'll never go back to the mass-market junk that's out there!

Giveaway time: Keep an eye out in the next few days for an exciting giveaway featuring Deep Steep products!

*Disclaimer: I received a body wash, body butter, and body mist from Deep Steep free of charge to facilitate my review.  I was not monetarily compensated for this review and the honest opinions expressed in this entry are entirely my own.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Free Beauty Events for January!

Each month, I write up a post about the goings-on at Free Beauty Events.  They're a great site that offers a lot of cool information, from a product reviews blog to weekly and monthly giveaways.  But, as their name suggests, they have a huge database of free beauty events that are happening across the country.   You can search for events in your area by zipcode, or just browse through them.

For example, in January and February Rite Aid is hosting a bunch of Grand Opening events.  Customers can get samples, coupons, and nail polish changes with Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure.  Demonstrators will also be on hand to inform customers about Samy Fat Foam hair color and Viviscal dietary supplement.  Lastly, samples of L'Oreal Magic Souffle and Gold Body Wash will be given out, along with coupons for Carefree and Stayfree products.

Information about the events like the one above are available for FREE on FreeBeautyEvents.com!  Many spas and retailers use the site to promote their events, so it's a great resource for finding fun beauty happenings.  Anyone who wishes to have their beauty event listed on the site can visit this page.

The January giveaway at Free Beauty Events is for a Yes To package.  10 winners will receive Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Pre-Moistened Facial Towelettes, Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin Deep Cleansing Facial Pads, Yes to Carrots Nourishing Body Butter, and Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Eye Firming Treatment.  You can enter to win from January 1st to January 31st; winners will be chosen on February 5th and notified by February 15th.  Head to this page to enter, and be sure to check out the weekly giveaways page as well!
*Disclaimer: In exchange for this post, I receive products from Free Beauty Events to try.  I am not monetarily compensated for this post and any opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Incoco Nail Polish Appliques Review

I received a package of Incoco Nail Polish Appliques in the mail today from a generous Tumblr user who received them in her Birchbox and wasn't interested in trying them (thanks again, Amanda!).  My new-found nail polish and nail art addiction fueled my interest in the Incoco strips.  I've used the Sally Hansen strips before, so I wanted to see how these compared.

Here is the final product on my nails.  As you can see, I didn't do a very good job of applying them.  They're a lot thinner than the Sally Hansen kind, which made it so much easier for me to tear them.  I actually liked that they're thinner, though, because I felt that they adhered to my nail really well.  It didn't feel like just a giant sticker on my nail, it really felt like real nail polish.  Which is good, considering these are made of real nail polish.  They come in a package with 12 total strips, in case you mess up a nail or need a different size.

I'm not quite sure what this pattern is called, but I like it.  I couldn't find a name on the package, and I can't find it on their website, either.  I'm guessing it must be Showstopper, even though the preview shows blue dots all over the nail (these have space in between the dots).  I was impressed by how well they bonded to my nail, and how easy the ends were to file off.  I applied one coat of clear topcoat over these to protect them, and I'm curious to see how long they last before peeling off.

Bottom Line: I would definitely be willing to purchase some Incoco strips and try applying them again.  They are a bit pricey when you factor in shipping, but the base price is less than the Sally Hansen kind.  I feel that these are high-quality upon application, I'll just have to see how long they last on my nails before chipping off. There are also tons of fun designs and colors to choose from.

*Disclaimer: I received these Incoco Nail Polish Appliques from a Tumblr user who received them in her Birchbox.  I was not monetarily compensated for this review, and the honest opinions are entirely my own.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Win a 16GB iPad 2 or Kindle Fire!

Rafflecopter is giving away a 16GB Apple iPad 2 in celebration of the New Year and all of the exciting things they have planned for 2012!  What's Rafflecopter?  If you've entered a giveaway on my blog (or, chances are, on another blog), you've probably used Rafflecopter.  It's that neat form you fill out in order to enter giveaways.  I love how easy it is to enter giveaways with Rafflecopter, so I'm happy to promote their giveaway here.

How to enter: Use the Rafflecopter form below (of course)!  You can earn additional entries by suggesting a mascot name for that cute little smiley-copter they use.  If your name is chosen, you'll win a Kindle Fire.

Please note that the first mandatory entry is to tell Rafflecopter who referred you.  Please let them know that I referred you by entering my email address and the name of this blog in that form: "dhsauers[at]gmail.com from See, Shop, Love!"  They are also giving away a Kindle Fire to referrers, so thank you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer: The Kindle and iPad prizes are being given away by Rafflecopter, not by me. I was not in any way endorsed for this post. By entering and referring me, you are allowing me to receive an entry to win a Kindle Fire from Rafflecopter.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Peter Thomas Roth Review

I recently won a giveaway for a $100 gift certificate to Peter Thomas Roth, which was crazy exciting because I've never won a prize so big!  One of the products I bought with the gift certificate was the Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel.

My skin confuses me.  It gets really oily during the day in my T-Zone, but then when I wash it I have to be careful about what kind of cleanser I use because it gets very dry and flaky.  I think I've solved the dry-after-washing problem with an excellent moisturizer by iShop4Beauty, but so far had no luck with decreasing my shiny skin during the day.  I've been using oil absorbing sheets from CVS, which work wonders and absorb a ton of moisture, but that doesn't keep it from coming back a few hours later.  It's really frustrating, because I swear I can feel the oil gathering on my skin.  Not to mention that it's not great to let that stuff sit on your skin.

That's where the Anti-Shine gel comes in.  A full-sized, 1 oz. bottle costs $35 (I'm glad I got it for free!).  You don't need a lot of this product at one time, though, so I think it will last me a while.  It has a strange consistency--it really is a gel.  I know that sounds dumb, but before I used it I had in my head that it would be a bit more milky or liquid-y, like a face lotion.  I smoothed it over by nose, chin, and forehead at work today and it goes on a bit like a makeup primer.  You can use it over or under makeup, which is nice.  It didn't disturb the foundation I already had in place.  I noticed right away that it left my face looking matte, and felt nice and light on my skin.

A little while later, though, I could feel that icky feeling crawling back onto my face.  I don't know if I'm just extra-sensitive to it, but I figured, let's put on some more of this gel and see what happens.  The usage instructions say that you can apply it as many times as you need to.  It didn't feel so great to me the second time.  I felt even worse after applying the gel to my face again, because it just sat on top of my skin and made me feel like I had an extra layer of stickiness on.  So I would recommend waiting a while (more than 2 hours at least) between applications of this product, but then again that could just be for my skin alone.

Bottom Line: Peter Thomas Roth is a pricier brand, and not something I would ever try if I hadn't won that gift certificate.  I'm glad I got to use the Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel, though, and it does what it says it will.  On the first application it left my skin feeling matte and fresh, but applying it a second time left me feeling sticky.  I probably will not re-purchase this product again because of the price; I'd rather shop around to see if I can find something comparable for a cheaper price.

*Disclaimer: I purchased this product with a gift certificate to Peter Thomas Roth that I won in a blog giveaway.  I was not monetarily compensated for this review and the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

EdenFantasys: More Than Meets the Eye

If you've spent any time around the blogosphere recently, I'm sure you've heard of or seen giveaways/reviews for a company called EdenFantasys.  I had heard of them before and have visited their site, but hadn't ever purchased anything.  They are a company that sells adult products (read: sex toys), but don't let that scare you.  They offer a broad range of toys, lingerie, and other products for a healthy sexual lifestyle, but they also offer things for those who may be more reserved.

What I'm most interested in at EdenFantasys is their beauty product line.  They actually have a promotion going on right now for a free beach towel with the purchase of beauty products (runs until 1/6, so hurry!).  One item that caught my eye was their Hi Light Luminous Body Lotion by CakeBeauty ($27.99 for 8.5 oz).  It's a "lemony cake delight" that leaves your skin shimmery--definitely something I'd like to try!
Another item that interested me was the Beeswax Aromatherapy Candle by Bluecorn Naturals ($19.99).  It's available in two scents: Geranium and Palmarosa.  I love candles, and since these are beeswax it means that they're made from natural ingredients.

Bottom Line: Take a look at what EdenFantasys has to offer -- I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

*Disclaimer: In exchange for this post I will be receiving a gift card from EdenFantasys. I was not otherwise compensated, and these honest opinions are entirely my own.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hallmark Interactive Storybook & Story Buddy Review & Giveaway [CLOSED]

Sugar Pop Ribbons is currently hosting a giveaway for a Hallmark Interactive Storybook & Story Buddy, and I'm blogging about it because I am in love with these buddies!  I'm sure you saw the commercials for Jingle over the holiday season, the stuffed dog who barks when you read his book to him.  Abigail, a cute bunny, is in the same line of products as Jingle.

I saw Abigail this past weekend when I was out shopping with my boyfriend, and the minute I laid eyes on her I decided I had to have her.  Yes, I'm a 23-year-old, technically an adult, but I have a soft spot for stuffed animals; I always have.  I especially love bunnies!  I don't see anything wrong with celebrating the kid in you every once in a while, right?  I didn't buy her right then and there, but I was pretty sure that I'd purchase her with my next paycheck.  The Story Buddies retail for $30, and I consider that a very fair price since they come with an interactive storybook as well.

But later that night (after my shopping excursion), I happened upon the giveaway at Sugar Pop Ribbons!  You can enter over there to win an Abigail Story Buddy and Storybook for yourself or the little one in your life, and also read their review.  The site has lots of other great giveaways going on at the moment, too, so check it out.  Click here to visit their entry and enter to win!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Kindle Touch Giveaway! [CLOSED]

I am over the moon with excitement to announce this giveaway for all of you awesome readers who have supported my blog thus far!

See, Shop, Love!Terri's Little HavenAshley and The Little Ones Too and Totally Terri have teamed up with some other great bloggers to offer a Kindle Touch with special offers giveaway!  Also included are 2 eBooks from Andrea Pearson: The Key of Kilenya and Samara: A Kilenya Romance.  The giveaway runs from January 3rd to the 12th, so get your entries in!

For those of you who may still be skeptical about Kindles, as avid reader, allow me to say this: don't be!  I'll be honest, at first I was appalled by the idea.  I thought to myself, "Never!  I love reading real books!"  But then I got a Kindle as a gift from my boyfriend and I've been in love ever since.  The real love I have is for reading books--whether they're on an e-reader or a physical paper/hardback copy is now irrelevant.  The Kindle is so portable, and you can store so many books in there.  They're such a fun toy; you know you want to try to win one for yourself :)

We love your comments, but please use the rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway.

*Note: My apologies, but I don't know how to add the Google +1 button to this entry.  You can enter with that option at one of the other blogs that are participating, though.  If anyone can help me out with how to install it, I'd happily accept your help (just leave a comment)!

FRUIT ENZYME Micro Scrub Review

A little over a week ago I posted an introduction to a product called FRUIT ENZYME Micro Scrub by Natural Skin Shop, which can be read here.  I received my scrub in the mail a few days ago and now am able to write up a review for you all.

I actually received the full-sized (2 oz.) tub to try, which I wasn't expecting.  It's a soft, white cream that has many little exfoliating particles, hence the "Micro Scrub."  The particles are very fine, so this is great for people who really need exfoliating power.  It's suitable for all skin types, and boosts collagen production while brightening your complexion.  According to the listing on the website,
FRUIT ENZYME Micro Scrub is an innovative soft cream with natural Papaya, Mango, Orange and Pineapple fruit enzymes and microdermabrasion crystals. The crystals physically exfoliate the uppermost skin layer and allow the natural fruit enzymes to penetrate deeper for even deeper rejuvenation.
I really enjoy using this scrub.  It has a very pleasing scent: it's fruity for sure, but there are some other notes that I can't quite place.  I want to lean towards something sweet, like vanilla, but I'm not entirely sure.  It also does exactly what it promises, and leaves my skin feeling baby-smooth.  I have to be careful how often I use exfoliating scrubs since my skin is sensitive on my face, but using this once a week is no problem for me at all. The 2 oz. size may sound small, but a little goes a long way so I can see this lasting for a while, especially if you only use it once a week.

  • Check out FRUIT ENZYME Micro Scrub at NaturalSkinShop.com and purchase a tub for yourself.  They currently have an end-of-the-year sale going on, with 25% off storewide, no promo code needed.  Hurry though, the sale ends tomorrow (1/3)!
  • Connect with Natural Skin Shop on Facebook, Twitter, and at their blog

Bottom Line: This product is well worth the $28 price.  It smells great and works great, and is fun to use.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Best Price Nutrition Review & Giveaway [CLOSED]

Here is the final installment of my reviews for Best Price Nutrition, as well as information on how you can win a full-sized bottle of one of these supplements for yourself!

This review is for New Chapter's Zyflamend Softgels, which I received a 5-day trial sized bottle to try.  The label states that it is the "#1 Selling Herbal in the U.S. for Healthy Inflammation Response."  The supplement promotes a healthy inflammation response and normal cardiovascular and joint function.  New Chapter has patented the formula used in these supplements, which "represents a scientific breakthrough in promoting a healthy inflammation response."  The statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and the pills are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases; but they are clinically tested and doctor recommended (stated on their label).

Like the past two supplements I tried, these pills were fairly large for me.  I have difficulty swallowing pills that are bigger than Motrin-sized, so I had to use applesauce for these.  They're about an inch long and maybe half an inch wide, but they're smooth gels so that made it easier for me.  Like with the Wholemega fish oil I reviewed in Part III, I didn't notice any physical difference after taking these for the 5 days.  I can imagine that they would be beneficial when taken at a longer stretch of time though, and I would be willing to try out a full-sized bottle.

Bottom Line: I would recommend these supplements for anyone who has stiff joints, or other inflammation problems.  They are a dietary/herbal supplement, so I like that they're made from natural ingredients.

Giveaway! The kind people at Best Price Nutrition have offered a full-sized bottle of one of the supplements I have reviewed to one of my readers.  To enter, use the Rafflecopter form behind the "read more."