Sweet ‘n Low sampling – Review

I recently received a sample of Sweet ‘n Low from Crowdtap. This was such a fun sample pack – It came with a full size box of Sweet ‘n Low (50 packets), sample packets with a  coupon, and some fun drink mixer recipe cards.
20140618_182624The past two weeks, my allergies have been kicking it in high gear, headache and all, so I stayed away from TOO much alcohol.

20140620_200106Fortunately, I’ve been on a huge tea kick. I normally don’t add sweetener, but I figured I’d give it a shot. My tea sort of frothed up when I added Sweet ‘n Low, and it worked really well with the flavor. I don’t know how to describe it–it’s sweet, but not entirely like sugar.

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I did try it with morning coffee. It tasted a LITTLE weird, but again, I usually don’t sweeten coffee at all (that’s the boyfriend’s sugar there!

20140629_115101With the heat lately, my tea kick has completely gone in the iced direction. I’ve been experimenting a bit with flavors, so this morning (before it got too hot!)  I made an unsweetened iced tea with lemon and nectarine. Once in the glass, one packet of Sweet ‘n Low is plenty for me – A little goes a long way! I think I like it most with tea, and it turned out pretty tasty!

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I know I said I was avoiding alcohol for the most part, but I can’t completely cut it out of my life! I did sip a couple of margaritas the other weekend. Here’s my strawberry and lime with Jose Cuervo tequila and Sweet ‘n Low.

I’m looking forward to trying out more recipes, and the Sweet ‘n Low website is loaded with tons I’d love to try.I will say that, at least for me, it doesn’t take much to add the sweetness-one packet per glass was more than enough to get the sweetness I was looking for.  Which ones do you want to try?

*I received this product for free from Crowdtap for my open and honest review.  All views expressed here are my own.*

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Socialbliss Style Box – June 2014

My Socialbliss Style Box is finally here! I have been stalking my tracking code for this one! Final box of the month (a little bitter sweet), but worth the wait!

Directly from the website:

“Socialbliss is a community of fashion trendsetters who have their eyes, ears and hands on the pulse of what’s cutting edge on the trends of tomorrow. Each month we start with a story. We then hand pick from our elite fashion community, the most popular yet unique items we know most women will love.”

The products included in this box total at least $100, and I’ve seen upwards of $200!

Cost: $39.95 Monthly + S&H ($9.95) (discounts for multi-month subs)

Last month I didn’t get any spoilers, but I was at the end of the receiving end this month, so I did cheat a little bit. I was a teeny bit disappointed, but remained optimistic. That paid off, because I love this box!

I goofed and deleted the opening of the box, but it seems to always be the same–wrapped in red tissue paper greeting you with a big “Hello gorgeous!” So let’s just cut to the chase and get to it!

20140626_202535The theme this month was Boho Chic, which they define as “A creative open-minded thinker who lives a free spirited life and believes in style, freedom and love“.

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Essie Snake Rattle and Roll magnetic polish – It’s a sort of gun metal grey color and if I can pull it off, I love the scale-like design. Little dark for this time of the year, but I’m really wanting to try this soon. I love grey, so the season can deal with it (Michael seems to think I want to paint our entire house grey…)

Ulta Super Shiny Lip Gloss – I think I need to get a lottery ticket. All of my boxes this month that came with a lip product gave me something that I really liked color-wise. I got Whisper 16, and I really like the way this looks.

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Curse my bad eyes for ruining the fun of sunglasses for me. Then again, my bank account probably thanks me. Nothing special, but I absolutely love the way these look on. These are the In.. Retro Specs Sunglasses, which are a dark brown with gold “arms”. I’ll hold on to them in case I reconsider trying contacts again, otherwise, I think my SIL would love them..

Peruvian Warrior ring – I really didn’t think this would be my style, but it’s really starting to grow on me. Depending on what I wear tomorrow for work, I might just give this a go. Otherwise, weekend warrior ring for sure.

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Fated Bliss Kimono Wrap – This is going to be fun, and I’ve been playing around with it a bit. It can be worn a few ways, and I think the vest option is working for me, and really fits what I typically wear during the work week–minus the funky pattern.

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And finally, this month’s bonus item for using the promo code WANTNEEDLOVE and sharing the post on Facebook – Creme Shop sponges. I actually needed this, so no complaints!

Overall, I’m really happy this month. I’m always down for some makeup these days, and I’m on a total new nail polish AND lip gloss kick, so this was right up my alley. Everything else was fun and I’ll get some use out of (well, except maybe the sunglasses). What did you think of this month’s Style Box?

What I got Wednesdays – June 25, 2014

This week must have been a nice relief for the mail carrier, but a rather boring one for me. Though, my Home Depot order arrived, so I guess that means massive amounts of yard work this week. I did get a new phone this week (Galaxy S5)! Michael managed to break his, so I graciously offered him my old one, and upgraded.

OK, on to the fun! Crowdtap has been doing loads of Sample and Shares (and Hosted Parties, if that’s something you feel you can swing). I’ve had a few come in this week and last, and am attempting to get all the activities done. I do wish they gave you more than a week, though! Hard to cram in sharing, trying, and posting…So what came this week:


 

groomer-backA men’s Schick Hydro 5 Groomer for Michael – This thing had some interesting features, and was definitely high tech when it comes to razors. Bells and whistles everywhere! The razor is a 5 blade (hence the name) razor, that has a neat little fold down part that helps you get in some of the tighter spots, like under your nose or to help trim near side burns/facial hair you want to keep (the yellowish thing on the bottom flips down). It also takes a couple batteries and offers a little groomer for trimming.

As far as the razor goes, Michael wasn’t a huge fan. He said it was a bit bulky and awkward for regular shaving. He also said the blade was not very sharp–it was really pulling his lip when he tried to shave his upper lip. His 5 o’clock shadow comes out a bit early usually, and while it wasn’t totally out, this didn’t seem to give him the closest of shaves. The groomer was nice, unfortunately the blades weren’t as good as other Schick products we’ve both used in the past–which consequently just doesn’t justify the cost of blades in the future! He’ll probably stick with his other 5 blade razor, which is usually a regular Schick, or the store brand knock off of Schick.


 

20140625_200257Kleenex! I will never turn away a box of facial tissues, and this week was no different. I’m having this feeling this week where I can’t tell if it’s allergies or a cold coming on–and either way, I’m perfectly content keeping a box of these in every room of the house that I frequent. Crowdtap sent a few different offerings–including this box, a cube, and the wallet packs (which I love!)


 

Still a bunch of things on the way, just a slow week! What did you get this week?

 

Sample Society Mystery Boxes

Recently, Sample Society sold a ton of mystery boxes. I managed to snag one of each of the $10 sample boxes (A-E). With a code, I got free shipping and the total came to $35. I based the prices I came up with on Amazon, rather than BeautyBar.com, especially since the contents were from old sample boxes. For the most part, the prices were often comparable.  Each box came with a $15 off coupon, but all were long expired, so that was useless.

Here are the contents of each:

Box A – February 2014 ($33.64)

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Alterna Bamboo Volume Plumping Strand Expand $3.70
Alterna Bamboo Volume 48-Hour Sustainable Volume Spray $3.83
AHAVA Mineral Botanic Velvet Body Lotion – Tropical Pineapple & White Peach $5.78
MURAD Rapid Collagen Infusion $8.33
Phyto Keratine Ultra Repairing Mask 1.7oz travel $12.00

Box B – January 2014 ($70.75)

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StriVectin SD Eye Concentrate $14.75
butter London Horse Power Nail Fertilizer $19.00
Tocca Margaux Eau de Parfum $2.00
Orlane Paris Extreme Line Reducing Lip Care $15.00
Stila Cosmetics Color Balm Lipstick, Vivienne $20.00

The card insert listed a different StriVectin product than the one I actually received, which was a bit of a bummer since this was a duplicate item.

Box C – February 2014 ($49.14)

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Minus 417 Dead Sea Cosmetics Hand Moisturizer, Ocean Fragrance $6.00
butter LONDON Nail Lacquer – British Racing Green $15.00
Diptyque L’Eau Du Trente Quatre $3.60
IPKN Moist & Firm Beauty Balm Cream #02 (Light) $5.79
Radical Skincare Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads $18.75

I made a guess on the IPKN cream, since there was not a size noted on it.

Box D – January 2014 ($54.01)

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StriVectin SD Eye Concentrate $14.75
butter London Horse Power Nail Fertilizer $19.00
Nicole Richie Eau de Parfum $0.23
Malin & Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturizer $11.25
StriVectin Instant Retexturizing Scrub $8.79

I found the Nicole Richie perfume much cheaper than listed on the card, and wasn’t impressed at all.. Duplicate butter London product and StriVectin.

Box E – November 2013 ($34.96)

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Jane Iredale Lip Drink Lip Balm $6.00
Borghese Splendore Brightening Makup $15.48
Annick Goural Eau d’Hadrien Eau de Toilette $1.04
Murad Anti-Aging Acne Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator $5.73
Illume Balsam & Cedar Metallic Tin Candle $6.71

I actually based the candle price on the burn time rather than amount of candle. Otherwise, it’s valued a bit lower–but to me, how long a candle actually lasts is where it’s at.

All in all, I would have loved a teeny bit more makeup, and a lot less perfume! But I did get a lot of stuff I’m definitely willing to try, though some scream winter time, so I’ll be packing them away until then.

Was definitely a TON of fun coming home to this box, though!

Coppertone ClearlySheer Sunscreen Review Take 2

So in our last episode, I discussed my usage of Coppertone ClearlySheer Sunscreen on my body, and my apprehension about using it on my face. So, strictly in the name of   science, I spent the last two weekends using it right there (and praying to the pore gods that my face would not explode!)

Weekend 1, all I used was Coppertone. I spent a good chunk of it outside, relaxing in the sun, mostly just decompressing from a busy week. But as I’d hoped, no breakouts, no greasy look OR feel, and no burns. It passes the first test! And best yet, this isn’t even the “faces” formula, which has a higher SPF (50 vs 30), so I’m definitely intrigued about that!

The following weekend, however, is where the real science began! I decided to take a “fancier” facial sunscreen that runs roughly $2.67 per ounce (Note: This amount is being generous, since I only found a bulk size. The smaller size, roughly half the Coppertone amount, is over $7 per ounce, so I think a fair comparison would be to say if I COULD buy a similar sized product, it would still be upwards of $4-5 per ounce!). Coppertone cost roughly $2.09 per ounce, $2.19 if I had the “faces” formula.

How else to test but to draw an invisible line down my face…

Coppertone 1Coppertone2coppertone 3

So in picture 1, I have Coppertone on the left, and the other product on the right. You’ll notice right off the bat that Coppertone had a little more substance to it. Both blended in very well with the same level of effort.

Picture 2 – I had a full day of gardening planned, but remember, this is for science! And I do love science! So I went ahead and did up my face in full makeup–gotta look good for them weeds! Again, no issue with application of makeup.

Picture 3 – After a long, gross day of working outside, I almost just washed off to get the sweat off, but I remembered my experiment and snapped a final shot. Sunny, hot day, and I spent all of it outdoors, and I’d say both products were comparable. No burns, no line down the middle of my face (phew!), no greasy feel (except maybe a little sweaty, but I was doin’ work!).

As far as I could tell, both products worked just as well as the other–so what would you rather pay? I think I’ll stick with Coppertone ClearlySheer!

Coppertone Clearly Sheer

*I received this product for free from BzzAgent for my open and honest review.  All views expressed here are my own.*

Coppertone ClearlySheer sunscreen

First and foremost, foremost, BzzAgent is a really fun site where being a member gives you the opportunity to occasionally try out new products for free. All they ask in return is for some honest feedback using social media, blogs, word of mouth…otherwise, buzz!

My most recent campaign was for the Coppertone Clearly Sheer line of sunscreens, and my pasty self was of course happy to give this a try! My “kit” came with a full size lotion, three sample size bottles, and two spray bottles. The lotions were both the Clearly Sheer line for sunny days with SPF 30, but for whatever reason, the spray bottles were a non clearly sheer formula (which was a bit of a bummer!) with SPF 50.

BzzAgent Coppertone

First up is the lotion, which I absolutely love. I’ll back up and say I really have a love/hate relationship with sunscreen. I need it, otherwise I fry, but I hate the way it feels and the way it smells. So I typically opt for lotions with SPF for daily use if I can help it–though come outdoor summer activities usually call for something a bit more dedicated; and that’s where sunscreen comes in.

Coppertone Clearly Sheer
The formula was super lightweight and blended in really quickly with almost no effort. This is huge because I tend to just go for it, and next thing you know you’ve got white streaks of lotion everywhere–especially if you are in a hurry! Unlike other lotions, because it was so lightweight feeling, it wasn’t greasy or oily feeling, yet my skin still felt hydrated. What else is nice? I don’t smell like I’m wearing it. When you walk in a room and someone is wearing sunscreen, it’s usually obvious. This stuff was super light scented and I barely noticed it. In fact, it was rather pleasant and not offensive at all!

Some other highlights that I hadn’t tested personally:

  • Won’t clog pores or cause breakouts (it’s clinically tested on acne-prone skin!)
  • Matte finish which makes it perfect for use under makeup

I plan to set aside my normal facial lotion with SPF this weekend and give it a try, though! This is always one place I’m leery about putting regular sunscreen on because it makes my face oily looking and it feels like I’ve put an impenetrable mask of pore clogging badness on. It’s been great on the rest of my body, so I plan to bite the bullet and give it a go.

OH, and sun protection was A-OKAY. I was outside pretty much the entire Memorial Weekend, and no burns (well, except the top of my right foot–totally missed a spot!)

I’ll be spending the weekend outside safe from the suns harmful rays. How about you?

Coppertone Clearly Sheer

I’m putting this as a little bit of an aside. The sprays were NOT Clearly Sheen, which really bummed me out. Application with a spray is a dream compared to a lotion. The product, however, was definitely not my favorite! It was sticky, and it looked like I had a film on my skin for long after. Almost like that bug spray feeling. I’d definitely like to pick up the clearly sheen version of the spray to try out in hopes that it has the best of both worlds!

*I received this product for free from BzzAgent for my open and honest review.  All views expressed here are my own.*

Influenster Venus® Snap with Embrace Review

First of all, I just want to express my excitement for finally getting an invite to receive my first VoxBox from Influenster!!!<==Yep!! Got this free from Influenster!

So what was in this long awaited goodie box? The new Venus Snap with Embrace! #InASnap

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Wait, what is it?

OK, take everything you already love about Venus razors. Great shave, nice blades, loads of options… Then miniaturize it and give it a little compact carrying case.

ImageSeriously–not much bigger than a compact, and just a bit wider, but hey, it’s got a razor in it!.

So your regular Venus blades fit–which is great. Just go with your favorite, and pack it away.

Why on earth do you need a purse razor? Why wouldn’t you?? I’m sure I’m not the only one who got somewhere and realized I missed a spot. Now, while no one has probably noticed, in my mind, I’ve still managed to blow it out of proportion. That bit of stubble is a meadow that’s never seen a mower, the whole world can see it, and EVERYONE is staring. Yeah, that’s when you need it.

Or maybe you got invited to go do something that might mean baring some skin, and you might have been letting things go for a little longer than desired… Yep, definitely gonna be glad you had this packed away for just that occasion!

OR, travel size! I know I hate packing my razor to go anywhere. I end up popping it in a ziplock bag, and that just doesn’t seem right. This comes with it’s own travel case, and packs itself. Great for anyone going on frequent trips! Perfect carry on size.

Gillette® Venus® Snap with Embrace