Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Cheapest Expensive Sunglasses I've Ever Received

*I received this item free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own*

I like cheap sunglasses, I really do. I buy mine at either Marshalls or the Dollar Store. So when I say a pair of sunglasses is a cheap piece of crap you know I mean it. Now add in a $30 price tag and I become a cranky blogger. These are so bad my husband actually refused to be seen in public with me if I wore them.

They came in a really nice velvet lined hard case, which got my hopes up super high. The case is nice enough I'll continue to use it for my Dollar Store shades, which is cracking me up.

When you opened up the hard case you saw a cleaning cloth and a cloth bag to further protect the shades. Again, these are both nice items and I'll use them for sure.

Then I got to the actual sunglasses. They are a super cute design, don't get me wrong. But it all went downhill from there. They're metal, but the thinnest metal I've ever seen. They feel so flimsy I'm afraid I'll snap them in a heartbeat.

Can you see that? I've bought art paper thicker than that! And while I didn't take a picture of it, the nose piece is also super thin metal with a thin rubber sleeve on it. Not exactly the kind of comfort and protection I expect for $30.

The hinges are really weird too, they're basically two bits of metal interlaced. I'm pretty sure they'll pop apart with constant use. Thank god I have super short hair still, this hinge style would catch so badly on long hair. Makes my scalp hurt just thinking about it.

And the final nail in the coffin is they sit super high on your face so they just look bad on your face. Like soooo bad! They make my nose look huge! I did not appreciate that at all. These are so cheap I wouldn't even pay a buck for them, let alone the $30 price tag, though they are listed as $149.99 which has to be a joke. Who in their right mind would pay that much for these?!?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Woobamboo! The Bamboo Toothbrush

*I received this item free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own*

Every year, millions and millions of toothbrushes end up in our nations landfills. This is an unavoidable situation for most of us, especially those like myself who replace their toothbrushes every 3-6 months. I always feel guilty about contributing so much plastic so when I was sent some environmentally friendly brushes by WooBamboo! for my little guy I was pretty dang excited. These toothbrushes are made from bamboo, which is one of my favorite renewable wood sources. I could probably fill a whole blog post on the wonders of bamboo, but I'll spare you guys this time.

These are even packaged in recycled materials for added green points, and the bamboo is organically grown. The kid sized brushes come two in a pack, while the adult and pet ones come in a single pack. Yes, they even make toothbrushes for your pets. And floss, which is doubly cool. And all of their products are biodegradable.

Look at that list of all the different ways both the product itself and the packaging is green? I really love this aspect of the product if you couldn't tell.

The actual toothbrushes are really light feeling in your hand, which surprised me at first. They're smooth to the touch but are unsealed so you still get that awesome bamboo texture. The bristles are in fun colors since this set is for kids, and they are nice and soft. I'm not sure what the life span on these are, but I change my son's toothbrush every 3 months so I'm not worried about them lasting for longer than that. The best part is they're pretty much the same price as a regular kids plastic toothbrush. A duo pack is $5.25 with free Prime shipping, which is a pretty good price. I'm excited to try out the adult sized, I'll be ordering some once my stash of plastic ones is used up.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Practico 18 oz Glass Bottle Duo

*I received this item free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own*

You know what sucks? Plain, from the tap, water. I know someone out where is going to get all offended that I said that, but let's be honest here: tap water sucks. A nice filtration system or some bottled water will fix that, but for most of us on a budget we are stuck with tap water. I've been doing things like adding fruit to infuse my water which has helped my in home consumption, but once I leave the house I really don't drink enough water. What I needed was some nice water bottles that are dishwasher safe. Practico has come to my rescue with their glass bottle duo.

Each bottle hold 18 oz of water, which is just the right amount for my at work activities, and since they are clear glass I can easily see how much I have left at a glance. Glass means no weird plastic taste or metal taste like the ones my husband brought home from work (mmm....tin flavored water). And these are actually dishwasher safe, unlike the one I use for work (Brita water bottle with a built in filter).

So far I'm liking these a lot, but we'll see how they hold up over time. If the gasket in the lid continues to hold up I'll purchase another two pack so I have four total. These are only $16.49 with free Prime shipping, so a bit over $8 a bottle. Since they are a heavy glass I'm ok with the price, and I do like them quite a bit.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Iridesi Etched Glass Files

*I received this item free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own*

I tend to keep my nails is really decent shape, though I haven't been keeping up with the manicures lately. One of the things I try to do once a week or so is file and buff them so they stay nice and smooth. Your typical file is basically sand paper on a piece of cardboard, which is fine but can be a little...rough on your nails sometimes. That's why I was so intrigued by the latest item sent to me for reviewing.

This is the Scarlet Edition Etched Glass Files from Iridesi. I don't know what the scarlet edition means, I kind of assume that is talking about the color of the files and their carrying cases.

There is a full sized one and a smaller travel friendly one. Both are in a little protective case, which I love! Not only do they look like but I don't have to worry about them scratching up whatever else is in my bag.

So these are an etched glass, which makes them smoother feeling than a traditional file. But they work just as well I've discovered, and do a much better buffing job as well. One side feels slightly rougher than the other but I may just be imagining that. And these will last much longer than traditional files, which I have to replace basically every month. This set is currently $10.99 with free Prime shipping, which honestly isn't that much more than a set of regular files. Assuming these last and keep working as well as they have I give them two well manicured thumbs up.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Scrubbies for the Feeties

* I received this item free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own*

With warm weather fast approaching, feet are starting to reappear from their caves of wool socks and heavy winter boots. And I'm betting your feet are looking a little.....gross right now. Dry, maybe cracked heels, some yellowing toe nails. It happens. But luckily there are a ton of products on the market to help with that. Like this one by First Botany.

This foot scrub has tea tree oil in it to help get rid of any nastiness that might be growing to to help deodorize your feet as well.

It is slightly on the dryer side for a scrub, which is actually what I prefer. I don't like drippy scrubs, they make a huge mess and make my shower a danger zone. I actually noticed a difference the next day after I first used this. I went to use it again and was surprised at how soft my feet were. And I not only do martial arts but I run so my feet are not pretty at all. But I use this about every other day now any my feet actually look really nice! Like I can wear sandals and not worry about how my feet look.

A tub of this is 12 oz, so it will last you for a while if you just use it on your feet like I do. And for $14.50 with free Prime shipping the price is perfectly right for me. I'm really loving this and I'll be bringing it with me to the next girl's spa night for sure, I know some ladies that will go nuts over this.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Rapunzel Rapunzel Let's Keep Growing My Hair

*I received this item free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own*

I've been trying to grow my hair back out, and while that is going well I really need a boost to get past the David Hasselhoff stage. Luckily Rapunzel Hair Care has come to my rescue with another awesome product to help with my hair woes. This time their help comes in the form of a hair growth boosting shampoo.

First, this smells amazing! Floral and citrus and maybe minty? And the scent lingers in your hair so my hair smells really nice throughout the day. I've been using this basically every day since I got it and I have noticed a difference in my hair. I'm shedding less and it feels like my hair is growing in thicker and stronger. It will probably take a full month of use to decide if it is making my hair grow faster but I'm happy with it enough right now that I would totally buy another bottle when this one runs out. A bottle is just under $18 with free Prime shipping, so not the cheapest shampoo on the market, but you can alternate this with your regular shampoo to stretch it out. Or have super short hair like I do, then it'll last you forever and a half. I really super love this and totally recommend it.

Valentia Royal Rose Hydrating Serum

*I received this item free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own*

Valentia Skincare is one of those brands I'm slowly starting to like. We started out rough with an unimpressive but expensive eye cream but they have softened me up with their pretty good mud masks. I've been given another chance to try a product from their range and I'm pretty sure I'm sold on the brand now. What product finally won me completely over? The most heavenly smelling serum I've ever used.

This is a deeply hydrating serum you can use either day or night (I personally use it during the day), that smells like a rose garden. And not fake rose either, but like an actual rose garden. It hydrates, helps provide antioxidant protection, soothes dry skin, and boost how your skin looks and feels. It absorbs quickly and does not leave you feeling gross, sticky, or greasy.

It comes in a glass pump bottle, which is one of my preferred containers for skincare products. Pumps are much more hygenic than tubes or jars. Anything your fingers go in can get bacteria growing in it. I typically use a pump and a half to cover my whole face and down my neck. Within a few days of using this I was able to see and feel a difference in my skin. I really love this serum and highly recommend it to everybody. I will even buy a bottle of it when mine runs out. You can purchase it on Amazon for $35 with free Prime shipping.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Neocell Derma Matrix Collagen Complex

*I received this item free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own*

Hi, my name is V and sometimes I don't pay enough attention to what I'm agreeing to review. I loved the Neocell Biotin bites so when they asked if I'd review another item I said sure without really looking at the item. I kind of assumed it would be another skin boosting goodie that tasted like candy. Imagine my surprise when a tub of powder showed up at my door.

This is the Neocell Derma Matrix Collagen Skin Complex. It is suppose to help reduce wrinkles and fine lines, increase hydration of your skin, and just make your skin look better.

And it's a powder. It's a powder that smells awful, like truly awful. You mix a scoop of it into water or juice and chug away. I'm not currently drinking juice (curse you weird 21 Day Fix rules!), so this went into water. And it basically tasted like chalk water once I got paste the smell. I really recommend doing juice with this, water really didn't cut it. It did dissolve quickly and easily, which I'm thankful for. Nobody wants to drink chunky chalk water, which is not a thing I ever thought I would say.

Obviously I won't know how well this works until I've been using it for about a month, but if you want to test it out yourself you can find it at most Whole Foods and New Seasons it looks like.

The Cutest Blotting Papers Ever

* I received these items free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own*

I don't often give companies a second chance when the first product I try from them is as bad as the Momo Up makeup removers, but they appealed to the side of me that cannot say no to adorable stuff for my makeup bag. And let's be honest, blotting paper is a pretty hard item to screw up. But we'll count this is their second chance to impress me with their products.

Um, how cute are these?!?! Like, I cannot stop playing with them and I know the second my kiddo sees them I'll never get them back. In case you can't tell, the one on the left is a panda bear and the one on the right is a pink panda with a cute cartoon panda design.

They are a bit taller than your average lipstick, but about the same thickness so they won't crowd your makeup bag. Obviously you only need one at a time, but I haven't decided which one I like the best yet and want in my bag.

The design of these is super unique. Instead of having a bunch of precut sheets this is one big roll and you pull out the length you want like a roll of tin foil.

And then like tin foil, you close the lid (which has a serrated edge) and tear your sheet away. I love this design and I think it is brilliant to be truthful. My cardboard holders of sheets always end up getting banged around and I ALWAYS grab more sheets than I need so this is the perfect solution. Plus super cute right?!?

The Panda one is $9.99 as is the pink cartoon one, and they both have free Prime shipping. These aren't a whole lot more than your standard blotting sheets and do work really well. The paper is 100% Japan imported mino-washi paper, so pretty good quality. I'm in love with these and I think everybody needs one of their own.

Monday, March 7, 2016

More Awful, Cheap Products from US Art Supply

*I received this item free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are 100% my own*

If you've been reading this blog for at least the last week you probably already know that I'm super unhappy with the company US Art Supplies and the utter crap they've sent me to review. In addition to the two sketchbooks they also sent me a set of brushes for me to use for my face painting. And to be completely honest and blunt I haven't even opened the package up nor do I intend to let them anywhere near my face.

My first issue with these is I can smell them through the plastic packaging, and they stink. I'm sure if I aired them out for the next month that smell would go away, but if something smells that strongly through packaging there is no way I'll ever let it be used on my face.

My next major issue with these is just how poor the quality is. The two brushes on the left are completely mangled and probably unusable. The rest look to be in decent shape but even through the plastic I can feel how flimsy they are. I can't imagine using these with any of my chosen art mediums, they are just awful. And they are specifically marketed as for face painting, which makes the super long handled brushes a little weird too. For the painting on canvas art I do I like longer handles, but faces tend to need more control than these will allow.

And again, like the sketchbooks, these are so over priced for how crappy they are. $10.96 for what amounts to dollar store quality just pisses me off. These will go to my 4 year old and his crayola paint so I can at least get some use out of them, but there is no way I can recommend these to anybody at all. In fact, I think the whole company is awful and you should just stay away from it.

Green Tea Based Chai Tea

*I received this item free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are 100% my own*

I am a tea fanatic, I drink a ridiculous amount of it throughout the day. I drink so much tea my boss has actually commented on it to me. I keep tea bags in my purse and in my work bag, and I've even put some in my car. Long story short, I love me some tea and am always excited to be sent different types of tea to test out and review. This particular tea is an interesting spin on a favorite tea, but did it actually taste good is the real question.

Green tea is an incredibly healthy tea, as most of you probably already know. Loaded with antioxidants and other good for you stuff, it's a tea a drink a lot of, especially in the morning. Chai tea, however, is my absolute favorite type of tea in the world. I love the rich, dark, spicy flavor profile, and how it always makes me feel warm and cozy. Chai is one of the few teas I'm totally ok with splurging on and getting the really good stuff. So a green tea based loose leaf Chai tea definitely spiked my interest.

As you would expect it is a light colored tea (from the green tea) with a spicy clover based scent (from the chai spices added in). As with any loose leaf tea, you heat the water, put the leaves in, and let it steep for a few minutes. As a green tea goes it is a really nice blend, none of the bitterness you can sometimes get as the tea cools off. But I think it fails as a chai tea. There just isn't enough of the spiced flavor for me to call it a real Chai. I think if you don't really like the Chai flavor but you want something a little more flavorful than regular tea this would be a good fit for you, but if you are a die hard spice fan this is probably a pass. The price is pretty decent, at $8.95 with free Prime shipping, and it is a nice quality tea. But I just wanted more flavor from this than it gave me.