Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My review of the COPPERTONE® CLEARLYSheer™ sunscreens from BzzAgent

COPPERTONE® CLEARLYSheer sunscreens 

Since I have been using the  COPPERTONE® CLEARLYSheer sunscreens   as part of my daily routine, I have to admit that I have been more than impressed with them!  Now before I go any further, I will say right here that I am one of those people who doesn't "live in the sun" and do activities like sunbathing. but  I DO however, enjoy  outings to the beach or springs and understand that we really should protect our skin from sun damage everyday, year round when performing regular activities outside like walking the dog, hanging out the laundry, etc.  

After I was notified that I would be getting these items, I went to the official Coppertone webpage to check them out.  I guess  I was so excited to get to participate in this BzzAgent camgaign that  I inadvertently made a mistake, when I read that they were  *for face* and suitable for wearing UNDER your makeup!!!  I didn't realize that this was a complete line of sunscreens and one of them was specifically designed for use on your face.  If you are looking for this item they do make it and  it is called Coppertone ClearlySheer Sunny days Face Lotion.  When mine package arrived I received the  COPPERTONE® CLEARLYSheer sunscreen lotion (for body!) and immediately began using it on my face in the morning before I applied my makeup.  I gave it a few minutes to 'soak in' and then applied my make like I normally would.  Throughout the day I noticed no difference in my makeup!  (it didn't slip, or sweat)  I also applied it on exposed skin like I would normally do with other sunscreens.  This particular one is said to be a body lotion that has a "lightweight formula feel clean and light leaving barely a trace on the skin."  If this one that was not really designed to work under makeup, worked for me as well as it did, I can only imagine how good the one designed for your face will be!

The four specific claims that the suncreen I tried had on the front of the bottle are as follows.  It won't cause breakouts, helps leave the skin soft, is fast absorbing, and feels clean and light.  

It won't cause breakouts....I've been lucky and have pretty normal skin with no real issues.  Since this line was clinically tested on acne prone skin I gave one of the sprays and a lotion to my daughter who does struggle with acne breakouts.  She often has issues with products but did in fact like this one and it didn't cause her to break out!  (YAY) 

Helps leave the skin soft....a few times I have experimented with this product and skipped applying my regular body lotion after my shower and just added this sunscreen lotion.  I didn't notice any difference either way,once it 'soaked in.'

Is fast absorbing.....and feels clean and light........I had to group these two together because I think they go hand in hand.  I can not stand a sun screen that goes on heavy and feels really greasy!  This really is a light formula and just moments after you have put it on you will forget it is even there!  I have only been buying the sprays for years now, but this is one brand that the lotion is really holding up to it's claims of being light and fast absorbing.

Some other things that I think it are also worth noting....

* this is a broad spectrum SPF (protects you from both UVA and UVB rays)
* the scent is light and won't leave you smelling like typical sunscreens so you can apply it and go out to dinner etc, right away
* it is water resistant for up to 80 minutes!
* and it comes in two types .... the Sunny Days line that I reviewed, but also the Beach & Pool line!
* there are both sprays and lotions and 
* you can select from different SPF's  (15, 30, and 50)


If you are interested in this new product line, please check out the Coppertone displays at your local retailers (I was able to locate them everywhere locally from mass retailers to grocery stores) or you can purchase them directly from Coppertone on their website!

A few thoughts about the SPF

I received products with an SPF of 30 and I admit that I was under the impression that that was just an "okay" level of protection.  I was doing my research and went to WebMD and found information that taught me that SPF 30 is what is actually 'recommended'  when you are using it everyday and applying it throughout the day!    Better still, I learned the following.  

"The SPF rating is a measure of the time it would take you to sunburn if you were not wearing sunscreen as opposed to the time it would take with sunscreen on.
"SPF is not a consumer-friendly number," says Florida dermatologist James M. Spencer, MD. "It is logical for someone to think that an SPF of 30 is twice as good as an SPF of 15 and so on. But that is not how it works."
According to Spencer, an SPF 15 product blocks about 94% of UVB rays; an SPF 30 product blocks 97% of UVB rays; and an SPF 45 product blocks about 98% of rays.
"After that, it just gets silly," he says."

Although BzzAgent and Coppertone have provided me with these samples for free, all opinions and reviews are strictly my own and I have received no other compensation for them.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February's BIRCHBOX! and a Review

Here is what I received in my February 2014 Birchbox!  I paid $10 and I received 4 items and a lifestyle extra!

This month's theme was called "Step and Repeat" in honor of the awards season- and all that goes along with the stars and their beauty tips!  If you are a fan of You Tube like I am be sure to check out all the beauty tips on the Birchbox videos as they teamed up with Gwen Flamberg from US Weekly! 

#1...The first item in my box of goodies was Beauty Protector Protect and Oil- which is a Birchbox exclusive!!!  Not only is this good for all hair types, but it protects against UV rays, heat styling and breakage with a personal favorite ingredient.... argon oil!  Who doesn't need this product in their lives?  Did I mention that this stuff smells AH_MAZ_ING!?   Kind of like vanilla and sweet?   The sample size  is generous and since you only need 1-3 drops it should last me a while!  The full size comes in a plastic spray bottle, but this sample is in a nice glass vial.  I only wish I had an extra dropper to control the amount I am using.  I'm not sure the value of the sample because there are no markings on it, but the full size is $21.95

***I've used this a couple times and what I liked best was how it made my hair smell.  I don't have hair issues like split ends, frizz, etc.  and I only occasionally heat style it so I can't say anything about that yet.  It did seem to help with frizzie little fly aways, and I liked that it was protecting me from UV rays.

#2......The next item I received was a fantastic new Liquid Liner in Black Ink by Cynthia Rowley.  I believe this is full sized and is valued at $18.00!  (the monthly service is only $10 ;)  )   This is a newly launched line so it is pretty cool to get to sample it and see what I think of it!  This product is supposed to be smudge proof which I love the idea of because so many eyeliners end up 'falling' and looking terrible on me!  Do you have that problem?    Interesting little tidbits....the site says that Cynthia created this after she was tired of not having a black enough liner and was resorting to using a sharpie!  LOL   She added the gold dots to make it easier to find in your cosmetic bag (black hole!)  Now that is smart!!

***I tried this out when we went out to dinner, and it wore well for the 7 hours we were gone.  There was no smudging as it claimed and it came off easily at the end of the night!  yay!  Since it has the felt tip marker styled tip, I can add that it is capable for a super thin and accurate line (perfect for a winged eye!) but can easily be made thicker as well.

#3......Next I have Rescue Omerga 3 Serum by Eleven Skin in the most darling little pump container I have ever had!  :)  This is a luxury face oil that says it will bring damaged skin back to life!  Also it "nourishes, improves moisture retention, and promotes elasticity. Skin appears brighter, energized, and more youthful looking."  The full size is a whopping $75 which is a little rich for my blood BUT I think that is one of the best parts of Birchbox!  First I got to sample a product that there is no way I would have otherwise, AND if I like it, I can save up my points and "buy" the full size from the Birchbox shop!  (I couldn't calculate how much the sample was valued at because there was no marking to indicate the size.) 

*** I am really loving trying all things 'oil, butter, and natural' right now, so this is no exception. As far  as the oil goes it did make my face feel really good and it 'soaked in' fast.  I'm not sure how I felt about the smell initially though.  It is not bad but like no other products I've used before.  It is like you took fresh herbs and rubbed them between your fingers to release their oils.....if that makes sense.    Maybe that is what "nutrient-rich sea botanicals" are supposed to smell like?  lol  The smell went away after a few moments and I was left with really soft, and moisturized skin!

#4.....I really enjoy getting perfume samples in my Birchboxes!! and this month I got a purple one!  squeal!!!   It is a Joan Vass L'eau de Cristal.  I am terrible at describing notes in perfume so let me use the Birchbox description.  "Top notes of star ruby grapefruit and Italian bergamot meet middle notes of red currant, ylang ylang, and rose oil. Rounding out the scent are slightly sweet, earthy bottom notes like patchouli, vanilla tincture, and vetiver."   This sample lacked size markings so I could calculate the value but the full size is $75

*** I am actually surprised that I like this perfume as much as I do because I can not stand anything patchouli!  It really is not the heavy musky smell I was expecting and the fresh citrusy smell of the grapefruit is just wonderful.  This is definitely one that I would consider more sophisticated and I will save it for a special occasion.  Once again...another new fragrance that I am thrilled to get the opportunity to try!

#5.......Finally my lifestyle extra was from 32 Oral Care.  They are Effervescent Breath Crystals!  I mean seriously...has there ever been a more FUN trial product in a Birchbox!????  I think not! :)  They offer 4 flavors, but my two samples were spearmint and lemon mint.   I tried this first with my boyfriend and we both thought they were innovative and effective!  Yes they actually freshen your breath!  Later I just had to share them with my sister, so via skype I hooked up and "showed" her my grown up pop rocks!  lol
Full size is $9.99 for 32 packets so this sample had a value of $0.63

So unlike other months I can't give you the OVERALL value of my samples because 3/5 did not have size markings on them.  That is okay though because I know I certainly got my money's worth, as usual, and with the $10 I paid, and then the reviews I will do online at, I will be given credit for the equivalent of $5.00 towards other full sized items that I can purchase in their shop!!!  

If you would like to join me at Birchbox, and what I feel is hands down the best service out there please use my referral link to sign up  (I will get a bonus for having referred you- thank you!)  or go to their website at

Thank you for reading and until the March box...stay beautiful! 

If you would like to contact me to review your products please message me at

Saturday, February 1, 2014


 I have been stalking my mailman for days... and today was the lucky day!  Just look what has arrived!
This is my MEMEBOX #4 and it is packed full of skin care, hair care and beauty products!!!  It is sold for $23 US +shipping which is super fast!

If you would like to skip past the product descriptions and learn more about how to order a MEME BOX for yourself scroll down to the bottom of the review.

CONTENTS:  there are 10 items (two of which are full size) in box #4 with an unbelievable value of  $103.65!!!

#1.  GOODAL Repair plus essential oils 

This is a fast absorbing, multi-use essential oil, that can be used on your face, hair and nails!  Since it requires only 1-2 drops each time this will last me a while!

sample size 15 ml value $7.20

#2.  LJH Dr's Care Vita propolis Ampoule

 This product intrigues me since it says that it is made with propolis harvested by bees!!!  You can use 2-3 drops directly or mix it in with your moisturizer or hydrating cream!

sample size 5 ml  value $8.67

#3.  Lanoa Natural Soap

This is the first full sized product in my box!  It is 100% natural soap with sulfer, shea butter, chamomile, and lavender!  I am really eager to try this one.  Oh, and the little box it was packaged in is going to be re-purposed for gift giving because it is adorable and smells great too!

product size is 100g     value is $12

#4  The Shampoo Plus-natural waterless shampoo

This is the second full sized product in my box!  It is a very convenient size for your purse or travel bag which is nice because it allows you to cleanse your hair anywhere without water!  It says that it protects against UV rays  and enhances hair follicles.

product size 50 ml    value is $5

#5.  Clio VF 21 Water BB SPF 35 PA
 I was hoping to get a BB cream and I did!  It says it is medium coverage and it fights against wrinkles!

product size 50ml  valued at $20

#6  IOPE Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning 3 day program

This is another one of the products I am super excited to try...and it is enough for a 3 day trial. (although it is a small bottle I think it might actually have enough for a little more than that)   It is an intensive skin enhancing program that is supposed to help clear and smooth your skin's texture over 3 days.   I like that they include the small cotton cloths to apply the solution with.

sample size 18ml     valued at $6.43

#7.  Laneige Snow Crystal Pure Lip Gloss.

 This is a gel based , high sheen lip gloss that is a rosy tint with micro glitter that is supposed to create the illusion of a full, juicy lip.     I really like the size of this as I normally find regular lip glosses too big.

product sample size 3g    valued at $12

#8 T.E.N Cremorlab Mineral Treatment Essence

This is a curious product for me and unlike anything else I have ever tried before.  It looks like water, and smells a little bit like a doctor's office or hospital.  You apply it to your face after you cleanse so I am guessing it will act as a toner.  ( I will have to get back to you on that)  It mentions that it can help minimize pores so I am super excited!

product size is 100ml  valued at $13.34

#9  Peripera Peri's Tint Mini Mandarin Juice tint gloss

When I opened the box this was the first thing that caught my eye!  The packaging is too stinkin' cute!  Oh my gosh!!!  The box is like a little purse, and inside the lip/cheek stain is in a small glass container with the same art work on the cap!  The description says it is an orange/red bite that lasts up to 5 hours.

sample size is 2.5 ml and value of  $2.69

#10.  Danahan Bon Yeon Jin Essence

I love beauty products and great value as much as the next person but can you tell how beautiful this box is from my photo!??  I will surely be taking this box and re-purposing it into jewellery or something else that is pretty!   SO...this item is an anti- wrinkle serum for your face and hands that is supposed  to enhance your skin's regeneration and elasticity.

sample size is 12ml and valued at $16.32


Memebox is a Korean based company that puts together collections of 6-8 beauty products featuring ones for skin care, hair care as well as some makeup items in affordable boxes.  It is worth noting though that my box came with an unheard of TEN products!   They are not a traditional subscription service like we are used to here in the United States because you don't actually subscribe to them.  When Memebox creates a new box it is given a number assignment (this review was done on box #4) and they put it up for sale on their website.  They are limited so once they are gone, they are sold out, and you can wait for the next one.  It used to be that there was a long time between them but with their growing popularity they have changed that are are now posting boxes that are pre-ordered   as much as a month in advance!!   You can check out their website at


Each box is $23 which is an incredible value  no matter how you look at it!  The company says you will receive 6-8 products but I got 10 in this box.  Although I'm happy that two were full sized I liked that got a wide variety of a bunch of different things that I normally wouldn't be able to try otherwise.    I coupon, shop sales and do samples and reviews of products all the time and this is still a force to be reckoned with when it comes to bang for your buck because for around $30 they sent out just over $103 worth of product!  Since the company is doing expedited shipping from Korea, they also charge "from $5.99~$7.99 and it varies by region and shipping to North American to Europe would be $6.99."     

If you would like to contact me to review your products please message me at

***Please note that MEMEBOX did provide me with this complimentary box for review, but the opinions expressed are my own.***

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My first VOX BOX...Jolly Vox Box By Influenster!

There is just something so exciting about being given the opportunity to review products for a company...and even better when you are sent a small collection of items to review all at once!!!  Such is the case this month with my very first VOX BOX by Influenster!

So before I go any further...what does all this mean? vox box? Influenster?
Taken from their website...


Influenster is a free-to-join community of trendsetters, social media masterminds, and educated consumers who live to give opinions of products and experiences...where members meet to learn about new products from our favorite brands as well as review the products they already use in their day-to-day lives!
Influenster invites its most active members to participate in exclusive VoxBox programs where members receive complimentary products to test and review. In exchange, we ask our members to do what they already love to do: share their opinions with their friends & followers on social media!"

I will add that it is just my opinion (and a little bit of a pet peeve when I hear this perhaps) that this is NOT a website that you simply join with the sole purpose to "get free stuff."  Sure, I was given a box of complimentary goodies to review, and you can too, but I did it in exchange for my time, and talents in being an 'educated consumer' who is willing to honestly review the items upon receiving them and then share them with my social networking friends.  I like to think of this more like a bartering system!  lol  Back to my review...

So after a couple months of dabbling on the website and finding my way around while completing surveys and interest badges, I received a preliminary email asking me about my interest in a vox box.  (A fancy name that simply describes the sample boxes sent out by Influenster) I hate to admit it but I was super excited that I was picked so soon for consideration- and even more excited when I found I actually made the cut and was getting a box!  Super geek mode I know...but I immediately texted my boyfriend, updated my Face Book status message AND posted here on my blog!  lol

So the big day arrived and I went to my mail box and found this lovely PINK BOX!

I was super excited to open the box as I had no idea what would be inside- except of course from the questions I was asked in my screening there were several regarding chocolates, so I suspected candy of some sort lol.  It's important to note that all items were provided free by Influenster for review but the opinions and comments are my own. #INFLUENSTER #JollyVoxBox
Here is what it contained...

(I actually received SIX of the Skinny Cow candies- but the box was crushed and didn't look pretty in the photo)

I have to say I was rather impressed at the selection and simply couldn't wait to try them out since all of them were new to me!

This is NYC's New York Color HD Color trio eye shadow in 781 LONG BEACH SANDS. (retail price is $2.99)  I currently use this to create a more natural everyday smokey eye look, but it could easily be built up for a more dramatic look as well.   I am still quite a newbie when it comes to makeup, and I am uncertain of all the 'technical' stuff when it says things like HD shadow?  What I can tell you is that the colors are pretty and in my opinion very usable.  I first swatched them using my finger tip and they were super easy to pick up, and felt very silky to the touch.  It is hard to tell from my photo but they have labeled the recommended highlighter, all over lid and crease colors which is a nice touch.  The applicator that is included is small, and I will opt to use my brushes instead, but other than that I look forward to including this palette in my collection.

Next up is a stinkin' cute MINI DUCT TAPE! $2-3    Ducklings Mini Rolls have an adorable print and performs just like the full size duct tape but in a more compact size and with cute prints!!! I received one with a tropical flower motif but there is a large selection of prints to choose from and I must get me some more of these! I send out a lot of snail mail where I reuse other packaging and have to reseal them---this is going to be perfect to seal the packages securely AND have them looking pretty at the same time!  Don't let it's small size fool you...there is a lot of product on this compact roll.

  Rimmel London's NEW Show Off Lip Lacquer in the color #101 Celestial. (available in 14 shades)
I actually like this lip lacquer and think it would best be described...if your favorite rich and creamy lipstick got together with a moisturizing lip gloss---this would be their love child! The color is rich, and it goes on smoothly with a doe foot applicator. It is NOT STICKY! but similar to many lip glosses it doesn't have the staying power of a lip stain or a long wearing lip stick. I intend to use this for my casual days alone or to add a bit of shine over top of my favorite lipstick. I love the see through packaging and found that the color in the tube is very true to the color I tried- super handy if you want to pick up more colors!!! My only complaint is that it is not long wearing (although it doesn't claim to be) and if you are eating or drinking you will need to reapply more. Retails for $5.49-$5.99 but you know me...look for sales and coupons to score this at an even better deal!

And here is the long awaited candy....Skinny Cow's Divine Filled Chocolates in PEANUT BUTTER CREME! Each package contains 3 squares filled with a creamy peanut butter in milk chocolate. At 130 calories for all 3 squares this is a nice 'once in a while' treat for even those of us watching what we are eating.  Of all the items in the box this was the one that was most widely shared with friends!  Everyone enjoyed them and was trying them for the first time...and all but one person said they would buy them again.  (he was visiting from Denmark and enjoyed the sample, but prefers a more sophisticated, less sugary tasting treat.)  We liked these so much and also tried the milk chocolate and dark chocolate clusters (purchased on our own)...can't wait to try the rest of the line up now!

finally the last item was the Puff's Ultra soft & strong to go Tissue Pack.   A convenient package of strong and gentle tissue that was actually soothing on my nose!  There seemed to be a slight scent to these but nothing offensive.  In our testing we did find that it performed well when used as a tissue and loved that it protected our hands from any leaking and wetness!  :)  It also doubled as a make up wipe with a creme on it and surprisingly there was no tearing.   An allergy season and winter months must have!

So there you have the #JOLLYVOXBOX by Influenster.  If you would like to know more there is a link to Influenster in the top right hand corner of my page.  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

My opinions (and defense) of foil packets in Subscription Boxes

I am waiting on my third Birch Box subscription to arrive, as well as my second Ipsy bag...and there is one thing I have noticed in watching all of the You Tube 'un boxing' videos and feedback on the respective sites---everyone hates samples that are sent out in foil packets....except me!!!  lol

Here is the most recent Birch Box I received. (November 2013)
People who received similar items in their boxes typically complained that ...

#1)  a 'beauty box' has no right sending out samples of tea (or in other boxes it was chocolate) EVEN THOUGH THE FOOD ITEMS ARE AN EXTRA ITEM AND ARE COMPLETELY FREE IN ADDITION TO THE ITEMS YOU WOULD NORMALLY RECEIVE! and

#2)   without trying the product, feeling how much is in the package or reading the measurement of contents,  looking at the retail value of the full sized item, or in simple terms giving the sample a fair chance they decide it is not a good value for an item in their bag based simply on it's packaging!?  Whatever happened to not judging a book by it's cover? 

Let's look at the "value" of the box.  So we are on the same page as to my meaning...the value is "An amount, as of goods, services, or money, considered to be a fair and suitable equivalent for something else; a fair price or return."  One way that I like to calculate the value of the sample is to take the MSRP of the full size of the sample product that is disclosed to us with our bag, and calculate how much the sample I received would cost.  For example, if the full size is 7 ounces and has an MSRP of $9.99 I know that my 1 ounce sample tube has a value of $1.43.  The same can be done with foil packets and in my opinion SHOULD be done because they do add value to the overall box.

On a little side note, when I am going through my subscription boxes/bags, I like to look at the overall cost of the item and divide it by the number of items in the box.  This months box had SIX items in it (including the tea) so my $10/month cost breaks down to roughly $1.67/item.  If you don't want to count the tea that is still $2/item....anyways,  I like to play a little game where I look at each item and ask myself if it is worth $1.67 to ME?  So far, on every item, the answer has been yes!  IN ADDITiON to that...Birchbox has an a-maz-ing points program that in my opinion is silly not to take advantage of!  Each box has 4-6 items in them.  Each item you receive is eligible for a review which is as simple as logging into your online account and giving feedback- most of which is simple check boxes!  For each review you do, you get 10 points. (or the equivalent of $1.00), for each person who you refer you get 50 points! (equivalent to $5) and finally when you do shop their store, each dollar you spend gets you one point!  Each of these doesn't sound like much on their own but think of it this way....I pay Birchbox $10/month....$5 a month to curate on average five items to send to me at $1/each....this covers their time, storage and shipping it to me.  In turn, they set $5 into my savings account to accumulate for several months-up to a year when I will select items of my choice from the store, and they will ship them to me for free!  ahhhhh it's a beautiful thing when you think of it that way isn't it?!!!   And that is just the straight up physical value- I could do a whole blog post about how they contribute to my life with respects to anticipation of the box, meeting new people on forums who share a liking for them as well, time spent watching other do unboxing, etc.  I simply count myself very lucky to be comfortable enough in my life to be able to afford such luxuries as 'beauty boxes.'  Anyways...where was I?

Let's take a closer look at the foil sample I received.   While I do this keep in mind all those who say that foil packets are 'stupid' and they would rather not get them, and those who when calculate their box go so far as to say "I do not give any value to foil packets."  (gasp)

This is a foil packet that actually contained three separate products...a cleanser, a serum and a moisturizing creme.  I LOVED that I got to sample three different products in the same line because I think they worked well together and I truly believe I got a much better idea of the skin care line than I would have got with just a single sample of one- even if in a larger size!

So here is the breakdown...
the full sized cleanser is $15.50/6 oz
the full sized serum is $29.95/2 oz
the full sized moisturizer is $29.95/2 oz

Each packet in the sample was 0.12oz. So if you calculate that out....
the cleanser was $0.31 worth of product
the serum AND the moisturizer were each $1.80 for a total sample value of $3.91!

So how did our foil packet rank in the actual box I received?  Let's take a look at the breakdown...
remember our sample trio was valued at $3.91
Full sized body wash is 8oz for $19.  Sample size 1 oz so a value of  $2.36
Full sized parfum is 3.4oz for $98.  Sample size was 0.06oz so a value of $1.73
Full sized Dr Jart is 1.7oz for $32.  Sample size was 0,17 so a value of $3.20
Full sized Chella pencil is $18 and we received a full value of $18
although an free item I am including it in my overall value
full sized tea is 15 bags for $9.95.  Sample was 3 bags so value of $1.99

Are you surprized by these numbers at all? If I rank the items in order of value from high to low...
#1.) Chella pencil @ $18  (no surprise)
#2.) our foil packet trio @ $3.91
#3.) Dr. Jart @ $3.20
#4.) body wash @$2.36
#5.) our add on tea bags @ $1.99
and finally
#6.) parfum at $1.73 
So the box I paid only $10.00 to have shipped to my door, arrived with $31.19 worth of product inside PLUS I used the tissue paper in our birthday wrapping supplies saving me from having to buy a package at the dollar store ANNNNNND I re purposed the box and lid to act as dividers in a make up drawer to hold nail art tools and supplies saving me from walking over to Dollar General to buy a couple of those!!!  That is pretty freakin' awesome if you ask me!!!

So back to our humble foil packet sample.  How was it?  It was my favorite sample in two boxes I have received so far!  Yes you heard me correctly....fav-o-rite!  You see...I have been getting AND ENJOYING  foil samples from manufacturers for years and I've learned a couple things about them to maximize my experience.  First...I read the directions!  This sample packaging has been thrown out but I think they were to use a "dime sized" amount.  In any case, I was able to get THREE complete face washes out of this sample!!!  

I've drawn a diagram of how  I "used" these particular foil packets.  The green dotted lines represent the scored lines the manufacturer created.  I first cut off the long stripe along the top to be able to better access the samples.  They were still sealed at this point.  Then while keeping them together as a trio (because I didn't cut the bottom in any way) I pushed the product down to the bottom before I clipped a very small corner off the top of each one.  Once I dispensed the amount the manufacturer recommended I simply pinched the cut opening with my fingers, pushed the contents of that section back down towards the bottom, and then similar to how you would seal a zip lock baggie I used my fingers to "seal" the package back up.  The stickiness of the product inside is usually enough to hold it closed although sometimes a small clothes pin or clip might be necessary.

Here is my argument...when you only pay $10.00 for the whole box each month, you can't accurately NOT calculate $3.91 worth of it's value into the big least not the way I see it.  I have a tight budget and I certainly can not get away with dismissing any portion of it when it is over 33% of my total!  So why then are so many people upset with foil packet samples?  I haven't totally figured this out yet, but I am here to say that I welcome them, and while just like everyone else I do believe that more is more, I would rather have the higher valued samples sent out to me in a foil packet than to not have them at all.  
I do want to speculate a little bit here the risk of offending some readers I think part of the issue is that we are over privileged and spoiled here in North America.  While we often cringe at the price tag of that bottle of shampoo when we checkout, is reading the label and only using the recommended amount really our priority in our morning shower? or are we more worried about finishing before the baby wakes up, or thinking about our presentation at work today, or what outfit we will wear when we get out?  We simply tip the bottle, pouring out a big blob and get to the task of washing our hair.  Of course I am being a little tongue and cheek here, but I have been guilty of this when measuring things around my home like...say.... laundry detergent!  Who knew that you didn't fill the cap to overflowing for each load!?  lol  Markers inside the cap with measurements for 1...2.....and 3 representing different sized loads and ALL of them are lower than the rim at the top of the lid?!  Well that's the best kept secret!  Let's face it...if we are getting a subscription box, we aren't exactly worried about IF we will have our next meal...or when.  So yes...I am going to claim if you are amongst those who are bitching and complaining endlessly about the foil samples in your box/bag then maybe you should do us all a favor and cancel it and get something that better suits your needs....or better yet, take a moment to calculate it's value, think of how fortunate you are to not "need" this sample, and begin making a donation bag of your own to compile these type of unwanted samples from your subscription boxes and donate them to someone who really would appreciate and see them for what they are worth!  Ask any battered woman in a shelter if she would enjoy this sample and I'm sure she would say yes.

So there you have my defense of the humble foil packet!  I am currently waiting on both an Ipsy and a Birchbox subscription and should I get any more of these reduced packaging/better for the environment samples I will be the first to give them the opportunity to show how great they are...and will continue to sing their praises!!!  Have I changed your mind?  Will you join me?

If you are interested in signing up for a Birchbox monthly subscription for only $10/month  please use my referral code

and for Ipsy, also only $10/month  please use

Friday, December 6, 2013

INFLUENSTER has selected me for a VOX BOX!!!

I was sooooo excited to open my email today and learn that INFLUENSTER had preselected me for a VOX BOX!!!  I had never heard of 'it' before October, when I was watching some You Tube videos and someone mentioned that they got a "vox box."  It looked great and I thought it was some sort of monthly subscription  If you are like I was and have no clue what it is...

Influenster is a social networking site, where you can complete little activities to share your interests in products, hobbies and activities and also learn about others through reviews and activities (on the site, and through your blogs, channels, twitter etc.)  Think of it as a fun little community!  One of the perks of the site is that they select members based on their activity level and intersts to participate in a review of a box filled with goodies- in exchange you are asked to share your opinion with the social networking sites you use to help give an honest opinion of the products you were sent.  How cool is that?  This is a real win-win for me as I get to receive a little surprise in the mail (and who doesn't like that) and in exchange for my time and opinions, I get to keep the items inside!  Can you tell that I am super excited!???  

A word of caution here...and I am just keeping it real....this is not for everyone.  I think you have to be the type of person who enjoys this sort of thing to begin with, and have enough time to dedicate small, frequent visits to the site to complete the activities.  While you can pick the areas you are interested in to 'explore' on the site---for me ones like beauty, being a mom, and reading were easy picks while fitness, over 50 and men ones I steered away from (duh) really have to enjoy the whole social networking experience to make this work.  I joined October 5th and the email was sent to me last night so in just 2 months I was selected for a Vox Box!

I am just so sstinkin' excited to get the box that I am not sure what is in it at this point!  lol
If you want to explore it for yourself there is a link to Influenster on the right hand side....

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Homemade hand cream

Having access to the internet, and sharing ideas means that we really do get the best of the best!  A while ago I came across this post on Pinterest and pinned it to my wall.

I actually sought out the original hand cream recipe as I was working on some sewing projects and it just seemed like the fabric was wicking the moisture out of my hands.  The original recipe called for Baby lotion, vitamin E cream, and Vaseline which I bought just to make my original batch.  Although I liked it very much.  I went on to make a second batch and decided to use up some of our hotel samples and little tid bits and thought it was even better. 

I kept the jumbo batch beside my bed since the original batch and I have been putting it on my feet and elbows every night religiously.  For one reason or another though I often buy hand creams and only use 2/3 of them before I switch to another scent/brand.  Since I had several lotions in my project use it up, today I thought I would use the IDEA of the recipe, and combine all the little bits of lotion that I have lying around, with those in my project use it up, use up the last of the Vaseline (not wanting to buy any more petroleum based items after this), and spice it all up by adding in a little of the good stuff- some vitamin E oil, coconut oil, and some avocado oil!  What resulted was a nice thick lotion that smelled good, and is actually going to be used up!!!  It is really nice to re purpose some of the small containers and keep a sample of this at my desk, in the car, and one in my purse.  Waste not, want not!