Birchbox Haul

Birchbox came out with some new Limited Edition Boxes partnering with CEW which gives out awards to great beauty products. I decided to grab the Mass Appeal box for $15 which is a steal! The box is still available along with the Prestige Headliners box for $18. you can get both for $25 I believe – no code needed. I am so happy I got this box – it’s chocked full of awesome stuff! Let’s take a look.

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TRESemmé® Keratin Smooth Keratin Infusing Serum – This is an oil like frizz fighter that I put on damp hair to help smooth it. It smelled nice and I like the texture – it’s a really great size too (possibly full sized?).

Dove Go Fresh® Restore Body Wash – This cute travel wash smells really good, but didn’t lather as well as I would have liked. I usually really like Dove products though.

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Simple® Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF 15 – This is a vitamin rich and oil free moisturizer. I just tried a little on my hand and it seemed to absorb really well and not have a strong scent. It has SPF but I wish it was higher than 15. I’ll still use it though!

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Mascara – Apparently this has a breakthrough volumizing brush, which looks good to me! I will never complain about trying out a new mascara.

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Burt’s Bees® 100% Natural Lip Gloss in Spring Splendor – Y’all… I LOVE THIS GLOSS! It is all natural with moisturizing oils, a non sticky feel, and light scent, and a beautiful sheer pink shimmery color. It is that fantastic and I have worn it almost everyday since I got it. I looked at the Burt’s Bees website and it comes in so many other colors, so I might need to stock up. I HIGHLY recommend this gloss.

Vaseline® Lip Therapy® Rosy Lips – I’ve never used Vaseline on my lips before but this little container is SO CUTE. IT went on really smooth, smelled amazing just like roses, and left a pretty pink sheen. The only thing I don’t like is having to apply it with my finger – other than that it’s perfect.

I also picked up this face powder with my points because I’ve hit major pan with my current Pixi powder.

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Marcelle Monochromatic Pressed Powder – I really like this – I used it once and it seemed to mattify and give a good coverage over my foundation. It has a slight luminizing shimmer to it. It comes with a little sponge in the bottom but I used a powder brush instead.

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As always with a purchase over $35 you can add on a free sample pack. I got Folle de Joie perfume for the second time which is ok because it smells really great – light and sweet. I also got this ElevenSkin Perfection Eye Creme + Concealer. Y’all this is FULL SIZE and $30 in the Birchbox shop – I lucked out! It only comes in one shade and I swatched it on my hand and it seemed to match ok. Just a light color that I hope will cover some eye bags. It has natural sea botanicals to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. I still can’t believe I got this full size product for FREE!!!

August Birchbox

So I’ve been putting off this blog because this month was kind of disappointing. So each month Birchbox lets you preview the products you’re getting in your box. This is what I was getting in my box. I was really excited to try all the products except The Balm Stainiac.

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So let’s see what I really got in my box.

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So obviously this is not the box that was in my preview and I was VERY disappointed. I emailed Birchbox and they just said this sometimes happens and she loaded the correct box onto my account so I could review the products I actually got. I had already started reviewing some products from the fake box so that is the only plus – I got 20 extra points from reviewing.

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Neil George Shampoo and Conditioner – These were the only products that I was sort of excited about and I have already used them and they aren’t that great. The shampoo doesn’t lather that well – I will not be buying the full size of these. The sample size is pretty generous though.

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Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate –  This product can be used morning and night before serum and moisturizer to ward against dryness, again, and UV rays. I’m not sure why this product is necessary, and I looked at Paula’s Choice review on Beautypedia and it did not get good reviews so clearly I didn’t want to use it. I was able to swap it.

Dr. Jart+ Dis-a-Pore Beauty Balm – This is a tinted balm but only comes in one color(???) and is supposed to tighten and hide pores. It also did not get good reviews from Paula so I swapped it too!

Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner – I already got a free sample of this from Sephora and it is actually larger than this sample. I liked it ok but not enough to keep this sample – I am trying to swap it. I found that this liner stays on way too well, and is kind of glumpy going on.

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So this was the redeeming item of August for me – my Birchbox plus Chole + Isabel necklace. I think it is gorgeous and it is a special design just for Birchbox. This was an extra add on at an extra cost to me, but I think it was totally worth it! So for September you get to pick one of your sample choices, so today I chose the Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Spray. The other choices were the Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate, Davines Oi Conditioner, or the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Starter Set. I have received all those products before so this oil was a natural choice – and I have been really enjoying hair oils lately. I almost picked the Davines though just because I loved the shampoo set I got in a previous Birchbox! You could also have picked the Fashionista box that has a set group of samples. What did you pick for this month?

Macadamia™ Natural Oil Healing Oil Spray

Past Birchboxes

I always love seeing what other people get in their Birchboxes so I thought you might too! I’ll put them all in one post for you to see with the contents and what my favorite product was.

December 2013

  • Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle
  • Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentrate
  • Color Club Cocktail Hour Collection
  • Chapstick Hydration Lock
  • Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee
  • Fatty Sundays Chocolate Covered Pretzels

My favorite product was the Beauty Protector – I ordered a full size as soon as this was used up. It smells AMAZING sort of like vanilla and really does detangle and leave my hair smooth. I also liked the pretzel and the Embryolisse!

January 2014

  • Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
  • Ahmad Teas
  • Nail Rock
  • 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara
  • Juara Candlenut Body Creme

I love the Juara cream – it smelled amazing! Sadly the sample was really tiny (one use) and the full size is $35…it’s still on my wishlist. A lot of people love the Klorane dry shampoo, but I am not one of them. I did not like the way it smelled or felt on my hair. I also really hated the 100% pure mascara. It just didn’t work and seemed really dried out – I had to toss it.

February 2014

  • Ruby Wing Color Changing Nail Polish
  • Bain de Terre Passion Flower Color Preserving Shampoo
  • Bain de Terre Passion Flower Color Preserving Conditioner
  • Joan Vass L’eau de Amethyste
  • Previse Hydromilk

My favorite product was the Ruby Wing polish! It goes on as a super sparkly gold and in the sun changes to a dark red! It was so fun to see the color change. I plan on buying another color of this someday. I also liked the shampoo and conditioner and would maybe buy more. I really disliked the perfume and the cream was just ok.

March 2014

  • Mighty Leaf Tea
  • Pop Beauty Aqua Laquer
  • Gilchrist and Soames London Collection Body Lotion
  • Control Corrective Cucumber Bead Cleanser
  • Control Corrective Oil Free Healing Lotion
  • Air Repair Rescue Balm
  • Girarhdelli Intense Dark Cherry Tango

This month I had a lot to review which means more points! My favorite product was the Gilchrist and Soames lotion because it has a nice light scent and melts into skin quickly. I did not like the air repair or the control corrective samples. The Pop gloss was just ok.

April 2014

  • Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner
  • Color Club Gala’s Gems Collection
  • Keims Cleanshine Energizing Shampoo
  • theBalm Cosmetics How ‘Bout Them Apples?
  • KIND Healthy Grain Bars

My fave was the Sumita eyeliner – a nice smooth dark purple that really stays on. A close second was the polish and the yummy bar. I really disliked the shampoo – it had no lather.

May 2014

  • Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint
  • Caldrea Body Lotion
  • Caldrea Body Wash
  • Color Club Art Duo Pens
  • Kerastase Masque Cristal
  • Supergoop! Everyday SPF 30

I thought this was a great boxy. My favorite was the Caldrea products because they smelled amazing – I am considering buying more. I also liked the Jouer and the Supergoop – it smells great, sort of like lemons! The Kerastase is super expensive and this was a one time use where I couldn’t really see results. I have yet to use the nail art pen because that’s not really my thing.

June 2014

  • Harvey Prince Hello
  • LAQA & CO Sheer Lip Lube Pencil
  • Davines OI/ All In One Milk
  • Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo
  • Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner
  • The Aloe Source Vitamin C Antioxidant Creme
  • Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit

This was another fantastic month with lots of great samples – maybe my favorite! I loved all of the Davines products. The shampoo bottle size was very generous and I got lots of uses out of it. The conditioner and OI I got about 2 uses each but they both smelled amazing and really worked to make my hair soft and smooth. I also loved the Aloe Source creme – it melts into the skin and is very moisturizing. I really wanted the purple color of the lip lube and this coral color was not my fave. I’m not as crazy over this Hello scent or the Liz Earle as other people are but I will still use the samples.

My July BB post is already up and the August one will be soon. Hope you enjoyed my walk down memory lane! What’s your favorite BB product you’ve ever gotten?

Birchbox Haul

So I had $20 to burn in Birchbox points and there are some things I had been wanting…let’s go shopping!

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Smashbox BB Cream Eyes in Light – I actually tried this out at Sephora before buying online. I currently don’t use any concealers and I don’t have really dark undereye circles but I thought it would just be a nice hilighter under my eyes. It has a brush tip applicator just like the Stila lipglosses, and it is a very creamy formula. It also has SPF 15 which is nice.

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Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette – So I have been wanting to try this for a very long time. I don’t have any of the Urban Decay Naked palettes because they’re $50 and I can’t justify spending that much on some eyeshadow. I do however think they are gorgeous. And this wonderful palette is a dupe of Naked 3. They $34 price tag I feel much better about.

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Here are the outlandishly gorgeous colors. I am so excited about new pinks and shimmery neutrals.

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The set on Birchbox also comes with 3 Coastal Scents brushes: dome shadow, doefoot blender, and large shadow. I don’t really need brushes but I’ll still try them out anyway.

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Suki 2 Step Ultra-Soft Lip Kit – I’ve been reading about this brand a lot on different subscription box websites and the exfoliating foaming cleanser gets fave reviews for the fresh lemony scent and sugar crystals. I was hoping to get a sample in my Birchbox but never did, and the full size is pretty pricey. Then I saw this lip kit and decided it was a great way to try out the product.

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The cleanser is a nice size but when I opened it up it had hardened some – I had read online that it can do that. So I added a little water to soften it. I tried it a little last night and while it does have a nice scent I didn’t feel like it foamed a whole lot. I still had all my makeup on so next time I will take off my makeup first then exfoliate with this. The other product in the set is this 4 swipe formula lip care. It is supposed to heal lips and act as a primer for lipstick. I tried it today and it is nothing like regular chapstick. You have to swipe pretty hard to get it to feel like it’s going on and then it feels like a primer. I didn’t put lipstick on top so I can’t attest to it’s staying power. It also had a nice lemony scent.

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So I don’t normally spend this much in the Birchbox shop at one time, but I had points to burn and I was very intrigued by the offer for Birchbox Aces to use the code to get this Ace Bag. It’s free with a certain order amount and is supposed to contain 3 deluxe samples of products the BB staff is currently obsessed with. The products are a mystery.

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Under normal circumstances I would have loved this mystery bag, but I had literally just ordered the Revealed 2 palette and the Suki cleanser to try in this order! I mean what are the chances of that happening?! I would have liked to try these samples before buying but I took the plunge and bought anyway. Needless to say I was a little disappointed. I emailed them to see if I could try two different samples and I’ll see what they say. If it’s a no go I’ll probably put these up for swaps. I also got a Gilchrist and Soames Spa Therapy body wash. I got a lotion by this company in a past Birchbox and really liked it so I am excited to try this. I love bath and body products. Overall the bag is cute, but in the future I would not forgo a 20% off code or a really good gwp for this again.

UPDATE: They send me a new Ace bag which was really nice, but the bag had the exact same products! Oh well, more samples to swap.

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Just for comparison look how tiny the Suki sample is from my Ace Bag compared to the travel size from my kit. SO TINY!

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Any time you spend $35 in the BB shop you can add on a free mystery sample pack – I almost always try to make my order $35 to add this on because it’s a fun deal. I got Davines Love conditioner which I recently sampled in a BB and really liked. It has a nice floral scent and is much thicker than a traditional conditioner – I got two uses out of this packet. I also got the scent Folle de Joie which I am very excited to try. People have been getting this in their boxes and saying it smells amazing but I never got to try till now. The full size is very expensive so I hope I don’t love it too much!

Well that’s it for this haul – until next time!

Influenster #VitatalityVoxBox

This is my second FREE box from Influenster. It’s a great site where you take quizzes and review products in order to get free products! It only took me about a month before I got my first box. If you would like an invite, leave your email below or send me a message. Let’s see what I got!

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Here’s the product card with all the info on it.

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First Degree Advanced Burn Cream – This seems sort of like Neosporin – I don’t get burns often but this is a good thing to keep in the medicine cabinet.

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Elizabeth Arden FLAWLESS FUTURE Serum – This anti aging serum has mini caplets that activate when dispensed which seems pretty cool. It reinforces skins moisture, evens skin tone and texture, and reduces sings of wrinkles. I’ll give it a try tonight and see how I like it. I’m sure I won’t buy it though because the full size is $60 – besides I prefer my serums to have retinol for anti aging.

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Softlips Cube – This definitely reminds me of the round EOS lip balms you see at Target, but I still like it. It has SPF and softens lips – I felt a tingly sensation when it went on. I got the Vanilla Bean scent but it also comes in Fresh Mint and Pomegranate Blueberry. I got two coupons for $1 off Softlips cubes so maybe I’ll get some more for friends.

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Playtex Sport Fresh Balance – These tampons have a light scent plus odor shield – I don’t usually buy scented tampons but I’ll still give these a try. It’s always great to have backups!

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Pure Leaf Iced Tea – I LOVE iced tea! I am so excited that I got the Lemon flavor because I saw that some other people got unsweetened which I would have liked a little less. I haven’t tasted it yet but I bet it’s extra yummy because it’s fresh brewed!

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Bikini Ready Energy Gummies – Select Influensters got a whole bottle of these gummies – as you can see I was not one of them. This gummie is a B-12 vitamin supplement and an energy booster. It says it helps boost metabolism to maximize your workout – let’s just be honest I don’t work out very much so I won’t be buying these. I take vitamin gummies but have never had gummie energy booster – I’m a little afraid to try them out.

So that’s my free #VitalityVoxBox with all my goodies from Influenster to test and review. Again, if you want an invite leave your email or message me – I think it’s a great program that gives you free stuff!

August Beauty Box Five

So I cancelled this box but still got charged for the August box which is OK because it’s only $12. Here’s what I got!

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They also include a product card with more information about each product.

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Purlisse Pur perfect SPF 30- I know everyone has been griping about this product because they’ve been getting it in so many boxes but this is my first time to get it so I was really excited. I finally get to see what all the hype is about! I’m so glad it’s the SPF version so I can wear it during the day. I like the formula – it’s light and melts in pretty fast. It has a sort of weird scent but it’s not very noticeable. I’ve used it a couple of times already and it hasn’t made me break out or anything.

Style Essentials Nail Polish – I think this is just a non branded nail polish. I saw some other colors that people got and I think I would have liked them more but that’s ok, I’ll still try this out. It’s clear with large black circle dots and white little line confettis. It will be fun to try it over a bright color.

Nanacoco lipgloss in Secret Crush – I was super excited to see a full size lipgloss in this box that I put it on right away then realized that was a mistake. It’s way thicker than I thought it would be – not sheer like other glosses. The pigment really stays on your lips and showed every amount of dry skin I had on them. I ended up liking it ok but it’s not going to be my go to gloss.

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Novex Brazilian Keratin – It says on the product card that I’m getting a Roux product but I got this instead – oh well! It says you should leave this on for 25 min wet hair with a shower cap or 15 with a salon vaporizer. I’m not going to do either of those things because ain’t nobody got time for that so it says it can also be used just as a conditioner which is exactly what I’m going to do.

La Fresh Travel Lite Oil-Free Makeup Remover Wipes – Oh man these are great for traveling! They’re free of parabens and smell pretty good too. I also love the purple packaging.

Overall my favorite items in this box were the Purlisse and the La Fresh! I’m not super sad to see this sub go though. What do you think about this box?

August Julep Maven

So I decided to sign up for Julep! If you don’t know what that is, Julep is a subscription box for nail polish and some beauty products. I personally think the polish is great and each month they come out with all new colors! I’ve already ordered several things from Julep so I know which products I like, but I’m also ready to try some new ones. I used this link to sign up and get a 3 month subscription – use code FREEBOX to get the first box free! It’s a great deal. If you do sign up please use my referral code! I can also invite you by email if you leave a comment below. The first month is a welcome box, so it’s not from the current month’s collection. I picked the Bombshell box. Let’s see what I got!

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Julep Oxygen Soothing Base Coat – Julep’s oxygen technology lets oxygen permeate nails to help them grow healthy and strong. This was thicker and not clear like a normal base coat – looked more like a strengthener polish. It dried really fast and seemed to set a good base for my polish.

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Clearly purple is my favorite color and that’s why I picked this welcome box.

Sera – This was on my wishlist! It is a celestial fog iridescent chrome and it looks gorgeous!

Beverly – This is a boysenberry creme polish, another solid purple.

I’m very happy that I signed up for Julep Maven – the products are great and there are so many perks. You get 20% the site, a secret store once a month, and free shipping! What are you waiting for – go sign up!

 

Weekend Picks

My husband was out of town this weekend at church champ, so what’s a wife to do? Go shopping with Mom of course! Here’s a couple things I found (both on sale!!!).

I popped into J. Crew and got the adorable Embroidered Windowpane Top in pale aloe.

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I snatched this baby up on sale with an extra 50% off for $16.10 – not bad for a $69.50 top! And look at the beautiful details! The embroidery and windowpane print are so cute for summer.

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I was getting pretty tired after a couple hours and we were about to leave when Mom suggested looking at the shoes in Dillards. I almost didn’t even try these on but Mom insisted – I’m so glad she did because I LOVE them! They are the most perfect metallic wedge by Steve Madden. I got them on sale for $49.99 but on online they are reduced to $27.99 (but there’s only size 8.5 left). So look for them in store!

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And here’s my easy Monday morning summer outfit! Find any good deals lately?

Skincare Faves

My favorite skincare brand is Paula’s Choice. My Mom discovered it about 5 years ago when I started college and I’ve been using it ever since. I used to have pretty bad acne and have been to dermatologists and tried ProActiv (didn’t work for me). As I’ve gotten older, my skin has gotten clearer (mostly thanks to birth control and prescription pills for acne), but also thanks to some hard working products. Here’s what I’m using currently.

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Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser – This is my favorite cleanser, I currently keep it in the shower. It is a gel that foams up really nicely so it’s also great to use with my Clarisonic Mia. It gets good reviews for all skin types on Paula’s Choice Beautypedia Reviews.

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These are the products I use at night after washing my face – I usually alternate between these depending on how I’m feeling.

Paula’s Choice Resist Anti Aging Clear Skin Hydrator – this melts into skin and is silky smooth. It is good for oily or acne prone skin, and also helps treat wrinkles with powerful antioxidants.

Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum – This is a fantastic serum with Vitamin C to brighten and fix damaged cells. It is also good good for wrinkles (not that I need it because I’m only 23, but a girl can never start too early!).

Resist Intensive Wrinkle Repair Retinol Serum – another wrinkle and skin boosting serum – I probably don’t need both but that’s why I alternate.

Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment – This contains 10% alpha hydroxy acid which is a chemical exfoliant – helps keep skin healthy and clear!

FYI a good amount of Paula’s Choice products are also available on Birchbox if you want to get points! 

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I use these products in the morning after washing my face.

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore Reducing Toner – This goes on a cotton ball and helps remove any left over makeup, reduces look of pores, helps curb my oily skin and lightly hydrates.

Skin perfecting 2% BHA Exfoliant – I don’t use this a lot (see what I’m using below) but it’s also a great exfoliant to keep skin clear. Makes my skin radiant!

Skin Balancing Ultra Sheer Daily Defense SPF 30 – Y’all I gotta have my SPF! I use this everyday and love a good multitasker. It moisturizes, protects and dries matte.

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Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Hydrating 3-in-1 Acne Treatment – Sadly this product is discontinued and my tube is running out! This line by Neutrogena is still around but not this particular product which is sad because I love it. It’s a gel and is super hydrating and smells nice and has salicylic acid. I’ll use the 2% BHA or another Paula product when this runs out.

Clean and Clear Persa-Gel 10 Acne Medication – This is a great zip zapper, I put it on morning and night when I have a spot and it clears it up in a couple days.

Well that’s it! Now you know in great detail how I get my (mostly) glowing skin. Another FYI, the Paula’s Choice website is a FANTASTIC resource for research on a ton of skincare and makeup brands. Paula does reviews of a bunch of brands and products to truthfully tell everyone if they work or are worth the price. I usually read up before I buy something new. Any great products you recommend?