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Saturday, August 25, 2012

I Can Buy That For What?


I know many have heard of these so called "deals" websites where you can buy premium products at dirt cheap prices. Do these sites really exist? Will they just take your money and run? Will they hack your bank account and transfer all your money to some Caiman Islands off shore bank?

First, yes these types of sites do exist. I check them daily and do get some really great deals on many days. For example, just today I scored some facial products that retail for over $150 together on the product's website for $25.98 with free shipping and no tax. I have not had any problems with any hacking my account. I have always gotten what I've ordered with no problems.



Before I give you the links to some of my favorite sites, I will give you some pointers for a smooth sailing great deal transaction. Number one, most of these sites allow you to pay via Paypal. I strongly suggest using Paypal when paying for anything online. A multitude of sites take Paypal now, even itunes, so it pays off to have a Paypal account. The main reason I suggest using Paypal is that if you do encounter a problem, Paypal offers certain protection as well as tracking your transaction and providing all the contact information for the other party. Another tip is to always Google the item you are about to purchase before you buy. The reason I do this is because there are times when the item offered is available on other sites (such as amazon.com) for the same price or cheaper. Be a smart shopper!

Alright, now to the good stuff. I am going to list some links below that I have personally used and gotten some really great deals.

My favorite is http://1saleaday.com/ 
They change their sales up every 24 hours and the products range from beauty products to tools to jewelry. On some products they charge shipping, but on the tab that says Flash, shipping is free.

Another of my favorites is http://www.dailysteals.com/
This site changes every 24 hours, too.





These next two do not change every day, so I only check them a couple of times a week. I would strongly suggest checking them out if you need electronics accessories, such as HDMI cables or earbuds, because you can get these types of products here for a fraction of the cost that you will pay at Wal-Mart or Best Buy.

http://www.icemonkey.com/

http://bensoutlet.com/

I have bought many, many products from these sites and have been pleased every time. Happy shopping!






Saturday, August 18, 2012

Birchbox 2012

After waiting only a few weeks, I got added to the subscription box known as Birchbox. I have read on many websites that Birchbox is a favorite of some. I guess I have been spoiled by the full-size products from Cravebox and Popsugar or the luxury products that I receive from Sample Society, but I was not impressed with Birchbox.



I received my first box a few days ago and was a bit disappointed when I first looked in the box. First, the wrapping on the items had come loose, so it was not a very good presentation especially with the bow that was supposed to be around something just laying to the side. The other three boxes I subscribe to are always so neatly packaged. I tried to put my prejudice of the sloppily packaged items aside and look at the contents with a clear mind.




I was not impressed with the size of the samples, for one thing. The Viva La Juicy by Couture was tiny. I have actually already received two of these same samples for free. I do like the smell of it and I will use it, but in my opinion it doesn't stack up to the deluxe sized samples of perfume that I have gotten from Sample Society. 




Next, there was a tiny little bar of some sort. I had to pick it up to read what it was. I found out that it is an Uber bar and the flavor is Apple Turnover. I had never heard of this bar so I googled it and found out that the cost is about $25 for a box of 15. This looks like about half the size of what appears to be a full-size bar. I will pass it on to my children, however, because I am currently on a strict weight loss diet and this has way too many fat grams for me to eat right now. I hope they enjoy it because at $25/15 I will probably not be buying any!




There was a card which appeared to have q-tips attached to it. I looked closer and the q-tips had clear middles which seemed to have liquid inside. These turned out to be Beauty Fixation Makeup Remover. Apparently you break one end and use the other end to remove makeup. These are relatively inexpensive as I found them online at $5 for 24 count. The card in the box had three attached.




The next item was a bright red tube that read "Stainiac". This is a lip and cheek tint. Supposedly it is not as bright as it looks, but I haven't tried it yet. It is supposed to stain your lips and cheeks and be long-wearing, so I don't really want to try it when I am going somewhere as I'm afraid it will be too red. Perhaps I will try it before bed tonight and hopefully if it's too dark it will wear off before morning, either that or my husband will think I'm sexy. ;P



The last item is my favorite (I think, I have yet to try it). It is Sumita Brow Base and at first I was unclear as to the purpose of this product. I was pleased to find that this is a smoother for eyebrows, but it also doubles as an eyeshadow primer. It will be great if it keeps my eyeshadow looking fresh all day. We will see. It retails for $11, so I guess you could say that this one product was worth the $10 I paid for the box.


I also found that for every box you pay for, you get 10 points at the Birchbox website and 100 points translates into $10 to spend on their site. So, to sum things up, I'm not super excited about this first box. I will give them another go next month, but if I still feel the same I will probably cancel and give someone else a chance to get their Birchbox.



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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sample Society August 2012

Well, this is my third time to get a box from Sample Society and so far so good. The products you get with Sample Society are all high end and not necessarily something I would buy, but it's nice to try these products. They do send you a code with each box for $15 off a $50 purchase of a full-size product from that box, which I guess you could say pays you back from the price of the box. However, after my 3rd month I have yet to use my code. Maybe I will just love something from this month's box enough to purchase it, who knows...I do love the little black boxes the samples come in; I think they will be great for wrapping Christmas presents.

Now, to the good part! What I found inside my August 2012 Sample Society box.

I always enjoy opening a box that I know is full of surprises, so I hurriedly opened my box when I found it on my doorstep. Here is what I found inside:




My eye was immediately drawn to the bright yellow box across the top of the box. I was pleased to find that it was treatment oil for hair, which I definitely need for my hair which I straighten daily. It turned out to be from Phyto and was called Phytonectar Treatment Oil. It claims to bring damaged, dehydrated hair back to life. This retails for $30/1.7 ounces on Sephora, this sample is 0.33 ounces. A good sized sample that I think will last quite a while because I don't think it will take much for each use.




Next, I picked up a small gold tube that I anticipated to be some sort of face or eye cream. I was surprised, however, to find that it was mascara. It was Jane Iredale's Longest Lash Mascara in black ice. I have never seen mascara in a soft tube before, but it seems like you would be able to get more of the product out than with a traditional mascara container. The mascara retails for $33/1.2 ounce, the sample is 0.1 ounce. It has really good reviews on janeiredale.com, so I am excited to try it.




I spotted a bottle with pink liquid inside. Upon inspection, I found that this little pink gem was Arcona's Cranberry Toner. It is a 3 in 1 toner that cleanses, tones, and hydrates. The cost is $33/110 mL and the sample is 30 mL, which is about a third of the full size. I don't know how well it will work, but it sure is pretty!




I love, love, LOVE the color of this next product. The color of this Deborah Lippman nail lacquer is awesome! It is called Private Dancer and it's a metallic purple. As soon as this post is done, I'm going to break out the nail polish remover and change my toenails from blue glitter to purple, the website says it is gilded ultra violet. It retails for $18. The bottle says sample, but it looks like a full bottle to me.




One of the facial products included in this month's box was a face cleanser called Elemental Herbology Cool & Clear facial cleanser. It smells like it will make my face cool and tingly after using. It claims to clean pores, remove impurities, and help with congestion. It seems to be a European product, since the main website lists the price in Euros. I found it on another site for $46/100 mL. The sample is 25 mL.




The final product was a small sample of face moisturizer. In my other two boxes I only got 4 samples and this box has 5 so I really don't want to complain about the size of this one, but it is really tiny. The name of the product is Malin+Goetz Vitamin e Face Moisturizer. Their site says it is oil free and residue free, which should do well on my combination/oily skin. We shall see. It retails for $45/4 ounces. This sample is 0.04 ounce.




Overall, I am pleased with this box. If you decide to try Sample Society, please use my referral code, REBE721088.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Freebies...What's Real and What's Spam?

For many, many years I have been receiving free stuff in my mailbox. In fact, it is quite a rush when I get home and look in the mailbox to see what I've gotten that day. However, if you don't know what you are looking for, you might end up with a BUNCH of spam in your email folder. I get tons of email each day promising free haircare products, free skincare, shampoo, you name it. DELETE immediately! This is spam and will at the least cause you spam headaches and at the worst crash your computer with some weird virus or spyware.  Unless you are signed up with a company for which you test products (this will be a post for another day), you will most likely NOT receive emails telling you that you can receive a free product.

There are signs to look for when signing up for a freebie online. The first red flag is if at the bottom of the form, a site says you must "complete offers" in order to receive the free item. This is a sure sign that you will not get your free item and you will get plenty of junk email.

For the most part, you will actually have to go and "get" freebies online. The most common freebie you can sign up for online are samples. Legimate samples will come directly from the manufacturer's website or facebook page. I normally find my freebies from various bulletin boards. WalMart also updates their site with offers for free samples. Some places I look for freebies are The Absolute Forum and Big Big Forums. These two sites are monitored pretty closely and have only legimate offers. The Absolute Forum also has a daily newsletter you can sign up for that will show you the latest freebies available on the internet. 

Here are a few tips to remember when signing up for freebies:

  • Don't sign up for anything that says you have to complete offers
  • When you see a freebie, sign up immediately because they do not last long.
  • You can make up a freebie-only email address to reduce the amount of email you receive on your real email. You can get an email address from Yahoo or Gmail.
  • It may take several weeks to receive your freebies, which is fine because I usually forget what I've signed up for and it's a surprise!
  • Most will not ship to a P.O. Box
  • If it's a sample from a Facebook page, you will probably have to "like" the page before you can see the sample form.
Alright, who's ready to sign up for some free stuff? I will put several links below to get you started:


The above samples will just give you a taste of finding freebies online. There are many other ways to get free stuff, but I will save that for another day. Happy hunting!