reviews

Loves & Recommendations #2

by Jamie Sanford on August 30, 2017


In an extension of my Product Picks, I wanted to share a regular post about things that I’m enjoying and recommending. Welcome to Loves & Recommendations #2!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links.

To see all of my product picks, click here.

My foray into fantasy hair continues, and I’m currently using Purple Rain by Arctic Fox. This color is particularly beautiful.

Coty Airspun Powder. I could probably write a whole blog post about this. It is so old school – note the “since 1935” on the package, but it is the best setting powder for foundation that I have ever used. I have tried using regular foundation powders, setting powders, and I love this one the most. It does have a scent, which I know isn’t for everyone, but the finish does not lie. You can get this at drugstores, and on Amazon, for an average price of about $7-$8. I don’t use the powder puff, I use a big fluffy powder brush to apply, and it gives the most amazing finish. Matte but not powdery and gross.

Safari Live! We came across the Safari Live channel while looking at other live channels on YouTube via the Xbox, and we have been HOOKED ever since. As in, putting safaris on our TV for 3 hours at a time, almost daily, becoming invested in the lives of the animals and the tour guides, it is a THING that we are doing. They broadcast 6 hours of live safaris from Africa every single day, and they archive them to watch later. You can interact with the guides through a Twitter hashtag, and you get so many amazing looks at beautiful animals. Warning – they do not shy away from live animal kills, so be prepared for that. The internet is so full of hate and vitriol, and finding Safari Live has been an escape that is very welcome. Check it out!

The AmazonBasics Portable Bluetooth Speaker. I bought this in response to having sound issues with my iPad, where the audio levels are so low (only on certain YouTube videos), and it needed to be dealt with. I purchased this because it was the “Amazon’s Choice” product, and it is a wonderful item! It is smaller than I expected, but it connects without issue to both my iPad and Will’s Android phone. I actually think I might buy a second one, as this has been commandeered for use in the kitchen. I’m sure that for outdoor use, or to fill a room with music, I would buy something bigger, and with more promise of sound quality. However, for small personal needs – for podcasts while you cook or something similar, this is a great option.

The Popsocket. I saw someone on YouTube using this and bought it immediately. I love my iPhone 7 Plus, but it is enormous and unwieldy, even after months of use. This extra bit of stability is amazing. It took a few days to adjust to it, but I don’t think I could be without it now.

LinkedIn Learning. I had access to Lynda for a while, which was purchased by LinkedIn, and the content is available in both places. The beginner and intermediate courses in marketing topics are GREAT, and provide a good foundation of knowledge on topics. I haven’t yet explored the more advanced courses, but I have a membership now so I will have to try it out.

What are your recent favorites? Tell me on Twitter.

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Polish Project #3

by Jamie Sanford on June 20, 2012

Click here to see all of the previous Polish Project posts.

15. OPI Show It and Glow It

The only collection I have owned in full is the Burlesque collection. I got the whole thing for my birthday, it was fabulous. So much glitter.

Thoughts: I hate glitter application. What a pain. I can’t get anywhere near the sides of my nails without covering my fingers in glitter. I end up having just not cute nails. Plus, TIP WEAR after like 2 hours. WTF. Naturally it also eats topcoat like crazy.
Verdict: Keeping it, I think I will probably keep the glitters to try doing gradients or something similar.

16. Wet n’ Wild Gray’s Anatomy
17. Sally Hansen In the Spotlight

The first manicure in the testing that I took off as soon as I was “finished.”

Thoughts: Oh good god, this was just awful. The Gray’s Anatomy is an interesting polish but application was a nightmare. Also they are lying about “fast drying.” Although I will always default to thinking that I just can’t apply something properly. The Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Annihilating (or whatever) topcoat would be better if the glitter bars would distribute on the nail properly. No quick drying there too. Check out my middle finger being a hot mess.
Verdict: I guess I’m up for sharing these with someone else who is perhaps more patient? It’s a silvery-purple duochrome, not bad in color, I just had trouble with application.

18. Wet n’ Wild Eggplant Frost (hot deal at 99 cents)
19. NYC White Lights Glitter (this is an even hotter deal at 59 cents!)

Not sure why I reached for another bottle of Wet n’ Wild after the previous disaster, but the experience was much different.

Thoughts: Brush was a bit thin but allowed for more preciseness. The color doesn’t really come across in my dark photo, but it’s a blurple on the more purple side. It’s lovely. I used the NYC White Lights Glitter sparkly topcoat as an accent nail, and wow, it really is the business. Great glitter distribution without covering up too much of the base color.
Verdict: These are staying on the shelf!

20. Milani Neon Pink Rocks
21. Sephora by OPI Flurry Up

This was a mixed experience, and I think my first jelly polish. Also to be noted that my husband thought this manicure was messy, and mostly he does not care so when he notices, that means something. He was also surprised to find out that I had polishes in my collection that I had never tried. I’m confused by this because I thought it was evident that trying them all was the point. Is it not obvious that there are polishes I own but haven’t used? I don’t know how many because I didn’t get into that before starting the project.

Thoughts: This formula was sheer and a bit thin for my liking. After what seemed like 14 coats, I still had VNL (as seen in this blog here too, and apparently she only tried 2 coats), and so brought in my friend Flurry Up to assist. Flurry up is my favorite glittery topcoat ever. Big and small bits of glitter, and they spread out so nicely on the nail. I have to buy another bottle of this before it goes away. Or try others in the “Jewelry Top Coats” from Sephora.
Verdict: Someone else can try the Pink Rocks. Let me know if you’re interested. Flurry Up is mine forever.

22. OPI Shimmer and Simmer

Another glitter from the Burlesque collection. After painting my left hand, I added thinner before tackling my right.

Thoughts: The colors are so fabulous, but the immediate tip wear happened here too. Is there a glitter tutorial I should know about to do better with these? It ate a ton of Seche Vite, and I think I will keep this on for a few days to do a better endurance test.
Verdict: I’m keeping it. I can’t part with something this pretty. I’m going to have to test these glitters over another color at some point too.

3 posts in and I’ve tried 22 polishes. (I totally also caved and bought another one but we will talk about that later. I’m still acquiring about 99% less polish than I have been at certain times in the last few years.) I figure I will photograph my share selections and stick it up on Facebook soon to see who wants any of the ones that have been troublemakers for me.

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Lip Balm Reviews and Recommendations

by Jamie Sanford on July 27, 2011

Lip Balm Recommendations

I really love lip balm, I am constantly applying something to my lips to keep them moisturized and feeling healthy.  I’m not a big lipstick person, and I wear a lot of eyeliner so I like to keep the lip color to a minimum. You gotta keep the lips soft and moisturized though, chapped lips aren’t sexy. So, lip balm is a major part of my life.

So here are my lip balm reviews and recommendations!

Yes, I am 31 and recommending Boo Berry Lip Balm.  I bought this initially for some nostalgic goodness, but it turns out that this is a bangin’ lip balm. It is blue, super delicious and has a great texture, which can sometimes be a problem for me with lip balms.

Bonus is that the blue color can actually show up on the lips a bit, which I really like.  It gives my natural lip color a little something extra.

The Boo Berry Lip Balm is available from Perpetual Kid for $2.99.

Smith’s Rosebud Salve is next on my lip balm list.  While I do own a tin and enjoy it, it is not my favorite lip balm. However, it’s a great multi-use product, I have used it before to tame some frizzy hair and I understand its good for moisturizing cuticles as well.  In a pinch it will be a fine lip balm, but the texture of it is a little slippery for me.  I like something with a bit more heft to it, the the Smith’s Rosebud Salve doesn’t have that for me.

Smith’s Rosebud Salve is available from Amazon for $6.65.

Nivea Lip Care came into my life through the fabulous toiletries bag that one gets while flying Emirates.  It’s very nourishing and unisex, it has no color and doesn’t feel like a lipstick.  It’s about as light as it can be without being too light in texture for my personal taste.  It makes my lips feel soft and fabulous, and bonus to Emirates for providing quality products for those long flights when the stale air in the plane can wreak havoc on skin.

Nivea Lip Care “A Touch of Moisture” is available from Amazon for $2.50.

The classic, Chapstick is a great product.  Cherry is my favorite Chapstick flavor, so that’s what I’m sharing here, and I love it, but Chapstick isn’t as fulfilling for me as a lip treatment.  There are products on the market that are good for adding some color and are lip balm like, but don’t provide the name level of moisture that come from other thicker products.  However, having a Chapstick in your pocket or whatever is still a classic choice.  It will definitely keep your lips feeling moisturized and may even provide a little bit of color, but I would recommend using another product if your lips are already dry and chapped and need actual healing.

(Note that I am talking about Cherry Chapstick here – Medicated Chapstick is great when your lips aren’t in the best shape.)

Chapstick in Cherry is available from Amazon for $7.90 for a pack of 3.

I have run into a lot of Carmex haters, but this is a serious product. No, the look and feel of Carmex doesn’t have the sexy branding you can get from other products, but Carmex does the job.  If your lips are feeling dry or painful, slap on some Carmex and you are on your way to feeling better.  The only issue I’ve ever had with Carmex was my own fault, I left a pot of it in my car in the summer and nearly burned my lip off trying to put some on when I got in the car.  Carmex turns to LAVA in the sun.  So besides my own stupidity, I have nothing but love for Carmex.  I find it especially good for intense lip moisturizing overnight, put on a nice coat of Carmex before bed and your lips will be soft and supple when you wake up.

Carmex is available in a .5-ounce pot from Amazon for $2.05.

This is Burt’s Bees Honey Lip Balm.  It is my current favorite lip balm, but I only have 1 tube, and it’s on my desk at work.  Sadly, my husband hates the smell so I can’t be using it all the time at home without having to deal with a husband that doesn’t want to kiss me.  The smell is quite strong, it smells like beeswax candles to me, which is a scent that I really like.  The texture and weight of the product is amazing, it feels wonderful on my lips and leaves them feeling fabulous.

Burt’s Bees Honey Lip Balm is available on Amazon for $3.50.

I would love to get some opinions in the comments of this post, I know that everyone has their favorite lip balm and it seems to be a product that people are really into defending.  Let us have it!

Disclosure: I purchased all of the products mentioned in this post, with the exception of the Nivea Lip Care that I received via an Emirates flight toiletries bag.

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Reviews better than Descriptions

by Jamie Sanford on August 13, 2008

Excellent post from GrokDotCom

I read this post today on GrokDotCom and while it seems like the most obvious of points, I find myself realizing that in my business, we are not focused enough on utilizing product reviews from our target audience members.  What are the best ways to deliver these reviews to an audience when the product is online content?

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