#Freebies for Pet Owners!

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Hey guys! Just wanted to drop you pet owners (dogs & cats) a line to let you know about a really cool opportunity to get some free stuff! The agency I work for is looking for dog & cat owners to review pet products online. You don’t need to have a blog; the reviews are just on the retailer sites like Petco, Walmart, etc. This opportunity is open to anyone living in the U.S.! All you have to do is sign up for the GigaSavvy Street Team. The form should only take you a minute, and then you’ll get emailed whenever we have an opportunity for you to try and review a product.

Sign up here —> GigaSavvy Street Team Sign-Up

If you know anyone else who has a cat or dog who would be interested, feel free to refer them to this post or just send them the link! If you have questions feel free to email me.

Bubbleshield Reusable Waterproof iPhone Sleeve

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I’m sure most of you are like me – your smartphone is pretty much an appendage. My phone never leaves my side. But that can be problematic when any sort of moisture is involved. Phone + water = no bueno. Show of hands if you’ve ever spilled something on your phone or dropped it into water…

Enter, BubbleShield! The BubbleShield is a genius little device brought to you by The Joy Factory. It’s a reusable, yet also disposable little sleeve that completely protects your smartphone (or tablet – there are many sizes) from water, dirt, and other hazards. While it looks like essentially a plastic ziplock baggie, it’s completely touch sensitive (meaning you can still text your friends, take instagram pictures, etc.) all while protecting your phone!

I put my BubbleShield to the ultimate test – I took it out to Knott’s Soak City! My phone was safe and sound, and I was able to take great pictures. I’ve also taken my phone into the bathtub– get your mind outta the gutter, I was using Pandora to listen to music while I soaked!

I know this isn’t beauty-related, but I am so enamored with my little BubbleShield I just had to tell you about it. It’s perfect for event coverage, because you never know what can happen when you’re on a crowded show floor. With PHAMExpo and CosmoProf coming up, I know my BubbleShield will come in handy! It even has a hook on one corner that you can attach a lanyard to if you like. I may do that when I’m at trade shows so I can have a hands free (read: swatcheriffic!) experience.

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The BubbleShield I have is the “XL Smartphone” size and fits my iPhone 4s even with a case on just fine. The Joy Factory’s website has size charts to help you figure out what size you need based on what device you have. For the XL Smartphone size, it comes with 5 sleeves in a pack for $19.95. The packaging pictured above was just for a single sleeve so yours might look different if you order. As of right now, you can also use the code gigasavvy for 20% off your order. I do not know the end date of this code.

Try #EpicBlend For Happy Lips

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Ever heard of Epic Blend lip balm? I hadn’t heard of the Canada-based lip balm company until they contacted me, but I’m a lip balm freak and I liked the name Epic Blend, so I thought why not. They make lip balm in 3 recipes. Hemp lip balm contains nourishing hemp seed oil, their More Moisture lip balm contains several moisturizers like cocoa butter and shea butter, and their vegan lip balm is exactly that – lip balm sans beeswax. The vegan lip balm uses food-grade Candelilla wax instead.

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I have had a chance to try out all of the lip balms in this epic kit that Epic Blend sent me:

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I actually ended up giving one of the vegan balms to a vegan friend of mine, but to be honest I kind of which I hadn’t (sorry Laura!). The reason for that is I like the vegan balm better than the others, hahaha. I guess it’s just a preference but apparently the candelilla wax feels nicest to me. ;) Let me be clear though: all of the balms are awesome! They are all deeply moisturizing (and don’t just sit on top of your lips but actually absorb). All three recipes are made with top shelf ingredients, organic flavoring with no sweeteners, and are non-GMO, gluten-free, petroleum free, and not tested on animals.

If you have a keen eye, you’ll notice there is an unflavored option. I’m personally of the “flavor ALL THE THINGS!” school, but not all people are. For you not-even-vanilla folks out there, unflavored is for you! These balms aren’t terribly shiny either, so they are man-friendly. If you’re really into flavors, personally I think the More Moisture balms have the best flavors. I LOVE the Green Apple and Grape flavors!!!

There are currently 2 limited edition lip balm flavors available that I would just looooove to get my paws on. They’re both of the hemp lip balm recipe, and they are Chocolate Rum and Banana. BANANA! I love Banana anything.

Epic Balms have a very reasonable price tag of just $3.49 apiece. They’re also available in 4-packs for $12. Those prices are in Canadian dollars, by the way.

If Epic Blend sounds awesome to you, you gotta go get it online. According to their website there are currently no US retailers. Maybe that will change soon though. ;) I’d love to see this line in Ulta. Or heck, Whole Foods? At least they have free shipping on $20+ orders ($15+ in Canada).

Epic Blend is available from www.epicblend.com.

The Best Drugstore Skin Care Products

Welcome to cheap thrills – drugstore edition! While I’m an advocate of splurging whenever you can on skin care – because you DO get what you pay for when it comes to skin care, that doesn’t mean nothing in the drugstore is worth trying. Au contraire! There are also quite a few inexpensive gems to be found there.

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#1 – Fruit of the Earth 100% Pure Aloe Vera Gel

I ALWAYS have this on hand. Aloe is a soothing, cooling moisturizer that won’t upset your skin. It’s great for those of you who are prone to redness as well. My only caution is keep it away from your eyes. It tends to make my eyes sting/water if I get it anywhere near my eyes at all. Available in a mini size bottle for $1 at most drugstores.

#2 – Freeman Face Masks & Scrubs

Hi, jr high called, and said to remind you THAT CHEAPASS DRUGSTORE MASK WAS THE SHIT! And you know what, they still make it! And tons more! Freeman masks are the TRUTH. I haven’t met one yet that I didn’t love! The cucumber peel-off mask is delightfully gross (if you are the kind of person that enjoys peeling dried elmers glue off of yourself, you’ll love this…), and have you even imagined anything more decadent than a chocolate strawberry detox mask? These suckers are available at Ulta, drugstores, and online (for the whole huge selection, go there!) at freemanbeauty.com from $1.99 to $3.99 each.

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#3 – Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Line

There are 6 products in Neutrogena’s Acne Stress Control line and they’re all pretty fan-effing-tastic. They’re formulated with salicylic acid (chemical exfoliant and known acne zapper) as well as soothing cucumber. Zaps zits effectively, and cheaply. If you have dry skin you’ll want to either use lots of extra moisturizer, or only use this every other day. Each product in the line is $6-$7 at drugstores.

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#4 – Epielle Facial Cleansing Tissues

These face wipes are the bomb dot com. They come in several varieties in addition to the “original” cleansing wipe, including Aloe, Cucumber, Citrus, and Green Tea! Green Tea are my personal favorite, but they’re all amazing. Not sure where to find these? Big Lots is a sure bet. A pack of 24-30 will run you a whopping dollar.

#5 – Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream

Duh, this product made my favorites! And I gave it a good review! So you know it’s going on my best of drugstore skin care list. Lazy person version of my review: it’s surprisingly great, more gel than cream, and is as refreshing as advertised! It’s about $8 or $9 at the drug store.

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#6 – Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh Intensive Skin Repair Serum

Lest you think you can’t get skin care that goes beyond basic cleansing at the drugstore – voila! Yes To Blueberries has this nifty little serum for a mere $20. This serum is chock full of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and more goodness to help prevent signs of aging. It also smells good, so if you’re not into the science-y part of skin care, there’s that.

There are countless other products I could get into from the drugstore that are equally fab if not moreso than their high end counterparts. Have you tried any of the six products I mentioned above? Which are your fav cheap thrills in skin care?

April Favorites

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Sure it’s a week in to May already, but I’m telling you my April favorites dammit. And you’re gonna like it. Maybe. Or something?

Not a ton of color things this month because I’ve been all about skin care recently! As you may or may not have read, I’m obsessed with Urban Decay’s B6 Spray (see my review here). That’s definitely been a favorite. I use it every single day before I apply my makeup, and sometimes in between as a little boost, or afterwards to calm my skin down even more. ($33, Urban Decay)

I’ve also been really enjoying the Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream. I still feel weird calling it a cream, because it’s totally not. But it’s still a great moisturizer even if you have sensitive skin like mine. I like the refreshing scent too. It’s very “spa” to me. In case you missed it, my review is here(~$10, Drugstores)

If you’re in the market for a fan-friggin-tastic spot treatment, do check out Murad’s Acne Spot Treatment. The active ingredient is sulphur, which I find way more effective than salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. It’s also much more gentle on my skin than spot treatments made with those ingredients. It works beautifully, even though it smells kinda funky. A little goes a long way, so the tube will last you a while. Just keep in mind the expiration date (usually about a year is par for the course for these types of products). ($17, Ulta)

Two other secret weapons I’ve been relying on for the past month are Proactiv’s Refining Mask and Origins’ Clear Improvement charcoal mask. I’ve been tag-teaming my skin with these two masks to try and keep my pores as clear as possible. Both masks also make my skin soft and smooth. The charcoal mask from Origins is better for dry skin, gently removing impurities from pores. The ProActiv mask has an active ingredient of 6% sulphur and contains kaolin clay to absorb oil. (Origins Clear Improvement mask is $24 from Sephora, Proactiv Refining Mask is available from proactiv.com and Proactiv boutique kiosques).

I’ve been using and enjoying Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Beauty Balm, too! It functions as a primer with a bit of coverage too. It’s weird, even though it only gives you a little coverage, the “optical blurring” effects truly make it look like you have more coverage than you actually do. Does that make sense? I don’t know. But it’s pretty magical. See my full review here($34, Urban Decay) Whether I’m just wearing the UD BB cream or doing a full face, I have been setting my makeup with Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder. The first time I felt this powder I literally said “holy shit” out loud. It’s sooooo silky smooth. Just a little bitty bit is needed to set your makeup and give it a smooth finish. ($34, Urban Decay)

Color-wise, my Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey has been a constant staple in my purse. How many favorites posts have I mentioned it in?? I wear it a few times a week. I can’t stress enough how much I love this lip. Mine doesn’t even have any lettering on the pencil anymore because I’ve used it so many times the lettering has worn off! These are so comfortable to wear, and the colors last forever. The particular shade Honey goes with a ton of different looks. If you like colors like MAC’s Viva Glam V, you should definitely check this chubby pencil out. You won’t be sorry. Plus, it’s super cheap. ($8, Drugstores)

A few days ago, I finished up my second Senna Sketch-a-Brow pencil. I’m sad because it’s gone, but happy because it happened. Does that sound like an InstaQuote? I’ve tried a lot of brow pencils that I like and enjoy, but I’ve never used up two of any one kind except Senna’s. On the one hand, I want to go out and buy more immediately. On the other, I’m hesitant because I apparently go through brow pencils super fast. I mean I just bought that thing the first week of March! It’s hard to decide. Bloggers have such weird problems. ;) ($18, Senna Cosmetics)

After finishing my last tube of my beloved Maybelline The Rocket mascara, I received a sample of Rimmel ScandalEyes Retro Glam to try. Great news – I really like this mascara! It agrees with my eyes well (certain mascaras irritate the crap out of my eyes). It’s buildable, it’s really black, it doesn’t clump. Every once and a while if it’s really hot conditions it will smudge slightly, but it’s over all really solid. I would definitely purchase it again sometime. ($7, Drugstores)

And there you go! Those were my favorites during the month of April. What were you loving on in April?

You Need This: Urban Decay B6 Complexion Prep Spray

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I’m guessing many of you, like me, have heard a lot about various sprays. There’s lots of them out there. They range from literally just a can of water to highly beneficial skin care at the touch of a spray nozzle. When Urban Decay launched its b6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray, I’ll admit I didn’t give it much thought. Oh, water with some vitamins in it, blah blah blah. That’s all I thought it was.

I must not be alone. The Urban Decay website pretty much speaks to that exact reaction. The product description reads: “It’s one of those products you didn’t even know you needed. (But once you try it, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it!)”.

They aren’t wrong. I am SO hooked on this spray! After switching off my birth control rx, my skin understandably went a little wonky. Along with some other things (which I will be reviewing as well!), adding the b6 spray to my skin care routine has helped calm everybody down. The redness reducing claim of this spray really rings true. Other claims it makes are that it hydrates (check!), reduces pore size (I guess?), and absorbs excess oil/reduces shine. I don’t have a huge shine issue or pore size issue so I’m not sure how much it does that…but it doesn’t hurt anything. And it doesn’t dry me out in its attempt to absorb excess oil. It just hydrates and makes my skin feel so much more CALM. There’s a bunch of natural salicylic acid in there too, to help in cell turnover (hi, exfoliation – that thing everyone says is super good for you!).

Go. Do. Buy. Use. LOVE. I’m not even kidding. Get some, and thank me.

Urban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray is available at Urban Decay (and all other places UD is sold) for $33.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm Review

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I know I’m kind of late to the game reviewing Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm, but you know…better late than pregnant. Anywho, late or not, I have recently been wearing the UD BB after a suggestion from Bren of OMG Bren. My skin has been super dry lately, and she suggested I wear a good BB cream under my foundation. Since my foundation of choice is UD Naked Skin, this seemed a logical choice!

It claims to:

- hydrate instantly
– improve hydration over time
– make makeup go on nicely
– make makeup last longer
– protect with SPF 20 (broad spectrum)
– instantly even out skin tone
– instantly minimize pores, lines, wrinkles, and redness
– treats skin to firm, improve elasticity, and provide “measurable anti-aging benefits”

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm contains some new to me ingredients. Pepha®-Protect helps protect your skin cells against daily stress. Uh hi? I need that. Vitasource® and dGlyage® firm the skin, improve elasticity, and fight wrinkles. Not huge issues for me NOW, but hey better to prevent than to try and fix later!

At first I wasn’t all that excited about trying this because it only came in one shade. That shade has been renamed Naked Medium, and a lighter shade and darker shade (Naked Light and Naked Dark) have been added to the range. Hooray! Not surprisingly, I’m wearing Naked Light.

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Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm is not what I expected, formula-wise. I was expecting something thicker. UD’s BB is pretty runny actually. It applies very smoothly and sort of glides over the skin. Unlike other BB creams I’ve tried, I actually don’t recommend applying this like you would any other skin care. If you rub it in circles or rub too much, I find it just balls up. If you just smooth it gently in one direction, it will blend and apply beautifully. That could be because of the skin care I use beforehand, but  if you’re having similar issues try that. Apply it almost like you would a face mask type product.

After applying I definitely feel the silicone-y primer-y feeling, but it’s not as much as when I just whack on a bit of primer. Flaws are definitely blurred. As far as coverage goes, it’s not so much covering problem areas as just making them less noticeable. Red areas look less red, spots are still spots but not as glaring. It’s like a soft focus effect more than a tinted moisturizer effect of providing light coverage – which is what a lot of other BB products provide. I find that I need way less foundation/concealer when wearing this. Whereas before I had foundation and loads of concealer, today I only put on a little concealer over the beauty balm and I was good to go.

If you aren’t looking for coverage, this beauty balm will appeal to you. If you need additional actual coverage, it does make a sublime canvas for applying additional foundation/concealer. Foundation and concealer apply so nicely over the beauty balm! If you don’t wear more base over this, blush and highlighter etc. still  applied really well.

I haven’t been using it long enough to know if the long term benefits are really coming through, but wearing less concealer and foundation couldn’t ever be a bad thing. I can definitely feel a difference in hydration overall. And also, sun screen! :) This sun screen doesn’t bother my skin at all. Many of them do.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with this and have incorporated it into my everyday beauty routine! Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm is available at Sephora, Ulta, UD’s site…you know the drill, for $34.

Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Creme Review

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I was holding off on this review because I was expecting some other of the newer Garnier skin care products in the mail and was going to review them all together, but I don’t know what happened to them – they seem to have vanished! So perhaps I will review the scrub and the cleansing oil some other time. For now, I have a review of the Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream for Normal/Combo skin.

I don’t even know where to begin with my skin right now. Previously, “normal” for me was dry, but clear skin. Now it’s still normal-to-dry, but breaking out like crazy. It’s still not severe acne by any means, or probably not even moderate depending on who you ask, but going from not even really having clogged pores to having 3-4 deep under the skin zits and a handful of smaller surface pimples = PANIC at my disco. I know it was caused by a combination of hormones and a great deal of stress. This past weekend I moved house, which as you know is insanity no matter what. Anyway. Moisturizer.

I was intrigued by the idea of a “gel-creme”. It sounded like some new exotic thing. The reality is this is a gel. Not even a thick gel actually. It’s pretty darn liquidy in texture. I was kind of skeptical about it being able to moisturize well when I felt the texture. I was pleasantly surprised though. It does a decent job! A little bit goes a long way, because it’s so liquid (it spreads over your face quite easily). For me, it absorbs very quickly and leaves my skin feeling moisturized and refreshed, but not in any way greasy.

It does have a scent! The fragrance is floral-fruity and pleasant, typical of most Garnier products – if you’ve ever used any, you know this smell. I happen to love it. You may not. If you’re sensitive to fragrances, save your receipt! It dissipates though and I think it adds to the refreshment I feel when I use it.

There is also a dry skin formula that is allegedly a ‘dupe’ for Clinique Moisture Surge. I would like to try that sometime as I’ve tried samples of Clinique’s and I liked it. Also I do anticipate that once I get the hormones and the stress in check my skin will probably go back to being more dry as usual, so it’ll be good to know if I can make a switch. ;)

The price runs about $8.50 for a 1.7 oz jar, available at most drugstores. I believe I got mine from Target!

Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler

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This isn’t a new product by ANY means, but it is new to me. I’d heard amazing things about the Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler, but since I own several curlers I could never really be bothered to buy one, yanno? But recently their PR reached out to me and since it was on my “To-Try” list, I was REALLY excited to receive this in the mail!

Until receiving KA’s curler, I’ve been using the Extra Wide (34mm) curler by Koji. I picked it up in a local Korean grocery store for around $7. The extra wide curve appealed to me. It definitely fits my eye “pretty well”, but not perfect. I still occasionally pinched myself, and if you’ve ever done that with a curler you know– that shit HURTS. I also have one by ELF, and the cult-status curler by Shu Uemura. All of them were the same in that they fit my eye “pretty well”.

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Kevyn Aucoin’s lash curler fits my eye “really well”. It’s a pretty wide curve, but slightly less flat than the Koji. I really like this curler. It does a great job of curling the lashes, and the red pad makes it a lot easier to see your lashes while you’re curling. You can make sure you’re getting every lash.

Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler is available for $21.00 from Nordstrom, and other stores where Kevyn Aucoin is sold. Check back soon for comparisons with other curlers!

Game Changer Beauty: My Amazing Blow Dry Secret Shake & Spray

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The Quick Dry Shake ‘n Spray by My Amazing Blow Dry Secret is one of those products where as soon as I tried it, I got really excited to tell you all about it. I was wandering around ISSE (seriously all you can REALLY do is wander – it’s so huge, lol) and saw a sign that said “cut your blow dry time in half!”

You have my attention.

I have hair down to my waist now. My natural waist, that is – not down on my hips where I actually wear my pants. Point being – REALLY long hair. And while it’s fine, I have a lot of it. Blow drying usually takes me 20 minutes or so with my HANA dryer, maybe slightly more with my T3. That’s a long time when you have to get up really early in the morning, or when you’re trying to get your hair dry before bed!

So I’m talking to the gal at the booth and she’s telling me about how this Shake ‘n Spray will cut my blow drying time in half. I was interested, but skeptical. I mean a lot of products claim to shorten blow dry time, but don’t really make a very noticeable difference. So she explained to me how it works. I’m about to blind you with science.

The magic ingredient in the Shake ‘n Spray is VCOH, or Virgin Coconut Oil Hydrosol. VCOH is natural fractionated cold-pressed coconut oil with super-fine molecules. These molecules are dispersed through the hair, which also disperses the water molecules on your hair. This dispersal makes the water evaporate faster. The coconut oil is left on your hair, which we all know is an excellent conditioner. What you’re left with is dried hair that is silky and shiny!

Oh one more thing – because of how this product works, it also makes your hair dry faster when you’re air drying it. Did I just blow your mind right now?

The reason it’s a Shake ‘n Spray is simple – you have to shake it. Similar to bi-phase eye makeup removers, the Quick Dry spray needs to be mixed in order to work. The clear half is the quick drying agent (VCOH etc.) and the pink part is all sorts of yummy-for-your-hair conditioners and UV protectants. When you shake it, the two halves combine into a sparkly lighter pink! It’s like magic.

Okay, so it seems legit. I received a couple little trial sizes of the spray, which the lady said would last a long time as a little bit goes a long way.

BUT HOW DOES IT WORK?

I towel-dried my hair as usual (just a little squeegee-ing), sprayed the My Amazing Blow Dry Secret Quick Dry Shake ‘n Spray about 4-6 times throughout my hair, and blow dried as usual. You know how long it took my hair to dry?

8. F*cking. Minutes.

So yes, it REALLY really works. It’s available for $25 for a 6.7 oz (200 mL) bottle from the My Amazing Blow Dry Secret website. They also have a shampoo and conditioner, but I haven’t tried those. I’d definitely want to try it after seeing how well this spray works even without the other products! I am impressed!!