Saturday, March 30, 2013

Colgate Optic White Review: Influenster Sugar & Spice VoxBox

Hi, everyone, OnlyAverageMom here again today, to share with you my thoughts on a product I received in my Influenster Sugar & Spice VoxBox, the Colgate Optic White system!  I received a toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash, all in the Colgate Optic White line, for my review, and I can't wait to share my thoughts on this amazing product with you!

First off, I will start with a basic, and probably the most odd item I've ever reviewed: a toothbrush.

Colgate 360 Optic White toothbrush
 When I opened my Sugar & Spice box and saw this inside, my first reaction was, "Oh, cool, a new toothbrush.  I needed to get a new one."  Reality sunk in a bit, and my second thought was, "How on earth can I review a toothbrush?  They're all pretty much the same, right?"  Oh, I was so SO wrong.

I opened up this brush, added some toothpaste, and popped it in my mouth and started brushing.  I was very surprised, as the brush felt different from any other brush I've ever used.  The tongue and cheek scraper on the reverse side felt lovely on my cheeks and tongue, and the bristles did a superb job getting my teeth clean.  The brush is advertised as having "whitening cups"- what I think that they are supposed to do is help rub whitening toothpaste onto your teeth.  I'm not sure if that actually happened, but I DO know that I will totally buy this brush again- it really is fantastic.  

If you would like one of these for your very own, Walmart sells a two pack for $5.74

Grade: 5/5  LOVE it!!!

Naturally, if I'm going to talk about a toothbrush, the next thing I will mention is toothpaste.  

Colgate Optic White toothpaste, 4 oz tube

I received a full size (4 oz) tube of the Colgate Optic White toothpaste, and the box guarantees whiter teeth in just one week.  My teeth are unique as they have very white spots on the front (I have no idea what has caused them, but I have heard several fascinating stories) and then the rest of the tooth are off white.  I was ready to give this whitening paste a run for it's money- I'm always trying different whitening solutions, and nothing seems to work up to my satisfaction.  

I tried this toothpaste (with my Optic White toothbrush, of course) for a full week, brushing twice a day.  I have to say, that I LOVE this toothpaste!  It doesn't taste like "whitening toothpaste", but has a nice fresh and minty taste.  It did a great job cleaning my teeth, and my very sensitive teeth are less sensitive now than they were a week ago.  I don't have the best teeth in the world (dental coverage is available to my children only), so it's very important to me that I do the best I can to take care of my teeth.  I will absolutely repurchase this toothpaste when my tube is empty- it's my new favorite- hands down!  If you want to pick this up for yourself, Walmart carries it for $5.92 for a two pack.
GRADE: 5/5

The final step in the Colgate Optic White system is the Mouthwash.

Colgate Optic White Mouthwash, 8 fl oz bottle

 In all honesty, I am not a mouthwash person.  I don't really use it much, and Listerine (my husband's preferred brand) always made my mouth burn.  My husband was the first to try the Optic White mouthwash, and he was surprised by it: it has peroxide in it, so his mouth was full of bubbles!  After he told me this, I HAD to try it- and he is right- bubbleicious it was!  It wasn't unpleasant bubbliness, but it was surprising how many bubbles this stuff made.  I don't know if we will repurchase this product, but it is a nice one, and worked well- the peroxide will definitely help whiten my teeth, and the minty flavor freshened my breath nicely.  If you want to try this out for yourself, Walmart (you guessed it!) carries it, a 16 oz bottle is $4.96
GRADE: 3/5

All in all, if you want whiter teeth, this is definitely the first product line I would send you to, if you asked my advice.  I absolutely LOVE the toothbrush, and the paste does a great job.  Mouthwash isn't really my thing, but I will definitely make an effort to use this one-we all want whiter teeth, and this will definitely help with that!

BEFORE trying the Optic White system

AFTER ONE USE (and please ignore the toothpaste on my chin!)  Yes, I have freckles on my lips.  What of it?
As these lovely photos show, after only one use, there is definitely a noticeable difference in the whiteness of my teeth.  Plus, I learned how hard it is to get a decent photo of your own teeth, by yourself, when you are trying to get ready for church.  Ok, maybe not the best planning. Also- is my mouth REALLY that crooked when I'm not smiling? Wow...  Guess I really AM Only Average!  Until next time, my friends!

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 So, tell me- what makes YOUR smile whiter?  Have you tried out the Optic White system?  Was it for you?  Leave a comment, and let me know!

Disclaimer: "I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."  Although I have received these products at NO charge to me, my thoughts and opinions (as always) are my own, and a true and honest review of the products.  No amount of freebies or money would ever change that!  None of the links in this post are referral links.

Don't know about Influenster?  Been living under a rock?  Influenster is an awesome community, where those "in the know" review pretty much any product, service or organization you can think of, and sometimes, members are selected to receive a box of awesomeness for consideration.  Want to know more, or would like an invitation?  Email me, and I'll send you one! 

PS- Did you know I have a facebook page now??!!  Go HERE to like Only Average Mom on the 'book, and I'll let you know all about everything that is going on here, plus other little updates, things too small to post.  Thank you!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This isn't a real post, it's more of a blanket apology

Hello, my lovelies!

I know I've been MIA for a couple weeks now, and for that I sincerely apologize.  I've been crazy busy with wrapping up Girl Scout cookie season, being a major part of my church's Easter egg hunt, planning Vacation Bible School, and my family's Easter stuff, and haven't had a lot of time to be here in my own little corner of the world.  It isn't helping that I have been engrossed in a bunch of books...I'm a bookwork from way back.

I swear, I have a prize to set up a contest for, lots of random crazy things to write about, and my individual Infuenster Sugar and Spice VoxBox things to review, so it's not lack of material that is keeping me away!  Life has just been kind of crazy, and along with many, many bloggers I know (and read!), I suffer from an anxiety disorder.  I'm kind of in a down spiral right now, but they don't tend to last long, so no worries.  I'm not making excuses for myself, just wanted to let you all know what's going on in my life that is keeping me away!

I thought I would reveal my current reading list- these are the books I've read in the last two weeks.  If you want to know my thoughts on them, just let me know!

Books I've read in the last two weeks:
Spoiler: they are all pretty much Vampire novels.  I go through this phase once in a while
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
Destined by PC Cast & Kristin Cast
Hidden by PC Cast & Kristin Cast
Lenobia's Vow by PC Cast & Kristin Cast
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
The Sookie Stackhouse Companion by Charlaine Harris
A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris
Let's Pretend it Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Off to never-never land, y'all, and I promise to try to be back soon!

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sugar & Spice VoxBox First Look- February 2013 Box

 Oh my gosh, you guys, I am super excited about today's post!  I joined a program in January, called Influenster.  Influenster, for those of you who were living under the same rock I was, is a company that gives surveys and collects reviews of pretty much any product or organization under the sun.  Every once in a while, you are offered to take a special survey to see if you qualify to receive a VoxBox- a box of goodies, to test out and give a review for.  Influenster is totally free; both to join, and to receive the samples (if they choose you).  It's an awesome program for those who are trying to get noticed in the blogging world, or in the youtube community.  While Influenster is free, you do need a personal invite from a current member in order to join.  If you would like an invite, email me here and I would be happy to send you one!

Sometime in February, I was sent a survey to see if I qualify for their February VoxBox (box o sample goodies), and I logged in and took the survey. To my great surprise, a couple weeks later, I heard back from Influenster, that I was slated to receive the February box, titled Sugar & Spice.  Seriously, I could not contain myself and let out a little SQUEE!  

I am going to review these items a bit differently.  In addition to writing this review about what i received and my initial reactions to them, I will also write individual posts about each item individually, so that my family and I can thoroughly test the items.  I think that's the most fair way to evaluate everything, AND keep you all in the loop.  Sounds good??  Okay great!

Ok, enough rambling about my excitement, and on to the awesomeness in my box.
Love the box- I knew it was coming but was unsure WHEN it would get get here!

This awesome box arrived at my house, and I seriously can't wait to see what's in it!

Sugar & Spice VoxBox February 2013

Looks like SEVEN awesome items, for free to try?!  Alright! 

The awesome Influenster card
Back of the card, with brands, sizes and pricing.  I wish all companies did this!!

I absolutely LOVE the little cards that come in my monthly subscription boxes, and was THRILLED that Influenster sends one with their VoxBoxes.  The best part? On the back of the card, there is a list and description of everything in the box, along with the suggested retail price.  I LOVE this, and it makes it SO much easier to calculate the value of the box. Best idea ever!  You listening, Influenster?  Keep up the great work!

Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel Oil Controlling Towelettes, box of 20 individually wrapped wipes, and 5 $2 off coupons
The first item I pulled out of my box is the Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel Oil Controlling Towelettes.  This 20 pack of individually wrapped wipes also came with 5 coupons for $2 off any Dickinson's product. Score!  I promise, I will share the love (want one?  email me and I'll give you my address for a SASE)  From the card: "the soothing of Witch Hazel and aloe on these facial wipes rejuvenates your skin by gently lifting the dirt, oil and impurities from your pores while nourishing even the most sensitive skin."  My skin is sometimes oily, sometimes dry, and always sensitive.  I can't wait to open the box and give these a try!

My first impression is that it is awesome that these wipes come individually wrapped- with summer coming (oil season for me!), I can just toss these in my purse and go!  The wipes are a great size, and just right for one time use (reusing a facial wipe?  ew.). The insert card says that this 20 pack retails for $5.99; but you can get them HERE for $5.74 if you want to try these out with me.

Nectresse No calorie sweetener, box of 40 packets and a recipe book

Next up, is a new artificial sweetener from the makers of Splenda, called Nectresse.  This sweetener is 100% natural, is made from monk fruit, and has NO calories.  My husband uses Splenda in his coffee (and I bake with it occasionally), so I was very excited to see this in my box!  My husband will review it and give me an honest and real opinion; I can't wait for him to try it!  Okay, I'll try it too, but his opinion will be more valuable- he uses artificial sweetener regularly, whereas, I do not.

I think the packets are super cute!
Monk fruit, by the way, is a fruit in the gourd family, that is native to China and Thailand.  It's extract is nearly 300 times sweeter than sugar and has been used to treat diabetes and obesity.  Don't look impressed- that's totally from Wikipedia, after I googled it.  But google was awesome- I found a link for free samples!  Click HERE for a free sample of Nectresse, so you can try it yourself- for free! The true awesome thing is that not only did I receive a box of 40 packets of sweetener, but also a recipe book!  If my husband likes the sweetener, I will totally test out some recipes!  I looked around online for this product, and found it HERE: $6.96 for TWO 40-pack boxes or $5.48 for a 5.9 oz canister.  According to the card, the retail price for the Nectresse is $3.99 for the 40 packet box and $6.99 for the 5.9 oz canister; looks like Walmart is priced pretty competitively!

Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer Total Moisture lotion, 6.5 oz can

I seriously SQUEEed when I saw this next item, y'all.  It's a spray on lotion by Vaseline.  I know you all have joined me in the quest for the ultimate lotion: moisturizing but not greasy, long lasting, pleasant smelling, and works on winter skin.  Because I am familiar with this quest, I am always excited to try out new lotions- especially when they are free!  I've used spray on sunscreen before, and this works basically the same way: you turn the head of the sprayer to line up, and press the button.  Once the lotion comes out, you rub it in.  Easy peasy!  I am super excited to try this out, and i think it will be PERFECT on my sad and dry winter skin!  If you would like to try this out, it is available HERE for $5.94 (but out of stock online when I wrote this); according to the insert card, the regular retail price is $7.99 for the 6.5 oz can.

belVita Breakfast Biscuits, pack of 4 biscuits
 I am a total foodie, so when I saw this item in my box, I was excited!  This is a belVita Breakfast Biscuits pack, with four biscuits in it.  Without opening up the package, I am going to guess that these are similar to rice cakes. Okay, I can hear you groaning all the way over here.  I don't know why, though, I really LIKE rice cakes! What makes these breakfast biscuits awesome is that they are specifically formulated to "release steady energy that lasts all morning," according to the insert card.  Sounds good to me- I always need energy in the morning! These biscuits are also chock full of fiber, B-vitimins, whole grains and NO high fructose corn syrup.  Score!  If you want to give these biscuits a test run, they are available at Walmart stores (but not online!), you can purchase them online HERE, $3.69 for a box of 5 packs.  According to the insert card, these retail for $3.69 for five packets; that makes my sample here worth $0.74.

The final thing I received in my box is the Colgate Optic White Regimen: toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash.  This collections advertises a whiter smile in just five days, versus using regular toothpaste alone.  Love it!

Colgate Optic White toothbrush with whitening cups
The first item in the Optic White collection is the Toothbrush with whitening cups and polishing bristles.  I'm not exactly sure what whitening cups do, but I'm going to find out!  I like the look of the toothbrush, and have used the Colgate brand in the past, so I'm looking forward to giving this a try!  It's time for me to swap out brushes anyway, so this is super convenient for me!  If you want to give this brush a spin, you can purchase a two-pack HERE for $5.74. According to the insert card, these brushes have a retail value of $2.99 each.

Colgate Optic White toothpaste, 4 oz tube

  Having a toothbrush without toothpaste is pretty useless, right?  Well, have no fear because Influenster thought the same thing, and sent me a full size tube of the Colgate Optic White toothpaste!  This paste used hydrogen peroxide to remove stains, and promises to deliver whiter teeth in one week.  I want whiter teeth!  I can't wait to give this a go!  I'm a huge believe in using hydrogen peroxide for basically everything, so I'm super excited to try this out!  If you want a tube of this for your very own, you can purchase a two pack HERE, for $5.92 (but it's out of stock right this second).  According to the insert card, the 4 oz tubes have a suggested retail of $2.99.

Colgate Optic White mouthwash, 8 oz bottle
The last item in this set (and in my VoxBox) is a whitening mouthwash from Colgate.  The mouthwash isn't quite like my family's go-to mouthwash (Listerine).  The Optic White mouthwash has hydrogen peroxide in it- so this will be a fizzy, bubbly fun rinse.  I can't wait to give this a try!  I will be sure to take "before" and "after" smile pictures, so that we can compare the results.  If you would like to give the mouthwash a try yourself, it is available HERE, a 16 oz bottle (double the size I received) is $4.96.  According to the insert card, my 8 oz bottle has a retail value of $2.99.

I also tried to make a VIDEO of my first impressions to this box: enjoy the craziness that is trying to make a video at my home :)


Well, there is my February VoxBox First Look!  The total retail value of everything I received (taken from the insert card!) is $27.68- SO awesome!  I am really excited to give everything a test spin, and will post results as soon as I can.  One thing I really love is that everything I received can be found at my local 'Mart, or any other retailer.  It's nice that I don't have to chase around looking for these things, if I really love them, and it makes it easier for you guys to find them too!  

Until next time, my lovelies- stay beautiful!

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Disclaimer: "I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."  Although I have received these products at NO charge to me, my thoughts and opinions (as always) are my own, and a true and honest review of the products.  No amount of freebies or money would ever change that!  None of the links in this post are referral links.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Beauty Army Review February 2013

Hello all you lovlies out there!  My Beauty Army box arrived; my second one, and I can't wait to share it with all of you!

Beauty Army is a monthly subscription service, where you chose 6 out of 9 products, that are offered to you based on a beauty profile quiz.  If you don't like your choices, you can retake the quiz (as often as you like) or refresh the page to change your selections.  You may also opt to have a beauty expert select for you; or even opt out for the month if you don't see anything you like (or can't afford it that month.  Beauty Army charges $12 a month (US Subscriptions), including shipping.  If you would like to sign up for Beauty Army, I would LOVE for you to click my referral link HERE; for every 3 people who use my link, I will receive a free box, and this Only Average girl could really use some freebies- and you will receive my eternal gratitude!

Another awesome feature of Beauty Army, is that all of the items that they offer, are for sale on their website in full size form- and who doesn't love one stop shopping??!! If you like something you see here, head on over to BA and check it out!

Oooh, Pink!
My box was so awesome when it arrived, I could hardly wait to open it up!
Pretty card this month- love it!
It's always nice to be called "gorgeous"; and I smiled as soon as I saw the insert card, greeting me as such.  It would be nice if BA could create insert cards for each item, telling a bit about them, but as each member picks their own samples, this would be a huge undertaking, so I understand why they DON'T.  All the information is available on their website, and very easy to access.  Next best thing.

First peek into my box!
Here is a quick first look at the SIX amazing samples I selected for my February box.  Yes, I know it ships and arrives in March, but as I selected the items in February, I'm calling it the February box.  It's my blog, I can do what I want.  Did you expect anything less for little only average me?

 Bath and Body Works Shower Gel in Twilight Woods; 3 oz; $5 retail value.  Available through Beauty Army; or direct from the vendor HERE. Full size (10 oz) is $11.
The first item I selected is Bath and Body Works shower gel in Twilight Woods.  As I have mentioned before, I have fragrance allergies, so it's nice to test out a fragrance before I buy it, just to be sure I love it.  The "deluxe sample" of the shower gel is actually a large travel size, in my opinion, so I was very happy to see this item pop into my selection. I love Bath and Body works, and they always make my skin so nice and soft.  The fragrance sticks around for a while, but not overpowering. I am HORRIBLE at describing scents, and this one is no exception.  It smells...good.  LOL!  Almost floral, but not overpowering.  This will definitely be hanging out in my bathroom!

Dermisa Skin Fade Cream; 0.90 oz; $5.55 retail value (based on lowest price). Available through Beauty Army; or direct from the vendor HERE. Full size (1.78 oz) is $14 (BA) or $10.99 (vendor).
  I was excited to see the Dermisa Skin Fade Cream on my list of available samples.  This cream is advertised to "lighten and prevent age spots, freckles, and skin discoloration".  I have always had freckles, and would love to even them out a bit, as some are darker than others.  

The cream is a nice thickness, and absorbs into my skin well.

One thing that makes it hard for me to post a speedy review is, that I need to use this product 4-6 weeks to expect to see results.  I think that this product will have a neutral score, until I can thoroughly rest it for 4-6 weeks.  The cream is in a metallic tube, and is a HUGE sample. The package has a barcode on it, so it must be a full size product, only smaller; I just can't seem to find it for sale anywhere in this size. 
GRADE:3/5 (for now!)

 Whip Hand Cosmetics Loose Pigment Eyeshadow in Green Beret; .02 oz; $2.80 retail value.  Available through Beauty Army. Full size (0.10 oz) is $14.
  I am a total eye shadow junkie (can't you tell?!), so I HAD to have this last shade in the Whip Hand collection.  I am very sorry that I missed the first two!  Whip Hand Cosmetics created a few shades exclusively for Beauty Army, and this gorgeous green has arrived just in time for St. Patrick's Day!
Very shimmery and sparkly, a pretty green.  Perfect for spring!
This pretty. light green has gold undertones, and is silky soft to apply.  I'm having good luck with these Whip Hand loose shadows, with very little problems with fallout.  Excellent product!  Also, the lid to this little pot fits MUCH better than last month's, so I am EXTRA happy with it!

GRADE: 5/5

Enspiri Ultra Collagen 5-minute facial; 0.241 oz; $3.81 retail value.  Available through Beauty Army.  Full size (pure collagen-2.29 oz, vital hydrator-4 fl oz, plus mixing tools) is $99.50 (!).
Next up is a dreaded foil packet, and we all know how everyone feels about these.  Honestly, packing your sample in a foil packet gives many people a sour taste right up front!  That is, unless the product is over $50 for the full size (which means I likely won't purchase it anyway!).  My feelings on one time use samples aside, the Enspiri Ultra Collagen 5-minute Facial sample is touted to help reduce the signs of aging.  I'm not THAT old, but there weren't any other samples in my selection choices that I really wanted to try, so this was just filler.  This is a two part sample, and you mix the collagen powder into the hydrator, and then apply to your face. Honestly, I haven't tried this yet.  My girlfriend and I are going to have a beauty day this weekend, and I'm saving this for then.  BUT I wanted to get my review up, so I 'll just give it a neutral score for now, and then updated it after our beauty day.
GRADE: 3/5 (for now!)

Mark Hook Ups Lip Gloss in Honey; .12 oz (full size); $6.50. Available through Beauty Army or the vendor HERE.
As a former Avon consultant, I'm always happy to see a bit of Avon here and there, and the Mark line is my personal favorite.  I don't really buy Avon makeup any more; I'm not really sure why (my Scouting coleader is even a consultant!).  The Hook Ups is one of my favorite lines, because it it easy to pop a couple of products together, and stick them in your purse, for touch ups throughout the day.  The gloss that was in my selection window is the Mark Glow Baby Glow gloss in the shade Honey.  Mark's glosses are not sticky, and they have, for me at least, good wear time.  

This is a very shiny, pigmented gloss.  Full coverage, not sheer at all.

I chose this because I haven't tried the shade Honey yet, and I love to see full size products in my box.  I never really worry about the what ifs: what if I don't like the shade, what if my skin reacts, etc- I have two daughters who LOVE makeup and would be happy to inherit anything that I want to pass down to them.  Fortunately, the Mark gloss was a hit for me, and a great color for my skin tone (see why I love beauty profiles?!).  This shade is awesome, and almost exactly the natural shade of my lips. Love it!!
GRADE: 5/5 (awesome product!)

 Skynn Cosmetics Color Touch Cheek & Lip Glow, in the shade Teen Tone; 0.17 oz (full size); $17. Available through Beauty Army, or the vendor HERE.
The last item in my box is the one I was most excited about; the Skynn Cosmetics Eye, Cheek & Lip glow.  One thing that has been seriously lacking from my subscription boxes lately is blush, so I was super excited to see this in my possibilities window.  When I clicked and saw that I was being offered another FULL SIZE product, I was sold! The color name, Teen Tone, kind of had me wondering a bit if I would like the color, but as I have very pale skin, light pinks and peaches do well on me.

Very pretty pink shade- glides on very nicely!
Honestly, I shouldn't look at color names, because I most likely would have chosen this one in the first place- serves me right to judge a color by it's name!  I have never used a cream blush before, so this was a great new experience for me.  I really liked the pigmentation on this, and how well it blends on my cheeks.  I haven't used it as a lip tint or eyeshadow yet, but this color works awesome with my skin tone, so it's definitely a keeper!
GRADE: 5/5 (love it!)
Beauty Army February 2013 Box
So, that's my February selection for Beauty Army!
Financial recap: 
Money spent: $12 (shipping included in subscription)
Value of box: $40.66
Better than last month, and even a better value than last month's Ipsy bag!  Whoo hoo- thank you, Beauty Army for stepping your game up for me a bit!!!

Do you subscribe to Beauty Army?  What did you choose this month?  Like what I got?  Hate it?  Leave me a comment, and let me know- I would LOVE to hear from you!
Also- I apologize for the less than stellar pictures on this post.  It was a very rainy day, and I had to rely on indoor lighting.  I didn't want to edit the photos because I want them to be as true to life as I can get them.  Sorry!  Hopefully the weather will clear up the next time I am taking shots for a review.

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Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion, on a product I paid for out of my own pockets.  I have not been compensated for this opinion in any way, and it is my honest thoughts on the products listed above.  The referral link in this post is one where I would receive credit for a referral, and be compensated with free product for referring 3 people. Here is a link that just goes to Beauty Army, without my referral code. Links to vendor's sites are not referral or compensated links.  I strive for honesty :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Product Review: Skyn Iceland Skin Hangover Kit

Oh my gosh, you guys, I WON another contest!  Seriously, my luck must have done some major changing, or I must be getting good karma from doing all those cookie booths in the rain, sleet, snow and wind, because I NEVER win anything. Yet, here I am, winning two contests within two weeks! I am ridiculously happy!

Oh, the anticipation!
This contest was hosted by Beauty Army, and I am the lucky recipient of a Skyn Iceland Skin Hangover Kit!

The Skin Hangover Kit, with a sweet note from Nancy-Lee, congratulating me on winning.  Awesome!
I absolutely LOVE that I receive a handwritten note from Nancy-Lee, congratulating me on my win, and inviting me to share a picture of my kit.  It's great to know that it's ok to review and post pictures of products you have received: a little stamp of approval!

According to Skyn Iceland's website, "the Skin Hangover Emergency Relief Kit helps revive and restore overworked, overstressed, depleted skin and eyes."  If you are anything like me, you read this and said, "well shoot, sign me up!"  First and foremost, I have crazy, weird skin, that can't decide if it wants to be dry, oily or combination.  It makes for an interesting beauty regimen, I can tell you that!  Let's break down what's in this awesome kit, shall we?

I seroiusly love the packaging here.  It's clear (bonus), but has a cute, quirky and funny message on the packet.  SO me!

Skyn Iceland Hydra Cool Firming Eye Gels (2 packs of 2)
The first item in the kit, is one I received as a sample from Beauty Army in my January box, the Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels.  I seriously loved these the first time I tried them, and this time my thoughts were the same.  These things WORK, and feel SO great while you wear them.  I'm just a big kid, so I like to poke at the gel, and squish it.  My eyes are less puffy, my dark circles are less prominent, and my skin is cool and refreshed.  I received 2 pairs of gels.  These eye gels retail at $30 for 8 pairs; my 2 pairs have a value of $7.50, and are available HERE.
GRADE: 5/5

Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Pen

This item is new to me, the Icelandic Relief Eye Pen.  The pen is .14 US oz (full size), and is used to soothe the sensitive skin of the under eye area. According to their website, the eye pen will "minimize puffiness, wrinkles and dark circles on the go".  Sounds good to me!  The click pen puts a bit of cream on the tip, and you dab the cream gently underneath your eyes.  The product is a bit cool feeling but not tingle-y, which to me, felt really good.  I don't usually have large bags under my eyes, and my dark circles tend to only be dark pizza slices (in the inner corner of my eyes), but this product did a nice job helping them fade a bit.  I think if I use this more than once or twice, that my circles might possibly disappear completely!  This pen retail for $20, and is available HERE.

Skyn Iceland the ANTIDOTE Cooling Daily Lotion
The kit also includes the ANTIDOTE Cooling Daily Lotion.  This lotion (0.5 US fl oz) smells...naturey.  My husband says it smells like a ficus.  It definitely smells like tree leaves, but I can't put my finger on exactly which ones.  The lotion is nice and not at all greasy.  I wish there were a bigger portion in my bag!  Awesome product- I LOVE it!  The full size of this lotion retails for $45 (1.76 US oz), making this sample size valued at $12.74; available HERE.
GRADE: 4.5/5 (I wish it were bigger!)

Skyn Iceland Arctic Face Mist
The last item in this luxury kit is the Arctic Face Mist with multivitamin complex (1 US fl oz).  Now this mist has an awesome smell- slightly perfumed and toner-ey.  I'm sorry, I'm terrible at describing smells.  I guess it's a good thing that I can describe results! I love how this product has multivitamins in it.  The mist goes a long way to hydrate the skin, and feels very pleasant after application.  The mist can be applied any time of the day- after washing, before makeup application, or even over makeup.  The full size of the face mist retails for $29 (3.99 US fl oz), giving this sample size a retail value of $7.27 (available HERE).
GRADE: 5/5

The full Skin Hangover Kit.  Awesome!
This awesome kit is regularly priced at $47.50, but is currently on sale (at the time I wrote this!) for $25 at Skyn Iceland's website!  Now seriously, people, that is an Above Average deal! An added bonus is that all of Skyn Iceland's products are paraben free!  I also want to add the Skyn Iceland is a Cruelty Free company- this is a big deal to me.  As there were no actual directions on the Hangover kit, I love how it's all available on their website.  That is, until my Only Average self TURNED THE BAG OVER.  I literally LOL'ed when I saw the back of the bag.  I must have borrowed a blonde moment from my daughter.  The fine print on the bottom of the bag reads, "Free of parabens, petroleum, mineral oil, chemical sulphates, phthalates and dye. 100% vegan and cruelty free." LOVE IT!!!  Great job, SI!

Financial breakdown:
Retail value of each item separately: $47.51
Retail cost (right now) for this set: $25.00
Even if you didn't win this, the sale price on the Skin Hangover kit is a great one!  One reason why I like to break down the pricing on items, especially ones sold in sets, is to see the true value.  You aren't "saving" money in some kits, but it's an awesome way to try new products!  It's nice that Skin Iceland offers some of their more expensive products in a smaller size, in this kit, for us to try.  Love it!

I am honestly flattered and excited to have won these last two contests, and my skin seriously needed some love, so this was perfect for me!  But enough about Only Average me, tell me- have you tried any of these products before?  Love them? Hate them?  Agree or disagree, I would LOVE to hear what you think of the Skin Hangover Kit!

I found this contest because I joined Beauty Army.  Beauty Army is a mail beauty service kind of like Ipsy, except you get to CHOOSE your samples every month, or choose to SKIP a month.  BA is $12 a month, shipping included.  If you would like to join Beauty Army, please use my referral link.  Yes, I get credit if you join through this link, but it will help me do more reviews (because 3 referrals earn you a free box), so it's a win-win, right?  Look for my February Beauty Army box review, coming VERY SOON (maybe tomorrow?)!

Disclaimer:  I received this product for free as a result of a contest I entered on Instagram.  I was not required nor requested to review the items I received. The opinions listed in this review are 100% my true and honest opinions. I strive to always review products with my true opinions, and no amount of money could sway my stand on that!  The links provided in this post are not affiliate links- they go directly to the company's websites and I do not benefit from them.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Depotting Makeup the Only Average Way

Hello my lovelies!

I've been requested to help you out with a short How-To post, on how to depot makeup, in this case eye shadows.  I recently received a GlamRx Freestyle Palette in my March '13 Ipsy bag (read all about it HERE), and promptly went to town depotting some of my items so that they can go in this cute little palette!  I will also talk about how to make aluminum pans (like Coastal Scents and Wet 'n Wild) magnetic and work with the GlamRX Freestyle Palette.

What is depotting?  Depotting is the act of removing makeup pans of product from the original packaging, leaving you with ONLY the product in the pan, and without a lot of bulk.  Many people purchase large palettes and depot all of their makeup, to save space and see everything all at one time.  I chose to depot the products below so that I can use my new GlamRx Freestyle Palette, but this tutorial would work for anyone depotting for any reason.

I do want to say, first off, that this is NOT my original idea, and that there are thousands of sources on the internet to help you do this.  I've watched and read quite a few, and this is the method that worked well for me.  This is NOT the only way to depot product, and it won't work for every brand, but it's a great place to start, and google away to see what other great ideas there are out there (many of which include using a hair straightening iron!).  Please be sure to read my How-to all the way through before you start.  Thanks!

First things first- you need to gather all of your supplies.  Here is what i used:

1. Lighter or a candle.  The lighter worked well for me, but a candle does the same thing.
2. Small flat spatula or steak knife.  I used a steak knife, but anything slender that will fit between the shadow pan and the packaging will work.
3. Old refrigerator magnets, on the thin side and flat.  I used a couple that were old business card styles, that were outdated.
4. Labels of some sort.  I used the pan itself, or the labels that were on the actual products.
5.  Sharpie (or comparable) marker with an extra fine point (only if you want to write on the pan/magnet itself).
6. The product you want to depot
7. Goo Gone, or other glue remover
8. White school glue

I know that seems like a lot, but really, it's not.  Plus, depotting just a few little pans only took me a few minutes!

The first thing I'll depot is the Coastal Scents quad that I received in my February Ipsy bag (review HERE).  I've already depotted 3 of the shadows, here is how I did the final one.

THE POP OUT METHOD (risky, but worth it)

Coastal Scents shadow mini pot, this color is Sunshine
First, remove the label sticker from the back of the pan, trying not to tear it (we will use it later!).  Then, open the mini palette, and fold back the plastic away from the pot, gently.  Push on the bottom of the plastic below the pot you are working on, and carefully ease the pot out.

Out of the plastic!

Once you pop the pot out (again, being really careful! If you are afraid to break it, try cutting the plastic away with some good scissors or try the flame method I'll describe below), use Goo Gone (or any glue remover) to remove any traces of the old glue from the bottom of the pan.  I used a q-tip to apply the glue remover.

Aluminum pans will NOT react to the magnet in a magnet palette.  We need to fix that!  If you are unsure if the pan is aluminum or not, simply place the newly depotted pan into your palette and see if it moves around, or falls into your hand when you cover it up and flip the palette over.  If it sticks, you are good to go.  If not, on to the next step.

Trace your pan onto a  magnet.
 Trace your pan onto a refrigerator-style magnet.  Here is one I received with my husband's new phone (although I never actually figured out WHY), and it already has a sticky size (hence the white backing).  Be sure to trace in a color that will show up on the magnet-pencil works well also.

Check out my BELOW Average circle tracing skills.  It's ok to laugh.  Really.
Once you have traced the pan onto your magnet, cut the circle out, inside the traced line.  You want the magnet to be the same size as the pan, or just a bit smaller.  

My cutting skills are slightly better than my tracing skills.
Set the shadow pan onto the magnet to check for fit.  If the magnet is larger than the bottom of the pan, trim your magnet piece a little, to try to make it fit as close as possible.

A little dab will do ya! (even if the picture is blurry!!!)
Use a little dot of School Glue to attach the magnet to the bottom of the pan (if you don't have sticky back magnet sheets).

All stuck together!

Finally, flip your shadow pan over carefully, and apply the glue magnet to the bottom of the pan.  Press to secure and allow to dry.

 THE HEAT METHOD (a bit more danger, but works well)

This method of depotting is the one I have seen most commonly.  Honestly, I probably would have tried this with the CS shadows, if one of my pots had not already been loose and falling out of the plastic packaging.
Forgive the weird shadow in this photo- I'm not sure how it got there!
This Clinique sample palette I received last summer was just sitting in my makeup bag, so I thought I would test out the Heat method of depotting.  First, remove the label from the back of the packaging.  You'll need it later to transfer the colors names to the pans (if you like).  

Hold a lighter to the bottom of the pan, but not touching the pan (melted plastic is bad!!!).  Your goal is to heat the glue slightly, but not set the packaging ablaze.  You can also you a candle for this method, but a lighter for a few seconds worked very well for me.

You can see where my flame was a bit too close to the plastic.
As you can see in the above picture, I got my flame too close to the plastic, and it blackened it.  The glue will still be loosened, but BE CAREFUL because the back of the packaging will be VERY HOT! (use common sense in your workspace, please!).

Gently remove the pan from the packing.
Using a knife or other thin, metal tool (mini spatula?), insert the tip in the largest gap between the pan and the packaging.  Move the blade around, and see if the pan will wiggle.  If it does, the glue is loose, and you can GENTLY and CAREFULLY lift the pan out of the packaging.  I flipped it over and let it fall into my hand. 

Be careful when putting your blade into the gap- be sure it's really the gap!!
Repeat with each pan in the palette that you wish to remove.  DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE THAT I MADE!!!!  As you can see here, I misinterpreted the edge of the palette and the plastic, and put my knife into the actual makeup pan.  I lot a small corner of product, but it could have EASILY gone the other way, and the whole thing could have smashed to bits.  Be extra careful with pans that are very close to the edge of the packaging, and be sure that you really are inserting your blade where you want it to be, and not what "looks right". 

This palette had a significant amount of glue on the pans, so my Goo Gone really got a workout here!  Just take your time, use a qtip and rub, rub, rub; the glue will eventually go away.

Check your pans, and see if you need to add a magnet.  If your pans are of a magnetic metal already, you are good to go!  If you need to add a magnet, refer to the steps above, where I use the Coastal Scents as an example.


If you don't want to label your pans, then you are all set (once the glue dries!).  If you want to label your pans with a color name and/or brand, continue to the next step.

Cut out the name of the shadow, making it as small as you can.
I'm super lazy, plus I didn't have any label paper here, so I just took the label from the back of the shadow set, and cut out the name of the color.  I could mark them as Coastal Scents, but I know what brand these pans are, so I wasn't worried about that.  You can mark them any way you want to! For the shadow names that are very long, I cut each word apart and stacked them, top to bottom, on the bottom of the pan's new magnet.

Nice and clearly labeled.  Plus, I don't have to interpret my handwriting.  BONUS!
Once the sticker is placed on the bottom of the magnet, you are good to go!

Sunbeam joining the rest of this adorable palette!

If your pans are without a magnet, or you don't care to put stickers on the bottom, it's easy to mark the brand and colors with a ultra fine tip Sharpie (or comparable) permanent marker pen.

Use your label to transfer information to the pans, if you like.
Just use the information from the label that you removed from the back of the packaging to record the correct information onto the bottom of the pan.

Filled mini palette in NO TIME FLAT!

And here we are, a pretty little palette, with lots of awesome shadow goodies inside it!  

If you run into trouble depotting your shadows, or have any questions, I would be HAPPY to help you sort it all out!  This was my first foray into depotting, and now I sort of wish I hadn't given away a whole stack of old(ish) shadow sets to a friend- I want to depot them!  Um, not that I have anywhere to put them. I guess I should go and get me a Z-Palette or something, huh.  Oh, goodie--more shopping!!

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial, and would love to hear your thoughts on it!  Leave me a comment, especially if you have tried these methods, and had different results, or would like to share any tips or tricks that you have picked up.  I AM Only Average, after all.  I'm bound to have missed something.

Enjoy, and stay beautiful!