Since I have three daughters, I have seen a lot of makeup products come and go in my household. Many times the items don’t live up to their claims and aren’t worth the money I paid for them. That’s why I am always willing to give my honest review in exchange for free products to try out. I get to sample the items without spending any money out of pocket to find out if they are worth buying or not. In my FrostyVoxBox, complements of Influenster, they sent me the Rimmel Just Let It Go gentle eye makeup remover and also a Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal eyeliner pencil in black.
The eyeliner pencil says that it is waterproof which is interesting. I am not even sure if there is an eyepencil like that out there already. Anyhow, after trying it out I can definitely say that it stays put better than other eyeliners. It doesn’t smudge easily but it does still smudge. I can see using this for defining lines but if you are looking for an eyeliner that blends easily, this is not it. Interestingly, I was able to wipe the eyeliner off with just some plain water on my finger so I am not sure what makes this “waterproof” since it definitely isn’t. Bottom line: a good eyeliner that stays put and doesn’t smudge easily (but is NOT waterproof)
The makeup remover states that it is “gentle”. I don’t wear a lot of makeup on my eyes. I am a mascara and eyeliner kind of girl so it’s not like there was a ton of stuff to take off. I usually just use baby oil and a tissue to remove my makeup. When I tried this remover, the fact that it was “oil free” just made it feel more difficult to take the makeup off. Like it was actually drying to my skin. It did not make the skin around my eyes feel smooth and soft and cared for. It also made my eyes sting. Bottom line: I did not like this remover at all and will be sticking with baby oil and a tissue.
** I received these products for free to test and review
I am a tea lover so when I got a free sample of the holiday favorite Candy Cane Lane Tea courtesy of Influenster I was pretty excited to try it out! The tea is made by the Celestial Seasonings brand which is well known for it intense flavors and wonderful tasting teas.
The sample pack came with two tea bags but only one tea bag is needed per cup brewed. Once I made the tea with hot water, I tried the tea without sugar. It has a sweet taste with a hint of mint that gets stronger as you drink it. I also noticed hints of vanilla and cinnamon which was an interesting twist. Also notable is that this is a green tea and is decaf as well.
Overall I think this tea is a very nice change of pace for the average tea drinker. The flavor is nice, subtle and sweet. Pleasant enough to drink solo or with a special someone on a cold winter’s day.
** I received this product for free to test and review
I was lucky enough to get a sachet sized sample of Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum. Influenster sent it to me for free inside my Frosty VoxBox so that I could try it out and offer my honest opinion on how well it worked.
The package that was sent to me stated that, “This clinically proven serum is even more effective at reducing the appearance of fine lines for younger looking skin in just two weeks.”, but the sachet sized sample I was sent is sort of small . So instead of using it all over my face, I used it in just a few areas of my face that I thought needed the most help.
This serum has a very smooth texture and is easy to apply evenly to my skin. Once it’s dry, it leaves a silky feel that is not greasy or oily. It is intended to be used on the skin before applying moisturizer but I found that when I used this serum right after stepping out of the shower, no additional moisturizer was necessary for me.
After two weeks of using the serum on my face, I don’t really see a big difference. My face looks the same. I can’t say that it “reduced the appearance of fine lines” or gave me younger looking skin. My skin feels nice, but no better than it did before trying the serum. With a price tag of almost $30, I think that I would just try to find something lower priced due to the minimal results I received.
** I received this item compliments of Influenster for testing and review purposes
I just received a Surf’s Up Vox Box courtesy of Influenster with more fun, new products to try out!
This time they sent me a sample of First Aid Shot Therapy which is a liquid pain reliever that you drink. I had never even heard of this until I received it but I put it in the fridge to chill it so that it was ready for the next time I got a headache. (note: it is Summer break and the kids are home for three months * a headache is inevitable).
Sure enough, yesterday I was ready to try the “shot”. Here is what I thought:
the flavor I got was “Berry” and it tastes pretty good with no “medicine” taste to it
the liquid is clear which I thought was suprising * I thought it would be pink or purple or red
it worked well and quicker than I thought (the product does claim to work 5 times faster than aspirin)
overall I would give it two thumbs up!
I just checked on Amazon and it seems like there are two flavors available: Berry and Peppermint. I would love to see them come out with some other flavors. I am not sure I would buy more of this anytime soon because it retails for about $2.50 a bottle which seems high to me (remember, I buy my ibuprofen at the Dollar Tree and a bottle of that treats 10 headaches or so for $1).
** I received this item compliments of Influenster for testing and review purposes
Another product I received compliments of the the Spring 2014 Influenster Vox Box was Playtex Sport Fresh Balance tampons. The nice thing about these tampons is that there is not a flowery scent. Instead they have used a fresh, citrus type scent that is much more pleasant!
These tampons live up to the Playtex name and do a good job of keeping everything where it is supposed to be with no surprises! This product is a great choice for those women with active lifestyles who don’t want to have to worry about leakage when they least want accidents to happen.
So, you know from my previous post that I recently received a set of Kiss Everlasting French Manicure nails compliments of Influenster. Tonight I tried them on and I must say they are NICE ! Not only do they look clean and fresh but they are very classy looking! One of the features that I really like is the sizing numbers that they have on the tabs. That makes it super easy to get the right size on the right nail each time!
If you are looking for an easy, affordable way to give yourself a french manicure without an expensive and time consuming trip to the nail salon, Kiss Everlasting French Manicure is definitely worth a try!
As most of you know, I am a member of Influenster. Influenster is an online site that sends out boxes of FREE, complimentary products for it’s members to try and test out at home (depending on if you qualify or not). It is FREE to join and I love getting boxes of goodies from them. The Spring Vox Box just arrived the other day and I am excited to share some info on the goodies that they sent me this time!
Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara (retail $5.99) * This stuff is AWESOME! It really lives up to it’s name! It thickens lashes and makes them lush and gorgeous and it doesn’t flake off! * @RimmelLondonUS / #Retroglam
Kiss Everlasting French Nails (retail $6.49) * I can’t wait to try these out (if Shelby doesn’t get hold of them first!) Nothing looks better and more polished than a gorgeous, well kept French manicure * @KissProducts / #EverlastingFrench
Peach Pie Car Freshener from the “Labor Day” movie * this should make the minivan smell great! * #LaborDayMovie
Playtex Sport Fresh Balance tampons (retail $3.99-4.99) * even through the box, these have a nice, clean citrus type scent sure to keep you smelling fresh all day * @Playtex_Sport / #PlayOn
NIVEA Skin Firming Hydration Lotion (retail $2.49 for 2.5 oz) * what can I say about this? Should be interesting to see if it helps all that cellulite I have on my thighs. Would be nice if it really works! * @NiveaUSA / #NIVEASkinFirming
Softlips Cube (retail $3.49) * I have wanted to try Softlips for a while so I am super excited about getting this! * #SoftLipsCube
THANK YOU INFLUENSTER! Can’t wait to try everything out!
Being uninsured sucks. I still make an effort to stay on top of my medical care. I go to the dermatologist once a year, the dentist twice a year and I also go for my annual check up at my primary care doctor. All of this, for the most part, is paid out of pocket. Here’s how I do it.
In my monthly budget, I have $100 budgeted for “medical and dental costs”. Some months it’s a little more and some months a little less.
Although I don’t carry medical insurance, I do have the Ameriplan dental plan. It is not insurance but it is a discount plan that my dentist accepts. It costs $20 a month for my entire family and saves me about $300 a year. After the $240 annual cost, I come out about $60 or more ahead each year. This plan saves me about $50 per cleaning and checkup and then another $40 or so per procedure (fillings, emergency care, sealants, etc)
My dermatologist is really expensive but he is THE BEST at what he does. When I go in for my skin checks and all the other stuff he does, it is usually more than I expect. I pay $100 that day (from the budget) and then once I get the bill showing the balance due, I IMMEDIATELY call the billing office and set up a payment plan to pay off the balance. In addition, they do give me a “cash/self pay discount” which most doctors will do if you just ask (it is usually at least 10%)
With my primary care doctor, I pay an $80 “deposit” when I go in and then they bill me for the balance. After I had my last checkup, I got the balance for the remainder of the bill and it seemed a little high. After 3 phone calls (totaling about 1 hours worth of my time), they figured out that I had been billed on the wrong code and my bill for $175 was really supposed to be for $102 once it was coded correctly and my “cash discount” was applied. I saved $73 by spending one hour of my time making phone calls. ALWAYS call and ask if you think something is wrong. It doesn’t cost anything to ask! You should know what you are paying for!
Be honest with your providers. I make it very clear that I am a self-pay patient. All of my doctors have been very helpful in finding prescriptions that are on the free prescription list at Publix or on the $4 prescription list at Walmart. One time I needed a prescription that was $175! There was no other option available but my doctor checked their room of samples and found a full sized tube of the prescription for me and gave it to me for free ! As an added bonus, the package had an online survey for me to take and that got me a $25 Amazon gift card for taking the survey! Don’t forget to ask about “over the counter” medications as well. They often have lots of samples to give away so don’t be shy!
Ask your doctor about free clinics. The primary care doctor group that I see also runs an after hours free clinic for patients without insurance. While I go to their regular office for my checkups, all of my other visits can be done at the after hours clinic for free and they also have access to my medical records because it is run by the same group of doctors. Going to this after hours clinic can also get me reduced fees on any necessary labwork that I need done.
Hopefully this post gives you a few new ideas on how to save some money on medical care. Your health is important and you need to take care of yourself, even if you don’t have insurance.
In today’s post I am going to spill the beans on one of my BIGGEST secrets: How I get FREE movie tickets
I routinely go to FREE movie screenings and premieres. This means that I get to see movies BEFORE they actually open in the movie theaters. For instance, tomorrow night I am going to the Orlando premiere of “Fast and Furious 6″ (four free tickets) and then Thursday I am going to see the Oviedo premiere of “The Internship” (two free tickets). With ticket prices here in central Florida at $10 or more per person, this is over $60 worth of free movie tickets!
There are usually two ways I get the tickets (both are totally FREE):
I registered at Gofobo.com and I check there regularly for screenings in my area. Sometimes there are “open screenings” you just click and get the tickets. Other times there are “ticket drawings” you enter and if selected, you get free tickets. I have gotten a few emails from them telling me a special code to use on their site to get the tickets. I usually check back daily and I always enter the drawings
I “liked” WildAboutMovies on Facebookand check back in there a few times a day. They post notices on things like when Universal hosts their own movie screenings and starts offering passes.
In addition to the free tickets, there are often other “perks” at these events. Free posters, sometimes you get to meet some of the stars, and a few times we have gotten goodie bags too! The pictures in this post are of my friend Kristen and I at the premiere of “Miss March” a few years ago. We got to meet the stars of the movie Zach Cregger and Trevor Moore (who are also stars of the TV show “The Whitest Kids You Know”).
I do need to point out that we tend to show up about an hour before the time on the passes to make sure we get in and get seats! These screenings are usually overbooked because they want to screen the movie to a full house. Also, typically, you cannot take your cell phones, etc. in with you so be sure to leave them in the car or at home. They are VERY serious about this!
We only have six weeks left before school is out for the summer. Can’t believe that they school year went by soooooo fast! I have started kicking around ideas for things to put on our summer to-do list. Having gone through years of therapy with Ben, I try to really structure our summers so we have time for fun as well as get some things accomplished. He does not do therapy during the summer – we work on getting those goals accomplished at home so we can have some family time without being overly scheduled.
Here are a few ideas to get you started planning some summer fun of your own!
Sign up over at KidsBowlFree.com so that the kiddos can bowl for free all summer! They also have a form for the adults to sign up at a rate of $25 or so for four adults on the pass ~ that is a HUGE savings!
Cinemark movie theaters has the Summer Movie Clubhouse program where it costs $5 to go see all ten films (or $1 per film if tickets purchased separately)
Going to the public library is free and ours has a great selection of movies and books that keep my kiddos entertained for hours and hours and hours at a time
Check around at local museums, science centers, etc to find out when their “free entrance days” are
We spend a lot of time outdoors, and usually go to the beach, springs or local pool at least once a week. I make sure to pack a cooler with drinks and snacks so I don’t have to buy any (BIG savings there!)
Family game day is always fun! We do board games or video games and snacks
Friday is ALWAYS movie night at our home ~ complete with movies from Redbox or the library or Netflix, pizza, soda, popcorn and candy
Pinterest is a WONDERFUL source for cheap ideas to keep the kiddos entertained! There are tons and tons of great ideas and things to try! Over spring break we have used a few of them . DIY slurpees were a total HIT and my son thought that taking a bath in the dark with glow in the dark bracelets in the water was super COOL!
It takes a little planning but lots of fun can be had for very little money! If you sign up for emails from Groupon.com , LivingSocial.com , and HalfOffDepot.com you can get INCREDIBLE deals for local attractions that might otherwise be out of your price range. For example: I just got 3 tickets to CoCo Key Water park that would have cost me over $70 but I paid $31 ! That is more than half off and wayyyyyy less than the cost of one ticket to Wet N Wild! We have also gotten great deals on ice cream, mini golf, an indoor trampoline arena, Monkey Joes, and various restaurants all for more than 50 % off!
Shopping centers and malls offer a lot of entertainment for free! Here in Orlando we are lucky and have Downtown Disney which hosts a T-Rex Cafe complete with dino bones excavation area (free to walk through and see the dinos and play in the excavation area), Lego shop (free to go in and play with all the cool legos!), free boat ride across the waterway to the shops, and lots of other free and neat things to do and see! Most malls have an indoor play area these days and the mall also offers an opportunity for the older kiddos to window shop.
Teach a skill ~ my kiddos all loved learning to cook and sew! You can have some fun, get things done (hey, you have to eat anyhow!) and teach a valuable life skill all at the same time. Pinterest is a great source of kid friendly recipes and craft / sewing ideas too!
On the weekends we usually wander over to the Dollar Tree so that the kiddos can spend some of their allowance money (you can see my post on WHY my kids get allowances HERE). Kids get thrilled even when the only have $1 to spend! At the Dollar Tree, the possibilities are endless!
Get a cheap game from Gamestop. Not many people know that if you go into Gamestop and tell them that you are looking for Wii games under $5 (or whatever system you have) they will print a list of all the titles they have in stock that are under that price! $5 for at least a full day of fun is a deal! You can also rent the newer video games at Redbox for $2 plus tax.
Hopefully this list of ideas gets you inspired to schedule some summer fun of your own! I would love to hear back from you if you have any ideas to add to my list!