Saturday Review: Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium

Black Opium
I recently received a small bottle of Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium perfume free from Influenster for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

I’m pretty picky about fragrances. I usually prefer deeper, mostly musky scents – these really work on me, where as more fruity and flowery scents tend to go a little bit bitter. First opening the bottle, Black Opium had an appealing scent, but I was unsure how it would work on me.

First impression: Black Opium is strong and deep. I like that is comes off a little woodsy, but I’m unsure about the long-term wear-ability.

Later impression: The vanilla really starts to come out after a bit and I like it. Since I usually gravitate to musky scents, I miss out on the more sweet flavors. I like that this combines the two.

End of the day: This smell spectacular on me. A win.

Verdict: I really like this. I’ll use the rest of this sample bottle, for sure, and I might add it to my list of possible future purchases. I also enjoy the sparkly bottle.

Special Edition Saturday Review: Influenster’s TLCVoxBox

voxbox-blogimage-popup2By now, you should all know how much I love getting free stuff from places like Influenster and BzzAgent. I will do any number of tasks (and do them honestly too!) if a company promises to keep sending me more free stuff or gives me a realistic opportunity to win free stuff. Recently, I won a Target gift card and box of note cards from the Pilot Pens brand challenge on Influenster. It came with a little hand-written note (probably from some intern at Pilot) thanking me for my participation (see Instagram for a photo). This has proven to only add to my free-stuff-athon.

For today’s special edition Saturday review, I’m going to blog about the products I received in my Influenster TLC VoxBox because 1) it is a task that may get me more boxes in the future and 2) it means I get to share my free stuff with all of you. For those of you who haven’t been following along, Influenster is “a community of trendsetters, social media masterminds, and educated consumers who live to give opinions of products and experiences . . . Influenster invites its most active members to participate in exclusive VoxBox programs where members receive complimentary products to test and review. In exchange, we ask our members to do what they already love to do: share their opinions with their friends & followers on social media.” The TLCVoxBox in particular contained products that might be of use to moms doing their daily mom-thing.

full box

So, let’s break this down (in no particular order).


1) Ivory Bar Soap
I won’t lie. This bar went right into the microwave. Have you ever microwaved Ivory soap? It really is pretty awesome. Try it; you won’t be disappointed.

2) Breyers Gelato Indulgences
OMG. Delicious. Enough said.

3) Puffs to Go
You can never have too many packages of Puffs if you have kids around. My daughter has mono, so she immediately claimed this package for herself.

4) Neosporin Neo to Go
Quite a nifty little thing. A compact version of wound treatment and pain control in one handy spray. Great to have, if I can ever remember to put it into my purse.

5) Avon Anew Reversalist Express Wrinkle Smoother
I haven’t tried this yet. My skincare routine is pretty set in stone, so it always takes me a little bit to try new things. I do intend to give it ago though to smooth my wrinkles. . . all three of them. I’m a little obsessive about my skin, I’m only 30, and I’m fat – wrinkles aren’t quite a problem yet.

6) Shell Fuel Rewards Network
I’m all about saving money and being budget-conscience, especially on items we use constantly. With this car, you automatically get $0.03 off per gallon. If you attach your debit/credit card to it, you can gain additional cents off for certain purchases you make. I haven’t done that (and don’t know if I will). We have a Shell station right next to our Kroger’s gas station. The gas there is already priced to compete with Kroger, so this is just an added bonus. I’m not typically brand-loyal, so I’ll be using this card mainly to maximize my discount whenever possible.

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. Opinions are my own.

Review: Colgate Optic White Toothbrush and Whitening Pen

voxbox-blogimage-popup2Disclaimer: I received this toothbrush/whitening pen and a small tube of Optic White toothpaste from Influenster.com. Influenster is a site where you review products, answer questions, and – perhaps most importantly – share with people in your social network. Occasionally, Influenster will send you a VoxBox with a free product or an assortment of free products. Once you get the product, you are supposed to review, share, etc. So, that is what this post is. Opinions are all my own.

The Colgate Optic White Toothbrush with Whitening Pen promises whiter teeth in 2 days (and then continued results if you keep using it). It is a regular looking toothbrush with a gel pen that fits up inside. I like that – you don’t have to keep up with two products and won’t forget to use the pen since it is hiding under your sink somewhere. It retails for $14. [I have a few $3 off coupons. If you read the review and want to try it, send me a message on facebook and I’ll drop one in the mail to you.]

So, here we go. Let’s try this.


Day 1 and Initial Impressions

Toothpaste: It tastes is a little strong, but not bad. If I wasn’t using it for the whitening benefit, it wouldn’t be my first choice. It isn’t as foamy as my normal toothpaste either. There doesn’t seem to be anything special about it and I won’t review its effectiveness since I’m using it with the fancy pen.

Toothbrush: Just a normal toothbrush. The handle is a bit thicker since it has a place for the pen, but it isn’t awkward or heavy. The package says it is a medium, but it feels pretty hard. I don’t really have a preference, but if you are a soft bristle person you might not like this. During my second use of the day, a bristle came off in my mouth. Ew. I wouldn’t expect this of a brand new toothbrush, but I’m willing to consider it a fluke for now.

Gel Pen: Colgate never calls it bleach, so I’m going to keep calling it gel too. You give the pen a couple of twists at the bottom (like chapstick) and then brush it on your teeth. It reminds me of getting fluoride treatment at the dentist’s office. The taste was fine – it was a very mild version of the taste you have in your mouth when you wear white strips. It went on a little thick, but felt completely normal within a couple of minutes. Using it again in the evening, I was able to control the thickness and spread the gel around better since I knew what to expect.

Overall, I left the house with my mouth feeling like I had a professional cleaning (from the gel taste, I’m sure) and my teeth felt clean all day long.

Day 2 – Are my teeth whiter? Well, yeah actually. But it would only be noticeable if you had studied them in great detail (like if you were reviewing a toothbrush and wanted to see how it worked).

Day 3 – Okay, Colgate promises whiter teeth in two days and the verdict is . . . success! My teeth are noticeably whiter to both me and my husband. Let’s see what happens after a full week of use.

Day 6 – Woops! I forgot I had an appointment to get my teeth cleaned today. I don’t want to give the toothbrush an unfair advantage, so we will just consider the morning of day 6 my end-of-test review. I love the toothbrush. My teeth look like I’ve been through a cycle of whitestrips, but without having to actually remember to wear them everyday. I’d like to do a little research about possible problems from using the bleach gel on a regular basis, but – assuming I feel comfortable – I intend to keep using the toothbrush. I’m getting one for my husband too. Fun stuff.

Mail Call

I love mail. Who doesn’t? You know what else I love? Free stuff. Last week was a pretty good mail week, so I am going to share a rundown of my goodies.

I got my first VoxBox from Influenster – a site where you share reviews, answer product questions, and connect your social media accounts in exchange for nifty boxes of free products. This box has a Colgate toothbrush with a bleach pen built it. It promises whiter teeth in two days and – I’ve got to say – I’m pretty excited to give it a try. I’ll be posting about the results here sometime in the future.


I got a free Kohl’s Beauty Box. Free! They gave this away on Instagram and were out within a couple of hours, but I was lucky enough to get one.


The products:
H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment
Lorac Tantalizer Baked Bronzer
Katy Perry Lashes – Sweetie Pie
Glowing by J.Lo Body Lotion
Escada Cherry in the Air Fragrance

And I got another Memebox (and my last one for a while). No, this one wasn’t free, but I did spend points on it, so I saved about $10. I do love trying out the Korean products, I’m not quite as excited about this one however.


The products:
O’sum Aloe Vera Soothing Mist
Kovas Cettua Silk and Shiny Hand Mask (I’m most excited about trying this)
Recipe by Nature Spray Essence Water (Very excited about trying this; I’ve loved similar products from other boxes)
Hanskin Bio orgin Wrinkle Talk BB
One Day Whitener Magical Whitening Lotion
Kerasys Moringa Miracle Essence
Dr. Jart+ Silver Label BB (sample size, but I’m excited to try it. I love Dr. Jart)
Leneige Snow Crystal Pure Lip gloss (I already have one of these)