Happy Friday everyone! Who wants to win a gift card to treat themselves or purchase some last-minute holiday gifts this month? This week I'm part of a group giveaway hosted by Hello Frances for a $20 Amazon gift card. Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter, and good luck!
Friday, November 29, 2013
I received one or more of the products mentioned below for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Happy Friday everyone! Today I have a review of an herbal energy supplement from Immortal Herbs. You might remember that I reviewed their Total Nutrition smoothie supplement mix this summer; they were kind enough to send me a sample of their Immortal Energy supplement and I thought the crazy week of Thanksgiving and Black Friday would be the perfect time to test it out!
Immortal Energy ($39.95/90 capsules) is an all-natural vegetarian formula that uses Chinese herbs to give you sustained energy and a boost to your muscles and immune system, without the addition of caffeine or other fillers that can leave you crashing later in the day. The directions say to take 3-4 capsules as needed, so I opted to take three capsules with breakfast so I could kick my day off with an energy boost.
The surprising thing about this product is that it doesn't give you an energy rush like a traditional energy drink or shot (like Redbull, 5 Hour Energy, etc.). Instead it's more of an overall boost to your alertness and stamina, helping you to get through your day without feeling so sluggish and drained, both mentally and physically.
I really appreciated that this didn't leave me jittery, nor did it make it hard for me to sleep later in the day. Some energy supplements really seem to "sit" in your system and can make it hard to relax and unwind at the end of the day, but I didn't experience any of those negative side effects with Immortal Energy.
I really like this product and feel like it would be great for anyone who works long hours, is in school, or otherwise has a demanding schedule and needs a boost without resorting to tons of sugar and caffeine. If you want to learn more about this product or to purchase it, you can visit the company website here. For Black Friday savings, enter the code "HOLIDAY" at checkout to get 25% off your order plus free shipping!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Today I'm unboxing the November 2013 Vegan Conscious Box. Conscious Box is a monthly subscription box that costs $19.95 (includes shipping); there are no preview or skip windows in this subscription. Subscribers choose from a classic, gluten-free or vegan subscription and receive a box each month filled with ten to fifteen samples of natural beauty products, food, health items, and lifestyle extras. If you want to learn more about the box you can visit their website. I also recommend checking out the company's Facebook page, as they often post offers for free or discounted first boxes (which was what prompted me to finally order one for myself!).
When you get your box, you can rate the products and share on social media to earn points; those points are then redeemable on the website toward full-size products, with the points working just like coins. A single review earns you ten points and in turn knocks ten cents off a purchase. Keep building up those points (they tally more quickly than you might think), and you can save on products like food, beauty essentials, household products and more. It's a nice perk and I think the system of using points to knock down the purchase price is a better way to encourage reviews and feedback than a system where you have to have lots and lots of points to cover the full price of an item, since it will take a long time before you can redeem anything worthwhile.
Okay, on to the contents of the box!
First up we have two food items: a bag of YogaVive Chocolate Apple Chips ($4.49 per bag) and a three-pack sampler of Mighty Leaf teas ($7-$10 for a 15-bag box). The apple chips were just okay--nice and crispy, but it was hard to detect the chocolate flavor. These were a nice snack, but they aren't something I'd run out to buy, especially for the price. I'm always happy to see tea samples as I do drink a lot of it, and while these are a little pricey for my usual drinking habits I would definitely consider buying them on sale.
The Rebootizer packet ($15 and up for a three-packet box) is supposed to be used as part of an allover week-long detox system, drinking one packet per day, so it's kind of hard to say how well it works based on one packet/one day of use. I will say that the flavor was strange--like bitter apple cider, but "off" somehow--and while the pouch design is ingenious, it's not very easy to pop open and shake up per the directions. That said it's literally a shot glass of a drink so if you needed to detox and wanted to do it in the smallest portion possible, I could see this being a good way to do it.
The MRM Relax-All ($25 for 60 capsules) is a sample of a sleep aid. I'm not big on getting dietary supplements in subscription boxes because I just don't use that many of them. I'm not big on unnecessary medication and in my long sad pursuit of something to give me a better night's rest, I've found very little that helps. These didn't necessarily do anything to help me sleep for a longer period of time, but I do feel like these helped me to relax and enjoy a more restful period of sleep, and I didn't wake up feeling groggy or drugged like I have in the past when taking things like Tylenol PM.
Two travel-size soap samples: one of African Black Soap from Coastal Scents ($12.95 per 15-oz. bar) and one of Lemongrass Summer bar soap from Harmony Acres ($6.95 per 5.5-oz. bar). I could smell the lemongrass, one of my favorite scents, before I opened the box!
The natural perfume sample from Pour Le Monde is intriguing, especially since sales from this perfume benefit the charity Guiding Eyes For The Blind. A full size 1.7 ounce perfume costs $95, so this is a pretty high-end sample to include in the box. The Blood Orange & Juniper lip balm from Ivre de Fleurs is full size (retails for $7.50) and contains ingredients like mango butter to nourish dry chapped lips.
The Sunology Natural Sunscreen sample is a nice idea, but...foil packets! Argh! You just can't adequately judge a product from a tiny packet, in my not-so-humble opinion. I do like that it has a high SPF (50) and doesn't contain ingredients that sting my eyes, but it's just really hard to say how well I like it based on such a tiny application.
The Better Botanicals Apricot Eye Therapy packet ($18.99 for 15 ml) is a lot better, since eye cream goes so far that a 1.5 ml packet will last a good while provided it's kept in an airtight baggie. I've been using this under makeup and before bed all week and it really does help with tired, puffy eyes, making me look much more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed even on my worst days, so I will definitely consider purchasing this in the future.
This box also included a few coupons, but I didn't count them into the box's value. Overall, my estimate of the box's value is as follows:
YogaVive apple chips (full size): $4.49
Mighty Leaf tea (3 bags): $1.50
MRM Rest-All: $0.83
African Black Soap: $0.79
Lemongrass soap: $1.84
Pour le Monde perfume: $6.00
Blood Orange lip balm (full size): $7.50
Sunology sunscreen: N/A
Better Botanicals eye cream: $1.89
Total value: $29.84
Overall, I would say that I was pretty happy with this box. There was a decent mix of items, two full size items and two high-value cosmetics samples (the perfume and the eye cream). I wouldn't say it was the best value overall but it did exceed the purchase price and I liked enough of the items to give it a thumbs-up.
I've seen some really great boxes and some sort of blah boxes come out over the past year, but overall I think I like it enough to stick around and see what the December box will hold. If you're subscribed to Conscious Box, or to any other vegan-friendly boxes, tell me about it--I'd love to hear your recommendations/rants/general thoughts about these boxes!