Current Giveaways at Reviews by Cole

Date Fri, November 30 2012


Check back soon for new giveaways!


ACEVIVI Portable Facial + Body Brush

Date Thu, July 30 2015

You might get the impression that I really like these little spin brushes, considering that I’ve reviewed two others. I do! Sadly, they don’t seem to last, even when they appear to be high quality. Either they break into pieces out right, or they just stop working right with no explanation! So I was excited to try this brush by Acevivi.

acevivi rotating scrub brush

Acevivi Rotating Skin Cleansing Brush

Like all the other brushes I’ve tried, this one comes with multiple heads. The focus is that it’s a face brush, so there’s a regular brush for your face and a sponge for moisturizing. However, it also comes with a small pumice stone and a much larger body brush, which was was I wanted from it. These are the same attachments as the other brushes I’ve reviewed save for the sponge, and you can use any of the heads from the ToiletTree brush on this handle, too.

Here are a few thoughts about it:

  • The design of this is exactly the same as the Vitagoods Spin Brush, including the bent head.
  • It’s generally smaller than the ToiletTree brush, and the more angled head means it doesn’t extend my reach quite as much.
  • The battery cap slides off when you pinch it shut, which might be hard on some people’s hands, but seems more secure than the cap on the similar ToiletTree Brush.
  • There’s a hole at the end of the battery cap where you could put a loop, but it doesn’t come with one. I will definitely be adding something so I can store it by hanging.
  • It runs on 4 AAs just like both other brushes.
  • There is a nice, tactile and audible click when you turn it on, which is missing from the ToiletTree brush.

When I first popped in some batteries, rechargeable ones, it seemed to be running slowly. I guess they hadn’t charged as long as I thought. When I popped in fresh ones, it moved much faster and with an audible sound. I really like the feel of the spinning brush on my back and shoulders, and this also helps to lather up. I haven’t had any issues with that.

However, I doubt you’re going to get effective exfoliation from the pumice stone because the head will stop turning as soon as you apply any pressure.

Once you’re done using the brush, you’ll want to rinse it off and make sure it’s stored without crushing the bristles on the soft brushes. They will lose shape over time, but you don’t want to speed this up. You can purchase replacement heads for other brush systems, including this set from Vitagoods, so this brush remains useful even if you’ve gotten all you can out of the attachments.

Having used three of these brushes, I can tell you that 2 of them are pretty much identical, but the face/body brush by Acevivi is less than $20 from Amazon, which is a serious savings over the Vitagood brush system. Because I haven’t had much luck with long-term quality, I would definitely consider the price the selling point that wins me over.

Keep your eye open for more reviews of Acevivi products in the future!

Fake Bake Flawless

Date Wed, July 29 2015

Now, if you know me in real life, you’d know that I am incredibly pale. That is, except when I am lobster red. Getting run highlights the ruddiness of my skin, and I’ve never really managed to get much of a tan. I can tell that I am several shades darker than I originally was, but when you start at neon white, that’s not saying much LOL!

I normally accept my pale skin, but with the red in my complexion, I definitely look better tan — if I can manage to get there. I wouldn’t go so far as to use a fake product typically, but I won Fake Bake Flawless in a giveaway and thought I would give it a shot. After all, what’s the worst thing that could happen? I don’t like it and wash it off? I could live with that!

Flawless Self-Tanning Liquid & Professional Mitt

Flawless Self-Tanning Liquid & Professional Mitt

The Fake Bake Flawless system comes with the self tanner as well as a “professional” mitt for applying it. Because I got this in the giveaway, everything wasn’t combined together, so I didn’t know where the mitt was when I first wanted to apply it. I also didn’t think to head to Fake Bake’s site for a video tutorial beforehand. It isn’t necessary, but it is helpful, especially for a first-timer.

The bottle does have instructions, but it tells you to use circular movements in a way that seems like you should rub it in. The video explains to start from thigh/hip down and use long movements, which creates a more natural look in my opinion. But let’s back up.

Since I had misplaced the mitt, I used a washcloth. I sprayed some of the liquid on it and began wiping away. You definitely need a few spritzes to get decent coverage, and you’ll need to reapply several times to finish an arm or leg or wherever you’re applying the product. Because the fake tan is colored, you see where it’s going. The liquid was easy enough to apply without major streaks.

However, I did notice some streaks after it dries and darkens, which I hadn’t noticed before. That’s the risk of these products, which darken over time. If you notice when it’s still damp, you can apply a moisturizer or lotion to even it out. Fake Bake, of course, recommends their own product, but I simply grabbed whatever lotion was within reach. It dries within ten minutes, which is great for not staining your clothes, but means you’ve gotta work pretty quickly. I did wind up sitting down to give myself a rest while it dried, but I tossed down a towel just in case. It did catch a bit of color.

On the other hand, it means it dries quick enough that you could maybe apply it or touch up on the way out the door. I only used it when I had plenty of time because I was a newbie to it, but it didn’t turn out terribly. I had followed the directions to use a scub beforehand, but it seemed like it wasn’t quite enough on one knee and ankle, where dry and dead skin likes to stick around. I scrubbed extra the next time, actually using the Seacret body scrub candle that I just reviewed.

My first go round seemed like it was hindered by using the washcloth, so I found the miss to use the second time. However, it’s clear that this mitt is rather cheaply made and won’t last long. So while it did seem to be better for application, it’s not going to last a whole bottle if you do more than a few applications. Furthermore, the mitt is rather large, and many people have reported it falling off as they tried to use it, which I can completely understand.

Most of the reviews are relatively high — 4 stars or more, but my experience has been more mediocre. After using it twice, it seriously faded within days both times. Except it clogged more pores, so I looked like some sort of weird polka-dotted person. It also faded unevenly, so there were patches as it faded. Ugh. =/

I must also say that it seemed a little orange on me. It might just be the shock from seeing myself with any color, but it seemed pretty unnatural. I would likely get used to it if it were an all-the-time thing. But with a fake tan that lasts just a few days, Flawless isn’t permanent or flawless!


  • Easy to use
  • Scented
  • Doesn’t drip
  • Not streaky
  • Dries quickly
  • Non-aerosol


  • Uneven coverage
  • Fades quickly and unevenly
  • Can look orange
  • Smells funny after sweating
  • Clogs pores
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Now That’s Good Customer Service!

Date Tue, July 28 2015

I don’t always get a chance to write about the things that companies do right, so I thought I’d let you in on three recent experiences that blew my mind with their positivity.


I recently bought some stuff from Dez off of her Amazon wishlist after her house flooded. it was several hundred dollars worth of stuff that was separated into three shipments, with one shipment containing the bulk of her items. Because she wasn’t living at her home, she wasn’t sure that it was delivered. Several weeks after supposed delivery, we talked because she hadn’t found the package.

I contacted Amazon, who replied with me and verified her address well within the 120-hour period, on a weekend! By the time she realized she had received the packaged with some other things and I had a chance to reply, the money was already refunded into my PayPal account. Swift!

Madison Reed

Madison Reed Hair ColorThis company has always had really good customer service, and I like the product, too, if you remember my review. However, I canceled my subscription last year because I don’t frequently dye my hair. Due to a glitch, I received an email saying my shipment had been schedule. I called them up in confusion, and even though it had only been a few minutes since the email, the rep on the phone knew about the glitch and had everything prepared to allay my fears.

She told me I shouldn’t receive anything but if I did, I could just keep it. I later received an email stating they were sending out lotion in apology. That was already above and beyond, but I did receive a box of hair dye, which I might as well use.

I’m also an affiliate for Madison Reed, and love to recommend them. Right now, you can save 50% off your first box of hair color from Madison Reed.

Virgin Mobile

Finally, I’d like to talk about the company I go through for phone services. Although I’ve had some issues, I have a smart phone I like with 4G access for under $50 per month, which is pretty good. Today, I logged in to my email to see that I now have unlimited calling and up to 3GB of 3G/4G service before throttling starts.

This is a nice increase the keeps my plan on par with some of the newer plans. And while I’d like to see more phone options in the near future, it makes Virgin Mobile a better choice for me. It’s nice to know I can be rewarded for being a customer.

You can sign up and we’ll both earn $25 through this link. Keep in mind that VM runs on Sprint’s networks and won’t be as good for people where those networks are clogged or non-existent.

I always like to spread the word about companies that are doing right because it’s so easy to focus on what’s wrong!

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Spend $10 at Julep and Get #Free Jelly Polish

Date Mon, July 27 2015

If you’re planning on buying anything from the Julep store in the next day, use code Jellyswag to get a free jelly polish when you spend $10 or more. This is a great chance to try a new formula, which the company describes as follows:

Jelly gets its name because it dries translucent and jelly-like (unlike other finishes you may be familiar with like creme, matte or glitter). One coat of Jelly polish is usually pretty sheer, so you can build and build until you get the candy-like mani you’re craving

Jelly polish is obviously great for layering, adding tips, using over nail art, trying ombre, adding texture and more! Right now, you can choose from any of the three free jelly shades available, all of which can be seen in the banner below.

Click here to shop now!

Jelly Polish GWP

I am an affiliate and will earn a small commision if you make a purchase after clicking this link.

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Plan Your Next Birthday Party with a Kit [DIY]

Date Fri, July 24 2015

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

Want to add some personalized fun to your kiddo’s next party? Then check out DIY Party Kits from Birthday Express! Each D.I.Y. kit comes with everything needed to create a fun backdrop or decoration that the kiddos will love… plus they make great photo opps!

  1. D.I.Y. Barnyard Room Decor – D.I.Y. Kit Materials – 1 Guests – YeeHaw! Spend a day down on the farm for your son or daughter’s next birthday! Make the celebration one-of-a-kind with this exclusive DIY party kit! The project kit includes barn/hay backdrops, 3 straw hats, 2 bandanas, 1 set decals, and 1 roll of twine. The only things you’ll need to round up are clothes pins, tape, and scissors.

  2. D.I.Y. Superhero Comics Room Decor – D.I.Y. Kit Materials – 1 Guests – Create a BAM, POW, BANG, BOOM party room for your little superhero! This D.I.Y. party kit includes 2 yellow lanterns, 1 blue lantern, 2 red fluffy decorations, 1 blue fluffy decoration, 2 placemats, 2 masks, and 3 rolls of crepe (1 each of red, blue, and yellow). All you’ll need to bring it together are scissors and tape!

  3. D.I.Y. Little Spa Party Room Decor – D.I.Y. Kit Materials – 1 Guests – Transform your home into a relaxing oasis with this delightful D.I.Y. Little Spa Party project. Materials included are: a bathtub standup, 1 roll of pink tulle, 2 packs of blue fluffy decorations, and 4 packs of white balloons. Just have some tape and scissors on hand and you’ll be able to create a special retreat for your little one.

Each kit is super easy to set-up, so let your imagination run wild and create an awesome custom party room to remember! Shop now!

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BBQ Season with CustomInk

Date Thu, July 23 2015

***This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

>From a casual backyard gathering with family and friends, to a neighborhood-wide get-together, barbecues are a staple to summer fun. With CustomInk, the leading online provider of custom apparel and accessories for groups and occasions, you can make those summer afternoons and evenings even more memorable for everyone.

Have fun and get creative with popular apparel brands, fabrics, and even design templates in CustomInk’s Design Lab. Plus, there are styles and sizes for the whole family.

Ink of the Week:

Each week, CustomInk rewards customers whose photo shows the most group spirit through a photo contest. This week there were two winners!

“The Grenada Mission Circle of Caring” and “Viola Section of Artosphere” are the winners of this week’s Ink of the Week contest! To read more about the Ink of the Week winner visit:

Ink of the week winner!

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Secret Outlast Completely Clean Clear Gel + Get Your Free Sample

Date Tue, July 21 2015

I typically use a gel deodorant. In fact, I’ve recently tried the Active Fresh scent of Secret’s Outlast gel deodorant and reviewed it on Amazon.  So I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.

There’s a different, however. I received a sample size of the Completely Clean scent, which is small enough to carry in your purse or perfect to keep at the gym. The dispenser is a bit different — the sample size has smaller holes. I actually think this is a good thing because so much product seems to come out of the full size, and it makes it a bit messy.

Secondly, the Completely Clean scent is much less fragrant. Many people thought that the Active Fresh was too strong. I didn’t mind it, but it did take some time to get used to. There’s also an unscented version if you prefer that.

However, some things are the same between these two products. As a gel, it can go on feeling kind of “wet.” I typically use gel, so this isn’t an issue. It dries clean and doesn’t leave marks on your clothing, which is definitely a must! Plus, it dries fairly quickly. If you like solids because they help with chafing, this might not be the product for you.

All the products in the Outlast line promise 48 hours of protection against odor and sweating —  enough for you to enjoy any “adventure” — but that’s a stretch. I’ll feel comfortable with a swipe and a day spent sweating in 85-degree heat, but I’ll need to shower and reapply after that day. I don’t see how you’re going to get 48 hours out of this!

With that said, I still like the product. It smells good and certainly leaves me feeling fresh for longer than some subpar deodorant.

I also find the price to be affordable, and it’s easy to find Outlast gel from pretty much any store. If you’re not sure whether you’ll like a scent or the gel, you can check out the travel section of your favorite retailer to see if they’ve got the sample. Or you can head over to the Secret site and request a sample of either the Clear Gel or Invisible Solid. You can also pay the shipping fee to get a trial size of the new Destinations collection, which has scents inspired by international spots.

Get your free sample here!

Mine came with a sample tube of Olay facial cleanser, which I’ve already tried and loved.

Thanks to BzzAgent for giving me the chance to try out another scent of Secret Outlast Clear Gel.

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