Current Giveaways at Reviews by Cole

Date Fri, November 30 2012

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Recent Giveaway Winners

Date Tue, July 22 2014

I usually post my giveaway winners on Facebook, but I not plenty of you were excited about these giveaways so I’m doing it here, too.

The winner of the Petbrosia pet food was Tandi.

The five winners of the DX Mall giveaway were Marcus, Joanna,  Ana G, , Jessica H and Lilly.

Everyone has claimed their prizes. I hope you all enjoy!

DX Mall — Shopping Advice and Product Reviews

Date Mon, July 21 2014

Because DX Mall carries so many items in so many departments, it can feel overwhelming to me. It’s not the type of site I’d go just to browse. It’s good to have an idea of something you want. For example, I realized they carried robotic vacuums so I spent a bunch of time comparing models. Of course, you’ll likely find awesome things and get inspired for new searches. That’s the fun of shopping online.

I would warn that there are plenty of generic and knockoff items. And as a curvy woman, fewer of the clothing items are going to fit me because they’re designed with the small Asian frame in mind. This was an issue I ran into when reviewing for Sammydress. The blazer I ordered in my size ran small. Pay close attention to size charts on DX Mall. If you know the brand, you may well want to search for the official size chart.

DX MAll is based in Asia, which means shipping will take longer than if you order from a company with a warehouse in your backyard. If your order is time sensitive, you might do better to buy from Amazon. When I placed my review order, it was shipped via DHL, which is definitely smaller than UPS or Fedex. We don’t actually have a DHL office in my city, so they have to drive over an hour. I always try to be home when expect this.

Many of the items shipped from DX Mall come with minimal packaging. This likely helps keep prices down. For example, the bracelet I ordered was simply in a plastic bag. However, DX MAll packaged my items in a box inside the larger packaging envelope so everything arrived just fine.

I ordered 3 things:

Heart Shape Pendant Bracelet

Heart Shape Pendant Bracelet

Let’s start with the simplest — the bracelet. It’s made of a curved black plastic and reminds me of the “tattoo” style that was one popular. The plastic is thin but flexible. If you’re rough, I can imagine it breaking. The adjustable chain helps it fit a variety of wrists. I often have trouble with bracelets designed for wrists around 7 inches in circumference, but this one works fine. The clasp is heart-shaped and there’s also a heart pendant that hangs from it. This might bother some people, but I think it’s feminine and cute! There’s also a gold version, which looks a little less “cheap” in my opinion.

The epilator is a product I’ve had my eye on for a while. This one has a single head and operates with AAA batteries. You can quickly pluck a bunch of hair. It works best with peach fuzz/light hair. I don’t think it works very well on thicker hair, and your hair needs to be a certain length but not too long. With some hairs, it simply broke them. off. It worked well on areas on my face and the back of my hand, but it’s just not going to cut it for legs. Plus, to catch every last hair, you’re going to spend a lot of time moving it across your skin, so a razor is better for those areas.

It didn’t hurt nearly as much as I expected; although, my sensitive skin was pink for a while.  On the whole, I’ll keep this around but will look for an even better epilator in the future because I love the idea.

The last item was one that didn’t quite do what I want. This LED shower head — there are many and some need batteries, but the one I got doesn’t — connects to a hose to be a handheld shower head, not a permanent one like I thought. Since the other two products worked just fine, I’m not super upset. I can still use it in the future. though. I did test it on my kitchen sink to verify that the water pressure is enough to turn on the LED lights. Cold water seems to be green and warm water seems blue. Really hot water — over 105 degrees — is red. I think blue and green should be switched, but it’s not a big deal.

Because I like my showers on the cooler side, I would never see this turn to red. However, it’s a great way to check temperature of your water without  burning or freezing yourself. Blue = go! The color suddenly switches when temperature raises or drops. It’s not gradual at all, which would look cooler. Still, pretty fun!

You can get any of these items and thousands more at DXMall.com. Thanks for sending me stuff to review, guys!

Win $100 Amazon Gift Card Thanks to Get My Wish

Date Sun, July 20 2014


With Summer nearly over and school registration coming up fast, it is time to consider what we need to get our families ready for that dreaded “Back to School” frenzy.  Fortunately, I’m not a mom, so I get to skip this, but I remember how stressful it was for my own mom. Not to mention pricey! To make it easier, or at least a little less expensive, Get My Wish has partnered with Mom Loves 2 Read and some amazing bloggers to bring you a fun and fantastic Back to School Giveaway Bash!

Step up to the challenge and start making a Back to School Wishlist to help organize those back to school needs!  You can even do like me and make a different list for each child, and a separate one for my own personal wishes and wants!

Don’t need a Back to School Wishlist?  Then go ahead, register for FREE and make wishlists for birthdays, weddings, baby shower, anniversaries, Just Because, “I have to have it” list or even a “dreaming big” list!  Whatever the occasion, whatever the gift, Get My Wish has a great way to organize it and share it with family and friends, or just make it for yourself!

Get My Wish is all about making things easier to create, send and share your wishes, wants and needs with friends, family and co-workers all over the world.  They even have a free concierge service that helps find the special gifts for that special person for any occasion.  There are even different wishlist templates to personalize your lists, and Get My Wish makes emailing easy by allowing you to download your email contacts right into your account.

Susan from Mom Loves 2 Read set up a Back to School List that you can check out here. It took less than 5 minutes to create a free registry, set up a wishlist and add several back to school items with descriptions!  Simple. Easy. Ready to Share.

Now for the Giveaway Fun.  Enter below using the Giveaway Tolls form for a chance to win $100 Amazon eGiftCode to help with your Back 2 School shopping.  Mandatory to create or have a Get My Wish registry.  Open World Wide, must be 18+ to enter/win.  Giveaway ends 11:59pm CST on August 15th.  Entries will be validated.  Winner will have only 48 hours to claim prize – no reply after 48 hours will result in another winner being chosen.

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Disclaimer: Neither Mom Loves 2 Read nor Reviews by Cole are responsible for prize distribution.  Sponsor: Get My Wish is responsible for sending prize to winner after validation.  This giveaway is in no way associated with any social media.

AmiClubWear Shoes, Dress and Accessories Review

Date Sat, July 19 2014
Shop AmiClubWear.com for Clothing and Accessories

Shop AmiClubWear.com for Clothing and Accessories

I’d like to thank AmiClubeWear, a site that I had my eye on for a while for this review. They sent me an entire box of goodies to review, and it took me a while to get around to it!

Here’s everything you need to know about the store.

Shopping AmiClubWear

Because AmiClubWear moves stock so fast, some of the things I received might not be available. On the flip side, this means there are constantly new items and markdowns. If you’re patient, you can find shoes for as little as $5 per pair, but you’ll want to buy shoes or clothing now if you really can’t live without it.

AmiClubwear carries so many items that shopping can be a little difficult. There are literally thousands of shoes, and I would have loved the ability to filter some of the sections for ease of use. For example, filtering my heel height in shoes would be nice, and choosing colors for clothes would be useful as well. There is a search bar, though.

The type of clothing is often appropriate for going out. You can find some work-appropriate items, but shoe height tends to be pretty tall (between 4″ and 6″).  Most of the shoes are open toe, too. I wasn’t previously familiar with the brands listed for clothing and shoes, but AmiClubWear now has its own label, which the site is trying to promote. I did receive one pair of shoes manufactured by them. Generally, brands are not listed with product information, and product names may be different than the makers or other stores use.

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

4 of the products I was sent to review were pairs of shoes — and none of them cost over $20!

AmiClubWear Shoes

AmiClubWear Shoes

Each of the shoes were a different brand, so the fit varied a little even though they were all size 9. The black and pink skull heels were the highest and also cut the largest. In fact, I’d say they run about 1/2 size larger. I wound up passing them off to a friend. The peep toe and pink sole was cute. One thing I did notice was that these had a much cheaper, plastic smell than the other brands, which was disappointing.

The black rhinestone pumps were definitely a surprise. With a lower heel, they’re easier to walk in, and I really think they look better in person than they do in product photos. They’ll work well with a variety of skirts and dresses, and the black-on-black rhinestones are glitzy but not gaudy.

I’ve gotten the most wear out of the coral wedges, which feature round studs along the heel and a two-tone color and fabric. The wedges were easy enough to walk in, but my feet were definitely hurting after wearing them to a club for a few hours. You might want to invest in some insoles intended specifically for high heels. After a little bit of use, these shoes did loosen up a little bit, but they remained quite wearable.

The last pair of shoes are ones that I haven’t yet had a chance to wear, but I love the look of the pleated blue chiffon. It’s super feminine and a little classy. However, the sole at the toes lifts up from the floor a bit, which makes them tricky to walk in. They would be perfect if the toe sat flat on the ground.

Coral Closed Toe Studded Wedges Faux Suede

Coral Closed Toe Studded Wedges Faux Suede

Coral Dreams

The fashionable colors this spring were mint and coral, and AmiClubWear had plenty of both. I was looking at a coral dress to match the shoes, but sadly it was out. I opted for the Coral Sheer Chiffon Long Sleeve Casual Top, which looked awesome in photos. Unfortunately, the cut of the arms and the width across the shoulders ran really small, so I wasn’t able to fit into it.

I received the Coral Two Tone Patent Faux Leather Rhinestone Clutch Handbag, too. As the name suggest, it pairs coral with another color — teal. It’s super colorful. The rhinestones and bow detail are such that I wouldn’t carry this with me on a daily basis. I do like how you can carry it as a clutch or attach the optional strap to make it a purse, but the faux-leather material seemed a little cheap.

Dress to Impress?

Finally, I received the Black Mesh Center Cut Out Hem Sexy Dress AMI+ from the plus-sized clothing section. This is a form-fitting dress with a mesh cutout over the bust. I loved the cutout. In the right bra, it looked amazing. The material doesn’t really hide any problem areas, so I suggest wearing a slip or shapewear underneath, like I did. The thicker material felt nice against my skin, however. The dress is cut slightly higher in the front, which I found interesting.

I think I’ll feel a little more confident in this once I shed a few pounds, but my butt and bust looked great. It  definitely didn’t look terrible, and pairing it with bright shoes — I wore it with the coral wedges — and fun accessories is perfect.

AmiClubWear — Yay or Nay?

Like I said, you can find some amazing sales. Not everything on the site is to my taste, and it may not be your style. If you keep an eye out, you can snag amazing deals. Quality can range, and the lack of filter options and brand mention do make AmiClubWear a little frustrating, however, but I definitely think it’s worth considering.

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Summer Beauty Tips and Tricks

Date Fri, July 18 2014

We’re almost a month into summer, and while it’s been pretty mild here, I always find myself trying to beat the heat. Here’s my best advice to look and feel good this summer.

Mind the Sun

You already know that you have to wear sunscreen once the sun comes out — and even on days when it’s not so sunny — but have you forgotten about your head? While you can certainly find sunscreen specifically for your face, I prefer products that multitask. Olay makes a moisturizer, for example with SPF 30. You might have multiple products that block the sun’s harmful rays and prevent painful sunburns. It’s a little confusing about how layering these products works but in general:

  • If you layer two products with SPF you’ll get closer to average. So using a 15 SPF and 30 SPF will provide the protection of 30 SPF, not 45SPF
  • The layer closest to the sun typically does more blocking.
  • Layering physical and chemical sunscreen can further prevent sun damage. A physical sunscreen contains ingredients such as Zinc oxide or Titanium dioxide while chemical sunscreens rely on ingredients like Octylcrylene, Avobenzone, Homosalate and helioplex to block the sun.

Some skin treatments, including certain acne treatments, can make your skin especially susceptible to sunburn. Pay attention to your labels if you need to up the ante on your SPF. Exfoliating too much in summer time can also increase the risk of sunburn. Stick to gentler facial cleansers.

I might just start wearing a hat to save my part!

I might just start wearing a hat to save my part!

Finally, don’t forget about your hair and part. Spray sunscreen works well for your part, and you can apply it to your comb to protect your hair, too. While you might like the sunkissed look of lighter hair in summer, sun also helps your dye fade more quickly. Specialized hair treatments can offer additional protection to keep your hair moist while the sun is high.

Ditch the Heavy Makeup

In summer, I swear by BB creams — but not the crappy American ones. If you can get it at the drug store or Walmart, it’s terrible. Spend a little more for a BB/CC by Jane Iredale or try Studio Gear’s CC cream. Take a trip to Korea to get the real stuff, which offers sun protection, shading,  moisture, color correction and repairs damage to your skin all at once!

You may also notice that you can use a lighter moisturizer during summer when there’s more moisture in the air. On the whole, I don’t need a heavy moisturizer, and I like them thinner, so I stay away from thick creams like those from Deja Vu.

Keep Makeup In Place

Sometimes you do want to wear makeup, but sweat and humidity make it a pain. What can you do? Invest in a decent primer. For my eyes, I beat the crease with Urban Decay’s Primer potion. Jane Iredale makes a nice primer, too. Plus, primers help your makeup go on easily and can improve the appearance of your skin!

Go Darker

I like to wear my foundation a tad darker than my skin tone because it helps to even out all the rosiness. In summer, most people want to adjust the shade of their foundation because they’ll be tanner. If you don’t get a lot of sun, you might want to go the self tanner route. I haven’t personally done this, so you’ll probably want to check out some reviews. When it comes to your face, however, you don’t want to look like an Oompa Loompa. Find a good bronzer that isn’t shimmery and use that, instead.

What are you summer beauty tips?

Dab on Deodorant

Of course, most people wear antiperspirant all year round, but it’s that much more important during the hot summer months. You may have to increase the strength or switch from a product that targets stress to one that focuses on heat. You can apply more liberally, and don’t be afraid to put antiperspirant/deodorant places where you might normally not. The inner thigh, beneath breasts, behind knees and inside elbows and the back of the neck are all great places. This helps mild chafing, keeps you smelling fresh and prevents you from sweating buckets in your brand-new bra.

Prevent Chafing

I walked 15 miles last week when I was sick. Believe me, I know about chafing. I already wrote a post about plenty of products to help when it’s hot and sticky.

Reduce the Shine

Even if you don’t sweat as much as I do — lucky ducks! — you might be shinier in summer thanks to all the oils your skin produces. Try washing your face less frequently. If you’re stripping oils your skin needs, it will overproduce! You can also use a specialty face wash to reduce shine. Olay makes one. Keep a pack of blotting papers in your purse or pocket during the day to wipe away excess sweat and oil. Sally Beauty sells rice paper with and without powder to help cover shine. Head to Chinatown to find cheap, tissue-paper like blotters, too.  I’ve also use Clean & Clear’s oil absorbing sheets with pretty good success.

 

Need T-Shirts This Summer? Try CustomInk

Date Thu, July 17 2014

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

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SuperCat Plush Toys

Date Tue, July 15 2014
Supercat plush toys

Supercat plush toys

The other week, my boys received an awesome surprise in the mail — Supercat plush toys complete with catnip spray to keep the cats going crazy over them.

I received the duo of bird shapes.

They are freakin’ a-dor-able.

Pawdorable?

Yea, I went there.

The toys are a little bigger than what I usually buy for my cats. I expected that Goliath would go crazy over them, so you can’t believe my surprise when Phantom was the one going crazy over these plush toys. In fact, I accidentally sprayed some of the catnip on my hand, and Phantom nearly molested it right off.

If you followed my photos on Facebook, you saw that Goliath liked the toys, too, and eventually took them over.

These toys aren’t just soft. They have the crinkly material in the center.

The cats really like them immediately after I spray them with catnip. To be honest, they haven’t replaced the ratty (pun intended) old mice that Goliath usually fetches. They might be a little big for his mouth to fetch, I think.

But if your cats like toys this size — between 3 and 4 inches long — they might loves these. I think kittens would enjoy them.

One thing I would say is that you might want to cut the tags off. Thy’re two on each, and as you can see from my photos, they’re pretty big.

As it is, I definitely plan to spritz these with the catnip and toss them at the cats. The tiny bottle of catnip isn’t going to last very long, however. I sprayed the toys 2 times each, and it already seems to be running out.

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