Current Giveaways at Reviews by Cole

Date Fri, November 30 2012

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ToiletTree Body Brush Storage/Travel Case

Date Mon, September 15 2014

I think a sign of a good relationship is when you can see someone day in and day out without growing bored. Even better, maybe you love them more than you did before. My relationship with the ToiletTree  body brush is like that. Sure, it’s more function than romance, but I can’t complain.

It’s still working quite well, but the one thing I mused about was how it’s not travel-friendly. There’s no lock button. The softest brush easily gets crushed. So on and so forth.

I didn’t actually say anything about it, but the folks at ToiletTree  took it on themselves to solve my problem anyway. Awesome!

They also sent me the solution to review — a travel and storage case for the brush that comes with an extra set of brushes.

And it’s awesome.

For under $18 — and with free shipping of you subscribe to Amazon Prime — you get an entirely new set of brush heads, which is great if yours have gotten a little grimy or, like me, smushed. That soft face brush really doesn’t keep shape well. Oops!

 

Storage and Travel Case

Storage and Travel Case

The plastic case fits all the brush heads in addition to the brush itself. Each brush has its own space and clicks into place the same way it fits onto the hed.

There’s even a slot for the loop on the handle to hang out of the travel case, so you can hold it that way. If you’re wondering whether the case will simply open, it won’t. It clicks shut — in fact, I need two hands to open it. A quick yoyo test proved effective at using the brush’s loop as a handle for the whole case.

Admittedly, the storage case for the spin brush it a little bulky, but I don’t mind. It more than makes up for that in terms of convenience. I’ve gone out of town a time or two since I got my spin brush but didn’t take it because this product wasn’t yet invented.

It is not, however. Woohoo!

If I could change anything, I wonder consider a separate slot to store batteries or maybe even something to open the battery compartment. That would be super cool, but it would also be above and beyond.

If you love your ToiletTree body brush and want to take it everywhere with you, you can’t go wrong with this travel case.

Win Tickets to One Direction Miami Concert

Date Sat, September 13 2014

Love One Direction? Was the Makeup by One Direction giveaway awesome, but you’re still wanting more? How about tickets to see the band live on October 5th in Miami? What if that included airfare and hotel accommodations so you can see the boys no matter where you live in the country?

Enter to win Airfare, Hotel Accommodations and 2 Tickets to the ONE DIRECTION “Where We Are” North American Tour Finale at Sun Life Stadium – Miami Gardens, FL on October 5th 2014 7:00pm. Transportation to and from the airport and concert included! Miami accommodations provided by Turnberry Isle- Miami hotel.

Winners will also receive 2 Autographed Make-up by ONE DIRECTION limited-edition collections of beauty essentials by Markwins, housed in a collectible keepsake tin and signed by all band members. Inside is everything you need to rock all your beauty looks on or off the stage. The 2 makeup tins will be randomly selected from the 3 available collections (Midnight Memories, Take Me Home, or Up all Night).

Simply use the giveaway form below to get in your entries. Good luck!

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I received no compensation for this post. I am not responsible for prize fulfillment.

CVS Razors Are the Same As 800Razors.com

Date Fri, September 12 2014

On a recent trip to CVS, I stopped to look for razor blades. Sadly, my beloved Venus Divine seems to be discontinued, and I’m just not as big a fan of the Embrace blades. So, I was essentially comparing between the CVS house brand and Schick’s Hydro Silk. FYI, I opted to just buy a new handlewith the Hydro Silk — my third now — because it came with three replacement blades and was ultimately a better deal than buying just the blades.

CVS 5 Blade Women's Razor Cartridges

CVS 5 Blade Women’s Razor Cartridges

However, I looked at the CVS brand and was shocked to find that it looked similar — no, exactly like — the razors I reviews from 800Razors. I checked when I got home, and sure enough they’re identical.

For $8 at CVS, you’ll get one handle and one blade. For $9, you’ll get 4 replacement razor blades from the CVS brand.

You can purchase 12 blades and get a free handle from 800Razors for $25.95. It’s a bit better deal for the same product from 800Razors; although, CVS often has coupons — I often get one for $4 off razor blades — and you don’t have to wait for shipping.

Sometimes shopping smart isn’t as obvious as it seems at first glance!

Skintimate Mandarin Burst Moisturizing Shave Gel

Date Thu, September 11 2014

It’s been a loooong time since I’ve used a shaving gel or cream that you can buy in the aisles of a drug store or big box store. Maybe this sounds strange to you if you typically use brands like Skintimate,  but the products that I’m known to use typically come from the sex toy shop. I like super-slick shaving creams that sometimes cost as much as replacement razor blades. They get a closer shave, moisturize well and stick to the skin well. Adult manufacturers create shaving products specifically for sensitive areas, too, which cuts down on razor burn and bumps and other irritation.

I know, I know. This isn’t sounding awesome for a product that you can get at your nearest Walmart SuperCenter, but let me assure you that the review does pick up.

Skintimate Mandarin Burst Moisturizing Shave Gel

Skintimate Mandarin Burst Moisturizing Shave Gel

I received a full bottle of Skintimate’s newest scent — Mandarin Burst — to review. In fact, I received the bonus size that’s a little bigger, so woot for that! The bottle combines mandarin, lime and lemon scents, and it’s definitely citrus-y. It goes well with the body wash I’ve been using, a mango combination I believe. While the scent is strong during use, it fades when you’re out of the shower.

The shaving gel comes out as a thick dollop of gel but turns into white foam as you spread it on your skin. The foam is much thinner than shaving gels that stay gel, and it rinses away quickly. I had forgotten how quickly and definitely had to change my shower routine to make sure my legs stayed out of the water.

I’ve used this shaving cream with multiple razors, and while it definitely didn’t seem to be as slick during use, the shave with the best razor seemed equivalent to my recent shaves. Afterward, my legs were soft, but they were also a little itchy. It’s generally something that I can deal with after applying lotion, however.

I did find myself shaving again more frequently, so I’m thinking that I didn’t quite as close a shave as I am used to getting. It feels fine for the first day or so, but I can’t go as long between shaves.

For under $3 per bottle, however, it might very well be worth it. And it’s certainly easier to find a can of Skintimate than it is to find those specialty shaving gels that I tend to use. Skintimate’s new Mandarin Burst might be the best balance between cost and a good shave.

Save Money On Back to School? MAKE Money with Back to School

Date Wed, September 10 2014

If you’re like most people, you might be feelin’ a little hurt in your wallet after back to school shopping. Fortunately, I am out of school and have no children but I can tell you that my mother has spent a lot of time shopping for my sister.. who is now in middle school — oh em gee!. And my sister doesn’t even need school books.

Textbooks for college students can cost an arm and a leg on top of clothes, electronics, rent and whatever else they may need.

But I have good news — two good news(es)? — for you college students out there who might still be scrambling to get your paws on textbooks.

1. You Can Rent Textbooks

I did it when I was still taking  classes. You rent them for a semester for a price much lower than buying new textbooks. Companies like CampusBookRentals.com will ship books straight to your door for a fraction of the price of your campus store. When you’re done with them, ship them right back — shipping’s free both ways. Convenient, right?

2. You Can Make Money with Your Old Books

If you still have a few books lying around, you can rent them out to other students so you’ll actually make money from textbooks. RentBack.c is a new site that allows you to do this with minimal effort from yourself. You may even recoup the money you spent in the first place. You can certainly make more money with RentBack than you would by simply selling your books back to the store.

Check out this video below to learn more:

Not everyone needs textbooks, though. What are the ways you save money when it’s time for back to school shopping?

$50 Paypal Giveaway Thanks to Frugaa

Date Tue, September 9 2014
Introducing Frugaa

Introducing Frugaa

I’d like to take the time to introduce you to a new website I just discovered — http://www.frugaa.com. Frugaa is a coupon and discount code site a lot like that one other site I often discuss but won’t name here. Like Voldemort. Ha!

Sites like a Frugaa are a must when it comes to saving money shopping. Not only can you search to find the lowest price online, but you can slash prices or get free shipping and more with Frugaa.

You’ll find coupons for my favorites, including  Torrid, JC Penney, the Disney Store and Blackheart Lingerie. You might even be able to find new favorites by browsing their stores directory and browsing by category. There are currently over 33,000 coupons listed on the site with more being added every day! A few of my favorite stores haven’t yet been added, but I’ll keep an eye open for them in the future

One unique feature is the marketplace, where you can find select items for sale. The marketplace is also helpfully organized by category, so there’s no confusing hunt there. Everything on the site is quite easy to find, too. The layout is clean and neat, which I appreciate.

This coupon site also has an active community. If you sign up, shop, share and engage with other users, you’ll be able to earn points and badges, which is always fun!

What else is fun? Giveaways, of course!

Win $50 PayPal Cash!

Win $50 PayPal Cash!

Thanks to Frugaa, one of my lucky readers will have a chance to win $50 PayPal. You can use that money to shop at any of the retailers listed on Frugaa and even save some extra money. That sounds pretty good to me.

Use the giveaway form below to enter the giveaway.

Good luck!

Giveaway ends September 24th.

Reviews by Cole is not responsible for prize fulfillment. I was compensated for this post. All opinions are mine.

Bulletproof Picasso by Train

Date Mon, September 8 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed music, so let’s hop right back into this.  Bulletproof Picasso is the upcoming album from train, and it will be available on September 16th. If you listen to top 40 radio, you’ve probably already heard the lead single, Angel in Blue Jeans. You can watch the video below.

Angel in Blue Jeans is one of 12 tracks:

  1. Cadillac, Cadillac
  2. Bulletproof Picasso
  3. Angel in Blue Jeans
  4. Give It All
  5. Wonder What You’re Doing For the Rest of Your Life (feat. Marsha Ambrosius)
  6. Son of a Prison Guard
  7. Just a Memory
  8. I’m Drinkin’ Tonight
  9. I Will Remember
  10. The Bridge
  11. Baby, Happy Birthday
  12. Don’t Grow Up So Fast

“Angel in Blue Jeans” is actually more traditional and perhaps radio-friendly than many of the tracks. It starts out slow and with some definite Mexican influence, which you see in the video.

This isn’t to say that I don’t like the music. In fact, the opposite is true. Bulletproof Picasso is very soulful. There are definitely jazz and blues influences it not sampling from classic songs in those genres. For example, “Just a Memory”, which may be my favorite track. It almost seems influenced by Motown, and it’s hard not to dance along.

“Wonder What You’re Doing For the Rest of Your Life” features Marsha Ambrosius, and her voice is a perfect compliment to front-man Pat Monahan’s in this song that reminds me of 60s inspired music. In fact, the opening notes are reminiscent of the 7th Heaven theme song. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I mean! This track makes me dance, and it feels like summer. It would have been a perfect candidate for 2014’s song of summer if the CD had dropped a few months earlier.

My other favorite tracks are “The Bridge,” a song about being on the jumping point of a relationship. Monahan sings to a potential lover, asking whether they should jump off a bridge or burn it behind them. I love the water and bridge inspired lyrics:

We’re at the bridge together once more

We cross it over like we;ve done before

We could start a fire go up in smoke

Jump into the water and do the back stroke

We’re at the bridge I love this view

but I don’t know if I can cross again with you

We could start a fire go up in smoke

Jump into the water and do the back stroke

Come on, what’s is going to be?

While “The Bridge” becomes faster during the chorus, which features some talented background singers to keep that retro song going.  In fact, it seems like there’s a lot more harmonizing going on that the typical train song, which focuses on Monahan’s vocals. One obvious exception is “Baby, Happy Birthday,” where Pat croons a whiny apology to his significant other and relates how he wishes he weren’t the sort of person to forget birthdays. It’s just a little obnoxious and reminiscent of “Meet Virginia.”

Similarly, I am not fond of “Cadillac, Cadillac”. There’s a lot more repetition and aggressive use of vocals and instruments on this album as a whole, and that song is a perfect example even though I think it’s intended to be one of the singles. The title track is definitely going to become a single; although, it’s not the best on the album in my opinion. “I’m Drinking Tonight” has some of those vocals that are a bit grating, but I’ll let it slide for the line “the only thing stronger than you is whiskey.” Love it!

“I Will Remember” is one song that’s a little more aggressive, and Pat uses a spoken style of singing, but it still is one of those songs I prefer. The chorus sounds like a great drinking anthem and the lyrics hit home:

Did you ever do drugs? It’s like love

If you’ve ever done love it’s like a drug

It’ll mess you up good, mess you up bad

Make you fall harder than you ever have

Even with the songs that I don’t love the sound of, I find myself liking the lyrics.  “Don’t Grow Up So Fast” is a slow song dedicated to a female, perhaps a younger friend or daughter. It’s unclear, but the lyrics are those we all can relate to.

“Don’t you hurry, try to take it slow

You will get there before you know it

Ain’t just the bad times, the good times too shall pass

So don’t grow up so fast”

“Give It All” is another example of a song with Monohan’s familiar vocals. They’re clear as he sings about how he knows he should be grateful but he’d still give it all for “one more night with you.” It definitely seems like there was a breakup going on as the guys wrote these lyrics.

In a departure from the typical Train song, which is usually about love or relationships, “Son of a Prison Guard” is honest and reminds us all of our roots.

While I don’t love every song on Bulletproof Picasso, I feel like the group has crafted an album that has something for everyone. It’s more original than many songs on the radio now, and the throwback to other types of music and music from other eras is obvious. I don’t know if this will help or hinder the album and singles, but I truly think the songs that aren’t slated to be released on the radio are some of the best.

Check it out on Amazon or iTunes

Love, I guess

Is there anything else?

— Just a Memory

I participated in the Train Bulletproof Picasso album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own