Current Giveaways at Reviews by Cole

Date Fri, November 30 2012


Check back soon for new giveaways!


Maxasorb Melatonin Cream

Date Thu, May 28 2015

When I discovered that there was a lotion that contained melatonin, a naturally-ocurring substance that can help your sleep, I was definitely intrigued. I suffer from insomnia frequently. I’ve been recommended to try medication (tried one; didn’t work), yoga and other options. I’ve actually tried melatonin in pill form a few years ago. It didn’t help much, and I still have trouble sleeping.

So I figured trying a cream containing this same ingredient couldn’t hurt, right?

This melatonin cream is in the Maxabsorb line, and this isn’t the first product I’ve tried from them. The Maxasorb Melatonin Cream comes in the same pump bottle with a cap. It’s small enough to carry in some bags or to hide in my nightstand for use before bed.

The cream is similarly thick, so it’s not messy and runny when you use it. There’s no scent either, so it won’t overpower you when you’re trying to sleep.

I like applying a lotion because it’s easier to passively use it rather than, say, taking a pill or chewing something. It works well with my nighttime routine, and they recommend that you apply lotion before bed for dry skin problems, anyway. Some people apply lotion to their feet and put on socks, which would work well with Maxasorb Melatonin Cream.

I think this is also  a good option for children or people who might have trouble swallowing pills.

So after using it, albeit not very consistently, for a couple weeks, did I see results?

I can say that my hands feel pretty awesome because I’ve been applying nightly cream, but that my insomnia doesn’t seem to be much better. This is probably due to the fact that melatonin doesn’t seem to do much for me, and I should probably consider a prescription.

I did stop to wonder whether melatonin can be effective at all. The skin does contain melatonin receptors, so it appears like this might be an effective method of application. Source.

According to the bottle, there are 3MG of melatonin per “dose.” I’ve been using one pump, assuming it’s a single dose. This dosage is comparable to many of the oral tablets available containing melatonin.

Even if the melatonin doesn’t help me sleep, I’ve still got soft hands, and melatonin does  potentially offer other benefits to the skin. I’ll definitely keep using this bottle until it’s gone, and it’s worth checking out if you like the idea of applying melatonin as a lotion.

Maxabsorb Melatonin costs $29.95 directly from Vita Sciences, which is a bit pricey. You can try other melatonin products for quite a bit cheaper from your local pharmacy, but the cream definitely adds versatility.

Renuzit Pearl Scents Review + Giveaway

Date Tue, May 26 2015

I like when things smell good. I’m a die-hard fan of some body sprays and perfumes. I’m picky about beauty products that are scented. The same is true for my laundry soap, and I like when my apartment smells amazing. I typically use candles or plug-in oil warmers to scent my home. Plug-ins are great because you plug  and forget them, but candles create ambiance and visual stimulation, which I like.

There’s another option available to people now: Renuzit Pearl Scents. You might already be familiar with Renuzit, which offers products like their Cones, spray odor neutralizer and gel Fresh Accents in addition to their own plug-ins. Renuzit wants everyone to know about their new Pearl Scents, however. These products combine fresh scents with a cute little container that you can see anywhere for up to 30 days of good smells!

renuzit pearl scents

renuzit pearl scents

There are multiple scents to choose from, including those below and a few new scents:

  • Pure Breeze
  • After the Rain®
  • Tranquil
  • Serenity
  • Seductive Pineapple

And not only do you get to choose from scents, but you can choose from the colored beads to match your decor. If you’re stumped, you can stop by the Renuzit site and take their What’s Your Pearlsonality Quiz. Answer a few questions and you’ll get recommendations on the perfect Pearl Scent to compliment your personality and style! You may also get a little surprise!

pearlsonality quiz results

I took the quiz, and my Pearlsonality is Blue Sky Breeze, a new scent from Renuzit! Coincidentally, it was the one I was sent to try out in my own home!

It’s a bold blue with the silver cap that matches a vase I recently bought from a local artist. I’m still not sure where I’m putting the vase, though!

renuzit pearl scents blue sky breeze

The Pearl Scents come in a plastic container, and there’s a label on it with a swirled design, but you could remove that and just see the beads, instead. I think I’ll keep mine on. I don’t mind how it looks. Other bloggers took it off, though.

The beads themselves contain a fragrance liquid, and they will shrink as it’s used up, so you can actually see that it’s working! I’m not sure if they’ll shrink entirely because I haven’t had a chance to use mine up, but I imagine you can recycle the container when it’s empty or reuse it for something else.

I’m rather pleased with the design of the Pearl Scents, but I think the scent I received wasn’t up my alley, despite what the quiz results say. It smells rather clean and reminds me of laundry soap, but it’s a bit too soapy/chemical for me. I prefer fruity scent, perhaps with just a hint of floral. I bet I would love Seductive Pineapple!

One of my lucky readers will get a chance to try the new Renuzit Pearl Scents in their scent of choice because the company has provided me with three coupons give give away to my readers!

Enter using the Gleam form below! Good luck!

Renuzit Pearl Scets

Open to US and Canada residents.

Ends June 25th.

ToiletTree Professional Skin Care System [Followup Review]

Date Mon, May 25 2015

I’ve now had this spinning brush and skin care system for over a year, which is longer than I had my previous brush. I’ve especially enjoyed the travel case, which I’ve used a couple times and is super convenient for spending a weekend or more away from home.

However, I’ve begun noticing some issues with my ToiletTree Professional Skin Care System. Specifically, it doesn’t always like to power off when I push the button. I’m not entirely sure why, but it seems like it may be an issue with the battery compartment not being too tight.

I’ve been able to remedy this by completely removing the batteries and sort of jarring the back end of the brush, where the batteries insert, to make it work. However, this is pretty annoying.

Although I’ve gotten a good year+ out of this product, it’s not the sort of thing I think I should have to replace, and I don’t think I will when it dies once and for all.

Memorial Day 2015 Sales

Date Sat, May 23 2015

I don’t know where this year has gone! It’s just flown by! I was patiently waiting for the beginning of May, and that’s already behind us now! In fact, Monday is Memorial Day! This means 3-day weekends for many people, and it also means some awesome sales.

I’ve taken the time to list some of the best sales by retailers with whom I am affiliated, and you’ll find them below. Remember that any purchases you make will earn me a small commission. As always, thank you!

memorial day sales

Tea Collection — Children’s Clothing

20% off everything with code WEGOTHERE Ends 5/25

Novica — Home Decor and Furnishings

Save 10% on everything through 5/27!

Stella & Dot — Children’s Clothing

Save an 25% off sale items until 5/25; plus get $25 in Dot Dollars for every $50 spent until June 15th!

Hot Topic

Save 20% off regular price 5/25 – 5/26; $1 shipping on orders over $50 5/25 – 5/27

Madison Reed – Hair Color and Products

Free shipping on all orders!

Torrid — Plus Sizes
BOGO 50% Off Reg Price + BOGO $5 Clearance w/code LONGWKND 5/20 – 5/26; All Bras 40% Off When You Buy 3 or More; Panties 5 for $35 (Reg Price Only); 25% Off Swim


Eleventh Avenue

Save 20% with coupon memorial20

Best Buy — Electronics

Save up to 30% on Major Appliance Top Buys During the Memorial Day Sale

Julep — Nail Polish and Cosmetics

Save up to 75% off – 48 hours only!

End-of-Season Savvy Deals


20% OFF Site Wide – Gallery Shirts, Posters, Mugs, Shoes and Leggings with code teefury20


$5 off of purchase of $25 or more – Code: RWB25 at Second Spin music, Movies, & Games Starts 5/21 Ends 5/25 midnight


Save 20% on purchases of $99+ at with code WEEKEND 5/22 – 5/25

Vanity — Fashion

BOGO $15 full price until 5/27

Free standard shipping 5/25

Save 30% off clearance 5/22-5/24


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Neater Scooper [Followup Review]

Date Thu, May 21 2015

I don’t always write follow up reviews, but I figured I’d do a few for you guys this week, especially since my expeiences and opinions on some items I’ve previously reviewed have changed.

My first follow-up, then, is on the Neater Scooper, which I’ve been using a little over two months. The innovative scooper combines a bag to catch refuse with the scooper itself, eliminating the need to use garbage bags or even things like the Litter Genie.

Unfortunately, the Neater Scooper just doesn’t seem to be holding up. It’s been a few weeks, now, that the “door” that traps things in the bag/container has been coming off a single hinge. I can pop it back on but

  1. That’s gross!
  2. And it doesn’t stay on anyway

With the plastic “hinges,” I feel like this would likely happen to other users, and it does make using the Neater Scooper less convenient. I will probably use up the rest of the bags that came with it and return to using my Litter Genie.


Date Fri, May 15 2015

The Trio is a rechargeable hand tool with three removable head. One is a trimmer and electric shave, another has two callus filing cylinders that rotate, and the last head is an epilator. A button on the side allows you to easily swap between the heads, which click into place while a slider on the bottom moves between “high”, “low” and “off.” It’s very easy to use.



Aside from the heads and their covers, this comes with a charging cable, storage/travel bag and a cleaning brush, which is especially helpful to remove dust from skin or hair removed using the device, which has a floral design and is easy to hold.

I’ve used other tools for each of the purposes but was curious whether the Trio 3-in-1 could really work for all of them.

Trio 3-in-1 for Callus Removing

You might remember how impressed I was with the Microplane Rasp for dealing with years of thick and hard calluses on my feet. As a person who tries to walk miles daily, it’s something I’ve come to expect. Thanks to the Microplane, my skin was thinner and softer than it has been in years, but it still gets callused around my heel, the ball of my foot and exterior toes.

So I was excited to try the Trio 3-in-1 as a callus solution. I’ve used other rotating/spinning brushes, including this one, but the rotation in those goes around in a circle rather than the way the Trio is a rotating cylinder with a crystalline texture rather than a pumice stone. There are also two heads on the Trio, which may be more effective than just one.

The Trio is pretty effective, and you can see the dust from your dry skin flaking right away. It’s not as harsh on the skin as the Microplane or other tools that you’d worry about cutting you. If your feet are in really bad shape like mine are, you might need something else before you use the Trio, but it’ll do a good enough job if you just have some light roughness that you want to deal with!

You don’t want to hold it too closely to stop the rotation, but the design makes that fairly difficult anyway. I prefer to use the callus remover on the lower setting, otherwise it likes to “travel” across my skin.

Trio 3-in-1 for Epilating

I’d tried an epilator before and wasn’t impressed. It was cheap, had only one head and a couple tweezers. The Trio has two heads with more tweezers each. While my cheap epilator hurt like crazy, this epilator hurts much less. I was surprised given that it’s more effective.

It’s been fairly effective at removing both fine and coarse hairs from various parts of my body, but it seems slightly less effective around some curves. I think flat areas with taut skin will have the most effective hair removal. You can also choose between two speeds. I find that the lower speed is actually more effective at grabbing thicker hairs while the faster speed is good for fine hair.

For places with smaller amounts of longer hair, the epilator works well to remove those hairs. Although, some hairs are stubborn and I have to find the perfect angle to remove them. I wouldn’t use the shaver before epilating because you do need a little length, which means I wouldn’t epilate in any location where I wanted to hide stubble. According to the description, it will remove hair as short as 0.5 mm, but I think that’s an exaggeration.

Of course, hair grows back tapered, so it doesn’t look quite as dense, and epilating in the long-term can slow hair growth seriously.

Trio 3-in-1 for Shaving

It’s been a while since I used an electric shaved. Years ago, I had a pink “for ladies” style shaver, but it didn’t provide a shave that was closer than or even as close as my razor, so I stopped using it. Who knows what happened to it since then!

As I used the Trio with the shaving head, I relived that experience. It just isn’t the same as shaving for silky smooth legs! Interestingly enough, I noticed that hair was much less visible, but my legs didn’t feel smooth. I might use the shaver if I wanted to wear shorts or a skirt and appearance was more important than how they felt. If I expected someone was going to be feeling my legs, I’d get my razor out. This makes the Trio a good option for shaving when time is sparse and a wet shave just isn’t an option.

The small trimmers on either side of the shaver also allow you to cleanup. I couldn’t help but compare them to the Schick TrimStyle, which also has a trimmer. These blades are smaller and, for whatever reason, less irritating against my skin. Although the trimmer on the Trio is larger/more bulky and not ideal for small space/creases/curves (the same is true for the razor), I prefer the trimming capabilities over the TrimStyle. It might be useful to trim a little before shaving, however.

The shaving head comes with a plastic cover to keep it clean, and I even applied a little tea tree oil an an antiseptic. One thing I do notice is that the shaving part sometimes pops off — not the whole entire — when I’m trying to remove the cover. This happens sometimes when I grab it from the wrong angle. The shaving part does seem replaceable, however, so it’s not breaking.

A Rechargeable Beauty Tool

The Trio marks a notable improvement over similar tools that I’ve used, all of which have been battery powered. Thanks to the rechargeable battery, each of the tools tends to be more powerful, which gets the job done faster. The ability to use it while it’s charging also ensures the power never dips for a long project and means you can keep using it even as/after the battery dies.

When I received it, it was partially charged. I tried out all of the tools and even went over my feet entirely with the callus remover before it started to die. Instructions say to charge it for 16 hours before first use, but obviously I like to break the rules. I did plug it in, and a red LED turned on. It switches to green when fully charged. I’m not sure how long it took because I left the house for a little bit, but the Trio was fully charged within the four hours I was gone. So I don’t think you necessarily need to charge it for the full sixteen hours.

I got about a week’s worth of foot filing, leg shaving and epilating done before it started to die again, which I’m fine by. I could easily take this away for a weekend with a full battery and not worry about it dying. However, as it dies, it becomes less efficient. I will likely charge it up before it dies completely to get the more effective use.

Travel can also be facilitated thanks to the drawstring storage bag, which is also helpful for keeping the additional heads in when you’re not using them.

The Trio 3-in-1 normally costs $150, which might seem a hefty price. But lucky readers of Reviews by Cole can save over $100 with code COLE7T! Just enter it at checkout, and you’re on your way!

Exposed Skincare System

Date Thu, May 14 2015

I’m always looking for new ways to deal with acne, so I jumped at the chance to try Exposed Skincare. They sent me a Basic Kit to review. It came in a custom box with quick start guide.

Exposed Skincare

Exposed Skincare

The Basic Kit contains a few different things:

  • Facial Cleanser
  • Clearing Tonic
  • Acne Treatment Serum
  • Clear Pore Serum
  • Derm-X Cloth

Even the Basic Kit is a pretty intensive system to help clear your skin of acne — and keep it that way! —  I would have prefered moisturizer as part of this kit rather than the pore clearing system, for example, since I don’t have issues with blackheads or whireheads, really. You can buy everything separately,  which is nice if you use up something more quickly than another product in your kit.

It’s not the only kit available, however. You can upgrade to the 6-piece kit, which contains moisturizer, or shell out a whopping $95 — $10 more if you don’t sign up for the free membership — to get three more products to help manage your acne. See the chart below.

Exposed Skincare Kaits

I suspect this will be my case because Exposed Skincare has both a daytime and a nighttime routine, and I am just no good to sticking to nighttime routines. Oops!

The morning routine requires you to wash using the cleanser, the main ingredient of which is Salicylic Acid, apply the clearing tonic that contains Salicylic Acid and Green Tea Extract, and then add the acne treatment serum while your face is still damp from the tonic.  The acne treatment is a thicker cream that contains Benzoyl Peroxide and tea tree oil, among other ingredients, to treat acne.

At night, you’ll use the cleanser to wash dirt, oil and potentially makeup from your face. Apply the clearing tonic and then the pore clearing serum rather than the acne serum. You can easily tell the difference because the night time gel is clear.

These instructions are included in the quick start guide.

Morning and Evening Routines

Oddly enough, the guide says nothing at all about the included Derm-X wash cloth. There’s a booklet with prices information and coupons that does say it works well for exfoliating, but all the instructions say to use your fingers to cleanse and apply the products. I figured I could use the cloth when rinsing at night because I cleanse in the shower during my morning routine, but having this information would be nice.

You can also buy a larger cloth for use on your body along with a body wash and a number of other products directly from Exposed Skincare if you were so inclined.

My Thoughts on Exposes Skincare Acne Treatment System

There are a few things that I liked right away about this system. It uses both of the main chemicals, Benzoyl Peroxide and salicylic acid, in other acne treatments. Most use only one. The addition of tea tree oil, which has a ton of other benefits aside from treating acne, is also nice. You get both the chemical and the natural working together to fight blemishes and more!

Because the system includes four bottles, it’s not exactly travel friendly. I simply left the tube of pore treatment at home when I went away for the weekend. I kept forgetting to use it, anyway, and it didn’t seem like it was hurting my routine not to use it. Like I said, white and blackheads were never my big issue.

I like that the cleanser doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight or dry like cleansers so often do, and I had no ill effects from using any of the products. The 3-step morning system does add extra products to my face, however. I already use a hair reducing serum and either moisturizer or BB cream. It doesn’t feel too heavy on my skin, but it is a little busy work.

I’m not a fan of the clearing tonic being in a bottle like it is. I think maybe a dropper would work better because it pours out so quickly! Also, if you have any pimples you’ve picked at or cuts/scrapes on your skin, the tonic does sting a little. It stops almost immediately.

When using the acne treatment after the tonic, it sometimes gets sticky. This seems to be the case typically if I’ve used too much tonic, hence a different packaging option would be nice. One thing I like is that you can use the acne serum twice a day and increase quantity up to a “finger length.”

Exposed Skincare Acne SerumI don’t use that much because I won’t want to layer on too much product. You can also use less or only apply it every other day if your skin reacts poorly, however.

Does Exposed Skincare Work?

Here’s the question you all want answered, right? Well, I think it works well enough. I was battling a breakout due to hormones when I started using it 4+ weeks ago, and those cleared up pretty quick. I do think they would have cleared up no matter what product I was using.

I also had this annoying blemish under the skin near my temple. I was red and swollen but wasn’t getting bigger or going away. It’s since shrunk down, and I’m waiting on the color to fade back to normal.

After Using Exposed Skincare

After Using Exposed Skincare

I’ve had a few pimples, mostly about my chin and mouth, while using this. They seem to be in line with my cycle, which is pretty typical, and may not be super treatable with topical products. The difference in my skin overall is pretty negligible, which is surprising given how involved the process it. You can see in the photo marks from acne that’s clearing up. It actually looks worse in the photo that in does in person. There’s no swelling and it’s smooth, but the marks needs to fade.

Because of this and the price, I don’t think I would buy another kit when I run out, but I might consider buying some of the products on their own. However, you might prefer Exposed Skincare if your acne seems to be more due to a cleanliness, imbalance or oil production issue.

Pros of Exposed Skincare

  • Multiple kits to choose from
  • Can buy products separately
  • Intensive acne care
  • Chemical and natural ingredients

Cons of Exposed Skincare System

  • Price
  • Basic kit doesn’t include moisturizer
  • Requires more time than some systems
  • Must layer on products
  • Not travel friendly

Get your own Basic Kit from Exposed Skincare for just $49.95 or stop by the site to create your own custom acne solution.

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