DermaE Hydrating Cleanser + Hydrating Night Cream

Date Fri, January 26 2018

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DermaE Hydrating Cleanser + Hydrating Night Cream

DermaE Hydrating Cleanser + Hydrating Night Cream

It’s the middle of winter, which means most of us are trying to stay warm. But for people whose hair or skin react poorly to colder and dryer temperatures, it’s also important to stay hydrated. Aren’t you glad I didn’t use the “M” word, guys?

Enter DermaE and their line of hydrating products, which include two that I was able to try: the Hydrating Cleanser and Hydrating Night Cream.

The cleanser comes in a pump bottle. You only need a light touch unless you want a ton of products to come out. I expected a white cream for some reason, but it’s a silky, clear gel. I experienced no adverse reactions and my skin felt clean afterward. The description says your skin will feel dewy, and I would have to agree.

However, I did break out the first week when I used the cleanser, which was something I hadn’t experienced in a while. I’d been using Derma E’s Charcoal Cleanser, which I quite like and seems to work well with my oily skin as of late.

As you’d expect, there’s no skin tightness afterward, but I haven’t experienced that with any Derma E product. The extra moisture in this cleanser comes from ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Chamomile, Lemon Grass and Papaya plus antioxidant Vitamins A and E.

Now, I don’t normally use night creams. In fact, my skin has been so oily lately (despite the winter weather setting in) that I stopped using moisturizer altogether to see if it would help (spoiler alert: it didn’t). I actually added this to my routine because it would encourage me to clean makeup from my face every night, like I should have been doing, to have a clean palette for the cream.

The hydrating night cream by Derma E is rather thick. I usually stick with thinner moisturizers because the thicker ones can make me sweat — just like this clay face mask that I tried last month. With thicker creams, I apply as thin a layer as possible.

My skin glistens with Derma E’s night cream, but it’s not overly uncomfortable. I must say that I enjoy using it because of how it smells. Both the cleanser and night cream share a slightly sweet scent. It might sound odd, but it reminds me a bit of Smarties candy. It’s pleasant and not all that strong. But some people might not like it. — a few reviewers don’t like the smell and find it too harsh.

Curiously, it’s not the first time I’ve tried a beauty product with a similar scent.

I tend to wake up early, even if I’ve cleaned the night before. I didn’t notice any additional oil after using the night cream, and I feel like my skin has felt softer since I’ve started using it; although, I wouldn’t exactly call my skin rough, to begin with. I would definitely recommend checking out the night cream if your skin needs that extra boost of moisture, but I am not sure if I will continue with the routine.

I’ll probably give it a more time because it’s supposed to help with lines and wrinkles (thanks to Hyaluronic Acid). I only have a few problematic areas, usually just under my eyes, so I might use the cream only in those locations to see if it helps over time.

If your skin needs a little extra TLC now that it’s winter, check out DermaE’s Hydrating Cleanser or Hydrating Night Cream for a full hydrating routine.

I received product in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.

Sweatcoin

Date Tue, January 23 2018

A friend recently introduced me to Sweatcoin, an app that tracks your steps and provides you with coins in exchange for being active. My friend knows how much I like to walk, and who doesn’t like practically free coins?

Of course, Sweatcoin is the sort of thing that sounds too good to be true, so I had to give it a try to see if it was worth trying. You know how it goes.

Sweatcoin is available for Android and iOS users for free, and installation was painless. As soon as you register, it asks a few questions, including your name. Because I followed my friend’s referral link, she was automatically added as a friend. So keep that in mind if you sign up to Sweatcoin with a referral link such as this one, which is mine.

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My first concern is whether you can use the app in the background. You can. Next, I was curious if it would track indoor steps. According to reviews, it works best outside. This is because it partially uses GPS to track your steps. One thing that many reviewers have failed to touch on is while Sweatcoin does count your inside steps, it doesn’t convert them. Instead of earning almost 2 SC for 2,000 steps inside, I earned just over .30 SW. This is why they advise you to use the app outside. It’s unfortunate if you do a lot of inside walking.

Another concern I had is whether it would drain my battery. I’ve had my phone for over year now, and the battery isn’t as great as I would wish. Sweatcoin does drain the battery but less if it’s running in the background. This is partially mitigated because the basic, free account only allows you to earn 5 sweatcoins per day. Every 1,000 equates to .95 sweatcoins due to the conversation rate, so you’re waking just over 5,000 steps or about 2.5 miles, which really isn’t much. I try to do more 3 times that amount of steps a day.

I’ve compared the step counter on Sweatcoins with my iPod, and Sweatcoin does lag behind. I’ve read that it counts about 60% of all your steps, but I’ve had better luck than that. Sweatcoin tends to miss fewer than 500 steps per day, which isn’t perfect but isn’t terrible. It’s definitely better than 60%.

So, once you reach that 5 SC limit, you can shut off the app and preserve battery life, which you need to do manually. There’s no button to shut off the app, so it keeps tracking, even though it will not count toward anything.

Sticking at the basic tier will earn you fewer than 2,000 Sweatcoins per year, but all the rewards cost upwards of 3,000 coins. In fact, several $50 rewards cost 3650 Sweatcoins, which means a basic user would have to max out the counter every day for two years. That’s a long time. Even if I was willing to wait that long, I am not sure if the app will still exist then.

The better bet is to upgrade your account, and there are several tiers above the free tier. You can pay a monthly subscription fee of 5 Sweatcoins to try them out after a free 30-day trial. The next tier allows you to earn 10 sweatcoins daily, which is a nice jump. But it’ll still take a year or more to earn the high-value prizes — if you can even call $50 ‘high value.”

There are several other tiers for people who move a lot. Ideally, I could earn 10 Sweatcoins a month; although, I’d have to make a more concerted effort to max out the 15 SW tier daily. If you were a serious walker or runner, you could upgrade to the 20 daily SW limit, which costs 30 coins monthly. At that point, it would take just over 4 months to earn a $50 reward, assuming you were able to meet the goal every day and considering that you would need to work off the cost of the membership, too. It’s much better than two years, but it’s still a while.

There is an as-of-yet-unannounced level that I assume is higher yet, but few people would find that realistic.

All this effort is worth it only if you want the rewards. The Sweatcoin site vaguely describes rewards;

Goods, services & experiences ranging from anti-gravity yoga classes to high-tech shoes, to iPhones and Apple Watches.

There are Paypal and Amazon as well as flyer miles and some gadgets, but most of the rewards just don’t draw me in (jeans from an unknown brand or yoga subscriptions). They seem to change frequently, which could be problematic if you’re attempting to earn enough Sweatcoins to buy something.

Now, I’ve seen some people describe Sweatcoins are cryptocurrency, but that seems like a stretch at this point. Using the app doesn’t help to generate them in any way; although, the founder has plans to start a blockchain DLT in the future. Currently, Sweatcoins are no more currency than the points you would earn with Mpoints or MyPoints, both services that I’ve tried in the past to earn contest entries and rewards such as gift cards.

Edit

I kept using Sweatcoin, mostly because I kept receiving emails advising that the next week would include prizes from a beauty brand that I like. I received five emails before the brand finally showed up. I was excited to see it until I realized that it was a $5 off coupon, not a free product. You need to spend $20 to use to, anyway.

The real rub? The company is advertising a 25% off coupon on Facebook that’s a better deal with fewer restrictions — and I didn’t have to work for it. I would accept the prizes on Sweatcoin to be more exclusive and worthwhile that random coupons you can find online!

The motivation for Sweatcoin is equally to get you off your butt and onto your feet. If Sweatcoin sticks around, you could earn some nice rewards as well as stay healthy. And if the plans to expand Sweatcoin into a true cryptocurrency work out, the rewards could improve and value increase. So it’s worth trying and keep an eye on if you have any interest.

Get Sweatcoin for Android or iOS.

Hardware the Easy Way with Lock and Hinge

Date Fri, January 19 2018

You know what I like to think about when I imagine owning my own home? Picking hardware: hinges, drawer pulls, faucets and more. They’re the small details that really complete a space. Done right, they speak about your style. Done wrong, they can be garish or generic, and no one wants that.

Lock and Hinge is the perfect resource if you’re in the market for those little details. They carry everything, and I mean everything, that you might need inside or outside your home. There’s tons of hardware as well as some accents for your home or garden (think mailboxes, mats, switchplates, and even display racks). If brass is your thing, you will not regret taking a peek at what Lock and Hinge offers! I’m personally a fan of satin nickel, and the store carries plenty of options.

Whether you like modern of more traditional, I think it’s worth checking out Lock and Hinge. It could be for your first home, your third revamp or even the cabin that you’re building, you’re bound to find the right accent.

I wasn’t even looking for art, but the sand art that Lock and Hinge sells caught my eye right away!

This store actually carries pieces that would work well in many businesses and not just homes, so don’t be surprised if you find something for your office or business when browsing the site!

Right now you can save at Lock and Hinge with a special coupon code for Dealspotr users. So you can stock up on things you need and maybe pick a few items for future projects. I have faith that you’ll get to them and they’ll be amazing. ;)

I received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Anansi Boys (BBC Radio)

Date Thu, January 11 2018

anansi boysThis will perhaps be less of a review and more of a glowing recommendation for an audio drama that I thoroughly enjoyed last week. Thanks to an announcement on The Mary Sue, I discovered that the BBC had released six episodes of Anansi Boys for free to the public.

The BBC is actually responsible for most of the audio dramas I’ve enjoyed over the past year or so, and that encouraged me to branch out and find some more. So I was quick to listen to Anansi Boys, a drama based on the book of the same name by Neil Gaiman. Now, I have read the book, but it’s been over a decade. I don’t have much of a recollection of “Fat” Charlie Nancy or Spider or anything that happens between them. I am left with more of a general feeling.

This was a great headspace to be in to enjoy Anansi Boys as an audio drama; although, I don’t think you’ll enjoy it any less if you are more familiar with the story or even if you’ve never heard of it. In that case, however, I would recommend that you enjoy urban fantasy and strange fiction. Of course, Gaiman is known for the latter.

Dirk Maggs and the BCC took the source and turned it into an incredibly engaging audio drama. The lead character, Charlie, is played by Jacob Anderson (perhaps better known as Grey Worm from Game of Thrones) who has never before acted in an audio drama, but you wouldn’t know it from this role! The audience follows Charlie to his father’s funeral, where he discovers that he has a long-forgotten brother, Spider, and that their father was a trickster god.

Spider ushers forth a wave of chaos into Charlie’s otherwise mundane life and turns it into something else entirely. I suspect that many readers will see themselves in Charlie but desire to be more of a Spider.

It becomes clear that this influence is due to causes more supernatural than natural, and the audio version of this story does an excellent job at painting pictures for the listener.

The inclusion of an original song by Jacob Anderson at the end of the tale is welcome. It’s more than just whimsical or enjoyable. It’s

The supporting cast also performs well, and I found all the sound effects and music to be superbly chosen and edited to near perfection. Sometimes good voice acting falls flat because it’s surrounded by amateur sounds. This was not the case with Anansi Boys.

The entire story is just 6 episodes long, most of which are only 30 minutes. It’s easy enough to knock out during your commute or daily workouts.

You can listen to these episodes for free for a limited time on the BBC website. There doesn’t seem to be an option to download, so you’ll need to enjoy it in whichever browser you prefer.

Head’s Up [App]

Date Fri, December 29 2017

While looking for the name and rules of another game (Blind Man’s Bluff/Indian Poker), I came across the Head’s Up app. Were I a more religious watcher of Ellen, I might have recognized the game from the segment on her show. Regardless, it looked fun, and I put it aside until I had time to play it. That time came on Christmas day.

Head’s Up is a game in which you hold up your phone so that your team members can see it. They must try to describe the word or phrase on the screen without using any of the words in the phrase or rhyming. It’s an awful lot like Taboo or similar games; although, putting on a device requires a lot less setup and fewer items.

We tuned in to the Christmas theme and also tried Cat Week and animals. There were about half a dozen categories we could play for free. After a few rounds, we experienced a couple repeated words, but I think you could get a fair amount of play out of the free app.

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That brings me to my first qualm with Head’s Up: while it’s free on Android, it’s not on iOS for some reason?

My second qualm is with the gestures. Tilting your phone enables you to pass the word or to accept it when you’ve guessed it correctly. It’s just a bit finicky. We would occasionally skip two words at a time, and someone would invariably tilt it the wrong way. This didn’t really detract from play, but it meant that we had to manually count correct guesses. Head’s Up as an app doesn’t really work for scorekeeping.

This is only further exacerbated by the fact that you cannot specify the number of teams or rounds. Every round acts like it’s own game, and you can’t really compete the way you would in Taboo.

The emphasis of Head’s Up is clearly having fun, which makes this a quick and easy party game to break out.  With options such as using accents or acting it out, Head’s Up encourages silliness in a way that similar board games perhaps do not.

My final issue is with a feature that sounds fun: the front camera will record the room and the ensuing hilarity. But the Head’s Up app tells me that nothing can be recorded because my phone lacks a front-facing camera. This isn’t the case.

It seems these issues are fairly common if you read the reviews on Google Play. Despite having issues, I also had some fun with Head’s Up. I don’t know if I would play it all the time, but I would break it out from time to time to break up the silence.

Get Head’s Up from iTunes for $.99 or for free on Google Play.

Save 30% On Travel Necessities with Rosarini

Date Thu, December 28 2017

Now that most of the winter holidays are over and we’ve opened all the presents, it’s time to spend gift cards and cash (and, inevitably, return items that didn’t quite hit the spot). If you’re looking for a new store to try out, I’d like to recommend Rosarini, a woman’s fashion (sizes 6 to 22) brand from Australia. The site bills itself as minimal, but there’s something really timeless about all the designs.

The pieces at Rosarini immediately caught my eye because they seem so comfortable, but they don’t sacrifice style to do so. Tunics and leggings? Yes, please! All pieces are designed to drape and not cling, so they’ll work with a variety of body types.

The short flyaway cardigan is right up my alley, and I just adore the bold wine color (the site says the colors won’t fade, either)!

I also like how versatile the pieces are. For example, you’ll find recommendations for pieces like the high neck swing top (which I adore) that can be worn as a dress with boots or a top over leggings. The convertible travel wrap can also be worn as a shawl, top, or even a dress. I love when you can work a piece like that into your wardrobe in so many ways. It really feels like you get your money’s worth, right?

It’s great for travel, too, because you save room and potentially money when packing less. The pieces are also crease-free, so they’ll look good once you pull them out of your bag.

Right now is a great time to shop at Rosarini, because you can save 30% off sitewide with the following coupon code.

If you’re looking for more coupon codes and deals, I cannot recommend Dealspotr highly enough. I have been a member of the site for over a year now. I’ve saved money when shopping and earned gift cards.

I received compensation in return for this blog post. All opinions are my own.

Hairsanity 2-Step System

Date Thu, December 14 2017
HairySanity shampoo and conditioner + rejuvenator

HairySanity shampoo and conditioner + rejuvenator

HairSanity exploded onto the scene in a big way not too long ago. I saw a Facebook ad. Suddenly, I was seeing videos and review opportunities, which I obviously took up.

See, it’s dryer, and my scalp is definitely feeling the effects (even if my face hasn’t gotten the message). I colored my hair darker in October, and the flakes are definitely noticeable. So I decided that the HairSanity system would be worth trying.

Admittedly, I normally just shampoo, so I’d have to add an extra step — conditioning — to my shower routine. That’s not a huge deal, however.

If you’ve ever used shampoo for dandruff, you might be familiar with the active ingredient: pyrithione zinc. It’s in almost every antidandruff product. Not so with HairSanity. The shampoo and conditioner each have different active ingredients. The shampoo contains Hydrocortisone Acetate to help with itching. That’s never actually been an issue for me, but I know plenty of people with dry scalps also itch. It also has other benefits according to HairSanity:

To get there, she started with the concept that HairSanity is skin care for the scalp. She had extensive success in her practice using hydrocortisone to effectively relieve itch and irritation anywhere on the skin. It is a proven, gentle, safe and effective treatment that is used by dermatologists worldwide. Part One of HairSanity contains hydrocortisone acetate.

But it’s the Salicylic acid in the conditioner that’s supposed to help clear flakes from your scalp. This is normally what you’d see in anti-acne products. It seems like it’s a multitasker!

Aside from different ingredients, the Hairsanity differs from other systems in a few ways. First, it comes in tubes that are smaller than your typical shampoo or conditioner bottle. Secondly, the products are rather thick. The shampoo, especially, doesn’t froth. Now, I’ve heard that the more foam, the worse a product is for your hair. However, this means you need to use more product than you might be used to ensure that it cleanses oil and other buildup from your hair.

The instructions actually say to use a quarter sizes amount on your scalp and another quarter sized amount on the length of your hair. That’s quite a bit of shampoo. I tried to get away with much less because my hair is short — just past my jaw — and I’ve had buildup in the past from using too much product. But this didn’t clean all the buildup from my hair,

Similarly, I need to use more conditioner than I am accustomed to if I want my hair to feel silky and smooth when wet. Otherwise, it doesn’t do its job.

It took a bit trial and error to decide how much shampoo and conditioner to use, but now I think I’ve got it down. When I do find the right amounts of the HairSanity system, I experience no issues. My scalp seemed to be clearer as well.

My hair also feels different, but I am not sure if it’s better. It seems thicker and more voluminous but perhaps a bit less sleek. It’s not bad, just different.

The third product I had a chance to try was the rejuvenator, which is designed to give your hair an intense health boost. According to the site:

The Rejuvenator puts hair into an ideal state even if damaged or abused by treatments, the elements, age or color.

I know that I had split ends for the first time in over a decade after bleaching and coloring mine, and this is a targeted treatment to help with issues. The rejuvenator is more of a serum that comes in a tiny bottle. I’ve used it three times, now, and there’s still plenty left. It might not last as long if you have longer hair, though.

The reduction of dandruff is really the selling point, and HairSanity does seem to do a good enough job at that. It’s noticeably better but not completely cleared. However, the price tag seems a bit steep given how much product you need to use and how small the tubes are, to begin with. it’s a bit hard to say you should buy this product over another if you’ve experienced luck with something else. But, you can order the complete system for free right now. including the rejuvenator, if you just pay shipping, which is a pretty sweet deal.

For some people, however, that will be worth it, and I cannot blame them. I’d rather spend more on a product that does what it claims that “save’ money on one that doesn’t.

I received product to review in exchange for my honest opinion.

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