Category: travel

Product review: Pimsleur Spanish Level 1 CD set

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

 

 

Do you speak any foreign languages? I don’t–yet–but I’m changing that thanks to my new Pimsleur Spanish 1 CD set. With sixteen discs that you can pop in your stereo or download to an MP3 player, this language kit is truly meant for on-the-go learning.
It’s very different from other language learning programs you may have tried in the past. No reading materials (though there is a downloadable reading guide if you wish to use it). No textbooks or quizzes. Instead, Pimsleur seeks to teach you the basics of verbal communication with native speakers, moving through words and phrases you might need if you actually planned to travel to a foreign country.
I wouldn’t say that I pick up new languages with ease, but I would like to learn at least the basics of a few other languages so I could travel and navigate among the locals without being glued to a guidebook. I would eventually love to travel to Spain, so I thought this would be a good way to jump into the basics of conversation.
As I mentioned, the learning method is a little different than usual. There are no written materials for reading or writing out phrases; instead you just listen and repeat, listen and repeat, listen and repeat…until you’ve mastered a lesson, and then you move on to the next. There is a LOT, and I do mean a lot, of repetition, which sounds a little boring–but it”s a good thing, since you really feel you’ve gotten the hang of each new set of words or phrases before moving on to the next lesson.
It’s a super-convenient set-up, and great for someone who’s constantly on the go. I still like the idea of having a book with a CD but these lessons are so easy I don’t feel intimidated by plunging right in at all, and I love sneaking in a few moments of a lesson while I’m cooking or driving in the car.
If you’re interested in trying out the Pimsleur Spanish 1 CD set, you can find it on Amazon here.

 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Review + giveaway: Lavishy luggage tags (vegan)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. 


Happy Friday everyone! Today I have a brief review and a giveaway for you! Lavishy was kind enough to send me one of their Lovebirds luggage tags for review–isn’t it the cutest? Their products are vegan and eco-friendly, and they don’t limit themselves to luggage accessories–they also have a huge selection of jewelry, wallets, stationary and more on their website!

I love the look of this vegan luggage tag. It’s cute, eye-catching and a great addition to my luggage now that summer is here and it’s time to hit the road for some vacation time! The clear vinyl pocket shows your contact info on the back of the tag.

Lavishy is also generously offering one lucky winner their own Lovebirds luggage tag; all you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter widget below! Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada (void where prohibited); the giveaway ends June 14th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Product review: Crown Brush HD Set (video)

(Disclosure: I was provided with the products mentioned in this blog post for the purpose of review. However I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.)
Today I’m doing something a little different…a vlog review! I received this lovely Crown Brush HD Set from iFabbo and Crown Brush and thought it would be fun to do a video of my review instead of a typed post with pictures.

The Crown Brush HD Set is available in orange, purple or white/blue and contains six brushes: a large powder, tapered blush, small contouring, eye shadow blender, crease brush, and liner brush. These brushes are super-soft, rivaling my favorite Ecotools brushes! They are vegan-friendly and come in a zippered case with a large mirror and tweezers, so you’re all set for applying makeup on the go. The set typically retails for $69.99 but has been on sale on the Crown Brush website for a little while for just $27.95, which is a great deal for six brushes. However, today I logged on again and saw that the price had been slashed even further–down to $19.50! So if you want to snap up one of these kits for yourself or another makeup lover in your life, don’t wait! You don’t want to miss out on this deal.
(Disclosure: I was provided with the products mentioned in this blog post for the purpose of review. However I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.)

Product review: Perlier 8-piece Mini Set

Disclosure: This product was sent for consideration by iFabbo and Perlier. However I was not compensated in any way for writing a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.

I’m a huge bath and body junkie–I always love trying out new shower gels and lotions. So when iFabbo offered up this 8-piece set of travel-size shower gels and lotions from Italian brand Perlier, I jumped at the chance to try a new brand. Read on for my thoughts on the four different scents!

The product: Perlier 8-piece Mini Set, $19.95; available through HSN. Use the promo code “ifabbo5” to save $5 off your Perlier purchase!

The claim: Moisture-rich scented products leave skin silky-soft. Made with natural ingredients like olive oil and organic honey. Not tested on animals.

I tried it: I went through these scents multiple times to get a good impression of them, and my most surprising find was that the shower gels and lotions smelled a bit different from each other–that is to say, one might be too strong and the other just right. So I’ll go through the shower gels first, and the lotions separately.

The full eight piece set comes in a clear zippered TSA-style bag (not pictured). I plan to reuse this during travel, as it’s just the perfect size for toting beauty essentials. The shower gels come in 1.6-oz. tubes and have a nice middling consistency, neither too thick nor too runny. These would be awesome for tucking in a travel tote. I kind of wish the lids had a flip top rather than screwing on, but that’s a minor gripe; I just think it would have been easier to handle in the shower.

The shower gels have fairly mild scents. The White Almond turned out to be my least favorite; this scent just reminds me of hotel showers, for some reason! The Olivarium smells mildly of olive oil, but not so much as to be overpowering. The Honey is mild and calming, while the Shea Butter & Citrus was probably my favorite; I have a soft spot for citrus bath products and this one doesn’t have that artificial orange smell of some bath gels.

Now, on to the lotions. The 1-oz. tubes don’t offer much if you’re going on vacation for multiple days but I would say there is enough product to cover the body at least 2-3 times. The consistency is fairly thin, with the White Almond a bit more like a hand lotion and the Shea Butter & Citrus akin to a hand cream. These also have a screw-on cap which makes it easier to squeeze out the last drops of lotion.

The White Almond was again a miss, not for formula’s sake but only because I’ve never been a huge fan of this particular scent. The Olivarium, surprisingly, was a huge miss; the scent was far too strong, especially compared to the shower gel. It was actually difficult for me to finish the tube, tiny as it was! The Honey was nice, but my favorite was the Shea Butter & Citrus, which was rich enough to use as a hand cream/cuticle cream. I used this on my legs while testing out a round of tanning products to ensure my skin stayed soft and hydrated.

My verdict: Overall, I think the concept is cool, the fragrances just weren’t quite my cup of tea. For myself, I’m not sure I would repurchase the full size of these products, as they are a bit on the expensive side and are not as natural as they seem to appear–the bath gels do contain sulfates, which I prefer to avoid. As a gift set, this would be nice for someone whose fragrance preferences you just don’t know–with four to choose from, you’ve got better odds of finding a winner!

Disclosure: This product was sent for consideration by iFabbo and Perlier. However I was not compensated in any way for writing a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.

Product review: Julep One Step Polish Remover Pads

These little sealed polish remover pads have arrived as extras in a couple of my Julep Maven boxes, and somehow I just never got around to using them. I guess since I’m happy with my Zoya Remove Plus, I just didn’t feel the need. But like the good little beauty blogger that I am, I finally opened up one of the pads to try it out just for the sake of review.

The product: Julep One Step Polish Remover Pads; $9.99 for a pack of ten; at Julep.com

The claim: No-mess, lint-free pad is infused with aloe vera to moisturize and condition your nails.

I tried it: These pads are neither dry nor dripping in polish remover, and the scent isn’t harsh, so the “mess-free” part is true. That said, I feel like these aren’t the sturdiest cloths. They do seem to shed and shred just like cotton balls if you’ve got rough edges or hangnails.

I didn’t feel like one pad was enough to fully clean all ten nails. It’s true that I usually have three coats of polish on each nail, plus base and a coat or two of topcoat; but even so one cotton ball soaked in Remove Plus is usually enough to do the trick; I’ll use two if I was using dark polish. This pad just seems to dry out before I’m really done with it.

My verdict: Unless I was going on vacation and really wanted to bring along polish and polish remover for a mid-vacay manicure change, I probably wouldn’t buy these. That said, if you’re traveling, they’d be a great alternative to a leak-prone bottle of remover and a baggie of cotton balls. They’re just not worth the price for every day use, especially if you have a much nicer bottle of removal and a sink at hand.