Review: Amope Pedi Perfect Wet and Dry Foot File

I’m a member of a pretty cool site called Crowdtap, which I signed up for about a month ago. I recently posted a whole write-up on what they’re all about, including tips on getting some GREAT PRODUCTS in exchange for input and honest feedback. The first product I got was Secret Clinical Strength (sample size) which I already reviewed here. The second product they sent me was the Amope Pedi Perfect Wet and Dry Rechargeable Foot File, which retails for almost SEVENTY FRICKEN BUCKS! Amazon currently has it for almost $60.00.

Prior to getting the Amope Wet&Dry, I did a little bit of research, and found that it gets really good reviews. I also mentioned to a few people that I’d be getting one as a part of a crowdtap campaign, and several of those people were familiar with this product – though I knew nothing about this particular product (and really didn’t know a whole lot about Amope either).

When the Amope Wet&Dry arrived on my doorstep, I was excited to give it a whirl. My feet NEEDED some serious help, especially cuz it’s wintertime. I’m not sure about you, but during the winter months, my feet are especially dry and tend to be cracked and just icky in general. I should take better care of my feet, because I suffer from chronic pain, which could be better managed if I did small things every day like use the Amope Pedi Perfect. It’s funny that I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to my feet prior to getting the Amope, but now, I am. In fact, I’ve incorporated it into my routine – by using it daily, my feet continue to look and feel better. And using it has encouraged me to be consistent with moisturizing my feet, so it’s really a win-win!

As part of the campaign with crowdtap, I was asked to submit a review on amazon.com where I gave it 5 stars. The only thing that sucks is that you’ve gotta buy refill cartridges, which are a bit pricey at about $18.00 for a two-pack. The original foot file I got with mine is still going strong, and that’s after well over a week of use. I don’t foresee it needing to be changed anytime soon, though I’m planning on getting a few refills to have on hand, that way I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’ve got the proper tools to care for my feet!

Here’s a Before and After picture collage I created to submit to crowdtap. I see and feel the difference, and that’s pretty awesome!

Here's my before and after collage!

Here’s my before and after collage!

An interesting little tidbit of information that I recently discovered is that Amope is owned by Reckitt Benckiser, which is the company that makes Suboxone for opiate addiction (which honestly saves lives, so don’t knock it unless you’ve been down that path).

I give the Amope Pedi Perfect 5 out of 5 budget beauty stars! My feet look and feel smooth, and I’ve been paying a lot more attention to how well I take care of them. Do you have an Amope Pedi Perfect? Tell me all about it in the comments section! And don’t forget to sign up for Crowdtap to receive great stuff! Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

Crowtap is an Easy Way to Earn Great Stuff!

I accidentally posted this to my other blog, so I’m reposting it here. It’s all about the Crowdtap website that I’ve been active on for a little over a month, and so far, all I can say is THEY ROCK! I love being a member and I’ve gotten over a hundred dollars worth of products, samples, and gift cards thus far. They don’t do referral links, which is fine by me, as I merely want to turn my budget beauty blog readers on to this site! You won’t regret it!

Click Here to Read My Article About Crowdtap

My First Birchbox: February, 2016

Before I begin, please remember that I am not paid for these reviews, nor am I given any free products/boxes! These are my opinions, based on my experiences, and I pledge to tell you the truth – be it good, bad, or beautiful!

At $10.00 a month, Birchbox is one of the more economical options in the Beauty Box subscription world, so when I became obsessed with the idea of these boxes, I decided they’d be the second one I’d try (Ipsy was the first). It took a little bit of time before my first Birchbox arrived, though I was billed weeks prior to shipment. FYI, subscriptions are billed on the first of each month, and since I’m on disability benefits, this challenges me to make sure I’ve got enough in my account to cover my Birchbox (and other subscriptions). 

The February box arrived around the 17th, and I was delighted when I opened it up. I noticed it had a light scent to it, which I initially thought was a nice little touch that Birchbox added, until I realized it was because one of the products was slightly warped and had leaked a little bit. I never contacted customer service about it, but perhaps I ought to, seeing as I have no qualms about doing that kind of thing in general. Plus, it will give me a chance to review their customer service as well. I’ll let you know what happens if and when I do interact with their representatives.

I initially intended to take pictures of the box, as I’d done with the Ipsy glam bag I posted about, but I was apathetic and unmotivated to do so by the time I got it, and I just wanted to tear into it and see what it was I’d waited to patiently to get! The pink box contained a card about the theme, and I noticed right away that the word “occasion” was misspelled as “ocassion” which is something that was hard for me to overlook. When I went on their site, they had the same message as the one printed on the card, only this time, it was spelled correctly. I’m a stickler when it comes to grammatical errors, especially when it is a business making those mistakes! Who does your proof-reading anyway? Moving on to the review…

I was impressed with what they sent me, and the box was also cute and worth keeping, so hooray for that!

The contents of the box I received were as follows:
  • Not Soap, Radio – Body Wash, Sample Size – I got the “Liquid Freud” version, which is lightly scented with coconut milk and a splash of mango. It had the following message printed on the front: “Liquid Freud: When you need to turn up the volume on your inner voice of reason” which of course, I got a kick out of. ESTIMATED VALUE: $2.50
  • Marcelle New Age 8 in 1 Power Serum, Sample Size –  This is a really nice serum, with a consistency that’s thicker than your average serum. I really appreciate that, as it works a lot better for my skin needs than serums with a more runny formula. It didn’t irritate my very sensitive skin either. ESTIMATED VALUE: $10.00
  • Coola SPF 30 Unscented Matte Tint, Sample Size – Let me preface by saying that I hate tinted moisturizers, as well as foundations and BB creams, because I have yet to find one that works well with my skin tone. This stuff, however, was AMAZING! The product formula is lightweight and smooth (hence the “matte”) and it blended so well with my skin tone, that I couldn’t help but be seriously impressed. So much so that I am probably going to purchase a full-sized version of this product, with my Birchbox points, of course! ESTIMATED VALUE: $5.00
  • POP Beauty Matte Velvet Lipstick, Satin Rose, Full Size – I didn’t try this product because I debated on whether or not to put it up for sale on ebay or amazon, but I held on to it and ultimately decided to give it to my sister-in-law as a gift, because I know she is obsessed with lip color and lip products. She was, of course, delighted when I gave her it, and the shade looks really good on her. ESTIMATED VALUE: $16.00
  • Beauty Protector, Protect and Detangle, Leave-in-Conditioner Spray, Sample Size – This is the product that leaked slightly and gave my box a nice, light scent. I nearly sold this sample as well, but decided against it because of the fact that it leaked. I have yet to try it, but I plan on doing so shortly, maybe even tonight! ESTIMATED VALUE: $10.00
THE TOTAL ESTIMATED VALUE OF MY FIRST BIRCHBOX IS $43.50! 

Not bad, consider it was only $10.00.

Being a budget beauty, I honesty wouldn’t pay full-price for any of these products EVER. They’re simply out of my price range! Not to mention, there are times when I like to sell the products I get from these boxes, because if there are items with pretty decent retail value, I can make back the money I paid for the subscription and then some! The real reason why I subscribe to services like Birchbox and Ipsy is because I can’t afford to buy these kinds of products in the first place, but I deserve a little bit of luxury in my life, don’t you think? Everybody does, in my humble opinion!

For those who are curious about trying a subscription beauty box, I’d recommend trying either Birchbox or Ipsy. I will say that I think Birchbox caters to a slightly older demographic and they seem to offer mainly higher-end items. Ipsy seems to market towards a younger crowd, based on my observations, and their product offerings are a mixed bag, but generally contain a retail value ranging anywhere from $40 – $60 retail value!!

In addition to being generally awesome so far, Birchbox offers bonuses to subscribers. You’ll earn 10 points for each product you provide a review for (must be products you received in your box). 10 points gives you a buck to spend in their shop. Not bad for taking a minute of your time to give your feedback! When you reach 500 points, you become an “ACE” which gives you access to even more exclusive offers and discounts. If you refer a friend who then becomes a subscriber, you get another 50 points to spend in their shop. And for each dollar you spend in their shop, you get another point, which is pretty cool, considering I couldn’t ever afford to place an order on their site without points.

THE VERDICT: Birchbox is totally worth the $10.00, especially if you like to try new, high-end products. So why not treat yourself to a little something special and subscribe!? Click on my referral link and I’ll get 50 points – which is 5 bucks to spend in their shop! You can count on both Birchbox and Ipsy to send you plenty of bang for your ten bucks, so go ahead, what are you waiting for? TREAT YOURSELF, BECAUSE YOU DESERVE IT, MY BEAUTY! 

Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes, and if so, which ones? Are you a Birchbox subscriber? What’s your experience been like? Are you a fan of Ipsy instead, and if so, why? Or are there other boxes you really love? Share your feedback in the comments section, and as always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more reviews of subscription beauty boxes!

*Since I’m not compensated, nor given any free boxes to review, you can be sure I’m giving you my honest-to-goodness, unbiased, real opinion! 

 

Beautiful Behavioral Moderation

Hello Beauties – I hope everyone is doing well and taking good care of themselves. I’ve been busy with self-care, and I want to discuss my beauty routine with you all today. I have a specific regimen that addresses the needs of my skin, which changes with the seasons. During the winter, I have lots of dry patches, particularly around my eyebrows, forehead, cheeks, and nose. The eyebrows have become the hardest to keep moisturized and I’ve tried a ton of different products, from straight coconut oil, to an expensive Mary Kay cream, to serums and glycolic acid treatments. Right now, I’m using a combination of things, trying to figure out what works the best. I’ve got a dry scalp as well, and I use t-gel and denorex to help keep that under control, followed by a coconut oil condition that I apply heavily at the ends and very lightly at the roots. That works well most of the time, but I’ve found that other factors affect my skin’s moisture level. Drinking water is very important for skin health, so that’s a beauty tip I want all of my readers to take away – DRINKING WATER IS A FREE WAY TO KEEP YOUR SKIN AND BODY HEALTHY! I cannot stress enough how important it is to stay hydrated, because it makes you feel good inside and out!

I have a confession to make – I have dealt with issues around my appearance. It’s somewhat complicated, and has to do with how I look. I’m much like a lot of other women in our culture who’ve been sold on the idea that there is a certain standard that defines beautiful. It is impossible for anybody to live up to that unrealistic ideal, because it is something that doesn’t exist, in real life. Rarely do we see diversity represented in the media, which makes the majority of us feel as though we’re just not good enough, and that leads to eating disorders and self-hatred, among other things. It also encourages us to buy products (which, hey, I’m guilty of) and makes us scared of aging, because in Hollywood, once a woman is of a certain age, she’s discarded as though she doesn’t matter, when the truth is, we should be revering our elders rather than casting them away.

Anyway, on to the topic at hand: my own self-image issues. Being that it is currently winter, and I’m stuck inside, it is crucial for me to find ways to occupy my restless mind. If I don’t, I will start to think about certain parts of my body that I think are very flawed, and revert to the self-destructive behavior that I’ve worked so hard to let go of, especially behaviors of the obsessive compulsive variety. I’ve spent a lot of time denying, concealing and hiding the kind of OCD I have, which is known as trichotillomania – a hair-pulling disorder.

It all began around 2003 when I got my eyebrows and upper lip waxed – I discovered a few stray dark hairs on my chin and began tweezing them. But the more I tweezed, the more hairs I discovered. This pattern continued, and when I dealt with stress, I felt relief when I picked and plucked. Aside from that, there’s a deep connection between the way I feel about myself, and my outward appearance that also tends to usher in an OCD episode. Either way, I end up in a trance-like state, plucking and tweezing, losing hours at a time. I have blown things completely out of proportion, and it has taken me time to see my chin hairs in a realistic light. I’m naturally fair-skinned and most of my body hair is blonde, but when I look in the mirror, I’m seeing a magnified close-up, and I’ve got a biased view. I used to think the hairs were way more visible than they actually appear, which is known as a cognitive distortion.

Before I even think of grabbing the tweezers, I touch my chin to feel for course hairs, something that I’ve done for hours on end in the past, which, at times, makes the urge to tweeze that much stronger. To a stranger it might appear as though I’m merely touching my chin, but this is, in reality, a part of the ritual I can do out in the open without others noticing. Those who know me well are able to recognize when I’m entranced by my own OCD behavior, and they’ll call me out on it. Due to the shame I feel, I like to tweeze in private; when I get caught, I try to pretend I’m doing something else, but I’ve had to surrender many a pair of tweezers to my loved ones in order to keep me from harming myself with them. Who would have thought such a small item could have such a terrible effect?

For the longest time, I wanted to stop this madness, but still, I couldn’t. It was almost comforting for me to pluck and pick and tweeze during hard times, but it didn’t have a positive end-result, though I was convinced it was going to make my skin look and feel smooth and hairless. What’s worse than all of that though, is that I have caused myself scabs, scars, and infected ingrown hairs. Quite honestly, that looked way worse than the hair I was trying so desperately to eliminate.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year, when I decided I was going to conquer this little OCD demon, no matter what. I started by challenging myself to be mindful of these behaviors, and when I recognized the signs or felt the urge to pluck, I’d divert my attention to something else. I asked my sister do the tweezing for me, because she’s able to see what hairs are dark and long enough to be pulled out – she’s got the objective perspective, and that has been a huge help.

I went even further with this goal and thought about how I’d reinforce things. Last year, I wrote on a piece of paper, “skin care, not skin destruction” and I decided that when I had urges to touch or pluck my facial hair, I’d do something to make me feel beautiful instead, like putting on moisturizer or doing my makeup. It really started began to work, so I thought I’d take it even further. I’ve been rewarding myself with little things – such as subscriptions to beauty boxes, so that I can try a variety of products to see what works best. I’ve implemented a skin care routine that now takes the place of the time I used to spend in front of the mirror examining the tiniest details of my body that I once loathed because I thought they made me look hideous.

These days, I’m washing my face morning and night, and applying various products while massaging my face and concentrating on healing the scars I’ve got from plucking and picking. I’ve become more comfortable with letting the hairs growing out, and I’ve realized that when they get a little longer, they’re easier to tweeze and far less likely to become ingrown and infected. There are 6 pair of tweezers in my apartment, all located in places I’m aware of and they’re not hidden from me now because I can be trust with them.

I’ve found that taking time for myself is essential, so I’ve been setting aside 5 minutes each morning and evening to take care of my skin. It helps me feel pampered, and buying/sampling products is a way in which I reward myself for abstaining from those old patterns. I’m taking care of my skin now, because, let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger, and as I inch up toward the big 40, I’m seeing my past catch up with me. Case in point – I didn’t always wear sunscreen when I was younger, and now I’ve got dark spots and moles in places where I once had blisters from gnarly sunburns. Moral of that story: wear your sunscreen!

I don’t expect that this journey of overcoming my OCD to be easy, I may in fact find myself obsessing over those tiny hairs once again. What’s different is that I know my triggers, and I’ve learned what to do just in case I find myself in front of a mirror with tweezers. I’ve realized I can stop and figure out something healthy to do in place of that destructive behavior which is rooted in negative feelings about my self-image. It’s such a powerful thing to begin to overcome something that’s brought me so much pain and caused me to feel humiliated and ashamed for far too long. I have wasted far too many hours and have put too much effort into something that accomplishes absolutely nothing, and I’m reclaiming that time to give some loving care to my face, my body, and ultimately, to myself.

For anybody who suffers from crappy self-image, and/or OCD, know that you’re not alone and that it is entirely possible to change behaviors that you’ve held on to for too long. Even the most confident person has insecurities about their self-perceived flaws. These kinds of thoughts and feelings can be hard to shake off, but it can be done. The moral of the story is: be gentle with yourself, and reach out if you need help!

Also, drink lots of water, and wear sunscreen! Those are two easy ways to look and feel more beautiful, and they don’t cost much (and water is free too!). Until next time, take good care of yourselves, because if you don’t, nobody else will!

My chin doesn't look bearded at all, does it?

My chin doesn’t look bearded at all, does it?