Friday, October 31, 2014

Leather Nova Cleaner Spray and Conditioner (2 products): Reviewed

I have never owned anything real leather before I became married. We have a nice large leather sectional that we were able to purchase 2 years ago after years of hand me down couches and cheap furniture.  I love the leather couch and find myself touching (petting) it all the time when I sit and watch tv or work on the laptop.  I never knew how wonderful leather was till I have it.  I still do not have my "own" leather item, but someday I hope to save up some extra funds and have a nice, over sized, pretty but very durable leather bag that I will use as an all in one diaper bag, weekender, and organizer purse (lots of deep pockets and compartments).

I basically live in my Nikes, so I do not have any leather shoes or dressy shoes, except a small collection of sandals for summer.  My husband has a pair of "boat" shoes, you know the type, the leather or canvas type of slide on shoes with the thick leather lacing around the exterior?  I've never been a fan of those, but I know a lot of people think they are ultra comfortable and a lot think they are "classy" (my husband really does, lol.)

He has a pair of Sperry brand leather boat shoes that he got on sale about 2-3 years ago, they look terrible. He loves them, and wears them everywhere when he is not at work. They seriously look 10 years old in my opinion, but I guess it is because he has worn them in the rain, while walking in the mall or errands, walking around the yard gardening (we live in the country), walking in muddy grass, every where. He has even worn them dressy casual to eat dinner with the family.  I think they used to be dark grey or even navy blue grey tone. They are now a worn out blotchy dull, grey white. Ugly shoes. They are worn (oops said that already) and dry and the leather looks like it would cry if it was alive.

I decided to surprise him and try to freshen them up a bit, or at least try. I was sent a few products for review from  Leather Nova which is a company that makes gentle, effective and natural leather care products.

I was sent 3 different products, but for this review will speak about 2 of them. (The third will be in the next post).  I was sent a  Leather Cleaner in a large spray bottle that included a generously sized microfiber application and buffing cloth.  I also was sent a  Leather Conditioner & Restorer with a small round sponge. 

The leather cleaner spray prepares the leather to be treated, by lifting out dirt and stains, creating a clean base for the next step (conditioning).

Here are the shoes: (don't say I did not warn you, they are U-G-L-Y.)

I sprayed the  Leather Cleaner GENEROUSLY all over these shoes.  I did not pre-wash or wipe the shoes down (the white rubber soles and edges are dirty) because it was already late and I just wanted to surprise him the next morning.  The directions instructed me to use the microfiber towel, but after a few uses, it seemed much easier for me to just use my fingers to get in all the crevices.  After cleaning one shoe, I was amazed, I think these used to be dark blue toned grey.   The wet leather appeared a nice navy, and I had wished they would remain that color as they looked rather striking, but I knew they were just really generously moistened with cleaner and would be lighter when dry.

However, they were starting to feel really soft, pliable, and felt so nice.  As the pictures show, the leather seemed to smooth out and become almost buttery.  The leather was squishy and for a moment, if I closed my eyes while cleaning them, I could almost dream and imagine they were my own soft, supple, squishy leather bag. :)Please excuse the dirty white soles, I was not in the mood to clean (scrub) them.

They smelled better too.  The leather smelled newer and cleaner.  I did  not smell any chemicals or perfumes, just clean leather scent.  I left that dry about 30 minutes and then applied the conditioner I was sent to review.

The Leather Conditioner & Restorer was a smaller bottle that came with a round yellow foam applicator and buffer.  The conditioner was a clear oil / gel like consistency which surprised me.  Our other leather conditioner that we had once was a white cream.  This gel oil was not overly heavy or oily, and I found it easiest for me to apply it with my fingers and then use the sponge to buff in a circle.  It did not feel waxy or sticky.  It is supposed to assist will repelling water, so I am hopeful about that.

The shoes were fairly dry after 2 hours.  I might go over them again with the conditioner on another day, but for now they do look better, smell fresher, and are much more supple.  The color improved a bit over the faded dull grey white splotchy shade.  They are no longer the nice navy blue toned shade that they were when wet, however they are a nice dark grey with a nicer, more even blue grey tone.  I think he will be pleased.  The most noticeable difference is the way they feel.  The leather is more smooth and soft. 

I think these 2 leather products worked well and I will use these again for his shoes and any other leather products.  I really liked using the spray bottle for application as it made things much quicker and easier.  I like how the products do not cover up the leather with fragrance.  I like how the shoes were dry after only 2 hours and despite the generous amounts of conditioner I applied, they do not feel oily or sticky.  I would have liked to known what the ingredients were.

You can find Leather Nova on Facebook.

**This set was sent to me as a sample to review with my honest opinion.**

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

Gurin Professional Rechargeable Water Flosser: Reviewed

I do not floss as much as I should, in fact when the dentist asks me I usually say "a few times a week." (Not true, I usually floss MAYBE once a month). I know, it is poor dental hygeine and pretty gross too, I am trying to be better.  I just am not very motivated to floss, nor am I very skilled at it. It is usually insanely late when I get to bed (3 am or later, trying to get reviews or housework done as that is the quiet time when there is no distraction) and I am too tired to take time to floss.   I lack the patience of going in between each tooth and taking the extra time.  I am sometimes good about using those flossers that are a small piece of floss on a plastic stick, but not more than a few times a month.  I do use a nice toothbrush, one that is really wide and works well on cleaning my teeth. I do brush twice a day.

I had the opportunity to review a water flosser from Gurin.  I have an old, WaterPik brand flosser that has a large tank that I have not used in years.  The house we live in now is really old with tiny sinks with no counter space so I do not have a space to set it when not actively using it.  So there it sits, in a cubbard, forgotten and lonely.  When I saw the Gurin brand flosser I was excited since it is small and easier to store.

The device is comfortable to hold and has 3 operating modes for varying oral care needs: Normal, Soft, and Pulse.  I like the softest, slowest setting as I am still getting the hang of this.  The first time I used it, it was in the kitchen near the sink, I foolishly turned it on and had it pointed the wrong direction and it sprayed the ceiling.  :)

It took me some time to get used to how to keep the water from spraying outward, and after a few short uses, I was able to close my lips and let it do its thing.  I like how the device can with 2 interchangeable nozzles, one has a blue stripe, and one  has a green stripe.  This great for my husband and I, as we both can enjoy the flosser.  I do want to note, that the first time I used it, I used water that was much too icy cold and it was not comfortable at all, as my teeth as very sensitive to cold.  I now make sure the water is warm when I fill it up.   I keep my finger on the on/off button while using it in my closed mouth.  It is very easy to refill the reservoir with water. 

I like the fact that it is rechargeable and cordless.  Our other one has a cord on it and so that is the reason that keeps me from using it (besides lack of counter space).  I have used the Gurin in the last 3 weeks and have not had to recharge it yet.  I like how I can add a few drops of mouth wash to the water tank.  What I don't like is that I have to fill it up twice to clean my teeth.  I am not sure if I am just not skilled enough or perhaps I just take too long to do it.

My husband and I both like this flosser.  It is much more convenient and easier for me to use than actual floss.  The buttons are easy to use. I do want to note that the color of the unit is not a bright white, it seems a greyish perhaps a hint of purple toned white in person.

You can find our more about the Gurin Water Flosser by visiting the product page on Amazon or visiting the Gurin Website.

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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ecco Bella Enlightenment Make Up Compact: Reviewed

Lately I have been using more natural cosmetics whenever possible.  Now, I still love my Naked 3 eye shadow palette, but I really love to use mineral make up as it nourishes my skin, chemical free, and is Eco friendly.  I had seen the Ecco Bella brand at my local Whole Foods, but never had tried it.  I was sent a  travel bag friendly small compact with a pretty blush and a duo shadow set.  The Enlightenment Collection   is a "compilation of yin and yang, shadow and light."

This is a nice compact and when the shadows and blush are used up, you can refill it with other shades.  I really like this feature.  I like how it has a stretchy band to further secure the compact.

The compact is actually part of a larger set that includes a lipstick and a gloss, but I was only sent the compact.  The compact is able to be purchased as a stand alone product as well.

The powders include:

Purity - a sheer blush / highlighter.
Celestial - a heavenly eye shadow.
Mystic - a wet / dry powder which can be used wet as a liner and dry as an eye shadow
    The powder set is made up of a Flower wax enriched formula to prevent moisture loss from the skin, helping colors to glide on smooth and stay true throughout the day. Compact comes with it’s own sponge applicator. Gluten-free. Vegan. Paraben free, talc free.

    I like the blush a lot.  I find that it is buildable and can act as an all over facial illuminator and make you have a youthful, rosy glow.  The kind of glow that makes you look like you always get 8-9 hours of sleep,  and that you are ready to accomplish anything.  I love blush, it is something I often apply over generously. :) I was able to get a nice amount of color from this blush.  The Mystic blue eye shadow was fun to wear.  I did not save it for a night look, I wore it during a day errand with my family.  I will have no problem wearing this bright, almost cobalt blue for most any occassion as it really pops.

    I did use the little sponge applicator, however I have always found them to be difficult to use and the sponge tips never last long. I found that using a regular eyeshadow brush works much better.  I used an eye shadow primer over my entire lid, then applied the blush under my eye brows to give a highlight. I then applied the blue shade on my lids only.  Please note, I do not claim to be a makeup artist, so please forgive my lack of proper blending.  I often (usually 85% of the time) do not have more than 15 minutes to get myself ready as I have an infant and a 3 1/2 year old that need my loving attention.  I am not the best at taking the time to blend my shadows correctly when I apply.

    The Celestial shade, which is described as a heavenly eye shadow, was not a color I personally was able to pull off.  On my skin and in the pan it appeared very yellow and since my eye lids are pale and often have some discoloration paired with my dark under eye circles, the yellow toned powder did not look great on me.  I think it would look much more heavenly and beautiful on a darker, more tan complexion.

    The great thing about this compact is that you can purchase other flower color eyeshadows and powder liners from Ecco Bella and put your desired shades into your compact.  My favorite shadow shades from their website are the  shimmer dust  refills.

    This was my first experience with this brand.  I would have preferred the yellow shadow to be more of a champagne or frosty silver, steel grey shimmer, or frosty white, as the current color does not work for me personally.  I like the blush and the Mystic blue shadow.  I love the reusable card board compact.

    **This compact was sent to me complementary for testing and review purposes, all opinions are honest and my own.**

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

    Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    Kitchenware Plus Bamboo Cutting Board set: Reviewed

    I recently was sent 2 bamboo cutting boards and let me tell you I am swooning! We have some other cutting boards in our kitchen and they are "just cutting boards." Cutting boards are not something you general get excited about, they are useful and necessary for providing a clean, even, stable and safe surface to cut and prepare food on, but they are not something you really think about, at least I never did.

    When the Kitchenware Plus bamboo cutting boards arrived (in a massive, well sized protective box)  I was impressed. The boards are smooth, sturdy, and thick. They also smell lightly fragrant with the familiar sweet wood smell. They are 3/4" thick, with the large board being 18" X 13" and the medium one at 13" x 8.5." These are spacious enough for any of your culinary tasks. I think they are quite the stunning pair and would look great as a serving tray for food items at a holiday party (do not put very hot items on them). I can see us putting a pretty plate on top and serving fancy cheese and crackers or fruit.

    They have a carved out / groove drip area along the 4 sides, which I would assume would help with keeping your kitchen counter clean from juicy fruits such as watermelon or oranges, etc. We won't be using these boards for meats (so meat juices wont be dripping), as I worry about salmonella and other bacteria seeping into wood and not getting sanitized properly. We will only use these for breads, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. Please do keep this board clean with hot soapy washes (by hand and with a cloth, not by submerging). This should be oiled every now and then to keep it looking nice.

    The only thing I was frustrated with is when these arrived, they each had a large information/instruction label glued down securely on them. It took me 15 minutes to gently scrape the paper off after wetting the paper. At first I thought I could just remove the paper, but then the paper kept shredding and leaving securely strips behind on the board. I had to get a wet paper towel, and get the label really wet and then took a store card/credit card and gently scraped it away. That was my only frustration with the boards, otherwise I think they are nice.

    You can find this set on Amazon: Kitchenware Plus Bamboo Cutting Board Set

    **This set was sent to me as a sample in exchange for an honest review.**