Tag Archives: product reviews

Jamberry Review

29 Dec

 

A friend of mine was having one of those Jamberry parties virtually via Facebook. I thought hey why not give it a go and see what the fuss is all about! I went into this with zero expectations, as I had basically just learned of these at the time the party was being held. For those new to the concept, they are basically vinyl nail wraps that adhere to your nails by heat. They are an alternative to nail polish, or standard manicures/pedicures.

Jamberry Nail Wrap in – CARMEN OMBRE

It was fun to be able to attend a virtual party, there were games, prizes, pics and lots of interaction from the host, the attendees and the Jamberry consultant. Having a jamberry party is similar to a party lights, scentsy, etc… where in the host is eligible for gifts and discounts with some contingencies. I believe they get a gift out of the gate, and additional ones based upon how many sales there were from the party being held, as well as additional ones if others book parties with the consultant from this party.

Overall Thoughts:

I was shipped a Jamberry aka Jams sample to try. The sample contained only one wrap-pre cut, and it basically was meant for my pinky finger [well sorta it wasn’t an exact size match, so the sides weren’t all covered and started lifting up].  There’s some prep work involved, before application of the wraps.

Jamberry Wrap Sheet – in FIRST FROST

You want to clean your nails of any old polish, trim your nails, file them.  The consultant gave some tips and said you can buff the tops of your nails a bit to make the surface a wee bit rough, wash your hands, then use an alcohol wipe to clean the nail bed surface of any residual oils that would prevent the wrap from adhering well. There are plenty of youtube videos out there with demonstrations which was quite helpful. You can use either the jamberry heater or a hair dryer to apply the nail wrap. In my case I was using my hair dryer.

Jamberry Mini Heater

There are many methods for application and removal. There are the official standard methods, and then many of the extra tips and tricks to add in. Plenty of How-To videos on youtube. I certainly did not feel at a loss for guidance :). I ordered a full sheet, I figured hey benefit of the doubt. Maybe an actual set will work out fine and it was just since the sample wasn’t an exact size match was why it was lifting. Wrong! It took such a long time to attempt best fitting sizes cut to try a match up for my nailbeds. I felt like the amount of time I spent on this was longer than it would take to just paint my nails. No time savings here ladies. I also kept running into the issue of rough spots and having to keep nail files with me or nail trimmers to correct the rough spots.

jams

Carmen Ombre Jamberry

 

 

Pros:

  • They last longer than a standard manicure does for me, [unless I get a gel manicure].
  • Lots of designs and themes to choose from, 200+. Solids, Ombre, Prints, many finishes, even sports team designs!
  • You can even design your own wraps, from their nail art studio!
  • Enough wraps on the sheet for multiple manicures/pedicures.
  • Versatility, you can have accent nails, and the rest be polished, you can put polish underneath some of clear lacey ones, or just go for a full set of one color/pattern.
  • Junior nail sets for children.

Cons:

  • The ill-fitting sample made it a little hard to gauge how well these would stay on.
  • A bit difficult to put on.
  • Don’t exactly fit my nails well even after purchasing a full set.
  • Nailbed health was diminished after removal of the wrap.
  • The amount of time spent on application was more than me painting my nails.

Final Thoughts:

One of the biggest complaints I had was that the sides would lift up and become stuck in my long hair when I would brush/wash/style my hair. My nails are quite curved and not flat. Other online reviews with similar nail types concurred. After I removed the wrap my nails were brittle, thin, and felt weird and painful. I would not purchase these again. I thought on screen the wraps looked great, once I received them I thought some of them looked a bit cheap and not like a real manicure.

Rating:

2

 

Additional Product Info:

Jamberry Nails was created by three sisters after an expensive afternoon at the nail salon. After their outing they vowed to find a simpler, more cost effective way to keep their hands looking polished and thus Jamberry was born.

Price:

$15.00-17$ USD for standard wrap sheets

$18.75 USD Jamberry Nail Art Studio [upload your own images and design custom nail wraps]

The site additionally offers nail care items which start at $10.00 USD

 

Other Image Sources:
http://www.jamberrynails.net/

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Redbox Instant by Verizon Beta Test Review

6 Jan

RedboxInstant

I was invited to take part in the Redbox Instant Beta Test Campaign for free. I was definitely excited for this one. I enjoy watching movies in the theater on the big screen,  however due to sold out shows or frigid temperatures in this region, I lack the motivation to bundle up in layers. I don’t always pre-purchase tickets to leave my house much earlier than show time  to “camp out” for a spot.  Its also annoying to drive 45-60 minutes to find out the show is sold out or the only seats left are in the neck-ache inducing front row. That being said its nice to have instant streaming movies as an option in this day and age. Yay for technology!

redbox

Verizon’s Instant Beta has begun rolling out to those of us who were lucky enough to be invited into the private beta. Once I received my code for the campaign, I dove in feet first. I am a pretty tech savvy person, and staying on top of technology and sciences well its just one of my many interests and passions if you will. I didn’t anticipate I would have much trouble to figure this site out, as say a non technical person would.

redbox-instant,T-K-365240-13

The selection of movies is not very great, it’s quite slim and disappointing.  I have a much larger selection with my Netflix account. Of the selection they do offer, most were older movies or cheesy ones I would not want to watch. The genre’s and subgenre’s were limited,  not as vast as the options with Netflix. Additionally some of the categories I was interested in such as Bollywood movies, were not available at all in the foreign section or musical section.

redbox-instant-scoop-feature-art

I thought okay most American’s won’t watch Bollywood so let me try another favorite of mine, sci-fi, yet that ended up being the genre that had the aforementioned high cheese factor. The movies shown on their site were one’s I can picture the Mystery Science Theater 3000 [MST3k] crew getting their hands on, if they have not all ready.  I’m not sure if any of those cheesy one’s were even available to watch as I was feeling frustrated trying to find available videos on streaming so I gave up.

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Cheesy Sci-Fi Movie Choices

Interface wasn’t too hard to figure out but again not as simple as Netflix’s account. I was trying to figure out how to save movies to a queue the way I do on Netflix, I saw a few icons so I started clicking on things and eventually figured out that the ticket stub icon was how you bookmark them to find easier and remind your self that you wanted to watch the movie or rent it. I wished there had been perhaps a tutorial or legend of icons.

when i click on myredbox

One of many errors I encountered

I kept encountering error messages and would see duplicated movie posters in the selections right next to each other. Almost as if someone didn’t QA or spot check things before go live.

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Duplicated movie posters example 1

On the iPad app, only 1 of the 19 movies I selected / and bookmarked would play, the 18 the only available option was a preview. It wasn’t until I was at the computer that I found out these were only available at the kiosk only. The iPad app wasn’t as easy to log into as one would think. I thought that since I had set up an account I could just log in with my email address, however I ended up having to dig through my email, to find out I had to go to the campaign page to find that code for this beta test in order to log into the app. I couldn’t get the code to copy paste correctly so I had to keep switching apps until I finally had the code input directly.

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Duplicated movie posters example 2

I found the iPad app to pretty much be a waste of time since the limited selection of movies I was remotely interested in trying only had the preview available, especially since the app wouldn’t even display these were available at the store kiosk. I didn’t see a way to separate out kiosk only movies vs. subscription only movies.

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Yet even more site issues. Can say I wasn’t surprised at this point.

If your someone who likes to read reviews, then take note that not  many user’s have written reviews of movies in the way you can find on Netflix. I believe that must be since it’s still such a new service but one can not be sure. Users do that the ability to rate the movies on the site, the same as with Netflix.

Redbox-Instant

Sure this streaming service is cheaper at $8 encompassing 4 movies and unlimited streaming compared to my Netflix where I have unlimited movies mailed to me for $15.99 and unlimited streaming for $7.99 for a total of  23.98. It may be a bit pricier but to me worth it. I don’t have to leave my house to get the physical DVDs as I would with RedBox. The redbox kiosk’s aren’t at all stores, and I seldom go to places that have the kiosk so for me personally that would be a hassle.

Redbox-Instant-signup-page

Searching for movies on either format was also problematic. I would see a movie I wanted to find out more about. Instead of immediately clicking on the movie, I scrolled around some more and decided later to search out that movie in my mind. When I searched for movies by their exact name the results were either nothing at all, or not only be unable to find the correctly spelled movie title, but it would also show nothing but other non related items.

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Note these are two different screens. For this post I put the two screen shots together.

One movie I found available to rent was only available to stream on the computer and not the iPad. So on the computer I went, and when I tried to play the movie it would throw up error messages and never would play.

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Error message if I tried to watch a rented movie

The time available for me to watch a rented movie[had it worked] was not appealing either. I prefer Netflix in this round also. They don’t force time limits to their users, and you also don’t have to separately rent movies for added fees like I would with Redbox.

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Redbox Movie Availability Time Limits

If i tried a different browser I had to grab that code again in order to be let into the site instead of it just asking for my email which would have been a much better user experience. I had to go log into the bzzagent campaign to get the code again.

redboxinstant-invite

Time to enter the code yet again!

Movie would not play in chrome, Firefox, or IE. in trouble shooting the error message their site troubleshooting section said that it was a Silverlight issues. Well other sites that user Silverlight play things just fine. re-installing Silverlight and running the Microsoft Silverlight fix it tool also did not sort it.

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Duration of rented movie availability

I started to think, god I really hope this site did not charge my credit card for a movie that I can’t play! So I reached out to customer service at that point. I did hate having to put in my credit card info for a trial, after a month I was hoping it would just close out my account if I didn’t bother to start a subscription plan and enter in the credit card details. Instead I have set a calendar reminder for myself to cancel the service.

redbox-instant-logo-verizon

I guess rentals online are not free compared to online streaming and the included 4 kiosk rentals? Seems a bit confusing on the site. I did have to contact customer support who responded quickly. I choose the live chat option, and was able to get my money refunded since the rental movie would not play. After speaking with the quick responding tech support they were able to reverse the charged since the rented movie was not cooperating, and also a few hours later after their tier 2 support team investigated emailed to let me know that this video has a known bug and should have been removed from the catalog. They appreciated me letting them know and have since removed it from the catalog until the bug is resolved.

Redbox-Instant (2)

Just to see how the streaming goes for anything that would play I clicked on of the  random movie on the site, that no surprise I had never heard of. The site utilizes Microsoft Silverlight player to stream the movies. No complaints about that at least. Redbox streams the whole movie and it must temporarily cache  it to your drive, as there were no buffering issues at all when the movie played. Even if I paused it to grab a drink, or let it sit over night when I fell asleep. I am on high-speed broad band which is a requirement of this service. If nothing else, at least the video quality was comparable to the outstanding quality I receive from Netflix.

redbox-instant (1)

Overall Thoughts:

I  entered this campaign having no set thoughts or expectations and kept an open mind. It’s a good thing otherwise in this case I would have been sorely disappointed. I am glad I did not pay for this service as I would have asked for a refund and cancelled my account post haste. The streaming service is subpar, and while it does not need to go to the drawing board, it does need a bit more work to edge out the remainder of bugs and address all the above mentioned issues. The redbox characters in the adverts around the web are amusing. Since the service does not meet or exceed what I am looking for in online streaming service I will be sticking with Netflix who offer more content and options with no bugs.

Pros:

  • Outstanding customer service! They are polite, fast, efficient and prompt.
  • Rent and watch movies from the comfort of  home.

Cons:

  • Many bugs and errors still present on both the computer and with the iPad app.
  • Small selection of movies to choose from. Not all genre’s represented so not all audiences would be interested in the available content.
  • Most uploaded content is hokey and the movies are mainly ones users would not have an interest  in.

Final Thoughts:

This service still needs more testing so I would suggest they hold off on rolling this out for a few more quarters or even a full year. I would also suggest they ramp up and offer a larger selection of both tv shows and movies. A tutorial of features would also be nice.

Rating:

1

Save your money!  Or better yet go with Netflix.

Additional Product Info:

  • You can instantly stream Hollywood mega-hits to any internet-connected device, including smartphones (iPhone and Android), tablets, computers and Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray Players.
  • The Redbox Instant by Verizon app is limited to certain devices, but is not needed to stream content.
  • You can buy and rent movies digitally without a subscription, including today’s newest releases.
  •  Browse Redbox locations and reserve movies at the box of your choice using the app, too!

Price:

  • The $8/month subscription gives you the best value for your bucks: unlimited streaming + 4 DVD credits per month (1 DVD credit = 1 night rental) to use at over 40,000 Redbox locations nationwide.

Requirements:

  • You don’t have to be a Verizon customer to sign up for the service, but you do need high-speed internet access to use it.

 

 

Additional Image Sources:
http://www.geek.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/RedboxInstant-580×190.jpg
http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/redbox.png
http://media.bestofmicro.com/redbox-instant,T-K-365240-13.jpg
http://gigaom2.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/redbox-instant-scoop-feature-art.jpg?w=300&h=200&crop=1
http://rack.0.mshcdn.com/media/ZgkyMDEyLzEyLzE5LzNhL1JlZGJveEluc3RhXzNhZzEwLmpwZwpwCXRodW1iCTk1MHg1MzQjCmUJanBn/17e746fe/3e5/Redbox-Instant.jpg
http://www.technobuffalo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/redbox-instant-by-verizon-site.jpg
http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2012/09/redboxinstant-invite.jpg
http://images.fastcompany.com/upload/redbox-instant-logo-verizon.jpg
http://www.ubergizmo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Redbox-Instant.jpg
http://cdn02.androidauthority.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/redbox-instant.jpg

New Rating System Added!

23 Nov

Site News & Updates:

For those of you who are my dear faithful followers, you may have noticed a few changes. I am trying out a new format for posting see Pumpkin Pie Bath Ice Cream Review as an example.

My goal is to provide you more clear and easy to find info should you be in a hurry for just some quick facts. Additionally I have added a have added a rating system.

Enjoy!

Rating System Explanations:

5 Stars: Loved it! Highly Recommend!

4 Stars: Really Liked It. Give it a try!

3 Stars: Liked It. It’s okay or I’m on the fence.

2 Stars: Didn’t Like It. Meh! So-So, below average.

1 Star: Hated it! Do not recommend! Disappointed, save your money.

Other site changes:

Properly finished the ever important disclaimer. [See about page if you are curious].

Glade Expressions Collection Review

16 Sep

I was pretty excited to find out I had the opportunity to participate in the Glade Expressions campaign. I received coupons to redeem at a nearby store where I selected scent’s from the fragrance mist line, and the oil diffuser line. I easily found the items at my local Target and choose both items in the Fuji Apple and Cardamom Spice scent.

The Glade Expression Oil Diffuser – sitting in my yoga nook

My thinking behind this was 1) I have a small apartment and too many scent’s going on would smell sickening and awful. 2) As nice as it would have been to try out multiple scents, I had a gut instinct to go with one scent across the board. 3) Something was drawing me to the scent. Perhaps it’s that the part of the country where I stay, is quite noticeably turning into fall. The leaves are changing are slowly starting to change on the tress, and its time for pumpkin spice latte’s.

I couldn’t wait to try out the new scent! As soon as I arrived home I found myself unpacking the fragrance mist and oil diffuser. I found both products to thankfully be quite easy to put together, no accidents of spilling’s the product occurred as with other products I have tried. I am pleased to report that the scent of Fuji Apple & Cardamom Spice was really quite lovely, it really is a great scent. I placed the oil diffuser in my y little yoga nook / puja area. I just love how my special little corner is really inviting, warm, and cozy. The scent is reminiscent of the fall season and a great way to ring her in. My husband even liked it, and he is usually quick to complain about scented items, so that’s saying something. I like how it makes me feel grounded, uplifts my mood, and keeps me longing for more. Every time I smell the cozy scent, I begin to feel excited for autumn festivals and fun.

Glade Expressions Set

I have been taking the spray on journey’s around the house if you will. I sprayed some in the entry way and around the kitchen trash can area to refresh the atmosphere. The sleek design of the oil diffuser fits quite nicely and flows easily into any area or design of your home.

How Inviting Has my home been you ask? Well to be honest, my apartment has been quite incredibly warm and tempting. I just want to stay in and enjoy the new scent. I want to bake tasty treats, sip on a cuppa tea or have a pumpkin spice latte, and bask in the tempting smell. I picked up the apple and cardamom spice and I am pleased to say they did not disappoint one bit. I look forward to using these year round and sampling other scents to create a relaxing, refreshing, and inviting atmosphere in my home.

Pictured in the campaign photo below is the Pineapple and Mangosteen scent. Other scents not shown but available are Lavender and Juniper berry, Cotton and Italian Mandarin. It’s also worth noting that the oil diffuser housing design also comes in wood.

I have PLENTY of coupons for the products, so if you would like I can mail you a few. Note that since the campaign is not paying for the postage so I’d prefer to send out to US addresses only.

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