Product Reviews

Why I’m Digging Clothing Rental: Gwynnie Bee Review

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Clothing rental – they send you clothes, you keep them as long as you want and send them back or buy them and keep them permanently. Compelling right? I thought so.

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The second dress I purchased from GwynnieBee was perfect for travel (this photo was the result of 24 hours with no sleep)

So I decided to try out Gwynnie Bee for a lot of reasons:
1. Real girl sizes – I am struggling with losing this damn weight and they offer sizes 10-32. (What size am I currently? Not telling, but it’s not a 10 and it’s not a 32.)
2. Flexibility – As I lose weight, I can choose to have smaller sizes sent to me.
3. No Commitment – Have you ever bought something based on losing weight later or taken something home just because “it was such a good deal!!” Clothing rental means avoiding these kinds of “who was I kidding” retail regret.
4. Since I am losing weight, I don’t want to load up on a bunch of clothes at my current size.

And I am HOOKED. Why? Well, first off, to give you an idea, I pay about $37 a month. That means I get one item at a time, and can send it back unlimited amounts of time within a month to get a new garment. The turnaround is pretty quick (a few days) and you can notify them ahead of time that you’re sending it back so they can get your next item ready.

Why I’m addicted:
1. Laundry salvation – A little too much fun this weekend, last night, whatever? At least I’ve got ONE clean outfit that just came in the mail.
2. Versatility – A lot of the outfits work for both work and casual (mainly the dresses).
3. Loyalty perks – On a couple of occasions, they’ve given me two outfits at a time, just for being a loyal customer.
4. The discounts – Because you pay for the service, you already get a killer discount (like $100 dresses for $50), but watch your emails – sometimes they knock more off. Also, they have a store with good deals just for members (I think these are for the items they retire).
5. Public opinion – A lot of times I’ll base which items I keep on how many compliments I get. You can’t do this when you’ve already purchased the item 🙂 I also try to only keep items that will look good as I go down in size (to a point – but they are all quality pieces, so it’s worth getting them altered down the line if needed.)
6. Prioritizing – You pick everything you want sent to you and it goes into a closet. See a pic of mine below.You can choose which items you’d prefer to have sent to you first (this is a newer feature not originally offered by the site).

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Negatives:
Really my only major complaint is the lack of tall sizes (for pants). The sizing is pretty accurate, but until you get the hang of it, check the size charts, as every designer is different.

So what did I buy? So far, two super versatile dresses and I’m definitely buying the one I’m wearing today. Check it out!

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The great pieces I’ve scored so far from Gwynnie Bee

Omaha Beer and Nebraska(ish) Wine

I love it when I learn new things just by hitting up the grocery store. One lovely Friday after work, I visited the Applewood Hy-Vee, full well knowing they give out alkie samples on Fridays. Plus their liquor store is in my Omaha top two for finding just about anything (Beertopia is the other). Little did I know it would result in a chance to drink local, my own personal version of supporting small business. Seriously though, if I can find good stuff made in Nebraska, why give my money to Colorado, California or anywhere else?

Brickway Pils (formerly Borgata Pils)
When I met Zac Triemert and he told me he brewed this fantastic pilsner I was trying, I thought he was kidding. He just said it so humbly and nonchalantly. But nope, he’s the brewing genius behind Brickway Brewery and Distillery downtown. I didn’t try the whiskey because I’m not much of a whiskey gal, but I’ve been told it’s also very good. Fun fact, the brewery is down the street from my work and his girlfriend works in my building!

LPOBeauty.com review

Brickway Pils

Sea of Red Zinfandel
So this wine is in the $17-20 price point, a little above my everyday wine. But it was fantastic. I had to have it. I also tried their red blend, which I wasn’t as crazy about, but it was still good. So the grapes come from Sonoma (because, seriously, Nebraska is not ultimate grape growing weather – we’ve had both 80 degrees and 30 degrees in the last month), but the backers are Husker fans. The red labels have a 62 on them, the year that begin consecutive Husker sellouts for the last God knows how many years.

LPOBeauty.com review

Sea of Red Zinfandel

So I encourage you to give some local love – I was given no compensation or free product, but when I stumble on a little hometown pride, it’s time to blast it out there!

To Wen or Not to Wen

Wen review from lpobeauty.com

For years, I’ve seen the commercials about Wen Haircare products. According the magic of infommercial, Wen makes your magically smooth, soft, shiny, and healthy. I always think, of course your hair looks awesome when it’s professionally blow dried in a salon. So I decided to conduct a “real life” test for you.

I switched to only using Wen for three weeks. This was pretty difficult for me because I switch between products all the time. But I had to get the full effect.

The price was pretty good for the intro pack – I think I paid around $45 and got a full sized bottle of the cleansing conditioner, a smoothing cream, a deep conditioner, and a three-piece travel set. The whole autodelivery/automatic reorder is admittedly a pain.

I truly think there should be a law that if you order something online, you should be able to cancel it online.

This is one of those “you have to call to cancel” deals. However, the upside is you can change your delivery from every three or four weeks in increments of a week up to 20 weeks between deliveries.

Cleansing Conditioner

I got the seasonal scent, Orange Blossom. It smelled amazing, like I had rinsed my hair with freshly squeezed orange juice. I really noticed little difference in the condition of my hair. I have been following a routine of conditioning every day, but only shampooing once or twice a week now for a couple years. I feel Wen provides the same benefit. As I understand it, it’s virtually conditioner with a low ratio of shampoo ingredients.

One major difference I did notice was color preservation. I began this little experiment with red hair and transitioned to brown about a week in (on my way back to blond). My hair does not usually hold dark color well at all, but it hardly faded. In fact, my stylist had purposely dyed it darker so it would fade to the dark color we wanted, and it proved unnecessary.

Disclaimer – I naturally have very dry hair, and the fact that I color it a lot and drastically switch colors wreaks more havoc. So either of these routes (less shampooing or Wen) helps because shampooing too much dries out the oils your head naturally produces. However, if you’re naturally oily, you may need that. My esthetician, who also does hair, told me she’s had some nightmare stories of oily-haired gals who used wen. In that case, I would say you still need to at least use shampoo a couple times a week.

The rest of the products I received were the Sweet Almond Mint scent, which I think is the first one they came out with. I was not sure how I’d feel about this scent, but I liked it. It’s very mellow, more like a spearmint than a peppermint.

The styling products were decent, nothing I’d rave about. One is a stick form of a molding putty, and it was ok, but not very strong. I felt the same about the smoothing serum. The deep conditioner was good, but about the same as a lot that I’ve tried.

Overall Rating

7 out of 10

If you are overly concerned fading (redheads especially deal with this) or don’t want to invest in various conditioners and shampoo (I pretty much buy 3 bottles of conditioner to one bottle of shampoo), Wen is the perfect product for you. Also, the styling products would be good for someone with fine hair (I have regular thickness, but tons of hair so I didn’t feel they were strong enough for me).

This review is purely my unbiased opinion – Wen did not compensate or endorse me in any way.

The Lowdown from Liz: Spray Lotion

Ok so you’ve probably seen the spray lotion commercials – so convenient, so easy right? Well I bought some this summer to try out, but truthfully I suck at body lotion until fall when my skin starts to get drier. So this weekend, I gave it a shot and, well, BUMMER.

1. You still have to rub it in.

2. It’s not instadry like they make it seem. You still have to wait a bit to  put your clothes on so you don’t stick to them.

lpobeauty.com spray lotion review

On the up side, it is light, smells good and isn’t a huge mess on your hands like heavy creams. Overall, though, I’m not that impressed. The one I tried was St. Ives, but of course I’ll give some others a shot. Watch our Pinterest board for additional product reviews 🙂

Bikini Line: Why I Hate the Hair Down There

BodyBrite West Omaha Review and Giveaway

In recent years, I have heard lots of commercials for hair removal and they always get my wheels turning. Ultimately it always comes down to my bikini line. Sure it’d be  nice to never shave my underarms or legs again, but ultimately there’s so many reasons to get rid of the hair down there. I’ll get into that in a minute.

ipl bikini line hair removal from lpobeauty.comRegardless, I always pushed hair removal into the “someday when I win the lottery or marry a rich guy” category.  No way could I afford that! Turns out that laser isn’t the only way to get rid of those pesky hairs — there’s a much more affordable option – IPL (Intense Pulse Light). Myself and some fellow Omaha bloggers teamed up with BodyBrite West Omaha to give you the lowdown. AND we’re giving you the chance to win a free treatment!

BodyBrite also does IPL skin rejuvenation, teeth whitening and oxygen facials. I’ll include the links below to the other blogger review so you can get some more info on those.

So WHY did I choose bikini line? First, I knew no one else would be crazy enough to do it. Second, it really is a beauty concern. Third, like I said, I HATE the hair down there… and here’s why:

1. Pubic hair – it’s just such a gross word. It sounds like puke or “peeeeeeee-yew that stinks”.

2.  I have sensitive skin, so the ingrown hairs drive me insane – itchy red bumps almost every time I shave.

3. No matter how good a job you do, you inevitably have a moment during summer where you see a hair you missed peeking out of your swimsuit.

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4. And finally, this lovely scene from She’s All That always comes to mind.

So let me answer all your questions.

1. Does it hurt?

No, not really. It feels like a quick zap, like when you shock yourself on a doorknob. They ice it, and if it pinches too much, they ice some more before trying again. It feels like a tiny little spot, about the size of the tip of a ball point pin. However, the IPL tool is zapping an area of about 1 inch by 3 inches at a time. It goes much quicker than you’d expect – less than 30 minutes a treatment.

2. How many treatments does it take?

Each area requires nine treatments, spaced about 4-5 weeks apart. Why so much? Well, there are lots of hairs in each area (hundreds to thousands I believe) and they are not all on the same growth program. Multiple treatments insure you get them all, and BOOM, hair is gone FOREVER. Yes forever.

3. How does it work?

A really strong light singes each hair, and after the treatment they fall out.

4. How much does it cost?

The body is broken down into zones. The bikini line is one; if you want Brazilian (aka adding the back strip) is another zone. Both underarms are one. The legs are broken down into four zones (upper and lower on left and right). You can also have the face done. Each treatment is $69, but the price per session decreases if you pay upfront or do multiple zones.

Still at this point, I was thinking I can’t afford this, but you can break it down over six months with auto deduct from your bank card or credit card. And really for just over $600 at the most (if you pay as you go and only do one zone), it’s so worth it to NEVER deal with ingrown hairs again.

5. Is it uncomfortable?

Of course it is. So’s your annual physical. But it’s worth it. Doing your bikini line, you can choose how much you want to take off the front. I’ve actually discussed this with friends, both male and female. They all go back and forth. Totally nude seems prepubescent, but it is the trend, both could be sexy, blah blah blah. For me, it’s the same price and I don’t want to shave or trim one little spot, so I said take it all!

Despite having to flash it all, the nurse makes it as comfortable is possible. She’s very professional and she told me “I see it all the time” and “I’m just looking at the hair.”

Overall, it was complete worth it. The environment was spalike – inviting and calm, yet professional and clean. I would do all my zones if  I could! I am however, going to finish the bikini line and do the teeth whitening – I’ll be bringing you more on that later.

Disclosure: Complimentary service was provided for this review. However, all opinions expressed are mine.

And for the super fun stuff  – your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out additional BodyBrite reviews from my fellow Omaha bloggers:

http://sensorymamasavingcents.com/2014/03/reviewgiveaway-bodybrite-of-omaha-free-service-2-winners/

http://momsavesmoney.net/2014/03/bodybrite-west-omaha-review.html

http://www.coolestmommy.com/2014/03/body-brite-omaha-review-and-giveaway.html

Bright White Smile for the Holidays: New White Strips Product Review

When I asked what you wanted to see on LPO Beauty, a few of you answered how to get teeth whiter/whitening product reviews. Well, here you go! Fortunately for all us, Allure Magazine just happened to be testing out the new Crest 3D White Whitestrips Luxe Supreme FlexFit. Mouthful? Yes, both the name and the white strips. Ok, so that’s not really funny. But you’ll enjoy learning more about them!

The timing really couldn’t be better. Everyone wants white teeth, especially at the holidays when you know there will be lots of photos. I take off for Vegas tomorrow, and I for one am happy to have a more confident smile. My s.o. said he didn’t notice a difference from the white strips, but to be honest, I’ve chopped off six inches of hair and not had him notice. My best friend came over last night and noticed immediately.

I was a mixed bag of emotions when this box arrived:crest whitestrips review from LPOBeauty.comWhy? I was excited about getting to try something new. BUT I’d never tried white strips that measured up to the whitening gel with custom trays my mom had gotten me years earlier. I had even tried the pro kind from the dentist’s office and was unhappy.

My top complaints about white strips:

1. Don’t cover all the teeth

2. Slip and slide around – I end up spitting them out before time is up

3. Don’t make that big of a difference

4. Saliva, saliva, saliva (ok this problem comes with the trays too, I think it’s inevitable with any dental process)

But this could be different, right? And it WAS.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter wearing them an hour a day for two weeks, there was a noticeable difference. You can stretch them to fit your teeth, so they cover more area. But best of all, they stay on amazingly! No slipping and sliding like I’d experienced before. Saliva issues still, but I think you can’t avoid that. (Plus that may be my own personal problem ****TMI ALERT***** I gag when I brush my tongue – hey I warned you!)

Before and after . . .drumroll please . . .

Before Crest 3D luxe whitestrips by LPOBeauty.com

Before Crest 3D Luxe Flexfit Whitestrips

After Crest 3D Luxe Flexfit Whitestrips by LPOBeauty.com

After Crest 3D Luxe Flexfit Whitestrips

I did have a friend ask me about sensitivity and I really experienced none . . . UNTIL I missed a day. Instead of just continuing, I decided to be a rebel, ignore the directions and do two strips in one day with a few hours in between. DON’T do that.

Overall, I was seriously impressed. So much so, I took full after shot for you with no makeup and crazy hair! – yep that’s how I roll on a Sunday 🙂

after crest 3d luxe whitestrips from LPOBeauty.com