Monday, August 10, 2009

Swag Review

It's no secret that we BlogHer attendees received a lot of swag ( describes it as "booty" or "loot.") I want you to know that no adults, children, or babies were harmed in the obtaining of my swag, much of which is pictured here.... In fact, no one I saw pushed, shoved, or stole to get swag at BlogHer in my presence, in spite of what you might have read; all I witnessed was some giddiness and enthusiasm.

The "Brands" as they are called want to get their products out there. Who better to help them than bloggers, who are not shy about their opinions? In the spirit of integrity (see the pledge in my sidebar), I'm going to share my honest opinions (good and not as good) about some of the products I received at BlogHer.

You know how the thought of changing hair stylists sends you into a panic? For me, I have always had the same fear of changing to less-expensive hair products than the ones my hair stylist pushes on sells to me. You know; worrying about whether the store brands will turn my hair into a bird's nest or something resembling a hay bale. That's why I was happy to try the Suave products offered at BlogHer.

On Saturday at BlogHer, my hair was so flat that it could have passed for bedhead. When the "Suave Girls" said they'd help poof it up for me, I happily accepted. They did a great job; gave me confidence to get up on that Karaoke stage and belt out Have Mercy, by The Judds (and there wasn't even a drop of alcohol involved!) I was also pleasantly surprised when they also gave me free bottles of Suave Volumizing shampoo and conditioner, plus Suave Root-Lifter Spray Gel. The true test came at home, though, (cuz believe it or not, I do not have an in-house stylist) and I am actually thrilled to report that I was able to turn my fine, limp hair into something I never thought possible by my own hands. What I especially love about the spray gel is that hours later, when I use my fingers to fluff up my hair a bit, it actually fluffs and looks great! What clinched it for me, though, is when Mr.4444 asked this afternoon, "Did you get your hair done today? It looks nice," and I was just hanging around the house in jeans and a t-shirt, not all dolled up for a cocktail party. I just smiled and told him no. I never thought I'd say this, but my days of expensive salon shampoo and conditioner are over; I'm going to buy Suave. (Seriously--this is weird for me, too, but I really mean it.)

Another product I received at BlogHer was this shaving cream, from EOS.
Can't say that Kendall or I are amazed by this product, but it does the trick.  I like that the bottle is made of recyclable plastic, and the scent was nice, but I didn't feel like I had tried something better than what I use now (Bath and Body Sugar Scrub. Sorry, EOS!) My legs are pretty much free of hair (I'm not the most careful shaver, so I'll take the blame there), and they feel pretty soft, so I'll say I'm satisfied.

The e.l.f. cosmetics I received are terrific! I had never heard of e.l.f. before BlogHer, but everyone likes free stuff, so I lined up. I received Hypershine lip gloss, eye shadow, and a blush/bronzer compact (plus brushes). I love it all, but Kendall and I are both especially digging the lip gloss, which kind of reminds me of a gloss that Mary Kay sold about 20 years ago and is nice and shiny and fun to apply. Plus, it costs only a dollar! I'm not kidding!!
Even better than the fact that they are wonderful, e.l.f. cosmetics are incredibly economical! (Only a dollar each for many, many items?! That is pure craziness! Is that a typo?!) E.l.f. cosmetics can be purchased on-line right now but will be sold in Target stores this fall! (Watch for a giveaway here, coming up very soon!) [BTW, I just got an email from e.l.f. offering a special deal right now--If you spend just $10 on-line, they will give you 4 eye products free. Just use the coupon code: ECFEYES when you check out.]

I also received a coupon for a free pair of GAP jeans, and today, Kendall and I went to shop. Turns out GAP has broken out an entire new line of jeans (only the Boyfriend style will remain.) I've never worn a pair of GAP jeans in my life, so I just let the sweet guy help me pick a style. Did I say he was sweet? He chose the Sexy boot-cut style. (I'm pretty sure he was gay, but I still consider that a compliment, haha.) Anyway, I will now swear on a stack of bibles that those jeans are the most comfortable pair of jeans I have ever put on in my life! (As well they should be at $59.50 a pop.) Wow! And not to be conceited or anything, but I think they look pretty good, don't you?Kendall loves them, too (gonna have to hide them, I think!) While I was at GAP, a "little bird" gave me a scoop--He said that on Friday, there is going to be a big party to roll out the new jean styles. Select movie theaters (he wasn't sure which) will be handing out coupons-some for free jeans, 25 percent-off coupons, etc. If you buy on-line that day, you will be eligible for the same coupons and discounts. And one of those coupons is good for $200,000! I'm not one to pay $60-$70 on a pair of jeans, but it would not be beneath me to ask someone else to buy me a pair, haha. Christmas is just around the corner, you know...

I received many, many other products, such as some coupons for my favorite Campbell's Chunky Soup (sirloin burger) and new varieties, yummy Starbucks ice cream, McDonald's McCafe drinks, and more varieties of Goldfish crackers than I ever dreamed existed (yum!!) Kendall actually asked me if we are using a new laundry detergent (she loved the scent of her clothes all of the sudden) and I told her it was the All Small & Mighty laundry detergent samples I received at BlogHer. (What can I tell you--you can't get a better testimonial than your kids sniffing your hard work and saying, "Mom, this smells awesome!) I gave my Bounce Dryer Bar to my friend Dawn, since she does like 25 loads of laundry in her house every week and I knew she'd appreciate it. She is VERY happy with it.  The folks from Picnik gave me a 3-months extension on my Picnik Premium, which thrilled me to the point'll see!

So, yeah, I made out like a bandit at BlogHer from the standpoint of freebies, but I really appreciate being able to try out these many new products and help spread the word about them, without any pressure to say that I liked them (which I would not have succumbed to anyway.) The brands want to know people's honest opinions (so that they can improve their products) so they are happy to have feedback, good or bad.

I did not write about every product I received (obviously), nor do I plan to, but I wanted to share these with you, because they have been my personal favorites (so far). If you have any comments about any of these products, I'm sure the brands would welcome them, so fire away!

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