lucky bandit: product review
Showing posts with label product review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label product review. Show all posts

Sunday, October 15, 2017

vegan food review // Tofurky slow roasted chick'n strips

I decided to pick up these new Tofurky Slow Roasted Chick'n strips to add to a salad we had planned for dinner at my mom's. I wasn't disappointed!

They were super easy to prepare. You just take the wrapped product out of the box, poke a few holes in the plastic packaging, and pop it into the microwave for 60 seconds. The strips aren't packed in a ton of liquid so they don't come out mushy and can even be shredded for things like tacos. You could alternatively cook these in a pan on the stove, which I might opt to do next time.

Texture is usually what stops my buying meat alternatives, but I had no qualms about this! So how was the texture? I didn't feel like I was eating chicken, but it was firm and not rubbery at all. They held up well in salad dressing and had a smoky, full flavor, but were true to the "lightly seasoned" claim. The pieces could easily be broken into smaller pieces, which was nice for a salad. My only complaint is that I put too many pieces on my plate and it became overwhelming after a bit, but I believe that's just my palate. I'd love to try a vegan buffalo chick'n dip with these!

These strips come in four flavors: lightly seasoned, Tandoori, BBQ, and Thai basil.You can find them online at VeganEssentials, but I found them in store for less than four dollars.

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Friday, September 29, 2017

maple holistics // tea tree shampoo

**I was compensated for this post by receiving a free product to review from Maple Holistics. This review is my own honest opinion.

Recently I was contacted by Maple Holistics to see if I was interested in trying their Tea Tree Shampoo. Not only is Maple Holistics cruelty free, this product is vegan, paraben free, GMO free, and gluten free. The ingredients list for the Tea Tree Shampoo was short and to the point. I've been wanting to try a tea tree line as I have eczema and an itchy scalp, so I jumped at the chance.

The Tea Tree Shampoo combines jojoba, tea tree, rosemary, and lavender to combat dandruff, regulate oil secretions, and clear away blemishes on the scalp. You simply wet your hair with warm water, apply the shampoo and let it sit for a few minutes after massaging it into your scalp, then rinse with cool water.

I don't wash my hair every day, so I've used this shampoo twice since receiving it. I'm impressed already - I've noticed my scalp being significantly less itchy and my eczema spots are less red and noticeable! My hair felt softer and smoother after one shampoo, unlike many shampoos that leave my hair with that straw like feeling. I've definitely found my scalp to be responding well to this and I believe I may have found a new go to shampoo.

Try it for yourself here or try a sample of their other products here!

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

empties #14

Since it's been summer, I haven't been using many products up. I hardly wear makeup unless it's planned, so my makeup has just been sitting there. Sorry, pretty things.


Dove Advanced Care Deodorant  // I didn't care for this. It didn't work for me.

Theraneem Naturals Skin Lotion in Neem Therape* // cruelty free & vegan // This lotion helped with my eczema and was pretty rich. I'm going to add a full size to my next iHerb order.

Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera* // cruelty free & vegan // It's aloe vera. I don't know why I even had this bottle, but I'd buy this brand again if I needed it.

Alba Botanica Body in the Buff Firming Scrub in Espresso* // cruelty free & vegan // This scrub was great and the coffee was a great plus. It wasn't oily like some sugar scrubs, and it rinsed out of the tub fairly well. My skin felt a lot softer after using it.

Simple Pleasures Hand Soap in Summer Peach // I didn't think I'd ever finish this. This was a $1 purchase at Joann Fabrics when I thought I was out, but I'll be replacing this with something cruelty free.

Good Things Fresh Start Creamy Cleanser // cruelty free & vegan // I grabbed this on a whim at Marshall's one day because the ingredients looked decent. It was an alright cleanser. I'm beginning to think that cream cleansers aren't my thing, though, but if I found this at a cheap enough price I'd pick it up as a backup.

e.l.f. Volumizing Mascara* // cruelty free & vegan // This is the cheapest mascara e.l.f. offers. I pick them up religiously to use as a base coat for my other mascaras. It's a decent product, doesn't get all over my eyelids and doesn't flake.

Madre Labs Rose Petal Witch Hazel // cruelty free & vegan // I used this as a toner and really liked it. Sadly, it's been discontinued.

e.l.f. Pressed Powder in Buff* (similar) // cruelty free & vegan // I didn't like this and it broke all to pieces, as e.l.f. powders seem to do when I have them. I wouldn't repurchase.

Avalon Organics Bath & Shower Gel* in Grapefruit and Geranium // cruelty free & vegan // This bottle lasted forever and I really liked it. I got a few compliments on the smell, too! They've since changed their packaging and this scent has been discontinued, but I'd try some of their others.

Vegan True Melatonin* // vegan // This is my go to melatonin. Definitely already in my iHerb cart.

Not Pictured:
Gilette Fusion Hydra Gel Shaving Gel // I'm still using up shaving cream from my years of couponing. I won't buy it again, but it's been nice having a supply of shave gel.

Up & Up Biotin plus Keratin // I suppose these worked, but I picked up a different brand.

Dial NutriSkin Lotion // A decent lotion from the coupon stash, I won't pick it up again.

Jergens Ultra Healing Hand Moisturizer // Meh. I still have like six of these that I'm using up. I'll be glad when they're gone.

And there's another month of digging through my trash. Hurrah!

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

influenster voxbox unboxing: jane iredale pure & simple makeup kit

I received this Jane Iredale VoxBox complimentary of Influenster for testing purposes.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

I hadn't heard of Jane Iredale before I received the survey email from Influenster to see if I was eligible for their VoxBox, but when I did a little research on the brand I liked what I saw. I received the Pure & Simple Makeup Kit in medium light.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

Jane Iredale is Leaping Bunny and PETA certified cruelty free, they have many vegan products, and check out those great pigments! I've never used powder foundation before, so I'm excited to try it. The kit came with two PurePressed Base Mineral Foundations in Amber and Radiant (vegan), a PurePressed Blush in Sheer Honey (vegan), two PurePressed Eye Shadows in Oyster and Supernova (vegan), a Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain in Forever Peach (not vegan), and a dual ended eye brush and blush brush. I'm going to pass the lip and cheek stain on to Jess so it doesn't get wasted. :)

I can't wait to work these into my daily makeup routine!

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Monday, April 17, 2017

indie blends: breathe in collection // perfume sample review

Indie Blends invited me to try out three of their perfumes. When I got the box in the mail, I was so excited! All of their products are cruelty free and vegan, and made in small, handcrafted batches. The packaging really stood out as well and it was a bright and fun box to open.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

I received three samples - one each of Inspiration, Love, and Strength. I love the packaging and inspirational cards that each is on. All three have different floral tones and they were light and fresh and perfect for spring.

Not only do I like how upbeat the branding is, Indie Blends is on a great mission and I really love that their products are formulated without parabens and phthalates! I'll be ordering Strength soon!

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

influenster voxbox unboxing: marc jacobs beauty highliner

Recently I received the Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner VoxBox! Influenster sent me the box to try out some new products.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

I received two Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayons* in the colors Pink of Me and (Earth)Quake. These eyeliners retail for $25, so I was really glad to get them! They're super pigmented and go on so smoothly.

Pink of Me is on the left, which is a light pink, and (Earth)Quake is on the right, which is a deep brown and the color I would buy.  I don't know how much wear I'll get out of the light pink, but I'll use the deep brown every day. They state they last twelve hours and it took some scrubbing to get the swatches off, so I'll be putting them to the test here soon!

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

Have you tried anything new lately?

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Monday, December 26, 2016

vegan food review: Gardein meatless pepperoni pizza pockets

In one of the cruelty free beauty groups I'm in on Facebook, someone mentioned that Gardein has some pocket type meals. Then I noticed that there were meatless pepperoni pizza pockets and I immediately started looking for them.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

I found them! They're certified vegan, quick to heat up, and delicious! Typically I'm not a big faux meat fan, but the texture of the pepperoni wasn't bad at all, nor did the pockets have that gummy textured cheese.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

I keep them in the freezer at work for quick lunches as they only take less than two minutes to heat. They have great flavor and are pretty filling. The sodium is a tad high, but not terrible, and they don't have much sugar. I'd highly recommend these.

If you've been looking for a tasty vegan pocket meal, go find these!

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Friday, September 23, 2016

fashion friday: life is

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter
I was provided the "Life is Tough" shirt from Cents of Style in exchange for this post. Affiliate links are included.

When Cents of Style contacted me to write a post about life, I wasn't super sure about it. I am generally a pessimist, but thought "hey, I can do this, I have a pretty decent life!" So I chose the "Life is tough, but so are you" tee.

Everyone's had some tough spots in life, and I'm no different. Sometimes a little reminder can make all the difference - that you're tough, too!

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

This shirt, though? So soft and the fit is fantastic. The best part? They're only $15.95 and they ship free with code LIFEIS1! ♥




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Friday, September 02, 2016

my latest beauty favorites

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

Swissco Ultimate Vent Brush in Large // Hairbrushes have never been a thing of importance to me. They keep my long ass hair from becoming a matted mess, but beyond that? Nah. Growing up I used paddle brushes and there was that one time my cousin got a round brush so tangled in my hair it had to be cut out, but other than that I never put any thought into how I brushed my hair. UNTIL NOW! Swissco's Ultimate Vent Brush is AMAZING! I no longer look at hairbrushes the same.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

Pacifica's Indian Coconut Nectar Roll On Perfume  // So good. I feel like I'm on a tropical island when I use this. It comes in a glass vial, so I'm a little hesitant to carry it in my purse, but I love it.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

Hurraw Lip Balm in Grapefruit // I don't like eating grapefruit, but I love them in everything else. Luckily I can get Hurraw at my local Wegman's, and this stuff is awesome. It covers well without being heavy or sticky.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion // I have dark spots from acne and this lotion really helps lighten them and even out my complexion. I use it at night after I cleanse and before I moisturize. I can see a difference in a few days and that's awesome compared to the many other dark spot correcting products I've used.

I'd love to know your favorites - leave your links in the comments! ♥

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

local haunts: Hyperion Espresso // fxbg

hyperion espresso fredericksburg virginia lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

I love coffee. Plain and simple. I'm also a huge advocate of supporting local coffee shops. One of my favorites? Hyperion Espresso in Downtown Fredericksburg. They brew a fantastic dark roast, and they have almost any flavor syrup you could want.

During the summer, I typically stick with their smoothies or Italian sodas. Mango smoothie, peach Italian soda. ♥ You can't go wrong with the black tea, either. I recently tried their seasonal pomegranate black tea. Yum.

hyperion espresso fredericksburg virginia lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

I don't normally have a lot of time to hang out there, but they have loads of space for working on your laptop and hanging out with friends. When you buy a drink, just grab the wifi password from the register. The building that houses Hyperion is pretty gorgeous on the inside, too, so there's none of that stale decor you'll find at other coffee shops.

The baristas have always been friendly, so if you're not sure what to order off their extensive menu, just ask!

So if you're in the area, stop by! You won't be disappointed.


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Sunday, August 21, 2016

empties #5

empties lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

Clarisonic Refreshing Gel Cleanser // I got a Clarisonic Mia for Christmas that I love. This is the cleanser that came with it. My skin felt clean after using it, but it was pretty drying and not cruelty free, so I won't be getting it again.

ban Shower Fresh deodorant // This worked pretty well when I first got it a while back with a coupon. Towards the end of the tube it stopped working as well. I don't know if it was my skin that adapted or the product, but either way ban isn't cruelty free, so I won't be repurchasing.

L'Oreal Total Repair 5 Restoring Conditioner // This was another freebie from couponing. This conditioner works great, but L'Oreal isn't cruelty free, sadly.

Pacifica Glow Baby Youthful Face Scrub // cruelty free and vegan // I got this in a little trial four pack of Pacifica's facial products (Thanks, Mumma!). I've mentioned before that I like pretty strong facial scrubs - I like to feel them working. This scrub does just that. I'd definitely purchase this again.

Vegan True Melatonin 3mg // cruelty free and vegan // Vegan True's melatonin worked pretty well. I didn't wake up groggy but it helped me sleep. This is on my iHerb to order list. (And if you use the code TNZ430 you'll get $5 off your order and I'll get $5!)

Julep Glycolic Hand Scrub // cruelty free // I really liked this little sample of hand scrub. One use and I really could tell a difference! And there's still time to get the Summer Brights 6-Piece Beauty Gift!


empties lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

These next products are all products I won't be repurchasing, as they aren't cruelty free, sadly.

Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Shampoo // Another couponing purchase from forever ago. I don't know what exactly this shampoo was supposed to do, but it didn't do it.

Almay Oil Free Eye Makeup Removed Pads // I got these free with coupons and this is the last of the batch. They worked well on eye makeup, but left a weird residue that I always felt I needed to wash off.

Rodan + Fields Micro-Dermabrasion Paste // cruelty free // I like tough exfoliators. This felt like I was rubbing glass on my face.

White Barn Eucalyptus Mint mini candle // This smelled nice and for such a small candle it burned for a long time. I got this as a stocking stuffer and really liked it.

Tresemme Platinum Strength Conditioner // Another cheap coupon find. I enjoyed this conditioner, but Tresemme isn't cruelty free.

What products have you used lately?

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Friday, July 29, 2016

TaDah Foods falafel wrap review

On my grocery run to Target, I spotted a new line of products when I was checking out the meatless section. Then I saw the word falafel and knew I had to try out TaDah Foods' wraps. I picked up the Lemony Roasted Garlic Hummus option. Those are all of my favorite things!

tadah foods wrap review lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

tadah foods wrap review lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

The wrap was really good. In a quick minute and forty five seconds, it's ready to eat! I prefer quickly heated items when I take lunch to work. The best part? They're 100% all natural, vegan, and the tortilla is non-gmo. At $3.99 each, they're a bit pricey, but it was more than enough for my meal and I actually couldn't finish it all in one sitting. There was only one true con for me and that was the sodium count - it was a bit higher than I like, but it didn't reflect a lot in the taste.

If you're looking for a quick lunch option, definitely check these out!

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

a #bloggerscene rooftop party at the embassy row hotel

#bloggerscene blogger scene embassy row hotel rooftop cocktail party

#bloggerscene blogger scene embassy row hotel rooftop cocktail party

Wednesday night, Jess from Writing in Red Lipstick and I hopped the metro and made our way to the Embassy Row Hotel in Washington D.C. for a rooftop cocktail party for area bloggers.

It was a great time! We started off the night with drinks and the PeachE Punch was A+. While I'm not a big mingler, there were some great ladies there that I was happy to have met! There was a great panel of bloggers for a Q&A, the view was gorgeous, and the atmosphere was perfect.

#bloggerscene blogger scene embassy row hotel rooftop cocktail party

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

movies i've watched lately

I've never been a big movie fan. I watched them occasionally, saw really interesting ones in theatres, and I can count how many Redboxes I've rented on one hand. However, since I've been utilizing my local library, I've been checking out DVDs and catching up. Here's what I've watched lately (for free!).

Keep in mind that I watch movies purely for entertainment, so I don't normally watch movies that wrack my brain. :P

movies i've watched lately lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

Zathura: A Space Adventure // This is basically a space version of Jumanji, though not quite as good and not as long. It's an older movie (2005), but I'd still recommend it if you want a short little watch. Catch this one on Netflix!

Jurassic World // I saw this in theatres and loved it then, and still love it now. If you like the Jurassic Park series, definitely get this one. I just finished reading Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, so I snagged this one to satisfy my current dinosaur interest.

10 Cloverfield Lane // This one was intense. There was an uneasy feeling to the whole movie. Definitely a suspenseful thriller! There was a twist that wasn't really a twist; it was really strange. If you're a thrill junkie, though, I'd recommend it.

What have you watched lately?

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

book review: IA: Initiate by John Darryl WInston

I was provided a copy of IA: Initiate by John Darryl Winston in exchange for this honest review.

ia: initiate john darryl winston book review

When I was first contacted by John Darryl Winston about reviewing IA: Initiate, I wasn't sure if it was something I'd like, but I quickly got into the book. The story follows "Naz" Andersen, a young boy who finds out he can do extraordinary things. Naz cares for his younger sister, Meri, after an accident leaves their mother dead. Meri is such a likable secondary character - I'd love to see where Meri goes, as well! The two children live with a woman who houses them purely for the money she receives - they're very independent and resourceful, and you can see that Naz's world is in Meri. A gang suddenly takes an interest in Naz, and he uses some of his ability to get Meri, his friend Artie, and himself out of a bind, while trying to find out more about himself and the world around him.

The characters are well developed and likeable, and I'm interested to know about their pasts and futures. The great part about this book is that it isn't completely ridiculous - the supernatural abilities that Naz has are believable in a way that makes the book enjoyable, and not campy. The writing is great - I tend to pick apart books on grammar alone, and I had no problems reading Initiate right on along. I am truly excited for the next part of the series and I can't wait until it's released!

I'd like to thank John Darry Winston for the opportunity, and I'm impatiently waiting for the next piece to the puzzle!

To find out more about John Darryl Winston and the IA series, definitely check out website and give him a follow on Twitter and Facebook!


Saturday, March 21, 2015

the bath outlet - the glady line [a review]

I received an item from The Bath Outlet from the Glady Line in exchange for this review. All opinions are honest.

review katelyn carter the bath outlet the glady line

We've had this dilemma in our master bathroom.

What do we do with the toothpaste??

I really don't like having it hanging out on the bathroom counter and I didn't want to stow it in a drawer but it wouldn't fit in the little rescued glass container that we had our toothbrushes in. I'm one of those everything-in-its-place types.

In steps The Bath Outlet. They sent over one of their Glady line toothbrush holders. My problems are solved. We now have a toothbrush holder that fits everything we use to brush our teeth AND it matches our bathroom decor.

katelyn carter

See how nicely it blends with our out-there shower curtain? I may have to pick up a couple more pieces! The Glady line has tons of great products available in several different finishes, so there's something for everyone.

the bath outlet the glady line katelyn carter review

Definitely check out The Bath Outlet and their Glady line. If you've been looking for durable, modern bath accessories, they're for you!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mousestruck by Ita Stein Gvirtzman #BookReview

I was provided this ebook in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest.
Mousestruck by Ita Stein Gvirtzman #bookreview book review katelyn carter

Today I'm introducing Mousestruck by Ita Stein Gvirtzman. This book shows the journey of the author through chemotherapy for cancer and how her experience as a cancer patient kept bringing her back to her days as someone who experimented on rats in the name of science, and how she grew from vivisecting for twenty years to animal rights activist.

First of all, wow. This book was written so well - thought provoking and detailed. The words spoke to me as an animal activist, and as a reader I could tell that the level of feeling Gvirtzman has developed for these creatures is amazing. I will say that if animal activism isn't something that appeals to you, this book may change your mind. It goes to show that being disconnected from something initially can be changed - for the better.

Mousestruck truly is a book that everyone should read. It sheds light on things that humans tend to hide - out of sight, out of mind.



Monday, December 01, 2014

my first stitchfix

I recently joined Stitchfix. If you're not familiar with the name, Stitchfix is a company that, after you fill out your style profile, sends you a box full of fashion items that you may enjoy. The service costs $20 per shipment, you get to pick when your next shipment comes, and that $20 is applied to anything that you purchase from your box. You have three business days to try on your items, let them know what you're keeping, review, pay, then send the rest back. If you keep all five items, however, you get 25% off!

I got my first box a bit ago and wanted to review it here. I ended up only keeping one item from the box due to some sizing issues. It seems I'm smaller than I think. :/

stitchfix review katelyn carter
The Moon Collection Dorrian Graphic Knit Draped Cardigan.
How adorable is this sweater?! The only problem I had with it was it wasn't long enough to cover my butt. I like to wear chunky sweaters with leggings, but the tops have to be long enough. I just couldn't think of a way to work this into my wardrobe without an entire outfit looking frumpy. :(

stitchfix review katelyn carter
The Pomelo Gerrie Anchor Print Short Sleeve Blouse.
Oh, bad picture. :(
I like the print of this, though I normally stay away from the ever popular anchor. I really liked the two types of fabric, but the fit was off on me.

stitchfix review katelyn carter

stitchfix review katelyn carter
The LA MADE Vana Long Sleeve Split Placket Ikat Print Dress.
I'm not usually a fan of ikat prints, but I liked this one. The weight and cut of the dress was another thing I loved. Unfortunately, it was just a size too big and looked it when I put it on. Even belted it would've bloused out a bit too much at the top.

stitchfix review katelyn carter

stitchfix review katelyn carter
The Liverpool Mira Skinny Pull-On Jean.
Oooooh, these jeans. The wide waistband controlled my muffin top and they were so comfortable. But again, they were too big. :( I would've loved to have a pair!

stitchfix review katelyn carter
The Look by M Wallace Zig Zag Border Infinity Scarf.
This is the one item I kept. It's super soft and look at those edges! It was instant love. I have quite the collection of scarves and just recently started expanding my knits. This one is great - big and chunky!

If you're interested in getting your own Stitchfix, check it out here! It's a really easy and cost effective way to expand your wardrobe!
^