Category: sponsor

An Honest Review of SkinnyMint’s Ultimate Teatox

March 8
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Update: Win a Teatox! SkinnyMint is giving away a free Teatox to you and a bestie! Enter the raffle below and you can win a Bestie Value Pack (for 2 people, valued at $90).

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When SkinnyMint asked me to review their 28 day Ultimate Teatox, I was initially skeptical. We’ve all seen the Instagram ads showcasing teas that supposedly help you lose weight. Usually these ads feature skinny fitness bloggers with blonde hair and 10 abs. Very unrealistic!

Ultimately, I decided posting my honest opinion was important for 3 reasons:

  1. I am not a fitness blogger and more of an average Jane. I can give a better idea of whether the Teatox is worth it for the average student.
  2. SkinnyMint impressed me with how it emphasized overall health and exercise as a crucial component of its teatox. There are no magic bullets, and SkinnyMint doesn’t try to trick you.
  3. The cute packaging and easy-to-make packets made me WANT to use the tea. Even if the tea itself doesn’t shed pounds, the teas gave me motivation to be healthier in my everyday life.

Does Skinny Mint 28 Day Teatox help with weight loss?

Bonus: You and a friend can win a free Teatox (see end of this post).

How SkinnyMint works:

  • The 28 Day Ultimate Teatox includes a caffeinated Morning Boost tea (drink every morning) and a Night Cleanse (no caffeine, drink every 2 nights).
  • The Morning Boost’s caffeine gets you moving faster and probably earlier in the morning, so you end up burning more calories.
  • The Night Cleanse has a calming effect to get you to sleep, since proper sleep is key to weight control.
    • It also has a “gentle” laxative effect in the morning so the tea helps keep you regular. Again, weight control maximization.

Here’s what I think can be improved:

  • The Night Cleanse has an ingredient called “senna” which causes the tea’s laxative properties.
    • But WebMD warns that you shouldn’t take senna for long periods of time or you might grow to depend on laxatives.
    • And according to WebMD, senna hasn’t been proven to help with long-term weight loss.
    • But for the short-term, it can work quite well!

Skinny Mint 28 Day Ultimate Teatox results - an honest review

My experience:

The Morning Boost: Drinking green tea is definitely healthier than a sugar-laced latte, so I was able to cut out some refined sugar that way, while still taking in some caffeine.

The Night Cleanse: Senna has its benefits. I would definitely recommend using the Night Cleanse before a wedding or formal dance, because it really helps you lose any, ahem, excess food you may have indulged in. SkinnyMint should clearly mark the amount of senna in its teas so consumers know if it’s safe to use often.

I didn’t want to become dependent on senna, so I only drank the night cleanse once a week. SkinnyMint does warn that you have to skip a month between Teatoxes, so I think they are aware of the possibility that senna will irritate your bowels.

If you do the teatox, I’d drink the Night Cleanse in moderation. And be sure not to try another Teatox for more than a month after your first one.

Skinny Mint 28 day Teatox package and exercise guide

What is special about Teatox:

  • The package includes more than just the tea packets!
  • It also comes with a 30-day exercise checklist that includes daily activities like “30 squats,” “20 crunches,” and “50 lunges” etc.
    • SkinnyMint doesn’t pretend that it’s tea is an elixir of weight loss.
    • The tools for weight loss include daily exercise, and SkinnyMint includes an important guide for beginners in its Teatox.
    • Combined with the Morning boost, an exercise regimen will help you to get moving and burn some extra calories.

Tips to make your Skinny Mint Teatox work

SkinnyMint also sends you a brochure showing “5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Teatox.” This helpful guide provides some healthy snack ideas and eating tips (like “trade white grain products for brown grain”) so that you can maximize your weight loss with the Teatox.

Again, SkinnyMint is pretty transparent that a 28-day health spree requires you to adopt new habits in order to actually lose weight. For those who seriously want to transform their bodies, the tips in the SkinnyMint package are a good start.

Skinny Mint 28 Day Teatox detox - Morning Boost green tea

How does the tea actually taste? It smells fantastic and tastes pretty good. The Morning Boost is a green tea blend that’s quite aromatic (like flowers, actually). I added in lemon and sugar so that it could replace my normal morning latte.

SkinnyMint packages the teas in very convenient little pods, so there’s no need for a strainer or pot. Just microwave a cup of water and dunk one of these pods in.

I actually grew to like the ritual of making a cup of tea every morning. It made me feel very *blogger* and *elegant*. (Unfortunately I couldn’t have these fresh pink roses in bed every morning).

Skinny Mint 28 Day Teatox Night Cleanse Review - do not use regularly!

The Night Cleanse has a deeper aroma that is more pungent and earthy. I needed a little more sugar for this tea. But other than my issue with the amount of senna in the Night Cleanse, the tea didn’t seem to do any harm.

Night Cleanse doesn’t have any caffeine so you should be able to sleep like normally. But be ready, because the *effects* of the Night Cleanse kick in the next morning.

Does Skinny Mint 28 Day Ultimate Teatox actually work? An honest review

TL;DR: Ultimately, SkinnyMint was useful as a jump start for a healthier month. The tea is so convenient and perky that I wanted to drink it in a fancy little cup.

I also tried to follow the exercise guide (in addition to my normal Bikini Body Guide workouts), so I’m hoping that my efforts pay off for spring break.

No tea can melt body fat, but this one gets you moving in the morning and helps move excess food along faster, plus it has the benefit of motivating you to make healthy changes.

Last note to SkinnyMint: I’d love it if Skinny Mint included some info on the effects of using senna for those of us who might not want to depend on it, since it’s a major ingredient in their tea! Skinny Mint is overall so transparent in their packaging and brochures, so it would be useful to maybe have a little guide as to the ingredients in their tea. I can imagine the guide telling us about the benefits of green tea, the reason to include senna, as well an introduction to the herb mix that gives a fragrant flavor to the Morning Boost.

Thanks to SkinnyMint for sponsoring this post. You can get the Skinny Mint Ultimate Teatox here (non-affiliate link).

Strut Boldly – European Wax Center Review

October 4
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Thank you to European Wax Center® for sponsoring this post and my visit.

Occasionally, I like to have a moment of silence for how horrendous my eyebrows looked a few years ago:

Before pic - European Wax Center brow wax review

It’s not surprising that my blog didn’t take off with those caterpillars on my face. I overcompensated for my sparse brows by trying to make them resemble sideways parentheses. Without any shape, they ended up overwhelming my features.

Imagine my apprehension when European Wax Center® asked me to visit one of their centers in Boston to wax my eyebrows. I barely had any eyebrows and now they wanted to remove more? However, I realized that I could at least learn a lot from an appointment, since I was still so amateurish at doing my own brows.

EWC browfection eyebrow wax reviewEver since my eyelid surgery, I’ve been scared of anything coming near my eyes. I mentioned this concern to the waxer assisting me and she reassured me that the procedure barely hurt or tugged at my lid. In fact, she informed me that EWC uses a hard wax called Comfort Wax™, which tugs off quickly and pretty painlessly.

I have had my brows threaded before, and I think that was far more painful than the wax I received, plus the skin around brows wasn’t red afterwards because of the serum that she applied afterwards.

EWC strut boldly eye brow wax review

BAM. Do you see the difference? After using the Ready.Set.Brow. groomer, I now have a clear shape to my brows and my worries about losing my brows were put to rest.

Strut Boldly eyebrow duo and angled brow brush

EWC also gifted me several items to maintain my brows. My favorite has to be the Browfection™ Brow Powder Duo (the little quad that is half taupe and half black to match any brow color) and the Brow Pals Dual-Ended brush.

I no longer have to guess where to apply anything because I just follow the shape that the EWC professionals have already sculpted. I’m really thankful for their guidance (because did you see how heavy-handed I was before??)

Strut your strut - EWC eyebrow wax review

That night, I immediately took my brows out to a runway show at Boston Fashion Week. I felt confident enough to speak to several designers and even take pictures on the runway before the models showed up, and I’d like to think my new strut was a little bit due to how rocking my eyebrows were.

EWC is offering a FREE brow, underarm, or bikini line wax for first-time guests, and you can get $5 off the products I showcased above if you show this post at your local EWC center until December 31st.

Also, for a limited time only, if you spend $49 or more on products and services you can score a free tote until October 31st (limited to two per customer). Go forth and strut!

Made to Measure – eShakti ‘Grace’ Dress Review

September 15
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Eshakti Grace dress - Review and fittingEshakti white floral navy dressBlack suede lace up sandals and gray quilted chain bag“That dress was made for you!” said a classmate when they saw my outfit. And they were right: it was! This beautiful creation is from eShakti, a site that lets you customize your dresses (hem length and sleeve style) to make a unique creation. I had partnered with eShakti last year so I knew their dresses always knock it out of the park.Eshakti grace dress customizationEshkati custom size review

For instance the dress I chose included options to tailor the dress length to my height, as well as an option to choose a different neckline if I so desired. If you’ve ever seen a dress and wished it came in a different sleeve style, you can change every eShakti base design so it can better flatter your arms or work for multiple seasons.

Although this dress was gifted to me, the original price ($60) isn’t steep either. If I were looking to customize a party dress or a nice date night dress, I could easily afford to add these customizations and walk away with something that I know will suit my body. For instance, a pink silk gown (fully customizable!) only costs $119—the same price as a pair of Lululemon leggings or something.

Eshakti white floral Grace dressAlso, pockets come with most eShakti dresses. You actually have to select an option for “no pockets” to opt out of having pockets. I seriously wish more retailers had pockets in default designs.

Another detail I loved about this particular “Grace” design is that the floral pattern continues onto the back—a sign of quality. Instead of buying a Forever21 item that only has a pattern on the front (F21 is often too cheap to continue printing the pattern on the back material), this dress stuns from every angle.Eshakti white flower mesh navy dress

Dress: eShakti (gifted to me) // Shoes: Asos // Bag: BCBG // Lip color“203 – Rose Dentelle”

Thanks to eShakti for partnering with me on this post.

Is Mirina Collections a Scam? UPDATED Review

September 29
40 Comments

Update: I’ve received some comments that Mirina Collections is scamming people out of their money and thought I should present my story so you can make an honest evaluation. I’ll be sharing screenshots and invoices in this updated post.

I have had quite a positive experience with Mirina, so the allegations were a shock to me. However, I acknowledge that, as in many other scams (Enron, Scentsy etc), certain people might benefit while others receive the brunt of the damage. I may have been one of the lucky bloggers who were sponsored and got a cash-out before everything began crashing and burning.

The reason I can’t crucify Mirina on my blog is because to my knowledge, they were a great sponsor (see disclaimer in above paragraph). Not only were the Mirina representatives very responsive to my emails, but the transaction flowed smoothly over the course of our relationship . . .

Mirina Collections first reached out to me on Instagram. They agreed to

  • 1) send me a necklace of my choosing as long as I paid shipping,
  • 2) to give me a discount code to my readers. If someone purchased a famous necklace with my discount code, I got commission.
  • and 3) feature me on their pages and link me to other Mirina ambassadors.

At the time, I didn’t think anything of paying $30 for Mirina to ship my free necklace: these necklaces are quite heavy and I had a suspicion they were shipping from their manufacturer in China, which is a very expensive place to ship from.Is Mirina Collections a scam

The necklace that you saw in my original post came a few weeks later, packaged in a lovely black box with blue and black wrapping paper and a large “MIRINA COLLECTIONS” sticker on the front. (However, for another side to the story, check out this blog post where a blogger claims that her necklace arrived wrapped in flimsy bubble wrap).

A few weeks later, I began receiving emails from Mirina indicating that my discount code had been used to purchase Mirina products. As promised, the Mirina rep asked for my Paypal email so they could transfer my commission to my account. You can see by the dates below that this Paypal transaction was completed the same day of the email. So not only did I receive money from Mirina, but I received it promptly and without any hoops to jump through.

Is Mirina Collections a scam

Mirina Collections invoice

 

After a few months, I stopped hearing from Mirina, but the commission I had received covered the shipping cost I had paid to have the necklace sent to me, so I did not pay much attention. Maybe no one was purchasing Mirina necklaces with my code anymore.

Then this February, a young woman asked me to help her with an order she had placed which had not yet shipped. We both contacted Mirina and she ended up finding out that her order had simply been held up and that the problem would be resolved shortly. Again, Mirina seemed responsive to the issue, so I paid no mind.

 

Mirina collections order not yet shipped

Since then, I’ve had no more contact with Mirina Collections, and a commenter below has notified me that my discount code no longer works. As far as I’m concerned, our professional/sponsorship relationship is basically over.

If you read the comments below this post, you’ll see commenters who are angry towards Mirina Collections; these commenters want others to denounce Mirina Collections and to “stop living in fantasy land and caring about our online fame and look at some actual facts.” I care very little about “fame” or a sponsor who has retired my discount code and ended the sponsor/sponsoree relationship. And if I do look at the facts, I have been treated very well by Mirina, and profited briefly from their ambassadorship. They gave me a free necklace, my discount code worked for several sales, and they DID feature me on their Instagram page:

Mirina Collections famous necklace scam or not

So Mirina did fulfill all the terms of our agreement. But I do acknowledge that others have not been as lucky. A few bloggers have blogged about how they did not receive their necklaces, or received discount codes that were not unique and didn’t work. I can’t attest to those stories, and I think it’s unfair to ask me to testify to something that hasn’t personally happened to me. So I’ll just say that Mirina Collections and I are no longer working together.

I’ve noticed that negative reviews about Mirina started cropping up a few months after my post was published, so I can only theorize that Mirina Collection’s customer service might have suffered because the company tried expanding too quickly, or perhaps because the company’s leadership changed their mind and decided to pull in more revenue using any means necessary. I would not work with them today, given the new information I have about Mirina’s decline in quality.

However, in response to the comments below this post, I still stand by the review I published last September. As a testament to what used to be a great sponsor, I’ll leave up the original review. Just as I’ll never cave into a sponsor’s pressure to pull a post, I won’t let anyone else censor me either.

After all this IS a site dedicated to smart women. And you can make a buying decision for yourselves after doing research, instead of issuing condemnations one way or another over one person’s point of view.

THE ORIGINAL REVIEW IS BELOW: POSTED IN SEPTEMBER 2015

Zara boho bell sleeve print dress with tassel ties

When Brit from Mirina Collections asked me if I wanted to feature a necklace on my blog, I was already on board for two reasons: 1) I wanted to help out a fellow “Brit,” and 2) free necklace!

I had no idea that the famous necklaces that Mirina Collections sold would be so big, however. I ended up choosing the ‘Amazon’ necklace to feature, and I knew I had to do a dramatic photo shoot to show off the glamour and impact of this beautiful bib necklace.

Fashion blogger in field with boho print dress

The necklace isn’t heavy, per se, but it’s substantial. The individual parts are beautifully polished, and the crystals didn’t feel cheap, unlike some other costume jewelry crystals. Putting the necklace on made me feel like I was wearing armor, and this sensation became the inspiration for a photo shoot in the fields, with me defending my turf with whatever weapons I could get my hands on. In this case, all I could find was a giant stick.

Mirina Collections Amazon silver famous statement necklace

The best part of their website is that they have actual people modeling the famous necklaces, so you can see just how big they will be in-person. Mirina sells white-gold necklaces.

Best of all, you can get your own Mirina Collections ‘famous collection’ necklace for 20% off with the code “brittney20!”

Fall fashion - boho free bell sleeve dress

Dress: Zara. You can find the exact same print on this romper ($18.54) // Necklace: gifted to me by Mirina Collections (use my discount code “brittney20” to get 20% off your purchase!) // Ear Cuff: H&M, similar here from Dorothy Perkins ($9.00) // Boots: Forever 21 ($34.90)