Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Makeup Removal

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing TowelettesWhen it comes to makeup removers I must admit I am a bit skeptical. I've tried a variety of them, and even tried out baby wipes and just baby oil! And I don't cake on the makeup. I love a natural look. My makeup routine consists of BB cream, concealer, an eyelash curler, mascara, and lip gloss. Sometimes I'll add some blush and eye shadow, but most days I don't have time for that. Many days I go without makeup, but I am addicted to my eyelash curler. That's a necessity to me! Anyway, Neutrogena sent me their makeup remover cleansing towelettes, and all I can think is yeah, that will take about five wipes to get my makeup off. Am I alone here? Plus, many makeup remover towelettes get all ripped when rubbing my face. So, I wasn't expecting much.

My husband will want to save this post for what I'm about to say. I was wrong! I used one Neutrogena makeup remover cleansing towelette to easily remove all of my BB Cream, concealer and mascara! The wipes are soft and didn't tear. I also have oily skin, all the time. It never ceases. So, if there are any moisturizers or oils in the makeup removers it ruins my skin. The Neutrogena wipes didn't make my skin oilier than it is, and my skin felt clean and soft after.

Halloween Makeup Challenge:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQJCMtWVdzk]

Submit a photo of yourself taking off your Halloween makeup with a Neutrogena makeup remover cleansing towelette with the hashtag #NeutrogenaFaceOff. Before and afters are welcome, as are the clean face with the dirty wipe. Post in the comments below, and share on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Zeusvision Democratizes Outdoor Advertising -- Affordable for Everyone!

Have you ever thought, “It sure would be cool to propose to my sweetheart on that billboard by her office.”, or “I would love to show my son in a grand way how proud we are of his service for our country when he comes home from the war.”, or maybe “I wish our little start-up company could compete with those big guys advertising on billboards in Silicon Valley.”? Maybe there was some other occasion where a large outdoor display ad or flashy promotion or billboard would have been the perfect solution. You just could not afford it without mortgaging your house for the cost of advertising.

The fact is that the outdoor advertising game has been rigged to favor those with deep pockets. Large scale outdoor advertising in big cities is tied to the real estate where the billboards are located. It has also been controlled to a large extent by the licenses and permits that are issued for these display signs to be erected. As a result, there has been a giant price tag required to use these large but otherwise static advertising mediums.

To complicate price matters even more, media business buyouts and consolidations have led to a few mega-media firms like Clear Channel, Lamar, Fairway, CBS and others controlling a sizable portion of these advertising mediums in the United States. In recent years, technology has improved so that these billboards are no longer static. The price, of course, has gone up for these fancier billboards, leaving the ability to use them in the hands of the wealthier companies and individuals.

"Outdoor advertising is an elitist business. I want to bring the power of large-scale outdoor media within reach of the average person." –Giovanni Wolfgang, CEO, Zeusvision

Often technology comes along and spurs new innovation and creates new players in the game. This is what happened at Zeusvision. The founders at Zeusvision saw a new opportunity with these large multimedia signs. They realized that perhaps these billboards didn’t need to be dug in at a single location and mounted on poles. They thought to themselves, “What if these multimedia billboards had wheels and an engine?” That spark of inspiration bloomed into the Zeusvision digital media bus with 31-foot, full-color, multimedia displays on either side. Now their billboards were free to roam anywhere, not tied to a piece of expensive real estate, not tied to the same “billboard” regulations that the mega-media companies were saddled with. Often inspiration comes with side benefits.

Zeusvision enters the market with a novel idea, a new product, and a new price model that could compete (and beat) the well-entrenched competition. Zeusvision has now decided to bring that value and that cost savings to the average consumer. As Giovanni puts it:

“Our belief at Zeusvision (more than anything) is that people want to be recognized and they want their voice to be heard. This assumption is evidenced by the millions of comments and tweets posted to social media sites and blogs daily, not counting the bloggers themselves.”

While social media campaigns like those on Facebook™ and Twitter™ certainly add volume to the voice of the people, it still does not level the playing field. “Location, Location, Location” is the familiar mantra of a number of businesses. Media and advertising still benefit greatly from the perceptions of location. A billboard in Times Square is going to be seen by viewers as originating from a more successful company than a billboard in New Jersey. Likewise a video display on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills will get more attention than a billboard in East L.A. It is simply a result of years of popular media conditioning. Zeusvision will remove the roadblocks that prevented you from advertising in these prominent locations.

"Our message is rather simple: The average person or business owner should be able to get their message out to the most influential groups of people, in the most sought after geographic locations."–Giovanni Wolfgang

Zeusvision is launching a public campaign to bring affordable, mobile, multimedia advertising to most major U.S. cities in 2015. Zeusvision promises a revolution in advertising and personal messaging. Not only will Zeusvision's digital media buses deliver stunning 31-foot video advertising, but their team of technologists will be adding an array of unique features that the “big guys” don’t offer.

Zeusvision is including on-board technologies, like GPS, cameras, inertial motion sensors, light sensors, eye tracking, gesture tracking, real-time GPU processing, and other tech packages they are still exploring that allow your graphics and video to interact with the public in ways never dreamed before. They will release their Software Development Kit (SDK) and Application Programming Interface (API) in Q1 of 2015 so other developers can participate. Think of Zeusvision as a huge iPhone™ on wheels that can position itself wherever the client desires, delivering customized multimedia messages and experiences for as little as $99.

Imagine this: Robert has been dating Sally for six months. He has decided to ask for her hand in marriage but wants to do it in spectacular fashion. He goes to his computer, downloads a graphics template from the Zeusvision website and makes a graphic with her picture on it with text asking her to marry him. Next he uploads the proposal image and schedules the time he want’s his proposal to play. Because Zeusvision buses have a route with fixed times and geo-locating ads, Robert schedules his proposal to play on a specific street at 12:00 noon where his fiancĂ©-to-be will be joining him for lunch at an outdoor cafe. As Zeusvision approaches the cafe he receives a text alerting him that his Zeusvision bus is only 5 minutes away. Once Zeusvision is in sight he directs Sally’s attention to his proposal graphic. Once she realizes that she is looking at herself on a giant screen bus and she is also being proposed to simultaneously, surprise turns to excitement and hopefully a yes to his question (and happiness ensues). This is an example of messaging technology being used to increase the quality of someone’s life.

To celebrate their vision of “giving the people their voice back,” Zeusvision is giving away free tickets to the 2015 Zeusvision Music Festival for all of the customers that support the Zeusvision Public launch campaign starting on the 27th of October. These are exciting times, to discover more about the Zeusvision Public launch head over to www.zeusvision.com

Monday, October 20, 2014

13 Ways Black Friday 2014 Will Be Different

There will be unique opportunities this year for the savvy shopper, from special mobile payment discounts to possibly the best tablet deals ever.





Black Friday may be the busiest shopping day of the year, but when it comes to sales, no two Black Friday seasons are alike. New competition, the state of the economy, and changing consumer trends all contribute heavily to the makeup of Black Friday.

To help you prepare and get the most from this shopping season, we've created a list of things that will be different this Black Friday, so that you can know what to expect ahead of the sales — which start earlier and earlier every year (bringing us to our first point).

Retailers Will Tease Shoppers With Black Friday Ad Sneak Peeks


Last year, to build anticipation, a handful of retailers offered sneak peeks of their Black Friday ads several weeks before the official, complete debut. The strategy was successful at generating buzz, so expect to see far more retailers doing the same this year. A few stores to watch out for include MacMall, JCPenney, and Macy's, the latter of which leaked its sales via its Pinterest page.

More Stores Will Offer Guaranteed Doorbusters


Doorbuster deals are super-cheap, small-volume deals designed to get shoppers inside stores on Black Friday (although they frequently appear online as well). But because doorbusters are so limited in quantity, they tend to run out before most people set foot inside a store — prompting many shoppers to just stay home. But, retailers want you in-store, in the hopes that you'll make some impulse purchases.

Thus, we expect more retailers to offer a handful of "guaranteed" doorbuster deals this year, meaning eligible shoppers will receive wristbands or vouchers that guarantee that item, even if supplies run out (but you might have to wait a few weeks to receive it). Walmart and Toys "R" Us did this to great success last year, and we expect to see more stores join in this year.

Stores Will Be Better Staffed


Despite petitions and protests from employees, retailers are looking to stock up on cashiers this Black Friday. While that means more people will have to work extra hours this Thanksgiving, it also means shoppers should experience shorter lines and wait times in-store.

Retailers and Consumers Will Guard Credit Card Info Like Never Before


It was around Black Friday last year that Target experienced the first of these massive security hacks, but it wasn't the last; then came Neiman Marcus, eBay, Home Depot, and more. There's no denying 2014 has been the year of the hack. As a result, both retailers and consumers will be extra cautious this year, guarding their credit card info from would-be thieves. We recommend brushing up on a few crime prevention basics and limiting the amount of times you use your debit card in public.

Mobile Payments May Yield Promotions for Shoppers


Despite those financial security concerns, tap-to-pay services are at the forefront this year now that Apple has joined Google Wallet in the mobile payment industry. This may spur competing platforms and retailers to offer promotions or loyalty rewards when consumers pay via their smartphone. So, be on the lookout for promotions tied to mobile wallet purchases this year.

More Stores Will Offer Discounted Shipping


Good news for online shoppers: The United States Postal Service has slashed shipping costs for select businesses by up to 58%, which may inspire more shipping discounts from retailers. But before you celebrate, the new lower prices may backfire and cause the USPS to be overwhelmed this holiday season, especially as UPS and FedEx prepare to raise their rates. Your best bet — shop early and keep an eye on those tracking numbers.

Expect Better Deals on Streaming Devices


Previous-generation streaming devices tend to see the best deals on Black Friday, but this year the market is busier than ever, meaning we could see significant deals on current-generation set-top boxes. Among the newer models to look out for are Amazon's Fire TV and Sony's PlayStation TV, both of which debuted at $99 and cater to gamers.

More People Will Shop on Smartphones


There's no denying the fact that mobile shopping is on the rise, and studies indicate that consumers tend to shop more from their mobiles on Black Friday. Retailers, however, aren't investing in their mobile infrastructure; so even though more people will turn to their smartphones and tablets after their turkey dinner, your experience online will be the same as last year.

Super-Cheap 4K TVs Will Be Everywhere


This year we expect to see no-frills 4K TVs hit well below the $999 mark. Leading the charge will be budget TV manufacturer Seiki, which broke all deal records this summer with its $280 39" and $429 50" 4K TVs. These and other Seiki screens will hit similar price-lows this Black Friday, bringing 4K technology to the masses.

Mainstream Laptops Will Pack Better Hardware at Lower Prices


Bargain bin laptops have hit rock bottom. These simple, low-powered machines can't get any cheaper than prices we've seen in years past, which range from $178 to $200. As a result, this Black Friday you're going to see better discounts on mainstream machines, i.e. laptops with Intel's current-generation Core processors and a respectable spec sheet. Deal prices on mainstream machines have been steadily dropping since April, with deals already flirting with the $350 range at the start of the fall season.

To Compete With Amazon, More Retailers Will Price Match


There was a time when brick-and-mortar stores refused to price match their online competitors, but as more consumers turned to ecommerce, big-name chains like Walmart and Best Buy changed their policies. This year, Toys "R" Us, Walmart, Best Buy, and Target will be just a few big name stores that will take on Amazon. Expect to see many more price match announcements as Black Friday approaches. And as always, make sure to read the store guidelines as not everyone will offer no-questions-asked price matching.

You'll See More Tablet Deals Than Ever Before


Despite a crash in sales, tablets are still a hot commodity and expected to sit atop everyone's shopping list this November. With growing competition from Apple, Google, and Microsoft, it's a buyer's market, which means you can expect more tablet sales this year than there were in 2013. If you're strapped for cash, Windows tablets could offer the most savings since 50% of Windows tablet sales this year have been Editors' Choice deals.

Black Friday Will See Excellent Toy Deals


Traditionally, the best toy deals appear in mid December, just before Santa's big debut. However, last Black Friday week saw more toy deals than ever before, beating out every week in December in terms of Editors' Choice deals. While it's hard to predict what might happen this year, one thing is certain: If you have toys on your shopping list, you won't want to sit out this Black Friday.

Excited for Black Friday deals? Consider subscribing to the DealNews Select Newsletter to get a daily recap of all our deals; you never know when a Black Friday price will be released! You can also download the DealNews app or check out all our features for more buying advice.




Related DealNews Features:






Senior Features Writer



Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls V Review


Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls V Review

Xbox 360

written by Samantha LaRochelle

Skyrim is the name of one of the countries in Tamriel, a made-up continent, and it happens to be where most of this game takes place. When you first start playing, you wake up in a horse-drawn wagon with your hands bound. There are a few other prisoners who explain to you what happened, and before you know it you’re riding into a city called Helgen. You are to be executed there. While prisoners are being called to gather by the execution block, one of the soldiers realizes you are not on the list of prisoners’ names. He asks who you are, and then you can customize your character.



You can be any one of the Tamrielic races; there are 10, and they are all briefly explained to you to help you choose. After that you can customize your character’s weight, facial features, scars, war paint, and hair. When you finish you may name your character, and then the storyline begins. (You do not end up getting your head chopped off). However, this storyline is unlike most other games. You do not have to do any quest, and every action you take advances the game. Most questlines differ depending on your actions and responses, and there are endless play-styles. You can be a thief, an assassin, a treasure-hunter, a scholar, a werewolf, or vampire, and more. There are endless possibilities on what you can be. You are not limited except that you cannot be a werewolf and a vampire at the same time.



There are two big questlines that you will hear about often. The first is the main quest that the game starts you on. This quest is very interesting and has some extra valuable loot. The other is the Civil War questline. There are two sides, the Empire and the Rebellion. The Empire is also called the Legion, and people who are loyal to this side are called Imperials. The Rebellion is led by a man named Ulfric Stormcloak, and people who are loyal to him are called Stormcloaks.



Skyrim is a role-playing game, but it’s also like a sandbox game. For anyone who doesn’t like to follow a set storyline and likes to play a custom character, have in-game choices, store all of your loot in a house, and freedom to do whatever they want - I recommend this game.



Pros:

  • Custom character

  • Speech options

  • In-game choices

  • Random world encounters

  • Endless quests (almost all of them fun, rewarding, and/or interesting)

  • Housing options

  • Endless play-styles

  • Endless Easter Egg in Dawnstar, one of the villages in Skyrim

  • You do not die if you neglect to eat food or sleep, although if you don’t sleep your character will get tired and not operate as well.

  • There are three updates: Dragonborn, Dawnguard, and Hearthfire (which add more content, quests, loot, friends, and enemies to the game).



Cons:

  • Game glitches occasionally (tip: do not save while in sneak mode).

  • Game freezes sometimes.

  • Game characters sometimes glitch and do weird (also hilarious) things.

  • If you try to climb a practically vertical mountain or wedge your character into a practically impossible space you will get stuck.

  • Sometimes you will accidentally steal things while trying to loot free stuff. For example, trying to click on a merchant and accidentally clicking on one of the items on his desk and stealing it.

  • Game is very addicting.



Star Rating:

★★★★★ (5/5)



And here are a few images to give you an idea of what it’s like, in case you haven’t played yet:

Skyrim

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91nOykIoY3L._SL1500_.jpg) (http://content.bethsoft.com/bsw_cms_asset/30863_27_1.jpg) (http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120828231237/elderscrolls/images/9/95/Hearthfireboxart.png) (http://xboxoz360.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/skyrim-dawnguard-dlc-screenshots-oxcgn-9.jpg)



_-The-Elder-Scrolls-V-Skyrim-Xbox-360-_



(http://cdn0.spong.com/screen-shot/t/h/theeldersc352195l/_-The-Elder-Scrolls-V-Skyrim-Xbox-360-_.jpg)

_-The-Elder-Scrolls-V-Skyrim-Xbox-360-_1

(http://cdn0.spong.com/screen-shot/t/h/theeldersc352205l/_-The-Elder-Scrolls-V-Skyrim-Xbox-360-_.jpg)

8d5f2d3a403cd66710385bb67d5dd31f

(http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8d5f2d3a403cd66710385bb67d5dd31f.jpg)

The Elder Scrolls

(http://www.gamedynamo.com/images/galleries/photo/1216/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-dlc-xbox-360-exclusivity-news.jpg)


Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through these links. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bulletproof Coffee Review

Bulletproof Coffee is this new craze I've been hearing about for a while now, so naturally, I was curious. They sent me a pound of their Upgraded Coffee and the Brain Octane oil to try. I checked out the recipe and decided that I needed to tweak it a little. Being lactose intolerant there was no way I was going to use real butter in my coffee (even if it is grass-fed and organic). So, I searched the local grocery store and found Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, which are vegan, lactose-free and non-GMO. The part about only having this for breakfast is completely fine for me. I don't normally eat breakfast anyway.

Day 1:

My husband and youngest daughter were looking at me like I was crazy, not that that's unusual. "You're going to put butter in your coffee?" hubs asked with a scrunched up nose. "Well, it's not real butter," I replied. I used our french press to make the coffee. I cut off one tablespoon of butter and plopped it in a bowl I chose to blend in. I added one tablespoon of the Brain Octane oil. After pressing the coffee I added everything together and used my hand blender to blend everything. Since it was a hot day I added as many ice cubes as I could and started drinking. The texture was greasy and a bit grainy. It tasted bitter and creamy at the same time. The result? I was bouncing off the walls! My energy soared. I felt great, too. It wasn't the type of shaky, anxious energy you get when you drink too much coffee. However, about six hours later I crashed and passed out. That could just be me though. I tend to sleep too much.

Day 2:

Note to self - do not try to blend in the mug to save time. Major coffee mess. Ugh. I don't like the way the ingredients tend to separate if you don't drink it fast enough. I keep the spoon in my mug to stir before sipping. All of this pressing and blending seems like a lot of work for a cup of coffee, but I might just be lazy. I like that I'm not adding sugar to my coffee like I normally do, because I know how bad sugar is for anyone. However, the bitter taste leaves me feeling a little empty.

Tip - Do not use a plastic cup if you plan on having some iced Bulletproof coffee. I had to throw the one I used away because I could not scrub the oil and butter off of the cup. Ew.

Day 3:

Today I decided to add 2 tablespoons of butter instead of just one, hoping it would take some of the bitterness away. Instead of doing that it just made me nauseous. I choked down the last half of the coffee, forcing it to stay down. My body just wanted to have none of it. I don't feel the energy I felt the first two days, which is very disappointing. Oh, and last night - or morning - I was up past four in the morning! I don't know if it was the Bulletproof Coffee or the Brain Octane Oil (what the hell is that anyway?), but I was not tired at all. By four o'clock I read until my eyes finally shut for me to sleep a few hours. It's not unusual for me to having sleeping issues, but it is unusual for me to be up THAT late.

The thing that is really bothering me is that I don't know exactly what the Brain Octane Oil is. What's in it? So, I'm checking it out on the website where it states that "it 18x stronger than coconut oil". Under "ingredients", the website states that it "contains 8-carbon medium-chain triglycerides from coconut and/or palm kernel". Huh? So the triglycerides are taken from the coconut and/or palm kernel? It's unsettling. I want to know more about exactly what this is, but I guess it's not happening yet.

Conclusion:

So, I tried out Bulletproof Coffee for a week. My conclusion? It's not for me or anyone else who is sensitive to caffeine or other stimulants. I suffered horrible migraines for four days after I stopped drinking the Bulletproof Coffee with the Braine Octane Oil. It took me a while to pinpoint the cause of the migraines, but this is the only change I made at the time. I'm back to my regular Dunkin' Donuts coffee with cream and sugar, and the migraines are gone. Finally.

Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through these links.