Xtava: ALLURE 2200W Tourmaline Ionic Ceramic Professional Hair Dryer #Review #HairDryer

 

 

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Last week, I shared the Xtava Professional 5-in-1 Curling Iron and this week I’m sharing another one of Xtava’s products, the Allure Hair dryer. You will notice if you visit Xtava’s website, their hair dryer line is really what put the company on the map and this one is no different!

The Allure hair dryer is light in weight but powerful. You have 2200 watts that delivers air quickly in both heat and cold options. Power does not mean this blow dryer will not be kind or gentle to your hair either. The Allure hair dryer uses Tourmaline Ionic Ceramic technology, meaning you get even heat distribution and the ceramic is gentle on your hair’s cuticle. The negative ionic technology also prevents frizz to build-up, giving your final do’s that smooth and very desired shiny appearance. The above technology is also perfect with all the new hair oils hitting the market because you will achieve ultimate penetration meaning you will reap all the benefits quicker and better.

The Xtava Allure features:

  • A Ultra Lightweight housing for better control
  • Triple Baked Tourmaline Ionic Ceramic
  • 2 Speeds with 3 Heat setting modes.
  • A “Cold Burst” Button to aid with styling and setting
  • Concentrator Nozzle is also included
  • The “filter” easily removes on back for cleaning when needed
  • 1 year manufacture warranty
  • Card for up to 50% off (with code) to their site

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I tried the Xtava Allure hair dryer for 1 week to get an idea how well it performs. I was surprised how quickly the element delivered heat and the burst of air is that perfect flow where you can still control your hair while it’s drying. My hair’s length is at my waist and I have a lot of hair, which is fine to medium in texture but dense when it comes to amount. I was happy at the 5 minutes mark with the quickness in drying time and softness in feel. By 7 minutes, my hair was dry and ready for me to style. I did not experience any frizz or static from the dryer, which is a major plus for me because “dandelion head” is yet a look to catch on!  On the second use, I used my typical leave-in mix of oils (2 drops of Argan oil with a small dollop of Living Proof Perfect Hair Day).  I achieved great results and my hair was super smooth in feel and it had that natural gloss you get when you get that perfect blow out.  I was satisfied with the performance of Xtava’s Allure hair dryer!  The box comes with everything you need from the attachment…..you just need a hair brush and you are set.

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Retail Price Point: $34.00 via Amazon and $30 via Xtava’s website

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The only Con I could Find:
The “cool shot/burst” button pinches when you use it or if your finger tends to slide up. It also caught my hair once but I knew enough to not pull, so I did not lose any strands or caused any damage. The button is really not a button or a rocker switch, it’s made from the plastic frame the dryer is made from. A button shape is molded but the movement is made from the cut-out in the plastic’s frame. My only worries is durability with this button due to the fact plastic can only bend back and forth so often before breaking and/or cracking. Not a biggie but worth mentioning because it does pinch your skin when you use it and especially soft skin that you get from just showering or bathing. I don’t use this option often, so for me it would be insignificant when thinking of overall use or performance.

Connect with Xtava’s Great Styling Products at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Xtava.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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Xtava: Professional 5-in-1 Curling Iron Model No. XA0041 Review #Curler5in1

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With all the hair wands, curlers, rods, irons and so forth, I went from having my hair care items stored under the sink, then assigned a drawer to them, to later having a shelf in the closet dedicated to them. I’m about to move them into a box until Xtava’s 5-in-1 curling iron arrived!

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Xtava was the answer to my needs and their 5-in-1 professional curling iron does it all and then some. The best part, everything attaches to a singular wand. Think of it like having a drill and you would not buy a drill to go with just one drill bit…..that would be silly even though that is exactly what I did with my styling tools.

Xtava’s 5-in-1 curling iron, Model #XA0041 Features:

  • One wand
  • 5 different ceramic barrels
  • 1.25″/1.25″
  • 1″/1″
  • 0.7″/1″ (tapers down)
  • 0.75″/0.75″
  • 0.3″/0.75″ (tapers down)
  • Ceramic Tourmaline Technology
  • 360 degree Swivel cord, which is a comfortable 8 feet in length
  • Shut-off safety function in case you get busy and forget
  • Also a nice storage bag to keep everything again in one place and easy to grab

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The 5 barrels vary in sizes from the larger one producing nice bouncy waves, to the one after giving you tighter curls. You then move on down to smaller circumferences, which allows you to add detail, volume, and nothings gets missed. You can style any length of hair and Xtava’s 5-in-1 curling iron can handle it all. This is perfect for me because I like to change how I wear my hair and that means my needs change by my hair-do. I was able to comfortably curl my hair quickly and safely, with ease and produce a style that I was absolutely delighted with. I don’t have to make excuses now on why I don’t have time and/or want to curl my hair, because Xtava’s 5-in-1 curling iron could handle my very long strands with care and what was best…..super quick and this was for a full hair down style. I was done in 10 minutes!

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Retail Price Point: $39.99 via Xtava and also available on Amazon

The wands easily connect with a simple twist on and stay in place (locked) until you are finished. I found them easy to use and change while styling. The barrels of each attachment are smooth and flawless, so no hairs were pulled or yanked on while I used the product. The heat output is nice and has a maximum temperature of 410 degrees. The output seems to depend on the size of the attachment you use and the unit does not allow for heat temperature selection, so you go by “time curling” when styling. Once plugged in, you can begin styling in 2 minutes! Told you it was fast. Also, the unit comes with a 5-year warranty because Xtava stands by it’s products.

 

Final Verdict:
Probably one of my shortest verdict’s and to the point, I now have this one iron because it replaced and added more than what I had before. I just have a flat iron and my blow dryers, so back to the drawer where I can use them regularly they go! One very happy girl and this would make an perfect Valentine’s Day gift!

 

Connect with Xtava’s Great Styling Products at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Xtava.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Almondina Cookies: No Bake Valentine’s Day Gelato, Sorbet and Ice Cream Heart Treats

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For those of you unfamiliar, Almondina is a thin cookie that is not only less punishing caloric (only 30 calories each) wise but absolute deliciousness!  Most dunking cookies I love more how they look than how they taste because the cookies are so dry, they suck the moisture out of your mouth.  You try to dunk them to soften them and then they fall apart, so now your hot coffee is not so enjoyable anymore with pieces of dissolved cookie with every sip!  Almondina has fixed the problem but I find them better than most packaged cookies I have ever enjoyed because they are so versatile!  You do not have to commit to one flavor because they are thin cookies that come in different varieties.  You have chocolate based to the original vanilla tasting ones, to cinnamon, to even pumpkin.  You want yogurt dipped, Almondina has it and even chocolate dipped, so again this is more than just a cookie you have with a hot drink.  It is a cookie that stands alone in it’s own class of thin (but delicious) crisp cookies.  I love almonds and it started with how the nut tasted but it is also a healthier alternative.  What I like is the amount of almonds and fruit you get too.  I am not cheated out of anything, just eating less fats!  It may be a “better-for-you” cookie but what makes this dreamier, is you get all the flavor and can’t believe one thin cookie could do so much! I will be reviewing the cookies later this week and will have a giveaway for my readers.  Yes, that means the sample pack I received could be yours! So, stay tuned and just a small hint, start following and liking them on Facebook 🙂

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Let Almondina Cookies make your Valentine’s Day treats not only easy and quick to make, but they will look like you dedicated all day to them. The cookies are toasted already so no need to toast in the oven. You can even add sprinkles, chocolate ganache or just the Almondina crumble itself.

I started by using Almondina Choconut, a delicious chocolate cookie that is studded with almonds and raisins. I take the cookie and break off some of the nuts to use later as decor. Using a food processor, I pulse until get a nice mix of fine and medium crumbs. In a small bowl, I add the crumb to be used for later. I again repeat the above process with the Original Almondina cookies and the Almondina AlmondDuo, a double nut cookie, which features not only almonds but also pistachios.

Take your Valentine’s Day cookie cutters (I have both metal and plastic) . Get your favorite ice cream, sorbet, or even gelato out of the freezer. I do one flavor at a time and if I do not have a flavor…..I make it. I had left-over boysenberry preserves I made a few days ago and folded it into vanilla bean ice cream to make boysenberry ice cream. You can use a cherry preserves or any flavor you desire. This not only saves money but also makes those flavors you dream of into reality.

I use a parchment square and under that place some plastic wrap. You can also use the plastic wrap by itself if you do not have parchment.  Take your cookie cutter and place it in the center of the paper/plastic. Stuff the cookie cutter with the above frozen treat of your choice and I find using a spoon and stuff by the “sliver” versus scooping is the easiest way to avoid air pockets. I use a small spatula to smooth out the Gelato and then simply use my hands to push the form out. You can also use the assistance of the parchment paper you used the cookie cutter on if you have enough overage, this also avoids getting ice cream on your fingers. Rinse and repeat!

*The above is Pistachio Gelato

 

*The above is Coconut Sorbet 

*The above is Dark Chocolate Gelato and the Boysenberry Ice Cream I made

I then place cover the molded treat and place it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. If you are making more than one, make sure to not allow your ice cream to soften too much. I suggest placing the pint back in the freezer to keep it from melting. This is why I like to work with different flavors because I can rotate as I work.  If I need to hurry up a creation, I place it in the ice cube tray for a fast chill.

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While everything refreezes, I start making ganache. Ganache is a simple recipe of 1/2 heavy cream and 1/2 chocolate. I use a mix of bittersweet and semisweet chocolate and slowly melt it on the stove. For convince, I place my ganache in a glass dish with a spatula for easy scooping.

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Once the molded heart has hardened again, I take out one heart at a time and begin to decorate. You can use several ways:

  • Spread Ganache and then the Almondina Cookie Crumbs.
  • Stud the hearts with the nuts you recovered from the cookies before making the crumb and then only applying crumble to the sides.
  • Make a Mold of Gelato and fill only 1/4 of the way, add Almondina Crumble and then fill again with Gelato. This gives you a crumble in the center.
  • You can do half Ganache and half crumble, so you get different textures

Return the decorated heart back and allow it to set for 20 to 30 minutes. This will of course vary by size of cookie cutter and amount of frozen treat used.

I used some ganache and stencils to not only decorate the dessert but also my plate. You just smear a small amount of ganache and then some red colored sprinkles, or any color of your choice. Lift the stencil and then you have a cute design. Place the plate in the fridge and if the plate is freezer safe, it is much better because it then gets as cold as the hearts, This buys you time when you put everything together. Get your Love Bug and you have a gorgeous and delicious dessert that required no oven and just some opening and closing of the freezer ❤ This also a very kid friendly project, so make it a family thing too ❤ Enjoy!

To locate where you can buy Almondina’s Cookies or to view their large selection, please visit:

  • On-line– http://www.almondina.com/
  • Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/Almondina.Brand
  • Twitter– https://twitter.com/almondina

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I received the above product free of charge from Almondina Cookies.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Giveaway: You can win a California Delicious Gift Card worth $50.00

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(Picture is example of products carried by California Delicious and not of actual prize)

Get ready this Valentine’s Day to get some help with this wonderful giveaway, courtesy of California Delicious!

Giveaway of a $50.00 gift card to California Delicious (http://www.californiadelicious.com/). This prize can be open to everyone internationally but the gifts must be mailed to a U.S physical address, no PO Boxes please.  Giveaway ends on February 5th so get started now and it’s easy to enter below.  Please note terms on site regarding alcohol sales and delivery limitations, as per state laws.

How to Enter:

  1. Like on FaceBook- https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaDelicious
  2. Follow on Twitter- https://twitter.com/caldelicious
  3. Follow on Pinterest- http://www.pinterest.com/calidelicious/
  4. Please comment on my Blog Review- https://samplesandfreebiesgallery.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/california-delicious-not-your-ordinary-gift-box-and-basket-company/

Bonus Entry for those that follow on Instagram-

California Delicious: Not your Ordinary Gift Box and Basket Company

A gift basket is always welcomed in our home and not only do I enjoy the variety but I love trying new items. As of late with the holidays not too far away from us, I noticed that many baskets cost a pretty good penny but the thrill of the “good stuff” is not present. It’s almost the place where snack food goes to get stale! Not great when you bite into something and wonder if you would have liked it if it were fresher.

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In comes California Delicious with not your ordinary baskets. They offer everything from baskets and gift boxes with fresh fruit, chocolates, stuffed animals, wine, beer, and you name the occasion……they have it covered. The one thing I love is that if you live within the state, shipping is a whopping $0.00. Very nice. So the price point you see is what it is with no hidden charges. If you live out of state, they offer a reasonable rate starting at $9.00 (standard ground) for most of their selections. Very fair pricing and if you sign-up for their mailing list, you get 15% off promotion. Navigate the site and a $10.00 off a $75.00 purchase coupon pops-up as so does a $5 off of $50.00! I believe in getting the most out of your dollar and right now, California Delicious has a heck of a perk! Be part of the “Give a Gift, Get a Gift” program. Just purchase a basket and each purchase gets you a $50.00 gift card* to http://www.NakedWines.com. The only small catch is you can only use one gift card yourself but you will get one with every item you buy. Great way to pass the perk forward and share with others. Make your basket purchase twice as nice!

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I ordered the Starbuck’s Coffee gourmet box. It’s item #9966 and it’s the first gift basket I have been 100% content with from top to bottom. I always have items in baskets and boxes that are just not for me or I plainly do not enjoy…..not this one! The Starbuck’s Coffee Mornings Gift box has a reasonable price point of $59.99 and it even has a stainless steel travel tumbler that can be used again and again. I always like gifting items of this kind that not only yield food for my family and friends to enjoy, but you want a reusable gift so there is something always left to enjoy again and again. Every item in the box is Starbuck’s branded…..no fillers to make this box seem more than it is. See for yourself and California Delicious discloses all contents, no need to over examine a picture to see what really comes in the basket (“Is that a candy I see back there?” kind of thing). I like that California Delicious is open and upfront because its just so tacky to inquire when you send someone a gift basket or box and hope they got everything as pictured. The last thing you want to ask is for a run-down! This is what my beautiful box came with http://www.californiadelicious.com/starbucks-coffee-mornings-gift-box.html:

  • Starbucks Pike’s Place Blend Coffee
  • Starbucks Sumatra Blend Coffee
  • Starbucks Blonde Roast Coffee
  • Starbucks Café Estima Coffee
  • Starbucks Hot/Cold Travel Mug
  • VIA Ready brew Coffee
  • 3 – Spiced Biscotti
  • 1 – Vanilla Biscotti

Other things I want to share is that I have never received a Biscotti cookie in “as-pictured” shape. They are usually baggies holding something what was once a cookie but is not a dry cracked baggy of dust. My chocolate swirl was even intact and every cookie was whole. I got to break it myself and enjoy it…..fresh and “biteable” with no regret or staleness! Ever item has an expiration date and just the bagged coffees alone the date was 6 to 7 months from when I received it. The VIA coffee is an entire box with 8 servings and that doesn’t expire until September. You can actually take your time enjoying your treats. The bags included have a 10 to 12 cup serving each so you get plenty of sevings for a very reasonable price. You add that you get a $50.00 gift card to NakedWines.com and it’s a perk that makes buying from California Delicious a must! Try them today and especially with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. California Delicious is not your everyday basket and gift box company, they deliver not only beautiful looking treats but it’s filled with items you will actually enjoy and love!

Connect with California Delicious and place and order just in time for Valentine’s Day:

  • On-line- http://www.californiadelicious.com/
  • Twitter- https://twitter.com/caldelicious
  • Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaDelicious
  • Pinterest- http://www.pinterest.com/calidelicious/
  • YouTube and Video Blogs- http://www.californiadelicious.com/california-video-blog

Hint: I will be posting a giveaway soon, so get ahead and connect with California Delicious by connecting with the above links!  

 

Nakedwines.com Perk detals, as disclosed on California’s Delicious site:
No kidding…We will send you a nakedwines.com gift card valued at $50 for every gift* that you send from California Delicious. It’s our way of saying Thanks for your business! *What’s the catch? If you buy more than one gift, we will send you a card for every gift you send but you can only use one of those gift cards yourself. You can pay it forward by giving your extra cards to all of your friends and relatives…sounds too good to be true? Well it is if you live in MA,MO,VA,WV,TX,HI,NC or VT because unfortunately those states have prohibition era rules.

I received the above product free of charge from California Delicious.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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