Monday, April 25, 2016

Braun IPL Project with SavvyCircle - Post 2 - Using it weeks 1 & 2

So I am getting to try and review the Braun IPL with SavvyCircle - you can read a bit more about the project on my first post here


I left you last time following doing my patch test which worked out fine no issues.

I was prepped (meaning I had shaved my legs and arm pits!) and ready to go for my first use :)

To protect you the IPL has 2 sensors either side - these have to be in contact with your skin for it to work - no contact no laser (you can see these in the pic above with the bluish tinge)

Once you have those sensors connected to your skin the IPL adjusts the intensity of the light based on your skin tone - as you can see in the pic above my pasty pale skin registers for full on top  level zapping! EEK

Now I acknowledge my cowardliness and for week one I used the IPL on sensitive mode.

I used it on both legs - it was completely pain free - I used it on the glide setting meaning I just held the power button down and it flashed out a pulse of light every 30 seconds or so. It's a bit like shaving but without the razor. The video below (links to youtube) shows how easy it is to use - yes I apologise for my pasty white tree trunk legs - they arent actually that big in real life its the angle honest!

Youtube Video

Both legs took around 10 minutes.

I did have some difficulty around the ankle and the knee area. To overcome this I did top of ankle to just under the knee in strips around the leg and then I turned the IPL on the side and and went around the ankle in a circle and did the same by going across the knee - problem solved and all bits done!

Armpits - again used it on the glide setting - slightly more awkward to do and to manoeuvre due to the fact the IPL has a large head and a large handle which I struggled with.

Each armpit took a mere 2 swiped with the IPL and were done.

Following day:

Legs fine no issues

Armpits - itching like I had an infestation of armpit nits! Seriously itch itch itch it drove me NUTS and it lasted for around 3 days. Whether due to the IPL, the sensitive underarm skin or my scratching I ended up with some rather ugly red splodges on my pits which didn't look great,

I was going to take a photo but taking a selfie of my armpits proved to be quite difficult! So just imagine a lot of red blotches no spots, no cuts, no grazes just like a red stain on the skin.

Apart from the arm pit issue there were no other issues and this resolved after a few days

Fast forward 1 week and I am ready for round 2.

To prep I go to shave - but my legs are still pretty much hair free not much stubble at all - however I shave the little hair that is there.

On checking out my armpits there seems to be slower growth than usual - for some reason the hair on my under arm grows quicker than hair on any other part of my body. I shave and within 24 hours I have stubble nd its not that light soft downy looking hair either we are talking thick black stubble! Within a couple of days its practically long enough to plait! So I was quite pleased to see it was only around 3mm in length - SCORE!

I shaved my underarms in prep for their second shot of lasering.

I did all this on a friday evening around 7pm (your probably wondering why this is significant - it is and I'll tell you in a few lines why!)

Saturday morning I was up at the crack of dawn and off out for the day - I didn't get home til gone 10pm d I was wayyyyy too tired to do anything other than feed the cats and clean my teeth and crawl into bed.

Sunday morning I got up showered and thought okay I am a day late but lets get our IPL on!

Did my legs with ease no probs no pain just a quick and easy up down and around whilst catching up on Britain's Got Talent.

Checked my arm pits they were a little stubbly as it had been over 24 hours since I shaved but thought thts fine its not like I have dreadlocks there...well it was most deffo NOT fine. The first blinding flash was followed by a searing pain and a smell of burning hair. I was shocked - surely my lovely IPL machine had not just given me the equivalent of a nipple tweek on my arm pit? No it couldn't be so I carried on and the searing pain came again and again and again. Followed by the stench of burning hair - gross and painful.

I carried on though - bravely did both armpits (in fairness it literally was 2 glides on each but damn they were the longest few minutes ever!)

So what did I learn from this? You need to shave no more than 12 hours before using the IPL any longer if your me and that bugger is gonna sting like mad! See and now you know why my shaving my armpits at 7pm on a friday is significant!

Anyways it is now Monday evening and unlike last week I have no itching or after effects from using the IPL.

Next week will be my 3rd time using it. According to the literature you start seeing results in 3-4 weeks so I should hopefully start seeing some real results then

Friday, April 15, 2016

Braun IPL Project with SavvyCircle - Post 1 - getting selected and prepping to use it

I was super excited to receive an e-mail from the savvy circle team the other week telling me I had been successful in applying to take part in their project to review and spread the word about the new Braun Silk Expert IPL Hair removal system.

Now in case like me before I applied to take part you have no idea what this is:

The Braun IPL (thats intense pulsed light) removes the need to pay expensive prices at the salon for hair removal treatment - it provides permanent (with maintenance sessions) hair removal! So that's no shaving, no waxing, no using stinky hair removal cream! How could I not apply? think of the savings!

So the technology has been around in salons for years and now they have put it into a product that can safely be used at home.

It works based on skin/hair pigmentation so it's not suitable for everyone but for pasty pale creatures with dark hair like me it's perfect. It basically zap the root of the hair stopping it from working - okay it's a bit more complicated than that but after reading all the material about it thats basically how it works.

It only works on light skin because it works on the pigmentation in the hair follicle - so if you have very dark skin and dark hair it wouldnt be able to differentiate and would zap your skin instead which probably wouldnt be very pleasant. For the same reason it doesnt work on people with grey or very light hair (or red hair for some reason!) as there is little to no pigmentation so nothing for it to zap!

What makes the Braun different to other similar items on the market is the built in SensorAdapt which scans your skin and then tailors the light to match your skin tone - other similar products you have to match skin tone on a colour chart and then set the machine to a specific level - as different parts of your body have different skin tones you then have to change it if your doing your lip, your legs, bikini etc - in fact even on one body part you can have different skin tones for example on my legs my knees are always darker than the rest. The Braun adjusts for this automatically meaning you always get the right level of light for the part of your body your doing! Making it safer and easier to use.

A few days later I received my exciting package in the post

Now, to be honest I dont know much about salons and treatments like this - I dont even pluck my eyebrows! So I am not sure what I was expecting to arrive but if I did have something in mind it was small and delicate like a Lady Shave.

I was a tad alarmed by the giant box and had visions of a crazy ass laser!

However on opening the box it contained 2 smaller boxes one containing the IPL and the other containing a sweet bonus in the form of a sonic body exfoilator (and I have no idea what that is either! - perhaps I should start reading the beauty blogs I follow instead of looking at the pretty pictures!)

So I put aside the exfoilator to look at another day and got out the IPL to examine and see what was what.

In the box was the IPL hand held device, 2 rather large manuals, a cable and 2 x plug attachments one for standard and one for the shaver socket.

Being my usual geeky self I had a good read of the manual...okay I skimmed the first bit and got straight to the how to guide. Where it told me all how to use it which was remarkably simple - hold the device - press to the skin - press the button and zap away (but they took a lot more words to say it).

The device uses an intense light so as a safety feature it only comes on when 2 sensors built into the device are pressed firmly to the skin - if they are not attached to the skin the device will not work. This stops you from accidentally burning out your eyes or those of anyone unfortunate to be nearby - I love a good safety feature like that! It also means if you have kiddywinks or pets they cant accidentally set it off.

Part of the instructions stated that you have to shave (or use whichever form of hair removal you normally use) before using it - I was a bit gutted by that I had been growing a nice pair of furry tights on my legs thinking it would magically remove it all in one swoop.

It also recommends you do a patch test on an incongruous body part before using.

I chose to try it out on my thigh - a body part I rarely display due to it's wobblyness and pastiness and therefore I wouldnt mind if it turned red and blotchy for a few days.

So I hooked up the device to the power source - first impression here was that the cable didnt fit as securely as it could and it popped out once.

The device is slightly bulky to use and didnt fit comfortably in my hand which is a shame as I really want to like this product (I really want to quit shaving!)

I set it up for the patch test. They recommend that you use the single pulse option - so I pressed the device firmly to my skin and .... wussed out!

I went back to the manual and checked on how to turn on the sensitive mode (that is where you can set it to be slightly less intense)

I turned on sensitive mode pressed it against my thigh and pressed the button and ZAAPPPPP!

Apart from a rather blinding light which I could see even thought I looked away and a warm sensation a bit like a camera flash going off next to your skin there was nothing else.

Felling brave I move it down and zapped again - this time no warm sensation ... no sensation at all.

Really completely painless.

I checked my skin - no bright red mark, no oozing blister, no anything - it was fine.

And 24 hours later - there is still nothing - no ill effects, no pain, no reaction.

Tonight I shaved my legs in anticipation of using the IPL properly tomorrow evening on them and I look forward to updating everyone soon with how it works, ease of use and hopefully some pictures of my silky smooth alabaster white legs (if your really lucky)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Facebook - SCAMS & FAKES

Loads of companies run great competitions across Facebook which is great as they are generally easy to enter and have some lovely prizes. Unfortunately Facebook is rife with SCAMS and FAKES.

I hope this information will help you spot a scam/fake site.

Scam/Fakes sites are on Facebook for the following reasons

1. To like harvest

2. To get your information

3. To earn money through affiliated links

4. To scam you out of your money

I'm going to explain the above in a bit more detail.


A scammer will make a page. They will then by various means get people to like and shared the page. Some of the tricks they use include:

- a heart wrenching picture such as a cancer sufferer, an abused animal, a child molester, etc these pictures are used without permission. There will be usually text included such as Like and share if you hate cancer ignore if your a heartless piece of shit (okay maybe not quite that graphic but it's the implication behind the like and share bit) or like and share if your against animal abuse ignore if you like having sex with horses and so on and so on. The purpose is to get you to like and share the post and the page with the text written in such a way as to make you out to be evil and nasty if you dont.

- a post with or without a heart wrenching picture saying that Microsoft, Bill Gate, Facebook etc will donate 25c (it's usually in american but could be 25p or other currency) to some charity for every like and share - again they are working hard to get you to like and shared the post and page

- a post that Bill Gates, Microsoft, Facebook, someone else who is loaded is giving away a prize of $gazillion to one lucky person who likes and shares the post/page

- a post that you can win some amazing prize by liking and sharing the post to all your friends.

With all of the above they want you to like the page and the post and to share it. 

They want you to share it so they can reach as many people as possible, if your friends see you sharing something they are likely to look at the post and they might be encouraged to like and share too. 

So - if you share to your wall - 

1 share and 1 like

5 of your friends then share and like

5 shares and 5 likes

5 of their friends share and like

25 shares and 25 likes

5 of their friends share and like

125 shares and 125 likes

So the numbers increase exponentially and before you know it the page has a few thousand likes and shares and the more people who like and share it - the more its showing up on news feeds and timelines and the more people will see it and like and share it.

Whats the purpose of all this?

Well once they have reached a set number of likes on the page its going to show up in lots of newsfeed and timelines and high on searches too. They can then sell on the page. The more likes and shares, the higher the value of the page.

Who do they sell it to? fake companies, scammers and other nefarious people who then use it to scam people.

It's easier to trust a page with 10,000 likes than one with 100 likes.

How can you tell a fake page?

Luckily it's fairly easy to tell a fake page:

1. Have a look at it's history - scroll down the page - if there s literally nothing but giveaways, no winner announcements and little info it's likely to be a scam or fake page

2. How long as the page been running for and when was it created? If it's just been started and is giving away crazy prizes its most likely a scam or fake page

3. Is it claiming to be part of or affiliated with a specific well known company E.g. Disney, Thomas Cook etc? Check by the name for a blue tick - if it doesn't have a blue tick it's not a verified company page. Other things to look out for are slight mispelling's of the name and / or additional punctuation e.g Disney. Company or Tomas Cook Holidays, Carnivaal Cruises etc. Also check the company information section and the logos used. If your not sure then check out the companies official page - if they are working with another company or running an amazing giveaway its going to be listed on their official page

4. Do they have a website? If it's a real business then they will have a website or at the very least a lik to their etsy shop. If the website is down or the has a strange link then it might be a scam page

5. Is it too good to be true? No company is going to give away 1000 free cruise line tickets, or 200 first class flights or 700 ipad airs if it looks too good to be true it probably is! 

What should you do if you have been suckered in?

First thing first - go to your timeline - find the shared post and delete it

Second - unlike the post, unlike the page and hit the report button - report it as a fake, as a copy or as spam.

Third if you see your friends or family sharing it - tell them to stop - tell them it's a scam and tell them to follow the steps above.

Why is it important to do this?

Because it can lead to vulnerable people being fooled and scammed

At the least it's annoying to have your page spammed with fake comps at the worst by promoting the page you are helping the scammers who will then go out and prey on other people.


Please see my post on SPAM sites here.

Often these fake pages will have a link to another site to put your information in to win or enter. Once you have done this your information can then be sold on by the scammers or used by aggressive telesales / marketing people. I wont go into detail here as I have already written in depth about it on the SPAM site posts.


These fake scam pages will often have a link for you to enter to win the competition - this will be a link to sign up for some site, or to complete a survey or something similar. As soon as you click on the link the scammer is earning money, if you complete the sign up process then they earn even more money. It's a win win for them and a LOSE for you as you are likely signing up to a spam site or worse. If you share their post and your friends all click on the link thats even more for them! 


So the page announces you as a winner (along with a whole bunch of other people) The prize is free but you have to pay postage. You can pay it via paypal, money transfer or some other means. The P&P is only a small amount say £3. But they announce 3000 winners, the prize costs less than 25p from china or some other country an they are pocketing nearly 10 grand off the back of their competition. That's a best case scenario. A worst case is where you give them some information that allows them to get access to and wipe out your accounts or through paypal. 

If in order to get your prize you have to pay it is highly likely that it's a scam and you should seriously consider whether you should enter. You should NEVER give out bank details or any other information.

The only cases where you may need to pay towards the prize would be:

- The item is coming from outside the UK and your liable for tax and customs - you should take this into consideration when entering international comps (although I have had prizes come this way and just be marked as gift so no customs applies)
- The competitions clearly states that anyone applying from outside the country it is run from will have to pay the international postage costs
- The competition is being run by a small business - they clearly state in advance on the competition post that the item is collection only or can be posted at the winners expense and has a set postage cost listed (and is only offering 1 or 2 prizes)
- If the prize is a holiday and there are additional expenses not included with the prize e.g.the cost of upgrade, the cost of a single person supplement, the cost of visas, the cost of travel insurance, etc
- If the prize is for appliances or furniture or flooring etc where the prize is the item but fitting is not included.

Please note

Scammers are clever people - they are constantly changing the way they work in order to rip people off - if they put as much effort into a real job they would be loaded! Therefore this page doesn't list every scam but hopefully it does list the main ones run on facebook and also how to spot them.

Spotting fake comps on other sites is a whole different topic and I will be posting on that separately.

Any comments or feedback or anything you think I have left out please let me know

SPAM SPAM SPAM - companies who use comps to harvest your personal data

There are lots of real and great comps out there but there are also plenty of companies who are harvesting your data and using comps as a way of spamming you

This is some information that will hopefully help you make an informed decision about whether to enter the competition or not

Firstly SPAM sites (and no thats not Monty Python fan pages)

SPAM sites run legitimate competitions for the purpose of harvesting your personal information. By entering their competitions you agree to your information being used for marketing purposes and for it to be shared. They may also lead you on a wild goose chase to enter the comp by having you sign up to affiliated links.

The purpose of these sites is:

1. to get your information - they can then send you emails for offers and other sites. Any time you sign up to one of these they make money as they are the one who referred you

2. to sell your information - to other companies who will then spam you via post, email and the phone

3. to earn money from clicks on their site - to enter the comp you have to click on a link - every click on the link earns them money

4. to promote their site so it shows higher on search engines as the more visits it has the higher it shows in the listings - the higher it shows the more money they can make from ads

5. your name, address and other details get added to a 'soft' 'easy target' list. You then get less scrupulous companies and people using your information to aggressively target you.

The issue with these sites is not just that they sell your information on it's that its incredibly hard to get you details removed.

An example. 

You signup to site 1.
Site 1 sells your information to sites 2, 3 and 4.
Site 2 sells your information on to 5 , 6  and 7,
3 sells your information to 8, 9 and 10
4 sells your info to 11, 12, and 13 and so on.

You go back to site 1 and say hey take my details from your list which is fine. They remove your details BUT by this point another 12 sites have you details on their list and will therefore continue to spam you.

It can be difficult to tell if a site is SPAMMY or not.

Here are things to look out for:

1. If as part of the sign up process you have to sign up for other deals/offers

2. If during the sign up process you cant opt out of marketing information via post and telephone

3. If the T&C's have a phrase in there which says by taking part in the competition you agree to your details being shared / used for marketing purposes and if you dont agree you cant enter (It will be worded differently but that is the gist)

4. If you are sent a winner's e-mail where you DONT win outright - by this I mean an e-mail which says you have been selected as a potential winner of 'prize' and then has a link for you to click and follow or one that lists like 3 people's name including yours with text similar to " The following people have one of the winning tickets: Joe Bloggs, Bugs Bunny, Your Name - click here to confirm your entry"

5. A company that offers lots of high value prizes but appears to have no means of income or sponsorship for them - or a company website that is only giveaways and affiliated referrals.

For example a page might be called AllUkPrizes and list giveaways for Macbooks, iPads, Iphones, Holidays, £1000 shopping vouchers etc but has no other content other than links to offers and lots of ads. A genuine site that is giving away these type of prizes such as the Daily Star will have articles, content, sponsored ads and paid for content - it's also a site for an in-print magazine/paper and is a recognised name and part of a specific new group/company.

6. The site name is similar to that of a well known company yet is not affiliated with them in anyway

What can you do if you are signed up?

To be honest there isn't really a huge amount you can do!

- you can wait for the e-mails from them and look for the unsubscribe link at the bottom and click on unsubscribe. This should reduce the amount of junk e-mail you get.

- you can find the contact me section on their website and send them an e-mail asking them to remove you, or if they are uk based send them a recorded letter requesting they remove all your details - if they dont they can be taken to court - a bit extreme! If they are non-uk they dont have to comply

- you can set up a separate e-mail address just for comping and then it doesn't matter if its hugely spammed

- If giving your phone number never give your home number/landline. You could also 'mis-type' your mobile number so it's one digit out - you could also screen your calls on your phone - dont answer any numbers you dont know - look them up on google if they are known as spam/scam or telesales/nuisance calls add them to the your auto reject list - I've found that after about 2 weeks of daily calls being sent straight to my reject list the company gives up.

To be honest for most people these guys are an inconvenience that we are well able to deal with - the real problem is when a vulnerable person is targeted and bullied into giving money or buying into services they have no need for.

Below is a list of SPAMMY sites I have come across in my first year of comping. It's not an exhaustive list - there will be others. Also, these sites can and do give out prizes. I am not saying they are scams - I am simply saying that the cost of entering these sites is your personal information being compromised and used and sold. It is completely up to you whether you are happy for this to happen and to enter


Activeyou - activeyou
Britpoll -
Catalink -
FreeStuff -
GetMeATicket -
LoveMyOffers -
MyOffers -
OfferX -
Prize Reactor - - -
SoapboxSurvey -
SurPrizes - -
SurveySavers -
Swooosh -
TopFox - -
Vaniki -
Very Us -

How to review products for free or a discount

I have previously posted about reviewing for companies on amazon but there are so many other opportunities out there I thought I'd do a separate post on reviews.

Firstly this isn't an exclusive list there will be other companies, other promoters and other opportunities out there especially if you are a full on professional blogger who posts daily and youtubes and stuff.

Secondly this is a list for UK mainland people - some sites will offer opportunities to EU residents or to  ROI/Northern Ireland as well but it's best for you to go check the info out yourself if your interested in them.

Thirdly there is no specific order to the sites - they are simply ones where I have had the opportunity to get items for free or a discount in order to provide my feedback and review.

Finally, there are a lot of scam sites out there - all the sites listed here are ones that I have personally had experience of using, that I have received items from and that I would be happy to use again. I would say if something looks too good to be true then it probably is - whilst there are opportunities to review some incredible big expensive items these are few and far between and the majority of items for review are every day essentials and basics.

If  you have any questions or comments please feel free to add them :)

AO or appliances online is a major uk retailer supplying various hold hold appliances. They are online only and have a massive social media presence on both Facebook and Twitter. They offer people the chance win items to review via their social media channels. You can also just apply with them to be a reviewer as well.

Things to note:

- you must provide a video review therefore you will need a youtube account (these are free to set up)
- you must provide a written review
- you must provide both reviews within 7 days of receiving the item
- if you do not provide the reviews in the set time scales then you are liable for the full cost of the item
- you can review for them once every 6 months

To apply to review for ao you can

- following their social media channels and enter their competitions - they get several thousand entries so chances of winning and reviewing are low
- create a short video explaining why you would like to review for them and upload it to youtube. E-mail a  link of your video to or post it directly to their FB page. If they like the video they will get in touch with you usually within a couple of weeks. If the item you are asking to review is not currently available they will either offer you what they do have available or put you onto a waiting list. There is no guarantee if you are put on the waiting list that the item you want will come up so you should consider what other items you are interested in as well.

Items that are available for review from them include TV's Fridges, Freezers, Washing Machines, Hoovers, Smoothie Makers, etc

I reviewed a Miele hoover for them.
My youtube video which I used to apply can be found here
My review video is here
My written review has vanished into the ether that is the internet as ao no longer stocks it!

The Insiders EU (This site runs campaigns across Europe as well as the UK)

This is a company that works with various different products and companies. They have various campaigns and during these they look for a set number of people to try a product.

Things to note:

- you will be expected to discuss the product with other people and then put on conversation reports, to post reviews and send in the links and to blog about the product (a basic blog like mine is fine)

- for higher end products you will be expected to provide your banks IBAN details. If the product for review is a loan only then you will need to return it at the end of the review or you will get a set price deducted from your bank e.g. on the LG G4 campaign they ran you had to agree that if you did not return the phone at the end of the trial to pay them £250 or so which was at the time 50% of the cost of the phone. As it happened everyone who took part in the project got to keep the phone at the end after completing all the set tasks.

- they expect you to apply for each trial and you have to give valid reasons as to why you want to try the product

- not everyone who applies will get chosen - they have set numbers for the trial and they have criteria on the candidates e.g. If they are working with  company who are marketing their product at big and tall men then being a short woman I would be unlikely to be chosen.

- the more campaigns you take part in and the more active you are the more likely it is that you will be chosen for campaigns in the future - even if you are not selected for one of the current campaigns it's a good idea to make comments on the blogs etc for the different campaigns as it shows you are active and want to take part - it also earns you points which show on your account and show how active you are - just make sure the comments are relevant and not spammy.

To review for them you need to visit the page, find the campaign your interested in and apply - they will ask you a few questions, get you to confirm your address and filling the all important 'why you want to take part' box. If you are successful you will get an e-mail confirming this and the item will be set in the post within a couple of weeks. You may or may not get set tasks to do during the campaign. You should complete these as you go along as well as recording your conversations and following the blogs.

You should be aware that these campaigns can be quite time consuming and you do have to put a lot of effort in - it's not just one review post and a few photos and your done - for the LG G4 campaign we had to take 100 different photos and upload them with #LGG4 to social media and via an ap, we had to write reviews, write up several conversation reports and provide feedback.

Previous items offered for review include cat food (read my reviews here  and here), LG G4 phone (reviews here and here), samsung home security, Dog food, Coffee, skincare products

I have done 2 campaigns with these guys (I applied for 3 but only got accepted for 2)

Savvy Circle (This is part of SuperSavvyMe website - you need to be signed up for the website and the the savvy circle separately) 

These guys have been around for ages - their main website which has lots of money off coupons, freebies, reviews and advice on various products - mainly home and health items such as laundry products, skin care, baby etc. It's a good site to sign up to if you like your free samples and coupons as well as for reviewing. The site is part of the P&G family so it's mainly their products and companies they work with that are offered.

The Savvy Circle is a separate part of their site where they run specific campaigns. They run these pretty regularly and you apply through clicking on the savvy circle tab and finding the current campaign and applying.

Things to note:

- you will be expected to discuss the product with other people and then put on conversation reports, to post reviews and send in the links and to blog about the product (a basic blog like mine is fine)

- they expect you to apply for each trial and you have to give valid reasons as to why you want to try the product

- not everyone who applies will get chosen - they have set numbers for the trial and they have criteria on the candidates e.g. If they are working with  company who are marketing their product at big and tall men then being a short woman I would be unlikely to be chosen.

- the more campaigns you take part in and the more active you are the more likely it is that you will be chosen for campaigns in the future - even if you are not selected for one of the current campaigns it's a good idea to make comments on the blogs etc for the different campaigns as it shows you are active and want to take part.

- it's usual when you take part in a campaign for them to send you out a complete pack of info including money off vouchers and samples to share with family and friends - unless the item is something like a shaver or face sauna or similar then you will just get the information pack

As with the insider these campaigns are time consuming - you usually have 3 questionnaires to fill in online 1 at the start, 1 half way through and 1 at the end. You are also expected to submit conversation reports, reviews, complete feedback sheets with people who you give samples to, provide photos and videos etc. Most campaigns run over 4-12 weeks and you need to be able to commit to taking part in the activities during this time.

I have taken part in around 10 campaigns with these guys and had some great items including hair dyes (x4 1 for me and 3 for friends), lenor products, car air freshners, toothpaste etc Whilst most of the items I have had have been lower value ones (by that I mean under £10 to purchase an item) they do higher end items as well - I have recently been chosen for a braun IPL hair remover that is really expensive. The items they tend to offer are things that you would buy as part of your weekly shop but new versions so the latest fabreeze product or flash, perhaps some olay skin care or head and shoulders shampoo.

They have a lot of people applying for projects so dont be too disheartened if your not selected the first time round - follow the campaign blog, get involved and apply for the next project. Some projects are really popular and they only have 30 spaces, others they might have 2000 spaces. If your new try going for a project that has a larger number of spaces - complete all the tasks submit all your reports and earn some stars and then when a project with less spaces comes around and you apply they can see that you are going to take it seriously, get involved and complete the tasks.

Toppsta (They do their giveaways via twitter / FB and their website ) BOOKS

Toppsta do kids books from ages 0 up to teens. They usually have a couple of copies of each book to giveaway.

To apply to review a book you can follow them on facebook or twitter (links above) and look out for their review posts. You will need to say why you want to review and like/share, follow/RT the posts. You can also sign up to their website and have a look at their giveaways and apply to review.

Once chosen to review you will receive the book in the post - they usually come with a certificate for the child too which is a nice touch. You then read with your child or your child reads the books and you log onto their website and leave a review once your ready. Like most places they like a review within 7 days or so.

There is no limit to the amount of books you can apply to review with them.

To increase your chances of being selected to review you can sign up to their website and submit some reviews on other books you have read.

I have reviewed for them once with my niece H - we won our review from their twitter page.

Childs Farm (sign up to newsletter) Children's skincare / toiletries.

Every couple of months these guys recruit some new ambassadors - they recruit between 50-200 at a time. To find out when recruitment is open you need to be signed up to their newsletter. When recruitment is open you fill in a brief form to sign up. Once selected they will send you a selection of full size products from their range to use with your child and some miniature/ sample bottles too to give out to friends and family. They ask that you try out the products and then review them across various sites including superdrug, netmums, mumsnet, boots, ocado etc

They have a private FB group for ambassadors and they e-mail you surveys and activities every now and again to complete and for completing the activities you get entered into various prize draws.

I am an ambassador and the products are fab

Search Press Art / Search Press  Art and Craft Books - Facebook giveaways for reviews - BOOKS - must have an amazon account

These guys do regular giveaways on their Facebook pages (linked above). The books are all about arts and crafts, artists etc.

The giveaways are listed usually on a wednesday or a friday.

To enter you need to like the post and then add your name under it in the comments.

They announce the winners the following week - they don't always tag you so its worth going back to check.

If chosen to review you need to send them a DM/PM with the name of the book you have won and your contact details.

When the book arrives you have to do a review on amazon within 7 days and the e-mail or DM/PM them the link to your review.

There is no limit on the amount of times you can enter. I have reviewed 2 books with them so far.

AMZ Reviews (review amazon seller products) - must have an amazon account - worldwide

AMZ reviews is a site that allows amazon sellers to offer their items for free or at a significant discount in return for reviews on amazon.

Its completely free to sign up to be a reviewer. Once you have signed up you can then browse the offers available and then request to review any items you fancy.

Things to note:

- discount varies between sellers - if you see an item you like have a look to see if any other sellers have something similar - some will charge you £0 some will charge you £5

- the site is quite glitchy - often it removes items so you cant log your reviews - it says they will find them but I have done around 80 reviews but have under 60 confirmed the others have vanished in the ether!

- be sure to check the postage costs! If you plan on doing lots of reviews through here then amazon prime is a great idea it costs £8.99 a month and majority of deliveries will be free.

- Sometimes the codes dont work or they give a different discount to that listed - always check before you click buy on the price. If the discount hasnt worked or is less than expected dont buy! Contact the seller first

- to increase your chances of being selected go to your amazon account and review some regular items you have bought - include videos and pictures for brownie points.

- you have to declare at the end of the review that you received the item at a discount/for free - if you dont declare it you can get into serious trouble with amazon - they took a bunch of people to court last year for 'fake' reviews!

- you should be honest if the item doesnt work in the first instance contact the seller, if that doesnt resolve the issue leave a constructive review

For a list of the items I have reviewed check out here

UK amazon review AFUNTA - specific facebook group for AFUNTA an amazon seller - must have an amazon PRIME account

Group on facebook - anyone can join. Offers items at a significant discount in order to provide reviews. Expect picture / video reviews.

You need to sign up via a form they have posted in the group, add the 2 admins as friends on facebook and then comment under posts of items you want to review. If chosen they will inbox you a link to the item and the discount code.

Once the item has been received you need to post your review to amazon and then send them a link to confirm it's done.

No limit to the amount of items you can apply for - they usually post 2-10 a month

I've reviewed several items for these guys -  I had a problem with one code but they responded to me via dm and we sorted it out until the code worked.

Mumsnet / Gransnet 

They often look for people to take part in trials. As well as getting the item for free you also get entered into a giveaway for giving back your feedback.

You must be a member of the site to apply and they usually send out an e-mail when they have a new trial available for your to sign up. Sign up to the sites completely free.

Generally they get more applicants than they have spaces so you may not be selected. If you are selected you need to complete the different parts of the project as given. This may include taking photos or video. If you fail to complete all the tasks set then you may be excluded from future projects.

Items available depend on the brands they are currently working with. I have had audio books, chocolate buttons, hair dye, hot chocolate and dog food to try so far. I have only ever had trial items from mumsnet but I have included gransnet as they are run by the same team.


Please remember these companies are looking for genuine feedback on their items and that people out there will read your reviews and make purchase decisions made on what you say therefore it's important to be honest in your reviews.

List the Pros/Cons or what you liked or didnt like.

Include photos and video if you can so people can see how the product works or how it looks properly

Think about if you would buy the product at full price or again, if you would recommend it to family and friends and the reasons.