Joyal Beauty Eye Serum Review

I have used Joyal Beauty products before, and I’ve always been very pleased with the results. So I was very excited to try this eye serum when the opportunity arose.

With many products like this, you have to use them consistently for several months (recommendation is typically 6), before you can expect to see the full results. If that is the case, I am very excited, because I have noticed results after 2 weeks.


They are very subtle, as you can see from the photo. I work nights, and my sleep schedule is erratic. As a result, as I’ve gotten older, my eyes tend to look very tired. When I began using this gel, they were very puffy, the dark circles were fairly prominent, and I’m starting to get fine lines around my eye that I absolutely abhor. After about one week of using the gel, I could definitely tell that there was a major improvement in the puffiness. The skin around my eye felt tighter, and I didn’t look as tired. Today, 2 weeks in, the skin under my eye is about the same color as all the other skin on my face. The dark circles are not COMPLETELY gone, but they are considerably lighter.

As for the lines, there is a definite improvement, though I haven’t seen a miracle yet. Should I expect to? I’m not sure. If products completely removed all signs of aging, the cosmetic surgery industry would be out of business, right? So, I’m not expecting them to completely disappear, but any improvement is welcome. I intend to fight the signs of aging on my face as long as I can. 🙂

The puffiness is definitely a thing of the past. My eyes look brighter to me, and I don’t look exhausted all the time. So far, I am pleased.

The gel comes in a pump bottle, which takes a few pumps to get started. I think I counted about 10 before any product came out. A little certainly goes a long way, so about 1/2 a pump should actually cover both eyes. It smells wonderful, like cutting into a fresh cucumber. The consistency is nice. It isn’t runny, but it isn’t thick either. It is a transparent sort of white color.

I didn’t notice it the first couple of days, but since, I have noticed a slight stinging sensation. I attribute this to the licorice that is in the product, since licorice has firming properties. Most products that firm also sting. They are working on a new formula now that has avocado in place of the licorice, which should feel very luxurious, and eliminate any burning or stinging.

I received this product for free to test and give my honest and unbiased review. The results I have seen are very consistent with the quality I have come to expect from this company. I definitely plan to purchase more once this bottle runs out, and I will post again at that point so we can all see if I have discovered the fountain of youth. 🙂


Universal Car Mount Bluetooth FM Transmitter, CrazyFire® Phone Holder with Bluetooth and FM Transmitter

Let’s be honest.  I hate dealing with my cell phone when I’m driving.  It never seems to be convenient, so I always have to dig for it.  I never seem to be able to hear when it goes off.  It’s hard to hold a phone and drive, and even with headphones, there are still so many things to deal with.  Driving with headphones on also makes me nervous because I worry that I won’t be able to hear what is going on outside of the phone call.  I typically avoid using the phone at all when I drive.

My old car had built in Bluetooth functionality.  Wow, was that nice.  I could use the GPS from my phone and have it play on my speakers, but could listen to music and the GPS lady would just cut in when necessary.  It worked the same way with phone calls; I could listen to the radio and the music would automatically mute itself when a phone call came through.  That was nice.  My new car doesn’t have that functionality (I bought it used), and I’ve missed it.

I’ve been looking for a viable alternative, and this device is the closest thing I have been able to find.  It holds the phone snugly, and expands well.  The speaker on the device itself is quite good.  I can hear the music or the phone call through it just fine.  What is even better is that it can connect using the FM transmitter and play on the car’s speakers.

As for the Bluetooth connectivity, I found it quite easy to connect.  I didn’t need to enter a passcode, and the phone and device remember each other.  In theory, the remote control is great.  In practice, however; I never could get it to work well except adjusting volume or to input the radio frequency.

It seems to be made quite well, and I am very happy to have this device.  I also plan to use it for playing audiobooks on road trips.  I can load several onto my tablet and connect to this device through Bluetooth, so everyone in the car can hear the audiobook playing.  We are planning a family road trip across the country in a little over a month, and this will help everyone retain their sanity, for sure.

This is the only hands-free device I have tried, so I can’t say how it compares to others, but here is what I see as the benefits:

  • Connects to phone easily and quickly
  • Voice prompts make it user-friendly; know when you are connected
  • Clear reception
  • Clear voice calls
  • Once you figure out the FM transmission functionality, it is super-cool
  • Sits easily on the dash without sliding around
  • Holds phone securely
  • Large buttons to take and end a call make it easy to use even while driving
  • Ability to truly have a hands-free experience
  • Ability to charge the phone and the device at the same time
  • Included Remote control for ease of use by passengers

Now, let’s talk about what I didn’t like so much:Instructions are sparse and not super-clear on how to operate all the functions

  • Remote doesn’t seem to work all that well
  • I would love for the device to be able to work along-side the radio; meaning that the radio could be used until a call comes in.

The instructions were easy enough to follow until it came to connecting the FM transmitter.  I am a pretty smart person, and it took me forever to figure out how to do this.  I finally went online and read up on other similar products and watched videos on how this was done with those products.

Basically, here is how it works:

Step One (I don’t know if this is absolutely necessary, but these are the steps I took to make it work):Plug the device in to the cigarette lighter

Step Two:  Turn on the device

Step Three:  Connect via Bluetooth to the phone (if it isn’t already)

Step Four:  Turn the radio to an unused channel (this isn’t absolutely necessary, I don’t think, but some of the reviewers said this helped make the reception better); remember the channel.

Step Five:  Press the dial on the left side of the device (labelled item 3 in the instructions; or the Multi-touch switch), until the display shows “BT”, then quickly use the remote to punch in the three number channel frequency (i.e. 88.1, press 8-8-1)

Then you should be connected!  Once I figured all this out, it seemed so easy.

Overall, I like this product.  Like I said, I haven’t tried others like this to compare, but for the money, I think this is great.  I’ll be using this a lot on our road trip in July.  If my opinion changes or if I have anything to add to this review after that, I’ll post back here.

Opternative Online Eye Exam + Coupon Code!

Opternative is a company that offers an online eye exam using only your smartphone and computer.  There has been a lot of discussion as to how this compares to actually going to an eye doctor to get an exam.

One argument is that there are many things that an eye doctor can test that simply can’t be tested using a computer.  For the most part, I agree.  However, there is a particular segment of the population for which an online eye exam is absolutely perfect.  Does this sound like you?  If so, I have good news!  I will include a coupon code at the end of this post that you can use to get 10% off your online eye exam!

Picture this:  You make an appointment with your optometrist.  You’ll need to take time off work or go during your lunch hour because by the time you get off work, your eye doctor’s office is closed.  You drive across town, fill out all the paperwork, and wait to see the doctor.  You complete the exam, make your payment, and then begin the process of figuring out which glasses or contacts you want.

Now, picture this:  You get off work, go home, have dinner, and then log onto Opternative’s website.  The exam takes about 25 minutes, all done in your jammies.  You get your prescription the next day, and you can choose to either take that to your favorite local optical store, or order your glasses or contacts online.



Which looks better?  One? or Two?  🙂


If you are over 45, Opternative won’t complete your eye exam.  This is because at around 45, many of the more serious eye ailments start to rear their ugly heads.  You will need to remember the last eye exam you had, and the contact information for your previous eye doctor.  If you cannot provide this information, it doesn’t seem like you can get your eye exam through Opternative, either.  This is because they review the results of your last eye exam to figure out if you have any conditions that could be a cause for concern, and they use that information to verify your prescription. I will probably alternate between visiting my eye doctor and completing the online eye exam.  That way, I can be sure my overall eye health is not deteriorating.


We did three eye exams on the same day:  One for me, one for my 20 year old son, and one for his dad.  The process was pretty straightforward, and felt a lot like the refractive exams my eye doc gives me.  Which looks clearer?  Which looks better?  Are the lines touching?  Are they fuzzy?  First with your current prescription glasses and then again without.  Move closer, back up.  Close your left eye, now close your right.  The instructions were clear and easy to follow.  It was actually kind of fun.  The process utilizes some pretty cool technology to link your smartphone with your computer.  None of us experienced issues with the app or the website.  All three of us were able to complete the exam with no issues.

As soon as you have completed the eye exam, you are given some preliminary results for free.  If you want your full prescription, you enter your credit card information and are advised to expect the results within 24 hours.  This is where the experience deviated drastically.

My prescription was delivered to me very quickly.  I guess my eye doctor was very responsive, and my prescription actually hasn’t changed from my last exam, according to my performance.  Easy enough!  Prescription in hand, I started searching for a company that sells glasses online.  I found a great one, but more on that in another post.  🙂

My son’s prescription took a little longer.  His eyesight had changed a little, but not enough to worry.  He did receive his later the next day, just outside of the 24 hour period, but they had remained in contact with him to let him know they were still working on it.  Pretty nice.

Jimmy’s experience has been very different.  They sent an email, and called him.  Apparently, they are having trouble retrieving his current prescription.  His eye doctor doesn’t seem to be able to locate his previous prescription.  They aren’t giving up, though!  I checked the status as I was typing this post, and they are still diligently trying to get his prescription done.  I should add here that his vision is by far the WORST of the three of us, and his last eye exam was several years ago.  We knew going in that this would be the biggest challenge yet to test Opternative and how well they handle even the toughest situations.

What I like about about this company is that they have a satisfaction guarantee.  If you get your prescription and order glasses that you don’t like, or you can’t see well enough with, they will refund your money.  It’s that simple.  If they are unable to issue a prescription, they refund your money (which we might be “testing” if they can’t get Jimmy’s exam done… I’ll let you know how that works out).  At any rate, you have almost nothing to lose, except a little bit of your time.

If you have younger children and aren’t sure how good their eyesight is, this would be a good way to test it, especially if doctors make the kiddos nervous.  Opternative recommends that you see an eye care professional at least every two years to make sure everything still looks good, and I agree with that assessment.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience and I am happy with how it turned out.  I would certainly recommend this service to anyone to try!

Here’s that code I promised:  Go to Opternative’s website here, and start your no-risk, no obligation eye exam.  When it gets to the payment part, enter the promo code: rere100046 and you will receive 10% off the cost of your prescription!

What would you like for us to tout about?