Back to School Survival Kits, Fall 2017: Review

This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% our own.

A few weeks ago, we received some of our best goodies yet from our Fall 2017 Back to School Survival Kits, thanks to our amazing team from Nationals. Some of the freebies included Freeman Beauty face masks; Steripod toothbrush covers; adorable accessories from Aéropostale; beautiful planners from Erin Condren; and so many other amazing products. All of our members loved getting these new items and our fellow Lakers did too.

Below, we broke down all of the products into a list, giving them ratings and letting you all know their best qualities and maybe some areas where they can improve. So, if you’re looking for a new planner to get #organized, or want to unwind with a face mask after a long week of midterms, stick with us: cause this is the lowdown on all of our BTS Survival Kit products.

Freeman Beauty Face Mask Review, by Katelyn Nitti

The Freeman Beauty face masks, specifically the Charcoal and Black Sugar Mud Mask and the Manuka Honey and Tea Tree Oil Clay Mask + Cleanser combos were exactly the care my skin has been dying for! The change in weather has made my skin have an ultimate breakout, which is not the look I’m going for right now. Using these masks the night before a day I know I will be  wearing makeup is a lifesaver because I then don’t have to try to cover the redness of my skin. They also made my face so smooth to the touch and helped with my dryness too. I would recommend these to anyone who is going through a rough patch with their skin and wants a nice fix.

Steripod Review, by Mackenzie Lynch

I have been using Steripod toothbrush protectors for over a year now and I think they are an essential for every college student! They should be on all those lists about what every freshman needs before they go away to college. Steripods clip right onto your toothbrush and keep it clean from the nasty germs in your communal bathroom. They are self-cleaning, so there’s no need to wash the pod. Steripods should be replaced every three months, and the company offers to send you a text or email reminding you to change yours, so you don’t have to keep track yourself! The pods come in all different colors and fit every manual and electric toothbrush. I absolutely adore my Steripod, and I was so pumped we got one in our Back to School Survival Kits this year!

HI-CHEWs Review, by Jordyn Robison

When we received HI-CHEW in the Back to School Survival Kits, I was a little reluctant about the candy. I wasn’t expecting much because I’d never heard of them before, but honestly, they’re so good! They’re full of flavor and are quite addicting, and you can’t just one. We received grape, strawberry, green apple, and mango HI-CHEWs, and while they’re all so delicious, I’d have to say my favorite is strawberry. If you have the time I suggest heading to the store and grabbing a package of HI-CHEWs. They’re a perfect snack when you’re studying for those intense college exams, and they’re affordable. HI-CHEWs are a solid 9/10 in the “taste factor”, if you ask me!

Bed Head by TIGI Hair Products Review, by Ashley Trevor

I am always down to try out new hair products, and these Bed Head products by TIGI did not disappoint! Battling the winds of Lake Ontario is not easy, and it can be an all-out war on your hair. I found that the Bed Head hairsprays are a great antidote. They are both absolutely wonderful at keeping your hair in place, and combating those pesky flyaways. The Hard Head Hairspray is best for direct coverage. If you spray it over your roots where you want your hair to be parted, it will keep the hair, and the part, in place. I have to say though, that the Masterpiece Shine Hairspray is my favorite out of all the products I got to try. It’s perfect for overall hair coverage, and it smells amazing. As for the Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo, this was my first time ever trying dry shampoo, so I don’t have much to compare it to. I think it does a great job of making hair appear less greasy. Be careful not to use too much though, as the texture is a little weird, and can clump up.

Erin Condren Planner Review, by Nathalie Pena

I’m a sucker for writing EVERYTHING down and planning out what my week is going to look like. The Erin Condren Planner was what I was excited for the most, as the first half of this semester I’ve been using a planner that I could barely fit three sentences in each day, let alone write full-on assignments. This planner makes the writer and organizer in me giddy, but also the creative and inspirational quote obsessed person in me. With this planner’s rose gold details, beautiful watercolor cover, and the occasional motivational quote on the inside pages, I can’t help but want to carry this everywhere around campus. And I do! Because of course, a planner is the essential for every busy college student.  

Aéropostale Products Review, by Katie Short

Even as a young girl, I absolutely adored Aéropostale. They had cute clothes, cute accessories, and perfumes that smelled amazing. As I got older, I started going to Aéro less and less, and to other stores such as American Eagle and H&M instead. I felt like it was more of my “kid” fashion phase, and I wanted to be more sophisticated and cool. However, Aéro has seemed to have gone through a little makeover in the past couple of years, and let me tell you, I’m HERE for it.

We received a lot of cute Aéro products, which included three mini wallets, a few pairs of earrings, headbands, rings, choker necklaces, and sunglasses. I fell in love with the rings and chokers in the kit, and took one of each for myself. Both pieces definitely add a “pop” to any outfit I wear, and I’ve been receiving so many compliments from them as of late. The rest of our e-board members took the wallet, sunglasses, and headbands, and we can’t stop gushing about them in our group chat. Definitely stop on over at the nearest Aéro store in your local mall or shopping center, because their accessories game is A1!

L’ORÉAL Paris Self-Tanning Sheets and Spray Review, by Katie Short

I’m going to be honest: I don’t tan. At all. Not now, not ever, and I’m at that point in my life where I’ve kind of accepted it. However, when we received the L’ORÉAL Paris Self-Tanning Sheets and Spray in our Back-to-School Survival Kits, I was immediately curious. Last fall, a few of our team members tried these tanning sheets, and while I was ambivalent about their results, they actually seemed to work, and to work very well! So this semester, I made the promise to try them out for myself. And surprisingly, I actually liked them.

The thing about the tanning sheets is that they’re easy and are portable, too. I like that they’re actual sheets, so you can rub them all over your body to get a nice glow, versus a tanning spray that often times comes out blotchy if you don’t get it just right. While the sheets didn’t make me tan like a Brazilian model, it definitely gave me more color to my skin, which is needed right now with all of the gloomy weather we’ve had here in Oswego. I also tried the spray to see if I would like it, and while it definitely worked, I think the sheets had a better application to them. Either way, I was psyched to see that these were in our kits again, and that I “got” a tan (even if it was the fake way). They’re definitely a new, cool product that I would buy and use again, and hopefully L’ORÉAL keeps them around.

Spindrift Sparkling Water Review, by Asha Bey

“Yup, that’s it”, is the catch phrase for Spindrift, which is a brand of sparkling water. The only ingredients that are put into making this drink are sparkling water, cucumber juice (for this flavor, at least), and citric acid. It is unsweetened and contains real fruit juice so it makes a great all-natural drink. Sparkling water is great because you get your thirst quenched just like actual water but with a fun, fizzy texture too. I decided to go for the cucumber flavor because cucumbers remind me of freshness. Also, the turquoise color on the can was very aesthetically pleasing, which made more drawn to this product. As soon as I opened the can, a fresh scent of cucumbers bursted out. It smelled so good and like actual real cucumbers. I know they definitely squeezed real cucumber juice into this drink. I took a sip of the drink and I can honestly say it is not sweet at all, which makes sense because the drink is unsweetened. However, since the drink contains fruit juice, I thought it would have a pinch of sweetness. The fizz of the sparkling water does go down smoothly and gives a refreshing feeling, but the taste can be improved. I took another sip of the cucumber flavored sparkling water and it tastes more like vegetables than real fruit juice. This drink is extremely healthy though and it's better than your typical water with a slice of lemon. I believe this drink is beneficial to maintain a healthy diet and not having to always drink water, but you will have to get used to the taste. After the third sip, I thought the taste became better. Most of us are used to drinking sugary drinks and I view this drink as a healthy alternative. I advise everyone to try it before you knock it and plus, it’s only two calories!