Product Reviews – November 2012

Contract Snowboards Circus Ladies Model

Contract Snowboards
Circus Ladies Model
High fives to Contract Snowboards for bringing the female shredders a fantastic all-mountain board called the Circus.  This lightweight and flexible board allowed me to just do my own thing on the hill and have fun. With the twin-shaped deck and thick, heavy center beneath my feet, I was able to shred through shaky terrain with confidence and control, yet still feel the snow roll beneath me. It’s hard to find that ideal deck that gives you the right amount of stiffness and flexibility, but that was one of the first things I noticed about the Circus. The board provided a perfect give-and-take relationship between the snow and me. By the end of the day, I was much more aggressive—playing in the trees and attempting new tricks—but could also focus on my style and pop. Another great thing about this ride is that it is fast.  It helps having a fresh coat of virgin wax on the flip side of the stick and sharp edges, but that just affirms how necessary it is to keep your setup in the best condition possible for the season. Two or three sessions on the Circus took me from a good rider to a better one, and got me more excited about shredding.  I don’t think any ladies out there would be disappointed with this ride. –Lauren Ashley Paul

GBX Shoes
There’s no denying it: These shoes intensify the wearer’s douchefactor tenfold. The Domo is made up of a whole lot of navy-colored leather and is somewhere between a boat shoe and those weird moccasins that your dad always used to buy from K-Mart. They look a little bit funny, and the leather smell never quite goes away, but once these bad boys are broken in, they’re pretty goddamn comfortable. My girlfriend absolutely hates the way they look, but I find that they accentuate my collection of morbidly designed band T-shirts quite well. While the Domo is never my first choice when I’m trying to look fashionable in any way (sorry, I don’t own a yacht), they’re the perfect shoes to slip on as your hungover ass stumbles out into the world. I admit that I like the shoe from a comfort perspective, and I will confess that my mom thinks they make me look “rather handsome,” but the Domo doesn’t quite meld with my personal style. That said, if you like Jimmy Buffet and/or ironically dressing like a rich, white guy from the 1980s, I recommend the Domo wholeheartedly. –Ricky Vigil




Açaí Collection

The last time I used any sort of facial care line was in high school, living off of my parents’ paycheck, and I (they) could afford the finer things in life, like name-brand skincare products. Since then, my usual remedy of soap and lotion has worked like a dream-I think. So the idea of using an actual ‘product line’ was both daunting and exciting. Kiehl’s Açaí Collection includes four products to help ‘combat skin damage from environmental aggressors, while improving skin tone, texture and elasticity.’ I gave my face the past few weeks to soak in each product, and I have to say: I’m fairly impressed. The Açaí Damage-Minimizing Cleanser is a foaming cleanser that washes off and leaves your face feeling soft and slightly tingly. The Damage-Correcting Moisturizer is not heavy or greasy, two things that are hard to come by in a lotion. It soaks into your skin without leaving a weird oily look on your face. Overall, I’d say my face has been pretty happy during this time of trying something new. Do I look different? Nope, but in a way, my face feels different. So that’s cool. Kiehl’s makes many products from various botanical extracts from around the world, and after trying the Açaí Collection, I have become curious about their other collections. You can now find Kiehl’s locally in Utah at their new storefront in Fashion Place Mall! –Karamea Puriri

Ultimate Ears 900
Here’s a sad truth about Apple: We’re years away from getting rid of the “one size fits all” earbuds they have for everything. They don’t fit all, the quality is barely passing, and they die within six months. They are the shining example of disposable audio, which is what inspired UE to create this pair of earphones for the audio-obsessed Apple user. The sleek, blue cord, the wraparound plastic, the foam tips: This pair was partially created to get attention. Aside from all the awesome technology they put into their audio products, the real selling point for this UE model is the foam tips that conform to the size of your ear and create a near soundproof seal to give you just the audio. The iPhone cord works perfectly, adjusting audio and taking calls—it even works with the voice commands and Siri, even after the iOS 6 update. Here’s the one downside: You’re going to find out how shitty your audio is. Most audio sounds watered down in an Apple pair— with the 900s you’ll be able to hear what kind of quality your music/podcast/video is coming in, and it may make you rethink whether listening on your device is the best experience for certain types of media. The $400 pricetag may make some people wary, but after you total up how many pairs of earbuds you go through in a year, it’ll end up being worth the price. –Gavin Sheehan

Provo Craft
Cricut Mini and Cuttlebug
The Cricut Mini is a small, electronic cutting machine that cuts out tiny pieces of paper for projects. With the aid of the Cricut Craft room—the free, online design program used for creating Cricut projects—which was simple and full of fun, pre-made designs to choose from—I enjoyed this contraption in its entirety. This tiny machine is a veritable paper (and vinyl, and fabric)-cutting powerhouse, and it seems to delight in cutting precise, consistent and intricate forms at impressive speeds. My favorite discovery was that you can merge the basic geometric shapes available on Craft Room to create pretty much any form or design that you can think of. Unlike larger Cricut cutters, the mini requires access to the Internet and a computer in order to function, but costs and weighs half as much as larger Cricuts. The Cuttlebug is a cute, portable, hand-powered embossing press, great for adding a texture and design element to your paper projects.The compact case folds down to create suction on whatever surface it is sitting on, keeping the Cuttlebug stationary and secure while you use it. The hand-crank process was easy and oddly satisfying, and the finished product looked clean and professional. I did find myself wishing I knew how to make my own embossing folders so that I could move beyond the supplemental materials, but overall, it is a great product. The Cuttlebug’s small stature does limit the size of paper you can use, but its compact design (handle included) makes it perfect for people with limited space. Ultimately, both machines were fun, easy, compact, and worked fabulously with their intended materials. –Eleanor Scholz

Compression Socks
Someone told me the other day that your brain stops growing when you turn 25. I’m nearing 26, but that didn’t really bum me out—I’m sharp as … something sharp. What really put a damper on my day was when, a year ago, my doctor did an ultrasound of my achy legs and told me I have the stems of a 40-year-old man. The things I could have done with a pair of skinny ankles and knobby knees! After getting old-lady vein surgery to help with my circulation, I still come home with swollen cankles and sore legs. Then Zensah Compression Socks came into my life. The science behind compression socks is pretty simple: They put pressure on your veins, which constricts them and forces the blood to move back up to your heart, where it should be, not pooling in your legs and getting sour (which is what causes the achiness). I’ve worn compression socks before, and they totally helped, but like my doctor said, they were made for senior citizens. They were always ugly and bulky, and after wearing them for a couple days, I found myself eating dinner at Village Inn and driving 10 miles under the speed limit. The Zensah Socks are made for people of all ages, and especially target athletes. I wore them on a bicycle race under some skinny jeans, and found that, not only did they keep my legs from getting sore, the moisture-wicking fabric also kept them from getting sweaty! I actually wore them to bed after, paired with an oversized shirt, and lemme tell you, ladies, my spry young beau couldn’t wait to get wrapped up in those argyle-clad calves, which no longer had to remain elevated all night. If only Zensah had something to soothe my creaky back … –Esther Meroño