Influenster’s Holiday VoxBox

For the past month, I’ve been reviewing products sent to me from Influenster, a site anyone can join in order to be considered for their seasonal “VoxBox” based on your social presence. I was excited to be included in their Holiday giveaway and would definitely encourage anyone interested to give it a try – it can’t hurt!  Although, you should know that in order to be considered for any future boxes, there are thing (fun things) you have to do in order to stay qualified. I like these because most of the beauty subscriptions I get are limiting in the sense that they only work with certain vendors and they are obviously mostly hair/skin products, whereas Influenster works with a lot of lifestyle brands as well. Check out my reviews below!

Image

HOLIDAY VOX BOX:

Image

NYC New York Liquid Color Lipshine $2.49

I received this sample in ‘Nude York City’, a fairly deep neutral color that borderlines on brown.  The shade wasn’t right for me and the smell brought me back to my sixth grade obsession with lip smackers, but for $2.49, it’s totally worth stocking up on some bolder colors for lipstick topcoat.  I like ‘Fashion Avenue Fuchsia’ and ‘Prospect Pink’.

Image

Kiss Nail Dress $6.99

*Use code voxboxhol for 50% off and free shipping

I love an accent nail and there’s no easier way to get it than using a nail sticker.  I got the leopard pattern, but love some of their more feminine prints like the flowers and gold embellishments. They come with 28 strips, so they last a while, especially if you’re not applying them to all 10 fingers.

Image

Goody Quikstyle Brush $11.99

My favorite item in the box! My hair is really temperamental and because it’s so thick and curly, most products that promote faster drying time double the volume of my hair and leave me with a frizzy mess. I was SO pleasantly surprised to see that this brush didn’t and actually did take the excess moisture out of my hair without any negative side affects. I like using it right out of the shower and then air drying or using it while blow drying (takes about 10 mins less time than usual), followed by straightening.

Image

Quaker Real Medley Oatmeal + $24.74/12 pack

I’m usually rushing in the morning, so I’m always eager to try something that starts my day off right, meaning healthy and delicious. These are SO easy to make – you fill with water and microwave for 45 seconds, then stir and let sit for 1 minute and have real chunks of fruit/oats in them. I tried ‘Cherry Pistachio’ and since I’m not really a fan of either of those, I didn’t love it, however their other flavors sound really good (Apple Walnut, Peach Almond, Summer Berry), so I’m definitely buying again!

Image

Montagne Jeunesse Fruit Smoothie Face Mask $1.50

I was really optimistic about this sample. Maybe because the thought of finding a mask for under $2 would be thrilling, but I didn’t have a good experience with it. The smell was a little artificial and although I liked the thickness and hold after 10 minutes, I took the mask off to find a bright red face. I usually don’t have strange reactions to these types of things, so it was a little alarming. Some of their other masks, containing avocado and less harsh ingredients may be in my future, but I definitely won’t try the brand again without testing it on a small area first.

Image

SoleSociety approx $50-100 depending on style

*Use code influenster25 for $25 off 1st purchase through Jan 31st

I have mixed feeling about this site. Mostly because I don’t really trust the fit and materials. I think you can score every once and a while, but you have to know, most of the time, you get what you pay for. I wouldn’t buy a solid leather or patent leather from this site without really examining and looking for reviews on those particular shoes because they can definitely come looking cheap, but I think if you’re careful and pick something without studs (they’ll probably fall off), $25 isn’t bad for a pair of flats or simple booties.

Image

EBOOST $28/20 packets

I really don’t like most powdered energy supplements, but definitely realize flavor has a lot to do with it.  I tested Pink Lemonade and thought it tasted more like medicine (Airbourne specifically) than a refreshing drink. I tried adding more water, but couldn’t even get through half of it. Other flavors are Orange and Acai Pomegranate.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Advertisements

I’ll Only Go Curly With This From Now On…

Everyone knows I have a love/hate relationship with my curls.  I’ve spent hours, weeks, months, and what seems like years in front of a mirror on the verge of tears, dripping in sweat, with burning hot hair tools in my hand trying to straighten my natural curly locks.  I’ll really know I’ve made it when I can afford to have it done in the mornings (#dreamworld) and not have to tame what is comparable to a wild beast.

There are days, however, that a good air dry and comb through leaves me with a head of curls that aren’t so unmanageable and I decide to bare the outdoors as my natural self… well, at least from the scalp up.  I’ve tried almost every product and some definitely help.  I love Morroconoil Frizz Control ($32) and use it almost every day before I comb my hair after getting out of the shower.

I recently picked up a bottle of Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray ($4.79), which has a lot of mixed reviews around the web, but it’s cheap, so I thought I would give it a try (and full disclosure – I was $5 away from getting free shipping with an online order).  What I was looking for was a product I could use on my dry hair the day after I wear it curly.  I don’t think I’ve ever been lucky enough to score two good curly hair days in a row.

The thing is, I understand why people don’t like this.  The complaints are mostly that it leaves hair dry and “dirty feeling”.  This is a texturizing spray and is supposed to make your hair look like you’ve spent all day at the beach.  It gives you that unkempt, effortless look, which I happen to really like – it also smells like vacation, so I’m willing to overlook the downfalls.  I suggest starting with a modest amount and layering on if you feel you need it, but also (if you’re trying to create waves/more defined curls) spraying it on and twisting sections around with your fingers to get better definition.  It will feel a little dry, but only because the product contains a lot of salt, which holds the waves in.

June Birchbox Review

Birchbox is definitely one of my favorite beauty subscriptions (although I recently got the news that my first Glossybox will be coming this month – so excited!).  I think you definitely have to do your research when deciding which mailers are right for you and maybe even test out a few for a couple months to get a feel for what kinds of brands the company works with and what types of products you’ll be sent.

For June’s box, I received a variety of different products that I’m using more than any other samples I’ve gotten in the past.  I reviewed them below in preferential order.

June Birchbox:

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner ($16.57/full size, received full size) –  LOVE this liner.  It’s incredibly thin and easy to apply.  Ideal for achieving cat eye looks as the incredibly fine point allows you to really focus on being precise.  I will absolutely buy this again.

          

theBalm Cosmetics Stainiac in Beauty Queen ($17/.3 fl oz, received .04 fl oz) – Like a lot of lip/cheek stains, this product is water based and just gives you a little hint of color.  I like it, but more often prefer a more saturated look.  I do use it to layer on a pigmented blush however, and really like to use it on my lips for days I just want a little color.  If you are nervous about wearing a bright red lipstick, but want to test out the look, this would be a great gateway.

Cynthia Rowley Dress Up Band Aids ($5/pack of 20, received full size) –  I’ll admit I considered knicking my legs while shaving just so I could use one of these.  I love the faux section and lace patterns and think this is such a fun alternative to a normally boring product.  I ended up just sporting one on my finger a couple days ago covering up a perfectly fine pointer.

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream ($16/1.25, received .1 fl oz) –  This product out of Japan is really effective.  It’s ultra-healing and rejuvenating formula contains camphor, vitamin B2 and vitamin E making it ideal for dry skin, calluses, cracks, burns, scars, etc.  I have a horrible habit of biting my nails so I have been putting this on my cuticles every night and can really tell a difference.  Definitely a good thing to have around.

                   

Melvita Rose Floral Water ($18.80/6.76 fl oz, received .95 fl oz) –  I have mixed feeling about these toner/refresher sprays.  They definitely rejuvenate the face and set nicely before moisturizing, however I’ve never been too keen on spending my money on a product that is essentially just a glorified water.  The sample is nice, however, and it is an organic product, but I’ve been using it all week and find the benefit is mostly just from the refreshing feeling you get when applied.

      

John Varvatos Star USA Eae de Toilette ($55/1.7 fl oz, received .04 fl oz) – Birchbox threw in this extra sample for the boys, promoting their BirchMan launch just in time for Father’s Day.  I was pleasantly surprised by this scent.  It’s masculine and rustic, but not too strong.  Definitely a good gift, especially for a guy who doesn’t usually wear cologne and wants to try something more subtle and across the board attractive.

May Beauty Box 5 Review

This month’s Beauty Box 5 was not my favorite.  So far, Birchbox and Testtube are front runners in my opinion, but it was still fun to try out some new products.

Tree Hut Brazilian Nut Shea Body Butter in Hawaiian Kukui $15/3 7 oz bottles (received 2 oz):  This is ok.  It contains lot of beneficial vitamins and is a nice consistency, but the smell isn’t my favorite.  It’s a bit pungent.  It leaves skin feeling nourished, however, so I’ll probably keep use it a few times, but do not plan on buying the full size version.

Evie Evan Purity Masque $10/.5 oz (received full size):  I was really curious about this one because even though I don’t use mask’s regularly, I’ve been looking for a good one.  The problem is (and I know this sounds crazy) sometimes I get really claustrophobic with these things.  As it starts to tighten, I swear to you I begin to panic and have to talk myself out of jumping in the shower.  This product is TIGHT.  It literally pulls your face if you make any kind of expression.  On the other hand, after I made it through the required 10 minutes, I rinsed it off to find smooth skin with visibly reduced pore sizes.  It did make my face a little dry though.  Overall, not bad.  Not sure it’s exactly what I’m looking for.

Comodynes Self-Tanning Natural & Uniform Color Towelette $9.75/8 pack (received 1):  Very similar to Tan Towels, which I LOVE.  This one worked really well and was easy to use.  I would definitely buy this again.

It’s A 10 Miracle Hair Mask $23/8 oz (received 1 small packet):  I was pleasantly surprised with this one.  I tried it after shampooing and left it in for about five minutes.  It promises to detangle and it definitely delivers.  My hair felt fresh, smooth and shiny after one use.  Best of all – combing out my typical knotted mane was a breeze!  Good find.

It’s A 10 Miracle Styling Serum $18.70/4 oz (received 1 small packet):  I used this gel on both wet and dry hair.  The good part is that it didn’t come out crunchy or sticky, which is what I was worried about.  The bad part – it didn’t really do anything at all.  Nothing noticeable happened besides maybe minor frizz control.  It’s not something I’d buy.

Merlot Grape Seed Moisturizer $16/4 oz (received 3 1 time use packets):  The main benefit of this product is reducing the signs of aging.  I used it for a couple days and felt it was ok, but not great.  It wasn’t very nourishing as my skin still felt a bit dry after using it.  I think there are better anti-aging creams on the market.