Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Box Opening: Influenster Beauty Bloggers VoxBox

A month or so ago, I heard about a program called Influenster. It's sort of a cross between Birchbox and BzzAgent, in that you sign up for it, complete a profile and surveys, and if you're chosen, receive a box of full-sized and deluxe-sample goodies to test out and discuss on your social media outlets (blog, vlog, twitter, etc.). I thought it sounded interesting, so I signed up. This week, I received my first Beauty Blogger VoxBox, so this is my box opening, plus some reviews on the items I've been able to try. I'm going to be completely honest and impartial, despite the fact that I did receive all of these items for free. If you've been around this blog for any length of time, you know that I don't pull punches in any of my reviews, solicited or not. With that, let's get started!

Here's the box, straight off of the front porch.

The contents, just as they were. I didn't touch anything. There wasn't any packing material, but there was a coating of some sort of powder all over everything.

Here's the insert that explains the program and the box contents. It says: "Since you're a blogger extraordinaire,  you've been specially selected to receive this Beauty Blogger VoxBox! These are the products your followers want to hear about, so test, evaluate, and recommend, so they know what's what." Then it gives instructions on logging in the box online, and so forth.

Here's a rundown of all of the products, along with descriptions and prices. We'll get to those in a bit.

This is a product that I was actually really excited to find in the box. I've seen these, but always doubted they would work in my long, thick hair. I have a hard time getting even clips to hold. After trying them out for a couple of days, I'm happy to report that they do work, and I can now throw my hair into a messy bun in, literally, seconds. Would I recommend them to dancers who need buns for rehearsal or class? Not even slightly. They hold, but even with practically zero exhertion, my knot slid down the back of my head an inch or two over the course of the day. These are more for work, school, or bumming around on the weekends. Bonus: no itty bitty pins to keep up with! Goody SimpleStyles Spin Pins run $7.29, and come with instructions for three looks.

Messy, but off my neck. That's all that matters.

Next, I found a sweet little candle from Bath & Body Works. It smells woodsy, and I really like it. I think it's going to end up in my bathroom. Mini candles are $3.50, and definitely worth it. I've used these for years.
There was also a coupon for $10 off a 3-wick candle from Bath & Body Works. They're normally $20, so that's a super nice coupon. I used mine today to pick up one in Fresh Baguette, off the recommendation of a super-cute youtube blogger. It smells like baking bread, and I think it'll be a nice way to freshen up the house without sending anyone's allergies into a tizzy.

Another product I was already interested in trying out: false lashes with an applicator. I've used my fingers; I've used tweezer; I've even used that weird little pink clampy thingy (technical term), and they all kind of suck. This actually looks like it might work. I'm holding off on these until Halloween, but I'll keep you posted. The whole kit'll cost you $5.99, in case you were wondering.

This was an either/or item. Either you received Not Your Mother's Kinky Moves (Thomas has been cracking up over that name, by the way) Curl Defining Hair Cream, or you received Not Your Mother's Smooth Moves Frizz Control Hair Cream. Now, I don't have curly hair, so I'm not entirely sure how much use I'll get out of this, in that regard. It is supposed to smooth frizz and fly-aways, though, so I'll give that a shot. It's a really cute little package, and not super expensive ($6.00 for a much larger, full-sized bottle), so I hope it works out.

Alrighty! Remember how I told you there was a layer of powder over everything in the box? Well, this is where it came from. There's a little tear in the back of the package. It smells really good, and I've had luck with other suppplement powders in the past, but I had to toss this one before I could try it. I hated to do it, too, since they're kind of on the pricey side. A box of 20 will set you back $28.
Somehow, I managed to score one of two bonus products! According to Influenster, "Based on scores and demo info, select members may receive one of the following bonus products": either a two-step skincare system brom Boots No.7, or this Vitabath Fragrance Mist. My mist came in Green Tea and Sage, and smells wonderful. It reminds me of the sleep-enhancing aromatherapy linen spray from The Body Shop, actually, and retails for $9.99.

Okay, this one has me perplexed. Not because of the product--that's self-explanatory--but because of the availability. I can't find this particular shade variation anywhere other than Amazon! There are other shade variations all over the place (Walmart, Target, drugstores, etc.), but this "Dark Shadows" edition from NYC is a rare find. That's a shame, because it's actualy a really nice product, and would be lovely around the holidays. It's not a Holy Grail product, so don't kill yourself trying to find it, but if you happen to stumble across it somewhere, it's worth looking at.
The set comes with four coordinating shadows, a primer, and an illuminator. Here are the four shadows and the illuminator swatched. The primer is just a fleshy base, along the lines of the E.L.F. $1 primer, both in texture and slightly greasy feel. The shadows are okay. They're not powdery, and I experienced very little fallout, but the pigmentation isn't wonderful. I'd say poor-to-fair, with the silver and charcoal colors being the best, the white shadow as a middle ground, and the black glitter being the worst. It barely shows up, and the glitter doesn't transfer at all. Even with the primer, there is some fading and creasing, but not a ridiculous amount. The illuminator, surprisingly, is downright beautiful., and has pretty flecks of microglitter to boot. It's not a very versatile palette, but you can get a couple of all-over lid colors and a pretty silver smoky eye out of it. If you're looking to test out a silver look for the holidays, or just want to expand your collection on the cheap, you could do a whole lot worse for $4.99. I've used this twice and have been very happy with the outcome both times.

The finished eye, as instructed by NYC. I did add some black eyeliner to the top lashline.

That's it, folks! The entire Influenster VoxBox, along with first impressions and mini-reviews. I hope you enjoyed this, and I'll be back with more Halloween-y stuff tomorrow (God willing). Have a good one!

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