Monday, February 4, 2013

December 2012 Influenster Holiday Box Review!

This is another really late review, which I completely apologize for, on the Influenster Holiday VoxBox of 2012! I really should be studying, but this review is long overdue.

If you have no idea what Influenster is, please refer to my post here if you'd like more details. Basically, it is a community of reviewers in which you join and review things on their website. Once they get your demographic information, and see what kind of reviews you do, that's how you would qualify for a free VoxBox. 

A VoxBox is like a subscription box, with full size products (usually) that you're able to try out absolutely free, and all you have to do is make sure to review the products on the site in the mandatory survey (or else you won't qualify for anymore boxes). The mandatory surveys can get pretty time consuming if you put a lot of thought and effort into it, but you're getting free stuff, so it's a small price to pay. It's a pretty brilliant program actually, and I'm very happy to be a part of the Influenster community. I think they come out with new VoxBoxes every few months with a different theme, and then they'll email you a pre-survey if you qualify (whether it's based more on demographics, or your activity, or how many facebook friends you have, I'm not really sure). After you do the pre-survey, they'll usually email you back in about a week if you've qualified to receive the VoxBox. I guess I must meet the demographic, or they must have noticed my blog because I was lucky enough to receive two of these boxes already, the College VoxBox and the Holiday VoxBox. I still haven't figured out the key to it, but I'm just grateful to be chosen whenever I do get that elusive email. I pre-qualified for three VoxBoxes since I joined the program (on September 20, 2012), but after taking the pre-survey for the Beauty Blogger VoxBox, I didn't qualify for it. I don't blame them though, since I had just started out my blogging at that time.

Anyway, let's get to the good stuff!

Influenster Holiday VoxBox 2012 Unboxing!

These are the items that came in the box:
I love that they put the prices on the card.

A code to use on Influenster25
Too bad it's already expired. I decided not to try it since you have to pay extra depending on which shoes you pick. Plus, I have a thing about always having to try out my shoes in a store, at least, before I buy them. Online shoe shopping is a scary area for me, since I have wide, flat, feet that hate almost any type of shoe.

What came in the box!

The items:

Kiss Nail Dress in Limited Edition Style KDS03WG Couture ($6.99/set):
I absolutely loved seeing this in the box. It seems like every VoxBox I've gotten now has given me the opportunity to explore new forms of making your nails pretty. These were adhesive "stickers" that you could put on your nails instead of polishing them! They were really easy to use too. All you had to do was match up the correct nail sticker to the size of your nail, similar to using press ons, and then there's a tab that you peel off to expose the sticky part, then you just line it up and press down evenly to stick it onto your real nail. I would recommend soaking your cuticles and pushing them down before you start. Once you have the sticker on, you just fold over the remaining part that's too long over your nail, and then take the file to file the rest of the adhesive off. Took me about 15 minutes top from start to end. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, and it came out pretty nicely, even though I didn't match up some of the nails correctly (some came out too narrow). I thought the pattern that I got was pretty cool because it was 3D-ish, and it looked really fashionable. My boyfriend thought it looked busy, but he doesn't really like things that are asymmetrical (#Engineerforabf). It didn't last for more than a day, but that's expected for me because I didn't get to smooth out the ridges out on my nails. I have really deep ridges on my thumbs, so no adhesive ever really stays for long unless I take a nail drill to it and smooth it out some. As soon as I took a shower that night, it started to come off at the top, so I just peeled them off. That was a great feature, since I didn't need any acetone. I do wish it would have lasted longer though. Next time, I'll do a better job at preparing my nails and see if that makes a difference. Also, another thing, which could be a pro or a con is that since it uses the shape of your real nails, you have to be really good at shaping your own nails yourself. When I used the press-ons from the College VoxBox, all I had to do was take a nail clipper, and cut my nails short. With these adhesives, I was, unfortunately, going through a bad nail week where I had broken a couple so I had to cut them all short. Usually, my nails are a nice medium length and these probably would've looked nicer if I could have kept my nails unbroken that week, but it was New Year's Eve, and I really wanted to try these out. So it could be a pro if you have lovely length and shape on your nails, but if you have no idea how to shape it and have really short boy nails (like me in the pic below), then you're wasting the value. It's a little pricey for me, but I would say it was worth it since you can't really do that kind of design on your own using nail polish (unless you're some kind of nail guru). I would purchase again.

NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine in Nude York City ($2.49/0.24 fl oz):
This color was so perfect! It's a light nude color with a hint of shimmer to it. It looks so natural when I put it on, and it kind of smells like cotton candy, which I like. It's a gloss I could definitely wear everyday. The only complaint I have is that when it fades away, it tends to leave my lips dry, and then I have to start rubbing the dead skin off. When it's on though, it does seem pretty moisturizing and does feel smooth. It's got a little bit of stickiness to it, but all glosses are like that. And with all glosses, it doesn't last very long, especially after eating or drinking. I would purchase again, especially at that price.

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal+ in Apple Walnut Oatmeal ($1.69/cup):
I actually tried this today, and for an oatmeal, it's excellent. I am not much of fan of apple oatmeal, so I just had a bite and Henry ate the rest. Henry said he liked the sweetness of the apple and the crunch of the walnut. I believe he said "It's scrumdiddlyumptious." I did have to agree with him. I'm not much of an oatmeal fan since I love texture, and well, oatmeal doesn't ever really have any. I liked that they incorporated nuts into this new line, since it gives it some texture and it's not the same ol' boring mouthful of mush every bite. You can see in the pic below that without the water, it just doesn't do it justice, since you can't really see the color of the cranberry or really distinguish anything from each other. When it's cooked, however, it looks great. Well, maybe not in my picture since I probably could have let it sit longer after I stirred it up, but you get the idea. I would probably want to try the cherry pistachio flavor next.

Eboost Natural Energy in Acai Pomegranate ($1.40/packet):
Me and Henry tried this right before going to the gym. It's supposed to be a natural way to get energy. When looking at it's nutritional info, it seems that most of it's energy comes from glucoronolactone and green tea extract. It has a LOT of vitamin b12 in it, which could or could not be good for you. I would have to look up some studies on that to determine a conclusion. Anyway, did it give me energy? Perhaps. I always feel much more awake when I get to the gym and I'm running a 5 on the treadmill. I probably should have tried this for a night of studying when I was crashing miserably and was suffering from a cold. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case, so I can't make any claims to how it did with the energy boost. It terms of taste... I thought it was okay. It was a bit sour, but you can dilute that easily by putting in more water. It did have that "vitamin-y" taste to it. I probably wouldn't buy these for regular use. I didn't much enjoy the flavor... Crystal Light is much tastier.

Goody QuikStyle Brush in Half-Round Shape ($11.99):
This brush actually pushed me to do my very first blowout ever. I don't do my hair. I am the most low maintenance person when it comes to doing my hair ever. I'm not sure what it is. My hair routine consists of running my fingers through my hair to get the big tangles out, or I put it in a ponytail. And not even an interesting ponytail. Just a Goody No-Hurt band ponytail. I think that doing your hair is the most time consuming and frustrating thing ever... Henry really wishes I would try to put it some effort, so I've started trying to hairspray my little frizzies down as a compromise. Anyway, I really wanted to make the most out of this brush, and got inspired when I watched a YouTube video of a fellow Influenster trying it out. This brush has microfiber bristles that kind of remind me of the ones that I have on the sponge I use to wash my car. They're really soft and smushy, and do a great job at absorbing water. It claims to make drying time for your hair shorter since the bristles help soak up some of the water after you towel dry your hair. It's true. It does make the drying time faster. I usually just let my hair air dry, and did try doing half my hair brushed with the Goody QuikStyle, and left the other half just normal towel dried. The half that was brushed was dryer when I checked it about 20 minutes later, and my hair looked nicer on that side. So I've been using this after I shower now ever since then. I also looked up a YouTube video on how to do an easy volume blowout, which came out great using the Goody QuikStyle! It wasn't bad for my first time, but I wish I had taken a picture. In terms of keeping it clean, it's not that bad. I just pull out the hairs that get stuck in the bristles and wash the soft bristles once a week with soap and water. I think a brush like this would be really handy in a gym bag, or during the summer when everyone is going to the pool or beach. I was skeptical about the brush at first, but since I got to try it now, it does seem to make a little bit of difference in drying time.

Montagne Jeunesse Mud Face Mask in Chocolate ($1.99):
I remember seeing these in drug stores/grocery stores when I was younger. They've been around a really long time, but I've never had the chance to try one. Until now! And the Chocolate one, no less. I love chocolate! This was a wonderful experience. I actually decided to try it while getting my bath ready one night. I don't usually do masks since it's pricey sometimes, and I'm really not that girly. This particular mask advertises itself to be "anti-stress", which I can actually say was true. Of course, chocolate usually does relax me, and I was sitting in my bathtub watching Vampire Diaries on my iPad, so I was pretty relaxed already. The chocolate smell was really pleasant, and the mask was thick and goopy in my hands as I rubbed it on. It also seemed to do a good job of drying pretty quickly. It claims to do some deep pore cleansing, but you're supposed to use it weekly, and I have only used it once, so I can't report how it does with preventing breakouts. I'll probably pick up more to see if that claim is true. A weekly at-home spa day sounds like a wonderful idea, and at $2 a mask, that's really not bad at all. I wish I had taken a picture of myself with the mask on, but it would have taken a really long time to clean the mud off my hands and I just wanted to jump into my bath! This would be a fun idea for a girl's night in or a sleepover. Or a nicer way to draw on a drunk friend's face, instead of using a sharpie. They probably wouldn't be as mad if you had given them a facial, instead of permanent marker they'd take hours to scrub off. :)

Total Value:

Overall, I was super happy to be able to try out items from another VoxBox! How can anyone complain about that? But honestly, I did enjoy a lot of the items in this one, and not just because they were free. That's pretty rare for me since I'm a picky person about most things. I'm not sure if I would have bought the Goody QuikStyle brush if I hadn't had the chance to try it, only because I am so skeptical about these novelty products sometimes, but I actually did enjoy using it. The Influenster program is a great one, and they have brand challenges for the people who qualified for the box, where you can finish certain tasks like "liking" the brand on facebook, or posting a picture on instagram and tagging them, and things like that... and you could win even more prizes and free stuff. A lot of them require a separate review for each individual product, so I decided to make a separate blog just for the products that I get in my VoxBoxes. It will probably still be the same things I wrote in my VoxBox reviews, but just separate so it's easier for any brands to feature my review for their product if they decide to. Anyway, it was really fun! Now it's time for some Bachelor and studying (don't judge me).

Thanks for reading!


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