Influenster Twinkle Vox Box

I recently got the Influenster Twinkle Vox Box. This box had a variety of brands and items for me to try.

af1qipodtc6yuu5otrdqtcgmroaot3ya6rm8q4ki19v_i-u

af1qipnqy4nq1f8fxdkvsibswvwzghtuv34xforfjn2wi-u

af1qipmekxo93bvdbrk2mubwv7erxqiyhibta3yunghli-u

af1qipmn8bozcfexgpodhjlgbu6prv039yag5qdphzcni-u

Hills Bros. Hot Cocoa K Cups – I have never heard of this brand before, normally getting Swiss Miss or Abuelita brand hot chocolate. I also don’t think I have ever used hot chocolate k cups before. I got a milk and dark chocolate flavor. I have yet to try these, but they will get used!

Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners – This is not a very exciting item but it is useful. We haven’t used our crock pot in ages but it’s possible we will break it out again to test these out.

af1qipobixyuep2gxoomau6v0bvgzwokoiiu89fk_60oi-u

Covergirl So Lashy! Mascara – Woo hoo for beauty items! This has a very interesting brush which I have never seen before. It looks like it will really separate your lashes. I’m still working through a few tubes of mascara but I generally like the Covergirl brand and will use this.

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo Unscented – I you have read my post on dry shampoo, then you know that this is my favorite affordable brand. I love having this travel can for trips. I prefer the scented version because it smells so fresh and good, but I can’t complain about this. I love it because there is no white residue and it really leaves me feeling fresh and not oily.

af1qipoc9g63xbsvk1ucmymgmzhph_r3tjiy9lx7ibkyi-u

Aquation Daily Moisturizing Lotion – I have never heard of this brand before but it seems comparable to CeraVe or Nivea. This is one of the only full size products in the box (I wish it had been the dry shampoo) and I can’t say I’m all that excited about it. I don’t use lotion a lot but when I do I have lots of bottles of Bath and Body Works scented options. I don’t have sensitive skin so unscented isn’t really necessary. I gave it a try though and found that it was almost a gel consistency and gave an adequate amount of moisture without being greasy.

Oreo Thins – I was hoping this wouldn’t be a travel pack! I like Oreos but never buy them and have always wanted to try the Thins. You get the same great taste but with less calories! What could be better?

Axe White Label Body Wash – There was also a travel body wash included but my husbad grabbed it before I could snap a picture to take it on a recent trip. That’s a brand we already use we knew what to expect. It would have been great to get full size, but travel was good too.

Overall this is a great mix of brands I know and new ones to try. It was mainly very practical items that will all get used in the future. I love getting to try new products through Influenster for free!

img_4322

Recently I realized that Influenster sent me over $75 worth of product back in June and I never blogged about it! Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf has been one of my favorite perfumes for a while but I’ve never owned it – just tried samples I think. The fragrance notes are: Sambac Jasmine, Centifolia Rose, Cattleya Orchid, Ballerina Freesia, Patchouli. I think I normally don’t like a straight patchouli scent but it smells like there’s some vanilla mixed in. It’s a beautifully floral scent that’s a little dark – not light bright. 

A few months ago they released this fragrance oil that you can layer with your perfume to make it last longer. Influenster sent a full size of it (worth $75!!!) and a small dabber bottle of perfume. At the time I didn’t even realize the value, but I decided to use this the other day and a coworker commented on how good I smelled and said she could tell it was Flowerbomb. She said she used to work in fragrance and knew it was pricey. I looked it up on Sephora and sure enough it is! The oil comes with a dropper to help distribute just a little bit. This really is the best product I have gotten to try through Influenster. I have recently seen them working with some very high end beauty brands like Becca, Bite Beauty and Burberry. I would love to get some of those boxes. If I start blogging again, maybe I will!

March 2016 Play! by Sephora

Play! by Sephora is still a pretty new sub box and they have just opened up sign ups for more subscribers. It’s only $10 a month and you get six products including a perfume sample each month. They include a really nice booklet with information and a “play pass” you can take into a Sephora store to get a one on one tutorial (I have never used this feature). I love the brands they pick!

FullSizeRender-8

FullSizeRender-9

IMG_3234

Sephora Collection: The Perfectionist Airbrush Sponge – This sponge is available in pink or purple and I’m so happy I got purple (it’s my favorite color and my Beauty Blender is already pink)! This is almost half the price of a Beauty Blender and I bet it works just as well. It has two tips to help with getting in corners and blending. It is reusable and works with any liquid or cream foundation. I’ll be honest that I haven’t tried it out yet.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil – This is a product I’m a little wary of trying. I like Smashbox products but I don’t like to use oils during the day for the finish they leave. This oil has 15 essential and plant oils to moisturize prior to makeup application. It says that it sits on top of the skin and also sinks in to moisturize. I just read that it has lavender oil which I have read is bad for your skin…so I don’t think I’ll be buying this one but I will give it a try.

IMG_3233

Maison Margiela Replica Beach Walk – I really wanted to like this one but it was a little too light and powdery for my taste – maybe not floral enough? This scent has “notes of bergamot, coconut milk, lemon, pink pepper, and musk”. 

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner – This is a liquid liner that waterproof and high pigment with a brush tip. The brush is different than a traditional felt liner and will not fray. I haven’t used it yet but I love liquid pen liners to create a bold look and haven’t tried this brand yet.

IMG_3232

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser – This is the second time I’ve tried this cleanser and it’s a good one. Just your basic gel cleanser that smells like cucumbers. It’s very gentle and removes makeup without stripping the skin. It also is formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. The full size is pretty pricey so I wouldn’t buy it myself.

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield – This is a three in one product that is antiaging, a primer, and has SPF. I really wanted to like this because it sounds great, but I didn’t like the gel texture. It reminded me of the Smashbox best selling primer. It also pills when you apply it which is awful.

Overall I’m still loving this box and all the brands I get to try! I’m excited about the full size sponge too!

February 2016 Birchbox

Birchbox is the original beauty subscription box that comes once a month for only $10. I’ve been getting it for almost three years and I still love it! You have the opportunity to pick a sample each month or be totally surprised. They also have a box you can pick and know every item you will be getting. The boxes are based on a profile you fill out but I have found they are not very customized. This month I let everything be a surprise.

IMG_3183

FullSizeRender-6

IMG_3185

FullSizeRender-7

ModelCo Lip Enhancer Illusion Lip Liner – I wear lipstick a lot but liner is something I never use. Therefore I haven’t touched this but it looks like it would be a really neutral color.

Parlor by Jeff Chastain Detangling Leave In Conditioner – I’ve come to really enjoy products by this Birchbox exclusive brand. This formula has vitamins, sweet almond extract, and nettle extract for shine, softness and heat protection. It is safe for color treated hair because it is free of sulfates and parabens. My favorite part is the scent – fresh juicy peaches!!!

IMG_3187

Hey Honey Take It Off Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask – I haven’t used this yet but I’m feeling like I need to because ever since I got back from Europe my skin has been going crazy. Who knows if it was the sleep deprivation, water change or using different travel products but I could use some exfoliation. This product is a mask you leave on for 15-20 minutes and then peel it off when it dries. It brightens skin with Alpha Hydroxy Acids and improves wrinkles and the overall look of skin.

UPDATE: I used this product this morning and I was surprised that it was completely clear! It also smelled like fruit and dried pretty quickly. It was easy to peel off and did not irritate my skin at all. It left it feeling soft.

Arrow Revive Cooling Cheek Tint – This is a new line by Birchbox which focuses on easy to use, on the go products. I much prefer powder face products to gel, but this one is oil free so maybe I need to give it a try. It says it won’t clog pores or streak.

IMG_3188

Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizing – This moisturizer can be used morning or night and I actually took it to Europe. It has a light smell and consistency. It is full of avocado and olive oils to nourish and hydrate the skin. I enjoyed the consistency and feel, but not enough to order the full size.

Overall not my favorite box but there were still some good things to try out!

IMG_3206

This wasn’t in my box but I thought I would share my thoughts. A friend recommended this product and was kind enough to let me have her sample and I loved it! This is the IPKN Flash Cream Radiant Primer and it is currently out of stock so other people must have liked it too! IPKN is a Korean beauty brand that I know because I have a lip product from Birchbox that I really like. This primer has a creamy rather than gel like consistency and has shimmer pearl powder in it. You might be thinking that sounds weird and I was skeptical too, but it just makes your skin glow! Even with makeup over it, it still has a shimmery effect to make your skin look amazing. It also has SPF 15 which you know I love! It’s on my wishlist when it comes back in stock.

I hope you have a fun Memorial Day – I’ll be hanging out with my family and seeing Alice In Wonderland Through The Looking Glass.

 

February 2016 Play! by Sephora

Play! by Sephora is a monthly sub box for $10! You get a fragrance sample and 5 deluxe beauty samples which I think is a great value. I believe they have recently opened up more subscriptions so sign up!

FullSizeRender-3

They always include an awesome booklet about how to use the products.

IMG_3171

IMG_3168

Tom Ford Black Orchid – This is a really pricey perfume – the rollerball is $45! I think I know why though: the main fragrance note is an uber rare and custom grown black orchid. Other notes include Black Truffle, Black Plum, Noir Gourmand Accord, Patchouli. It’s a dark, woodsy, and fruity scent that isn’t entirely my style but is still nice. 

Lancome Drama Liqui-Pencil Longwear Eyeliner – This is your basic black eyeliner but from a high end brand. It’s supposed to have the high intensity of a liquid liner – I won’t go that far but it is creamy.

FullSizeRender-2

Bumble and Bumble Pret-A-Powder – If you read my recent Sephora dry shampoo review then you know how I feel about this. I would much prefer a spray version so I might put this up for swaps. It’s also SO pricey.

Bare Minerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil-Balm – in Plumberry Pop. I was really excited to try this and the first time I did it was great. It is a nice color and really stays put. The next time I tried it however it balled up a little bit and made it hard to get an even coat.

FullSizeRender-4

Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick – in N9 Copper Pink Satin. Yay for two lip products in one box! This is a really natural and neutral pink that really glides on. No problems, it’s a solid lipstick but not as fun to use as Bite!

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara – I’ve tried this mascara multiple times and it’s a great one! Really happy to see it in the box!

Play! still continues to impress me with high end brands and generous size samples! It keeps me looking forward to seeing what I get each month!

Sephora Hauls

Sephora during the holiday season always has great gifts with purchases. Back in November they had my favorite GWP which is a makeup bag full of samples. You got to pick from four options and it was a great mix of items and brands. I decided to place an order to make use of a giftcard and to get the GWP!

IMG_2813

Some of my favorite items included the Nars Audacious Mascara, Stella Stella McCartney perfume (which I just ordered), and the Glamglow Thirstycleanse Daily Hydrating Cleanser (which I have also since purchased the travel size). So there were some real winners here!

IMG_2814

This is the Dr. Jart BB It’s Cold Outside set. I picked it because I needed a backup foundation and I have sampled this BB cream before from Birchbox and really enjoyed the coverage and SPF it has. The kit (no longer available) includes the Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 , Firming Sleeping Mask (which I can’t find on Sephora), Ceramidin Cream and Dermaclear Micro Water. The cream was new to me and is made with ceramides which help retain water. It does not have SPF so I have used it a few times at night. It’s nothing super special to me but it does moisturize. The Micro Water I have gotten a sample of before in Birchbox I think and I haven’t come around to the idea of cleansing my whole face with it, but it works well as an eye makeup remover. The Firming Sleeping Mask I have used a few times and the instructions say you are to put it on about 10 mins before bed and to wash it off in the morning. It has a gel/serum like consistency. Overall I liked this set because it is the same price as a full tube of the BB cream but you get extra stuff!

IMG_2815

This was a random thing I added on to get free shipping and it turned out to be really good! This is an oil in gel lipstick remover by the Sephora brand which I am not seeing on their website now. Bummer. You put it on, wait about 10 seconds, wipe it off with a tissue and BAM your lips are clean. It works with lipstick and liquid lipstick really well, but not as good with stains.

IMG_2816

These were my free sample add ons!

IMG_2786

This was the next GWP that I was drooling over. I LOVE this stuff! Benefit Gimme Brow

is my go to for just a little more definition, color and a groomed look. It’s for when I’m too lazy to use pencil to fill my brows in (basically every day) or want a more “natural” look. It’s a mini so it didn’t last long but was totally worth it.

IMG_2785

IMG_2787

So this is where the real fun happens – a whole set of DRY SHAMPOOS! This is the Extend Your Style kit (no longer available) and has 7 shampoos to keep you clean in between washes.

First up (from left to right) is my personal favorite of the bunch and one I have sampled before thanks to Birchbox. Amika Perk Up is really one of the best I have tried. The packaging is a colorful swirling print that makes me happy, and it smells amazing! It has natural rice starch to absorb oil without weighing you down. This really works and does not leave me greasy or with residue.I would for sure order more. *Note all of these are on the pricey side and would be a supplement to my go to drug store pick*

Next up is Alterna Haircare Cleanse Extend which has a mango coconut scent. I thought I would really love this one for that reason but it wasn’t in my top 3. I agree that it’s translucent but it is a little sickly sweet and has a slight greasy feel for me.

Living Proof is a brand that I have tried several of their products before including somehow their dry shampoo. Their Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo is in my top 3 – it has their signature scent which is hard to describe but is slightly floral. It has no residue, is free of sulfates and parabens (if that matters to you), and leaves my hair feeling really clean. *Note I just sprayed this on my husbands head so he could feel the intense sensation of dry shampoo and how great it is and he said “I never have to shower now.” Yeah me neither*

If you don’t know about the Drybar then you are missing out. I have been a total of three times and each as been great and I have left the salon with the best looking and smelling hair. The Detox Dry Shampoo was created to extend your blowout and is in my top three mainly because of the scent. It comes out a little chalky (they made a separate one for brunettes that’s how you can tell!) but I just rub it in or brush it out. The smell puts it in my top three though – it’s addicting like delicious cupcakes!!!

Sally Hershberger is a brand I am not as familiar with. Their 24k Supreme Stylist Dry Shampoo is supposed to be voluminous but I just find it to be sticky and leave my hair feeling a little greasy. Nothing great about the scent either. It has low stars on Sephora so I know I’m not the only one!

Klorane is a brand I am familiar with thanks to BB and I have actually gotten this as a sample before and am using their shampoo and conditioner now (review to come later). A lot of people really like this Dry Shampoo with Oak Milk but I am not one of them. It’s not too greasy but does leave a white residue that I have to rub in. I don’t love the scent either – it’s light but just not my fave. I’ll use it up but I won’t buy more.

Lastly we have Bumble and Bumble’s Pret-A-Powder which I was really interested in trying out because B and B is a super prestige brand (I have some of their hairspray and really like it). I have never used baby powder as dry shampoo so this was hard for me to get used to. I found it difficult to get an even coating and to get rid of all my oil. It has a soft powdery scent and does add volume but the application is just too difficult for me. I would rather spray and go! It still gets a lot of good reviews so maybe I just need to give it a few more tries.

There you have it – one of the most in depth dry shampoo reviews you will ever read! Thanks for sticking it out till the end, and if you have questions leave them in the comments!

January Birchbox

Birchbox is my original subscription box and I’ve been getting it for over 2 years. It’s only $10 a month and they let you pick one sample. The best part is you review your products for points and then use those to buy full sized products!

FullSizeRender-5

They included these little stickers to put on the front of your box which I didn’t use but think are pretty cute. I like the bright colors they chose.

IMG_3190

IMG_3191

Ciate London Nail Polish – It doesn’t look like this color is currently on Birchbox, but this is a great sample size! I don’t think I’ve used this brand before but I have heard of it. I swatched it on the sample card above – it’s a dark blue with metallic shimmer. Really pretty and I need to try it out soon!

Key West Aloe Gentle Aloe Facial Cleanser – I loooove cleansers and I put this on my counter right away to try out. This was very fresh and fun! I don’t think I’ve used an aloe based cleanser before and I liked it! I agree that it’s gentle, got my makeup off nicely and smells fresh. No complaints here! I would purchase this in the future.

IMG_3192

0.2 Meet Your Destiny Eau de Parfum – I’ve started to enjoy perfume samples more and more recently. This is described as a “clean, earthy unisex fragrance. Its bouquet includes top notes of bergamot and spearmint, middle notes of neroli and orange blossom, and base notes of sheer musk accord, Tunisian amber, white amber, oakmoss and French vanilla.” I usually don’t like earthy fragrances and like something a little more floral so sadly this wasn’t a win for me. 

TONYMOLY Delight Tony Tint – I thought I wouldn’t like this and put it up for swaps and totally forgot about it because I’m not a fan of a similar product called Stainiac by The Balm. Then one day I tried it out and have used it several times since. I feel like all stains of this type can be a little streaky, but this one has serious color and staying power! I got compliments both times I wore it. Also the full size is only SIX DOLLARS. SO CHEAP. p.s. they sell some things by this adorable Korean brand at Urban Outfitters. Also I think it comes in other colors just not on Birchbox.

IMG_3193

Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner – I have this same product but the skinny version and I really like it! It’s so nice to see a full sized product (it’s been awhile). I found the fat tip a little harder to use but basically the same result – a beautiful cat eye. We carry this brand at Anthropologie btw.

IMG_3196

Here I am sporting the liner and lip tint. Overall this box was an improvement because of the full sized liner. face wash and lip tint! Let’s hope the rest of 2016 is just as good!

December Birchbox

Birchbox for some reason has not been impressing me lately. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy opening a little package each month, but maybe it’s their curation of products or brands that leaves me feeling lackluster. Comparing it side by side to Sephora it leaves a little to be desired. Nonetheless the box is always pretty and I like that it is different each month.

FullSizeRender-9

FullSizeRender-10

IMG_3063

IMG_3065

Kate Spade Walk On Air – I am generally not a big fan of Kate Spade fragrances. They come off too floral for me and this is no exception. “Notes of linden blossom, maiden’s hair fern, soloman’s seal, bergamot, and Tunisian neroli fill out the top notes of this floral bouquet, followed by lily of the valley, magnolia grandiflora, Egyptian jasmine, crinum lily, white iris, and violet leaf.” It’s just too overpowering for my taste. 

Coastal Scents Formal Eyes Palette – I actually own a Coastal Scents palette from Birchbox and really enjoy it. It has nice color payoff, although maybe not as good as the Smashbox shadows I recently reviewed. This sample however was awful and barely showed up on my lid.

IMG_3066

Malin + Goetz Clarifying Clay Mask – At $48 they sure think they’re important! Made for acne prone skin it sounds just like Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil Absorbing Mask for only $19. It was a basic mask and not worth the high price tag to me.

Soap & Paper Factory Shea Butter Hand Cream – I got the scent green tea which is not very strong but still nice. This isn’t as thick as some shea creams I’ve tried but it’s a solid lotion with pretty packaging.

IMG_3067

The Balm Cosmetics Frat Boy Blush/Shadow –   This is probably my fourth The Balm sample and as always the packaging is super cute…but really tiny. I still feel like I can get enough to really sample it though (compared to the Laura Geller blush sample this is a joke though). This is a nice blush with a little bit of shimmer. I feel like the rosy shade would look good on all skin tones.

I didn’t get a sample I just loved or was really impressed with this month. I still love Birchbox though – racking up the points just for a quick review is totally worth it! I just ordered one of their new limited edition boxes today, so look for a review when it comes in!