[ Jolly VoxBox – January 25th, 2014 ]

January 25, 2014 Comments Off on [ Jolly VoxBox – January 25th, 2014 ]

Me at KSCSo this post has taken me ages to write, I know. Three attempts that got deleted because of no-draft auto-saving due to my Dad’s horrible, horrible internet and outdated router, a terrible drive home that took almost 2 days longer than it ought to have, and my utter crash of effort my first few days back in my own apartment. Top all that off with the fact my Dad didn’t even have internet my first 3 weeks in Florida and you get a complete inability for me to keep up on my normally immediate blogging about my VoxBoxes. Alls well that ends well though! I’m getting to it now! Even if it is only 5 days before the VoxBox closes….

Please ignore my overly done eyebrows – its taking me loads of getting used to because they’re just a bit too thin for me (not to mention that I haven’t gotten them waxed in over 5 years, I prefer just to keep the strays under control) – that’s what I get for not being able to say no when my Mom’s roommate offered to do them for free!

JollyVoxBox - EverythingThe Jolly VoxBox

Puffs Ultra Soft & Strong To Go Tissue Pack

$0.49

NYC New York Color HD Color Trio Eye Shadow

$2.99

Rimmel London NEW Show Off Lip Lacquer

$5.49 – $5.99

Skinny Cow Candy

$3.99 a box, $1.09 for a single bar/pouch

Ducklings Mini Rolls

$2 – $3

JollyVoxBox - TissuesPuffs Ultra Soft & Strong To Go Tissue Pack

“Puffs Ultra Soft & Strong To Go is still our best non-lotion facial tissue to use in the car, for on-the-go, wherever you go!”

Twitter: @Puffs

Facebook: /Puffs

Besides the fact that I actually got a pack that was lotioned I really was stoked on this item more than I should have been. As a long time allergy sufferer who was about to spend 5 weeks in Florida, the haven of all that is pollen, it couldn’t have been more well timed for my needs. Any allergy-sufferer or make-up wearing lady should invest in keeping a packet of these in their purse or car – hell, its good even just for the normal person who might spill their coffee every once in a while!

Puffs will always get a 5/5 for me, no first impression here.

Ducklings Mini Rolls

“Excellent for repair, crafting, and imaginative projects. High performance strength and adhesion characteristics. Tears easily by hand without curling and conforms to uneven surfaces. Ducklings are perfect for small repairs, trimming out projects or for when you need a little tape!”

Twitter: @theduckbrand

Facebook: /theduckbrand

While I love the idea – I found a lot of the colour options to be extremely juvenile. I’m a 24 year old lady! I don’t exactly want neon leopard print all over my stuff! I feel like the normal colours would have brushed better off on me – but I just am never enthralled by products that come in a bright blue/neon purple leopard print colour because there is just no possible sensible use for that.

First Impression: 3/5

Pros: It is a well made product, and it does come in a variety of looks.

Cons: Seriously, why does neon leopard print exist?

JollyVoxBox - Make-upNYC New York Color HD Trio Eye Shadow

“HD Color Trio Eye Shadow delivers high intensity color with a silky soft texture. The lightweight formula blends effortlessly for the ultimate smoky eye look.”

Twitter: @nycnewyorkcolor

Facebook: /newyorkcolorcosmetics

I received the ‘Longbeach Sands’ version of this palette, which is quite light to try and achieve a smokey eye with. I do like the neutral, soft effect it gives my eyes (which I’ll go more into next time, and by next time I mean my post tomorrow!) and it was packaged very well for its price range. I was a particular fan of how they clearly labeled and separated out everything.

First Impression: 3.5/5

Pros: Well packaged, good colour combination.

Cons: Very light for the purpose of being a smokey eye.

Rimmel London NEW Show Off Lip Lacquer

“It’s the end of colour as you know it! The intense rich colour of a lipstick combined with an invincibly smooth lacquer shine. Available in 14 shades.”

Twitter: @rimmellondonus

Facebook: /rimmellondonus

I got ‘Stargazer’. This was another flop for me as far as colour goes, like the last gloss I got in a VoxBox, it doesn’t quite work great for my skin tone (though this one is much more wearable for me). However much I wasn’t a huge fan of the ‘champagne’ like colour – the shine and lack of stick was perfect and definitely has made me consider grabbing a different colour to more properly try out!

First Impression: 4/5

Pros: No stick, good shine.

Cons: ‘Stargazer’ is MUCH lighter in use than depicted on advertised materials, be aware!

JollyVoxBox - SkinnyCowSkinny Cow Candy (Divine Filled Chocolates)

“TA DA! Presenting almost too good to be true Skinny Cow Candy! Unbelievably chocolately. Melt-in-your-mouth madness. Perfectly yummy portions. Skinny Cow’s line of candy weighs in at 110 to 130 calories. So if you’ve been avoiding the candy aisle, welcome back. You’re gonna feel like a kid in a candy store.”

Twitter: @TheSkinnyCow

Facebook: /TheSkinnyCowUS

I quite liked these – me and my Mom shared a package right when I got them in

First Impression: 4/5

Pros: Small, portable, low calorie intact.

Cons: Still VERY full of sugar.

JollyVoxBox - Everything Close Up

The JollyVoxBox! Provided by the lovely people over at Influenster! 🙂

Got it from Influenster Badge

[ Kiss Nails Accent Contest – December 6th, 2013 ]

December 6, 2013 Comments Off on [ Kiss Nails Accent Contest – December 6th, 2013 ]

Photo on 2013-03-15 at 10.45The picture might be a bit old but I think its better than opening with a picture that would represent the life of every graduate student rushing to finish 20 page long papers all at once at the end of the semester (meaning I haven’t slept, I haven’t washed my hair, I certainly am not in clothes that would be appropriate to step outside in) so instead you all get a slightly (Chicago) dated photo of me that is a much better representation of my commitment to nail care and showing off my extensive collection of rings.

I received some Kiss Nail Dress applications in my Varsity VoxBox – I’ve written about them before and how I was, admittedly, a bit underwhelmed with the product. I will admit though – when I entered the context it was sort of on a lark because I still had some sitting around and felt like playing around with fun looks for my nails – I decided to just go all out and do some things I wouldn’t normally do.

Kiss Nail Dress Accent SubmissionSometimes its fun just to have fun with your nails – even if it steps out of your own personal ‘style zone’. So that’s exactly what I did! I rummaged through my nail polish drawer and remembered I had this lovely bright pumpkin colour from OPI (A Roll in the Hauge) and it matched nearly perfectly with the orange I had left over – with that in mind I took the 30 seconds out of my time to pop one on my chosen accent finger (I almost always chose my left ring finger) and I actually quite liked the results! With that in mind I popped myself into Influenster’s contest and…

I WON!!!!!!!!!

I was honestly pretty shocked – I never really win anything and here I am a winner in a contest! I won a $10 Amazon gift card as well – a brilliant thing for me really, as it goes right into my book-buying fund (I’m quite close to a book I want as well! Hello Juvenile Osteology text, you are almost mine!)

I have to thank Influenster – really I do – I was invited to the site pretty early on and didn’t participate but they kept bugging  me and I eventually decided to really give it a go and I’ve had quite great experiences with the last two VoxBoxes and I have to say, they really do give even us small-caliber bloggers and social media users great opportunities for getting free things and giving us fodder to write about. So thank you Influenster! I hope this is just another point in a long and healthy relationship 🙂

[ Big Bold Gloss – November 8th, 2013 ]

November 8, 2013 § 1 Comment

ImageWell hello there lovelies! I know, I know, I said I was going to write this last weekend – but you’d get behind too if you had three 20 page papers to write where you actually had to (gasp) collect data from your own sources. Graduate school sort of sucks, or maybe its just al of these theory classes that are killing my brain. Yeah, definitely the theory. Why can’t I just do skeletal analysis and talk about Human Evo and be left happy and content? Oh well, its all part of the process and its allowing me to get the opportunity to do what I love – and that’s what matters.

Todays blog is all about NYC’s Big Bold Gloss, which I received in my lovely Varsity VoxBox from Influenster. Now, being a rather long haired lady I haven’t been known to wear a lot of gloss – if only because its maddeningly annoying when it get stuck in your hair every time theres a minute amount of wind (of which there tends to be a lot of in Chicago… and even in Albany!).

Photo on 10-30-13 at 11.29 PM #2The Product

Brand: NYC New York Colour

Item: Big Bold Gloss

Item Type: Plumping Shine Lip Gloss

Colour: Pleasantly Plump Pink

The Trials

So I had said previously I liked this gloss from first impression – not much has changed there so this post will be more about trying to wear it in different ways! I’m going to try three different looks to show off this gloss’ viability across different styles, to see if its really worth its weight in sparkling shine! First, a natural look where the only thing really meant to look ‘made up’ are my lips. Next, I’ll do a pretty basic daytime or first date look – gloss, complimentary eye shadow, and that’s about it! Lastly, I’m going to try for a more dramatic girls night out type of look where I pull out all the stops!

Photo on 11-8-13 at 2.22 PMAu-Natural

I wanted to see how the gloss would look without anything else to tie it into a look – just something to pep up the every day to make it a little more special! I didn’t even put foundation on before taking these photos – though there might be a little left over mascara from last night (cough).

Pros: Adds some sparkle and shine – a nice transition to go from that terribly early morning class to coffee with the girls or a nice casual lunch date.

Cons: I’m not a fan of this colour as a stand alone, but that’s more personal for my skin tone – I’d like it much better in one of the more red shades, it just seems a bit lacking in the pink.

The Rosy Daytime

Photo on 11-8-13 at 3.00 PMFoundation: Dream Matte Mouse by Maybelline, Mineral Power by Maybelline

Mascara: Mega Plush by Maybelline

Eyeshadow: HIP Duo in Rascal by L’Oreal

Gloss: NYC Big Bold Gloss in Pleasantly Plump Pink

So for this look I wanted to keep it simple, light colours and nothing too bold as to be inappropriate for work, an internship, an interview, or anything else you might do during the day time.

Pros: I love the way a nice pink eye shadow brings out the gloss – it really gives it a nice rounded look when it comes to a stylish way to wear this Big Bold Gloss.

Cons: Something about this colour pallet makes me feel too young, like 18 year old Freshman going to her Psych 101 class in the afternoon young. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does provide limits in marketability to a wider range of buyers.

Photo on 11-8-13 at 3.20 PMThe Night Owl

Foundation: Dream Matte Mouse by Maybelline, Mineral Power by Maybelline

Mascara: Mega Plush by Maybelline

 

Eyeshadow: HIP Duo in Rascal by L’Oreal

Eyeliner: E.l.f. Kohl Eyeliner

Gloss: NYC Big Bold Gloss in Pleasantly Plump Pink

This is a much bolder, darker look than I usually go for (I’m a lipstick loving lady and with keeping balance in mind, I usually go for big, bold lips and more subtle eyes) but its my favourite of the three with this gloss.

Pros: The gloss is a really nice balance with a dark smokey style eye. I would definitely wear this if I was in the mood for a dark eye look over favouring lipstick.

Cons: If I’m wearing this type of make-up I’m hoping for something that I won’t have to put back on every few sips of a drink out with my friends or a date – gloss just doesn’t have the staying power a lot of lipsticks do, in reality though, this is a fairly minor inconvenience. This is another con that I think could be solved by investing in one of their more reddish hues from this line of products.

Final Verdict

I’m definitely a fan of this gloss. Its definitely not overly sticky, which is a huge perk, and the variety of colors means more of my concerns (staying power with such a light colour, looking weird by itself with my skin tone) can be easily solved by taking the lovely coupon I got and investing in another colour.

VVB - Big Bold NYC - Blog 1

Got it from Influenster Badge

[ Colgate SlimSoft Voxbox Follow Up – October 25th, 2013 ]

October 25, 2013 Comments Off on [ Colgate SlimSoft Voxbox Follow Up – October 25th, 2013 ]

Image

 

So how am I feeling after a few weeks of using the Colgate SlimSoft I received in my brand-based VoxBox from Influenster? Unlike my other post, this post is only about the toothbrush itself – so keep that in mind when you’re reading!

Overall Opinion:

Pros: A very, very good clean. I felt like it got not only the surface but in between and a into all the little nooks and crannies.  The bristles have held up very well, I haven’t seen any fall out or start to become split. 

Cons: The handle of the brush is a bit thin, to the point where even with small hands it felt a bit awkward to hold – this is something I got used to over time though. I didn’t feel like it did anything to help the whiteness of my teeth – even though I was using it with the sample of whitening toothpaste given out.

Overall Recommendation:

If you like a squeaky clean feeling and aren’t tichy about bristle or handle size (or like them small!) this is the toothbrush for you. I really had a good experience with it, all of the cons are the types of things you see with most toothbrushes or minor enough to not deter me from recommending it to everyone I know!

 

* My camera charger isn’t working right at the moment so no follow up picture – sorry lovelies! (I felt like a webcam photo would be misleading in comparison.)

[ Varsity VoxBox – October 19th, 2013 ]

October 19, 2013 § 1 Comment

ImageThis is my warrior-angry face at feeling like such crap for the last two weeks. I’ve been a horrible blogger again! But its time to crack open a pumpkin beer, make myself some popcorn, enjoy being comfy and curled up in a plush blanket with some super soft yoga pants on and push myself into writing mode. So here we go – Influenster VoxBox number 2! The Varsity VoxBox has a lot of great products in it for your average University student – now, I know, I know I’m a grad student now – but I’d like to think not enough has changed in the last 6 months to make my opinion redundant!

 

ImageInfluenster Varsity VoxBox Contents:

Clearasil Daily Clear Refreshing Superfruit Wash: $6.49

Airheads Xtremes Bites: $1.69

Kiss Nail Dress: $6.99

NYC New York Color Big Bold Plumping & Shine Lip Gloss: $3.99

Tide Pods: (about) $0.50-$0.75 per pod

 

ImageClearasil Daily Clear Refreshing Superfruit Wash

“Delight your senses NEW Superfruit cleansers fro Clearasil Daily Clear. Formulated with a blend of Superfruit Extracts, Vitamin B3, and blemish prevention for radiant skin day after day.”

I used this the first night I got it. Paired with my usual Clearasil face pads to remove my make-up, I was really pleased with the results! My skin felt soft and smooth – not dried out. After using the pads first to get the majority of my make-up off I was shocked to see that when I did a ‘test’ afterwards with some Lush products – nothing came off in a secondary wash! My paper towel that I used with my usualy post-pads Lush regime (9-to-5 cleanser plus Breath of Fresh Air toner) was completely clean, no more make-up came off in a second cleaning. This was an amazing thing, when I was just using the pads and no wash between my removal and my cleansers I was still getting a good amount of make-up off on these other steps. I can’t have praise enough for a product that lets me use only two steps instead of 3!

I will admit though, I think I’ll still be using the Lush products after the Clearasil products just for a bigger punch-packing before-bed clean. I think adding this wash will really push my skin regime up to a new height. Now if I could just find a good moisturizer that I can really stick with… I think I’d be all set!

First Try Rating: 4.5/5

Pros: thorough wash, super clean feeling

Cons: where is this ‘superfruit’ smell?

 

ImageAirheads Xtremes Bites

“New Airheads Xtremes Bites are the perfect balance of sweet and sour, just like the Airheads Xtremes belts. These rainbow berry bite sized pieces are easy to eat and perfect for sharing with others. Rainbowberry Airheads Xtremes Bites are availabile in a 6oz peg bag.”

Now, I love candy, but due to some unfortunately susceptible dentition I can’t eat a lot of it – so these types of candies are really perfect for me! Its nice to have just 2-4 pieces and quash that craving for something sweet (and sour!) and not risk my normal 10 cavities in the process. I actually wish these came in a smaller sized package as well – something more “one serving” sized so that I could carry them around with me – the 6oz sized bag is actually a bit big for a purse.

ImageFirst Try Rating: 3.5/5

Pros: small size, don’t go ‘bad’ so you can eat through the bag slowly, good flavor, not too chewy

Cons: should come in different bag sizes for portability and easier snacking

 

ImageKiss Nail Dress

“Give yourself the perfect manicure or pedicure in no time with Kiss Nail Dress. Quick and easy to apply, these strips stick on in minutes and come right off with no remover needed! Your manicure will last a week, chip free – available at Walgreens.” (Also available at many other places, like Target and CVS.)

I wasn’t excited about the package I got because it, well, I couldn’t have gotten a style of Nail Dress that was “less me” in terms of my personal style. I pushed through this fact though because there are so many other styles that if I found that they were of good quality – I’d be totally okay with trying.n Unfortunately, I didn’t have a good experience. First, the sizes included are clunky and I loathe the fact that it comes with -2 nails short- of two applications. Really, guys? You had to package -38- applications not 40? Meaning you couldn’t even give yourself a full matching mani-pedi if you wanted. It just seemed frustrating to me.

ImageThen we have the quality. Because of the rhinestones these were really awkward to place and keep smooth, let alone to file off like you’re suppose to be able to to remove excess. It goes without saying that the “chip free” for a week thing is completely not true – I had visible chips within 6 hours of just sitting on my computer and playing xBox. I was incredibly disappointed with this product. I liked the fact that it made fancy things so easy – but I’d move on to trying Essie’s version (which are less club-kid-gaudy anyway), I would not use Kiss’s version again.

First Try Rating: 1/5

Pros: quick application, no dry time

Cons: misleading claims, chips easily, gaudy, rhinestones come off and are impractical, bad quality

 

ImageNYC New York Color Big Bold Plumping & Shine Lip Gloss

“Have you always dreamed of the full, plump lips? Get voluminous lips in one effortless stroke with NYC’s Big Bold Plumping & Shine Lip Gloss! This sultry gloss adds up to 50% more volume and four hours of shine for lasting wear!”

Now, I was skeptical about whether or not I’d even be able to keep this product on because I’m a balm or stick girl all the way. If you try and separate me from my MAC or Bobbi Brown lipsticks I can and will have a nervous breakdown. I haven’t really worn gloss since high school – but I liked the soft pink colour I got so I was happy to try it anyway! 

ImageWhile it was a bit stick for a girl with long swooshing hair like myself, I couldn’t help but like this gloss. It left my lips feeling soft after I took it off and it was easy to take off (a big plus with a gloss). I like the colour, it was shiny but not obnoxiously so (good for a New Years outfit where you may not see a mirror for hours to fix that lipstick!). I didn’t see much plumping, but perhaps for a girl with thinner lips this may be more obvious.

ImageFirst Try Rating: 3.5/5

Pros: good colours, not too shiny, not too sticky, easy removal

Cons: didn’t see the plumping action

 

 

ImageTide Pods

“Tide Pods is the only unique 3 in 1 Detergent that contains a Detergent + Stain Fighter + Brightener all in one small pac. All you need to do is pop in 1 Tide Pod pac to clean any size load. It can be used in any washing maschine and dissolves in any temperature – even in cold!”

I haven’t had a chance to use my 1-pod-sample yet (sad, I wish it was more than 1 pod, I honestly probably won’t be able to tell a huge difference from one wash since I already use a Tide + brightener) but I can speak on the convenience at least! If these turn out to be a well-made good-cleaning product I would definitely think of switching to them. Right now I have to carry down two jugs and a box of softening sheets – it would be much easier for me to pop a pod, a sheet, and the required quarters into my pocket and just go instead of trying to manage a balancing act as I walk around my building to where our laundry room is.

I’ll bring a more concise opinion about the Tide Pods after I do my next Clearasil blog post – pictures of my skin before and after included!

Image

Image

[ Colgate VoxBox Challenge Day 1 – September 17th, 2013 ]

September 17, 2013 Comments Off on [ Colgate VoxBox Challenge Day 1 – September 17th, 2013 ]

ImageI know, I know. I said I would be blogging again – and again I took forever to get to it! But now that school has settled and I’m finally in a routine with work, my internship, and the gruesome world that is academia – I can finally get back to writing! Step one? My first ever Influenster VoxBox!  Coincidentally my first VoxBox is all about oral hygiene – and dental anthropology is precisely what I want to do for my MA thesis, I took this as a sign that ya know what – I should get back to blogging, its a sign from the Blog Gods, they want my eclectic self back on the search results.

ImageI’ll admit (which is pretty hard, its not something that’s exactly fun to be open about) – my oral hygiene habits haven’t always been the best, it doesn’t help that I have almost no flouride naturally on my teeth and I get cavities even when I take good care of them. I’m just that unlucky person who wasn’t blessed by the Divine of Dentition. This is really the perfect type of challenge for me! Not only can I get some better habits out of it – but maybe I can find a new routine to make my not-so-pearly-whites pearly-whites again! I received my VoxBox yesterday – in it was a toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouth wash! It even came in a lovely little box.

ImageHere is a horribly embarrassing close up of my teeth right now – it wouldn’t be a real challenge if I didn’t show proper progression over the test period! I’m going to post a new picture every Tuesday for the next month. We’ll see the real power of Colgate soon!

 

THE PRODUCTS!

Image

 

Tooth Brush

Colgate SlimSoft

“17x slimmer tip bristles for a deeper clean.”

Image

 

Toothpaste

Colgate Total Advanced – Whitening

Mouth Wash

Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield 

“12hr Protection Against Germs”

 

 

ImageFirst Opinion: I coupled the three products I was sent with my usual dental pick (I’m not a big fan of traditional floss, the picks are so much easier to use and much more versatile!). The toothbrush felt amazing! I usually use harder bristles because I’ve always felt like they cleaned better, but the higher concentration of softer bristles was just amazing. I honestly can’t sing the praises of the toothbrush itself enough. It was awesome, they didn’t irritate my gums, it fit in my mouth better – so far 5 starts for the toothbrush!

ImageI did like the toothpaste, but I had used Colgate Total before and it has a pretty standard taste as far as toothpaste goes. We’ll really see how the toothpaste rates when I’ve been using it with the SlimSoft for at least a few days – hopefully the whitening pays off! I tried the mouth wash as well (and will continue to try and force myself to use it, at least until I’ve used up the little bottle). I can’t say I’m at all a fan of the flavour – it was just way too overpowering. For something to be so extremely minty after having just brushed my teeth. The mouthwash would be okay by itself, but when they made it they should have considered the fact that people would be using it immediately after another quite minty product.

So as we stand I’m pretty excited to try this! I think having a sample and some goals will help me develop some better morning and before-bed habits when it comes to my teeth.

Image

 

Image

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with influenster at Relevant Surroundings.

%d bloggers like this: