Influenster Violet VoxBox Overview

I mentioned that I am involved with Influenster in a previous post. About a month or so ago,  after a longer-than-anticipated wait, I received their Violet VoxBox. This box was supposed to be part of their fall campaign but due to various delays out of their control, it came a little late. Amusingly, some Influensters were getting a little sassy on their Facebook page — as if they were paying customers and had been slighted because they weren’t getting their free products fast enough. Wow, much impatient. So entitlement. Wow. Anyway, here’s an overview of the Influenster Violet Voxbox.

influenster violet voxbox
Image courtesy of Influenster

 

As with many Voxboxes, it has a handful of items that ship to most recipients as well as a few that go out to a smaller selection. The following brands were represented by this box:

  • Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spa – I am unfamiliar with this brand, but they seem to offer single-pack masks (like Freeman does). You can find some of their products here.
  • Goody Quickstyle – These quirky-looking hairbrushes have tufts of microfiber in between the bristles of the brush. The idea is that your hair dries faster during brushing since it behaves like a towel.
  • Goody Athletique – Somewhat stretchy, elastic fabric headbands that secure with velcro.
  • Sally Hansen Triple Shine – Another one of Sally Hansen’s polish offerings.
  • Soyjoy – From what I can tell, these are gluten-free soy snack bars. Amazon carries them.
  • Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry shampoo from the Not Your Mothers’s line, available in drugstores, mass merchants, possibly salons, and online.

 

Of the above, I received the following for free, compliments of Influenster:

  • A Goody Quickstyle Paddle brush
  • A Goody Athletique headband
  • Sally Hansen Triple Shine Polish in Reef Raf
  • A Soyjoy Banana bar

I actually already had a small, travel size can of Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo (henceforth abbreviated NYMCF Dry Shampoo because long name is long) that I picked up at Five Below when I was on a quest to find, “my,” dry shampoo. Admittedly, although this was by no stretch of the imagination a, “bad,” box (I am definitely not complaining!), I did not get much mileage out of it personally. But that’s okay, that’s part of the point – they want our opinions. Stay tuned, I will deliver!

 

Disclosure: With the exception of the dry shampoo, I received all of these products compliments of Influenster. I am not paid or otherwise compensated to share–my thoughts are my own. That said, some of the links in this post are affiliate links – this means I may get a very small percentage of the sale if you decide to buy something. I will only tell you something is awesome if I can vouch for it myself.

Skincare Basics

Splash Rinsing. No one actually does this.

I wish there was a study or survey with data regarding average budgets or amounts allocated to beauty expenses. Unfortunately, it would never be accurate because we, as people, do not want to admit our own vanity. Or perhaps you’re willing to admit to it, but not to its extent.

Many people dole out for cosmetics to cover up and hide what they perceive to be imperfections. I would be willing to bet, however, that most spend more money on things to hide what they feel they need to rather than improve it. Skincare is neglected because, unlike slapping concealer on your face when you feel you need it, taking care of your skin is a daily effort. No amount of makeup is going to, “fix,” poorly cared-for skin – not even high end ones, don’t let the girl at the counter suggest that (be a skeptic!). Clean, well-cared for skin looks and feels better, ages better (who can argue with that?) and takes less effort to, “dress up,” if you will. I have also found that there is this thought that taking care of your skin = huge expense – not so. You don’t need to go drop cash at the Clinique counter or on Murad. My entire routine is readily available online, in various drugstores, and in mass merchants.

After the jump is a peek into my skincare basics and current routine. It isn’t costly, it isn’t very time consuming once you establish a routine. For reference, my skin is normal/combination T-Zone/non-sensitive.

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Influenster Invite Giveaway

 

I participate in Influenster, which is a free-to-join social marketing community. Basically, you request an invite from them which puts you on a wait list (or get one right away from someone who is already signed up). Once you’re in, you build your score by participating in community activities on the site as well as taking surveys to clarify your demographic, interests, and lifestyle, writing reviews for products listed, and linking your social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc).

Eventually, provided you remain active and maintain a good score, you will be selected to participate in a campaign in which they send you a box (called a, “Voxbox,”) full of various products that you are expected to test out and review. Each campaign has activities associated with it, and there are other places on their site you can go write reviews. You’re also encouraged to share on your social media (it is a social marketing program, after all), YouTube (if that’s your thing), or your blog (if you have one). At the bottom of the post, I have information on how you can become a participant – I am hosting an Influenster Invite Giveaway!

Participants are not paid for their participation and you are never encouraged to leave dishonest reviews or hide the fact that you are an Influenster. They are not, “buying,” favorable reviews with free product. If you receive something, try it, and don’t like it – be honest about it! There are no penalties for not liking something and leaving a negative review on it. I just recommend being clear and coherent – list specific reasons why it didn’t wow you and/or why you wouldn’t recommend it to family and friends, not just, “I didn’t like that thing because it was stupid!

I wind up with a lot of beauty-related boxes, so look forward to that sort of thing. I should actually be receiving a new VoxBox soon – the Violet Voxbox – whose contents have only been hinted at, but not confirmed. I’m excited!

If you’re interested in joining the Influenster Nation, (edit: update) I have three (3) invites to give away! All you need to do is leave a comment – be sure to use a real e-mail address, as that is where the invite will be sent. Your email address will never be published or otherwise used for shady purposes.

Beauty Arsenal

The Basics

Everyone – whether they know it or not – has a group of favorite, staple, or go-to products. These things don’t necessarily apply to beauty, it could be anything – technology, of which I am also a fan, cleaning, etc. These don’t necessarily have to be products you use every day, but they will be ones you find yourself reaching for over and over again…and repurchasing when they’re out – these items comprise my Beauty Arsenal.

Here’s what I’m currently using that I have re-purchased or plan to – after the jump.

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PSA: Real Techniques Sam’s Picks Set

Highly-touted brush peddler Real Techniques released a new, limited edition set today. The six-piece set contains one brand-new brush, two that are available a la carte, and three that are available as part of other collections.

Photo credit to BeautyGeekUK.

The Real Techniques Sam’s Picks Set includes the following:

  • multi-task brush: use with powder, blush and bronzer (also in the Travel Essentials kit)
  • buffing brush: full coverage application of powder foundations (also in the Core Collection)
  • essential crease brush: soft, tapered design for effortless contouring (new to the set/collection)
  • setting brush: controlled, light application of highlight or powder (available by itself)
  • pointed foundation brush: build custom coverage with liquid products (also in the Core Collection)
  • fine liner brush: precision application of liquid or cream eyeliner (available by itself, never in a kit – this is finer than the one in the Starter Set)

I currently own only one Real Techniques product – their blush brush. So far, I am enamored of it. It feels – and my friends have agreed – that using it feels like rubbing kittens on your face. Ridiculous description? Maybe, but definitely true, as this sucker transcends the boundaries of softness. It is really user-friendly and way more accessible than, say, MAC brushes. Otherwise, my collection of brushes is embarassingly small and so-so in overall quality. I haven’t purchased the Travel Kit, Core collection, or Starter Set because there are so many brushes in them I won’t use. For example, I do not want a, “multi-task,” brush – jack of all trades perhaps, but master of none. I’m not interested in their buffing brush, I’d rather have their Expert Face Brush (which reminds me of Urban Decay’s Optical Blurring Brush, another round-topped kabuki) but I don’t really have much use for it. I already have an angled liner brush I am happy with (Bdellium Tools Studio Line – Precision Eye and Brow 760). I don’t like flat foundation brushes, I have shaders that are good enough until I can buy something awesome, etc.

Retailing at $30 and available direct from RealTechniques, also allegedly in Ulta stores, and apparently at Target at some point, this would be a good set for someone who has no brushes at all. I will pass for now, but I really hope they make that crease brush available on its own!