January 1, 2013

@Influenster Holiday #VoxBox 2012

MY Holiday VoxBox - click on pics to enlarge in this post
Also part of MY Holiday VoxBox

Earlier last week I received a package from #Influenster to review some very interesting items. If you have not hear of Influenster than you need to check their website out. It's an online community where YOU along with others give reviews about various products. I found out about this site through an unfortunate circumstance. Someone I was following in the African American Natural Hair community had passed away back in October and I did some follow up Googling on her name and found out she had been a reviewer for Influenster. I was curious and signed up and this Holiday VoxBox is my first review.

So with the holiday season upon us you can just imagine all the whirlwind activity that has been happening. I finally had some down time and decided to review the items in my package within a time period of a few days. Originally when I opened up the box I took everything out to take inventory of my stock.

These were the following items in my box

 1. Quakers Real Medleys Oatmeal
@Quaker / #RealMedleys

These Quaker oats upon inspecting the package reminded me of the Quaker Instant Oatmeal that I grew up on as a kid and still even eat as an adult from time to time. My particular favorites of that version are the Peaches and Cream, Apples and Cinnamon & the Strawberries and Cream.

A blast from my childhood past

Yet the differences in this particular package that I reviewed were that the peaches were a bit bigger but also not as many in the container. Also there were almonds to this mix hence the name of this particular version Peach Almond Oatmeal.  

Since there were two ways to prepare the oats ( add hot water or add water to mix then microwave) I decided to go with the recommended version and heat up some water.

So after the water hits boil I add to my mixture at the recommended line and start to mix up for a while and then add the top back on to let it sit for a few minutes. The mixture was quite thick.

You see the faint dark line around the cup? the recommended line for adding water to.

So after a few bites I can say it did have a subtle sweet taste to it. The peaches were a nice size but again not enough of them to really help finish off the meal. But the more I ate and was getting to the bottom of the container, the thicker the consistency of the oats and almonds and I also found out that there was still some of the mixture that had not been absorbed by the water. I eventually got to a point that I had to add more water to it to break it up.

Overall it makes for a nice quick breakfast. My only issue is that I'm trying to go low-carb in my eating and the whopping 51 carbs in this meal would wipe out half of my allotted intake of carbs for a day. I also suggest you add more water to it eventually after stirring the first time to make sure you don't run into the issue I had and also as well to cut down the thickness of the mixture. Also for just a tad bit more sweetness I might recommend a Splenda or two.

2. NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine
@nycnewyorkcolor / #LiquidLipshine

 Now I'm a big fan of lip glosses. LOVE THEM! I enjoy a lip gloss that is light but has durability. After opening up this bottle I noticed a light scent of vanilla from the sponge applicator wand.  

Applicator wand

The color I received was a nice shimmering light brown color. So definitely great for days I just want to look natural and neutral. This particular color is called Nude York City 582.

My lips and yes they are natural ;)

After applying I noticed it didn't have a sticky residue which is a HUGE plus in my book and it gave off a nice shine. Definitely a keeper in my book. I also did a quick search on their website to find out product availability in my area and apparently this product is sold at a Family Dollar store less than a mile away from my residence;)

3.  Kiss Nail Dress
@KissProducts / #KissNailDress

Upon opening the package I was assaulted with a not so pleasant smell. It reminds me of burnt rubber or some smell I would expect from entering a certain section of Lowes or Home Depot. Even as I'm typing I'm coughing just a tad from the smell, THAT is not good.

Also included was a small filer to help with application.

Also included is a small pamphlet with application instructions and other designs available.This particular model is KDS12.

Now I won't lie I did not do this particular test on myself due to the point I already had gotten a gel nail set on my hands and a fresh pedicure before receiving my VoxBox.

My nails

 So messing them up or altering them in anyway was not going to happen. But for the sake of scientific research and fashion curiosity, I subjected a friend of mine to it instead. She followed the instructions and she again brought up the smell of the application strips.

After reading the instruction and even watching the videos on the website, She then proceeded to follow the instructions for applying the nails. One of her biggest gripes was dealing with the excess around the nail, filing away was much easier said than done in her opinion. Afterwards we could still see some sticky residue around the edges. 

Then she attempted to try it on her feet. That was a semi-nightmare. especially since she didn't have perfectly identical toe beds on both feet, (sizes and shapes just a bit off). That application didn't go well either. She felt it was easiest to put on her big toes because they had the most room. Overall she wasn't impressed with them and she stated it just reiterates why she goes to nail salons. Too much trouble to do it yourself.

@EBOOST / #naturalenergy

I like to pride myself on being a conessiuer of powdered supplements. They have helped me in kicking the habit of drinking sodas and fruit juices. Well at least 90% of the time. So imagine when I opened up this little packet (Pink Lemonade flavored) and stirred it up with my glass of water....First off I was a bit concerned because I've never used a packet that when added to water started to....bubble up....literally. The mixture stayed at the top of the water and did not start to dissolve until I took a spoon to it vigorously. Now normally I'm used to my powders slowly going through the water to the bottom of the glass. Not just sitting on top. Even I know I have to stir it, to get it to dissolve fully. But at least its moving on its own.

Still sitting on top after 10 seconds....

This is when it was bubbling

This is after stirring vigorously. There is still yellow film at the top of glass that didn't disolve.

Then came the moment of truth..

After my first sip I have to honestly say that it was one of the worst powdered supplements I have EVER had. I can't even begin to describe the after taste because I almost couldn't keep it down. I had to hold it in my mouth for a few seconds, kick my head back and then swallow. I tried to take a second swig of the concoction and that was no go. So I decided to walk away from for a few minutes and go for it again.

Couldn't even finish

 After holding my nose I went for it again and yep that awful after taste was still there! I did down a few more gulps of it for analytical purposes but afterwards I couldn't do it anymore. This product has a LONG way to go in the taste department.

 As much as I wanted to enjoy this brush, unfortunately I could not because it didn't work for my hair texture. I am African American and my hair is naturally Kinky-Coily. 

Coily Hair textures

When I did try this brush on a section of my wet hair, it became immediately tangled  with the brush. It did pick up some water from my hair but that is the only positive I could report from it. I think this brush would be for someone with more coarse and straight hair than me.

6. Sole Society
@solesociety / #PerfectPair

 As a woman who loves shoes, it was a treat to checkout this website. SoleSociety has a wealth of options from knee boots to sandals.  You can filter through their selections by Silhouette, Heel Height, Size, and Color. I especially enjoyed their Insider Picks area where they have various people knowledgeable in fashion offer their favorite picks in shoes. There was even a shoe named after moi;) I personally prefer the Burnt Orange color. Oh and did I mention they have a coupon for $25 off your first purchase? Code name: INFLUENSTER25

Jasmine - available in Light Taupe and Burnt Orange

7. Montagne Jeunesse Face Masks
@MontagneJeuness / #FaceMasque


Let me start off by saying that upon opening the package I received a nice whiff of the mixture and it was quite pleasant. I could definitely smell the    . I made sure to cleanse my face first then I applied the mud mixture to my face. It was quite cold, but soothing. I made sure to put on a nice thick layer on my face and neck area. Within a few minutes I could feel the mixture drying and tightening on my skin.

 It looked like I was having a Dead Presidents moment.

Picture taken right after application

Dead Presidents (1995) - the movie

So after 15 minutes.....

My skin is so tight on my face I slowly start to wiggle my face around and the mixture is "cracking up"  and some of it is falling off in flakes

I take the rest off via water and a towel. Pat myself down and check out the results. Overall it is a nice way to pamper yourself at least once a week. My skin did feel refreshed and I did finish off my treatment with my moisturizer. My skin is normally oily spring through fall, but in the winter time, its a combination of dry and oily. Yes I know weird.

Face clean now!

Overall I had a blast reviewing these products and I look forward to future opportunities.

Please let it be known I was not paid by Influenster to give my opinion. I was just born this way;)

Until the next episode....

 All That MsJazz
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