Monday, November 3, 2014

Influenster Moda Vox Box*

Sometimes I feel like I'm always late to the party. There is so much out there in the world of the blogosphere, and I wonder how I don't stumble upon things sooner than I do! One of my more recent discoveries was influenster - a company that utilizes the power of social media to help brands promote and get feedback on their new launches. It's free for anyone to join, and individuals are chosen for different campaigns based on their demographics, interests, and social media presence. Influensters who are chosen for a specific campaign are sent Vox Boxes, which contain free products for them to test, try, and review. Apparently I joined at just the right time, because I was able to qualify for this awesome Moda Vox Box! Let me show you a closer look at what I got.

Geared towards fashionistas and beauty junkies, the Moda Vox Box has a combination of exciting new beauty launches, and practical products to keep you looking and feeling good. Packed inside a happy pink box were the following eight items:
  • Hair Food Moisture Hair Mask
  • Resource Spring Water
  • Puffs SoftPack
  • Swiss Miss Simply Cocoa
  • Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer
  • Rimmel London Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves Mascara
  • Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick
  • Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lip Liner
I've been making my way through trying each of these goodies since my box arrived. Here are my first thoughts and impressions on each of them!

Hair Food Moisture Hair Mask ($14.99)
As honey coats to protect and apricot oil hydrates for softness, the Hair Food Moisture Hair Mask contains essences of these ingredients, conditioning and coating each strand to help repair and smooth the protective outer layer. The formula helps provide rich moisture protection from everyday styling for smooth, manageable hair while adding softness, smoothness, and radiant shine.

A good, nourishing mask is a staple in my haircare routine. Even if I'm having a relatively low maintenance week with little to no heat styling, I still think it's important to give your hair an extra dose of tlc every once in a while. With a name like Hair Food, I was excited to try this mask, hoping that it would bring some awesome ingredients to the table. Unfortunately after inspecting the packaging I felt a little underwhelmed. While it is free of parabens and mineral oils (which I like) it mostly uses silicones to provide softness and shine. The Honey Apricot fragrance does smell awesome, however, I wish the formula actually contained Apricot oil, or other natural ingredients, to moisturize and pamper your hair. For a hair product that costs more than $10, I want more than claims of being "inspired by" natural ingredients. I want the real deal. Still, in lieu of your normal conditioner, this mask will make your hair feel soft and smell lovely. I just personally prefer to get a little more bang for my buck.

Resource Spring Water ($1.49)
resource is a 100% Natural Spring Water from carefully selected sources with naturally occurring electrolytes for a clean, refreshing taste. resource comes in a bottle made with 50% recycled plastic and is 100% recyclable.

While I've been blessed by living in an area with very decent tasting tap water, I do reach for the bottled stuff now and again for taking with me on-the-go. While one could say that water is water, I do think there can be a pretty significant difference in taste between different brands. Some are a bit metallic tasting, others taste like they've been treated with chemicals. This bottled water is nice and neutral and clean, which I can get behind. I appreciate that it comes from a natural spring (because I never understood paying for bottled city water) and that the brand is trying to be eco friendly with the packaging.

Puffs Softpack (1 pack for $1.99-$2.49, 3 pack for $4.99-$5.99)
Outside its flexible design holds up better than an ordinary tissue box. Inside it's the soft Puffs tissues you love from the only national brand dermatologist tested to be gentle.

All I could think when I saw these tissues was that I wished I had them last week when I was sick! I love the softpack concept. In today's day and age where you can fit your whole life in your purse, I feel like these would be great both at home and on-the-go. The polka dot pattern is adorable (and totally up my alley), while the other available patterns are equally modern and stylish. With my recent diagnosis of year round allergies, tissues are kind of a daily staple of mine. Puffs are nice and soft, so I don't have to worry about irritating my already angry nose. I could definitely see myself purchasing more of these soft packs in the future!

Swiss Miss Simply Cocoa ($2.29)
Swiss Miss' new Simply Cocoa line is the perfect drink to warm up your winter. Available in milk and dark chocolate, Simply Cocoa has just five ingredients - Sugar, Cocoa, Nonfat Milk, Salt, and Natural Flavor. No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Be sure to use hot milk when preparing Simply Cocoa for an indulgent, silky-smooth cocoa that is simply delicious.

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you're probably aware that I'm an avid tea and coffee drinker. However, I'm also a chocoholic, and sometimes I'll crave a good cup of hot cocoa. Swiss Miss has a special place in my heart, because it's what my mom used to make when I was a kid, however I've tended to buy it less as an ingredient-conscious adult. Needless to say, I'm really excited about this launch! Now I can have the same delicious hot chocolate without having to worry about any extra chemicals or artificial ingredients. Personally I always make my hot chocolate with milk anyway (I mean, it tastes so much better!), so I don't feel inconvenienced by not being able to make this new formula with water. While influenster sent us the Milk Chocolate variety to sample, I would love to try the Dark Chocolate next.

JERGENS Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer ($5.99-$6.99)
Now even better! JERGENS Ultra Healing Moisturizer contains a unique illuminating HYDRALUCENCE blend and locks in moisture for up to 48 hours. Reveal visibly luminous, healthier-looking skin in just one week.

I'm definitely going to put this lotion to the one week test! My skin always gets so dry in the cooler months, and I need extra help to keep it from getting cracked or flaky. Even after one use this lotion made my hands feel extra smooth, and it didn't leave behind a lot of greasy residue (although my fingers do perhaps feel a little slippery trying to type at the moment). The smell is very neutral (very clean and soft) which would make it perfect for men and women alike. This small bottle is the perfect size to stash in my purse, so I plan on carrying this with me for the next week to encourage regular use.

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves Mascara ($5.49-$5.99)
Say goodbye to quiet lashes with Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves Mascara by Rimmel London. Our first broken heart-shaped brush creates a fringe of big, curvy, rockin' lashes. This cleverly-shaped applicator twists and curves to hug the lash line; the thin tip grabs hard-to-reach inner lashes, while the amplified base pulses lashes with incredible volume and curve. Lashes are plumped and lifted in one clean stroke. 

When it comes to mascara, I have pretty high standards. I have no time for a formula that flakes or smudges, or is irritating to the eyes. I want it to bring the drama - making my lashes blacker than black and full of volume. That being said, for the price, I think this mascara does a very solid job. I think the brush is really unique, and definitely makes it easy to reach all of your lashes. I think my only gripe about the brush is that the bristles are a little dense, which can actually make it harder to get a decent amount of product on your lashes without some aggressive wiggling. In terms of the drama factor, I would give this mascara a solid B. It definitely does add some volume and darkens your lashes, but could have more impact. However, I will give this formula a lot of credit for not being smudgy or flaky. I also believe that mascaras can change a bit after you've used this a few times, so I think I'm going to need a few more weeks of use to form a more solid opinion.

Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick ($6.99-$7.49)
Rimmel London introduces new and improved Moisture Renew Lipstick for lips drenched in moisture and a brilliant burst of colour. 

I've seen a lot of UK Bloggers rave about these lipsticks, so I was excited to finally try one out! I received shade 700, Nude Delight, which I'd describe as being a medium caramel nude. Even though I think I'd prefer a slightly pinker nude, this color is warm enough to not make me look like the living dead. It's got a medium opacity, providing a fair amount of color while still letting a little bit of your natural lip color shine through. The formula has a very creamy feel with plenty of slip, which certainly lives up the moisture renew name, and doesn't leave lips feeling chapped after the product fades. Unfortunately by being such a creamy formula, it doesn't have the greatest staying power, and will transfer very easily (sorry coffee cup). I also noticed that this product is very heavily fragranced. I'm having a hard time pinning down exactly what that fragrance is, but it's somewhere between floral and sweet. Personally I don't mind fragrance, but if you're someone who is very sensitive to scents, I could see this product being potentially troublesome.

Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lip Liner ($5.99-$6.49)
Use new Moisture Renew Lip Liner before applying your lipstick. It is a totally clear lip liner that defines lips and prevents color from feathering.

I love clear lip liners. They're so much more practical to have in your collection, especially if you tend to switch up your lip colors frequently. There are a lot of things that I think are great about this product. First off, I think the twist up pencil format was a smart choice. You waste a lot less product in a twist up than a pencil you have to sharpen, and they are also so much easier to maintain. The formula has an almost balm like quality to it that I appreciate. Some lip primers are really waxy and drying on the lip, and can almost make it more difficult to layer lipstick on top without tugging and skipping. This lip liner finds a nice middle ground between giving the product something to stick to to keep it from bleeding and feathering, and giving you a little slip to keep your lips feeling comfortable.

I think this was a great first experience with Influenster. I'm really thankful to have been selected to participate in this campaign, and feel like I've gotten to try some really nice products! I also totally bought a box of Dark Chocolate Simply Cocoa this afternoon, because one packet was so not enough. I will definitely continue to test out each of these products, and will definitely keep you updated with any new thoughts/revelations/opinions on them!

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.