#Influenster 2011 Holiday #VoxBox: Product Reviews (looong!)

Since the original post I did on Boxing Day seemed to bite the digital dust that is the internet here we go again!  (good thing I hadn’t removed the pictures from my sd card yet!!) And as is customary, I have to say that I DID receive the following items for free in Influenster’s Holiday VoxBox.  Aside from free products I have not gotten any other compensation, and all views and opinions are my own and not influenced by the fact I got free stuff.  So, with that out of the way, here are my impressions of the goodies I got.  Enjoy!
The goodies that came in the box included:
  • ImPress Press-on Manicure in Dancing Queen
  • Softsoap coconut scrub bar
  • Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask in Strawberry Souffle
  • NYC Liquid Lipshine in Nude York City
  • Mentos Pure Fresh Gum
  • LÄRABAR in Cherry Pie
  • BONUS: Garden Botanika Lash Primer
I also got some coupons and a sticker from LÄRABAR!   Now for the fun part, the pros, the cons, and my impressions.  But since this is on the longer side of posts, everything will be after the cut!
First up:
The Pros:
– fast
– next to no mess
– no fear of smudging polish
– cute packaging
– the nails “flexed” a little bit
– awesome design availability
-high probability you will find nails that fit
– STRONG adhesive!
The Cons:
– some nail pairs did not have uniform lenght
– rough tips
my take:
While neither I nor JP were wild about the zebra stripes of the nails, him more than me, I have to admit I was pretty impressed with the product despite the few cons I listed.  I used to get press-on nails as a kid, the kind where the nail and the adhesive were two separate parts and they would never stay on!  The ImPress Manicure stood up to handwashing, showering, doing the dishes and cooking along with everything else.  I ended up removing them before a week due to simply not being able to get used to typing with longer nails, but holy crap, I had to SOAK my nails in warm soapy water and then press with a cotton pad soaked in polish remover to get them off!  Needless to say, I really am impressed by the nails, and IF I have a special event in the future to attend or just want to do something fun I will totally be turning to these when just nail polish won’t do.
The Pros:
– its soap
The Cons:
– scent not as strong as I would have expected/liked
– scrubby-ness no where near where I wanted it to be
– “scummy” feeling after use
– noticeable extra soap-scum in our shower O.o
my take:
I really had high hopes for the soap, and I tried REALLY hard to like it.  Really!  JP and I gave both bars a good run in our shower, even ignoring our usual soaps and body washes to give it a chance.  When I opened the box I was expecting there to be a stronger coconut scent, but it just smelled like soap with a lightly sweeter smell to me.  The scrubbing power was no where near as strong or as well distributed through the bar as either of us would have liked.  And finally, after showering, not only did we both feel not-quite-as-clean, but we noted when cleaning out the shower that the soap-scum was a little worse!  And the softsoap was the only new item we added to our bathing regime.  Like I said, I wanted to, and tried to like it, but it was just not for us.  And even with coupons I doubt we would buy it ourselves.
The Pros:
– smelled oh so awesome
– very hydrating
-squeeky clean feeling pores
The Cons:
– the trial sized package was a little hard to open
my take:
Let me say this first, I LOVE face masks, and try to treat my skin to them on a regular basis.  I’ve been using Montagne Jeunesse off and on as my face “treats” for years, so I was pretty stoked to get the trial sized strawberry one in my box.  I did have some issues opening it — I think that was probably user error on my part, and I was a tad worried that there wouldn’t be enough to cover my face!  But there was JUST enough, and it covered the perfect amount – my whole face benefited, and I didn’t look like Slimer.  Also, it was seriously the PERFECT way to relax and feel refreshed after a long week at work.  Chances are I will be picking up this mask in the near future, as well as more Montagne Jeunesse products to give my face another treat soon 🙂
The Pros:
– smells awesome (like vanilla cupcakes to me!)
– not too gooey
– not too shiny
– not too easily sucked off while you’re going about your day
– great color
The Cons:
– the color name was only on the wrapper
my take:
I am a lip product lover, and there are never fewer than 3 or 4 (usually more…) in my purse at any given time.  I’ve also been using NYC products FOREVER.  I do believe my first real venture into the world of wearing make-up involved not only NYC lip gloss and eye shadows, but powder, eyeliner and mascara… meaning that was, oh good god, over 10 years ago!  Wow… I feel old… Anyway, when I opened the box and saw my tube of NYC LipShine I was excited.  After I took the wrapping off I put it on and immediately fell in love.  It has since claimed a spot as a “purse lippy” and I regularly wear it at the office.  My only complaint is that the color name was on the wrapper and not on the tube itself, meaning that when one of the girls in my office asked about the colors I had to look it up.  Aside from that though, I am totally going to be exploring the other NYC LipShine colors out there ❤
The Pros:
– strong mint flavor
– lasts just the right amount of time to take care of after-lunch-breath
– KILLS garlic breath
– packaging is easy to dig out of bottom of your purse and doesn’t crush
The Cons:
– the gum started to disintegrate after chewing it for a while
my take:
Oh Mentos, you are awesome.  From your variety of flavored candy to your witty commercials from my youth that involved a cute girl in a pickle and smiling with after eating a Mentos mint to get herself out of a pickle.  Also, when the voxbox arrived I had literally JUST run out of gum for my purse.  While I love the taste, the thing that really impressed me about the Mentos Pure Fresh Gum was that it knocked out not only regular lunch breath, but garlic breath and INDIAN food breath!  Seriously, if a gum can do that and let me continue to go about my day/night without having to stop because I feel like I have to drink mouthwash to get rid of bad breath that’s an awesome thing in my book!  And now that I’m out, looks like I need to get another package.  🙂
The Pros:
– tasty
– ingredients the average person can pronounce!
The Cons:
my take:
I’ve been eating LÄRABARs for a long time, and they are something that is pretty much always stocked up on for us when Kroger puts them on sale.  And while Cherry isn’t usually one of the flavors that goes into my cart (carrot cake and key lime are my favorites), I was still pretty stoked to get it.  I ended up enjoying it on a short day at work before Christmas.  I knew I would be home before 2pm (despite my “awesome” commute) so I threw it into my bag for my mini lunch.  yum!
The Pros:
– protects lashes from mascara
– gives lashes a fuller appearance
– has actually made my lashes thicker after weeks of use!
The Cons:
– Slightly on the goopy side
my take:
Thanks to my friend Angy I started using lash primer a couple years ago — she gifted me a tube from Smashbox, which sadly has since “died”.  I was actually looking at ordering another tube when my voxbox showed up, so since I love making my lashes stand out I was looking forward to giving the Garden Botanika verson a try.  After nearly a MONTH of using it 90% of the time I apply mascara I can say that I am impressed.  I feel like not only has it protected my lashes, but also that it has helped them get stronger and grow thicker, looking fuller even without mascara.  Not that it has been so ingrained into my routine after a month, like other make-up primers, this has turned not only into a must-have product, but I think this performs better than the Smashbox primer did!  The added bonus is that its cheaper too 😀

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