Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2012 Fall Beauty Blogger VoxBox

First off, if you're not feeling the "reading" thing today (or you just want to show some love) you can check out my first ever "box opening" video! Let me know what you guys think- I have to say it takes a lot less time to talking it out than it does to write this stuff here, so if you like it, maybe you'll see more of those in the future! Of course, there's always more info to be had, and anything whose performance warrants additional mention will inevitably end up here for a full review or swatch post.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Influenster, let me quickly get you up to speed. In Influentser's own words, they are "a free-to-join community of invited trendsetters who live to give opinions of products and experiences. Influenster creates links between brands and members to reward participation and influence future products".

Basically, you visit the site and request an invite, and then share your thoughts on a multitude of products. It's not just for beauty bloggers either; other categories of interest include Pop Culture, Chowhound, Gamer & more. Influester then partners with brands periodically to create themed "VoxBoxes" that they in turn send out to chosen partners, in this case, I was one. So now, here are my thoughts on the 2012 Fall Beauty Blogger VoxBox!

  • EBoost: $28 for 20 packets
Not my favorite energy beverage, the taste is slightly chalky and the energy boost is pretty non-existent for me, but then, I'm used to the 120-170mg I get out of a packet of Crystal Light Energy or Monster Rehab. I'll drink this packet one night when I'm running on empty later in the day, but don't want to be up until 4am.
  • Not Your Mother's Kinky Moves 1.5oz: $6 for 4oz full-size
I adore Not Your Mother's Beach Babe spray, so I'm excited to try this product. Not Your Mother's looks high-end to me, but at a really reasonable price point!
  • Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin: $7.29 for 2 pins
After using these, I can confirm that they work best on longer or thicker hair. They did hold my hair in place, but since my shoulder-length hair only rolls into a golf-ball sized bun, the pins were visible sticking out on the ends. I would have adored these when my hair was longer though- they're very easy to use, don't pull or snag hair, and hold very securely.
  • NYC New York Color IndividualEyes Compact in Dark Shadows: $4.99
This was my first go with NYC color. At $4.99, it's hard to go wrong. I do think it would have been nice if the compact would have included a matte black rather than the off-black glitter shade that stands as the deepest color in the palette. I also found the two deeper shades in the compact were very similar, and while I liked the pearl-white as a highlighter, the cream illuminator had too much visible sparkle for me to use it as a facial highlighter, if that's the intent. The primer was very similar to NYX's, which is to say it's a good budget option and definitely gave the shades some oomph and staying power. The shadows themselves were pretty soft (lots of fall out) and as such, applied better when pressed on with a fingertip than with a brush. 
  • Bath & Body Works Mini Candle in Pumpkin Cupcake: $3.50 (also included, coupon for $10 3-Wick candle, valid only until October 28, 2012).
Like I said, the scent is a nice, creamy blend of pumpkin spice scents- vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe a little clove. The mini candles themselves are best burned in smaller spaces, like a bathroom, because they don't throw much of their fragrance. I do plan on using the coupon for the 3-Wick, and had I not smelled the French Baguette scent on my last trip, I would definitely consider picking up Pumpkin Cupcake (though this was a limited edition scent, and I'm not sure it's still available in-store anyway!) 
  • Kiss Ever Pro Lashes Starter Kit: $5.99
These are huge, thick caterpillar lashes, almost costume-y and definitely not something I'd wear on a daily basis. Though the shape's not for me, they do feel well put together and seem like they'd hold up well. I'm not a huge fan of any lash applicator aside from my fingers, but this one has an advantage to many in the off-set design. I'll likely stick to my fingers, but those who like applicators may enjoy the clearer view this one provides. Though I love the idea of the wand applicator in the glue, this one just didn't seem to hold as well as my current favorite, Duo.
  • Boots No. 7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Balm ($8.49 for 5oz full-size) and Night Cream ($13.99 for 1.6oz full-size). 
As I mentioned in my video, there were no ingredients on the packaging or the insert, so of course, I had to look them up! If any one's curious, you can check them out, along with my full review, here.

My initial impressions are that, while basic, both products seemed well-suited to my dry skin. The cleansing balm did a decent job removing makeup, and left my skin very comfortable, which is saying something- 99.9% of cleansers leave my skin feeling tight once I've dried.

The Night Cream was nice as well- not at all greasy, though it did a good job of moistuzing. I think it would be a good choice for someone who wants a well-priced, bare bones moisturizer with a slightly more posh feel than some other drug-store options.

So, have you ever tried any of these products? Did you get an Influenster box this time around? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

The product featured in this review was submitted for promotional consideration by a representative of the company. What does this mean? I didn't pay for it. My commitment is to you- my readers- and to myself (it's called integrity, I like to have it). The opinions expressed on are my own, based on my own research and experience; I am not paid in any way nor is the final outcome of the post influenced by any outside party.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Care, Share & Win for Your Hair!
Review and GIVEAWAY:
Keranique for Breast Cancer Awareness

As I'm sure most of you know, October is breast cancer awareness month. What you may not know is that every year, 200,000 women are diagnosed with the disease, and almost 40,000 will die.

This October, Keranique is helping to spread the word, and unlike so many Facebook campaigns (how exactly does secretly posting your bra color to your status help to cure cancer?) they're putting some money where their mouth is. For every new "like" they receive on their Facebook page, they'll donate one dollar. The goal is $10,000, so here's one case where the click of a button can really help!

To help get the word out, I'm giving away a full sized Keranique Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner duo to one lucky reader- just read on past my review to enter!

Keranique is a sulfate-free hair care system designed to volumize and treat thinning hair. It's important to note that the only product in the Keranique system that will treat hair loss head-on is the Keranique Hair Regrowth Treatment with 2% Minoxidil. Minoxidil (originally only sold under the brand name Rogaine) is the only over-the-counter ingredient that's FDA approved to help regrow hair.

The truth is, shampoos and conditioners for thin or fine hair just temporarily make the hair shaft look fuller, using ingredients like salts or clay to essentially rough up the cuticle and make hair...fluffier. While this approach may do the trick for some, it's got its downfalls. First, a rough hair shaft reflects less light, so you may be trading shine for volume. Second, ingredients like this may be damaging over time. Luckily, Keranique uses a polymer (polyquaternium-7) that coats the hair shaft, giving the hair a fuller appearance. This ingredient also functions as an anti-static and conditioning additive, so it's a triple treat!

While I can't say that I noticed any permanent change from using the Keranique shampoo and conditioner, I did like how my hair felt after using it. I do feel like I noticed some increase in volume, shine and softness, and my hair never felt weighed down. I was a bit concerned about the use of menthol and peppermint oils in the system, considering both are known skin irritants, but my normally dry, itchy scalp actually seemed soothed after using Keranique. This is probably due to the inclusion of several skin-friendly ingredients like soy protein, arginine, niacinamide, and burdock root. In fact, despite my concerns, I enjoyed the scent and cooling effect the peppermint and menthol had on my scalp.

I think the Keranique system is a good choice for anyone looking to combat the appearance of fine or thin hair, but like I mentioned, it's important to realize that unless you're also using the Minoxidil treatment, you shouldn't be looking for regrowth. Because of the addition of the aforementioned skin care ingredients, I also think Keranique is a good option for those who have irritated, dry scalps (though it would be even better without the peppermint & menthol oils).

If you'd like to give Keranique a try, enter using the widget below. You must be a follower of this site to win, so make sure you click the little button to your right! Also, if you didn't already know, Outinapout is now on Facebook with exclusive content, swatches, contests & more, so you can earn quite a few bonus entries by "liking" us there! Of course, I hope you'll also give a click to support Breast Cancer awareness by helping Keranique make their $10,000 goal, so you can earn a few extra entries that way too! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The products featured in this review and contest were submitted for promotional consideration by a representative of the company. What does this mean? I didn't pay for them. My commitment is to you- my readers- and to myself (it's called integrity, I like to have it). The opinions expressed on are my own, based on my own research and experience; I am not paid in any way nor is the final outcome of the post influenced by any outside party.

Contest winner will be contacted via the email submitted to Rafflecopter, and will have 48 hours to claim the prize offered. If no response is received within the specified time period, another winner will be chosen. Contest is open internationally, pursuant to the rules & regulations of your individual place of residence. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Urban Decay 2012 Friends & Family Sale!

It's here, it's on everything (yes, even sale stuff and Naked palettes!) and it only lasts until Saturday, October 13th. Just use code FFHOLIDAY12 at checkout. I'd be lying if I said the Vice Palette wasn't tempting me, but I'm hesitant because of my history with the brand. But everyone deserves a second chance, right?

What's on your list?

Monday, October 8, 2012

This Week's Sales: Illamasqua, Korres,
FACE atelier, M Lab...and More!

Free UK and international shipping on ALL orders, from now until Monday 15th October 9AM BST (that's 4am EDT). No minimum order, no codes!

Beyond the Rack
Monday, October 8th: Trend Tweeze
Tuesday: Korres Beauty
Tuesday: Tweezerman

If you're not a member yet, click here for an invite and we can both earn a £10 voucher!

Daily Candy
Ends Monday at 11 pm: Modicure nail wraps
Ends Wednesday: Lifetherapy fragrances and body care
Ends Friday, October 12th: Pomega 5 skincare products
Ends Monday, October 22nd: Sonya Dakar

Gilt Groupe
Tuesday: Jose Eber Hair Tools
Thursday: Mario Badescu

Monday: Korres
Tuesday: Conair Personal Electronics, Layla Nails, Apothederm
Wednesday: FACE atelier

Monday: M Lab

My Habit
Ends Wednesday:  M.A. Dermaceuticals, Philip B. Haircare
Starts Monday: Dead Sea Spa Skincare

If you're not a member yet and would like an invitation, click here.

Tuesday: Bluum

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Birthday Giveaway!
Limited Edition Disney Villains Beauty Treats!

It's my birthday, and much as I'd like, geography makes it all but impossible for me to throw a huge soiree for us to all celebrate- but that doesn't mean I can't hand out a few party favors!

I've got 3 limited edition e.l.f. Disney Villainous Villains Makeup Books to giveaway to three lucky readers! As luck would have it, I also happen to have an extra pack of my favorite Disney Villains imPress Manicure (the green-purple "Evil Queen" duochrome) for another ducky to make their own.

Each Villains Makeup Book contains 8 shadows, 2 lip and cheek pencils, an eyeshadow primer, a liquid eyeliner and even a set of wicked false eyelashes with glue to complete your transformation! As if that (and the incredible artwork covering the book) weren't enough, each palette also has an incredible fold-out face chart that explains how to vamp out like your favorite villain.

Enter below, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Disney Villains Collection by ImPress Nails:
How Did I NOT Know About These???

Disney is everywhere in the grown-up beauty world this season. Of course, e.l.f.'s Villains palettes have gotten tons of attention, and chances are you're also aware of the Cinderella by Sephora line, but whilst on a midnight drugstore creep the other night, I spied something that, until now, had completely slipped under my radar:

Disney Villains collection by imPress

This, my friends, is the Disney Villains imPress Press-on Manicure collection by Broadway Nails. Based on 3 of Disney's most infamous villains, this collection of 6 instant manicures is a Walgreens exclusive. The suggested retail is $7.99, but as you can see, some stores may have them on sale. You can also visit the imPress website for a $1 off coupon, which means you can have a perfectly wicked manicure for little more than the cost of a venti latte. Not too shabby!

Here's a peek at the full line- the photos get quite large if you click on them, so feel free if you'd like to see the nails in more detail!

Disney Villains imPress Manicure, 6 styles

Cruella: Cream finish true red.

Cruella: Mixed black-on-white and white-on-black spotted, with gold glitter accents.
The glitter is much more visible in the black cracks on the mostly white nails.

Evil Queen: Purple to green shifting duochrome. Think oil slick or a beetle's wing.

Evil Queen: Lilac to lavender ombré with black lace print overlay.

Maleficent: Vampy oxblood with subtle shimmer

Maleficent: Deep, mottled purple and black french tips on a
natural nail,topped with white and silver glitter flourishes.

If you've never tried imPress nails, don't be frightened. These aren't your mom's Lee Press-on nails! I first tried imPress when I received a pack from Influenster in the 2012 Mom VoxBox, and though there are a couple of caveats (I'll be posting a full review very shortly to explain) I'm totally a convert.

Suffice it to say, I couldn't resist grabbing a few pairs of these for myself: I picked up the duochrome Evil Queen manicure and Maleficent's vampy scarlet. Have you tried imPress nails? Which are your favorite?

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