Saturday, October 20, 2012

First Look - Influenster - Beauty Bloggers VoxBox 2012

Influenster - Beauty Bloggers VoxBox 2012
I heard about a fabulous program that allows you to receive boxes full of products called a Voxbox based on your profile, social influence, and willingness to do product reviews on the products that are sent to you.  Did I mention that this program is free??  How savvy is that???  I signed up for the program in July and honestly forgot about it.  In the past few weeks I was reintroduced to it and apparently they revamped the site since the summer to be more manevable.  I completed the surveys and reviews on misc. products on the new improved site and to my surpirse was sent an invitation later to receive a VoxBox (not everyone that is sent an invitation is accepted unfortunately).  These boxes are sent out periodically as well as other products and although you may be chosen, it does not guarantee that you will be accepted into the next selection or others; it depends on your activity and if you complete required tasks. 
Here is the box I received:

I was fortunate enough to not only receive a box, but also the bonus box that came with the Vitabath fragrance mist in beach Blossom.  Upon first looking at the box, i am most excited to try the Goody Spin Pins, Kiss eyelashes, and candle.  Honestly this box by far exceeds my subscription service I pay $10 for and is more along the lines of a $25 box that includes products in the $40 value range.  Detailed and honest reviews of each product I received will follow later in the week to come.

Interested and intrigued?  Check it out for yourself!  From my research this is one of the most popular and reputable sites to receive and review products.  Tell me what you think of the program!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 2012 Birchbox (Goop Edition)

For the month of October, Birchbox sent out an email to their subscribers to choose between a regular October Birchbox that had the theme of Transformations or Goop, a company ran by Gwyneth Paltrow.  After considering both options carefully for two days, I opted for the Goop box, even though the site gave little indication of what to expect besides suggesting higher end products.  Here are pictures for my Goop box, Box #17 (weight .4380).

Beauty Blender – Have not used this yet, but this was the star of my box.  I have been wanting one and looking for a good dup of this, so very excited to have received on in my box.
Kiehl’s Rosa Artica Eye – I have wanted to try a Kiehl’s product all summer so was very pleased to try this as I was looking for an eye cream to purchase.   After a few uses, I find it to be moisturizing and would try again in the future.
Jouer Lip enhancer – Personally I have no use for this, as I have full (enough) lips, so I will not try this product.
DDF wrinkle resist plus pore minimizer – Received Benefits Pore-fessional in my last box and compared to it, I prefer this one based off of first impressions.  I feel the Pore-fessional is best used as a primer as this is lighter and translucent.
Kusmi Tea (2 single packets, Detox and Euphora) – I love trying different teas, no complaints about this one.
Luna Fiber Bar (chocolate and raspberry) - Absolutely disliked this, IMO it had a bad after taste and chalky residue.  Many people on blogs complained about receiving this bars constantly but this was my first time in 5 months. 

There were a lot of complaints over both boxes for various reasons but there were also some, like myself that were perfectly happy with their box.  In all, this box was a success for me and I am looking forward to November and December’s box!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mommy Subscription Services: An Honest First Impression

I’m currently subscribed to Birchbox and thought that a mommy-baby subscription would be a great addition.  Especially since I usually grab anything cute that I see in the store anyway.  So being the thrifty person I am, I first tried out Bluum.  It is just $12 a month with free shipping and offers new products in deluxe sizes to try out.  I was put on the invite list a few months ago and was invited to join with no time limit.  I was dragging my feet but thankfully I got an awesome offer for the July Box with Joel Harper, (Dr. Oz's celebrity personal trainer) for just $1, so I jumped on this great deal!  The box included the following:

Pure Organic Wild Blueberry Bar- Not my cup of tea at all.  Definitely for the health conscious lol.  I even let my $7 off coupon go to waste.
Green Spouts teething ring- First time being introduced to this brand.  I actually did not use it for some time because we already had a lot of different teething rings.  Big mistake!  This is one of Nicholas’s favorites.  Retails for $4.99
Udderly Smooth- Have not used. In fact they are in my sample box I hope to trade or give away.  It’s not a bad product, I’ve used this in the past and if memory serves it is very slippery and also sold at the dollar store.  This was the mommy extra. 
Dr. Sears baby wash and shampoo- We loved this.  So much that I looked on line for it and found it on for 4.77 plus shipping and for 6.99 plus shipping.  The sample was enough for 1 bath but I was thrilled to find it at my local Ollies store for $1.99!
Triple Paste Diaper rash ointment- Have not used, only because we do not have a problem with diaper rash.  Received full size, retails for 9.99
Overall, I was very pleased with Bluum’s box, definitely worth the $12/month price and an even better steal for $1.  Sadly I unsubscribed after one month due to what I felt was a lack of customer service.  There was an oversight on my account where I pay for subscription services and such with a prepaid card.  Thinking that payment was due on the 10th, I loaded money to that account on the 8th.  Never received notice that there was a problem with my card and I went to the site on the 12th to see when my box was going to ship out.  I was surprised to see that my account was suspended! I wrote customer service to see if there was a way to still get August's box since it was not set to ship for a few days still, but received an answer back today saying I missed the deadline (by 2 days) and would receive a box in September.  I realize that it was my error with the card, I am just disappointed that more was not attempted. 
So I decided to spend a little more money for better customer service after reading reviews from Citrus Lane.  This service sends full size products including toys, food, and the best reviewed products to their subscribers.  I felt that this service was more of a match for my family as we are continuously trying to find new products to entertain our little one. Our first box was in September and we received the following:

Baby Bug “magazine”-  Looks like a soft cover thin book, but is considered a magazine.  Would subscribe if they had an awesome promotion.  1 year of 9 issues is $28.95 (that includes the $5 discount inside the book).

Rich Frog Tub Sponge- Received a walrus.  Very cute, serves the function it’s intended for. Retails for 5.99, currently $3 at the Citrus Lane Shop.

Green Spouts bib- Good quality, wipes clean. Aged from 12-24 months, so we can use it for a while, which I appreciate.

Nutur Me All Natural Baby food- Received two packets, different flavors.  Have not tried yet, but like that I can mix these into regular food for extra nutrients or mix with formula for a meal itself.  Perfect for emergency food or travel.

BeginAgain worm- Love this!  This was my favorite thing in the box, probably because it’s a wooden toy.  My baby loves trying to stuff the worm’s head in his mouth.  Retails for 12.99 

In summary, these are both great services depending on what you are looking for.  It seems that Bluum focuses on products for baby and is more affordable, while Citrus lane has more lifestyle and interactive things for baby.  If you are interested in trying out Citrus Lane and would like to use my referral link, you can do so by clicking the following:
Thanks for reading and let me know if there are any services for moms and babies you use or what your experiences have been with these two companies!