Monthly Archives: November 2012

Charmin® Freshmates®


As a member of the Vocalpoint community I was selected to receive/test a free full size tub of Charmin® Freshmates® in my home and as a bonus they sent an adorable hand towel as well! I’m familiar with the idea of using something else in addition to toilet paper to get that “so fresh and so clean” feeling but have found that most brands left me with a 3 part process instead of a 2 part process (TP, wipe and then TP again to get dry). A little personal, yes, but every single person on the planet faces it on a daily basis. My thought? You wouldn’t just use a paper towel to clean up after a baby would you? NO! That’s where baby wipes come in and why shouldn’t everyone else have the same “luxury” regardless of age?

Here are some of the finer points about Charmin® Freshmates®. They are:

  • Flushable
  • Septic Safe
  • Free of drying alcohols
  • (recommended) Use following your favorite Charmin toilet paper


Each regular sized package contains 40 wipes and costs around $2.47 depending on where you purchase it. Pair it with a coupon and it’s an even better deal! The tub the wipes are stored in comes in a few different looks which means you can select one that will be complimentary to the style of your bathroom. The wipes are generously sized so I find myself tearing them in half which helps up the longevity of each package. I started out throwing a few in a baggie to take wiht me on the go only to discover that Charmin is ahead of the game (per usual) and already created convenient travel packs (10 pack for around $1).

Why not give them a try for yourself and while you’re at it enter the Freshmates DIY Bathroom Makeover Sweeps? It’s a chance to win a $5000 Visa gift card towards a bathroom makeover plus a $1000 VISA gift card towards a consultation with an interior designer (see link for full rules/details)! In addition, 42 daily winners will receive a Free 40-Count Tub of Charmin®Freshmates®. All you have to do is share a photo of where you keep your Charmin® Freshmates® .

Now, I leave you with me and my amazing and humorous Charmin towel. Enjoy! Twitter hashtag #FreshmatesClean


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Influenster – the new and improved site!

I am sure most of you are asking yourself What’s a VoxBox? What’s Influenster? which is exactly the reaction I initially had just under a year ago after hearing the names for the first time. Influenster is a trendsetter community that uses your influence in order to qualify for complimentary PRODUCT SHIPMENTS, REWARDS & DEALS fit for your lifestyle. The more active you are, the more perks you get – easy as pie! A VoxBox is the technical term for the shipment of goodies you’ll receive if you are selected to product test once you’ve (in most cases) completed a simple survey. You can also increase the chance of being selected by connecting to and unlocking as many Influence Badges as possible once you create your profile.

Since joining Influenster I have been privileged to be a part of the new old and recently updated site so I have a good basis for plugging all of the incredible new features. One of the features I am most elated about is the chance to earn Expert Badges. This means I can pick and choose which area I myself am most knowledgeable and tweet, post and interact my way to a higher score on the Influenster site. It’s like I am being rewarded for being myself which is a huge plus in my book.  It allows members to truly showcase their smarts and not worry about adding “fluff” to posts/reviews just to earn points and other members can count on the information they are providing. WIN WIN!

Brand Challenges are also a huge part of why I ♥ this site. For every item you receive in a VoxBox you will be asked to complete an optional specific brand challenge. A brand challenge opens the door for you to earn MORE FREE STUFF just for interacting with the brands on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more while giving your honest opinion. I recently found out that Influenster and the brands are not only looking for and/or rewarding positive feedback. I am always honest about my experiences with the products and that means not always having an ideal review. But I was rewarded for my honesty and one of the brands is sending me another product in their line to see if my opinion improves! I ♥ that!

Yet another area I love is how it’s easy to interact with other members and their own submissions! I can watch videos, view photos, read reviews, answer questions, etc. It really makes it feel more like a community every time I visit the page. Plus you can see who the highest ranked members are and perhaps learn a thing or two from them in order to boost your own influence!

The site is now exclusively by invite only but if you’re serious about blogging, product testing and being active on a fabulous site let me know and I’ll be happy to send you an invite. Serious interest only as I have a limited number of invites and your activity reflects on my own personal score. 🙂




November 2012 – Birchbox #6

Birchbox is a subscription service that sends a goody box full of high-end samples and sometimes full-size products based on the profile you complete to make sure they suit your needs/wants! The subscription costs $10/monthwhich is pretty reasonable seeing as the box itself can contain items WELL over that amount (note – I received my 1 year subscription as a gift for being a loyal customer of Cafe Escapes so check them out and tell them @KimB_2012 sent you). They also have a nice rewards program, where for each survey you complete for the products that are sent you get 10 points and then every 100 points earns you $10 in Birchbox credits which you can redeem in their online store for full-sized products. One feature I ♥ about their website is that it details featured items you might see in your box, featured items for next month’s box you might see and the tracking number for each package. Extremely helpful – especially to ensure that you received everything that was hand selected for you by Birchbox. Currently they are only offering this for women but I saw a link on their site that shows beta testing for men which would be really interesting! If this sounds like something you’re interested in, please use my referral link to join now

Atelier Cologne | Rose Anonyme Cologne Absolue – Thanks to spicy ginger and a touch of bergamot, this sexy new rose scent is more sophisticated than sweet. (Full-size, $75-$195)

  • First Impressions: Bergamot seems to be a “hot” scent lately as I’ve seen it not only in colognes/perfumes but even candles as well and I am not quite sure why as the smell is positively repulsive to me. A bit harsh sure but I just don’t understand what is alluring about it! This cologne made both my husband and I gag when we only cracked open the bottle a hair to test it out. It reminded me more of something a grandmother might wear and even that might be a stretch. Let’s stick to more floral, sweet and less intensive scents!

Lulu Organics | Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder – Revive second-day locks by working this organic dry shampoo into your roots. You’ll get plenty of lift, but no residue. (Full-size, $30)

  • First Impressions: This product is extremely pleasant smelling and I consider myself a somewhat perfect candidate to test it out seeing as I have extremely thin hair that tends to get oily after just one day. I actually love that this product is not aerosol based like most dry shampoos out on the market and it seemed to blend it just a tad better than others I’ve tried. I wound up using more than the advised amount but so far, so good! The fact that it’s organic is a huge plus in my book.

Miracle Skin Transformer | Vanish Instant Imperfection Corrector – Before applying makeup, prep skin with this serum-infused primer, which has optical diffusers that mask imperfections. (Full-size, $58)

  • First Impressions: The market is saturated with primers and products that promise to hide unsightly flaws in our skin and I have tested more than my share of them. This one wasn’t any better or worse than any of the BB creams out on the market or other spot treatment products I’ve tested. With a price tag of $58 I’ll happily finish the rest of my sample and stick with my current product.

ModelCo | FIBRE LASHXTEND Lengthening Mascara – Falsies without the fuss. This innovative mascara uses tiny lash-extending fibers to give you a lengthy fringe. Tip: Rotate the wand inside the bottle to pick up the fibers. (Full-size, $24)

  • First Impressions: I tried this mascara out for the first time this morning and I have to say, I was not blown away and I really wanted to be! I have yet to find a mascara that really can add length/volume to my sparse lashes but alas the only thing I have had success with has been falsies. This product actually clumped up a bit when applying and I found it difficult to separate the lashes there after. One positive aspect is that my lashes feel extremely soft – as if I am not wearing any mascara.

Chuao Chocolatier | 7-pack Assorted ChocoPod – These bite-sized artisanal treats are made with premium Venezuelan cacao and come in a range of unexpected flavors. (Full-size, $7.95)

  • First Impressions: The product arrived completely melted in the package so I am unable to give a review on this. It smelled delicious, though!

November’s box was a bomb for me. I really hope Birchbox comes through for December! Remember, if you want to purchase a subscription use my link to join!


L’Oreal Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator


I don’t know about you but lately I’ve been noticing a ton of abbreviations being thrown around and not just for sending text messages! The term BB cream (which stands for beauty balm) has been making its way through the makeup world and with so many products promising so many amazing results (most without delivering said results) I am honestly not sure what to believe. Even after reading positive review after positive review I was still skeptical and a little apprehensive to see what, if anything,  it could do for the 2 age spots and some fairly prominent crow’s feet around my eyes that made their début around my 32nd birthday.

I went out and purchased a tube of L’Oreal Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator Light as my skin errs more on the side of fair but is also available in medium as well. The fact that it contains SPF 15 is a huge plus for someone who struggles to remember to put it on so if it’s a regular part of my beauty routine that’s convenience at its best. The benefits of the product as listed on the website are that it will instantly even, illuminate, perfect, moisturize and protect skin. In one week, tone and texture will be improved and skin will be healthier looking.  

The product itself comes out looking similar to that of a concealer but with a slightly thicker consistency. I worried that it might wind up looking like self tanner but it blended flawlessly and barely left any product behind on my fingertips! A little bit definitely goes a long way – I used maybe 3-4 pea sized portions to cover my entire face. It didn’t feel sticky nor did it leave my skin appearing shiny. I went ahead and applied my compact powder over it and I swear my skin has never looked or felt that amazing. It had a faint hint of a glow and even a slight “dewy” look to it which is extremely flattering. Pardon the dramatics but I felt like I had hit the rewind button on my skin.

I’ve been using the product for over a month now and while the condition of my skin is not dramatically changed/enhanced once I wash it off I am impressed at what a difference it makes while I am wearing it. It hasn’t clogged my pores either which we all know is gamble when you test out new products.

I highly recommend this product to anyone who is looking to add a little life back to their skin. It’s affordable when you pair it with sales/coupons – one of my favorite “pastimes”.

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Not Your Mother’s Kinky Moves Curl Defining Hair Cream

Not Your Mother’s Kinky Moves Curl Defining Hair Cream  KINKY MOVES™ helps encourage natural curls by giving them that extra oomph they so desperately need. It eliminates frizz and fly-aways to show your true locks. Infused with natural grapeseed & jasmine this salon formula will add that extra bounce to your step. ($6.00 for full sized 4-oz bottle) Check out their website here –

  • First Impressions: This product smells so good it makes me WISH I had curly hair so I could use it on a regular basis! But alas I have stick straight, extremely thin locks so I will have to pass this along to a friend who can put it to good use.

I received this product complimentary from Influenster!

Boots No7 Beautiful Skin

Boots No7 Beautiful Skin |  Beautiful Skin – the newest and easy to use two-step range of everyday skincare cleansers and moisturizers, tailored to your specific skin type eliminating the need for toners. Products are color-coded, making it easy to find just the right products for your skin type: Normal/Oily (Pink), Normal/Dry (Green) and Dry/Very Dry (Lilac) ($13.99) Check out their website here –

  • First Impressions: This product glides on easily and hasn’t clogged my pores so far! I am always interested in trying new night creams as at the age of 32 my skin is letting me know that I’m “no spring chicken” anymore!

I received this product complimentary for being an Influenster member!

Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin

Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin |  The Spin Pin does the work of 20 bobby pins! Easily achieve chic updo styles; simply twirl your hair up and spin the Spin Pins in for a perfect top knot, undone bun and side bun!($7.29) Check out their website here –

  • First Impressions: First things first I have painfully thin hair so while I was excited to test this product I wasn’t sure it’d be able to hold my hair in place. Color me excited when it actually stayed IN! It takes a little bit of work to get the pins in just the right spots, being careful not to cross over each other, but once I had it secured from my scalp through the mini bun I was set! It’s great for casual looks but in order to wear out for a fancier event/evening I’d have practice quite a bit more. All in all I love it and it looks a lot better than a ponytail holder!

I received this product complimentary as a member of Influenster!

Kiss Ever PRO Lash Starter Kit

Kiss Ever PRO Lash Starter Kit |  Made from highest quality human hair. Use with Kiss adhesive for optimal results. Latex free, odor free, waterproof, flexible formula for 24hr hold, easy applicator. ($5.99) Check out their website here –

  • First Impressions: The first thing that caught my eye about this product is the fact that it uses latex-free glue. So many of my friends have an allergy to latex so this is a brilliant move by Kiss. The PRO Lash Applicator makes it extremely easy to apply! I didn’t have an issue lining them up perfectly nor did I wind up with any of the product on my fingers or eyelid!

I received this product complimentary for being a member of Influenster!

NYC New York Color IndividualEyes Custom Compact

NYC New York Color IndividualEyes Custom Compact |  NYC New York Color’s all-in-one compact gives you everything you need for a complete eye look: primer, illuminator, applicator and complementing shadows. With four vibrant colors designed for your eye color, you can create a look as individual as you are! ($4.99) Check out their website here –

  • First Impressions: I already own this exact same compact and was ELATED to see it in my Beauty Bloggers VoxBox! I actually love it so much I used it for my recent engagement photo shoot and a few other parties associated with my wedding! The primer glides on effortlessly and makes applying the shadow as smooth as silk. No creases, no need to reapply! I cannot wait to try out a new set of colors. PLUS you cannot beat the price.

I received this product complimentary for testing and review purposes from Influenster.

Bath & Body Works Fall Mini Candle

Bath & Body Works Mini Candles |  Mini but Mighty! Our Mini Candles provide an amazing fragrance experience exclusively developed and tested by our team of Home Fragrance experts, including the world’s best master perfumers. Now in an elegant glass container, these are the perfect size for trialing all our fall home fragrances! Mini Candles burn approximately 15 hours. ($3.50) Check out their website here –

  • First Impressions: The candle included in my VoxBox was the Black Pepper Bergamot. I am not keen on the scent itself but know I will be able to find many other ones in store that will wind up around my home!

I received this product complimentary to test through Influenster’s Beauty Bloggers VoxBox program!