Q-tips® Precision Tips

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I was recently selected by Influenster to receive their complimentary #IDoVoxBox. Inside the box were 2 packages of Q-tips® Precision Tips™.Seeing as I just recently started becoming more interested in creative makeup looks I was confident this product would be PERFECT for me! The travel size packaging makes it ideal not only for travelling but also for storing in my bathroom.

The top two ways I have integrated the Q-tips® Precision Tips™ into my routine are for my eye makeup and home mani/pedis. While putting on my eye makeup the pointed tips made it extremely easy to blend into the crease of my lid and create well defined color contrasts depending on my look. Another use I found was for a package of gel eye liner I have but have never had a chance to use because it came without an applicator! I was able to use one of the Q-tips® Precision Tips™ to apply the look with ease. The compliments I have received have been inspiring!

As for home mani/pedis I had already used regular Q-tips® but found that the rounded edge just didn’t clean up around my nail beds very well without smudging or removing the polish I wanted to stay put! The precision tip aspect allows me to sneak around the edge of my nail beds and even get underneath a nail when I’ve gotten a bit careless.

I am looking forward to taking these along with me on my trip out to Portland this summer for a friend’s wedding. Portable and reliable – it’s just the Q-tips® way!

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L’Oreal RevitaLift® Miracle Blur

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BB creams, CC creams and Miracle Blur oh my! We live at a time when the current “hot items” are products geared toward reversing or at least masking all of the damage most of us did to our skin growing up. This being through a lack of sunscreen (guilty!), a poor skincare routine or just a lack of knowledge for how to treat our skin as a whole.

Recently House Party selected me as to host a Redbook/L’oreal party and one of the products they sent was L’Oreal RevitaLift® Miracle Blur (retail $24.99). If you’re like me you’re probably sitting there wondering what IS it? Miracle Blur is not a moisturizer or foundation. It’s more than a primer in that it’s intendedto be a an Instant Skin Smoother. A little confusing I must admit as that is what I thought BB creams are so I was anxious to see if there was any noticeable difference.

The instructions say that it should be applied after moisturizing as the final step in your skincare routine. It can be worn alone for a matte finish or under makeup for a more flawless appearance. The ladies and I decided to try it the former way first to see if we noticed any changes without the aid of other products. Overall most of did feel as though our skin showed minor improvements but it wasn’t as dramatic as I had hoped for based on the product description. Once my foundation/powder was applied the two seemed to work fairly well as a team! My cheeks had a bit of a glow/sheen to them that was really flattering especially in photos.

The only con I noticed came when it was time for my nightly skincare routine. I proceeded to wash my face like normal with a sudsy wash but found that as soon as I made contact with my face the suds went away! I was unable to actually wash the product off – even with face wash designed to remove makeup. I wound up having to use a wet towellette makeup remover and that removed it fairly well. This might be great for someone who is looking for a “waterproof” type makeup but my skin is fairly sensitive and prone to clogged pores so I don’t think having what seems like an oil based makeup product is the best for me.

It sure was a pleasure trying it, though!

Pampers Tryology program from EXPO

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Do you like to test FREE products? Do you like to give your opinion on them and willing to do it via a short video? If so, EXPO might be the right fit for you!

In this particular Tryology program, select members will get the chance to get brand new Pampers products for FREE! All you need to do once you’ve signed up via this link is complete a brief survey. If you’re a fit, EXPO will send you an invitation to claim your spot and get a package sent right to your door! It’s truly that easy – no cost, no catch, just a chance to get your honest opinion via a 2-3 minute video.

A helpful tip? Choose a product from their website and upload your own video to increase your chances of being selected for these special Tryology programs. It shows that you’re interested and serious about participating in the community!

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and join the community via this link and see if you qualify! GOOD LUCK!

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Schick Hydro Silk® razor

Recently BzzAgent sent me a  FREE Schick Hydro Silk® razor Starter Kit, complete with a soft touch handle, two cartridges and a convenient shower hanger plus valuable coupons to pass along to friends and family. They must know how much I adore trying out new beauty products. 🙂

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For those of you that are not familiar with the Schick Hydro Silk razor I’m going to provide you with a little information that hopefully gets you as excited about it as I now am. The first thing I noticed (and loved) was the color and shape of the razor. The curved, azul colored handle makes it the ideal shape to hang in your shower or place on a shelf without worrying about it sticking or getting knocked around. I prefer to hang mine to allow it dry out thoroughly.

The second thing I love probably the most is that it has a water-activated moisturizing serum around the blades. I didn’t think it would make a huge impact at first but it really improved the look and feel of my legs! I shave my legs in the shower so at some point the shave gel/cream is washed off in certain areas but with the serum I didn’t have to worry about stopping to apply more! I was able to glide smoothly and easily over the area. Note – the serum is there to provide double the glide and moisture but it is not built to use sans shave gel/cream.

My trouble areas, like most women, tend to be my knobby knees and stubborn ankles. I usually never step out of the shower without at least one of those areas looking like a war zone but after using the Schick Hydro Silk razor I didn’t have as many issues as with other razors. I might have had one tiny spot around a kneecap but that’s more of an operator error vs. product error. My skin felt radiant, hydrated and smooth. I was excited to throw on a skirt or pair of shorts even though it’s only January!

In summary, you should run out and buy this razor! There are always great sales going on and I have a few coupons to spare if the local ladies in my life want to bank some savings! If you’ve already tried it I am curious to know your thoughts!

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Snikiddy

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Before I jump into my fabulous review I’d like to provide those that are unfamiliar with the Snikiddy brand a little background information: Founded in late 2006 by Mary Schulman and her mother, Snikiddy® creates products for families actively looking for healthier foods that satisfy their snack cravings. The Snikiddy brand is a portfolio of better for you snacks that are simple, wholesome real products for families. So dig in, it’s all good. Where did the name come from? Snikiddy® is a shortened (and let’s face it, easier to say) form of the word persnickety, which means choosy or picky. Growing up, Janet (Mary’s mom) and her siblings were known around school as the Snikiddy kids (a badge they wore proudly) because they always ate healthy lunches. Their mom (Grandma), ahead of her time with her passion for good health, would pack their lunch boxes full of locally grown produce and very simple foods. A teacher once referred to them as being persnickety and the kids’ version of the word (snikiddy) stuck.

Recently Snikiddy sent me a bag of their All Natural Baked Cheddar Cheese Fries to try out and review. Before even trying out the product I was extremely pleased with how informative the packaging was. It clearly listed out on the front that it is gluten, wheat, corn syrup and preservative free! My sister recently found out that she has Celiac’s Disease and has found it challenging to find foods that she can consume without worrying about what the aftermath will be so this product would be perfect for her! I also noted how much healthier this snack would be versus most of the chips out on the market and how a single servings equates to 35 pieces.

As for the taste, after just a few small bites I was hooked. It was extremely crunchy with a delicate cheddar cheese flavoring – nothing too overpowering. I definitely did NOT feel like I was eating a healthy treat but I felt really great knowing that I was. Snikiddy definitely does not compromise on quality or overall taste when it comes to their Cheddar Cheese Fries. Now, I was not the only one in the house who instantly became a fan – my husband thoroughly enjoyed them too! So much so that I shared a good portion of the bag WITH him! Both of us are excited to try out other products in the Snikiddy line starting with the Barbecue Cheese Fries and the Mac N’ Cheese cheese puffs!

If you’re interested in trying them out for yourself make sure you print a coupon from here and then use their handy store locator to find out where these fine products are available in YOUR area!

Thanks Snikiddy!!!

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Mail Goodies – 1/21/13

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Special thanks to Schwarzkopf USA and SensatioNail for these amazing prize packs. My whole beauty regimen will get an overhaul!

Want to find out how to win some for yourself? Follow my posts on Twitter – @KimB_2012!

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January 2013 – BirchBox #8

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

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alessandro | Nail Polish in Blue Lagoon – Launching exclusively in the Birchbox Shop, this extra opque polish has a satiny formula and wide brush for easy application. (Full-size, $12)

  • First Impressions: Blue is not usually a color I keep in my color palette for ANY beauty products (unless it’s Halloween) so I wasn’t thrilled with it. I’m a professional and it would be frowned upon to wear such a non-traditional hue on my finger OR toe nails but I’ll gladly set it aside for vacation! I love the wide brush – I wish more nail polishes had that feature. $12 is quite steep for an entire bottle, though. I don’t even pay that much for OPI or Essie!

Harvey Prince | Skinny Chic – Get a glass of half-full disposition with this optimistic blend of crisp green apple, sweet mint, and gentle lotus blossom. This light, aromatic mix will exude confidence and turn heads. (Full-size, $21-55)

  • First Impressions: Let’s just say Birchbox has thrown me into yet another perfume crush. The second I spritzed this scent on my skin I was in love. It’s fresh yet sweet and didn’t give me a headache like some other perfumes. My husband got a good laugh at watching me sniff my wrist every few minutes last night. The only con – it doesn’t last very long. I put some on this morning around 6:30 am and I can’t smell it any more even though it’s only 11 am.

Ojon | damage reverse Instant Restorative Hair Serum – Repair stressed strands with this aromatic hair treatment – exotic ojon and macadamia oils work together to smooth and hydrate hair. (Full-size, $25)

  • First Impressions: My hair is naturally thin and errs on the side of oily so I’m not keen on adding any products that might exacerbate my chi. It smells amazing though and would seemingly work well for someone with dry/thick hair.

theBalm cosmetics | Put a Lid On It Eyelid Primer – Keep that pretty eye shadow crease-free with this stay-put primer, which also prevents smudges and smears. (Full-size, $18)

  • First Impressions: I’ve recently discovered why primer is SO important which means this was a perfect item to include in my Birchbox! I put some on this morning (prior to putting on eyeliner or shadow) and found that a very teeny tiny amount goes a LONG way – for both eyes! I will exercise caution when dispensing tomorrow morning but this morning I had to waste a bit of the product which was a shame. So far so good! My shadow AND liner went on flawlessly and still look as fresh as they did at 6:30 am.

Fresh | Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream – With antioxidant-rich lotus flower extracts, this lush moisturizer protects skin from radicals and hydrates for a full 24 hours. (Full-size, $24)

  • First Impressions: The cream came in a small packet which I found a bit tricky to use – especially all in one sitting. I didn’t care much for the “dandelion field” scent it gave off but it sure did its job well. I applied it last night after washing my face and usually by morning my moisturizer is nowhere to be found and in its wake small dry patches but even after showering my face still appeared well hydrated! I didn’t have to add anything extra before applying my makeup.

January’s box was so-so. I’m not entirely sold on the idea of paying $10 a month for the samples I’ve been sent so far but at least I’ve discovered 2 new fragrances to add to my collection. Remember, if you want to purchase a subscription use my link to join!

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Palmolive Fresh Infusions

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.

Recently I was selected to participate in the #PalmoliveFreshInfusions campaign:

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For this campaign I was sent 3 free, full size bottles of Palmolive‘s new line of Fresh Infusions dish soap. The scents I received are: Ginger White tea, Lemon Thyme and Lime Basil. All 3 smell amazing by Ginger White Tea is my current favorite. The other 2 make my kitchen smell like Spring stopped by for a visit though!

I gave the Ginger White Tea a test run last night on some dishes that had been sitting in my sink for far longer than I prefer but I digress. I put a little of the soap in my “magic” sponge wand and went to work. I was SHOCKED at how sudsy the product without having to use a ton at a time. I was able to clean a few dishes at a time with ease before having to dispense a little more. The scent was noticeable but not overbearing and my hands felt almost conditioned after I was done. I shared the Lime one with my MIL and she is now a huge fan as well! 🙂

For those that might not be big on scented products you can always opt to use gloves to prevent the scent from lingering on your skin afterward. Personally, I really enjoyed that aspect being a “scentsy” gal. Overall I am extremely impressed and proud to have a supply of Palmolive Fresh Infusions in my household.

If you’re interested in trying them out for yourself just visit your local Walmart where you can pick up a bottle for as little $2.96 for a 16 oz bottle – less if you score a coupon, great sale or both!

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Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Foam – Light Blonde

It’s a rare occurrence for me to color my hair in any way, shape or form but recently I received a coupon to try a free box of Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Foam (regularly retails for around $6.99-$7.99 a box) so I figured it was high time to take a little gamble in the hair department. My natural hair color as a child was borderline “white blonde” but as I got older it settled into more of an extremely dark blonde hue. It’s winter so one would expect that I’d go darker but I opted to go in the opposite direction – Light Blonde:

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I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t do it correctly (i.e. missing strands of hair, overcoloring an area, etc) but upon opening the box and reading the instructions I realized that it might possibly be “Kim proof”! Not having colored my hair in several years I was expecting a tricky liquid combo that had the potential to stain clothing and even my skin BUT the foam was amazing. Just a few short, easy steps (most important being to not shake the contents) and I was ready to color. I did set out a towel on the floor and put on a t-shirt I didn’t mind donating to the trash justincase.

The foam was extremely elementary to apply although it seemed like it would go on forever. The insutrctions advise that most people will not use the entire contents of the bottle – especially those with shorter hair – so I didn’t stress too much when at least 1/4 of the bottle remained after my hair was thoroughly saturated. Bonus – there wasn’t ANY dripping! Once the foam was absorbed into my hair it stayed put for lack of a better description. I wound up twisting my hair and piling it on top of my head where it stayed for the 25 minute waiting period.

The last step was to rinse the formula out of my hair (still wearing the gloves) then apply the conditioner that was included in the package. Both my husband and myself were pleased that there wasn’t any annoying ammonia smell – the conditioner left my hair feeling soft, sleek, shiny and smelling just like any other Garnier Nutrisse product.

Verdict – I am extremely pleased with this product. I was hoping my hair would be a bit closer to the blonde color shown on the front of the package BUT having started with darker hair the color I ended up with is almost identical to what the package indicated would be my personal result. I highly recommend this product for both novices and professionals alike.

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December 2012 – Birchbox #7

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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

Frownies | Eye Gels – Fight puffy dark circles with these innovative undereye patches, which are soaked with cactus-derived collagen and toning niacin. (Full-size, $29.95)

  • First Impressions: My curiosity was piqued when I saw this item in the December Birchbox. I’ve used creams and even goodold cucumber slices in the past but never seen anything quite like this treatment. It’s really relaxing and easy to use BUT the package boasts about the product being reusable if you have extra solution and a case to soak the pads in. Neither of which were sent along with the sample. It’s impossible to accurately report my opinion without using the product (for multiple days) as it is intended.

Juicy Couture | Juicy Couture – Juicy’s signature fragranceis a blend of sweet and floral notes. Sophisticated and feminine, it’s perfect for day or night. (Full-size, $19-$89)

  • First Impressions: I absolutely ♥ Juicy Couture’s Viva La JUicy La Fleur perfume (which was in a previous Birchbox) so I was anxious to try another sample another scent. Straight out of the bottle it didn’t “wow” me nor did I feel anything ♥ for it when I first tried it on. BUT after allowing it to mingle with my own body chemistry for a bit the scent definitely started to grow on me. It started out smelling a bit on the musky side and now a few hours later it’s a very subtle, delicate, sweet smelling perfume. You’d have to be fairly close to pick up on it which is how I believe any perfume/cologne should be.

Number 4 | Clarifying Shampoo – Get over your lather addiction. Gentle enough for everyday use, this unique cleanser features a low-suds formula that removes build-up without stripping hair of essential oils. (Full-size, $32)

  • First Impressions: The shampoo itself is extremely fresh/clean smelling – a change from my usual sweetly scented cleansers. If it wasn’t for the detailed desription I would have probably tossed the bottle out as the product definitely does not lather up the way every other shampoo I am familiar with does. In fact, it feels a bit thick and takes a bit of work to massage through your hair and over your scalp but that doesn’t mean a little hard work doesn’t pay off. My hair feels sleeker, smoother and quite a bit softer than normal. I only wish they had sent along a sample of the conditioner so that I could definitely say that the shampoo/conditioner combo were the reason for my hair feeling so incredible instead of the combo of the new shampoo with a different brand conditioner.

Per-fekt Beauty | Lash Perfection Gel – Amp up your lashes with this multitasking primer, conditioner and mascara. (Full-size, $28.50)

  • First Impressions: I tried this product out this morning and right out the gate I wadn’t all that impressed. The sample itself is super tiny and when I pulled the wand out of the tube the entire brush was covered in clumpy mascara. Even though I knew that mess would wind up all over my lashes I still gave it a try on one of my eyes and I wound up looking like a tarantula gone wild. Perhaps it was just a bad sample and that the full size version controls the amount of product that comes out on the wand but I won’t be able to tell you that personally.

Tea Forte | skin-smart Teas – A mega-antioxidant tea that tastes amazing and helps our skin look more radiant? Yes, please. (16 tea bags, $6)

  • First Impressions: The 3 flavors of green tea I received were Honey Yuzu, Cucumber Mint and Cherry Marzipan. Honey Yuzu and Cherry Marzipan were my faves but I didn’t care so much for the Cucumber Mint blend. As suspected there isn’t a significant/noticeable change in your skin BUT it’s healthy for you and a few extra nutrients never hurt anyone. I’m a sucker for tea!

December’s box was much better than November’s but still not as impressive as some earlier ones I received. I secretly was hoping for more holiday geared items to test!  Remember, if you want to purchase a subscription use my link to join!

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