Inside Influenster’s #SunshineVoxBox

voxbox-blogimageThis has been a lovely summer, filled with all the things that make this season so wonderful: weddings, barbecues, days at the beach, nights out with friends and lots of time spent outside, soaking up as much sun and beautiful scenery as I can before the summer comes to a close. The fun continued when I learned I was selected to receive Influenster’s summer-themed Sunshine VoxBox, filled with tasty treats and warm weather beauty essentials. I’ve spent the last few weeks tasting and testing to my heart’s content. Here’s the scoop:
SunshineVoxBox
Infusium 23 Moisture Replenisher Leave-in Smoothing Crème Enhanced with Avocado and Olive Oil (#Infusium23Smooth): This is definitely one of my favorite products in the Sunshine box, and it has quickly become a beach bag staple. This leave-in conditioner works best if you air dry your hair. It keeps frizz at bay and leaves your hair smelling amazing. I tried using it as part of my everyday styling routine and wasn’t blown away, but when I brought it with me for a day at my favorite swimming spot, everything changed. I applied it generously to my wet, gnarly strands and used my fingers to comb it through. My hair instantly looked and felt better, and within minutes it started to dry in the prettiest, beachiest waves – with no frizz to be found!

Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Refreshingly Clean Cleansing Cloths (#SelfieReadySkin): I’m usually a big fan of cleansing cloths, and from what I can tell these were non-drying and did a fine job of removing makeup and oil without irritating my skin. However, I could barely stomach the smell of them. I’m not sure what it is, but it made me a little queasy. I was only able to use them a couple of times. If you’re sensitive to scents of any kind, I would avoid these.

Blue Diamond Sriracha Almonds (#BlueDiamondAlmonds): I was worried that these spicy almonds might be too hot for me, but I was happily mistaken! The chili-garlic flavor combo is addictively delicious with just the right amount of kick. I’d recommend them as a tasty and healthy way to satisfy a chip craving.

barkTHINS (#breakupwithboring): The Sunshine box came with a coupon for a free bag of another tasty treat, barkTHINS snacking chocolate. I chose the dark chocolate, almond and sea salt variety, and thought it was really good. The bark was filled with crunchy almond bits and the chocolate was good and dark, not too sweet. My only complaint? I wish there was just a little more salt – I could barely taste it.

Beach bag beauty essentials from Influenster's #SunshineVoxBox

Beach bag beauty essentials from Influenster’s #SunshineVoxBox


SinfulColors Nail Polish (#ColorOutsideTheLines): I received a bottle of polish from the SinfulColors Silk collection, a sheer turquoise called Real Teal. Unfortunately, it was a real dud. The polish seemed cheap from the get-go; the brush deposited color unevenly, making the sheer shade almost imperceptible in some spots and dark and blobby in others. Also, the combination of it being a super sheer, matte blue polish left me looking less like I’d just given myself a manicure and more like I’d just been pulled from the deep freeze. The whole experience was a mess.

Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe Spray Moisturizer (#VaselineSprays): I’ve been wanting to try one of these spray lotions for a while, and I was not disappointed when I did. This aloe spray is perfect for summer, leaving skin cool and refreshed, especially after a day spent in the sun. Plus, it allows you to moisturize your entire body in ten seconds – so convenient. It’s very lightweight, surprisingly hydrating, and smells fresh and clean. It’s a perfect daily lotion for summer.

I received these products free for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

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Summer Pedicure Pick: OPI Cajun Shrimp 

  Now that summer is officially here, it’s time to bust out the sandals and with them, a fabulous pedicure. I love bright reds on my toes, and right now OPI’s Cajun Shrimp, a bright coral-red, feels spot on for the season. I’ll be rocking it at least through Independence Day. 

What’s your summer pedicure pick?

Valentine’s Day Manicure

My Valentine's Day-inspired manicure. (Please excuse my cracked winter cuticles - ouch!)

My Valentine’s Day-inspired manicure. (Please excuse my cracked winter cuticles – ouch!)

My inner girly girl has always loved the over-the-top pink-and-red frilliness of Valentine’s Day. So when my fabulous friend over at Cowboys and Crossbones posted her Valentine’s Day manicure, I was inspired to do one of my own! It’s simple but I’m totally loving it. I painted the pink nails with Revlon Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel in Passionate Pink and the red accent nail with Formula X by Sephora in Pyrotechnic, followed by a coat of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day manicure look? Are you sporting one this year?

All I Want For Christmas…

???????????????????????????????Since I’ve just spent the better part of my day wrapping presents and decorating our Christmas tree with my husband, I’m pretty much full-on in the holiday spirit. And now that we are less than three weeks out from the big holiday, I thought I’d share my holiday wish list as a sort of holiday gift guide for all the beauty fiends on your list. A word of caution – you’ll probably want to pick a few of these items up for yourself, as well!

1. Birchbox Subscription: This is the number one beauty gift on my list because, as a former Birchbox subscriber, I know how much I loved it! In case you have not yet heard of (or subscribed to) Birchbox, this beauty subscription service delivers a box of personalized deluxe beauty samples to your house for $10 per month. Sometimes the samples are a small – think a packet or two of shampoo – but more often than not there’s a full sized nail polish or lipstick in your collection, and I’ve found many new favorites through this service. 3, 6 and 12 month gift subscriptions are available.

2. Fresh Sugar Ruby Romance Gift Set: This is the perfect gift for the gloss and balm lover in your life. Fresh Sugar lip balms are the best of the best, and I’m loving the ruby red shade for winter. Also, I’m dying to try that gloss.

3. Bliss Triple Oxygen Facial in a Box: Who doesn’t love a good spa day? The idea of being able to give yourself a Bliss Spa-quality facial in the comfort of your own bathroom is so tempting, and with a $12 price tag, how can you pass it up?

4. Osmia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair: For all the green beauties on your list, what could be better than the gift of all-natural lip balm in beautiful packaging? I love Osmia Organics products, and if this jar of balm is as effective as their Best Lip Balm, I need it in my life.

5. Osmia Organics Lavender Shea Soap: I really love a good, smooth bar of soap, and lavender is my favorite scent. Plus, Osmia soaps are so beautiful, you basically don’t even need to wrap them.

6. The Ciate Daily: A set of seven killer nail polishes in an adorable newspaper-inspired makeup bag? You bet this makes my list!

7. Victoria’s Secret VS Stripe Train Case: I really love train cases for stashing makeup, and I’ve always been a sucker for the pink and white stripes. Why not get the girlie girl on you list one of these? Better yet, why not fill it with the other goodies on this list and really make her Christmas?

What are you hoping to find under the tree this year?

Fall Polish Picks from RUFFIAN

RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Hedge Fund

RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Hedge Fund

Aside from the occasional classic red or hot pink manicure, I tend to keep my fingernails pretty tame. I have a whole shelf dedicated to clear or almost-clear nail strengtheners that do little more than add shine and perhaps the faintest pink or white tint to my nails. But in the fall I always seem to find a darker, more dramatic manicure appropriate. With that in mind, let me tell you about my new favorite nail polish brand – RUFFIAN.

I received this cool shimmery dark green polish – RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Hedge Fund – in a Birchbox last year. I was intrigued but intimidated. That is, until I swiped the impossibly easy to apply polish on my nails and realized how much I love it. The color is super saturated, so one coat completely covers each nail, and the oddly shaped cap actually makes the brush incredibly easy to hold and maneuver. It dried quickly and I really cannot get enough of this color.

RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Endless Love

RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Endless Love


Looking for something similar with less of a camo-flavor? Might I suggest Endless Love, a beautiful shimmery purple in the RUFFIAN collection. I’m pretty sure it’s the loveliest nail color I’ve ever seen, which is why it is at the very top of my must-buy list.

What shades are you loving this season?

It’s Magic! Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover

Sephora Instant Nail Polish RemoverLast week I asked some friends for help. It appears that after nearly eight full months of not shopping for new products, of using up samples and my stockpile of shampoo and body lotion, I’ve run out of things to write about. I’m sure I haven’t really run out of things, but for the past couple of weeks, I’ve felt quite uninspired. Which is why I asked for help. And after sending out my blog post SOS, one of my friends came through with an awesome product that I’m now going to share with you!

Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover comes in a cool little round bottle and is so incredibly effective, it does seem like magic. The bottle is lined with remover-soaked foam; to remove polish, you simply dip your finger in the middle and give it a little twist. Two seconds later, your polish is completely removed. It’s amazing! The remover is also free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, GMOs and triclosan, and does not smell like nail polish remover. If you ever paint your nails, this is a must-have for your makeup bag. I’ll be buying it as soon as I use up my current bottle of remover.

Trend: White(ish) Nails

Sephora Formula X Nail Color in Thrilling is a lovely alternative to an opaque white pedicure

Sephora Formula X Nail Color in Thrilling is a lovely alternative to an opaque white pedicure

The white mani/pedi look has been popping up all over the place, and I have to say, I like it. I’ve long been a fan of the white nail polish trend, especially in the summertime. There’s just something so fresh about clean white nails on a hot summer day, and it complements a tan perfectly.

The problem, of course, is that opaque white nail color can look dangerously close to correction fluid. I, for one, was not a fan of the white-out manicure in high school and I certainly don’t like it now. So how can we enjoy a fresh white(ish) nail look without looking like angsty teens?

My pick is Sephora Formula X Nail Color in Thrilling, part of the “New Neutrals” line of Formula X polishes. It’s an extremely pale opaque gray with slight purplish undertones. It’ll definitely set off a tan, and with a color this pretty, there’s no danger it’ll be mistaken for an office supply.