Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Makin' Like Nancy Drew

Totally going to change things up a bit and jump into something I've recently just gotten in to!
Right before AvaBear came, I discovered the existence of subscription boxes after seeing my friend Sarah from Beyond Stretchy Pants post on Instagram.  Of course, I Googled it and up came all these boxes. Whaaat?  Every month, you get a package delivered and it's full of fun surprises!?!? (In exchange for money). 
In the course of my obsessive stalking of what kind of subscription box I wanted (I was only letting myself get ONE), I discovered Influenster - which is like getting a subscription box but even better - because it's FREE!

So that's how Influenster describes themselves.  From what I understood, it makes the best use of people using social media to get word out about different products.
When you sign up, you get the opportunity to fill out a profile to "introduce" yourself to Influenster and based on how you fill out your profile, ie. badges, and how you use social media, you get a score.  Like your Klout score - if you are familiar with that kind of thing.  The higher your score, the more likely you will be chosen for campaigns that align with your profile.
To make sure you get sent products that your interests are actually geared towards, you get a chance to complete your "Expert" badges.  I chose Gamer, Fashionista, Gadgeteer, Six Pack and Beauty Queen.  If you can figure out the titles, they indicate that my interests and social media focus is most geared towards these things: I am a nerd junior with my XBOX and Lego games addiction - hence, Gamer profile.  The Fashionista and Beauty Queen, I took a little bit of a chance since I definitely don't think of myself as one of these, but I sure like fashion and makeup and I always talk about matching my athletic outfits, so...reaching a bit, but still - I wouldn't mind getting fashion/beauty products to test out if my score would allow it.  In reality though, my focus was definitely on the Six Pack and Gadgeteer badges since anyone who knows me knows that I'm all about the electronic and fitness gadgets and fitness/health/running world - and after filling out the profile, my Influenster score in these areas reflected that.
Once you're done filling out the profile, you get chances to up your score based on your social media activity (you can include examples of your blog posts, tweets, facebook content, etc.) and after that, it's just a waiting game until you match an upcoming campaign to receive what they call a VoxBox!
I joined just before AvaBear came and guess what?  Just the other day I got my first VoxBox campaign survey to determine whether I was a match for a VoxBox.  It focused on hair care and asked me what kind of hair I had.  Sadly, after I took the survey, it told me that I didn't match the campaign. Boo!  
A couple days later, the mailman came with a package for me and it was a VoxBox! Whaaaat?!

I was totally not expecting to see one of these boxes!  And it was for MEEEEE!
Turns out, it's a #MYSTERYBOX!  My first ever Influenster VoxBox campaign and it's a mystery one! 

What that means is that the products I received in the box are seeeecret!  There's no branding on them and I get to test them out and try to guess!  After all the #MYSTERYBOX participants have had a chance to test out the products and weigh in their guesses, the next week, we'll get ANOTHER box (weeee!!!) with the full-sized products in all its branded glory!
Besides getting free stuff and reviewing them (weee!), I've ALWAYS wanted to be a trial tester for something that's not even out yet!  And now I get to!
Nothing gives this new mama a better excuse to take some time to herself and actually SHOWER than by having to test drive some new shampoo!

So here we go!  First impressions = I was just excited to get these little bottles and be a part of something!  Second impressions, the hair products smell nice!  I don't have a very good...what's the word for "nose" like those wine peoples? - well, whatever the word is, I can't really differentiate different notes and smells, so I can't really tell you if it had floral or fruity notes or whatever.  I just know that it smelled pretty and I wouldn't object to walking around with my hair smelling like that on a day-to-day basis.
I used the products as part of my regular shower routine - shampooed with a small amount (maybe quarter sized dollop?) and only worked and massaged it into the roots of my hair.  After rinsing, I made sure I had wrung out all the excess water from my hair before applying conditioner.  I had read somewhere once that the proper way to apply conditioner was to hold your hair at the base of your head and to only apply conditioner to the "ponytail" below.  I think it was to make sure that your hair/head didn't get too oily from the conditioner after, but I could be wrong.  I just know that I read it somewhere and it's stuck with me ever since.
After getting out of the shower, I towel dried my hair as the instructions told me to and then added the split-end serum.
Thoughts: My hair was nice and fluffy without the usual random single strands of short hair sticking out on top.  I'm not sure if that's due solely to the shampoo itself or because I did a product switch (I always notice that hair looks nicer after switching from a shampoo that I've been using daily for a while).  I guess the test will be to keep using the sample that I have and then using the product I get once the brand has been unveiled!
I'm officially going to guess that the secret mystery brand is MATRIX - Biolage!  It seems like the product is high, salon quality and I was always a big fan of Biolage.  Final answer!  We'll see how my sleuthing (read: guessing) turns out next week!

DISCLAIMER: The sample products were provided to me complimentary in a VoxBox free of charge as part of #MysteryBrand campaign through Influenster.  Besides receiving the samples and products themselves, I did not receive any other compensation.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.
If trying out and reviewing new products seems like your jam, you can also join Influenster for a chance to try out products and provide your opinion.  Visit to complete your profile.

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