Beauty, Reviews

BrandBacker Reviews

One month ago, I received the following products free of charge through BrandBacker if I agreed to provide honest, unbiased feedback. Overall, I was very pleased with the quality of these products, the results I experienced after using them, and the promptness of the brand’s customer service representatives. I hope y’all find my reviews helpful, and I am excited to test more samples provided by BrandBacker in the future.

Oz Naturals Vitamin C Serum

This serum formula contains both vitamin C and hyaluronic acid–two substances thought to brighten the skin and reduce the effects of aging. After using the product on and off for the past month, I have noticed the skin on my face feeling firmer, but I do not think the serum has caused any other effects (neither positive nor negative). In order to prevent my skin from drying out after continued use as I expected it would based on reviews I’d read of other vitamin C serums, I always followed up with a good quality moisturizer. At this time, I do not plan to make this product part of my regular beauty routine, but I do appreciate the fact that this brand is 100% vegan, GMO-free, and not tested on animals. The only thing I didn’t really care for was the dispenser–I would have preferred a pump of some sort instead of the glass bottle and dropper.


Pure & Essential Dead Sea Mud Mask 

Face masks like this are used to clean and brighten your skin by absorbing excess oil as they dry. I have used several similar masks in the past, but this one is my favorite by far! I really like this product in particular because of its nice, minty scent and the fresh feeling it gives my skin immediately after use without drying it out. I also love that it is a vegan, cruelty-free product made with organic ingredients, such as shea butter, sunflower oil, aloe vera, eucalyptus oil, and (obviously) Dead Sea mud.


Radha Retinol Moisturizing Cream

I absolutely love this product!  I have naturally dry skin, but I’ve struggled to find a good moisturizer I can use consistently. More often than not, I break out within a couple days of using the same moisturizing product. However, the Radha Retinol Moisturizing Cream kept my skin moisturized all day and didn’t cause me to break out at all (even after weeks of almost daily use). The cream is fragrance-free, which I like for products I use and leave on my face. Additionally, I was happy to discover that this brand, like the others I’ve reviewed, does not test their products on animals. I would definitely recommend this moisturizer to friends and family, and I plan on purchasing more now that I have used up almost all of my sample.


Radha Vitamin C Serum

Like the other vitamin C serum I received, this one contains hyaluronic acid, left my skin feeling firmer after regular use, and is made from organic, cruelty-free ingredients. The main difference between the two is that this product came in a bottle with a pump rather than in glass bottle with a dropper. If I were going to start using a vitamin C serum regularly, I would purchase this product instead of the other one, but I do not plan to purchase either of them at this time. I will, however, recommend this brand to anyone looking for a vitamin C serum to add to their beauty routine.

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Vita Sciences Vitamin B12 Cream

I must admit I was a little skeptical of this product prior to using it, but I ended up pleasantly surprised by how well it reduced the symptoms of my eczema within only a couple days of use. I also loved the faint scent of peppermint and the way it moisturized my skin without leaving it the least bit greasy. Additionally, I am very excited to have found a product that can help with the slight vitamin B12 deficiency that results from my vegetarian and dairy-limited diet. I use the cream most often on my arms but occasionally apply it to my face and neck as well. I definitely plan on purchasing a new bottle of this cream once I have used up all of my sample and would recommend it to anyone with mild to moderate eczema or symptoms of slight vitamin B12 deficiency.

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I hope my reviews were helpful. Please let me know if y’all have any questions! All of these products are currently on sale and can be purchased using the following links:

This post was powered by BrandBacker.


Surf’s Up VoxBox Review ~ Part 2

As I said in my Surf’s Up VoxBox Review ~ Part 1 post, I received a summer-themed Influenster VoxBox a couple weeks ago that contained a Sinful Colors Professional nail polish, CoverGirl mascara, a Hawaiian Tropic after sun lotion, a First Aid liquid pain relief shot, and two coupons for Jamba Juice at-home smoothie kits. I reviewed the nail polish and mascara last time, so now I’m going to review the remaining three items from my box.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration After Sun ($2.99)

I spent a lot of time in the sun while celebrating the 4th of July with my family this past weekend, and my skin was already in desperate need of some attention by the end of my first day at the lake. I started applying the Silk Hydration After Sun as I was getting ready for bed each night, and I was amazed at how quickly my skin felt better. The lotion didn’t feel sticky like traditional aloe vera, but it still left my skin feeling cool and refreshed almost immediately after application. I also loved the scent of the lotion and enjoyed falling asleep smelling faintly of coconut and papaya.


I already use Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen on my body and Neutrogena sunscreen on my face whenever I plan on being in the sun for an extended period of time. Now, I’ll be sure to throw a bottle of Silk Hydration After Sun in my beach/lake/pool bag as well!

First Aid Shot Therapy ($2.99)

I don’t really enjoy taking pills and already down three every morning (a multivitamin, an iron supplement, and a daily anti-histamine); therefore, I was thrilled to receive this liquid pain killer in my Surf’s Up VoxBox. Unfortunately, the effects of the First Aid Shot Therapy pain killer did not at all live up to my expectations, but it was surprisingly easy to drink and tastier than one might think.


After carrying the shot around with me for over a week, I finally found the right moment to try it out when I got a headache at work last Monday. I took the shot around 1:00 in the afternoon, and sadly, my headache did not go away until I was packing up my things to head home more than five hours later. I have no way of knowing whether or not the medicine actually played a role in managing or getting rid of my headache, but I do know that the pain killer did not offer me the immediate relief that it advertised. I have read a lot of positive reviews about the First Aid Shot Therapy, so it’s possible that my bad experience was just a fluke. All things considered, I would not recommend this product, but I would try it again if given another free sample.

Jamba Juice Frozen Smoothie Kit ($2.99-3.49)

I absolutely love smoothies and drink them for breakfast several days a week, so I was really excited to receive two Jamba Juice coupons to use on their at-home smoothie kits in my first Influenster VoxBox. Three of my favorite fruits (peaches, strawberries, and mangos) are the main ingredients in the Caribbean Passion smoothie, so deciding on which flavor to try was pretty easy for me. I already used one of the coupons I received to get the Caribbean Passion At-Home Smoothie Kit completely free of charge but am saving the second coupon, which offers $1 off, for when the smoothie kits go on sale in order to maximize my savings.

I decided to blend the contents of my Jamba Juice At-Home Smoothie Kit with 8 ounces of Tropicana Trop50 Orange Juice and a splash of Silk Protein & Fiber Almondmilk. This made approximately two 8 ounce smoothies – one I drank immediately and one I saved for breakfast the following morning. Both smoothies were delicious, but I definitely enjoyed the first one more. Next time I use one of these at-home smoothie kits, I’ll leave the second smoothie in the blender when I place it in the fridge. That way I’ll be able to more easily blend it again whenever I decide to drink it.

I received all of these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Beauty, Reviews

Surf’s Up VoxBox Review ~ Part 1

Early last week, I received my first Influenster VoxBox, and I was very excited to discover that it had a beachy, summer theme (as you could probably guess from the name)! Included in the box was a Sinful Colors Professional nail polish, CoverGirl mascara, a Hawaiian Tropic after sun lotion, a First Aid liquid pain relief shot, and two coupons for Jamba Juice at-home smoothie kits. I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes, and I have reviewed two of the five items below. I will post a review of the other three products sometime next week.


Sinful Colors Professional Nail Polish in Firefly ($1.99)

To be honest, my first thought when I saw the bottle of neon yellow polish was far from positive. Yellow is not one of my favorite colors, and I’ve never thought that it paired well with my complexion. Nonetheless, I did my best to keep an open mind as I applied three thin coats of the polish to my nails. Having never heard of the Sinful Colors brand before, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of quality and was pleasantly surprised by how easily it went on my nails. Furthermore, it took no longer to dry than most other polishes I have used. Two days later, my nails looked as good as they did when I originally painted them, but I could no longer handle the color and decided to take it off.


I was very impressed with the overall quality of Sinful Colors Professional Nail Polish and shocked to find out that it only costs $1.99 at Walgreens. I do not plan to ever use the Firefly polish again, but I would happily purchase this brand in the future if I found a color that better suits my complexion and style.

CoverGirl Bombshell Curvaceous by LashBlast Mascara ($9.49-11.99)

I have had both good and bad experiences with CoverGirl mascara in the past, but so far I am extremely impressed with the quality of this product. It definitely adds length and volume to my lashes (which are naturally blonde, thin, and short). Applying the Bombshell Curvaceous mascara involves two steps – side 1 (a base coat) is supposed to provide lashes with “extreme volume,” while side 2 (a top coat) is said to “intensify” the look. After using side one the first time, I was already pleased with the appearance of my lashes in terms of fullness and length. Applying the top coat simply made my lashes look darker.


I had read some negative reviews of this product prior to trying it myself, but I think the majority of those people had bad experiences because they were trying to rush the application process. The wand for this mascara is quite big, and it does take a little longer to apply than most other mascaras since it involves two steps. Therefore, I do not plan to use this mascara every day, but I am excited to use it when I have time to put more effort into my make up.

I received all of these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Beauty, Reviews

Julep Maven Summer Brights Welcome Box Review ~ Part 2

Since my nails started chipping yesterday, I decided to give myself a fresh manicure today and try out another color from my Summer Brights Welcome Box. I was disappointed that Mariska (the polish I used today) did not go on as smoothly as Caitlin (the polish I used last weekend), but it seemed to dry more quickly than Caitlin and still only required two coats. Mariska has a matte finish and is a color that I never would have picked out on my own, but I am very pleased with how it looks and am happy that I received it in my box.


I also decided to try the eye liner and lip gloss that came in my Summer Brights Welcome Box when I went out for drinks with some friends last night. The Kajal eye liner has two ends (one black and one brown), and I chose to start by using the lighter shade. I’m not exactly sure what I expected, but I was amazed by the quality of the eye liner. It went on more smoothly than any eye liner product I have used in the past, and it lasted all night without smudging. I was similarly surprised by the quality of the lip gloss. Glowing is a great shade of pink for my complexion, and the gloss was significantly less sticky than many others that I have tried before. Needless to say, I would highly recommend Julep’s Kajal eye liner and lip gloss to anyone in the market for new make up.

Beauty, Reviews

Julep Maven Summer Brights Welcome Box Review ~ Part 1

A couple weeks ago, I saw a promotion for Julep Maven on Facebook. The company was offering a special Summer Brights Welcome Box, which included eye liner, a sharpener, lip gloss, and 3 nail polishes (CaitlinKayla, and Mariska). All I had to do was sign up for a subscription, use a specific promo code, and pay S&H. A friend of mine had recommended this company to me because of the quality of their products, and this promotion seemed like a great deal – so I decided to give it a try.

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I was extremely excited when my Summer Brights Welcome Box showed up a few days later, and I immediately painted my nails with my new Caitlin polish (shown below). I was pleased with the appearance of my nails after only two coats, but three coats might be necessary when using one of their lighter colors. It has now been five days since I painted my nails, and they just started chipping today. I find this absolutely amazing! My nails normally begin to chip within two days, even when I get them done at a salon.


My June box is being shipped tomorrow and should be arriving on Tuesday. I am a little nervous about the polish colors I’ll be receiving this month, but I was very pleased with my welcome box and hope to be just as satisfied with the next one. Click here if you are interested in signing up for your own subscription, and use the promo code FREEBOX to get your first box free!