In Which Jenn Reviews Another Influenster Vox Box

Hey, remember that time I got an Influenster Vox Box? I guess they value truthiness after all – I got another for review.

More unbridled honesty ahead!

Orgain Organic Protein Powder in Vanilla Bean
Despite the surprising popularity of this tropical smoothie recipe post, I haven’t been smoothie-ing it up much lately. For a long time smoothies were a backbone of my diet, but I’ve been concentrating on eating more varied meals. That being said, I broke out a peanut butter-banana smoothie recipe courtesy of the interwebs, replaced the recommended Greek yogurt with Orgain protein powder, and slurped away. Verdict: not bad. Not nearly as cloyingly sweet as some other vanilla protein powders I’ve tried. Still a little too sweet, though. I’d be inclined to go for the Greek yogurt instead. But if you like your proteins powdered and are looking for something organic, this could easily work for you.

Ecos Laundry Detergent
This is laundry detergent. It worked very well as laundry detergent. It did not, however, distinguish itself for me personally as the laundry detergent to end all other laundry detergents. It’s green, whiuch is good. Otherwise, by all means, grab it if it’s on sale, but it’s a solid whatevs.

Hair Food Moisture Collection
First off, this product is produced by Clairol, which tests on animals. I’m trying to move away from giving companies that do animal testing my money. I did try it, though, since a) it was free so Clairol did not in fact get said money and b) if it’s awesome, those without such hangups (after all, it’s a personal choice) might want to hear a review. Well, I was only sent one wash’s worth of product, and the conditioner portion could barely cover my looooong hair. It was okay, but nothing that makes me sad I can’t purchase it in full. A larger sample might’ve produced a different result, but what can ya do. I’d stick with Soapbox Soaps if I were you (50% off this week in Target’s Cartwheel app!).

Eatsmart Three Bean Tortilla Chips
I enjoyed these very much. These chips have 14 grams of whole grains per serving and have a pleasantly spicy kick. My only critique is that they could use more salt, but then me and sodium are perhaps a bit too fond of each other. Would buy again if I saw them in the store and had tortilla chips on my list.

Curate Dark and Tempting Snack Bar
The Dark and Tempting flavor was composed primarily of dried fruit, yet miraculously did not cause me any intestinal distress. Score! Tasty, but didn’t keep me full overlong. I wouldn’t go out of my way for it but I’d definitely eat one if I needed a snack and it was lying around.

Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 Supreme &
Vichy LiftActiv Supreme Face Moisturizer
Okay, so, here’s the thing: I’m not a good tester for anti-aging products. At the ripe old age of 30 I sport nary a forehead line. People regularly guess my age to be as much as a decade less than it is. Now, before you accuse me of bragging, please note: I’m 99% sure this is the combined product of my distressingly oily T-zone and a complete lack of cheekbones. Nothing in life comes free.

Anyway, I tried both products. I only received one packet of the serum and it was perhaps a bit slick for my oily skin but otherwise it was fine, I guess? How exactly are serums supposed to make you feel? As for the moisturizer, I received a small pot and have been using it with regularity. I like it. It’s not too thick and makes my skin feels soft enough. I haven’t broken out to any unusual degree, and I don’t look any older than I did when I started, so victory…? They’re both pretty expensive, though, so I doubt I’d repurchase either unless it was deeply discounted. YMMV.

Also: Casablanca and French Nazis.


Have you tried any of these products? Do you have a sword of truthiness?

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Does Not Believe In Meal Replacement

Hey, remember that time I got an Influenster Vox Box? And how I was honest in my reviews? And how I said because of that I’d probably never get another one?
Well, I was wrong. SO FAR. This may be the one to ruin it all.
You see, this Vox Box was filled with Slim Fast products. And while I don’t mean to pick on Slim Fast specfically here, as a recovering disordered eater I am extremely leery of diet products. I don’t like the regimentation, I don’t like the limitations, I don’t like the emphasis on pre-packaged, processed meal replacements over actually eating a meal. But I also don’t like being negative, so I decided to just keep quiet about this one.
Until I got an email from Influenster recognizing that I am a blogger and encouraging me to weigh in on my box with a post. Well. Ask and ye shall receive.
My box contained four Slim Fast items: a potato chip substitute, a cinnamon cookie substitute, a meal replacement bar, and a meal replacement shake. The shake was too sweet and frankly kind of gross; I took a couple sips and tossed the rest in the trash (I had the vanilla flavor; chocolate may have been more palatable). The bar was fine but for something that’s supposed to replace a meal it kept me full for maaaaaybe two hours. The crisps were tasty but didn’t provide much sustenance either. Of the three, the sour cream and onion “chips” were the best, in that the portion was fairly generous and as a snack it kept me satisfied for several hours. If you’re going to buy a Slim Fast product, I’d go with that one.
HOWEVER. I strongly dislike all of this, for the reasons noted above but primarily for this: what, am I just supposed to eat Slim Fast and only Slim Fast? Plus just celery and apples or whatever? Forever? Until I’ve lost enough weight? How much is that? Then what? What about if I just had a hard workout and… no, never mind. Slim Fast can’t possibly sustain a workout.
Again, not to single out Slim Fast exclusively here. They are but one brand in a sea of products promising to make you skinny. Screw those brands. Don’t let them tell you what to eat. Don’t let them define what you need. Embrace eating intuitively, with a mind to how you feel and how you WANT to feel. I know it’s hard – hell, I still struggle with it every day. But if the answer lies anywhere, it’s definitely NOT in the words “meal replacement.”

I am willing to field alternate opinions here. Has anyone had great success with something like Slim Fast?

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

The Fairest Giveaway Of All: Soapbox Soaps Shower Products

Whew! It’s been quite a weekend here at FRoA headquarters. My interns* and I have been snowed in since Friday. Today I am finally free of my cold wet confines, which is a cause for celebration, yes? I give you: giveaway week, so named because I have TWO giveaways for you.

* Cats. They’re my cats.

We’ll start with the one I teased way back when: Soapbox Soaps. I received their coconut conditioner in an Influenster Vox Box last month I fell completely in love with the product. I have tricky hair – it’s VERY long, but it’s fine, but it’s also frizzy, but it’s REALLY wavy. The shea butter-infused shampoo and conditioner soften even my really-need-a-trim ends, smoothes, and shines. All for, like, $6, and you can get it at Target or the drugstore or whatever. Awesome.

Awesome indeed, if that were all. Here’s what earned my customer loyalty: not only does Soapbox run clean drinking water programs around the world, and not only does Soapbox give out bars of soap to those in need, these products are 100% CRUELTY FREE.

This is so important to me. I’ve been trying to phase out all my animal-tested products. It’s tougher to do than I would’ve imagined, but I’m dedicated to finding a swap for all my beauty and hygiene products even if it takes awhile. If you want to argue the necessity of animals in medical testing, okay; there’s a shade of gray there, always provided of course that experiments are conducted as humanely as possible.

For beauty products, though? We don’t NEED those. We don’t NEED to slap shadow on our eyes and lipstick on our lips. We don’t NEED specially formulated shampoos with ingredients that could apparently mess us up hence the testing. There is NO REASON to test beauty products on animals, ever, and that is why Soapbox is now my new go-to for shower products.

Want to make your own animal-friendly switch? You’re in luck – Soapbox Soaps has generously agreed to give one lucky reader a bottle each of their shampoo, conditioner, AND body wash in Pomegranate and Acai. To enter, simply comment on this blog post. (Bonus points if you list your favorite cruelty-free company!) You’ve got one week to enter, so get cracking! (To be clear: deadline is midnight Tuesday.)

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Receives An Influenster Vox Box

Wanna hear something weird? Influenster believes you are interested in my opinions! I can tell because, against all odds, they sent me their Spice Vox Box, full of stuff I did not pay for. I am nothing if not chock full of integrity, however, so you can be sure that the following thoughts are devoid of bias. You can tell because sometimes the things I say aren’t complimentary; which is another way of saying this may be my last Vox Box. Time will tell!

So what was in this, my first and potentially final box? Well…

Good Health Veggie Stix – Made with broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, and the like, these are definitely a healthier alternative to potato chips. They’re not a substitute texturally, and are strangely a little greasy, but if you’re craving something salty it’s not a bad pick. I wouldn’t buy these on the regular but it would make a great road trip or airplane snack.

Not Your Mother’s Whip It Up Mousse (FB) – This stuff comes out like whipped cream and smells like vanilla frosting. All major pros in my book but don’t give it to your toddler unless you fancy a call to poison control. I’ve used it in my hair a couple times, applying it wet and then blowing dry, and it worked nicely enough, but I did not notice enough difference to label this a must-have or miracle product. I’d buy it on sale but not go out of my way for it.

Boots Botanics 81% Organic Hydrating Day Cream – I was skeptical of this product from the start, especially since my facial skin can be temperamental. The texture of this cream is thick in the jar but comes out on your fingers much thinner, which threw me off, and once soaked into my face I thought I detected a waxy residue. But having used it several days in a row, I found it really did leave my face looking pretty good, soft and even. And this next bit will be a love-or-hate thing for potential buyers: you can REALLY smell the rosehip oil. I loved the smell, which lingers on your face for a bit, but if you’re sensitive to scents or prefer something more neutral, skip. Otherwise, give it a shot. Major bonus: cruelty-free!

Sinful Colors Nail Polish & Topcoat – I lasted painted my toenails… I want to say… two and a half years ago? And the last time I can actively remember painting my fingernails was in 8th grade. You could say I’m not the target market for this product, but I’ll give them this: the deep, rich red they sent me ALMOST tempted me into trying it. Who knows; I might slap this on my toes someday. Further updates as events warrant, but until then I give this a hearty ???

Yogi Tea – I received two flavors, vanilla spice and tangerine. Neither are really in my wheelhouse (I’m a mint and/or green tea girl), but both did the job. I was not blown away by either flavor but the vanilla spice was excellent from a thematic perspective when I was wrapping Christmas presents. I recommend you add a little sugar to really bring out the vanilla notes.

Foot Petals Kill Kushionz – There were two models of shoe augmenters sent in these boxes, and of course I got the one I don’t have much call to use: the one for heels. I don’t wear heels much because a) I like to walk really fast and b) my boyfriend is max two inches taller than me and while neither of us care from a symbolic perspective if I’m taller it’s not really conducive to good times if you’re constantly addressing your words over your date’s head, y’know? Next time I do bust out some heels, I’ll let you know if these are worth the money. In the meantime, Foot Petals, if you want me to send those boot inserts, they would get a VERY THOROUGH REVIEW.

And now, saving the best for last…

Soapbox Soaps Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner – LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. I’m not going to go into too much detail just yet because I’m trying to arrange a discount code or giveaway from the company earlyish next year, but suffice it to say you should buy some right now. It does nice things for my hair AND it’s animal-safe, which is very important to me. Never looking back!

There you have it: a bunch o’ opinions from me.

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!