A few months ago, I heard about Influenster from Jana, who blogs at Button Munch. Basically, you create a profile, write some product reviews, and if they like what they see, they send you a box full of free stuff to try out and review. Um, they had me at free! I signed up in December, played with it a bit, and then forgot about it. A few weeks ago, I got a message saying I'd "qualified" to receive a box. Cue the fistpumps!
Soon after, I came home from work and found a super-random box of stuff from Colgate, Vaseline, belVita, Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel, and NECTRESSE sitting on my doorstep. Keith and I opened it together and marveled at the odd assortment. Want to know what was good, what was not so good, and what brought back random memories of the Smooze from the My Little Pony Movie? Read on!
And hey, I have four Influenster invitations, so if you want one, leave me a comment with your e-mail address.
The Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer was obviously invented by someone who's never cleaned a bathroom. Some guy in Product Development was like, "Hey, I bet ladies want to save 3 seconds in the morning by spraying on their lotion before they rub it in, instead of slathering it on by hand! Nevermind that they'll spend 5 minutes scrubbing misfired lotion spritz off the walls and floor." It's just not possible to make sure that every last microdroplet of lotion ends up on your skin. I wouldn't be opposed to using this in the shower, except the slippery lotion fallout would create a falling hazard. No thanks, Vaseline. I'll stick to regular lotion.
Colgate did better. For ergonomic reasons, the Colgate Optic White Toothbrush is superior to all other toothbrushes, including the fancy Sonicare ones that purport to be like a Maserati for your mouth. If a Sonicare is a Maserati, then the Colgate toothbrush is a time-travelling DeLorean with Cillian Murphy riding shotgun. Toothbrush win!
The Colgate Optic White Toothpaste is toothpaste, period. I don't buy in to the idea that fancy toothpaste is better than cheap toothpaste. Read any toothpaste box; the active ingredient is sodium flouride. The rest is flavor and texture. Let's move on.
Finally, the Colgate Optic White Mouthwash doesn't have alcohol, so it isn't drying and it doesn't burn. It does have peroxide. The peroxide gives it a clean taste that's kind of pleasant, if a bit medicinal. BUT. BUT. BUT. The peroxide foams up like mad and chokes you with its medicinal cleanliness! Who remembers the Smooze from the My Little Pony Movie? I felt like I was being strangled by Smooze! No good, Colgate. I had to use half the recommended amount to prevent the Smoozing sensation.
|Nothing can stop the Smooze.|
Oh, belVita Breakfast Biscuit. You taste good! I was so excited to receive hard little British cookies that call themselves biscuits, no joke. They make me feel like I should don a cameo and shirtwaist for high tea. Each belVita packet contains four flat, oblong multi-grain wafers that taste like graham crackers with very little sugar. We eat a lot of Clif Bars around here, but I prefer the subtle flavor of these, and the fact that they don't make crumbs all over me. I'll actually buy these for those days when I'm running around like a madwoman and need portable food.
|"Please pass the belVita, Josephine." Library of Congress|
The Dickinson's Witch Hazel Towelettes Oil Controlling Towelettes were my surprise favorite. I didn't even try them until I'd had the box almost a week. That was about ten days ago, and I already don't know what I'd do without them. Have you tried those awful silicone-based products that claim to make you look less shiny, but actually clog your pores and break you out like mad? Yeah, these won't do that. These are moist towelettes soaked with a witch hazel toner. They feel cool and fresh.
Keith hates the smell. They smell like vodka (and contain 14% grain alcohol). And they've completely eliminated my need for powder. Three days after I started using them, I stopped using my BB primer, too. I have no plans to ever stop using these little gems.
The makers of Nectresse sweetener play a little bait and switch game with you. They're all, "LOOK! It's sweet because of MONKFRUIT! Monkfruit is just REALLY sweet and we don't know why it doesn't have calories, okay?" But if you actually read the ingredient list, the first ingredient is a sugar alcohol called erythritol. What's a sugar alcohol, you ask? "They are hydrogenated carbohydrates which keeps the body from recognizing them as carbohydrates." Umm... that's weird. Erythritol gives Nectresse much of its sweetness, all of its bitter aftertaste, and its ability to EFF UP YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM if you're sensitive to sugar alcohols. Erythritol is supposed to be less, um, irritating than other sugar alcohols, but it didn't treat me well. If you're really that worried about getting fat, I say just drink your coffee black!
That concludes my Influenster review. Go buy some Dickinson's towelettes, already. They're excellent! Gee, I feel influential.
Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.