Rave Reviews: InstaNatural Argan Oil Products

<img style=”display:none;” src=”http://www.brandbacker.com/camp.php?qargs=view_type=V%26camp_id=169%26camp_mem_id=31801″/&gt;INSTANATURAL

Hey guys! So about a week and a half ago, the lovely people of InstaNatural sent me a few of their argan oil products to try out and review. These products included their Superior Hydration Argan Oil Hair Mask, their 100% Pure Certified Organic Argan Oil Multipurpose Moisturizer and their Age-Defying Skin Clearing Serum For Flawless & Youthful Skin. I’ve been using these products for about a week (they got sent to my house, so I had to wait until I stopped home to pick them up), and I have varying opinions depending on the product.

The Hair Mask:

INSTANATURAL_MASK

Let’s start with my favorite of the products first, shall we? This hair mask totally rocked. It has a really nice scent to it (banana? vanilla? something like that), and it lingers in your hair so you get compliments all day long after washing your hair with it. It made my hair really silky, soft and strong. The morning after I used this, I curled my hair with a curling wand for a basketball game, and it came out so much better than it ever had before.

I’ve only used this product once, but since it’s so hydrating, I think it’s one I’ll only use about once every two weeks. It’s really repairing, so I think it’ll be really good for using after a few weeks’ worth of damage. Here’s the consistency of the mask so you can see just how hydrating and thick it is:

INSTANATURAL_MASK2

One thing about this product: In the directions, it says you should apply the mask from root to tip. I don’t think I’d do that, ever. I have pretty normal hair, maybe somewhat dry because it is naturally curly, but I also don’t like to wash it all the time (twice a week… go ahead, judge me for being gross). By the time hair washing night rolls around, my roots are pretty oily, and I think applying this mask to my roots would make it even worse.

This product:

  • Retails for $17.95 for 8 oz. (full-size)
  • Works great for really dry/damaged hair
  • Works great for naturally curly hair (it really defined my curls)

The All-Purpose Oil:

INSTANATURAL_OIL

This was, without a doubt, probably the least useful of the products I was sent. I usually use a Sally Hansen cuticle oil every night before going to bed, and so I thought this might be a nice, organic replacement for it, but it wasn’t. I then tried to use it all over my hands as sort of a lotion, and that didn’t work so well, either. Then I noticed on the bottle that it claimed to work to fight acne, and since it’s my time of the month and my skin has a habit of going crazy during that time, I decided to try that (with no luck). I used it on the ends of my hair in place of my Organix leave-in argan oil, and the InstaNatural also didn’t do a good job of that.

Finally, two nights ago, I decided to relegate this oil simply to taking care of ashy knees and elbows during this dry wintery weather. This appears to be the best use for this oil. It’s doing a really good job of fighting those dry patches of skin, and I’m feeling better about not being wasteful of this really coveted product.

I’m glad I found a use for the product, but I wouldn’t say that it’s a holy grail body moisturizer.

This product:

  • Retails for $17.95 for a 4 oz (full-size) bottle
  • Has a decent scent
  • Works well for dry patches of skin, but not much else

The Skin Serum:

INSTANATURAL_SERUM

So I was a little nervous when I first got this product simply because it was called an “age-defying” skin serum, and being 21 and constantly mistaken for a high school senior instead of a college senior, I didn’t really think I needed “age-defying” yet. But then I looked at the bottle closer, and I saw that it was more like a “skin clearing” serum, and my period-only acne prone skin would really benefit from that. The main ingredients in this serum are vitamin C (20%), retinol (2.5%), niacinamide (3.5%) and salicylic acid (2%). The formula also contains vegan hyaluronic acid, which is super trendy in the beauty world right now, and I was pretty excited to try a product containing it.

The product claims to not only restore youth and reduce fine lines/wrinkles, but also to banish breakouts and reduce hyperpigmentation. Being a habitual zit-popper, I was really excited to see that it would rid me of pimples and the scars I’ve got from popping them.

I’ve got to say, this serum worked pretty well! The timing was perfect because I was in monthly breakout season, so I was really able to  see how it would work. The serum contained my breakouts to a few along my hairline (which were super small and easily hidden) and only one big guy! That’s a new record for me during my period. That big guy also wasn’t a real big guy, and the way it was formed, I could hide it really easily and I wasn’t compelled to pop it once.

What I was really impressed with was the way it started to break up the hyperpigmentation on my forehead that I have from popping zits. On my forehead it’s almost all gone, and I have two fresh zit scars that are starting to fade, too. Woohoo!

This product:

  • retails for $21.95 for a 1 oz (full-size) product
  • smells pretty nice (really clean)
  • works well if you break out often (or have normal skin all the time except when you’re on your period)
  • will do some work on your acne scars

A note about the company:

Although I only loved 2/3 of the products I tested, I have to say how great it was to work with InstaNatural. I was directly messaged via BrandBacker by a representative of the company, who was always really pleasant to correspond with. I was also pleasantly surprised by the products they sent me. I initially only signed up to review the hair mask, but the company reached out with other review options, which could include either one or two bonus options. Naturally I took as much as I could for free (graciously, of course). It’s really cool that they sent me all full-sized products, as well.

When InstaNatural sent me the 100% off coupons to order these via Amazon, life and travelling and other stuff got away from me and I hadn’t been able to order them before the coupons expired. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to continue with the campaign. I reached out to InstaNatural to see if there was anything we could do, and I promptly got a message back saying my rep had personally shipped my products to me and that I shouldn’t worry. The products came to me within two days, which is incredibly fast shipping time.

This was a really great company that I really felt good about working with, and although I’m not able to say super positive things about the all-purpose oil, I’m glad I will be able to enjoy my hair mask and skin serum and hope in the future to purchase more of those products.

Disclaimer:

This is a sponsored post. All products reviewed on this page were sent to me complimentary from InstaNatural, via BrandBacker. All opinions are my own.

We are electric. We are infinite. [2014 Year in Review]

2014 brought a lot to me. I turned 21. I defended my senior honors thesis. I started writing for the Provoc and took the leap to become this academic year’s assistant Editor-in-Chief. I grew up and learned how to face the fear of chasing what I’m meant to do. I started this blog! Yay! I started at Her Campus. I got published in a national poetry journal. I said goodbye to a person who once made the air freeze in my lungs and grew from it.

But they say that pictures are worth a thousand words– a thousand words I certainly don’t have the skill to string together into beautiful sentences, so I leave you all with this.

STYLE - FURNITURE - GARDEN

Thanks 2014, but the best is yet to come.

Rave Reviews: COVERGIRL #GoBloom Full LashBloom LashBlash Mascara

 PicMonkey Collage

Hey guys! So last week the wonderful people with Covergirl and Influenster sent me this new mascara, which is part of the new Covergirl GoBloom collection. This mascara goes for $6.99-$8.99 depending on your retailer.

GoBloom_VoxBox

I was ridiculously excited to rip into that special delivery, and I gotta say, it didn’t really disappoint. Covergirl and Influenster told me to work with the mascara for a week, and after that, I’d be sure to be in love, and that was pretty accurate. I think I’ve found a new day-to-day mascara!

The Claims: This mascara claims to provide “A petal-shaped molded brush with short and long bristles that aligns, combs and coats every lash evenly for full, separated volume from root to tip. A detailing tip that allows you to build volume and reach those hard-to-get lashes, while keeping lashes soft and flexible– never wet. A new soft-set formula with natural beeswax to provide buildable volume that doesn’t go on wet or set hard. The formula delivers full, soft lashes that resist flaking.”

GoBloom_Wand

It has a pretty standard wand that does appear to have longer and shorter bristles to reach each lash individually. I like the way the wand combs through my lashes without clumping them together. I usually apply by wiggling the wand left and right through my lashes to make sure I’m getting them all, but sometimes with drug store brand mascaras that makes them stick together a bit, but this didn’t do that at all.

GoBloom_NoMascaraGoBloom_Final1

There’s a side-by-side of me without mascara (left) and with mascara (right) so you can see the effect the mascara has on my makeup look.

This mascara gives a really natural look, which I’m definitely not complaining about. I don’t usually go for very vampy makeup looks, so this mascara was perfect. It did just enough to make my lashes look full without being too fancy. I don’t think I’d use this one for a more glamorous look because it does tend to be more subtle, but for daily wear, this mascara gives a great look.

I also am so impressed by its staying power. I tend to need either waterproof mascara or a Benefit mascara or I’ll end up with smudging by the end of the day. This mascara is a major exception. I think because it isn’t super wet and doesn’t flake, I can wear it all day and it looks exactly as it did in the morning. I never ended up with any flaking under my eyes.

So would I recommend this to a friend? Absolutely. This mascara is perfect if you…

  • Want a subtle look
  • Are just starting to use makeup more
  • Want something that will work all day
  • Want something that will build more volume
  • Want something less vampy and more wearable

DISCLAIMER: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Rave Review: The Fix, Worcester

So the one highlight in all of Worcester, Massachusetts that all of us college students are able to look to with excitement and joy is Shrewsbury Street. Literally all up and down the street are just unreal restaurants. You would never think that those restaurants could be in a city like Worcester, but they are. And it’s awesome.

We don’t regularly head over there for dinners, though. Part of it is the drive (it’s so much easier to go to Panera, which is only like five minutes away), but another part of it is the fact that we don’t have any money, and these restaurants kind of require you to have money.

But this past Friday, we were like, “empty wallets be damned, we’re going to The Fix.”

Fix_CoverThe best part of The Fix? The milkshakes. Hands down. Nobody would win trying to argue that with me.

The Fix’s milkshakes aren’t completely rated PG, though. Seeing as I’m 21 (woohoo being legal!) I opted to get my chocolate milkshake boozy, and while it was delicious, I think next time I’ll get mine sans alcohol. I certainly wasn’t looking to get tipsy during that dinner, and it was kind of strong. I would’ve preferred having a purely chocolatey experience.

Fix_Shake

But isn’t it beautiful? Absolutely drool-worthy.

My roommates and I also got our trademark app– fried pickles. And before  you cringe and ask what the heck a fried pickle is, let me tell you: these things are Out. Of. This. World. Like right now I miss them. I miss fried pickles. I ate them less than a week ago, and I already miss them.

Fix_PicklesOh the things I wouldn’t do for some of those right now.

For my meal I ended up getting a burger (duh… it’s The Fix’s specialty). Now, I’m not the biggest burger person. I’m not going to say that I don’t like them, because that would be a total lie, but I’m not the type of person to crave a burger or to go out of my way to order one at a restaurant. When my mom makes them I usually just have the plain patty with no bread (yup… I’m that lame).

So, seeing as I only got a plain hamburger with pickles, I didn’t take a picture. But I’ll tell you this: The Fix has a zillion specialty burger options with a crap ton of different toppings. For anyone who is a huge burger-loving foodie, this place is for you. Just take a gander at that menu:

Fix_MenuProbably the best part of The Fix was the atmosphere. It was a small restaurant with a bunch of tables kind of close to each other, but not in a sloppy or invasion-of-privacy kind of way. It seemed really warm this way. Shrewsbury Street in general is really pretty with all of these nice restaurants lining either side of the street, so the view out the window ain’t too shabby either.

The inside was dressed up in really cute, rustic New England kind of Christmas decorations and holiday music was playing in the background. I really liked that the restaurant seemed lively but I was still able to hold a conversation with my roommates. Plus, it had a nice family atmosphere. Funny, considering the fact that the restaurant prides itself on its great alcoholic desserts, but it wasn’t in any way tacky or crude.

Fix_Mural

So, I guess to sum up: Would I recommend this place to a friend? Yeah! Of course! I’d just suggest planning ahead to spend some money (I mean I only paid around $20, but for me, an unemployed college student, that’s a wee painful to part with) and to be in the mood for some crazy (delicious) burgers and shakes.