REVIEW: Influenster Showstopper Voxbox (Clarins, Lime Crime, VDL, and Copper + Crane)

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Influenster sent me a box full of assorted skincare goods, and I’m not really sure what to make of them.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m always super appreciative when Influenster sends me things for review. It’s just a little weird this time, because the products seem to be mostly unrelated. I got an eyebrow pen, eyebrow gel, soap, serum, and two primers. I suppose they’re all beauty products, but they’re all different brands and don’t really seem to have a common theme. They’re just supposed to make me into a “showstopper,” whatever that means.

Welp, I don’t really know if I’m a showstopper now, but I do know know that I’m a reviewer, so that’s what I’ll do.

First up, I’ve got the Copper + Crane spa bar. For context, I’m usually more of a body wash and loofa kind of a person. I’ll use bar soap for my hands, but it’s rare that I”ll ever use a bar soap for my body.

This soap has me considering changing my mind, though. It smells heavenly — like sweet roses — and feels luxurious and creamy to the touch. It doesn’t lather quite like a good body wash, but the scent is so beautiful that I can look past that. I’m a fan. You can bet that I’ll be looking into more bar soaps.

Up next, I’ve got the Lime Crime Bushy Brown pen and gel. I’ve never used a brow pen either, though I think I’ve used just about every other brow product out there. Pencils, creams, powders, stencils — I own them all.

I am a huge fan of this brow pen. I’ve admittedly never tried another, so I can’t compare, but for a first try, I love it. My problem with filling in my brows is always that the hairs are dark but sparse. I need to fill them in, but I always run the risk of making them look too heavy and too dark. This pen avoids that problem. Because the strokes are thin, I can make them look like tiny hairs, making my brows look fuller without looking drawn-on. I’ll definitely be looking into more products from this brand.

For two small tubes of the VDL Lumilayer primers, I was a little less impressed. I received both the “fresh” and “original” versions. To be honest, I’m not really a primer person, so maybe I’m not one to write a review on this. For me, a primer should make my makeup apply more easily and maybe last a little longer. I don’t really know if I got that effect from these products — there’s just better out there. I’ve had good luck with the Revlon Photoready primer. Again, though, I’m just not normally one who wears primer — it deserves a mention because it came in my Voxbox along with the other products, but I can’t honestly say that I recommend it.

The last product I got — a sample of the Clarins Doble Serum and  — is a the most difficult to judge. I don’t struggle with aging yet, and that’s what this serum is meant to combat. Anti-aging products usually work slowly, and I only had a month and a few small sample  foil packets to test this product out with. I don’t really feel comfortable giving you guys a review on this one. I appreciate the sample from Influenster, but I’m just not able to offer an honest opinion here, as I’m not the kind of person the product was made for and I haven’t had enough time to test its effects. Also, full price, this 1.6 oz product will set you back $122. I don’t know, that seems rather overpriced to me.

Have you tried the any of these products? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite soaps, brow products, primers, or serums? Let me know your thoughts below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

October 18, 2018 – Autumnal (OOTD #394)

And here comes my annual Boyd Orchard trip blog.

Every year, my dad and I go out to this particular farm in Central KY to pick pumpkins and do stereotypical American fall things. It’s always a great opportunity for photos — in part, because the location lends itself well to a fall Instagram aesthetic, and in part, because my dad’s there, and he always takes great photos.

This year, we also got my mother and dog to come along! It was a true family outing. The only member of the gang missing was my cat, Mushu.

(That’s my mother’s hand in the photo)

These photos turned out even better than last year’s, in my opinion. Last year, I got some good pictures, but my hair was the worst looking that I think it’s ever been. It was right before I decided to cut it and dye it grey (for the first time), and it was in a truly sorry state. A year and a half of bleaching it blonde did not leave my ends very intact-looking.

This year, I was smart enough to get my fall break haircut in before I went out for my orchard adventure. Check out those intact hair strands.

We didn’t end up picking any pumpkins this time because we didn’t think we’d get the time to carve them, but we did get plenty of apples. We also did the hayride, got apple cider, caramel apples, took photos in the pumpkin patch (even if there were none left to pick) — all of the fall things.

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you’re the 🍎 of my 👁

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It’s little outings like this that I really miss when I’m stuck at school. I miss the outside world, even if it’s just a farm with some produce. Notre Dame is a great little compact world, but campus feels small without pumpkins or apple trees. All we’ve got are sycamores and oaks and the occasional ginkgo. Shoutout to my botany class for teaching me that.

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some quality fall moodboard content

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That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home. Don’t forget to check me out on PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Forever21

Sweater:thrifted

Pants: The LOFT

October 15, 2018 – The Continuing Adventures of Fall Break (OOTD #393)

Fun fact: these photos happen to have been taken at the same Mexican restaurant as the photos from this post. 

Fun fact #2: these photos were also taken right after I got a haircut, which is the same as what happened after that same post.

Haircuts for me take a ridiculously long time. For one, I’m not just getting my hair cut — I’m also getting it bleached and colored. Even when I’m just having my roots done, it can take a long time to apply, then a long time to sit as I wait for it to have an effect, and then another long time to wash out. And then, an even longer time as I wait for the whole process to start over for a second time, since my hair is so dark that it requires two rounds of bleach in order to lighten it to blonde.

Haircuts are basically a whole-day affair. It’s worth it, and it’s so much better having it done than trying to do it on my own, but I can basically count on doing nothing else all day but sitting in the stylist’s chair and watching afternoon television.

So after my exhausting day of sitting in the stylist’s chair and watching afternoon television, it makes sense that I should reward myself for a job well done — hence the Mexican restaurant afterwards. I have to rejuvenate myself with nachos after working so hard all day.

Everyone criticizes my generation of being lazy, but I disagree — it’s hard work being a full-time student for three months straight. You never get to escape school. You live there, so it dominates every moment of your time on campus. Getting to go home, away from school, and indulge in sitting in a hair salon for an entire day without anything to do — that’s what break is made for.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Forever12

Sweater: American Eagle

October 14, 2018 – The Marvelous Ms. Meilin (OOTD #392)

I’ve been watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime, and let me say — it’s got a great visual style.

Actually, by “I’ve been watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” I mean, I’ve seen the first episode. I’m not very good at actually watching television shows. I usually tend to begin them and then never find the time to continue them, even if I enjoy the first episode. 

With The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel though, I think I may actually continue  watching. Not only was the plot interesting, but like I said, the 1950s aesthetic was really gorgeous. 

I’m a sucker for historical fashion (being a history major, and all), and I’m always happy to incorporate some vintage pieces into my wardrobe. Case in point: this outfit.

I don’t know what era this dress actually comes from, but I could imagine it as something from the 50s. I know it’s not — it’s Don von Furstenburg, who didn’t come to popularity until the mid-70s — but with my coat, I feel like it evokes a late-50s vibe anyway. 

IMG_7758.jpg

Speaking of vintage, this coat is also practically vintage, at least in terms of my ownership of it. It’s probably the piece in my wardrobe that’s been in my possession the longest. If I remember correctly, I’ve had it since third grade — and even then, I bought it used off of a friend’s older sister. Who knows how old it really is.

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just some colorFALL leaves

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It was too big for me for several years, and by the time I grew into it, I’d stopped growing altogether. Hence, I still keep it in my wardrobe for days like these when it just really ties together an outfit. It doesn’t happen often, but when I do need it, I’m grateful that I have it. 

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg (vintage)

Coat: Rothschild (thrifted) 

October 13, 2018 – Fall Stuff (OOTD #391)

This was basically just a day for me to gather a collection of fall aesthetic photos for my Instagram, not going to lie.

Oh, don’t get me wrong — I had fun too. It wasn’t my plan to get a lot of content for my IG. It just happened.

This was my first day of fall break, which meant that I was going to do everything in my power to ignore the homework I had to do. I’d just spent two straight months doing nothing but homework; this was the first break I had in ages. I later came to regret that decision as fall break came to a close, when I had to make up for all of the work I didn’t do earlier in the week. But to the Meilin of October 13, that was a problem to be dealt with later.

As often happens when I go home, my first day was spent hanging out with my friend Amanda. And as often happens when I hang out with Amanda, we had no particular plans in mind for what we should actually do with ourselves.

Somehow, we wound up deciding to go out and pick pumpkins for carving. This was apparently Amanda’s first time ever carving pumpkins. Believe, me, I was just as surprised hearing that the first time as you are reading it now — how can a person living in America never have carved a pumpkin before?

Anyway, insert first batch of fall aesthetic photos here.

From there, we decided to drive around to some local thrift shops and look for fall clothing. One of the elements of normal life that I miss most when I live on campus is the ability to just go out shopping — I get all of my food from the on-campus dining options, and if I need something else, I order it on Amazon. I don’t get to just walk around Target on a Sunday afternoon, or even make a quick stop in Walgreens to pick up some eyeliner. Look, rampant consumerism is bad and all, and being so isolated from temptations to spend money is good for my bank account, but I miss just getting to window shop.

Then, after getting stuck in traffic for like an hour due to Donald Trump himself driving through town on his way to a speaking engagement somewhere else in the state, we made it home to carve our pumpkins and watch Halloweentown. Fun fact: I’d actually never seen that movie before. I suppose Amanda and I then both had new Halloween-related experiences that day.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Top: Thrifted

Pants: Thrifted

October 12, 2018 – I’m Coming Home (OOTD #390)

I love the last day of school before I get to head home.

I don’t know, there’s just something exciting about the process of getting myself from one place to another — I like transportation, and the knowledge that I’m an independent adult now who can travel by herself.

I’m not so much a fan of travel when I’m leaving home, but going home? I don’t know if there’s a better feeling in the world.

So after my long Wednesday, October 10, I only had to make it through October 11 and then October 12 until the first half of Fall Semester 2018 was finally over. My Thursday-Friday schedule is usually a little calmer than my Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday schedule, so it wasn’t so bad surviving through the end of the week.

By 12:30 on Friday afternoon, I was home free. All that was left to do was pack my bags, get in the car, and drift off into oblivion until I made it to the airport.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t so simple as that. I found a girl who was driving to Midway Airport at 4:30 in the afternoon, which should have given me plenty of time to get from Notre Dame to Chicago in time for my flight. What we didn’t account for, though, was that traffic would be bad with all of the students trying to leave at once (plus tourists coming in for a home game). By the time we actually left campus, it was more like 5:30.

Furthermore, we didn’t account for how difficult it would be to find parking once we got to the airport. It wasn’t my car, so it wasn’t really my problem to navigate, but the girl who drove and her friend in the passenger seat sure had a hard time finding where their parking reservation was. It also ended up costing them like $80 to park for the week. Poor kids.

They were also running super late for their flight. It departed at 8:00pm, and we didn’t even make it to the parking lot until 7:30. Thankfully, we had the world’s coolest airport shuttle driver ever. This man drove over a line of cones and sped the whole way to get them to their terminal on time.

Me, though? I still had plenty of time. My flight didn’t leave until 9:30 in the evening, so I was still there an hour and a half early. It wasn’t exactly the most relaxing trip to the airport ever, but I still made it on time.

Even with all of the setbacks, I can’t say I disliked my travel home. It was still travel home, and the destination was what was important. And in the end, I made it home.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jumpsuit: Urban Outfitters

Top: Free People

October 10, 2018 – The Longest Day (OOTD #389)

I don’t normally tend to discuss my daily life in these blogs because there’s not a lot to talk about, but I’m going to do so for this day because I remember just how long it was.

In fact, I even remember what day of the week this was — it was a Wednesday. How often can you look back on a photograph that was taken a month ago and immediately place where it fell in the week? Not often. That’s how memorable this particular day was.

If I remember correctly, I had about three assignments due on this particular Wednesday before fall break, and one exam. Come Tuesday at midnight (er, I guess technically Wednesday at midnight), none of these assignments were done.

What was due? A paper for my theology class, a first draft of my study abroad essays, and my final project for my botany class, not to mention the looming exam for Russian literature, the class which I was doing the most poorly in.

I’m no stranger to staying up late to do work, but I legitimately wondered how I was going to get all of these stuff done. None of these tasks would have been particularly difficult to get done on their own, but put altogether, and with the added challenge of a time crunch — it wasn’t a fun night.

So flash forward to about 8AM Wednesday morning. I’ve gotten about a 2 hour nap from around 2-4AM, and I’ve been working ever since. My theology paper is done, my study abroad essays are done enough, all that’s left of my botany project is to cut out some pictures and glue them into my notebook, and I haven’t even touched my Russian lit studying. But that’s too bad, because I have a meeting in an hour at 9AM with the dean of my college to get approval for study abroad, and I need to look presentable.

I make it through my meeting with my dean alive, though I have to resist the urge to let out a primal scream when he asks how my day’s been going. I have about an hour before French begins to finish pasting all of my pictures into my botany notebook, and from there I’m in class nonstop until 3:15.

My Russian literature exam goes okay — not great, but not tragically either. I manage to turn in my botany project on time, and I hand in my theology paper when I get to class. By some miracle, I don’t fall asleep in theology, even though all we have to do for class is to watch a documentary.

These photos were taken shortly after I got out of theology and the busy part of my day ended. Do I look tired? I definitely was. After I got out of class, I just kind of sat by myself at the top of the steps in the pottery studio (for context, my theology class takes place in the haunted art building) and took a moment to breathe. It was raining out, which I could see through the sky roof, and that was nice.

The point of all of this? Midterms suck. Even more than finals suck. With finals at least, class ends, clubs stop meeting, and you have several days where campus is just sort of dead while everyone cries to themselves and prepare for the GPA crash. With midterms, nothing stops, but you still have exams and projects all due at once. Take it from me and my dirty hair and tired eyes in these photos: it’s lousy.

Thankfully, though, midterms are finally over. Writing from my current standpoint, nearly a month after October 10 happened, I can’t believe I somehow managed to make it through. Only five more rounds of midterms to go before I graduate.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer (thrifted)

Jacket: Thrifted

October 5, 2018 – Elementary, My Dear (OOTD #388)

I was honestly shocked that I’ve never used that blog title before.

I feel I’ve made most of the popular English culture references at this point, but as it turns out, I haven’t made this reference yet (though I came rather close here). I surprise myself a little everyday.

Today’s blog title is inspired by my roommate, who, upon seeing this outfit, declared that I looked like an elementary school teacher. Interestingly, this is the same roommate who said the other day that my outfit made me look like I was getting ready for Oktoberfest.

In both cases, I can’t really argue with her. While elementary school teacher wasn’t really my goal with this outfit, I’m not against the look either. I know for a fact that realistically, I would be a terrible elementary school teacher, so seeing as I will never be one, I’m happy to dress up like one.

I’m not sure how many elementary school teachers would match leopard print and plaid, but more power to those who do.

Actually, for a few years as a kid, I wanted to teach second or third grade. I don’t know why, though. I don’t remember being any good with younger kids when I was a kid, and I don’t remember being particularly interested in teaching people things either. Honestly, I think I just thought it would be an easy job that would still allow me to have summer vacations. I know now, of course, that teaching is actually quite difficult (and quite underpaid) — and hence, I will never teach, even for the summer vacation.

But maybe if I continue to impersonate an elementary school teacher with loafers, plaid, and tea-length skirts, I’ll get summer vacations anyway, even if I don’t go into education. Worth a shot, right?

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted)

Top: Francesca’s

Skirt: Vintage (thrifted)

October 4, 2018 – Oldie Goldies (OOTD #387)

Here’s an outfit made of clothing I’ve owned for four years or more.

And no, it wasn’t on purpose — this wasn’t some kind of self-imposed challenge to make an outfit out of older clothing. In fact, I didn’t notice that this outfit was made of exclusively older clothing until I started writing this blog.

Let’s see, I think pretty much all of these pieces — with the exception of the leggings — were purchased sometime in my freshman or sophomore year of high school. The leggings might actually be older: perhaps from eighth grade. One of the few perks of having not grown an inch since middle school — I never throw away clothes because I outgrew them.

The downside of not growing since middle school is, of course, I still look sort of like a middle schooler.

It’s interesting though, because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have put these pieces together in this way back in middle school/early high school when I first got them. For one, leggings were against dress code at my middle school, so that never would have happened unless I wanted to get yelled at by my 8th grade history teacher.

But more importantly, four-five years ago, my style was just different. I wore a lot of skater skirts, infinity scarves, and utility jackets. That’s not to say I don’t still wear those things, but not really together any more. Together, they make me look like I stepped right out of 2014 — this outfit is a pretty good example of that. I think I even recognized in the blog I wrote that I looked like a (short) Hot Topic model from 2014.

I’ve never really had this problem before, but I’m finding I have to be more and more careful that my outfits don’t look like something from 2014. The differences between 2014 and 2018 fashion are subtle — and many 2014 pieces can still be worn in 2018 — but I have be cognizant of what looks contemporary, and what looks ever-so-slightly dated.

Honestly, I think being slightly dated is even worse than being completely out of style. When you’re out of style, you’ve at least committed to a look. When you’re dated, you’re clearly trying to be contemporary, but you’ve missed the mark.

I’m excited for when 2014 fashion is old enough to look vintage. The day my child goes to decade day at school wearing an infinity scarf, leggings, and riding boots, I’ll know I’ve made it.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Banana Republic

Turtleneck: Forever21

Leggings: The LOFT

October 3, 2018 – We All Fall Down (OOTD #386)

It doesn’t get much more fall than this.

Fall in the Midwest is actually quite lovely — it’s everything I always wanted fall to be when I lived in the South, when all we got were a few cool days usually followed by an intense heat wave that would turn all the leaves brown instead of orange. Meanwhile, winter in the South (or at least, the part of the South I’m from) is preferable to the winters we get here South Bend, but thankfully, I have winter break to go home and keep away from the perpetual snowstorm that is December-January in Northern Indiana.

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just some dead stuff on the ground

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Fall in South Bend usually means taking as many pictures with trees as possible. It’s not like there’re necessarily that many other interesting things to use as backgrounds — and we all know (or at least, I know) I use certain locations a little more than I probably should.

I live in a boring place, what can I say? I love my school, but it feels small at times — which is a pretty far cry from when I began here, and it felt massive. I suppose I’ve just gotten taller, or something.

Speaking of looking taller, I wrote a blog the other day about my preferred pose to make my legs look longer. There are some prime examples of that pose here in this post, especially the very first one at the top. I don’t pretend to be anything that my five foot tall-self (except for when I’m pretending to be a five foot one), but I do like to play with the perspective of different shots in order to find the most flattering angle. I may look like a 12 year-old boy in person, but I don’t need to in my pictures.

Just kidding. 12 year-old boys are probably taller than me.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Checkered top: J. Crew

Sweater: Forever21

Shorts: Forever21

Glasses: Discountglasses.com