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!

November 30, 2017 – On the First Day of Christmas (OOTD #172)

The Christmas season is finally here!

Well, according to me, anyway. I suppose the Catholic church may have a different definition of the advent season, and the big box stores seem to think Christmas begins as early as mid-October (seriously, I swear, while I was looking for Halloween decorations this year at Target, I was already coming across Christmas lights), but for me, Christmas begins on the last day of November.

I’m not really sure how I came up with the last day of November as the first day I start dressing for Christmas – it’d make more sense that it be the first day of December, right?  It also doesn’t make sense because I’ve designated the day after Thanksgiving as when I first begin to listen to Christmas music, so the last of November isn’t even necessarily the day I first fully begin celebrating Christmas…

I wish I had some kooky story to tell you about some imaginary fantasy I had as a kid about why I had to wait until November 30 to break out my Christmas sweaters and the red and green color combinations, but I have nothing. This arbitrary, self-imposed rule has been like this for years now, though – on November 30, I start dressing for Christmas.

And it’s my goal, from now until December 25, to continue dressing in Christmas outfits. Call it an outfit challenge. How many ways can I wear the red and green pieces in my closet? How many hours can I go in my wool Abercrombie Christmas sweater before I’m trying to itch off my pores? Looks like now’s the time to find out.

If you’re still looking for a kooky Christmas story though, I do have one about how, in first grade, I went on a loud tirade in the middle of our Christmas party about how Santa wasn’t real, and that my classmates were stupid to believe in him. I was obnoxious enough that my teacher had to pull me aside to tell me to shut up. Interestingly, though the Santa illusion didn’t last long for me, the concept of flying reindeer was significantly less unbelievable to my childhood self. I’m pretty sure wasn’t until years after my Santa realization that I  realized that flying reindeer were fake too.

To be fair, I’ve never seen a reindeer before in my life. How can I be sure they don’t really fly?

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

Jacket: Forever21

Sweater: H&M

Pants: Banana Republic

November 29, 2017 – Have A Look At This (OOTD #171)

I adore glasses.

I think it has something to do with how, when I was a kid, I didn’t need them – and of course, since I didn’t need them, I wanted them. There was just something so cool and stately about how my parents and other adults looked when they had their glasses on – even the most basic pair could make a person look intelligent and cultured.

Sadly (or perhaps gladly…) I had perfect vision up until a few years ago, when I started having issues reading for long periods of time and seeing street signs at a distance. A trip to the optometrist, and I got my very first pair of glasses at age 16 – a feat that I was fairly proud of. I don’t need to wear them all the time, and occasionally, I do wear contacts, but I’ll often wear my glasses even when I don’t ned them just for the sake of fashion. So, given my love of eyewear, I was more than happy to to help Warby Parker announce their new Resort ‘17 collection of frames. I was drawn to the rich acetates paired with hints of glimmering metal, supported by temples so lean they practically float. A glinting and elegant metal inlay is visible to onlookers only from certain angles— like a coat with a luxurious for-your-eyes-only lining.

I was so inspired, I came up with an outfit to go along with it – something I thought would complement the vintage but luxurious feel of the new Warby Parker collection. I did my best to replicate the aesthetic and tone of the glasses with this skirt and top set I got over Thanksgiving Break in a local vintage shop. It’s admittedly not the comfiest outfit I’ve ever worn –  the scratchy 70s polyester wasn’t exactly breathable – but I loved the look of it so much I couldn’t help it. It was one of those things where I saw it in the store and I just had to have it – you know? I’m a pretty picky person. That doesn’t often happen.

If you’re interested in giving the new Warby Parker collection a look, you can try it out for free with their free Home Try-On program! Select any five frames that you like, and they’ll ship them to you for free to test for five days. If you find one you like, you can purchase it when you’re ready, but if not, you can ship them back for free after you trial is up. No commitments, and no trips to the eyeglasses store necessary.

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

Top and skirt: Vintage (thrifted)

November 28, 2017 – A Tourist at My Own School (OOTD #170)

Real talk: why is there a missing bush to the left of me?

You know, I’ve been here for nearly four months now, and I still feel a bit like a tourist at my own school. In particular, if I’m walking through God Quad (which is the main bit of campus, where the Golden Dome and the Basilica are) in the evening, and there’s a pretty sunset and a cool breeze, I’ll stop and just take in how pretty it all is.

It’s not uncommon actually to see Notre Dame students posting on their Snapchats pictures of the Golden Dome, even though we all literally walk past it every day and can see it from just about everywhere on promotional materials.

To be honest though, the Main Building with the Dome isn’t my favorite building on campus in terms of looks. I do still love it, as evidenced by my tourist-y poses here, but it’s just not for me. I don’t know, I get that the Dome is iconic and stuff, but it’s a little tacky – I mean…it’s literally a giant shiny gold sphere with Mary on top of it. It gives me ever-so-slight cheap jewelry vibes.

Don’t tell anyone I said that though, or else the ND Secret Police might come for me in my sleep. I can’t die now, I have to pass my finals first!

The honor of my favorite architectural design on campus has to go to the Basilica. I don’t often go because I don’t often go to mass, but I’m always struck with how huge and and gorgeous it is, no gold paint required.

The point being – I like my school, and I’m really glad to be here. Sure, I’m still pretty bitter that it’s in the middle of Cornland, Indiana, but it’s pretty cool on the whole. Our football season was less than ideal (though it was going really well early on), the weather is windier than ideal, and my upcoming finals have me wanting to hurl myself off the eighth floor of Hesburgh Library, but the fact that I can still get struck with a sense of awe when I think “Hey, I go here” makes me think it’s pretty good place to be. G’Irish!

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted)

Sweater: The LOFT (thrifted)

Shirt: Forever21

November 27, 2017 – A Literal Glow Up (OOTD #169)

You know what’s spectacular about being a little old university student?

I’m finally beginning to feel distant from teen culture. Saying something like “glow up” feels awkward to me, like I’m not the right age to be saying it and I’m just an old lady trying to keep with the times. And furthermore, is it a Glo Up? Or a GloUp? A GlowUp?

Literally, I had to Google it to figure out how to use the phrase, which I’m pretty sure 16-year old me didn’t have to do with words and phrases like “or nah” and “bae.” What even are the kids doing these days? I don’t know; for the first time in eight years, I’m not really a part of that culture anymore.

Back to this “glow up” concept – I didn’t even use it in my title in reference to its actual meaning. My physical beauty has not increased in any significant quantity recently – though I did get more sleep than usual over Thanksgiving, so I guess that might make me look a little less battered than usual.

No, I’m just referring to the fact that in half of these pictures, my shirt is glowing like something out of a fantasy novel.

When will I learn to stop standing in direct sun when I’m wearing a white shirt? My poor 2010-era point and shoot camera cannot handle it.

Thankfully, though, I don’t think it made things look too bad – a little shiny, sure, but the rest of the photos are intact. Changing lighting conditions are just one of the many joys of outdoor photography, and one that I’m still learning how to work with. Onward and upward.

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

Shirt: Banana Republic

Skirt: Zara

November 26, 2017 – Greyhound Adventures Part 3 (OOTD #168)

Why, oh why, can’t I avoid the travesty that is the Greyhound bus system?

I fully understand that the bus drivers and workers for Greyhound are likely underpaid and have to deal with grumpy, frustrated people all day, so it’s very difficult for them to maintain the will to be friendly…but, my goodness, it certainly makes it difficult for me to enjoy bus trips.

On Sunday, it was time for me to head back to Notre Dame, so I grabbed breakfast with some friends, and then hitched a ride with my friend, Amanda, back up to Indianapolis, where she goes to school. From there, I took a Greyhound back to South Bend. Seems pretty simple, right?

Well…it was. Objectively, nothing went wrong. With the exception of my bus being about 30 minutes late dropping me off at South Bend, everything went as planned, and I made it back to school at a decent time.

That’s objectively speaking though – subjectively, it was a harrowing and stress ulcer-inducing experience.

I love Amanda, don’t get me wrong. We got trapped at the Atlanta airport for two days together; how could we not be friends? But her driving…I don’t know if she obeyed the speed limit once.

In one sense, who does? I’m probably consistently going five or ten over, depending on the road, which is pretty normal. Amanda, however, drives her Prius like she’s racing in the Indianapolis 5000. Her average speed while we were on the interstate might have been 100; I don’t actually know, I had to force myself to not look at the speedometer out of fear of what the number was.

But she got me to the Greyhound station, and no one died, and for that, I’m grateful. I mean, I‘ve totaled a car before myself, so in a sense, she’s a safer driver than me.

The Greyhound station was also one of the sketchiest places I’ve been in my entire life, which didn’t do much for my unhealthily high anxiety levels.

Like I said though, everything turned out alright in the end, so perhaps I was worried for nothing. I mean, if a lion suddenly jumped out from one of the overfilled trashcans at the Greyhound station and attacked me, my sympathetic nervous system would have been prepared, but there were no lions, as far as I know.

Unless the Detroit Lions were perhaps playing the Colts that day? I was right next to the football stadium; it’s possible.

Sweater: Forever21

Boots: Doc Marten

November 24, 2017 – A Shopping Day (OOTD #167)

Once upon a time, my dad and I used to go out on Black Friday at 2 or 3 am in the morning to get to big stores like Target or Best Buy and stand in hour-long lines in the late November cold.

It doesn’t sound like much fun, but believe me: it was!

I used to love Black Friday, and truth be told, I still kind of do. I don’t know, I just really like crowds, (strange thing to like, I know), so even though the nature of Black Friday has changed drastically in the last few years, I can still enjoy it.

I may not be lining up at 5pm on Thursday evening to get to the stores right when they open (because honestly, what’s the fun of going to Target at 5pm? I could do that literally any other day of the year), but I still do like to go out with my family at some point in the day. My mother hates crowds, so we tend to avoid places like the malls, but we get to get out of the house and spend time together, and that’s what matters.

This year’s Black Friday shopping had the super-glamorous goals of finding a pair of winter gloves and boots for me, and a comb for my dad! As you might have guessed, we didn’t expect to find such rare items anywhere in the stores we looked in, but to our surprise, we stumbled upon what we were looking for. A Christmas miracle.

Speaking of Christmas, the day after Thanksgiving is officially the day I begin listening my Christmas playlists on Apple Music. Back when I used to do early morning Black Friday shopping with my dad, this meant listening to my iPod while I stood in line to check out or in line to get into the store, but now that tradition is gone and I don’t really have one in its place. I still enjoy that first Christmas song I play at some point during the day on Black Friday, but it’s not quite as magical.

I like the traditional Christmas classics – you know, your Perry Como and Frank Sinatra – and I like the traditional carols and hymns, but in particular, I’m a fan of bitter pop punk Christmas rants. Give “Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass” by All Time Low or “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out” by Fall Out Boy a listen – they’re a nice way to shake things up from your typical “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”

Anyway, it’s basically 1 AM here as I write this blog, and I’ve still got some homework I’d like to get done before I go to bed. What a concept.

November 23, 2017 – Thanksgiving Thriving (OOTD #166)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh wait, you mean to tell me that Thanksgiving’s passed?

Yes, as I’ve discussed before, my blogs are on a few days’ delay (the delay varies quite a bit depending on if I’ve kept up with posting and if I’ve photographed my outfit every day or if I’ve skipped a few), which is all fine and dandy until a holiday rolls around and I don’t have an appropriate holiday-themed outfit to post on said holiday.

So here’s my Thanksgiving outfit, even though Thanksgiving was nearly a week ago and I have not relevant Thanksgiving-related things to say since I discussed my Thanksgiving thoughts on actual Thanksgiving.

It’s funny – the day before Thanksgiving, I stayed up fairly late hanging out with some friends, so on the morning of Thanksgiving, I slept in pretty late, like, until noon. I missed both the parade and the dog show, which was a little bit unfortunate, but I don’t usually watch those closely anyway so it wasn’t a big deal. Anyway, I woke up at noon to my dad telling that I needed to get downstairs because my grandmother was already in and everyone was getting ready for dinner, so I had very little time to pick out an appropriate festive outfit.

But despite these tremendous obstacles, I think I still managed to put together a pretty decent Thanksgiving-ready outfit. The skirt is reminiscent of both fall and Christmas, with a nondescript pattern of what might be fall leaves or Christmas poinsettia petals, and the sweater is just loose enough that I could eat basically whatever I wanted without feeling uncomfortable.

I think I’ll use this anecdote the next time an interviewer asks me about overcoming adversity.

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

Sweater: Unknown (thrifted)

Skirt: Vintage: (thrifted)

(Huh…my entire outfit was thrifted here. I didn’t even realize that until just now when I wrote where they were from. Interesting)

November 21, 2017 – Southern Soccer Mom Style (OOTD #165)

Christmas in July? More like…July in Christmas.

Yesterday’s outfit was the sendoff to fall, so logically, it follows that today’s outfit should be a sendoff to summer. Since, obviously, summer comes after fall, and summer didn’t end like, three months ago.

No, the real reason behind why this outfit is so summery (and also kind of like a rich Southern PTA-attending mother) is because on this day, I was heading home for the Thanksgiving holiday, and I knew I wasn’t going to have much use of a neon Lilly Pulitzer jacket and a when it’s 20 below in South Bend, Indiana. So, to save space in my suitcase, I just wore them home, and then I left them there.

And in their place, I brought all 8000 of my Christmas sweaters.

Sure, it looked a little weird dressing so out of season, and sure, I looked more like I was going Memorial Day shopping than getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, but I don’t mind. It also looked a little weird to have my short grey hair and black Hot Topic earrings that I forgot to take out (and which you can’t see here – probably for the best) paired with such a preppy outfit, but when has that ever stopped me?

It’s uh…eclectic, not erratic, yeah?

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

Jacket: Lilly Pulitzer

Dress: Vintage (thrifted)

November 20, 2017 – Sendoff to Fall (OOTD #164)

Welp, it looks like this may be it – the final explicitly fall-themed outfit on LEDJ until next year.

I could be wrong – I know I still have a few sets of OOTDs from my Thanksgiving break, and one or two of those may have involved some fall colors, but I do believe this is the last grossly “fall” (I mean, really, look at the pattern on this dress – does that say “spring” to you?) outfit I’m going to post here for a while!

As far as I’m concerned, now that Thanksgiving is over (well, it is at the time of me writing this blog – it was still a few days away on November 20, the day these photos are from), it’s Christmas season! And that is definitely something I’m excited for.

I’ve already busted out the Christmas playlists and everything. I know it’s not likely that I’ll really be 100% onto the Christmas bandwagon until finals are over (because school and obligations are tragically more important than any festive cheer…), but I still like to start getting prepared early.

So start expecting the Christmas sweater outfits at any point from here on out. I’ve packed my bags full of them, and I’m taking several back with me to South Bend now that Thanksgiving break’s over. I’m a firm believer in the sanctity of Thanksgiving, but you could say I’m even more so for the sanctity of Christmas, literally and figuratively.

Anyway, I’ve been writing this blog from the inside of a dark Greyhound traveling from Indianapolis to South Bend, and people are starting to look annoyed that I’ve got my bright little phone screen out while they’re trying to sleep. Guess I should go.

Allow me to leave you with this cute photo that some of my friends and I took under the dome before we all left for break.