(five) books + a box

So remember when I disappeared from blog land because I remembered how much I love reading books? Yeah, well, I’m still there, BUT, I’m taking a break for a quick review post. The reason being I just got another free Influenster box in the mail and want to give it a review. Also, I need to tell you guys about my new favorite series of all time! We’ll start with the books:

In which I completely abandon all literature except young adult lit

I’ve told you all before that I tend to gravitate toward the younger audience when it comes to books. Sure, I love many of the classics and have a special fondness for historical fiction, but I just love an easy, entertaining read over something with deep, complicated layers of symbolism and poetry. (My English professor mom is probably considering disowning me right about now!) HOWEVER, I do expect that my books are well written. I’ve cracked open a few teen fluff novels and couldn’t make it through more than a few pages because of terrible and/or sappy writing.

Anyway, to the point! My cousin told me about this series, called the River of Time, that she swore she liked better than the Divergent or Hunger Games trilogies. This obviously caught my attention, so I ordered book one, Waterfall, online. Nary a day had passed that I texted her desperately to borrow the next books in the series, because my Amazon order for them wouldn’t get here fast enough. GUYS, I love these books.

Without spoiling the plot—because I hate that, and also because the plot itself isn’t what makes it so great—let me just say what I love about this series:

  1. It’s written the way a young girl with a moderate amount of intelligence talks. Pop culture references and slang, but still descriptive and eloquent.
  2. It’s got romance without being trashy. Totally clean enough for, say, my 13-year-old niece who is now as obsessed with these books as I am.
  3. SO FAR*, the books mostly end in a manner that doesn’t make me want to throw them angrily at the wall and scream, “Why???” to the universe.
  4. BONUS not loved part: The cover art. I’m sorry, but it’s so corny, and the guy characters are way hotter how I imagine them.

So anyway, if you’re looking for a light but gripping read, check out River of Time! And once you do, please tell all your friends to build more interest so someone will make a movie of these!!

* There are currently five books out (three full length; two novellas sold in one volume), and the author is working on the sixth to come out in July!

Mary Kay (MKGlam) VoxBox: The time I actually changed my mind about a brand

If you read my last Influenster review, you know the drill. I fill out a profile, complete some surveys, and if I meet the target demographics, I get selected for free boxes! In exchange, I promise at the very least to complete a final survey about my opinion of the products. But, as an extra thank you for the free stuff, I can post a review on my blog. So here I am. Let me begin by saying if you haven’t joined Influenster yet but want to, let me know! I can invite you! But onto the review.

This box arrived before I even saw any tracking, so I wasn’t expecting it. I knew it involved Mary Kay, but that’s it. My opinion of the Mary Kay brand prior to this box was basically this: I associated it with pushy sales-ladies/sort-of friends in your house, maybe a little sense of tackiness. (This is just my honest opinion here!) So I received this box with a bit of a try-to-wow-me mentality. And I have to admit, I was kind of wowed. Overall, everything felt way more high-end than I expected, and there were a few products I absolutely LOVE. Couple that with the fact I got everything for free, and I almost feel like shouting from the rooftops. Here’s the product rundown with my comments on each item and the list prices (all are Mary Kay products):

  1. Lash Love Mascara ($15.00): BEST. MASCARA. EVER. I kid you not. I thought Benefit had me committed for life, but I love love love this mascara. The handle/applicator has a great weight to it, and it feels so sturdy. Oh, and the stuff really works. Fave item in the box.
  2. Cream Eye Color – Apricot Twist ($14.00): I don’t typically wear eye shadow of any kind, but I love this stuff. It’s a perfect shiny neutral and goes on super smoothly, with no cakiness as the day goes on.
  3. Mineral Cheek Color – Shy Blush ($12.00): This is just fine. It’s blush. I don’t really wear blush.
  4. Translucent Loose Powder ($16.00): This was probably the item I was most excited about before trying but most disappointed in once I did try it. I like that it’s very light, but I didn’t feel it made enough of a difference.
  5. Gel Eyeliner with Expandable Brush Applicator ($18.00): Now this I like. Believe it or not, I’ve never actually worn gel eyeliner, but I’ve tried this stuff the past couple days and might be a convert!
  6. Bronzing Power ($18.00): I like this stuff. I don’t normally wear bronzer, and I could probably use a tutorial on how to wear it correctly, but I like the “sun-kissed glow” this gives.
  7. NouriShine Plus Lip Gloss – Mango Tango ($14.00): This stuff looked orange-y but actually goes on a really nice coral-red. I like it!
  8. Cream Eye Color/Concealer Brush ($10.00): I actually don’t own any makeup brushes, so this was a welcome item! Seems like good quality.
  9. Big powder brush (wasn’t listed on the info card, but I’d guess around $12-15): Yet another brush I will happily use! Worked well enough but didn’t feel life-changing.

In short, this was $120+ worth of free stuff, and I was actually super impressed with most of it. I think my main qualm with Mary Kay has been the sales method, but I’d be totally cool with buying this stuff online. Yay for discovering awesome new products and yay for free boxes!

{RoT image via}

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6 thoughts on “(five) books + a box

  1. Oh I remember getting the first Twilight book in the mail the day before big 8 hour exams in grad school. I finished up my studying for the day around 7 and thought, ok, reward time. I stayed up SO late! LOL Then it was all I could think about during the test! Great books are my best friends. I know. You are SO lucky to have been introduced to this series! Mary Kay? I think their products are very good. I don’t even know anyone who does that anymore! These look awesome. Getting free boxes sounds awesome too!!!

    • If you’re into YA lit at all, you should check this series out! But yes, good books are the BEST. I love vegging out to TV at the end of the day as much as the next person, but reading is always so much more fulfilling!

  2. I’ve always had a hard time finding a good mascara so I’m definitely trying this one out! I love your product reviews! Seriously, I need all of the fashion advice that I can get!

  3. I’ve been using the MK loose powder for years, just switched to the translucent and I like it. If you decide not to keep it, well, you know where I live. 🙂 I’ll have to try their mascara.

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