Friday, May 16, 2014

- - Influenster | imPress Manicure VoxBox Review - -

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for review purposes.
Hey everyone!

Last week I opened up my mailbox and was pleasantly surprised to find a small Influenster VoxBox there. I knew that Influenster was preparing to send out the very first Canadian VoxBoxes because I was emailed a questionnaire that would determine my eligibility for one. But I never received a tracking number (until this week, haha) or anything , so I had no idea what this mysterious white box was until I saw the "Influenster" sticker on it.

As with most of my reviews, this will be a lengthy and picture-heavy post.

Let's take a closer look at what was inside the VoxBox right after the jump...

What is Influenster?
Influenster is an online community where, as an educated consumer, you can write reviews for various products.

What are badges?
As you set out to review products on Influenster, you will get to choose 5 Expert Badges that specialize in specific areas: fashion, beauty, pop culture, sweets...etc. In turn, as you write reviews about products that correspond to each of the badges, the scores of those badges will increase.

There are also Lifestyle Badges that you can choose. These don't have a score tied to them, but they also narrow down what areas/products you can specialize in.

How do I increase my overall score?
Your overall score increases as you become more active on social media. You get a certain number of points for every social network that you connect to Influenster (for example: 100 points for having a blog...etc).

What is a VoxBox?
With a higher score you increase your chances of qualifying for a VoxBox, which is a complimentary (free) box that is filled with goodies that usually correspond to a theme and that Influenster sends out to individuals for review purposes.

A further note on scoring...
Within the last two months or so Influenster has shifted the focus of the scores from how active you are in reviews on their site to how active you are on social media, which is something I really dislike. Although the scores are now updated more frequently, you are basically now judged not on how many reviews you write (so, actual work) but rather how many networks you're connected to. This makes sense, of course, because the bigger your circle of online friends, the more people you can talk to about products, which is the ultimate goal of Influenster.

Moreover, the way the scores are calculated still doesn't make much sense. Yes, you get points for different social media outlets, but it doesn't make sense why certain points stay the same while others fluctuate. For example - I'm  fairly active on Facebook, but my overall score gradually keeps going down (from 420 to it's at 416...what??). At the same time, I'm active in writing reviews on Influenster and this blog, but those numbers aren't increasing at all. the end of the day I guess you can still "refresh" some of your network on Influenster to see if your score goes up.

Furthermore, I understand that the online world is deeply embedded in our society, but not everyone might have a Twitter or Foursquare or even a Linkedin account. I sure don't. So does that mean that the people without those accounts, who could be as equally influential as the people who do, lose out? To be fair, it may seem that way, but it's not necessarily true. After all, I was pretty lucky to get a VoxBox.

Despite the confusion with the scoring, surprisingly, I actually qualified for a VoxBox! I didn't think I would get it because I said "no" to a lot of the broad questions that were asked in the qualifying questionnaire: "Do you drive?" or "Will you be dying your hair in the next 6 months?"

Anyways, the box that arrived was fairly small (roughly the size of Beauty Box 5). I was really excited because I knew absolutely nothing about what would be inside except that whatever it was rattled when I shook the box. Here's what I saw when I opened it up:

Neat! I remember that the questionnaire had asked what brands I have heard of and tried before. I remember imPress was one of them and Sally Hansen was on that list as well.

These are basically press-on nails by a company called Broadway Nails. I remember I used to dabble in fake/press-on nails when I was in elementary school, but those were of a terrible quality and they were super long to the point of looking ridiculous (I dared to experiment only in the comfort of my own home).

I have actually seen these specific imPress nails in stores like Walmart (I think it was), but I've never tried this product before, so I greatly appreciate Influenster for giving me this opportunity.

The card that came with along with the products

These are the selling points of imPress nails:
  • There is no drying time 
  • Superior, lasting shine
  • Easy removal
  • Lasts up to a week
Near the bottom of this review you'll get to see how these nails held up to their promises.

Packaging & Contents

I know a lot of people who received this VoxBox got the same two designs as me: Over the Moon (pink/purple leopard print) and Dancing Queen (zebra print). There appear to be some variations though.

Interestingly enough, the design for Dancing Queen is different on the imPress website and the "zebra print" appears to be no longer available. Though I'm sure you could find them online somewhere if you wanted to.


The container that holds the nails is in the shape of a (nail polish) bottle, so to open it up you need to lightly twist the top to the side.

There is a plastic part that holds five of the nails. This part lifts up to reveal the bulk of the press-on nails below.

Each package comes with a "prep pad" that you need to use before putting on the imPress manicure. 

The prep pad is basically a moistened cloth that gets rid of any debris on your nails and cleanses the nail bed to "maximize wear."

There is also a small rough pad/piece enclosed in the package that can function as a nail file for your imPress nails. I received this pad only in the Over the Moon package, but you can always just use your regular nail file to fix up the press-on nails. A bit later on I'll show you why filing your press-on nails may be important.

Choosing the Correct Size

The first thing I would suggest doing (other than making sure that your nails are free of any kind of nail polish and debris) is to match up the imPress nails to each of your fingers. There are 12 sizes to choose from, and you need to choose the correct ones to ensure that your nails look pretty and natural. Picking the proper size will also ensure that the press-on nails don't cut into your cuticles/skin anywhere. Please note: the tab should be on the side of your cuticles.

The matching process took me about 15 minutes, but I was going very slow because some of the press-on nails are very similar in size, so it was a bit tricky. 

Once you've matched up your nails, I would suggest laying them out like so to avoid confusing which nail goes on which finger:

Looking back into the container, I see that there are more than 10 nails left (there are 24 nail covers in each bottle). So, not only can you do another press-on manicure with the same design, but you could also share a package between you and a friend! I think this is awesome. The only problem would be figuring out the prep pad situation since you probably used one of prep cloths at this point. Maybe you can use something else or just make sure your hands are clean? 

Applying the Nails

Once you pull off the tab, you will see where the glue is on the nails:

Make sure to remember which way the tab was facing!

The glue is sort of centred, which is good because this gives you an opportunity to adjust your nails at your cuticle before pressing them onto their final position.

As it states on the packaging: "for best adhesion, firmly apply nails, thumb last."

Filing the Press-On Nails

You may find something like this on a few of your nails:

Only one of mine was like this. Don't worry about it too much - you can just file off the excess off  - with either a nail file or the rough little pad in your package - once you've put on the nails.

My Experience

For the purpose of this review, I used Dancing Queen to determine how these press-on nails would hold up.

*Click on the pictures to see them enlarged.*
Day 1

I actually couldn't stop looking at my manicure when I put this design on! It's been a while since I've had such a perfect design on my nails. I did feel pressure/tightness on all of my nails as I pressed down to make sure the imPress nails were glued on properly. This feeling passed after about a minute.

Day 2

The nails were still holding strong by the second day, though you can see some minor tip wear starting. Another problem I encountered by the end up Day 2 was that the nail seemed to be lifting up a bit on the index finger of my left hand:

At the end of Day 2 I also noticed that the corner of my right thumb was becoming flexible....MUST. NOT. FIDDLE. WITH. IT. AHHH!

Day 3

Left hand on third day one of the nails fell off (this was today actually, as I was halfway through this review). I was washing the bathrooms upstairs and the ring finger nail on my right hand fell off. To be fair, this was the hand that was holding the brush to scrub the bathtub, which is work that needed to get done today. Shortly afterwards, the index finger nail that I expressed concern over yesterday, fell off as well. After that I just decided to call it a day and remove all of the nails. At this point, you could see that there is pretty visible tip wear on all of the nails - some had even started to appear on the pinky.

Right hand

What I could have always done is just replace the nails that had fallen off with new ones. I wouldn't use the prep pad for this, but I figured that the new nails might look starkly different than the older ones, so I just decided to leave it at that.


There are two ways to remove these nails. ONE: you can always try peeling them off, which is what I did for most of my nails. You have to be really careful to not damage your real nails in any way during this process. Do this slowly please. TWO: you could put nail polish remover around the nails, wait for about a minute and then remove the nails. I sort of did a mix of the two methods, but I guess I didn't use enough nail polish remover because the second method seemed to do very little. I'll try this method of removal next time.

Another note about removal - after I took off all the press-on nails, my actual nails were in a state that you may find yours in when you remove regular nail polish. They were fairly dry and needed a few minutes and some cream to recover. They're perfectly okay now.

Overall, I think that if I wasn't doing some heavy-duty washing today, then these nails would've stayed on for far longer than they actually did. I'm going to try out the other design and I'll do a separate post detailing the days they stay on for. Realistically, these are some of the things that I did within the last three days that could have shortened the life of the nails/made me take them off earlier:

Wash dishes on multiple occasions.
Shower/wash hair.
Take off and put on contacts (totally doable in these nails - you just need to be careful).
Wash bathrooms (be careful with how hard you press sponges!)

Now we come to the big question - would I purchase these imPress nails again?

You know what? - I think I would. There are some really beautiful designs out there that I would love to try (like this lace one). I really liked the easy application and the final product, so I think I will pick up another design if I see it in stores (probably Walmart). The price for the imPress nails ranges from $7-12 depending on where you purchase them from. You can also find them on Amazon, which isn't listed on the page I've linked.

Phew. Alright, I think that's all I want to say about these products. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or post your questions in the comments below. Once again, thank you to Influenster, who kindly provided me with these products for review. I strongly recommend all of you to sign up for Influenster as it's free and you have a chance of getting a complimentary VoxBox.

Have you ever tried imPress nails before?

Thank you for reading! -A.~

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