Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

November 3, 2016

Fall Blogger Beauty Gifts Review.

     One thing that I've started receiving through the years as I've been blogging (and is definitely a huge "perk" of the job) are PR packages from different brands and companies. Bloggers are often sent previews of new collections to sample and test. These types of packages are different than ones received for sponsored posts. PR packages are "gifts", which means that there isn't a direct agreement between the blogger and the brand to share the content, and also that the blogger isn't being compensated financially to share their views! So all views can be 100% honest, and at leisure of the blogger.  

     Over the past month, I've received some really awesome health and beauty packages! I thought it would be fun to do a little round-up of what all I've received, and share what I've liked and disliked. Those that blog full-time often receive tons of these packages every week, but I feel like PR packages aren't talked about that much, despite for the occasional Snapchat share. I want to change that- because I think they're awesome gifts, and you do get to test out some very cool products! :-)

*IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Exclusives gift: IT Cosmetics is a brand that I got to know after attending the Blog Societies Conference in Charleston this summer. I had seen their products at Ulta before, but hadn't gotten a chance to try any until all conference attendees were sent home with a bunch of goodies. It's safe to say that I'm now in love! Since the conference, the great team at IT has sent everyone a few fun packages, and pictured above is one of the fall packages. 
     IT Cosmetics recently launched at Sephora, and they have a whole slew of new skincare products in their line to celebrate the launch. I haven't gotten a chance to try everything in this package yet since there are so many items, but so far I am LOVING the Bye Bye Makeup Cleansing Balm. It is so hard to find a good makeup remover, and this stuff actually does the job, even for waterproof makeup! One of the best makeup removers that I've ever used. I am also really enjoying the Bye Bye Pores Primer. I've been wearing it under my foundation for the past few weeks and I'm definitely a fan. 
     I have also tried the Bye Bye Undereye Concealer, but I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. It goes on extremely thick, and I think that I still prefer the concealer stick from essence (more on them below!) that I was using before. :-) I can't wait to still keep testing more of these products though! 

*Aveda Hair Products gifts: Aveda has sent me a couple different packages of their hair products over the past few months, which has been very fun! The first package that I received contained mostly products that are meant for color treated hair. I used to highlight my hair a few years ago, but haven't colored it now for quite some time, so most of these products weren't anything that would benefit my hair. But I have been able to use some of them! The only that I've been using the most is the Shampure Dry Shampoo. I think that my favorite dry shampoo is still this one, but the Aveda one isn't half bad, and does add some decent texture. 

*label.m Diamond Dust hair gifts: label.m haircare offered to send bloggers NYFW themed haircare gifts after September's Fashion Week. I was very excited to get mine, as I had never tried anything from this brand before. After the shampoo and conditioner arrived, I used it on my hair for awhile and really gave it a try on my hair. I loved the way that it smelled, but unfortunately this shampoo and conditioner were not good fits for my hair. My hair is extremely naturally oily, and clarifying shampoos are best for my hair type. I think I'm just going to pass these products on to a friend with different hair type than mine, since I still liked the way that they smelled and I do think that they are well made. 

*Olly Goodbye Stress vitamins: Olly, a vitamin company, reached out to me and asked if I would like to test some of their products. I said absolutely! I've heard great things from many bloggers about the Hair and Nails vitamins, so I couldn't wait to try some of them for myself. Olly sent me a few packages of their Goodbye Stress vitamins, which I don't think could have been more perfect for me, since October was a bit of a stressful month for me, and I have a crazy schedule on weekdays right now. They are adult gummy vitamins and taste delicious. I can't vouch for the specific chemistry of the health benefits since that's not my background or expertise, but I have been taking them and enjoying them and hopefully they're helping with my stress levels! I have stayed pretty healthy this fall and knock on wood I've not gotten very sick so far this year.

*essence cosmetics gift: essence is my FAVORITE drugstore makeup brand! They're a European makeup brand that used to be available for purchase only at Ulta stores. Earlier this year, they finally launched at Target stores nationwide as well! I've tried all types of essence products. A few of their mascaras and the eyebrow pencils and gel are amongst my holy grail beauty products. essence products are high quality and extremely affordable, just about everything is under $10 and many items are under $5! essence recently sent me a blogger package, and in it were some great items. One item that they sent me was one of my holy grails- the I Love Extreme Volume Waterproof Mascara. I've been using this for a few months as my top coat mascara, and it's an awesome way to finish off your daily last look. It also removes fairly well for a waterproof eye product.
Another item that I loved in this package was this blush. The color is gorgeous and it's very pigmented! I've tried essence blushes before and I think they are amazing quality for the price. 
I haven't tried this nail polish that I was sent yet, but I can't wait to soon! The color is so great for fall. 

*Estee Lauder The Estee Edit Influenster Vox Box: Some of you might be familiar with Influenster, which is an awesome service for influencers that lets you sample and test different products that arrive in packages called Vox Boxes. The Vox Boxes always have different themes, and they can contain everything from food to office supplies to makeup products- Influenster works with all different types of brands. Anyways, a couple of months ago I received a makeup related Vox Box. Estee Lauder recently launched a new and more youthful makeup line called The Estee Edi through Sephora. I was sent a few of the skincare products to test, but I've seen from other bloggers that other Vox Boxes contained some of the eye makeup products.
     To give a totally honest review- I did not like these products! Maybe it was because Influenster didn't send me the best shades for my complexion, but I'm even talking about the way that the products were made. I found The Pore Vanishing Stick to do nothing for my face and pores (it just felt heavy to wear), and The Flash Illuminator- which is supposed to be a highlighter- was WAY too dark on my face and made me look orange. 

     I apologize that this post was so long- but I wanted to give all of the products that I've received recently a fair and honest review! Did y'all enjoy this post? If so, I can try and continue to review my blogger gifts more often here on the blog (and do more than just sharing pictures of them on Snapchat ;-) ). 

     Items featured in this post are linked below:

     xoxo Miss ALK



  1. I love seeing these types of posts because like you said, its another way to really showcase your HONEST opinions about products. I'm super interested in IT cosmetics products because of how much I've been reading about them lately. Also, LOVE your pillows :)

  2. I love this, and I love your transparency! Aveda hair products are some of my absolute favorites and I've been using them for years.

    x Sarah

  3. These all look like wonderful products! I like how you highlighted the fact that there's a difference between sponsored posts and promoting product by choice!
    -Anna |

  4. I LOVE It cosemtics!! Their brushes are the softest things ever! That's so cool that you get to try out all of these products!

    Caitlyn |

  5. I've been interested in trying out It Cosmetics. I have heard such good things.

    xoxo, Jenny

  6. Those good bye stress vitamins sound like they could be my best friend!

  7. Looks like you got some great stuff! I don't think I can pick a favorite lol.

    Alix |

  8. I loved this post. I really appreciated your transparency. It's refreshing to see!

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

  9. I looooovr IT cosmetics! I suffer from dark circles so their bye bye under-eye is a serious savior!

    xo //

  10. I love this post, Annaliese- so fun to see your honest opinions about all these different products!


  11. I love It Cosmetics! My absolute favorite!

    Greta |

  12. I would love to try any of these products, but the make up removing cleansing balm is definitely on my must try list! Thanks for sharing your honest review of these products!


  13. By far one of the best parts of being a blogger! I would love to give some of these as Christmas gifts!

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