health & beauty

Social Commerce: My Experiences with BzzAgent, Influenster and More

Social Commerce is a somewhat new idea, and there are a number of things that fall under this category. (This article from Mashable lays it out well)

Number 4 on Mashable’s list — Peer Recommendation — is something I’ve been participating in for a while now — namely, the sites that¬†reward individuals for sharing products and purchases with friends through social networks.

The sites I participate in:




In addition, I’ve also been rewarded with items and special offers through Klout Perks.

My BzzAgent score
My BzzAgent score

I’ve been with BzzAgent the longest — since 2009. In that time, I’ve participated in 16 campaigns, most focused around cosmetics. Just this year alone, I received free COVERGIRL foundation, a great sampling of new Neutrogena cosmetics, and new Got2B volumizing hair powder.

Also this year, from Klout: A free full-size Carol’s Daughter Monoi Serum for hair, and a free Norton security app for my iPhone.

Swaggable and Influenster are new additions for me this year. I have a sample of wasabi dressing headed my way from Swaggable, and as for Influenster, I’ve recieved Aveeno night cream, and I have my first “VoxBox” headed my way!

Of the 4, BzzAgent and Influenster are the two who employ gamification, or rewards, badges, etc. to motivate users to complete tasks, like filling out surveys and completing social media activities. And I’ll admit — it’s addicting! I love seeing my scores rise!

My Influenster Badge Score
My Influenster Badge Score

Currently, I have campaigns ongoing for Got2B and COVERGIRL on BzzAgent, and Aveeno on Influenster. And though I haven’t loved every single product I’ve received as a part of campaigns over the years, I have to say I love all three! Here’s some more thoughts on each:

1) Schwarzkopf Got2B POWDER’ful Volumizing Styling Powder (BzzAgent): This stuff is awesome, and so convnient. It’s just a tiny, light little shaker container. Pour a little bit out, rub in your hands, and apply to the roots. BAM! It’s really that simple, and you can re-apply as needed for even more volume. I think this product pairs really well with a dry shampoo for second-day styling, or can help get that teased look if you have clean hair. I can picture it working really well this summer in Florida, too. (Can you picture the humidity! Yuck!) It’s available at Walgreens for just $3.99 a pop!

2) COVERGIRL Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation (BzzAgent): This is another product that I’ve road-tested to beat the Florida heat. With this campaign, I received a coupon for a free full-size foundation, and was able to go pick out my shade — 110, Classic Ivory, their second-lightest shade. I was a little hesitant on this foundation at first. I’ve been using mainly Bareminerals and drugstore versions of Bareminerals powder foundation for the past few years, especially since I have a combination-to-oily complexion that’s somewhat acne-prone. ¬†So it had really been quite some time since I had tried a liquid foundation that I liked. But Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 really took the cake. Exactly 1 pump is what I need for my daily application. It glides on smoothly, helps to conceal blemishes and scars, and blends very well. It also has staying power, and I can tell the primer in the foundation formula works, but it works especially well when combined with another product I’ve fallen in love with this spring: Neutrogena Shine Control Primer. COVERGIRL Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation is really affordable too — around the $9 mark at Target.

Sidenote: I have to say that COVERGIRL has done an excellent job of improving their product formulations, packaging and overall branding over the last couple of years. I love their LashBlast mascaras and COVERGIRL+ Olay eye concealer!

3) Aveeno Positively Radiant Intensive Night Cream (Influenster): OK, so I’m at this weird time in my life when I’m still fighting oil, blemishes, and my skin in many ways is still acting like a teenager. I’ve been able to get it under control for the most part with a prescription regimen from my dermatologist. But, I’m also facing a new battle: aging. I’ve been using eye cream twice daily for the past 4 years or so. But I’m starting to see that my skin need a little more, especially overnight, so I’m glad that this landed on my doorstep when it did. I’ve always liked Aveeno, and how gentle their products are. I’ve used this oil-free night cream a few times and noticed that my skin seemed plumper and firmer upon waking. I’m still trying to figure out if a product like this is the best fit for my acne-prone skin, but I haven’t noticed any major breakouts as a result of using. Overall, I like the product and would recommend to anyone with combination, normal, or dry skin! It’s $16.99 at CVS.

I hope you’ve found my overview of these social commerce programs helpful — do you participate in any? What has your experience been like?


Hair inspiration; bridal party beauty plans

We MAY have found a salon in Gulf Shores for the wedding day — Cleopatra’s. They said they can close down the whole salon for us for makeup, hair and possibly manis/pedis.

They also serve complimentary juice, water and mimosas, and there is a great seafood restaurant next door. We can order off the menu and they will pick up the food for us.

They charge $35 for makeup and they use Bareminerals, which I love. Hair is $45 but cheaper for short hair and more casual styles. But a mani/pedi is $60, which is pretty steep IMO. So assuming they charge me the normal $45, $60 and $35, my total would be $140. But other nail salons charge about $35 for a mani/pedi, so an option would be to go to a regular nail salon in Gulf Shores first, then go to Cleopatra’s for everything else. That would save $25 apiece.

We’re still considering a guy recommended to us by our florist who was with a salon in Orange Beach, but he is moving his services to Foley, which is a pretty good haul from the wedding resort. If his prices are way cheaper we may still go with him but he hasn’t gotten back to me after calling twice. Not a good sign! And the wedding resort is out as they only do hair and makeup for the bride and their prices are outrageous.

It would be nice to find someone who could come out to the condo to do hair and makeup, but I have yet to find anyone in Baldwin Co./Mobile who can do that at a decent price. So Cleopatra’s may be the next best option.



Hair & makeup, honeymoon registry

Our florist that we have decided on (All Island Flowers in Orange Beach, Ala.) recommended a hairdresser to my mom. His name is Bryan Kersey at The Platinum Door in Orange Beach — boo, no Web site! He does a free trial run if you book him for the wedding, so my mom went ahead and booked him.

The florist also recommended Top Nails at The Wharf, so I think we’re going to plan the morning/afternoon of the wedding around being at The Wharf. I found a restaurant called Ginny Lane Bar & Grill that does champagne brunch on the weekends from 10-2 (with complimentary mimosas — orange, cranberry or pineapple!). Their menu looks super yummy and the entrees are very reasonably priced.

So, my mom and I just decided that we will have our mom & bridesmaid brunch there, since a lot of the girls aren’t getting into town until Friday night. Then we will all get our nails done at Top Nails, then get our hair & makeup done at The Platinum Door, which is very close to The Wharf.

I’m just so excited and relieved to get a lot of these smaller details taken care of!