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Putting Instagram Influencers’ Product Recommendations To The Test — Wireless Art Light, Candle Warmer, and Faux Pine Trees

I have to admit that I’m a total sucker for products that are being recommended on Instagram. I try to control myself, but I do end up making quite a few impulse purchases each month while scrolling Instagram. Sometimes, I’m very pleased with those purchases. Other times, I’m not so impressed.

So here are three purchases I made last month, based on Instagram influencers’ recommendations, and what I truly think about them.

*This post contains affiliate links.

1. Wireless, Rechargeable Picture Light

I’ve been wanting a picture light above this piece of artwork in our living room for a very long time, but art lights are hard enough to shop for when you have available wiring where you want to put the light. But when you want a picture light in an area where there’s no wiring at all, that makes things even more difficult.

When I saw this particular wireless, rechargeable picture light being recommended by an Instagram influencer, and the price was reasonable to me, I decided to take the chance.

Well, I’m thrilled with it. I would rate this 5 out of 5 stars. It looks really nice, and it took about five minutes to hang it on the wall.

When it needs to be recharged, it can be easily removed from the wall by simply lifting it off of the hanger, which looks like this…

It’s kind of a similar idea to a French cleat, where those two prongs that stick out go into these two cutouts on the back of the light to hold the light in place.

So when it needs to be recharged, I’ll simply lift it off of the hanger, plug it in, and then return it to the hanger.

The light comes with a remote control and can be dimmed, but it can also be turned on and off at the light by touching the plastic thing on the end…

So this was a great purchase. I highly recommend it, and you can find it here.

2. Dimmable Candle Warmer

I started seeing this dimmable candle warmer all over Instagram, and finally gave in. I do love candles, and this seems safer than having lit candles, and I’m sure it’s healthier as well. Plus, it’s a cute little light, and it’s perfect for a kitchen countertop.

This purchase was just okay for me. It’s not great, but it’s not horrible. I’ll give it 3 out of 5 stars.

The problem is that it just doesn’t smell the same. I buy highly scented candles, and it took three days of use with this light before I could smell my highly scented candle outside of the kitchen. (When one of these is actually lit, I can smell it all over the house.)

I don’t understand why it took three days of use before I could finally smell it outside of the kitchen, but even when it did seem to reach its full potential with this candle warmer, the scent was only about 60-70% of what it is when the candle is actually lit.

It’s decent, and if you worry about a lit candle around kids or pets, it might be worth it. I personally prefer my candles to be lit so that I can enjoy the full fragrance. It is a cute little countertop light, though, so I’ll enjoy it for that purpose (while it fills the kitchen with a light scent) each evening.

3. Faux Mini Pine Trees

I’ve seen a couple of people recommend these faux mini pine trees, and I finally decided to give them a try. I bought two of them to flank my front door on the front porch. I’ll be honest. I was prepared to be disappointed with them because…well…they’re fake. Fake trees. For my front porch.

Well, I’m THRILLED with them!! I give these 5 out of 5 stars.

I need to get different planters for them since these are looking old and worn after a few years of use, but I’m so excited now to spend some time giving my front porch a refresh. I need to restain the porch boards, repaint the door, and do some general cleaning. And then I need to find the perfect planters for these cute little cedar trees.

This is how they look straight out of the box…

So they do require a bit of work to get them looking nice and full. I do think the picture on the Amazon product page is a little misleading. That picture looks fuller than what I could achieve with my actual tree, but I’m pleased nonetheless.

I achieved a fuller look (without exposing the not-so-nice center stem) by bending each branch away from the center stem right where the two attach…

And then about two inches out from the center stem, I bent the branches back up…

That gave it a fuller look, while keeping that center stem hidden from sight. And then, each of these little things (leaves?) can be fluffed up and spread out to make it look fuller…

There are several different styles from this company, and I’ll definitely be getting more of them. You can find the 3-foot trees that I have here, but I also plan to get some of these little 2-foot plants as well.

I think they’re beautiful, and they don’t look obviously fake to me at all. Now if you’re a plant person, and you thrive on spending your days in your garden or working on your landscaping and tending to your plants, this is obviously not for you. 🙂 But if you’re like me, and you’re proud of yourself for just keeping two real plants alive and don’t feel like you can bite off more right now, but you want to add a little something to your porch, I think these are great.

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26 Comments

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Melissa K
    December 8, 2022 at 11:13 am

    Hope you review more products in the future!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laura L
    December 8, 2022 at 11:23 am

    Great post! I think if you just spray paint your planters they will look new again! Worth a shot!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Trudy
      December 8, 2022 at 11:31 am

      I think that is a great idea. I’ve had great luck spray painting planters!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tracy
    December 8, 2022 at 11:29 am

    Love how the cat is so invested in the project of fluffing. lol

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Elle
      December 9, 2022 at 6:21 am

      I first followed you, because you are multi-skilled and incredibly talented. I follow you now, not only to see what comes next, but also with the hope that you will incorporate ideas for handicapped living.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marilu Farnham
    December 8, 2022 at 11:45 am

    Can you tell us what candles you love?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carla
    December 8, 2022 at 11:46 am

    I love this post! I always want to purchase things I see but then talk myself out of them (I’m definitely an over thinker). So thank you for the honest reviews!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jennie
    December 8, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    I agree and hope you do more of this in the future. Love the light fixture above the painting so much. Have you seen how DIY’er take an ugly pot or vase and mix baking soda with paint then paint the pot? It looks textured and then sometimes rub dirt/soil on it to make it look aged. I think your pot would be perfect for that. Love it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Amy D.
    December 8, 2022 at 12:19 pm

    Good information, thank you! Can you tell us what candles you buy? I have difficulty finding candles that hold their scent after the first day or two.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tabi
    December 8, 2022 at 12:22 pm

    Great reviews. How often are you having to recharge the light?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      December 8, 2022 at 12:47 pm

      I’ve turned it on about three times now, for about two hours each time, and it’s still going strong. I haven’t had to recharge it yet. The product description say that a full charge can last up to 18 hours, but I don’t have personal experience with that yet since I haven’t used it that much.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Bobbi
    December 8, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    First I will say I absolutely can’t stand the term “influencers”. It’s a term they gave themselves because they like to think they’re influencing my decisions. I also know that when they are telling me about the latest “can’t live without item” they’re being paid to tell me how much they love it. I will see things I might not have seen had I not seen the feed on Instagram, but they definitely don’t influence my decision. I appreciate your honest opinion on things you have purchased.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Shari
      December 9, 2022 at 11:41 am

      So true, Bobbi! The problem I have with influencer recommended products is I don’t find most influencers authentic and honest. They are “obsessed” with whatever product is paying them on any given day. If you watch them often enough and for long enough, they claim *this* brand is great and they have been using it “for years.” Then a few months later they are claiming *that* brand is great and they have been using it “for years” even though they were just promoting the same type product/different brand not long ago. I can’t roll my eyes hard enough when they claim the Walmart and Amazon clothes they are pushing look so “designer” and the fabric is such high “quality.” I’m not a clothes snob, at all. Walmart and Amazon fashion has its place but don’t insult my intelligence by trying to tell me something that was made in a sweat shop in some 3rd world country looks “designer” and is “quality.” What REALLY irks me is I’ve never seen one influencer disclose if you click their links, cookies are stored in your phone or computer for up to 30 days and they get paid a commission off of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING you buy, even if you don’t buy the item(s) they linked to! They are getting insanely rich, buying or building multi-million dollar homes, driving expensive cars, and constantly taking lavish vacations on unsuspecting people. I can’t wait for this influencer gig to go away.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carswell
    December 8, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    Even though I have lots of windows I only have a couple of rooms that are bright enough for healthy plants. Couple that with the fact that I now have two cats who devour almost any plant (outside of my orchid) and I have embraced fake greenery. Some of it looks better than anything I could grow – and aside from a periodic dusting or washing off they are great.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    December 8, 2022 at 2:27 pm

    Glad to know I’m not the only one “influenced” by the gram! I’m a bit wiser than I was last year, and search for the items elsewhere before buying through a gram post link. Two things I bought have proven to be worthwhile: a facial scrubber, that I bought for myself, then bought two more for my daughters! I take mine in the shower and use it on my face, neck and upper chest, for soft, super clean skin. My oldest daughter let her teen son use it to clear his acne, and my younger daughter uses it for her 12 yr. old to removes stage makeup for dance competitions. The 2nd item was a Brumate mug with handle (don’t remember what it’s name is) but they are superior to other lookalikes because of the screw on lid with a great spillproof locking spout. I’ve bought at least half dozen as gifts, and I own four also! Those are only two that stand out, but I know I’ve bought other things and then found them less expensive through Amazon. Always check around before snapping up a “great deal” on IG!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Melanie
    December 8, 2022 at 3:23 pm

    So glad you found another home for that beautiful piece of artwork you created! That light looks so great! Perfect solution ! Is it metal ?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      December 9, 2022 at 12:14 am

      The base and two metal rods that extend to hold the light are metal. The actual light part is either very thin metal or plastic. I honestly can’t tell, but if it’s plastic, it doesn’t look obviously plastic, and the color matches the metal perfectly.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Deb
    December 8, 2022 at 4:41 pm

    Please, please, please do more of these reviews. We know you will be honest and tell it like it is. I use a diffuser most of the time for a nice scent in my family room but recently got a puppy who wants to get into everything so I had to remove it from the end table.
    I can however put a nice candle on my fireplace mantle and am taking your word about the crazy candle and ordered one. The reviews all looked good. Thanks for your opinion.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathryn
    December 9, 2022 at 6:37 am

    Omg,
    Might seems silly, but what an awesome post. Reviews from someone I fully trust whom I know is as picky as I am!! LOL, mean that in the nicest of ways 🙂
    This should be a monthly addition to your site!
    Merry Christmas Kristi 🤶🎄

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elizabeth
    December 12, 2022 at 2:59 pm

    May I ask, did you get gold or brass for the wireless light? It’s exactly what I need to light some art in a windowless room…but I don’t want the light itself to be too flashy/bright!