[Influenster] Urban Decay – Inked Brow Longwear Brow Gel

inkedbrow_1


Provided by Influenster


I meant to upload this sooner but the quarantine turned my world upside down. I truly hope everyone is safe and healthy.

There is finally enough peace of mind for me to attempt wearing makeup every day (or every other day), thus, this review. 

inkedbrow_2This is a solid brow stain that gives you bold, waterproof brows… but you could opt for natural and use it as a base, which is what I did. 

You get 1.8ml / 0.06 fl oz of product for $26 that is transfer-resistant and smudge-resistant. Also, the product is vegan and animal-cruelty-free.

inkedbrow_3The tip of the brush is angled, making it easier to create sharp, defined brows that last. At the same time, the ink is pretty stark against your skin, so shaky hands like mine may fare better with using a stencil with the product–lest you end up with Joker brows, except that it’s not the mouth, but brows. 

Color received was “Brown-Sugar,” a medium soft brown.

inkedbrow_4As usual, the list of ingredients.

inkedbrow_5The obvious before & after. I basically have Mona Lisa brows, meaning my brows are sparse and light. Add to that the fact I haven’t taken care of them in a while.

The after is Urban Decay’s brow ink + a wee bit of brow pencil to soften the edges for a more natural look. I really liked how easy it was to use.

The product says 60-hours of wear, but sadly, I only lasted about 36 before forgetting and scrubbing off the brows. (I was so good about washing around the brows initially!) So no knowing if this will truly stand 60 hours of wear…but I can safely say it lasted well over 36 hours.

And because I did not use an oil-based cleanser, some of the product stayed after the scrub, still somewhat accentuating the brow after 20 minutes of scrubbing & moisturizing. Waterproof indeed. 5/5.

I do wish I’d chosen a slightly blacker color, seeing as I’ve redyed my hair black.

 

 

[INFLUENSTER] Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging – Hair Mask, Hair Serum

Caviar_1


Provided by Influenster


I wanted to put in a good two weeks’ shake before reviewing these products.

The change of seasons always wreaks havoc on my hair, especially as I’d recently gotten a perm. My hair has been a combination of frizz, split ends, and dryness. These products have helped my hair from looking like a frizzy yield sign.

Caviar_2I received three items (from left to right) :

  • Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Restructuring Bond Repair 3-in-1 Sealing Serum
  • Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Restructuring Bond Repair Masque
  • Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Infinite Color Hold Dual-Use Serum

We get 50 mL / 1.7 fl oz amount of product for each serum. I currently have short hair, so half-a-pump to 1 full pump sufficed.

The mask is 161 g/ 5.7oz. It’s a massive tub and only a tiny amount of product is needed for my short bob. That tub will last me until my next lifetime, and then some.

Caviar_4The “Color Hold Dual-Use Serum (left)” can be used as both a leave-in treatment and an additive, mixed in with your favorite conditioner. I’ve tried both and loved the results.

The scent is grape candy and floral, not cloyingly sweet but deep enough to cast a light fragrance over your hair. It works as a hair perfume! Staying power was decent.

Caviar_6Do you see the difference before and after? (left is before, right is after)

The product itself is an almost transparent viscous gel, oily yet surprisingly non-greasy. It lightened my frizz but didn’t weigh down my hair like some serums do. And it does lend a shine to your hair. 

My hair is currently free of dye, so I’ve been using this as a daily “hair oil & hair perfume & treatment” rolled into one handy package. It’s been good to me. 

Caviar_4The “Bond Repair 3-in-1 Sealing Serum (right)” smells a bit more … ambery? woody? Smell-wise, I preferred the “Color Hold.”

“Bond Repair” is also a mildly viscous gel that melts into your hair. It felt more lightweight than the “Color Hold,” and did a pretty great job of protecting my hair from heat. But again, I could not get over that woodsy smell … it may be for some people but I didn’t much like the scent. I personally wouldn’t use it before naptime; I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep.

Caviar_5The mask leans on the heavy side, thick and creamy. Instructions say once or twice per week, but for those like me endowed with greasy & frizzy hair (= worst combination ever), I’d say once a week at most.

The scent is floral and mildly clinical. It feels cloying in the shower but fresh once you wash it off. The mask lends a heaviness to my hair, keeping it from going all-out fizz. More than once a week may be overkill though.

It felt like a solid winter hair mask.

Caviar_3My current go-to is the “Color Hold Dual-Use Serum.” I use it every day.

The “Bond Repair Mask,” I’ve been using one every 3-5 days. I love the scent it creates with the “Color Hold.” My hair is more…manageable.

The “Bond Repair 3-in-1 Sealing Serum,” I use mixed with other products to get over the scent. It does its job as a heat protectant!

 

 

Skinfood Fresh Cheek & Lip Trio – 03 Cherry Tomato, 05 Fruit Mix, 06 Plum Mellow

3cheek_3


₩11,900 (approx $10)


Out of all the numerous makeup “road-shops” in Korea, Skinfood definitely has one of the top three spots in my heart.

Here’s a tribute to one of my favorite makeup items I have purchased from its stocks: the Fresh Cheek & Lip Trios. (생과일 립앤치크)

3cheek_1A year ago, we had a bit of a scare. Skinfood was teetering between bankruptcy and tenacious survival, according to articles at the time.

I happened to be in Korea then, searching for the Skinfood Propolis Serum that seemed to be OOS everywhere for months. When I received the news regarding the whole impending bankruptcy, I got scared that Skinfood might go the way of Ameli and decided to stock up on the Cheek & Lip Trios I loved.

3cheek_11There were only three kinds left in the Kangnam store (near Shin-Nonhyeon Station):

  • 03 Cherry Tomato
  • 05 Fruit Mix
  • 06 Plum Mellow

And everything was on sale, so I couponed things up and snagged all three for $12.

3cheek_23cheek_4I normally detest the idea of dipping fingers into products, because what does it say about longevity and hygiene? But these little tin cans are adorable, and adorable trumps everything.

They also smell delicious, like soft fruit jelly. But not overwhelmingly so.

3cheek_5Color coordination is on-point. In every tin is a nice balance of light, medium, and dark shades that complement each other; the shades mix well, too.

03 Cherry Tomato has a special place in my heart because I used it as a lip topper for my wedding makeup. I’m on my second tin.

3cheek_63cheek_83cheek_9These lean on the glossy side but packs enough pigment to make an impression.

They do dry down and lose the gloss after awhile. Think a mix between Dior lip balms and MAC cream blushes, as odd as that sounds. I wouldn’t call these plain glossy.

3cheek_7I personally dislike using cream blushes, especially if it’s multi-use. I’d rather use cheek for cheek, lip for lip; keep things separate.

The Cheek & Lip Trio works better for me as a lip tint, so a lip tint it shall be.

3cheek_10 03 Cherry Tomato

3cheek_1205 Fruit mix selfie

Long live Skinfood.

Ouai – Dry Shampoo Foam

OUAI_DRYSHAMPOO2


FS: $28 / DS: $12


Received a DS of this in one of my beauty box subscriptions, then forgot about it.

Seeing as I’ve been trying the “wash-every-other-day” method lately (so as not to completely dry out my hair), I pulled this “dry shampoo foam” out of my closet and gave it a go.

I kind of love it.

Screen Shot 2019-05-26 at 12.49.47 PMI was surprised by how low a rating this product got in Sephora. Less than 3/5!

Apparently, there’s a 50/50 chance you’re going to love/hate this.

OUAI_DRYSHAMPOO3Directions: For use on dry, dirty hair, shake it up, work a palm-full of product onto your hair and scalp, re-apply as needed. (PS: I don’t use a palm-full. 1/3 of a palm is enough.)

The product feels just like your everyday foam cleanser, white and poofy and airy. Smells amazing!

OUAI_DRYSHAMPOO1This is my three-days-old hair after using Ouai’s Dry Shampoo Foam. My hair usually goes limp and sad after a day without washing. I’ve got that grease-is-me scalp that needs washing 7/7 a week.

After rubbing in a ping-pong sized foam into my scalp and hair, my hair became voluminous again, albeit messy and frizzed up. Still presentable! And this was immediately following a workout.

Color me impressed.

OUAI_DRYSHAMPOO4Dry shampoos were always a “meh” for me. I rarely use one up when I get them in a beauty box.

This may be the first dry shampoo I use up!

2019 May Empties

2019mayempt_2My May Empties. We’ve still got a few days but I doubt I’ll have more to show by then.

As usual, I’ve taken a shot of all my empties, and then a separate shot of just my likes and loves.

Categories:

  • Loves (will/already have repurchased)
  • Likes (likes enough to use it again someday)
  • Meh (meh)
  • Underline (already repurchased)

2019mayempt_1These are my likes and loves of May 2019.

Decent month!

2019mayempt_3

  • Good Molecules Wake Up Eye Serum – LIKE
  • Opti-Free Puremoist – LIKE 
  • Christophe Robin Clay Cleansing Volumizing Paste – LOVE
  • Hello Natural Toothpaste Natural Sweet Mint – LOVE
  • Love Beauty & Planet Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Shampoo – LIKE
  • Love Beauty & Planet Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Conditioner – LIKE
  • Lancome Hydra Zen – LIKE
  • Age20s Aura Essence Cover Pact Refill Light Beige 21 – LOVE  (thx to my friend, refilled!)

2019mayempt_4

  • Su:m37 Water-full Timeless Water Gel Cream – LOVE
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Original – LIKE
  • The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner – LIKE
  • Culturelle Daily Probiotic Chewable Orange – LOVE
  • It’s Skin Cookies and Cream Body Ice Cream – LIKE
  • Belif the true cream Aqua Bomb – LOVE
  • Olay Regenerist Whip Polishing Creme Cleanser – LOVE

 

My Mehs…:

  • Moisturizing Cetaphil… loved the original blue kind, but this one broke me out. Slippery. Wouldn’t seep into my skin. Estranged, my skin and this.
  • Mamonde Oil to Foam Rose Cleanser Sample – Yep. Broke me out. Loved the toner though. Rose scent’s a little too strong for my liking.

 

It’s interesting how my loves and repurchases don’t always correspond. Sometimes my likes are more “like”ly to get repurchased than my loves, but in this case, it’s more out of necessity than “sparks of joy.”

Which is precisely why I can’t get into Marie Kondo; things that spark joy doesn’t necessarily mean I need it. If I did things her way, I’d be a fabulously dressed mountain hermit and dead in a week because I’ve no survival skills or the capacity to deconstruct pretty quotes.

Allure 2019 May Beauty Box

May_4


$15 per month


May was a solid box. I received every single item that I wanted from Allure, and even the tanning gel doesn’t niggle me so. The Lue powder came 2/3 filled, but compare that to what others have gotten (1/2), I can’t complain.

May_1May_2They’ve switched up the bags a little. Instead of the little metallic button that pops into itself, this bag has sleeves.

(So far, none of these have arrived ripped. From what I’ve heard though, these babies are as delicate as the cotton candy that the raccoon dropped in the water.)

May_3Items received:

  • Lue by Jean Seo – Cleansing, Exfoliating & brightening Powder – LIKE
  • Amorepacific Youth Revolution Radiance Creme & Masque – LOVE
  • Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream – LOVE
  • Model Co Metallic Eyeshadow in St Barts – LIKE
  • Laritzy Cosmetics Lip Gloss in Vibe – MEH
  • St Tropez Tanning Gel & Tanning Mitten – NOPE

4/6, and two loves. Good box.

May_5

  • Lue by Jean Seo – Cleansing, Exfoliating & brightening Powder: This reminds me a little of the “NUDE Detox brightening fizzy powder” or the “Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder.” It’s a tad more loosey-goosey than those two.
  • Amorepacific Youth Revolution Radiance Creme & Masque: Solid cream. The texture feels whipped and it sinks into your skin, non-tacky residue. Always a fan of Amorepacific. To use this as a mask, you need to apply two layers and sleep with it overnight…but unsure if I have enough product to try this. I’m surprised how expensive this is retail. ($200 FS)
  • Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream: Tried this before. Loved it. It may come off as greasy at first but soon sinks in.
  • Model Co Metallic Eyeshadow in St Barts: Haven’t tried this yet but I enjoy the color. This is more of a foil-like sheen than glitter.
  • Laritzy Cosmetics Lip Gloss in Vibe: Enjoy the texture, not so much the color. I’d have liked something brighter or bolder. But it’s a nice nude-y shade. Almost transparent on my skin.
  • St Tropez Tanning Gel & Tanning Mitten: I don’t use tanning items, so will probably be swapping or selling this off! Fun mitten though.

May_6Laritzy gloss & ModelCo Shadow.

They both have a mild orange sheen to its hue. Could be a nice topper I figure.

May_4I’ve also just learned that there’s a strong correlation between shipping date and subscribed date. (e.g. If you subbed at the beginning of the month, say the 2nd, your box will ship on the first week)

I happened to sub around the 15th, meaning I always get my box around the third week. This has its pros and cons. I will always be late to the party, but I get to look at everyone’s boxes and decide whether to skip or not!

[INFLUENSTER] Huda Beauty Power Bullet Matte Lipstick – Joyride, Interview

HUDAvox2


Provided by Influenster


My fourth voxbox, and my first ever makeup voxbox.

I adore Huda’s liquid matte formula and the shade “Trophy Wife,” so was excited to try her power matte lipsticks.

HUDAvox1HUDAvox3HUDAvox4HUDAvox9Two shades were generously provided: “Joyride” and “Interview.”

If the color spectrum runs orange -> dusty pink/red -> chocolate, these two leaned heavily on the orange. I believe they were the lightest shades of the bunch.

HUDAvox5Here is the ingredients list.

HUDAvox8Left is “Joyride,” right is “Interview.”

 

HUDAvox7Again, the left is “Joyride,” right is “Interview.”

The shades are on the warm side, brownish nudes that can be worn comfortably. It’s more taupe on-lips than in the tube.

The formula is creamy-matte and goes on thick. The scent was interesting. It reminds me of Crayola lightly dipped in vanilla, waxy and sweet.

HUDAvox10Left: Interview, Right: Joyride

Keep in mind, the sun was barely out (cloudy day) so the colors look less saturated. I really liked “interview,” but “joyride” was a tad too muddy for my liking. Just personal preference. “Interview” is gorgeous!

The lips go on thick but stay. I’ve been out eating with “interview” on, and it didn’t leave me even after a reuben + chai latte.

HUDAvox6This is one of those lipsticks that you “feel” on your lips. It doesn’t feel like a second skin, but the feeling is akin to putting on a leather jacket on the outskirts of spring.

I like the formula enough to maybe try the shade “pay day” someday. 🙂

Bath & Body Works Haul (Buy 3 Get 3) 2019

AprilHaul_4There is a special place in my heart for B&BW coupons. They are ridiculously generous.

My Korean friend, for whom it was her first time ever in the US, had a romp at B&BW. She preferred it over Sephora!

This is a story of how we brought the price tag down from $60.10 to $34.34.

AprilHaul_3We combined three coupons/promos:

  • 20% off entire purchase
  • 1 item free (up to $13.50 value)
  • Buy 3 Get 3 free

Between the two of us, my friend and I each picked out three items and then added on one extra item to redeem the “1 item free.”

She bought:

  • Gingham Ultra Shea Body Cream
  • Sweet Almond & Honey Ultra Shea Body Cream
  • Intense Lavender Body Lotion

I bought:

  • Wild Blueberry Ultra Shea Body Cream
  • Gingham Ultra Shea Body Cream
  • Sea Island Cotton Body Lotion
  • Aromatherapy Essential Oil Body Lotion – Lavender

She generously gave me the extra item 🙂 We only paid about $17 each.

AprilHaul_1The Aromatherapy Lavender landed itself on my bedroom dresser, next to JoMalone and a bunch of perfume rollerballs. (Vicktor&Rolf, Maison Margiela, Fresh) The lotion is non-tacky and melts into the skin.

I alternate between Lavender and English Pear & Freesia at night. Lavender helps me sleep.

AprilHaul_2The Wild Blueberry currently resides in my bathroom, atop the …well, loo.

It’s accompanied by Japanese Cherry Blossom (another B&BW classic) and a bottle of “what used to be body milk but now is a mixture of water & lavender oil & crushed ylang ylang soap.” I intended it to be red – yellow – blue (ish).

It smells amazing! Takes a bit longer than the lotions to seep into my skin, but does a bang-up job in keeping me moisturized.

I love mixing Wild Blueberry with a hint of Philosophy’s Fresh Cream; the combination reminds me of grape 새콤달콤 (Saecomdalcom? It means SweetSour), a beloved fruit chew from my prepubescent days. (My hubby says it reminds him of cranberry juice. Funny how scent awakens different kinds of nostalgia in everyone.)

In all, a good haul.

Allure 2019 April, Mar, Jan Beauty Box

I blame the weather. The winter days were long and cold; they blended into one another until it felt like I was stuck in groundhog day. Sooner or later, I woke up from the funk and realized it was April 2019. And I haven’t reviewed a single box from Allure, my current favorite beauty subscription.

Here is everything, from January to April. (I lied. Minus February)

“Allure January 2019”

allurejan_1allurejan_2allurejan_3Items received:

  • OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub – LIKE
  • Sunday Riley CEO Glow Vitamin C +Tumeric Face Oil – LIKE
  • Sunday Riley A + High Dose Retinoid Serum – LOVE
  • Amika Soulfood Nourishing Mask – MEH
  • Doucce Relentless Matte Lip Crayon in Winterberry – LIKE
  • Mally Evercolor Shadow Stick in Burnished Bronze – LIKE

 

“Allure March 2019”

alluremar_1alluremar_2alluremar_3alluremar_4alluremar_5alluremar_6Items received:

  • Belief The True Cream Aqua Bomb – LOVE
  • The Anywhere Creme Multistick Grapefruit – LOVE (NARS Orgasm dupe)
  • Juice Beauty Green Apple Brightening Gel Cleanser – LIKE
  • Acure Seriously Soothing Blue Tansy Night Oil – MEH
  • Mamonde Rose Water Toner – LIKE
  • Burt’s Bee Lipstick in Blush Basin – LOVE
  • Lakur Nail Polish in Boring Pink – LIKE/MEH

 

“Allure April 2019”

allureapr_1allureapr_2allureapr_3allureapr_5Items received:

  • Natasha Denona Single Eyeshadow in 131DC Morgana – LOVE
  • Brigeo Farewell Frizz Protection Cream – MEH
  • Vita Liberata Tan-Infused Clothes – HARD NOPE (organic or otherwise, no tanning)
  • Luxie 231 Small Tapered Blending Rose Gold – LOVE
  • Laura Geller Inkcredible Gel Eyeliner Pencil – LIKE
  • John Frieda Frizz Ease Cream – LIKE
  • Furterer Texture Spray – MEH

 

In summary:

  • Liked the January box
  • Loved the March box
  • Meh-ed the April Box

(February must have been a hard hard nope because I distinctly remember receiving the box but didn’t bother taking pictures)

Currently, I think I prefer Allure to Birchbox or Ipsy. Good solid items. Even the semi-transparent bags didn’t rip and give me grief.

Sephora Spring Sale 20% 2019

2019sale_1Here’s our annual April-ish Sephora Beauty Insider Sale. I add “ish” because a good chunk of the sale veers into May.

  • Rouge gets 20% off from “April 26 – May 6”
  • VIB gets 15% off from “May 2 – May 6”
  • Insider gets 10% off from “May 2 – May 6”

Unlimited use in-store and online. (online code: HEYROUGE, for Rouge)

There are some exclusions. No applicable on products from “The Ordinary” or “MAC Viva Glam.” Limit 1 Dyson, 3 Drunk Elephant, 3 Tatcha, 5 Morphe items per transaction.

2019sale_2As usual, the coupon came with fragrance cards.

And of course, on the first day of the sale (April 26th), Rouge members are allowed to bring one other Beauty Insider who will also get 20% off on their purchased items. If this sale had begun just one week earlier, my friend from Korea may have gotten the chance to shop 20% off with me… 😦 Bad timing for us.

Pretty much excited about the sale but disappointed that The Ordinary products will be excluded from this promotion. I’d have liked to stock up on “Buffet” and “Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%.”