I’ve never had brows to speak of, so any brow-related products are welcome. Initially, I wondered whether my brows had enough volume at all to warrant a “fluff-up,” but it turns out the brow wax does an admirable job keeping everything “on,” so thank you Benefit & Influenster for the good stuff.
Starting with the box because this one was exceptionally pretty and kitschy. Almost as if the Mean Girls Burn Book purged itself of vitriol and found inner peace, deciding to use its powers for good—the good being brow power.
You get “7.0 mL / 0.23 fl. oz.” amount of product that is guaranteed to fluff, feather, and texturize your brows. As the box promises, the product does dry clear and is flake free, but the applicator might feel dry and abrasive at first.
It’s best to use a fluffing motion as opposed to attacking the brow bone like I did at first.
As usual, the ingredients.
Again, there’s really not much to shape (lol) here, but the brow wax had a death grip and made these brows last for 12 + hours.
So, Wednesdays are usually my busiest days; I rise at 6:20 am and get off work around 8 pm. By the end of the day, I’m ready to crash. My cognitive powers & blush may have left around 4 pm, but thanks to this product, at least the brows stayed—no touch-ups required.
Not sure how waterproof this is, but come February when the gym membership starts again, I’ll be able to test it against the salty water of the swimming pool.
Did I mention pretty box?
My favorite product from Benefit still has to be the Benetint, but this one’s in the top five.
Too Faced has been my go-to for eyeshadows and blushes for as far back as 2012. So why is it that I’m only discovering this foundation now? I’ve definitely tried foil samples before; there was a time when Sephora would include “Born This Way” foils in its sample roster every other week. But this foundation had never impressed like it does now… did they change the formula?
This is “medium-to-full” coverage, which I prefer to full coverage. It provides a more natural finish while managing to cover the bulk of my skin issues (pores, mild scarring, mild pigmentation, etc.) “Oil-free” is also a huge plus, as I am prone to acne on my T-zone.
We get 30ml / 1.0 Fl oz worth of product for $40.
Texture is not-too-thick, not-too-runny. Compared to EL’s Double Wear Foundation and Burberry Matte Glow, it’s mildly runnier.
The shade I received was “Almond,” which runs a tad yellow than my other two foundations. Combined with its natural finish, this foundation happened to be the perfect match for my skin! I usually have to mix & match to create my daily shade, but there’s no need for that with Born This Way.
Plus, a little goes a long way.
Here’s a comparison to give you a better idea of that “photo-friendly, blurring effect.” Left is normal camera. Right is filtered (albeit, mildly, to provide a subtle comparison).
I’d say left still gives you the coveted blurred-filter effect without completely obliterating texture & imperfections. Of course, harsh lights will bring out all the texture since makeup is no panacea, but this is such a great foundation for daily, work/school makeup. I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who wants full coverage, as this seems to be geared towards people who want decent coverage without going full glam.
Please note, longevity was not spectacular. Most likely because I’m oily to begin with?
Am definitely going to purchase after using up this bottle. Here’s the bottle surrounded by my other Too Faced stash because, Too Faced.
I’ll start this review by saying I have weak, dry nails. The simple act of opening a jar or a window is enough to chip them, and my thumbnails are especially prone to breakage.
The wonky line on my thumbnail (see left pic) is due to a kitchen window. When I tried ventilating the kitchen, my thumbnail tore in the shape of a crescent moon, flapping, like a fedora man tipping his hat “M’lady” over and over.
It was painful. Had to clip the split end and grow the rest out, since trimming it smooth wasn’t feasible at the time.
This is the first time in two months I’ve painted my nails. The Sally Hansen nail strengthener gives me much better luck in keeping my nails intact (and kitchen ventilated). Haven’t had a nail accident in the last week-and-a-half I’ve used this stuff.
Instructions say “2-3 coats,” but I don’t believe you need that much. One coat was enough for me.
You get 13.3ml of product that strengthens your nails, keeping them from peeling, chipping, or breaking.
This dries pretty fast, but not any faster than other strengtheners I’ve used. Consistency feels a tad watery and slick. Price is amazing & affordable. This works as a decent base coat too. Sally Hansen’s a solid brand, so no surprises there.
The green threw me off at first! Granted, this is a pretty sage green, but my daily routine is pretty boring with an arsenal of browns, corals, and beige. I have three eyeliners: one black and two browns… very yawn. So was curious how the sage green would fit in.
This is a “smoke eyeliner stick,” with a consistency closer to a kajal/kohl than pencil. It goes on smoothly with more control than kajals but less than, say, a liquid liner. It also doubles as an on-the-go eyeshadow with the help of that brush tip, blending itself into a liner-turned-shadow.
Despite the softness of this eyeliner stick, I was able to get a relatively crisp application (have shaky coffee hands so this is a big deal lol).
Here’s a picture lifted from the Nyx website. An arsenal of pretty colors!
Knowing my boring self, I’d probably reach for a brown/taupe… but that purple and blue look beautiful too.
Well, I love it. “Sage Sparks” goes incredibly well with “rose-golds, golds, brown, blacks, peach, and corals,” and is generally a nice pop of color that’s just bold enough without overwhelming the daily look. The photo is me with Nyx “Sage Sparks” and a golden-brown liner.
I believe the gold & green colors compliment each other, and the brush tip provided made blending easy. If it helps, I’m supposedly a “bright spring light” in the personal color chart (at least, according to the lady who did my colors).
Left is the eyeliner stick and right is the brush tip. I really enjoy how the blending gives the look of an eyeshadow, but with the control and intensity of a liner.
The brush tip looks a little stiff but is actually soft! It also reminds me of a tiny animal hairbrush.
Btw, lip topper was Nyx Butter Gloss “Creme Brûlée!” Love the butter gloss.
This was such a win. Thank you for sending me that unexpected green. I tiptoed out of my comfort zone and loved it.
Here’s a lovely excuse to bring out the pink yoga mat I hardly use. Too Faced is known for its variety of color, but its defining shade is pink, pink, pink—and so goes the exterior of this lipstick and liner. Even the case is light pink (but depending on the color you might get hot pink!)
There’s embossing on the side of the Too Faced logo and the words “Lady Bold.” For the lipstick, there’s a magnetic top that swirls shut. In lieu of a twister, the liner has a clicker on its bottom that pushes up more product when you push it. Both cases are pretty study and light.
The outside may be soft pink, but inside is bold. Don’t let the color fool you! I was certain this was to be a classic MLBB shade, but it’s surprisingly vibrant on your lips. It’s a muted brick shade that runs more orange than pink/mauve, with a hint of cinnamon. The shade of the lipstick is “Comeback Queen” and the liner is “Limitless Life.” As you can see, there’s some staining. There’s also some transfer. But as long as you blot well and layer nicely, the combination lasts through at least half a day or more.
The liner was creamy and easy to manage, that is, if your hands aren’t shaking from two cups of strong coffee. “Limitless Life” runs a hair lighter and desaturated than “Comeback Queen.” I personally loved the liner more for its versatility. While it pairs well with “Comeback Queen,” it also goes great with … honestly almost anything, save for ice-baby-pink or skin-nude (which are shades I can’t rock, so please. You do you.). The past few weeks, I’ve tried it in shades of coral, rose, muted pink, fuchsia, classic red in all kinds of formulas (tint, lipstick, lip gloss, vinyl etc.). Works pretty well with everything!
(Selfie: Left is DSLR and right is Galaxy20, natural lighting on a mildly cloudy day)
Oddly enough, it looks hydrating, but it’s mostly creamy. Honestly, it was a tad drying on my lips. Looks nice though. Am most likely going to purchase the liner again.
Ending the post with my love of Too Faced. I forgot to bring out the Chocolate bars, but don’t the peach go well with Lady Bold?
My blog is quickly dissolving into an Influenster exclusive deal. So thank you, Influenster, for continuing my love of makeup (at a time when masks are prevalent and I’m stuck working remotely) XOXO
Influenster recently sent over something marked an “Intensive 14 Day Program.” 14 days later, here’s my review. Kiehl’s isn’t currently one of my staples, but so many of my peers use the brand religiously in their skin routine. I was pretty much sold on the get go.
I do love seeing that box. Just for you!
The product claims to target clarity loss. It aspires to let the customer achieve a “new level of skin clarity” in a matter of 14 days.
There are 28 vials included in the box, each filled with 0.03 fl.oz (1.0ml) of product. The vials run about 3cm in length and seem tiny, but there’s quite a bit of product in each bottle. You are supposed to use two bottles per day, one in the morning and one in the night.
Unfortunately, the vials held too much product for my face. After the first day, I ended up splitting the bottles each day, stretching the regimen to 30+ days instead of the prescribed 14. I did use it religiously everyday though, morning and night.
As usual, the ingredient list. I was initially concerned about the lavender oil as my skin hates any type of oil (even cold-pressed ones), but the ampoules didn’t trigger a breakout.
The product contains alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA), so make sure to wear sunscreen when using it!
How to use:
Step 1 – Shake well before use
Step 2 – Twist vial to open (doesn’t require much strength)
Step 3 – Pour entire contents into palm of hand. Discard vial. (The formula is super runny! Beware.)
Step 4 – Gently apply to clean, dry face and neck, avoiding the eye area.
The ampoules hold a clear, runny liquid with a mildly oily sheen to it. It tingles a bit when applied, as products with lactic acid often do. I detected a medicinal herbal scent, not unlike ginseng.
The absence of added fragrance was a plus due to my skin sensitivity, but can’t say I enjoyed the smell. All the same, it gave me a weird nostalgia for my great-grandmother. Her room had a similar medicinal scent, especially near her medicine cabinet.
As you can see, there’s not a huge difference, but my skin has definitely improved. It’s especially apparent on the chin area where multiple scars have been in the process of healing for months.
The bigger scars remain, but smaller ones have definitely near-vanished. The bigger scars didn’t get lighter though. Overall texture has improved and my skin doesn’t feel as parched anymore, even with the heat on 24/7 & frequent wearing of masks.
Here was my skin regimen pre-Kiehl’s:
The Ordinary Buffet (everyday)
SK2 Pitera Essence (everyday)
Curology Personal Regimen (everyday)
Vitamin Powder (1-2 times per week)
Mediheal & Eunyul Sheet Masks (2-3 times per week)
And my skin regimen during Kiehl’s:
Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Ampoules (everyday)
The Ordinary Buffet (everyday)
SK2 Pitera Essence (everyday)
Curology Personal Regimen (everyday)
Mediheal & Eunyul Sheet Masks (1-2 times per week)
I didn’t want to completely eliminate my usual regimen in fear of disrupting my skin. I spent 3 months undoing the havoc the four earliest months of 2020 had done to my body. Kept expecting to wake up with breakouts but never did.
Overall, the smell was bad, the price exorbitant—but then again, I loved what it did. For 14 days of use, I’m unsure I’d shell out $95, but considering how I stretched the regimen to twice its length, maybe.
This was a part of my “Christmas Bathtime Favorites” Box (not to mention Intergalactic!). I’m sad to say this was a limited edition. You can’t find it on the Lush page anymore.. but as with most other Lush products, this may return.
I’ve still about 6-7 more bath bombs to go!
Mine was a tad more glitzy and messy, since it had been tumbling around with other bombs for a month or two.
You can detect flecks of Golden Wonder and Star Light Star Bright.
This one makes an odd popping sound as it melts. It apparently has some popping candy packed inside itself, along with peppermint oil and cocoa absolute.
The bomb is supposed to smell like cocoa and mint (a peppermint mocha, if you will) but it felt more powdery-sweet and pillowy, more like chocolate vanilla ice cream in a dry “space ice cream” form than something like.. peppermint patty? Peppermint chocolate milk in powder form? It’s hard to say.
That vanilla-chocolate swirl is intoxicating though. I loved it.
Caribbean ocean-esque hues. Pretty pretty.
I only wish the scent lasted longer. I didn’t drain immediately and let the colors simmer for about ten minutes, but the scent didn’t last long. That initial waft when you first pitch the bomb is probably the strongest scent you’ll get with this bath bomb.
This is a limited edition “MOSCHINO + SEPHORA” collaboration, one I actually missed out on when it first launched months ago.
Thanks to Sephora who brought it back a second time! I finally snagged the two items I really wanted, the palette and the highlighter.
This is the embodiment of kidult (kid + adult) culture; it has all the makings of a cute toy, but with a collectible twist.
I love the small details such as the “touch me” hole and the Moschino teddy illustrations on the side. Major ToysRUs vibes.
Just look at this beauty. I’ve no words for it; it speaks for itself. It’s plastic but feels heavy enough, doesn’t look cheap. Perfect as a decoration.
Be still my kid heart.
This holds 21 shades in mattes, shimmers, and satin finishes.
The inside is part-cardboard, much like limited edition holiday TooFaced palettes that come out every year. I’d have liked this portion to be plastic too, but oh well.
I’m not planning to use any of this by the way. It’s my collectible. Back to the box it goes.
And this beauty. The highlighter is a two-parter, and holds one part champagne and one part rose-gold powder shimmers.
The colors are very subtle and needs building up to actually show like, say, what a Becca Opal would do for your skin. I like subtlety so this is actually good for me.
Now some of the cons:
Durability: I’ve heard a lot of horror stories of these items coming with at least one shadow smashed, both the palette and the highlighter. It happened to me too, as you can see. Sephora kindly replaced my smashed one with a pristine, intact version, but I’d advise using this at home and not on-the-go.
Pigmentation: What little I tried felt decent but this may not please those who are more used to stark pigmentation, like KVD and Viseart. While this does work as decent makeup, it’s more of a collectible item, and I don’t mind that it may work less than what other $40+ or $22+ items would do for me. The packaging alone was worth paying for, but that’s personal preference.
I’m thinking of pressing the smashed extra with some rubbing alcohol and leaving at the office for touch-ups. The mirror is big enough, and the bear’s so cute I’ll be happy just looking at it.