[INFLUENSTER] Advanced Hard As Nails Strengthener


Provided by Influenster

Price: $2.99-$7.50 (Depending on where you go!)


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.

[INFLUENSTER] NYX EPIC SMOKE LINER “SAGE SPARKS”


Provided by Influenster

Price: $11


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.

As for longevity, I’ve spent two days so far wearing this liner. Both days, it held up well for about six to eight hours = essentially until the end of the day when I took it off.

No smudging. It erases well with any old micellar water.

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. 

With natural lighting, 4PM sun
(no extra artificial lights added)

[Influenster] Too Faced – Lady Bold Lipstick & Lip Liner


Provided by: Influenster

Price: $20 (liner) & $24 (lipstick)


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] KIEHL’S CLEARLY CORRECTIVE ACCELERATED CLARITY RENEWING AMPOULES


Provided by Influenster


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.

Left is BEFORE, Right is AFTER

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.

Lush Bath Bomb – Thundersnow

thunder3_sb


Price: $6.95


Hubbygift_2This 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!

thunder1_sbMine 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.

 

B612_20180109_072502.jpgB612_20180109_072346.gifB612_20180109_072305

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.

thunder2_sbCaribbean 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.

 

2018 Jan- Feb Empties

2018marchempties_1These are my Jan-Feb Empties, my first batch(?) of empties since 2017. Like in my previous post, I threw away the no-nos, so most of items here are either my loves or likes.

2018FEBempties_2Here are my categories:

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

2018FEBempties_3

Jan-Feb FS/DS Loves!

  • Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser (Best gentle cleanser/exfoliator)
  • Albion Skin Conditioner Essential (Soothing toner that gradually evens out my blotchy skin tone. Price point is a bit steep, and it’s only sold in Japan)
  • Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water (This is what, my fifth bottle?)
  • Mario Badescu Rose Facial Spray (I keep this next to my bed for sprtizes)
  • Kerasys Moisture Clinic Treatment (Delicious scent. Softens my hair like nothing else)
  • Dior Lip Plumper (Great lip primer. Quickly softens up lips.)
  • Opti-Free Replenish (My… tenth bottle I think.)
  • No-brand Eyebrow Trimmer (My fourth one methinks)

Most of these products will be repurchased at some point. I especially loved the Liz Earle (it came with a gauzy cloth), but it’s a hassle to keep the cloth dried and clean.

2018FEBempties_4

Jan-Feb Samples Loves!

  • Shiseido Facial Cotton (mistakenly got in the samples pile. Great face cotton)
  • Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser (Soothing. Lovely smell. Good cleanser)
  • Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser (Odd smell but cleanses well. Soothing)
  • Euneul Collagen Mask (Great prepping mask. Seeps into skin non-greasy/tacky)
  • The Face Shop Hydrating Mask (Feels more water-based than the collagen. Good prepping mask)

 

2018FEBempties_2

Jan-Feb Samples Likes!

  • IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel (Great smell. Greasy. Not for my type of hair)
  • Shiseido Ibuki Cream (Slightly tacky but decent moisturizer)
  • The Body Shop Mango Body Cream (Great smell but tacky)
  • Lush Boom Tooth Tablet (Fun, but gets black froth everywhere)
  • Inglot Gel Liner – Brown (Great color choices. Good liner but hardens quickly)
  • Sephora Waterproof Eye Remover (Decent remover. Slightly greasy)
  • Ajona Stomatikum Toothpaste (Smells like my bunny’s pee.. but great toothpaste once you get over the smell and taste)

 

Phew. Glad to have purged some of my old faves. I’ve been working on some of these since July 2017.

MOSCHINO + SEPHORA Collection (Palette, Highlighter)

moschino1


Price: $48 (Palette) , $22 (Highlighter)


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.

moschino2This 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.

moschino3Just 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.

moschino4This 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.

moschino5And 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.

moschino6Now 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.

DIY Candle Making- Reusing Candles

mycandle9


Materials:

  • Leftover Candlewax
  • Candle vessel/jar
  • Pre-waxed wick
  • Pouring Pot

I’ve been burning B&BW candles all winter. I prune myself in bathtubs and light candles in winter.

According the candle safety guidelines, you’re not supposed to burn a candle all the way down; you should stop at 1/2 in. But for a 3-wick BBW candle, 1/2 inch is a pretty decent amount of wax. It bummed me out to see how much I was wasting.

3wickcandle1So instead of throwing out the jar, I decided to reuse the leftover wax and move it to a smaller vessel, leaving the sturdy jar free for all kinds of uses. (Pinterest had tons of ideas for reusing these jars)

I honestly take on these DIY projects whenever I’m mildly stressed or burnt out; it distracts me from how grim the weather is. (it’s snowing cats and dogs and reindeers)

mycandle11. Scrape out chunks of leftover wax from the 3-wick BBW jars. (This is easier if you leave them in the fridge overnight. The frozen wax will have fissures running through its body; all you have to do is insert your butter knife into the cracks)

These were chunks of BBW’s “Lavender” and “Midnight Blue Citrus.” This is enough wax to glean one small candle.

mycandle2mycandle42. Prepare the cup. Press a small dollop of all-purpose cement/glue on the bottom of the wick and press it gently onto the bottom of the cup. Make sure the wick is placed at the center of the cup.

I bought the cute cup from Anthropologie, the “ETCHED BANDS HURRICANE.” It was $3.57 each on sale.

Wick, I bought on amazon. I’d recommend buying something else. These were too wishy-washy; they had no back bone, too feeble.

mycandle3mycandle63. Melt the wax by double boiling. This was much like melting chocolate.

You fill a pot with water and boil the water. Rest the pouring pot in the boiling water and melt the wax. Avoid direct heat. Putting pan to stove may be too hot for the wax.

Pot was also bought on amazon.

mycandle54. Let the wax melt in low heat until it’s clear.

Then pour it gently into the prepared cup.

mycandle75. Make sure the prewaxed wick stands straight in the middle. Use pens to prop it up if necessary.

It’s okay if the wick is too long; you’ll have to trim it anyhow.

mycandle86. Let it stand.

The leftover wax from my two candles were just enough to fill this cup.

mycandle97. Enjoy. This personally was the perfect size for bath candles. I like lighting this while taking a bath.

The 3-wick jar now may be used to other purposes, such as storing q-tip, candies, hair bands, and other miscellaneous knick-knacks.

 

 

 

2018 Target Beauty Box 1&2

2018Jan_1


Price: $7 (per box)


I’ve been doing so well avoiding subscription boxes; the piling DS from ipsy & birchbox was a bit too much. Then again, Target is a noncommittal one-time deal. Cheaper, too. Also, free shipping.

I passed on the previous few boxes, but this time around I couldn’t decide between the two boxes they offered. Hence, the two boxes.

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 3.58.03 AMItems arrived earlier, around Jan 8.

I was mostly interested in the face mask, shampoo (love ogx), clay mask, and the shadow palette.

2018Jan_2Theme of the first box is “Jetsetter.”

Getting major déjà vu because I’m pretty sure I’ve had a few subscription boxes named this. (Birchbox?)

2018Jan_3Mostly happy to try Sleek makeup and the clay mask. Am saving that serum for traveling purposes, since I have a million skincare DS open at the moment.

I’m considering gifting the body cream to a friend.

2018Jan_4As per usual, Target doesn’t forget to add on a coupon for $5 off $20, expiring at Feb 4.

If anyone needs this, please tell me. I don’t think I’ll use it.

2018Jan_5Second box. Theme is “Staycay.” I’m kinda loving the blue ombre.

2018Jan_7This was a decent box. I prefer this just a bit more to the first box. You get seven items for $7, bringing down the price of each item to $1.

I see myself using everything, especially the shampoo & conditioner (also love Nexxus) and the face mask.

2018Jan_6Another coupon, this time, for $3 off $15.

Wonder why they give different coupons for each box.

2018Jan_8All in all, good boxes.

Wonder what February would bring. I’m hoping for a really nice “Men’s” one.