[Influenster] Too Faced Born This Way Foundation – Almond


Provided by Influenster

Price: $40


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.

Ingredient list. Mostly for documentation’s sake, since I’m not savvy at all.

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.

DSLR / Natural Lighting
Galaxy S20, Rear-end camera, artificial lighting

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.

[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] DIOR CAPTURE TOTALE SUPER POTENT EYE SERUM



Provided by: Influenster

Price: $75


This is a case where pining will get you somewhere. Many surveys came and went with no sign of a voxbox, which is to be expected with these kind of raffle-giveaway setup. Like buying a Powerball ticket, I continued to pine for the newest release in my favorite brands.

I was perfectly content completing surveys out of habit when one day, out of the blue, Dior answered. Twice.

I have to say, while I’m a huge fan of Dior makeup, especially their lip products, I don’t have much experience with their skin products. At the same time, the one product I had experience with was amazing (= Dior Dreamskin Perfector), so I went into this trial with high hopes.

This is my review of said product after having used it for two weeks-ish consistently.

The serum is of substantial size considering it’s an eye serum. For a face serum, it’s small.

With $75 you get 20ml – 0.67 fl oz amount of product. It is said to be anti-aging and age-defying, lessening puffiness, lines, and dark circles.

Here’s the ingredient list, as per usual!

Apparently all types of skin can use this product, whether they be dry, oily, combination, or normal.

The applicator is an interesting shape, not like anything I’ve seen before. Bendy at the neck yet sturdy.

You’re supposed to squeeze out a drop and massage the eye area with the tip, which I will say upfront, feels 80% better when chilled. Please try it after having stored the product in the fridge overnight! It will do wonders for puffy eyes in the morning. I should know. I snack on salty food at night.

For sake of this review, I squeezed some out on my palm, and accidentally overdid the amount. Think average palm-size of a 5ft 3 human being if it helps. Believe it or not this is more than enough! On average I’d only use about half that amount because less is enough in this case.

The consistency is like watery gel, slippery and non-sticky. Yet there’s a distinct silkiness to it that’s reminiscent of the Dreamskin Perfector. Scent is mildly floral and not overwhelming at all. Pleasant.

Do ignore my huge pores & unmanaged brows – focus on the hydration. Again, I’ve used way too much product than I normally use for my daily routine, because, waste not want not.

There was enough product to spread over the top half of my face, thus, the shine. This product is so easy to spread. Despite its watery consistency, it’s very rich. Two weeks of massaging the corner of my eyes with this serum, and my skin was more hydrated and awake than before.

Does wonders with puffiness. Not sure about the dark circles, but then again, I tend to sleep around 3 AM…

This is light enough to use in summer, but would definitely recommend it more for winter.

Price-point is right up there with most Dior products, but you do get more product than your average eye serum. And again, the puffiness.

[Influenster] Huda Beauty Legit Lashes Mascara

Huda_soko2


Provided by Influenster


Here’s something that is tailored to my needs: a mascara that volumizes & lengthens & curls. Influenster sent me Huda Beauty’s Legit Mascara to try, and since I like anything Huda, I gave it a go for a few weeks.

My lashes are pretty sparse and love to reach for the grounds, even as I’m pressing them upwards with curlers. Sooner or later, they will make the inevitable descent and point downwards, defiantly so.

Huda_soko3The case is pretty thick and hefty. You receive 2 X 8.5ml / 2 X 0.28 fl oz. worth of product. It says “2 X” because this is a dual mascara, with wands on both ends of the stick.

I realize mascara is one thing you should never use beyond the expiration date, about two or three months after opening one, but if that wasn’t the case, I might be able to use this one up to six months; there’s so much product. (And not many lashes to speak of on me, alas.)

Huda_soko5The whole effect is volumizing & lengthening & curling. Your lashes get immediate volume due to the 5mm fibers and soft wax.

Huda_sok4Left is the volume brush; right is curl & length

Huda_soko1Considering I have zero lashes to speak of (and the few that I’ve got refuses to stand to attention with or without the aid of a curler) this is an improvement. Since I misplaced my eyelash curlers months ago, this was without the aid of a curler. I really like what it does for my sparse lashes.

Can’t speak much for longevity though, since it’s been Quarantine for quite a while. It did not flake or change in appearance for the two hours or so I wore them consistently.

[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!

 

 

[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. 🙂

[Influenster] Garnier Olia- Dark Mahogany Hair Dye

garnierolia_3


Provided by Influenster


Hello my first ever VoxBox. It’s uncanny how these come at you at the right moment, when I was personally getting sick of my red-ish hair.

garnierolia_2garnierolia_4I received the shade “4.15 Dark Soft Mahogany.”

Influenster give you arbitrary colors out of the ones you chose in the survey, meaning you may not get the shade you wanted most, but will still receive something you can use and like.

I like Mahogany. I would’ve liked to try something lighter since my hair’s so dark, but this is good.

garnierolia_5garnierolia_6This product is 60% natural flower oils, no ammonia. Which may be the reason why I didn’t feel as much scalp-tingling as I got using other DIY hair dyes.

I did notice Olia makes you wait a wee bit longer. Most products I’ve used makes you wait for 20-25min, advising to go over only if your hair is very dark. Olia requires 30 min straight off the bat. Perhaps it’s less damaging on the hair?

garnierolia_1Here’s what’s inside the box:

  • Developer
  • Colorant
  • After Color Conditioner
  • Instructions + black gloves

The usual, for a DIY hair dye kit. The gloves were a little too big and slippery. I recommend putting a hair band around your wrist to secure them.

garnierolia_7Here’s my hair before Olia. It was red…ish, not very even.

My hair is straight and a bit dry, frizzy at the ends. I’ve seen reviews that say Olia, as an oil-based dye, may weigh down your hair if it’s greasy to begin with.

garnierolia_8Tadaaa – This is after Olia “Dark Soft Mahogany.”

It’s actually very reminiscent of my original hair, which I haven’t seen in a long while. Nothing exciting, but I like it 🙂

(Please keep in mind that this is me second day in without shampooing… I usually wash my hair everyday but I was pressed for time)

garnierolia_10With this (slightly) new color palette,  (slightly) different makeup colors suit me now. I’ve got a less warmer palette overall.

A few tips when DIY dyeing your hair:

  • Wear an old t-shirt. Drape an old, tossable towel around your neck (faux-salon style) and secure it using a rubber band. This will prevent your body from being stained.
  • Line your ear-tips and hairline with vaseline. Those are the areas that will inevitably get stained. Vaseline makes the stain easy to wipe off.
  • Turn on an air vent or open a window. Don’t let the fumes get to your head.
  • Time yourself. I usually apply first then set the timer.
  • Go slow, and use a old tossable hairbrush if you have one. Fast application may result in splotchy highlights. Look to my previous hair for proof. The hairbrush isn’t a must, but does help a lot in achieving even application.
  • If you feel the burn more than usual or to the point where you can’t stand it, quickly wash everything off. This has never happened to me but I’ve seen reviews. Please do a patch test before trying. Read the instructions carefully.

There is no way a hair dye would restore damage hair; the most it will do is inflict less damage with good color payoff.

I think I got a decent payoff even with my dark hair 🙂 Recommend.

(Do try the patch test though! You never know with allergies.)