[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] LILLY LASHES 3D MINK LASHES IN “MIAMI / MYKONOS”


Provided by Influenster

Price: $30


False lashes aren’t something I wear on a daily basis, but it’s good to have some around for photos. Big & bold does translate well to photos (because most likely, you’re going to have some sort of bright light accentuating focal points of your look) and these lashes are the definition of big & bold.

I received “Miami” and “Mykonos.” They’re $30 per pair on Lilly Lashes and will last up to 25 times of use, which is miles better than the 5-7 uses I get out of my other falsies. 

From what I know, Miami is the most popular go-to with Mykonos following its doe-eyed wake.

Hello Influenster, my old friend. You are always welcome on my doorsteps.

Along with the lashes, I was also given a “Power Liner,” a clear lash-adhesive eyeliner that has a pointy brush tip. This, I love.

Many times I used to think how much of a nuisance it is to deal with nail-polish-esque applicators from which globs of adhesive might fall. I’m clumsy, I am. It’s sometimes hard to fine-tune how much adhesive you should put on the lashes, meaning the power liner is a win in my book.

It was also a nuisance to use eyeliner prior-to or after attaching the lashes; they’d get erased or wonky in the process. With this adhesive liner, there is no need to disturb the integrity of the whole, whether it be liner or the lashes. I’m sure people who aren’t handy would approve. I certainly did. 

Please note though, 1. You might think what’s getting on your lash line isn’t enough. Trust me, it is. 2. Don’t know if it’s just the one I got, but the applicator’s a bit stiff, not soft like normal eyeliners.

Up close-view. The lash-line holding the individual hairs is sturdy. I’ve been manhandling these babies trying to paste them the right way onto my eyes, but nothing fell out!

The lashes won’t shed, unlike my real lashes that like to dispose a single lash onto my tear duct from time to time, in revolt of having to stay in an overly heated room all day no doubt.

These lashes are five times more intense than ones I usually wear (and honestly bigger than my eyes lol) but personal preferences aside, seem to be of good quality and durability. Considering how (forgive me) bushy the lashes are, they weren’t super heavy. Just as heavy as other falsies feel on the eyes.

I would recommend using false under-lashes to balance the look. I didn’t have any at hand so… this is what happened. Please excuse the wonky eyeliner. It’s been awhile since I wore that much of anything on my eyes haha.

If you love big & bold or have a special occasion for which you’d like to dress up, or if this is your natural everyday look, do go for it! I can see a lot of makeup gurus wearing this.

They’re so BIIIG xD … all them lashes

[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.

[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.

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!

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.