Provided by Influenster

Price: $26

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.

[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.


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  


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.


2019MarApril_1My March & April Empties. April is not quite over yet, but I doubt I’ll have a new empty by the 30th.


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

2019MarApril_2Here are my Likes & Loves:

  • Philosophy Fresh Cream
  • Nature Republic Hair Liner in Brown
  • Bioderma SensiBio Micellar Water 
  • Living Proof Perfect Hair Day
  • OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo 
  • Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis
  • Skinfood Cheek and Lip Trio – No3 Cherry Tomato
  • Thayers Witch Hazel Toner
  • LUSH Snow Fairy Shower Gel
  • Opti Free Replenish 

Loved everything on this list. Especially the Royal Honey Propolis which softens & moisturizes like nobody’s business, but sadly, Skinfood isn’t doing so well. Offline stores have been closing and stocks ran low for a while.

They’re saying Skinfood will continue selling their products online, but unsure if this is true. Hope so.

2018 Target Beauty Box 1&2


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.

[Review] Guerlain – Meteorites in Clair 02


Price: $62

I’ve known these finishing balls powders to be a staple of women’s makeup dressers since 1987. This is one of Guerlain’s signature products, and I’m excited to finally own one.

guerlainmeteorites_1I received this as part of a belated birthday gift, my first ever Meteorites.

My friend in Japan swears by this, and when she heard I probably wouldn’t purchase it myself, she took the matter into her own hands and sent me her favorite.

She debated over “the pearls” and “the pressed powder.” The pearls won out because (as the SA pointed out) the pressed powders are prone to shattering mid-transit. (I’ve heard various horror stories about this. Breaks my heart to think of all those broken pretties.)

guerlainmeteorites_3You get 25g (0.88oz) of these “light-revealing pearls of powder.”

They used to have more product (with bigger packaging) I’ve heard. I’ve seen comparison shots of the older version and the new, where the size difference was palpable.

guerlainmeteorites_4Ingredient list.

guerlainmeteorites_5Japanese (and a tad bit of French) ingredient list

guerlainmeteorites_6Guerlain does packaging right. Always. Everything I’ve seen from them so far was drop dead gorgeous.

Every season they come out with limited edition Meteorites which people collect; these have had a cult following since forever, it seems. They’re all rendered beautifully (my favorite was Holiday 2011 and 2015) and cost a pretty penny.

Summary: Always enjoyed the beautiful packaging. Price tag scared me off.

guerlainmeteorites_7This is the permanent edition Meteorites in “Clair 02.”

Yes, this is the tin case you see atop many dressers, usually as one of the centerpiece. I’ve had friends confess that they “don’t even care if the product is good”; the tin and the pretty balls alone makes them happy.

guerlainmeteorites_8Swoon. They’ve gotten a bit thrown about during transit, but this is so pretty. (Dippin’ Dots anyone?)

I was taken aback to see how little product I’ve got… then realized this is actually more product than the “Givenchy- Prism Libre ($54 / 0.42oz)” that I’ve been using forever, which I still haven’t hit even the half-mark (it’s been a year).

So despite what this looks like, these will last you quite a while.

guerlainmeteorites_9guerlainmeteorites_10guerlainmeteorites_12Swatches in different natural lights:

I ran each color multiple times over my skin to intensify the hue. It’s very subtle.

The powder is finely milled, not chalky. It smells like powdery candied violets. (this might be a plus or a minus depending on your tastes) You’re supposed you dip your brush against the pearls and swirl, buffing what you pick up gently across your face.

The different colors mixed together gives you a delicate illuminance/finish, one that corrects complexion and lends a subtle glow.

guerlainmeteorites_13How it wears throughout the day: (7am -> 11am -> 8pm)

It wore pretty well throughout the day! (wish I could say the same for my blush..) Despite my dry winter skin, I detect that subtle luminance.

The Meteorites didn’t give me any more dry patches (and oily T-zone) than I usually get. There’s dryness on my chin and nose area, especially in the 11am shot, but it’s no more than my usual fare.

(Please excuse the different lighting and odd angle!)

guerlainmeteorites_6Overall Guerlain’s Meteorites is a luxury item.

It’s not a necessity to me, but I’m very happy to own it. It does what it claims; it will be used and it will last me a while.

How do you like the Meteorites? Do you feel like it’s a necessity? Do you collect Guerlain’s LE items? If you do, which edition would you dub your absolute must-have? 


Birchbox November 2016 Review + Changes to Point System


Price: (as always) $10

bb_november2My November Box.

bb_november6November’s theme is “The Finishing Touch,” which is fitting as I’m probably not going to renew BB in 2017.

Before I delve into my review, I wanted to inform you guys about the new points system in Birchbox.

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-23-12-pmAlthough I’ve loved BB for nearly two years now, I will probably cancel my subscription after my December box, and here’s why:

  • They changed the point system. Now a review will not get you extra +10 points (which ends up being equal to a dollar). That’s 50 extra points ($5) gone.
  • You will earn points for spending money in the shop and referring friends. (+50 points for the first five reviews you make after the changed system)
  • You don’t have to wait until the points accumulate to 100 to spend it. But again, it’s much harder now to earn points.
  • Tiny samples + Not the best customization system.

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-26-45-pmThe reason I swore by Birchbox was because of the points. The tiny samples in itself didn’t justify the $10 price tag for me, even with free shipping. The extra 100 points you used to get for every two box equaled to $10, a nice sum that could be used towards purchasing tried-and-true samples.

Now those perks are gone.

There’s no reason for me to fork over 10 bucks for minuscule samples, especially as the only “big” samples I get are stuff I don’t even use, like dry shampoo and hairspray.

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-26-36-pmThat being said, I will miss the old system where I used to wait for every box, mulling over what samples to purchase. That notion of the unknown was a part of what made this fun for me. But as of now, I can’t justify its price tag. That’s $10 more that could’ve been spent on something I definitely know I’ll enjoy.

On to the review.

bb_november3What I got.

I’m actually pretty happy with all the product choice this month. It’s something I know I’ll use up.


  • That tiny Jane Iredale sample makes everything look big, but I assure you, everything is tiny (with the exception of the hair conditioner). Nice balm though.
  • The Gimme Brow is absolutely adorable, and props to the cute packaging, but it’s the size of my index finger. (But lovely product. I have used a FS Gimme Brow before, and it helped my sparse brows a lot)
  • The Juara sample smells lovely, a bit like a mix of vanilla-chai & almond? I should look into this once I power through 2 years worth of body cream.
  • I’m wary of the Marcelle, as I’ve broken out before, but I’m always game for moisturizer. Especially one that’s multi-action.
  • The R+Co cleansing foam conditioner felt a bit heavy on my hair, but it seemed to clean everything pretty well.

bb_november5Comparison with my other tiny lip samples. You’ve got to admit they’re adorable.

With the Marc Jacobs sample, you get 1g (0.03oz) of product.

With the Jane Iredale, it doesn’t say… I’ll have to bury it in my front yard and hope that come next spring, it would’ve grown into a wonderful lippie tree. (=lipstick seed goals)

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful day 🙂

bb_november7PS: They changed up the packaging! The tabs make it much easier to take apart. Nice touch.

How was your November Birchbox? Did you enjoy everything in there? Will you renew for 2017? What do you think of the new points system?