By Katherine Tinsley
I tried influencer-related products so you won’t have to. I spent the last few months purchasing products I saw through ad suggestions on Instagram, YouTube reviews and hauls, and other content online. I watched multiple videos about hair care, skin care, and makeup products that were considered “must haves.” When watching videos or sponsored Instagram posts I am always curious about the authenticity behind brand reviews and suggestions due to brand sponsorships, PR list, and partnerships that many influencers participate in. So in order to make an opinion on some of the products that I saw all over social media I decided to buy them myself and test them out. Some of the things I purchased completely changed my everyday routine while other items I somewhat regret purchasing. Below are my thoughts on four highly praised products and tools that I tested for over a month.
The Supergoop Glo Screen was a product I began to see everywhere I looked, from Instagram to TikTok. I couldn’t use any social media platform without seeing ads or sponsored posts about this product. So I decided it was time to purchase it and see for myself how amazing the product actually is. For starters, as someone with brown skin, sunscreens typically create a ghostly appearance on the skin. When analyzing the product, I wanted to consider three things: hydration, appearance on my skin and my skin’s response to it. For me, the sunscreen wasn’t super hydrating without another moisturizer. I also felt that the “glow” effect the sunscreen offers is short lived and can give the ghost effect if you apply too much. Overall, the sunscreen isn’t bad, but with the higher price point and lack of a true “wow” effect, this is a purchase you can avoid.
Another product I have seen everywhere, even for ads on blogs and other online content, has been the Thrive Causemetics mascara. It is marketed as falsies in a bottle without the difficulty of applying strip lashes or dealing with the cost of extensions. Before purchasing, I was skeptical about how powerful this mascara could be. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful this mascara makes my lashes look. It doesn’t offer the appearance of false lashes but it’s probably the best mascara I have tried in a long time.
One of the hardest parts of being in quarantine is that I cannot get my hair done. Transitioning from getting a Dominican blowout on the weekends to always putting up messy buns is probably better for the health of my hair, but I still miss my regular blow out routine. After seeing several Youtubers recommend this product, I decided to order it on Amazon. One of the hardest parts about blow drying my hair normally is having to hold the round brush and the blow dryer at the same time. However, this blow dryer is in the shape of a round brush, cuts down blow dry time and helps give salon quality blowouts at home. Overall this hair tool is a gamechanger and anyone who uses a blowdryer needs to add this to their hair care routine.
Curology is a skincare subscription where beginning users fill out a short survey expressing their personal skin concerns and a dermatologist will then give a treatment specifically tailored for them. Curology is marketed to users struggling with acne, but also offers to aid in issues such as dullness, texture, hyperpigmentation and aging. Personally, having brown skin meant my biggest concerns were hyperpigmentation and dryness. Prior to trying Curology, I popped a pimple which left a scar on my forehead. I thought that it came in perfect timing because I would be able to see how effective the product was. Ultimately, I saw little to no change with my skin while using Curology for over a month. The product helped reduce texture on my skin but did not give enough moisture or reduce hyperpigmentation. Overall, the treatment didn’t really do anything for my personal skincare concerns.
Out of all the products I tried out, I personally would only recommend purchasing the Thrive Causemetics mascara and the Revlon hot air brush. In my opinion, both products have completely transformed my daily routines and are at an affordable price point. However, if you are interested in trying the other products mentioned, every skin type and concern is unique to the individual and what might not work for me and my skin concerns could potentially work for someone else. However with the higher price points, there are affordable products that are high quality and work for a diversity of skin types.
Katherine Tinsley is an editorial intern who specializes in building the bridge between the industry and culture, self care, and fostering difficult conversations.