I Tried A Bunch Of Influencer Products & Here's What Isn't A Waste Of Money

As a proud non-influencer with less than 600 followers, I’d just like to say that I truly think most influencers are full of sh*t, as are most of the products they get paid to promote. Take, for example, literally everyone under the sun who shills Flat Tummy Tea, which is proven to A) not work and B) give you violent diarrhea. Fun! For whatever reason, I get the feeling that most of these people care way more about the paycheck than the results of whatever they’re promoting. But because I don’t want to be 100% cynical, I tested out a few products that my four favorite influencers swear by. Some of it was great, and some of it wasn’t, but here are my honest thoughts about some influencer-approved products.

Arielle Charnas

If you’ve read any of my beauty articles before, you know that I am a big fan of natural and/or plant-based products, so I am seriously loving the Arielle Charnas-approved haircare company, Briogeo. If you’re a sucker for chic packaging, this brand is def for you. Secondly, and more importantly, it legit changed my hair for the better. I usually think that no one, including my scalp, will notice when I switch up my hair product game, but I actually did see a difference when I started using Briogeo. Because I am an absolute glutton, I bought like, eight products all at once after I found out my girl Becky Arielle with the good hair uses the brand. Because I’ve gotten my hair colored, I always look for something extra moisturizing, so I got the Don’t Despair, Repair shampoo and conditioning masque, which literally smell like a Le Labo perfume (in other words, amazing). I also got the Be Gentle, Be Kind kale and apple conditioner and Curl Charisma rice amino and avocado leave-in defining crème. Gag-worthy names aside, the products are incredible and made without sulfates, silicons, parabens and cruel treatment of animals. I know this sounds like an #ad, but Briogeo has no idea who I am, and my 500 Instagram followers def don’t care. I did, however, recommend this to my biggest fan, my mom, and she just placed her first order. Look at me, I’m influencing people!

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Shampoo

Elyse Fox

When I think of what an influencer should be, I think of someone like Elyse Fox. This powerhouse founded Sad Girls Club, which, like, hello, great name, and she’s a charismatic voice for a community who needs one. SGC is an online and IRL community of women supporting each other to address mental health, and the organization’s first order of business is to remove the stigma surrounding mental health. That is a mission I can definitely get behind. Elyse is also stunning and just had the literal cutest, smooshiest baby boy I’ve ever laid eyes on.

Anyway, because I think so highly of Elyse, I don’t think she’d ever promote a brand she didn’t completely believe in. So when she posted a badass video of her with her OWYN drink, I bought a few bottles. OWYN stands for “only what you need”, and they’re protein drinks made without a bunch of crap you can’t pronounce. The drinks are also 100% plant-based, which, as we’ve already discussed, I love. I bought the Turmeric Golden Mylk and the Cookies & Cream drink. As you can imagine, the former didn’t taste amazing, but it did feel like I was drinking my way to a healthier liver, which was in dire need of a substance that wasn’t tequila. The latter just tasted like cereal milk, which I was and am always down for. These drinks are expensive af, so unless you’re, I don’t know, an influencer who gets them for free, I don’t recommend having one every day. I have one on days I wake up hangry or feel extra gross from bad decisions. I would also just like to say that as filling as these are, they are not substitutes for meals! Meals need to be chewed, not sipped. 

OWYN Turmeric Golden Mylk

Mi-Anne Chan

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If you are an Refinery29 fan, you know who Mi-Anne Chan is. If not, start reading. She’s a video producer and beauty writer at R29 and tries out literally every beauty trend ever and lets her followers know what the deal is and whether or not we should do it. Mi-Anne jumped on the non-toxic beauty train and tested out Sundays Studio, New York’s wellness-inspired nail salon that uses only vegan, cruelty-free products. Also, they’re 10-free, which means the polishes don’t have any of the 10 most harmful/toxic ingredients, such as formaldehyde, toluene and camphor. For reference, most decent nail brands these days are either 5-free or 3-free. So Mi-Anne tried this place out, which made me want to try it out, because I would trust this woman with my life. Or, if not my life, at least with my face/skin.

The second I walked into the salon, I could tell that Sundays isn’t just a nail salon, it’s like a full-on meditation station that also happens to understand the importance of a good mani/pedi. As your nails are being painted with pure health, you’re listening to a guided meditation and getting a five-star spa quality shoulder massage. I’ve never felt more in love than I did in this moment. Seriously. The best part is that you aren’t destroying your nails or animals’ lives and you walk away with a fresh manicure (and what I’m convinced was a brain transplant, because I am not naturally so happy and positive).

Pia Arrobio

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**WINNERS!!! @danionyourdome @crystalmathew @etmacintyre @theresaclare @casandracrespo THANK YOU FOR WARMING MY HEART WITH YOUR SWEET MESSAGES! I AM SO LUCKY TO HAVE READ THEM** i reached out to @humnutrition a while ago because i was so genuinely satisfied with their products. i know this platform can be isolating and overwhelming with stuff people tell you, you NEED. so i put together a box of my favorite products for my first giveaway – that way 5 people can try for themselves. the box contains Hair Sweet Hair gummies, Moody Bird (for PMS), OMG! (supports skin, heart and body with omega-3), Daily Cleanse (removes toxins) and my favorite Skin Heroes pre/probiotic. in order to win, go follow @humnutrition and in honor of Skin Heroes, send a message of love to your personal hero in the comments. i will announce the winners Monday morning! xoxoxox

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I first heard about Pia Arrobio when Glossier used to make those “Get Ready with Me” videos. Pia had the most decadent, fabulous beauty routine by far, and I instantly fell in love with her and her feed. She is like the definition of L.A. cool (read: not obnoxious/trying to be an actress) and her new husband is disgustingly attractive. So, there’s that. She recently did a post about HUM Nutrition, which make beautifully packaged supplements and, as a supplement addict, I had to give these bad boys a try. So I got the Hair Sweet Hair gummies because I’m a child, but I also got Beauty zzZz (fancy melatonin), and Pimp My Calcium. The supplements, in my opinion, are great. Now, be aware that you won’t actually see or feel the effects of supplements after taking just a few. My doctor compared the supplement game to working out: you won’t see the effects of your SoulCycle classes after taking three—you need to make it part of your routine. Supplements are the same way in that they need to really become a part of your system to start working. So I got two months’ worth of each supplement and the one I really loved was the Beauty zzZz. Yes, it’s essentially just melatonin, but there was something so calming about these pills that I felt like I was taking an all-natural Xanax. The hair gummies didn’t have a huge effect on my hair, which may just be because my hair is already incredibly thick. As for the calcium, my bones feel great, I guess? But, I would def order again. Thank you, Pia. As always, I love you.

HUM Nutrition Beauty zzZz

The Verdict?

Trust influencers who don’t seem like they’ll do literally anything for money. Also, maybe do a minute or two of your own research before blindly trusting the people whose entire lives take place on a platform famous for being fake. 

Images: Daily Nouri / Unsplash; Sephora (2); HUM Nutrition; piabaroncini, ariellecharnas, mianne.chen, / Instagram

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Betchy Draper
Betchy Draper
Betchy Draper's real name is Jess. Just Jess. Like Madonna, only younger and less good at singing and dancing.