April Mask Roundup

It’s almost the end of the month, so I thought I would post my April sheet mask roundup! I finally got through the rest of my sheet masks from Memebox, plus a couple others that I bought from Amazon, so I have quite a few mini reviews to share. 

sheet mask roundup apr.jpg

Merbliss Wedding Dress Intense Hydration Coating Nude Seal Mask

  • Decent fit, relatively strong perfumey fragrance. This was nicely hydrating and somewhat brightening. 
  • Would not repurchase again, but mostly because there are other masks I prefer for hydration, like Naruko’s rose sheet mask which I love. The fragrance is also a bit too strong for me.
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon (~$9 for 5), ibbi ($14.43 for 5), eBay (Various prices)

Too Cool For School Egg Cream Mask Hydration

  • Pretty good fit, noticeable fragrance. This mask felt soothing and was very hydrating. It’s the first sheet mask I’ve tried with a creamy essence, which I enjoyed. The mask was a little bit too soaked though, and the bottom dripped a little when I first put it on.
  • Would repurchase again on sale! The standard retail price is too much for me.
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon (~$16 for 5), Sephora ($24 for 5), eBay (Various prices, usually cheaper than Amazon)

JayJun Refine to Shine Real Water Black Facial mask

  • This is a three-step mask set that comes with a cleanser (Real Water Cleansing Foam), essence (Vita Snow Essence), and a sheet mask, which is something I have never tried before. Right away, I really disliked the cleanser. It was very drying and made my skin extremely squeaky. The essence and sheet mask were fine. The fit on the mask was decent (even though it made me look terrifying) and both had a noticeable fragrance. I saw decent results with hydration and noticed some brightening.
  • Would not repurchase due to the likely high pH cleanser.
  • Rating: 2.5/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon (~$20 for 10), eBay (Various prices)

Freeset Donkey Milk Skin Gel Mask Aqua

  • Decent fit, some light fragrance. The material of the sheet mask is a little bit stiffer than what I prefer but this was a really great mask and gave me awesome results with both hydration and brightening. Probably my favorite Freeset mask of the three in the post, but you can’t go wrong with any of these.
  • Would definitely repurchase!
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon (~$16 for 10)

Freeset Donkey Milk Skin Gel Mask Whitening

  • Same as above. All three of these Freeset masks smell and feel pretty much the same. This gave me okay results with hydration and brightening.
  • Would not repurchase as the other Freeset sheet masks gave me better results.
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon (~$20 for 10)

Freeset Donkey Milk Skin Gel Mask Healing

  • Same as above. All three of these Freeset masks smell and feel pretty much the same. This gave me awesome results with hydration and brightening.
  • Would repurchase, but I’d rather buy the Aqua version as I like it just as much and that one is much cheaper on Amazon for some reason.
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon (~$22 for 10)

Esfolio Egg Essence Mask Sheet

  • Really good fit, strong fragrance that I wasn’t too fond of. This was nicely hydrating and somewhat brightening.
  • Would not repurchase, mostly due to the fragrance and the fact that I have other masks that give better results at a similar price point.
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon (~$12 for 10)

Esfolio Pearl Essence Mask Sheet

  • This was pretty much identical as the egg version, even down to the scent.
  • Same as above- would not repurchase, mostly due to the fragrance and the fact that I have other masks that give better results at a similar price point.
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon (~$12 for 10)

sheet mask roundup apr 2.jpg

Oh man, the packaging of these sheet masks are to die for! That was pretty much why I bought them, although the awesome price and Prime shipping on Amazon didn’t hurt. 

Dearpacker Jeju Flower Mask, Camellia

  • Okay fit, noticeable perfumey fragrance. This one probably had the strongest scent out of the four Jeju Flower sheet masks. I wasn’t expecting much but this was nicely hydrating and brightening. Note that all four of these masks have tiny specks of what look like plant bits. You can’t feel them on the face at all though.
  • Would not repurchase, but mostly because of the strong fragrance. 
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon (~$12 for 12, includes all 4 varieties)

Dearpacker Jeju Flower Mask, Cactus

  • Same fit, very subtle fresh fragrance. This was just all right in terms of hydrating and brightening.
  • Would not repurchase as there are other masks that give me better results.
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon (~$12 for 12, includes all 4 varieties)

Dearpacker Jeju Flower Mask, Rapeseed Flower 

  • What a pretty flower with an unfortunate name… Same fit, very subtle floral fragrance. This gave me good results with hydrating and brightening. 
  • Would not repurchase, but mostly because there are other masks that give me the same results at the same price point with a better fit for my face.
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon (~$12 for 12, includes all 4 varieties)

Dearpacker Jeju Flower Mask, Cherry Blossom

  • Same fit, very subtle floral fragrance. this gave me good results with hydrating and brightening. 
  • Would not repurchase, but mostly because there are other masks that give me the same results at the same price point with a better fit for my face.
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon (~$12 for 12, includes all 4 varieties)
Advertisements

April Empties & Throwaways

april empties 2.jpg

During the last two months, I sadly wasn’t able to finish many full-sized products. However I do have several decants and samples that I did use up! Please note that my thoughts on those are really just first impressions rather than actual reviews.

P.S. Also, there are no throwaways this time, just empties! I generally try to avoid throwing away products.

Empties

Scinic Propolis Ampoule 95, 30 ml

So this was the only full-sized skincare product that I finished these last two months. The ampoule contains 95% propolis. I liked this product enough: the texture was nice on skin with no stickiness, and the fragrance was barely discernable (very faintly sweet/honey-like). I used this once or twice every day, and it lasted me a little over a month. This was decently hydrating and slightly brightening for me, but nothing amazing. Would not repurchase, but I’d recommend this to someone new to skincare.

I purchased this from Amazon for around $13, but this is available from a lot of retailers.

Etude House Color My Brows (#4 Natural Brown), 4.5 g

This is the second one I’ve used up and I quite like it! The brush is similar to that of a large spoolie and it’s very easy to comb this through your brows to give them a bit of color. Your brows will be somewhat stiff after using this, but it’s not too bad. The product also has decent hold, so as long as your brows aren’t too unruly, this should hold them in place. The color is slightly too light for me. Would repurchase, but I’m starting to get a little bored and may explore other brow options.

I purchased this from Amazon for around $6, but this is available from a lot of retailers.

Fresh Sugar Lychee Rollerball, 0.34 oz / 10 ml

I love this scent SO SO much. This was my first perfume rollerball ever and I’ve had it for three years because I rarely used it. Now I’ve finally finished it and I’m missing it a lot already. It’s a really wonderful spring/summer fragrance that smells vaguely of lychee/citrus/fruit with some amber notes. (I’m not a fragrance expert whatsoever so I won’t even talk about top/middle/bottom notes- just see the links below for more detail.) Unfortunately, the staying power of this perfume is really awful on me. I find that the fragrance almost completely disappears on me within an hour. I’m still kind of tempted to buy the full size because I love the scent, but that’s probably a bad idea… So I’m on the fence as to whether I’d repurchase. Maybe I’ll get the rollerball again once I finish up all of my mini perfume samples.

I purchased this from Sephora for $25. This is also available at the official Fresh website for the same price.

Belif Hungarian Water Essence, 3 ml sample

I’ve tried a sample of this before and enjoyed using this both times. It’s a nice, watery essence that absorbs quickly with no stickiness and is lightly hydrating. There’s a little bit of a fresh, maybe citrusy scent. It layers pretty well with other products. Wouldn’t purchase the full size though due to the price.

The full size (2.53 oz / 75ml) can be purchased at Amazon for $40, Sephora for $42, as well as other retailers.

Blithe Tundra Chaga Pressed Serum, 2 ml sample

I was really curious as to how this product would work, as I find Blithe’s products kind of gimmicky. (I also have a sample of one of the splash masks that I’ll be trying out soon). Due to the 60% chaga mushroom extract I was kind of expecting a woodsy or earthy smell, but this just faintly smells perfume-y. I did really enjoy the texture of this product, which feels like a balmy but light moisturizer. It feels rich and hydrating, but not too heavy on the skin. I can’t tell from the sample how well it does with regards to long-term effects though. I’m interested in trying out the full size, but at that price point, I will probably pass.

The full size (1.68 oz / 50 ml) can be purchased at Glow Recipe for $49, Sephora for the same price, as well as other retailers.

Kikumasamune Sake High Moist Lotion, 5 ml decant

This was a really nice toner! It absorbs quickly with minimal stickiness and softens my skin a little as well. I think I may have also noticed some brightening. I’m not loving the strong scent though- the fruity sake smell is a bit off-putting for me personally. Would consider purchasing the full size, but I think I would get bored of it or tire of the scent before I could finish the huge bottle.

The full size (a whopping 500 ml) can be purchased on Amazon for around $13, but this is available from other retailers too.

Kikumasamune Sake Milk, 5 ml decant

This emulsion has the same scent as the toner and also works well in softening my skin a bit and providing some nice light hydration. Would consider purchasing the full size but again, I think I would get bored of it or tire of the scent.

The full size (380 ml) can be purchased on Amazon for around $13, but this is available from other retailers too.

Stratia Velvet Cleansing Milk, 5 ml decant

This is the first Stratia product I’ve tried! This is a really gentle creamy cleanser that doesn’t leave any residue on my face and leaves my skin feeling soft. I used this as my second cleanse as you’ll need an oil-based cleanser or makeup remover to do the heavy lifting. Even though this is a rich cleanser and I have oily skin, I quite liked it. Would consider purchasing the full size once I run out of my current cleanser.

The full size (4 oz) can be purchased on the Stratia site for $15.

Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream, 5 ml decant

I have desperately wanted snail products to work miracles on my skin. In fact, they were the reason why I got into Asian skincare in the first place. Unfortunately, I still haven’t found any snail products that do much for my face. This is a nice, light cream that has a slightly goopy texture due to the snail slime and feels very nice and soothing on the skin. Other than being lightly hydrating, I didn’t get super soft skin from this cream unlike many others. Sadness 😦 Wouldn’t purchase the full size because this product doesn’t do much for me.

The full size (100 ml) can be purchased on Amazon for around $15, but this is available from a lot of other retailers too.

My Hair Care Journey & Current Routine

Warning: Long, rambly post coming up ahead!

It wasn’t until recently in the past year that I started to seriously invest in hair care. Although I became slightly interested in skincare during high school due to acne and then makeup later in college, I never thought much of spending money on quality hair products for some reason. For most of my life, I just used cheap drugstore shampoos and conditioners like Pantene and Dove- basically whatever my parents bought in bulk from Costco. I also tried the occasional leave-in conditioner and hair mask, but nothing really worked, and I was mostly resigned to having dry hair with oily roots. It was a revelation when I discovered dry shampoo and no longer had to wash my hair every other day, but my hair’s condition didn’t really improve by much, even with less washing. 

Last year, after ages of lusting over the balayage ombré hair trend, I finally decided to make the jump when I found a hair stylist in my area whose work I really loved on Instagram. The price and the awful thought of exacerbating my hair’s dryness had deterred me before, but I finally decided to go for it. (Probably due to a particularly long session of scrolling through pretty pictures of pastel hair on Instagram. The recent bonus from work also helped…) I initially just scheduled a simple hair cut with the stylist, but after meeting and liking her a lot, I decided to book a second appointment for the balayage. I had to wait almost five months as that was the earliest time she was available on a weekend, but I was in no rush.

Sadly, the first session fell short of my expectations. My hair was yellower than what I had requested (I wanted an ashy brown), although the blending was gorgeous so in the end I didn’t mind. If I remember correctly, the total was close to $400 (including tip). The other unfortunate thing was that the bleach really fried my hair. Because it was my first time dyeing my hair, my stylist recommended not adding on Olaplex. I don’t know how much it would have helped, but my hair was pretty damaged from the bleach. My hair got even drier and more brittle, and I noticed that I had a lot of breakage and increased split ends. It also got ridiculously tangled very easily. 

I had purchased color-safe hair care products prior to my balayage appointment, the Hydrating Shampoo, Conditioner, and the Leave-In Mist from Verb at Sephora, mostly because I felt for some silly reason that I needed to buy something higher-end. I got the Hydrate Kit ($32) which is no longer available, although you can still buy the products separately. Unfortunately, these didn’t do anything for me at all in terms of hydrating my hair and were basically a waste of money. 

In a panic, I emailed my stylist for help and she responded with some recommendations. I ended up purchasing several of her suggestions and found a few products that I really liked. My hair got slightly better after a while and felt less like straw, and… then I fried it again, 5 months later, as I was still in love with the pastel hair color trend. But look! The ashy lavender purple I got was so pretty! My stylist took a lovely picture (below) after we finished. I opted for a something subtle since I work in a more conservative office environment and this fit the bill perfectly. (So perfectly, in fact, that barely anyone even noticed my hair was purple.) The second time around, I did get Fanola FiberFix added (the salon stopped using Olaplex) but it didn’t seem to make a huge difference.

IMG_2437 (1)

Unfortunately, the purple toner lasted a very short time, as my stylist had warned me it would. After one wash, my hair was barely purple and just kind of grey. After two washes, it was completely gone and I was left with an ashy brown, which was still very pretty, but left me feeling sad that the purple faded so quickly. Well, that was the downside to getting a color so subtle.

Fast forward to today- my last appointment was in October, so it’s been around six months since I had my hair done. Although I miss the purple and my hair has grown out a bit, it still looks really great! (Seriously, my stylist’s blending skills are amazing.) I was originally planning to schedule another appointment for this month, but I think my hair needs a longer break so I’m putting it off for now. Using purple shampoo in between (I use Fanola’s) is also drying for my hair and slows down any progress I make, unfortunately.

Anyway, I went on for far too long about the history of my hair, but what I really wanted to talk about was my current hair care routine! My hair is still really dry, fragile, and prone to breakage, but I’ve made some significant improvements with the products I’ll talk about below. Generally, I wash my hair every four days and very rarely style with heat (I just air dry because I’m lazy). I will usually need to use dry shampoo two days after washing my hair.

joico

Joico K-Pak Color Therapy Shampoo & Conditioner, 10.1 oz or 1 L/33.8 oz

I bought these off my stylist’s recommendation and have repurchased already! The shampoo is nice- it cleans well and isn’t drying. I only use it to wash my roots to avoid making my ends drier. However, the conditioner is the real standout for me. It very noticeably makes my hair softer and helps detangle. I’m interested in Joico’s other hair care lines as well but haven’t made the jump yet!

I purchased these in packs from Amazon. They are available in two sizes, 10.1 oz for ~$17 or 1 L/33.8 oz for ~$30. These are also available on Ulta but for more than double the price.

products.jpg

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product, 4 oz

Another recommendation from my stylist. This is hands down my favorite leave-in treatment that I have ever used. This also makes my hair softer and helps detangle. I believe you’re only supposed to spritz this a couple times on hair, but I can use a lot (e.g. 10 – 15 sprays) and my dry hair still drinks it all in. I also really like this because it doesn’t weigh my hair down. I’ve repurchased this already too and am halfway through my second bottle.

I purchased this from Amazon (Are you starting to see a trend here?) for ~$13. It’s also available through other retailers like Ulta or Target but again, is more expensive ($18).

Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil, 3.4 oz

This is the only item I regret buying off my stylist’s recommendation. It is really luxurious to use and it smells amazing just like all of Oribe’s products, but just doesn’t provide enough hydration for my ends. I still think it’s a good product as the oil never leaves your hair greasy and absorbs quickly, but for something at this price point, I expect something close to a miracle. Honestly, if this worked better for me, I wouldn’t mind shelling out as it lasts a really long time (I’m around halfway through the bottle and I’ve had this for 8 months). But I won’t be repurchasing this. I think my hair just needs something a lot more heavy duty. This is probably fine for most hair types.

I purchased this from Amazon for $52. It retails for $55 on the official Oribe site.

Olaplex No. 3, 3.3 oz

Alongside the Joico and It’s a 10, this has done a lot of work in improving my hair. (If you’re not familiar with Olaplex, please check out Lab Muffin’s awesome article for an explanation of how it works.) So Olaplex No. 3 is a take-home treatment, whereas No. 1 and 2 are used in the salon during the coloring process. It looks and feels pretty much like a thinner conditioner. My stylist actually recommended skipping conditioner and then using this as a leave-in treatment, but sadly this method didn’t work for me. I now use it as per the directions on the official Olaplex site, which I find is much more effective. I believe they explicitly say that you’re not supposed to use it as a leave-in treatment, and it should be washed out. I put a generous amount on the bottom half of my hair and leave it there for at least 30 minutes, then wash it out and proceed with shampoo/conditioner/other products as usual.

Olaplex has noticeably improved the condition of my hair after three uses (using the official method) and I am really excited to continue using it. My hair gets tangled a lot less often and seems a little less dry. I have already repurchased this.

I purchased this from Amazon for ~$25. However, I just recently found a much better deal on Costco for a two-pack at only $32.99!

batiste dry shampoo.jpg

Batiste Dry Shampoo, 6.73 oz

I love this dry shampoo to death. Yes, I buy them in bulk. It’s one of the few products I can really say is an HG for me. Since I have oily roots, this makes it so that I don’t have to wash my hair every other day. I haven’t found that it ever gives my dark hair a white cast. It not only removes oil well, but also gives volume. The only con I can think of is that your hair will have some buildup if you use this multiple days in a row, but I imagine that should be expected of any dry shampoo. Some of the scents Batiste has are also kind of strong and could be off-putting, but they fade quickly.

At this price point, I can use this dry shampoo frequently without guilt! I’ve repurchased the Batiste too many times to count by now. I’ve also tried numerous other higher end ones from brands like Oribe, Klorane, and Amika, and I still prefer Batiste. I did like Amika’s dry shampoo a lot as well but it’s more than triple the price of Batiste at $22, so…

I purchased this from Amazon for ~$7. It’s also available on a lot of other beauty/drugstore sites for around the same price or slightly more.

 

Okay, that was a really long-winded post! If you read the entire thing, props to you for sticking around. 🙂

What are your favorite hair care products? I’d especially love to hear about recommendations for hair oils/masks and semipermanent dyes! (I’m currently using diluted Manic Panic to fulfill my pastel hair dreams but I find it washes out way too quickly and stains my towels.) All suggestions are welcome, although I am especially interested in Asian hair products as I’ve never tried any before!

March Mask Roundup

Last month, I bought a ton of different sheet masks that I had never tried before in an effort to spend all of my remaining Memebox points, while taking advantage of their sale. Honestly, I’ve been pretty lazy with using sheet masks in the past. I got mostly mediocre results from the few that I had tried and decided to just focus on actives like chemical exfoliants instead for my skin. Then the Memebox sale happened, and I picked up literally 21 different masks that I had never tried before, because there wasn’t a lot on the site that I was interested in and it felt like a waste not to spend my points. To add to the mask madness, I ended up buying a few Naruko masks later that month from r/asianbeautyexchange as well! I’ve tried most of the new masks I’ve bought by now so I thought I would provide my thoughts. 

Some good news and bad news. Good news- I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of masks that I really, really liked. Bad news- I’m buying a lot more sheet masks than I did before! 😥

Anyway, onto my mini reviews. These are sorted in roughly the same order as I used them. Sorry for the lack of pictures and walls of text- sadly I’m not very good at shooting attractive pictures of masks. If you’d like to see what a mask looks like, please just click the Amazon/eBay/whatever link to look at the packaging.

P.S. None of the links below, including Amazon, are affiliate links- I’m just a long-time Prime user and I love it! Also, if the masks are cheaper or comparably priced on Amazon, I won’t bother linking eBay. But most of these masks should be available from numerous retailers, so I’d recommend looking around on a couple of sites before purchasing. The links I’ve provided are mostly intended to just give you a frame of reference for how much the masks cost.

031917 masks v3.jpg

AprilSkin Mermaid Hydrogel Mask

  • My first hydrogel mask! This is actually the second one I’ve purchased from Memebox. Nice fit, not much fragrance. This was decently hydrating and felt very refreshing.
  • Would not repurchase again. I originally gave these a 4/5 rating but decided to knock it down a little as I’ve found other more hydrating masks for way cheaper.
  • Rating: 3.5/5 (More in-depth review here on my IG.)
  • Buy this at: Amazon ($23.99 for 5), eBay (Various prices, usually cheaper than Amazon)

AprilSkin Mummy Mud Mask

  • Nice fit, not much fragrance. I had low expectations for this as the clay masks I’ve tried (the famous ones from Innisfree and Queen Helene) haven’t yielded great results for me, but this actually made my pores less visible!
  • Wish I could repurchase a bunch. I really like these as they are more effective for me and less messy than traditional clay masks, but they’re too pricey for me to use on a regular basis.
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon ($23.95 for 5), eBay (Various prices, usually cheaper than Amazon)

Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack

  • Okay fit, not much fragrance. This didn’t do too much for me outside of delivering some hydration. Wasn’t too surprised since other Benton products have been a dud for me in the past.
  • Would not repurchase.
  • Rating: 2.5/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon ($17.88 for 10)

Mediheal N.M.F. Aquaring Ampoule Mask

  • Nice fit, not much fragrance. This was pretty basic but did a good job with hydration.
  • Would not repurchase but only because there are other hydrating masks I like more. Otherwise this is a pretty good everyday mask for hydration.
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon ($13.60 for 10)

Naruko Raw Job’s Tears Supercritical CO2 Pore Minimizing & Brightening Mask

  • Holy shit, this is actually my first HG sheet mask.  I love it so much. First Naruko mask I’ve ever tried and it blew me away. The fit was the best I’ve ever had with a sheet mask and I was able to easily leave this on my face for an hour. There was a yeasty smell that I didn’t love but it wasn’t unpleasant. I didn’t actually notice that much pore minimizing, but it gave me really amazing results in terms of hydration and brightening. Hmm, now I’m interested in the rest of the Raw Job’s Tears line…
  • Yes, I’ve already repurchased an entire box! So glad these are relatively affordable!
  • Rating: 5/5!
  • Buy this at: Naruko’s official store on eBay ($15.99 for 10- These were $13.99, but Naruko raised their prices recently), Naruko’s official store ($25.99 for 10, but they run frequent sales)

Naruko Snail Essence Intense Hydra Repair Mask

  • Great fit, not much fragrance but… oh god. The essence is way too thick and slimy for me. It gave me really good results in terms of hydration and brightening, but (luckily for me) the Job’s Tears mask is still superior. I was actually surprised that this performed so well because snail doesn’t usually do anything for me. I can also leave this on my face for close to an hour without the mask drying out.
  • Would not repurchase, but that’s because I personally can’t stand the sliminess. Still a very good mask, hence the rating below.
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Buy this at: Naruko’s official store on eBay ($14.99 for 10- These were $13.99, but Naruko raised their prices recently), Naruko’s official store ($22.99 for 10, but they run frequent sales)

Naruko Rose and Botanic HA Aqua Cubic Hydrating Mask

  • Great fit again, this has a light, very natural rose fragrance. This did a really great job with hydration and I love rose-scented products so this is another winner for me. After the Raw Job’s Tears, this is my favorite Naruko mask out of the four I’ve tried.
  • Yes, I’ve already repurchased an entire box!
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Buy this at: Naruko’s official store on eBay ($15.99 for 10- These were $13.99, but Naruko raised their prices recently), Naruko’s official store ($26.99 for 10, but they run frequent sales)

Naruko Narcissus Repairing Mask

  • Great fit like all the Naruko masks I’ve tried, not much fragrance. This gave me decent results with hydration and some brightening but I had better results with the other three Naruko masks above. Again, I can leave this on my face for close to an hour without the mask drying out (seems to be a trend with Naruko).
  • Would not repurchase as the Raw Job’s Tears and Rose masks are superior for me.
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Buy this at: Naruko’s official store on eBay ($15.99 for 10), Naruko’s official store ($27.99 but for 10, they run frequent sales)

Lindsay Purifying Charcoal All in One Modeling Mask, Standing Pouch

  • The second modeling mask I’ve tried, also from Lindsay. Not much fragrance. I much prefer the ones where the powder comes in a cup- the standing pouch was a lot messier and it was hard to mix water into the nooks and crannies of the bag. The spatula was also stored directly in the pouch inside the powder, so getting it out was slightly annoying. I did like the spatula in the pouch more than the one in the cup, though- the other one didn’t work too well and I ended up using my fingers, but this one was larger and worked much better. On results, this modeling mask performed pretty well (slightly better than the AprilSkin Mummy Mud Mask) and noticeably reduced the appearance of my pores! My skin did feel a little bit dry but it wasn’t too bad. My skin also felt smoother.
  • Would repurchase if this was in different packaging and cheaper. (I know Lindsay has a charcoal modeling mask that also comes in a cup- not sure if that’s just newer packaging or a different formula.) Prices of Lindsay modeling masks seem to vary wildly. They are relatively affordable on Memebox but are very pricey on other sites like eBay.
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Buy this at: Memebox ($3 each), eBay (Various prices)

Lindsay Hyaluronic Acid All in One Modeling Mask, Standing Pouch

  • Same situation- the standing pouch was pretty messy. This one smelled a little bit herbal, like tea tree. Strangely, the hyaluronic acid version came with a different spatula, one that had a little scoop on the other side instead of just a flat handle. I did not like this version as it made the spatula annoying to grip on to. Results were good once again, just like with the charcoal version! I did notice that this one made my skin more dry though (my face felt slightly squeaky as I rinsed the remaining bits of the mask off).
  • Again, would repurchase if this was in different packaging and cheaper- see my comments for the charcoal version above.
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Buy this at: eBay (Various prices)

Tosowoong Pure Aloe Mask

  • Decent fit, noticeable perfume-y fragrance. The material was a little on the stiffer side so it bunched up a little on the sides of my face. This gave me okay results with hydration but wasn’t soothing. I had a zit that remained red even after the mask was on my face for close to an hour.
  • Would not repurchase.
  • Rating: 2.5/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon ($16.75 for 10)

Tosowoong Pure Propolis Mask

  • Decent fit, noticeable honey-like fragrance. This smelled pretty good! The material was a little on the stiffer side so it bunched up a little on the sides of my face. This gave me pretty good results with hydration and brightening, but half an hour after I took it off, my face became very red and warm. 😐 I’m not 100% positive that it was due to this mask, but I didn’t use any other completely new products in my routine that night, so if I had to take a guess…
  • Would not repurchase in case my skin did have a reaction to it, but otherwise it is a very good budget mask.
  • Rating: 3.5/5 (Would be higher, if not for potential reaction)
  • Buy this at: Amazon ($15.25 for 10)

Tosowoong Pure Green Tea Mask

  • Decent fit, noticeable perfume-y fragrance. Again, the material was a little on the stiffer side so it bunched up a little on the sides of my face. This gave me pretty good results with hydration and brightening.
  • Would not repurchase but only because there are other hydrating masks I like more.
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon ($16.70 for 10)

Pony Effect Luminous Boosting Mask Pack

  • Great fit, strong perfume-y fragrance. I’ll say upfront that I really like Pony and her videos, but I didn’t like this mask. The fit and fabric were really good, but the results were sub-par for me. I didn’t notice much hydration and the mask left a lot of residue on my face that felt slightly oily.
  • Would not repurchase.
  • Rating: 2/5
  • Buy this at: Memebox ($27.50 for 10)

Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Mask

  • Great fit, noticeable but delicious fragrance. To me, this doesn’t really smell like honey, but almost something like a combination of honey, apples, and cinnamon. The fit and fabric were both very nice! I saw really good results with hydration and brightening.
  • Yes, would repurchase!
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon ($19.30 for 10), eBay (Various prices, usually cheaper than Amazon)

Papa Recipe Bombee Black Honey Mask

  • Good fit, has the same or almost the same fragrance as the regular honey mask. I think this one had slightly smaller eye holes, so I had to make a few cuts so it was more comfortable. Unfortunately I didn’t like this one as much as the original. The results were not as good for me as the regular version.
  • Would not repurchase.
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Buy this at: Amazon ($15.40 for 10)

 

And that’s it for now! I have a bunch more I plan to review for April, but I thought this post was big enough as is already. If you have any new masks you discovered last month, or favorite masks in general, I’d love to know! 🙂

Note: There are no affiliate links in this post.

Review: Petitfée Gold & EGF Premium Eye Patch

I rarely get enough rest these days due to my bad sleeping habits, and over the past few months I’ve noticed my dark circles getting worse. Luckily, I am genetically blessed so I’ve never had huge issues with dark circles or eye bags, but nevertheless I was curious about hydrogel eye patches and decided to pick some up for myself to check out!

IMG_0023.jpg

Petitfée Gold & EGF Premium Eye Patch, 60 count, ~$10

*Description: These gold-tinted patches help firm up the sensitive skin under eyes, and help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, eye bags and dark circles. Containing gold and EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor), the patches come in a half-circle shape and can be placed underneath eyes or over brows. Apply after cleansing and toning face, and use the accompanying spatula to lift the patches from the container. Let it soak the skin under the eyes for 30 minutes and pat in any remaining essence.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Calcium Chloride, Butylene Glycol, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Xanthan Gum, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Ethyl Hexanediol, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Bambusa Textilis Stem Extract, Pinus Palustris Leaf Extract, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris Extract, Citrus Junos Fruit Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Acacia Seyal Gum Extract, Caviar Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Betaine, Caffeoyl Tripeptide-1, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Monarda Ddyma Leaf Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Freesia Alba Flower Extract, Chamomailla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower/Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, RH-Oligopeptide-1 (1ppm, 0.01%), Gold (0.0003%), Disodium EDTA, Mineral Oil, Triethanolamine.

*Note: I couldn’t find a better source, so the description listed here from YesStyle is actually for the “Eye and Spot” version of the hydrogels, which have a different shape for the eye patches and include additional circular hydrogels for spot treatment. However as far as I can tell, these two products contain the same ingredients. Also, I did not buy the “Eye and Spot” version because the shape of those eye patches looked extremely uncomfortable.

IMG_0032.jpg

I’ll be upfront- I’m not too familiar with EGF as a beneficial ingredient in skincare. I’ve heard it’s supposed to stimulate cell growth and potentially even collagen production, but I’m not sure how much research has been conducted on it and I didn’t purchase this product with the expectation that EGF would be a miracle ingredient regardless.

Anyway, per CosDNA, there are some potential acne triggers:  butylene glycol (1), chondrus crispus (5, also known as carrageenan), and triethanol amine (2). Carrageenan is also listed as a potential irritant (2).  Additionally, these eye patches have a relatively strong, perfumey fragrance that lingers after application, so please keep that in mind if you are sensitive. 

According to Memebox (again, this is for the “Eye and Spot” version but I believe the only difference is the shape of the patches), beneficial ingredients include: Grapefruit, Camellia Sinensis Leaf, Aloe Vera, Ginseng Root, Caviar Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lavender, and Peppermint. I’m eyeing some of these for reasons I’ll discuss below.

As mentioned above, this product comes with 60 eye patches, i.e. 30 pairs. There is also a small spatula included, which is very helpful for lifting hydrogels out of the container, as they can be a little bit slippery to take out using your fingers alone. I do find it a little bit of a hassle having to store the spatula separately and clean it each time I use it, but it’s not a big deal for me. I’ve had this product opened for around two months and I’ve seen no issues with the hydrogels drying up.

IMG_0034.jpg

Look at how pretty they are in the light! (Yes, I also bought them for this reason.) The hydrogels are of a reasonable thickness and don’t feel too flimsy or too heavy. They also stay on my face really nicely, with no sliding. I do feel that the fit is not perfect for my eye shape, but it works well enough. I usually leave these on for around 30-40 minutes, at which point I find they’ll be somewhat dried up.

In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting this product to deliver on much besides hydration. In that sense… the product lived up to my expectations. I don’t feel like this did much to lighten my undereye circles, although admittedly they were never that horrible to begin with. I also can’t speak to wrinkles or eye bags as those are not really an issue for me. I think I may have noticed some very minor firming in my undereye area when using the patches on a regular basis, but it was pretty difficult to tell.

Lastly, I did want to mention that I experienced some very minor irritation a few times while using these. It was so subtle that I wasn’t positive, and it was hard to distinguish it from the hydrogel’s cooling sensation, but I believe that I did feel a very, very mild burning sensation. As listed above, the ingredients do include lavender and peppermint, so I’m wondering if one of those is the culprit.

Rating: 3/5 – These were fun to use and pretty cheap, but I won’t be repurchasing this for the reasons listed above. I’m still interested in eye hydrogels though, so I’ll probably be exploring other options from Petitfée or other brands once I use these up.

Buy this at: Ebay, from various sellers for around $9-11. It’s also available on Korean sites like BB Cosmetic and occasionally on Amazon for Prime.

Note: There are no affiliate links in this post.

February Empties & Throwaways

Wow, it’s the second week of March already! I was actually planning to do an empties post in January, but it’s taken me quite a while to publish this post. I get easily distracted and have a hard time sticking to the same product, so it was a while before I was able to get through a couple of products I wanted to include. Oops.

IMG_0861b

Empties

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, 6 oz/177 ml

After running out of this, I’ve found that I actually miss it more than I thought I would. This is very gentle and I love using this as a second cleanse, or as my only one on mornings and days where I’m lazy and don’t have much makeup on. The rose scent is a plus for me. I also like the texture, and how the creamy gel is almost bouncy (I know not everyone is a fan of it, though). More details on this here in my huge Glossier post. I will likely repurchase this at some point.

I purchased this from Glossier for $18.

Pixi Glow Tonic, 3.4 oz/100 ml

This contains 5% glycolic acid and is a mild exfoliating toner. I got this as I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and wanted to try it for myself. I liked it enough while I was using it and it was effective, but I’m not a fan of the strong, perfume-y scent and my skin can tolerate a stronger AHA so I won’t be repurchasing this. I also feel like this is overpriced for the amount you get. I believe the 8.5 oz/250 ml size retails for $29.

I purchased this from Target for $15, but it’s available from many retailers.

Etude House Moistfull Collagen Sleeping Pack, 3.38 oz/100 ml

I’ve had this one lying around forever! I bought this a long time ago when I had no idea what sleeping packs were. I thought you had to apply a super thick layer on your face before going to bed like a regular mask, so for the longest time, sleeping packs were extremely unappealing to me (don’t ask me why I bought this). Because of that, I actually tried to use this as a regular mask to try and use it up… which didn’t do much for my face. After I figured out how sleeping packs worked and used this correctly, I found that this was actually decent! I liked the light, gel-like texture and the scent, but it was nothing exciting though, so I stopped using it again. Now I’ve finally managed to finish it by using it as a body moisturizer, where it did a surprisingly good job. I won’t be repurchasing this though.

I purchased this from Amazon for $11, but it’s available from many retailers.

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, 1.18 oz/35 ml

I’m not a fan of the BareMinerals brand, nor have I ever tried out anything else from them. I don’t have anything particularly against them- it’s just not an appealing brand to me personally. However I did pick this tinted moisturizer up after hearing a lot of good reviews when it first came out, and I have to say, I agree with them! This gives light coverage and blends in very nicely, with a slightly dewy finish. I find that I prefer to set this with a tiny bit of powder as it stays a little tacky on the skin. This also has SPF 30, although I wouldn’t rely on it for actual UV protection. I may repurchase this at some point. I wear Natural 05, which is a medium-toned, neutral shade.

I purchased this from Sephora for $29.50. However I noticed recently that you can get it on Amazon for as low as $23!

Throwaways

Nature Republic Rose Real Nature Ampoule, 1 oz/30 ml

I already posted about this on Instagram here. This didn’t do much for me in terms of either hydrating or brightening, and is also sticky. I’m tired of it so I’ve decided to finally throw it out. 

I purchased this from a Nature Republic store when it was on sale for around $12. This is available on RoseRoseShop for $8.45.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, 1 oz/30 ml

This is the second The Ordinary product I’ve tried (first being the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5), and unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be working out for me. This is supposed to help with blemishes/congestion and balancing sebum activity. I cannot speak to the blemishes part as I don’t get much acne, but I find that this is a bit drying on my oily skin and hasn’t provided much visible benefits in terms of reducing scarring. I still absolutely love The Ordinary’s philosophy and amazing price points though, and I’ve heard that a lot of people like this, so I would recommend trying this out for yourself!

I purchased this from The Ordinary for a whopping $5.90.

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know your thoughts!

Review: Erborian Yuza Double Lotion

img_0601

This is the first product I’ve tried from Erborian, and I’m liking it! I’ve seen their products at Sephora before and normally I wouldn’t have bought it since it’s on the pricey end, but I splurged and decided to get it when I saw it was discounted during Soko Glam’s Black Friday sale last year. I’ve been using this for a few months now and enjoying the product a lot so I have no regrets, although in my opinion it’s a bit overpriced for what it does.

Let’s take a look!

IMG_0720.jpg

Erborian Yuza Double Lotion, 6.4 oz, $36

Description: A bi-phase lotion for dual performance. Enriched with yuzu, known for its antioxidant properties, YUZA DOUBLE LOTION combines the benefits of two phases that work together: an aqueous phase that contains an ingredient which helps to reveal skin’s radiance, and an oily phase that helps to nourish. This bi-phase formula helps to smooth the skin and reveal the radiance of even dull and tired complexions: the skin looks supple and full of vitality.

Ingredients: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Isononyl Isononanoate, Butylene Glycol, Cyclomethicone, Dipropylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Citrus Junos Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Kernel Extract, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ceteareth-20, Panthenol, Glycerin, Biosaccharidegum-1, Sodiumhyaluronate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Fragrance, Linalool, Limonene, Ci19140/Yellow5.

Per CosDNA, there is one minor acne trigger, butylene glycol (1). Unfortunately there are also several flags for potential irritants: PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil (3), ceteareth-20 (3), linalool (5), limonene (6), and Yellow5 (3). I have to admit that I didn’t look up the ingredients before I bought this, or I may have had second thoughts! The most problematic ingredients appear to be fragrance, so if that is something you are sensitive to, the Yuza Double Lotion may not be for you.

The star of this product, yuza, or more commonly known as yuzu, is the ninth ingredient on the list (citrus junos fruit extract). According to Erborian it’s a powerful antioxidant. On CosDNA its function is listed as “skin conditioning,” which I’ve found is pretty accurate.

img_0736

Despite the product’s name, this has the consistency of water and is most definitely a toner. Erborian’s instructions even say to use a cotton pad when applying it, although I find that wasteful given the small size of the bottle. I usually just pour a little bit of the milky liquid out onto my palm and pat it onto my skin.

In all honesty I don’t care about the bi-phase formula, but what I like most about this is that it is very nourishing and hydrating. Best of all, this makes my skin super soft, which usually doesn’t happen with my other toners. I also really enjoy the light citrus-y scent, which makes the experience of using this more luxurious for me.

Unfortunately, the Yuza Double Lotion doesn’t do anything for me with regards to making my skin more radiant, but I didn’t really expect that anyway given that I rely on my actives to do the heavy lifting.

img_0608

Rating: 4/5 – I really enjoyed the experience of using this, given that it made my skin really soft and smelled amazing! I would repurchase this… but not at full price.

Buy this at: Sephora, $36 / Soko Glam, $36

Note: There are no affiliate links in this post.