One of my favorite things about skincare, especially Korean skincare, is the innovation. New ingredients, new textures, new methods: I live for that stuff. There are numerous brands bringing out some very interesting products right now, and I think Erborian is one of those brands. Keep reading to find out why I think these Erborian lotions are something special.
If you haven’t heard of Jini Beauty Box before, they’re a bi-monthly k-beauty subscription box that retails for $44.95. The box contains mostly skincare and one or two makeup items per box. You’re promised 6-8 full size products/deluxe samples, 2 sheet masks, and a few bonus sample packets. The unique premise with this box is that it’s curated by skin type (normal/combination, dry/mature, oily/acne, or sensitive/troubled). If you want to learn more about this box, I have an entire post here that explains everything about this box in-depth. Ingredients for all of the products included in the box can be found here.
You have until March 13 to sign up for the March/April box!
Disclaimer: I paid for this box with my own money. All views expressed are my own, authentic opinions. This post does not contain any affiliate links.
Neogen Real Fresh Foam Green Tea Cleanser | Full Size
Jini Beauty says:
Wash away dirt, impurities, and excess oil with fermented green tea extract. This beloved cleanser brightens and hydrates skin without stripping away its natural moisture. Directions: (as step 2 cleanser) Pump 1 or 2 dollops of the cleanser into hands and lightly massage foam onto wet face. Rinse off foam with lukewarm water.
I haven’t really used this cleanser enough to form an opinion on it yet. My skin is quite dry at the moment from the Differin gel I’ve been using, so I don’t feel like I can really give this a fair shot. After my skin settles down, I’ll begin using it more regularly and update you guys at some point. For now, here’s what I can tell you. The pump dispenses, big, soft, fluffy foam that doesn’t immediately break down into a liquid, so it’s like rubbing fluffy clouds on your face. There’s not much of a scent to it in my opinion, but I have seen a few people mention it had an artificial/chemical-y smell to it, so proceed with caution if you’re very sensitive to smell. To me it doesn’t really smell like anything, just… clean? This cleanser also rinses easily and doesn’t leave a film behind.
Double & Zero Piggy Girl 3-Step Nose Pack | Full Size
Retail value: $?
Jini Beauty says:
Each step plays an active role in clearing up your nose: step 1 melts and controls the sebum, blackheads, and other gunk inside your pores, step 2 cleanses and removes all that gunk, and step 3 tightens pores with collagen and soothes skin with witch hazel bark. Directions: (After toner) Adhere the given nose strips in order of steps 1 to 3 and leave on for the number of minutes specified by the clock diagram at each step. For step 2, wet nose thoroughly before using the strip. Gently tear off or remove the strips after use.
Mamonde Moisture Ceramide Sleeping Peeling Mask | Deluxe Sample Size
Retail value: $ 3.15 (15 ml) | Full size $16.78 (80 ml) Amazon
Jini Beauty says:
This ingenious sleeping mask doubles as an exfoliator that melts away dead skin cells in your sleep. Hibiscus improves skin’s natural moisture barrier to maintain hydration during this peeling process. Directions: (Last step of night skincare) Spread the mask evenly over face and leave on overnight. Wash face as usual in the morning.
I’m totally fascinated by this because it’s something I’ve never seen before. It combines the exfoliating and brightening power of an acid with the hydration of a sleeping pack. What’s more impressive is the addition of ceramides to help strengthen the moisture barrier, which can be deteriorated if the skin is over-exfoliated. The texture was great: thick, soft, and comforting, but not so heavy it felt like my skin was being suffocated (not that skin actually breathes, that’s a myth). It also smells amazing, just like hibiscus. I’m a total exfoliation junkie and I love a good wallop of moisture, so this is something I’m really enjoying. It also came at a perfect time as I’ve been low-key burning my face off with Differin (if you wanna know more about that, check my Instagram). I feel like this mask really helps to seal in all of my other layers, and I love the concept of hydration + exfoliation, so this is something I can see myself repurchasing.
Mamonde Moisture Ceramide Light Cream | Deluxe Sample Size
Retail value: $9.60 (15 ml) | Full size $31.99 (50 ml) Amazon
Jini Beauty says:
This hibiscus cream has a special ceramide formula that provides fresh hydration without any stickiness. It helps smooth away flaking skin and rough patches while building a firm moisture barrier. Directions: (After serum) Dab a small amount of the cream over face and massage into skin.
A.H.C. The Real Eye Cream For Face Season 4 | Full Size
Retail value: $10.81 Amazon
Jini Beauty says:
Say hello to this famous eye cream that doubles as an intensive face cream. It reduces wrinkles and fights aging with ingredients such as fermented collagen, natural moisturization factor, goami extract, snail filtrate, ceramide complex, and 14 kinds of peptides. Directions: Pat a small amount of the cream under eyes and around creases. Spot treat other areas of face that are prone to wrinkles or where wrinkles have already formed.
Peripera Milk Moist Lip Balm in Peach Milk | Full Size
Retail value: $6 Club Clio
Jini Beauty says:
Say goodbye to dry chapped lips with this tinted lip balm in strawberry milk or peach milk flavors. The lip balm is infused with milk extract rich in moisture, protein, and vitamin D. Directions: Squeeze tube to dispense lip balm and apply directly to lips.
A’Pieu Tangle Jelly Mask Grape | Full Size
Retail value: $3.80 Amazon
Jini Beauty says:
This sheet mask contains 1,000 ppm of grape extract to vitalize and brighten your skin tone. The elastic jelly texture allows for deeper nourishment and absorption of the extract. Directions: (After toner) Place mask over face and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Pat remaining essence into skin for additional absorption.
Natural Pacific Premium Metal Snow Mask | Full Size
Retail Value: $4 eBay
Jini Beauty says:
Your skin will enjoy radiance as bright as snow through this mask’s active ingredients of pearl extract, niacinamide, and vitamins. The unique silver coating helps retain moisture to allow for higher absorption and longer lasting hydration. Directions: (After toner) Adhere mask over face and leave on for 10-20 minutes. Massage in the excess serum.
A full list of ingredients for the products in this box can be found here on their website. Reviews of all of the previous months’ boxes, as well as additional information about the service can be found here. If you’d like to subscribe to Jini Beauty Box, you can do so here. Additionally, Jini Beauty can be found on Instagram (they post spoilers for each month’s boxes!) and Twitter. I can also be found on Instagram and Twitter, come hang out with me!
As promised, here’s my review of the May Coop Raw Sauce, which has become a k-beauty classic. It’s a much buzzed-about product known for giving the skin a radiant glow. But did it live up to the hype?
|May Coop Raw Sauce 1.35 oz bottle|
Disclosure: This product was purchased by me, with my own money. This post does not contain any affiliate links.
This product is marketed as a “toner, emulsion, and essence in one” (Peach&Lily). While the muti-tasking benefits are great, it does make it kind of difficult to figure out where to put it in your routine. Since I use a lot of actives and didn’t want anything to interfere with the pH, I used it after I finished all of my actives, but before any serums or moisturizers.
One of the most unique and interesting aspects of this product is that it uses maple sap in place of water. Waterless skincare has been a lowkey trend (as in, it never really took off in the main stream you probably haven’t heard of it /hipsterjokes), especially in Korea, for a while now. The idea behind it is that waterless skincare is able to cut out an ingredient (water) that doesn’t really do much for the skin in favor of higher amounts of active ingredients or other liquids that have additional skincare benefits, in this case maple sap. Maple sap is known for having a high antioxidant content, as well as the ability to absorb into the skin quickly due to a smaller molecule size, according to Peach & Lily. I couldn’t find any scientific studies to support the claim that the molecules are smaller, thus making them absorb faster. Additionally, all of the studies I found on acer mono sap were based on ingestion, not topical use, which makes them kind of useless to evaluate any claims about a skincare product. Bummer.
As I was going over the ingredients list for this review, I noticed something a bit concerning that I haven’t seen anyone else mention. First, let’s take a look at the ingredients. Then, I’ll explain which one concerns me and why.
Ingredients via Peach&Lily:
Acer Mono Sap, Alcohol, Glycerin, Peg-8, Sea Water Maris Aqua (sea Water), Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Water, Betula Alba Bark/leaf Extract, Castanea Sativa (chestnut) Bark Extract, Olea Europaea (olive) Fruit Extract, Pinus Sylvestris Bark Extract, Ribes Nigrum (black Currant) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Vitis-idaea Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (grape) Fruit Extract, Triticum Vulgare (wheat) Flour Extract, Oryza Sativa (rice) Extract, Zea Mays (corn) Germ Extract, Glycine Soja (soybean) Seed Extract, Oryza Sativa (rice) Bran Extract, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Methylparaben, Carbomer, Arginine, Panthenol, Creatine, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Fructan Powder, Disodium Edta, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Parfum, Sodium Hyaluranate, Ci 15510
You thought I was going to say alcohol didn’t you? Nope! It doesn’t actually concern me, and I’ll explain why. Alcohol gets demonized a lot, but ultimately I’ve never found it to be a problem in my skincare, nor have I found enough research to convince me to avoid products that contain alcohol. Alcohol can be drying, true, but it’s also important to the formulation of many products because it helps the excess product to evaporate from the skin, enhances penetration of ingredients, and acts as a solvent, which means that it helps to dissolve the other ingredients when the product is being made. Without alcohol or an alternative solvent, a lot of ingredients wouldn’t break down properly, and instead of nice, smooth, silky formulas, you’d end up with a bottle of chunky (likely unstable because the ingredients wouldn’t be equally distributed) goo. Think of it like trying to make Kraft Macaroni and Cheese without any milk to dissolve the cheese powder. Unless you have a skin condition or are particularly sensitive, there’s really no reason to freak out about a little alcohol. If a product smells like a distillery and stings your skin, that’s a different story. I don’t know what the alcohol concentration is in this product, *briefly considers trying to set it on fire a la Tracy from FanServiced-B* but it never stung my skin, even when it was at its most sensitive and damaged point.
The ingredient that does concern me is Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate,* also commonly listed as Octinoxate. Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate is a UV filter, which is why it caught my attention. What’s a UV filter doing in a product that’s not intended for sun protection? Turns out it’s there to protect the ingredients from degrading in the sunlight, which makes sense since the bottle is clear. However, when I was trying to figure out why Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate is in this product, I discovered several sources that indicated that Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate is an endocrine disruptor. Translated into plain English, this means that substances such as Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate act similarly to the body’s natural hormones and can potentially confuse it, causing a disruption in hormone production and/or behavior. Why does this matter? Well, hormones are pretty important. They aren’t just related to sex characteristics and libido, they’re also significant players in the management of metabolism, fertility, immunity, and are crucial to the proper development of a fetus, among other things, according to PBS.
My next question, and probably your next question too, was does this apply to topical use? The answer is yes, it does. Since Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate is most frequently used in sunscreens, there have been several studies performed on the effects of topical use. Octinoxate absorbs into the skin rather easily, as do most active ingredients used in chemical sunscreens (as opposed to physical sunscreens, which sit on top of the skin), causing them to have a greater effect on the the body than most topically applied products do. However, and this part is pretty important, Octinoxate has only been found to cause endocrine disruption in larger amounts than you’re probably going to apply of a toner/essence/emulsion. You’re unlikely to experience endocrine disruption from anything less than a full-body application repeated over time, as indicated by Manova, von Goetz, and Hungerbuehler (2015). The only people who should be concerned about Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate in small doses such as this are pregnant or nursing women, and products containing Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate should not be used on young children (Maipas & Nicolopoulou-Stamati, 2015). This is because the endocrine-disrupting effects are more likely to have a negative impact on the development of fetuses and young children (Maipas & Nicolopoulou-Stamati, 2015).
So if this product is unlikely to cause you any harm, why am I mentioning this? First, because the potential side effects of this ingredient are something I was unaware of until I started writing this review. Chances are, many of you are unaware of it too, which brings me to my next point. People deserve to know what’s in their personal care products, along with any risks associated with them. I’d wager that most of us have no interest in diving into academic research papers, and even if we are interested, there are often paywalls, forcing us to rely upon click-baity articles written by people who are just regurgitating other click-bait articles. I’m lucky enough to be able to access academic journals through my university, so when I have questions like this and a bit of spare time, I’m happy to go wandering around in the rabbit hole.
Finally, I don’t want this information to come across as alarmist in any way, and I especially don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea about “chemicals.” The whole anti-chemical thing is something I’ve been seeing a lot of in the skincare community lately, and it drives me absolutely bat shit crazy. EVERYTHING IS CHEMICALS. Water and air- two things I think we can agree are pretty crucial to our very existence- are chemicals. Everything on the periodic table of elements- chemicals. Just like there are healthy foods and unhealthy foods, and a myriad of kinda-maybe-healthy-ish foods in between, there are just as many varying degrees of chemicals that are helpful or harmful in differing quantities and circumstances. So, now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s move on to the reason why most of you are probably here: to hear about how this product worked for me.
You guys get a bit lucky with this one because my skin type actually changed while I was using this product. When I first started using it back in the winter, not only was I suffering from seasonal dryness, but I’m almost certain that my moisture barrier was compromised, leading to skin that was both oily, and dry/flaky. Fun times, y’all, fun times. Later into the spring and early summer, which is around the time I finished this bottle (June, maybe), my barrier was beginning to heal and become a bit oiler, but I was still suffering from the occasional bit of dryness, especially if the weather changed suddenly. When my skin was at its driest, I was thoroughly unimpressed with this product. I was under the impression that it would give my skin tons of hydration and a nice, lasting glow, but alas, it only gave me a glow on the surface. I guess I was expecting it to improve my skin overall so that my skin was in a state that would allow me to have an actual lit-from-within glow rather than a glow that was the result of having a product on my skin. That being said, it did give me a really nice glow, so as long as you understand that the glow will go away when you remove the product from your face, then you might like this. I’d compare the effect to the Papa Recipe Bombee Honey sheetmasks, but with far less of a moisturizing effect.
The texture of the product is slightly thicker than water, but not quite what I would describe as syrupy. It absorbed easily into the skin and didn’t leave a sticky or oily residue. The scent is a fresh, slightly sweet and earthy scent. It smells a bit like plants, but not any specific plant that I’m aware of. The packaging is a thick, frosted glass bottle with a plastic wood-effect cap. The product is dispensed through a hole in the top of the bottle that is approximately 2 to 3 millimeters in diameter. While the bottle feels luxurious and is certainly very photogenic, the glass bottle does mean that there’s a greater risk of breaking it. I definitely wouldn’t recommend travelling with it.
I wouldn’t recommend this for very dry or oily-dehydrated skin types, but I would recommend it for normal to mildly dry skin. Since I didn’t find this product to be particularly hydrating for my skin when it was dehydrated, I don’t really see the point. You’ve already got surface oil, so you don’t really need the glow, and it’s not doing anything for the dehydration. Skip it and grab some of the Papa Recipe Bombee Honey sheet masks instead.
If you’re normal/combo to mildly dry, on the other hand, I think you’ll quite like this. When my skin was changing from dehydrated to combo, I went from not liking this product at all to feeling like I would miss it when it was gone. At that point, I had realized that it was a purely superficial glow, but that was fine with me when my skin was in better condition overall.
Oily skin might like this as a lightweight moisturizer, especially in the summer months. I think if you have oily skin, this would be plenty of hydration for you, though I’m not sure you’d enjoy the glow. It’s not extreme by any means, but it is noticeable.
Would I repurchase it? At this time, no, though I wouldn’t completely rule out a repurchase in the future. I have a long list of other essences I want to try before I repurchase anything. Also, I just don’t really find I have a need for it at the moment.
Finally, I want to address the Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate one last time. All of the studies I read (there were more than what I’ve cited below, those are just the studies that directly contributed to the information in this post) indicated that there is no cause for alarm with a product such as this, that you’re only using over a small portion of your body. It also makes me feel better that I didn’t find any scientific evidence to the contrary, they all reached the same conclusion. So yes, I am recommending this product to appropriate skin types, but I’m doing so having looked into the safety of the ingredient in question. I would still use this product myself, but maybe the presence of Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate still makes you squeamish, and that’s ok. My goal is to provide information so that you can make the decisions that are right for you. As I mentioned above, products containing Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate shouldn’t be used on small children, or by women who are pregnant or nursing. Everyone else should be fine with minor exposure 🙂
Man, I really thought this was gonna be a short and simple review, but this got out of hand pretty fast. Pfft, thanks Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate >.<
Thanks for reading!
Where to purchase:
Maipas, S., & Nicolopoulou-Stamati, P. (2015). Sun lotion chemicals as endocrine disruptors. Hormones, 14(1), 32-46. doi:10.14310/horm.2002.1572
Manová, E., Goetz, N. V., & Hungerbuehler, K. (2015). Aggregate consumer exposure to UV filter ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate via personal care products. Environment International, 74, 249-257. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2014.09.008
Things are a little bit crazy for me at the moment. I’m starting classes at a new university (if you’re curious, I’m working on a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication), preparing for a friend’s wedding, which I’m also a bridesmaid in, and doing the bride’s makeup, starting a new job, and to top it all off, I’m in the process of house hunting (stalking them from the bushes and everything*) and getting ready to move. Hence the lack of blog posts recently. I’m trying y’all. I’ve got a few long-awaited reviews in the works and lots of empties posts coming up, I’m just trying to find a way to sneak them in amidst the chaos.
If there’s any sort of theme to this month’s favorites, it’s definitely “get ready in a hurry.” I’ve had to be ready to go with very little time to get ready, especially by my usual standards. I’m notorious for taking forever to get ready, so I’ve been having to change up the way I usually do my makeup. For instance, one of the things I like to do most is to change my look nearly every day. It’s not often that I wear the same combo of eye makeup or lip color two days in a row. I get bored easily and I like change, especially when it comes to makeup. However, in order to adapt to my lack of time, I’ve set aside a few products that work with nearly everything, are fuss-free, and free up more of my time so I can maybe not have to lose sleep to get everything done… yet. I’ve pretty much already resigned myself to the reality that I’ll be sleeping in 2-3 hour chunks throughout the month of September. Ok, I’m done whining now, back to the products.
Disclosure: This post does contain referral links, all of which are clearly marked so you can decide for yourself if you’re comfortable using them. If you do, thanks so much, I really appreciate it!
NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita
The first of these products is NARS Dolce Vita lipstick. This is the lipstick I reach for if I don’t have time to pick something out or I have no clue what I want to wear. It’s sheer, and it’s close to my natural lip color, so for me it goes with pretty much everything, ever. It goes on smooth, is hydrating, and it’s easy to touch up throughout the day. The downside is that if you have a medium to deep skin tone or have really pigmented lips, it probably won’t show up on you. If you’re pale to light-medium, however, this would be an excellent lipstick for you, especially if you’re looking for an easy, everyday lipstick. I like to build it up with a few layers to make it more opaque.
|Left: One swipe of NARS Dolce Vita Right: Dolce Vita built up ~4 to 5 passes|
The other big change I’ve made to my routine is using just a couple of brushes that can do nearly everything instead of using a specialized brush for each step. I’ve got three brushes to share with you today that I consider to be must-haves for multi-functions.
Makeup Geek Cheek Highlighter Brush
|It’s slightly damp from being spot cleaned with the Garnier Micellar Water, it doesn’t look quite so spiky when it’s completely dry.|
First up, the Makeup Geek Cheek Highlighter Brush. This one is a bit amusing to me because pretty much the only things I don’t use it for are eye makeup and highlighter. For me, this is too big to use for highlighter, but I do love it for blush, concealer, foundation, bronzer, and occasionally setting powder. I’ve pretty much been doing my whole face with this brush because it does a great job of applying and blending products-whether they’re liquid, cream, or powder-without having to change brushes. For my face, it’s the perfect size to apply blush and bronzer without giving me an overly heavy or wide application. It’s also a great brush for stippling on foundation, which I often do. Then, I’ll either blend it in with this brush or my BeautyBlender, and BOOM, done. Even though it’s a smaller brush, it only takes about the same amount of time as a BeautyBlender and doesn’t absorb as much product.
Available at: Makeup Geek
Essence Precise Eyeliner Brush
For my eyes, there are two multi-functional brushes I’ve been reaching for. I’ve previously mentioned the Essence Eyeliner Brush in last year’s year-end favorites, but I’m mentioning it again because it’s a crazy affordable brush that should be in everyone’s collection. It’s a fine tipped eyeliner brush, at a great price ($1.99!! at Ulta), and great quality. I’ve purchased two of these so far, one I use for eyeliner, and the other I use to do my eyebrows with NYX Tame & Frame brow pomade. Despite their low price, I’ve never had any issues with bristles coming out, the ferrule is still completely firm and intact, and all of the writing is still on the brush despite me having washing it numerous times over the 9-12 months I’ve had them. One of the brushes is older than the other because I purchased a second one after realizing how great it was. Despite the age difference (only a couple of months, but still), you can’t see any wear and tear on either of the brushes. The one thing I can see being a negative for some people is the thin, plastic handle. Some people will likely feel that it’s difficult to grip, or may prefer a more weighted handle, but it doesn’t bother me one bit. Excellent brush, excellent price.
OCC Angled Blending Brush
The final brush I wanna talk about today is the OCC 005 Angled Blending Brush. I originally purchased this hoping it would be great for concealer because of the shape, but unfortunately it’s not stiff enough. It is meant to be an eye shadow brush, so I really can’t fault it for that. Ultimately, the shape of this brush is what I love about it. It’s super easy to get into the innermost corner of my eyelids and right up against the lash line because of the narrow tip. The flat angle of the brush also makes it easy to lay down color all over the lid or at the outer corner (although I wouldn’t use it with a shadow that’s prone to fallout, the bristles aren’t dense enough to keep a firm grip on something too loose or powdery). Then I can flip it around and blend that color out, or add a transition, crease, or brow bone color. It diffuses powders really well with very little work, which has been a major plus for me lately. I’ve also used this brush to highlight my cheeks from time to time, although I have a different brush I prefer to use for that. I’m considering purchasing more of OCC’s brushes, so if any of you have any experience with them, please let me know your thoughts good or bad!
|My “assistant” approves of this cruelty-free, vegan brush.|
|Ask me how long I spent trying to photograph a sponge -_-*|
Unpopular opinion: the BeautyBlender Pure is the best BeautyBlender. If you’re experienced with the various colors of BeautyBlenders then you’ve probably realized that they have different textures. I’ve only tried the white and the pink versions, but I can say for sure that there’s a difference between the two. The BeautyBlender Pure was designed with sensitive skin in mind, so it doesn’t contain any dyes. This is one of the things I love about it because it means I don’t end up with a pink sink from all of the dye leaking out, which, if you’re not familiar, does happen with the pink BeautyBlender for several washes. The BeautyBlender Pure is also bouncier and more squishy/soft/fluffy/lightweight whatever you wanna call it. Not only does it feel nicer on my face, I’m happier with the way it applies my foundation. With the original BeautyBlender, I have trouble with foundation looking a little streaky on my nose, but despite using the same foundation, the same thing doesn’t happen with the BeautyBlender Pure. On top of that, I have a theory that the BeautyBlender Pure absorbs less product that the original does, likely due to its slightly different texture. I know a lot of people avoid the BeautyBlender Pure because they think it will get super dirty and will be difficult to get it clean, but with the right cleanser and technique, that’s actually not the case at all. Enter my next favorite for this month, the Sephora Collection Solid Brush Cleaner.
Sephora Solid Brush Cleaner
I received the BeautyBlender Solid Cleanser along with my very first BeautyBlender in a subscription box a couple years ago. When it came time to repurchase the cleanser, I decided to give the less expensive Sephora Collection cleanser a try, especially since they had just come out with a smaller size that was only $8. In my opinion, the less expensive Sephora version works just as well as the BeautyBlender Solid Cleanser. I use it for all of my brushes, and it keeps them all clean and soft. As for my technique for keeping the BB Pure clean, I wet the sponge, swirl it in the Sephora Collection Solid Brush Cleaner, then gently massage the sponge with my fingers and lightly squeeze on the areas where I can clearly see foundation and concealer to work it up from the inner layers of the sponge. It comes right out and my BB looks good as new. One thing I wanna mention, however, is that some foundations come out of BeautyBlenders easier than others. The MAC ProLongwear concealer and Revlon’s ColorStay foundation are two products that I know are especially difficult to get out of a BB. I haven’t used Revlon ColorStay in several years, so I can’t say whether or not the Sephora Collection Solid Brush Cleanser will be able to get that out of a sponge, but I am able to get MAC ProLongwear out by washing it two or three times. The other foundations I use, such as Urban Decay Naked Skin, and Rimmel Lasting Finish come out without an issue. The sponge pictured above has had around 3 months of use. There are two small stains at the top and bottom of the sponge, but other than that, it still looks clean.
Available at: Sephora
Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Sidecar
I’ve been on a no-buy for the last month or so, which means I’ve been rediscovering some old favorites. One of those favorites was Urban Decay Sidecar. I’ve depotted most of my UD shadows, so I’m not sure which palette this was from, but it’s available as a single if it’s something you’re interested in. It’s one of the shadows I’ve been keeping in my “go-to” palette (a few of my favorite shadows in corresponding shades that I’ve been keeping in my Makeup Geek Travel Palette) lately because it’s a mid-tone slightly warm beige that pairs equally well with warm and cool tones. I absolutely adore Urban Decay’s eye shadows, there’s a reason they’re known for having some of the best formulas in the beauty industry. Sidecar is a super smooth beige with silver microshimmer that adds a bit of texture to a look without screaming glitter or creating a fallout nightmare (earlier formulations of this color had a lot of fallout, but I don’t have problems with this one, and I’m pretty sure the problem has been corrected in the singles). I’m probably in the minority here, but for me this is an everyday shadow. I rarely wear entirely matte looks, and I like to make my eyes stand out most days. Sidecar definitely does that for me. As with any of UD’s shadows, this is long-wearing, silky, and pigmented.
Available at: UrbanDecay
Earn points towards future purchases by joining the Beauty Junkies program If you sign up using my referral link, we both get 10 points.
|Left: Swatched with finger, no primer. Middle, top: Swatched with brush over Too Faced Shadow Insurance. Middle, bottom: Swatched with finger over Too Faced Shadow Insurance. Right: Swatched with brush, no primer.|
Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick in Tiger Eye
|Left: One pass of Estee Lauder Tiger Eye. Right: Three passes of Estee Lauder Tiger Eye.|
Another gem that had been hiding in my makeup collection was Estee Lauder Tiger Eye. My mom received it as a gift with purchase awhile ago and promptly handed it over to me because there was no way in hell she was gonna wear a shimmery bronze lipstick. Actually, at first, there was no way in hell I was gonna wear a shimmery bronze lipstick either. I’ve tried it on so many times I’ve lost count only to wipe it off after a minute or two because it just didn’t look right. Cut to last month when I had gone through nearly every lipstick in my collection trying to find the right match for the look I was wearing. I tried Tiger Eye as a last resort and immediately wondered why I had ever thought this lipstick didn’t look good on me. It’s gorgeous and completely unlike anything else in my collection. I’ve realized that I’m a sucker for colors like Ofra Miami Fever and ColourPop Taurus (both collabs with KathleenLights), essentially super warm-toned, out-of-the ordinary colors. I think they look amazing with my green eyes and I love the way they add a bit of edginess to a look without having to be bright and colorful. Don’t get me wrong, I love colorful makeup, but I don’t always want to wear bright colors. It’s smooth, pigmented, hydrating, and shimmery goodness, and the peachy bronze is oddly flattering with my green eyes and copper hair. The one thing I dislike about this lipstick is the scent, which is a sweeter version of a granny scent. Other than that, this is a complete win for me. I can’t believe I’ve missed out on so many opportunities to wear this! With metallic lipsticks becoming a trend again, it’s definitely one to consider adding to your collection.
With all of the craziness going on, I’ve been majorly slacking on my skincare. Despite this, I still have three skincare favorites to share with you this month, then we’re done, yipee!
These next two products were sent to me to review last month by 0.8L, but I’m including them in my favorites because I genuinely loved them and plan to repurchase them with my own money. My discussion of these products here is in no way sponsored, nor was I asked to include them in this post for any sort of compensation. I just wanted to let you guys know that I didn’t purchase these products myself in case you feel that could effect my review (I don’t feel that it does, but make your own decision). I’m all about keeping things honest!
Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Sheetmask
The Papa Recipe Bombee Honey mask is one of the most hydrating sheet masks I’ve ever used. Throw in the soft, sweet honey smell and the super thin material, and you’ve got a great mask for dry or cranky skin, or just a nice relaxing sheet mask when you want to do something indulgent for your skin without the hassle of a long routine. These do leave a bit of a sticky honey-ish film behind, so I definitely wouldn’t recommend using these before you have somewhere to be, but if you’re just kickin’ it at home or getting ready for bed, these are amazing.
When you use my referral link, you get 20% off your first purchase at Memebox, and I get a $10 credit.
Ultru I’m Sorry For My Skin Black Mud Mask- Tightening
|Photo from Memebox’s website since I’m currently out of these masks.|
I can’t wait to get my hands on more of these I’m Sorry For My Skin mud masks, especially the black mud mask. It’s not only one of the most interesting and innovative skincare products I’ve ever used, it’s also one of the best performing. If you’re unfamiliar with these masks, they’re sheet masks that have been coated in a mud mask mixture. It makes it much less messy to use a mud mask (though there is a bit of a mess initially as there’s a bit of moisture in the packet) and it’s also much easier to rinse off than a traditional mud mask because as the mask dries, it sticks to the sheet rather than your face. Rinsing a traditional mud mask off is the part that I dread, so for me, this is awesome. The effects are also quite surprising. It made my skin smooth and soft, my pores looked smaller, and there was some serious brightening action going on. So much so that I had to reach out on Twitter to see if anyone else felt like it had made their skin tone look 2 shades lighter or if I was just losing my mind. Turns out, other people have experienced similar results. It’s a temporary effect that’s pretty much gone by morning, but it’s a very noticeable effect for the duration. I loved both the green mud and black mud versions, but the black mud gave me more noticeable results, so I’ll be repurchasing that one for sure.
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water
Finally, a product recommended to me by several of you (you cheeky little enablers): the Garnier Micellar Water. After I mentioned that traditional cleansing was too dying for my skin in the mornings, a few people suggested that I try cleansing with a micellar water in the morning instead of using plain water or water and cleanser. I had a sample of Bioderma from Beautylish, and after using that a couple of times, I found that my skin felt less tight than it did after cleansing with just plain water. I’d heard that Garnier’s micellar water was comparable, and since it’s cheaper, I briefly broke my no-buy to pick up a bottle from Amazon. No regrets, y’all, no regrets. It makes my skin feel so much more comfortable, I feel like my skin is more balanced, my makeup goes on better. I love cleansing with a micellar water in the morning and have absolutely nothing bad to say about this particular micellar water. Thank you so much to everyone that suggested it to me!
If you’re wondering how it removes makeup, I think it definitely does a good job of that as well, though there are some mascaras it doesn’t take off, such as Maybelline Lash Blast Volume, but I’m convinced that mascara could survive the apocalypse, so it really doesn’t surprise me. I still use a 2nd cleanser after it like I nearly always do if I’ve been wearing makeup, (more on how and why I double cleanse here), but I’ve also used it on its own on nights when I was too tired to make it to the sink for a proper cleanse, and it didn’t cause me to breakout or make my skin feel clogged at all. I’d still advise using another cleanser afterwards if you’re removing makeup just be sure that you’re completely removed any residue. Speaking of residue, I know some people feel this cleanser leaves a residue on their face. I can see what they mean, but for me it’s such a slight oilyness that it really doesn’t faze me. My face still feels refreshed and clean after I’ve used it, without feeling stripped at all, which is exactly what I was looking for.
|After one swipe with a cotton ball covered in Garnier Micellar Water|
|After a few more swipes of the cotton ball w/ Garnier Micellar Water|
That’s it for this month’s favorites! What were your favorites this month? I hope everything is going well for you!
*kidding, the roof has a better vantage point
I picked up the Take Out Spa My Renew Bottle and My Juicy Bottle masks a couple of months ago when HKC Plaza was having a sale. I was also on a bit of “juice” mask kick, spurred on by my love of the Ariul Juice Cleanse masks. I saw the Take Out Spa masks, and figured I’d give them a try.
Price: $2-3, even less if they’re on sale. HKC Plaza runs sales pretty frequently. I think they were doing 60% off when I purchased these back in January.
Concept: These masks claim the use of superfoods will make skin healthier because of the associated vitamins. Cold-pressed fruits and vegetables are also highlighted as a benefit on the packaging. Cold processing the ingredients supposedly retains more nutrients, making it more beneficial for the skin. However, there has been no conclusive scientific evidence to support the claim that cold-pressed juices are more nutritious than traditionally processed juices, so I doubt it would make that much of a difference in a sheet mask either. Beyond that, making essence for a sheet mask is different than making a juice because there are additional things to think about such as ingredient reactions and stabilization. Ultimately, the concept just doesn’t translate.
My Renew Bottle:
purified water, glycerin, glycereth-26, Butylene Glycol, pomegranate extract, sodium hyaluronate, tomato extract, cherry extract, niacinamide, calcium panhothenate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, pyridoxine HCL, maltodextrin, sodium starch octenyl succinate, silica, trehalose, betaine, erythritol, PEG/PPG-17/6 copolymer, PEG-60 hydro-generated castor oil, xanthan gum, allantoin, PEG-14M, carbomer, triethanolamine, hydroxiethyl urea, tocopheryl acetate, disodium EDTA, ethylhexyl glycerin, phenoxyethanol, fragrance.
My Bright Bottle
purified water, glycerin, glycereth-26, Butylene Glycol, grapefruit extract, sodium hyaluronate, lemon extract, orange extract, niacinamide, calcium panhothenate , sodium ascorbyl phosphate, pyridoxine HCL, maltodextrin, sodium starch octenyl succinate, silica, trehalose, betaine, erythritol, PEG/PPG-17/6 copolymer, PEG-60 hydro-generated castor oil, xanthan gum, allantoin, PEG-14M, carbomer, triethanolamine, hydroxiethyl urea, tocopheryl acetate, disodium EDTA, ethylhexyl glycerin, phenoxyethanol, fragrance.
The Final Verdict:
What sheet masks have you been loving lately? Let me know in the comments!
I tried the cult-favorite Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick, and all I got was a face full of zits.
Yes, this cleanser made my skin throw a wee bit of a tantrum. However, before we get into the rest of the review, I just wanna remind you that everyone has different sensitivities, and the products that break me out, might not break you out. Obviously loads of people have had great experiences with this product or it wouldn’t be a cult favorite. This was just my experience. I think it’s important to mention the good and the bad, so that you have all of the information you need to make the decision that’s right for you. Alright, on with the review!
Disclosure: This product was purchased by me with my own money. All views expressed are my own authentic opinions. This post does not contain any affiliate links.
The second was the pH. It’s got a pH between 5 and 6 according to Kerry of Skin&Tonics, which is beneficial for preventing damage to the moisture barrier (acid mantle), and can also be helpful for reducing breakouts in acne prone skin, among other things which I won’t get into here. If you want to understand more about why pH is important in skincare, especially in cleansers, I highly recommend you check out Snow’s post on this subject over on Snow White and the Asian Pear.
The third factor was the rose petals. I was going through a bit of an “omg give me all of the rose scented products, I want to rub them all over me and smell like fresh roses forever and ever amen” phase when I purchased this. The Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick has real rose petals embedded into the top layer of the cleanser. They help to gently exfoliate the skin, but since they’re only in the top layer you’ll only see that benefit for the first few washes (the petals lasted about 10-15 washes for me). As you use the cleanser, the pieces of rose petal begin to fall out, which makes a bit of a mess in the sink. However, once you get past the petal pieces, it’s a totally mess-free cleanser. The actual scent of the product turned out to be a bit of a disappointment, however. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely does smell like roses and not in a powdery way which can be quite polarizing. It just doesn’t have that certain something that takes it from “oh yeah, this smells like roses” to “can I implant this scent in my nose???” In terms that might actually be helpful to someone that hasn’t smelled this product in-person, it’s more of a creamy rose scent than a fresh, zingy rose scent. I personally prefer the latter, so I didn’t love the scent as much as I expected to, but personal preferences may cause you to feel differently about it.
It’s a low pH cleanser in a convenient form that offers a bit of lighthearted, indulgent skincaretainment, and does so in an elegant, approachable way. What’s not to love? Well, if you have sensitive or acne prone skin, the ingredient list may pose a bit of a problem.
Ingredients: Glycerol, Water, Orange Peel Oil, Lime Peel Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Green Tea Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, Basil Oil, Ylang Ylang Flower Oil, Majoram Oil, Fermented Damask Rose Extract, Apricot Seed Oil, Olive OIl, Sunflower Oil, Betaine, Stearic Acid, Lauric Acid, Camellia Oil, Tocopheral, Rose Flower Water, Potassium Hydroxide, Lauryl Betaine
There are a couple of known acne triggers in this product, chiefly coconut oil and lauric acid. Lauric acid is an ingredient which is typically thought to be helpful for acne sufferers because it reduces the amount of P. acnes bacteria on the skin and the inflammation that is causes. Lauric acid is also part of the chemical composition of coconut oil (used here as a cleansing agent), which is why you may have heard that coconut oil is good for acne. However, both coconut oil and the derivative, lauric acid, are potentially comedogenic, meaning that they can clog your pores and cause breakouts. Since there are properties of these ingredients which make them potentially helpful and/or harmful for acne sufferers, unfortunately the only way to test whether you personally have a sensitivity to these ingredients is to use products that contain them and see if you have a reaction. If you’re unsure whether or not you have sensitivities to the these ingredients, I highly encourage you to patch test. I, uh, patch test with my whole face (whut? it’s a patch of skin… kinda.), so if you’re very concerned about breakouts, do as I say and not as I do.
For many people, the Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick will work wonders because of the pH and the gentle cleansing ingredients, but for others like me, you may find yourself with a fresh bouquet of zits decorating your face. Loads of other people I love and trust have had great experiences with this cleanser, so I’m obviously the exception.
I knew almost immediately that this cleanser was breaking me out, but just to be sure, I continued to test it on one side of my face, while using a cleanser by First Aid Beauty that I had used previously and knew wouldn’t cause any breakouts on the other side. The side I used the First Aid Beauty cleanser on began to heal up, while the side I used the Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick on continued to break out until I quit using it completely a week later. In total, my test period was 2-3 weeks and I didn’t introduce any other new products during the test phase.
It was also a bit drying for my skin, but that’s a problem I have with the majority of cleansers. This cleanser is sudsy (think typical hand soap) rather than foamy, so if you like large piles of foam, this probably isn’t for you.
Despite the breakout it caused, I do think this is a nice product. If I hadn’t had a reaction to it, I would still be using it, but unfortunately I seem to have bought myself an expensive shaving soap. For the record, it totally does work well for shaving so if it didn’t work out for you and you were unable to return it, at least there’s an alternative. I bought mine on Amazon Prime (so I’m certain it’s authentic due to Prime’s rigorous verification standards) for $24, but it retails anywhere from $21-37 depending on where you purchase it from.
You’ll probably like this cleanser if:
- you like creamy rose scents
- you’re looking for a travel-friendly cleanser
- you want a low pH cleanser
- you don’t have a sensitivity to any of the ingredients
- you’re especially interested in luxury Korean skincare and don’t mind a bit of a splurge
- you have normal to oily skin (this would probably be too drying for dry skin)
- you like some rose scents but not all
- you have acne prone/sensitive skin
- you’re riding in on the hype train shouting “Choo, Choo!!” While this is a nice cleanser, you don’t absolutely need it. Weigh your options and consider whether or not you truly think this cleanser will work well for you before shelling out the $21+.
- you hate rose scents (Duh.)
- the price tag makes your eyes bulge (also duh. While I do like this cleanser, if it’s not an absolute must-have for you, I’d say don’t spluge on it. There are loads of other low pH cleansers that cost way less.)
- you only like cleansers that create mountains of foam without a foaming net
- you’re sensitive to or allergic to any of the ingredients
- you have dry skin