31 December 2017

First BoxyCharm - December 2017 *Glitz & Glam*

BoxyCharm is my first ever subscription box!

I have wanted to try a beauty box/bag for years. Ipsy seemed like a great one at first but I've also seen a lot of reviews that it kind of lackluster. I found BoxyCharm and for roughly $35CAD and 5 full sized products each month, it seemed like the best option.

The only problem is it's gotten pretty popular and subscribing pretty much immediately puts you on a wait list. Which could take a couple days.. or a few months. I subscribed on October 5th 2017 - I really wanted the October box! - and didn't get off the wait list until December 2nd 2017. I was billed via my credit card on December 5th and the box was shipped on December 19th. I received it on December 29th. Overall, not too bad for shipping times. I am more understanding it took the whole month because it's the holidays/Black Friday had just passed. Post is really slow around this time of year. I would love to be one of those people who regularly get it like a week after it's billed, but I'm also in Canada, so I don't have high hopes that it'll be faster in the future.

The December box theme was "Glitz & Glam" and the products included sparkly items like a metallic liquid lip, highlighter or bronzer, and blush palette.


Products in my box:
❏ Crown Pro Blush Brush
❏ RealHer Blush kit
❏ Tarteist Lash Paint mascara
❏ Beaute Basics Bronzer
❏ Pretty Vulgar My Lips Are Sealed lipstick in shade "Particularly Sophisticated"

Overall, I like the box. I'm happiest to have the lipstick, brush, and a mascara - a mascara is always a good thing to have on hand and most of them will work for me! I like the bronzer though I don't use bronzers often (mostly in the summer), and I like my NARS Laguna and Too Faced Sweetie Pie. The blush kit is my least favourite. The powders are kind of stuff and difficult to get good colour payoff. I have a lot of blushes in my collection already that I like, so I didn't really need to add any more of them.

I will continue to renew this subscription for a couple months just to see how it goes. January 2018 looks okay so far, though I'm not thrilled about the shades in the eyeshadow palette that has been "spoiled" so far.

Do you sub to BoxyCharm or any other boxes?

22 November 2017

Sheet Mask Review Round-Up!

As I promised a while ago, I wanted to make quick reviews of sheet masks I've been using in order to help others and keep a record for myself. 


OKA Pump the Brightening Up
Spotlight ingredients: niacinamide (Vitamin B), magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (Vitamin C).
Fit: great besides poking me in the eye a little bit.
Essence/Absorption: a sticky/greasy residue.
Effect: soft, plump, brightened skin. 



LEADERS 7 Wonders Caribbean Coconut Calming 
Spotlight ingredients: "high Vitamin E content activates skin soothing properties; nutrient-rich coconut."
Fit: a bit large and floppy. It has a layer to remove and it's supposed to adhere very well to the face but it doesn't stick well for me.
Essence/Absorption: very nice, watery and not sticky.
Effect: calmed, refreshed, and plump skin. 


esfolio Egg Essence 
Spotlight ingredients: egg yolk extract to nourish; hyaluronic acid. 
Fit: pretty good, no complaints nor raves.
Essence/Absorption: no residue, quick absorption.
Effect: moist skin.  


MIZON Joyful Time Rose
Spotlight ingredients: hydrolyzed collagen and plant extracts; claims to clean pores and moisturize.  
Fit: great fit, these are some of my favourite lines of masks and I use all of them regularly.
Essence/Absorption: so much extra essence to keep and use in the morning; watery and absorbs quickly though slightly tacky. 
Effect: moist, clear skin. 

G9 Skin Pure Milk Bomb
Spotlight ingredients: "milk protein extract and amino acid complex to provide moisturizing effects."
Fit: literally like it was made for my face. I've never been happier with a mask in my life.
Essence/Absorption: white and creamy essence that absorbs quickly without ANY residue.
Effect: BRIGHT and moist skin. 

Etude House Air Therapy Tea Tree 
Spotlight ingredients: tea tree oil for calming and healing properties. 
Fit: good fit. Another line of masks I use all variants of and always repurchase.
Essence/Absorption: watery, no residue, quick absorption. 
Effect: calmed and smoothed skin.  

The Creme Shop Coenzyme Q10
Spotlight ingredients: CoQ10; claims renewal, rejuvenation, source of collagen, improved skin elasticity. 
Fit: it's okay. It is a bit wide and has extra mask around the jaw and ears.
Essence/Absorption: watery, absorbs well with minimal residue.
Effect: really only feels hydrating and softening which is fine but I wouldn't mind to use up the other couple I have left and move on. 

OVERALL: no real duds lately! MIZON and Etude House are my go-to for when I want something comfortable and trustworthy. G9 Milk Bomb is the shining star that surprised me. What have you been using?

17 November 2017

Mask Addict! A review of my wash-off masks.

One of my favourite category of skincare products are wash-off masks. I have a pretty big collection trying to cover all my bases as far as ingredients and claims and results go. I seldom find a mask I totally don't enjoy, so I thought I would do a BRIEF review of what I have! They won't be too in depth, just what they are and what they do for me. I've included my full-size products and deluxe samples.

All prices listed are in CAD and from Sephora,ca (or the product's site in the cases that it is not offered at Sephora).

SAMPLE MASKS


1. fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask ($33 for 30mL, $80 for 100mL). It literally has chunks of fruit in it and it's supposed to help brighten the skin. Citrus fruit extracts have some minimal exfoliating properties on their own but it's not a very strong AHA. It smells like citrus. I like it but I likely wouldn't purchase a large size. 

2. fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask ($112 for 100mL). I am so mad that this is so expensive because I love it. There isn't even a mini available to purchase! It has a delightful warming and cooling effect that makes my skin tingle (in a good way) and it feels so relaxing and luxurious. It softens and smooths my skin and it's awesome. It smells like black tea (duh). 

3. fresh Rose Face Mask ($30 for 30mL, $75 for 100mL). Roses are my jam! It is a gel-like texture with pieces of rose petals in it. I find it quite moisturizing. I would consider purchasing this and fresh's rose petal toner. They're really nice and worth the splurge to me. 

4. Laneige Multiberry Yogurt Reparing Mask ($33 for 80mL). This is a pretty great price point in comparison to the fresh products. It smells amazing, like a sweet and fruity candy. I think it does a pretty good job to soften and moisturize but it's not a miracle product. I might consider purchasing it but it's not urgent. 

5. Farmacy Honey Potion ($75 for 117g). I actually have to admit I hated this the first time I used it. I love honey as an ingredient but this one has a really strong scent, not a nice "oh, it's honey" sweet scent but almost a synthetic "YES, THIS IS HONEY, OF COURSE!" scent that can be off-putting. Then when I put it on, it turns out it's a warming mask. So you feel your face get pretty hot and you're sticky and you smell like bee heaven. But then I washed it off and my face felt like a baby kitten and it was awesome. Once I knew what to expect I got used to the sensation and scent. Honey, propolis, and royal jelly are great ingredients for skincare and masks. I would consider purchasing this at some point.

6. boscia Luminizing Black Mask ($45 for 80g). I like boscia as a brand in general and they have a lot of hits for me. This dries down and peels off easily. It feels "clearing" and smoothing. I feel like meh about it, like it works well which is great but I'm not running out to buy it because I can't live without it. If I got another sample or it was on sale or in a set then I'd be happy. 


FULL-SIZE MASKS


1. Lush Bunny Moon Jelly Face Mask ($13.95 for 60g). I am not huge into Lush like some people are. I just tried a few things recently and I have to say, I'm hooked on the Jelly Masks. Bunny Moon is a calming, brightening, and moisturizing mask. It smells like vanilla/maple/honey. It lives up to its claims based on the ingredients and I really enjoy using it. 

2. Lush Just To Clarify Jelly Face Mask ($13.95 for 60g). A really gentle exfoliating and brightening mask. It has an interesting smell, it's not quite citrus like the ingredients and description say.  It's not bothersome but I'm not sure what to describe it as. I don't know why this is but I tend to always reach for this mask when I have a bath. I leave it on and exfoliate with it when I remove it after. 

3. Lush Cup O' Coffee Face and Body Mask ($11.95 for 150g). It smells like coffee and maple. You're literally throwing coffee grinds onto your face so part of me is like.. I could do this myself.. but it still feels luxurious for some reason. Damnit, Lush. It's really messy and hard to wash off, though. I basically just picked a well-reviewed or well-known Lush product to try, and I'd get a different one next time. Maybe Cupcake! 

4. Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask ($48 for duo with both Glossier masks, or $27 each for 3 fl oz/89g). People recommend using the Mega Greens mask first and then follow up with the moisturizing mask, which I personally haven't tried yet. So far I don't think I've given this mask a fair chance. The first time I tried it, I really didn't feel like it did anything. Claims to be brightening, soothing, and smoothing. It's kind of expensive and you really only save $6 buying both. 

5. Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack ($48 for duo with both Glossier masks, or $27 each for 3 fl oz/89g). I like this one better as so far it can stand on its own and still deliver as a "purifying" or "detoxifying" mask. I don't like this language because it really only means the clay ingredients are absorbing oil. People love to claim shit is clearing you out of toxins and junk like that (don't even get me started on detox teas. You have a fucking liver already that's doing that job). ANYWAY. A good mask in my books. 

6. Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask ($64 for 150mL). This one always comes in sets and sometimes you can find it at places like Winners. If you can find it discounted in some fashion, it's worth it. I wouldn't buy it full price personally. PTR has other better masks. But the cool cucumber gel is nice to apply if your skin is irritated. If you get a sunburn on your face, or you over-exfoliate, or you have a reaction.. it's nice to have. 

7. L'oreal Pure-Clay Red Algae Mask (price in range of $10.99-$15.99 for 50mL). I adore this mask. It's a clay one so it clears up your skin quite well but it also has volcanic rock bits in it that do a great job to exfoliate. It's a bit warming/cooling so it tingles as well. I love having this around and I'm definitely going to buy it again. 

8. innisfree Jeju Volcanic Color Clay Mask - Purifying ($11.65 for 70mL from roseroseshop). This product really confuses me because I've never used a "clay" mask that didn't dry. It just kind of sits on top of your skin as a sort of sticky paste. I've tried leaving it on for a long time just to see but it doesn't behave the way you'd expect. There are several versions in this line which I haven't tried yet. It does have a very "clean" feeling when you wash it off, so much so that your skin has that squeaky, stripping feeling. I'm not sure of the pH of this product. It doesn't make me dry or irritated so I only use it when my skin is particularly congested or oily or something because it clears you right out. But it's still weird. 

9. boscia Clarifying Detox Mask (I'm not sure of price as I don't think this product is made anymore, sorry). I like this mask a lot so I will likely be using the Queen Helene Mint Julep mask after I finish it since it's similar. This one smells minty and fresh, it tingles a bit, it clears and smooths my skin. 

10. Nip & Fab Glycolic Instant Fix Mask (around $13.99 for 50mL). I fucking love this thing. It's not kidding when it says instant. It contains 5% glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid that is water-soluble and dissolves dirt and dead skin). I use 7% glycolic acid usually but for some reason as this one is a mask and you leave it for 10 minutes before rinsing off, it does wonders. I'm not sure how that works because an AHA usually doesn't get washed off and it has time to work its magic.. I'm not a good fucking chemist so I wish I could explain. I just love glycolic acid so much. 

So there you have it! 

I personally recommend having a couple masks of varying types so you have one to address any skin issue that pops up. For example, a clay and/or charcoal mask for clearing out pores and absorbing oil, a gel mask with calming or healing ingredients to relieve red or irritated skin, either or both a chemical and physical exfoliating mask, and a moisturizing mask.

What mask is your favourite?