Sunday, May 1, 2016

March & April 2016 Empties

I used up a lot of beauty products in the past two months, as evidenced by the overflowing pile of empty jars and bottles I've scurried away for this post. Let's get into an overview of what I've liked, hated or felt meh about so I can recycle these containers! 

I'm diligently making progress on my effort to use up my stash of skincare samples and a few full-sized products were used up in the process. I really enjoyed the sample of the Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel, which lasted quite a long time considering it's such a small bottle. It's a powder cleanser akin to the Tatcha one but I actually enjoy the Amore Pacific one more because the powder is finer and dissolves in water better. Also wanted to give a shout out to the Vasanti BrightenUp Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator and the Shiseido White Lucent Microtargeting Spot Corrector* for helping my skin recuperate from acne scars faster. In terms of things I wouldn't recommend, I'd say skip the Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Mask because it does nothing.

For body and haircare, I loved all the full sized products I used up. The Eucerin In-Shower Moisturizer is perfect for lazy people who want to quickly moisturize their skin without having to step out of the shower. I also love the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wash because it's a really gentle shower gel. I generally use bar soap so I don't show those in my empties posts by the way. The Sabon Body Scrubs are great albeit a bit expensive but I highly recommend them if you're looking to get someone a nice gift. I finally finished the Number 4 Reconstructing Masque which lasted ages. It's a pricey hair mask that I use as a conditioner but I had short hair for most of the time I used this so I didn't need much product. It's a fantastic hair mask and I highly recommend Number 4 products.

I finished a couple of makeup products including the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm and a Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer sample. I like the Beauty Flash Balm during winter when my skin is drier because it makes my skin really supple and glowy. The Mineral Veil Primer is good but I prefer primers that fill in my pores better. I love the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser and have already repurchased three! The Laneige Cushion Concealer* and Physicians Formula Eye Booster Liquid Liner are also makeup loves and I have backups of those in my stash. I didn't love the Etude House BB Cushion and I much prefer the ones I have from Laneige and Missha so I'm passing the Etude House one to a friend.

Another Etude House product I was going to toss was the Rose Tint Lips Liquid Lipstick because the packaging broke. But then I realized the product itself was fine and there was so much inside the tube (because I've honestly only used this once or twice) so I decanted the product into a clean sample jar. Tada! The color is beautiful and I'm looking forward to using this soon.  

Let me know if you'd like me to elaborate on any of the products I've finished recently! I'm trying to trim these posts down as much as possible so I'm not writing a thesis-length analysis every other month.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Is the SKII Facial Treatment Mask Worth the Money?

I gave the SKII Facial Treatment Essence a go awhile back and I'm surprised to see that I never talked about it on here. I bought the starter set that came with the famed Facial Treatment Essence and the Facial Treatment Mask but honestly wasn't wowed by the results of the essence. I vaguely remember liking the mask but not enough to purchase more. Well, recently Influenster teamed up with SKII and I was one of the lucky ones who received a small Facial Treatment Essence and Facial Treatment Mask to try out. I figured it was worth a shot to try these out again to see if my feelings have changed. It's hard to give a fair assessment of an essence or serum because I believe results take longer to develop so I'll just be sharing my thoughts on the mask. 

The SKII Facial Treatment Mask is a radiance and moisture-enhancing mask. It has a very short ingredients list of only the following:

Water, Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate (Pitera), Butylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Salicylate, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA

Pitera is the second ingredient in the list and is SKII's claim to fame. It's a derivative of the sake fermentation process which is supposedly rich in vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids. I wish SKII would state what percentage of the formula is made up of Pitera as otherwise I assume water makes up the vast majority.

Each mask retails for $17 and you can purchase a pack of 6 for $95 ($15.83 each) or a pack of 10 for $135 ($13.50 each). It's definitely a splurge skincare product considering it's meant for a single use. I've used many Asian sheet masks that are under $5 and that have produced good results so I'm really expecting a lot for a mask that's more than three times the price.

The sheet mask itself is 100% cotton but it's rather thick and stiff. I found it a bit difficult to mold some parts to my face, especially in the chin area. The fit was good and the mask was saturated in essence. I kept the mask on for 30 minutes until it was dry around the edges. The liquid of the mask has a consistency of a water-based serum and absorbs into the skin easily. I had a generous amount of leftover liquid in the mask packet that I patted onto my face, neck and hands after removing the sheet mask. This mask does produce a little bit of dried-glue-like residue when it dries but it's easily washed off. 

This mask is very gentle on the skin; I accidentally got some liquid in my eye but it didn't sting at all. My skin did not feel irritated in the slightest by this mask. It simply felt soothing and gentle. Upon removing the mask I did have the impression that my skin was brightened. It felt plump and hydrated but not greasy or heavy at all. 

However, the brightening effect wasn't noticeable when I awoke the next day and my skin didn't look particularly better. That was disappointing considering how expensive this mask is. With that in mind, I think this mask is best used immediately prior to a special event. I almost never do sheet masks during the day time so this mask isn't really for me. I've also used many other sheet masks that are much less expensive and that I've had good results from, so I won't recommend you run out and spend $100 on a couple of these. In fact, I recently hauled a few new Korean sheet masks that I'm eager to test out so stay tuned for that!

*These products were sent to me from Influenster as part of a Voxbox campaign. I am not being compensated for this review and all thoughts are my own.