Korean Beauty : The Face Shop Real Nature Sheet Masks Review

July 28, 2017

Sheet masks are pretty fundamental in a Korean skincare routine and even non Korean brands have started making them now. The first brand I came across when I wanted to start stocking up on some masks was The Face Shop. Their packaging, descriptions and somewhat the ingredients looked a little similar to Innisfree which is the only brand I had tried before and trusted so I thought I’d give them a go. These masks come in 10 different “natural” ingredients and I picked up one of each. They’re pretty affordable at $2 per mask but this brand frequently has sales so you can pick them up in bundles which turn out to be much cheaper. You can also pick up the whole set for only $15 on amazon.

Ingredient List of the Aloe mask: Water/Eau, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, AlcoholDenat, Betaine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Dimethicone, Phaseolus Radiatus Extract, Betula Platyphylla Japonica Bark Extract, Rumex CrispusRoot Extract, Carbomer, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Triethanolamine, Methylparaben, Propyl Paraben, Parfum/Fragrance

Now I’ve only included the ingredient list of one type of mask but they’re almost identical to the other ones, just the main ingredient (that has been highlighted) changes depending on what kind of mask it is. What I like is that the main ingredient is the third ingredient, so pretty much in the start of the list which means it makes up a higher percentage of the total ingredients. Some debatable ingredients here are parabens, alcohol and fragrance. If you are allergic or react to any of these then I’d suggest not using it. I don’t mind fragrance and parabens as much as I mind alcohol because it irritates my skin. I try to steer clear of it in my daily skincare but since I will be using these only once or twice a week, I thought I’d try and see how it goes.

These sheet masks are basically cotton sheets in the shape of your face soaked in serums formulated with the ingredient that you’re trying to use for your skin concerns. You open a package, put the mask on for 10-15 mins and take it off before it dries(as the experts suggest) and then take the left over serum in the package which is usually A LOT to massage it into your face and neck. Do not rinse after this mask and move straight ahead to moisturizer once it’s all soaked in.

 Here’s a breakdown of what each type of mask is for:
  1. Cucumber – Hydrating.
  2.  Aloe - Hydrating
  3.   Lemon – Brightening
  4.   Rice - Brightening
  5.   Blueberry – Firming
  6.   Acai Berry – Firming
  7.   Pomegranate – Firming
  8.   Shea Butter – Nourishing.
  9.   Avocado – Moisturizing
  10.   Honey – Moisturizing
      The ones I don't own are - Green Tea, Ginseng, Olive, Mung Bean, Kelp
So as you can see, they’re divided into four main categories – Hydrating, Brightening, Firming and Moisturizing. You can pick and choose which ones your skin needs the most but I wanted to get them all to test them out anyway. I’ve tried out one mask per category so far and I have to say right off the bat that the Rice brightening one is my favourite followed by Shea Butter for moisturizing. These two worked wonderfully on the skin and actually gave me a nice glow in just 15 minutes. The Acai Berry firming mask was refreshing and the best smelling one I’ve tried so far out of the lot. It didn’t really show any visible improvements after use and I think it takes more than one mask to show results for the ‘firming’ variety. I did notice it reduced under eye puffiness and just made me look fresh overall the next morning.

The Aloe Hydrating mask was very soothing once I put it onto my skin but it was a little too sticky on my skin like it would not sink in after I had removed the mask. Although these masks can be used in the morning, evening and also under makeup, I don’t know if the Aloe one will be comfortable to be used under makeup. The other masks soak into the skin much better but take a long time – about 15/20 minutes. That’s why I only do these at night because I have combination skin but people with drier skin than mine may not have this issue.

The size and fit of these masks is a little too big for my face and I had to smooth out the extra bits below my chin and a little bit went over my hair. All these masks have distinctive fragrances in them which I don’t love or hate. I am not too bothered by it but it’s not pleasant like those herbal Korean skincare scents that I absolutely fall in love with in products. The masks didn’t bother my skin except the aloe. I noticed a red patch on my cheek after using it which was weird but it went away the next morning & I’m guessing it’s because of the alcohol. It’s funny that it didn’t happen with the others though. However, it also made my skin look really plump and glowy so I’m not sure what to make of it. I am so far in love with the brightening, moisturizing ones. I am not too keen on the hydrating and firming ones because I have other products that do the job for me without any redness but you can try them out and see if they suit you better because a lot of people swear by it.

Overall, these masks are great for the price and some of them do really show results instantly but it only lasts for a few days until you mask again. If you feel any burning or tingling sensation, don’t use these again. I know some people use it every single day so their skin will show results sooner and last longer than on people like me who only use it once or twice a week but it’s what I recommend because of the not-so-friendly ingredient list. If you’ve to pick out only one or two, I’d definitely recommend the Rice Brightening Mask and Shea Butter Nourishing Mask out of this lot. 

Places to find it : Style Korean, YesStyle, Amazon, RoseRoseShop.

Rose Gold & Pink Unicorn Face and Eye Brushes from Amazon Review

July 25, 2017

If you’ve been on instagram recently, you may have noticed that the beauty community is blowing up with pictures of these mystical brush sets like I call them.Well, there’s unicorns, mermaids, fishes, even rose branches to choose from and yes, they’re sold by several different retailers. There’s also a similar colourful unicorn set that Tarte sells. I spotted this set on amazon and honestly it was a super amazing deal to pass up. This whole set contains 5 face brushes and 7 eye brushes. The bristles are very soft, feel amazing on the skin and they have pink tips. They didn’t shed when I washed them and pretty much still look new after quite a few washes since I've had them for a month or more now.
I was drawn to the face brushes more than the eye brushes but I picked up the whole set anyway. I really liked the selection of the face brushes and the shapes they included in this set.

-A large fluffy powder brush – This brush is huuuge and I love it. It is packed with hairs and the shape is tapered and not as round like a lot of powder brushes. I feel like it doesn’t pick up too much powder and perfect for a light dusting where I need it without looking overly powdery. It works best with a loose powder/mineral foundation. It can also work as a great bronzer brush for people who are scared of it because they end up orange.

- A tapered highlighter brush – This one is my favourite of the lot. It looks similar to brushes like the Real Techniques Setting brush and F25 by Sigma. It is great for a light sweeping of highlighter and if I need more I can just dip it in the product and sweep again.

- Angled Blusher Brush, Flat Contour Brush – These are standard brushes for blush and contour and they do the job like any other brush would.

- Flat foundation brush – I love this one too! I’m so glad they didn’t include the retro paddle foundation brush like a lot of ebay sets do. I haven’t used one of those since high school and I just end up throwing them out so don’t see the point of buying them. Now I apply my foundation with makeup sponges but what this one is perfect for is cushion foundation. Fits in the pan perfectly and the flat top is sturdy enough to  apply the right amount of pressure on the cushion to get the product out. Another use for it can be to apply cream contour & blush products.
The eye brushes are pretty standard – an angled eyeliner brush, 2 flat shader brush, an angled shader brush, a small shader for the bottom lid and a crease blending brush. I feel like there are too many flat shaders in this and I would only need one or two and they aren’t very stiff to pack on colour anyway. I only liked the blending brush and eyeliner brush from the eye brushes but I guess it’s good to have some extra eye brushes handy when everything else is dirty.

I think this set is well worth the price and also so, so beautiful to look at on my vanity which is an added bonus.
Places to Find them : Here, Here & here. | Similar brush sets : Here, here & Here.

Korean Beauty: Innisfree Longwear Cushion Foundation Review

July 21, 2017

Korean Beauty Friday : I've secretly become a huge K beauty junkie in the past couple of months and I need to fill you in because trust me it's worth talkin' about! So I'm starting a new series on the blog from today. Every week, I'll be posting about everything Korean Beauty - be it product reviews, routines, hits & misses and all that good stuff every Friday. K beauty enthusiasts, newbies and everyone in between - you're welcome to join me and talk about some interesting new skincare and makeup. I hope to see you back again next week if you enjoy it. 

I’ve really wanted to try a cushion foundation for a while now and almost picked up the Maybelline and L’oreal ones from the drugstore but given my current obsession with Korean skincare I knew my first one had to be from Korea where these actually come from. They’re basically round sponges soaked in lightweight foundations in a compact. Its summer & I have combo skin – so it was a given that I had to pick up the Longwear version of their cushion foundations. They have a few other varieties too – Innisfree Waterfit Cushion & Ampoule moisture cushion.

What it claims:  
1. Sweat Proof
2. Lasts for 12 hours.
3. SPF 50+ and PA+++

Shelf Life : 12 Months
The way this whole thing works is these cushion foundations are a 3 step purchase. (It’s a part of their marketing and it’s working for them so why not)
#1 Pick up a cushion foundation refill of your choice. Comes in shades - (C13, C21, N21, N23, N27, N31)
#2 Pick up a Cushion case – They come in 100 designs.
#3 Pick up an application tool – a cushion puff, a cushion brush or a sponge.

So I picked up the Longwear cushion refill in N27 ($14 for 14g), orange striped case ($9.50) and the air magic fitting puff ($2.50) – I paid $26 total.
This cushion foundation in N27 turned out to be a great shade for me. It has the right amount of yellow for my skintone. I could have done with N23 too since these do oxidize a little bit to match your skintone better but it’s a pretty light finish so it isn’t that noticeable. N27 is a perfect shade for NC25/30 in Mac. I love Innisfree because they’re one of the few Korean brands that actually have more than 2 shades of foundations.
It is a light coverage foundation which is perfect for summertime or just anytime if you’re fan of a light finish (I certainly am!). It feels like wearing no makeup but you still look put together. I’ve been leaning towards the ‘no makeup- makeup skin’ look these days and really enjoying it. This does not cover dark circles, scars or anything just evens out your skintone, some spots and makes it look glowy. I use concealer on top of it because I have dark circles and viola I’m good to go!

This is NOT matte so don’t let the ‘longwearing’ part fool you. It goes on matte but turns into a beautiful dewy finish on my oily skin once blended. I did set it with powder but in Korea it’s quite a trend to have dewy, shiny skin. I tried it once without powder and honestly I looked too glowy for my liking so I’m going to be sticking with the powder. That’s how I apply any foundation really so don’t see why I wouldn’t use it with this one. Using a powder foundation adds back some colour into your face in case the shade ends up being too ashy on you. The SPF50 can do that on some undertones.
I haven’t had the chance to test this out for 12 hours because I simply don’t wear this on a long day like that but I did for 8 hours ( close!) and this stuff really stays on. Although it gets oily on my tzone towards the end of the day, my skin looks naturally beautiful throughout. The SPF factor is just an added bonus! I love that it’s SPF50. I wouldn’t skip my sunscreen for it but it’s a  saviour on days when I do forget to put some on.

The puff actually blends the foundation quite evenly and it’s made of the kind of material that doesn’t soak up much of the product. I’m quite impressed with that at only $2.50! I do use the puff to touch up but most of the time I use a wet sponge(beauty blender, real techniques) or  a flat foundation brush (because it fits perfectly into the cushion) to apply it and it gives me a beautiful finish. It honestly looks like my skin but better.
Looks much lighter in the swatch but turns to the colour of the pan once blended on the skin.
Overall, I am obsessed! This has truly become something I reach for more often and my other foundations have been pushed to the back of my drawer. It feels like a layer of skincare more than a thick pore blocking foundation and it’s a refreshing change. The best part? I can repurchase any other foundation refill from them and it’ll still fit into my case. Honestly though the designs are so cute, I wouldn’t mind getting another one.

Places to Find it :Style Korean, Innisfree World, Cosmetic Love,Yesstyle, Amazon.

A little Boho-chic haul!

July 18, 2017

Hello everyone!!
Long time no see but I’m back this time with a lot of exciting things coming up in the next few weeks. Well, I’ve been squealing like a child just thinking about them so that’s something!
I’ve done a mini ‘boho-chic’ haul that thought I’d share with you today. I recently discovered this website called ‘To save’ that sell everything at factory prices + Free Shipping and I thought I’d check it out and got a few things to try out. They also have a website for hair extensions called – Sheinhair. I didn’t know what to expect to be honest because I haven’t read any other reviews of this website yet. However, I picked up three things – A double – buckle belt, a maxi dress and a set of rings. Their interface is really nice and easy to browse through. They’ve got a bit of everything you could ever want but I naturally gravitated towards the fashion & accessories section so didn't really check out the other categories much. It reminds me of Aliexpress a little because of the amazing deals they have going on. I was blown away by their rings section, there are so many cool ones at amazing prices. When I’m going for a trendy look, I do love a bargain.
Boho Rings Set *
The package took around 3 weeks to reach me and  I think that’s standard shipping time for these trendy accessories websites coming through China Post.  I was so impressed with the items. The belt looks exactly like the one I saw in Forever21 but half the price. I was going to buy it from Forever21 anyway but if I can get it in half price, I thought why not give it a go? It’s a very trendy belt, so it’s not something I wear everyday. It’s not an investment piece for me. I’ll wear it only when the outfit demands it and I’ve had one before that lasted quite a long time so I’m glad I could get another one for this year. The rings are gorgeous as well, with beautiful details and the finish looks very nicely made. Lastly, I picked up a boho maxi dress because I thought it would look great with the belt and I took a leap of faith with this one because I knew I wouldn't be able to wear it if the material didn't turn out to be hot weather appropriate.
Vintage Double Buckle Belt *
It feels like a cotton blend, really soft and thin material. No polyester! I got it in my normal size and the fit was great so I was actually really pleased with that. It comes in 3/4 colours and I did fall in love with the teal version at first but I got this instead. I wore it out and about the other day and I felt extremely comfortable. A good tip would be to see if the material is listed and I usually pick up ones that are cotton or a blend. I’ve been able to get good pieces in the past from sheinside and stuff with this trick. I like that it’s very easy-breezy, has three quarter sleeves and a slit down the middle, just past my thigh. The button down detail also adds a nice touch. It's definitely very flowy around the waist, so the belt is a good addition to it. All these three together make the perfect summer or festival look!  I look forward to wearing it to a concert in the future but it’s good enough for a day out in the sun too.
Boho Festival Maxi Dress*
I’m so in love with everything and I would definitely recommend this website for accessories especially rings, necklaces, chokers – that kinda stuff! If you don’t mind waiting a little and like having a huge accessories collection just get a few from here. I do understand that these websites can be a hit and miss but I got extremely lucky with these 3 things and so glad I chose these.

What are your favourite summer pieces at the moment?

*The items in this post were sent to me for consideration by To Save.
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