Acing face mask Friday

Welcome my darlings to the Friday Face Mask. This week, I can’t lie, its been stressful. And a fifteen minute break with a relaxing face mask on zoning out from the world sounds like a fantastic plan. Unfortunately, I am still waiting on Rapid test results which should be in later this afternoon, and every time i try to simply lie back and relax non-relaxing thoughts creep in.

Somedays, being alone with your thoughts isn’t the best plan.

So I chose a mask that i can move around and do things while wearing. Plus it is also a new to me mask that I have been really eager to try. This Aceology Brightening Treatment mask was supposed to come in my December IPSY bag. It didn’t quite make it to the station on time and so I had to wait for it to be sent along later.

Incidentally IPSY was really good about it and it did get here very shortly after. It just felt like a long wait because I really wanted to try it. I was actually impressed with IPSY turn around on it

And then of course the mask was mine. Now I know what you are thinking, haven’t you reviewed Aceology before? First of all, if it’s a good mask, it will always come back into rotation. Second, that was the greeny/gold Aceology Lifting Treatment Mask. And actually this was the reason I was so excited to give this mask a try. with repeated use, I actually saw a big improvement in my skin’s texture. It felt smooth pretty much right away, but I didn’t notice most of the benefits until I used the mask a couple of times.

And then I continued using the mask until it was all used up.

So since this is the first time using this Brightening Treatment Mask from Aceology, I don’t actually expect to see magical brightening, but I do think that over the course of using this tube, I will see a brightening to my skin. According to the website this mask…

Provides gentle exfoliation, Revives tired, dull skin, Encourages an even skin tone, Reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation, Easy-to-remove peel-off mask 

*Product can be applied with finger or any brush or applicator. Please note this product does not include a brush. 

Aceology
always peel from the bottom and go up to keep from dragging your skin down

Luckily, I have my handy dandy silicone masking brush. I can’t reccomend picking one up highly enough if you are a routine Masker. It makes application so quick and clean and it really does help you not waste product. They make expensive masking brushes and very inexpensive ones. They all work. I just reccomend getting a silicone one. With peel off masks you just set it to the side after applying your mask and when it dries, peel it off the brush. Easy peasy.

I wash the brush afterwards, but the bulk of the mess is dealt with.

This mask smells light and fresh with a scent that more or less just smells like skincare. I’m sorry i don’t have a more clarifying scent profile to offer, but when i smell it my brain just thinks ‘skincare’. The mask applied easily. It isn’t too sticky.

Because it is a peel off mask, I went and dermaplanned my face just before so there would be fewer hairs for the mask to pull when I peel it off. The painful part of the pull off mask is generally due to those fine hairs on your face being pulled out. Less hair, less pain.

a little brighter maybe, but definitely really nicely exfoliated

It’s pretty simple math.

The mask is a lovely metalic-ish blue that I really like. As with all peel off masks you have to let them dry down completely before peeling. If there is a wet spot it simply won’t peel. So you just have to wait. Normally it still takes about fifteen minutes for the peel off mask to dry down all the way. Today it is really wet outside so it took about eighteen for it to fully dry and be ready to peel off.

It peeled off relatively well. There was not a lot of drama because I took off some of the fine hairs first. So there wasn’t much pulling at all. As always when first removing a peel off mask there is a moment of redness, because you have actually been pulling your skin. Once that dies down (after about five minutes) the redness goes away. Unless you have actually had a reaction. In which case you might want to stop using the product and see someone about the irritation.

My redness was just from pulling (Plus I tested the mask on my arm a few days ago just to make sure there were no issues.). After the redness died down I took a good look at my skin. While I can’t say that any dark spots were magically faded, my skin did feel as though it had just been lightly exfoliated. It wasn’t a major exfoliation, just a very light one, still it is something to keep in mind. If you routinely use exfoliating products then when you use this mask you might want to give them a pass so you don’t over exfoliate.

It is a very light exfoliation though so I didn’t feel like it was too rough on my skin and I really liked the feel of my skin after I took the mask off and let the redness die down. I really rather liked using this mask today. While it worked on my skin i was able to move around the house and o other things without worrying about it flaking off or dripping down. It stayed in place and my skin felt great after. I think to see some of the brightening effects I would have to use this mask on a routine basis. Because of the way it felt, I just might end up using this mask on a routine basis long enough to actually see the effects. This was a great first use of the Aceology Brightening Treatment Mask and I look forward to using it again.

Kosas - available at Alyaka.com

The Skincare Line Up: January 21st, 2022

This week I started to diversify between day time use and night time use a little bit more. Mostly in the form of my cleansers. This coming week I’ll roll in a night time serum as well as a new day time moisturizer sample to try out since the one i am using in the day has only a little bit left. But we’ll get to that in a moment. First, let’s see what the day time line up had in store for this past week.

The Daytime Line Up

YCleanser: Malin +Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser

Toner: Glow Recipe Watermelon Pore Tight Toner

Essence: 111Skin Antioxidant Energizing Essence

Serum: Serumkind Purple Cabbage Drops

Eye Cream: Glam Glow Bright Eyes

Moisturizer: Comfort Zone Hydramemory Cream Gel

Okay this week was a bit of a rollercoaster. We’ll start with a high. This week i decided to use the Malin+ Goetz grapefruit cleanser in the morning. This used to be one of my go to cleansers and then as I started testing out new products I started to get away from it. I had a bottle in my back up drawer that i knew I needed to work through so I took it out. I forgot haw absolutely fabulous it is. It is a light fresh grapefruit scent which is the perfect skincare wake up call. I know it removes makeup well also so I have no problem using it at night, but the morning scent is really where it shines. It is gentle on the skin and always leaves me feeling fresh and clean. I love when you return to old favorites and fall in love all over again, and with me this week, that is what happened with the cleanser.

I felt a dark delight with the toner this week. As you may recall I am working through this Glow Recipe toner because I don’t want to waste product. It works well, but i hate the scent. It smells like watermelon extract was mixed with stale water. Because it does work well I continued using it. This week, I finished it up completely and it is now leaving my skincare routine. it is going away and it will never return. I like many other Glow recipe products, this just isn’t one of them.

The 111Skin Essence worked well as always and smells like a high end spa. It is actually a joy to use, especially since I have taken it out of my skincare line up, just to see if it was working as it was supposed to. Essences are designed to make the other skincare you use more effective. This works well and smells fabulous while doing it. As the level drops though more product comes out with every shake so be aware and either tip it slowly so the weight of the product doesn’t force more product than you want out or just use less shakes to dispense.

This week the Serumkind gave me fits. I am still not convinced it is actually doing much for my skin. This is the third week of use so I will continue using it and see if week four hits a tipping point. The issue this week is that the serum is so thick that the dropper has a hard time picking it up. It was an effort to get it out of the bottle and the effort was a bit annoying since I don’t know if the drops actually do anything. They smell nice and there is something appealing in a mad scientist sort of way to see a bottle of purple-y serum on the skincare shelf, but I’m just not sure it is worth the time and trouble. I will continue, but thus far, I am not a fan.

with my eye cream this week I received a sad news. I may love the Glam Glow Bright eyes, but it seems that Glam Glow itself does not agree. It seems the Bright eyes has been discontinued. What i might do, is roll in one of my sample sized products to try while I have it around. Since I love the Bright eyes and it doesn’t clog pores or cause me issues, it might be good to have around while I test other products in case they give me fits. Since I get a lot of clogged pores around my eyes, I often have issues with eye creams. I’ll take a look in the skin care drawer this weekend. Until then I will just use this little pot of cream until it is gone and then bid adieu to the product.

Finally the Day time moisturizer is the Comfort Zone Hydra Memory Cream gel. In case you are wondering what a cream gel is, it feels like a light cream that is slightly thicker than a water cream. It is nice for day time use and absorbs quickly. while in the heat of summer I might be able to get away with using it at night, for the rest of the year it simply wouldn’t have enough moisture in it to work as a night cream. which is fine with me as I don’t really mind having a day cream and a night cream. While this cream was nice, the sample is ended and to be honest, I don’t see myself buying a full sized version. It worked well, but it wasn’t really thrilling. It is just kind of middle of the road. I have tried products I liked a lot better and I have tried products I liked less. I just don’t see myself purchasing this in the future.

The Night Time Line Up

Cleanser: Elemis Lime Blossom Balancing Cleanser

Makeup Remover: Vitabrid Daily C Cleansing Balm

Toner: Glow Recipe Watermelon Pore Tight Toner

Essence: 111Skin Antioxidant Energizing Essence

Serum: Serumkind Purple Cabbage Drops

Eye Cream: Glam Glow Bright Eyes

Moisturizer: Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Glow Moisturizer

Lips: Laneige Lip Mask in Berry

The Elemis Balancing Lime Cleanser and Vitabrid C 12 Cleansing balm are great products that I have been using for a while and that I am happy to keep using. The above links will take you to the full reviews if you are interested. I enjoy both products and will continue using them until they are gone. In the future, both are items that i would happily repurchase.

The ExfoliKate, I am kind of on the fence about. It works really well and I love how my skin feels, but the scent is starting to get to me. In the beginning it was kind of lemon scented skincare but as time passes it is reminding me more of floor polish in scent. I still adore the moisture it brings to my skin. My skin very much loves the formula, it is just the scent that is a bit industrial. While I am happy to use the rest of this jar, I am on the fence as to if I would repurchase it. I think it is going to depend on the final thoughts of if I know of moisturizers that are as good for my skin but don’t have an off putting scent.

The Laneige is as always fabulous. I have started using it not only as a night time lip mask, but also in the mornings. I will wash my face and then put on just a little of the lip mask before I start in with the other skin care. Then by the time my skincare is done and my coffee has brewed my lips are fantastically hydrated. I wouldn’t do this in the summer time but in the winter, now that the air is cold and the heater is running, the extra hit of lip mask is really helping to fend off winter chapped lips.

And that my darlings is this week’s skincare line up. It was a bit of a rollercoaster as far as product performance went. A couple of items were emptied and will soon be replaced and one was sadly discontinued. And of course I also fell back in love with an old favorite. When it comes to drama in the skin care, this is the kind of drama I favor. It’s a lot less amusing when it leads to break outs. Lamenting discontinued and fabulous as way easier to take.

LovelySkin

A walk in the Moonlight with LA Splash

I know what you are thinking. This LA Splash Face Palette didn’t get the full week to a week and a half testing. What gives? I’ll tell you. I couldn’t take this palette for a week and a half. I made sure to use all of these shades repeatedly and I just found it annoying. But let’s get into details.

First off the palette contains two blushes, Midnight Rose and Blushing Luna. In the pan one looks bright pink and the other looks neutral. On the cheeks they both show up as bright pink and extremely pigmented. a delicate dip into the pan, produced a lot of color on the cheeks. The neutral blush looking only a shade less pink than the bright pink shade.

L to R: Midnight Rose, Blushing Luna, Bronze Goddess and Ethereal Highlight

Now I am not opposed to high pigmentation as long as it blends really well. This one blended, but as soon as you started blending, the blush more or less disappeared. So I was left with either very pink clown like cheeks or looking like I applied no blush at all. There was no happy middle ground with either of these two blushes.

And then we had the bronzer. It is called Bronze Goddess. In the swatch above I had to do a double swatch just to get the bronzer to appear on my arm. And that is sort of how it performed on the cheeks. It was a very pale bronzer with very low pigmentation. It could be built up, but it took time.

A lot of time.

And I found the pigmentation level compared to the blushes rather shocking. Perhaps the low pigmentation wouldn’t have seemed so bad if it was just a pan on it’s own, but its low pigmentation was just brought out by the super strong blushes. It did blend well and it didn’t disappear when it was blended, but it was a bronzer that you had to work for.

The Ethereal Highlight was fine. I adore bronze highlights so this should have been right in my wheel house. The color is fine, but as a product it is more or less forgettable. It has a light shimmer on the skin and if it were on it’s own I might find it more appealing. But as this palette is more or less a bust for me in the other products, the highlighter isn’t enough to save it.

One of the reasons that i am not going to continue using this is because I have a very pale friend (strawberry blonde with skin to match) who is always complaining about bronzers being too deep for her. I’m going to pass this along and see if the issues with the bronzer are just because of my skin tone. Perhaps with lighter skin this palette would be fantastic. For me, the Moonlight Glow Palette from LA Splash is just not worth keeping around.

A walk into the Desert Sunset with Athr Beauty

I have been testing out the Desert Sunset Palette from Athr Beauty. I was very interested to get my hands on this palette when it arrived in a Boxy Charm. The first reason is that I have danced around Athr Beauty for a while. I have seen them in subscription boxes, but they were never an item in my box. It’s like they were teasing me. then of course I heard some conflicting reviews. Some people loved them, others weren’t so sure. Which of course made me want to find out for myself.

Finally there was the color selection of the palette. I really like a lot of the bronze shadows, and I wear a lot of brown shadow so this looked like it would be right up my alley. I have to admit, I was even intrigued by the pop of color in the bright pink pan.

As you can see the shadow names are written on the back. what I like about this is they thought to color the squares so right away you know exactly where you are in the palette. It makes referencing colors fairly easy. Because of the palette set up, when swatching the shadows I decided to go for the mattes first and then switch to the shimmer shades. So first let’s look at the mattes.

Left to Right: Desert Sand, Sedona, Desert Coral and Mesquite

I found these shades to be interesting. I expected that they would all have the same texture and consistency, but they do not. the two brown shades, Desert Sand and Sedona are great shades. They are soft to the touch, they apply with no patchy spots and they blend well with all of the shadows. They were slightly on the powdery side. while you could get away with applying either of these shades on their own after you’ve don’t your face makeup without too much fall out, the same can not be said for the others.

Desert Coral is a great pop of color but it feels dry to the touch and is very powdery. While it blends well and works beautifully with the other shades in this palette, it needs to be applied before you put on your face makeup or you will have fall out. The same can be said for Mesquite. Mesquite is the darkest shade in the palette and it is also the most patchy when applied. As a single shade it simply didn’t work. If you put a base of the Desert coral and then darkened the outer corner with Mesquite it worked well, especially if you used something like Sedona to help blend out the patchy parts. It was a little of a disappointment though as while Sedona is dark enough to work as a blending shadow, it also has a reddish tinge to it so your look was always going to be in the red/pink range.

L to R: Twilight, Golden Hour, Sunrise, After Glow, Sunset, Eternal

Ah the shimmers. There are a lot of them. In a ten pan palette six of them are shimmers. While I like shimmers, to be honest, there isn’t a lot of difference between these. Twilight is a nice lighter color that works well on the inner corner of the eye, but the rest are varying shades of bronze. I get that it is a desert theme, and I like bronze shadows. In fact i have been known to keep palettes just because of the beautiful bronze shimmer. But all of the varying tones in one palette are a little bit of overkill. I et that it is a desert themed palette, but swapping out some of the bronze shimmers with other shades or even adding a few more mattes wouldn’t have one amiss. It would have made the palette more versatile and more fun to use. I think you could still keep with the desert theme while still branching out a little.

Perhaps I would feel better about the array of bronze tones if one of them had been spectacular. While soft and buttery to the touch, they were hard to work with as they weren’t the most pigmented and had the tendency to fall out dusting the under eye and sides of my nose with shimmer. None of them made me think,. ‘yes, this is why I will keep this palette’ as I have with some other bronze shadows I have tried. In fact it was very easy for me to use all of the shadows in this palette because none of them really called to me and tried to keep my attention.

Which sort of sums up this palette. It was okay and decent once you got the hang of using it, but in the end nothing really special. The Athr Beauty Desert Sunset Palette doesn’t make me want to pull it out of the drawer and use repeatedly. It was good enough that I will put it into my eyeshadow drawer, but I strongly suspect that in my next declutter, it will be sent on it’s way because I am just not reaching for it. Even more important is that it doesn’t really make me that excited to try more shadows from Athr Beauty either.

Kure Bazaar - available at Alyaka.com

Perfume Review: Scentered De-stress

I know, it isn’t quite a perfume, but that did seem to be the best category of product to group this under. This Scentered De-Stress Therapy balm is applied to the pulse points and worn more or less like a perfume. The scents are supposed to calm you down and help you de-stress, as the name suggests. I suppose it is a wellness or aromatherapy product more than a perfume.

This week I wore this centered balm in the same way I would wear a perfume. According to the website…

DE-STRESS our remarkably soothing blend to help you juggle more throughout your day, keeping you calm and in control. It’s your portable companion to support you through life’s everyday journey. 

Our 100% natural, essential oil based Aromatherapy Balm is mess-free and won’t leak or spill in your bag. Use DE-STRESS as part of our Wellbeing Ritual.  

Scentered

The scent notes listed for this balm are Chamomile, Neroli and Mandarin. While the neroli and mandarin don’t surprise me because there is a distinct orange scent to the balm, the chamomile does. The two scents I got from this balm are orange and lavender. I rather like it actually, the herbal notes keep the orange from smelling too sweet and the orange keeps the herby bits from smelling too medicinal.

however to smell this you actually have to hold your wrist up to your nose. There is no wafting of aroma. The scent is strong when you first apply it, but almost instantly it fades away. If you hold your wrist to your nose, you can smell the balm on your skin for about an hour before it is completely faded from even your skin.

I was hoping that the scent was a bit stronger as I like the thought of a perfume (or aromatherapy oil) coming in a balm format. It is spill proof and easy to travel with or keep in the purse. But the faint level of scent and small amount of time that it lasts makes it a pretty pointless product. I can see how the scent would be soothing. I find it a nice calming blend of aromas. However getting that scent to my nose in order to perform any soothing and de-stressing action was the difficult part.

I do have a sample size of this product though so perhaps with a full sized balm more of a scent would appear. I did try to cover a wider swath of my wrist with the balm in an effort to mimic the application of a full sized version. The scent level remained the same, however the waxy residue from the balm was just more prevalent. I like the thought behind it, I like the scent and i really wanted this product to work, but quite honestly I don’t think that it is for me. I simply didn’t get enough scent from it to work any de-stressing benefits. I think it could work, I just don’t think this product is quite there yet. So for me, the Scentered De-stress Therapy Balm is a pass.

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Nails done in a flash

Over the holidays I found myself in need of some nail polish. When I went to the store and perused the aisles, I came across a rack of Expressie Nail Polishes. They are from the brand Essie but they are designed to dry in under a minute. As the quicker a nail polish dries the less chance I have to mess the polish up, I was all in. I picked a color that suited the day (Get a Mauve On), paid for it at the register and was on my way.

Back at my Mom’s house I sat down to do a quick paint.

This is a pungent nail polish. It smells like a nail polish but its scent wafts around pretty strongly. It leaves no one in doubt that someone is painting their nails. The brush is slightly on the wide side. If I went down the center of the nail with the brush then it covered my whole nail and then left paint on the sides. While Nail polish easily washes off the skin, I found it less messy to Use two swipes instead of one straight down the center. The brush size does allow for that and I didn’t need to dip the brush between the two strokes.

I also only needed one coat to get the color I wanted. Having only one coat does mean that painting my nails took less time. However it wasn’t the lack of a second coat that Essie claims will cut down the time. The Expressie line is made to dry in only a minute.

So did it?

Yes. Actually it was a little less than a minute (my nails were dry at about 48 seconds). While away on holiday I didn’t have a clear coat to top my nail polish, but this also didn’t need the top coat. This picture of my nail was taken about a week after I applied the polish and there were still no chips. It did start to chip about two days later. For a single layer of nail polish with no protective top coat, I call that pretty good. The base color in the pics is Get a Mauve On while the tips are Throw it On. While doing the tips might have helped with the chips, even with just one color my nails lasted over a week without chipping. Over all I was very impressed with this nail polish and I will be picking up several more shades of the Expressie Nail Polish in the near future.

Verso Skincare - available at Alyaka.com

Hands up for Bloom and Blossom

I know my darlings, this sample sized tube of Bloom and Blossom Hands Up Age Defying Hand cream just arrived in this month’s Look Fantastic box. The box arrived late Friday afternoon. The look Fantastic Box review went live on Monday. And over the weekend I used up all of this tube of cream.

And I wanted to post the review before I forgot any details. The only product I have tried before from Bloom and Blossom was a lip product. I was not a fan. But I know several people who rave about their products so when this hand cream arrived in the Look Fantastic Box I was happy to give it a try. According to the Bloom and Blossom site…

Soft, youthful hands anyone? Fast-absorbing and ultra-nourishing, this hand cream packs a punch. Hydrating, repairing, brightening and restoring. Put it right there for some tender loving hand care.

Niacinamide packed with Vitamin B3 to help improve signs of skin damage;  Liquorice root extract crammed with antioxidants to brighten skin, reduce inflammation and even skin tone; Shea Butter rich in Vitamins A and E to hydrate, nourish and lock in moisture.

On the nose: A bergamot, ylang ylang and cedarwood blend takes you where you want to go (no passport needed).

Bloom and Blossom

Now hand cream doesn’t need much in the way of explaining, you dispense it from it’s container and rub it into your skin. So lets get into the claims. Fast absorbing? Yes. It absorbed into my skin quickly and easily without a trace of grease left behind. After applying it I walked to the kitchen and opened a jar of olives with no issues. It absorbs and does not leave the skin greasy.

Ultra Nourishing? Definitely. The dry spots on my hands felt better after using it and it was a feeling that lasted. I applied the first trial of the cream on Friday night and my hands were still noticeably more hydrated Saturday morning. It is a nourishing, hydrating and restoring product. I didn’t notice any brightening, but in a sample this size that is not surprising.

Plus I was distracted by it’s scent.

The claim is a bergamot, ylang ylang and cedarwood blend. If ylang ylang and cedarwood are blended in then bergamot took them hostage and beat them into submission. This is a bergamot bomb. And it isn’t bergamot being sneaky either. It is bergamot in attack position. It is strong. It is intense and it is lasting. This bergamot scent will be with you for a while. it took about an hour before it faded. I could still smell it on my hands if i lifted my hands to my nose, but it was no longer in full on assault mode.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not a big bergamot fan. I can deal with it in some perfumes if it is a back note. But it is the reason I have banned Earl Gray from the house. This was like Earl Gray called in an attack squad to exact his revenge. It was far too much bergamot for me. Which is a shame. The Bloom and Blossom Hands Up Age Defying Hand cream works fantastically well. It is an excellent hand cream and I eagerly used the entire tube of this sample size this weekend.

Will I purchase a full size? Absolutely not. Because the scent would kill me. To be honest, if this cream came in any other scent, I would scoop it up. If it smelled like lemon scented floor cleaner I would still pick it up. It is just that good a cream. I just can’t get past the intensity of the bergamot. So sadly, this fantastic Bloom and Blossom Hand Cream, will not be returning.

Paging Dr. Botanicals and the Strawberry and Poppy Seed Cleansing Bar

This past year saw a rise in Dr. Botanicals products entering my world. They sort of quietly slipped in through subscription boxes without a lot of fan fair and then settled in to be some of my favorite products. The Lemon Rescue Butter has made it onto my list of repeat purchases and I have a mask from Dr. Botanicals waiting in the as of yet untried masking products line up that I can’t wait to try.

Today however there is a new product to discuss. It is the Strawberry and Poppy seed Cleansing Bar. According to Dr. Botanicals…

This is not a soap. Start your day with this completely vegan cleansing bar. Feel uplifted and energised as you wake up to clean, hydrated skin and a blissful scent every morning.

About this Product: This cleansing bar was made to simply clean, hydrate and gently exfoliate the body and hands. Black Poppy Seeds act as a natural exfoliator and buff away dead skin cells to reveal fresh, smooth skin. Moisture-loving glycerin hydrates the body, while we think breathing in the scent of juicy strawberries is the best way to wake up.

Dr. Botanicals Website

I think they go out of their way to tell you it isn’t a soap because it looks exactly like a bar of soap. And to be honest, you use it like a soap. with the poppy seeds I suppose it is intended to be an exfoliating soap.

This product has been perfuming my office since it’s arrival. Through the box, the scent of strawberries is prevalent. Anytime I opened the drawer where I stored it to wait it’s turn at use, a puff of strawberry scented air arose letting me know it was still there. So I finally decided to try it. While most of my uses were in the shower, I did take my pictures over the sink in the powder room for illustrative purposes.

The strawberry scent was strong, until the water hit it. Then it was as if the water seemed to call the scent of glycerin from the bar of not soap. It became very much a lightly strawberry scented vegan soap. Which it is. It just has that particular scent that all vegan soaps seem to have. I don’t mind it, actually I quite enjoy it, but it did kick the strawberry to the back seat. Which I thought was impossible given it’s previous dominance.

The soap itself lathers well and leaves the skin feeling clean and hydrated. There is no moisturizing residue left on the skin and the skin does not feel dried out. When you smell the skin after the shower, the scent of glycerin soap remains with only a hint of strawberry beneath it.

But this isn’t just a strawberry soap, it is a Strawberry and Poppy Seed Cleansing bar. The poppy seeds are there for an exfoliation factor. They failed miserably. And I had to take extra care to make sure they washed down the drain instead of sticking to the shower tiles. If they didn’t get rinsed down they tended to stick to the tiles when the shower dried and I needed to scrape them off so that my times didn’t become textured. Oddly enough providing the exfoliation the cleansing bar lacked, at least on my feet. The poppy seeds were disappointing. And the fading of scent was a bit disappointing. the quality of the cleansing bar itself was top notch.

I think that because this year has seen hit after hit come out of the Dr. Botanicals items, I felt that this just okay cleansing bar was a bit more of a let down than usual. While this was a good vegan cleansing bar, it wasn’t my favorite product and I don’t think that i would actually purchase it on it’s own. I will use the bar until it is gone, because it is a good cleansing bar, it just isn’t something I would feel compelled to repurchase. The Lemon Rescue Butter is a far better purchase.

Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

Giving the Pore Tight Peeling Mousse from NeoGen a trial run

Have you ever had a product you picked up for the sheer novelty of it? That’s how I came to purchase the NeoGen Pore Tight Peeling Mousse. I’ve tried a couple of products from NeoGen before. A few I liked, a few I didn’t. I was actually looking up one of those products on the NeoGen Website when I came across this product.

According to the website…

Unique mousse-type peeling formula with alginic acid found in deep-sea marine botanicals such as red algae captures impurities, blackheads, makeup residue, and dead skin cells within the pores of the skin to cleanse and purify the skin. The further added ingredient from purple sea urchins deliver tightening benefits to sagging skin for an overall smoother and firmer-looking skin.

NeoGen

Now normally after I list the basic product description I leave the website and go off on my own to try the product. For this product I am also going to list the how to use section because it is a bit important.

How to Use:

1. On dry hands and face, pump an adequate amount of mousse in your hands to apply completely across your face.

2. Thoroughly rub the mousse gently across your face until it completely disappears.

3. Once it completely disappears, make sure to completely rinse it off with water.

* Shake well in an up and down motion before using.

* Make sure to use only on completely dry hands and face.

NeoGen

I would like to point out that there are no other instructions for use. Or if they are then they are printed very small on the bottle and written in Korean. What I find missing from this description is how many times this product ought to be used. Part of this product sounds like it ought to be used daily in place of a cleanser or to remove makeup. But it is a peeling product and I am hesitant to use it more than once a week.

To try out this product I tried it on bare skin and then once on top of makeup to see if it was like a makeup remover or cleanser. I will say it did remove the makeup and my skin felt clean after use, but I felt like it was a waste of the product. It could be used that way in a pinch, but it is better on a dry makeup free face. You actually see more skin care benefits that way. When you use the peel over makeup then it just peels the makeup off. With the bare skin, it works on the skin.

As for usage, I tried once a day for a week and while it didn’t harm my face, it was a diminishing returns kind of experiment. Each day seemed to have less of an effect. Perhaps it is because there simply were less accumulated dead skin cells for the peel to remove. For me the best use time line is a once a week type of use, as though it were an exfoliant, which it kind of is.

awkward if you just try to dab it on, go in boldly and it works better

What this product does more or less is it pulls the gunk out of your pores so that your pores look smaller. What I found it helpful in dealing with are the clogged pores just below the surface of the skin. The first application of this Pore Tight Peeling Mouse, helped take away a lot of the smaller bumps and reduce the larger ones so they were smaller. With continued once a week use, there were less bumps in general.

Then I started using a pore refining mask (Juice Beauty). This mask brought more clogged pores rising to the surface and then I used this mousse to help clear them away. It Is an effective combo. I have several other masks that also raise pores (the Herbal Dynamics Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Mask still reigning as my favorite). Any good clearing mask will draw clogged pores to the surface so they can be more effectively cleared away. This Pore Tight Mousse is one of those products that does a great job of clearing away what is brought to the surface.

after the foam disapears

I would use a clearing mask to bring everything up to the surface, say on a Friday night when you are staying home and planning to be home all weekend. And then Saturday night clear away what the Friday mask brought up. Or make it a Tuesday/Wednesday thing. It’s your call. Just give the clearing mask time to bring as much up s possible before employing the Mousse.

Now while I did pick this up because I do like peeling products, I mostly chose this because of the novelty of the foam. I’ve only seen peeling masks in liquid form. The bottle looks like hair mousse. It also dispenses like hair mousse. There is a light skincare kind of scent to it, but the scent fades quickly.

After the foam and before rinse

While I like the fact that once the foam fades away it is time to rinse off the product, applying the foam to the face can be a little awkward. The best course of action is to be bold. Tie your hair back from your face, dispense the product into your hand, divide it between your two hands and rub it straight onto your face, concentrating on the areas you need help with the most. Don’t be timid or you will start to dab the foam on to your face and it will be kind of a pain because parts of your face will look like they are ready to be rinsed while others still have foam on them.

Just commit and go in with gusto. It is well worth it as once you are done, there are fewer raised pores and the skin is smoother and clearer looking. While I don’t think daily use would hurt your skin, I found the best results with once a week use. I did purchase this product for the novelty but in reality it is one of the best peeling masks I’ve used in a while. I am glad I indulged my curiosity and I would certainly purchase this NeoGen Pore Tight Peeling Mousse again.

Unboxing the January 2022 Look Fantastic Beauty Box

Look Fantastic has been one of my favorite beauty boxes for a while now. It consistently gives me a good mix of items. I receive brands I like and love as well as brands I have never heard of. They tend to lean into the skincare side rather than the makeup side, but they also include body and hair care items. Most of the time the items are deluxe sample sized products but they like to throw in a couple of full sized items in now and again as well. The price of the box is $19. I go with an annual subscription. It still charges monthly but the cost is lowered to $16 ($17.56 with tax). And for me, it is always worth it.

This month was a little interesting. The theme is Wellness is the Way and as always the box comes with a booklet detailing the products and giving you insight into the featured ingredients as well as giving a spoiler for the following month’s box. It is actually a really great way to find out about some of the ingredients in the products you are using. It isn’t all inclusive but it does provide great information and is an excellent way to ease into finding about more about the things you use.

And knowing the February spoiler is nice as well. In February 2022 all boxes will include a Pixi Glow Tonic. It the Exfoliating Toner. In my opinion it is the best of the Pixi Toners. It is certainly my favorite. Oddly though it is really hard to find. All of the stores near me love to carry the Rose toners, but this Glow Tonic is usually missing. I don’t know if everyone loves it as much as I do and just empties the shelf before I get there, but I am happy there will be one sent to me next month.

However, while all the usual information is in the booklet, not all of the products that arrived in my box were listed in the pamphlet. They list four products and leave the other two as mystery items. Let’s look at the four items listed first.

The first item in my Look Fantastic box this month was the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. It is a 10mL sized spray and it is designed to help you sleep. I’ve tried this before and something in it made me sneeze my head off. On the other hand, my mother adores this. In fact anything This Works, I generally just send her way. the only thing from the brand i kept was the hand sanitizer. Which was a great moisturizing formula but so strongly scented that it needs to be used in an open area. I’m not upset about getting this. It is a good product, just not for me and I know my mother will use every drop.

The second Items in the box is the Bloom and Blossom Hands Up Anti-aging hand cream. It is a sample size. the perfect size to keep in a purse actually. I have tried the Bloom and Blossom lip balm which also came in a Look Fantastic box and I didn’t like it. I ended up talking to my cousin about it and she agreed it was not a good lip balm, but she absolutely adores their hand creams. So I’m happy to get a chance to actually try the hand cream. I have my fingers crossed that I like it more than I did the lip balm.

Next up we have a variation item. In the box you could get either an AHAVA Mineral Shampoo or a Mineral Conditioner. I have the conditioner, which I am actually quite excited by. their hand cream is fantastic and while their skincare isn’t quite for me, I have never tried any hair care products from them. I honestly didn’t know they made hair care products. So this is extra exciting.

The fourth item listed in the pamphlet is the Skin Chemist Rose Quartz Lip Plumper. At first the rose had me a little concerned as rose and lips aren’t always the best of friends, but the rose in this seems to apply to only the color and the fact that it has a slight pink tint when applied. It has a very peppermint-y scent which I am all in favor of. I have never heard of the brand nor tried anything from them so I look forward to giving them a try.

And now we go off into the wild blue yonder of mystery items. Neither of these two items are listed in the pamphlet. One is full sized and one is a deluxe sample. The full size (at least from what I can figure out) is the Bubble T Lavender T body wash. I have tried bath salts and bath fizzies from Bubble T and liked them both so I am looking forward to giving the body wash a try. Through the sealed cap the scent of lavender with a slight hint of lemon comes through. I’m going to leave it sealed until I use it, but Bubble T seems to favor strong scents. What I can smell of it though the seam seems nice though.

And finally we have the Polaar Eternal Snow Youthful promise cream. I find it kind of amusing that they have put this into my Look Fantastic box this month as IPSY also chose this item for me this month. I haven’t gotten my IPSY box yet, but I double checked the site and it is a full size of the same cream. Which is kind of nice. Thus far i have tried the Polaar sunscreen, and night cream. I enjoyed them both actually. I have another moisturizer from Polaar in my samples bin as well. Since I know I have a full size of this coming, I may give the Sample size a try first to see if I like it or If I should pass on the full size. It is kind of nice being able to try it without opening the full size. Although as I’ve liked all of the other Polaar Products I’ve tried I’m sure I will like the Eternal snow as well.

I don’t know if Look Fantastic is planning to keep this surprise option or not. I think it may just be for January. Or they could be trying something new. When it comes to Look Fantastic I am an enthusiastic consumer, not an insider so I can only guess. I can say that this month’s box has kept me as an enthusiastic subscriber. It is a great mix of the familiar and the new and while I may be passing on the pillow spray, it is going to someone who will love it. All the other items will soon be tested and tried by me, perhaps making it onto my favorite’s list.