Over the years that I have been doing this blog I have shared a lot of things related to skin care and skin health. But there is one thing I realize I have never shared with you, the actually journey from having a full-blown damaged skin from having a reaction to thriving healthy skin.
So after my skin being dried out from air travel on our vacation to being neglected after falling ill, and now I have had a major reaction that has left me with a rash all over my face. I thought this would be the perfect time to not only share my skin care journey with you, but also show you how much of a difference each product you add to your skin care routine can make in the way your skin looks and feels.
Here is how I want to go about this. I have taken pictures that of how my skin looks now. You can see that below. I am starting out with the three products I consider to the basic necessities of my skin care routine. For me the three things I always have to have is a some sort of an exfoliator, a cleanser, and a moisturizer. After three days I will take a new picture of where my skin is at, and I will add an additional product. I will keep this process going in three-day increments until I am using 9 products for a full Korean skin care regimen. (I originally planned on seven, but I thought why not do a full 9 step routine to show people what that looks like and what a difference it makes.) At the very end I will show you all what the side beside pictures of beginning and end look like.
Before we talk about the exact products I started with, lets take a look at where I am starting with my skin.
You can only see tiny bits of the problems in this full face picture, so I am also going to share a couple of closeups.
The lighting is bad in my house, so this isn’t too much better, but you can see more. If you look around my brows and on my eye lids next to my lashes you can see areas that look like dry flaky skin. That is one of the many things that happen with my allergic dermatitis, and from what I understand it is very common for anyone with a Balsam of Peru allergy. My skin is also very dehydrated and you can see that along my cheeks, both in this picture and the next.
In this picture you can see better where I really feel the majority of the pain from the reactions I have. If you look around the crevice of my nose and the of my chin, you can see a lot of redness and texture. Whenever that happens, those red spots usually feel like they are on fire.
I of course do have other issues with skin care, they just aren’t my first concern. But it is always a bonus if I see improvement with those things as well. In general while I have never suffered from a lot of Acne, I do get blackheads. Mainly I see those in the temple area. I also have some of the earlier signs of aging skin. I have a couple of sun spots, a small wrinkle in my forehead, and loss of firmness. Additionally, my skin can have a tendency to look dull.
Now that we have discussed my skin concerns, lets take a look at the three products I am starting out with.
For the first three days I used only these three products:
My exfoliator is the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub. I usually by mine at Walgreens, but you can also find it at Amazon.
For my cleanser, i am currently using the Tony Moly Banana Cream Foam Cleanser. I believe I purchased mine from YesStyle (though it is currently not available there), but you can also find it at Amazon and at Riley Rose.
And my moisturizer is the Clinique Moisture Surge 72 Hour. I typically purchase mine at Sephora, but you can also find it at Ulta and at Amazon.
So the big question is what sort of results did I get after just three days?
You can probably see that I still have some dry flaky patches of skin, especially around my eyebrows and eye lashes. But there has been some improvement. The most noticeable thing for me is that a significant amount of the redness has subsided, and I am not having as much of the allergic reaction symptoms. So not as much of the burning and itching.
If you want to find out what product I add to my routine next, make sure you check back next week. I will be continuing to document the products I use and the progress in my skin.
If you don’t have the Sephora App, then you may not have seen the list for Sephora’s Black Friday sale. A few days ago an app exclusive preview popped up showing all the things going on the sale. But if you missed it, don’t worry, I got you. I managed to get screen shots of everything.
Just like previous years everything is going to be under $15. And I suspect also like previous years there will be some items that sell out very quickly while others will not sell at all. I will be making some comments here and there about which items I feel are the best value, or what I think should be skipped and why. Please keep in mind that all opinions expressed here are just that, opinions.
There were no links to these items in the app, so I will not be linking to them here in my post. Sephora usually does a pretty good job of making it easy to find their sale items though, so it shouldn’t be a big deal.
So let’s take a look at what’s actually on sale this year.
Obviously in this group the best deal is the Ultra Repair Cream from First Aid Beauty, but I think all of these sets are decent deals too. There isn’t anything more to really say about any of these.
It’s not a brand I use but I know Philosphy has a pretty strong fan base, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that Purity Cleanser ends up being an item that sells out quickly. The Tarte and Too Faced sets would make great stocking stuffers for the beauty lovers in your life, and I expect they will sell well, even if they don’t sell out fast. I may be wrong about this but I don’t see the Sephora Collection sponge set selling out. No doubt they will get some sales, but I just don’t think its most people’s choice sponge.
Now we come to the items where I have a little more to say about them. Lets talk about them one at a time.
The Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick at first glance looks like a great deal. I think most of all this is because everything from this brand is super expensive. But the two important things to notice are that this is a mini size and they don’t have a value listed for this product. The full size of these lipsticks sell for $38.00, but minis can mean a lot size wise. I just don’t know if you are really getting a good value here. It does say this is exclusive to Sephora. And it is limited edition. I don’t know if the color is limited edition or if it’s the color in this size. I personally will be passing on this one. But if you just want to be able to say you tried something from Pat McGrath, then maybe its worth it for you.
When it comes to both the Milk Makeup and Kat Von Dee set, I feel like these are both sets that we have already seen or something really similar. Your not really getting much of a savings, probably nothing more than any other value set. So I’m not really sure how this is Black Friday sale worthy either. I just don’t see these selling well honestly, and I won’t be surprised if they are on the weekly wow in a few weeks.
The Clinique Clarifying Lotion is definitely a sweet deal, and if it is something you use on the regular it would be great to stock up on. But I don’t think most people are going to look at this and think its the most exciting product. I guess what I am saying is, I just don’t think it will sell out. Not because it’s not a good product or value. But when people shop black Friday they are usually looking for deals on those things they are either dying to try, but can’t justify paying full price on, or shopping for Christmas presents, or occasionally stocking up on their old faithful products. This might be an old faithful product for some people, but it’s not going to be for the majority.
The BECCA set is a fantastic deal, and it is a little different from the usual set that comes out around this time of year. It looks like this set also includes one of the Glow Glosses. This set will definitely be something I am personally considering getting.
I also think the Peter Thomas Roth set is a great deal. This is another set that I won’t be surprised if it sells out rather quickly. The brand and a lot of its products have a rather cult following, but there are still a lot people who haven’t tried this and want to, so I think it will have big appeal.
Now lets talk about the other two sets. The Versace set again isn’t a great value, so unless it’s just someone who collects minis I just don’t see this selling big. And I am little stunned that the PLAY Smarts set is on here. I don’t know what Sephora is pulling, but this was just on their sale rack for the same price? Who are you trying to fool Sephora?
I personally can not use Caudalie because of my allergy, but they are another brand that has a bit of a cult following. I think their set is definitely a great deal, and I expect it to sell well. l
As for the Stila set, I’m just not sure. I am a huge fan of Stila products, even before their liquid eyeshadows came out. But is this what will actually interest people from them? I’m doubtful. The price isn’t bad, but it’s not fantastic either.
And what do I think won’t sell? The Smashbox palette and the Sephora Play box. Here again we have an item that is not given a value, so it most likely isn’t a deal. And the other item has already been on Sephora’s sale page for weeks for this same price. You are killing me Sephora.
The Philosphy set and the Alterna Haircare set are both excellent values. I think that what I said previously about Philosphy will hold true here as well. This set may even sell faster since it is a limited edition set. I don’t know about the Alterna Haircare as much. It is a good value, but will people be excited about hair care?
Both the Cover FX and Sephora Collection items are decent deals if they are things you are interested in. I personally am interested in the Cover FX set. And while there are better deals in this Black Friday sale, this is an item that I want to try. I have other colors of the drops and I love them, but a full size takes forever to use. Getting a mini is a superior option for me. And it looks like the other item included is one of the shimmer veils, which I haven’t had the opportunity to try. No for the Sephora palette, I’m not personally excited for this, but it might make a great stocking stuffer for my young niece who is asking for makeup for Christmas.
If you are a Clarisonic user, the stocking stuffer set is a phenomenal deal. I know it will be on my list of things I will be trying to get. Since it says it is for radiant skin and by the look of the picture, it will most likely be their radian brush head and radiant gel cleanser in this set.
All of the other products are reasonably decent deals. But the only one I really think will zoom off the shelf will be the Jack Black set. There has been a lot of buzz recently about the brand, and with the hit of extremely cold temperatures in a lot of places, this may be a welcomed item. Its pretty obvious this is a set of their balms, but what varieties? After examining the picture, my best guess would be that this will contain Shea Butter & Vitamin E, the Original Natural Mint, and Lemon & Shea Butter.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room first. If at this point you aren’t wondering if Sephora is playing some massive joke on all of us with these Sephora Play boxes being on the list I don’t know who you are. But seriously, it is yet again another one, and it was on the sale rack just last week.
The Bare Minerals and Bumble & Bumble set are both pretty decent deals. I don’t know how excited people will be about these, but maybe the value will be enough to sell them out. The Tocca set while not as good of a deal as a lot of the others, it is still better than the previous perfume we looked at.
The only thing at this point I have to say about Sephora Play at this point is, Sephora I am giving you serious side eye.
The rest of the sets all look like good values. I am at least considering buying the Olehenrikson set and the one from Sephora Collection. The Nest set looks beautiful if you are into scented products for your home. If anyone knows what the scent is based on the box, let us know down in the comments.
I have to be honest, I have never heard of this brand Lancer. I don’t know if this is a brand I have overlooked or if this is one of the many brand Sephora has recently added. But either way the set from Lancer along with the one from Buxom are pretty great deals. I would think the Buxom set will be pretty popular, but I don’t know anything about the other brand so I can’t even speculate.
The products from Sephora Collection and Origins are okay. Origins is another one of those brands that I think of as having a cult following, so maybe that set will potentially sell out. But some of the love for the brand has seemed to die down over the last year, so maybe not.
Now here we have a perfume set from Clean that is both a good deal and I think has potential to be a popular item. It gives people options, and if you know a perfume lover on your list this would make a great gift.
For the rest of the items, there isn’t much left to say. You know what I think about the Sephora Play. The Tarte set we have seen before and it not that great of deal anyway. And Lancôme, it’s an okay deal but does anyone really want mascara for Christmas?
Maybe Sephora is Punking us.
Well after looking everything over I know what is going in my cart for the Black Friday sale. What will you be picking up? Tell me in the comments below what you think about all the Sephora Play items showing up on the sale. Is it a good move or bad move?
Make sure to check back on Thursday for my regular Black Friday post.
In my recent post about Whats Happening In November and December I mentioned that I would be opening my NARS Advent Calendar in December and Sharing it on Instagram. I also said if anyone wanted to know where you could actually purchase those coveted beauty advent calendars in the US, to let me know and I would do a post. So a few of you reached out in different places, and here we are.
This is actually the first year I managed to get my hands on a beauty advent calendar, though I had been wanting one for several years. Beauty Advent calendars are a big thing in the UK and other European countries, and it seems like there are lots of brands that put them out there. But it has been a struggle to find ones here in the US, especially of brands that I can actually use. This year has seen an increase in the advent calendars available to purchase in the US, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
If you are not familiar with the concept of an Advent calendar, they are designed usually to count down from the beginning of December to Christmas day. However there are calendars with all different time lengths involved. They are usually designed in a way that the receiver opens a little flap each day they are counting down, and inside there is a treat of some sort. We of course are specifically looking at beauty Advent calendars here, but they do come in all sorts of themes from candy to children’s toys. And you can even purchase empty advent calendars to fill with your own treasures if you are giving it as a gift. I will try to keep the focus of this post on Advent Calendars that you can actually still purchase.
This is a 24 day advent calendar that sells for $129.90, but the retail value is over $300. All items are Korean products and full size. It contains a good mix of makeup, skin care, and beauty tools.
If you try to purchase this one and it is showing out of stock, do not worry. It is my understanding is this item is going to restock every Monday until all product is exhausted. So you have a good shot at getting this. But remember this is coming from China, so if you want it to arrive by the beginning of December don’t delay.
NARS Uncensored Advent Calendar
This is a 24 day advent calendar that sells for $150.00. It contains 7 full size items, 3 medium-sized items, and 14 mini size items. They don’t give a value for the set. And it includes so many mini items I can’t estimate a value. But I can tell you the full sizes alone retail for $202.00.
Products inside are a mixture of various types of makeup and a couple of beauty tools. It even includes one of the spiked items from the Christmas collection this year. (This is the same one I got. They were about to sell out when I bought mine, but it appears they have restocked this item.)
NYX Cosmetics actually has two advent calendars out this year. The best I can tell one of them is exclusively available on NYX’s website, and the other is available on NYX’s website as well as Ulta’s and inside Ulta’s stores.
This is a 24 day advent calendar that sells for $65.00. It currently seems to be selling exclusively on NYX’s website, however it may have previously been offered at ULTA.
As the name indicates, this particular advent calendar focuses on NYX lip products. While other brands give a list of what is included in their advent calendars, the only thing NYX has told us is that it includes a mix of their best-selling lip products in bold colors.
This is a 24 day advent calendar that sells for $55.00. If you are interested in a NYX advent calendar, but want more variety than just lip products you may be interested in this one.
It contains 10 of their powder products (A combination of eyeshadow, blush, and highlight.) and 14 lip products. According to NYX’s website, while the formulas are fan favorites all 24 items are supposed to be in all new fun shades. This is available currently on NYX’s website as well as at Ulta in store and online.
This is a 12 day Advent calendar that sells for $200.00, but the retail value is $268.00. This was sold at a few beauty retailers that carries Charlotte Tilbury products, but from what I can tell it is currently only available on the Charlotte Tilbury website.
It contains a mix from what Charlotte Tilbury considers to be their must have items. It will have both makeup and skin care. There are four full size items, two minis, and six travel sizes. If you are looking for a big luxury brand advent calendar, this is it. It is also a great way to dive into trying a bunch of the Charlotte Tilbury products at once.
Macy’s has three Advent calendars currently available. Two are exclusives to Macy’s, and one is not. Macy’s does offer free shipping on all of their beauty products.
This is a 12 day Advent calendar that sells for $60.00. This is available on Macy’s, Ulta and Clarins’ website. Clarins website calls this the Holiday Rituals Set, and they also offer a similar set but larger on there. They say on Clarins website this set is valued at over $152.00.
This set comes in a reusable keepsake jewelry box. It contains a mixture of makeup, skin care, and body care items. Though the focus is definitely on skin care. There are ten travel items, one full size item, and one item that does not say if it is full size or travel.
This is a 12 day Advent Calendar that sells for $30.00. This one is not just exclusive to Macy’s, it is Macy’s in store brand. If you didn’t know, they have had an in store beauty brand for a while now.
As the name suggest, this is all lip products in the collection. The description says it is all glosses, but it is actually 11 glosses and 1 liquid lipstick. These lip products come in a mixture of mattes, metalics, shines, and shimmers.
This is a 25 day Advent calendar that sells for $150.00, but the retail value is $300.00. This was created for Macy’s. It can be bought on Macy’s website, but I am not sure if it is available in store or not.
It is filled with a mixture of skin care and makeup from brands carried at Macy’s. All items are from popular brands, a good amount are from high-end brands. The sizes, as far as ounces are given, but you would have to look each individual item up to find out if it is full size, travel, or mini. Based on what I know of all of the brands and their pricing, I think it’s a safe bet that at least half of these are going to be either travel size or minis.
This is a 25 day Advent calendar that sells for $99.00, and it has a retail value of over $325.00. You can only purchase this from Glossybox, and I believe you must be a Glossybox subscriber to purchase this one. If you want to sign up for a Glossybox subscription, use this link to save 20% off your first box. And you can use the code GBSALE to save $10 on the Advent calendar when you purchase a subscription.
This box contains a mix of makeup, skin care, hair care, and beauty tools. Brands will most likely be indie brands. If you saw the preview of the UK version of the box, the US box may disappoint you if that was what you were expecting. However if you are going in as a total surprise, you should then be pretty happy.
This is a 25 day Advent calendar that sells for $115.00. There isn’t really any information on the retail price or what brands you will be getting, so I can’t estimate the value without going to look for unboxings. The one thing they do tell you about this box is that it includes a mix of skin care, tanning, hair care, cosmetics, branded tools, and exclusive products.
There are quite a few brands selling their Advent calendars on Amazon as well. You have to be careful though, as not all of the Advent calendars being sold on Amazon are being sold by the brand. Many are either from previous years or being sold at a much higher price by individuals trying to make a profit on unsuspecting individuals. I am linking to some of the ones I think everyone may be interested in that I have checked to make sure they are the right price.
This is a 24 day Advent calendar that sells for $89.00, but the retail value is $179.00. On both Amazon and Rituals website. Free shipping is available on both websites for this product.
They don’t really provide a list of what is included in this Advent calendar. There is a picture of the products that are included, but I am not familiar enough with the products to know what all of them are, just which collections they are. I know this set will be heavy on the bath and body care products and there are four candles included. But I suspect that if you are a Rituals fan, you are probably looking for that anyway.
L’Occitane Holiday 2018 Signature Advent Calendar
This is a 24 day Advent calendar that sells for $59.00, but the retail value is $105.00. This is available at Amazon and L’Occitane’s website. As an added bonus the brand’s website says ‘This holiday season, join L’OCCITANE in helping UNICEF improve the lives of 1.7 million children around the world. For each purchase of the Signature Advent Calendar, L’OCCITANE will help UNICEF provide Vitamin A supplement to children in the fight against preventable childhood blindness.‘
This advent calendar contains a mix of bath and body care, hair care, skin care, and perfumes. Just a word of warning for those of you not familiar with this brand, if you are fragrance or essential oil sensitive, this will not be the right advent calendar for you. This brand is very heavily fragranced.
Yes L’Occitane has two Advent calendars, this is their Luxury one. It is a 24 day Advent calendar that sells for $124.00, but the retail value is $139.50. This is also available on both Amazon and the brand’s website.
Like the Signature Advent Calendar, this Luxury Advent Calendar also contains a mixture of bath and body care, hair care, skin care, and perfumes. Obviously this box is more expensive both in price and retail value, but you get your best deal on the other one.
Ulta 12 Days of Beauty
This is a 12 day Advent Calendar that sells for $18.00, but it has a retail value of $74.00. This is available exclusively through Ulta.
This contains all makeup. It is a mix of various makeup products from lipstick to highlight. You can almost do a full face of makeup with the contents.
This is a 12 day Advent Calendar that sells for $36.00, but its retail value is $85.00. It is available exclusively at Sephora.
This Advent calendar contains mainly beauty tools, though there are a couple of items that will fit more of the role of cosmetics.
There are also several Advent calendars out there that do fit into the beauty category, but are probably not what the majority of you are looking for in a beauty advent calendar. However, some of you may be interested so here is a short list of some Advent calendars that contain things like nail polish and perfume.
After my big push to get back on a good skin care routine in August, I am now on a more stable and manageable routine. In August I used a sheet mask every day and blogged about it. But now I am doing something close to every other day, but I know there will be some times when that doesn’t happen. My goal is to use between 12 to 15 masks a month, but I want to be flexible with that.
This post is going to be a little different from most of sheet mask posts, and it will most likely be like this from now on for these recap posts. I am posting only pictures of the packaging here with links to where you can purchase them and price. If you want to see each one being worn by me and my commentary on the masks, you can find that on my Instagram and Facebook page.
We will be looking at three masks at a time. Lets get started.
1. Freeset Donkey Milk Skin Gel Mask Pack Healing (it says Freeset on the link which I think is the parent company, but this is from SOO AE). On Amazon you get 10 of these for $30.00 with free prime shipping. You can also occasionally get these on Hautelook or in various subscription boxes.
6. A mask from Hello Skin. The rest of the packaging, outside of the brand name is in Korean. I tried to track this down, but no luck, so I can’t link to it. If anyone recognizes it could you leave the name in the comments.
7. Holika Holika Green Tea Real Hydrogel Mask. Find this one on YesStyle for $5.90 for a single mask. There are a couple of other versions available when in stock. I have not seen this mask anywhere else that I shop.
9. 7 Days Natural Pomegranate Sheet Mask. On Amazon you can get a 7 pack with a package of facial wipes for $15.19 and free prime shipping. You also have the option of getting it in a multipack with all the other varieties.
10. Esfolio Pure Skin Snail Essence Sheet Mask. On YesStyle you can get a 1 pack for $12.90. This mask tends to pop up on various sites at different times, but I do not currently see it available at any of the other places I buy masks.
11. A hydrogel mask from Mediental. This is another mask that is completely in Korean, so I can’t tell you much beyond the brand name. I do know that it is 6 free, I can recognize the symbols for that. If you have chemical sensitivities then these are usually a good place to start looking. I couldn’t find this available in any of my usual places to buy masks.
12. NOHJ: Calming Intracell Sleeping Mask. On Beauteque purchase this mask for $3.25 each. You can also find this mask on YesStyle, but it is more expensive for individual ones on there. But you can by 10 packs that are about the same price.
And that is all of the sheet masks I used this month. Tell me in the comments what sheet masks you used. Do you have a favorite sheet mask or favorite place to shop for sheet masks?
If you are looking to try some new masks, Sally Beauty has a special going on right now. Shop 5 for $5 Single Use Face Masks. This sale is from 11/1 to 11/9 and does not require a coupon. I know I will be picking some up to try.
The collection has three shadow palettes, three highlight duos, three lipsticks, and three lip lacquers. Each palette, highlight, lipstick, and lacquer has three coordinating names within the collection. One set is called Grind, one is Steam, and one is Ignite.
Lets take a look at the individual parts of the collection, starting with the eyeshadow palettes. The description offered by the company is as follows:
Kick your look into high gear with NYX Professional Makeup limited-edition Machinist Shadow Palette. Available in steampunk-inspired color combos, the Grind, Steam and Ignite collections all include 12 highly pigmented tones that breathe new life into this retro-futuristic fantasy. Mix and match each amaze assortment of cool and warm metals with bold mattes to create an amped up effect. From grungy romantic to vintage beauty, all you need is a spark of inspiration to make the mood your own. Take things to the next level with the other collectibles in this edgy range.
I can’t seem to find any further description from NYX of the individual palettes. There doesn’t seem to be a list of color names either, but based on what I have seen on their website they may just be numbered. So I will just give my own thoughts on the color range and share a close up of the palettes.
Grind: This palette is going to be more of what the average person thinks of when thinking of steampunk. Bronze and dark smokey colors dominate this palette. While it’s not exactly the same, it does have a very similar feel to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette. So if you wanted the subculture palette but couldn’t afford the price tag that came with it, this palette may be of interest to you.
Steam: NYX took this palette very literal. Maybe too literal? This palette is filled with silvers, grays, smokey purples, and other colors that make you think of smoke, smog, and steam. It also has two bright pops of color that I am having a hard time understanding what they are doing in the palette. There is bright baby pink and bold teal. Not that I don’t think there is a place for color in steampunk, but it just doesn’t make sense in this palette.
Ignite: This palette seems to be a mix of fire and earth tones. In the pans they don’t look vastly different from Steam, just a little more warm tone leaning and more balanced. However, once you see some swatches on human skin, that is when you see the biggest difference.
Let’s move on and take a look at the highlighters next. Unlike the eyeshadow palettes, NYX does offer a color description as well as a product description for the highlight duos. First lets look at how NYX describes the actual product:
Build a brighter future with NYX Professional Makeup’s limited-edition Machinist Highlighting Duo. These powder highlighters are packed with pigment and leave behind a striking metallic-foil finish. Available in dynamic color pairings, each duo is inspired by a different facet of NYX Professional Makeup Machinist collection. Swipe on these velvety-smooth shades for killer shimmer, and dampen the brush to achieve a truly megawatt glow. Take things to the next level with the other collectibles in this edgy range.
For each of these I will share the description provided by NYX as well some of my own thoughts. I have seen these in person, though I don’t have my own yet, but a lot of the descriptions for the highlighters were not accurate in my opinion. My opinions are based on what I have seen, and not in me swatching them. I will have my own sets soon, but we will talk about that at the end.
Grind: This is described as a gold and a copper. I think that in person, and somewhat here in the picture, the colors appear more like a light copper and a peach.
Steam: This is described as a violet and a purple. The description seems accurate, but the violet looks slightly more blue to me in person.
Ignite: This is described as an opal and bronze. I don’t think this is accurate for either. I think it the picture is accurate to how they appear in person, but they seem more like a white and a pink to me.
Next up are the lip products. This collection has both lipsticks and lip glosses (or lip lacquer as they are called here). I have a few thoughts on the choices for lip products with this collection, but we will talk about that after we look at the actual products. Lets look at the lipstick first.
All three lipsticks in the collection are metallic. I think the color descriptions are pretty accurate for the lipsticks. The only difference you will see in the pictures from what they look like in person is how metallic they look. Here is how NYX describes the product:
Stud those lips in shimmery color using NYX Professional Makeup limited-edition Machinist Lipstick. This comfortably creamy formula is loaded with ultra-fine pearls that add over-the-top luster to your pout. Available in honey bronze, copper and bronze – representing the Grind, Steam and Ignite facets of NYX Professional Makeup Machinist collection, respectively – these high-coverage lippies are the perf accessories. Take things to the next level with the other collectibles in this edgy range.
Grind: This is described as a metallic honey bronze.
Steam: This is described as a metallic copper.
Ignite: This is described as a metallic bronze.
And finally we have the Lip Lacquers. If you aren’t familiar with NYX Lip Lacquers, they are essentially a full coverage lip gloss. Most of the colors are usually pretty opaque. Here is what NYX has to say about this part of the collection:
Go full steam ahead with NYX Professional Makeup Machinist Lip Lacquer. This limited-edition lippie is the Slip Tease Full Color Lip Lacquer you know and love – now in steampunk-inspired shades! Each grungy tone adds a glossy touch to the Grind, Steam and Ignite facets of NYX Professional Makeup Machinist collection. This perfectly plush lippie goes on silky-smooth and provides full coverage. Take things to the next level with the other collectibles in this edgy range.
Grind: This is described as a glossy wine.
Steam: This is described as a glossy blue. I would go a step further and call it a navy blue.
Ignite: This is described as a glossy nude.
I do have some of the items on the way, and I should have them in around the time this post goes up. You can my various social media for pictures and swatches. I will have all of the palettes as well as the lipsticks. I will be getting a couple of the highlighters as well. I completely skipped on the lip lacquers.
My general thoughts are that most of the collection is nice looking and cohesive, but there are a few selections that either because of color or texture doesn’t make sense to me. I skipped completely on the lip lacquers for this very reason. I think the colors are fine in general for the lip lacquers, but they don’t seem very steampunk to me. And why do the gloss colors not coordinate with the lipsticks? It’s not just the color, but just the fact that they are a gloss. Most people who I know that are into steampunk, or other types of cosplay, are looking for longer wearing lip product than a gloss. I suppose the general point I am getting to is that if NYX felt it necessary to include a second lip product in the collection, perhaps a lip liner or a liquid lipstick would have been a better choice.
I also skipped on the ignite highlighter duo. Not only do I think the color described as an opal would not look right on my skin tone, I found it to be very basic. I know I have something just like the other color offered in that duo. Ironically, that is the one color sold out on NYX website in the highlighters. Don’t worry, if you want it the last I checked Ulta still had it. They also have the collection in stores, so don’t forget to look there for these products.
The packaging on the eyeshadow palettes are amazing. I really wish they had carried this through for the whole collection. The lipstick packaging isn’t bad, but the highlights are in serious need of an upgrade.
So tell me in the comments below what you think of this collection from NYX. Will you or have you purchased any of it?
Right before I went on vacation I got a hair cut and color. This is pretty normal for me, but some different techniques got tried on my hair because I had went to someone new.
If you follow me on Instagram then you saw this picture posted the day I got it cut.
The hairstylist had done a thinning technique with hidden layers. And those layers were not supposed to be noticeable and they were suppose to lay flat under the top layers. But that is not what happened. My hair was actually fine the first few days while I was home and then travelling. Once I got to New Orleans and got rained on my hair freaked out.
Don’t get me wrong, I am in not angry at the stylist. I do wish she had asked me about the layers before doing it. But I think there were a number of factors at play here that played into my hair going crazy like a different humidity level and maybe she isn’t use to cutting mixed girl hair. My hair texture isn’t really like anyone else’s I have ever known. My hair is wavy, with a tendency to frizz. I have learned over the years that intense moisture helps it a lot along with the right hair style.
This is what my hair ended up looking like after it went crazy. (Sorry I don’t have anything closer up to show you of my hair, this is the one and only picture of me that was taken that day. I think everyone will understand I wasn’t exactly in a picture-taking mood)
So I essentially had to walk around a day with my hair looking like a frizz ball because I did not have anything to fix it. I don’t typically put products in my hair because of my Balsam of Peru contact allergy. And I brought minimalistic amounts of products to wash my hair with on the trip.
So if you saw my vacation look book last week, you know I didn’t walk around with my hair looking this way the whole time. So how did I get my hair to go from this crazy mess to looking like this.
All I can say is thank goodness for Sally Beauty. I am so thankful that they carry a line of products that I have used for years and I know I am safe using for the most part. There are a few products in the line I can’t use, but overall it’s usually a safe choice for me. And that is the ION brand.
I pulled up Google Maps and found out there were quite a few Sally Beauty Stores in and around the City of New Orleans. One of them was less than a mile away from where we were staying. I was so thankful it was so conveniently close to us. The store itself was quite a bit smaller than my local store, but I still found a couple of products to tame my hair.
I found the leave in conditioner I use on a semi-regular basis, and I found a new product I had not seen in my local Sally’s Beauty store. Each store has a slightly different selection of products in stock. Some of it is bases on space available and I am sure some is based on what sells in the area. But of course all products are available online if you can’t find something locally.
So let’s talk about each of the products and why I went with them.
This is the Ion Reparative Leave In Spray. It is essentially a leave in conditioner with some extra pizzazz. So in addition to making your hair soft it is also supposed to strengthen and improve elasticity.
I have been using this product for close to 15 years now. It works great in my hair. I generally use this just for conditioning purposes, but I have always noticed it helps keep the frizz away a bit. So this was the first thing I picked up when I went in the store.
The second product I picked up was the Ion Luxe Hair & Body Oil. This is part of a brand new line from Ion, the Ion Luxe line. When I was looking around I didn’t see any of the other products I was familiar, but I saw this and thought I would give it a try.
This can be used on wet or dry hair, but I used it on dry hair. On Sally’s website it doesn’t say this is for frizz, but you can see in the picture the bottle does. This contains several different types of oil, but the application is that of a dry oil. It definitely did not leave my hair looking greasy and oil like a wet oil would.
Both the Reparative Leave in Hair Spray and Hair & Body Oil do have fragrance. The fragrance mix used in most of Ion’s products do not cause me to have a reaction. However as I have said many times before if you are one of the people who are following me for allergy related issues, then you need to check for yourself. Any fragrance related allergy can be complicated, but a Balsam of Peru allergy is even more so. We all react to different things, so just because I don’t have a reaction to these products doesn’t mean you won’t.
Whether you have allergies or not, no review or recommendation can ever replace trying something out for yourself. So if you would like to try these or other Ion products for yourself, you can find them on the Sally Beauty website, or click here to find the closest Sally Beauty location near you.
Tell me in the comments what you use to help tame the frizz in your hair.
For the fourth and final week of August I was on vacation. I have been struggling with my health for a while, and just packing was a bit of an ordeal. So I decided to pack a little different from typical for me, and that included my skin care.
I decided the best strategy for me was to pack what was going to be both most compact and easiest to make sure I had everything. So I went with a selection of 3 in 1 masks to take with me. I did take a few more than I needed. I needed enough for a week and three days, I probably took enough for almost two weeks. I liked the idea of having options.
Two of the masks I already had in my collection, I believe they came in one of the many beauty subscription boxes I have tried. The rest I ordered off of Amazon in order to receive them in time for the trip.
Top middle I already had as well. It is a two in one mask from Wellage, specifically their Vitablue Injection Mask. It comes with an ampoule and a sheet mask. I got mine in a subscription box, though I do not remember which one. I have linked to Amazon because once again that is the only place I see them currently available out of the places I buy from.
Top right I purchased on Amazon. It is the Mediheal 3 Step R:NA Toning Sheet Mask Pack. It is available for purchase as a single or in a ten piece set. This set includes a pre-moistened cleansing gauze, a sheet mask, and a face cream. I did not see this one available at any of my other usual places to buy sheet masks.
Bottom left is a box of ten I bought on Amazon. It is the Americano 3-Step Facial Sheet from Skin7Teen. This set says it includes 1 toner and 1 ampoule, though I think they are essentially the same thing. And of course it includes a sheet mask. The toner and ampoule are for different areas of your face, so this can be very customizable. I personally did not use them in the spots the directions said because my oily areas and my dry areas are different from typically talked about. I have not seen this mask anywhere else I shop, though I think Beauteque sometimes has this brand.
And finally bottom right we have the last set I bought on Amazon. Each of the masks are different, but all are from the same brand. This is the Missha 3-Step Sheet Mask Set. You get five different masks with the set. You get one each of Brightening, Hydrating, Lifting, Nutrition, and Purifying. Just as the masks are different, what comes with them is too. Some of them have Peeling Gel Cleanser, a Toner, and a Sheet Mask. And the rest come with a Toner, a Sheet Mask, and a Face Cream. You can purchase these individually on YesStyle, but it is a much better value to purchase these in a set.
In addition to the sheet masks I took, I also had with me some items to supplement my skin care routine. I took mainly sample sizes along with a couple of travel size items. I took about four sample size packets of the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser along with my Clarisonic Mia 2. Each packet of the cleanser is good for about 4 to 6 face washes. I typically use this with my Clarisonic for both cleansing and exfoliation in the shower a few times a week. But I used it for cleaning my face both morning and night, with and without the Clarisonic on this trip.
I can’t believe three weeks have already passed. Really by the time you will be reading this most, if not all, of the month will have been over. I have already used a lot of sheet masks this month. If you missed what I used the first two weeks I also have recaps of week one, and of week two. Make sure to check those out.
Last week was a some exploring mixed with using up some things before they go bad. This week I wanted to keep trying some new items, but I also wanted to bring back some of the favorites. There was one misstep in the plan, and you will see that as we go.
I even added something on the fun side this week. So lets take a look at week three’s recap.
This is the Yadah Moisturizing Mask Pack. I think the packaging makes it pretty obvious this has honey as an ingredient. This is extra moisturizing and honey is also great for pimples.
This is a great mask for anyone with extra sensitivities or someone like me who has a contact allergy. It says 4 free on the pack..It is free of parabens, fragrance, ethanol, and artificial colors. You can also find brands marked as 5 free and 6 free. It is often looked as a competition with some brands who can make their products the most natural.
Day sixteen’s mask is the Pore Rosehip Mud Sheet Mask from JJ Young by Caolion Lab. I received mine in a subscription box, and unfortunately it looks like everywhere that carried this particular mask is out of stock. If you want to try something similar, you may like this It’s Skin Color Solution Mud Mask Sheet.
I had never tried one of these mud sheet masks before. It was definitely an interesting experience. I’m not sure that I am ready to pass judgment on whether I like them or not until I try another one or two.
I will say that I found myself worrying that it would stick to my brows or get in my hair. That didn’t happen, and I was pleasantly surprised by that. And it was a lot less messier and easier to remove than a traditional mud mask.
Day seventeen comes with a bit of a story. This mask is the Superfood Broccoli Mask from Nohj. I had never used this mask before, but I have used broccoli masks from other brands before. As I was putting the mask on I realized it didn’t smell like the other broccoli masks I have tried, and I didn’t like the scent at all. But I powered past the smell and put it on. I had it on for about two minutes and started feeling my face having a burning and tingling sensation that I associate with an allergic reaction.
I went ahead and took the sheet mask off at that point. I went back and looked and sure enough there were several ingredients I react to with my Balsam of Peru Allergy. This was particularly odd because it was in my stash of sheet masks that were ready to use. I always check ingredients before putting any masks in there.
This was definitely not a case of it being a bad mask. I will say I did not care for the fit for me. I had to make some cuts around the eyes and mouth to make it fit, but there are
On day nineteen I used the Pumpkin Ade Sheet Mask from Mediheal. I did tell you that I love this line of sheet mask. While the cacao one is my favorite, all of them do great things for my skin.
I do believe that this is another seasonal mask. I tend to stock up on the ones that I love when I see them, that way I can use them all year round. This should be back in stock in the fall. With the exception of a few eBay sellers, no one seems to have them in stock right now. I wouldn’t personally recommend buying sheet masks on eBay mainly because of their shelf life. I don’t know of any similar masks to this one to recommend.
You should know that I wouldn’t be able to stay away from my favorite brand for long. On day twenty I used a Pearl Essence Sheet Mask from eSfolio. Pearl essence is really great for anyone who has rough or dull looking skin. It gives you that glowing youthful look to the skin.
Yes, your eyes have not deceived you. I have decided to use eSfolio on back to back days. But for day 21 I decided to go all out and use a hydrogel mask from them. This is their Aloe Hydro-Gel Mask.
This is currently sold out everywhere I know of that carried it. I am honestly not sure if this was a one time item or if it will be back. I bought mine on YesStyle in the winter time. Keep in mind many seasonal items are opposite of what they are for us. So aloe which we think of as used in summer, they have their summers as we have winter. However if you are just interested in trying a hydrogel mask, you might enjoy this ALL MASK STORY – Pearl Brightening Hydro Gel Mask.
That wraps up week three. There won’t be the same kind of recap for week four as I will be traveling. I will instead be doing a what skin care I traveled with post. I will still be sheet masking while traveling, but there will be some repeats. But if you want to see me using them you can catch that on my social media.
Tell me in the comments if there is a mask you would like to see me try out or give my thoughts on.
I saw drastic improvements in my skin in week one of August. If you missed it, make sure you check out what sheet mask I used in week one of August. I started week two off with very minimalistic patches of textured skin and dry spots. And I have some of the leftovers of a allergic reaction around the parameters of my face where a sheet mask will never touch. Over all it is not a bad place to be starting week two from.
I tried to switch it up a bit more this week. I used a lot from my favorite brand last week, so I decided not to use it at all this week and I tried to put a little more variety of types of sheet masks I used. I have also slowly been working on doing some daytime skin care this week. I won’t be sharing that here in this post, but you may see a couple of things I tried pop up as review posts.
Just like last week I will be linking each one to the cheapest place I can find to purchase, and if they are priced the same at multiple places I will choose the one I think is most convenient for the majority of people. So let’s take a look at what I used in week two.
On day eight I used the Acai Berry Lifting Ice Cold Mask from Ladykin. This mask is not currently in stock, but I have linked to the page so when it comes in stock you can get it. This particular mask is great for its anti-aging properties. It is a type of cellulose mask, but it feels like a very thin hydrogel mask.
I personally love how this feels, but I hate trying to apply this type of cellulose mask. Its like trying to use cling wrap. Its constantly sticking to its self, and applying it quickly and easily is something I apparently lack the skill for.
My only complaint for this mask is the fit isn’t the best for me. I shared a side view of me wearing this one so you can hopefully see the patch on the side of my jaw that just is not covered.
On day ten I tried another new to me mask. This is the 3 Step WITHBEE Honey Bomb Mask from Wonjin Effect. Honey is obviously one of those ingredients that is very moisturizing. It is also antibacterial and good if you have issues with acne. I am not typically acne prone, but I do enjoy the occasional honey mask.
This one in particular had a really great smell, like clover honey. I actually really enjoyed the milk cleanser that came with it, I may even look into purchasing some in the future if I can find it. And these three step kits are really handy for travel, so I would definitely purchase this mask again for that alone if for nothing else.
The mask I used on day eleven is Mediheal’s Cacao Ade Sheet Mask. I couldn’t find this mask listed anywhere that I trust, so I didn’t link it. As I have mentioned before, there are a lot of Korean sheet mask out there that are seasonal, so you can only find them for a limited time each year. So if it is something that you want or need in your skincare routine year round, you should stock up for the year. Don’t stock up too far ahead though, because they can eventually go bad.
This particular mask is on the favorite list for me. Actually I really love this brand, and I especially love this particular line of masks from them. This one would make my top ten sheet masks. It not only does great things for my skin, but it also really smells like chocolate, so its great for giving you that spa like experience at home.
The mask for day twelve was the Stayed Up Late Mask in Emily from Tsaio. This is unfortunately out of stock everywhere so I have linked it to the page and you can hopefully get it when it comes back in stock if you are interested.
This mask is used for brightening the skin and firming. Obviously it is black mask. Black masks are quite popular. Honestly they don’t do anything special for me. I mean they aren’t bad, but I haven’t found one that I thought was amazing either.
Day thirteen had me bringing out the Peptide Anti-Wrinkle Mask from Annie’s Way. This is a super thin mask. Probably the thinnest one I have tried so far. It fit my face really well, but because of how thin it was and the fact that it was clinging to itself it took forever to put on.
I don’t really have a bunch of wrinkles to speak of, so I don’t know if it does anything in the immediate. However I think it can’t hurt to use it as a preventative.
I had purchased this in a three pack a while back and only used one of them prior to this. It does okay things for my skin, but I honestly am not a fan of this one. It has a highly perfumed smell. It hasn’t caused a reaction from my contact allergy, but I really find the smell offensive.
And with that we have finished the second week of August, or at least the 14th day. Tell me in the comments about some of the sheet masks you have tried recently. Do you have a suggestion for one you think I should try or one you would like to see reviewed?
In my post about my journey to self-care, you know a big part of that was focusing on my skin care this month. And of course my skin care is going to include sheet masking. I use to share a lot of what I did with sheet masks here on the blog, and I also want to get back to that.
So I thought I would start by sharing what I use throughout the month and I will link anything you can currently get as well as sharing some helpful tips. These post will be on a delay, but I will be sharing these daily as they happen on Instagram. Thought the last week may be spotty on if at all as I will be on vacation that week, so we will have to see what happens.
Once I get a new routine fully established I will do a full skin care routine post for everyone.
Day one I used the eSfolio Volcanic Water Essence Sheet Mask. This is my all time favorite mask for my skin from my all time favorite brand. It is especially great for people like me who have skin conditions that cause keratin build up.
Due to slowing down on using my sheet mask and the reorganizing of my house one of my older masks got pushed to the bottom of the stack so it was just now getting used. So when I opened it I found that it had started to dry up a bit. Just a tip for my fellow sheet mask addicts, if you find one of your masks has started to dry like this, you don’t have to toss it. You won’t want to put a dry mask on your skin either. So what do you do? Well if you have had lots of skin care subscriptions, especially Korean skin care subscription boxes, then you probably have lots of large tubs of products like aloe and various essences. You can actually use those to rehydrate drying masks. I used some of the Spring Water Seed Essence Toner from NOONI to rehydrate this one.
Day two I used a mask I don’t think I have tried before. This is the Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack from Benton. It had a very cooling and calming sensation to my skin. It’s not unusual for sheet mask to feel cooling, but not all of them feel calming to irritated skin. Overall I would say this was a good first impression.
Day three had me back with an eSfolio mask. This is their Bird Nest Essence Sheet Mask. This is another calming and nourishing mask. And by the end of day three I was already seeing some small results in my skin.
I often see people commenting that they don’t think certain masks are anything special or they don’t think sheet masks really do anything. Well if you already have healthy normal skin you are not going to see a drastic overnight result like I do. But if you do have skin that is outside of what is considered healthy or normal, then more than likely if you are not seeing results you are picking the wrong types of masks for you. While the basic hydration mask is meant for everyone, sheet masks are not one size fits all. You need to find the ingredients that fit your needs. Let me know in the comments if you are interested in me doing a blog post about what the various ingredients are meant for.
For day four I am using another favorite sheet mask. While the mask I used on day one is my all time favorite mask for my skin, this is definitely somewhere in my top ten. This is the Rice Bubble Cleansing Mask from Skin79.
Bubble masks are a little different from other sheet masks. Rather than being soaked in essence, the bubbles that form are cleansing. (At least all that I have tried have been, someone correct me if there is some out there that are different) And so rather than leaving it on your skin, you rinse it off at the end. So you will want to add your own essence with these at the end. I followed this up with the Fersáli Volcanic Elixir that I reviewed a few weeks ago.
On day five I used a CoEnzyme Q10 Sheet Mask from Beauty Friends II. I got mine from Beauteque. I linked it to the page, but they don’t seem to have it in stock right now, nor does anyone else. Many sheet masks are only seasonally available, so if you check back later they may be available.
In all honesty this is not my favorite mask or brand. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with it or the brand. This just comes down to personal preference. There all sorts of sheet mask fabrics out there, they use the one I care the least for. It’s very thick and stiff feeling. Also they aren’t the best fit for me, not the worst either, but just not the best. I did have to tear this a bit to get it to fit around my eyes. If your eyes are a little closer together you won’t have a problem. But in general I would rather spend my money on masks that I enjoy more, but I won’t waste these if they are sent in a subscription box like this one was.
Yes, a third mask from eSfolio this week. I just love them that much. Not every one of their masks make it as a favorite like the one I used on day one, but several of their products are favorites, and everything they make is consistently good and well priced and that is why I often say they are my favorite company.
Today I used their Green Tea Essence Sheet Mask. In addition to hydrating and calming it is especially great for tightening pores and helping prevent early signs of aging. And by the end of the sixth day I was seeing drastically different looking skin. 90% of my dry flakey spots from my contact dermatitis have cleared up. Most of the textured areas have smoothed out.
This is one of those super this, almost feels like another layer of skin, kind of sheet masks. I personally think that it seems like the thinner the mask the more essence it holds. So I actually prefer these thinner masks.
And that finishes out my week of sheet masks. Many of the masks I have linked to are available at multiple places, but I tried to link to the place where they are being sold for the best price.
I would love to hear in the comments below what some of your favorite sheet mask are.