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.
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.
It is time for another subscription box review. Today we will be looking at the Mask Mistress box. It is a newer sheet mask subscription box. This will most likely be the last beauty related subscription box review for the year, everything else will be in other categories unless something arrives as PR to review.
If you haven’t seen it already, make sure to check out the last subscription box review of Macy’s Beauty Box. You can also find all of the subscription box reviews I have done by going to any page here on the blog, find the green bar under my logo and click on the down facing arrow. You should see a search box and you can search for subscription box reviews.
Service Name: Mask Mistress (This is from NY KBeauy, but they have more than one subscription box you can get.)
Price: $14.99 a month plus shipping. I do believe the shipping cost is the same for everyone, at least everyone in the US, as they ship in a priority box. I paid $7.55 for shipping.
Where Is It Available: This box ships worldwide.
Who To Get It For: Anyone, including yourself, who loves skin care. Especially for those who love sheet mask, K beauty in specific.
What You Get: You are to get 10 Korean sheet masks every month. (They don’t specifically say that you get extras, but as you will see there were some bonus items sent with my package.)
Drawbacks: I didn’t feel like there were a lot of drawbacks for me, but I can see a couple of things that might be for some people. If you are looking for a mask subscription filled with things that you can then easily pick up at your local Ulta, Sephora, or other US retailer that carries sheet masks if you like them, this may not be the subscription for you. Also if you are looking for a customized mask experience based on your skin type, this isn’t going to be it, you will find a more general use types of masks in this subscription.
The Details: At least for right now this subscription arrives in a priority mail box.
This isn’t uncommon for newer boxes, so don’t be surprised if this changes later on. But do keep in mind that once subscription boxes start paying for their own printed boxes, while they may be cute, that often runs the price of the subscription up. (Side note: Before I get concerned emails: no, that isn’t my home address showing on that package. It’s a mailbox that anyone can find on my blog contact page.)
When I got the box open, this is how everything came out. Everything was wrapped up in this pink tissue paper with Korean writing on it. And one of the bonus items was at the bottom semi wrapped in the paper. A thank you sticker was holding it all closed.
Now lets take a closer look at the individual items sent. As always I will link to any of the items I find for sale individually in case you are interested in purchasing an item rather than the subscription. This box did not have a detail card with prices of the products, so there really isn’t anything to compare it to on that end.
This is a Honey Lip Mask from Choosy. I looked for this everywhere I shop, the only place that I could find them to purchase was at Amazon, and so that is where I have linked to. On Amazon a 5 pack sells for $14.99 with free prime shipping. But I will say that if you can find them somewhere else, they will probably be cheaper. This brand is sold at essentially a Korean dollar store, ant they cost about a dollar or less in Korea. In fact the one sent to me still had a sticker on it with the price. It had 1000 Korean won. Converted, that equals to 88 cents in the US.
This is a Lemon Slice Mask from Kocostar. Again, the only place I could find this currently in stock was on Amazon. There you can buy a two pack for $7.22. From what little I know about this brand, the price seems accurate.
We received a second slice mask in this months Mask Mistress box. This time it is a Tomato Slice Mask from Kocostar. And as you might have already guessed, I could only find this in stock on Amazon. There you will find a two pack for $7.00.
This is the Extreme Cream Mask from Real Barrier. YesStyle has this mask available in three options, a pack of one, five or ten. One sells for $4.41, but if you are going for the ten pack it is cheaper to purchase over on Amazon.
So this mask has very little English on the packaging, but it did have enough to be able to search for it. The name on the back says this is ON: The Body X KAKAO Friends. There is a picture on the front that indicates this is for moisture. I searched all of the places I was comfortable recommending purchasing from and I was unable to find this mask.
This is the Lavina Green Tea Essence Mask. I could not find this mask on any of my trusted sites either.
We have a second Mamonde Flower Lab Essence Mask in the October Mask Mistress subscription box. This time the mask is Rose Moisturizing. This sheet mask, like the other one from this brand, is also available on both YesStyle and Amazon. On YesStyle you can purchase it individually for $3.51 each, and that is what I have linked to above. But you actually get your best value for this mask on Amazon where you can buy a five pack for just $11.00.
Because I couldn’t find a couple of the masks, and we have no book guide from NY KBeauty telling us the value of the mask, this will just be my best guess or a rough estimate of what I think this bag is worth had you bought all of these masks individually. I am not including any value on the samples sent because I don’t know if that is a regular occurrence and even if it is, this is supposed to be a sheet mask box. With that being said, my best estimate is this boxes value is $44.00.
Where To Sign Up: The Mask Mistress subscription is powered by Cratejoy, so you can find it along with many other subscription services on Cratejoy’s Website.
FinalThoughts: I think this box is a pretty decent value for this month. You are suppose to get ten masks, and they actually sent twelve. In what was sent there were three masks that I can’t use because of my allergy, but that is pretty typical from any mask subscription I have tried. And since they sent two extra masks, I can’t be too mad about it. I was exceptionally happy that there was only one mask in the whole pack that I had tried before, the whole point of getting a mask subscription for me is trying new things.
OtherSubscriptions Of Interest: I am adding this as a new section to these subscription box reviews. I am limited on how many I can do each year due to time and finances. I try to balance out what I review with what I am interested in enough to spend money on with what I think the majority of people might be interested in reading about. I am sure that the things I pick don’t suit everyone’s budget or needs, so I thought I would start adding a few recommendations of alternatives you might want to try if the one I review isn’t quite right for you.
So here are some similar subscriptions that may be of interest.
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.
Most of you know I have been away on vacation, and the last few posts were pre-scheduled to post while I was gone. I simultaneously was, and still am, dealing with some extra health issues. I still don’t have answers about everything regarding my health, but I will cover that more fully in another post soon.
My last post that went up was the summary of what sheet masks I used in the third week of August. I will have a week four posted soon, but it will be quite different. Rather than my typical day to day post of what I used, I will instead be sharing en mass what masks I got specifically to take with me for travel. If you want to see specific sheet masks I used the rest of the month you can find those in my Instagram feed.
This past month was a personal challenge to help jump start getting my skin care back on track. I may occasionally do a monthly personal challenge again that I share. But most months I think I will be doing about half of the sheet masks I used last month. So rather than sharing a weekly summary I will be doing a monthly summary.
Just like my travel has sort inspired a travel related skin care post, I will have quite a few travel centric post including a post about some of the outfits I took with me and some ways to make life easier if you are traveling with health issue. I have been toying around for the last couple of years with the idea of adding a travel section to the blog, and I am pretty sure I will be doing that now. But I would love to hear any feed back you may have about that.
I am working with my doctors, and while it is taking longer than hoped to feel better, I still have hope that I will be back to my regular energy levels soon. I did take this past week off with no posts scheduled. This post will start me back to the posting schedule I have been using the last couple of months, which ends being about one and a half posts a week. I am super hopeful that by October to be back up to two posts a week. So I am hoping to be able to have time to work some product reviews in as well.
I also am already gearing up for the Holiday season in a way. One of the things I do every year here on the blog is review subscription boxes. I usually start in late September/early October and go till a couple of weeks before Christmas. I love subscription boxes and I think that they make great gifts, especially for people who are into something maybe you don’t know much about or anyone who just loves getting surprises. I have already got a couple of new ones planned, but I would also love to hear if any of you want a review of one specifically. So tell me in the comments what subscription box you want to see reviewed this year.
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.
First I want to say thank you to Vivo Per Lei for sending me the box of Collagen & Avocado Oil Sheet Masks to try out. I think most of you who regularly read my posts know that I love trying new things, especially new sheet masks. And since I am using this month to concentrate on skin care as a form of self-care, the masks couldn’t have come at a better time.
Each box contains five individually wrapped masks.
I pretty much have my evening skin care routine mapped out for the month. And I have been using the daytime to play with new products I want to test out and see what works for a good day routine. I don’t think there is any such thing as too much sheet masking. So doubling up on the occasional day seem like a good thing to me. Any excuse to use another sheet mask right?
Since I always have concerns about my Balsam of Peru contact allergy, one of the first things I always do is check out the ingredient list before using a new product. The only possible cause for concern here that I could see is that Parfum is in the list. That isn’t always a problem for me, but I just never know until I use the item in question. Since there were no major concerns, I felt good about going ahead with trying the product.
This mask from Vivo Per Lei in a lot of ways is very similar to any other sheet mask I have used, but there are also a few big differences. I will make sure to note them as we go along.
Per usual the instructions say to cleanse your face prior to use. The rest of the instructions is where the differences start to appear. First, it does not tell me to use a toner prior to using the mask. So even thought I typically would use a toner, I wanted to use the mask as the instructions directed. Next it says to take one mask pack, open, and apply to the face.
The first thing that I noticed when I opened the mask was that, even though the ingredient list says parfum, there was no strong perfume smell. I don’t think it really smelled like avocado either, but just a clean natural sort of scent.
The directions continue by saying to keep the mask on for 15 minutes. While I had it on I did feel something working on my skin. Just a slight warming and tingling sensation, nothing that alarmed me. Occasionally sheet mask do cause little sensations, the majority just feel cooling though.
Now here is where things were both surprising and really different from my perspective. It calls for rinsing the residue away after you discard the sheet mask. I am so used to patting it into the skin with the exception of the bubble masks I use. But again, I thought it was best to use these by the direction.
I am happy to report that I did not have an allergic reaction to the mask. I know I have at least a few people who follow the blog because they have the same or similar contact/fragrance allergies. It was moisturizing for sure. I’m not sure I saw any difference in firmness of my skin or fine lines, but it’s also one of those things I think you might need more than a couple of uses to see a difference.
Some things to note, that may or may not be of importance for you. It does have the FDA seal of approval on the box. The box does not have it, but on their website this product has the bunny seal that says it is not tested on animals. I was trying to figure out where the company was based at, but I am not 100% sure. After looking everything over its either the US or the Netherlands. The box says the product is made in China, but I do not believe it sold there or that the base of operation is there, otherwise I don’t think they could get the bunny seal.
If you would like to try this mask out for yourself or to what else Vivo Per Lei has to offer you can find their products on their website.
Tell me in the comments which Vivo Per Lei product you would want to try?
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.
This is a few days late, but July 24th was International Self Care Day. And even though I am late, I still wanted to take some time and talk about things I am going to be doing for self-care and why.
I think I have been saying a lot since the beginning of this year how I am not feeling well and how bad my skin has been. They are really connected, because while I haven’t felt well my habits I had built-in taking care of my skin had fallen to the side. While I had pushed to at least do the basics of skin care, I haven’t been doing everything that I really need to. I just have not had the energy and at times haven’t cared enough because of everything else that was going on.
But I realize I have to care more about it. I have to put more effort into self-care. And with as bad as I have been feeling, that isn’t just going to be skin care I need to put some serious effort into. My health is really suffering right now, so I need some major self-care in all areas of my life.
I have already done some thing like getting back on a high-powered vitamin D. I do tend to run vitamin D deficient, and I had run out of what I was taking. So I decided to go back to the liquid vitamin D from Buried Treasure I had taken prior to that. I think it worked the best for me. I also have finally gotten in with new doctors. And I have gotten myself a membership with Massage Envy. Each of these have helped in minute ways. And I plan on trying to incorporate more self-care over time.
Now, I had previously mentioned that my husband and I would be taking an extended vacation for our anniversary at the end of August. I want to try to create a healthier skin care routine for myself before I leave for vacation. I would love to have my skin back in shape so I can freely wear makeup during my trip without worrying if it will look bad on the dry patches. Its our anniversary, so obviously I want to look extra nice when we go out for dinners and the such.
There is some debate on how to go about creating healthy habits. The majority seem to say you create a healthy habit by being repetitive, but by how long is even up for debate. For a long time people have been saying that it takes 21 days to form a habit. But recent research has shown that it way more complicated that just saying it takes 21 days, and it probably varies by person and type of habit. So I may not have an actual “habit” per say by the time I go on vacation, but I think that any effort put into self-care right now is for the better.
I will be trying to share some of the skin care items I am using each day on social media as well as some of the other self-care things I am doing if you are interested in following along with that. I also will be sharing some pictures of our trip at the end of the month.
As a side note, due to still not feeling 100% and all of the business from vacation plans and a lot of doctors appointments right now, it may be a while before I can get back to the three blog posts a week I was doing at one time. But right now I feel confident I at least can hold it steady at the 1 to 2 post a week range. And since my hair is still recovering from the last shampoo and conditioner review I did, it will be after my vacation before I pick those back up. So it will be sometime in September.
I know that a fair amount of my readers also deal with chronic pain and chronic health conditions. Tell me in the comments below what you do for self-care. What keeps you sane?