A surprisingly effective cloth facial mask!

Recently I have been lucky enough to try some wonderful cloth masks supplied to me by Larisa from Michika.  Larisa loved cloth masks so much, she created her own for when she was breastfeeding and needed something effective but gentle and easy to use.  Introducing…

MICHIKA: Complexion Synergist

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Price: ( $ ) $17.30 for packet of 5, available from the Michika website. Postage is flat rate $6.50 Australia wide.

Application:  As per a regular sheet mask, unpack and place over face, leaving for 10+ minutes.  When taking off, dab the excess serum over face and neck and allow to absorb.

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Thoughts:  Michika: Complexion Synergist is a fabulous mask.  With Green Tea extract, Vitamins C and E and Hyalauronic Acid, this mask packs a punch and is chock full of goodness.  It is a gel texture that absorbs well, doesn’t drip and is not sticky once absorbed.  If you wanted to read more about synergy, and what this means for this mask, go here.

Leaving it on for just 10 minutes leaves skin fresh, bright and plump.  I felt a slight, pleasant tingle the first few times I used this mask, which shows just how effective it is.  My skin was immediately brightened, and was definitely hydrated and refined.  The fragrance is very light and fresh so this mask is super relaxing.  With my combination skin, I didn’t have to use any moisturiser after this had absorbed, but now that it is a bit colder/drier, I could happily put a moisturiser over top before bed to ensure incredibly hydrated skin.  I *love* how simple the ingredients list is on this mask, and that the Green Tea Extract is high on the list – as this is reputed to help acne-prone skin (like mine – weeeee!!!).  I had no breakouts from this mask, and can agree that it’s great for sensitive skin (although you should always do a patch test first if you are prone to sensitivity of course).

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Conclusion:  Effective mask for brighter, hydrated skin.  Seems a little on the pricier side than what I am used to paying for sheet masks, but for the effectiveness, these would be worth it for me.  I tried this once a week, then twice a week, and prefer using it twice for better results.  A very light exfoliation could be good before using the Michika mask, but for my skin I tried not to exfoliate too much as I did feel that initial tingle.  With the Michika mask, I saw much better results than with other brightening cloth masks I have tried, so I would be very inclined to continue using them!

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Disclaimer: Michika: Complexion Synergist Mask was provided to me for consideration.  This review is my honest opinion based on my personal experience and has been in no way influenced.

Bon Appetite!

REN ‘Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask’ Review

Where do I even begin?  This mask is IN-CRED-I-BLE.  Everything from the fragrance to the feel is spot on with this product, so below is my review to see if this mask would be right for you.

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Price: ( $$ ) $66, from Mecca Cosmetica stores and website.

Score: ♥♥♥♥♥

Product Plus:  REN is an ethical  and clean skincare brand, boasting no mineral oil, parabens or other horrible ingredients – hooray!

Application:  After cleansing skin, smooth a thin layer over face and leave for 10 minutes.  Pat into skin and give a little massage, then wash off with lukewarm water.

Thoughts:  I really don’t know where to begin.  The Radiance Renewal Mask is an absolute delight to use.  It is so sensorial, and literally feels like you have smoothed sweet orange marmalade over you face, with positive results at the end!  The fragrance is delicious and the gel is easy to spread without being overly sticky.  While on my face, I could feel a slight tingle – meaning the fruit acid complex is doing its exfoliating job.  Sometimes I have felt more of a tingle than others, but I do like that feeling.  While on, this mask gently exfoliates away dead skin and impurities, and after washed away skin is so baby soft and fresh.  I definitely wouldn’t use this on a sensitive skin, but on others, once a week should definitely do the trick.  On my combination skin this is perfection, and I only use my regular moisturiser before going to bed.  I really love that this Mask keeps the balance in my skin so well, no extra oil and no dryness – such a plus!

This is supposed to be great for brightening, tightening and smoothing fine lines, and apparently is great for acne affected skin.  I would agree, because I find acne can get irritated by a regular granular scrub, whereas this Mask is much more gentle.  I have left it on longer than the recommended 10 minutes, just to check… and I have to say I really think 10 minutes would be enough for most people.  Ace, because such a quick treatment.  The other great point on this product that I have to rave about is the packaging itself.   It comes with an enclosed cloth, used for taking the mask off.  But that’s not even the best part, because the packaging is an air pump, meaning that air pushes the product up each time you use it so absolutely nothing is leftover in the container.  Fantastic!

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Conclusion:  I did feel an immediate result with the Radiance Renewal Mask.  After just a few weeks of use, I can definitely see how continuing will really help improve overall skin quality and appearance.  Being such a scrumptiously scented product has really convinced me to continue using this and I would definitely repurchase.

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This my first product from the REN Clean Skincare range – any thoughts on other products that this would go well with?

Bon Appetite!

Origins ‘Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask’ Review

Happy Easter all!  I hope everyone has had a fantastic long weekend and got to nibble on a little bit of yummy chocolate today.

Origins is a brand I have only recently familiarised myself with, and I have to say I am quite pleased with their brand ethos, which includes formulations without parabens, pthlalates, mineral oil and other nasties, as well as positive commitment to the environment.  It has been a very long time since I have used any kind of clay mask, so I was very excited about this product!

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Price: $34, available from Mecca Cosmetica.

Product Plus:  Activated charcoal draws out impurities while Lecithin dissolves them.

Application:   Create a smooth even layer over face and leave until dry to wash off.  (Approximately 20 minutes).

Fragrance:  Quite a light fragrance; a really light charcoal scent which is not overpowering.

Thoughts:  I wouldn’t use for particularly dry or sensitive skins, and wouldn’t overuse in winter for normal skins.  The mask is a creamy, thick consistency that is easily spreadable into an even covering and doesn’t drip.  Once applied the fragrance is pleasant and not too strong as it does take a good 20 minutes to dry properly. You want to see cracking!  It felt very calming while on.  White China Clay is soothing as well as ideal for drawing out impurities and assisting with oil control.  Active Charcoal is on board with this also, and is reputed to clean skin deeply with added benefits for acne.

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It was a bit of a pain to wash off the whole face and after this my skin felt rather raw from having to wash for so long (like, a good 5 minutes!).  Once off though, the skin looks firmer, tighter and refined. I had a little redness where I had to really give it a good scrub to get it off but overall a really clarified and even tone was left.  The problem for me was that this caused quite a breakout in my skin a couple of days after use.  It was to be expected, but it is something for those prone to breakouts to be aware of.

Conclusion:  I have mostly used it at a time where I had a few breakouts anyway, but many of these times it drew many more breakouts to the surface.  Clear Improvement Mask is a really good way to cleanse your skin particularly if it is oily and I really did enjoy the soothing effect it had the day after use.  For skin that can handle it, a weekly use could have amazing clarifying effects.  You could pop on an overnight hydrating mask afterwards if you find clay masks too drying for your skin type, or even just restrict use to the t-zone to help clear out those pores if you have problems with blackheads.  I think I will be using this every couple of weeks to really give my skin a great cleanse, so luckily this mask has a 24 month expiry period!

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Disclosure: Origins are a brand owned by the Estée Lauder Companies, so while Origins as a brand is cruelty free, their parent company tests on animals when required by law (ie. to sell in China).  I purchased this product myself.

Another Origins product, the No Puffery Cooling Mask For Puffy Eyes, has now been added to my wishlist!  Spending so much time studying and in front of a computer always leaves my eyes puffy and tired.  Looking forward to trying this one soon!

What Origins products have you tried?

Bon Appetite!

Refreshing Sheet Masks

Following on with my obsession with Asian skincare brands and products, of course I love a good sheet mask.  Most of the ones I have tried come from Korean brand The Face Shop, as they have stores in Australia.  Of these I have tried the Mung Bean, Lemon, Pearl Collagen, Cucumber and probably a couple of others too! My favourites are the Lemon – for it’s fresh glow result, and the Cucumber – water hydration that soothes my skin.  Below I have reviewed one of the masks I bought while in Singapore (also a Korean brand), and I find this one really similar to the Cucumber The Face Shop Mask.  If you are in Singapore though, I would check this mask out!

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Price: The Face Shop have a variety of masks for a few dollars each.  These Watson’s masks were a pack of ten at Singapore Airport for about $7 S.

Product Plus:  Single use packets mean you can switch up the type of mask you use more often to really suit your needs.

Application:  Apply sheet for about 15-30 mins then leave remaining moisture on overnight.

Thoughts:  Quite hydrating and really refreshing.  I think I could actually use this a couple of times a week and would get better results without breaking out.  However, it does leave a sticky feeling on my skin afterwards which I am not a fan of.  I can’t remember The Face Shop Cucumber Mask leaving me with that feeling?  It might though.  I actually fought the urge to wash this off before bed though and I am glad I did, as my skin was super moisturised, plump and evenly toned in the morning.  It didn’t really leave my skin looking much brighter, but I didn’t think after one – or even a couple – of uses it would affect brightness much anyway.

Conclusion:  I love sheet masks.  The benefits are usually quick and easy to see, whether you use one several times or only once a week.  I often find them gentler than other masks and they are actually great for congested skin because they are lightly hydrating without being oily and super soothing.  Check for ingredients like Aloe Vera and Vitamin C (which are in this Watson’s mask).

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Get yourself some sheet masks, try them out, and let me know how you go!

Bon Appetite!

Macadamia Natural Oil “Deep Repair Masque” Review

If you regularly colour your hair, or if it’s dry or damaged, you are going to want to try this treatment.

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Price: ( $$ ) $19.95 for 100ml

Score: ♥♥♥♥♥

Product Plus: ‘Cruelty Free – Paraben Free – Alcohol Free’. How things should be.

Application: After shampooing, apply and leave for 7 minutes before rinsing out. Can use up to twice per week.

Thoughts: The fragrance is… I don’t know. It really smells like a hair product. Do you know what I mean? It is quite a thick cream, but is easy to work with. I use quite a bit even though my hair is medium in length, because I want to really massage it in and ensure there is enough there for my hair to absorb. Also, my hair is thin, weak and curly, and I colour it coppery-red, so it REALLY needs an extra boost of moisture, particularly after this summer (two doses of colour, sun, salt water and chlorine pools). Although the instructions recommend twice a week, for two weeks I used this in place of a conditioner because my hair felt like it was made of plastic. Dry, dead plastic. I really love that it feels rich enough to not worry about wrapping hair in a warm towel, or cling-wrap, or whatever people do that I don’t do because: lazy. The two main ingredients in this are Argan Oil and Macadamia Nut Oil. Delicious and good for your hair. This mask has a pretty high concentration of each as they are fairly high on the ingredients list. Good, and I sure can see the difference!

Conclusion: I overused it and now it’s nearly empty. I have no regrets! It more or less fixed that birds nest I call my hair, and in a matter of weeks. I will repurchase this, and only use it maybe once a week. If you have finer or oily hair, maybe only once a week and I wouldn’t use it at the roots, because it is quite a rich mask.

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I would love to hear about any recommendations for other hair masks too!

Bon Appetite!