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[Unmasking] – Kose Clear Turn Moist Charge Mask

Sheet masks!! They are all the rage right  now! When people say sheet masks I usually think of individually packaged serum soaked sheet of cloth, but this one is a bit different. I’ve actually seen this one floating around on the internet, and was immediately intrigued by it’s more eco-friendly packaging (the environment is just as important as my skin). It’s a big package of 50 sheet masks all in one resealable bag soaked in serum. The instruction states it’s meant for everyday use. I immediately got 2 when I saw these in Taiwan, again it’s been a while and in all honesty I rarely look at pricing when I shop skincare in Taiwan (because no matter how expensive, 99% of the time it’s way cheaper than Canada). I got 2 different kinds, I haven’t opened the other one (I believe it’s a brightening one), this one I’ve been using is more for hydration (or so it claims). It also claims to be the number 1 selling mask in Japan (but a lot of products have this claim lol).

The packaging claims to be 6 step all in one product (toner, serum, lotion, cream, face mask, and eye mask). Well, no…haha. The serum that’s on this mask is super light weight and I would not skip my regular toner, serum, lotion and cream step. It is both a face mask and eye mask though. There are extra patches of the eye (instead of just an eye hole), and you can place this right under the eye or cover the eye entirely and it’ll act like an eye mask, which is nice. The ingredient list is fairly short, although it does contain fragrance, also alcohol. You can actually smell the alcohol in the mask, but it hasn’t done any drying to my skin yet.

Unlike typical sheet masks the 50 sheet are stacked together and you just have to pull one out at a time to place on your face. Sometime the masks stick together and I pull out 2 instead of one, which means I have to put one back, so if hygiene is an issue for you this is probably not the best product. The other thing I was worried about was the serum drying out, because you essentially have to open this package 50 times, and honesty you cant close it right away when you have a wet mask in your hands. But it has been doing pretty well, nothing appears to be dried out. I am not sure how many I have left in there..I want to say I still have 20 or so to go. I really should use these on a daily basis, but sometimes I just get lazy.

Here’s the mask pulled out, I know you can’t really tell what it looks like, but a mask is a mask. The material is fairly thin, and like I said the serum is light weight. With regular masking I usually leave on my face for 30 to 45 mins, sometimes upwards of an hour if I have enough serum left to keep it moist for that long. This mask I can only have it on for about 20 mins and it’ll start drying out. What I found though, if I put a silicon mask on top of it, I can leave it on for 40 mins and it’s still moist, except the silicon mask hurts my ears. Because these masks were so cheap I didn’t really care about throwing them out after 20 mins, so sometimes I use the silicon mask over top, sometimes I don’t

and onto the TL;DR portion of the post…

consistency: very very light weight serum sheet mask, would not suggest skipping your routine in place of this.

scent: the fragrance is very lightly scented, it’s a floral scent with hints of alcohol, if that bothers you, I would not recommend this product

claims: it does claim to be able to replace 6 steps of your routine, which I really don’t think so…maybe 3 steps (serum, face mask, and eye mask). But I still put on my toner, serums before I put this one my face, and end with cream after. It’s more like an addition to my steps not a replacement of my steps haha

packaging: it’s a no frills packaging, it’s literally just a big ziplock bag, but does the job of keeping the sheet masks from drying out

ingredients: there is alcohol and fragrance in this product, and in general people tend to have reactions to these. I suspect the alcohol is to keep the integrity of this product, as I’ve mentioned before hygiene could be an issue if you are placing a mask back into the packaging.

price: I really don’t remember….I think was in the 200~300NT range (8 to 10 dollars)

It is made in Japan.

Overall: it’s by all means not an amazing product. After I take off the mask my face does feel moisturized and plump, but it doesn’t stand out from any other masks I have used. That being said, I would repurchase this, I do like the eco-friendly aspect, and honestly it’s also economically friendly for myself. Not saying I would replace all my masks with this, but at the very least I can cut down on my individual mask purchasing.

Until next time!

 

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Posted by on February 17, 2018 in All Things Prettified!, Skin Food

 

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[Toner] – Nihonsakari Skin Lotion

So last week’s post I said that I did end up finding a toner that I liked as much if not more than the Kiehl’s calendula toner, and no this toner does not have calendula extract in it. This was also an impulse buy, I was at a drugstore (in Taiwan of course) browsing around waiting for the time my train would depart, and I saw this and thought, well that’s interesting. I was looking for a toner to add to those compressed paper masks to use as a sheet mask, and when I saw this I was just really happy with the volume and price of it. The masks soak up quite a bit of liquid, so I didn’t want to buy anything expensive. In the directions it also basically say the toner is basically for masking. If I recall correctly this was purchased for $500NT (about $20 CND) for 500ml.

I really like the fact that the ingredient list is literally 11 items, that means there’s not much fillers in there. And yes I see the paraben, but after reading research on it and listening to some Pod Casts (the Beauty Brain to be particular), I am pretty convinced this whole “paraben free” bandwagon is not as great as it sounds. Paraben is a preservative, it helps to keep your skincare/makeup safe for use for a longer period of time. Preservatives are essential, otherwise things (esp if they label it all natural) will just go bad in a very short amount of time, and do you want to put that stuff on your face?? I didn’t think so. So if it’s not paraben it’ll be another preservative, and guess what? that probably has some cancer causing abilities too, we just don’t know it yet. So I’ll stick with the more well researched paraben. Sorry I went on a bit of a rant there…LOL

The product was manufactured in June 2016, and can be kept for 5 years without opening (probably thanks to paraben!). The name of the product literally translates into “Moisturizing Sake” and claims to improve skin dryness, large pores, and other problems caused by dehydration of the skin. It specifically says due to the large volume of this product, you can use it with dry/compressed sheet masks and use as a mask for 10 to 20 mins.

The texture of this is literally just water, cloudy water. Originally I was going to use this after my Naruko one finished, but when I got into the whole acidic skin care thing I took a look at the ingredient list of this toner and realized there’s citric acid in this (an AHA), and decided it needs to be opened, and basically ditched my Naruko one that wasn’t doing much to begin with. I started off using it as instructed with compressed sheet masks, and immediately felt the change of texture on my skin. My skin felt smooth and hydrated, with that dewy glow.  Within a few weeks I also saw the difference in the eveness of my skin (colour wise), where I use to have dark patches seemed to have lightened significantly, and I was in love with my skin. Mind you at the same time I also started using other things that might have aided in that process, but I did feel the toner did what it claimed.

Recently though, I’ve switched to using the 7 skin method (layering 7 layers of  “skin” or toner) with this toner. It uses up the toner soooo fast, I don’t know if I should continue with it, because I feel the masking method does the same, but the 7 skin method is a lot quicker, and less waste. Maybe I’ll do a mixture depending on how much time I have. For the 7 skin method, I personally don’t like using cotton pads for anything (it’s a waste and I feel like it tugs on the skin), so I dumped this toner into a spray bottle and just spray and pat 7 times. So far I am half way done the toner…

I also wanted to mention this toner was made in Japan and also the all important pH level. It came to about a 5, which is around where healthy skin pH should be (4.5~5)

Will I be repurchasing? you bet! I have seen something similar to this at Asian beauty stores in Richmond, but I am not sure if it’s the same brand because the packaging looks the same but the lettering is a bit different. When I was buying this, I saw other ones that had other claims, my main concern was hydration so I got this one, but I’d like to try the other ones too. Next time I go back to Asia I’ll be looking for these.

Until next time!

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2018 in All Things Prettified!, Skin Food

 

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[Toner] – Naruko Calendula Soothing & Calming Toner

Hi peeps, so as per tradition, I am starting off this post with an apology for the long pause. I was in the midst of panicking over an exam in Dec, then Christmas and New Years happened, and after that was some personal stuff that I can’t really talk about, so that’s about my excuses for my disappearance. Again I am so sorry 😣.

On to today’s review though! So, this toner was just something I picked up in Taiwan while walking through a drugstore (like always, I impulse buy!). I actually quite like the Naruko brand (esp their sheet masks), but what really caught my eye was the calendula part. My all time favourite tone has always been the Kiehl’s calendula toner, it just does wonderful things for my skin, but the price tag was a bit too heavy for my wallet so I haven’t repurchased in a long while and have been forever searching for a replacement.

Long story short, this wasn’t it. It was kind of a disappointment. It didn’t do much for me. Although reading the ingredients it does have some good stuff in there, just maybe not enough?

Firstly the texture, it was liquid (obvy) but it has a slight slip to it, kind of feels like dish soap but a much much diluted version. It felt a bit sticky on my face, and I was not a fan.

The ingredient list did not list fragrance but I felt the smell was quite heavy, not that it was a terrible smell, but the scent was heavy.

It did however made my skin looked dewy when I had it on.

And lastly, I was most disappointed with the pH level (looks like a 7). This was after I started looking at pH levels of skin care (specifically cleanser and toner) and realizing how important pH level is in skin care.

Naruko is a Taiwanese brand, and so this was made in Taiwan.

Price wise it was on the cheap side. I cannot recall how much I purchased it for but I believe it was under $10.

In conclusion I will not be purchasing this. I have however found a toner I recall like, but that’s for next time, until then…😃

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2018 in All Things Prettified!, Skin Food

 

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[Sun Protection] – Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel

**warning I am about to start a long rant of my history with sunscreen, scroll down further for the TL;DR version**

Everyone that cares about their skin knows how important sunscreen is. It’s probably the most effective way to fight aging skin. I, like many others, have always neglected the importance of sunscreen when I was younger. Back in my young days, my skin never reacted to the sun much, I don’t get tanned much, and I don’t get red at all. It was only about when I was 25 years old, I started noticing my face would get red when it’s under sun exposure. I would be wearing those big buggy sunglasses, and the skin around my eyes would remain normal while the rest of my face would have a tint of red. I didn’t give it much thought, but I didn’t want to be tanned, the yellow undertone of my skin really pops when I tan, and I didn’t like it. So that’s basically when I started wearing sunscreen (I know, so late into the game). A number of years went by, and one day while I was looking around at Murale (like Sephora, but Canadian), and a sales person asked if I would like to test the age of my skin. After I agreed she proceeded to put this ultrasound like device on my face that’s suppose to read my skin condition, she then told me I had a lot of sun damage and my skin was aged at 45! (I was in my mid to late 20’s at that time). She then explained how important sunscreen was and of course proceeded to give me recommendations. I didn’t buy anything from her, but I went home and started frantically looking for sunscreen and doing a lot of research on what to look for. I’ll be honest, I didn’t put on sunscreen mainly because I hated that greasy feeling, and that smell (ew). I’ve tried sooooo many North American brands, the best way to describe them would be a bottle of grease. I couldn’t, I just can’t, especially after finding out you should put at least 1/4 Tsp on your face for the sunscreen to be effective. Now I was always into Asian skincare, mainly Japanese at that time, I always see “cooling effect” “non-greasy feeling” “watery” etc etc of the likes marked on Japanese sunscreen, and I thought, well might as well give it a try, and I was hooked. I’ve tried many different brands namely, Shiseido,  mentholatum sun play sunscreen (there’s a range of them and I’ve tried them all), Skin Aqua (also a range of different kinds, and again tried them all), and other brands that I can’t really recall now. Skin Aqua was one of my favourites, but the price was fairly high for the amount of product so I continued my search. It seemed that Japanese sunscreen were always in a 30ml to 50ml tube/bottle, and never anything over that. My intention was to put sunscreen over all exposed skin and not just my face, so I wanted something more substantial. One day as I was browsing a drugstore in Taiwan, I picked up the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence, and I’ve never looked back again.

Now, the one I have pictured above is actually the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel. I picked this up last time I went back to Taiwan, because unlike the watery Essence which I believe was a 50ml soft tube packaging, the gel version is a 90ml bottle packaging, and it was for about the same price. I figure more bang for my buck! I honestly don’t feel much difference between the two. The watery essence is a creamier version, and the gel version is a bit more liquid-y.

***here’s the TL;DR***

The consistency is probably my favourite part of this product. The formula is so weightless on the skin it’s a long way from the bottles of grease North American sunscreens are. 

Instead of making your face look like you can fry an egg on top of it, it initially gives a dewy look but then drys semi-mat, though I personally wouldn’t mind if it stayed dewy looking.
And if you will notice, there is NO white cast! how amazing!

I apologize for not putting up a picture of the ingredient list, but, for easy for packing I threw away the packaging that lists the ingredients in English and I don’t know enough Japanese to decipher a list of chemical ingredients. But I do know it contains alcohol and is a chemical sunscreen, I do not believe it has any physical sunscreen in it(titanium dioxcide or zinc oxcide).

In short, best sunscreen ever!

consistency: liquidy, the watery essence version is creamier

scent: there is a very slight floral scent to it, nothing terribly strong, and certainly does not smell like typical North American sunscreen. The scent dissipates fairly quickly.

colour: it is colourless and does not give you a white cast.

Sun protection: this is a SPF 50+ (meaning probably more than 50, but this is the max they are allowed to label to) and PA++++

I was trying to find the post where I talked about the difference between SPF and PA rating, but I couldn’t find it! I swear I’ve wrote about it before. But anyways, in case anyone is wondering…SPF (or Sun Protection Factor) is “a measure of the fraction of sunburn-producing UV rays that reach the skin.  For example, “SPF 15″ means that 1/15th of the burning radiation will reach the skin,” assuming the correct amount is applied (source). It is important to note that this factor only refers to the protection you have from UVB rays and not UVA rays (source). PA (or Protection Grade of UVA) “measures the UVA protection that a sunscreen provides. PA+ corresponds to a UVA protection factor between two and four, PA++ between four and eight, and PA+++ more than eight. This system was revised in 2013 to include PA++++ which corresponds to a PPD rating of sixteen or above” (source). So what’s the difference between UVB and UVA you ask? Well UVB rays are Ultraviolet B rays, or known as the “burning rays.” This is the ray that causes sunburns and “tends to damage the more superficial layers of the skin and are what most sunscreens historically claimed protection from” (source). Where as UVA rays or Ultraviolet A rays are the long waves that are less intense, but more prevalent and can come through clouds and glass, so you would still be exposed even if you are indoors. “These rays reach the deeper dermal layers of skin and and can damage your skin’s collagen and elastin causing premature aging, & wrinkling” (source). In short, it is far more important to be protected from UVA than UVB. You’ll notice North American sunscreens tends to only label SPF without any PA ratings, can we assume we are also protected from the harmful affects of UVA while wearing those? hard to say, I think I’ll stick with my Japanese sunscreens. (And sorry for all the sourcing, I am an uni grad, I have to LOL)

price: I got mine in Taiwan, I recall it works out to be about $5 CND per bottle (I KNOW RIGHT?!). I did a quick search and it appears ebay and the likes are about $10~ $20 price range which is still not bad, but I will continue to hoard them when I go back to Taiwan (or when my mom does). I got 3 bottles of this when I came back in March, and I am down to my very last bit, and will possibly have to go one week without any sunscreen, because I just can’t find anything equivalent here (here’s hoping my skin doesn’t melt off my bones). My brother will return with these on the 11th of Dec, I need to ration! fingers crossed!

my particular bottle was made in Japan, I have seen made in Taiwan ones though.

Overall: I think no one will be surprised I am giving this sunscreen a 5/5. If anything, I only wish they came in bigger bottles. The search for the perfect sunscreen is over for me, I will never leave you Biore UV aqua rich!

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2017 in All Things Prettified!, Skin Food

 

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[The Face Shop] – Lovely Me: Ex Pore Ghassoul Mask

imageOOPS! Sorry I missed 2 weeks of posts. I just got lazy the first Sat, and then I was in San Diego for the 2nd, so….I have nothing to say for myself. I am sorry T_T I’ll make it up with fluffy panda pictures next week! I promise! (that probably doesn’t mean anything now T_T)

Anyways, on to the topic at hand. So I got this a while back from ebay for $13.59CND. I won’t recommend the seller though, because I had some issues with the shipping. It took them 3 days to ship after I paid, and I had to email to ask about it.

I had originally wanted to purchase only the Jeju volcanic clay mask, but just can’t resist the adorable packaging!! Can you?

I didn’t have high hopes for this thing. It’s a clay mask, and they never do much except maybe reduce oil. But this mask didn’t even do that. It smelled nice, and was easy to wash off, that’s about all the pros I can give you. It did absolutely nothing for my pores, though from the description it seems like it’s suppose to shrink or at least clean the pores. Nope didn’t do that either.  Definitely not worth repurchasing. But damn that packaging is just adorable!

For those interested, here’s the list of ingredients:

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Here’s the texture of the clay mask. Nothing special really.

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So a 2/5 for this baby, mainly for that cute packaging.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2013 in All Things Prettified!, Skin Food

 

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