PRODUCT REVIEW: My Scheming Blackhead Removal Activated Carbon Mask Set

(Some photos are taken from Google)

About a year ago, I made my very first BeautyMNL purchase. I bought the My Scheming Blackhead Removal Activated Carbon Mask Set for 750PHP with free shipping because they had an ongoing promo then ūüôā (usually your order should reach 1,500 to avail of free shipping, more details about my purchase here.)

I specifically wanted this product because it is endorsed by my all-time favorite Taiwanese actress, Ella Chen.

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(If you are a fan of Ella Chen, or if you love Taiwanese dramas, comment down below!)

Of course, Ella Chen isn’t the only reason why I wanted this product. I also wanted this because I needed a peeling mask, and I’ve known about it since forever but I didn’t know where to find one that I can put my faith into. My cousin bought a peeling mask from Watsons a few months before I bought this, and it did nothing to her. I also had a peeling mask from The Face Shop but I wanted a black one so I can really see all the gunk that it got from my nose. Thankfully, one of my friends (who is also in love with Ella Chen) told me about this, and thus I decided to give it a try.

(related: The Face Shop Jeju Volcanic Lava Peel Off Clay Nose Mask review)

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This set comes with three products, the Deep Pore Sebum Softener, which softens the sebum around the nose area. The Blackhead Removal Activated Carbon Mask itself, and the Skin Clarifying Pore Treatment Essence, which tightens the pores after the removal of blackheads.

By the way, for anyone’s information, our pores are just pores. We cannot really do anything to open or close them. The ‘hot spa’ thing or steaming that they do is to simply soften the pores so that it will be easier to remove excess sebum and dirt, it does not really ‘close’ them. However, there are ways we can reduce the appearance of pores by tightening them, thus using ice cubes.

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What I like about this product is that it comes with an instruction card. I have been using this set for a long time now, but I still consult the instruction card every single time I use it. I tend to forget the instructions because I don’t use this on a daily basis. Also, I want to make sure that I’m doing the right thing.

So, I just follow what’s in the instruction card. I massage the Deep Pore Sebum Softener¬†on my nose area for five minutes. I usually apply three drops because I don’t want the product to dry before five minutes is over, but if ever it dries out, I just add another drop. I honestly don’t know if I’m doing it the right way, but I also don’t think that I should massage my nose when it’s already dry because it might cause minor scratches on my skin. However, when five minutes is up, I just pat it dry and proceed to the second step.

This step is actually the most difficult for me because I have really low tolerance for heat. However, I still find my way to put hot water on a clean washcloth and put it over my nose for a few minutes. I usually fold it several times until I think the heat is already tolerable and safe to put over my nose, and then when I feel like it’s getting cold, I just unfold it and put the warm parts over my nose until the three-minute mark is over. To be honest, I don’t really time this step, I just wait until I feel like it’s already good to go.

After I’m done with the hot spa (which by the way aids in softening the pores, making it easier for them to cling on to the mask), I apply the Blackhead Removal Activated Carbon Mask evenly all over my nose area. It is important to apply it evenly so it would be easier to remove later on, because there will be less chances that the mask would tear off while you’re trying to remove it. It usually takes about 15 minutes until the mask completely dries, but I don’t really time this step as well, I just wait until the whole mask has dried up before I decide to remove it. It is also important to make sure that it’s already dry to avoid the mask from breaking or tearing up while you’re removing it. Also, it has to be completely dry for the blackheads and whiteheads to successfully cling on to the mask.

What I like about this product is that it doesn’t hurt when you peel it off. Unlike other nose packs and nose strips, this one doesn’t stick that much on the skin. Thus, there’s no painful tugging and pulling when removing this. As a matter of fact, I only massage through the edges of the mask until it peels off. I take that peeled portion of the mask and pull the whole thing from it without even feeling like the whole thing is pulling off my skin. It’s so light and skin-friendly. I am actually really against using pore strips because the constant tugging will result to wrinkles, and most of them aren’t even black, so there is far less satisfaction compared to using this mask. I only use nose strips whenever I’m in the mood to do something different, or whatever. I can’t really explain. There are just some days when I’m bored and I’m like, “Oh! I have some nose strips that I haven’t used! Might as well use them now!” and to be honest, although I don’t like using nose strips, I still buy some because they look so much fun. Much like face masks.

Anyway, even though removing this mask is a total breeze, it is really effective in removing blackheads and whiteheads. You can see all the gunk in the mask strip once it’s removed. (I don’t have photographic evidence, because I’m not comfortable with showing the whole internet the dirt that is on my nose. But I promise, this product does its job well.) I am so amazed at how easy it is to peel off and at how strong the sebum were able to cling on to the mask. I cannot explain the science and chemistry behind it, it’s probably the sebum softener or the hot spa, but it happens.

So after that, I do the final step, which is to apply the Skin Clarifying Pore Treatment Essence.¬†This is to soothe/minimize the pores after the whole procedure. So that’s it, my nose feels absolutely cleaner and looks a lot more brighter after.

This is a question I had in my mind before, but I cannot seem to find answers in the internet–when does my blackhead removal rituals fit in my skincare routine?¬†I don’t know how other people does it, actually. But I usually do it before or after I cleanse my face. I would usually finish the whole blackhead removal and wait half an hour or so before I start my skincare routine–which means applying the cleansing balm and proceeding to all the next steps. But there are also days when I do my double cleansing first before I start the blackhead removal, in which I would apply a toner after removing the mask and before applying the Skin Clarifying Pore Treatment Essence exclusively on my nose area, while applying my regular essence on the rest of my face. If I have a lot of time, I do this in the morning.

I honestly do think that this is one of the best blackhead removal masks out there because this doesn’t cost so much pain to remove blackheads unlike the other masks that I have heard of. I think this will work perfectly well with people who has sensitive skin and low pain tolerance. I recommend this to everyone who wants their blackheads removed. While I don’t consider this as a holy grail, I still think this is an awesome product and I would rate it 8 out of 10.

What is your favorite blackhead-removing product? Are peeling masks like this really commendable? Or should I just use BHAs and head to the facial spa for blackhead extractions every now and then? Comment down below!

XOXO,

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Best of My 2017 Skincare (Blogversary Post!)

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!! I know it’s already the 17th on January and I should have posted my best of 2017 around December last year, buuuuut— today is my blog’s 1st year anniversary, which is more or less the anniversary of my skincare obsession, so I think it will be more fitting if I post this today. Therefore, this blog post serves two purposes. One, is to cap up my whole year of skincare and two, to celebrate the birth of this baby. Happy Birthday, Mimarosa!!!! (I hope that I can update you more often this year, and I hope you get more followers, and viewers, and readers. Lol)

Anyway, so to celebrate… I will be posting the best skincare products that I have tried for the past year. I will only be mentioning one product per skincare step so this post won’t be too lengthy. Please bear in mind that even though these are the best skincare products for me, that does not mean that using them all together at once is the perfect skincare routine. All the products that I will be mentioning here were used in different times along with different products, and some of them cannot be used in one skincare routine.

Sooo… let’s start!

FIRST CLEANSER – Banila Co.’s Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm

13258894_BI think this is the cleansing balm that I have used for the most part of the year. Mainly because after using my first regular tub, I bought a different cleansing balm and when I ran out of it, I decided to repurchase this one in the supersize tub. I love it’s fruity-flowery scent and I love how easily it melts on my skin. I actually broke a pledge I made with myself when I repurchased this because I wanted to try different products before settling to, yknow, one product. But I liked Clean It Zero so much that I can’t imagine myself using another cleansing balm aside from this. Thus, this year, I need to remind myself not to repurchase this later and try another balm.

SECOND CLEANSER – Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

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I have used a couple of second cleansers for the year, and to be honest, I’m not really particular with my cleansers which is why I never posted any review about them. However, if I were to choose the best one, it would be this. I like how lightweight this product is and how easy I can massage it on my face. It’s very gentle and mild, but I can say that it does its job in cleaning. Also, one bottle lasted me 10 months. That’s a good bargain, if you ask me.

 

EXFOLIATOR – Skinfood Black Sugar Wash Off Mask

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There are a lot of different types of exfoliators, yknow, chemical and physical exfoliators. AHA and BHA, etc. and these exfoliators are completely different from one¬†another. However, I have decided to give the Best Exfoliator of 2017 slot to Skinfood’s Black Sugar Mask Wash Off. Basically because this was my very first physical exfoliant and I immediately loved it. Of course it came to my mind that I should also try another exfoliator, but I didn’t see the need to do so because I still had this. Although I also have another exfoliator from Innisfree, I didn’t like it as much as I liked this.

I didn’t want to categorize this along with my chemical exfoliants because I think they’re two completely different things. And I think of chemical exfoliants as toners and not as exfoliators. Also, I really like this exfoliator because it’s very relaxing compared to the other exfoliants I had for the whole year. (read full review here)

CLAY MASK – The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask

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This clay mask is my second most used clay mask for the year, next to Innisfree’s Jeju Pore Clay Mask. However, even though this isn’t the most used, I consider it my best clay mask for 2017 because of its texture. It’s rich and creamy and it doesn’t feel hard on the face when it dries. Also, it has a minty feel that makes me feel refreshed whenever I use this mask. (read full review here)

 

TONER – Etude House Honey Cera Toner

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This toner is actually the reason why I am so obsessed with the Etude House Honey Cera line. I also bought the eye cream, lip balm, and essence–not all at once, though (I bought and used them in different periods.) I am just so in love with its light milky texture that easily absorbs into the skin. This also smells really good–I can’t begin to explain how it smells because it’s been a year since I last used ths but it kind of reminds me of those milk bath soaps that babies use. Also, my skin feels really soft and supple every time I use this toner.

ESSENCE – Nature Republic Honey Real Nature Essence

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I was actually so impressed at how wonderful this product is. Mainly because I bought it out on a whim. I haven’t heard of it before, but I trust the brand and I trust what honey can do to my skin so I gave it a shot. Apparently, that random purchase was one of my best purchases for the year. I immediately noticed its effect on the first time I used it. My skin was immediately brighter and moisturized. My only problem is that I ran out of this essence after two months. This is definitely a holy grail essence for me.¬†(real full review here)

SERUM – Dear Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop

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This serum is soooo soooo sooo amazing I think it was the one which made the biggest impact on my skin. My acne scars disappeared and my face became brighter… and I actually felt like my skin looked younger because it sort of retexturized my skin and removed all the dullness and fine lines. This is one of the best products ever. Hands down. I don’t even know how to describe it faithfully enough to make you guys realize its wonders. I guess you’ll have to get a bottle yourself and experience the wonders of this product.¬†(read full review here)

EYE CREAM – Skinfood Salmon Brightening Eye Cream

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To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this eye cream because I am pretty much sure that this isn’t the best eye cream out there. It’s just that this one was the one I decided to purchase and it lasted me the whole year. It has a tendency to sting my eye from time to time because it’s really light and I can’t seem to measure the enough amount I should use because I always end up getting too much and it takes forever to massage it on my lower eye. However, I still appreciate this product and I consider this product the best of my 2017 because it really does its job in brightening my eyes. I mean, I get a lot of restless nights due to work but people never see any trace of stress on my face because I don’t have dark under eyes. And I have to say, not having dark under eyes when you only get to sleep three hours a night is a miracle.

SHEET MASK – Etude House Manuka Honey Mask

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If you guys have been following my blog, you’ll notice that I haven’t posted any sheet mask review nor was I ever specific when I talk about sheet masks–I just refer to them as sheet masks in general. That’s because I’m still looking for the best sheet mask for my skin and I wanted to to a “10 Best Sheet Masks” post because posting about just one sheet mask does not feel enough for me. However, since I have to tell you guys the best of my 2017 in this post. I think Etude House’s Manuka Honey Mask has been the most effective sheet mask that I have used so far. I was immediately amazed by this sheet mask on the very first time I tried it because my face became really soft–like, baby soft the morning after I used this mask. Since then this has been my go-to sheet mask.

EMULSION – Etude House Moistfull Collagen Emulsion

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To be honest, I really didn’t like this product during the first few weeks when I was using this. It was too sticky for me and I was new to skincare thus stickiness was a big issue to me then. However, as months went by, I came to accept the feeling that skincare gives me, and actually, I realized that this emulsion isn’t that bad! If anything, it helps in keeping my skin moisturized and prevents it from flaking, especially in the nose area. I think this product has a huge participation in making my face look dewy and healthy. To be honest, this was the only emulsion I was ever able to try for 2017 thus it does not really have any competition for being the best emulsion. However, that does not mean that it won because I had no other choice. I mean, if I didn’t like this product, I could have easily bought another emulsion. But I didn’t, I stuck with this product until its very last drop, which means it’s good enough for me.

MOISTURIZER – Nature Republic 92% Aloe Vera Gel

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Much like the Etude House Moistfull Collagen Emulsion, I really didn’t like this product at first because I had a huge breakout after using this for the first time, and then I used too much product on my face which made it sticky so I stopped using it for a while. After some research and stuff, I decided to use this product again and I was finally able to realize how useful and effective it is. It’s actually very lightweight and it easily absorbs into the skin as long as you don’t apply a lot of product. A coin-sized amount of this is already too much, since a little amount is enough to cover the whole face. (See full review here)

SUN CREAM РInnisfree Daily UV Protection Cream No Sebum 

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I have used a lot of sun creams over the whole year, but I keep coming back to this one. Mainly because it’s very easy to apply, plus it has a matte finish which makes it convenient for me to use especially when I’m in a hurry in the morning. When I started using skincare, applying products in the morning didn’t really sound appealing to me because I don’t want to deal with the shiny residue that the products might leave when I apply them–which means I will have to take time and effort to apply loose powder to make it less shiny. But this one solves that problem. It’s only 35SPF but I’m barely exposed to the sun, thus this cream from Innisfree does the job perfectly for me.

To be honest, I try to avoid buying products unless I’m running out of the current product I’m using because I know that stashing will only result to throwing away unused and expired products. And I don’t want to spend my money on something that I’ll just abandon halfway through and remember only when it’s already two years old and expired. Which is why I didn’t have a lot of other options in some of the products stated above. This 2018, I still don’t know how my skincare shopping and selection will be like, but I’m now more focused on addressing my skincare problems, and not just trying on some products that looked interesting whatsoever. Last year, I got so excited with this hype that I just kept on buying and buying what I can find until I realized that I had too much already–which explains the lack of hauls in the later part of the year.

This year, I’m planning to be more careful and specific with my products. Right now, I’m doing research on my current skincare concerns which are the blackheads, scars, and pores on my nose. I hope that I can get the flawless nose that I have always dreamed of by the end of the year. And I hope you guys will be with me for that journey.

I am so excited to start another year with this blog. So for everyone who’s been following and reading this blog, thank you so much! I mean, I didn’t think that anyone would even give a damn about this blog but I receive notifications almost every day that someone has followed, liked, and commented on my posts. You guys don’t know how happy that makes me feel. I’m also happy that some of us are getting familiar with each other, I honestly don’t know where I can find an online community like a forum that solely talks about skincare–particularly Korean skincare. But I have you guys!!! And I think you guys are enough ‚̧

Once again. I thank everyone for staying with me this whole year. For those who has commented and left suggestions and stuff, I really appreciate everything. I still consider myself a baby when it comes to skincare and blogging, and you guys made it so easy for me to take my baby steps.

Sooo… here’s to another year of Mimarosa! And for more years to come! Also, for beautiful and flawless youthful skin!

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Product Review: Nature Republic California Aloe Vera Cleansing Tissue

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A few weeks ago, I was looking for the Nature Republic 92% Aloe Vera Gel in their SM Mall of Asia store, sadly, they were out of stock and all they had was this cleansing tissue. Since it was on sale, (I couldn’t remember exactly, buy 1 take 1 for 399PHP or 499PHP, I think? Anyway, if you have been following my blog, you’ll notice that I hardly mention prices because I’m bad at remembering them! Haha) I decided to buy it. After all, I really didn’t have an on-the-go Cleansing Tissue at home but I always find myself looking for one every now and then, so I thought buying this will be a good investment for me.

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Surely, since I have just recently started using makeup on a daily basis, this became so useful for me. I use it immediately when I get home to wipe off the makeup on my face before I proceed using the cleansing balm.

The thing about this is that when you pull one tissue, it has the tendency to pull out one or two more, so I always end up stuffing the extra tissue back inside if less than half of it has been pulled out. If not, I’ll just have to use both tissues. I just recently discovered that I have to hold down the area around the opening when I pull out a tissue so that it won’t release more than one tissue. To be honest, I find it quite tedious.

However, that is not the main purpose of the cleansing wipes. So in this post I’m going to show you guys how well does it actually remove makeup.

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So here are a few cosmetics from Clinique and Covergirl. I’ve had them for quite some time now but I rarely used them because I used to be a no makeup person.

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I just swatched them on my forearm–prior to that I put BB cream on it. Also, the very dark red swatch there is from Colourpop.

(related: UNBOXING: Colourpop box)

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So here’s how the actual cleansing wipe looks like. I put it against a darker background so it can be more visible. As you can see, it isn’t dripping wet, nor it is too dry. It’s just enough so that it won’t leave droplets on the surface you place them on. I also like it because unlike other cleansing wipes, this does not leave my skin dripping wet after I wipe it on. Thus, I don’t need to use a regular tissue or a towel to wipe off excess moisture.

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This is how my arm looked like after I used the cleansing wipe to remove all the makeup. No extra moisture whatsoever. It looks like what my arm would usually look like. However, my skin does feel moisturized. I think this may have something to do with the Aloe Vera in the cleansing tissue. It does not sit on the surface of the skin, it immediately penetrates right after contact.

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I only used one cleansing tissue to remove all the makeup swatches that I applied on my arm earlier, and all it took was a few swipes. I didn’t have to wipe that hard to remove everything, even the matte lipstick from Colourpop.

Aside from the small problem I have whenever I try to pull out a cleansing tissue, I really like this product and it has been handy for me. I’ve been bringing this everywhere I go, and I say that it is a good alternative whenever I’m too tired to wash my face. It’s gentle on the skin and I don’t need to wipe that hard to remove makeup. Also, I can smell the aloe vera on the product, which I really liked.

This also feels very refreshing when I use it to wipe off excess sweat after a workout–and it doesn’t leave a sticky feeling at all (some wipes leave a sticky feeling, honestly.)

For those who would prefer to bring their wipes in their purses or bags, unless if you bring a really big bag with you, this isn’t the cleansing wipe for you. However, I would highly suggest this as an at-home cleansing wipe–the one that sits perfectly somewhere in your vanity table or bathroom.

 

Product Review: Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm Triple Functions

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They say that skincare is useless if you don’t use SPF. Therefore, I always make sure that I have applied sun cream every time I go outside. Honestly, I was against the thought of applying anything on my face in the morning at first because I didn’t want my face to look too oily, or greasy, or powdery, or clowny whatsoever. But as time went by I realized that I can actually apply makeup and the greasy film of sunscreen can be toned down with the right powder.

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Using makeup such as BB creams to double as my SPF never really occurred to me because I honestly thought that they are not as effective as SPF products alone. However, my friend sent me this BB Cream from SKIN79 because she loves me, and I read that it is a highly upgraded sunscreen… I know it might just be for advertising when it’s obviouly more of a makeup than a skincare product. But who cares! this is SPF50, my usual SPF was only 30, thus this one might just give me more UV protection.

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The bottle says that SKIN79’s Super Plus Beblesh Balm Triple Functions is focused on Whitening/Anti-Wrinkle/ Ultraviolet rays protection SPF50+ PA+++. It is a highly upgraded sunscreen reduces skin discoloration and skin aging caused by UV A & B. (please ignore the grammar, I’m only copying what’s written on the bottle.)

Phytospingosine and Ceramide as similar ingredients to skin strengthen skin’s protective barrierand maintain skin balance. OSMOPUR-N and Vita-V Complex soothe and protect from skin damage caused by harmful environment to produce moistful and healthy-looking skin.

DIRECTIONS

Use proper amount on your face and spread it evenly.

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For my face I only need one pump to cover everything up. I simply blot the product around my face with a beauty blender until everything looks even.

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Here’s what my skin looks like without the BB cream.IMG_5548

And here it is with the BB cream.

Generally speaking, I like this product. I immediately fell in love with it the first time I tried it on and decided to use it as my daily BB cream–breaking my “makeup is different from skincare” rule and “no makeup just powder and concealer” rule. Simply because it makes my skin appear more even with or without concealer.

I also like its consistency, not too thick and not too watery. It’s just enough for me to be able to spread the product evenly without worrying that it might cake up. Oh, and that’s also one thing, this BB cream does not cake. However, this leaves a very dewy finish that makes me look not-so-pretty in photos unless if I use loose powder.

Also, I’m glad that my friend gave me the right shade because as you can see in the above photos, there were no much difference between my bare skin and the one with this BB cream except that it looks more even and the red patches and visible veins were gone. Although it highlighted the chicken skin a bit, I don’t think I have that problem on my face so I’m not really bothered by that. Overall, my skin looks younger with this BB cream.

My skin surprisingly had a good reaction to this product. Before, I would stay away from using makeup because I tend to get breakouts when using them. But with this one, I barely got any even though I used this every single day.

I think my only major concern with this is the packaging–it isn’t travel friendly and it looks like something that will be scattered all over your pouch if you don’t securely pack it. Which is why I put this inside its box and place it on a safe place in my luggage where it won’t be crushed by my other stuff–which is by the way, really difficult to do because I tend to pack more than what my bags can allow. I’m thinking of repackaging it to a smaller travel bottle to make it less of a hassle for me to bring it everywhere, But I’m afraid that the product might dry up inside the new container and waste a generous amount of it. So, I’m not sure if putting this in a travel bottle is still a good idea.

Anyway, that’s all I can say about this product. I totally recommend this to everyone and I’m pretty much sure I’m going to purchase this once I run out of it soon.

By the way, the friend that gave me this BB cream from SKIN79 also sells this, and a variety of other beauty products in her instagram page @nudieorganics. Check out her IG if you’re interested!

I hope you found this post helpful!

XOXO

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Nature Republic Honey Real Nature Essence

Hey guys! I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but honey is one of my most favorite skincare ingredients. I have been in love with it ever since my very first honey-infused skincare product (I don’t have a review for it, but it’s the Honey Cera Toner from Etude House.) and after that, I have always been in the look for the best honey skincare products around.

It was last September when I thought of doing some skincare shopping at SM MOA when I came along this essence. I have honestly never heard of it before, but the aloe vera gel from the same brand did wonderfully on my skin, so I was confident with Nature Republic. I specifically chose honey to be the main ingredient for my essence, because as they say, essence is the heart of skincare. To put it simply, I want honey to be on the heart of skincare because I don’t think any other product did me good as much as honey did (well, except vitamin C and snail mucin, but let’s talk about that later.)

(related:Banila Co., Tony Moly and Nature Republic Skincare Haul 2017)

(related: Nature Republic 92% Aloe Vera Gel Review)

(related: PRODUCT EXPERIENCE: Dear Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop)

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This particular essence uses Manuka Honey which is great on moisturization and helps in healing acne. It also repairs scars and fights ageing. To be honest, I didn’t know that this essence from Nature Republic uses Manuka Honey when I bought it, I only found out about it when I researched about this product in the internet–and damn boy, it made me happy. I know for a fact that my skin loves Manuka Honey because it reacts positively to Etude House’s Manuka Honey sheet mask. Anyway, let’s not talk about that here, let’s just focus on this baby:

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The bottle claims that it will provide rich moisture and nourishment and prevent roughness and dryness of the skin. 

In my experience, on my first time using this product, I was not really impressed by the smell–it was too nature-y for me, however, the scent also gave me validation that I’m putting an all-natural organic product on my face. Which, in my case, justifies the not-so-perfumey scent.

I forgot to take a photo of the product itself. But imagine this: it looks and feels like honey, but less shiny and less yellow-ish. The substance was honey-like, too. Except that it isn’t as sticky as honey. At first it may seem thick, but it easily applies evenly on the skin. Also, it absorbs easily. I use this product both morning and evening and there’s no way in hell I’d use something that will make me look like I slathered a pound of oil on my face in the morning–which means this essence is safe for your morning routine.

What I noticed when I first used this product was that my skin felt more moisturized and I actually feel like the product is doing wonders from beneath the skin, because my skin was immediately smoother and softer.

Before using this product, my nose used to flake from time to time. Now, it never happened. I did not feel or notice the need for any moisturizing reinforcement. This essence does its job well.

The only downside of this essence is that it easily runs out. I’ve only had it for like a month, but I don’t think it will last until the second week of November. Thus, if you plan on buying this, this is not for a long-term engagement. Buy two bottles, or start thinking of the next essence that you are going to use the moment you pump this on your palm.

Overall, I think this is a great product for those with sensitive, combination, and dry skin. This will work perfectly during the cold. I would definitely repurchase this in the future.

Hope this review helped you!

XOXO,

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PRODUCT EXPERIENCE: Miniso Compressed Facial Masks

Hello everyone! Miniso–a Japanese fast fashion designer brand just recently opened in SM City Davao last August. This got me really excited because as much as I love Korean Skincare, I am a big fan of Japanese products. I remember back when I was still a student in college, I would purposely go to Manila before going to Dumaguete just so I can buy notebooks and pens from Muji, and clothes from Uniqlo. I don’t know how the Japanese does it, but their products are really good–and I didn’t even notice that I preferred Japanese products until much later. To be honest, I didn’t have any idea what Miniso was when I found out that they opened here in Davao, but I still got excited because it’s Japanese.

It was so funny because during my first visit in Miniso, I was with my mom and there were sooooooooo many people inside the store that we decided not to buy anything yet because the line’s too long and everything was chaotic. All we did was look around and yknow, did some window shopping on the products we think we might purchase. And one of the items that caught our eyes was this:IMG_4182 (1)

Compressed Facial Mask Sheets! It really looks interesting because it’s different, and it looks like small candies. When I saw this, I immediately told my mom that I will get one of these soon when we go back to do some shopping. Sure enough, in our second visit, my mom got the white ones while I got the black.

I was really excited to try this and see how it works because if ever this facial mask was good, I can skip hoarding tons of sheet masks and just pop one or two of these in my bag whenever I travel and bring my preferred serum or essence with me (the thing that I would soak this with.

So anyway, here’s how an individual compressed sheet mask looks like:

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According to the packaging, the sheet mask must be soaked in ‘essence toner’ for it to decompress. I honestly have no idea what an ‘essence toner’ was, but yknow some Asian products, they have completely different terms for different products, and you have to be savvy enough to know what they actually meant. Well, since most sheet masks are soaked in Essence, I chose The Body Shop’s Drops of Light Pure Translucency Essence Lotion.

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I actually got this Essence Lotion as a present last Christmas, and I used this in my very first skincare routine, but I wasn’t able to finish all of it because I wanted to try more Korean products. Thus, I just put this is my shelf in case I feel like using it again.

(related: 2016 Skincare Routine)

So to test the facial mask, I got an old container and put the compressed sheet mask in the middle.IMG_4190 (1)

And I put two to three drops/squirts of the essence lotion on the product. I did this while I was putting clay mask on my face, thinking that after washing the clay mask off and applying my other products, the compressed mask will be soaked enough to open up and I can use it before I apply my emulsion and moisturizer.

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So, after 20 minutes of letting my clay mask dry, washing it off, applying my essence, serum and eye mask, the compressed mask didn’t look like it would decompress anytime soon, so I decided to transfer it on a smaller container where it can be filled with more essence. I added two more drops/squirts (I honestly press the bottle for the product to come out so I guess I can call it ‘squirts’ lol) for good measure.

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After a few more minutes, I got tired of waiting and decided to press the compressed mask to force the essence in so it can finally decompress.

So yeah, after almost an hour of frustration, it finally decompressed and it looked like this:

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I have to be honest, it was a disappointment because I applied more product that I usually would apply on my face on this and yet this doesn’t even feel wet enough to be a sheet mask. Yknow, sheet masks are usually soaking wet and oftentimes there will still be product dripping out of the mask once you remove it from the packaging, while this one looked really dry. I didn’t bother using it on my face anymore because I didn’t want to add anything to my disappointment anymore.

Anyway, my brother got another compressed mask and put water on it, and after a matter of seconds, it decompressed. So maybe I thought it was my fault because the essence was too thick and the mask couldn’t absorb it completely. Thus, after a few days, I did a second experiment with my Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner.

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After all, the mask’s packaging said ‘essence toner’ and maybe they really meant ‘toner’, or maybe there might really be an ‘essence toner’ in Japan, I don’t really know. If you guys know anything, please comment down below.

This is how to looked like before I added toner on it (by the way, a freshner is a toner too.):IMG_4314 (4)

After three squirts of the freshner, it immediately turned into this:IMG_4316

It decompressed fast and it’s ready to use.¬†IMG_4318

But then again, I didn’t use this on my face because the Wonder Pore Freshner is alcohol-based and I didn’t want my face to be soaked in anything alcohol-based for too long. I do use this freshner from time to time, but I don’t think it is advisable to use it as a sheet mask.

Final verdict:¬†I guess you guys can say that I don’t like putting this sheet mask on my face based on the fact that I didn’t in the two experiments. To be honest, I don’t think I will be using these compressed sheet masks anytime soon, or whenever I travel, because first, I need to find an appropriate product to soak this with, and second, I would actually need to put more than what I usually apply on my face on this product for it to work. Lastly, in my own opinion, I think it will be more space savvy to use the readily soaked sheet masks than using these whenever I travel because I still need to bring another bottle of product to use this. While in regular sheet masks, I can just put them anywhere in my own convenience. However, I would recommend these compressed masks for people who likes experimenting, and for those who has watery products and would want to reinforce it’s effects on the face with a sheet mask.

Before I end this blog post, I would just like to clarify that the goal of this post is to share my thoughts and opinions on a certain product and I, in any way, has no intention to degrade or dignify Miniso in any form. I’m just stating my honest observations, hoping that I can help the people out there who are interested in this product.

Since Miniso has a lot of products in their store, expect that I will be posting other reviews from the items in their store soon. I hope you’ll be around to read that once more,

Until next time,

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NAKEUPFACE Stress Zero Cleansing Stick

Hey guys! I’ve been busy going to the gym lately that I barely had time to post anything here. However, during one of my travels, I was inspired by how gorgeous the hotel bathroom was and thought that it’s a great opportunity for me to take photos for my blog there, and so I did. I just transferred to my sister’s place last month and the lighting was quite bad there, so even though I had time to take photos and write a review, I couldn’t because I don’t want my posts to look like shit. Even though I know that the photos that I upload here are not even of great quality and they’re not even edited… I at least try to give myself some dignity by taking them with good lighting. If I had more time to focus in this blog, I would have had more effort in displaying my creativity here. However, my current schedule and resources make it hard for me to exert my full-on ~*photography*~ skills. Hahaha.

 

Anyway, enough with that. Let’s just focus on the subject of this post, which is the Nakeupface Stress Zero Cleansing Stick:

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I’ve heard about cleansing sticks from some of the youtube skincare channels that I follow. I’ve always thought of buying one but I didn’t think that the products that they showcase in their channels were sold in my favorite online stores, so I didn’t put much thought in buying one at first. But later on I realized that it would be a very great convenience for me, a person who frequently travels, to bring with me a cleansing stick instead of the usual cleansing balm and foam. Thus, I scouted Althea Philippines for some cleansing sticks that looked promising. I had a lot of choices, actually. But this one stood out among all of them. (I actually had quite a hard time choosing because all of them seemed good for my skin.)

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So since this is a 3-in-1 product, I first apply it on my bare skin like how I would use my regular cleansing balm. At first I was a bit hesitant to apply it without wetting my face first because it might tug on my skin and result to more wrinkles, but apparently it’s very smooth to apply and the green tea bits weren’t rough enough to cause any irritation. Just be gentle on putting the balm on your whole face.

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What I love the most about this cleansing stick is that it smells like the spa! If you have ever gone out for a facial treatment (I get mine at Flawless SM Lanang 1-2 times a month), they will tell you to smell this certain essential oil before starting the whole process–some spas just smell it it once you enter. I don’t really know what the essential oil is exactly, but whatever it is, it has that de-stressing property that it shares with this product, which is probably why this one is called “Stress Zero”

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After applying the balm to my whole face, I simply put a small amount of water over it and massage it for a few seconds before I wash it all away. It doesn’t foam that much, which is normal according to it’s Althea page. But nonetheless it does its job well.

What I can say is that this cleansing stick is very handy and easy to use, it isn’t too big, but it’s small enough to fit in your purse if ever you just want to bring your facial necessities with you. It’s perfect for travelling because it’s lightweight and at the same time, since it’s in balm form, it will not spill all over your luggage.

I don’t really use makeup thus I cannot say if this is effective in removing makeup, but s far, as long as cleansing is involved, it really delivers the 3-in-1 package and the stress zero promise that the product name brings.

This one costs around 800-900php (I can’t really do research because we currently don’t have internet and I’m just using mobile data and tethered it to my computer so I can write this post down.) It’s quite pricey, but considering that it’s 3-in-1 and its 45g, it’s worth it. And by the way, it lasts long.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask Review

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Hey guys! It’s been a long time since I last wrote anything about The Body Shop. It’s one of the readily-available brand¬†in my country thus I have a lot of products from them my stash. This clay mask in particular, is actually the very first clay mask that I have ever owned my entire life. IMG_9446

I particularly chose The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask because upon buying this, I had been using their Tea Tree Oil and it did wonders in helping me get rid of my acne. Also, since it says “suitable for blemished skin,” I was hoping that it would also help in improving the overall appearance of my skin–which involves getting rid of my acne marks and other imperfections.

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I would normally use this particular mask at least once a week, usually on days when I feel like my face had gathered extra dirt and/or I feel that there’s an incoming pimple. The label here says “Apply a generous layer unto cleansed akin. Leaver for 10-15 minutes, rinse off.” and that’s exactly what I do. They say generous, thus I apply generously.¬†IMG_9434

I just realized that it looks like cake frosting in this photo… yum! But it has a completely different consistency. Unlike frosting, this clay mask has a muddy texture and feels very smooth upon contact–making it easier to glide the product through my whole face. It is in mint green color which reflects the¬†properties of the product itself. Green is commonly¬†the color used for Tea Tree products, and this particular mask is in a cool, refreshing shade just like how it gives a cooling sensation to the skin.

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Unlike other clay masks that gives a tight feeling as it dries, this one somehow manages to make the skin feel hydrated the whole time as it sits on the skin while¬†it does its wonders. You will still feel the skin tighten, and I don’t really know how to explain this, but this product is so cool and hydrating that you actually need to touch your face to check if the mask has dried yet. Also, the clay may appear quite thick and pasty, but it turns transparent as it dries. On some areas where there are more clay than the others, it simply turns greener.

To be honest, I really didn’t appreciate this product on the first few months that I started using it because I thought that it was really difficult to remove and I was not really sure if it does its work well. However, as time passes by, I realized that ALL facial masks are difficult to apply and the wonders of clay masks does not happen overnight. You have to be very religious and consistent in applying it on your face on a weekly basis to realize its effects. I noticed that¬†this Tea Tree mask does help in preventing breakouts because there was a time when I would¬†only use this after I come back from a travel and still the after effects of not focusing on skincare for a short 2 to 3-day trip would haunt me. However, when I started using this BEFORE and AFTER I travel, I don’t get breakouts anymore! Which is quite surprising because I always expect a pimple to suddenly somewhere in my face in the middle of my trip. Now, it’s either I get a small red mark or two–which simply goes away after a few days, or none at all. Amazing, right? Soon after, I’ve learned to love this product and use it more often.

I would totally recommend this product for anyone who has dry, acne-prone skin. This mask is our savior.

XOXO,

Meesh ‚̧

Product Experience: Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Clay Mask

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I’ve had this product since January and I have been using it at least twice a week, usually the second night after every travel. And so far, I think this jar of mask could last me two years because it has a lot of product in it and I don’t really need to use a whole chunk of it to cover my whole face.

(Related:Althea Korea Skincare Haul)

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I love how fine the texture of this product is, it isn’t sticky and it’s not tacky at all, application is really smooth despite the thickness. A little goes a long way! It easily dries and it washes off with no hassle.

After washing off, the skin feels lighter and soft. This product is supposed to remove pimple-causing oils and other impurities from the face, and I really appreciate the fact that my skin does not feel dry after application. However, there was this one time that I accidentally put a bit of this clay on my lips, and it left my lips feeling really dry for like a week or two. No amount of my trusty lipbalm helped me with bringing back the moisture on my lips. I even tried using some exfoliators on them, hoping to remove whatever effect of this product left on my lips, but I think this mask was way too much for my lips that it completely changed whatever structure my skin had. It’s both a good thing and a bad thing because if I didn’t have this experience, I wouldn’t appreciate the power of this clay mask on my skin. It’s bad because even though my lips didn’t break due to the dryness, it would flake and it would feel extremely uncomfortable.

Using Nivea’s Lip Butter Raspberry Rose helped me solve my lip problem. If any of you guys encounter such unfortunate incident, lip butters will save your day.

Anyway, as for this product’s participation in clearing acne– I can’t really say if it helps lessen it, but I know that it doesn’t inflame any present breakout nor does it cause one. This might help in drying the acne, it’s just that I don’t really feel it.

As for the scent, it does not really have a particular scent. It simply smells like earth and clay.

This mask if meant for those with normal to dry skin types. Those with dry skin don’t have to worry about this product drying your skin further–it sucks out impure oils and leaves all the good nutrients in your skin which is why I would still feel refreshed and my skin would feel soft once I was this mask off.

For those with oily skin, another variant of this product, the Innisfree Super Volcanic Clay Mask is for you.

I totally recommend this product to everyone who does skincare. I think this is a basic. If you’re into Korean Skincare, this is a staple that you need to have.

What is your favorite face mask/clay? Let me know!

XOXO,

Meesh ‚̧