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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The Face Shop Real Nature Sheet Mask Haul

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Hello everyone! I was at Cagayan de Oro City a few weeks ago and I had some free time to roam around. Luckily, our hotel was located near Limketkai Mall so I went there and found their local The Face Shop store. They have this 5+5 Real Nature Sheet Mask sale, in which you basically get 5 and get another 5 for free. I just couldn’t resist how much of a good deal this was, and started grabbing a few sheet masks.

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I actually availed of this promo last January in The Face Shop Ayala Abreeza Mall in Davao City, I think the sale lasted up until Chinese New Year only, so after that, their sheet masks there were back to their normal prices. I was actually surprised when I found out that the one in Limketkai Mall still had the sale on-going, so I grabbed my chance. I was only supposed to get 10 sheet masks, but there were others which seemed interesting so I decided to get 20 instead.

These sheet masks are regularly priced at 65php each. A set of 5+5 costs 325php. Since I got two sets, I paid 650php all in all for 20 sheet masks.

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I got two of the others because I had 16 different sheet masks in my bag already and nothing else seemed interesting for me, so I just got another pack of those that I really liked–or those that I really wanted to try. I chose to have two of honey, shea butter, kelp, and rice sheet masks.

If I use sheet masks at least twice a week, it will take me 10 weeks to finish using all of these–that’s almost three months! At least I don’t have to worry running out of them anytime soon.

I’m still in search of my favorite sheet masks and I’m positive that some of them will come from this haul.

Where do you get your favorite sheet masks? Let me know!

XOXO,

Meesh 🙂

My 11-Step Skincare Routine (Part 2)

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Hello everyone! Here I am, back with the second part of my Evening Skincare routine. I posted the first one last week, click this link if you want to check that out. The first one covered the first five steps: First cleanser, second cleanser, exfoliator, toner, and essence. I this part, I’ll be showing you guys the other half of my skincare routine: The serum, face mask, eye cream, emulsion, moisturizer, and lipbalm.

Step 6: Serum

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Etude House Pink Vital Water Serum – This is the very first serum that I have ever purchased, so far I have nothing negative to say about it. It isn’t sticky nor thick, and it doesn’t really cause breakouts. It also absorbs easily, which I like. But aside from that, I have nothing else to say about this. I’m actually not sure what this does although they say that it hydrates the skin. I like the packaging, though. And it’s travel-friendly.

 

 

Step 7: Sheet Masks/Treatments

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I don’t really have a particular sheet mask that I use all the time, I have a stack of like 50 different sheet masks and I choose what I use depending on my skincare needs. Like, if I need moisturizing, I’ll use a honey sheet mask, if I have a breakout, I’ll use Tea Tree. It depends on what I have too. I use at least two sheet masks a week, sometimes I use more whenever I travel because I see to it that I use a sheet mask after a long plane or car ride. I don’t have a lot of favorite sheet masks yet because I’m still in the process of determining which I like, but I’ll make a blog post about it soon!

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The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil – This is the step in which I apply my facial treatments. But so far I only have this oil that I have raved about in this post. But right now, since I don’t get a lot of breakouts anymore, I only apply this when I feel like there’s an acne coming up, or when I feel like my face needs that extra treatment–whenever necessary. Tea Tree Oil was a big help for me in combating acne, and I can never imagine my life without it.

Step 8: Eye Cream  

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Skinfood Salmon Brightening Eye Cream – I wasn’t really sure why I bought this particular product, I was simply itching to buy something new and I wanted an eye cream that’s in a jar. I tried the tester first and I was impressed with how easy the product absorbs into my skin, thus I purchased it. After using this, my eyes looked less dull and I actually looked more alive. There’s only one thing that I don’t like with this eye cream, it sometimes gets caught in my under lashes and it’s really difficult to wipe off.

Steps 9 and 10: Emulsion/Moisturizer/Sleeping Pack

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I have four different products for steps 9 and 10. I don’t use all of them altogether, I only use two a night. My usual combination would be the Etude House Moistfull Collagen Emulsion and The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet. On days when I feel like my skin needs more moisture, I would replace the Aqua Boost Sorbet with the CosRX Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask. There are also days when I feel like my skin needs extra firming so I would use the Aqua Boost Sorbet along with the Etude House Play Therapy Sleeping Pack. The rule here is that I should never use three of any of the above mentioned products at once, and I should never use the overnight mask and the sleeping mask together. Aside from those, I am free to choose any two products a night.

Step 11: Lipbalm

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L’Occitane Ultra Rich Lipbalm – I have gone through many lipbalms before, but I wasn’t really satisfied with any of them until I had this. I would use this in the morning if it doesn’t leave a really thick shine, but my current morning lipbalm is doing a really good job in keeping my skin moisturized the whole day. And this is really good for overnight moisturizing because as it says, it’s ultra rich. I wake up in the morning with really smooth lips unlike before when it would feel dry and sometimes it would even flake and bleed whenever I stretch it into a smile. The only downside of this lipbalm is that I can’t find it individually in our local L’Occitane stores. It always comes with two other lipbalms and I’m not yet sure if I want to buy the whole set. I got this one at the Manchester Airport in the UK a few months back and it’s the only one left in the shelves. I’m almost out of this one, and it seems like I have no choice but to try and find a different lipbalm that would match this one for replacement.

So that’s it for my 11-Step Skincare Routine. It isn’t the perfect lineup for me yet, but I do have a bunch of favorites from this routine that I sure would keep in my skincare essentials. I’m pretty much sure that there will be a lot of changes in this routine over the months, so if you would like to be updated, check my blog from time to time.

Also, I’m very open to suggestions and recommendations. If you have a holy grail product that you truly love, and would recommend. Please let me know! I have a normal skin type with a few dry patches along the T-zone, which means there’s no problem with me trying different products for different skin types.

I hope you guys liked this post, if you have comments or suggestions, please let me know!

XOXO,

Meesh ❤

SM Mall of Asia Skincare Haul

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SM Mall of Asia offers a variety of skincare brands that can be found in almost every corner of the mall. Once or twice a month, I get the chance to visit this place because the area that I stay at whenever I’m in Manila is only a good 10-minute ride away.

I didn’t care much about the skincare stores and brands that this mall had until last year, I remember going to MOA almost every day for two weeks straight because I had nothing else to do during the vacation and I barely remember looking at skincare/makeup stores during that time. I was more focused on clothing and books. So imagine my surprise when I saw Banila Co. in their department store. Without thinking twice, I immediately grabbed a few products from their shelves because I will never know when will be the next time I’ll visit MOA.

I only intended to purchase something that will break my 100ophp bill because I had to pay a friend after he paid for my dinner, thus getting the 980php-worth Banila Co. Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm does not definitely fulfill my goal during that time. So, to break another 1000php bill, I added two more sheet masks (which aren’t pictured above because I already used them.)

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I bought Banila Co.’s Mr. Skin Doctor Ampoule Mask Sheet– Moisturizing Care and Pore Care. I’m sorry I completely forgot to take a photo of the Pore Care.

After a few days, I went back to MOA and purchased the rest of the items showcased at the very first photo on this blog post.

Banila Co. Essential Mask Sheet (Sebum Care and Pore Care) – I originally wanted the clay mask, but since I already have too many mud/clay masks/packs, I decided to go for the sheet masks instead.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil – I unfortunately ran out of this in the middle of my travel. Thus, I was tea tree-free for around three days. If you guys read this blog post then you would know how much I love this product, I can’t live without it.

Origins Out Of Trouble  Mask – I have mentioned in this sample review that I am going to purchase this product. Although it’s actually pricier than I thought it would be–I thought this would only cost around 800-900php so I had to hide my surprise when the saleslady told me that it costs 1500php! That’s almost twice my estimated price. But I have this trait that whenever I decide on doing something, I’ll do it. And I really loved this product, I know I’ll regret it if I don’t purchase it.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask – I have also mentioned in this blog post that I’m going to purchase this product full size. So, same story as the Trouble Mask here. I must get an award for keeping my word.

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Anyhow, Origins gave me these samples. I still have some samples from Origins that I haven’t tried yet in my stash, but I do plan on reviewing them soon.

 

 

 

These are the samples that they gave me:

Dr. Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Treatment Lotion

Origins Three Part Harmony Foaming Cream to Oil Cleanser

Dr. Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Advanced Face Serum

Origins Three Part Harmony Oil-infused Serum for Renewal, Repair and Radiance

So, that’s all for this Skincare Haul. I might probably go shopping again the next time I go to MOA, I did find other products that I wanted to purchase while I was strolling around but I had my priorities and I had to keep my wallet alive. I will definitely go back for Laneige, Tony Moly and Khiel’s soon. I hope you guys enjoyed this haul!

XOXO,

Meesh

UNBOXING: Althea Korea Sample Set

I love freebies. I wasn’t planning on ordering anything from Althea Korea until I got my Anti-Pollution box, but then I saw this post on Facebook saying that they’re giving away free samples–and of course, the shopaholic in me was triggered. I actually tried preventing myself from getting this set by thinking that I should wait until tomorrow if I still liked it, but then again I thought that this was a pretty good deal and I know that if I wait until the next day, this set will be gone. Anyway, it’s for free! The only thing I had to pay was the 250php shipping fee and I’ll be having a good set of samples. There’s almost nothing to lose. So without further ado, I added the product to my bag and immediately went to checkout. I didn’t even think of purchasing other products because I can’t think of anything during that moment, I just wanted the samples.

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Good thing I decided to purchase it because after a few hours, it was already out of stock. I may be a jerk for just ordering free stuff, but hey! I buy a lot of things from this site and they actually allowed me to order the sample set alone. Don’t worry Althea, I’ll definitely come back and order items that I will have to pay for next time.

I ordered this Sample Set last February 6th and it arrived February 14th (a really sweet Valentine gift from Althea), but I was only able to get my hands on it on February 20th because I was out of town. The courier actually delivered this at home but there was no one was there whenever he comes over so I guess he just stopped trying after this second try. So after coming back in town, I immediately contacted LBC and asked them how I can get my package. They told me to pick up the package in their warehouse instead as they cannot leave this package in any other LBC outlet unless the shipper notifies them.

(Side story: while I was waiting for my package, I can see the guy who updates their online tracker busy updating their website. I almost wanted to approach him and tell him about my emotional breakdown a few days ago because of LBC’s unreliable tracking system. But instead I remained calm and waited for my package. Grace under torture.)

So when I got my package, I was honestly surprised how light it was because in the Althea website, it looked really packed. I searched for the Sample Set on the website the moment I got my hands on my laptop, but this was the only thing I found:

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Guess I did the right decision in availing this giveaway.

Anyway, the website had three sample sets and I was supposed to compare and find out which set I got (they give them away randomly). Too bad I can’t find any photo or website that had a copy of their giveaway.

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The set came with their smallest box (forgive me for the shadow, that was the best I could do at that moment). It was so light it almost felt like nothing was in it.

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Tadaaaa!!! My sample set! Unlike regular Althea purchases, this one didn’t come with a bubble wrap per product, thank you cards, and pink paper thingies. The box was still covered in bubble wrap, by the way. I’m not complaining, though. I’m just telling how it looked like. After all, I got all these things for free, and I am thankful that even though I didn’t purchase any product, Althea still sent me this. I mean seriously, how many stores would allow that? We should be happy that the faeries at Althea are very generous.

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I was actually hoping I would get the set with Laneige samples, but this one’s good too. I mean, I’ve been dying to try IOPE products and the Acwell Aqua Weekly Sleeping recharger was actually on my wishlist!

Here’s a breakdown of each sample in the box:

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One of the items that I am really happy to receive was this Iope Moistgen Skin Hydration Special Gift Set. Simply because I love skincare sample sets, and I’ve heard a lot of great things about Iope and I want to purchase something from this brand soon, I just don’t know what I should buy. Hopefully this set will help me decide.

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This skincare set includes a softener, emulsion, serum and an eye cream–all from the same Moistgen Skin Hydration range. I’m almost out of my Moistfull Collagen skincare sample set (which I only use during travels) and this set it just in time for replacement.

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Banila Co. Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm – This is the best product inside the box for me. I just recently started adding a first cleanser in my routine, and I actually have this product in full size. I absolutely love it but sadly, it isn’t travel friendly. Although it doesn’t spill and all, the whole thing just takes too much space. This sampler is very convenient for me because I can bring it anywhere and do my double cleansing.

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Acwell Aqua Weekly Sleeping Recharger – This product is actually on my wishlist–well, whole 7-day pack–so I’m glad they gave me these even before I bought it. These products were supposed to come with five more packs to complete the whole week, but they only gave me the last two which are supposed to do some moisture wrapping, and to return moisture. I honestly don’t know when I’ll be able to use these products as they are supposed to come with 5 more steps to complete the whole cycle. But anyway, I’ll try to figure things out.

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Aromatica Rose First Absolute Serum – This product is absolutely foreign to me. I haven’t heard about it before although I’m quite familiar with the brand. I’ve just recently read about this product, and it uses interesting ingredients such as the bulgarian damask rose oil. I’ve heard about how that ingredient can do wonders to the skin but I’ve never had the chance to try it. So I guess this product will help me figure out if that oil is worth investing.

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Aqua Blossom White Effect O.L.E.D. Cream – I would usually stay away from whitening creams because I already have a fair complexion and I wouldn’t want my face to look lighter than the rest of my body. Anyway, I will still try this sample for the sake of it.

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Witch’s Pouch Real Skin Moisture Ampoule Base – I’ve browsed through this product’s information in the link provided and it says that this is a winter base makeup. Well, there’s no winter in our country thus investing in this product for regular use is already a no. However, I will still try this product as my family has plans on spending Christmas somewhere out of the country and I will definitely need skincare for the winter. By the way, if you guys have winter skincare recommendations, please let me know!

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Mamonde Narcissus Hydrating Flower Essence Mask – An addition to my growing collection of sheet masks! I haven’t tried anything Mamonde yet but I’ve heard of it before and I know it is also widely used by skincare enthusiasts. Can’t wait to try this!

From all the products listed above, I can conclude that Althea Korea gave me the Hydrating/Moisturizing set. I honestly don’t remember what the sets were but each of them has a certain area of concern. Aside from acne-combatting products, my skincare routine is also focused on moisturizing and hydrating–which makes this sample set perfect for helping me find the products that my skin needs.

I absolutely love skincare samples and I would have honestly ordered more than one set if Althea Korea allowed it. But since these samples aren’t really for sale and you only get them if you purchase products and/or when stores like Althea Korea are nice enough to give them out for free without any purchase. I know samples aren’t rare when it comes to Korean brands, but let us just be thankful for their existence. They prevent us from spending a lot of cash on products that we might regret buying.

If you want to score more discounts and freebies for your beauty and skincare needs, Althea Korea promises you the cheapest prices and the most generous freebies and promotional offers.

Here’s 350php off your first purchase if you sign up through this link.

I hope you find the perfect set of products for you!

XOXO,

Meesh 🙂