Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Review: Sonia Kashuk's Brush and Sponge Cleanser

I'm almost out of my regular brush cleanser and was looking up reviews online for my next purchase when I saw lots of excellent reviews for the Sonia Kashuk cleanser. I was already heading out to Target and decided to grab one since the price wasn't bad at all.
By the way...There will be photos of my sink later on. I apologize for my dirty sink! It's crazy old, stained and rusted beyond possible cleaning. Fair warning!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Review: Mizon Snail Repair BB Cream

So, I'd like to apologize in advance as I really need a better camera than this one to take photos of some of the products I purchase. My camera really hates metallic surfaces and so the photos don't show up as well as they should. Also, I do have tattoos and that gets in the way of swatches! I tried to show some photos I'd taken recently with me wearing the BB cream, but they're pretty much awkward selfies...So...yeah.
Bear with me please!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Review: Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

While walking around Myeongdong (pretty much in circles...) and getting lost actually did some wonders for me! I ended up face to face with Lee Min Ho for the first time ever. Well, kind of. Thank you store window! Even with a map and the gigantic Nature Republic store to guide me, I still couldn't find the restaurant I wanted to go to, but ended up finding an Innisfree store that was still open! They had a nice sale going on and the store was almost empty too! At the time LMH was the male spokesperson for the brand and so they had his face plastered everywhere with life size cardboard cut outs placed everywhere. Man, that boy is attractive. ANYWAYS.
My main goal this time around was to grab the Black Sugar mask from SkinFood and the Jeju clay mask from Innisfree. Both goals accomplished!

Product Info:
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

Where to get it:
Innisfree Stores: 12000 (I got mine with a discount sale they were having - ₩9000)
RoseRoseShop: 9.00
KoreaDepart: 12.18
Sasa: 15.70

This Jeju volcanic scoria clay mask intensively absorbs sebum and clarifies skin pores. This pure and rare ingredient, formulated from solidified lava caused by volcanic eruptions in Jeju island, absorbs impurities and sebum that are deeply embedded within skin pores.

-Tightens pores
-Removes sebum
-Offers deep cleansing
-Enhances skin tone
-Provides cooling effects

Water, Butylene Glycol, Titanium Dioxide, Silica, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Trehalose, Volcanic Ash, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Clyceryl Stearate, Bentonite, Zinc Oxide, Polysorbate 60, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Orchid, Camellia Japonica, Cryptomeria Japonica Leaf Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris Extract, Theobroma Cacao Seed Powder, Kaolin, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, PVP, Dextrin, PEG-100 Stearate, Sorbitan Stearate, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Red Oxide of Iron (CI 7741)

So, here we have two potentials for irritants and a few triggers for some acne break outs. Ironic as this mask is supposed to help controlling the sebum to prevent those, but anyways!
First on the list is Cetearyl Alcohol. It's ranking a 4 our 5 for acne, and a 3 out of 5 for irritant. On the safety bar, it's still listed as safe.
Hydrogenated Veggie Oil is our last guy on the list. It's listed as an emollient ingredient and ranks a 3/5 for acne, and anywhere from a 0-1 for irritation.
There are a few ingredients on the list where the safety bar is in the yellow, or middle, but nothing red or raising gigantic flags.

It really doesn't smell like anything actually, or at least to me anyways. I mean, it kind of has the "clayish" smell to it, but I literally have to stick my nose into the jar to even get a whiff of that.

The box itself is made from 100% recycled paper (ink is printed from soy ink) and can be recycled, yet again! I really love this about Innisfree as well, as they ask you to return your empties to them to recycle into new products. It feels a bit sturdier than a cardboard box, but it it is what it is. The Innisfree logo is on the top, and 2/4 sides are in Korean (does the front of the box really count?) leaving one side completely dedicated to English. It explains the concept, how to apply, and the ingredients, pretty nice eh? Although, it leaves out the nifty story about Volcanic clusters from Jeju, the Innisfree promise, the 4-free system, and their outlook on eco-friendly green life. My only complaint, is it doesn't come with a spatula or any kind of tool to get this out. I end up using a new, clean spoon every time but still a bummer!

Like most clay masks I've used, after a few moments you can see them change colors to show the oil it's soaking up, or how it darkens to show it's dried. This mask....does none of that. It's pretty much the same color through and through, regardless of if you use it for 15 minutes or as an overnight spot treatment. I do enjoy how it's always nice and cool though!

Even after one use I started to notice my skin looking a bit brighter, after several uses there's a definite glow there now. It's also done a significant amount of damage to the congested pores I had on my nose and cheeks. They're definitely a lot less noticeable!  It's a lot easier to put on makeup, and I really don't even need an actual primer now. My foundation used to kind of sit and fill in my pores and would require a primer to help "fill" my skin in so it didn't do that. I'm happy to say I'm able to ditch the primer as there's not a lot for the foundation to sink into anymore (those smile lines are a different story though...). So, it does work wonderfully as a mask for sure. I use a bit of it on my boyfriend's nose as well as he has some pretty bad skin (love you!), and it's helped cleared out a LOT of the pores on his face. He doesn't let me do it consistently enough, which is shame. Tsk tsk!
However, he has noticed enough of a difference that he asks if I can put some on a bit zit that's appeared. I also do the same, just a bit of spot treatments before we go to sleep if need be. It helps either eliminate the bump, or tone down the redness enough that it's hardly noticeable
I've also put some on my shoulders or back when I get a bump from my conditioner and it does help tremendously. My only complaint is that the jar is SO small! I feel like I use this up so fast in such a small amount of time which wouldn't bother me if I was still in Seoul, but being stateside and running out so fast sucks a lot. Next February I'm definitely stocking up -.-!

So for a TL;DR:
For a full face mask I'd use this once or twice a week depending on how oily your skin is.
If you feel like your nose and cheek area have enlarged pores, just use a nose mask maybe twice a week.
OR! If you feel a blemish popping up (I've done this on my face, shoulders, and back), do a spot treatment and place a small amount over the blemish before bed and wake up amazed~

-Several ways to use this product
-Brighter skin
-Tightens pores
-Feels nice and cool while on
-Helps prevent breakouts through deep cleansing

-Small jar!
-Shipping/price hell

Rating: 8/10
I really do love the product and the fact that it really, truly does work like it says. I really wish Innisfree would plop a shop somewhere in the states so we could empty the store daily. I enjoy not only their products, but how they view helping out the world with recyclable boxes, returnable pots, and even the ink is made from soy. How cool is that? Thank you AmorePacific for making another amazing brand for us to enjoy!
The downsides are the size of the pots and the price. You can pay a bit more and get free faster shipping, or pay less and then shipping takes forever. There's no winning here. However, I do like how they've come out with a larger 200ml tube, which also includes instructions on how to use it on the entire body!