Wednesday, 25 November 2015

#25 Day Sheet Mask Challenge

I had high hopes of joining the daily sheet mask club, doing the #30daysheetmaskchallenge with a different mask each day but I realised that (a) I’m five short (non!!) and (b) ain’t nobody got time for that.
Just three more and I could do a February #28daysheetmaskchallenge..! Screw it, 2016 is a leap year.

Truth be told, I’m not very fond of sheet masks - obvious to anyone beholding my collection of 180 or so… I hate that feeling of cold wet seaweed slapped on my face and I just can’t seem to make time for them! TT.TT I also question how much one can benefit from a bog-standard formula of butylene glycol, aloe, fragrance, preservatives and 1% Hungarian Rose extract.

So partly for science but really to whittle down my skincare hoard I set myself the target of using three masks per week. The aim: to determine whether sheet masks should become a staple or whether I’m better off investing in something super fancy like that $200 Ginseng cream from Sulwhasoo. (Fun fact: the sheet masks are still cheaper) (Not-so-fun-fact-more-a-horrible-realisation: it’ll take me more than a year to use up all these masks)

Unlike a blogging ‘schedule’, I’ve actually managed to keep this up for three weeks, alternating between two brands of “anti-acne” masks: the Leaders Mediu Amino Clearing Masks and LJH Tea Tree masks. (I’ll have a first impressions post up soon, once I finish translating the ingredients) I’ve been using three of the same mask each week and will keep doing that where possible since almost all of my masks come in packs of 5-10. I’m also trying to keep things consistent by sticking to a “theme” each month. So once I’ve used the anti-acne masks for a month, I’ll move on to the bee masks, then brightening masks, galactomyces masks and hydrating masks.

Stay Tuned! :)

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Review : I'm From Vitamin Tree Mask

I bought the I'm From Vitamin Tree Mask from Wishtrend a few months back. The ingredients seemed interesting, and I'm a sucker for TRYINGALLTHETHINGS, what can I say...

What is it? 
A wash off mask packed with the farm fresh nutritions of fresh vitamin leaves that promises a vitamin-detox for your skin to leave it looking bright and radiant.

산자나무추출물 (50.46%) - Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckhorn) Extract
글리세린 - Glycerin
Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Leaf Extract (11.5%)
카프릴릭/카프릭트리글리세라이드 - Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
세틸알코올 - Cetyl Alcohol
글리세릴스테아레이트 - Glyceryl Stearate
피이지-100스테아레이트 - PEG-100 Stearate
글리세릴스테아레이트에스이 - Glyceryl Stearate SE
비즈왁스 - Beeswax
소듐폴리아크릴로일디메칠타우레이트 - Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate
폴리소르베이트 - Polysorbate 60
Sorbitan Sesquioleate
스테아릴알코올 - Stearyl Alcohol
눈 연꽃추출물 - Saussurea Involucrata (Snow Lotus) Extract
Selaginella Lepidophylla (Rose of Jericho) Extract
Rubus Chamaemorus (Cloudberry) Fruit Extract
Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Extract
소듐하이알루로네이트 - Sodium Hyaluronate
호호바씨오일 - Jojoba Seed Oil
마그네슘알루미늄실리케이트 - Magnesium Aluminium Silicate
잔탄검 - Xanthan Gum
미리스틸알코올 - Myristyl Alcohol
알란토인 - Allantoin
토코페릴아세테이트 - Tocopheryl Acetate
부틸렌글라이콜 - Butylene Glycol
1,2-헥산디올 - 1,2-Hexanediol
카프릴릴글라이콜 - Caprylyl Glycol
Caprylhydroxamic Acid
인도 유향수지 추출물 - Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract (Indian Frankincense)
디포타슘글리시리제이트 - Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice Root Extract)
디소듐이디티에이 - Disodium EDTA
판테놀 - Panthenol
에칠헥실글리세린 - Ethylhexylglycerin
에칠아스코빌에텔 - Ethyl Ascorbyl Ether

I did my best to type and translate the ingredients from Hangul printed on the packaging and I'm pretty sure it corresponds to the list published on Wishtrend.

Key Ingredients: 
The main ingredient is Vitamin Tree, the Tree of Miracles otherwise known as the Mana Tree sea buckthorn. It makes up over 60% of the product, with 50.46% sea buckthorn extract ("Vitamin Leaf Tea"), 11.5% sea buckthorn leaf extract ("Fresh Vitamin Leaves") & sea buckthorn fruit extract thrown in for good measure.

Sea buckthorn is anti-inflammatory, has an anti-oxidant benefit and is high in Vitamin C.

I'm not terribly interested in the ingredients listed after sea buckthorn leaf extract, which make up less than 11.5% of the product. There are 31 of them and are probably in too small amounts to be of benefit. The ad focuses on snow lotus, cloudberry and jericho rose but I couldn't find much on their benefits! Theres also licorice root extract, a brightening ingredient, but at the bottom of the list it's nothing to get excited over.

Ingredients Analysis: 
The product page on Wishtrend includes an evaluation of the safety level of the ingredients based on the EWG database, proudly stating "no hazardous ingredients" - apparently missing the three flagged as moderate hazard (troll lol lol).

Heres one based on cosdna comedogenicity/irritancy values, which seems to be more popular. (Copyright: Celine)
Edit: the ingredients like glycerin with blank values score 0/0 values.  

Translating the ingredients exhaused most of the effort I'm willing to put into blog posts, so this will have to do! -.- (did I mention that I don't read or write Hangul?) There are a few ingredients flagged as acne triggers and irritants - PEGs, fatty alcohol, stearates and butylene glycol.
The jar is packaged in a heavy, expensive-feeling glass jar and comes with a spatula.

Texture and Smell
SWEET MAKGEOLLI AND JOJOBA. THE SMELL. OHMYGAWD. Some reviewers describe the smell as 'organic' or herby. They lie. It looks and smells like a freshly laid shit.

The texture is soft and squashy like a turd on the sole of your shoe.

I first used the mask when my skin was in a rough state - sensitive, irritated, spots abrewing.. (Sigh) I left it on for about 20 minutes, letting it dry while I cleaned the bathroom (bless you, stash of industrial grade cleaners and your overpowering smells) and then hopped into the shower to rinse it off. (I recommend the shower unless you want your sink stained by what looks like spots of explosive diarrhoea.) My skin felt so soft afterwards, refreshed and much calmer.

So happy as I am with the results, this mask isn't something I'd repurchase because of the disgusting smell. Definitely not something I'd recommend, unless you're really, really adventurous...?

Where to buy
$35.00 on Wishtrend
35,000 on

Next up for review: Laneige Multiberry Yoghurt Sleeping Pack. Please smell nice TT.TT 

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Korean Skincare Mega Haul

So. While I may not be busy reviewing stuff, I have been busy buying too much stuff. In lieu of an actual blog post, heres a picture of my last haul(-s). Yehet~

CLIO Kill Black Waterproof Brush Liner
ETUDE HOUSE Colour My Brows (No. 1)
INNISFREE Water Glow Cushion (No. 13)
O HUI x Teo Yang Ultimate Cover CC Cushion (not pictured because iamnotthatsmart)

BANILA CO Miss Flower & Mr Honey Cream 
INNISFREE Green Tea Mineral Mist 
SOORYEHAN Boyun Eye Cream
BLOSSOM JEJU Pink Camellia Soombi Blooming Flower Toner Reviewed Here  
I’M FROM Vitamin Tree Mask Reviewed Here

BANILA CO Clean it Zero
MAY COOP Cleansing Mousse 
KLAIRS Rich Moist Facial Soap

KLAIRS Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop Reviewed Here  
MIZON Placenta 45
LEEJIHAM Vita Propolis Ampoule 
BLOSSOM JEJU 100% Camellia Seed Oil Reviewed Here

Sheet Masks 
TOSOWOONG Pure Propolis, Green Tea & Deep Sea Water Sheet Masks
THE SAEM Natural-tox Pumpkin & Apple Sheet Masks
MEDI-PEEL Gold Therapy Syn-ake Sheet Mask
SIDMOOL Waterfull Pure Essence Mask Sheet
KLAIRS Moist Rich Soothing Mask
BEYOND Soo Hyun Hydrogel Mask
BEYOND Hydrating Hyaluronic & Soothing Aloe Masks
MY BEAUTY DIARY Pearl Powder, Mexico Cactus, Red Vine, Royal Jelly, Bulgarian White Rose & Black Pearl Sheet Masks

other crap because shipping limits 
SKINFOOD Premium Tomato Whitening Special Kit
IOPE Bio Activator Special Bio Kit
INNISFREE Soybean Energy Special Kit 

I’m currently writing a review of Vitamin Tree Mask. Spoiler alert: stinks like a 'shyt.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Review: Blossom Jeju 100% Camellia Seed Oil & Pink Camellia Soombi Blooming Flower Toner

The world of K-Beauty has introduced me to some interesting ingredients: propolis, birds nests, galactomyces, snails, starfish, fermented soybeans, fermented everything, and most recently: camellia oil. Ok it doesn't sound as jazzy as the others but it's one I've heard good things about (the wisdom of of ahjumeonis and obasamas). It seems to be a well-known but fairly uncommon ingredient - except in Tatcha products which cost serious $$. Like $28 for a sheet mask D: Enter Blossom Jeju!

100% Camellia Seed Oil

Packaging & Texture
The Oil comes in a glass amber dropper bottle which protects it from degradation in sunlight. (This is what that Klairs serum should have been packaged in -.-)

I use the Oil as the last step in my night routine. It absorbs well but not fully so I wouldn't use it during the day unless you can really rock that oily sheen.

100% cold pressed camellia seed oil

Camellia seed oil is a powerful antioxidant rich in Omegas 3, 6 and 9; fatty acids, which help improve skin elasticity; Vitamin E and polyphenols, which protect the skin from free radical damage.

By comparison, the Camellia Soombi Essence Oil contains 73.09% Camellia japonica seed oil and the Pink Camellia Soombi Essence Serum contains 62.40% Camellia japonica flower extract. The mixture of oils would probably be more effective than using camellia seed oil alone, but neither are suitable for me because they both contain olive oil - one of my acne triggers :(

Antioxidant serums are kinda hard to review because they’re one of those things that work without necessarily showing visible results. My skin hasn't dramatically transformed in the few weeks I’ve been using the Oil, but it does leave my skin feeling soft and supple after use and healthy and glowy looking in the morning. WIN.

Pink Camellia Soombi Blooming Flower Toner

I think I'm in the minority when I say the lotion/essence step is my favourite part of my skincare routine. I like watery textures and layering different products to get the benefit of different ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, CoQ10, galactomyces, green tea, rose water, grape water ... Yep. I do love my lotions.

Packaging & Texture
Look at that beautiful bottle! ᕙ( * •̀ ᗜ •́ * )ᕗ The lotion is dispensed via a small hole in the top and it's easy to control how much comes out. The texture is slightly more viscous than water (similar to the Gokujyun lotion) and absorbs easily. 

(Nado smeelllll~) Whereas the Oil is almost odourless, the Toner is VERY strongly scented. It's a bit too perfumey for my liking but it's not the smell itself that concerns me - more the thought that I'm diligently patting a crapload of perfume into my skin. I can't figure out why the smell is so strong when 'fragrance' is right at the end of the list. You'd think the answer was staring me in the face with 82.82% camellia flowers, but camellias don't smell, so... does that apply to skincare? IDK ._.

Camellia Japonica Flower Extract (82.82%), Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Propanediol, Niacinamide, Water, Akebia Quinata Extract (Chocolate Vine), Panthenol, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Xanthan Gum, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Betaine, Sorbitol, Adenosine, Sorbitan Caprylate, Arginine, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Fruit Extract [Sicilian Prickly Pear], Centella Asiatica Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract [Green Tea], Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract [Japanese Knotweed], Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Trehalose, Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Levulinic Acid, Bioflavonoids, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Leaf Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract [Satsuma], Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Skin Extract, Hizikia Fusiforme Extract [Hiziki], Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Silybum Marianum Extract [Milk Thistle], Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Yeast Beta-Glucan, Fragrance

Camellia Japonica Flower Extract
One of the reasons I chose the Pink Toner over the Camellia Soombi Toner from the Hydration & Nutrition range (yellow bottle) was for the high percentage of Camellia japonica flower extract (82.82%) compared to 76.36% Camellia japonica flower water in the yellow toner.

If my two line analysis of the antioxidant properties of Camellia seed oil didn't impress you, I found a paper on the antioxidant effect, here. Yeah science!

Lightens hyperpigmentation and brightens skintone. The Camellia Soombi Toner doesn't contain niacinamide which was another reason to chose the Pink Soombi Toner. I have a few products with niacinamide (Missha FTE, Black Snails, Placenta 45) and they seem to be working well so I'm always happy to add more niacinamide to my routine! :)

Akebia Quinata Extract (Chocolate Vine)
Provides an an anti-ageing effect through anti-glycation (stops the breakdown of collagen).  

Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract
Known for it's anti-inflammatory and brightening effect.

Promotes the production of collagen.

This Toner is packed FULL of anti-oxidant plant extracts. I ran them through Beautypedia because I don't speak plant and was impressed to find they all had a 'best' or 'good' rating - except for your 'average' rosemary and satsuma.

Hydrating Ingredients  
[Listed in blue:] Glycerin, panthenol, sorbitol, hyaluronic acid (humectants), trehalose and Aloe barbadensis leaf extract (water-binding ingredients). Humectants draw water to the skin to give effective surface hydration.

I don't give ratings to products, but this one deserves the first 10/10 for its ingredients!

The Toner leaves my skin feeling hydrated and luminous but as a standalone product I don't think it's made a noticeable difference in lightening my PIH.

Overall Impressions
All in all I'm very happy with these products. When you wake up, wash your face and look like you've applied make-up, you know something is working right! 

Where to Buy
I bought my goodies directly from Blossom Jeju, linked below: