Monday, 29 December 2014

Mizon Goodnight White Sleeping Mask

What is a Sleeping Mask and do I need one?
Sleeping masks are yet another step in your already crowded beauty routine, some of you may be groaning right now, while others may be rubbing their hands in delight at the thought of another product to add to your growing arsenal! Sleeping masks are your last step at night to be used 2-3 times a week. Their aim is to deliver an intense burst of moisture to dehydrated or unhappy skin, so if yor skin is very dehydrated like mine you may wish to use one every night, while those people with less dryness may only need to use them as a weekly treat. 

I picked up Mizon Goodnight White Sleeping Mask from RRS (you may recall it from my first post) and I've been using it ever since. 

I just love the simple blue packaging

Packaging - It comes in a 50ml tube and is also available in an 80ml tub - I do like the convenience of the tube packaging and price per ml works out better if you buy the tube packaging too. Also from a quick glance at cosdna I'm not sure if the formulation of the tub mask is the same as the tube, despite the same name.

Scent - Very subtle, maybe a hint of lavender? Anyway it's quite soothing and perfect for night time.

Thick gel texture

Feel - Not very creamy or rich, which is what I was expecting from a sleeping mask. From what I'd read beforehand online I imagined all sleeping masks to be an extra boost of occlusive hydration - so when I squeezed the first bit out, I was very surprised to find it was a thick gel texture. It spreads easily over the skin and sinks in fast - the feel of spreading the cream is really nice, it's just so light and easy to spread and you don't feel like it's just sitting there waiting to be absorbed by your pillowcase as soon as you nod off to sleep.

On my first night of using it I left out my starfish step thinking that using them both together may be too hydrating and boy was I wrong - this cream contributes minimal hydration. I was so dissapointed thinking that this was a wasted purchase (however nice it felt slathering it on at night.) So I checked out the ingredients list, only to find that this packs a huge Niacinamide punch - not so useless afterall.
What is Niacinamide and why was I so excited?
Niacinamide also known as Vitamin B3 or Nicotinamide works well as an anti-inflammatory and is used as an adjunct to many acne treatments with some new creams containing niacinamide as well as the usual acne medication. Niacinamide has also shown very promising results as a skin whitener when applied topically (not a skin bleacher it will not make you paler than your natural colouring) and is especially effective at treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (those pesky marks left behind by spots!) and uneven skin tone (dodgy panda eye tan marks left over from a summer wearing sunglasses anyone?) 
White as the snow comes into your skin!! Purest skin will come true!!

Ingredients:  Aqua, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Polsorbate 20, Glycerine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Caprylyl Gycol, Ethylhexyl Glycerine, Tropolone, Triethenolmaine, Carbomer, Trehalose, Sclerotium Gum, Broussonetia Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Patethine, Placental Protein, Natto Gum, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Disodium EDTA, C1 17200, C1 42090, Fragrance

Results: Using this Product in conjunction with the rest of my skincare routine has considerably lightened the stubborn red marks and pigmentation left on my chin and around my nostrils - left over from previous breakouts and the freckles on my cheeks left over from a summer spent in the sun have also almost completely faded and are now only visible under bright light. 

Rebuy - Although Mizon Goodnight White Sleeping Mask is amazing, it's not quite what I'm looking for at the moment as my skin is constantly dry, so I'll be continuing my search for a new Sleeping Pack after finishing this tube. I imagine this could easily become a HG sleeping pack for ladies with oily skin or those with PIH - it really is so light and non-oily and at this price-point I really do think it's worth the risk and I am considering buying another tube "just in case" as it's so reasonably priced. 

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Makeon Princess Gel Eyeliner Set - Season 1 mermaid

I'm always on the lookout for ways to make my makeup more portable - I travel a lot at the moment between Wales and Bristol and I've lost count of the number of blushers/eyeshadows/powders I've managed to shatter all over my handbag/clothes. Blushers I've replaced with creams and tints, powder I've replaced with mist, but after trying several cream type eyeshadows and coloured eye crayons/pencils I've yet to find one with the staying power I desire. 

I'm a massive fan of eye crayons - they're so easy and quick to use, the colour payout is usually good and the end look is always pleasing. Then something happens between the bathroom and arriving at work..the crayon has creased, the tasteful shimmer now decorates my cheeks like a "little miss America" contestant and the "waterproof/smudge proof/12HR wear" claims have left a bitter taste in my mouth. 

So when I saw the adverts for this product on showing an incredibly waterproof product I jumped the gun and bought it instantly. 

Let's see if this set lives up to the hype...

Image from

Makeon is the makeup line from Tosowoong, a Korean skincare brand. They've brought out several sets of gel liners all available in tins decorated by pictures of various "princesses" (I assume this one is supposed to be Ariel). I bought season 1 - which is mostly Browns/golds. 

The outside metal case - very travel-proof!
I purchased this set from Tosowoong on eBay during an auction for £7.50 about 2 months ago - which I still think was a very good price. I also got 5 Tosowoong samples! Or if you prefer you can buy it from Wishtrend or Memebox

The inside - perfectly cushioned for beauty on the go

The case contains 5 different pencils, all around 4 inches each. 

The colours are:
Party Tonight Pearl Black 
Lovely Espresso Brown
Sexy Vampire Burgundy
Sweet Princess Gold
Look At Me Lovely Beige

I was most excited about the gold and the beige in this set, as brown and black eyeliners with good staying power are easy to find. I love using light shimmery colours in the inner corner of my eyes, but it never usually lasts very long. 

Completely water-proof - some flaking when rubbed with soap though

First impressions: As you can see in sunlight these all have a slight pearly shimmer and the gold has slightly larger flecks of glitter. The colour payout was very good and they dried almost instantly - becoming completely smudge-proof, water-proof and crease-proof. Now you must remember with these types of pencils that they are waterproof not oil-proof, so use minimal skincare on your lids before using them and consider using a primer if your lids are very oily. 

Ease of use: The black and brown shades apply beautifully, they don't tug and one swipe is all you need to get a really strong colour. Burgundy just doesn't suit my pinky skin and makes me look like I've been crying all day but this one also applies smoothly. 
The gold (ahh the gold...) tugs. When you apply it it tugs my lids and you have to swipe more than once to get a good colour payoff - which causes the colour to clump making my eyelids look bumpy. To add insult to injury those gold flecks then explode over my cheeks (yayy teen disco!!!!) As this was the colour I was most looking forward to this was a bit of a disappointment. 
The beige also suffers from the same tugging affliction, but it stays put even on my inner eyes - so I can forgive it for tugging a little.

Another point to note is that these are not auto-pencils - you do need to sharpen them like normal pencils. 

The good and the bad

Rebuy: Maybe, I'd like to try Étude House Play 101 pencils to see how they fare compared to these and then perhaps Clio Gelspresso pencils (that Fanserviced-b has been raving about) These pencils are miles better than any I've tried from the UK, they do last all day - but for me I'm still looking for my perfect "gold" pencil.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Innisfree Super volcanic pore clay mask

I recently purchased the Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask from Innisfreeworld online which came as part of a set containing Jeju volcanic pore toner and Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam - all for the same price as the mask alone! 

I love clay masks. I've loved them since my teenage years using superdrug "fruity chemically tingly mask packs" at sleepovers and this love carried me through to buying Eve Lom Rescue Mask in my early 20s. When I heard all the rave reviews of this little beauty from Innisfree I snapped it up quickly during their free shipping offer! 

So back to the mask at hand!!


Packaging: The 100ml comes in a small jar - you'll need a spatula, which doesn't come with it: I'd recommend buying a big bag of them as they always come in useful even if you don't use them for your face creams, to get the last bits of product out of jars without digging with your nails! 

Texture: This stuff is thick I actually used a spatula to get a small amount out and then used a wet face pack brush to apply it - worked like a charm. It's completely smooth unlike glamglow mask and is a very pale grey colour when applied. It dries to a bright white/grey colour FYI.

Scent: Clay, no added fragrance just that comforting earthy smell which I associate with complete relaxation and "girl talk" while watching soppy movies! 

Face masks: you may be doing it wrong!!
I was talking to a friend of mine who works at a dermatology practice the other day and among the usual skincare conversations we normally have, clay masks came up. I was complaining that I hate the feeling when I yawn with a clay mask on and my whole face "cracks". 
She looked horrified - "you let the mask dry out on your face???"
"Well yes, that's what you're supposed to do right?"
"No!!! When it dries its pulling moisture out of your skin, haven't you noticed your face feeling tight after?"
"Well yes...but I thought that was supposed to happen.."
So apparently we're supposed to be washing the mask off before it gets dry and flaky - at the stage where it's just starting to change colour and still has some "tack" to it, she likes to mist her face to prolong the process while wearing a mask - I tried it out - mind blown!! I used Avene thermal water spray but you could just use a plain mister or even a fancy one (I wonder if nature republic bee venom mist would work?)
She also went on to tell me that I should keep the clay mask to my oily zones and to put a moisturising mask over the other parts of my face (makes sense...also justifies a new purchase!!!) 

Results: Clay masks are used to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and loosen debris in the pores (or loosen "blackheads") 
When I removed the mask my pores appeared smaller (probably due to some of the gunk covering them having been washed away!) and my face was much less "ruddy" also in the evening following the mask I finally managed to get "grits" when I oil cleansed!!!! (Maybe some of that blackhead loosening action?)

Rebuy: Yes, it's cheaper than Origins Charcoal mask the only other clay mask I've tried without added menthol (seriously what is it with a lot of companies adding menthol to give that tingly feeling to make you feel like it's "working" it just irritates!!!) and it works really well for me. 
I've yet to try the toner and foam cleanser that I received with this mask as I've run out of pH testers - but I'll report back if they pass the pH test! 

It does what it says on the tin
No annoying menthol tingle
A little goes a long way

Slightly difficult to get hold of
Pot packaging - apparently the 200ml comes in a tube (score!!) 
It has a lot of ingredients - do check if you're sensitive to any of them and run them through cosdna before purchasing! 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Innisfree capsule recipe pack - A Selection

Innisfree capsule recipe packs come in a variety of different "flavours", a mixture of wash-off packs and sleeping packs. I recently purchased 6 different ones to try out while Innisfree were offering a "buy 3 get 3 deal." Here's what I got:
I'll be adding to this review as and when I use each pack (as it seems a little silly to review them all separately!) 

Innisfree is a Korean cosmetics company that bases most of their products on ingredients sourced or inspired by Innisfree Island. They appear to be a sort of "body shop" type store in Korea with an emphasis on "Eco" and natural products. 

Innisfree capsule recipe pack: Seaweed.
This is a wash-off pack containing "jeju green complex" which sounds rather ambiguous if you ask me! It's meant to be brightening and "warming".

Texture: very sticky and gel like with little hard dark green particles which look like seaweed. It spreads easily with a pack brush and when heated by the skin is a lot less sticky! 

Scent: not fishy or seaweedy! More that sort of fresh smell you get from men's shower gel - actually pretty refreshing! 

Ingredients: no idea I can't find it anywhere!! It's just lucky I didn't have a reaction to this!

Effects: after applying the mask warmed, just slightly not like one of those horrible heated clay masks that actually burn, but a gentle "I've just stepped into a heated room" warmness. 
After 15 mins I added water and massaged my face - only to find those little dark green bits did a very gentle job of physically exfoliating my face! 
Afterwards the little dry flecks of skin around my nose were gone and my face felt quite moisturised - nothing dramatic but a pleasant surprise none the less!

Rebuy: maybe, I'd like to try out the other masks I purchased. For reasonably cheap 15 min treatment the results were pretty good. I will definitely have 2 more applications out of this little pot (a little goes a long way) 

Innisfree Capsule Recipe Pack - Rice Sleeping
The next mask I tried was the Rice Sleeping Pack. I took this with me while I was on a 3 day trip to visit family in North Wales before Christmas - I had to really cut down my skin regime and this was a great way to save some precious packing space! 

Scent: Rice, like rice pudding - not quite as pleasant as I'd have imagined more of a stale cooking smell (I guess I'm spoilt with the scent of my other products)

(Excuse the worse than usual photo, I was staying in a farmhouse!) 

Texture: Like pudding, it seemed to have minescule granules in it (may have been my imagination) like rice flour. Applied quite thickly and took about 10 mins to sink in - it didn't feel very smooth on my face.

Effects: A nasty rash. I overeggagerate, it was a small rash effecting my jaw line (the most sensitive part of my face) no redness just hundreds of tiny little bumps which made my skin feel like sandpaper. It's a week later now and my skin is back to normal but it went through a dry flaky tight phase and then all peeled off. No idea what the ingredients are so I can't pinpoint the cause except that this was the only new product of been using! 

Rebuy?, sandpaper face was not a good look. 

Mizon Returning Starfish Cream

Today I'm going to speak about my current obsession - Mizon Returning Starfish Cream. I bought this about 8 weeks ago and have been using it ever since - to be honest the only reason I bought this was because of the amazing tin, it's beautiful:

However, this rather fetching tin holds (what's turning out to be) my HG hydrating cream, it's completely bowled me over!!
Mizon Returning starfish cream contains a whopping 70% starfish extract as well as some other nice additions such as niacinamide. 
So why should you be putting starfish on your skin? There are very few studies on the effects of starfish at present, but it does appear to be a very promising cosmetic additive! Here's a summary of the current studies available (skip forward if you don't want a science lecture, and thanks goes to u/ecologista on reddit for gathering all these papers!). 

Starfish extract contains steroidal compounds which may play a part in the  anti microbial properties it exhibits against yeasts and fungi (maybe something to consider if you're using any fermented cosmetics). 
Another study suggested that it may also have skin whitening materials which could result in a reduction of melanogenesis by reduction of tyrosinase activity. Now that's a few big scientific words, let's break that down a little: Melanogenesis produces melanin, or skin pigmentation - the pigment in your skin, eyes and hair. Sun exposure causes these melanocytes (the cells that produce melanin) to go a bit crazy, depositing a lot of protective melanin in the skin layers as a reaction to Ultraviolet light - this is what gives you a "tan". Other compounds can also trigger melanogenesis such as metabolic disorders, Vitamin D and retinods..but that's a lesson for another day.
Other studies found that like snail filtrate (yeah remember the snails?) starfish extract accelerated wound healing and exhibited anti-inflammatory effects (all good things if you're suffering from acne scarring).
Now none of these studies were conducted on humans and a variety of different starfish types were used - so don't take these claims as gospel, these are potential effects and further studies will have to be conducted to prove their efficacy on humans!

Now back to the cream!

Mizon Returning Starfish Cream, available from RoseRoseShop: ~£12.50 it's out of stock at the moment (free p&p) TesterKorea: £16.80 CultBeauty: £25 (err nope)

Water, Hydrolyzed Starfish Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Butylene Glycol, Methylpropanediol, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Isododecane, Triethylhexanoin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Niacinamide, Polysorbate 20, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Tropolone, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Adenosine, Glyceryl Linoleate, Glyceryl Linolenate, Glyceryl Arachidonate, Allantoin, Panthenol, Beta Glucan, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Sodium Pca, Betain, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Copper Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Iris Florentina Root Extract, Hydrolyzed Extensin, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Disodium Edta, Fragrance

There are a few known acne triggers including Oenothera Biennis Oil (evening primrose oil), so do check the ingredients through cosdna to be sure this product is suitable for you. 

Texture: Its a firm jelly like texture when you first scoop it out from the tin (with the handy spatula provided) when I first scooped some out my initial thoughts were "How is this even going to spread on my face, it's so solid!" But rub it a bit between your fingers and you'll notice that it becomes a lot less viscous and it's then very easy to pat on to your skin. 

Scent: Light floral scent - I don't usually like fragrance in my cosmetics but considering the ingredients in this cream, a floral scent was extremely welcome! It's very subtle and disappears once the cream sinks in. 

Effects: now you don't need much, just a pea sized amount to achieve the most wonderful hydration! I put this on at night over Mizon All in One Snail Cream, just on my cheeks and just before my face oil and WOW I'm waking up with the bounciest, plumpest skin I've ever had. 
I can't really comment on the "whitening" effects as I'm using a few different products containing niacinamide and AHAs, but in combination my routine has dramatically faded the pesky freckles on my cheeks left over from lax SPF application during the summer. 

Rebuy: Yes!! 

Disclaimer: I can't be held responsible for how much you end up stroking your face after applying this cream