Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Face Mask

I purchased Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Face Mask as my first product from the line. There were so many good reviews for it and as a fan of chocolate and antioxidant skincare, I decided this would be the best starting point.

The mask is quite thick and kind of difficult to spread onto skin smoothly. You can’t add water to it because it will turn into a brown liquid immediately so you just have to keep pressing and rubbing around skin. I was concerned by the tugging and pulling as I applied this thick product. Although it is ready to be used out of the container, I found it harder to apply correctly and evenly than the powder masks. I did not like the roughness of the mask for this reason.

The mask smells like cacao and vinegar which is a little strange but I did not mind. Only you will randomly smell the vinegar very strongly as you sit there with the mask on your face. The ingredients are:

Vitamin Infused Water, *Cacao, *Witch Hazel, *Vinegar, *Almond Oil, Marula Oil, *Baobab Oil, *Grape Seed Oil, *Avocado Oil, *Jojoba Oil, *Sundflower Oil, *Evening Primrose Oil, *Vegetable Glycerin, *Rose Petal, *Turmeric, *Goji Berry, *Dandelion, *Eyebright, *Rosemary, *Ashwagandha, *Sage, *Beetroot, *Alfalfa, *Black Cohosh, *Raspberry Leaf, *Elderberry, *Chickweed, *Calendula, *Rose Hip, *Hawthorn Berry, *Ginkgo, *Cinnamon, *Marshmallow Root, *Bladderwrack, *Ginger, *Milk Thistle, *St. John’s Wort, *Cat’s Claw, *Licorice, *Lavender, *Fenugreek, Orange Essential Oil, †Lavender Essential Oil, Rosemary Essential Oil, †Calendula Essential Oil. 

*CERTIFIED ORGANIC

†ORGANIC

So this mask says it is antiaging and good for all skin but I really think it is more suitable for acne skin types because of how high witch hazel and vinegar are. Once the mask is on your skin, and you begin to feel it dry, your skin does feel like it is getting cleaned.

Washing the mask off is similar to powder masks, there are bits that will be stubborn and stick around and others that come off right away. I was disappointed at how messy the mask became, as the brown liquid just started running everywhere, leaving the counter so dirty. I never had this experience with any other mask. Even wiping with a sponge left the sponge brown. So it is a product that I can only use BEFORE I go into the shower.

I did not find the mask to have any benefits that I was not getting from others, but the experience of using it was not good for the above reasons so I will not repurchase or recommend it.

Advertisements

Dr. Alkaitis Organic Cellular Repair Mask

Image

As any of you who have read my past posts know by now, masks are the way into my heart! I’ve been in love with the powder masks that a lot of green beauty brands are creating because I’ve noticed they give me better results than the ‘traditional’ masks. The mask just feels more active and purer because there is no need for preservatives. From May Lindstrom’s Clean Dirt to Yuli’s Pure Mask, I have become somewhat of an addict to these fresh powder masks. 

Dr. Alkaitis’ Cell Renewal Mask is one of three masks in his line. I wasn’t sure of the major differences but the Cell Renewal Mask sounded more rejuvenating for skin which is what a mask should do. The other two are the Enzymatic Exfoliating Mask and Organic Flower Mask, I was trying to make my mind up between this mask and the Enzymatic Exfoliating Mask because the Organic Flower Mask is not recommended for sensitive or acne-prone skin, which just happens to describe my skin. I picked the Cellular Repair Mask mostly because I love the idea of it’s simple ingredient list includes 5 berrys (and 2 other ingredients) which are typically very expensive.

This mask is said to repair, regenerate, and fortify skin from environmental damage and aging. These all appealed to me as an LA girl who really wants a pampering mask for finals season. 

Image

The powder is very fine and unscented. You only need a little bit, although the directions say this jar holds enough powder for 25 masks, I can easily see myself getting 30-40 uses. You will need quite a bit of water (more than May Lindstrom or Yuli masks which seem to activate immediately with just a bit of water), but the mixture forms a nice consistency without much hassle. I prefer to keep it less paste-like and slightly more fluid so that it spreads easier over skin. 

The mask is rather odorless and reminds me of chalk, my mom said the scent reminded her of porridge. I kept the mask moist through spraying with my new love Yuli Panacea Elixir and found this to help increase absorption of the mask. After 20 minutes, I washed the mask off without any fuss. The first time I used the mask, I was left slightly underwhelmed because I expected a supple and soft feel to my skin but didn’t really notice any difference. The second time I used it, I added some honey and this seemed to help soften and nurture my skin more. I’m not sure if the honey alone did this or if the honey maybe made the entire mask more active. If you are looking for a gentle mask that makes skin feel calm (given that you do not have allergies to any berries in this mask), this would definitely be a good one.

Although the immediate results didn’t deliver the ‘wham-pow’ that I hoped for, I can’t really say this is a bad product. There is something to be said for the purity of food ingredients for this skincare range. You can’t help but feel that you are truly feeding your skin the way you’d nourish your body. If you have sensitive skin that could do with a weekly repair from a gentle mask, I would definitely recommend this. 

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask Review

Image

If it seems as if I’m obsessed with masks its because I am! In the Asian culture, masks are a huge thing! I remember my mom would only do two things to her face as a ritual: moisturize and mask. She still doesn’t do the entire cleansing thing eventhough I’ve bought her bottles of cleansers because it just isn’t her habit. Regardless, her skin is flawless and I would be lucky to inherit her skin so I’m going to follow through with her mask ritual.

Lately I’ve been splurging on some Spirit Beauty love because they seem like such a wonderful site and how can you say no to free samples? My newest arrival is Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask which seems to be one of her most acclaimed products. The first thing you will notice is how luxurious the green frosted glass jar and gold lid look and feel, it positively enhances any beauty shelf. When you twist the top off, you’re treated to an amber jelly that almost glows.

The product applies onto skin in a sticky texture as one would assume a jelly would but it goes on quite clear. Once applied, Tata suggests leaving it to dry for 20-30 minutes, but I can easily do more because the mask is so gentle. The scent is wonderful like most Tata products, it is very fresh and floral.

The active ingredients in this are plentiful. Pink Clay gives it the amber color and it reduces pore size, detoxifies, and tones. Beet extract promotes hydration and elasticity. White willow bark promotes exfoliation due to its salicylic acid. Aloe vera repairs and hydrates skin. Witch Hazel tones and minimizes pores. Tata claims this mask will enhance and improve skins appearance by eliminating dull skin cells, removing blemishes, reduce pore appearance, and soften/refresh the skin.

After rinsing the mask off my face I can definitely say my face felt lighter and fresher. I didn’t see as big a visible difference that matched what I felt from my skin but I do believe that my skin was refreshed and felt softer. I don’t think this is active enough to really eliminate blemishes but it does encourage exfoliation which helps plugged pores. I would not say this is my most effective or active mask, that title is still held on tightly by the YULI Pure Mask but it is a wonderful mask to use when you just want to pamper yourself a little while writing a paper or study for an exam. I think for more mature skin this might have more benefits but I definitely don’t think anyone would not like this product. I’m glad that I bought it and look forward to using this to indulge my skin every week.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

Luxury Mask Reviews

When it comes to beauty, I learned most of my tricks from my mom who taught me the secret to bright, glowing Asian skin at an early age- masks! I started young with Origins Clear Improvement Mask when I was a teenager and haven’t looked back since. Masks are a tool that should be in everyones skincare regimen as a weekly or bi-weekly treatment to deep clean and replenish the skin. Skin that does not receive regular cleaning tends to age  faster as the organ will not run effectively, so think of masks as that perfect detox to really shake out everything weighing down skin that you’ve accumulated: toxins, debris, grime, sweat, oils, etc. At the same time, a good mask can also infuse your skin with a dose of nutrients and provide anti-aging effects that will repair your skin. I’ve ventured out to explore mask offerings from a few of my favorite brands and here is how they stack up:

Image

Amorepacific Enzyme Peel Mask ($60)

What it is: “A highly-effective, botanical based brightening exfoliator made without harsh chemicals”
Who it is for: Not the most sensitive skin as this is an enzyme peel, but suitable for dry and oily skin that feels a chemical peel without harsh abrasiveness

Info: Natural papaya enzymes are the primary ingredient in this mask that exfoliates and removes dull skin cells and toxins to help other treatments penetrate skin more effectively. You simply add water to the yellow powder that smells fragrant like all high-end Asian skincare products (SKII, Shiseido, Sulwahsoo, etc.). The powder forms into a gentle almost foamy fluid to massage over skin and leave for 10-15 minutes.

Results: This mask cleans well and washed off easily. Skin is left smooth and not irritated. I would like it to be more exfoliating or do a little more as this felt sort of like a cleanser rather than a peel. I feel like the overall experience was luxurious – the scent was overflowing and the powder melted with the water but I don’t really think this is a performance product. I think a really good mask should do more than feel like a leave on cleanser so I’m not that impressed by the performance of this mask.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Enzymatic Peel Mask ($40)

What it is: “A ten minute mask that offers an immediate radiance boost and a new skin effect”
Who it is for: Not sensitive skin. A little stronger than Amorepacific with some essential oils and fragrances that might irritate.

Info: A light mousse cream mask that also works similarly to Amorepacific to exfoliate skin and renew skin in 10 minutes. Unlike Amorepacific, this ready-made cream does not need any special assembly, however its smaller size means you get less of it (I used up this one the fastest of the masks of this list). Scent, per usual Caudalie standards, is a perfect grape fragrance. Actives in here include Vinifrene which according to Caudalie is 62 times more potent than Vitamin C. This is extracted from the sap of grape vines and is said to lighten, brighten, and even complexion.

Results: Stronger than Amorepacific but did cause slight redness. I don’t think this is attributed to the strength of the exfoliants but rather questionable ingredients like silicones, fragrances, and unpronounceable chemicals. I think it is a good exfoliant but skin might be red/ irritated afterwards. I don’t think I will repurchase because it kind of sat on skin and coated it while also irritating it. Also, it is said to clear breakouts but from my experience it didn’t really make a difference. I didn’t really see the Vinifrene spring into action – considering that it is more potent than Vitamin C but 62 times, I really hoped to see the skin brightening effects after repeated use. Unfortunately I did not. I read some reviews that said this really works on acne scars and sun spots but I didn’t see any change.

Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask ($55)

What it is: “A potent bioactive complex that reduces fine lines and dramatically improves tone, firmness, and radiance.”
Who is it for: Congested and Mature skin – those with post-acne scarring, blemishes, blackheads, and sun-damaged skin.
Info: Reviewed in some detail here, I wasn’t sure how I initially felt about this orange sticky lumpy gel mask. The texture and scent definitely remind me of Orange jam. I’m not a big fan of the stickiness and I find it a little hard to rub through my skin. But once applied, it feels like a true chemical peel – more so than the aforementioned products, thanks to the 4 acid complex (lactic, glycolic, tartaric, and citric). Also uses papaya enzyme to exfoliate. Overall this feels like a more active mask than the previous two and at $55 for a tube, I think it is a better deal than the Caudalie which doesn’t give you a lot. Each pump dispenses just enough for one application though sometimes I did two pumps just to be sure there was enough.

Results: This really makes my skin feel sticky and weird when it is on but after I wash it off my skin seems to feel lighter and glowing. If you have not exfoliated or used this mask in a while, you might feel a tiny stinging sensation when you first apply – I felt that around my cheeks and smile lines the first few times. However, now it plays nicely with my skin and I no longer get that stinging sensation though I can still feel it kind of work. I’ve found that I use this as a quick pick me up mid week when my skin just feels congested and in need of an exfoliation. I would definitely consider repurchasing this mask because it is relatively powerful and travels nicely.

YULI Pure Mask ($52)

What it is: ” The creamy clay mask will purify skin while also delivering antioxidants, minerals, phyto-nutrients that restore optimal skin health leaving skin calm, glowing, and renewed.”
Who is it for: “Those with normal-combination skin types. Mature & Dry skin types will also benefit from using this non-stripping mask for the bioactive anti-aging nutrients, such as Antioxidant: EGCG , Polyphenols, & Resveratrol; wrinkle softening Vitamin E; and key skin food minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and zinc.”

Info: Review in depth, here . This is really a triple phase product: powder – clay mask – milk cleanser. There are four types of clays which contain antioxidants and remineralize the skin as they remove the gunk inside pores, remove toxins, and refresh the complexion. This also uses botanical enzymes (though I’m not sure which) as a gentle and natural chemical exfoliation to get rid of dead skin cells and detoxify. The key though is how much other good stuff is in here such as the Biophotonic Matcha powder, traditional botanicals, etc. that all work to support skin, preventing and neutralizing breakouts (new breakouts die down within the night), while providing an anti aging boost. Beginners might take caution though with the powder as the consistency of the mask can change based on how much powder/water ratio you put in – so start slow like you’re mixing wasabi. Of all the masks, this lasted the longest due to the fact that it is so concentrated so you only need a little for it to be activated by water so the value is there.

Results: One of my favorite masks, compare the ingredients list – this is choke full of good stuff that effectively cleans and renews the skin while injecting it with a healthy kick of nutrients to leave skin glowing. My skin seems to respond best to this without any irritation (no fragrances added – just a subtle rose & green tea scent from the actives), and is clarified, bright, and ridiculously smooth.

YULI Pure Mask Review: One Mask to do it All

Untitled1

This holiday, I purchased and received so many new products! As a fan of YULI’s Modern Alchemist Anti-Aging Serum, I was excited when I received their Pure Mask. Pure Mask’s ingredient list is just beautiful and luxurious:  traditional Asian botanicals, 4 types of mineral-rich clays filled with antioxidants that repair skin as it draws out toxins, and something special they developed called biophotonically charged matcha which produces high levels of amino acids and antioxidants in this green tea derivative. As you can tell from this brief synopsis of the formula, Pure like most of YULI’s line, is a multitasker that combines high-end natural ingredients with advanced green technology. Little did I know it would become my new favorite product to would both neutralize breakouts and calm inflammation while  making my skin pampered, glowing, and soft!

What it is:  Pure, as the name suggests, is a multitasking mask from YULI that clarifies, detoxifies, refreshes, and recharges skin. It improves the appearance of skin by:  removing impurities and imparting anti-inflammatories and damage fighting antioxidants which neutralize damage to reveal luminous, soft, perfected skin. It purifies the skin through clearing out the pores, detoxifying skin, exfoliating dead skin cells & surface grime, decongesting break out prone areas, and actively fighting breakouts. And the creamy paste nourishes the skin with anti-aging phyto-nutrients and minerals from a loaded bioactive ingredient profile that helps to stimulate collagen production, repair damage, prevent premature aging, brighten complexion, and restore luster.

Who is it for: All skin types will benefit from this. According to their website: Those with normal-combination skin types will get preventive care from the nutrients while powerful actives decongest, calm inflammation, balance skin, and neutralize blemishes. Mature & Dry skin types will also benefit from using this non-stripping and gentle mask for the bioactive anti-aging nutrients, such as Antioxidant: EGCG , Polyphenols, & Resveratrol; wrinkle softening Vitamin E; and key skin food minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and zinc.” So this is particularly good for someone like me who has kind of combination skin with dry patches and areas of large pores/congestion and still gets some stress/diet induced breakouts now and then but needs some anti-aging benefits. This pretty much has all the essential nutrients to improve all skin types.

My Thoughts:

pic1

The raw powder before activation

The mask itself is quite special, YULI is steadfast in making products that focus on performance and function and this is a true marker. The mask comes in a powder form so that filler ingredients that can compromise efficacy and integrity such as preservatives and alcohol are not needed. The ingredients are water-activate, which is cool because they “come alive” with water. This way, the mask doesn’t lose it’s potency sitting in your beauty cabinet which is important since masks are supposed to be stored for a while since they are not used daily. The mask is therefore always at its most potent with all ingredients charged and “alive” right before you apply it.

pic2

The activated mask – so velvety and silky

The mask is very buttery and velvety with no grainy or gritty texture, and I found application of this silky mask extremely smooth and fluid. It feels like a luxury product with the faintest rose and green tea scent and you can tell they truly developed this product without cutting any corners, one can’t help but appreciate a well made mask! I noticed that the mask went to work very soon after I applied it and started to purge my pores. I could literally feel the firming effect and felt my pores detoxify. As there are active enzymes, I spritzed with a few sprays of YULI’s Metamorphic Elixir to keep the enzymes “alive” and prolong wear.  After 15 minutes, I washed the mask off and was pleasantly surprised to find that the mask transformed into a cream cleanser which rinsed off easily! I did not have to follow up with anything and my skin was glowing and primed for slathering on a solid facial oil before bed!

photo 5 (1)

A close-up of the mask, you can see there is no grainy scrub texture, it applies very creamy

Throughout application to removal, I was completely enamored by this product. It is so effective and does everything it says, but what really pushes it to the next level is the amount of polish and attention to details. They got the consistency just right, the creaminess is delicious and then turns into a milk cleanser upon rinsing! Such solid touches! And the exfoliating enzymes worked like a charm and left my skin feeling so refreshed without any harsh abrasiveness (in fact this creamy concoction has no ‘roughness’ or scrub texture to it whatsoever which is a relief since so many natural brands rely on irritating physical exfoliators to get the job done). The skin food minerals, rose, green tea, and traditional botanical mix really provide your skin with everything it needs for any job and I could feel it calming all inflammation and breakouts usually withered down by the morning. Blemishes are handled with ease and without any of the harshness. The firming effects of the mask are lasting and make my skin seem very taut and youthful, and I notice  brightening and softening which makes my skin look much younger. Skin truly does look glowing and fresh. I didn’t notice any irritation which I was worried about because my skin is extremely delicate but this mask seemed so nourishing and just made my skin feel ‘alive’. Each time I use it, I stare at my face in the mirror for longer than I care to admit just observing how wonderful and healthy it looks. This truly is a recharger and will become your skins best friend! This has become a weekly go-to and a definite top-favorite. 

Where to buy: YULI Skincare -$52 . It retails for $52 for 30ml, which is a great deal now that I’ve used it because you only need so little powder for each application as you can see from the above pictures. Therefore, it is more economical than most masks that come ready. You essentially don’t pay for the water, which is the top ingredient in most masks, so this concentrated mask is a very worthwhile investment that has the bonus of being travel friendly. I can imagine this bottle lasting me at least half a year with regular weekly use.

Ren 6 of the Best

Image

 

 

Recently shopped at Sephora VIB sale & picked up Ren 6 of the Best Set! I love REN, it is uncomplicated, relatively clean, and gentle. Some people say their products are hit/miss but I find their stuff really agrees with me. This kit is the perfect opportunity for many to try the wonderful assortment they offer! 

Here is what is in the kit:

This set contains:
– 0.845 oz Mayblossom and Blue Cypress Balancing Facial Cleansing Gel
– 0.845 oz Jojoba Microbead Purifying Facial Scrub
– 0.34 oz Omega 3 Overnight Lipid Renewal Serum
– 0.5 oz Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask
– 0.5 oz Frankincense and Boswellia Serrata Revitalising Repair Cream
– 0.1 oz Active 7 Radiant Eye Maintenance Serum

It is quite wonderfully selected and should cover everything except a daytime sun protectant lotion. I am quite sure they have a good kit on their hands and have a good value because you can really try everything in their line up, cleansers, scrubs, masks, eye gel, night time lotion, even a facial oil!

Mayblossom and Blue Cypress Balancing Facial Cleansing Gel: Is the perfect cleanser for combination skin type. It helps T-zones stay free from shine and breakouts without drying other parts of the face. I did not think I would like this gel cleanser but I really love it. It is so gentle but removes impurities and leaves my skin feeling balanced, not too tight and not oily.

Jojoba Microbead Purifying Facial Scrub: A very wonderful exfoliating cleanser that I love using 2x a week. It is so gentle and creamy that the driest skin types can use this. Again, does not leave skin feeling dry, just fresh and clean. Really helps to get rid of dead skin buildup. Highly recommended polish!

Omega 3 Overnight Lipid Renewal Serum: A light facial oil which moisturizes and uses omegas to protect facial skin. I did not like this as much as the other products because there are better, purer facial oils out there (see Best Facial Oils). The fragrance in here is very mellow, kind of like a peach-orange. It is the most nourishing product in the kit but is pretty simple by pure facial oil standards. 

Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask: Have wanted to dry this for a while! A clumpy, lumpy orange colored (and orange scented) mask that goes on very sticky like fruit jam! Undecided about the mask right now, do not know if the results (skin feels lighter and refreshed) make up for weird texture! Have seen a lot of good reviews and have seen not good reviews. Very exfoliating due to the glycose + lactic acid action but not for everyone, especially if your skin is sensitive. 

Frankincense and Boswellia Serrata Revitalising Repair Cream: A very light cream in a green-yellowish color that smells very herbal! It absorbs fast to supercharge skin overnight. Do not know if it truly is due to this cream but I notice my skin looks brighter and happier when I put this on the night before. Did not break out. Might repurchase full size of this if that is the case.

Active 7 Radiant Eye Maintenance Serum: A very cool eye gel that depuffs and neutralizes dark circles. Texture kind of reminds me of the cleanser. Sometimes takes a while to absorb but I notice that this does make my undereye seem more alert and awake. For better results, keep cool in refrigerator before use and your eyes will really depuff!

6 of the Best Kit is a wonderful value at $40 from Sephora.