Mizon Bio Hyaluronic Acid Ampoule Mask

Some time ago, I noticed in emails I get from Lookfantastic that they started selling Korean cosmetics called Mizon so I immediately started browsing their quite extensive range they had and told myself I have to buy some of their sheet masks. Main reason I like sheet masks is that they are very moisturising without most of them being heavy on my skin, although they do vary in how rich the essence/serum is and how quickly it absorbs into skin. So when I saw set of 6 hyaluronic acid masks for around £12, I decided to go for it. I usually use sheet mask on Saturday morning and by my mood and what I feel my skin needs from the offering in my stash, so it took me a few weeks till I finally decided to try this one.

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Upon opening I noticed that the mask has two protective layers – one thick plastic layer and something like synthetic textile on the other side which meant there wasn’t that much essence left in a bag but still enough to pat on my neck (and I also used the protective layers) and most essence was concentrated on a thin gel sheet, not a fabric or tissue like most other masks. I first took removed the plastic sheet that helped to spread the folded mask without any damage, the applied gel side on face, removed the synthetic textile and smoothed out the mask nicely. It fitted quite well, maybe a bit short on my chin but that is nothing unusual, as my chin is long and a bit pointy.

This is an ampoule mask which means that the essence is not too watery but still not as rich that it would be difficult to absorb. When I massaged the leftover essence into my neck while having the mask on, I was a bit worried that I might not like it because it felt a bit like the mask that take ages to absorb but fortunately, when I removed the mask, after about 6 minutes, it was absorbed without a sticky or tacky residue.

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My skin felt well moisturised and plumped up even the next day. I really think that this mask could suit all skin types. And I was so impressed that after trying this one, I ordered a set of calming mask that contain propolis (I am a converter after a good experience with Manuka Doctor products as well).

Last time I checked, the set of 6 masks was still available on Lookfantastic site for £10.60 but if you make an order of £25 or more and use my referral code DANIELA-R12Q, you can get £5 off (this is not a sponsored post, I bought the mask with my money but I’ll get some credit after my referral code is used).

 

Manuka Doctor ApiClear – Treatment That Worked For My Acne

As I mentioned in probably almost every post about skincare, despite being midthirty, I suffer from oily, blemish prone skin, especially in the warm weather. I had yet another episode of bad breakouts on my jawline despite using The Ordinary Niacinamide and Zinc concoction every morning. Although I had good results with some other serums with niacinamide in the past, sadly, it looks like The Ordinary version doesn’t have full benefits for me. I also used Azelaic Acid in the evening and while this one was effective at fading the redness, gentle smoothing and also mattifying the area, when breakouts started coming out, they just kept coming and some of them didn’t want ho or change for weeks. Then I remembered I bought some Manuka Doctor products from ApiClear range targeted to oily, blemish prone skin last year from Superdrug (hoarding problems) and I finally decided to give them a go besides my trusty Serozinc. The range contains purified bee venom which might seem a bit controversial but modern method of harvesting the venom doesn’t cause dislodging of the stinger so bees don’t die however they need to stimulate the bees to release the venom.

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The products I have are:

ApiClear Foaming Facial Cleanser. I don’t know why this cleanser is called foaming because it is a cream cleanser and in my experience it doesn’t really lather much, it feels very gentle and soothing but still gives that nice fresh feeling. Maybe my skin needs are changing because I used to really like foaming cleansers as cream ones didn’t give me that fresh feeling my oily congested skin was craving but now this facial wash is something I enjoy using in the morning without being harsh or drying. Besides the purified bee venom and honey which are in bottom half on the list of ingredients, it contains also papaya fruit extract that is known for its brightening qualities which I can confirm as after a week of using, my healed breakouts didn’t leave discolouration marks I usually have afterwards. It doesn’t have any strong smell, if it smells of something it is like conventional. However, there is SLS in the middle of the list which is to be noted to someone who avoids it, although I didn’t have any problem with it.

ApiClear Purifying Facial toner. This contains alcohol as a third ingredient and you can feel it, but it is not  overdrying like conventional oily skin aimed skin toner. From ingredients actively fighting acne it also contains witch hazel, marigold, rosemary and tea tree leaf extract and also royal jelly, honey and bee venom which probably makes it non drying and my skin doesn’t feel tight.

ApiClear Skin Treatment Serum is together with blemish cream my favourite product from the range. It has a gel consistency, clear in colour, that spreads easily and one pump covers face and neck. It contains sodium hyaluronate which is a kind of hyaluronic acid in layman words, royal jelly, marigold, chamomile that calm skin besides the manuka honey, yeast extract and bee venom.

ApiClear Blemish Cream is really amazing. I love it. Although it is thicker in consistency, it is non greasy and fast absorbing and really calms down my angry breakouts. More over, I didn’t have dry flaking skin over my healing breakouts, so applying make up was a smooth job, if I needed, I could still apply another moisturiser over it. From  ingredients I should mention olive oil, witch hazel, propolis, allantoin, sodium hyaluronate which all help healing and smoothing skin and there are no parabens and SLS. This doesn’t contain bee venom either. I am happy with this range overall but if I could choose only one thing to repurchase, I think it would be this cream.

Of course, whole range is on pricier side but there are always some promotions, like 60% off everything that Manuka Doctor had on their website last month, but you can get good price on Amazon, Superdrug, Holland and Barett or Lookfantastic. There is not need to pay full price if you search around, I know I didn’t and since I started using it, I also purchased 2 masks from Manuka Doctor and I am looking forward to trying them.

 

 

Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Paper Mask

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I wrote some time ago about Yes to Cucumbers Paper Mask and that I felt somehow disappointed by it. I bought more masks from them since (you cannot judge a brand based on one product) and today I am going to write about Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Paper Mask.

As with all (as far as I know) Yes To masks, it claims to contain 96% natural ingredients, no parabens, SLS or silicones. Unlike other sheet masks, this one is a black sturdy paper sheet which I can’t help but like.

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I like the ingredients and although there is perfumed mentioned at the end, I detected just smell of old fashioned soap, so really non offensive one.

As for the fit, they are not the worst but the way they cut out the holes for eyes makes me wonder whether they are using Mickey Mouse as a specimen. I would prefer, if the holes finished above my brows.

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Please don’t judge my morning hair, I just wanted to show how the mask looks on face to make a point about eye cutout.

When on face, the mask tingles but is a nice cooling tingle that I like. I removed the mask after recommended 10 minutes leaving my face hydrated but kind of tacky but again, not uncomfortable tacky.

I had a small breakout on my chin and by evening it was a whitehead that  was easily pressed out with all inside coming out without a problem and is now healing nicely.

As you might suspect already, despite the eye holes and odd fit around my chin, I really like this mask and it had my thumbs up. I am glad that after a bit of a disappointment with their cucumber mask I tried this mask.

May 2017 Empties

New month started and I have another bag full of products I used up or disposed of in May. There is quite a lot of haircare simply because I now share hair masks and sometimes conditioners (but they have their shampoo) with my daughters although their hair is mixed raced. I used to buy all their haircare in specialised shops but I didn’t see any special results, some of the products even made their hair smells after a few hours or they were expensive. If you don’t know, mixed race hair soak up oils from products really well so I saturate their hair especially from midlength down and as there are two lovely heads, I cannot afford to finish product costing over £15 in two weeks on regular basis.

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Skin

Nivea Daily Essentials Refreshing Toner with vitamin E and hydrated IQ. I really used to like this toner and a year ago I would tell you that it is a deffinite repurchase but this time it felt a bit drying and not that refreshing, so I don’t really plan on buying again but I will check some other toners from Nivea.

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B. Revealed Glycolic Cleansing Peel. I would say that the name peel is a bit confusing as it is a cream cleanser that can be used up to three times a week. For it to work better as a first cleanse to remove make up, you need to use a bit more than ordinary oil or balm which I didn’t mind as I bought two of these by mistakes. So I am glad that I finished the second now and you can guess I am not gonna repurchase as I got bored with it. But I might in the future if I need something purse friendly.

L’Oréal Pure Clay Detox Mask is the black charcoal mask that had a creamy opaque consistency that is very easy to spread around the face with flat foundation brush. I liked it but I did found it heavily perfumated with first few uses (my nose probably accustomed to it later) and another warning is that if you remove it with face cloth or towel, use something dark otherwise your white one will permanently stay grey. I would say that 10 applications it says it had is about right as well. Of course, I also always use hydrating mask after clay.

Balance Active Formula Vitamin C Power Serum is a really nice budget serum with light, almost watery consistency that smells like a typical vitamin C product, kind of citrusy. It soaked in quickly and brightened my skin although it didn’t dicrease appearance of age spots. If I need vitamin C serum under a fiver, I’ll happily repurchase.

Boots Ingredients Sheet Face Mask with lotus flower and tiger lily is a brightening mask from Boots offering. It contained milky lotion that took some time to soak into my skin and after 30 minutes from removing the mask I got fed up with waiting and just applied SPF before make up, as I wanted to go out.

Origins Flower Fusion sheet mask in Orange and lavender. Despite higher price (but still not too steep as there are many more expensive ones), I really like these masks as they are right size and good shape on my face, contain a reasonable amount of essence/serum that is not heavy but still hydrating, never stung my face and no parabens. The orange one smells inoffensive and did brighten my skin. Soothing lavender contains squalane in bottom half, but there is also dimethicone right next to it, if you mind things like that but the mask didn’t feel heavy and didn’t aggravate my healing breakouts, so that should still be ok.

Masque Bar Green Tea Sheet Mask. I did a review about it a few weeks back. I liked the scent, light hydration and again, it made my skin radiant but unless you buy a 3-pack where 1 piece comes to £3.33, it is one of more expensive ones with price starting at £4.99 a piece. On the other hand, there is no paraben.

Oskia Renaissance Mask felt luxurious and I can easily imagine someone using it as a cleansing balm or mask but let’s be honest, £50 for a jar is really steep for me and I am yet to see the time I can afford it.

I am not sure whether I should put St Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Face Sheet Mask should be in skincare or body care but as I applied it on my face, skin it is. I was considering writing a full review about with my face with masks and how it work on the skin but I am afraid that I am completely anti-selfie and changed my mind. The mask contains thin sheet soaked in non-greasy tanning essence. By your desired effect, you should leave it on for 5 minutes for light, 10 for medium and 15 for dark and it is not advise len to leave it on for more than 15 minutes. It is quite ill-fitting from eyes down, I couldn’t smooth it properly. The effect should work for next 8 hours and I can vouch for that, as I left the mask on for 6 minutes, after the first hour I saw my face a shade darker but after 5 hours it looked like I had yellow fever and started panicking a bit and rubbing it with cotton wool soaked in liquid gold. Plus as with all self-tanning  products, as the tan developed, so did the typical smell. I went to the cinema with children next morning and didn’t have time to put on my make up and before we left, my daughter said: “Mum, you’re orange!” (Word of encouragement is always needed when you go out barefaced.) On the other hand, the face was not streaky (just make sure you massage the serum well after removing the mask, especially around the hairline. I guess what I am trying to say in this paragraph is that self tanning with yellow tinged skin is not for me.

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Body

The Body Shop Vineyard Peach Body Butter, Shower Gel and Body Scrub. As somebody mentioned in their reviews of their body range, shower gel has got the best intensity of the scent which is somehow diluted in other products from the set. Who reads my empties knows I am a sucker for fruity scent so I definitely didn’t mind smelling like a peach. I overindulge in TBS sales last year though so I just really cannot wait to finish them so that I could move on.

The Body Shop Satsuma Beautifying Oil is finally finished. I hate using oils on my body as they make me feel itchy and this was no different so I used it in my Aztec Secret Clay mask and on hair.

Avon City Rush EDP was right up my street with its spicy plum notes. I really loved it, although I am not sure whether Avon still sells it but I saw it on notino.co.uk.

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Hair

Paul Mitchell Kids Taking Spray is for kids but I loved to use it too. For me personally it is one of the nicest (although also most expensive) detangling sprays I’ve used. It keeps hair soft yet lightweight with daily use and it smells like a raspberry compote😋 My purse doesn’t allow me to buy on regular basis but will definitely repurchase.

Avlon KeraCare Detangling Conditioning Mist is a really nice detangling spray for daily use. It is a bit more expensive than ordinary detangling sprays you can grab in poundstores or while shopping groceries but I can definitely see and feel the difference and for £7.60 I can still see it as a more regular repurchase.

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment mask was in my empties probably every month since January, as I stock Up every time Boots have them on offer and last tíme it was on 3 for £15 so that makes repurchase manageable (I don’t think I would bit for full price). I don’t really have a problem growing my hair and my hair didn’t get thicker as I hoped but I still like using this mask every time I wash my hair (around every 3 days). I wasn’t much sure about the growth efficacies but I realised last month when I looked at a few grey hair I have on the sides of my head that it was 4 weeks since I dyed my hair and I could see around 1 and half inch growth (so maybe I should stop using it -to stave me from frequent dying😋).

Schwarzkopf Bonacure Repair Rescue Mask was quite a good mask, it did nourish hair well but I just didn’t like the artificial fragrance. I might be tempted to buy again for a good price though.

Schwarzkopf Bonacure Repair Rescue Sealed Ends is a leave in treatment cream that I definitely liked for both my (in small amount) and my daughters’ (in higher dose)hair. Not gonna repurchase now but definitely in the future.

Avon Natural Daily Nourishment Superfruit Souffle with acai berry and shea oil. It was nicely smelling and lightweight and yes, it does contain silicone and paraben but for £1-2 probably everything does.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer was another 40ml sample I had as I would not pay the full price for the full size. However I repurchased a set of 75ml version with some other PK minis, as I saw it for £11 on Lookfantastic outlet.

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Make up

Maybelline The Colossal Go Extreme Volume mascara has a giant wand that took me a bit of getting used to and it is impossible to use on my sparse lower lashes but as mascaras go, it is not bad, it gave me volume and some length although not that extreme as it days on the packaging.

MUA Matte Perfect Primer promised to be complexion balancing and oil controlling but even if I apply my primers sparsely, it just felt like my skin was suffocating. I had it for two years and I just forced myself to use it up to 10 times, so I don’t really feel I should continue this struggle to use it anymore.

Latest in Beauty Cosmopolitan Holiday Edit

I wrote about Latest in Beauty boxes before as a really good choice for a subscription. Although I cancelled my subscription this month as I might be moving house in a few months and I seriously need to reduce my stash now, when I chose content of my last subscription (I am sure I will be back on after 4-5 months), I also decided to order Cosmopolitan Holiday Edit curated box as it was a seriously good deal for £20 and I know I can put almost everything in the box to good use. I am a sucker for deals so 11 items for £20 which means less than £2 per items and many od them in full size was too good to pass.

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I would start with products I was the most excited about.

Wet brush in classic size and colour normally costs from £8 (except for ebay but after some bad experience, I don’t do ebay and I don’t do PayPal). At first I was really not interested because since I started using Tangle Teezer (and some cheaper copies) around 6-7 years ago, I didn’t ever want to go back to something that looks like traditional hair brush. But it fortunately isn’t as the bristles are flexible, not like small nails that are used as a tool of torture. It detangles my Caucasian curls perfect but I still prefer Tangle Teezer (Besides the afro comb) for my daughters’ mixed raced coily curls.

Ladival DNA Repair After Sun in full 200ml size is mostly available in Asda and some pharmacies with price around £14. There is no doubt I will have good use for this now even if I don’t sunbathe. I have children so I spend a lot of time (and several bottles of spf) with them outside (especially if you spend the whole day in open air water park). Bonus is, that now with RRP, the value of these first two products already covers the cost of the box.

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Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula lip balm SPF15 because we should not forget our lips in the summer and still saving some pennies.

Garnier Moisture Bomb Protect SPF30 Mist. Although I don’t really intend to use it on face much as many people complained in their reviews that it makes their face shiny, I intend to use it as a handbag all over SPF top up on the go. And I am happy to try it for under £2.

Being by Sanctuary Spa Wash bag is really cute and nice travel make up bag. Being is a new body care line by Sanctuary Spa but I am happy that they chose the bag for the box not some shower gel or a lotion as at the moment, I am drowning in them but I needed some cute bag instead.

 

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MUA is a budget brand and although there were some products I didn’t get along  with in the past (base and primers), I like their decorative range and especially their latest releases are great. This ombre highlighter melts into skin beautifully and the ombre effect is gorgeous.

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Collection Speedy Blush Stick is a nice natural pink shade that doesn’t look overwhelming and although it is a stick, does not feel greasy.

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Nails Inc polish is available in Notting Hill Gate and Abbey Road. I had pink Notting Hill Gate. It is classic summer pink with high shine finish that lasts quite well.

St Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Sheet Mask is my least favourite product as I don’t like using self tanning products much but I am curious about this sheet mask tanning concept.

Eyeko Sport Waterproof mascara is another (I have one from the Good Housekeeping​ Edit) but I don’t really mind much as I never buy waterproof mascara, so it might come handy.

Merci Handy Lollipop Hand Cleansing Gel is a really handy handbag accsessory to have on the go. I actually am happy to receive one as it is practical.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water in 125ml is a no brainer although I saw this size in Poundland.

I am happy with this box as I can see myself using all the items soon (and I basically already tried half of them and was not disappointed). What do you think?

 

 

GOSH Make Up

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I can’t even remember whether it was in February or at the end of January when I got an e-mail from GOSH club where I could  win products from their new collection. I entered and completely forgot about it, even when I received their package in the post, I was at first completely puzzled how come I was lucky enough to get that package (because let’s be honest, I am not that kind of blogger who gets freebie). It was only when I put the picture on my Instagram, when lovely people from GOSH in Denmark left a comment that they are glad I received my price from the competition because when they tried to inform me by mail, it bounced back. Although I don’t have awful lot from GOSH, I love their 9 pan eye shadow palettes (I have Coppenhagen and New York one), their liquid lipstick and first primer I ever bought 6 years ago was from GOSH and I still think is one of the best I have tried. Also, I love the fact that their quality make up is made in Europe, not in China, Taiwan or Thailand (I am not saying I don’t have China make up but it is a plus in my eyes if  a European company  have their products made in Europe) unlike some very expensive brands that sell their make up for £30+ a pop.

Of course, I haven’t tried everything because I hate to have more than 2 mascaras or eyeliners open but I would like to show you the things I did try.

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I already have two of their Liquid Matte Lips so I was very happy when I saw one in pink shade of Berry Me that I didn’t have and is really nice for this season. Although truth be told this liquid lipstick is never fully dry and never fully matte as the name suggests, its creamy formula is very rich and pigmented so you don’t have to reapply if you have a snack or a drink unless you have a proper meal. It also wears off nicely, you won’t get patches. Slim, slightly bent doe foot application allows precise application but I wouldn’t go overboard with heavy buildup (but as it is really pigmented, you don’t need to) because it feels quite tacky when smacking your lips then.

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Another lip product I got is Velvet Touch Lipstick in Matt Angel which is a pink nude colour and unlike the liquid one, this is matte and I recommend to scrub your lips before the application. When it is on my lips though, it feels comfortable. The colour is less intense than with liquid lipstick but still wears off nicely lasts quite well.

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I really like the 9 shade eye palettes so I was excited to try their new quads in Urban Nature. There is one shimmer and 3 mattes. Although I didn’t find them as buttery as the ones in the above mentioned 9 pan palette, they actually apply well on lids and last really well without melting into the crease.

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I never bought a liquid blush as it sounds quite scary for an old oily girl me so Lumi Drops in Rose was perfect opportunity to try that dewy trend and I was surprised that I liked it.

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It doesn’t feels greasy, it spreads and blends in easily and the shade I got, creates naturally flushed cheeks on my skintone.

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Last thing I tried from the parcel is trio of CCC (contour, cover, conceal) sticks. I was thinking about buying some of these as I wanted to try contouring with sticks so again, it was something I was excited about (i am not gonna lie, I loved whole package – who wouldn’t). The shades I got were 001 Vanilla Highlighter, 003 Light and 005 Dark. They are all very creamy and blend like a dream. The light shade is my favourite as it is really good at coverage and as it blends well, doesn’t look cakey, I think I could use it even as a concealer in winter. The dark shade looks a bit orange but when blended, it works with warm toned summer nude face make up.

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That is everything I have tried so far and I am happy with the colours they chose for me. For 35 years I never won anything and now was lucky to win a few Instagram giveaways (a lip oil, lipstick and handcream) and this one was the biggest price I have ever won.  As a person who never got anything for free, getting something I like and will use, definitely lifts your spirit and now I know that everybody can win, even if it is just a little thing, if you try and enter (of course, just to be on the safe side, enter with companies you know exist).