Archive for the 'facial treatments' Category

Skin Food Fermented Pomegranate Whitening Sleeping Mask Review & Swatches

October 5, 2009


Whoever said beauty had to be difficult obviously never tried SkinFood’s Fermented Pomegranate Whitening Sleeping Mask, a product that will beautify your complexion literally while you sleep. I picked up this product during my Korea trip this past May and I’ve been loving it ever since.


Find out why after the jump!


So I don’t know about any real lightening going on with my skin, but let me tell you why I personally adore this product: it’s so easy to use! Two ways I use this:

  1. On top of my serum on those days/nights my skin is in need of some brightening/softening and just a little extra TLC.
  2. On those nights that I’m feeling too lazy to wash off my makeup and there’s just no way I’ll be washing my face, I just slather this on top of everything that’s already on my face. Gross I know!



The mornings after I use this I awaken to a brightened, radiant complexion that feels comfortable hydrated and just really glows with happiness. There’s no tight feeling, no tingling discomfort, stickiness, or anything else associated with this product ~ it’s so comfortable that in the morning I often forget that I have this on until I step into the shower and feel this layer of something being washed off my face.

I know you’re all grossed out at the thought of my applying this over a made up face, but it seriously keeps my face from going crazy when I’m just too exhausted to wash it and post-shower in the morning my skin still looks great. I think I paid under $15 for this in Korea and it’s been worth its weight in gold. If you have access to it, I highly recommend checking it out!

PACKAGING: 5/5
USER-FRIENDLINESS: 5/5
VALUE: 5/5
PRODUCT: 5/5

OVERALL: 5/5

Asia Exclusive: SK-II Whitening Source Derm-Revival Program (w/ Whitening Source Melting Essence Films)

May 14, 2009


One item that I was just itching to buy at Duty Free in Korea, but was forced to leave behind, was SK-II’s new Whitening Source Derm-Revival Program.

The Whitening Source Derm-Revival Program was designed to respond to individual whitening needs with high-speed accuracy by detecting peroxide in the skin and delivering actives to address oxidative damage. Peroxide that potentially moves around within the skin is a key contributor to the melanin production process and cause for the unpredictability of new spots. The Whitening Source Derm-Revival Program’s breakthrough glyco-technology contains concentrated whitening actives that target stubborn spots. Each disc of the smart melting film, which dissolves in only 15 minutes, contains as much Vitamin B3 as that in seven pearl-sized drops of the Whitening Source DermDefinition. The mask contains DMT Blocker – an advanced complex containing Vitamin C derivative, Pitera® and Niacinamide; Inositol, a skin conditioning agent; and yeast amino peptide – key to encouraging the release of excess pigmentation from the skin to restore the skin’s crystal clarity.

The mask & melting film duo were a relative bargain at $60something for 6 masks in Korea whereas they cost a small fortune here. If I hadn’t had a layover in Japan, these would be mine right now! But all the Duty Free people basically outright told me these would get confiscated if I attempted to travel through Japan with them =X.

Tutorial for a Soothing DIY Greek Yogurt Mask: You’ll Love It!

March 11, 2009
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A few months back I came home to the sight of my mother sitting at the kitchen table with a large tube of Fage Greek Yogurt sitting in front her–nothing new since we both happen to love the stuff (mixed with honey, turned into tzatziki–it’s delicious!), but what was different was that she was wearing it on her face! Turns out that greek yogurt is actually wonderful for your complexion, as I was reminded while reading the description for Korres’ Yogurt Cream.

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Korres also makes a Yogurt Mask which is $27 for 1.35 ounces, but I prefer to make my own yogurt mask at home, since even the rather pricey Fage usually runs $5-7 for 500 grams which is the equivalent of approximately 17.64 ounces.

How do you use a yogurt mask? Well pretty much however you want. My mother, who suffers from dryness, loves to just slather on the full fat Fage, leave it on for 10-15 minutes and rinse off. Your skin will look and feel smoother, whiter, brighter, softer, and calmer. The yogurt (especially straight out of the fridge) also helps to soothe stressed or sunburned skin and is great for reducing redness.

Other Variations On the Yogurt Mask:

  • For oilier complexions, you can mix in some aspirin you’ve turned into a paste (see how HERE) and/or a drop or two of lemon juice for tightened pores and skin that glows.
  • For dryer complexions, mix in some soothing honey or just apply plain.
  • You can also add pure green tea powder for a ilttle something different, and also mix in some flour if you prefer a thicker mask, although greek yogurt is thick enough that you shouldn’t have runniness issues.

I think I’ll treat myself to a yogurt mask tonight if this hellish day that I’m having at work ever ends.

La Mer The Radiant Infusion Review

December 2, 2008
La Mer The Radiant Infusion ($95 for 4.2 oz.)
{Check out the old watermark! I’ve had this post in my blogger drafts for almost 3 months now!}

Product Info: This high-potency treatment infuses the skin with a cascade of activity to deliver extreme radiance, clarity, pore-minimizing and tone on demand. The Radiant Infusion’s vital ingredients – ionizing sea salts, Radiant Ferments and super anti-oxidants – are suspended within a radical, fluid architecture. Expanding and contracting as necessary, the mesh-like sea gel works with La Mer’s exclusive Deconstructed Waters™ to deliver extraordinary activity.

In my pre-Peter Thomas Roth Hyaluronic Acid Complex Serum days La Mer’s Radiant Infusion was my favorite pre-moisturizer treatment, but oh how things have changed! I still do love this, along with the Hydrating Infusion, but the PTR definitely gets more love in the ABS skincare cabinet these days.

But onto the actual review! La Mer’s Radiant Infusion is similar in consistency to the Hydrating Infusion, if not a little thinner. It’s somehwere in between a liquid and a gel, but leaning more towards the liquid end–think jello before a minute or two after it’s been mixed up and before it’s really begun to set at all.

Does it deliver on all of the fabulous promises it makes of tightened pores, increased luminosity, and greater tone and clarity? Well….somewhat. I happen to love this product because it doesn’t irritate my skin and with continuous use I have most definitely noticed increased luminosity and a better tone/clarity and overall appearance to my skin, but as for tightened pores, I’m not so sure. My pores have been looking a bit more refined since I started using this product, but that could be attributed to the million other skincare items I’ve tested since then, plus the fact that I’ve now begun cleansing and exfoliating like a fiend!

Overall I’d definitely repurchase this as my skin definitely seemed to like it a lot. I sometimes layer this under my PTR serum to lock in all of the La Mer goodness, but may begin using it on its own under moisturizer during the day and saving the PTR for night-use, at least during the warmer summer months.

Related Posts:
Read about the best powder in the world here–you won’t regret it!
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Missha Super Aqua Oxygen Mask: Have You Tried This?

October 11, 2008

During my brief mall visit yesterday I happened to pop by Missha, a rare occurrence for me, and somehow managed to get talked into trying out their new Super Aqua Oxygen Mask on my hand. I was actually in the middle of politely declining when she showed me this photo in their brochure:

So of course I was highly skeptical but my interest had been piqued and my curiosity got the better of me, so on went the mask! And the verdict? This stuff is seriously cool! The area that the mask had been applied to was (temporarily) much whiter and brighter than the surrounding areas, and like my Bliss Triple Oxygen Energizing Mask the stuff foamed and bubbled a bit which is always fun.

And of course I took photos for you–please excuse the terrible mall lighting and the disgusting floor!

After leaving mask on for 3 minutes and then wiping off with cotton pad.


So the super-whiteness dissipated after 5 minutes or so, but it did leave my skin a little brighter looking. However, I’m always a little wary of products that give such dramatic results in such a short period of time (especially such dramatic whitening!) and so I’ll be doing a little more reading up on this (ie. looking at the ingredients) before doling out my $29.99!


Have you tried this? Heard of it? I’d love to know what you think!
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Kate Somerville Micro-Glycolic Polisher

July 16, 2008

Kate Somerville Micro-Glycolic Polisher-$90
Yet another Nordstrom-exclusive to tempt me!

“Peel away the years with this Kate Somerville Clinic favorite: a professional-strength treatment peel that resurfaces and restores skin.

– Dual-acting glycolic and lactic acid work together to promote surface cell turnover, gently and effectively.
– Enriched with complex anti-aging ingredients to promote a youthful glow.
– Long revered by the ancient Egyptians for its therapeutic properties, blue lotus extract delivers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits to calm skin and fight against free-radical damage.”

I’m a big fan of Natura Bisse’s Glyo-Peeling 50% ($170) so if this product is anything like it, it’d be a great cheaper alternative!

ABS’s Favorite Facial Treatments Part II: MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator Review

June 30, 2008
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Who knew that MAC’s Volcanic Ash Exfoliator from its Future Earth collection would sell out so quickly? Heck if I’d known I would’ve stocked up as soon as it was released!

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See the sludgy oily black goodness? It’s happiness in a leaky plastic tub.

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The Exfoliator is a mixture of Volcanic Ash and sugar crystals from the islands of Vanuatu. And for those who love a multi-taking product, this works great on both face and body.

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See the sugar crystals?
Rub this on your face or body and you’re left with what looks like a layer of greasy soot. Attractive, no?

MAC’s Volcanic Ash Exfoliator has to be once of my favorite MAC products of all time. It’s a multi-tasker, fun and easy to use (c’mon you can’t tell me it isn’t fun to smear black goo all over your face!), relatively inexpensive, pleasantly scented and non-irritating–all of which make me hope that MAC will make this a part of their permanent line at some point!

Basically you wet your face (or body), take some your Volcanic Ash Exfoliator, smear it all over the place and rub away until all of the fine sugar crystals have dissolved. You’d think the stuff would be difficult to remove but it rinses right off, with the added bonus of a cool foaming sensation. Once everything’s been rinsed away you’re left with baby soft skin!

I think it’s pretty self-evidence that I love this product, so if you can find this at your local MAC counter, I’d definitely grab it and hoard it as if your life depended on it!

Two little gripes though. #1 while it’s a great exfoliator and leaves your skin feeling very soft, the sugar crystals aren’t super fine and therefore won’t really give your pores a deep deep clean. If you’re looking for a thorough pore-cleansing scrub, look elsewhere! And #2 is my one major issue with this product-the packaging absolutely stinks!! I really don’t know what MAC was thinking with this one. The jar’s leaky (the oil leaks out the sides and gets everywhere as you can see in my first photo) and messy, and I’ve heard it gets gooey during shipment as well. Not pretty!

Have you tried MAC’s Volcanic Ash Exfoliator? Loved it? Hated it? Thought the packaging stunk? Tell me about it!

Read Part I of my Favorite Facial Treatments series here and learn how to make your own amazing aspirin mask.

See my MAC F&F haul here.

Read my MAC Neo Sci-Fi review and see swatches here.

Read my reviews of Pleasureseeker lipstick and Like Venus Dazzleglass here.

Thinking about pressing your pigments? Check out my tutorial here.

See my MAC Tendertones swatches here.

See MAC Cool Heat swatches here.

ABS’s Favorite Facial Treatments Part I: The Aspirin Mask

June 12, 2008
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Remember when I promised to go through my favorite scrubs, masks, and other facial treatments over a month ago? Well it’s been sitting on the back-burner for weeks, but I’ve finally gotten around to doing it! 🙂

First up is a super cheap and effective at-home DIY treatment, the aspirin mask. When I feel a break-out coming on, or my complexion just needs a quick pick-me-up, this is what I turn to. Because aspirin is a derivative of salicylic acid, this mask is absolutely amazing for keeping your skin clean and clear!

So how exactly do you make an aspirin mask? Read on to find out!!

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1. Shake out 4-5 uncoated aspirin tablets onto your hand or a small mixing dish.
I use these cheap ones from Walgreens-500 tablets for $3.99!

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2. Place a drop or two of HOT water onto each tablet.
Cold or lukewarm water won’t work here!

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3. Once the tablets are melted through (if your water was warm enough, it should only take a few seconds), crush them the rest of the way with your fingers. You should end up with this aspirin paste.

4. Add the mix-in ingredient of your choice. I like Cetaphil because it’s gentle and gives my aspirin mask an exfoliant-like consistency without being too runny. Other favorites are honey, yogurt, and Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Mask.

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5. You can use the resulting mixture either as an exfoliator, a mask, or both!
I tend to smear it all over my face, exfoliate with it for 30 seconds or so, then leave it on while I’m brushing my teeth.

6. Rinse off and you’ve got instant baby-soft skin!!

One minor caveat: If you’ve got aspirin allergies, obviously this may not be the best mask for you!

Have you tried the aspirin mask? What’s your favorite variation?