Archive for the 'masks' Category

Etude House O2 White Mask Pack Review

November 9, 2009


I’ve been feeling a little uninspired lately, so I figured it was time to get back to some fun, inexpensive Asian products for a nice change of pace.

Etude House’s O2 White Mask ($14.99) is a skin whitening and revitalizing wash-off mask that contains an oxygen complex meant to give your complexion a whitened, brightened appearance.


The O2 White Mask has a fresh fruity/floral scent and a fun jelly-like consistency that’s cooling to the skin upon initial application. I do experience some tingling when this touches my rather sensitive skin so I wouldn’t recommend this for those of you who are really sensitive and prone to irritation, but apply the mask, wait 2-3 minutes and rinse off (you’ll see a tiny bit of foaming as you wash this off) and you’ll immediately notice smoother, brighter, happier looking skin.


Etude House’s O2 White Mask makes a fabulous inexpensive midweek pick-me-up and is something I like to slather on as I’m sitting in front of the television (like tonight) not doing much of anything at all. It takes zero effort and provides immediate results – can’t really ask for much more than that!

This product was a gift from my aunt in Korea – the last time I visited her she saw that I was interested in Etude House and she actually remembered – very sweet of her! She’s also a typical Korean woman, meaning she’s on a neverending quest for that perfect milky white complexion, which explains her choice of product for me =P.

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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.

Naris Up Natural Eggshell Pack Review

March 2, 2009


I’m always looking for a way to keep my tragically large pores clear and blackhead free, and this Naris Up peel-off mask was the latest product added to my ever-expanding collection of skincare items amassed in furtherance of this endeavor. I picked this up from Mitsuwa (check out my spy cam shots HERE!) on sale for $4.99 which was a fabulous deal, since I’ve been reading about people paying anywhere form $10-15 for this online.


How To Use: This “pack” consists of two very small tubes of product: one contains a clear, liquidy pre-essence that you apply onto your nose and chin (or wherever else you may have blackheads), and the second tube contains a gooey, viscous black substance that you spread over the pre-essence before it’s had a chance to dry. Then you just sit around, wait for everything to dry and peel away.


I loved that this had English directions on the back, as I never would’ve known what to do with the pre-essence otherwise.

Back when I was in middle school Shiseido made a product like this that was absolutely amazing, but sadly they discontinued that product (story of my life) and I haven’t been able to find anything comparable since then. So how did this stack up?

No this isn’t my nose! 🙂

See all those nasty blackheads/whiteheads? Click to enlarge if you dare!

The Naris Up peel-off mask does a good job of clearing out the blackheads from your larger pores, but I wouldn’t say that it leaves your nose squeaky-clean and clog-free. I’d say it gets rid of 50-75% of my blackheads on any given occasion, which really isn’t bad at all.

One word of warning~don’t use this all over your face! Or at least avoid the areas that have peach fuzz on them, as this will latch onto those with a vice grip and it really won’t be pleasant when it comes time to peel this off. I’d recommend sticking to the chin/nose area, and expanding outwards with caution.

REN Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask Review

January 26, 2009
REN Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask ($55)

The Description: REN’s Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask is a gentle but potent peel mask formulated to dramatically remove dead cells, smooth lines, and to help prevent the appearance of spots and blackheads. The peel contains natural AHA from fruits, and does not irritate the skin like its synthetic counterparts. It’s paraben, sulfate, synthetic fragrance, synthetic dye, petro-chemical, and phthalate free.

As I mentioned in my previous review, REN’s Multi Mineral Detoxifying Facial Mask used in conjunction with REN’s Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask has really been a much needed harbinger of change for my skin! My skin had always been pretty decent up until the past year or two–relatively clear with the occasional monthly breakout, but nothing major. But for the past year or two my skin has been going haywire thanks to all the stress I’m under! My skin-frustrations were at their peak when I first read about these two products, and since I was pretty desperate I decided to give them a try.

I had a few monster pimples forming the two consecutive nights that I first tried REN’s Multi Mineral and Glycolactic, and the masks brought them to a head and dried them up within a matter of days. The Glycolactic Peel is fabulous for keeping those pores clear, eating away at your dead skin cells to promote a healthier complexion, and just making your face radiant.

I do notice that my face feels a tiny bit sticky after using this and so I tend to reserve it for night-time usage, but my skin is always glowing and healthy-looking the next morning, plus I’ve definitely noticed that my skintone is much improved and my pores are clearer since I’ve started using Glycolactic. During the ten minutes that I have this on my face I register some slight tingling sensations, but nothing that even comes close to the burning or irritation, making this suitable for all but the most sensitive of complexions.

This is definitely another one of those products that I never want to be without! I’d always been hesitant to try lines such as REN because I’d always equated “natural” with ineffectual or not-as-good, but I can’t believe how wrong I’ve been! REN is seriously one of the best skincare lines that I’ve tried thus far and I can’t wait to try more products from their range!

RATING: 5/5

REN Multi Mineral Detoxifying Facial Mask Review

January 26, 2009
REN Multi Mineral Detoxifying Facial Mask ($34)

The Claim: REN’s Multi Mineral Detoxifying Facial Mask is a deep cleansing and purifying mask that draws out impurities and decongests the skin leaving it soft and smooth. Pore size is reduced and skin imperfections are less visible. It’s paraben, sulfate, synthetic fragrance, synthetic dye, petro-chemical, and phthalate free.


Does it deliver? Well here’s the lowdown–you’re essentially paying $34 for a glorified clay mask. Is it fabulous? Well I happen to think so. Are you going to die without it? Probably not.

REN’s Multi Mineral Mask contains French kaolin clay to draw out impurities, spirulina to stimulate cell renewal, and red tea which is an essential fatty acid. I love that it has a nice light consistency meaning it’s easy to spread unlike many other clay masks I’ve tried which have the consistency of hardened mud, and also that it doesn’t cause stinging/burning/irritation. I’ve tried the much raved about Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask, and while it’s absolutely amazing for zapping a zit, it also makes me feel like I’m receiving a third degree burn to my face, so it’s a no-go for me most days.

Basically you spread a decent layer of the REN mask onto your face, let it dry for ten minutes or so, then rinse. You’re left with smooth, non-irritated skin that’s soft as a baby’s bottom–plus when you wake up the next morning you’ll notice your skin has a nice glow to it!

As for the pore-tightening effect, I’ve found that when used in conjunction with the Glycolactic Skin Renewl Peel my pores are clear (a miracle in and of itself) and nearly blackhead free and therefore my pores are a little tighter, although nothing drastic.

One final thing–I LOVE the packaging! The little plastic cap that goes over the nozzle ensures that you don’t get that little hardened blob of product at the opening, and everything stays fresh and happy until the next time you reach for this.

The Verdict: While I do happen to think it’s rather pricey at $34, I happen to love this and have reserved a permanent place for it in my skincare drawer! It keeps my skin clear (I’ve virtually stopped breaking out since I started using this and the Glycolactic plus a DDF toner), smooth, soft, and radiant–well worth my $34!

RATING: 4.5/5

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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Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask

July 21, 2008
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With all the stress of the upcoming bar, lack of sleep, and taking care of an orphaned bird (more on this later), my undereyes could definitely use some de-compressing and these Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Masks ($54 for four) seem like they’d do the trick. Now if only I had the time to actually go out and get these, I’d be set!

Have you ever gotten the Oxygen Facial from Bliss? That’d be a no for me since I’m still a poor student (well at least I was until a few months ago-now I’m just poor), but I’ve heard amazing things about it. I had, however, tried Bliss’ Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask ($52) and found it to be nice but nothing amazing. It supposedly mimics the effects of Bliss’ famous Oxygen Facial-call me skeptical but how can a five minute mask mimic the effects of a much longer (and more expensive) facial?

The mask does leave my skin super-soft and with a nice glow, but for some reason I just haven’t been wowed by it (and I’ve had it pretty much since it’s release). We’ll have to wait and see if it ever really grows on me!

ABS’s Favorite Scrubs, Masks, and Other Facial Treatments

May 7, 2008
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To make up for the lack of updates I’ve decided to tease you with a quick glimpse at things to come 🙂

Now that your skin’s survived the icy winter (well if you live somewhere that has cold weather), you’ll want to pamper it and make sure it’s in tip-top condition for the coming beach-weather! And I’ll be showing you my favorite products for doing this. So stay tuned for a more in-depth look at some of my favorite skincare products 🙂

In the meantime, make sure to enter my Giveaway for the Month of May!!