Monday, June 8th, 2009

LUSH Brazened Honey Fresh Face Mask ($7.95 for 2.6 oz.) is an exfoliating face mask designed for all skin types, though I feel it is better on normal to oily skin. It’s primary ingredients are kaolin, talc, organic lime juice, sage, rosemary, and juniper berry, eggs, honey, glycerin, fresh fennel, ground almond shells, almond oil, ginger root, parsley, ground turmeric, and a few other ingredients make up this mask concoction. It does smell like honey with a bit of spice.

This was the third Fresh Face Mask I tried, and I fell in love with it. It made my skin feel so smooth and fresh. I just loved it right off the bat, and I actually ended up getting a second tub as soon as I ran out of the first one. (Usually, I get something different/new, since I’m working my way through their masks!) I do feel like I prefer this exfoliating mask over Love Lettuce, just because I feel like it is just a smidgen gentler. However, Love Lettuce gives me more hydration post-rinse than Brazened Honey does. Overall, I find Brazened Honey to be a good detoxifying mask that also exfoliates. My skin always feels really clean and soft without any tightness after I’ve rinsed this off.

(The following is a regurgitation from previous Fresh Face Masks reviews, for those unfamiliar with them.)

Just a reminder, Fresh Face Masks, at least in the U.S., are only available in-store and not online or via mail order (I believe UK Lush will ship within the UK), and they have a shelf life of approximately three weeks, and they must be stored in the refrigerator. They’re exactly what they’re called — fresh — so don’t expect to use them much longer than three weeks, because of potential bacteria and mold growth (gross, right?).

Even using a generous amount per mask, I get at least eight masks out of each tub. For $8 a tub, it’s definitely a price I like. I usually pick up two pots — one mask that is exfoliating and another that is just a general, soothing/cleansing/refreshing one. When I reach the end of the life of them, any extra, I slather everywhere – from face to neck to chest to hands. Plus, for every five black pots you turn into Lush, you get a free Fresh Face Mask!

See inside! Continue reading →

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

LUSH Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask ($7.95 for 2.6 oz.) is an exfoliating face mask designed for normal to oily skin. As the label states, it is supposed to give “skin a softened, smoothed, and radiant glow.” Ingredients include agar agar seaweed, fuller’s earth, kaolin, honey, glycerin, almond oil, ground almost shells, ground almonds, and lavender oil, to name the major ones.

It’s one of the stronger exfoliating masks I’ve tried, so this is definitely not a product I’d recommend using more than once or twice a week. It smells kind of like an earthy lavender to me–it’s not at all offensive like Cosmetic Warrior and its garlic-tea-tree goodness (which, by the way, no longer bothers me, after using it for two weeks). While it exfoliates, it also hydrates from the seaweed and almond oil, which is a nice treat after you’ve rinsed off the mask.

With summer approaching, these masks are even more of a treat than they were during the winter/spring — because they’re chilled, so they are extremely refreshing! I really liked Love Lettuce, because it did make my skin feel incredibly smooth and soft to the touch, but since it is a bit harsher as an exfoliator, I found it best to use it less frequently. I teter between this and Brazened Honey, since I like to switch up every time I pick up new Fresh Face Masks.

Just a reminder, Fresh Face Masks, at least in the U.S., are only available in-store and not online or via mail order (I believe UK Lush will ship within the UK), and they have a shelf life of approximately three weeks, and they must be stored in the refrigerator. They’re exactly what they’re called — fresh — so don’t expect to use them much longer than three weeks, because of potential bacteria and mold growth (gross, right?).

Even using a generous amount per mask, I get at least eight masks out of each tub. For $8 a tub, it’s definitely a price I like. I usually pick up two pots — one mask that is exfoliating and another that is just a general, soothing/cleansing/refreshing one. When I reach the end of the life of them, any extra, I slather everywhere – from face to neck to chest to hands. Plus, for every five black pots you turn into Lush, you get a free Fresh Face Mask!

See inside! Continue reading →

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

MAC Cleanse Off Oil ($21.00 for 150ml) is my new best friend. When I heard my favorite MAC girls gushing and I mean, GUSHING!, over Cleanse Off Oil via Twitter all during Fashion Week, I knew I had to try it for myself. Despite being a huge MAC fan and collector, I must admit I tend to overlook their skincare, though I’ve been pretty happy with the skincare products I’ve tried by them (hello, Volcanic Ash Exfoliator!).

The description off of MAC’s website lists Cleanse Off Oil as, “An industry-strength oil-based makeup remover that’s gentle on the skin. Botanically formulated with oils of olive fruit, evening primrose and jojoba seed and absolutely 100% mineral-oil free. Massages onto the skin to loosen all makeup, including waterproof mascara. Emulsifies into a lotion-type liquid with water: rinses off easily, no tissues required—and no residue! Protects with vitamin E. Skin softening and conditioning.”

Nick Gavrelis, VP of Product Development for MAC, tells us that Cleanse Off Oil was originally developed for their Asian Markets as a quick, makeup removing oil that “quickly and thoroughly dissolves all traces of make-up, cleanses and conditions skin and can be emulsified in contact with water then rinsed off completely.” He tell us the best way to apply it is to massage it to “blend well” with your makeup. Then, simply rinse off with lukewarm, as “emulsifying” the oil with water.

Cleanse Off Oil is designed remove all makeup, including waterproof mascaras. It contains several different oils (including jojoba, rose hip, olive, and evening primrose), while being mineral oil-free, all working together to really break down your makeup. I have to tell you that I think Cleanse Off Oil might actually be one of the reasons my skin is on the up and up lately. It really does clean and break down makeup, whether it’s fluidline or foundation, and it rinses away with water.

I’ve tried the Oil Cleansing Method using a mixture of olive oil and another oil (I’m blanking on which one), but I didn’t love the way it felt on my face. It was just too thick, too oily–it felt like it even when I had rinsed it off. Cleanse Off Oil feels like a very thin oil when you initially massage it into your face, but any oiliness goes away as soon as you rinse it away. My skin felt clean and soft, but it didn’t have that stripped feel that some cleansers can leave. It is SUPERB in removing makeup from eyes to lashes to lips — it’s better than my go-to eye makeup remover Bi-Facil. I recommend everyone check this product out! Try it with Liquid Last Liner to be truly amazed :)

When I asked MAC Senior Artist Tiffany Johnston why she can’t get enough of the Cleanse Off Oil, this is what she said:

“I LOVE this product! I use it to breakdown and remove all my makeup (including airbrush and waterproof makeup), I also use it on my bodypainting brushes. It brings my dual fibre brushes back to white! I also use it to shave my legs!”

So now I am off to see if I can get some of my slightly-stained white-bristled brushes back to their original state! Wish me luck!

Who else knows the joys of Cleanse Off Oil? (Anyone not impressed by it?)

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

It’s Mario Badescu Week here on Temptalia!! :) I’m finally reviewing the products that have taken my skin from omg-total-pizza-face to minimal acne/near clear. In just a week, I saw a noticeable difference; within two and a half weeks, it was 80% cleared. After a full four weeks, it was at 90% clear. I’d say I’m around 93% clear these days, with some minor flesh-colored bumps (still figuring those out, sigh!). But I think we can chalk the residual acne up to diet, hormones, or stress (or a combination thereof) for now.

Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser ($15.00)

This acne cleanser is designed to help prevent and heal your existing acne by using a salicylic acid-based formula. The product also contains aloe vera and chamomile to help reduce acne inflammation. First, I have to comment on the overall cost effectiveness of Mario Badescu products. This cleanser goes for $15 for 6 oz., but I can tell you right now that I fully expect my bottle of cleanser to last me at least three months (used both AM and PM), if not five or six, but I’ll be conservative. $5 a month? I can swing that for the sake of my skin!

It’s kind of a gel-based cleanser, but it isn’t super thick or anything. It is better for combination and oily skin (as recommended by the website), but I have normal-to-dry skin (drier after using acne products, surprise, surprise!). My skin does, however, get normal-to-oily towards the end of the day most of the time. It’s clear, and you only need a pea-sized drop to cleanse your face.

The cleanser doesn’t smell medicinal, but it doesn’t really smell medicinal. I think you can scent some of the chamomile from it at best. I don’t particularly look for a cleanser that smells good or bad, I just need it to do its job (I’d prefer no perfume in a cleanser, actually!).

I do find it removes makeup quite well, especially when used in conjunction with my Clarisonic. Whenever I wear heavy eye or lip makeup, I do make a point to remove makeup in those areas with a makeup remover wipe or Lancome Bi-Facil (on a cotton round). This helps ensure I don’t smear a bunch of eyeshadow and mascara all over the rest of my face, which is what would happen if you just did an all-over-cleansing, you know?

This cleanser does not foam up very much. In fact, I might even call it non-foaming, actually. One thing I notice is my skin is clean after using it, but I don’t get any residual tightness of skin. (You can always test a cleanser’s efficacy by taking a makeup remover wipe or toner on a cotton round and going over your skin — either will pick up dirt and makeup leftover.)

How do I use it? I run warm water, then splash my face to dampen it. I apply a pea-sized amount into my fingers, then apply it to my face. I use my fingers to gently massage the cleanser all over my face for about ten seconds or so. I run my Clarisonic through water for half a second, and then I use the Clarisonic over my face for two minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat my face dry.

My Mario Badescu skincare routine revolves around:

1) Cleansing with Acne Facial Cleanser
2) Toning with Special Cucumber Lotion
3) Oil-Free Moisturizer in AM/Hydrating Serum in PM
4) Buffering Lotion/Drying Lotion/Drying Cream (I pick one) as spot treatment as needed
5) Drying Mask 1-2x a week as needed

I will be reviewing the entire Mario Badescu skincare system I used to help restore my skin over the next week, and I will be reviewing in the order that I use the products! Stay tuned :)

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

Lush Coalface Cleanser ($10.95 for 3.5 oz.) is a solid bar that has licorice root as its main ingredient (supposed to help the skin “heal naturally”) and powdered charcoal to exfoliate the skin.  The first noticeable characteristic of this product is it has a distinct smell.  I couldn’t quite tell you what it is, but I know some find it unpleasant–it’s kind of like out in the woods, around the campfire kind of scent.  I’m not one of them, but it’s not a scent that I’m going ga-ga over either!  Regardless, the scent doesn’t linger–it rinses off as soon as the product does.

I find Coalface to work really well at reducing acne breakouts.  It’s great for oily skin, especially because it can be a little drying on the skin.  If you find it drying, make sure to follow-up with a good moisturizer or try a toner.  Coalface gives me that “squeaky clean” feeling at the end, which is not really my bag, but often I follow with Sweet Japanese Girl so that “squeaky clean” feeling is minimal.  The product lathers up really well, and the gritty charcoal powder bits are rough enough to really get your scrub on.

Overall, I really like this product, and it’s definitely part of my shower time routine! Have you tried Coalface?

Here’s the ingredient list… Continue reading →

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

LUSH Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser ($9.95 for 3.5 oz.) has been my go-to morning cleanser lately, because it’s a mild exfoliating cleanser that’s perfect for both sensitive skin and everyday use. If you’re new to Lush, this might be a little more adventurous product type than other products they offer, just because it feels very natural/organic.

It’s sort of a gummy roll of product, which you take a pea or two peas-sized dollops out of. You add a little water, then rub it between your hands until it starts to break down into almost a paste consistency. Then you apply it like your usual cleanser–gentle, circular motions. Rinse, then pat your face dry, and you’re all done. Of course, you can choose to follow up with toner and/or moisturizer if you so desire.

Angels on Bare Skin includes the following ingredients: Ground Almonds (Prunus dulcis), Glycerine, Kaolin, Water (Aqua), Lavender Oil (Lavandula hybrida), Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia), Lavender Flowers (Lavendula hybrida), *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume. The Rose Absolute is supposed to tone, while the Lavender Oil soothes your skin. I list the ingredient list so you can see what’s in the product, but also so you can have an idea as to why this product has a shelf life of a mere three months. This is not a product to stock up on! That huge chunk of product in the photo will surely last me at least three months!

The scent of Angels on Bare Skin reminds me of going out in the woods or a field–it’s not that compost heap “natural” smell or anything, but more like the invigorating scent of nature. I don’t mind it, though I know a few are put off by the scent of this. I don’t feel this removes makeup 100% (especially not eye makeup–hello, it does have ground almonds in it, aka not going near my eyes), so I prefer to use something else in the PM or else I’ll use something else to remove makeup, then follow-up with this cleanser in the PM.

Overall, I recommend trying this product, because it’s worked well in recuperating from my silicone-based break out. It hasn’t caused any additional acne, and I believe it has helped in reducing inflammation of those stubborn pimples (thus, making them appear less red and making me feel less self-conscious!). I’ll be posting more about my favorite Lush skincare products soon!

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