Thursday, April 25, 2013

paper mask reviews1

Paper masks is an important part in my skin care regime.I use at least 2 paper masks per week. Some are good and some are bad so I've decided to do a set of posts just to talk about paper masks. 

Top Row left to right: Regene honey SOS Nourishing mask, Regene Vita Aqua Spa Rejuvenating Mask, Naruko Magnolia Brightening and Firming mask
Bottom row left to right: Color Combos Oatmeal Whitening Facial Sheet Mask, Face Q Caviar and hyaluronic Acid Moisture Mask, 彩豐行 Apple and witch hazel purifying paper mask.

Regene Honey SOS Nourishing Mask. In my previous empties post I've talked about this being one of my all time favourite paper mask. But I haven't gone into details about this mask. This is a royal jelly and honey mask. I love using them during the winter. If I notice signs of dry patches on my skin, this is the mask I always turn to. After using it for a night, the dry patches will be gone. This is a thick paper mask with lots of serum in it. The mask is soaked in heavy cream based serum so I only use it during the winter. It will be too rich for the warmer months. It is a decent mask for its price. I paid around $10 HKD for the mask.

Regene Vita Aqua Spa Rejuvenating Mask. I've talked about this mask before but haven't gone into the details. This is a deep moisturizing mask that provides enough moisture to my skin during the winter. It works fairly well during the winter but not on the coldest days in the year. This is a thinner sheet mask compared to the honey mask. The serum is water based instead of cream based. For the price I find it being a decent mask. I paid around $10 HKD for the mask.

Naruko Magnolia Brightening and Firming mask. I love this mask and it had been reviewed before. (Reviewed here)

Color Combos Oatmeal Whitening Facial Sheet Mask. This is one of the masks I got from my friend during my visit to her place. This is a mask that is always on sale at It is one of the masks with the ear loop design that is for firming your skin. For a whitening mask, it did a terrible job. I didn't notice my face being whitened at all. For the moisturizing effect. I didn't really see a difference to my skin. But it did an excellent job in the firming aspect. I could feel my skin feeling a little tighter at the jaw line. I would use this only as a firming mask but don't expect any other result from this paper mask. 

Face Q Caviar and hyaluronic Acid Moisture Mask. This is one of the masks with the ear loop design. I'm currently trying out masks with the ear loop design as it allows me to run errands around the house instead of lying still for 20 minutes. This is a firming and hydrating mask. If they are only selling it as a hydrating mask, they did a great job as this is very hydrating and it's retailing at a great price. ( $11.99 for 10 masks at T&T when it's on sale). For the price, it's worth trying. But it's a ear loop mask so you should be able to hang it on your ears comfortably. The mask is just too delicate. It breaks easily so it kept on tearing while I was trying to hang it on my ears. So in the end I had to lie down to prevent the mask from falling off. Since it's too delicate so I couldn't tell if it's doing it's job in firming my mask as I couldn't get the mask on properly. If would be an amazing mask if the mask doesn't break that easily. For the price, I would try out different masks from the line. I do find this being better than the beauty diary masks I've tried before. 

彩豐行 Apple and witch hazel purifying paper mask. This is a mask I stole from my sister's stash. Or I would say I traded for the mask. I tried it when I felt my skin was congested. It didn't really help with purifying my skin. It smelled really nice and felt soothing. It didn't irritate my skin but it didn't do anything to my skin so I don't think I'll be getting these again.

Have you tried any of these masks? What's your favourite paper mask?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review: Meiji Amino Collagen

After you reach 25, you can really tell the difference in your skin. Your skin gets dehydrated easier, it starts to get dull and starts to lose its elasticity. Once you get older, your skin starts to lose its ability to create collagen. The amount of collagen in your skin starts to decrease after you turn 20. It isn't that obvious when you're 20 but after you turn 25 you can tell the difference. I would say this is not the best collagen in the market but it's readily available and affordable so it's a decent product that's worth trying. 

There are food that can help boost the collagen in your skin but I don't eat them on a regular basis so taking a collagen supplement is the best thing for me. 

If you live in Asia I would suggest Fancl Tense up. Fancl Tense up is the product that gave me the immediate result. You can tell the difference in your skin after drinking it for 2 weeks. For other products, you don't see a result that quickly. The problem with Fancl is it's not available in Canada. I do not want to carry them back to Canada from Hong Kong. It's heavy and it's liquid format instead of powder so it's impossible for me to get my sister to stock up a year's worth of collagen drinks for me. For liquid collagen that's available in Canada you can get Naruko Collagen drink but they cost $8 a bottle. So basically you'll be spending $240 Canadian a month on collagen drinks which is not worth the price. 

A cheaper alternative is Meiji. The one I tried is the regular line. You can find this everywhere. From ebay to sasa making it readily available for people not living in Asia. It comes in a can and you can get refills that comes in bags. For the first time I would suggest you get it in a can as it comes with a spoon.  
They normally retail at $35 a can/bag so it's roughly $1 a day. Making it a lot more affordable than liquid collagen. 

You can see that it actually looks like milk powder. One spoonful (7g) is all you need a day. I either take it in the morning or at night before I sleep. 

How does it taste? It tastes pretty bad. It tastes a little salty and fishy. I've tried taking it with water and I hated it. I can't take it with water. I've tried mixing it with yogurt drinks but since yogurt drinks are thicker so it doesn't blend well together making it taste rather weird. I normally mix it with my daily coffee or soy milk. You can't really taste it if you mix it with coffee making it easier to drink.

Do I see an improvement in my skin? Yes. I find my skin being more hydrated. I started drinking it during winter and my skin didn't itch more during the winter. The skin on my face always felt more hydrated. I don't have lines to begin with so I don't notice any changes in reducing fine lines on my face. 

Would I recommend this product? Yes as it helps your skin and once you start to age, you need to find ways to replenish the lost collagen. This helps and it's affordable to use on a regular basis. 

Do you take any beauty supplements? 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Perfume Rotation Results-March

This is a long due post as April is almost over. But I've been so busy in April I hardly had enough time to rest. This is the perfume usage result for March and you can see I cheated. For March I was supposed to stick to L'eau D'Issey Florale by Issey Miyake, Daisy Eau So Fresh by Marc Jacobs and Brits by Burberry.

From the picture you can tell I had two empty sample vials and for the Burberry perfume I didn't use much. For the first week I was happy with the rotation as I enjoyed using both the Issey Miyake and Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume. Once I finished up both samples I started using the Burberry perfume and I don't like it. I used to like this perfume but now I find it too strong for me to use on a regular basis. I disliked it so much I decided to put it down after trying it on for two days so I chose two other perfume samples to finish up. 

I ended up using Anna Sui Secret Wish Magic Romance and Paco Rabanne. I love the Anna Sui secret wish magic romance since I have the full size bottle at home but for the Paco Rabanne. I can't recall how it smells. 

Do you have a perfume rotation system?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

spoils from friends 1

I do have to say my friends treat me quite well. They spoil me with different beauty products. Or I should say we started swapping beauty products mainly paper masks so we can all try out different products. Paper masks normally come in box of 10s and it's quite boring to use them all by yourself as some of them are just not so good. You know if you like a mask or not just by trying it once or twice so it's a good idea to swap with your friends so you can try out different things.

During my recent visit to my friend's place I brought home some goodies.

Color combos sheet masks.

Nature Republic and Missha masks from Korea. Heard that the Missha one isn't too good (smells like alcohol). I haven't tried them yet so I can't comment. I'm looking forward to trying the snail mask. I love snail masks!

SNP pore contraction pack- korean clay pack. Retails at around $70 for full size in Canada. my friend loves it.

Dr. Dennis Gross peeling set. I wanted to try the Ole Herinksen power peel so my friend gave me another peel to try out.

Clinique Moisture surge eye mask. I've tried a lot of different products from the moisture surge line but I've never tried this mask before. 

Have you tried any of these products?

Sugar and Spice II

I went to Jo Malone again. I always visit their counter every time I go to the Holt Renfrew at Bloor or Yorkdale. I don't go to the one at Sherway Gardens as the JM counter is too small. 

I know I've talked about how the Lemon Tart Cologne and Redcurrant and Cream Cologne from Jo Malone not being something I love at first scent. I didn't expect to get them at all and it's be on the market for over a month they are normally long gone by now so I was rather surprised to find them in store when I went to pick up the English Pear and Freesia room spray.

English Pear and Freesia is my favourite Jo Malone scent. it's refreshing and not overly sweet. It's my go-to scent on a regular basis. I never get tired of this scent. It's light so it's work friendly. I love it so much I plan on picking up their diffuser once my red rose diffuser runs out. I use the room spray as a linen spray as well. Basically I spray it everywhere in my room! 

The BA was also very generous. He gave me 12 samples to try out different combinations.

These two colognes work fairly well with a lot of my other Jo Malone colognes and since it's limited edition so I finally decided to bring them home. These two work fairly well by blending both of them together. But I prefer blending them with grapefruit. I find that grapefruit being quite versatile it mixes well with most Jo Malone colognes. I do not think I'll be wearing them on their own. But they do smell great when you mix them with other colognes.

What's your favourite perfume? What's your latest perfume purchase?

Monday, April 15, 2013

March empties

I know this is a long due post but I've been very busy because of the tax season. I didn't use up a lot of full size products this month but I managed to finish up a lot of samples.

Mamonde Flower Vitamin Massage: I always have problem finishing up massage cream especially this one. This has too much fragrance in it and I hate the floral smell. The first few times I enjoyed it but after a while I hated the scent so it took me over a year to finish this massage cream. I would buy other massage creams but not this one.

Biotherm Aquasource: I hate this cream. I don't hate the smell but there is something in the formula that caused serious breakouts on my skin. I ended up using it as a body lotion.

Nuskin clay pack: I love this clay pack. It's a non drying clay mask that doesn't irritate my cheeks. I would definitely repurchase it. 

Clinique clarifying lotion 2: It's a clarifying toner that I've been using on and off for several years. This is not my regular toner but I do use it when my skin is acting up. I always have a bottle of this toner at home.

Etude House Moistful toner and emulsion: These do not provide enough hydration to my skin.  I've tried using them in place of the Sulwhasoo toner and emulsion during my regular skin care routine and they left my skin super dry. I didn't notice the difference on my skin on the first day but after using it for several days, I noticed my skin getting dehydrated. I guess I'm too old for Etude house skin care products.

Yu-bi Moisturizing cream: There are good reviews about this cream on Sephora but I hate it. It didn't absorb into my skin. I left a waxy layer on my skin and it didn't smell nice. 

Regene Smoothy White concentrate: It is a non greasy sunscreen but it does leave a white cast on your face. If you have pale skin, this isn't a problem for you. This is still one of the sunscreen I repurchase once in a while.

Missha Super Aqua Oxygen Deep Pore Cleanser: This is a bubble cleanser, you spread a layer on your skin and it turns into bubble then you start to rub it and clean your face. You can use it as your make up remover as well but I wouldn't trust anything other than my cleansing oil or cleansing balm for removing make up. There are other bubble cleanser/masks on the market so I don't think I'll repurchase it.

Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask: I love peel off masks. Like all peel off masks, it brightens your complexion and removes dirt from your pores and also remove fine facial hair. This one has an amazing ginseng scent to it. I still have a few samples packs that would last me several times but I will buy it. 

Fancl Washing Powder: This is still one of my favourite face wash. I find this being the best washing powder in the market. It's not readily available in Canada and that's the only reason why I stopped using it. 

Lancome Visionnaire serum: The alcohol scent is just too strong in this serum. After I apply it on my skin all I could smell was alcohol. There are other better serums out there for me to choose from. Not going to buy it.

Nature Republic fresh aqua serum: For the price it's quite good as a hydrating serum but not readily available in Canada. Again there are other serums I want to test out so I don't think I'll buy it.

Elishacoy Snail Cream: I love this cream. It worked wonders to my skin. I used it when I was having minor breakouts and it helped calm the pimples and redness on my skin. I like it so much I am considering switching to the snail skin care line during the summer.

The Face Shop White tree snow serum: It did nothing to my skin. It was heavily fragrant and I don't like it. Not a product I would consider buying.

Julep one step polish remover pads: I like these little pads. They are convenient so I would probably buy some.

Tymes agave nectar body lotion: The samples was so small I couldn't test out the product properly. 

Sally Hansen Raidiant hands, nails and cuticles: I find it too greasy and non absorbant.

Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom Puree Body Lotion: I know I shouldn't be using this in March and should save it for the summer but I wanted to finish it quickly so I used it in the wrong month. It would be perfect for the summer as it cools your skin but using it during winter means that it's not hydrating enough. 

Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia cream: I love this body cream. I love the scent and I think it'll be a splurge when I get my bonus and tax refund later this month. 

Burts Bee lotion: Another non absorbing lotion. I still have a few samples of these I need to get rid of. 

Benefit that gal primer: It brightens my complexion and I got it at a great price so I still have one or two at home. 

Mereadessco lip balm: I don't like this lip balm, it's not hydrating and it does nothing to my lips. It was so hard to finish this product as it did nothing to my lips. 

Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes: I'm normally not picky about face wipes but these face wipes I find them drying and couldn't remove all make up on my face. 

Selena cotton pads: I love these cotton pads and they can be split into 5 layers for lotion masks. I already found a place that sells them cheaper than J town so I will get them next time I head out. 

What products have you used up lately?

History of Whoo sunscreen comparison

Recently I've stopped using my Shiseido sunscreen on my face as I prefer using cream instead of lotion on my face. I like the Shiseido sunscreen but UI do want to try different brands and I'm currently trying out a few products from Histry of Whoo. I've been trying their 2 sun cream and 1 BB cream.

The 2 sun cream I've tried out are from the basic line and the whitening line. The BB cream is from the regular line as well.
left to right: regular sun cream, BB cream and whitening sun cream

left to right: regular sun cream, bb cream and whitening sun cream

Regular sun cream: It is white but it does not leave a white cast on your face. It's very moisturizing.

BB cream: It's lightweight with medium coverage. it has a light herbal scent and makes your skin very smooth after using it. I find this non greasy.

Whitening sun cream: It has a pink undertone. Even though it's thick but I find it spreads out easily, like all whitening products, it's not very moisturizing. The pink undertone helps correct your skintone and creates a glowing complexion.

I've tried each of them for a week and I would say in the current weather, I like the whitening sun cream the most. It's non greasy and drys up quickly. My face isn't oily after the work day. My face normally gets a little oily after a few hours. My face didn't feel oily at all after the work day. It would be prefect for the warmer months. I wouldn't suggest using it during the winter . For the whitening functions, I haven't used it long enough to notice a difference to my skin but I heard that they have an amazing whitening skin care line. I love it but full price is not wallet-friendly. It costs around $70 for the 45ml tube.

I like this BB cream. It's a perfect shade for me. I love the scent and it is perfect for the weather. It didn't cause any breakouts on my skin. It is also non greasy on my skin. Only complaint is it's too expensive for a BB cream. Again, it's around $70 for the 45 ml tube if I buy it in store in Canada. I know Sulwhasoo is around the same price range but with all the promotions we have in store, the History of Whoo one costs twice the price of the Sulwhasoo one.

The regular sun cream is a little too rich for the warmer months. I would say it's a little too rich for people with oily/combination skin. I only used a small amount but I find it being a little greasy and sticky to the touch. I wouldn't use it during the warmer months. I'll try this product again during winter.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

facial cotton comparison

This is a comparison for the readily available better quality facial cottons available in the GTA. I've tried a lot of facial cottons and I find the quality of Asian brands being a lot better than the generic cotton pads available in most drug stores.

Let's just say the round generic ones are too rough for your face and they are also too thick and suck up too much product causing you to use more. The quality is so bad I don't even want to use them on my face. They are not entirely cheap. They normally cost around$2.99 for a pack of 100 cotton pads.

The small round ones they are not as rough on the face but it's too small and tend to peel so I don't even bother buying them even for removing nail polish.

There are 5 cotton pad brands I generally use because I use a lot of cotton pads. I use around 6-10 per day and that's just for my face. I personally prefer the Shiseido one but it's too expensive for me to use it. I do not want to spend $10 on facial cotton every month.

These are the cotton pads I've been currently using and there are all readily available in the GTA. The three in the paper boxes are available at T&T a local Asian supermarket. There are several T&T in the GTA including one in downtown and one in Mississauga so you can find them easily. The Shiseido one is available at most Shoppers Drug Mart and Shiseido counters. The prices range from $ 2- $9 (before tax) for the above cotton pads.

Kyowa cotton pads are Japanese facial cotton pads that are made out of 100% cotton. These go on sale quite often and they are $ 2 when it goes on sale. Each box have 80 sheets. They are soft on the face and they don't suck up a lot of products. 

Selena is another Japanese brand. This is also 100% cotton you can tell the texture is different on both sides. On one side is smooth while the other is a little rougher. I use this with my hitachi hada crie as this is soft on the face and doesn't break up easily like the Shiseido when I use it with the hada crie. I think original price is around$ 5.5 but when it's on sale, they are $2.99 for a box of 90 sheets.

Cosmed cotton pads. These come from Taiwan. This is not cotton but paper fiber. Well from the box, it says that it's made out of 100% air-laid non-woven fabric. I would say this is different from other cotton pads I've tried before. These are not the softest on the market but soft enough I will use them on my face. But I still prefer 100% cotton ones over this one. That is the full size of each cotton pad. So it's definitely a lot bigger than other cotton pads on the market. Can be used for doing lotion masks.
Original price should be around $7 but when it's on sale they are $3 for a box of 180 sheets. 

One of the most expensive cotton pads on the market. 100% cotton. They never go on sale. Even if you get them at the warehouse sale they are still expensive. Last time I checked the price at the warehouse sale was only $1-2 dollars cheaper than their normal retail price. Regular price is $9 for 165 pieces. 
These are soft on the face and can be separated into 5 layers for doing lotion masks. 

There are other facial cottons that are soft and can be split into different layers. They are both Japanese brands and available at the beauty store at J-Town at Woodbine and Steeles. One is pink plastic package (forgot the brands) and the other one is the Selena green package. I think the prices are $4.00 and $3.59 respectively. They also have sample packs opened and you can feel them before you buy them. 

Is the Shiseido one a lot softer than the ones mentioned above? Not really. The Shiseido one is softer but not worth the price difference when compared to other Japanese facial cottons out there especially the ones where you can split into different layers. 

Which facial cotton do you use?