Lazy Kelsey’s guide to selling a kidney for beauty

A few days ago I put out a teaser on my instagram, touting that I would soon be launching a post about an Innisfree skin care collection. I had dreams of following up that night, writing it and posting it hastily. But Lazy Kelsey took over and made me catch up on my PVR. Then, Lazy Kelsey made me eat Brookside fruit & crunch chocolate goodies. Finally, she made me sleep half the weekend away. Somehow now it is Wednesday night and I am just now tapping at the keyboard. This long (insightful) intro should allow you to preclude that I am not exactly “prepared” nor am I going into this post with a plan. Enjoy the probable mediocrity!

Just know that Lazy Kelsey is still in charge. She likes to write too, but she’s a touch vapid, easily distracted, and a bad speller. Moving on! Now, beauty-lovers o’ mine, here is the topic at hand. Innisfree.

To be more specific (as I fancy myself a beauty-blogger and they are supposed to be professional and detail-oriented) it is Innisfree’s “Bija Anti-Trouble” line. The foam cleanser and the lotion in particular (and an honourable mention of Innisfree’s “White Tone Up Sleeping Pack”) Oh, lovelies. I am in love with a new Korean brand. From packaging to efficacy – this one had me at “Helloooo, nurse!” We’ve been in bed together ever since. Well, when we’re not in the tub.

photo

I can’t help but fantasize about what the Memebox Innisfree collaboration box will look like … I’ve let myself run away on thoughts of a box brimming with expensive lotions and miracle natural cures curated carefully by the folks at Innisfree headquarters (heaven) knowing full well Memebox will have constraints and may very well not meet my absurdly lofty hopes for this box. But, we all must continue to dream even in the face of our reality – the reality being that of late Memebox’s offerings have been slipping in quality. I don’t harbour anger toward them, I know too well that new businesses grow in leaps and bounds – as they struggle to keep up things will change, sometimes suffer, and often quality takes a few hits below the belt. We can only hope the kinks get ironed out and they bounce back, dressed to impress. In other words, I am giving them a little slack as a consumer and customer, only because I am the type that feels “once I am done with them, I am done with them.” And, with me, it holds water.

As you remember, in past posts I’ve been bemoaning my breakout caused by my beauty forays. And, well. It has been a long road back to recovery. Once I had recovered, I was unwilling to pull the trigger on new face products, but at night while I laid there unslept and restless, I heard them calling. So I broke out a few goodies from one brand, hoping that if I stayed with a single brand I might be able to calmly introduce a new regime to a face that has recently been so abused by the beauty industry and its insipid little minions of evil. Yes. They do exist.

I’ve had relatively “calm” skin now for two weeks. The residual marks and the last two or three puffy painful spots were deflated and defeated by this gentle duo by Innisfree.

2014-11-16_1416098881                      2014-11-16_1416098651

Here’s what I’ve been doing in the tub with my little tube of foamy delight. I used the Innisfree Anti-Trouble foaming cleanser with my exfoliating gloves at first because I was trying to combat the drying spots and rub down the bumps and get them to heal up. Yet, I quickly discovered this cleanser was potent and the more I scrubbed the more I was likely to overwhelm my skin, dry it out and add to my problem. I ditched the gloves. I began to use a small dollop of cleanser, day and night, I massaged the creamy cleanser onto my skin gently, let it foam and then let it sit on the surface of my face for a minute or two. After those minutes pass, I rinse my hands with hot water and place my warm palms up to my face to warm my skin and the foam together. Finally, I rinse with cool water to close my opened pores. Bear in mind, that some nights I used an oil cleanser to remove my makeup first before commencing this process with the Innisfree foam cleanser.

At night only, I followed my cleansing routine with the LJH Tea Tree essence (that I have used religiously for months, and it didn’t aid in my recent breakout which was a reaction to another product, so I don’t think it changed the efficacy of the Innisfree) and the lotion in the same anti-trouble line as the cleansing foam. In a few days, a visible change took hold. Not only have my acne issues quieted but the tone and texture of my overall skin is vastly improving. Over the two week trial, I used the White Tone Up Sleeping Pack twice to add to the evening out of my skin tone. It helped wash out the red, but it was a tad uncomfortable to wear overnight as it stayed a little wet and tacky.

Needless to say and what is best of all, these two Innisfree products did not irritate or worsen any of my issues. I credit them with keeping my breakouts at bay for the last two weeks. My face and I have returned to our quirky selves … you can barely see what once was an epidermal beastie’s romping playground! In the following pictures the only foundation I am wearing is a mineral makeup with lightweight coverage. Something I only can get away with when my skin is behaving.

2014-11-16_1416124700                      2014-11-16_1416125168

These Innisfree products came my way in my last eBay haul. I purchased them through a Korean seller and didn’t pay any shipping. The cleanser was 12 dollars, the lotion around 11 and the sleeping pack was 20 (USD) – I received them about ten business days after I ordered, and the seller sent updates during the wait. I have had nothing but good experiences with eBay and Korean sellers so far, nothing against Memebox but it is nice to order exactly what you want – even if it’s less of a surprise, there is less disappointment going this route.

I will be reordering from this line in my next haul, you know when the day comes that I have a little cash to throw around. This Anti-Trouble line also has quite a few other options such as a gel cleansers, a spot treatment, patch treatments, other creams and so on. I am eager to try them all but I can only collect them a couple at a time unless I plan to stop feeding the kid and selling his personal affects … heeeeeey … my hubby has an Xbox to sell … and a kidney! Offers?

It is refreshing to discover a product or two that I know I will use until the bottles are empty. It still amazes me how rarely that happens! In any case, if you yourself are experiencing a “skinmare” try looking this line up, it might be worth it. And, if you do or you have already let me know your thoughts!

Until we meet again, my beauty-extroverts … be safe out there.

Advertisements

Dirty Girls Club

Whether you’re into sheet masks, heating or cooling packs, mud masks or clay masks; we’ve all been touched by the magic that is the face mask. I discovered masks really late in my life, but once I rubbed clay onto my face for the first time, I was hooked. Not only does my skin prefer this type of pampering, but I love the whole process. As I discussed at length in an earlier post about clay masks, they really do transport me to a tranquil space. Emotionally they provide me with therapy, physically they help my hormonal acne, and immediately they calm & centre me. Now, I can’t imagine living without them. Luckily for us, it doesn’t matter the type of face mask you like, there are so many choices out there on the market. Korean or not, you can find the right one for you through trial and error. And, for the first time “trial and error” translates to a fun beauty adventure.

During my last eBay haul, I bought a slew of different clay & charcoal masks. More than anything else I’ve found, these types of masks do wonders for my skin. I never have to worry about them breaking me out because they are so neutral and calming. I have sensitive skin and skin that doesn’t like to be fucked with but I can’t remember a time when a natural based clay pack or something similar ever caused a problem. It’s one of the reasons I always go back to them time and time again. I don’t have to think about it and because of that, it adds to the relaxation in the process of my facial cleanse.

There are three stages to keep in mind when you are using a clay or charcoal mask. The first stage is when you apply the mask pack and it is smooth and wet in consistency. While the mask is moist, our skin is receiving beneficial minerals and nutrients from the pack. The second stage is when the mask becomes tacky, at this point your capillaries are getting good exercise as the pack tightens and contracts. This also stimulates blood flow to your face aiding in your skin’s regeneration. In the third stage, the mask will dry – now, the longer you leave it on after this point, the more you leave yourself open to dehydration and irritation. Ideally, you want to wash off your mask pack at the end of the second stage just before the third stage is in full swing. Before it dries, cracks and leaves you unable to move your mouth or any other parts of your face.

I often get far beyond the second stage because I often apply these masks while I am readying my two year old for bed at night. Thirty minutes or more will go by before I’ll get to wash my face. Luckily, I tend to be able to get away with this, though it is not recommended. It is important to remember that if you forget to wash off the mask before the drying stage is complete, don’t over compensate with too much heavy moisturizer. This could possibly overload your skin, stress it and trouble won’t be far behind. By all means moisturize, but use it sparingly.

There are several different types of clay and they vary in colour, mineral density, and level of absorption ability. For example, white clays are best for sensitive skin, brown clays are great for exfoliation and green clays tend to be packed with minerals. I seem to work well with all three, though it is beneficial to know that any clay mask can bring on a breakout at first as they all will draw out toxins, bacteria and extra sebum from the pores. This is normal, but minimize this possibility by picking a mask that compliments your skin type, and don’t let it over-dry and crack. Similarly to clay, charcoal does much of the same. It absorbs what you don’t want and it delivers nutrition your skin will benefit from.

2014-11-06_1415253316

My recent purchases included a charcoal & bamboo mask pack from Nature Republic. Already a fan of clay masks, I was eager to try this one in particular. As I expected, this one acted much like any other clay mask would, except I noticed that charcoal’s ability to absorb and draw out sebum was extremely powerful. I did leave it on for much longer than intended – as you will see in the pictures – but because of that lapse in judgment you can really see the level of absorption and the efficacy of this mask in particular.

2014-11-06_1415252687

After removing the dried pack, I noticed refined pores and a decrease in overall redness. I followed with a mild oil cleanser because I left the mask pack on much longer than intended and I wanted to head off the possibility of dehydration. After, I did not find my skin irritated or dehydrated which I expected. Hours later, my skin feels drier than usual but soft. All my acne spots are reduced, flattened and feel less irritated. I certainly feel like it delivered on it’s “detoxifying” claims. With this mask’s seemingly powerful grip on absorption, I wouldn’t use this more than once weekly whereas with a white clay mask I might use it twice a week or even three times depending on my skin’s condition.

In the end, I really like this mask for its potency and effectiveness. I’d add it to your next shopping haul if you’re looking for a powerhouse absorbing monster of a mask. At a fraction of the price of say a celebrity favourite like Glam Glow, which I can’t for the life of me shell out for … for stay at home moms like me, Nature Republic might just be where we get our own glam glow-ing skin!

Until next time, Beauty-bombshells. Be safe out there.

Review – from Jeju or from Heaven?

When the spoilers came around for memebox’s From Jeju edition, I clamoured to find them. This was one box I had been looking forward to for quite a while. It felt like it took forever for its shipping date to arrive, and then even longer to actually ship to my door. I was mid-wait when I saw the first unboxing picture of the box, and just like that, the great white hope, the excitement, the anticipation was dashed. Upon first look, it seemed to me to be a pretty unexciting box. My initial thought was, wait … two products that are one use only, a hand cream, a sample size … sigh. So, I waited for my own to arrive, knowing that and reminding myself that even when a box doesn’t excite you when you see it online, it is totally different when it is in your hands.

2014-11-05_1415164935

Jeju arrived tonight and I unpacked it with my usual zeal. I read the information card and looked through my box’s contents. As I drove home from the post office, I unpackaged the hand cream and rubbed a little between my palms.

This is where my attitude got put in check and things started to turn around.

The Yeon hand cream smelled, downright heavenly. Floral, soft, practically effervescent! Normally, I find floral scents very hard to take because they tend to be intense. Though this one is strong, it is beautiful and the aroma mellows quickly. It isn’t greasy or oily in the slightest and it sinks into your skin incredibly rapidly, and the finish is silky verging on powdery. I absolutely love this “Jeju Canola Honey” Silky Hand Cream, and I never say that about hand creams.

photo

Later on, while soaking my worries away in my tub, I kept staring at the rest of my box’s goodies. I hadn’t planned on trying anything new because I am still gun-shy from my experiences with the Linzy Egg Soaps but if I finally liked a hand cream, maybe that was a cosmic sign.

I cleansed with the “SanDa Wha” Oil Cleanser and was pleasantly surprised. It smelled sweet, mild and of chamomile. It felt incredibly soft and wonderful between my fingers, and my skin loved it. No issues with irritation and it left my face feeling comfortable. Also did a commendable job removing my makeup. I was disappointed off the hop when I saw it, because it is very small. Memebox says it is full size and though I like it, I still question that. It is 30ml, I hope it will last and it should, as you don’t need much to cleanse your face.

I followed that with the “HallaBong” Peeling Toner. Ok, I know I keep harping on the scents of products this time around, but oh my God – this toner smells freaking unbelievable. Fruity, fresh, crisp and clean. It is an absolute treat for your nostrils. Now, I didn’t find any “peeling” to speak of, in this peeling toner … but I have to confess I used the Lemon D-Toc peeling gel this morning, so this might have altered the efficacy of this Hallabong toner. Yet, that doesn’t take anything away from its impressiveness. This toner left my skin looking so bright and awake I will have to start using this in the morning. It also didn’t irritate my skin, not even the left over red bumps from my recent breakout. I was happily applying this toner over and over, smelling it and making Hubby smell it. I love love, love this!

Then, since I was riding high, I threw caution to the wind and whipped out the “Skindeco” Volcanic Pore Clay Sparkling Heating Mask. This stuff is bizarre! But bizarre in the best way! First off, the texture is other-wordly. It looks and feels like hard-whipped whipped cream, it looks almost dessert like. It even smells kind of dessert like! It is light brown, and silky soft. It is very thick but easy enough to apply over your face. It quickly heats up, and while you remove it, it heats up even more (though I tend to react differently than most with these Korean heating masks) I enjoyed it. I left my pores cleared out completely. The texture was the most surprising, at first glance I thought it was dried out but it wasn’t at all … it was just trying to trick me. I think this mask will be a favourite among Memebox addicts worldwide. It could have qualified to go into an “OMG Box” without a doubt.

2014-11-05_1415164731

These three products are my standouts from the “From Jeju” box from Memebox. I feel like I may have judged this box sight-unseen, harshly and with undue haste. Also, I think I was swayed into thinking this was going to be a poor box because the packaging of these products are rather ho-hum. Yet, after trying these products for myself, I am convinced that this box is a quiet winner. The box also included a one-use sleeping pack from Etude House, a sheet mask and a serum. The serum, in my opinion, was rather mediocre. It didn’t smell of anything particularly yummy, and it was slightly oily. It didn’t sink into my skin as fast as I would like, either. I am trying the sleeping pack tonight, mainly just to be rid of it, and the sheet mask will go into my collection of sheet masks for use later on. All in all, this little box changed my mind and made me put my attitude away. I think the four products I mentioned in detail above make this box worth the money, which is something I questioned early on. Perhaps this will teach me to get my box first before having an opinion about it.

We can only hope. Until next time Beauty-mavens. Be safe out there.

Quick Review – The “Oh Sheet Mask” Company – Updated Nov 24th 2014

Well, beauty aficionados. i found yet another subscription service that i like! My credit card heaves a heavy sigh … I hear him cooing sadly from inside my wallet … Yet, we mustn’t spoil the joy of finding a new service, especially this one because I think I found a gem!

2014-10-16_1413444422

Oh Sheet Mask is a new company run by a husband & wife team living in the Thai city of Chiang Mai. Patt is the woman who makes the beautiful boxes that the (10 luxury) mask come in, and Phil, her husband takes care of the business side, together they travel, find & test each of the masks that go into their monthly handmade subscription boxes. They have an option to just buy one box, as needed, per month should you choose not to subscribe – and that is what I did. I’ll likely order as I need more masks and as my stay-at-home-mommy budget allows.

One of the first things that stuck out to me about this company was their website. It is extremely welcoming, easy to navigate, beautifully designed, simple and functional. The content on every page is helpful, humorous, light-hearted and engaging. It really feels home-spun but in the best way possible because it still retains a level of professionalism and sophistication. Being married myself, whenever I work with my husband on a project, I truly feel that much of our love and great working relationship shows through the work – and I think Oh Sheet Mask has the same vibe going on. Their site feels happy & joyous and it immediately makes you want to support them and their efforts in bringing quality Asian sheet masks to the masses!

Secondly, their pricing and shipping is on point. There are two options, One being a mask bag (5 masks for 11 dollars) and the subscription box (10 masks for 23) – what makes this a fair price in my mind is their attention to detail, their customer service, the handmade boxes and the fact that they give free worldwide shipping. A little over 2 dollars a mask may seem the pricier option as you can find masks on the market for cheaper – but because of everything else I’ve stated thus far, I personally didn’t feel it was too much to ask. I enjoy the surprise element of the masks being chosen for me, and that they are tried and loved by the owner and operators themselves.

My box arrived mid-month as expected, in great condition with a hand written address. The box comes with a little note citing the individual mask’s list of ingredients. Something I am always looking for because I am interested in what I am putting on my skin, especially when trying something new and from afar. When I emailed the company to inform them I would be writing a review, I instantly received a lovely response from Phil with some personal information about the company.

We’re fairly new to the business side of things so any feedback would be great and help us to improve or add new features that people are looking for, and we want to have a great relationship with our customers, that’s one thing we aim for first and foremost.

I was pretty charmed. In this day and age, I rarely expect a response to some of the things I personally write to, big companies are usually pretty dismal at reaching their customers on a personal basis or even responding to issues in a timely manner, so the fact that Oh Sheet Mask even wrote back, to me, was pretty impressive. I hope that as their company grows they continue to be so dedicated to this aspect of their work.

We don’t want to just be generic and send you the same old stuff because it’s ‘safe’. We want every box to be special, brands you haven’t tried, a wide variety of different masks, stuff you’ll rate without any other influence so you’re really just judging it on quality and effects.

I appreciated Phil & Patt’s candor and lively enthusiasm of their newly launched business and it just added to my positive experience with them through the process of buying one of their boxes. I’ve unpacked my own box and begun to use the masks, and so far, I am happy and having a lot of fun experimenting. For any girl or guy that loves a good long bath, some pampering and of course, sheet masks! I think this subscription service is a great place to start. Check out Oh Sheet Mask here, and you’ll see for yourself that it is true: good things come in small packages!

photo

This is an unsponsored review of Oh Sheet Mask and I am not affiliated with the company in any way

Hello all. I wanted to update this entry now that a huge controversy has surrounded “Oh Sheet Mask”, its products and its owners and operators.

I had a very early conversation with Phil Miles of Oh Sheet Mask when I emailed the company after purchasing a box of my own, asking to review his box upon arrival. I wanted to post my email and his response to my blog in order to add to the conversation about this company that is currently under hot debate amongst beauty bloggers, and beauty lovers alike. The date of this conversation took place on October 12, 2014 – it seems much has changed since. Please go to Eugenie’s blog to familiarize yourself with the issues that have come to light on this company. Her unboxing is informative, and the reader comments below are extremely illuminating.

I will leave my entry and review of “Oh Sheet Mask” unaltered because I mainly reviewed the company’s website and customer service. However, I have been upset by some comments coming from the company’s owner, in his replies to customers and friends of mine on social media. Hence why I’ve decided to share my information. Though, It is up to you alone, to read, research and come to your own opinion on this company regardless of my opinion or anyone else’s.

October 12th 2014 (unedited)

Hi,

I’ve ordered one single box for the month of October – it has yet to arrive – I am very excited.
I wanted to reach out and ask if it will be all right for me to review your subscription box, online, on my personal beauty blog. I know I haven’t received the box yet, but I am already impressed by a few important features to your company: service, website and your choice to provide free worldwide shipping.

If I have your permission I’d like to review your company and the box. If there is anything you’d like me to include (ex special information about the company/products) please let me know.

Thank you in advance of what is sure to be a great box, and relationship

Kelsey Huyghebaert
Vancouver, Canada

October 15th 2014 (unedited)

Hi Kelsey,

Of course, feel free! We’d love to know what you think.

We’re fairly new to the business side of things so any feedback would be great and help us to improve or add new features that people are looking for, and we want to have a great relationship with our customers, that’s one thing we aim for first and foremost.

The main idea was to show you guys in the West that there are a lot of really great masks in Asia, they just don’t get marketed to you like MBD and The Face Shop etc. Those are not bad masks of course, but they’re kinda generic bargain masks, they fill the 7-11s here, you can even pick them up in dollar stores now over there from what I’ve read on reddit, so they’re really standard, not ‘special’ you know? Also brand blindness affects everyone. I’m sure you’ve read countless positive MDB blog reviews (has there ever been a negative?!) but for instance, a good proportion no doubt received fake masks when buying cheaply online yet they didn’t know any better and gave a glowing review, based on brand, other reviews and not having tried a good selection of high quality masks to compare them to. (Or maybe the fakes were just that good!) Not sure if that makes sense, but one thing we don’t want, is just to be generic and sending you the same old stuff because it’s ‘safe’.

We want every box to be special, brands you haven’t tried, a wide variety of different masks, stuff you’ll rate without any other influence so you’re really just judging it on quality and effects etc..

Of course some people would like to have the usual brands (far better and far cheaper just to buy online though we think) and there might be masks people don’t like but we’d rather have a few misses and the rest hits out of the park than 100% safe first bases. Probably a terrible apology there but we hope you catch our drift!

Sorry I’ve rambled a bit! Basically, sure! Review away!

If you have any questions just let us know!

Phil & Patt @ Oh Sheet Mask.