Product Review: Black Head Pore Strip

Here we go again, another Korean beauty product from Amazon. Lately, I’ve had really good luck with charcoal masks from Amazon. So I was on the fence if I was going to be wowed by yet another charcoal mask or if the nostalgia had finally worn off.

The Black Head Pore Strip isn’t actually a pore strip like the product title says (perhaps pores strips are different in Asia?)

It is, however, a charcoal based peel off product when dried. It has similar properties to the Mask of the Month: Black Mask .

For a whopping $5 CAD you get 12 packets, but honestly, it looks like more when received. Shipping was prompt (less than 5 business days) and the items came together and sealed in a clear plastic bag in addition to being individually wrapped.

The Application

I found for best results to place this on your face after steaming or a shower to pull out blackheads (it does remove them just not a large amount like Biore Strips).

Cut a corner off the packet and squeeze onto the fingertips, place on areas of concern or all over (obviously, avoid hair unless you want to give yourself a cheap wax).

Be sure to spread in sheer even layers. Too much WILL cause dripping. IF this does happen don’t panic, wash your clothes right away with water and soap (I’m a very messy person).

When the product is dried completely lift from the bottom up.  This product doesn’t hurt when peeling up you will just feel the pulling of the skin.

Overall, the mask takes about 15-20 to dry and you can tell by the touch or if it has a sheen.

Image result for charcoal mask

Overall

I love how these are packaged individually and are great to travel with (especially after being in an airplane with dirty recycled air).

That being said, the packets make them easier to store over a tube or jar like similar products on the market.

The Black Head Pore Strip has a great price at approximately $5 CAD for 12 packets.

**Here’s a secret you can actually seal this back up with a food saver because of the packaging!!

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Indie Makeup Brands I Want

Antipodes is an organic beauty brand based out of New Zealand. Their products are certified vegetarian and perform on the idea of combining natural extracts with premium skincare.

Antipodes products contain Sauvignon blanc grapes. A type of grape that has twice the antioxidants compared to other grapes in the world. This ingredient is best known for its antiaging properties.

Healthy Lipsticks

You can find such products at Antipodes as body oil, masks, serums, lipsticks and cleansers.

A lipstick will set you back $37NZD and a facial toner $44NZD.

There was little information in regards to their international shipping policies so they may ship to North America at an additional fee.

Personally, I love the lipsticks and it’s something I look forward too.

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Product Review: Cinidy Makeup Brush Set

Every now and then, my boyfriend likes to take a gamble and see if I like his Amazon purchases. This time it was the Cinidy 20 Piece Makeup Brush Set.

I must start off by saying that, I own many brushes of many different qualities: from Lancome to Real Techniques. That being said, I had low expectations for the performance and quality of any of these brushes purchased from Amazon.

My expectations were exceeded…

The Brushes

For those of you who have been with my for awhile, you may have noticed that my eye looks posts have gone up in quality lately. That was because of this brush set.

Since this was a surprise from my boyfriend, I’m not entirely sure how long the shipping took or the correct cost of the item (I can only give an estimate). When receiving this item it was wrapped in a sealed plastic bag and every brush was individually wrapped.

The brushes are light and made from plastic and synthetic or goat hair depending on what you order (mine are made from goat).

Application

When it comes to performance these exceeded my expectations. I used different eyeshadows and the powder stuck everytime to the hairs. The brushes blended out just fine under a smoky eye or halo test.

The definer brushes are my favourite and the great thing is there are many in this collection, so there is no limit to your creativity (fewer brushes tend to limit what you can achieve in a look).

The few tiny flaws I had were, there was one brush that had a hot glue bead on the metal part and another brush that had a few loose hairs. However, these flaws did not affect how the brush performed and even made them unique.

Image result for Cinidy 20 pcs Makeup Brush

Overall

The Cinidy 20 Piece Makeup Brush Set is great. I have seen worst performing brushes from luxury brands that your spend $40 on a single brush for. This whole set will cost you $5. So they are pretty affordable.

This is a great set for those who want to do more intricate eye looks do to the number of brushes you receive.

As well this set would be phenomenal for those who are looking for their first set without breaking the bank or addicts who want new brushes without splurging.

Lesson learned you can not judge a book by its cover and I need to be more open to products and brands that I’m not familiar with!

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Mask of the Month: Aztec Healing Clay

My New Year’s Resolution was to do a mask every week until I saw my skin clear up. One of the products I found was off of Amazon –a product that I initially thought was gimmicky, and would only make my skin worse.

I was wrong. VERY wrong.

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I was given this product as a gift because I was at wit’s end with my cystic acne. I had little hope that anything would clear it up as it was the worst state it’s ever been.

The Aztec Healing Clay is a green bentonite clay from a volcanic region (this can be from Wyoming to the Phillipinnes). The volcanic minerals present in the product pull out impurities in the skin such as sebum.

Bentonite clay has many benefits such as immune systems support and scrubbing soils of toxins.

Application

The way I have used this product has evolved since the early days of receiving it.

Mask #1

I would take a heaping tablespoon of the product and mix it with water in a small bowl. Stir until you have an even texture and all dry clay is absorbed.

The instructions of Aztec Healing Clay says to pack it on 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Which is THICK. and becomes heavy as the mask dries.

If you plan on following these instructions and really want to feel the pulsating effect does so with a water in the base, as this is the best way to build it up on your face.

Mask #2

This is my go-to way of doing the Aztec Healing Clay mask –with apple cider vinegar!!

Apple cider vinegar is acidic and the perfect PH to help fade acne scars.

When adding the apple cider vinegar to the powder in a bowl, to so gradually. WAIT for the chemical reaction (it foams up) and mix until it becomes a mousse. IF it does not become a mousse then either add more apple cider vinegar or clay.

This was is light and fluffy on the face in comparison to mask #1 and dries faster.

For scar fading benefits, do not add water to dilute the vinegar as it doesn’t burn. Even for those with sensitive skin. This way you gets the full benefit of the apple cider vinegar acid neutralise scarring and hyperpigmentation.

Image result for aztec healing clay

Final Thought?

I am so glad that I discovered this mask. It has been a hidden gem in my skin care repertoire. I really enjoy my weekly apple cider vinegar mask as it has done wonders to fade my acne scars.

I have used up my 1lb jar entirely and am excited that Aztec Healing Clay has a value size now.

That’s right you can buy Aztec Healing Clay in 2lbs  jar.

For me personally, this is ideal because I do go through it quickly with the weekly mask. I love my weekly mask as it distresses my skin and mind (20 minutes to relax while it’s drying).

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Product Review: The Brush Egg

Let’s admit it. When it comes to cleaning brushes the majority of us procrastinate — A LOT. Although clean brushes are essential for good hygiene, there’s always something better we could be doing with our time.

Then along came The Brush Egg.

A grooved glove to help scrub brushes back to clean and save time.

Image result for Brush Egg

My Boyfriend bought The Brush Egg off of Amazon to help me clean my brushes because I have over 60 brushes (this is also why I procrastinate cleaning them). That being said, brush cleaning day on average is a two-day event for myself.

How Did it Perform?

Upon using this product I was impressed –just don’t try it on a beauty sponge (I will get shredded). There are two sets of grooves. The smaller ones at the top are intended for caked on product and stiff brushes. The rest of the body is meant for massaging out the product without damaging the bristols.

I found The Brush Egg best performed for larger brushes such as Kabuki, blush and powder brushes. Smaller brushes did take some effort to clean and I still prefer my older method.

Is There a Downside to the Brush Egg?

Oh boy, you’re going to laugh at this!

Yes, there is a small downside to The Brush Egg and that’s cleaning it. I found this did depend on a few things. The type of products on the brush and the kind of brushes being used on The Brush Egg.

There is a small chance that you will have to give The Brush Egg a wash after use because some product may stick in the grooves.

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Would I Buy Another One?

If my Brush Egg ever wear out I would buy another but, so far so good there is no sign of wear and tear.

The price point is great for this product at $2-$3 CAD and it does help with the bigger brushes. It takes very little storage space (less than a can of tomato paste) and is durable enough to travel with.

In fact, there is a new Heart Shaped Brush Egg with 3 groove areas to clean brushes. It seems that it has been improved for shorter brushes.

I’m going to buy it on my next Amazon haul.

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Products Revisited: Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Blemish Control

As you gain new products, you stop using old ones in the hope of finding the next Holy Grail. It’s the new shirt effect and we all do it.

While doing my spring cleaning, I came across a tube of almost empty Smashbox More Than Primer. I always try to use old products up and it was clear that my opinion on this product had changed since I had originally reviewed it.

You may find the original product review here.

Image result for smashbox acne primer

I’m going to start off by saying this product is still relatively new. It’s about 5 months old, so the product hasn’t gone bad yet.

I still stand by my original review. I love the added benefit of BHA in a primer and can justify paying $50 for that as there are few primers that have exfoliating properties in them.

However, it’s the wear of the product that has annoyed me.

Image result for smashbox acne primer

If you have a hairless or shaved face, this does not pertain to you. If you are fuzzy like me, you will notice the emphasis on hair. I noticed that the product wouldn’t completely absorb and would clump up on the hair follicles.

You would really notice this after the foundation had been buffed on as it looked like dry patches This only occurred one spot on my face: my jawline to the ears and could only be noticed extremely up close (like someone 6 inches from your face).

A word of advice when applying this product would use excess and smooth in downward motions.

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Product Review: First Aid Beauty Mattifying Moisturizer Gel

This is one of my Holy Grail face base products. I have been using this for a year and a half and I haven’t been abe to find anything I’ve like this much since. I must start by saying that I have combination skin and this moisturiser works great with oily and dry skin.

Image result for first aid beauty mattifying gel

This product retails for $37 CAD on the Sephora Website. I know its a bit pricey for someone who has combination skin. I have not found a moisturiser that compares to this, as a makeup base.

The product comes in a 2 oz squeeze tube. The product is transparent in appearance and goes on a  regular moisturiser.

When you get to the end of the product, it can be difficult to get the last of the product out (and there is a fair bit stuck in the lid area). I found it was best to remove the plastic cap and squeeze out the gel-like toothpaste.

What Does it Mean to be a “Mattifying” Product

Unfortunately, there are many negative reviews on this product. However, this is just a misconception on how mattifying products perform. Mattifying aren’t meant to make you matte despite the name.

Mattifying is a term used for absorbency. Particularly for those with oily or combination skin. This gel is intended to absorb quickly for oily individuals leaving a skin smooth matte service.

Why I love this!

Regardless of the price, I will continue to purchase this item. It lasts for several months and a little goes a long way.

For combination skin, I found this does not emphasise my dry patches. In fact, it does a wonderful job of smoothing them down.

As for oily skin, this does not make me oilier throughout the day.

As a makeup base I can put this on and it has fully absorbed into my oily skin within 5 minutes. This is the feature I love the most of this and why I continue to purchase it over and over again.