My skin has been going through a yuck phase. Once upon a time, I had perfect skin; now karma has caught up with me. Now that my husband and I are trying to get pregnant (!) my hormones have gone crazy, and my face has become a tad acne-prone.
Miraculously, this morning, my face was breakout-free (always do your masks when your skin is clear; if it's never clear, don't put a mask over an active blemish, just work around it!) so I decided to try the mask I've been waiting to try: Boscia's Luminizing Black Mask (Sephora, $34).
First of all, it's not a mud; though it has clay in it, it's more of a thick gel. It's also a peel-off mask, which appealed to me because I love the idea of yanking all that dirt and dead skin right out of my pores (which is why I love the pore-unclogging strips). The downside to that is how much of the product you have to use to make it peelable. I'm used to getting several uses out of a mask, but I'm estimating you'd get only about six or seven uses out of this, if you put it on as thickly as they suggest.
I applied the mask thinly in a few places just to see how it would work. In those spots, I couldn't peel it off at all, negating the benefits of a peel-off mask. Even where I applied it thickly, it was tough to remove; lots of picking at my face to get it off, which was unpleasant. When I do any sort of facial treatment, I'm not looking to hurt my face by scratching it up with my fingernails afterward. In total, it took me about fifteen minutes in the bathroom mirror; then I had to use a warm, wet washcloth to remove the bits that wouldn't peel.
After, my skin felt good. Not great, but good. Though it promises instant, visible results, I didn't see a brightening effect at all. It did do a fabulous job of cleaning out my pores, though. Overall, this wasn't a bad product, but I'm glad I went home with a sample instead of shelling out the money for a full size.
-Cleans out pores like a charm.
-Not enough product in package.
-Hard to remove.
Chime in: what's your favorite mask on the market?
As you can probably already tell from the photos I've posted, I'm an eyeshadow girl. I love playing with bold, bright looks on my eyelids, which means I only add a touch of color to my lips to keep a nice balance.
My interest in stains has surged after my latest love affair with Benefit's Benetint. I've tried lip stains before, but they only dried my lips out; Tarte boasts that their LipSurgence increases moisture content by 6000%, so I decided to try one out to see if the claim was true.
These fat pencils come in three varieties: Natural Lip Tint, Natural Matte Lip Tint, and Natural Lip Luster. I picked the Natural Lip Tint.
When I got it on, I barely noticed the color and thought I might have to go for a matte instead. After a while, though, the peppermint oil kicked in, my lips plumped up, and the color appeared. It was a bit different than the color shown; it's almost as if it adjusts to you, similar to Smashbox's O-Gloss. To make sure you like the color, I'd definitely try it on in the store if you have the chance.
I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did this not dry out my lips, it delivered on its promise of mucho moisturization! However, the stains I've tried last for hours without budging; this only has about 2 hours of wear. It's sold as a stain, but it does NOT wear like a stain. When I next get time to pick out a nice everyday neutral at Sephora, this will officially replace the lip balm I keep with me.
Very natural and sheer; great for those who don't want too much color.
Plumps the lips without unpleasant stinging.
Application could be easier; I'd prefer a slimmer design or a pencil with built-in sharpener, as the tip tends to get dull.
Sold as a stain, yet doesn't wear as a stain.
Verdict: A fabulous product... if you want a lip tint. If you're looking for a stain, don't buy it.
Chime in: Have you used this product before? What's your favorite lip stain?
A wonderful thing has happened: I got into Pottermore early and was sorted into Slytherin! In celebration, I'm going to share my nails.
For these nails, I used a variety of techniques and tools. The chain, the crown, and the crest were all created with paintbrushes. I used the water-marbling technique on my index fingernails, and created the straight-edge designs with clear tape.