Snap Review: Primark Hydrogel Mask

Hi everyone!

I picked up Primark’s attempt at a hydrogel mask a few weeks ago when browsing their beauty shelves with AT, and finally gave it a try a few nights ago. I put on a few episodes of my current-watching anime series, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and unfurled it to give it a try.

Casually sneaking a pic between action scenes.

I’m sure nobody is ever expecting miracles from a mask like this especially from Primark, but I’ve not tried a hydrogel mask before so this was interesting to me. It didn’t seem like other hydrogel masks that I had seen online, though. It seemed like a regular sheet mask but with a slight gel texture on one side and a mesh texture on the other. I placed the gel side on my face.

It had no unpleasant or sharp fragrance, and the essence was not too runny. It survived over an hour on my face and probably could’ve lasted longer as it was still quite damp.

Yeah. The fit of this mask was kind of horrendous. Normally even with chin fitting issues, the mask is flexible enough for me to fold it over my chin. This material is a bit too stiff for that. It was also a bit too small to go right to the sides of my face. It’s occurred to me now, writing this post, that I could have cut extra slits to make the fit better but at the time I’d forgotten I could do that.

Overall, for £2 it was a total dud. It would make sense if this was more £1. So this was disappointing, but I did like their lip masks!

Have you tried any Primark skincare?

Until next time,

X

Review: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Vanilla

Hi everyone!

This Laneige lip sleeping mask has constantly been up there on my list to try because so many have raved about it. I never expected to actually buy it, though. It’s about £16-20 a pot, normally! WAY out of my ideal price range.

However, K-Mall, an online store based in Korea, had them on a special sale for about £7 with free shipping, too.  Isn’t that INSANE?? They offered the main berry flavour and also some of the special edition flavours like apple.

They often do cool ‘deals of the day’ where a very specific item drops steeply in price and they offer it with free shipping worldwide. Last time I checked, they were discounting many K-pop idol groups’ official calendars. It’s certainly worth checking out.

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The little tub contains 20g of product which is actually quite a lot for a balm, and I’ve barely made a dent in it in the few months I have had it and I have no doubts that it will last a year. I picked up the vanilla flavoured pot, which smells divine. The pot is sturdy and luxe and it comes with a spatula in an envelope although I think that’s a bit too much faff… I have yet to touch it, personally! I just make sure my hands are clean when it comes to touching the tub.

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This particular range contains a lot of fruit extracts and a mix of all sorts of emollients from shea butter to murumuru. It claims to melt away dead skin cells and make the lips feel smooth and elastic.

I like to use it when my lips are already sort of in a flaky condition since I have something else I prefer for when my lips aren’t flaking already, and I apply it in a very thick layer at the start of my nighttime skincare routine. Despite this sometimes it doesn’t feel substantial enough for winter time and I have been spreading a thin layer of Lanolips underneath it recently, which I feel has boosted its effects.

I might be back later this year when the weather is warmer to tell you what my thoughts are on using this in the summer compared to winter.

I’m not sure that I would ever repurchase this at full price. I keep thinking that there are probably many other products that can do what this does to my lips, and whilst this product does stand up to its claims it’s just… so pricey!

Overall, I am enjoying using this and will finish it all up, but it’s not worth the [full] price tag and other options, for me, do the job just as well.

What do you think of this balm if you have tried it?

Until next time,

X


Days since I last bought lipstick: 10

Lipstick last worn: Maybelline Creamy Matte in Brown Sugar

An Adventure in Mascara 

 

Hi everyone!

Today, I’m taking a bit of a detour from the lip things that I know and love, and delving into mascara for a bit. I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed a mascara here despite my buzz of activity in makeup and there are reasons for that which I will get into…

So. I very rarely wear mascara. I have poker-straight Asian lashes and that limits what works for me. Knowing that, I wanted to narrow down my search and just explore the different types of mascaras out there and decide which types to go for.

I have gathered a few sample sized products to compare. These are:

Lancome Hypnose
The full size of this is £24.50 ($32.11USD). It is a volumising fibre mascara with a brush-type applicator.

MAC Upward Lash
The full size of this is £19.50 ($25.56USD). This is a volumising fibre-less mascara with a rubber brush.

CLIO Salon de Cara Back Comb
The full size of this product is actually difficult to find in the popular online Korean beauty stores! However, it is sold on Amazon US and CLIO USA’s official site and retails for approximately £16 ($21USD). It’s a fibre mascara with a brush applicator.

The photo below compares the brushes of each mascara in the same order as listed above. As these are all sample sizes of the mascara, I would hope they are also representative of their full-size versions.

The Salon de Cara brush (right) is interesting as it has long bristles on one side and short ones on the other. I only use the long ones, so that’s no use to me,  but I imagine if you wanted a very thick coat of mascara, it would be good for that. Salon de Cara gets very messy quickly due to the fibres escaping the tube as I put the brush back in.

Let’s have a look at how they performed on my lashes. I curled my lashes before I put the mascara on each time.

 

As you may be able to tell from the photos, I had a bit of trouble with the Lancome Hypnose and the MAC upward lash weighing down my lashes and as a result, losing the curl they had. They did have more visible volume, and there wasn’t one that did particularly well over the other between those two. The MAC Upward lash had a creamier, wetter formula that was generally far easier to smudge on my eyes.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that CLIO’s Salon de Cara Back Comb didn’t weigh my lashes down. It did not add as much thickness to my lashes as the other two mascaras, but it added some length without losing the curl. Of the three, this ended up being the one I used the most.

It’s interesting to note that CLIO is a Korean brand – perhaps I should be looking to Asian brands where more people have similarly annoying lashes to mine and therefore may have mascaras that will work better for me.

I think I have a better idea now of what kind of mascaras I am looking to try in the future. A lengthening mascara might be what I am looking for as opposed to a volumising one. I also prefer the fibre mascaras. Most importantly, I want my mascara to be able to hold the damn curl!!

Please, by all means, recommend me a good mascara…

Until next time,

X

Korean Sheet Mask Review: Malie Green Tea

My skin has been acting up recently and I couldn’t figure out why – although I could put forth some vague guesses.

For a start, I study Biology and Chemistry in labs where water is not allowed. Plus I often simply forget to sip my water at school; as a result I’m not as hydrated as I should be. Secondly, I’m not getting my beauty sleep. Thirdly, the most decent food in the school canteen is the chips and I’m limiting my carb intake  – effectively reducing my choices to a chicken-burger-without-bun-but-with-salad, or a wrap-without-the-wrap-bit. Sigh.

With great timing, my package of sheet masks arrived. I kind of had to explain to my dad what I had ordered since the package was from Korea which both surprised him and made him suspicious, but I was just as shocked. The package was from Korea! I took my chances with free international economy shipping! I wasn’t expecting the package for another month!!

I ordered 17pcs of Malie Green Tea sheet masks from K-beautybox on ebay, for £9.75, so each mask was about 57p, not counting the extras included. I was looking specifically for these masks because they’re cheap, but seemingly good for the price. The sheet masks came with a resealable bag of 15 pairs of collagen eye patches from LUKE and a little free charcoal nose strip from LUKE as well. They dispatched my order the day after I made it, and estimated delivery was between 1st Oct – 3rd Nov. It arrived on 26th Sep – way before estimated. Not that I’m complaining.

I have used sheet masks before to try, in the form of Superdrug’s own brand. I have a review sorta ready, but no photos whatsoever, so posting my review would be breaking a law of sorts.


I was a bit cautious with the ingredients list because there are key differences in labelling regulations in Korea and other places – outlined briefly by Tracy at fanserviced-b (a great K-Beauty site that I often use as reference). I personally am not concerned with any of the ingredients, even more so as I don’t use face masks often. However, you might be concerned with methylparaben or fragrance in the product.

According to another review – I don’t recall which – most of the Malie masks appear to be of the same base formula besides the extract which appears at the end of the list. This is why I chose Green Tea, even though the extract is listed second-last, as my acne-prone skin needs all the help it can get.

The mask fit is standard. Even though there are some shallow (and unhelpful) cuts to help with fitting, I had to make some folds and stretch in some areas. I foresee fitting masks on my chin being a regular problem, as this happened with the Superdrug brand masks too. Besides that, the eye holes are in the right place and whatnot. (I was surprised to read reviews of other masks that stated otherwise, so I thought it was something I should mention.)

I think this counts under my semi anonymous mantra.

There is a vague scent of tea (beyond, what I call, a standard skincare scent, which is slightly stronger and overtakes here). Not brewed tea, but the cosmetic scent of green tea, if you get me. It’s not overpowering and is quite nice. Plus once it’s on my face it fades to a hint.

The mask is actually fully saturated in the essence. It’s neither a thick or runny essence and there are a few drops left over in the packet which I massage into my neck. The mask itself is thinner than Superdrug’s, but not super thin like Muji’s compressed face masks. In regards to the price, I am not expecting a miracle with this mask, although I expect regular wear will be handy during the winter months to provide extra hydration.

I wear my mask as the last step in my night routine and sleep with them on my face, so the essence is all used up. I tend to use them fortnightly and, to be honest, will only stock up properly during the winter where I might use up more. Otherwise I’ll only use them if I feel like a bit of pampering is needed.

I was tempted to buy K-beautybox’s pack of 36 masks + a bunch of nose strips for £13-ish, but the huge pack contains all the Malie mask types and I really wanted to avoid the Potato (which apparently smells like raw potato and why would I need it??) and the Snake (which just doesn’t appeal to me!).

Out of the others, the Snail, Pomegranate, Royal Jelly and Seaweed options are appealing. Possibly for the next batches I buy?

X