Monday, March 31, 2014

Lush: The Sacred Truth Fresh Face Mask

I finally caved and tried out one of the famed Fresh Face Masks from Lush. To be honest, I find the Lush brand as a whole to be massively overrated. Their sales associates are lovely, but I just can't justify the hefty price tag for their products. If you check their ingredients in detail, you'll quickly find that despite the brand's all-natural claims, most of their products contain questionable ingredients such as parabens (present in almost all their lotions and cleansers) as well as talc (surprisingly in this face mask).

I wanted a mask that would be moisturizing but with anti-aging benefits. After much debate between this and Oatifix, I settled on this after the sales associate informed me that it had good anti-aging qualities. As you can see, the mask is a thick green color and applies fairly smoothly. I left it on for about 10 minutes each use. It's rather messy, so I'd recommend putting it on prior to a shower.

I got a good five or so uses out of this container, despite applying liberally. However, I just didn't see or feel much effect afterwards. In fact, after my final usage my skin was left feeling more sensitive and breakout prone. I think it's a function of the ingredients - Ginkgo Leaf isn't exactly soothing. Additionally, Talc is one of the top ingredients, which seems dubious. For those who aren't familiar with it, Talc is a mineral commonly found in skin powders, which has been linked to cancer, including stomach and lung cancer when ingested/inhaled. I've heard of bloggers jokingly trying to eat some of these masks, which is worrisome if they also contain this ingredient. I'm guessing they added it here to thicken the mix, but really you'd think they could try to find something else given the price of almost $7 for a small batch.

Overall, my experience was mediocre, and I don't have any intention to try out their other masks. But I won't write-off Lush yet, since it's an adorable brand and they are more natural than many other alternatives.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bath & Body Works: Fresh Picked Lip Butters Review

I've been suffering from chronically dry, peeling lips for months now (maybe too much info, but seriously, a huge pain). I've tried multiple lip products in the period, and unfortunately most seem to provide only temporary relief, or in some cases even make my lips feel worse. I tried these on during a visit to B&BW, and to my surprise they've worked wonders in making my lips feel normal again.

I can apply these about once every few hours, and my lips are left nourished. I even put them on overnight and wake up with soft, moist lips despite having the heater continually run. They're definitely a bit shiny on the lips, but don't feel sticky. Since they were on a buy 2 get 1 free deal I went ahead and purchased all three flavors (Market Peach, Pink Passion Fruit, and Garden Strawberries), and so far all three seem about the same in texture.

The product is generally colorless, leaving only a faint sheen of color on the lips that mostly blends out. The flavor is quite pleasant but very subtle - you can smell it just slightly after application, but it's not distracting (unlike some of The Body Shop lip butters).

The consistency is quite firm and buttery, a little thicker and harder to spread than petroleum jelly. I was relieved to see that they don't contain any petrolatum, as experience has taught me that my lips really don't agree with that. Unfortunately the stick versions of this line do contain petroleum, which is why I opted for the tins despite their less application-friendly design.

They retail at $8.50 each, so compared to other major brands are a decent deal when stacked with the promotion. I expect this to last quite a while.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Beauty Tip: Wait 30 mins Before Brushing Teeth After Eating

I wanted to share some of the beauty tips I've come across that may be popularly applicable. The first is a bit unusual, but helpful to anyone looking to maintain their smile.

Taiwan celebrity Ariel Lin has mentioned in interviews that she never brushes immediately after a meal, and will instead floss. Turns out this is pretty smart, because after we eat or drink, the acid from the food will remain in the mouth and temporarily soften our teeth. If we brush immediately after, we'll essentially be scratching away at our enamel, causing additional harm and abrasion. Instead, we should wait about 30 minutes, by which time saliva will have restored the pH balance in our mouth. Alternatively, you can floss and use mouth wash.

I personally wish I'd known this sooner (ahem, guilty of midnight snacks followed by immediate brushing). If interested, you can read more here,