Michela is Zooting

A beauty & lifestyle blog by creative Michela Wariebi

Tag: product review

Review: Mask Maiden – Korean Skincare

Your epidermis is showing!  *Cue beauty geek sensibilities and crack a little smirk or give a chuckle.*  If you don’t know, your epidermis is your skin and it is the largest organ of your body.  That means that not only does our skin act like other organs, absorbing most of what comes into contact with it, but it is also the most visible.  It only follows then, that it is of the utmost importance that we take impeccable care of our skin, being conscious about what we bring into contact with it and making sure to maintain its visual health.

I am personally obsessed with maintaining clear and youthful skin, but that has resulted in my having the most basic routine.  I am slightly concerned about using something too heavy in chemical ingredients and somehow permanently ruining my skin.  But with age comes new issues and I was very happy to meet the ladies of Mask Maiden recently at a meet and greet for the DIY Makeup Expo. This Korean skincare company hopes to make Korean skincare more readily available to markets outside of Korea.

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For a little context, you should know that skincare is a very regular part of Korean culture.  Koreans shop for skincare just like they shop for groceries.  Quality, well-deveoped and extremely user friendly skin care is readily available in Korea and at very affordable pricing. Korean skin care has been steadily making it’s way into the US markets for the past few years and I suspect that more is on it’s way.

Mask Maiden is basically an on-line on-stop shop for all things Korean skincare-related.  They carry products from industry favorites like Tony Moly and cult favorites in Korea that have yet to catch a hold in the US.

I received a selection of products from the ladies at Mask Maiden and gave them all a try.  I cant’ tell you all how absolutely impressed I was with the quality of the products, the results and after a scan of the website….the PRICES! Keep reading for a review of what I used.

Egg Pore

Bye bye Biore.  These lovely strips from Tony Moly use a mixture of eggs and other natural ingredients to clean out blackheads and impurities from the nose and boy do they work!  I won’t tell you all how long I stared in amazement at what this little strip pulled from my nose, just know that it worked wonders. Unlike other strips that I’ve tried, it didn’t get extremely tight on the skin when it dried and it was painless to remove and left no residue.

According to Mask Maiden, “Egg whites are also high in collagen and Vitamin A which is essential in treating scars, thus improving the appearance of pores and acne.”  Hey now!  The more you know.  These are officially a part of my beauty regime.

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Pig Collagen Jelly Gel Mask Sheet

Okay, I was initially grossed out at the thought of putting pig collagen on my face, but then I thought about how much bacon and prosciutto I eat and I got over it.  I also found out that many high end skincare products contain pig collagen as an ingredient, but refrain from mentioning that for the obvious reasons.

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This mask is meant to aid in hydrating the skin and has anti-aging benefits. Now, when I received it and I read the package and it mentioned whitening, I was apprehensive about using the product.  I absolutely, under no circumstance encourage bleaching or skin lightening of any sort outside of dark spots due to acne and scarring from injury.  However, after a bit of research, it became clear this was not a skin lightening product.

The first ingredients of the mask are water and glycerin meaning that it is true to it’s hydrating claims.  Glycerin is a humectant which means it holds on to water, helping your skin maintain it’s hydration levels.  The pig collagen works as an anti-aging agent helping to replenish and maintain elasticity. Pig collagen is the closets to human collagen and, so despite the initial cringe factor, it’s really great for keeping your skin youthful and plump.

Now, my only struggle with this mask was getting it out of the packaging, off the sheets and on to my face without it ripping into pieces.  The mask was literally falling apart as I attempted to remove it from the package and get the two parts onto my face.  It was a bit frustrating, but I was able to finesse it on after some work.  This may be a result of the package lingering in my purse for a few days before I used it.

After the recommended 30 minutes, I removed it and BABBBBYY, my skin was looking baby fresh!  I could literally see the difference in the plumpness of my skin immediately.  Additionally, my skin just felt very refreshed and hydrated, almost like having been misted with a refreshing spray. If you can get past the whole pig collagen portion, this mask is definitely a potential go-to beauty product!

Tony Moly Kiss Kiss Lovely Lip Patch

Oh how lips are ignored in the grand scheme of beauty products. And an often overlooked fact is that most lip products are drying.  If it doesn’t explicitly say hyrdating, your favorite lipstick, lipgloss, stain etc. are all drying out your lips.  Keeping that in mind, it’s important to make and extra effort to keep your lips well hydrated, moisturized and healthy.  I am especially plagued with extra dry lips because I love matte lipsticks.  So I can’t tell you the praise I gave for being introduced to this lip patch.  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU beauty gods.

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First, the packaging is just cute as hell.  It looks like candy, but it ain’t for children, you hear me!  The mask is made of a hydro-gel material and a variety of berry extracts including bearberry, black berry, blueberry and strawberry, all high in vitamin C, helping to retain moisture and elasticity at the same damn time!

I tried this one first out of the group of products and I was extremely pleased with the results.  You definitely have to just lay back and let the mask sit on the lips because it did not stick, so once I sat up it slid off my lips. That wasn’t necessarily problematic though, just worth mentioning.  After the mask my lips felt INCREDIBLE. Soft, supple hydrated and they stayed that way for a day or two.  These are a beauty must have for any regular lipstick, gloss or stain wearer, especially if you’re a fan of super-drying mattes. I am in love with this lip patch!

InnisFree Capsule Recipe Pack Jeju Volcanic

So we are all pretty aware of the major mask craze going on right now, and it is super exciting to find something a little different being offered on the market. These little capsules that look very similar to your favorite Keurig pack, are actually packed full of 2-3 uses of high quality facial masks.

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This particular capsule is a volcanic ash clay mask that is supposed to, clarify, exfoliate and brighten skin while removing dead skin cells.

Natural ingredients include:

  • Jeju Volcanic Scoria
  • Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract
  • Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract
  • Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract
  • Orchid Extract
  • Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract
  • Cryptomeria Japonica Leaf Extract
  • Bambusa Vulgaris Extract
  • Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract

So I used this mask while I was on the tail end of a heat rash breakout and the results were awesome!  I followed the directions as listed and when I rinsed the mask of my skin was visibly brighter.  The awesome thing beyond immediate results is that my skin continued to glow and to have a certain brightness for a few days after.  I will definitely be using this mask regularly and exploring some of the other capsule options.

All in all, I am officially a huge fan of mask Maiden and Korean skincare.  They just make skincare easy without compromising the quality of the products and the prices are unbelievably low.  I especially am a fan of Mask Maiden because they are carrying a variety of Korean brands in one space, with a site navigation that makes shopping and exploring new products and brands very easy.

The ladies at Mask Maiden were kind enough to give me a code to help you guys with shipping! Use coupon code “MICHELA2015” to get free shipping on your entire order. Be sure to check them out!

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Review : Tre’stique – “Tinted Face Stick Beauty Meets Simple”

Because my time is severely limited as an adult, I often find myself applying or touching up my makeup on the go.  If it doesn’t happen in the morning at a mirror, it is definitely happening on a train, in the back of a cab or anywhere that I can sit and balance my purse on my lap really. That means that portability and ease of use are essential features for most of my go-to beauty choices.

This is why I was pleasantly surprised at the discovery of the tre’Stique brand in the selection of products from my DIY Makeup swag bag I recently received. tre’Stique is a fairly new beauty brand “offering alternative everyday beauty routine, wherever life takes you.” Please and thank you beauty gods.

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Here’s the low down on tre’Stique; what they offer, how it works and why I think it’s great or not so much.

Everything from tre’Sitque is done in cute dual-ended sticks with interchangeable parts.  All packaging is designed to look like chubby crayons without tops. My weakness for packaging is so real and for some reason the packaging tapped into my childhood nostalgia of holding a handful of colored pencils. Packaging is sealed with a custom magnetic cap, so the chances of things opening and smudging in your purse or makeup bag or minimal. So much yes!!

Color & Contour: Bronzer Stick

This baby has a great color and the texture was fantastic.  The color payoff was also wonderful without being too dense.  My only issue is that it is the only shade and it was barely deep enough for me to use.  I’m a pretty middle-of-the-road shade of brown, so it’s a little crazy for the only bronzer shade offered by a brand to be only as deep as my skin tone. They will definitely need more shades for this stick.  Includes contour brush on opposite end of stick. Available in 1 shade.

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Matte Color & Shiny Balm: Lip Crayon

Easily one of my favorites from what I received. One side has a highly pigmented matte lip color and the other a semi-sheer shiny balm.  The balm can be used before the matte lip color to moisturize and prep the lip.  It is a great moisturizer including ingredients like cocoa butter, tahiti butter, peach oil and olive fruit oil. It can also be layered over the matte lip color to create a shiny finish. The matter lip color is highly pigmented and it wasn’t so matte that it dried out my lips and having the balm readily available makes it easy to moisturize lips if they do begin to dry out.  Available in 6 shades, all of which I need!

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Color & Smudge: Shadow Crayon

A highly pigmented shadow that is blendable and crease-free, buildable and a long-wearing 12 hour formula.  Say what?  Run that back! A highly pigmented shadow that is blendable and crease-free, buildable and a long-wearing 12 hour formula. Feel free to whip and nae nae…I’ll wait. Includes a shadow smudger on the opposite end. I’m all for a little smudgey wudgey, effortless smokey situation. Ayyyeee! Convenience is always a great feature. Available in 6 shades.

shadow-crayon-product-formula-venetian-goldshadow-crayon-product-tool-venetian-goldThat’s the rundown of the products that I received, but here is a quick rundown of the rest of what Tre’stique has to offer:

  • Tinted Face Stick: Only available is 6 shades that do not really meet the needs of women of color. They have an amazing opportunity to gain brand loyalists with women of color if they provide deeper shades.
  • Concealer Crayon: Only available in 3 shades.  A wider shade range is definitely needed. Opposite end includes concealer blender.
  • Blush Stick: 2 shades only.  Once again I think an expansion of colors is needed, but the current colors are still promising. Opposite end includes contour brush.
  • Eye Pencil: Gel liners offered in 3 shades. Opposite end includes sharpener and mini-smudger.
  • Brow Pencil: Triangle-shaped tip, which sounds like it would make great hair like strokes of color. Other end includes tinted brow gel.

tre’ Switch

A very cool and innovative refillable tool system for pencils.  You can easily twist on or twist off the offered interchangeable parts to individually customize your pencils. For example, instead of balm, you can have your matte lip color paired with a lip brush.

images-4Overall I love the tre’Stique concept and the quality of products was stellar.  They really are offering something truly innovative with their cute, but practical packaging.  My only issue is the lack of complexion products to meet the needs of women of color.  It is very difficult as a woman of color to support a brand that seems to have forgotten that you exist.  The addition of deeper shades would definitely put tre’Stique into a makeup bag must have category. I will go ahead an give my stamp of approval, because they are a fairly new brand and I expect that there will be more products added.

Find out more about the brand and purchase products here.