Brand Review: Boscia, A Skincare Brand With Lots More Than That One Charcoal Mask

If you like funny videos/memes, you may have seen a video this past summer. A girl makes a huge slip-up: she rips off her eyebrow after using a charcoal peel-off mask. The reaction is funny – but, if you’re into face masks like I am, it’s a bit terrifying, too. Ever since, I’ve been extra careful with my peel-off mask application methods.

When you see or hear “Boscia,” you probably think of their crazy charcoal ball cleanser (still can’t make sense of that one) &, yes, their super intense charcoal peel-off mask. Here’s an oddly hypnotic video of the renowned Instagram beauty blogger/photographer @gelcream swinging Boscia’s Charcoal Jelly Ball Cleanser – her take on it is below (all credit to @gelcream; I did not film nor originally post/write this video or the review)/

“Gelcream Movie Series – Stranger Things. In these movie series I am holding weird but still breathtaking beauty tools. Pictured above – a jelly ball cleanser by @boscia. I am holding it in a latex cover, which you pop using a tiny wnd included. Then you wet your face and rub the squishy jelly ball around; it foams like a soap and despite of all the gimmicky features it actually works well – clean and soft skin afterwards. Pure fun.”

So – that’s really all I knew about Boscia as a brand. I knew they had a peel-off mask that some people jokingly described as “beauty is pain.” The mask also made the cut for an Into The Gloss post entitled: “Face Masks That Aren’t The Same Old, Same Old,” meaning: this is something different & interesting, as well as effective. That, & I saw the jelly ball cleanser all over Sephora’s home page this past summer. I knew they had a lot of charcoal products – I assumed they wouldn’t be suitable for me, as my skin is dry & sensitive. Mostly, charcoal products work best for people with oily/combo skin, & peel-off masks don’t take kindly to my sensitive skin, for the most part. I did a little research. Then Boscia (very kindly) sent me a (extremely generous) package that proved me wrong – very wrong – on several points. Firstly: maybe not all peel-off masks are for me…this one, however, absolutely is. Second: Boscia is actually incredible – & I truly do mean incredible – for sensitive skin! No matter oily or dry or combo, this brand is suited beautifully for those with sensitive skin. It gets rid of problem areas/spots/issues without clogging pores, causing “burns,” or making skin peel or flake.

Before I get into a review of the products I recieved from Boscia, let’s talk a little. What makes Boscia so good for sensitive skin?

According to their website, Boscia products are created “using a state-of-the-art Clean Room manufacturing facility where no human contact occurs. The Clean Room is classified at a pharmaceutical grade level. Air pressure is used to keep the space bacteria-free, moving the air in only one direction to avoid recycled air. The raw materials are mixed, filled, and sterilized at high heat. Boscia products stay fresh and completely bacteria-free without the use of preservatives.”

Okay, so we have a few answers. Firstly, Boscia products are manufactured in an incredibly sanitary environment – more so, it seems, than many other companies’ production facilities. They also use raw materials, but take care to keep them fresh & bacteria-free. Obviously, sensitive skin is more prone to infections – usually from bacteria. The “bacteria-free” claim is a big one to make, but if it’s true, bacteria-free prodcuts are safer to use – especially for those with sensitive skin.

That’s all great – but here’s the part I love most:

“What we don’t put in our products is just as important as what we do. To achieve superior results without compromising skin health, boscia products are formulated without preservatives, ethanol alcohol, bactericides, synthetic fragrances, synthetic colorants, mineral oil, animal ingredients, or gluten. We keep things clear. Up front about what’s inside every product – with packaging that shows off texture and color, and talks technique and ingredient.”

The jist? When you buy a Boscia product, you’re getting exactly what you’re seeing – nothing less, nothing more. The fragrance you may or may not smell is there only from natural ingredients. It is a brand that’s cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, & even good for those with gluten allergies/celiac disease. They claim to be transparent about what they have in their products. Whether this is from a transluscent container, instructions on the back of a product, or helpful tips on their blog, Boscia seems like a company dedicated to those of all skin types – but especially to those with sensitive skin.

Alright – with that in mind, let’s get on to the review! This will include details on packaging, presentation, scents (if there are any) as well as results – & whether or not it (a product) is worth it! Let’s goooo.

First of all, the package arrived in an elegant, black box (tied with ribbon!) with the Boscia name & logo on the top.

SubstandardFullSizeRender.jpgFullSizeRender.jpg-25I did not know what Boscia had sent me, so I opened this with no knowlege of what was inside. I only knew that I’d told them that I had sensitive skin, due to certain medications. They said they’d work with that – then the package showed up at my door!

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The goodies, all unwrapped at this point!

So: looks pretty, yeah? But before I start reviewing these pretty things, let’s clarify what was sent my way:

  • Everyday Gel-to-Mousse Cleanser – $30
  • Sake Hydrating and Brightening Essence – $50
  • Tsubaki™️ Swirl Two-Part Gel & Cream Deep Hydration Moisturizer – $38
  • Luminizing Black Mask
  • Tsubaki™ Oil Deep Hydration Hydrogel Mask – $38

Cheap? No, definitely not. Still – it’s not way up there, either. This isn’t nearly as expensive as the Caudalíe or Tatcha lines, or something else expensive: the Fresh face masks, for example. I’d put it in or around the price range of a brand like Dr. Jart+. Dr. Jart+ charges about the same amount for a one-time use mask, has some products that are more on the pricy side & others that are more budget-friendly. By no means is it drugstore-priced; still, like I said: there are other brands that sell products similar to some of these Boscia products – & they charge way more. I would put this around medium-end skin care. It won’t destroy most peoples’ budgets; some might have to save, others can pay on the spot – but none of these products will ruin your credit score (*cough cough La Mer*).

Okay, so it’s a mid-priced brand with a range of products. Which one is worth its price tag? Which one is not? Keep reading to enjoy some nice photos of some truly beautifully packaged products. Of course, you should keep reading anyway just because my opinion is invaluable. Just in case you needed extra encouragement.

Jokes aside! Let’s do this.

Everyday Gel-to-Mousse Cleanser<<<<<<<<<<
ing I have to say about this cleanser: a little goes a long, long way. The first time I used it, I pressed down on the aerosol button & held it too long. Within a few moments, the gel-to-mousse claims became obvious – & I looked like I’d had a pie in the face!

I tried again the next morning. One small squirt does the job for your whole face – & boy, does it feel good! It has a slight fresh scent; one that won’t linger for too long, but is still enjoyable while using the product.

The texture of this cleaser reminds me of the Too Cool For School Egg Mousse Pack – after it becomes mousse, that is. It comes out of the aerosol as an almost completely transluscent gel – similar to Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser. That resemblence is gone within moments. As soon as I begin to gently massage the cleanser into my face, it feels as though I’m putting meringue all over my face – in the best way possible. It isn’t a “detergent-y” (as I like to call it) cleanser; aka: The foam will not dry out your skin. In fact, after patting my face dry with a towel, my skin felt almost the exact way as it does with Milky Jelly Cleanser. I think this is a better option for the evening; I do believe that it removes makeup a little more easily, since there’s so much – froth.

How does it foam so nicely, yet not dry out my skin? Well, according to Boscia, each product of theirs contains a special “Botanical Blend, an effective mix of jojoba leaf and willowherb. Jojoba leaf is a powerful antioxidant that helps to prevent free radical damage caused by pollution, UV rays, and other environmental irritants.” Another important ingredient in this cleanser is willowherb: it calms the skin, as well as fights off inflammation & redness. Basically, you’ll feel hydrated, plump, & squeaky clean after using. At least, that’s how I feel!

Would I purchase this product myself? No, probably not. Even though I was very impressed by this cleanser & how it made my skin feel, I still am quite wary of most cleansers I use – even ones that my skin seemed (or seems) to like. At this point, I mostly rotate between Milky Jelly & CLĒ Cosmetics Oxygen Foam Cleanser. However: this might be a great option for those with dry, sensitive skin who still enjoy a frothy face wash. This will give you that – that I can say for sure!

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A cute detail at the top of the cleanser’s packaging: the Boscia “logo”

 

IMG_2793.JPG-1The product itself[/caption]< strong>Sake Hydrating and Brightening Essence<<<<<<<<<<
f all the Boscia products sent my way, this one was the most surprising for me. Why? Because although its called an essence on the bottle, on the online listing, & on the packaging…it isn’t like any essence I have ever tried before. It’s the most lightweight texture; smooth, gentle, hydrating, but not overdone. It provides a huge amount of moisture to the face, but the light texture keeps pores from getting overwhelmed.

This product is for those searching for a hydrating, redness-reducing…essence. Again – it’s funny to describe this product as such; it is a very liquid-y essence. However, on Sephora’s site, the essence is described as “a hydrating face serum that soothes skin and visibly reduces redness with sake.”

So…serum, or essence? I don’t really know…but that’s okay. Whatever it is, it’s doing its job extremely well. When I first tried out the product on the back left side of one of my hands, leaving the other side bare, I was shocked at how hydrated, fresh, & clean my skin felt & looked – on the back of my hand!<<<<<<<<<<
imagine, I’ve been having the same results on my face as I did on my hand. I’m always looking for lightweight moisturizing layers & this one does the job beautifully.

The sake in the essence is vitamin & mineral-rich. This allows it to deliver long-lasting moisture – great for people who have (again, I know) dry skin – I always could use a little extra dose of hydration on my skin.

Would I purchase this product myself? Yes, I think I would. It’s very unique. It provides the moisture & brightness that an essence does; it just does so in a lightweight way that somehow works beautifully on someone with dry skin. The dropper is tapered, so it’s easy to let product fall onto your face directly from the dropper. It reduces the amount of times you touch a product, & ensures you’ll be clean. Plus, it’s fun getting a little rush of coolness every time you gently & methodically drop, apply, & massage in all your serums. I’m off-track now. Yes, this is a great product. I’ve seen an improvement in the way my skin looks (more even, tighter pores) & how it feels (hydrated throughout the day. It’s a yes for me!

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The color scheme of this essence reminds me of Glossier’s Super Pure Serum – both are clear, lightweight, & gel-like in consistency. Both have baby blue bottles & white dropper caps. They’re very similar in appeaance! This one, however, is larger.

FullSizeRender.jpg-40 As you can see, this essence isn’t even close to being a cream (or just a thick liquid); it is very thin & very lightweight.[/caption]<

caption id=”attachment_9821″ align=”alignnone” width=”3000″]

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The essence itself is clear; the bottle is tinted baby blue. I’m not complaining; it’s beautiful!
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The color scheme of this essence reminds me of Glossier’s Super Pure Serum – both are clear, lightweight, & gel-like in consistency. Both have baby blue bottles & white dropper caps. They’re very similar in appeaance! This one, however, is larger.
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As you can see, this essence isn’t even close to being a cream (or just a thick liquid); it is very thin & very lightweight

Tsubaki™️ Swirl Two-Part Gel & Cream Deep Hydration Moisturizer   When I took this little jar out of its outside packaging, a real *gasp* left my mouth. Boscia was not fooling around when they said “Swirl Two-Part” – the cream & the gel are completely separated inside the jar upon opening it. They blend together after starting to use them, since it’s important to get both parts. Still, though – the texture of this product upon first opening it is beautiful!

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The outside packaging…I was not prepared for what nestled inside!
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In all her glory

Like the essence packaging, this jar is tinted – this time baby pink instead of baby blue. The swirl of white cream contains the heavier hydrating and firming ingredients, like rice bran & camellia oil – aka, “tsubaki oil.” Hence the name. The gel swirls have a light pink tint to them, & they contain the lighter nourishing/hydrating ingredients, like sodium hyaluronate. Scent? There’s hardly a scent; maybe a slight whiff of something fresh, but it’s almost unnoticable to me.

I knew right away that I wouldn’t be using this as a night cream. Usually, things with a gel texture just don’t provide enough moisture to my skin overnight. That doesn’t mean it won’t work on others! It doesn’t mean the product isn’t good; my skin just needs a little help overnight. So: using it as a night cream would be a no-no (for me).

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The moisturizer comes capped with a little plastic “plate” On this “plate” is the small scoop included with the moisturizer. Getting little scoops is always a huge plus for me, & it’s a testament to Boscia’s claim: they are committed to hygeine & quality. The scoops certainly do that.

On Sephora’s site, the page for this product claims that “this moisturizer instantly absorbs into skin without leaving behind a greasy or heavy residue, leaving it baby-soft and smooth with no greasy feel. Dry, rough, dehydrated skin is left glowing, healthy-looking, and radiant—alone or under makeup.”

“Under makeup” implied to me that it would work better as a day cream. I wasn’t wrong – at all! It’s incredibly lightweight, thanks to the gel – that also gives it a cooling element. I love that burst of hydration that so many gel products give – but the initial burst doesn’t last for long…hence, my gratefulness for the cream swirls, as well.

Basically, this sinks into the skin incredibly quickly. It feels very cooling – like a gel, as I said – but the creamy texture is also immediately noticeable. Somehow, these two sensations – gel & cream – manage to work perfectly together in this moisturizer. The gel & cream remain very distinguishable, easily identifiable sensations throughout application. By the end, however, I’m left with glowy, hydrated, plump skin. I don’t feel greasy; I don’t even feel like I need to wait a few minutes for it to sink in. It sinks into the skin the first minute of applying it. This makes it a great double for a primer: no time? No problem! It’s something I did a few times this past week. Guilty but not guilty – because guess who arrived on time!

Would I purchase this product myself? It’s hard for me to give a 100% certain, loud, “yes.” I have other creams that I adore; this one is a bit pricier compared to the others. So: I can’t say yet! I’m leaning toward yes, since it is such a unique texture & sensation. At the same time, the price makes me pause.

Still – no matter what I decide, this is a great product. If you’re looking to buy a lightweight yet creamy moisturizer that is easy & quick to apply, this might be the one for you! I feel as though it would work as a night cream for those with oily skin types. The moisturizer is formulated for all skin types, Boscia says, but just because products work on all skin types doesn’t mean they’re the best for all skin types. This one, however, seems to have everyone covered; a decent amount of cream for those who need it. The cream, however, is balanced out by the gel – it is lightweight yet hydrating. Perfect for those with oily or combo skin types.

Long story short: I’m considering it seriously. As with the cleanser, a little goes a long way, so I think this one will be around for a bit. I’ll be able to make up my mind by then – I promise!

In the end, however, props to Boscia for making a moisturizer that seems effective on all skin types – & props to them on the gorgeous presentation. Packaging & product are everything, & this moisturizer has both.

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Up-close & personal with Tsubaki’s swirls

Luminizing Black Mask  Here you have it: the product Boscia is best-known for. The charcoal peel-off mask. Let me be honest. Peel-off masks are not my best friend. I’ll often feel very dry after removing one, & I worried about what this one would do. After all – charcoal is very powerful, & the back of the mask’s bottle said to leave on for at least 30 minutes – thirty!

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Instructions on the back of the mask tube, not the outside packaging – that’s just thrown away. I never understand why brands don’t print product information/instructions on the backs or bottoms of the actual product – we all throw out (recycle, excuse me) the boxes. Not every brand puts instructions on the product itself, so this was noted, & a definite plus

I know – crazy that a peel-off charcoal mask would be calming & reduce redness. I was a bit scared at first, but I did see that again – it was listed as being good for all skin types. & so: I went for it.

First of all, the consistency is extremely thick – it feels like a thick putty or paste. It’s jet-black. Not grey, not dark grey, not navy. Jet black. It’s also very shiny when applied onto the face. It dries down as the mask sits, but even when completely dry, it still has some sort of sheen to it. The mask is so thick that if you move too quickly, you’ll be pulling the skin of your face this way & that – no good! After I realized this, I applied portion by portion (of my face) & moved slowly & methodically. That made for a smooth, flawless mask finish.

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A quick close-up of the extremely thick, gooey Luminizing Mask

As I waited for the mask to dry, I took a deep sniff of the mask. I smell nothing. I did not notice any oder – even when it was on my face! I would call this product completely fragrance-free, unless you’re perhaps extra sensitive to scents.

The time came: time to remove the mask. Don’t worry, I avoided my eyebrow area. I peeled off slowly, as it was said to be most effective when done that way. I got it all off in only two pieces, once for each side of my face. I found that impressive right from the get-go; peel-off masks aren’t always the friendliest product to work with. This one is a (wonderful) exception.

I rinsed my face, toned, & moved on with my skin care routine. Then I went to bed.

When I woke up, I saw a noticeable difference. My pores looked tighter, my skin looked brighter; more…yes….luminous. Truly, though: it’s something I thought that I’d be suffering from the following day: dryness, redness, irritation, breakouts coming to the surface. None of those things happened. I woke up with soft, clear, transluscent skin after using the Luminizing Mask. I’ve used it two more times since then – same results. I would advise those with sensitive/dry skin to be careful with how often you apply the mask. Like I said, this is very thick, so it can drag a bit on the skin. Make sure you apply slowly, so you don’t get micro-abrasions from the mask pulling on your skin.

Would I purchase this product myself? YES! Yes. Yes. Yes yes yes. Absolutely: yes. This was a product that I’ve seen floating around in my beauty hemisphere for a good while, now. Still – it never occurred to me to try a charcoal mask, let alone an intense, peel-off one. Let’s get this clear: it’s not that intense. I don’t believe your eyebrow would come off; maybe if you don’t have much to begin with it would be a problem…but that can still be avoided by: 1) keeping product away from eyebrows 2) refer to the first answer!

“It’s not that intense” is not meant to be an insult, by the way – not at all. This one just took the cake for clarifying yet gentle masks – a peel-off, no less. I can see it being great for multi-masking. Some days, you can’t put one thing all over your face, especially with colder weather coming. I call it: the combination skin season.

Effective? Yes. Relatively affordable? Yes – cheaper than Fresh masks, Tatcha masks, & many others. Gentle. Did I mention it was effective? Well, it is.

I get the high ratings now, without a doubt. Just from looking at other product reviews, I can see those with all skin types & preferences raving about this mask.

My final opinion on this baby? Now I understand why Boscia is associated so closely with this one product. It’s because the product works. It works very well.

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The front of the mask. Squeeze the tube, & product comes out. It’s simple, & isn’t wasteful – you can get almost every last drop with a squeezable bottle

Tsubaki™ Oil Deep Hydration Hydrogel Mask A sheet mask! A pale pink sheet mask, to be exact! I was elated when I pulled this out of the box. I started planning the cute masking photos I could take with it on. Unfortunately, as with most sheet masks, it’s almost impossible to move around when wearing one – unless you want your mask to flop to the floor like a dead fish.

Like the moisturizer, this mask contains tsubaki oil (hence the name) as well as Vitamin E & serine. Together, they work to soften, smooth, & plump the skin.

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The Tsubaki mask, with its sister: the Tsubaki moisturizer 

The texture of this mask is very satisfying; it’s that kind of rubber-gel feel that keeps your skin cool, no matter the temperature. Because of the materials used, it’s extremely soothing & hydrating. It’s #millennialpink, too!

If you’re sensitive to scented products, this is probably a great choice for you. It’s packed to the  max with hydration & soothing elements, & I can hardly detect a scent. It’s very soft, it’s cooling, & it has no scent. It’s a refreshing 20 minutes, that’s for sure.

IMG_5748.jpeg The mask comes in two parts – it’s not difficult to “assemble.” I’d just say to make sure you’re already in the position you want to be in while you wait for your mask to take effect. For this mask, it’s around 15-20 minutes. If I have a sheet mask that’s more than one piece, I like to use my iPhone front camera to make sure my mask is placed levelly. That’s what I did with this one, & I would call the operation a success. You may have to readjust a few times, but within a minute or so, the mask begins to stay in place.

Some people like to wash off the residue (or essence) from a sheet mask after taking off the mask itself; others prefer to pat it into their skin. For me, it depends on which mask I am using – if it’s a clarifying one (like rice or makgeolli), I rinse off the essence. I don’t want to leave drying ingredients on my face for too long. For this one, however, I patted the remaining essence into my face, just as Boscia suggested.

I used this after a clay mask. I needed a detox, but I needed to make sure my skin wouldn’t fall off my face from the clay. This mask did the job. My skin looked plump; healthier than usual. I felt more hydrated. I did it before bed, so that my skin would absorb the max amount of essence. I wasn’t disappointed in the morning: clear skin, zero clogged pores, & a brighter, more awake face staring back at me in the mirror.

Would I purchase this myself? Yes! It’s $8. It’s more expensive than the Tonymoly masks, which are around $3 each (depending where you buy them), but I think it’s a nice “treat yourself” kind of mask. If you’re looking for a little luxury but don’t have a big budget, this is a great option. It works, & it doesn’t cost an arm or a leg. Win-win.

Overall impression of Boscia as a brand?  I’m very impressed with how well all of the products sent to me worked on me. Boscia seems to know what it is doing! A lot of these products are extremely versatile, comfortable for all skin types, & work just as well – if not better – than an even pricier product that claims to do the same thing.

So: what would I personally buy again? What would I refill?Definitely the luminizing mask. That was a definite wow. I am angry I didn’t try it before!

  • Both the essence & the Tsubaki moisturizer are very unique. I can’t say which I’d rather pick; it’s too quick for me to say. I’d say give me a few months: wait until 20-degree winds are hitting me straight in the face. Then – & only then – will I be able to give my final verdict on the Tsubaki cream. But seriously, these are both great.

At the end of the day, if I had to pick one, it would be the mask. That’s the one with the true wow factor. I did not expect it to be so gentle to my dry skin yet also work its detoxifying, clarifying magic.

So: now that I have truly put some serious time into figuring out what Boscia is all about, I’m a big fan. They have a good message, good ingredients, are forthright about their products, what they do (& what they don’t) – & the products work! Truly!

Boscia, you convinced me: your line isn’t just for oily-skinned people. I see now that there’s something for everyone – & some of the things just work on everyone.

Have any of you tried Boscia products? Which one of these would you care to buy, if you had the chance? Are there any you’d recommend I purchase myself? Let me know in the comments, as always.

Love,

Sof ❤

July Favorites: A Whole Lot of Hydration (& Silk, Shimmer, Mint, Honey)

Happy Aug – holy shit, it's August??? Summer??? Didn't we just have the Solstice???

I'm panicking too – but I'm also reflecting on some of my favorite products I've used this July. Most of them are brand new & were wonderful surprises – some are old favorites. There should be at least one that fits your budget! I hope you enjoy a little tribute to the month of July. I'm ready to start testing things for August.

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask – $25

I heard about Laneige (the brand) thanks to KathleenLights. She'd been raving about their lip mask in several of their videos. I immediately checked them out on Sephora & was shocked by the low prices – & high ratings. I didn't get the lip mask right away, but I was in need of a sleeping mask – this water one looked amazing, & compared to most overnight masks, this was practically pennies to pay.

I was 100% NOT let down by this product. You get 2.3 fl. oz. for $25, & the jar comes packed full to the brim. It's also sealed air-tight – like a yogurt cup, you have to peel off the top – & includes a little spatula for application. Major points for the hygienic packaging & the large amount of product for the price paid.

The first time I applied it, it sank in very easily, felt extremely cooling & hydrating, but didn't feel tacky or sticky – it also didn't stick to my pillowcase, which is a problem I often have when using sleeping masks. I woke up with extremely glowy, bouncy, hydrated skin that had little to no redness (big problem of mine waking up, especially around the nose area).

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Definite repurchase – & a reminder that KathleenLights always puts me on to good products with low price tags. The success I had with this mask led to my next purchase:

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask -$20

Okay – the success I had with my first Laneige product was a direct cause of my next purchase. Now that I knew that Laneige's other products were good, I was ready to try the lip mask that everyone – Kathleen, Instagram beauty bloggers, & the people reviewing on Sephora – was raving about. This has an almost full 5-star rating on Sephora, which is incredible…so I was excited to see what the hype was about.

Again – massive amount of product compared with other brands like Bite or Dior (both have overnight lip masks). A little product goes a very, very long way; it feels a bit like a gloss, just a little creamier. It could be worn during the day – you'd just get some shine, so if you don't mind that, I'd go right ahead & wear it during the day (I have done it!). It smells like cranberries & strawberries, & the consistency surprised me – I thought it would be a harder, balm-like texture. It's very soft, similar to the Dior Creme de Rose balm if we're looking for comparisons. This also comes sealed & with a spatula – again, major points.

According to Laneige, the mask's "exclusive Moisture Wrap™ technology boasts hyaluronic acid and minerals to form a protective film over the lips to lock in moisture and active ingredients. A generous layer of this soothing mask at bedtime helps reduce flakiness so you can wake up to lips that feel refreshed, supple, and soft to the touch." This includes Vitamin C, antioxidants, & fruits like…you guessed it! Cranberries.

The first night I used this, I didn't exfoliate my lips, I just used this product, & this product alone. I woke up for the first time in months with extremely soft, plump lips. I tried it again the next night, this time using the Herbivore Coco Rose Lip Polish first. The results were even better – lips looked healthy, hydrated, full of color, & plump without looking fake (I hate that look).

As someone who's continually dehydrated (thanks, chronic illness!) it's hard for me to find balms/salves that work really well on my lips. Glossier's Balm Dotcom in Rose (or Birthday if I'm feeling fanc) is my go-to for the day time, but it doesn't always work perfectly as an all-night lip mask. This Laneige mask is now a staple in my night routine – & I think it'll stay that way for a long, long time.

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Lip Balms

Now that we're talking lips, let me share with you the three balms I've been using this past month during the day that have been life-savers.

First off – Fresh Beauty Sugar Sport Treatment Sunscreen SPF 30Sugar Sport Treatment Sunscreen SPF 30 – $25. I know $25 is a lot for a lip balm – but this isn't "just" a lip balm. It can be used on other areas of the face (like the eyelids or cheekbonees or nose) that sunscreen might not settle into so easily. The SPF made a big difference on my lips – protecting them from the sun makes them less chapped, & using this treatment was proof of that. I talked about using this in my post about being at an amusement park for the day, which you can read here, in a lip balm post which you can read here, & also in an SPF post, which you can read here. Just know: it's great. & it is very cute, too.

Secondly – Glossier Birthday Balm Dotcom – $12. This was released in June, but I developed new appreciation for it over the month of July. I've been using it as a balm – of course – a highlight, & a lid gloss. The shimmer in this product makes it very multi-purpose. Think of it as a cream highlight, but cheaper. Yes – this balm is permanent collection! The special Milk Bar sticker it comes with, however, only lasts for the summer…so if you're all about collecting limited edition stickers/pins/products I'd hurry up & buy this, since I do believe the sticker is gone by September. Also – remember that Glossier changed their shipping policy! Now you can buy any 2 items or more & get free shipping. That means that you can get two Balm Dotcoms (which is $24) & still get free shipping. The minimum previously was $30. Good stuff! Oh, I almost forgot. This smells like birthday cake, of course – it also tastes like it. 10/10, will continue to use.

Finally – Caudalíe Lip Conditioner – $12. I also included this in my lip balm post, & I mentioned that it's a great little luxury to have. $12 is practically pennies if we're looking at the price range of most other Caudalíe products, & it's a lovely alternative to Balm Dotcom for those of you who live in areas where Glossier is not yet shipping. This smells like champagne, has a waxy texture – which I personally like – & is a lovely little luxury. It looks chic, works very nicely, & is available internationally! Win win.

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WINKWINK CALM Mask – $40 (*PR-gifted)

WINKWINK is an indie brand that's gotten some attention on Instagram lately! They were kind enough to offer to send me a mask, & asked if I had a preference. I told them my skin type (dry-sensitive) & asked them to pick one for me! They sent me their CALM mask. The key ingredients are olive green clay (helps rebalance oil flow, strengthen skin & aid scar-healing); matcha powder (powerful detoxifier); & peppermint (eases swelling, reduces redness and calms itchiness. Also a source of salicylic acid).

Basically, this is a clay mask that detoxifies – but is gentle enough for dry, sensitive skin. I was a bit apprehensive when I saw a main ingredient was peppermint; my skin doesn't always love that "minty feeling" (I know, I'm weird) & I was worried I might get a rash or something. It's a reaction I had (unfortunately) to Lush's Mask of Magnaminty several years ago. It's a me thing, not a brand thing.

Surprisingly – this was incredible!!!!! Truly…incredible. I've used it three times now, & always feel detoxed & clean. I also feel hydrated & cool – but in a good way. This is probably the only minty mask that I actually love & want to keep using – the results are lovely & it really does feel good, to my surprise & delight! Check out their range – there's some other great detox masks. But especially check out CALM. You won't regret it.

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The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – $6.80

I spoke about this in my brand review of The Ordinary (read it here) & talked about how I think it's the only serum that can truly be a dupe for a Glossier serum (as of right now, anyway). This one is a hyaluronic acid serum, so it's a dupe for Glossier's Super Bounce Serum. Both have plumping, hydrating, soothing qualities – this one just has those qualities for much less.

I love the cooling sensation of this product,  & my skin has been a lot calmer since I've started using it! Even when I did a bit of a product detox, I made sure to keep this one in my routine. I'm glad I did, because my skin looks & feels more balanced thanks to it. Also – order through Beautylish! Faster shipping, comes with cute stickers – & also, you often will get unexpected samples (ex. I got tiny Bioderma bottles with my last order).

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Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask with Echinacea GreenEnvy™️ - $56

Okay – expensive, I know. But also – there was a sale when I bought it (a $15 off special & I was curious!) so it wasn't only a good deal when I bought it…it's an old friend.

I used this on & off throughout the winter but didn't really pay it much attention. It was the first "warming" mask I'd ever used, & I was confused on how exactly to use it. I put it in the back of my cabinet & didn't take it out much.

When I was straightening up this month, I found it again, & decided to give it a serious go. The goopy, honey-textured mask (it's called Honey for a reason) is golden-yellow, until you start massaging it into your cheeks. It melts into a creamy white, & warms your skin; not uncomfortably…just right.

The mask contains "honey (a natural humectant used since ancient times), propolis (an antiseptic found in beehives), and amino acid-rich royal jelly. Echinacea GreenEnvy™ is a unique variant of echinacea purpurea, which contains a high concentration of the phytochemical cichoric acid—a potent, natural antioxidant that enhances hydration and the purifying benefits of honey. Glycerin attracts moisture to the skin and provides hydrating effects for a suppler appearance. " Basically, it's a product sourced from honey & derivatives of honey. It's supposed to plump, clarify, hydrate, & renew – all at once.

In my opinion, this mask is a 2-3 day process. In fact, Farmacy recommends you use it 3 times a week. It's detoxing, so you might see some small breakouts the first day after using it. After I used it three times, however, I could see that my skin was clearer & more transluscent. It's not drying, either – so it's great for dry-skinned people. Just be aware that warming masks don't work well with some skin. Patch test a mask like this if you're not sure how you'll react to it!

Personally, I now adore this mask & will be getting a refill – even though this time it'll be more expensive. Farmacy's released a whole honey line since this mask was put out, & it all looks beautiful & worth a try. This mask, however, will be purchased first.

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Dr. Jart Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel – $39 (*PR-gifted)

I don't have many water-based moisturizers or masks. Well, not until this month, anyway! Dr. Jart was kind enough to send me their Hydro collection (this moisturizer as well as an eye gel & sleeping mask) so stay tuned on a complete review of those products.

I do know already, however, that this Hydro Gel is my favorite of the trio (that's why you're seeing it here). I've only tried one other water-based moisturizer, & that was the Sunday Riley CEO. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it – I only had a travel-size, & I definitely didn't feel like it was worth getting a full-size. I felt like I wasn't maintaining hydration; the gel sank in, but was I getting anything out of it?

With this one, I know I am. It's incredibly cooling & soothing – "hydro" is right. It truly feels like a second face wash after I've put this on. I've been using this as a day cream ever since I bought it; it pairs beautifully with my daily sunscreen: Glossier Invisible Shield. Both are incredibly lightweight & invisible.

This product made me reconsider water-based moisturizers! It showed me that they do work; you just need to find the right one. I know that this was gifted, but I will be purchasing this myself if it continues to work so beautifully.

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Milk Makeup Holographic Stick in "Mars" - $28

Milk Makeup's been around the block a few times – but they really started getting hyped after they released their first Holographic Stick: "Supernova," a holographic, purple-y opal highlight that caught the eyes of YouTubers, Refinery29, & beauty blogs amass. Everyone wanted that holographic shade. I never ended up getting it – I own the Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glow Kit & didn't feel as though another silver-purple highlight was necessary.

My interest in Milk's Holographic Stick became a bit more intense when Milk announced their addition to the collection: the shade "Mars," described as a golden pink. It was said to be universally flattering, great on the deepest & lightest of skin tones.

I looked at the shade online, in videos & photos & decided that this highlight was targeted for those with deeper skin – that's who mainly featured this product, anyhow (I'm not trying to say that marketing is a bad thing; on the contrary I support & try to highlight brands & products that market to all skin tones).

When I swatched it in-store this past month, I decided to take the plunge. It felt very smooth, & I figured I could use a little fun in my life.

Happy ending! The stick is extremely soft, doesn't pull on the face (it might take off foundation if you're applying it directly & have a heavier amount of face makeup) & leaves a duo-tone, peachy-pink sheen. It's not oily, it doesn't smear – it looks dewy yet unique; subtle enough for my cheekbones but cheeky enough for my eyelids. I love this & was shocked on how well it worked on my skin tone – just as beautiful, but very different from some of the swatches I'd seen on deeper skin tones.

I think this is a great product if you're looking for a bit of a fun highlight that's easy to apply, travel with, & can be multi-purpose!

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The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil – $9.80 &Mario Badescu Rose Hips Nourishing Oil – $22

Clearly, I'm on a rosehip oil kick. Why? Well, it's because rosehip oil is one of those oils that works on every skin type – it does a lot of things, & none of them are bad. It reduces redness & inflammation, soothes skin, reduces texture, clears pores (which reduces acne) & a whole lot more. Basically: if you have oily skin, use rosehip oil. If you have normal skin, use rosehip oil. If you have…you get my point.

So, these are the two options I have tried. I first tried out rosehip oil with the Mario Badescu Nourishing Oil. It was good! It reduced redness & cleared pores – it always felt a bit runny, though; hard to pat onto my face or even mix into creams.

This past week, I got The Ordinary's Rosehip Seed Oil…worlds of difference. This oil's vial is UV-protected, so the oil doesn't lose potency over time due to light. This oil is extremely pigmented & rich in texture…just two or three drops is all you need for your face.

The Ordinary's version of rosehip oil is less than half of what the Mario Badescu one costs…& it's been changing my skin in the most positive of ways: more hydrated, less irritated or red, clearer, too! Even though it's only been a week, I know this one's the winner. This is a great example of cheaper product being much more effective than a higher-end product. They're the things we all want & strive to obtain! This is one of them.

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Saturday Skin Featherweight Daily Moisturizing Cream – $47

I have raved about this product before, & for good reason: it's extremely hygienic (similar air-tight packaging to Drunk Elephant's Lala Retro Whipped Cream), extraordinarily hydrating, & beautifully soothing.

This was a cream I used during the day during my skin detox. Only a cleanser, a toner, a serum/oil, & a cream…this was my day cream! Chaology Beauty (the company behind Saturday Skin) has developed a special formula: one that is in every single one of its products. According to Chaology, Saturday Skin's effectiveness is from "the Cha-7 es Complex, an exclusive peptide formula that promotes skin's natural regeneration process…increases collagen and elasticity while reducing melanin production for a flawless, stress-free complexion."

Basically, every Saturday Skin product ever makes you glow, lifts your face, & keeps infections & irritation away. This is how I've felt using this product. It does the job just well enough that absolutely nothing is imbalanced. Definite repurchase, definite old friend.

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Slip Silk Pillowcase in "Pink" – $79 (*PR-gifted)

I know, I know!!!! This is definitely not one of those things you just casually go to pick up. But silk pillowcases are amazing for your skin, hair, & scalp – especially for those with compromised or sensitive skin. Slip was so kind to send me their (very luxurious take) on a silk pillowcase! There are cheaper options (still wonderful, too) on Amazon for those who can't take this kind of purchase plunge.

Hate being that person, but yes: I really do feel more refreshed. My skin is softer & more relaxed – no pillow wrinkles anymore! My scalp is softer but not rubbed to redness – something I might notice more accutely, now that I'm you know…bald. I'm not sure about the anti-aging claims – remember I'm still just 20 – but my skin does feel softer, looks brighter, & feels more pampered. Going to sleep feeling like a king won't hurt your skin – ever.

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That's all for this month! Things were brought back, new things arrived – I was surprised by new & old products, several times! I'm excited to see what August will bring.

What have your July favorites been? Let me know in the comments!

Love,

Sof ❤