Review: The YEON Lotus Flower Sheet Mask – Whitening & Brightening

Lotus_MaskStraight off I’m going to say I really liked this mask. The packaging is lovely and when you open it there is a lot of serum. The mask inside is really well soaked and the entire time I had it on (about 15 minutes) it didn’t feel at all dry on my face. The mask fit really well to my face, which is very unusual for me as I do have a bit of an awkward face shape. The mask itself is fairly thick so it was easier to unfold from the packet without risking tearing it.

Once on the serum was really nice and cooling even though I hadn’t put it in the fridge first and it left my skin feeling really moisturised. Out of any mask I’ve tried this was actually has to be the most moisturising.

Now this all sounds wonderful, right? There is however one, possibly major, issue. I really didn’t feel that this mask lightened or brightened my skin. While with these sorts of masks they do usually emphasise that repeated use is how to get these results I really didn’t see any difference at all. Personally I don’t mind because this was otherwise such a nice mask and it left my skin feeling really great. I would definitely buy this mask again but if you are looking for a brightening/whitening sheet mask specifically then this wouldn’t be ideal.

Annabelle x

Review: COSRX Acne Master Pimple Patches

DSC_0377My review on this has been long overdue. I’ll start off by saying that I love this product and it’s one of my absolute could not live without products. It consists of a set of patches that you apply onto spots to draw out all the nastiness and reduce the redness, which helps get rid of spots quickly and easily. These patches are little round shapes that come in a variety of sizes to fit whatever spots you might have.

To apply these you just cleanse the area around the spot and then place the patch over the spot. A little cleansing hack is to take a cotton bud (q-tip) and wet one end with micellar water. Just swab the cotton bud over the area around the spot and if you get the skin too damp you can use the other end of the cotton bud to dry it slightly before applying the patch. I just find this helps get the area as clean as possible so the patches can work to their fullest.

You leave the patches on for about 4 hours to overnight, depending on when you apply them. The patches turn from clear to white to indicate when they should be removed.  If the spot is still being stubborn you can apply multiple patches in a row until it is gone.

I find one or two patches are usually enough unless it’s a particularly awkward spot. These are super easy to use and really not expensive at all. The only downside I have with these patches is that they aren’t really sold in the UK (they really should be!) so I have to order them online. But I definitely recommend these and they are especially great if you need to try and clear up a spot quickly because you have a party or a particular event to go to, particularly if there are going to be pictures.

Annabelle x

Review: Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask

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This clay mask is one of Elizavecca’s most well-known products so as I love a lot of Elizavecca stuff I thought it was time I tried this out. This work like an ordinary clay mask, you leave it on for about three minutes then wash it off. Unlike most other clay masks though this bubbles up quite like foam.

From pretty much the moment I put this on my face it started to bubble, which was a very strange sensation. Around your eyes and lips I’d leave a big space because this does expand quite a bit as it bubbles. Because of its foaming effect I was worried that this might be a bit drying and straight after I washed it off I noticed my skin had gone very dry. It did leave my skin looking nice but I really had to nurse my skin back to health for the next few days afterwards as it was so dry. I have oily skin so I would usually avoid heavy creams but I actually ended up using some after this just to try and fix my skin.

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While this mask is quite fun it left my skin feeling really dry and considering I have oily skin I imagine it would be even more so for dry skin. As much I wanted to like this product I wouldn’t use it again.

Annabelle x

Explaining AHA and BHA

You may have come across these before if you’ve ever tried to research ways to clear up your skin. AHA and BHA are chemical exfoliators (different to physical exfoliators like scrubs). If you have sensitive or acne prone skin you may have found that physical exfoliators just irritate and damage your skin and don’t actually help with your blemishes and blackheads. While they may sound a little daunting chemical exfoliators are actually more gentle for the skin.

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AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acid and works on the surface of the skin, smoothing it and helping to encourage cell regeneration, which can clean up the blemishes from your skin. Products like this Soap & Glory AHA Scrub Your Nose Into It (Boots, £9.00) are good non-Korean options. Do note though that non-Korean products tend to contain higher percentages of acids. When introducing your skin to these acids it’s best to do so slowly. I often dilute my products with a cleanser or even just water. Start by using them once a week and work your way up as your skin becomes more used to them. While this might sound a bit scary it really is better in the longer term (and to be honest the shorter too) than using physical exfoliators.

 

UB_SABHA stands for Beta Hydroxy Acid and the most common form you will see this in is probably salicylic acid. If you look at the ingredients list of gentle face cleansers increasingly salicylic acid is being used (like this Una Brennan cleansing wash, £5.33 [Boots]). BHA gets into your pores and so is great for clearing your skin of blackheads and whiteheads. Often blackhead pore strips only tackle the surface of the skin rather than what’s underneath so can’t fix the blackheads in the long term. Like with AHA it’s best to introduce your skin to this slowly. You may find you get breakouts at first as your skin purges itself but that’s completely normal.

 

As with most things there are a couple of rules with using these products. The first and probably most important is not to use this alongside strong acne medication. It will end up over-exfoliating and drying out the skin. If you are on acne medication and have a dermatologist you can talk to they may be able to suggest how to combine them but I wouldn’t recommend trying it otherwise.

CAHAThe second is not to use them together. You can get products that combine the two like this COSRX AHA/BHA toner (Yesstyle, £28.62). Just don’t try and combine them yourself using separate products because you might end up mixing two high concentrations or something similar.

You can use AHA and BHA with vitamin C but because of the pH that vitamin C works best at it’ll make vitamin C products less effective.

 

 

 

So that is all for AHA and BHA. If you have found that your skin won’t clear up no matter what you try, or that your usual products are just irritating your skin then do give AHA and BHA a try. It’s not as scary as it sounds, I promise.

Annabelle x

Review: Skinfood Black Sugar Wash Off Mask

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I absolutely love this product and the hype around it is spot on with this. I admit it doesn’t look the nicest inside (see below) but it does smell quite nice and sweet. After I’ve cleansed my face I take a little bit of this product, add a little hot water and then spread over my face, rubbing it into my skin gently. I then leave it on for 15 mins and then wash off and continue on with the rest of my morning/evening routine. Even though I have very sensitive skin and so usually avoid physical exfoliators this particular one doesn’t cause my skin to flare up at all, which is pretty rare. If you have sensitive skin you can dilute this product as I do by mixing it with a bit of warm/hot water and also by simply applying it to the skin rather than rubbing it in.

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Straight away my skin is left looking glowy and naturally bright. I use this a couple of times a week and while you can use it in the evening as well I would recommend using it in the morning just because it starts your day off with great skin.  I really recommend trying it out and I will definitely repurchase this. This product comes in a range of varieties such as strawberry and I’m planning on trying out the whole collection. You can get this product in the UK as well now in places like Boots (though it is a little more expensive).

Annabelle x

Review: Tony Moly Egg Pore Blackhead Steam Balm

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Yes, it is literally an egg…

This steaming balm comes in this very cute packaging, with a yolk lid and inside (see below). To apply you put this on the targeted areas where you have blackheads (either before or after cleansing, it works for either). You then rub it into the skin for about 3 to 5 minutes. If you have sensitive skin then be careful to work this gently into your skin, scrubbing won’t make it work any better and will just irritate your skin.

TMBSB_2I find that this product doesn’t get rid of my blackheads but it does bring them to the surface of my skin, which I find makes them easier to treat. This isn’t a quick-fix product but if you’re willing to incorporate this into your skincare routine for a longer period it can be a useful little product.

Annabelle x

Massive Sheet Masks Haul

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So this accidentally turned into quite a haul (I was only supposed to be buying an eye shadow but I got a little distracted). A lot of the masks I bought were for a post I’m currently working on comparing Korean and UK/European/US brand sheet masks so expect quite a few products from this haul to turn up again pretty shortly.

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IROHA Nature Argan + Hyaluronic Acid (TK Maxx, £3.99)

So this first one is a brand I haven’t come across before. The price wasn’t really surprising because I’ve found the European/US sheet masks are generally more expensive. I’m a bit tentative to see if the argan oil will be a bit heavy on my skin but hyaluronic is a great ingredient for hydrating the skin. I like that this is a face and neck mask as these aren’t that common. I always put any leftover essence on my neck so it makes sense really for the mask to cover it.

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Boots Ingredients Radiance & Brightening: Lotus Flower & Tiger Lily (Boots, £1.49)

Although this is labelled ‘Made in Korea’ I’m putting this in the non-Korean category because Boots is a UK store. I got this one on offer as at full price it’s £2.50. I don’t really know what to expect from this mask as it’s a Boots own brand but I like the simple packaging.

 

 

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FACEINC [by NAILSINC] Facial Sheet Mask: Cat Nap (Boots, £3.33)

Again this mask is supposed to brighten the skin. While this mask does state that it’s for normal/dry skin and I am oily/combination the choice of non-Korean masks were rather limited so I thought I would try this one out anyway. I like the fun design of this one and again it’s quite nice packaging.

 

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Masque Bar Green Tea Sheet Mask [3 pack] (Boots £9.99)

So this is actually a Korean brand that Boots now stocks. I love green tea products so I picked out these sheet masks to try. I admit the packaging is a bit disappointing. Interestingly the instructions are much more like the non-Korean masks above as they just say to apply the sheet mask to a cleansed and dried face. The non-Korean sheet masks tend to just say to apply the mask to a clean face, while the Korean ones usually specify that you should cleanse and tone first.

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Faith in Face Black & White Film Star Hydrogel Mask (TK Maxx, £2.99)

This mask is designed to even out your complexion and give it a smooth finish. I don’t use gel masks that often so this will be quite fun to try out. The packaging does remind me quite a bit of Soap & Glory products.

 

 

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Faith in Face Miss Invisible Pore Hydrogel Mask (TK Maxx, £2.99)

Another hydrogel Faith in Faith mask this is possibly the one I’m most looking forward to trying out of all of my masks because I’m always trying to find ways to tighten up my pores. I’ve tried a lot of different products but I’ve still yet to find anything particularly effective so I have my fingers crossed for this one.

 

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Mediheal Mask Dress Dress Code Red (£3.99)

So I haven’t given a place to buy this because I actually got this from my local Chinese supermarket. I’ve looked online and you can get this on Amazon but  it doesn’t seem to pop up much in UK stores. I like the packaging and design of the mask and I know I like Mediheal sheet masks as I’ve used them before in the past. Mediheal masks crop up pretty often in TK Maxx so I often pick one up when I stop in there.

 

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The Cure S.O.S Bamboo Water-Shot Mask (£2.99)

As with the mask above this was from the Chinese supermarket and again it’s quite hard to find online. I’ve not had the best experiences with The Cure sheets masks in the past; my skin reacted pretty badly in particular to their Green Tea sheet mask. But I thought I would give them another try (and I could hardly resist the adorable panda packaging). The English instructions on this say to put it on after moisturising, which is a bit unusual but could be a mistranslation so I’ll have a little check online before I use it.

 

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LS Cosmetics Oriental Herbal Tightening Mask (£2.99)

I absolutely love the packaging on this one, it’s incredibly cute and I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. This mask is supposed to brighten up the skin and enhance its elasticity. I’m looking forward to trying this out, though I admit the incredibly long list of ingredients on the back is a little daunting…

 

 

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S+Miracle Facial Care Pearl Special Mask (£2.99)

This is a 3-step brightening and revitalising mask and I like these multi-step ones as they are usually pretty fun. I admit I have no idea what is in the step 1 and 2 sections because there’s no English but I’m really curious to find out. These multi-step masks are great for travelling because you can add in extra products without having to bring lots of bottles.

 

 

 

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Etude House 0.2 Therapy Air Mask: Snail  (£2.99)

You can buy these pretty cheaply in bulk on websites like Yesstyle (10 for around £15) though I only got the one here. Etude House is a brand I’ve used many times and I love snail products so I picked this one up. This mask is supposed to be a very lightweight, non-irritant style.

 

 

 

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Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask: Green Tea (Yesstyle, £2.88)

Innisfree is one of my favourite brands but I’ve had some fairly mixed experiences with their sheet masks. I’ve never had a problem with them causing a reaction to my skin but I haven’t found them to be particularly exciting in the past. I love anything green tea though (as I’m sure I’ve already said) so I’m hoping I’ll like this one a bit more. It does have alcohol quite high up the ingredients list, which I admit did surprise me as innisfree usually focuses a lot on ingredients that are kind to sensitive skin.

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The Face Shop Real Nature Mask: White Tea (£2.99)

While I’ve tried a lot of green tea products I’ve never tried white tea before. White tea is apparently supposed to help brighten and clear up the skin.

 

 

 

 

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SNP Beijing Opera Aqua Mask (TK Maxx, £1.99)

This mask is a repurchase and one of my favourites. I find this really hydrates my skin and leaves it with a lovely glow. The mask does genuinely look like the little picture so you can’t really wear this one in public like on a plane unless you want to get some very weird looks.

 

 

 

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SNP Beijing Opera Waterfull Mask (TK Maxx, £1.99)

This is another mask in the same range as the one above so I thought I’d get it to try out. Hopefully it will be as good as the one above. I’m not entirely sure what the difference between the two is besides the design on the mask itself as they both appear to be hydrating masks.

 

 

 

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The Creme Shop Caffeine & Dark Chocolate Masks [5 pack] (TK Maxx, £5.00)

These last masks combine caffeine and dark chocolate, both of which are great for brightening up the skin. They also contain hyaluronic acid, which like I mentioned earlier helps to really hydrate the skin. Personally I really love the design of this packaging and as a big mocha lover I just had to get these.

So that is everything (at long last)! That ended up being rather a long post but I hope you enjoyed it. If you’re interested in seeing how the non-Korean masks fare compared to the Korean ones then keep an eye out as I will be doing a little post on this some time soon.

As always, if you haven’t already then please do check out my channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsYuSTZgGK8ZNOGZsK9Jz7Q

Annabelle x

 

Korean Beauty Haul (Yesstyle)

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So this is the post to accompany my YouTube video as promised. For those of you who prefer blog posts or just wanted to know a bit more about the products I hope you enjoy this post 🙂

COSRX_Toner_So my first product is the COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner (Yesstyle, £13.86). AHA is great for removing dead skin and fading acne scars. BHA (also called salicylic acid) gets into your pores and helps to get rid of whiteheads and blackheads. I’m hoping this will help with clearing up my skin and it’s had a lot of good reviews. COSRX products are designed for acne-prone (and thus sensitive) skin so they are free of major irritants like fragrance.

 

 

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The second of my COSRX products is this Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser (Yesstyle, £10.58). This cleanser is designed to work in tandem with COSRX’s AHA/BHA products and is, like the above toner, designed to be very gentle on the skin. It’s always good to be aware that ingredients in different products may not always go well together, especially if you follow a multi-step cleansing routine.

 

 

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I also got a couple of innisfree products in this haul as they are one of my favourite brands and I always manage to find something I want from their products. This cute little product is the innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder in emoji #1 (Yesstyle, £5.83). I got this powder in a limited edition emoji version. It’s just the right size to slip into my bag and just looks so cute.

 

IFBOB_1This innisfree Jeju Volcanic Blackhead Out Balm (Yesstyle, £11) is a part of a range of Jeju Volcanic products offered by innisfree. I completely forgot I had ordered this product and actually purchased both the clay face mask and nose peeling mask, both of which target clogged pores. I like those products so I’m hopeful about this one too.

 

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I never usually have much luck with BB creams as I have a very awkward skin tone to match to. However this MIZON Snail Repair Blemish Balm (Yesstyle, £14.68) appears to lack the orangeness that BB creams can sometimes have. It is also both a snail product and has metallic packaging (I love anything metallic!) so I couldn’t resist getting this to try out.

 

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Because my skin is so sensitive I normally try and avoid physical exfoliators but I’ve heard lots of good reviews about this Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash Off (Yesstyle, £8.04). It’s been recommended online by quite a lot of acne-prone YouTubers. It is quite easy to dilute this product just by adding water or toner when you put it and leaving it to sink in rather than scrubbing it into the skin.

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This Elizavecca Vitamin C 100% Powder + Vita-Multi Whitening Source Serum (Yesstyle, £11.73) comes in three parts. First is the serum (left), then the vitamin C powder and little mixing serum bottle (below). I don’t usually go for serums that require mixing but this one looked very fun and I really like Elizavecca products so I thought I’d give it a try. Vitamin C is great for the skin and for getting a nice glowing complexion.

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To use this product you put a bit of the powder into the bottle and add the appropriate amount of serum to dissolve the powder. Then apply a couple of drops to your skin. Alternatively you can mix the powder and serum on the back of you hand and then apply without using the mixing bottle.

 

 

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This Elizavecca Milky Piggy Elastic Pore Cleansing Foam (Yesstyle, £8.78) wasn’t actually in my order but was a spare from my sister’s (and who am I to turn down free things?). This cleanser contains charcol, which is a great deep cleansing ingredient. I am hoping that this isn’t too messy a product (anyone who has ever tried the Lush Dark Angel Face Wash will know that charcol can make an awful lot of mess).

 

 

 

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I bought this LadyKin Affinitic Whitening Moisturiser (Travel Size) (Yesstyle, £2.88) as a useful little moisturiser to keep in my bag. Again a snail product (they just work really well with my skin) this product is just so cute!

 

 

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So this OMI Water in Lip (Apple Sherbert) (Yesstyle, £3.62) is actually a Japanese product. I always like to keep a lip sil on me as my lips get very dry and apple sherbert is such a nice flavour that I just had to get this one. I always seem to have at least one Japanese product every time I do a Korean beauty haul. You can get this product in a range of flavours such as peach and strawberry.

 

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So these Showroom Print Earphones with Mic #77 (Yesstyle, £2.88) aren’t actually a beauty product but these super cheap knock-offs of iPhone headphones were too tempting to turn down. If they work they’ll be a bargain as iPhone headphones can be so expensive!

 

 

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This incredibly cute Etude House Heating Eye Mask (Yesstyle, £3.62) looks perfect for giving my eyes a little TLC. I spend most of my time staring at screens or at books so my eyes get very strained, especially as I have bad eyesight already.

 

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As with any good beauty order I also received a couple of samples. The first is the COSRX Advanced Snail All in One Cream (full price: Yesstyle, £17.96). I actually want to buy this product so this a pretty useful sample.

 

 

 

 

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The second sample is a skin79 Super+ Beblesh Balm Triple Functions (full size: Yesstyle, £13.21). This conatins gold and caviar, both of which are great ingredients for brightening up your skin. I’ve never tried anything by this brand before so it’ll be nice to try this out.

 

 

So I hope you enjoyed this post and please do check out my YouTube channel!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsYuSTZgGK8ZNOGZsK9Jz7Q

Annabelle x

 

 

 

Now on YouTube!

Very exciting news – I am now on YouTube! You can find my first video about my latest Korean beauty haul here:

As always I’ll be reviewing the products in this video as I go and I’ll be posting soon about this haul, with more details on the products if any of you guys are interested to know more.

I hope you enjoy!

Annabelle x

Review: My Beauty Diary White Lily Brightening Essence Mask

MBD_White_Lily_MaskI’ve used a lot of different MBD sheet masks before and I’ve liked all them so far, this one included. MBD is a great Taiwanese brand that is pretty much credited with starting off the whole sheet mask craze.

This sheet mask comes with lots of essence so there’s plenty left over to put on your skin (it’s especially good to put it on your neck) or to save for a later time to give it a little boost. While you should seal the packet if you don’t want to use it pretty soon I have found that if you use this mask in the evening then put on the essence in the morning you can leave out sealing the packet if you can’t be bothered or simply forget.

MBD masks do tend to be quite small and they are often very thin so you have to be careful not to rip them. Before opening the little packet it’s best to check if the mask is in the way of where you’re trying to tear the packet open as you can accidentally tear the mask from this. But they’re also really light on your skin and very gentle. This particular mask sheet contains Multi-silk, which is super soft on your skin. After using this mask I really feel like my skin has a noticeable dewy glow. It’s a really nice mask for brightening your skin and since you can buy it in a set it’s pretty cheap too.

Annabelle x