Monday Mask: Dermal Cucumber Collagen Essence Mask

About a month ago I became obsessed with Korean skin care.  I constantly read about different products, their functions and how frequently to use them.  My poor friends were inundated with text messages about various essences and face masks all the time.  

I LOVE face masks and fortunately for me, face masks are an integral part of Korean skin care.  Numerous online sources suggest using a sheet mask once a week.  I had never tried a sheet mask before but found a set of 16 Dermal Korea Collagen Essence Full Face Facial Mask Sheets on Amazon.  Each mask has a different function, aiming to improve your skin in various ways.

Thursdays have always been a “mask day for me” so after a particularly stressful Thursday I decided to try out the Dermal Cucumber Collagen Essence Mask.  This mask aims to provide your skin convergence, nourishment and soothing. 

IMG_2192

Review

Each time I do a mask, I begin by exfoliating my face.  On this night I used Philosophy’s Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash. I let my face air dry and attempted to figure out how to use this mask.  Once dry I opened the package and found a white material, folded and soaking wet.  I was shocked at how wet the mask was (in retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised, it was soaking up the assorted liquids).  After I removed it from it’s packaging, I attempted to unfold it.  For some reason I struggled to get it completely unwrapped and was confused as to why there were so many extra flaps and tabs (around eyes, nose and mouth).  

Finally I got it apart and placed it on my face.  The mask was really cold and repeatedly slipped out of place.  I decided that the best way to keep it in place was to take the time to lay down and relax for 20  minutes.  This helped!  

I have learned that there is no way to not look creepy when wearing a sheet mask
I have learned that there is no way to not look creepy when wearing a sheet mask

I expected to know when to remove the mask.  While it did dry a bit, it never fully dried.  After 20 minutes was up the mask came off and my face was still covered in the magical concoction.  I decided to massage the excess product into my face to receive the complete benefits of the mask.  

FINAL THOUGHTS

Once the mask was off, I realized that I should have completed the rest of my skin care routine before applying the mask.  Next time, I will use my serums, toners and moisturizers prior to applying a sheet mask.  I really enjoyed this mask.  Not only was it nourishing it forced me to lay back and relax (two things I rarely do).

For extra beauty ramblings follow my Instagram @jessicasgoneviral

Monday Masks: Skin Food Rice Wash Off Mask

This week I am starting a new feature: Monday Masks. Facial masks are my favorite part of skin care and I use various masks, 3 times per week.  This week I tried a new mask: Skin Food’s Rice Wash Off Mask

Recently, I have been exploring the world of Korean skin care.  Through this research I was introduced to the brand Skin Food.  This Korean brand prides itself on optimizing high quality ingredients in food and incorporating them into their beauty and skin care products.

On a whim I chose to purchase their wash-off Rice Mask.  This mask aims to brighten your skin tone while also moisturizing the skin. 

Review

After cleansing my face with my favorite micro-exfoliator, I let my face air while I read how to apply this mask.  The directions were pretty straight forward: apply a thorough amount to a clean face, focus on your nose, avoid your mouth and eyes, let sit for 20 minutes and wash off.

When opening the packaging I discovered that the mask was a white, whipped, cream like consistency.  I rubbed a small amount between my fingers and was surprised to find a grainy texture (I don’t know why I was surprised, of course a mask made from rice would be grainy).  After my face dried, I applied the mask to my entire face. 

IMG_2299IMG_2394

Because the mask had a grainy texture, I decided to massage the mask into my face.   The first thought I had while wearing the mask was that I loved the smell.  It is very light and refreshing. I kept thinking to myself that this is a perfect summer treat.  When I glanced in the mirror, I noticed that my face looked like it had a ton of lotion on it, rather than a mask. 

IMG_2301
You can barely tell I have anything on my face. It looks like I have some thick lotion on, rather than a mask.

The mask didn’t harden, unlike most masks I wear.  Instead, it seeps into your skin.  After 20 minutes, it was time to remove.  Using warm water and my hands I rinsed my face and the mask came right off.  Instantly I noticed my skin was super soft!

FINAL THOUGHTS

This is a nice mask to add into my rotation.  Unlike other masks I use, I don’t feel it working when it is applied, so it was difficult to determine when the mask was “done”.  It doesn’t target any of my specific needs, so I doubt this will climb to holy grail status for me, but I will certainly use it again!

A Sunday Night in the Life of…

I would consider myself a systematic person in most parts of my life.  I work full time, I am a full time doctoral student and I babysit for multiple families consistently; additionally, my friends and family enjoy the pleasure of my company occasionally. If I didn’t follow routines my life would be chaos and I would never get anything done.  They are what help me make it through the day feeling slightly less overwhelmed about everything I have going on.  It shouldn’t be surprising that these routines have followed me into my new found beautysphere. 

My night time routines are somewhat epic.  My friends like to tease me about these rituals and saying I only have time for them because I don’t have children.  I don’t think this is true.  I have always set aside enormous amounts of time for things that I enjoy, and I genuinely enjoy my skincare and makeup regimens.  What I don’t specifically enjoy is the weekly maintenance. 

Each Sunday I set aside time to take care of things that I have avoided all week.  Below is a “Sunday Night in the life…”.  I have detailed more or less everything I do to keep up the various beauty regimens (and their devices) I have in place. I have included links for where to purchase items from the products website, Ulta or Amazon!

I have been blessed (and at times cursed) with extremely thick, coarse hair.  Thank goodness my hair came from my mom’s side of the family or else this would be an entirely different blog!  One of the benefits of having hair as thick as mine is that it can hold a style for days.  I easily get away with washing my hair once a week and you would never know (of course, I take steps throughout the week to extend the life of my blow out, but I’ll save that for another time).  A major downfall of my hair is that it takes what feels like years to dry.  Every Sunday I take the time to wash and blow dry my hair.

Once my hair is washed and I’m out of the shower, I put on a trashy reality show that I have DVR’d during the week.  I choose shows like this because if I miss something I don’t particularly care.  Also, I can typically keep up just listening to the drama without ever watching it.  This week I “watched” the Teen Mom OG Reunion Special.

2. TeenMom

Next, I get my hair ready to be blow dried.  First, I spray It’s a 10 Miracle Leave in Conditioner throughout my hair and then comb through it with a wide toothed comb.  Next, I spray my hair with Kenra Blow Dry Spray.  Not only does this product smell amazing, it speeds up the drying time and leaves my hair feeling super soft!  Because I know I will curl my hair at some point during the week, I sprayed it with Tresemme Curl Activator (this used to be fairly hard to find, but I can consistently pick it up, on sale, at Ulta).  Before blowdrying I pin back about half of my hair.  If I skip this step, the middle sections of my hair never dry!  Using my T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i hairdryer and Olivia Garden Fingerbrush, I blow dry the bottom sections of my hair.  I don’t do this neatly, I just need to get it dry.  Once 75% dry, I take down the top sections of hair and messily dry them.  I prefer styling my hair after one sleep, so I don’t worry about giving myself the perfect blow out.  I put my hair back and continue with the next task.

1.Blow Dry Hair

I am trying out new products and devices all the time. Because of this I take weekly pictures of treatment areas.  I like doing this as part of my Sunday routine so that the lighting and my rest levels are about the same.  Pictures are taken in the same area each week, right after I have showered and blow dried my hair. This helps ensure that I am adequately measuring the performance of whatever I happen to be trying.

Face

I love exfoliating my lips and look forward to doing it each week.  I have a number of different lip exfoliators but received the Pure Vanilla smoothing lip scrub as a gift and LOVE it!  Using the LUXE Satin Precision Brush Head for my Clarisonic, I rub the lip scrub over my lips, brush over it with my Clarisonic and then remove any excess product with a damp cotton ball.  Lip scrubs often remain on the brush head, leaving it grimy, so make sure you clean it right afterwards!  The final step is applying a moisturizing lip product.  I have recently been loving the Yes To Coconut Cooling Lip Oil!

3.Exfoliate Lips

After exfoliating my lips I apply the Aztec Indian Clay Healing Mask.  This is my absolute favorite mask!  Just mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and the mask powder, slap it on your face and feel the pulsating begin.  Although I love this mask it takes a tad more work than the others I apply throughout the week, so I save this bad boy for Sunday’s when I know I have the time!

4.5. Mask 4.Azec Mask

With Teen Mom playing and my mask tightening I begin my most dreaded chore: cleaning my brushes.  Words can not describe how much I hate cleaning my brushes.  Even though I am always excited to use my fresh brushes the next morning, I despise cleaning them.  To clean my brushes I use two items: a homemade solid brush soap and a Petmate glove (I would really love the Sigma Spa Glove, but can’t justify the purchase price.  I will happily pay $10 for this glove instead; it works great).  I wet my dirty brush, rub it into the soap and then swirl the brush around on the ridges of the glove.  The glove ensures that the soap is being applied evenly to all parts of the brush and provides a deeper clean.  Once clean, with the extra water is squeezed out, the brushes are inserted upside down into my brush tree to dry over night. I follow the same process with my various Clarisonic brush heads, aside from putting them in the Magik Drying Pro Brush Drying Tree.

I finish up by cleaning my Rodan and Fields** AMP (microneedling roller).  I simply add warm water and a purification tablet to the tumbler, submerge the roller and wait for the water to transform from blue to clear (approximately 15 minutes).

5.Wash Brushes 6.5 Rodan and Fields

After removing my mask and completing my skin care routine, I get out a power strip and charge my Clarisonic Plus, Clarisonic Opal and Philips Philips Sonicare Toothbrush.  Some of the devices can go longer between charges, but I wouldn’t be able to keep up with that, so I charge them all on Sundays.  Note, this is not the place where I normally charge them, but I could not get a decent picture from their “normal spot.”

6.Charge Devices

The final step of my routine is hand care.  A few years ago I was obsessed with nail polish.  I acquired it quickly and would spend hours looking up nail art.  Because of my love of all things nail related a friend of mine bought me the True Blue Spa 60 Second Manicure Hand Sugar Scrub for my birthday.  It is amazing and will completely transform the texture of your hands.  I follow this up with Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and Julep’s Age Defying Hand Brightener (no longer manufactured).  As I have previously mentioned, I am not that into lotions, but I received this in a Julep Maven Box around the time I discovered the 60-second manicure and they seemed to work well together so I kept buying it.

7.Hands

That completes a Sunday night in the life of Jessica’s Gone Viral!  All in all I typically complete this process in the time it takes to watch one episode of trashy television!

*Whenever possible I provided links directly from a brand’s website

** I am in no way affiliated with Rodan& Fields, I just decided to purchase one of their products.

Try It Out Tuesday : Clarisonic Opal

My eyes are what forced me to reevaluate (or rather, create) my skin care routine.  One day while looking in the mirror, I became hyper focused on my eyes.  Years of poor sleeping and lack of skin care maintenance had caught up with me.  I had dark circles that were so puffy they looked like cushions.  Near the corners of my eyes were deep crows feet.  I knew I was way too young for that and I became obsessed with finding ways to fix the problem. I tried various solutions, some of which helped with the darkness but nothing I did would rid me of the puffiness!

My expensive taste has always exceeded my teacher/grad student salary, making me a staunch supporter of the Ulta Rewards Program. I religiously keep up with their bonus offers, so I can earn extra points when purchasing all of the items I can’t live without.  Over time I realized that if you save your points and redeem them in increments of 2000 you earn a bonus $25.  Who doesn’t want extra money? 

Recently I decided to redeem 2000 points ($125) on a Clarisonic Opal.  The reviews were great and Ulta.com had a special promotion package: the device, a full size eye serum, 4 replacement heads, a brush head for their face brushes and 3 trial sized products for their new Radiant Skin line for $150 (normally the device and serum alone has a $185 price tag).  

Progress Report

I knew I would never notice a difference on my own so I decided to document my progress using the Clarisonic Opal.  Throughout this trial I periodically took pictures of my eyes to help me determine if the device was working.  I used the Opal and the serum that came with it every night.  Each picture was taken at approximately the same time of night and in the same location. 

Clarisonic Opal Week 1 - eyes

Week 3 showed the greatest change.  Not only are my under eyes brighter but the puffiness has mostly subsided.

Clarisonic Opal Trial - week 3

During Week 4 I began suffering from seasonal allergies but was incredibly pleased that my eyes didn’t revert to their previously puffy state!

Clarisonic Opal Week 4 - eyes

Week 7 was the final week of my trial.  I had numerous work and school commitments during the week resulting in minimal sleep.  Previously this would have caused dark purple pillows to pop up, but they stayed away!

Clarisonic Opal Week 7 -eyes

Final Thoughts

I am obsessed with this device.  When people ask me about skin care, I have a ton of advice but the first thing I suggest is hopping on ulta.com and buying a Clarisonic Opal.  My eyes have never looked better.  It is difficult for me to say for sure whether the Opal or the serum is making the difference (it is probably a combination of the two) but I definitely notice when I stop using it consistently.

During this trial I did not try out any other new products around my eyes because I didn’t want them to interfere with my results.  You are able to use other eye serums with this device, but I have not tried that yet!

*I did this review out of morbid curiosity only. Nobody asked me or paid me to.

It All Started With a Lipstick

I have always been a fairly high maintenance girl which made the sparseness of my bathroom shocking to those nearest and dearest.  Since I was young I have always befriended gorgeous, fashion forward, girly girls who looked as though they were stepping out of a magazine.  I was never that girl.  This is not to say I didn’t look fabulous.  I have always been very capable of dressing my body type, but I never felt the need to cake on makeup.  On big nights out my makeup routine took five minutes, consisting of mascara (always Maybelline) and a pinky neutral lipgloss (always Tarte), and was typically applied in the car of whoever was driving.  My skincare routine was even simpler: it didn’t exist.  I never removed makeup and I never washed my face. 

Last year, everything changed. I began loving the bold lipped looks all of my friends were wearing and frantically “pinned” favorite looks of mine on Pinterest.  I would send friends screenshots of my favorite looks saying “I could never pull this off, but this would look great on you.” By the time the Too Faced Melted Lipsticks premiered I was obsessed and ventured into my local Ulta to purchase my first lipstick, Melted Ruby.  Once I got home I realized I didn’t even know how to apply it.  Thick, colorful liquid oozing out of a squeeze tube was intimidating, but I went ahead and applied it. I looked in the mirror and as much as I wanted to love it I didn’t.  I couldn’t understand how something that looked so beautiful in every picture I had seen could look this terrible on me.  That’s when I began taking a closer look in the mirror.

When I actually looked in the mirror, my years of ignored skin care was evident.  My skin was red with dry patches.  I had multiple blemishes (although I haven’t suffered from acne since high school, I do have occasional flare ups).  The most disturbing discoveries were near my eyes.  Fine lines were starting to creep up and my circles were not only dark but puffy.  I was only 31 and wanted to curb the aging process as much as possible!  I quickly turned on my computer and began researching skin care essentials for a woman in her thirties.  Immediately I went back to Ulta and came out with my first skin care regimen (Aveeno foaming cleanser, Olay Regenerist sculpting cream, night recovery cream and eye cream).  As time has gone on all of these items have been removed from my routine and replaced with items that work better for my skin, but they were an excellent starting point and I still think they were perfect for what I needed at that time.

Today my bathroom is filled with various electronic devices, moisturizers, serums and masks;  all helping me achieve the clear, glowing skin I have today.  With my skin in better condition I have learned what makeup looks best on me (including Melted Ruby!) and the best ways to apply it.  In addition to the long term benefits of having healthy skin, I have also noted an increased confidence (something I never thought I was lacking).  As people began asking me more and more about my skin care routines and makeup essentials I began toying with the idea of writing a blog.  A  blog is certainly the last thing I have time for.  I am a full time Ph.D student, I have a full time job and babysit the coolest 4 year old on the planet 3 days a week.  I have always been a tad impulsive and a quintessential procrastinator so I have decided that this blog might be the perfect diversion for when I should be getting all of my real work done!

December 2013
December 2013
March 2015
March 2015