Mask Monday 10-Minute Challenge: Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Masque

I’ve thought of a challenge.

I have just got home from work and am currently sitting down with my laptop, a cup of tea, and a sachet’s worth of Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Masque on my face.

The challenge is as follows: describe the sensations you experience when trying out a new masque. As in, while you’re still experiencing them. It might add a sense of urgency and truth to the review, or something.  Anyway, below is my own *live* experience of Mask Monday. I hope you enjoy it!

Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Masque

Photo borrowed from Dermalogica UK

18:03: First off, this product took a while to squeeze out of the sachet. I was worried some air had got to the masque and it had hardened up. Please don’t ruin the challenge before it’s even started…

18:04: It hasn’t hardened up. Jolly good. In fact, although this masque has a clayish consistency, and collected in a blob in the corner of the sachet, it’s thinner than most clay masques I’ve come across, which makes it much easier to apply.

18:05: Oh arse, I’ve got some in my hair. EVERY TIME.

18:06: Evidently clearing sebum is a process which requires a change in temperature. My whole face feels cold and tingly.

18:07: This was a pleasant sensation until I realised that I’d accidentally dabbed a bit of the masque inside my left nostril. Nostrils are more sensitive than the rest of the face. Now my nostril is cold. And a bit sore.

18:08: What if I snort and accidentally suck some masque up my nose? Is it bad to inhale Dermalogica?

18:11: Nostrils aside, you can tell this is good stuff. If a masque just sits on your face and you can’t feel it doing anything, it doesn’t really seem like the intensive treatment you’re after, does it? I can definitely feel this doing something.

18:14: My 10 minutes are nearly up. Does anybody actually leave face masques on for the recommended time?

18:15: I should probably wash this off. But I want it to work. What if it hasn’t worked yet?

18:16: It has hardened up a bit, in fairness. That probably means it’s ready. Maybe just a bit longer though…

18:17: Ok fine. I’m going to wash it off now.

18:20: Oooh. My pores definitely look smaller, and there’s no surface oil on my skin, like there usually is. It feels oil-free and clean, but not parched. I think that’s the crucial distinction of a good face mask for oily skin: if it leaves your face feeling parched, it’s only going to cause a rush of oil to flood in and fill the gap. If your skin feels plump and healthy, smooth, but not dry, you’ve found a good’un.

With all masks, the effects can be a slow-burn and manifest much better after a few uses, rather than just one. However, as I only have a sachet of this stuff, I can only tell you about my short-term experience. Sorry.

Either way, I hope you enjoyed this post! Perhaps you could do your own 10-minute Mask Monday Challenge? Maybe you could accompany it with live tweeting? Who knows.

Oh, do tell me what your favourite face masks are, incidentally. I’m fairly new to the market and would love to hear about your experiences.

Hope you’re all having a lovely week,

Effie xx

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An Actual, Practical, Wishlist.

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It’s official.

I am a grown up.

Thanks to my imminent movement out of the parental nest, the things I am yearning for are actually practical and only a little bit decorative.

Oh dear.

Clockwise from Top Left:

A Toolkit:

As I’m renting a new flat, I’m going to need my own tools. Unfortunately, it’s a little-known fact that you can’t assemble Ikea furniture with the help of just a cup of tea and a handful of swear words. You have to, you know, actually have stuff. Like a hammer. And screwdrivers. And instructions.

Dad has suggested this ‘Challenge Xtreme 50-Piece Toolkit’, which comes from Argos and costs £24.99. I enjoy the hypermasculine name of this product, as well as the fetching yellow accent colour. It reminds you, rather like a bumblebee’s black and yellow stripes, that while your shelving unit may look cute, it could also present unknown dangers.

Muji Acrylic Storage Box: 

When I was unpacking my stuff, I neglected to leave space for my makeup collection, and instead filled all of my drawers with knickers and jim jams. This was an error.

I have since decided that tabletop makeup storage might just be the way to go, and the online beauty community has unanimously pointed towards Muji’s stackable acrylic options. This set costs £10.95 and includes two of the ‘wide’ drawers, so I’m hoping to buy two sets and stick them together on top of my chest of drawers. PLAN.

A Dyson:

I don’t actually need one of these at the moment, because the floors in the flat are laminate, instead of carpet-covered. This means that my dust allergies won’t act up and that I probably won’t need a very expensive vacuum cleaner. But one day, guys. One day. What’s on your long-term wishlist?

Ikea EXPEDIT Shelving Unit:

I fell in love with Expedit on this week’s trip to Ikea with my Mum. Unfortunately, by the time we got down to the store-room, this unit was out of stock in white, so I wasn’t able to get it. It looks like a very fetching way to store my Harry Potter books though, so I am hoping to have it delivered. If that’s successful, I can finally show you everything else I bought in Ikea!

Would you like to see a massive haul of modestly-priced Scandinavian household items, or do you prefer the beauty posts? Let me know in the comments!

Virgin Media Essential Collection:

There are few things more satisfying than the gentle chirrup of the Tivo television operating system. Miranda Hobbes had it, my boyfriend has it, and now I want it. As part of an internet, home phone, and tv package, ideally.

One of the main attractions of a nice TV recorder box is the ability to store programmes. Now, I can watch trash telly like Made in Chelsea without having to stay up late and subsequently miss all the dialogue because my family is complaining. I can watch it at my own convenience. Ah, bliss.

?!:

Mum calls it a swiffer. Others call it a mop. Except it’s not a mop, and I don’t know what a swiffer is.

It looks a bit like a broom, but you attach floor-cleaning wipes to it, and then smoothly pick up all the dust from your tiles and laminate flooring. I need one, but am not sure what they’re called. Do help, if you can. I’d be most grateful.

The End:

Sometimes it’s hard to find that delicate balance between ‘well-prepared’ and ‘massive hoarder.’ Obviously, in this corner of the internet, we’re all equipped for every beauty eventuality, but what about home maintenance? What about storage?

If you’ve moved into your own flat, I’d be interested to know about the practical things that you like to keep handy. What were the first things you bought when you moved out?

Let me know!

Effie xx

MIA: Madness, Including Apologies

Effie at Old Trafford

I really hope it’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, because I have been shamefully MIA from WordPress over the last week-and-a-bit.

I still have a big pile of beautiful American products to review for you, a huge Ikea haul to gleefully post about, and a handful of other tidbits to send your way, so it’s not as if I’ve dried up inspiration-wise. In actuality, I’ve been so busy travelling to Manchester, finding a flat, entertaining my lunatic grandmother, seeing my extended family, moving my stuff into said flat, and panicking about organising internet, insurance, and utilities that I’ve had almost no time to talk to you all. And that, blogging chums, is sad.

Oh, did I mention that Dad and I are going to be on a BBC2 quiz show?

With so much going on at the moment, I’ve also spent very few hours worrying about the reason for which I am moving to Manchester: the fact that I’m starting a new job.

This, in itself, is rather concerning. I should fall into a shivering lump on the floor every time I contemplate all the hard work I’m going to have to do to prove that my employers made the right choice. Instead, I just put the kettle on and worry about things that are happening in the next 3 days, rather than next week. A blessing or a curse? Hmm.

Either way, I’ve just written this post to provide a little life update for you all, and to promise that there WILL be many more blog posts to come!

Well, as soon as I get internet in my new flat. That might take a couple of weeks…

Argh.

US/UK Swap Day VII: Wet n’ Wild Fergie Shimmer Palette

wet n wild wrapped

I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure what this product is actually called. It appears to be a thing of many names. It is sold by Wet n’ Wild, is part of their Fergie ‘Center Stage’ Collection, has ‘To Reflect’ and ‘Shimmer Palette’ written on the back, and mine is in the shade ‘A045 Rosé Champagne Glow’.

WetnWildFergieCenterStageToReflectShimmerPaletteinA045RoséChampagneGlow.

That confusion aside, it’s pretty cool. Fergalicious, in fact. While we’re on that, please press ‘play’ on the Youtube video below:

Hurrah! Now we have a soundtrack!

This product appears to be a highlighter palette, sort of in the vain of Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick and other powder compact highlighters. I was really happy to open a highlighter when Brittany The Beauty Deputy and I exchanged boxes, mostly because, for the life of me, I could not find a decent one on the Great British high street.

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Highlighters are a tricky beast to manage, but the general consensus is that in order to get that natural sheen, you should choose a highlighter which doesn’t contain too much glitter. Glitter on your cheeks is more “I am twelve and just bought my first Argos beauty kit” than “I am an adult and I absolutely rolled out of bed looking this sexy and glowy. Truth.” Unfortunately, this simple rule has proven very difficult to stick to in my hunts for a decent drugstore highlighter. Almost all of them seem to contain massive bloody sparkles. I want sheen. Not sparkles. Is this so much to ask?

Not in America, apparently! Brittany managed to find a gorgeous powder highlighter, from a drugstore brand, which is sparkle-free!

What Brittany said:

“Wet n Wild is a very popular drugstore brand in the US. It is very affordable and has a lot of nice products.”

What Wet n Wild say:

“Perfectly-coordinated shimmering trios in a beautiful pearl finish. Each palette provides an instant bronze or a slight hint of color for a glowing complexion. The baked technology delivers high pearl and high pigment payoff, and can be worn wet or dry.”

Pop Puns On the Packaging:

“Have your glowing complexion reflect the rock star within! Big girls don’t shy away from a little sparkle!”

Wet n Wild Shimmer photo

Light dusting of the powder on my cheekbones (well, I don’t really have any, but you get my drift) and brow bones. I’m also wearing a Wet n’ Wild blush and lipstick which Brittany sent me in our swap!

What I Thought & Swatch: 

When I first opened this, I found it quite difficult to get the product to show up on my face, as the brush I was using was quite soft and couldn’t penetrate the top, impacted layer of powder. That’s not unusual though – generally speaking, with most powders you have to give them a bit of a rub to loosen the product before you try to apply it.

Once I’d got past that stage, I was able to dust the powder lightly over my “cheekbones” and brow bones. It’s a subtle glow, so I may have overdone it in the above photo, but I like it all the same. I used my finger for the swatch below, to try and make it as visible as possible!

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I hope you can see where I’ve applied the product. If you’re on a laptop, tilt the screen back and you might be able to see it a bit better. Being a highlighter, it’s pretty subtle, even though I haven’t blended it in!

I was interested to see that you can also apply this product wet. I had a go at that today with a wet brush – the product was much more visible on my face and blended out beautifully. New method!

All in all, I’m pretty chuffed with this product. It lasted all day, blended nicely, and isn’t too glittery. There’s not much more you can ask for from a highlighter! Thank you Brittany!

 

UK/US Swap Day VI: Wet n’ Wild Silk Finish Lipstick

 

Wet n Wild Lipstick 1

Another lip product from our transatlantic swap lights up my corner of the internet today, and this time it’s from a rather less niche brand called Wet n’ Wild.

According to Brittany’s accompanying note, the brand is hugely popular in the US, is “very affordable and has a lot of nice products.” She sent me a couple of things from WetnWild, which I’ll be reviewing in the next few weeks, but today’s product is the Silk Finish Lipstick, in the shade ‘547B Breeze’.

My initial reaction to this lipstick was mixed. You can tell that it’s a drugstore product because it has that sort of playdough-y smell, but it’s not unpleasant. The product itself is soft and creamy and it goes on very smoothly, perhaps thanks to the Aloe Vera and Vitamins A & E with which Wet n’ Wild have enriched it.

Wet n Wild Lipstick 2

The colour, as you can see from the swatch above, is more shimmery than pigmented, which was kind of what I was expecting. It’s a very flattering beige/nude in tone, and the glittery sheen makes it the perfect substitute for a gloss if you don’t like the stickiness or texture of those kinds of products.

Unfortunately this product was only able to stay on my lips for a couple of hours when I wore it to work this week. However, I think that says more about my compulsive tea-drinking habit than the lipstick. Tea: tastes fabulous, ruins lipstick.

Either way, this is definitely the sort of thing that I would have picked up when I was first getting into make up, as it suits everybody, is light and pretty, and really accessible in terms of both price and colour. A cheerful little gift from The Beauty Deputy!