Kiss Me Organics Matcha and DIY Matcha Mask

I love all things matcha, as this powdered tea is yummy and not to mention healthy, whether you eat it or use it in skincare.  Because it contains the entire tea leaf, matcha is said to have more nutrients and benefits than brewed green tea.  Kiss Me Organics Culinary Grade Organic Matcha is made from tea leaves harvested on a certified organic farm located in Shizuoka, Japan.

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Matcha is a potent ingredient, and this 4 oz (113 g) bag is huge considering how little you’ll need to use most of the time.  It is in a resealable airtight and waterproof bag, which is fine for keeping the powder safe, but I would prefer a jar for convenience.

Green tea is an anti-oxidant and helps with inflammation.  It has also been shown to decrease sebum production and thus help prevent acne.  This simple mask is my go-to when I’m suffering from breakouts and really needing to detox.  Plus, it smells AMAZING!   Like a mud mask, rinse off when it dries and hardens.

DIY MATCHA MASK

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon matcha powder

1 tablespoon plain yogurt

1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Mix and apply.  That it’s!  Culinary grade (as opposed to the more expensive ceremonial grade) matcha will be fine for this mask.  Yogurt taken straight out of the fridge makes this mask oh-so-cooling.  If you don’t have yogurt on hand,  you can also substitute in 1 teaspoon water, although I prefer the consistency of the yogurt.  If you have dry skin, you can add honey.

DIY Pumpkin Pie Mask

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the US (and yes, as a Canadian I do think that Thanksgiving’s proper place is in October, but hey! When in Rome…), and to me that means pumpkin pie.  I looove pumpkin pie – in fact, it may be my favourite kind of pie – and a warm slice is the best part of Thanksgiving dinner.  I like to bake, so sometimes I make my own pie, and for pumpkin I make it with honey or maple syrup instead of sugar, and lots of cinnamon.  The awesome thing about pumpkin is that it’s not only yummy in your tummy, but good for a skin soak too – so here’s a DIY mask recipe inspired by pumpkin pie.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground

Combine all ingredients and apply generously to your face.  Leave on for 5-15 minutes.

Pumpkin is choke full of vitamins A and C and also has an enzyme that helps to slough dry skin.  Honey is an moisturizing antioxidant, milk’s lactic acid will help exfoliate, and cinnamon is a natural inflammation fighter that will work wonders on your breakouts.  If you have sensitive skin, go without the cinnamon.

Unboxing From Jeju Special Memebox #46

Jeju sounds like an amazing vacation escape, especially during the dreary winter – but if I can’t go there, this Memebox is the next best thing! Jeju themed spa day at home, woohoo!

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SKINDECO VOLCANIC PORE CLAY SPARKLING HEATING MASK

Product Description: Melt away all oil, dirt, and sebum and tighten up enlarged pores with the Volcanic Pore Clay Sparkling Heating Mask. The high concentrate of volcanic clay, sparkling mineral water, and plankton from Jeju Island work to deeply cleanse, soothe, and firm up the skin.

How to Use: Spread the mask evenly over clean face. Rinse off after 15 minutes.

Oh boy, this mask looks like chocolate ice cream!! But don’t let its sweet appearance deceive you, it’s potent.  You can really feel the volcanic ‘heat’ when you first apply.

THEYEON JEJU HALLABONG ADE ENERGY PEELING TONER

Product Description: The Yeon Jeju Hallabong skincare series boosts its richly moisturizing and nourishing formula blend with organic hallabong (a sweet orange representative of and cultivated only in Jeju island), kiwi, and broccoli. The Hallabong Ade Energy Peeling Toner is enriched with papaya extracts and black willow extracts which help relieve skin of excess dead skin cells, leaving skin silky smooth and rejuvenated.

How to Use: Wet a cotton pad with toner and gently wipe away from inner towards outer contours.

Mmmmmh this toner smells so yummy!  I’m not a huge fan of fruit-scented products, so this probably won’t become a regular in my routine, but it’s a really nice pick me up.

SKINCURE SANDAWHA NATURAL MILD CLEANSING OIL

Product Description: Gently yet effectively cleanse away all dirt, oil, makeup residues, and skin impurities with a cleansing oil infused with 100% Jeju camellia oil. It’s extremely gentle and leaves skin highly moist and supple.

How to Use: Pump out 2-3 times onto dry hands adn softly massage over face. Rinse off with lukewarm water.

I love me some cleansing oil, though this 30mL bottle is strangely tiny for a full size product.

SECRET  NATURE FROM JEJU SERUM

Product Description: Enriched with Jeju complex-organic broccoli, carrot, aloe, and asparagus extracts- Secret Nature From Jeju Serum delivers rich nutrition and instant moisture surge deep down into skin. It’s free of paraben, artificial coloring, benzophenon, talc, TEA, and artificial fragrance.

How to use: Apply directly on the skin and pat it in for full absorbance.

This is my favourite product of the bunch!  I love the faux wood cap and the glass bottle.  The serum feels soothing on the skin, and is here at the perfect time too, as my current serum is running low.

ETUDE HOUSE CLEAR & MOIST GREEN TEA BLENDING SLEEPING CREAM

Product Description: A one-time sleeping cream packed with abundant nutrients from green tea cultivated in the Jeju island. It’s highly effective in soothing and moisturizing skin at the end of a stressful day.

How to use: Take out spoon from its package and separate the handle part of the spoon by breaking it apart. Use it as a spatula to scoop up the pack and spread it evenly over clean face. Rinse off with lukewarm water the nest morning. Make sure to apply the pack at the very end of your skincare routine as an overnight treatment.

Super cute! I love the concept, although I haven’t gotten around to using it yet because it’s one-time only, and I’m saving it for a special occasion.

ETUDE HOUSE SOOTHING & CLEAN GREEN TEA MASK PACK

Product Description: Relive, hydrate, and brighten skin with extracts from young green tea leaves, widely acknowledged for their soothing and moisturizing effects. More than anything they’re gentle to skin and can be used by all skin types.

How to use: Unfold and spread sheet mask over face. Remove after 15-20 minutes and gently pat to fully absorb remaining essence. Use 2~3 times per week.

This green tea mask is much better than the one from The Face Shop, although I wouldn’t choose it over a My Beauty Diary mask.  If I were in the mood for a green tea mask, I’d rather put on my homemade match mask.

THEYEON JEJU CANOLA HONEY SILKY HAND CREAM

Product Description: Replenish and nourish dry, roughened hands with honey-scented Jeju Canola Honey Silky Hand Cream. It’ll make your hands silky soft and help maintain a well-balanced moisture level.

How to use: Apply directly to hands as often as needed.

I haven’t used this yet, but I like the slim tube and the shiny gold text.  It’s a great size to throw in your purse!

Unfortunately, this From Jeju box is already sold out by now, but Memebox is always adding new and exciting boxes!  Right now I have my eye on Hair Salon box, hmm…

Click here to get a discount on your very own Memebox!

Use promo code BA26AM to get $5 off any $30 purchase in November.  Plus, when you click through to the link, you automatically get $5 off $100, or $10 off $150 at checkout.

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The Face Shop Haul

Have you guys heard of the Korean skin and beauty company, The Face Shop?  In many parts of Asia, they’re a popular brand, and I’ve even heard them referred to as “the Starbucks of makeup.”  I’ve picked up some of their products here and there a few years ago when I was in Taiwan, and today I stopped by their New York city Chinatown location.

Colorful masks from The Face Shop! I'm guessing they are somewhat color grouped to indicate what skin type they are for (since the store also sells them in bundles, e.g. all the green masks together with a recommendation for oily skin).
Colorful masks from The Face Shop! I’m guessing they are somewhat color grouped to indicate what skin type they are for (since the store also sells them in bundles, e.g. all the green masks together with a recommendation for oily skin).

The Face Shop’s Chinatown location on Elizabeth Street is a little bit bigger than the Koreatown location on 32nd Street, and from my personal experience, the sales ladies tend to be a bit friendlier too.  Today I picked up 11 sheet style face masks (cashing in on their buy 10 get 1 free deal of course!).  Each has a unique star ingredient that targets different skin concerns.  The one I’m going to try right away is the mung bean mask (also known as green bean) because lately I have been benefitting from the great detoxifying properties from eating mung beans, and I want to let them work their magic from both inside and out.

Have you tried The Face Shop’s sheet masks?  What are some of your favorite The Face Shop products?  Let me know!

UPDATE: I was browsing The Face Shop’s website and found this interactive guide to their face masks based on your skin needs. Click Mask Sheet Chart to check it out!

Boscia Cool Blue Calming Mask and Bright White Mask

Ugh, summer weather.  Not only does it make me feel like a sticky monster whose only superpower is to produce buckets of sweat, it also causes my skin to go crazy.  My cheeks and nose get really red, and breakouts not only increase in number but stray beyond their usual T-zone territory.  What’s a girl to do?

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The mask set on my dresser.

My answer is to lather myself in masks.  I love every kind of mask, but I especially love peel off masks – if because of nothing else but the satisfaction of peeling it away at the end.  Peel off masks hug closer to your skin which gives the product an increased ability to do its magic. Plus, it saves you the pain of having to wash or tissue off a particularly stubborn product (clay masks anyone?  They feel great, but what a chore).

I’ve heard a lot of great things about Boscia’s masks, but have been a little put off by the price tags – at $38 a pop for the Bright White Mask, that’s about twice the cost of a good mask from another brand, like Origins.  I was lucky enough to stumble upon a deal at Sephora, where they were selling the Bright White Mask and the Cool Blue Calming Mask as a set for the price of one.  What a steal!  Boscia says:

Cool Blue Calming Mask: A calming, refreshing peel-off mask that instantly cools, calms inflammation, and hydrates.

Bright White MaskA brightening peel-off mask that helps to visibly even skin tone and diminish the appearance of hyperpigmentation.

After peeling off - you can see how the mask is pearlescent.
After peeling off – you can see how the mask is still slightly pearlescent.

Getting home that night, I used the Cool Blue mask right away.  It has a thick gel consistency and is pearlescent and translucent.  At first, I made the mistake of applying with a brush (I couldn’t resist! The brush feels so nice, it’s like being petted by a bird), but this formula goes on more evenly with fingers.  After application, you will look like a shiny blue monster instead of a sweaty one.  Feel free to invent an accompanying superpower (mine was the ability to turn sunlight into fairy dust).  This mask lives up to it’s name – it’s very cooling.  Of all the masks I’ve used, I think this one has the most intense and long-lasting tingle, which I love.  The tingling is also a great signal, because once it stops to tingle, it’s ready to be taken off.  Away you peel!

If you have trouble getting a grasp on your peel masks, simply rub your finger back and forth on an edge until it loosens up and forms a little roll which you can pull on.   If there are any bits left, simply rinse off.   After removing the Cool Blue mask, my face looked incredibly smooth and illuminated.  I was very very impressed and kept touching my own face.

I used the Bright White mask the next day, and funnily enough, I don’t think the Bright White leaves you quite as bright as the Cool Blue does.  It’s a great mask as well, with a cream consistency (this one you can use a brush with).  Boscia recommends that the white mask be applied generously so that it is opaque without any skin showing through.  The Bright White mask is more hydrating than the Cool Blue, and feels great on the cheeks.  This duo would be ideal for someone with combination skin, like myself, to use together as a multi-mask, with the Cool Blue on the T-zone and the Bright White on the cheeks.

I’m so happy with these masks that I’m really tempted to go out and buy every mask Boscia has.  I’m especially curious about the Luminizing Black mask and the Green Tea Oil-Control mask.  Maybe next time!