MANGO MADNESS: L'Herboflore Mango Reviving Hydromask Review

Hey, babes!

Today, I have my first L’Herboflore mask review for you. I got super excited when I saw the standalone L’Herboflore in the mall inside Taipei Main Station! It was such an amazing little store full of SO MANY L’Herboflore goodies. The SAs there were super helpful and we got by with my broken Chinese. There was literally so much to choose from, it was super easy to get overwhelmed. I stuck to just 5 masks this time, frankly though I regret it - there isn’t a L’Herboflore store in the city I’m in!

There were so many varieties of masks with different fabrics and ingredients, and according to their website, each one has artwork commissioned from Taiwan’s best illustrators - how cool is that? Also according to their website, the Mango Reviving Mask is their top 3 best selling mask! We’ll see if it lives up to the hype.

I asked the SA what she would recommend for pimples, and she pointed out this one. I was kind of surprised that a mango mask would be for acne, but I gave it a shot. There was a strong fake mango smell when I opened the sachet, but that faded fairly quickly when I put the mask on. As you can see from the photo, the mask didn’t have the best fit, but I appreciated the larger eye and mouth holes. Too often have I put on a sheet mask that had tiny, tiny eyeholes and a tiny mouth hole. I think the Lovemore masks literally have a slit for the mouth, which I really don’t like.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients list:

Aqua (Water), Butylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronic Acid, Mannitol, Sodium Citrate, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-15, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Isopropyl Alcohol, Cellulose, Panthenol, Trehalose, Xanthan Gum, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Triethanolamine, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Sulfite, Methylisothiazolinone, lodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Sodium Acetate
There are some really great ingredients for skin such as Aloe, Hyaluronic Acid, and Panthenol. It’s nice to see the key ingredient, Mango Extract, fairly high up the ingredients list. I had to do a bit of poking around to find an academic source, but according to this PubMed article, mango extract is a powerful antioxidant - I’m looking forward to taking advantage of this for my skin!

I wore the mask for about 30 minutes. When I took it off, my skin was definitely soft and hydrated, but not extraordinarily so. The remaining essence was a little bit sticky to pat in, too. All in all, I found this just an average mask. It was nice to use, but nothing extraordinary. I have higher hopes for the other masks I bought, to be honest!

This mask gets a 3/5 from me.

A xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.


where to buy L'Herboflore online



where to buy L'Herboflore in-store

purchased / contain affiliate links*

IN SYNC: Shiseido Synchro Skin Foundation Review

Hey, babes!

I have one of my current favourite foundations to show you today, the Shiseido Synchro Skin foundation. I didn’t really know about this foundation until fairly recently, and I’m so surprised I didn’t know about it before! Synchro Skin is a medium coverage foundation that sets to matte finish, ideal for normal to oily skin types. It also contains natural extracts such as Thyme and St John’s Wort to improve skin condition. For those on the drier side, there is also Synchro Skin Glow.

It comes in a slender, frosted glass bottle which I love - so luxe! It also comes with a pump. Something special I like about the pump is that it’s designed in such a way to avoid the little crusty bits of foundation that might dry and accumulate at the pump tip, which truly makes use of every drop of foundation IMO.
I was matched to Golden 3, which matches me very well in the winter. I think I need to get Golden 4 soon though, as I’m noticing this looks a bit light on me now. One thing that I do think is a drawback of this foundation is the fairly limited number of shades (just thirteen), especially when compared to other counter brands such as MAC and Estee Lauder. The shade range accounts for golden (warm), neutral, and rose (cool) undertones which I think is great, but the overall shade range could be greatly improved.

Synchro Skin blends out easily (I use a sponge), and sets on its own to a truly matte finish. You can decide whether or not to set further with powder - I personally do, as my skin needs all the oil control help it can get. While it is a true medium coverage foundation, I found I didn’t really need extra concealer for blemishes, only for particularly dark acne scars. The texture is pretty runny, but not so runny it will just run off the back of your hand if you use it as a mixing palette like I do ;). I found two pumps was sufficient to cover my face and blend down my neck a bit.

Here's a photo of me wearing it so you can get an idea of the shade and coverage:
I also normally match MAC NC25. A full list of my foundation matches can be found here.

One of the things I love about this foundation is that it does not oxidize! I struggled with finding a non-oxidising foundation on my skin, and I’m so glad this doesn’t. However, it does contain titanium dioxide which WILL cause flashback so this won’t be the best for events with flash photography. When paired with a good primer, setting powder, and setting spray, this foundation lasts me through an 8 hour work day without fading. Oil does come through around the 4-hour mark, which is normal for my skin. I just blot it off and it looks as good as new. While it is long-wearing, it’s not transfer-proof.

Taking a look at the ingredients list, the 'bad' ingredient that jumps out the most is the high amount of alcohol. As someone with oily and relatively resilient skin, I dealt with it fine. If you're sensitive to alcohol or prone to dryness, steer clear.

Dimethicone, Water, Trifluoropropyldimethyl/Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Alcohol Denat., Magnesium Myristate, Nylon-12, Diphenyl Dimethicone/Vinyl Diphenyl Dimethicone/Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyquaternium-51,Thymus Serpillum Extract, Aluminum Hydroxide, Aluminum Distearate, Polysilicone-2,Glycerin, Bht, Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Hypericum Erectum Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Talc, Dimethicone/Peg-10/15 Crosspolymer, Silica, Alumina, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Diisostearyl Malate, Glyceryl Diisostearate, Dipropylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica, Red 27.

I also think this foundation is relatively wallet-friendly in NZ, considering it’s quite a high-end brand - just $69. For comparison, NARS Sheer Glow is $74, Too Faced Born This Way is $62, and Estee Lauder Doublewear is also $69. I’m on the very last dregs of my bottle, and I bought this at the start of June and have basically used it every day since. I’m pretty happy with that tbh!

Overall, Syncro Skin gets a 4.5/5 out of me. I knocked that .5 off for not having the greatest colour range. I just don’t think there is a reason in 2017 not to have a wide range of shades when MAC, Fenty Beauty, MUFE, and Estee Lauder (among other brands) can all easily do so.

What's your favourite foundation? Have you heard of this one?

A xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.

5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy Shiseido online


where to buy Shiseido in-store
Smith & Caughey's (NZ) | Farmer's (NZ) | Sephora (US)


GLOSS OVER IT: Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint & Stretch Concealer Review

Hey, babes!

There isn’t a brand that photographs better for the ‘Gram than Glossier. Minimalist packaging, cool girl vibes, barely-there makeup that took all of a few minutes to do in the morning.

But is the hype real? For someone that lives outside of the US, the sheer fact that a brand doesn’t ship to your country makes it 100x more appealing (and 100x more satisfying when you actually get your hands on it). However, I don’t really get why Glossier doesn’t ship outside of the US & UK in 2017. I do think it’s to create even more desire for Glossier by maintaining a type of exclusivity.
As you saw in my previous review of mymallbox, I grabbed 3 items from the highly coveted brand - the Skin Tint, the Stretch Concealer, and the (then) newly released Cloud Blushes.
Today, I’ll be focusing on the Perfecting Skin Tint & Stretch Concealer. The Perfecting Skin Tint comes in five shades, and my super exteeeensive internet research told me that Medium would work for my skin tone. I also wear MAC Studio Fix in NC25, and Shiseido Synchro Skin in Golden 3 for reference. 

First of all, I do love the packaging - it’s not glass, so nothing that can shatter in a suitcase or on bathroom tiles. I love the ‘G’ on the front and the simplicity of it all. I like that it’s not a typical, cylindrical squeezy tube, and reminiscent of MAC’s Face & Body packaging instead. 
For reference, I have oily, acne-prone skin with a few acne scars and redness. I do prefer foundations with coverage on the medium to full side with a matte finish, for obvious reasons. I have no idea why I bought the Glossier Skin Tint because it literally meets NONE of these requirements - I fell for the hype. It’s very sheer, it literally blends down to nothing on the skin. It also has a very shiny finish (not even gonna sugarcoat it and say it’s dewy) it’s just shiny. I tried to matte this down with a light dusting of Rimmel Stay Matte, which usually doesn’t alter the actual colour of the foundation underneath. Unfortunately, it ended up completely altering the foundation and making me look like I had something way too light and pink… Gross. 

Honestly, I’m so disappointed that I got this when I’m clearly not the right skin type for it. Obviously, that’s no one’s fault but mine, but I can only rate this for how well it performs for me. It’s definitely for someone with dry skin and fewer acne scars than me. I give this a 0/5.
I had a slightly better time with the Stretch Concealer - I also ordered this in medium and found it worked really well to brighten and conceal my under eyes. However, this also didn’t take very well to being set with powder. It creased like no tomorrow, and unfortunately, on my oily skin, I HAVE to set products or else they just melt away. I also found it was unflattering to conceal blemishes on the rest of my face with, it somehow seemed to enhance my pores. This concealer gets a 1/5 from me.

Have you tried any Glossier makeup or skincare?

A x

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

buy Glossier here

purchased 

TIME FOR TEA: Naruko Tea Tree Shine Control & Blemish Serum Review

Hey, babes!

Today I have another Naruko product from the Tea Tree line to show you - the Serum. I actually bought this on one of our first days in Taiwan, and I’ve been using it since. I was first drawn just to the fact that it’s a tea tree product, but I later found out that it also contained niacinamide which is a huge plus!

I picked this up for NTD 499 at Watsons at the same time as I grabbed the masks. Unfortunately, I threw away the packaging so we will have to rely on COSDNA for the ingredients list. Some of the key ingredients for oil control and acne reduction are tea tree, niacinamide, and salicylic acid. I know that last one isn’t on the COSDNA list, but I definitely remember seeing it on the packaging.
The serum comes in a weighty green glass bottle with a pump, which I like. I find that glass makes products seem just that much more luxe, even if they are actually quite affordable. I tend to use 2 pumps on my face in the morning, which I very gently pat on. Despite the serum having a thicker formula, it spreads and sinks in easily. It also has a very nice cooling effect, which I enjoy. The scent is a mix of tea tree and mint - it’s fairly mild, but can linger a little bit. Despite alcohol being fairly high up on the ingredients list, I don’t smell it at all.
Since I’ve started using this, I haven’t had any issues with breakouts (which usually happens when I travel!) and my skin definitely has more brightness and clarity to it. I was also hoping the salicylic acid would help reduce the size of my pores, but sadly that didn’t happen. Oh well! I’ll just have to try the Naruko Job’s Tears Pore Shrinking line ;). My skin is also less oily when I use this, which is great considering it’s routinely 50%+ humidity where I am! The bottle says for all skin types, but I would personally be wary of using this due to the alcohol if I had a dry skin type - so keep that in mind!

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this serum and will continue to use it! 5/5 from me.

What are your favourite serums to use?

A xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy Naruko
Amazon* | eBay*

purchased  / contains affiliate links*

OH, SHEET: Naruko Tea Tree Shine Control & Blemish Clear Mask Review

Hey, babes!

One of the brands that I was most excited to try in Taiwan is Naruko - a cult Taiwanese beauty brand. Founded by Niuer, known in Taiwan as the Beauty King, Naruko was founded in 2008 and immediately became an award-winning beauty brand. From the diverse line-up of Naruko products, today I have the Tea Tree Shine Control & Blemish Clear mask.

My skin is oily and acne-prone, so this is the perfect mask for me. I’ve been wanting to try this for SO long and am so excited to finally have the chance to. I bought this box of 8 masks at Watson’s (local pharmacy chain) for NTD 299, which at today’s rate roughly equals NZD 14.47.

The mask itself isn’t completely drenched in essence, but it isn’t dry either, which makes for a drip-free, not super messy mask experience. The material is thick but pliable, and molded to my face easily. I actually really like the fit of the mask - it holds itself up really well without sliding down my face too. It’s lightly scented, but with not quite an authentic tea tree scent. However, it’s not unpleasant or overpowering. The mask also provides a super pleasant cooling sensation, which is a welcome relief from the tropical heat.
Something that I was surprised to find out was that Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) actually is NOT on the ingredients list! It has a whole heap of other fantastic ingredients such as Witch Hazel Extract, Tranexamic Acid (which is a very exciting new skincare ingredient!), Salicylic Acid, and Sodium Hyalorunate, but Tea Tree is nowhere to be found.

Water, Butylene Glycol, Ethyl Alcohol, Hamamelis Virginiana Extract, Tranexamic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Chlorphesin, 2-Phenoxyethanol, Salicylic Acid, PEG-40 Hydronenated Castor Oil, Serenoa Serrulate Fruit Extract, Lens Esculenta Seed Extract, Enantia Chlorantha Bark Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Piroctone Olamine, Kalanchoe Spathulata Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract, Scutellaria Alpina Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Peucedanum Ostruthium Leaf Extract, Gingko Biloba Extract, Artemisia Umbelliformis Extract, Leontopodium Alpinum Extract, Epilobium Fleischeri Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Fragrance.

I do think it’s odd to market this as a Tea Tree mask if Tea Tree isn’t in the formula - perhaps it’s a small amount under fragrance?

Despite not listing Tea Tree, the effects of this mask are just fantastic. My skin felt hydrated without being tacky, and it reduced the redness on my unwanted lil pimple friends, as well as on my face as a whole. My skin also felt wayyy less oilier, but this isn’t a cure-all for oiliness. I’ve personally accepted that I’m always going to be oily, and I do find that going into reviews with that kind of mindset is more realistic, and leaves me less disappointed in products.

I give this a 5/5 - so far, Naruko has totally been worth the hype.

Have you tried Naruko before?

A x

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy Naruko
Amazon* (box) |  eBay* (individual)

purchased  / contains affiliate links*

NATURAL BEAUTY: Sahasra Beauty Review

Hey babes,

A little while ago I was generously sent 3 products from up and coming brand Sahasra Beauty for my honest review. I received the Glycolic Acid Toner, Multani Mitti Clay Mask, and Natural Jelly. Sahasra Beauty is based out of the United States with a focus on holistic and natural beauty.

I do love the minimalist labelling of the products and the lack of extra packaging, which reduces waste (always a thumbs up in my opinion!). The only thing that I would suggest is instructions for each of the products, suggesting different ways to use it. Some of this information is available on the Sahasra Beauty website, but to be honest I am not going to go online every time I want to figure out how to use a product.

Glycolic Acid Toner
I was excited to try the Glycolic Toner as who doesn’t love Glycolic Acid for giving them clear, glowy and radiant skin? Sahasra Beauty’s toner in particular is made with Sweet Orange Hydrosol, which lends the toner with a very sweet orangey scent. Some people would prefer this to the natural smell of glycolic acid, but I personally found it a little overpowering. I could still smell it on my face after I had progressed to the next steps in my skincare routine, which I got sick of pretty quickly. As I’m on tretinoin, I only used this twice a week to avoid over-exfoliating my skin. I applied this by pouring a small amount into my hands and patting gently all over my face. Using a cotton pad with acids irritates my skin very quickly, so with this method I’m able to benefit from using an acid without over stimulating my skin. I found that my skin was always super smooth the morning after using this, and overall I really enjoyed using it except for the lingering orange smell. 4/5 from me!

Multani Mitti Clay Mask
This is the first kind of mask that I have tried where it comes as a powder, and you choose what liquid to mix it with. Going back to my point before, I wish it came with suggestions on the back of what to mix it with rather than having to google it. I ended up mixing it with a rosewater toner. It was pretty fun to mix up and apply, and oil-spotted as it dried (I love when masks do this, it makes it feel like it’s actually doing something lol). My skin was definitely less oily and very smooth after using this. I didn’t feel any stinging or discomfort while using this, but for about two days after I experienced stinging around my chin mouth area. I can pretty accurately attribute it to this mask, as it was the only new thing I had tried prior to the stinging/irritation. I would not recommend this for those with sensitive skin due to this. 3/5 from me.

Natural Jelly
I really enjoyed using the Natural Jelly as a lip treatment/lip balm! I love that it’s such a generous tub - definitely enough to multipurpose as a cuticle treatment, dry skin treatment, etc. I preferred it as a lip treatment for the tingly, peppermint effect. The only issue I had with it was sometimes it would crystallise a little bit, and I would be left with tiny rough bits to rub into my lips. The tiny bits would melt down fairly quickly, but I would just really like something that is smooth from the get-go. This gets a 4/5 from me!

Overall, I would give these a 3.5/5 due the individual issues I had with these and the lack of instructional packaging.

What new brands have you tried lately?

A xx

ALL NATURAL, BABE: HZP+Co All Day Hydra-Defense Serum Review

Hey, babes!

Today, I’ve got a gorgeous product from up & coming New Zealand brand, HZP+Co. I was generously sent the All Day Hydra-Defense Serum, along with the Calm Me Down Splashwater and Lanolin Hand+Nail Cream (those two will get their review a bit later!).

The All Day Hydra Defense Serum contains patented hydrating ingredients, along with pure NZ spring water and natural extracts. The full ingredients list is actually really short, which I appreciate - read it here:

New Zealand Spring Water, Aquaxyl™, Lecigel™, CityStem™, Horopito Leaf Extract, Kiwifruit Extract, Mamaku Leaf Extract, Kowhai Extract, Natural Parfum (Grasse, France).

I had a wee google of the three patented ingredients, and they’re all basically supercharged hydrators that work to strengthen the skin barrier to keep skin gorgeous and glowy - yes, please!

One of the things that I absolutely adore about this serum is the packaging! The smooth, matte black glass bottle comes inside a fitted sleeve, just adding to the luxury of the experience. The serum comes with a super slick pump (which I love, much less fiddly than droppers!) I did find sometimes the pump would squirt out the serum with a high velocity and kind of splash it everywhere, which I hated because I felt like I was wasting gold!
The serum itself wasn’t runny at all, it had a gel texture which absorbed very easily when patted into the skin. The plant smell wasn’t too strong, but definitely there. It was really familiar as if I had smelled it in another product before?

I find my skin is generally drier at night, so I actually tried to use this in my evening routine. Sadly, I found that it stung my skin after using Tretinoin (not sure why though!) so I stuck to using it in the morning. If I was short on time, I found that mixing in a pump with my morning moisturiser still gave my skin that hydrated glow.

I know I said like three paragraphs before this that I love the luxe, black packaging, but it also comes with a downside: not being able to see how much serum you have left! This is kind of a pet peeve for me, as it’s also hard to tell by the weight due to the glass bottle. I’m the kind of person that has to be able to know how much I’ve got left so I don’t go a day without an essential step in my routine. (Now that I’ve written that out, I feel like I sound crazy but I NEED to know!)

Another thing worth bringing up is the price - $65 is fairly pricey compared to some other hydrating serums on the market. For me, price doesn’t always equal better when it comes to skincare - the mark of a great product for me is actually being able to meet claims and be wallet friendly. This does meet claims, but is it the most wallet-friendly? Not exactly. However, if you have the budget for this you won’t be disappointed. I rate this 4/5.

Have you tried any natural skincare lately?

Lexie xx

rating scale
1 - Terrible: Negative effects on skin.
2 - Mediocre: No change in skin/claims not met.
3 - Average: Performs as expected.
4 - Good: Would repurchase unless I try something better.
5 - Amazing: Meets trifecta of perfect packaging, formula, & cost.

where to buy HZP+Co.
pr sample
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