December 2017 | Alexis Adrienne

27.12.17

OH, SHEET: My Beauty Diary Rose Moisturising Essence Mask Review

My Beauty Diary Rose Moisturising Mask Packaging Review
Hey, babes!

I'm definitely on a bit of a sheet mask review roll these few weeks, but there are just so many amazing sheetmasks to review here in Taiwan! Today, I’ve got a mask from one of the very first Taiwanese brands I’ve tried, My Beauty Diary. I was super excited to see all the different kinds of MBD masks available here, and the best thing is you don’t even have to go to a pharmacy - you can pick them up right at 7/11! How neat is that! I grabbed the Rose and Witch Hazel flavours from Tomod’s in a two for one deal.

The Rose Moisturising Essence Mask comes in a box of 7 masks. This version of the mask is part of the Flower series of masks, and is slightly different to the range that was imported to NZ, which I’m guessing is the normal range of masks.
My Beauty Diary Rose Moisturising Mask Ingredients Review
Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Rosa Gallica Flower Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Centella Asiatica Extract, Sorbitol, Chlorphenesin, Triethanolamine, Polygonum Cuspidatum (Japanese Knotweed) Root Extract, Polysorbate 20, Arnica Montana Flower Extract,  Ginkgo Biloba leaf Extract, Fragrance (Parfum), Sericin, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Sodium Lactate, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Polyglutamic Acid, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Sodium PCA, Codium Tomentosum Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Magnesium Gluconate, Adansonia Digitata Pulp Extract, Algae Extract, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Cichorium Intybus (Chicory) Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, Maltose, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Sodium Hydroxide, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Oil, Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil, Glycosphingolipids, Tocopheryl Acetate

There’s a lot going on in this ingredients list, and aside from the usual fantastic-for-skin ingredients like Witch Hazel, Licorice Root, and Centella, I’ve seen a few new ones that I wanted to do a bit more research on. I’ve never heard of Japanese Knotweed before, but it’s apparently a potent source of resveratrol, the same antioxidant present in red wine/grape skins. Serecin is a protein that is produced by silkworms when they weave their silken cocoons, and helps with elasticity and anti-aging. Polyglutamic acid is a seriously heavy-hitting ingredient, with benefits such as not only intensely moisturising skin, but increasing skin’s hyaluronic acid levels and natural moisturising factors. It’s also effective at brightening skin. Hopefully, all these ingredients meet their claims!

The mask itself has a sweet, rosy scent that fades fairly quickly. It’s soaked with clear essence - I find there is ALWAYS leftover essence in the packet with MBD masks, and this was no exception. I like to use this extra essence to pat into the mask about 10 minutes into wearing it, I feel like it replenishes and freshens the mask a little bit. I know a lot of people like to rub the extra essence into their neck/decolletage, but I’m almost always dressed by the time I put a facemask on and I don’t want to get essence all over my shirt.
My Beauty Diary Rose Moisturising Mask Fabric Review
The mask itself almost seems too wide when you unfold it out of the packet, but it fits my face pretty well, except for being a bit short on the jawline. I do find the eyeholes a tiny bit small, and the whole mask does slip a tiny bit when you first put it on because it’s just so saturated with essence, so I recommend placing it a bit higher than normal at first so it can slide down to a comfortable spot.
I find that this mask does exactly what it says it will, and does it well. I wore this mask for about 40 minutes (which was when it just began to dry up) and my skin was beautifully moisturised and soothed. It minimised my pores by hydrating my skin so much. The remaining essence was the tiniest bit sticky, but I had no issues patting it in and continuing with the rest of my routine. I’m super impressed with this mask and I recommend it to anyone looking for a solid, hydrating mask.

This gets a 5/5 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 My Beauty Diary online

where to buy My Beauty Diary in-store
Watson's (Asia) | SaSa (Asia) | 7/11 (Taiwan) | Tomod's (Taiwan) | KS Cosmetic (New Zealand)


purchased / contains affiliate links*

18.12.17

OH, SHEET: Dr. Morita 森田藥粧 Hyaluronic Acid & Sake Yeast Essence Moisturizing Facial Mask Review

Hey, babes!

Today, I have my first face mask from Dr. Morita to review. Dr. Morita is another very well known Taiwanese skincare brand with extremely popular products throughout Asia. I picked up a box of the Hyaluronic Acid & Sake Yeast Essence Moisturizing Facial Mask at Watson’s for TWD 299. It comes in boxes of 8. I haven’t seen very many boxes of 10, even My Beauty Diary boxes only contain 8 masks. I wonder if this is a new trend?

I’ve never tried Dr. Morita before and I hadn’t read many reviews, so I tried this without really knowing what to expect (other than hopefully glowing skin afterwards!)
Checking out the ingredients list, there’s a lot of good stuff packed into this mask:

Water/Aqua, Dipropylene Glycol, Sodium PCA, PPG-28-Buleth-35, Niacinamide, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polyglycerin-3, Diglycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Glycosyl Trehalose, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum Panthenol, Sodium Carbomer, Acrylates/Vinyl Isodecanoate Crosspolymer, Squalane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Butylene Glycol, Fragrance, Sodium Hyaluronate, Oryza Sativa(Rice)Lees Extract, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Algae Extract, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.

I actually completely missed that there was squalane in this, so I’m happy to have tried my first squalane product (albeit unwittingly). It actually took me a little while to figure out that the ingredient described as Sativa (Rice) Lees Extract was the Sake Extract. I had to do a bit of research on what “lees” are, and apparently, it is the residual deposits of yeasts left behind after the fermentation of wine. Sake lees are specifically known as “sakekasu/sake-kasu” in Japan, and there’s a lot of info out there on the benefits of sakekasu consumption as well as its use on skin (SK-II Pitera, anyone?). It’s apparently possible to source your own sakekasu (it comes in solid bricks) and make your own masks out of it, but I much prefer the convenience of the Dr. Morita sheetmasks!

I’m glad to see one of my skincare favourites, niacinamide right at the top (if you’ve followed me for a while then you KNOW I’m obsessed with this stuff!). Here is a good rundown of why I think niacinamide is such a star ingredient. This is a very fuss-free, straightforward ingredients list IMO, and I’m excited to see what it can do for my face. My only issue is that methylparaben seems to be pretty high on the list - I prefer my preservatives to be a bit lower on the list, probably about where citric acid is. However, I’m not a cosmetic chemist and I don’t know much about ingredients lists other than that they are listed from greatest percentage to lowest percentage.

The mask had a pleasant, mild smell - not fermented or alcoholic at all. The fit wasn’t the best, but it adhered well to my face for the 30 minutes that I wore it for. The essence was clear, and there was a bit of excess in the packet - just enough to pat on top of the mask to make the most of the essence. I actually don't know how to tell what kind of material this mask is - I think it's just a thin, fibre mask? I had no issues with the mask being too thick, but I had some issues with it around my nose bridge (as usual though).
So the results of the mask? I freaking loved it. My skin was soothed and moisturised, and best of all, the mask had reduced the appearance of the pores beside my nose. Where did they go, and can they stay there?! The pore-minimizing effect lasted about an hour or so after removing the mask, but I’m still so pleased it can actually do something about them. I also found that the essence was not sticky to pat in after using the mask.
Overall, I really really enjoyed this mask and can’t wait to try more from Dr. Morita! This mask gets a 5/5 from me.

I hope this review is helpful to you! Have you heard of Dr. Morita before?

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 Dr. Morita online

where to buy Dr. Morita in-store
Watson's (Asia) | SaSa (Asia)

purchased / contains affiliate links*

12.12.17

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*

10.12.17

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)


1.12.17

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 

Latest Instagrams

© Alexis Adrienne. Design by FCD.