Here’s What Happened When I Used A Korean Face Mask For 7 Days

If I had to choose between skincare and makeup, I’d definitely choose skincare. But no matter how diligent I was with my cleanse-tone-moisturize routine, it wasn’t enough. After traveling to colder climates every few months, my skin hit its limit.

Here's what my skin looks like before the challenge. Dry, red in some areas, and tight!

Here’s what my skin looks like before the challenge. Dry, red in some areas, and tight!

When I got back from Japan last March, my skin was at its worst. It was dry, flakey, and rough—and I didn’t know how to deal. No matter how much I moisturized or exfoliated, nothing was working. So when Watsons asked me to do a 7-Day Korean Face Mask Challenge, I was in because I definitely needed to up my hydration game.

Watsons sent over a bunch of masks and I tried the 23 Years Old Cocoon Willow Silky Mask.

Watsons sent over a bunch of masks and I tried the 23 Years Old Cocoon Willow Silky Mask.

Can you see the little gadget beside the mask? That’s the MiLi Pure device. It hooks up to your iPhone via bluetooth and can check your skin’s moisture level. This way, we can check if the mask I’ll be using for 7 days really works. (Yes, I’m really that O.C. when it comes to skincare.)

This is the first time I'm trying a face mask that covers my lips!

This is the first time I’m trying a face mask that covers my lips! Btw, you guys should follow me on IG via @beautyandsparkl for more behind-the-scenes beauty action!

The mask felt weird and it felt a bit uncomfortable since my lips were covered for about 20 minutes, but despite that, it was very high in quality and very refreshing. It was thicker in texture and soaked in moisture-rich serum. I liked that it was especially made for toning dry, dehydrated skin (so it’s exactly what I needed) and that it didn’t make me breakout the entire week (huge win).

Here are the moisture results courtesy of my gadget from MiLi! The left photo is the moisture level of my face on the first day and the right photo is the moisture level of my face on the last day.

Here are the moisture results courtesy of my gadget from MiLi! The left photo is the moisture level of my face without using the mask and the right photo is the moisture level of my face immediately after.

So in case you’re wondering if Korean face masks really work, here’s your evidence! On average, skin’s moisture level would jump by almost 5 to 7% immediately after using the mask. I really enjoyed using a mask every night for a week since it saved me a lot of time and effort (in my head at least). I just had to slap on the mask—no need to tone or put a separate eye cream. I would just wait 20 minutes, massage it into my skin after, and tissue-off any excess serum on my skin. It became a ritual that I really looked forward to!

And here's a photo of what my skin looked like after the 7-Day Watsons Korean Face Mask Challenge. What do you think?

And here’s a photo of what my skin looked like after the 7-Day Watsons Korean Face Mask Challenge. What do you think?

I still need to work on getting the glow back at this point, but I was super happy that my skin was on its way to recovery. The redness was practically gone, it was feeling a lot smoother, and I could feel the elasticity begin to return. Yay!

But if you truly want to appreciate the before and after shots, take a look at these photos… Continue reading

Review: EMK Beverly Hills Skincare

Have you heard of this brand? I remember seeing it on social media, but I didn’t really pay much attention to it…until I got an email from local actress, Carla Abellana. After glancing through the info she sent me about the products and seeing that Reese Witherspoon also uses the line, I caved and decided to give it a try!

The first thing I tried: the EMK Bloom Toner.

Carla sent me a customized kit to help balance my skin. I was super excited when I saw that it included the EMK Bloom Toner (US$44, 200ml).

I rarely get to test toners, so I was curious to see if using one would really make a difference on my skin. Honestly, though? I think I’m still in denial about the fact that I really need to use one (probably because toners from my generation were spiked with alcohol). But let me tell you—it’s good to add one to your routine because toners nowadays are usually filled with essences and help your skin absorb your creams better.  Continue reading

A Hair Cut Before Chinese New Year Can Bring Good Luck!

A friend of my mentioned this little superstition to me, so I thought it would be a good time to post about my mini makeover with celebrity hairstylist, Jing Monis.

The obligatory before shot!

The obligatory before shot!

At this point, it had been about 7 months since my last hair cut and over a year since my last hair color. OMG, I was ready (but nervous!) for the change.

The regrowth (and my white hair!) is no joke, guys.

The regrowth (and my white hair!) is no joke, guys. Look how black my hair really is!

I usually have a peg for Jing to follow, but this time around, I just let him do his thing. I just told him that I wanted a cut that fell above my shoulders, color that can help camouflage my greys, and highlights that’ll add more depth to my strands.

Mixing, mixing! Let the coloring process begin!

Mixing, mixing! Let the coloring process begin!

Since I don’t like having my hair color retouched too often, Jing gave me a chestnut brown base so the re-growth won’t be too obvious and opted to use a tone down-slash-balayage technique for my highlights.

The waiting game! The whole cut-and-color process took about 4 hours.

The waiting game! The whole cut-and-color process took about 4 hours (I also had a treatment to help reverse some of the chemical damage).

After they were rinsed my hair, I noticed that my highlights were really light. I asked why and they said it was because they used the toning down process to lighten my hair color. Hmm…I think for next time, I will opt the usual foil and balayage painting technique though. I feel like that technique blends more naturally with my strands, but if you’re going for a more blonde effect, then the toning down process will probably be better for you.  Continue reading

Sunday Sparkle

Have you guys seen La La Land? I wouldn’t exactly call it my favorite movie (I prefer happy endings), but the story’s so good that I can’t stop thinking about it! Disclaimer: If you don’t want spoilers, stop reading!

 
The whole Sebastian/Ryan Gosling and Mia/Emma Stone romance is what keeps the story nice and juicy, but if you look deeper, I’d say the plot is really more about the triumphs and failures that come with following your passion. What I found interesting is how the lead characters approached what they’re passionate about. Sebastian had the confidence and ego of a “serious” musician—and he refused to compromise without a fight. Why? Probably because he knows his art, he’s excellent at what he does, and he knows it. As for Mia, she flounders. She visibly struggles with the highs, lows, and insecurities that come with being an aspiring actress.

 
So the big question I want to ask you is this: Which character do you find more admirable? Is it the guy who’s unapologetically great at what he does and doesn’t compromise his art? Or the girl who chooses to lay her heart on the line with each audition? For me, it’s Mia’s continuous vulnerability that impressed me. I may not be an aspiring actress, but I know what it feels like to keep putting yourself out there over and over again. Like her, I’ve been hurt, rejected, and have wondered if I’m good enough. Like her, there were times when I would have to give up on something (or someone). And like her, despite the many heartbreaks, I still continue to hope. In myself. In someone else. In just winning at life. Continue reading

Sparkle TV: Non-Touring With Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Foundation & Concealer

Have you heard of this trend yet? Non-touring is a more natural and subtle way to sculpt your face (because apparently, people are sooo over contouring now). Basically, it’s like a no makeup look that’s spiked with some major highlighting. Here’s my take on it:

 
I super love this trend, and apparently, it’s a fave look of Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid! I really like how it adds more dimension to my face in photos and that it’s pretty glam without being too cray, you know? If you like this look and what to see more tutorials or reviews, show me some love by leaving me a thumbs-up and clicking here to subscribe! ♥

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