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

What Are You Wearing To The Beach?

Choosing swimsuits has always been a challenge for me. It’s not just about the fit—it also has to make me feel confident and stylish at the same time.

I got to try designing swimsuits at the @CesaPh event. FYI: For me, high-waist bottoms are always the way to go!

I got to try designing swimsuits at the @CesaPh event. FYI: For me, high-waist bottoms are always the way to go!

But because I’ve been wearing this style for years, I thought I’d switch it up with a cute bikini. Here’s one of my faves from the latest Cesa’s latest summer collection:

Cute, right? It's an off-shoulder bikini, so it won't leave me feeling totally nekkid at the beach.

Cute, right? It’s an off-shoulder bikini, so it won’t leave me feeling totally nekkid at the beach.

Let’s face it, though. I’m a beauty girl, so aside from prepping my outfit, I also prep my skin for the beach. How? By doing a full body scrub in the shower! About 2-3 weeks before the getaway, I scrub at least once or twice a week to keep my skin soft. Not only does this get rid of rough spots and flakes, but it also ensures that I score a more even tan!

Cesa also has summer-friendly sugar scrubs and soap on a rope! My fave is the Coffee Biscuit since the scent wakes me up and it has actual coffee granules (Tyra Banks says this can help reduce cellulite!).

Cesa also has summer-friendly sugar scrubs and soap on a rope! My fave is the Coffee Biscuit Scrub since the scent wakes me up and it has actual coffee granules (Tyra Banks says this can help reduce cellulite!).

How do you prep for beach trips? And which swimsuit styles are you currently digging? Leave a comment and let me know!

Shopping Directory
Cesa Click here to visit their website or follow them on Instagram via @cesaph.

Let’s Hang Out On Friday!

I know I’ve been MIA lately. Can I make it up to you?

Join me on Friday, March 10, at Rustan's Shangrila for the L'Occitane Reign Blanche Skincare Workshop!

Join me on Friday, March 10, at Rustan’s Shangrila for the L’Occitane Reine Blanche Skincare Workshop!

They gave me a plus one, so I get to take one of my lucky readers with me! Basically, we’ll just geek out over the products and learn lots of fresh techniques on how to keep our skin bright and glowing. Plus, you can grill me about more beauty tips if you want! Hehe!

Shopping at the L'Occitane store at BGC Central!

Shopping at the L’Occitane store at BGC Central! This was the first time I actually got to try the Reine Blanche line back in 2015 (read more about my faves from this French brand here and here). 

If you want to join, just leave a comment on my Instagram page (click here!). I’ll be announcing the winner on Thursday morning, so make sure you join ASAP! ♥

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

Skincare Options For Your Specific Skin Concerns

Okay, you guys. I have been trying some major skincare products recently and I thought I’d put them all together in one post. I categorized everything according to skin concerns, so it’ll be easier for you to sort through the products based on your current skin need. You ready? Let’s do this!

1. If You Want…Matte Skin
Practically every Pinay I talk to complains about the fact that her skin looks shiny or oily. If you want to control your grease production (or at least curb it while you’re wearing makeup), these goodies from Benefit can help.

That's the Benefit Porefessional Matte Rescue Gel, License To Blot, and Instant Wipeout Masks set.

That’s the Benefit Porefessional Matte Rescue Gel, License To Blot, and Instant Wipeout Masks set.

The Skin Lowdown: The mask is fun to use (watch how here) and it’s a great way to cleanse your pores of unwanted dirt and oil. As for the water-based mattifying gel, I like applying this on my T-zone when I don’t want to wear makeup and just want to look fresh all day sans retouching. Meanwhile, the License to Blot stick is fantastic for touch-ups. It has invisible blotting spheres that zaps shine for up to six hours and the stick is shaped like a diamond, so you can get apply it over the corners of your face easily.

2. If You Want…Smaller Pores
The reason your pores look big is because there’s dirt and oil trapped in there. This means that you need something that’s gonna get in there and do some deep cleaning!

Check out the Algenist Multi-Perfecting Pore Corrector Concentrate if you want tighter pores.

Check out the Algenist Multi-Perfecting Pore Corrector Concentrate if you want tighter pores.

The Skin Lowdown: It has alguronic acid (so it has anti-aging benefits) combined with salicylic acid (to exfoliate and cleanse pores). I usually apply a moisturizer after I use this because it’s not super hydrating, but this lightweight, oil-free serum did help refine and brighten my skin. Full disclosure: my pores aren’t too huge to begin with, so I didn’t see much of a difference. But research results showed that 90% of the 100 women they tested noticed that their pore size minimized within four weeks of use.

3. If You Want To…Control Oil Production.

I started taking new vitamins recently and it made my face (and scalp!) super oily. It was weird, because my skin would feel grimy even after I washed my face. So I added these goodies from Bioderma into my routine to help balance my complexion again.

From left to right, that's the Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner, Sébium Akn Smoothing Purifying Care, and the Sébium H20 Purifying Cléansing Micelle Solution.

From left to right, that’s the Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner, Sébium Akn Smoothing Purifying Care, and the Sébium H20 Purifying Cléansing Micelle Solution.

The Skin Lowdown: I wanted to control my skin’s oil production without overdrying it, so I would use the Sébium H20 Purifying Cléansing Micelle Solution after I wash my face. Yup, after! It’s actually more of a makeup remover, but since it’s also a cleansing water, I would swipe it over my skin to get rid of leftover oil (think of it as a substitute for toner). After that, I’d apply the Sébium Akn Smoothing Purifying Care in the morning. It helps prevent your pores from getting clogged, so it served as a barrier between my skin and makeup to help prevent breakouts. Loved this complexion balancing formula because after 2 to 3 weeks, my skin went back to normal!

More skincare recos for anti-aging, pimple-clearing, and dry skin after the jump! P.S. There’s an event invite also for Murad if you want to join us for a fun Makeup Mixology class! Continue reading

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