There are some products that come in your life and completely change your skincare game. As far-fetched as it may sound, it seems like I may not turn back to micellar waters anytime soon, thanks to an amazing cleansing balm I have discovered. The product I am going to review today is the Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm, a cult level cleansing balm that many bloggers I trust swear by. I was finding it hard to get my hands on this product without spending a massive amount on shipping, but finally bought it during a sale from StyleKorean.com. Here are my thoughts on this product after using it for a couple of weeks.
Be it the glass skin from Korea or the high-shine makeup looks from international runways, glossy skin is in at the moment. However, achieving the finish of glossy skin in the hot and humid Indian weather can be tricky because you don’t want to end up looking like a greasy sweatball! The Lakme Absolute Skin Gloss Reflection Serum is a great product that solves this problem by providing a reflective shine to the skin without making it oily or greasy. Read on to find out how I use this product to get that flattering glow even in the summer months!
A few days back I reviewed the DearPacker Home Remedy Masks and I couldn’t stop raving about them. Today, I will be reviewing another variant from the brand, the DearPacker Lab Collection Masks. Read on to find out whether these sheet masks managed to impress me or not!
The DearPacker Lab Collection Masks are available in 3 different formulations on Nykaa.com – Anti-Pollution & Clearing, Anti-Aging & Firming, and Anti-Dry & Hydrating. I picked up the Anti-Pollution & Clearing and the Anti-Dry & Hydrating variants. Unlike the home remedy masks from the brand, the Lab Collection masks have a more “professional-looking” packaging. The sheets themselves are more opaque and are made of cotton as opposed to the home remedy sheet masks that look more translucent and feel more jelly-like. The lab collection sheet masks are also bigger in size, and so I had to fiddle around a bit with them to make them fit my tiny face.
As for the formulations, these masks did not feel as hydrating on my skin as the home remedy masks and they tend to dry up faster as well and lose their squishy feel within 10 minutes. They do make the skin look brighter and hydrated but they do not have that wow-factor which the home remedy masks have, at least not on my skin. In fact, I noticed a few bumps on my skin the day after using the Anti-Pollution & Clearing Mask, although I cannot be hundred percent sure that the mask caused this or whether it was a good thing (toxins coming to the surface) or a bad thing.
Overall, I would say that if you are looking for good sheet masks then it might be a better idea to go for the DearPacker Home Remedy Masks instead of the Lab Collection Masks. The Home Remedy masks are available at the same price (INR 100 per mask) and they come in a number of variants, so you will be able to pick up something that will be perfect for your skin type. I am definitely going to stock up on the Home Remedy Masks but won’t be repurchasing the Lab Collection Masks.
The best thing about Innisfree is that they always have some offers running on Nykaa.com where you get a bunch of samples if you purchase any of their products. I recently received a decently-sized sample tube of the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Color Clay Mask – Brightening as a freebie, and if you know me you would know that I have already tried it out to review it for you guys! Read on to find out more about this product.
The product’s description on Nykaa – “Innisfree brings to you Volcanic Colour Clay mask packs with 7 colours and 7 functions to combat different skin concerns at one time. The powerful sebum control effect of Jeju volcanic cluster provides clean pore care drawing out impurities from skin and ensuring brighter, radiant and glowing complexion. These can be used for “Multi-Masking” mask to combat different skin concerns at one time. Multi-Masking refers to using multiple mask packs at the same time according to skin concerns by skin area, instead of skin type. The Innisfree Volcanic colour clay mask comes with special ingredients such as Vitamin C complex (yellow) for brightening; Hyaluronic acid (blue) for hydration; Pomegranate seed oil (pink) for revitalizing skin; Madecassoside (green) for sebum control; Panthenol (purple) to soothe; Sea salts (white) to smoothen; and Mud (black) to detoxify.”
My Take On The Product – While I appreciate the concept of multi-masking which this range is based on, I only have one of the variants from the brand, which is the Vitamin C Complex (yellow) mask and hence used that all over my face. It has a shiny, smooth consistency when applied on the face but dries down within a few minutes like a regular mud mask. It does give the stretchy feeling once it dries but nothing too uncomfortable or painful. After washing it off, my skin does feel smoother and brighter, but to be honest, it did not give very striking results when I compare it to some of the other masks that I love.
Final Verdict – While the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Color Clay Mask is a decent mask and does what it claims, it did not impress me so much that I would invest in a full-sized version (INR 700 for 70ml). However, these travel-sized tubes are perfect for when you are on the go, so it is good to receive them along with my purchase. If you want to clear out your pores and restore the natural glow of your face then this product will work well but don’t expect any miracles.
I have recently developed a curiosity for Innisfree products and after trying out a few samples from the brand, I wanted to invest in a full-sized product. Since it was my first significant investment in their range, I chose something that seemed to be better value for money than many of their insanely priced products, and the ingredient list seemed perfect for my skin. The product I picked up was the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Essence in Lotion. After using it for a few weeks, here is what I think about the product.
The Innisfree Green Tea Seed Essence in Lotion is packed with the goodness of anti-oxidants and amino acids along with the essence of Jeju Green Tea. The formula is in the form of a watery lotion that spreads really easily on the skin. It takes a few minutes to sink into the skin and looks a little shiny until then. Once fully absorbed, it leaves the skin looking smooth, hydrated and plump. It is basically like a refreshing drink for the skin that provides a boost of hydration without being greasy. Green tea based products really suit my acne-prone combination skin and this lotion has helped calm down a few breakouts that appeared on my skin but disappeared without flaring up to their full extent.
I basically use this lotion as a serum, sometimes on its own after toning, and sometimes in conjunction with a night/day cream. If you are someone with greasy skin, this product would be the perfect moisturiser for you on its own, and if you have extremely dry skin then you may want to top it up with a cream.
Overall, this lotion is excellent for all skin types, even sensitive skin. It is light-weight yet hydrating and extremely gentle. As a bonus, it helps curb acne too and is paraben free. Also, the price point of INR 1550 for a huge 100ml bottle with a pump is actually very budget-friendly considering you need just a few drops of the lotion every day. If you are someone who has been eyeing Innisfree products since a long time but are worried about the price tags then this lotion will be a great buy for you. Definitely Lipstick-for-Lunch approved!
So I recently received a sample of the Innisfree Perfect 9 Repair Serum and Cream along with a Nykaa order and boy, I have never wished harder that I had a fortune to spend on skincare without burning a hole in my pocket! While I could only get 2 uses out of the sample packs, I could already see a massive difference in the texture of my skin. Read on to find out more about this amazing range!
The Innisfree Perfect 9 Repair Serum contains 9 active ingredients and claims to combat the signs of ageing while providing a smooth texture to the skin. To be honest, this was the star of the duo that I received. This light-weight serum literally sinks into the skin and instantly makes the skin feel extremely smooth to the touch. It visibly reduced my pores and was completely non-greasy. My skin felt tighter and more supple, which were perhaps the anti-ageing properties of the product in action. I know that it sounds too good to be true but this serum literally stole the thunder from all the other serums I have used to date.
The Innisfree Perfect 9 Repair Cream also contains 9 actives and claims to brighten, tighten, and hydrate the skin. This product has a creamy consistency but applies really smoothly on the skin and moisturises the skin extremely well without being greasy or heavy. It does not look shiny on the face and in fact has a semi-matte finish a few minutes post application. It also has a slight tightening effect on the skin, but I feel that the serum makes a more drastic difference to the skin than the cream.
The only downside of these products is their price. The serum is available at INR 4200 for a 50ml bottle and the cream is priced at INR 3400 for a 60ml jar. Since these products are definitely pricey, I would recommend investing in the serum alone. Also, it would be better to grab these when there is a deal on Nykaa (which I currently have my eyes out for). All my friends reading this should know by now what I need as a present for my next birthday and you should coax your friends to buy you these skincare gems as well!
All images are taken from Amazon.in
In the cold weather, my skin literally becomes thirsty for moisture. I can feel the dryness and stretchiness if I do not pamper my face a little bit extra with hydrating creams and face masks. I recently received the Medicos-V Aqua Blue Water Bank Essential Mask from Skin18.com as a part of their blogger collaboration program and this provided a much-needed drink of moisture to my skin.
This cellulose mask is a sheet mask that fits really well on the face and provides some much needed hydration to the skin. One of the primary ingredients of the serum that the mask is drenched in is Hyaluronic Acid, which is famous for providing suppleness and hydration to the skin, making it plump and more youthful. It also contains Adenosine that helps with firming the skin and preventing wrinkles.
The mask is extremely cooling on the skin and provides immediate relief to dehydrated or irritated skin. I left it on my face for around 15 minutes and it felt like I had immersed my face in a pool of soothing water. Upon removing the mask, quite a lot of the serum was left behind on my face which I massaged into my skin. My face looked visibly rejuvenated, and my skin felt baby soft and plump, something that is hard for me to achieve in winter.
This sheet mask is priced at $2.50 but is currently available at $1.80 on skin18.com. If sheet masks are your thing then this sheet mask is a must-have for the colder months for you. Do give it a shot and I promise you that your skin will stay healthy and bouncy all through the chilly season.
Do you feel an odd sense of satisfaction when a peel off mask sucks out all the gunk and whiteheads from your nose? Believe it or not, blackhead removal videos have a cult status of their own on YouTube because when a nose mask works well, its performance is a delight to watch, according to several people. Black peel off masks gained a lot of popularity due to these videos and what started off as a trend in Asia soon made its way to the rest of the world, with many swearing by the effectiveness of these masks at leaving the nose squeaky clean. However, there have also been some concerns raised by skin care specialists that these masks also suck out the good oils from the skin and leave the pores open and exposed to pollution and dirt. Furthermore, some cheap replicas of peel off masks have been called out for containing actual glue to make them more effective! This is why I have been dilly dallying about buying a charcoal peel off mask since a long time but the bumps on my nose finally made me give in and after much research, I purchased the Healthvit Activated Charcoal Purifying Peel Off Mask which I am going to review for you today.
This product comes in a 50gm tube that is priced at INR 350. Its consistency is more liquidy and runny than I expected because for some reason I thought that it will be thicker. So all you need to do is spread an even layer of the product on your cleansed skin, wait for it to dry completely, which should take approximately 20 minutes, and then pull it off. While many reviewers on Amazon stated that you need to build a thick coating of the product on the skin for it to peel off easily, I was able to get away with one of mediocre thickness. In fact, if you layer up too much product then it will not dry up completely and you won’t be able to peel it off easily. I would recommend trying this out on a small patch first so that you know what works for you before you spread it on your whole nose. Once the product was fully dry, it did peel off quite easily for me and did not hurt much at all. However, it did not peel off as a single strip as shown in advertisements, but in the form of small sections (refer picture below). It did a decent job of removing my whiteheads while being gentle on the skin but it did pull out some facial hair as well, albeit painlessly. What I like about this product is that unlike the nose strips, this can get out the whiteheads from the curved areas of the nose and the chin as well. It will not leave your nose 100% blackhead free but will definitely remove a large percentage of them and will bring some to the surface so that you can scrub them off more easily. After a couple of uses of this product, my nose area is definitely much smoother, and to prevent the open pores from getting clogged, I use a toner such as rose water after using the mask.
Coming to the ingredients, the product contains PVA and Acrypol-1, both of which are polymers that are commonly used in cosmetic products. It also contains charcoal powder which is known for its adsorption properties and Disodium EDTA which is a preservative. The next ingredient, Triethanolamine is considered dangerous in large amounts but is allowed by the FDA in small quantities in beauty products. And lastly, this product also contains fragrance. If there is any ingredients expert or chemist reading this post then please enlighten us more about the pros and cons of these ingredients but as far as I can tell, the ingredients are not extremely toxic to cause any damage if used once in a while. The scent of the product is very chemically though and may turn off a lot of people. I would highly recommend doing a patch test before you use it on your face to make sure that your skin does not react badly to any ingredient.
To sum up, this product is definitely not one for those who like natural ingredients but it does fulfill what it claims to do. Personally, I would not be comfortable using it more frequently than once a month because of the chemicals. The good thing is that it does not hurt the skin when being pulled off and does not cause any stinging. Also, it is cheaper compared to getting a similar product shipped from Korea or Japan. The final call is yours, if you are willing to experiment with these ingredients then go ahead but if they make you uncomfortable then stick with the old school steaming and scrubbing methods for getting the blackheads out. If you do want to buy this product then you can purchase it from Amazon by clicking this link.
I hope that this review was helpful. Let me know in the comments below if there is a black peel off mask that you have tried and loved.
P.S. – If you enjoyed this blog post then please click this link and leave a comment on the nomination page to help me win the Indian Bloggers Award!
Ever since puberty, I have never been quite pleased with the texture of my nose. Luckily, I do not have any blackheads but I do have my fair share of whiteheads that give a bumpy texture to the skin and make my foundation look uneven. These whiteheads are too deep-rooted for scrubs, and salon cleanups are the only things that have proven to be effective at removing them. One product that doesn’t help with my whiteheads at all are the nose strips that can be found at drugstores. However, since I have been hearing so much about the brand Innisfree from fellow bloggers, I decided to give a shot to their Jeju Volcanic Nose Pack, and trust me, this stuff works!
This product comes in a lovely cardboard brown packaging which has an old world, simplistic charm to it. Inside are 6 individual sachets containing the nose strips that can also be used for the chin and the forehead region. The strips resemble your run of the mill nose strips but they work so much better than anything I have ever tried. You simply need to wash your nose area, apply a small bit of moisturizer and then stick the smooth surface of the strip to the nose. I immediately noticed that this strip adheres way better to the nose than most strips, which is perhaps a major contributor to its efficacy. The strip stays in place for the entire duration of 15 minutes for which you are supposed to leave it on and does not cause any sort of irritation.
I was expecting a lot of pain while removing the strip but it only gently tugged at the skin when I ripped it off. Stuck to the surface of the strip were several whiteheads, more than any strip has ever been able to extract. Furthermore, the strip had also pulled out a lot of whiteheads partially, which were still stuck to my nose but got scrubbed off very easily. I also tried this product on a friend who has a large number of blackheads and it worked really really well for him as well. Although I haven’t added the after-picture of the strip that worked on his blackheads because I thought that it may gross you out, below is an after-picture of a strip I used on my whiteheads. If you look closely, you can see several bumps, these are all the whiteheads that were pulled out by the strip. I personally find counting these whiteheads oddly satisfying! 😛
This pack of 6 nose strips is available at a very reasonable price of INR 250, and I am sure that I will be buying several packs of this amazing product in the future. You too can buy the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Nose Pack from Nykaa, by clicking on this link. I am glad that this famous Korean skincare brand has made its way to India and I am really looking forward to trying out more products from their skincare range!
I hope that this review was useful. Do check out my Instagram (@mrinalinism) for some fun pictures.
When it comes to makeup, each year brings some unique trends and I thought of recreating a few of them for you. I am starting off this series of the hot makeup trends of 2017 with a tutorial on how to create the bitten lips effect. If you are not aware of this trend, it is basically a gradient of color created on the lips, with the center of the lips being the darkest and the outer boundaries being quite pale. This trend gives a natural flush to the lips, as opposed to applying a bold color all over them. Here are a few simple steps with the help of which you can recreate this trend at home using only two products.
Step 1 – To make the color gradient more striking, you need to start with a pale base to work on. If you have naturally pale or light lips then you can skip this step but if you have darker or pigmented lips then apply a thin coat of concealer that matches the color of your skin. Place a few drops of concealer on the lips and gently pat them in with your fingers to get rid of any darkness.
Step 2- Now, apply a dark pink or red lip color of your choice to the central portion of your lips. You can either choose a dark lip tint, a matte lipstick, or a lipliner for this step. Make sure that the formula does not dry down immediately and gives you some time to blend the color. I used the Wet n Wild Color Icon Lip Liner in the shade Berry Red for this step.
Step 3 – With the help of a cotton bud, gently spread the color outwards to create a natural gradient. You want to leave the center of the lips darker than the edges but make sure that the edges don’t look too pale. If you feel that the color is too dark then you can apply a dab of concealer to the edges to create the perfect contrast. And, there you go! Your bitten lips are ready! I would recommend pairing this lip look with nude makeup for a soft effect.
Isn’t it amazing that you can create a look that has taken international runways by storm with just two affordable products? Do let me know if you try to recreate this look and share the pictures with me too 🙂 I will be back soon with my rendition of some of the other hot makeup trends from 2017!