Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Charcoal Masks Craze!*

As of late, charcoal has made its way into our masks and has played a great role in providing the perfect ingredient to keep our skin looking radiant and healthy. In the past month or two, I was able to give different masks a try and the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, Derma E 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask and the Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque made the cut! They all have a different texture and feel to the skin, but the results were amazing for all these items!

You wouldn't think to use charcoal in your skincare routine, but charcoal was initially used in medical practices with the purpose as an absorbent in such cases of treating alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses. It works as a magnet to draw out the toxins and impurities from the stomach and attaching itself to it so it can be absorbed before the bloodstream can get to it. When used in beauty products, it does a similar job. Once charcoal is activated as an ingredient in masks, it acts as a medium for drawing out impurities such as dirt, oils, unwanted residue on the skin and gets rinsed away when you wash the mask off your face. Besides cleaning your face, it also has other proven benefits such as;

  • treating acne
  • cleaning out pores
  • shrinking pores
  • controlling oily skin
  • soothing cuts, bites and skin irritation
I have normal to combination skin, where during the Winter time (as it is, here, in Sydney), your skin tends to become starving for hydration and depending on your skin type, it will react differently. Something like a charcoal mask helps to maintain healthy, clean skin without the excessive treatment. My skin has been good to me lately and it's because I have religiously added charcoal masks into my skincare routine. It's a great type of mask to use 1-2 times a week, especially when you're in your downtime. 

Left to Right: Origins, Derma E, Dermalogica
Product when smeared on skin
Product when dried and set

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

The Origins Charcoal Mask is the most consistent in formula and is the smoothest in application as well (in comparison to the others). It is darker in colour and is thickest of the three - almost like a loose moisturising cream. This creamy mask claims to contain white china clay to quickly absorb oils from the skin, treating oily skin and acne. It also has lecithin which is an ingredient that keeps the skin clean. The lightweight formula maintained an opaque coverage over the skin, while having the right thickness to allow the rinsing process to cleanse and deep clean the skin. There was no physical exfoliating, in comparison to the other two masks but it does a good job at removing the dirty layer of skin. 

Over time, I noticed my skin stayed cleaner for longer. And I went from using this 3 times a week to once a week. My skin was visibly looking smoother and the texture on my skin minimised. I have the most impurities around my T-zone and after the first use, I clearly noticed how soft and clean my skin was. There was still some blackheads present in my pores, but the ones on the surface were gone. There was no tingly or minty feeling on the skin, so it's suitable for all skin types - from dry to oily. Great choice for a mask! It dries completely smooth and you will feel a tightening feeling as it dries (as expected). It was easy to remove, even with a generous amount of product smeared across my face. I extremely liked the experience this mask gave me. It was just a simple and great way to clean the skin. 

Derma E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask*

This award-winning charcoal mask is proven to be one of the best charcoal masks for that deep clean. This product is not just a mask but also an exfoliant as well! It dries as a clay with some beads to help the process of exfoliating. The natural clay is said to be infused with Kimarine Wakame and Bladderwrack to help the charcoal be more efficient and lift out the impurities from the skin and decongest the pores as the mask dries as well as protect the skin from environmental pollutants that could over time leave long-term damages and hydrate the skin. It also contains apricot seed powder that help to exfoliate the skin. 

I personally would only use this no more than twice a week. The beads that are present in the mask aren't very gentle but it gets the job done very well. On application, I felt a slight tingly sensation, especially in the areas where my pores are prominent. After the first use, I notice there was little to no blackheads around my nose and forehead. I also could see that it also took away my dead skin and my skin was looking more radiant and brighter. The product dries very fast. Once it reacts to the oxygen in the air, it starts to dry so you would have to work quickly. It does claim to make my skin feel hydrated and nourished but since the exfoliating treatment was a little abrasive, a moisturiser was much needed. I would personally use this as a deep clean treatment for those desperate times when my skin needs a boost or restart. 

Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque*

One of Dermalogica's best sellers is the Charcoal Rescue Masque. It is a mask that not only takes away the unwanted impurities like dirt, oils, pollutants, but it also works to brighten and radiate dull skin. It contains activated Binchotan Charcoal that works to deep clean the skin and sulfur to command the skin to promote a cell turnover that works to brighten the skin. There are visible small beads present in the product that also work to help remove dead skin cells. Out of the three masks, this was the most hydrating and nourishing on and after application. It contains the most water content and had helped the skin to not feel overly dry. This mask had addressed the dullness and aging sections of my skin and the cooling sensation had calmed down the redness around my nose and cheek area, while opening up my pores. 

At first use, it was extremely runny. There was more water than product coming out of the tube. But after the excess water was removed the product was working great. It was patchy to apply, so you would have to build it up in generous layers. There was a faint tingly feeling around the face as you applied it on the skin, especially on the apples of my cheeks but nothing that was near uncomfortable. This actually helped to open my pores and made the mask the more effective. This mask did do a good job at tightening the skin, but not as well as the other two. It claims to be easy to remove, but with just my hands, it took too long for me! I used lukewarm water to rinse off the mask but most of the product remained on my face. But once I exfoliated and removed the mask off, my skin felt very soft and noticed less texture on the skin as well. I actually really enjoyed the results of this mask even after the long removal process, my skin will still feeling nourished. This mask is so gentle and skin-friendly on all skin types, including those with rosacea, eczema and sebaceous dermatitis.

I greatly enjoy using charcoal masks and noticed a great deal of change in the texture and feel of my skin. Depending on what I need during that week, I would rotate between these three masks. Where the Origins would be used when my skin is normal, Derma E for that intense deep clean and Dermalogica when my skin is dry and unbalanced. 

Origins Charcoal Mask  can be purchased from Mecca Cosmetica Stores or online. Derma E 2-in-1 Purifying mask can be bought in Priceline stores. And Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque can be seen at David Jones or Dermalogica stores. 

I know there is a lot of different types of masks on the market, especially with the charcoal craze, but I hope this post has helped you narrow it down to just what you need. If you have any questions, or comments, please leave them down below! 

Disclaimer: The Derma E and Dermalogica were PR samples given to me to try. I was not sponsored, nor compensated to make this post. All opinions and thoughts were based on my personal experience. If you have an allergic reaction to charcoal or any active ingredients mentioned, please do not attempt to try these products. Everything said is genuine and 100% honest. 


Monday, July 04, 2016

Remington Curls Collective Review*

This new addition to the Remington Hair Beauty family has just been released to give your hair the most flawless curls for either everyday or super glam styles! Having little to no time in the morning to style my hair, the only time I would curl my hair is on super special occasions. And after trying this for a few occasions, I can safely say Remington Curls Collective is a good tool to perfect great curls.

The curling rods are designed to feature the ceramic technology for even heat distribution and shiny finish to your curls. It has a fast 30-second heat start up time and can reach up to 220 degrees! This type of tool is said to be ideal for both professionals and home users. The ergonomic handle allows the comfortable hold for the user so they feel less exhausted when in use.

In each box, you have a choice of 3 barrels that cater to your preference of width in your curls and giving you a different style of curl with each barrel. Most curling irons do not provide you with extra barrels, but as an additional pack that you will have to pay for. So I love the fact that I have this option in the pack. It also has a glove for safety and heat protection.
Left to right: 32mm, 13-25mm conical, 19mm
These barrel attachments each deliver a different style.

  • The 32mm barrel - creates a deep wave of big, loose curls. Very quick and easy to use for everyday!
  • 13-25mm barrel - creates natural curls or waves - also another good recommendation for everyday.
  • 19mm barrel - creates defined curls which are tighter and prominent.
My favourite of the three is definitely the 13-25mm barrel as it doesn't have the clamp and is the easiest one to use out of the three. It gives the perfect curls with little to no effort. But as you would know, there is some preparation to achieve the look that you want. 

With the 32mm and 19mm barrel, they both have a clamp used to help hold a curl in place when being held. I personally dislike using clamps, including the one here. It had left a slight kink in my curl and I had to continuously hold the clamp open to prevent this. But you can also curl your hair with the clamp closed. So it wasn't a big issue with this particular curling rod. 

One of the great things about this rod is that it has a little stand located in the centre of the handle, so that you can rest it on the table when not in use - such as when the tool is being heated or cooled down. It was a nice touch added to the design of the rod. 
Each of the attachments are connected to the handle with a 1-1.5m length cord (though, I wish it was a little longer for easy access).

The barrels each have four metal rods that stick out like power points and they are then inserted into four holes aligned directly inside the handle. After it has been inserted, the user must turn the centre of the handle to lock the barrel in place. I personally dislike this kind of attachment method because it took a while to directly align the rods and the holes. If the rod was slightly bent, it would be almost an impossible task to connect the two components. 

The rod has three heat settings - 1, 2 and 3 - where 3 is the hottest/highest setting.

When plugged in, there would be a blinking red light appearing on the handle. This is an indication that the curling rod is being prepared and heating up. It is suggested that you let it rest on the table while it heats up completely for use. Once finished heating (approximately 30 seconds), the red light will stop blinking and remain red and this is when you know it's ready to be used. Honestly, it would be better if the rod displayed a different colour so that the user is more aware that it's hot or ready for use. It is recommended that you start at the lowest setting and work your way up to see which setting suits your hair best. Keep in mind that each person has different hair types and thickness, for example, someone with thin hair would only need to reach the first setting. 

This curling rod was a delight to use. It was easy and simple to use and provided the ease I needed to create the perfect curls - for both natural and dramatic styles. I had a little difficult time connecting the barrel to the handle but other than that, the overall experience of this curling rod was amazing. I loved the results that it had given me. Remember, before curling your hair, you will need to apply hair heat protectant onto your hair so that it doesn't burn or damage your hair. Make sure that you do not use this tool while your hair is wet. Make sure your hair is dry and unstraightened for the best results. 

The Remington Curls Collective can be purchased from any Remington shelves, such as Myer, Harvey Norman...and so on. It retails for $59.95 AUD. It's a great bargain as it gives you three choices of barrels and each box comes with at least one year of warranty! An inexpensive tool to achieve the great curls!

If you have any questions, please leave a comment down below! Or if you would like to share your experience, I'd love to hear it!

Disclaimer: This tool was sent to me as a PR gift. I was not sponsored nor compensated to make this post. All thoughts and opinions are based on my personal experience. Everything said is honest and 100% genuine. All links provided are for information purposes and for the convenience of the reader only. All pictures are owned and created by me. 

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