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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Goodal: Fun Fun Travel Kit Masks

Well, after the Wildberry Milk cleanser ruined my skin's progress, I can honestly say that the Goodal travel masks helped bring it back under control.  The kit comes with 4 masks. 

First Impression: 
The packaging reminds you of the ketchup containers they give you at fast food places when you order fries to-go.  They are small, light, and portioned so you can get at least two mask applications from each packet.  On the front of the masks, it features whatever the 'star ingredient is'. 

The instructions were straightforward and foolproof.  Smear it on your face.  Let it sit.  Rinse it off.  Bam.  That's it.  But, each mask has a different purpose.  The glacial clay mask is supposed to help with cleansing and minimizing your pores.  I totally needed that after I turned into Pizzaface.  The Brightening mask has vitamin C and citrus extracts to help remove dead cells and speed up cell turn-over rate.  DEFINITELY needed that.  The Keeping Youth coconut mask boasted thta it would supply the skin with superior moisture and elasticity.  After scrubbing my face to bits, I avoided that.  Anything "anti-aging" is really more of an "anti-drying" treatment, which usually clogs my pores.  Instead, I opted for the Aloe, moisture mask to help repair my "tired, stressed skin".

Actual Use:
I rotated the masks over the course of several days, using them in this order: Day 1: glacial mask, Day 2: brightening mask, and Day 3: moisturizing mask.  I used them at night before bed to help maximize their effectiveness. 
The glacial clay mask was very THICK and grainy.  It was good to use it as both an exfoliant and a purifying mask to help clear up my skin.  It was my first attack against my nasty acne flair up because scrubbed away impurities and squeeze the gunk out of my pores. 
The brightening mask was number two in my line up.  While my pores were still mostly clear, it acted to reduce inflammation and start to fade the lighter dark marks- and prevent new ones from forming.  The removal of the dead skin cells helped keep more junk from getting into my pores. 
The brightening mask has a certain level of acid in it and the glacial mask was actually physically abrasive. 
Following those two heavy hitters with the moisturizing mask was like curling up on silk sheets after a hard day chopping down trees and a deep scrub down in a primitive shower.  I didn't want to treat my skin with sandpaper and lemon juice without giving it time to heal in between.  The aloe of the moisture mask helped to soothe my skin and protect it after I was done abusing it.  It had a creamy texture and it left my skin plump and moisturized after a 30 minute application.

I was on vacation, away from my usual products and I had to work with what I had.  You should probably try these out individually to see if you like them instead of using them as an aggressive emergency skin repair solution like I did.  It would give you a lot more time to actually enjoy using the products yourself.  The glacial mask was like a clay mask/scrub.  If you need to exfoliate and you like to FEEL it happening, instead of passively doing it, this is the mask for you.  If you prefer gentler methods, the brightening mask will gently dissolve dead skin and treat dark spots without feeling like you scrubbed your face with ground pumice.  The moisture mask, I'll say this, it's best if you have a sunburn, really dry skin, or a recent chemical peel.  Don't use it if you have greasy skin.  You will regret your life.  Also, I apologize for not having a review for the coconut mask.  I wasn't going to touch it after my face was so wrecked. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Skinfood: Wildberry Milk Foaming Cleanser

Borrowed from

What do I say about this one other than it is HORRIBLE.

Ahem.  I bought this a while ago and just stuffed it in a drawer while I continued using my Vitaberry cleanser.  I decided to take it with me to Poland to give my skin a break from my usual routine.  Mistake.  BIG mistake.  I assumed that because I've never had a bad reaction to Skinfood's products or foaming cleansers in general that this one would do well on my skin.

I have never been more wrong.  I was in Poland for two weeks.  I stopped using this junk within a week because I had broken out with the worst acne I've had since I got blue-light laser treatment to help control my break outs.  Since the laser treatments, the worst I get is one or two semi-underground zits that clear after a week and that is if I use regular old bar soap to wash my face and no pore cleansing masks.  With this stuff, I had a plethora of fine zits, semi-underground ones, and deep, painful cystic boils that didn't clear up until, like, literally 4 days ago.  That's a MONTH. 

This caused damage to my face that took an entire MONTH to clear up and I'm still trying to fade the resulting dark marks.  Right when I was feeling happy about the clarity of my complexion. 

Oh. I thought of something nice to say.  It's got wholesome looking packaging and it smells good.  Yeah.  Let me go back to trying to fade these dark spots. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ciracle : Goodbye Blackhead Pore Control Sheets

I wasn't sure about this one.  I've tried a lot of pore strips in my lifetime, most of them had an effect, but didn't make a huge difference in the war against my awful cystic acne.  This was the first product that suggested you to just let it sit on your skin and then rinse it away.  It was a very different and much GENTLER experience than the pore strips I'm used to.  No yanking off a sticky strip that's glued itself to your face, no redness after the treatment either.

First impression:

Borrowed from
There's nothing super extraordinary about the packaging.  It's black with plain white writing in both English and Korean.  Inside the box is a flimsy instruction sheet written with use instructions in MANY languages... including Arabic and English.  It also comes with a set of tiny tweezers so you can hygienically obtain your strips from the jar without contaminating the others with your gross germ-mongering fingers.  It's a nice notion, but with almost every product that has an applicator like this, you end up spreading it on your face with your hands anyway.  I tend to forgo the tweezers because I'm impatient. 

Use the tongs to extract the sheet from the jar.  Place the sheet over the nose with your fingers; spread evenly.  Leave the sheet on for at least 15 minutes for maximum results.  Remove the sheet, then use a clean cotton swab to wipe off blackheads.  Finish by rinsing with clean water.  It is recommended to use the sheets on other problem areas of the face like cheeks and chin.

Actual use: 
At first I wasn't sure what to make of it.  I thought it would be like a wash pad with some sort of essence on it like many treatments packaged this way.  It was different.  In a good way.  I followed the instructions, placing sheets on my nose and chin.  I smashed some levels of Candy Crush Saga while I waited for it to work whatever magic or curses it would on my skin, lost track of time, and then... my face started to burn.  I pulled the sheets off fairly quickly. 
The product has a decent amount of acid in it.  It tingles and starts to burn if you leave it on for too long  However, it is very effective at extracting blackheads.  I've never had a product that opened my pores and allowed me to just wipe the blackheads off my face.  Although it didn't completely remove ALL the blackheads, it removed most of them and softened the more stubborn ones enough so that extracting them was easy and painless.  Most of them came out COMPLETELY- not just the little cap of build up that pokes out of your skin.  The whole thing, including the little tail thing that anchors it in your pores.  I don't have any redness from using the product either.

I will recommend this product to anyone with troublesome blackheads and whiteheads...or any of the milder forms of cystic acne.  It will free your pores from their persecutors.  However, if you purchase it from Memebox, like I did, don't follow the instructions on the website.  I have extremely oily skin and it started to burn after about 20 minutes.  If I had followed the Memebox instructions instead of the ones on the paper included in the box... I would have gotten an unintentional chemical peel. 
After you use this product, be GENTLE with your skin.  It's going to be delicate and dry.  Wipe gently.  If you choose to extract your more stubborn blackheads, be GENTLE and CAREFUL.  You don't want to damage your face.  Be sure to moisturize.  That is all. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

So I went to Poland

I've always loved travel and exploring since I was a kid.  I like to learn new things and meet new people.  I have had a number of incredibly diverse friends from very different backgrounds throughout my life because I love to learn about people, their cultures, and especially their food.  I appreciate the differences of my fellow humans and positive aspects of their personalities.  You can learn something important from everyone you meet.

It's sort of unsurprising that I ended up in Poland.  I have several Polish friends.  I have shared major holidays with their very Polish families... and I consider the bucket list I made when my doctors feared I had a brain tumor to still be valid even though it's clear that I'm no longer on the verge of death or permanent paralysis.

I never thought I would go to Poland for an actual, honest to God Polish wedding though.  Life is strange that way sometimes.  You see, my S/O has been best friends with a college friend of mine since high school (small world, right?) and the bride wished to be married in her home country.  So... I ended up being Poland.

At first, it was a difficult decision for me to make.  It's a huge endeavor to travel that far oversees even if you're in perfect health, which I am not.  With my neurological condition (possible MS), Reynaud's phenomenon, bronchitis, and the language barriers I was going to face, the trip was a huge risk.  I know just enough Polish to say, "Thanks grandma" but not "Help! I'm having severe muscle spasms; my medicine is in my purse!"  Ultimately, I ended up going to support the folks I care about.

I didn't expect to meet so many wonderful people or have so many great experiences.  The wedding was beautiful.  The bride's family and friends were so VERY generous.  I almost feel guilty for coming.  They helped us a great deal and the trip wouldn't have gone as smoothly as it did without their generosity and helpfulness.

Poland is much more developed and modern than most people give it credit for.  The people there are friendly and are just as curious about you as you are about them.  They seem surprised when they find foreign tourists are there for more than shopping and clubbing.  My trip to Poland was great, for the most part.  There were some scary parts: I had two pretty bad neurological attacks while I was there, an incident in Nowa Huta (Brown folks, avoid that area if you don't have a guide AND a large group.  It's actually been in international news due to the residents reacting to foreigners and people they perceive as "rich" in the same way the Puritans reacted to witches.), and a frightening number of guys trying to pick me up whenever my boyfriend left me unattended.

However, there were also some pretty effing awesome parts!  Like the wedding reception where we all danced till we were dizzy, the amazing historical architecture in every city, the lovely natural scenery, their boss, bad-assed public transportation system, and the super incredible interactive museums... and the shopping.  I'm sorry.  Shopping in Poland was like going to an after Christmas sale with $1000 to freely spend.  No.  Seriously.  One dollar is worth about 4 zloty and you can buy a whole pint of beer with that.  Most of the other goods, save electronics, are priced similarly.