Skincare Review: COSRX Honey and Rice Overnight Masks

COSRX has quite a few moisturizers. There’s the Centella blemish cream [affiliate] which I sometimes want to try but never got around to buying, and the Ultra moisturizing lotion [affiliate], which I may try next time, the Hyaluronic Acid intensive cream [affiliate] which I don’t intend to try because Hyaluronic acid isn’t that sexy an ingredient to me, the Aloe Vera cream [affiliate] which, same reason as the Hyaluronic acid, is not very sexy. There’s also the Honey Ceramide eye cream, which is one of the most expensive things COSRX makes, and the Snail cream, which I would never use because obviously, I have a huge snail phobia. They have a hell lot of moisturizers of all kinds, is what I’m saying.

The ones that I do actually use are the Rice mask and the Honey mask. They are packaged in the same kind of packaging as the rest of the moisturizers, but they are the only ones labelled as ‘overnight masks’. What for, I have no idea. I just pretend they’re normal moisturizers.

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Minimal and sleek packaging. I like! I would prefer them not to be in jars, but ah well.

 

Ultimate Honey Mask ingredients:

Propolis extract (85%), butylene glycol, glycerin, betaine, 1,2-hexanediol, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, arginine, cassia obtusifolia seed extract, dimethicone, ethylhexylglycerin, carbomer, sodium hyaluronate, beeswax, allantoin, panthenol, sodium polyacrylate, adenosine

As you can see, it’s largely propolis, penetration enhancers, glycerin, and some good stuff in small amounts, and that’s it.

Ultimate Rice Mask ingredients:

Oryza sativa (rice) extract (65%), butylene glycol, glycerin, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, betaine, niacinamide, dimethicone, 1,2-hexanediol, cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate, elaeis guineensis (palm) oil, guineensis (palm) kernel oil, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, cetearyl alcohol, ethylhexylglycerin, arginine, carbomer, allantoin, xanthan gum

Mainly rice extract, and perhaps more oil, and good stuff including betaine and niacinamide. From the ingredients we can predict that the rice mask is gonna be thicker and richer.

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No prizes for guessing which is which. The honey mask has been well loved, as you can see, while the rice one is pretty new.

 

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The honey mask is a very light transparent gel. It’s super lightweight. The rice mask is more akin to a traditional moisturizer, but still pretty lightweight.

Let’s talk about the honey mask first. It has a lovely melting texture, of course, and it melds into skin like nobody’s business. It sinks in almost instantly, and leaves only a slightly tacky finish behind (due to the glycerin, me thinks.) It also makes my skin look so radiant. I used to absolutely love it, but in recent days I’m finding it’s a little not moisturizing enough in my super dry office air. It’s great for days I’m not in the office though. I use it primarily as a day moisturizer due to its lightweight properties, and because I don’t quite find it moisturizing enough for the night.

I have to say though, it is very calming and soothing for the skin. And it does moisturize well, but due to its not so occlusive nature, I find the moisturizing effects not so long lasting. If you’re very oily skinned, you would love this as both a night and day moisturizer. If you’re normal like me, you may find it better in the day (and what a fantastic day moisturizer it is.)

Next, the rice mask. It’s far richer and denser and actually feels quite solid in the jar. It still sinks in fast though, and if used in a thin layer, doesn’t leave a residue. It leaves my skin very plump and juicy, perfect for that dewy, radiant look (that always gets diminished by the horrible office air, anyway.) If I am using a more drying foundation like the Armani Lasting Silk, I would definitely use this under my sunscreen instead of the Honey mask. As a night moisturizer, I find it very soothing and more than sufficient for my skin. I can’t speak to very, very dry skin types though. You’ll love this if you have dry to oily skin, probably not for people at the extreme ends.

 

Would I repurchase? I think they are very cheap for very nicely formulated, solid moisturizers. ~$14.50 + shipping for 50ml each (at my affiliate link above) is a fantastic price, considering a L’oreal moisturizer here costs like $30. My honey mask has been used daily since early October, so 1 tub would last me about 6 months easily. Unless CosRX comes up with something even more amazing at an even better price, or The Ordinary comes up with one that I wanted to try, I would buy both of them over and over and over again. Of course, my preference leans towards the rice mask now thanks to my skin that’s getting a bit dryer, but both probably have a place on my vanity.

Most Underrated Depeche Mode Songs!

Random non-make up interlude: Depeche Mode!For another short interlude from make up…

If you ask me who my favourite artiste is, I’ll say Lana del Rey for sure. If you ask my what my favourite band is, I’ll say Depeche Mode for sure. My friend suggested other 80s synth acts to me, like A Flock of Seagulls, and I know of the existence of New Order and Erasure and shit, but nothing sticks except Depeche Mode. I like their darkness and edginess, and their lyrics have quite some elegance and eloquence to them.

(Also their next album is coming out 2nd Q of this year!!!!!!!!!!!! Excites!!!!!!!!!!!!! Especially since the last one was a bit too bluesy for my taste. This one sounds a bit more synth in a loungey way.)

I really didn’t like the first album Speak & Spell, because that’s too New Wave/Erasure/happy poppy bullshit to me, ie stuff that I don’t care about. Thank god their albums after that only got better and better.

The Sun and the Rainfall

God, this is so fucking beautiful. My very favourite early Depeche Mode song. The synths are so atmospheric and haunting. Love the background melody. Lyrics are beautiful, and the imagery of the chaos of something smashing on the floor, and the titular sun and rainfall, fit in beautifully with the haunting synths. And who else uses ‘estrange’ in a song? All that I’m saying, the game’s not worth playing over and over again… 😀

My Secret Garden

Yet another track from A Broken Frame that wasn’t released as a single and never got a live performance beyond 1982. I thought this was beautiful, if a little unpolished. It has some very interesting beats and synths, and a catchy melody with rather interesting lyrics. Baby Martin did well!

Freelove

Won’t talk too much about this song because I mentioned it as my 3rd favourite song of the whole Mode catalog. Still love it, such a soothing lullaby. I personally think it’s horrendously underrated. Nobody ever talks about it. I wish they would sing it more live.

When the Body Speaks

I always think this song is sung by Martin, because Dave rarely does all these slow ballads in such a high range. I think he sings beautifully and really shows off his range and his emotion here, and the haunting guitar pickings in the background makes it so… down to earth yet transcendental. I’ll be the first to admit I still have no fucking idea what this song is about, I only gather it’s about longing for a girl, I think? Still don’t know what the soul’s desires and what the flesh requires really mean. But a beautifully longing song nonetheless.

Stories of Old

I really like the sound of Some Great Reward as a whole. The hollow woodwind sounding thing that’s a feature of this song also appears in Lie to Me, another underrated track I like. I love the lyrics – it’s basically an anti-love song, very practical and non-soppy. Despite ‘being in heaven whenever we kiss’, they still ‘wouldn’t sacrifice anything at all to love’. And only Depeche Mode can make such unsentimental and unpoetic words sound so awesome. ‘Take a look at unselected cases/You’ll find love has been wrecked/By both sides compromising/Amounting to a disastrous effect.’ Like, is this a counselling session?

Also, check out the live and bluesy, non-synthy studio version from 2009. HOLY. COW. Quoting a Youtube commenter, ‘This is a perfect example of how a man can fuck make love to you with his voice.’ [my own correction]

The Things You Said

My love for Dave Gahan and his voice of a baritone angel is clearly documented. Consequently, I don’t fancy Martin-sung songs very much. This is an exception. I think this song is absolutely haunting. I don’t care for the lyrics very much – it sounds very gossipy, but thankfully the melody and synths, especially the deep bassy one, make them sound much better than they really are. I think this song really speaks as a masterpiece of arrangement.

Black Celebration

The titular song from their 5th album. I think it is a beautiful, ironic song about finding optimism in pessimism. And the comfort of a partner. Also about sex, probably. I can’t really pinpoint what’s so great about it, but it really sticks with you. Full of emotional range. The below version is from 2013 and shows how Dave Gahan is still a sexy beast 😛

Easy eyes with my favourite colour: Hint of Mint

My favourite colour is obviously, warm mint green. Best if there’s a shot of gold shimmer through it. I love it so much I have at least 4 of them. And my eye is always drawn to any mint greens in palettes.

Here’s a simple, no fuss way to wear it daily, without looking like too much colour.

I basically applied my nice shimmery mint green in my inner corners and maybe the inner 1/3 to 1/2 of my eyelid. I also have some on the lower inner corner. I believe this mint is my catrice single My Mermint. It’s dirt cheap (like $4?) and very beautiful, if a little bit dusty and prone to sheering out. Use it over a stickier base/primer for most stunning results.

I used a pencil liner (Clio Gelpresso in Golden Black [affiliate]- review) which is a warm olivey black with gold shimmer, which ties in very well, and just defined my lashline a little bit. And literally everything else was bare. I think it’s a very fresh, undone look that’s very easy and quick.

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Here’s the overall look. If you have Asian epicanthal folds like me, the green will just peek through when your eyes are open, and look very subtle. Kept to the fresh theme with a sheer glossy lip bronzer and some peachy blush. Very minimal base if I remember correctly.

(Is it just me or are my cheeks super huge here… :0 )

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I think this technique is super easy to do with any light, fresh colour. I’ll definitely doing this with lime yellow and other slightly more unorthodox colours too!

Doll-eyed liner

Okay, disclaimer. This is a revelation to me and likely to me only. You may have been doing this all your life, Idk 😀

If you noticed, I do a wing almost every time I line my eyes. It’s not a cat-eye wing. It’s just something I’ve been doing ever since I’ve started doing eyeliner all the years ago. My eyes are pretty large, and I find that winging it out creates a slightly more almond shape that looks very elegant and classic, and maybe slightly sultry. Things I try to be (but not really am :P) You can see it here, here, here. Seriously, at this point my hand just does it naturally. Nothing dramatic or angled, just an extension of my eye shape.

(Similarly, for false lashes, not that I wear any on the regular, I prefer ones that flare out at the outer edges. Just looks right to me somehow.)

Anyway, the other day I tried NOT doing a wing for once… and achieved a different effect! But I do quite like it. So if you’re like me and wing everything out all the time, try this.

Basically, I took a dark taupe shadow and lined it all around my eyes. Shadow is good because it’s soft and slightly imprecise. You don’t want a harsh line like gel gives you. I also prefer cooler tones for this, but do your preference.

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(Also, LASHES!!)

Alllll the way even into the inner corner. I find that bringing it all the way to the tear duct really makes it totally different to how I was doing my liner before (which usually ended at maximum, halfway round the bottom lashline.) With a black shadow (I tried) I look like an alien because my eyes look fucking humongous. With a brown/taupe, they just look super round and dolly. Also note the absence of a wing. It just literally goes all round the eyes and hug the lashline.

I like to do this without any other eyeshadow for maximum no-makeup-makeup naturalness.

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(Sorry, I literally had a dental appointment that morning, so you can imagine my chin is a little exposed 😛 It somehow looks fairly good still, I’m not bothered about it!)

I also kept the rest of my colour palette very pretty and neutral. A bit more colour on the cheeks (a beautiful wine – Rouge Bunny Rouge Florita) and a pink tinted balm (Mentholatum Sugar lips in Vintage Pink)

Since I lost my angled liner brush, this is a very simple way to line my eyes that I’m actually rather fond of. Somehow I’m really feeling the sweet natural looks, for these couple of weeks at least 😛

 

When was the last time you changed up your make up? How did it go?

2016 Roundup

Here is a quick, late and requisite round up post of 2016

 

Worst beauty related:

  1. Hormonal acne: seriously ain’t this a bitch. I used to have perrrrfect, clear, porcelain skin with the OCCASIONAL whitehead, like once a month. Nowadays, around my period I get deep cystic painful acne, thankfully only on the chin area while the rest of my face stays blissfully porcelain smooth like the olden days. Many days I’m like ‘damn, am I blessed with good skin THANK GOD except those bloody things on my chin.’ I’ve been trying to fight it with AHA and BHA, and Vit C to lighten the scars, but truthfully I don’t think there’s much you can do about hormonal acne except with serious medication like Tretinoin or maybe an IUD? I’m going to go hardcore with retinoids soon.
  2. I think that’s it. I must be ultra forgiving or something because I really can’t think of anything else terrible. Maybe the fact that my office air is dry as fuck and it really dries my skin out? Not to the extent that it’s itchy or tight, but my foundation always looks a bit cakey and dry at the end of the day, whereas normally if I head out of the office, at the end of the day I’m always pleasantly dewy.

Best beauty related:

  1. Bimatoprost. Seriously don’t know why I took so damn long to start using this. This stuff is awesome and I will keep using it as long as I can get my hands on it. I’m actually bothering to wear mascara and eye makeup everyday because I’m so in love with my lashes.  My brows too. I used to almost never leave the house without drawing in my brows (okay, and undereye concealer) at the bare minimum, but now I can actually leave the house fully barefaced because my brows are awesome.
  2. Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation in 213: Firstly, this shit is GREEN. Super, super green. And somehow, despite it looking suuuuuper pale, it doesn’t look ashy/weird on my skin, maybe cos it finally matches my undertones. I do have to mix in a little bit of my darkening mixer, but just a touch, much less than I would have thought. And though I still love my Armani Lasting Silk for sheer perfection and pore erasing, this dries out my skin with prolonged wear less, and looks kinder on flaky spots that I occasionally have. I think of Koh Gen Do as my foundation for looking nice and put together for day. My Armani is for looking grown up and glam during night time. I still love both, and probably after my current dark mixer is used up I’ll go for Luminous Silk in 6 to get more of the Armani goodness with the kindness of the KGD.
  3. Life’s Entropy liquid illuminators: (Review here) I’ve had 2, the funky colour shifting ones, Nebula and Celestial. I’ve used one up (I can never remember which is which…) but both were absolutely mindblowingly beautiful. They last the whole day on my skin, and give a beautiful ethereal purple/pink sheen on my cheekbones. I feel like I’m in a science fiction/K Pop world. I’m nearing the end of my 2nd sample, and I only imagine that a full size would last just about forever. I wish they came in even more colours like green or blue or whatever.

Non beauty goals for 2017:

  1. Keep up the regular exercise schedule of minimum 2-3x a week, My current rule is if I get home before 8pm I definitely must run, before 9pm I should try to run unless I’m dead tired. This was due to the fact that I’ve been going home late very frequently for the past 3 months, and I foresee that not happening that much in the future, which means exercise 4-5x a week, hopefully. Anyway even if I don’t manage to exercise in the week, I always run and do strength building on both Saturdays and Sundays. I’m very happy with my progress, weight and fat loss, although sometimes I do eat a little too much on happy days. So I definitely want to keep this up.
  2. Make more friends and go out more. I’m pretty introverted (despite not seeming so) and I like to spend weekends alone at home, but I think I should develop my social life just a little bit more this year.

Beauty goals for 2017:

  1. Have 30 empties. This is difficult for me because I use up products very, very slowly and I generally try to squeeze every last bit out of every last product. I jacked up my goal a little because I do have a few sample sizes that would be easy to finish.
  2. Keep to a fun budget of $100/month. For Christmas I contributed a fair bit of department present giving and all, so it wasn’t too great for my wallet. For next year, all my meals out/movies/clothes/beauty buying shouldn’t exceed $100 a month. I don’t think I need to replace many staples next year, only mascara and face primer. The main things I’m interested in getting next year are skincare from The Ordinary (but I realized for Singapore, they mark up their prices significantly, so it’s far cheaper if you buy from Victoria Health, even with shipping factored in.) The Ordinary doesn’t have moisturizers, so I would still need to buy my moisturizers [affiliate] and cleansers [affiliate] from CosRX on Qoo10. Make up… only lusting after Besame, really. And possibly Life’s Entropy, especially if they re-release their eyebrow gel again.
  3. Solve my skin issues. I need to pick at my skin less, and I’ll be attacking it with retinoids and etc. If it doesn’t get better in 2017, I’ll find a dermatologist in 2018, but I hope I don’t have to.
  4. Drink loadssss of water. I have definitely improved since my younger days but definitely I’m still drinking way less than is good. Hope fully this helps my skin issues too.

The Magical Bottle of Eyelash/Brow Growth: Bimatoprost

Update: Moar pics at the end!

Bimatoprost is a drug that is frequently used to treat glaucoma, and also has the very nice cosmetic effect of making hair GROW like nuts. Let Lab Muffin, the cool Australian chick explain how it works.

I’ve always had decent lashes and brows, but last time, I never felt like mascara ever made a difference. If it did, it required tons of effort of curling and application. It would be REALLY nice to have fluttery amazing lashes by just waking up.

Latisse is $200/bottle, so I splashed for the generic version, Careprost, which has the same concentration of bimatroprost, at $20/bottle.

So I’m sure what you really want to know is, does it work?

 

Here’s photographic evidence for your perusal, of both my eyelashes and brows.

Lashes:

Before:

Curled and with mascara [btw, I’ve used the same type of mascara for more than a year, in all these pictures, so it’s not the mascara making the difference.]:

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(this one looks like bare lashes. You can see I naturally have fairly good lashes, just that like all Asian lashes they point doooooown. And are dastardly difficult to curl.)

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2-3 weeks after using Bimatoprost:

With mascara

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(I think the below pic’s upper lashes for this weren’t curled to their full potential, but look at the lower ones!!!!)

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And a look at my brows…

Totally barefaced. I have a fair amount of brow hair but they’re just… kinda sparse? After about 1+ month on bimatoprost, you can see they are a LOT darker – just more density of hair. I don’t even need to do eyebrows anymore when I walk out without make up.

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So here’s a before and after with bare lashes. You can see my lashes are coming in denser and more lush, and they’re slightly longer. The photo doesn’t show them dramatically longer, but believe me, it makes a hugeeeee difference when I curl and put on mascara.

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Bimatoprost has also made it far easier to curl my lashes. I’m not sure why – it may be because of the additional length. My curl also holds for very much longer. I’ll take it!

In any case, I’ve only been on bimatoprost about 3-4 weeks, and it takes 2 months to see full results. I’m already very happy at the stage I am, so I wonder how I’ll look at the end of January? 😀 And best of all, you get to tell everyone these are your natural lashes, and there is no fiddling with falsies and glue, no extensions to worry about!

I apply it every night right now, but after the first bottle, I will be applying it maybe 3x a week for maintenance.

Update 16/1/17 – Maybe 2 months of usage? I have a couple of patches with very short lashes because some of the mega long lashes fell out. The slightly bare patches are growing back, so once the growth cycle is stabilized, I expect there to be no more bare patches where lash hair falls out all at one go while others are still insanely long. FYI, this is similar to the pregnancy hair effect. When you’re pregnant, your hair grows nonstop and doesn’t fall out (unless you yank at it) so after you give birth it falls out in massive clumps and youll have some bare patches until the hair grows back in its normal growth cycle again.

20170108_102341(0).jpgBare lashes – I mean holy crap look at the LENGTH!!! I have less volume than fake lashes but I definitely match them in length. I easily get a very fluttery look.

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Omg mega long and you can see I barely applied any mascara.

Very freaking happy, and STILL on the first bottle – I am applying it once every 2 days now.

Update 15/3 – My sister asked me today how to get my eye look – and I was wearing NOTHING on my eyes. No shadow no eye primer no mascara no nothing. I think I got a little bit of darkness around my eyes naturally, and bimatoprost also darkens the lashline a little bit, partially also because the lashes look so thick and lush now. I am SO happy with the unintended compliment 😛

Vitamin C Serum on the cheap: OST C20

Vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant and supposedly also helps your cells to create more collagen, etc. That’s why it’s frequently a star ingredient in a lot of skincare.

The cheapest and most widely available Vit C for us in Asia is likely to be the OST C20 Vitamin C Serum [affiliate]. It’s available for a super cheap $15.57 plus shipping from Roseroseshop.

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I bought it and used it mainly because of the scarring on my chin from the hormonal acne. If you look on the internet, some common criticisms are that it contains Niacinamide, which is what you DON’T want to mix with Vit C, and that Ascorbic Acid is not the best form of Vit C to use.

Ingredients:

Water, Ascorbic Acid, Ethanol, Sodium Lactate, Butylene Glycol, Glucose, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Rosa Davurica Bud Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Extract, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, BIS-PEG-18 Methyl Esther Dimethyl Silane, Diethoxyethyl Succinate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Xanthan, PEG-180, Gluconolactone, Beta-Glucan, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Zinc PCA, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Tocopherylacetate, Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ubiquinone, Diisopropyladipate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben

Overall, the texture is a viscous liquid. It smells to me like hotdog brine – slightly salty. It tastes slightly sour and salty too if you get it on your lips. I don’t mind it, I don’t find it weird or offputting. It dries slightly sticky, but it doesn’t matter to me because I put other stuff over it anyway. I had a tingling sensation the first few times I used it, but it’s non irritating and it won’t make you red. It does sting a little bit if you’re using it on pimples.

I first got it on 9/10/16, so it’s been about 3 months. I still have about 1/4 of the bottle left, and that’s only because I really doused my face in Vit C almost everyday and I even used it on my arms for awhile. I keep it in the fridge, and it hasn’t oxidized, so I’m pretty happy.

I used to use it right after cleansing in the evenings, but Vit C + AHA + BHA was a bit too much for my skin, so right now I use it in the mornings and use my AHA + BHA in the evenings. I wash my face, sometimes with a bit of cleanser, sometimes only with water, pat it dry and then apply it. I usually wait for a few minutes and get dressed before putting on the other stuff.

My chin scarring is still present because I keep picking at my skin (I’m working on it I swear) so there’s not much photographic evidence there, but here’s evidence of its effects of the spot on my cheek.

Some background: I fell down flat on my face around 10 years old, which resulted in a huge scab on my cheek. I never really actually noticed this scar until I got older. I don’t really mind it, since it’s not very obvious or terrible. It’s just a small patch of darker coloured skin on my left cheekbone.

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Defying logic, I somehow placed the before pic on the right, and the after pic on the left. The difference isn’t crazy dramatic, but it’s not as dark or as stark now, and the edges have softened up considerably. Note that the picture on the left is a super close up (which means it should be all the more obvious) and the one on the right is zoomed out.

Overall, this Vit C serum is a great beginner’s serum. It’s cheap, reasonably effective and easy to get from Qoo10. However, there are definitely better formulations out there. I’m going to be trying this one next, which is way more hardcore. However, this is dependable (and so budget friendly) that if future ones I try don’t work, I would definitely return to it.