I Tried a Bubbling Sheet Mask and it Was Super Weird

I got my PinkSeoul Box in a few weeks ago, so naturally, I was pretty excited to try everything out. I have to make myself space it all out, though, because trying fifteen different skin products at once can make your skin freak out, which is the opposite of what I’m going for.

One of the masks this round was the Mogongtox Soda Bubble Sheet. I’d heard a little bit about bubbling sheet masks, so I was pretty excited to try one out. I figured the bubbling action would help draw dirt and oil out of my pores for a deep clean that didn’t involve a ton of exfoliating.

Following the instructions PinkSeoul sent along with it, I rubbed the package in a circular motion and made three wishes…er, distributed the product evenly on the mask. This one only covers your nose, cheeks, and chin, not your forehead, but that’s okay because those are the places where I break out or have overly-visible pores.

Step One: Apply mask.

 

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Funny face optional.

 

Step Two: Leave on for ten minutes, enjoy pleasant bubbling/fizzing sensation.

Step Three: Wonder what this thing is doing to your face, go look in the mirror. Realize why they didn’t make the sheet go above your eyes.

 

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Step Three and a Half: Realize you look like a demented Santa Claus.

 

After ten minutes, you take the sheet mask off and throw it away, rub the remaining bubbles into your skin, and rinse with warm water. This is different from an essence sheet mask, in that you have to rinse it off after.

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Step Last: So fresh and so clean, clean.

Okay, so that’s the process of using the thing. How did it work? Really well, actually. I enjoyed the bubbling sensation on my skin, though I could definitely see where someone might think it feels a little creepy-crawly. Our skin products don’t often move of their own accord. I also kept wondering if the mask was going to slide down my face, like the air bubbles were somehow weighing it down, but no, it stayed put just fine.

The next morning, my skin felt nice and clean, and it didn’t feel like it had been overly dried out, which was a worry of mine. My acne and my pores both looked slightly improved, and my skin wasn’t irritated at all, so I’d call this mask a success!

If your skin is oily/combination, acne-prone, or if you have problems with clogged or visible pores, this should be a good mask for you. I wouldn’t recommend it for extremely dry or sensitive skin, as I don’t think those skin types would benefit from this kind of super-deep cleaning.

All in all, it’s a solid product, and I’d use it again next time my skin needed some extra cleansing. At fifteen dollars, I’m glad I got it in my subscription box, as it’s not something I’d buy for weekly use, though I might get one every several months as a treat.

I’ve got another neat mask pack in my PinkSeoul swag, so be looking for more posts of me with weird stuff on my face!

Not like that, Internet. Bunch of weirdos.

 

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Filler Post: Grad School Edition 

I know, Fledgling. You’re here to see what Korean skin care wonder I’ve put on my face recently, of maybe you’re here for more hilarious dress stories. I don’t blame you. But this weekend, I’m finishing up a pretty murderous class for my Master’s program, and I need all the time I can get. I will resume posting next week, probably with a product review because I know you like those.

Until then, here’s a picture of my pug sticking his tongue out in an adorable way. See you next week!

That Time I Got Stuck in a Dress

Remember when I posted about the Air Force Ball, and how I rented that baller dress from Rent The Runway?

Well, the tale continued. I just wasn’t able to write about it at the time due to being hella busy. One day, I will make a living off of wearing pretty things, using cool innovative skin care products, and writing stories about wearing and using those things. Today is not that day, Fledglings. I know, I’m as disappointed as you are.

So I got stuck in my dress that night, if the title didn’t give it away. It went on fine, and it fit well. I had a great time that night, and got a ton of compliments on my dress. Despite a surprise rainstorm flooding the road home, I was in good spirits when I went upstairs to disrobe.

And then I tried to undo the zipper on that gorgeous dress. I tugged. I pulled. My husband tugged and pulled more. That zipper was not moving.

Okaaayyy, this is amusing. Let’s take off the undergarments, so there’s a little more room to move in the dress. We’ll see if I can get a better angle on the zipper pull.

Nope.

Right, there’s more than one way to skin a Fashion Bird, let’s think this through. Can I take the dress off over my head?

Nope.

Down over my hips???

Nope.

This was getting slightly less amusing.

My husband pulled on the zipper one more time, and of course, the inevitable happened: the damnable zipper pull came off.

Definitely no longer amused. Definitely starting to freak out.

So, I’m trapped in a dress. WTF am I supposed to do??? My husband is frustrated and worried, I’m hot and itchy, and we’re both frantically Googling ‘how to unstick a zipper.’ I’m sure to any third-party observer, this scene looked hysterical, but at the time, I was not seeing the humor. Was I going to have to cut myself out of a $400 dress?  Was I going to have to sleep in this thing??? The fear was setting in, Fledglings.

Taking the advice of the internet, I rubbed a bar of soap on the zipper, the husband got a pair of pliers, and we tried pulling the zipper down again. Still nothing. Upon closer inspection, it looked like one of the teeth had broken off, making it so that the tiny formal-dress zipper wouldn’t move past a certain point.

Finally, after a good twenty minutes of similar antics and a little bit of screaming at the ceiling from both of us, Husband decided that we needed to split the zipper open so I could just get out of this freaking dress. At that point, I was desperate, so I told him to go ahead. Thank. God. He split the zipper open without tearing the fabric, and I was able to take it off. I know for a fact a zipper can be replaced without having to do all that much to a dress. I was super sad that I’d had to do that, but honestly I was way more relieved to not be in the dress anymore. It was gorgeous, and I loved it, but that feeling of panic I’d been keeping at bay was pretty unpleasant. Pretty sure I couldn’t wear it to work that Monday without getting weird looks. I was gonna want to shower at some point.

The next day, it was time to return the dress and accessories to RTR. I had to pack everything back into the big padded envelope they gave me and take it to a UPS store to drop it off. Return postage was already on the envelope, so that’s handy.

You have to scrunch everything in there, but it’ll fit!

On the way there, I called their customer service line to explain about the split zipper and getting trapped in the dress. I think the customer service rep I talked to was a little surprised by my tale – she definitely paused for an uncomfortably-long time after I finished explaining what happened. But, thankfully, after she came to her senses, she told me that the zipper would be covered by the dress insurance that’s included in every purchase. Hooray! The insurance covers ‘most things,’ as she put it, including minor stains, wear and tear, and apparently, emergency extraction-related zipper-splitting. I dropped off my fancy duds with a happy heart.

I still love RTR. That dress still looked fly, and it’s nobody’s fault that a zipper malfunctioned. Their customer service was lovely, their return process is super easy, and I wasn’t out any extra money to repair the slain zipper. It’s a stroke of genius to insure the clothing they rent against random mishaps. They are still highly recommended by me, and I’ll post photos of the next dress I get from them.

I Used Lush Toothie Tabs for a Month

I have recently decided to go sulfate-free with my hair care, in an attempt to get my greasy roots to behave. Naturally, this necessitated a trip to Lush. If you’re not familiar with the magic that is Lush Cosmetics, let me blow your mind for a minute here.

Lush is a UK company that is leading the beauty industry in phasing out animal testing for skin and hair products. Instead of testing their products on animals, they operate salons in the UK and US where willing human participants can go in for a free spa treatment, in exchange for candid feedback about their products. Eighty percent of their products are vegan, their packaging is made from recycled material, and here’s the kicker: all of their stuff makes you look gorgeous.

Are you skeptical? Because I was at first. How can washing your hair with plants and stuff make it soft and non-greasy? I was always told it was the industrial chemicals in shampoo that made it work. I’d been convinced my whole life that industrial chemistry was what made our hair manageable and ‘properly’ clean. Well, Fledglings, Lush proved me wrong.

When I was in Hawaii, the salt water, trade winds, and humidity had done a real number on my poor hair – it was tangled and dry, and I couldn’t get a comb through it, no matter how thoroughly I washed it. When we went shopping in Lahaina, I popped into a Lush I came across on Front Street, to see if they had any advice. Sure, it was organic stuff, but surely these guys could make a suggestion that would be better than the hotel conditioner. Sure enough, their Honey I Washed My Hair shampoo bar, combined with R&B leave-in hair moisturizer, finally got them beach waves back under control. I was a fan from that day forward.

So these Toothie Tabs. I picked them up on a whim when I went to replace my shampoo bar that had melted (dammit Texas), thinking to myself, ‘Eh, why not – they smell nice and look like they’d travel better than toothpaste.’ Since I gear a lot of my toiletries toward travel, I was intrigued by the fact that I wouldn’t have to put these guys in my quart-sized bag, and that they came in a (recycled/recyclable) plastic bottle that wouldn’t get crushed if I put it in my checked luggage. The ones that I got smell strongly of spearmint, so hey, that’s the flavor of most big-brand toothpaste, which made it an easy transition. I sniffed some others that smelled citrusy or herbaceous, and while I’m sure those have appeal to a lot of customers, I’m one of those people who thinks ‘mint’ when she thinks ‘toothpaste.’ So the minty ones were what I got.

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Bonus points for ironic product name.

After a month of use, I can safely say that these things are awesome. I brush my teeth once a day, at night, so the bottle I bought is still going strong – it’s not going to last a million years like an economy-sized tube of toothpaste would, but it’s also not leaving nasty dried goop all over the tube, and I’m not wasting product by not being able to squeeze it out of said tube. Since my husband uses a prescription toothpaste, the Toothie Tabs are all mine, so I get to use whatever I like. One of the best things about these is that any flecks of…stuff…that gets on your sink or mirror after you rinse and spit, doesn’t leave a white residue all over the bathroom like toothpaste does. You can wipe it off without having to bust out the Windex. I used to have to wash my toothbrush cover regularly, because somehow, even though I rinsed my toothbrush head, this white film from the toothpaste would cake the inside of the cover and look nasty, so I’d have to get in there and scrub it all off.. The Tabs, being mostly cream of tartar and essential oils, dissolve completely in water for easy cleanup.

How are my teeth doing? Fantastic, thank you for asking. They feel clean, they look shiny – I’m very happy with the results. They freshen my breath nicely, and when I wake up in the morning my mouth still feels clean. I’ve got several months until my next dental cleaning, but I intend to keep using the tabs and brushing/flossing regularly, so I’ll let you know what the dentist says next time I go in.

One of the ways these tabs differ from toothpaste is that they foam up a LOT more than paste. Don’t walk away from the sink while you’re brushing, or you’ll end up with foam running down your chin and onto your shirt. Ask me how I know that.

Safety Note: As with all dental care things, talk to your dentist if you’re in any way unsure about your health in the Mouth Department, and go in for regular cleanings. If your dentist has prescribed a certain care routine, don’t go against their advice and change it up. They have degrees in ‘keeping your teeth from falling out,’ so they’re the experts, not me. As always, this is one birdie’s experience, and your mileage may vary. I don’t have any major issues with cavities or gum disease or excessive tartar, so my dentist has basically said, ‘Just keep brushing and flossing!’ But if you’re in a different situation, get a professional take on it before changing up how you care for your chompers.

All in all, I’m really happy with these Toothie Tabs, and I fully intend to buy more when I run out. If you’re looking to go more natural with your health-and-beauty game, if you want to support a great company with amazing ethics, or if you just think these are quirky and you fancy trying something new, I can highly recommend them. I was not disappointed.

Waxing Poetic About Fall

Okay, it’s October now, I can officially talk about fall!

JK, I’ve been talking about it for at least a month now, much to my long-suffering husband’s annoyance. I know people bitch about ‘white girls’ and their love of fall (shut up and let us enjoy things), but here’s where I’m coming from when I get excited that it’s fall:

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Average number of hundred-degree days in Texas annually and per month. Source: National Weather Service

It’s in the nineties and hundreds pretty much from May through September in Texas. Climate change isn’t helping that any. When it’s time to finally get a break from the kind of heat that closes down schools and public buildings in more northern climes, I get excited about it. I do love me some summer, but after a while, you just get sick of being sweaty and burning your ass on your seat belt buckle every time you get in the car. One of my Lush shampoo bars was in my bag in the trunk of my husband’s car for a four-hour drive, and the bar MELTED. I ordered some BB Cream from Sephora’s online store, and when it finally shipped to my house, the heat had RUINED IT and I had to return it. I now keep my toiletry bag in the cab of the car – lesson learned. It is too hot for life in Texas for almost half the year – definitely too hot for good-quality skin care products. Fall is coming? Time to party.

Here are my favorite fall fashion staples. Since fall only lasts a couple of weeks here in Texas before A) it gets hot again, or B) ice storms, fall clothes take a few years to wear out. I like to invest in some snuggly cool-weather gear that I can wear year after year, and then maybe update with one new or replacement item each year.

  1. Shawls – Nothing says ‘snuggly’ like wrapping up in what’s essentially a socially-appropriate-to-wear-outdoors blankie. They’re perfect for layering on those days when it’s chilly in the morning and warm in the afternoon. They help you weather the extreme temperatures of offices and public transit. And they add instant style to the simplest work trousers/plain top combo. If you’re as big a leggings fan as I am, you can also utilize a long wrap to cover your bum and go from ‘weekend’ to ‘work day’ while staying comfy.
  2. Boots – You knew boots would be in a post about fall, right? I’m not a fan of the ubiquitous Uggs, but by all means, wear them if you love them. My issue is that my feet get sweaty in sandals, so fur-lined shoes would not work for me. But if you’re of the refrigerator-toes persuasion, I can see the benefits. When it gets cool and rainy out, boots of any height are great for keeping warm and dry, and for making a summer piece like a maxi skirt more autumnal. I like knee-high boots with a very low heel, myself, but I’m intrigued by this Fall 2016 trend of taupe booties. I may need to make those happen.
  3. Sweaters – Shawls not your thing? Sweaters are the obvious-yet-awesome second option. There’s something about a cute sweater that automatically dresses up an outfit – so much so that a friend of mine would keep a knit sweater in his desk drawer at work, in case executives came by unexpectedly. He could pull the sweater over his business-casual polo/khakis combo and suddenly look ready to chat with the CEO without having to keep a blazer jacket crisp and ready. Once again, a sweater is a good choice if you need layers, and it’s less bulky than a coat if you like to travel light – or if you live in Texas and a coat is usually unnecessary. A couple of sweaters in your favorite colors and patterns will serve you well this fall.
  4. Scarves – My true shopping weakness. I probably get a new scarf every fall, and for a while I had an inordinate number of them until I finally took the KonMari method to them. I like infinity scarves in a light fabric, because it doesn’t get truly Arctic here in Texas most winters. I do keep one sturdy knitted scarf on hand for that occasional ice storm, but I’ve found that even the light cotton infinity scarves provide a little bit of warmth – and you can pull them over your head to keep the rain off! This is another way to add interest to a simple outfit, or update last year’s look without replacing everything. Bonus: a decorative scarf can make a boob-tastic top more work appropriate.
  5. Pumpkin Spice Lattes – Obviously. I like mine Grande and half-caf. But there’s a new fall drink that I might – MIGHT – like more than the PSL. The Starbucks Chile Mocha is one of the best things I’ve gotten from there in a long time, and I’m a regular customer. The spice with the chocolate is fantastic, and I can’t believe they didn’t think of this sooner.

Happy fall, Fledglings!