I had a lightbulb moment a few Sundays ago when I was rummaging through my beauty cabinet, and then my beauty bin under my sink, and then my shopping bag full of products that don’t quite fit in my cabinet or under the sink… I’m kind of a beauty junkie. (And potentially also a hoarder.)
I’m constantly researching new products. (This past weekend’s searches were for a retinol cream… Starting to see more lines and wrinkles by the day!) I’m always experimenting with new serums, creams, masks, cleansers, and the like. A few weeks ago on a Saturday night, a few girlfriends and I were chatting in depth about skincare routines at one of our girlfriends’ birthday parties… Lines we’ve tried, what we’ve liked, skin types, etc. (Oh, the joys of getting older.) I realized I only share about 1% of my skincare shenanigans and makeup musts here on the blog. I do tend to share a lot more beauty coverage on Snapchat, but a very small percentage of Bows & Sequins readers are on Snapchat. So let’s change that, shall we? (And no, you don’t have to download Snapchat. But it is a lot of fun!)
From here on out, I’ll be sharing mini product reviews, as well as quick tips and tutorials in a weekly to bi-weekly column here on Bows & Sequins. Keep an eye out for the Beauty Buff post titles, all of which you’ll be able to find by clicking the ‘Beauty’ category at the top of the website. On social media, I’ll group all of my posts with #BowsBeautyBuff for easy searching.
Before we get started, I’d love to pick your brain a little bit — What do you want to see? What are some of your need-to-know beauty questions? What are some of your biggest beauty concerns — dark circles, dry skin, adult acne, redness, sensitive skin? What types of beauty reviews to you enjoy reading? And what types of reviews would you rather not read? I’d love to hear your thoughts to help shape this column into a something you look forward to reading, week after week!
Also — I’m working on a post with the woman who does my eyebrows in Chicago. She’s God’s gift to eyebrows, I’m telling you! But since she’s only in Chicago, I figured I’d do a little Q&A with her to share the wealth if you’re not from around here. What are some of your beauty questions related specifically to eyebrows? Whether it’s finding the right shape for your face, what types of tweezers to use, or even products to fill them in, we’ll cover it all. Leave any and all questions for her or about eyebrows below! xo
Now, on to the good stuff… Face masks!
Face masks are my guilty pleasure. I’ve never been one to splurge on facials… I’ve seriously only had, like, five of them my entire life. But face masks make me feel like I’m bringing the spa home! I’m always one for instant gratification and face masks are one surefire way to see results on the spot.
Quick side note on facials while we’re on the topic… I always feel like I somehow look worse after facials. I feel like extractions and I really don’t mix… I always feel blotchy afterwards, you know? Maybe I’ve just gotten not-so-great of facials in the past? They’ve been pricey and at nice places, though so I’ve wanted to assume that wasn’t the case. I’d basically come to terms with the fact that I’m just a rare breed — a skincare snob that hates facials. HOWEVER… Last spring before I moved, I realized I had a gift card to Sisley in the West Village in New York. I went on a rainy Sunday afternoon and OMG, I was glowing when I left. Even in the rain! Like I said, I had a gift card and they are pricey, but seriously — it’s worth the splurge! It was probably a good thing that I didn’t know how good their facial were the whole time I lived in NYC. Highly, highly recommend!
But back to masks…
I do face masks at least once a week! And more often than not, I do two masks in a row… A detox mask followed my a moisturizing mask. My skin is pretty dry, but can be prone to breakouts. Moisture is key! Whenever I do any type of detox mask, I’m always sure to do a moisture mask afterwards or slather on a moisturizing oil when I’m done.
Caudalie is one of my favorite skincare brands. The Caudalie Overnight Detox Oil got me hooked two years ago and I’ve since tried a whole slew of their products — the Purifying Mask, the Moisturizing Mask, the Instant Detox Mask (which I just recently got and is not pictured here.. I love it so far, though!), the Beauty Elixir (one of my travel must-haves!), the Divine Oil, the Premier Cru Eye Cream, and the Premier Cru Cream. I’d highly recommend them all! These two masks about are game changers, seriously. Each tube is under $40 and you get a lot of applications from each tube, too!
The Purifying Mask is a clay-like masks that works to target blemished and clarify your skin. The instructions say to apply twice a week for 10 minutes, but I always end up leaving it on my skin for probably closer to 30 minutes. No irritation! I always feel like I have a more even skintone and clearer skin afterwards. I love following this mask with the Detox Oil or the Moisturizing Mask!
The Moisturizing Mask is absolutely amazing, too. The instructions say to “Apply twice a week to face and eye contours. Remove excess after 15 minutes or leave on all night.” I basically took that as “leave on as long as possible.” I’ll leave this on for hours at a time while I’m working or cleaning around my apartment at night. My skin feels so plump and definitely has a glow afterwards!
The Fresh Honey Mask is one that I waited for so long to try. It looks so thick and sticky in the jar so I was hesitant to put it on my face. But I was instantly hooked once I took the plunge! It’s not really sticky at all, contrary to the name. It smooths on nicely! It has a slight graininess to it, which acts as an exfoliant when you wash it off. It’s insanely hydrating! Like I said, one application got me hooked. It smells like honey, but I think it’s nice! This one is definitely pricey, but the instant dewiness makes me feel like it’s worth it. (PS: The tiny little jar shown is only 0.5 fl oz .. The retail size is 3.3 fl oz. Hopefully that justifies the price a bit more! ha)
I think it actually might have been these two Glossier masks that got me hooked on masks a few years ago… It was love at first application! The price is insanely good (just $22!), and these jars last for-ev-er.
Glossier says the Galaxy Greens Detox Mask is like a juice cleanse for your face… The ultimate reset! I always feel like my skin looks clearer, but never red or irritated afterwards. It’s great for my sensitive skin. I leave it on for 20-30 minutes each time.
The Moisturizing Moon Mask so soothing. My skin feels dewy and bright whenever I’m done! I apply it for 20-30 minutes, or sometimes up to an hour to soak in all of the extra moisture. I love applying these two as a two-step set!
You can get 20% off the Glossier site using this link!
And a few other favorites not pictured…
Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask: I’ve been using this one for years, too! You leave this one on for about 30 minutes until it fully dries. You’ll know when as your face will feel realllllyyy tight! The active charcoal draws impurities out of your skin for a very clear-looking complexion. I also love that this comes in travel-sized pods to use when you’re on the road! I always pack one in my toiletry case, you never know when you’ll need a good skin detox. // Available at Sephora & Birchbox
Laneige Water Sleeping Mask: I recently just tried this mask a few weeks ago and have used it a few times since. It’s great for the price… You can find it at the drugstore! My only qualm is that I was worried about my sheets (I love my Boll & Branch sheets!) so I made sure to apply with ample time before turning out the lights. It soaks into your skin and feels soft, rather than sticky. By the time I turned in, I wasn’t worried about it. My skin felt very plump and moisturized in the AM! I’ve also read that you should layer your serums under this product before you hit the sheets… It’s totally fine to use both!
What are some of your favorite masks? I’d love to add some new ones to my must-try list! Have you tried any of the masks mentioned above? Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!