Friday, April 26, 2013

Lush Cupcake Fresh Face Mask Review

*This product was purchased by me. I am a Lush employee so I do receive a discount on Lush products. This does not change my opinion on the product in any way.*
Image from Lush.
Today I'll be reviewing one of Lush's Fresh Face Masks, called Cupcake! All of Lush's Fresh Face Masks are handmade, preservative-free, and only available in Lush stores. Since these are preservative-free, the fresh face masks have a shelf life of approximately 3 weeks, and should be stored in the refrigerator. I recommend using each face mask about 2-3 times a week for those 3 weeks. You should be able to finish the mask in that time period, but if you're like me and have one or two uses left past the expiration date, I simply treat the mask like food; if you wouldn't eat, don't put it on your face! I find that as long as you have stored your mask in the fridge for it's entire shelf life, you are okay to use it one more week.

There are 9 fresh face masks in total, and their effects vary according to individual needs. Cupcake was created for oily and acne prone skin. Lush's claims:
  • A chocolate mint mask for oily or spotty skin.
  • Helps to calm redness and deep clean.
  • Has a refreshing minty tingle.
Lush's Ingredients: 
  • Rhassoul Mud-a clay that deep cleans and de-greases the skin.
  • Glycerine-a humectant, it helps skin to retain moisture.
  • Linseed Infusion-an herb, which helps treat acne.
  • Talc-gives the mask a more spreadable texture, and to mattify the skin.
  • Cocoa Powder-adds fragrance to the product.
  • Fresh Mint-used as an antiseptic and for it's cooling properties.
  • Sandalwood Oil-used as an emollient, to smooth and soften the skin.
  • Vanilla Absolute-calms down redness and adds to the mask's aroma.
  • Spearmint Oil-cools and refreshes the skin.
  • Peppermint Oil-cools and refreshes the skin.
  • Limonene-occurs naturally in essential oils
  • Perfume-blend of natural oils, resins, and absolutes that adds to the product's aroma.
Cupcake was originally created for oily, acne-prone teenage skin, but can work for anyone who possesses a similar skin type. The way I use the mask is by taking it out of the fridge, and smoothing it on clean skin over your entire face (and avoiding the eyes and mouth). The texture of the mask is a bit like clay in consistency, so it's not the easiest to spread on the face, but it is doable. It is recommended to be left on the skin for about 10 min, or until the mask is nearly (but not completely dry). The mask will dry and harden fairly quickly, and leave a tightening and cooling sensation on the face, which I rather enjoy. You remove the mask with warm water in either the sink or shower, though I recommend the shower due to the messiness of the product.

This is my perfect face mask, since it deeply cleanses the skin and helps clean out your pores. My pores looked much cleaner, and it does help extract some blackheads (the ones on the surface that aren't too deep). I was expecting this to dry out my skin, but it didn't at all! Instead my skin was incredibly smooth and soft, but without any residue. I love that clean, but not dry feeling, that Cupcake leaves.

I wouldn't recommend this for dry or sensitive skin, but even if you are a little sensitive, I would still do a skin test just to make sure it doesn't irritate your skin. I'm a little sensitive, and this mask doesn't irritate me whatsoever, so it's all based on the individual. However, if you are anywhere from combination to oily, this mask is amazing if your goal is to deeply clean out your pores.

I'm not sure if it would have any long terms effect on acne itself, but deep cleaning the skin is always beneficial to those who are acne-prone. It does slightly clean and dry out active acne, but it doesn't dry out your entire face or produce any radical changes to your acne.

While the texture of the mask itself is thick and somewhat hard to spread, it's a given due to its clay base. As for the scent, it is truly delicious! It smells like chocolate with a hint of mint, and remind me quite a bit of chocolate pudding. The scent alone makes Cupcake a very fun treat for your face!

  • Deeply cleanses your face.
  • Helps clean out pores.
  • Leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth.
  • Does not dry out my skin.
  • Slightly reduces redness.
  • Helps with minor acne.
  • Helps remove oil from the skin.
  • Refreshes and tingles.
  • Smells amazing.
  • The ingredients are very basic and have no preservatives or questionable ingredients.
  • Not too expensive, at $6.95.
    • Might not reduce severe acne or help clear it up completely.
    • The texture of the mask can be hard to spread.
    • Can be a bit messy when washing the mask off.
    • It's fun to use, but might not be essential to your routine. (I think it helps my skin overall, but not everyone uses face masks on a regular basis like I do.)
    • This face mask is fresh and can only be used for about 3 weeks.
    Lush Cupcake Fresh Face Mask
    Lush Cupcake Fresh Face Mask
    Lush Cupcake Fresh Face Mask
    Lush Cupcake Fresh Face Mask
    Lush Cupcake Fresh Face Mask
    Me wearing Lush Cupcake Fresh Face Mask, and making a silly face.
    Me wearing Lush Cupcake Fresh Face Mask. I feel kinda brave posting this on the internet, lol.
    One more thing, Lush does have a recycling program! If you bring back 5 clean, empty black pots (like the one shown, though it doesn't have to be from a fresh face mask) you get a free fresh face mask of your choice! So definitely save your black pots, so you can try out a face mask like Cupcake!

    These fresh face masks sell out very quickly at my store and at most store locations, so I recommend picking them up soon after they are shipped. Plus, you want to have more time to use the product! For example, my store gets their fresh face mask shipments on Thursday, so I'd recommend picking them up Thursday afternoon to Saturday.

    Beauty in the Breakdown:
    • Brand: Lush
    • Product: Fresh Face Mask
    • Type: Cupcake
    • Price: $6.95 
    • Where to get: Lush stores 
    • Package Quality (out of 5 stars): ***** (Love these recyclable pots!)
    • Overall Rating (out of 5 stars): ***** (One of the best face masks I have ever used. I want a mask that deeply cleans my skin, and this mask definitely does that!)
    • Recommend: Yes
    • Repurchase: Yes, I personally love this face mask, and though I will try out other Lush face masks, I do believe Cupcake is one I could see being a part of my regular routine. It will be hard for any other face mask to beat this!
    • Side Note: Cupcake is cruelty-free, vegan, and preservative-free.
    • Grade: A
    Disclosure: This product was purchased by me for review purposes. I was not paid or compensated in any way. All opinions are my own.

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    MAC Empties + Palette

    *All of these items were purchased by me, other than the MAC lipstick, which was traded for using The Back to MAC program*

    Hello, everyone! I don't buy a lot of MAC products, other than their amazing lipsticks, but I do have some older MAC eyeshadows I've accumulated throughout the years. Most notably I have six MAC eyeshadow, which were given to me during Christmastime in high school! My junior year was when I was especially getting into make-up, and I was a huge fan of bright colors! The six colors I used were Gorgeous Gold (Veluxe Pearl), Coppering (Veluxe Pearl), Freshwater (Veluxe Pearl), Hepcat (Frost, discontinued), Sprout (Frost, discontinued), and Aquadisiac (Lustre). I don't use Hepcat or Sprout anymore, because for some reason the texture of these Frost eyeshadows aren't the same anymore. I do keep them around for sentimental purposes, especially Sprout, since it was my first and favorite green! I don't use Gorgeous Gold or Coppering much anymore, but they are still in good condition. Freshwater and Aquadisiac are just as good when I bought them, and I still use them as a pop of color on the lower lash line. I know these eyeshadows are old, and according to most guidelines, should be thrown out, but I don't throw out powder makeup until the texture, quality, scent, or consistency has changed (which is why I don't use some of the shades).*

    (*Note: Dry powder makeup is much more stable over time than cream or mascara products, which is why I'm not strict about throwing out my powder products. I do follow expiration guidelines when it comes to all cream products and mascara. If you'd like a post on when to toss your makeup, let me know! These are just my own personal methods of dealing with older makeup, and I'm not recommending anything to anyone.)

    I decided to do something I've been dying to do for ages, buy a magnetic palette, and depot my single eyeshadows! I decided to get one of the new MAC Pro Palettes to start off with, and eventually get a Z palette and compare the two. So I went to work and depotted all six of my shadows before heading to a MAC store to get my palette! If you bring back 6 empty MAC containers, you may receive 1 lipstick (at all MAC locations), 1 eyeshadow (MAC Pro Stores only), or 1 lipglass (MAC Pro Stores only) for free. This recycling program is called "Back to MAC." (You can only buy MAC palettes and MAC pan eyeshadows at stand alone MAC stores, just in case you were wondering!)
    My depotted MAC eyeshadows!
    I wanted something completely different than any other lipstick I own, so I got Rebel (Satin), a vampy dark plum. At this point in time, the only other MAC lipsticks I owned are Creme Cup (Cremesheen) and Plumful (Lustre), so I really wanted to try out another lipstick finish. Though it is rather dark, Rebel is actually a lot more wearable than you'd imagine! You can tone it down a bit by blotting off the excess to make a stain or wear it in it's full opaque gorgeousness! I especially love that I got this beauty for free!
    MAC Rebel 
    MAC Rebel
    And now for the palette! A MAC Pro Palette retails for $18, which is slightly cheaper than a Z palette, though it does not come with any magnets or inserts. I bought a roll of magnet stickers from a hardware store, so I was already covered. My magnet roll will magnetize to both a MAC palette and a Z Palette (my GlamRx and Inglot palettes have the same magnet base as a Z Palette), though strangely enough, my magnet roll magnetizes much more strongly to the MAC palette. So to clear up the confusion, a MAC palette actually has a different magnetic base than Z, GlamRX, and Inglot Palettes. For example my Yaby, Stila, and Inglot shadows already have a magnetized metal pan and DO stick to Z/GlamRX/Inglot palettes, but DO NOT stick to a MAC palette without an added magnet. In retrospect, I would have preferred to just get a Z palette, but I really love the plastic (rather than cardboard) design of the MAC palette, so no regrets! It's not that hard to add a magnet, after all.

    So here's my palette in progress!
    Eyeshadow shades from left to right by row: MAC Gorgeous Gold (Veluxe Pearl), MAC Coppering (Veluxe Pearl), MAC Freshwater (Veluxe Pearl), MAC Hepcat (Frost, discontinued), MAC Sprout (Frost, discontinued), MAC Aquadisiac (Lustre), Too Faced Fantasy Island Eyeshadow Duo (only the turquoise shade remains, since I used up the green long ago), Urban Decay Hotpants (old formula, discontinued), Urban Decay Baked (old formula, still available in new formula), MAC Patina (Frost), MAC All That Glitters (Veluxe Pearl), MAC Lucky Green (Veluxe Pearl), Coastal Scents Golden Globe, Coastal Scents Dark Goldenrod, Coastal Scents Dark Olive, Yaby Azalea Petal, Yaby Seashell,  Stila Puppy, Stila Twig, Stila Kitten, Wet 'N Wild Sugar, and Wet 'N Wild Nutty.

    And that's it for now! If you'd like a post on how I depot my eyeshadows, let me know! Also, if anyone knows how to depot NYX single eyeshadows please let me know. Even though I've looked it up multiple times, I cannot do it! There is no lip between the shadow pan and the packaging (like with MAC eyeshadows), so I can't pop the shadow out. I'm dying to figure it out, so please let me know!

    Disclosure: These products were purchased by me for review purposes. I was not paid or compensated in any way. All opinions are my own.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    Lush Winter 2013 Hair & Fun Product Haul

    *These products were all given to me as a part of working for Lush. This does not change my opinion on the products in any way.*
    These products all fit in that box! :)
    Hello, everyone! I thought I'd share my Lush staff box with you all. These are all of Lush's new products come 2013, which includes new haircare products, plus Lush's new "play dough for your bath," called Fun! Let's get to it!
    Fun: Sample Sizes of Pink, Green, Yellow, Red, & Blue
    Pink Fun
    Green Fun
    Yellow Fun
    Red Fun
    Blue Fun
    What a full size Fun looks like :)
    First Impressions:
    • Full retail price: $6.95 each
    • What it is: This is mull-purpose moldable soap! Basically it's like play dough outside the bath, which can be molded into different shapes. Inside the bath, you can use Fun as soap, shampoo, or bubble bath! Pretty cool, and very fun for kids! I recommend cutting off a small portion at time for use inside the bath. Otherwise the roll will get kind of soapy, and besides, you want your "Fun" to last longer!
    • Description: 
      • Pink Fun: A sugary sweet scent w/ vanilla and tonka absolute.
      • Green Fun: An uplifting scent w/ lemon and lime oils
      • Yellow Fun: A comforting sweet scent w/ vanilla absolute and gardenia extract.
      • Red Fun: A cheery scent w/ orange and mandarin oils.
      • Blue Fun: A soothing bedtime scent w/ chamomile and lavender oils.
    • This product is preservative free, and the wrapper is biodegradable! Also, a portion of Fun's sales is given to FUNd, a Lush initiative which supports charities in Fukushima, Japan, whose mission is to create safer places for children to play outdoors!
    Blousey Shampoo (sample size)
    First Impressions:
    • Full retail price: $25.95 for 8.4oz
    • What it is: This is a shampoo specifically made for damaged, over-processed, colored, bleached, or fragile hair. This is a non-stripping shampoo that is particularly ideal for color-treated hair. While my hair isn't color treated, I love the idea of moisturizing shampoo with bananas, cocoa, and cupuacu butters.
    • Description: A shampoo for damaged and color-treated hair.
    • This definitely has an strange herbal scent, but I've heard it works very well! Definitely curious to try it!
    Fair Trade Honey Shampoo (small size)
    First Impressions:
    • Full retail price: $9.95 for 3.3 fl oz, $19.95 for 8.8 fl oz, $29.95 for 16.9 fl oz
    • What it is: Fair Trade Honey is, you guessed it, a honey-based shampoo. Over half the bottle consists of honey! This is a moisturizing shampoo, helping to give both moisture and shine.
    • Description: A moisturizing honey shampoo.
    • This shampoo is ideal for all hair types, especially those who want some extra moisture. It's also preservative free!
    Happy Happy Joy Joy Hair Conditioner (small size)
    First Impressions:
    • Full retail price: $12.95 for 3.3 fl oz, $24.95 for 8.8 fl oz, $39.95 for 16.9 fl oz
    • What it is: I've tried this conditioner already, so I'd call it a "medium-strength" conditioner. It's not quite light, or heavy, but a good one to pair with any type of shampoo, depending on individual needs. It has an interesting fragrance, with rose water, orange blossom water, almond milk, rosewood oil, and grapefruit oil. I don't know if everyone will love the scent, but I do enjoy it! 
    • Description: A light, creamy, fragrant vegan conditioner.
    • This is a good conditioner for everyone, including bleached or over-processed hair. 
    Big Solid Conditioner
    First Impressions:
    • Full retail price: $9.95 for 3.5 oz (cut to weight in store, so you can get whatever size you want)
    • What it is: This is Lush's second solid conditioner, next to Jungle. It's meant to condition, while giving volume and shine. It contains sea salt, vanilla, jasmine, tonka, extra virgin coconut oil, seaweed, and lemon/lime juice.
    • Description: A volumizing solid conditioner.
    • This will pair well with Lush's Big Shampoo or Seanik Solid Shampoo Bar, or any volumizing shampoo! This is also preservative free.
    Roots Hair Treatment (sample size)
    First Impressions:
    • Full retail price: $19.95 for 8.4 oz
    • What it is: Roots is a hair treatment made for fine, thin hair. You actually put this conditioner on dry hair, massage from roots to ends, leave on for 20 min, and shampoo/condition as normal. This is both a hair and scalp treatment, so it's important to really massage this in. You'll feeling the tingling peppermint and spearmint oils, which will help stimulate the scalp in order to promote hair growth. This also contains extra virgin olive oil and honey to condition the hair and add shine, without weighting the hair down.
    • Description: A hair treatment to give dull, fine, and thin hair both volume and shine.
    • I've tried this once, and it made my scalp feel nice and does give some volume!
    Superbalm Scalp Treatment (sample size)
    First Impressions:
    • Full retail price: $19.95 for 1.5 oz
    • What it is: This is a treatment for the scalp, not the hair. It's meant for itchy, dandruff-ridden scalps, and contains soothing coconut oil, candelilla wax, and salicylic acid.
    • Description: A treatment for dry, troubled scalps, which moisturizes, softens, and eliminated flakes.
    • This is a scalp treatment that you leave on for 20 min and wash out.
    Shine So Bright Split End Treatment
    First Impressions:
    • Full retail price: $9.95 for 0.3 oz
    • What it is: This is a balm to help smooth down and condition split ends. It conditions and adds shine with extra virgin coconut and olive oils, shea butter, and eggs. It's meant to help improve the strength of your ends; instead of picking at your split ends, I've been putting this on the ends instead.
    • Description: A balm for split ends.
    • This smells similar to Lush's Happy Happy Joy Joy Conditioner!
    Sea Spray Hair Mist
    First Impressions:
    • Full retail price: $12.95 for 3.3 fl oz
    • What it is: This is a misting spray containing sea salt, sea water, seaweed, orange flower, grapefruit, neroli, and rosewood, in order to help your hair stay in place, add shine, give volume, and fragrance the hair.
    • Description: A volumizing hair mist to bring out waves and give some hold.
    • This is great on wet or dry hair in order to refresh, restyle, or add volume/texture/shine. I have wavy hair that I rarely blow dry, so I love this stuff! I highly recommend!
    Hope you enjoyed! Thank you Lush for being so awesome and treating your employees so nice!

    Disclosure: These products were given to me as part of being a Lush employee. I was not paid or compensated in any way. All opinions are my own.