K-Beauty Product Review: Pore Charcoal Mud Sheet Mask by Caolion Lab

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It’s been a minute since I’ve done a beauty review so bare with me here. I recently tried this product (I found it at CVS) and was curious about it.

Even though I’m well-aged and delicious like a fine wine, I still get acne. I have a naturally oily face so breakouts are rather common.

Let’s look at the back of the packaging to take a hard look at the ingredients:

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Wayment…Did you catch that?

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VOLCANIC ASH?

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You know…sometimes you gotta do it for the culture, so YOLO.

Now, the packaging was something interesting:

I’m not sure what I was expecting but this wasn’t it. Nevertheless, I put the volcano on my face:

You see, I keeps it real on this blog. I can show myself looking like a hot-ass mess with unkempt hair for the sake of a product review.

Now, this product took a bit longer than usual to dry.

And of course, the dry pic:

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No, I wasn’t pouting but I really couldn’t talk or smile. Bear got a kick out of my face because he thought I looked like a zombie, LOL.

After rinsing it all off and moisturizing my face, here is a non-filtered pic in natural light:

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Not too shabby!

Alright, now that we’ve met the player and played the game, how did this product score?

PROS: 

  • Cheap! I think this cost around $8.
  • Putting the mask on was rather easy, though it looked a bit complicated.
  • The smell was mild. It didn’t smell like a volcano, LOL.

Of course, with everything good, there is some bad:

CONS:

  • Okay, let’s get the monkey out of the way – unless you’re a bit skewed about putting something that contains volcanic ash on your face, you probably don’t want this.
  • I did have a mild breakout a couple days later, but then it disappeared. My skin hasn’t had a breakout since then, so maybe there’s something about that ash.
  • It took foreverrrrr to dry. It took my face around 40 minutes to completely dry. That’s something to consider if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands. I’m always busy so I just put the mask on and went about my business.

Overall, I do recommend this but buyer beware. Like I’ve mentioned before, I did have a mild breakout but it only lasted for a day before it cleared up on its own.

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Makeup Review – Black Radiance Nude Lippy

Over the years, I’ve become a fan of the nude lip. And being a dark-skinned woman, sometimes it’s hard to find the right one that won’t make me look like a clown-in-waiting at Circus Circus.

While I have boasted about my love of NARS, I love a good dupe. I love saving money.

Enter Black Radiance.

Black Radiance is a brand that’s been around for a while, and it caters specifically to black and brown skin tones. It’s also hella cheap and if you’re a makeup junkie but also on a budget, this might be something to look into it.

I was on the hunt for a new nude and decided to check out my local Target for any hot ones. The moment I saw Black Radiance, it was love at first sight. Well, for me, it was love. For them, I’m sure it was:

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But I digress…

I quickly snatched up Naughty Brown (color 5405) and couldn’t wait to get home to try it. It went on very smooth and it didn’t crack out my lips like some other matte colors. No smell, no fragrance.

I was a bit taken aback at how muted the color was – my lips did look invisible and I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about that. Maybe that was the point of the matte?

But they looked delicious enough for a selfie:

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And another angle:

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And one more because I’m feeling myself like I’m Melanin Monroe and without the filter:

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Now let’s review:

Pros:

  • Black Radiance is a strong brand.
  • It caters to darker skin tones, though fair skin tones can wear some of the products.
  • The pigmentation for a cheap brand is actually pretty good. I was pleasantly surprised by it.
  • It’s cheap! OMG! It’s hella cheap! I paid $3.99 for my lip gloss but you can get it even cheaper at Wal-Mart.
  • Available just about everywhere: Amazon, Target, Walmart, CVS, and Ebay.

Cons:

  • The muted colors might be too muted, if that makes sense. (I did say I felt my lips looked invisible.) But you’ll slay in the pics.
  • It doesn’t have a wide range of colors like some other cheap brands (think NYX), but they’re constantly expanding.
  • The price might make you think because it’s cheap, it won’t be good.

Bottom Line: I do recommend it even if you don’t have melanin! Go ahead and try it!

 

Product Review – e.l.f. Poreless Face Primer

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I’m always on the hunt for the perfect primer. While I have an old faithful that I truly adore and love, I always want to venture out and try new ones.

Enter e.l.f.’s Poreless Face Primer!

I was intrigued by this because I love the e.l.f. brand and the fact this primer is only $10 USD made me a huge fan. Let’s face it, when you have cheap makeup that looks good and works, it’s usually a deal, right?

Usually. We’ll get to that part in a minute.

Turning over the back, I read the ingredients. A key ingredient came to my attention.

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Notice it has a lot of silicones (anything that ends in cone is a silicone, however, not all silicones are bad so it’s a buyer/consumer beware). The silicones didn’t faze me since a lot of primers contain them. It was the other ingredient of tea tree oil that cause me to pause.

Tea tree oil is a strong oil that has numerous benefits. It can clean your hair, act as a deodorant, antiseptic, cleanser, etc. It can also help clear your skin.

I love me some essential oils and my husband can tell you about the small collection I have. I also have tea tree. I also know it smells like the damn devil took a shit in the middle of Death Valley in 125 degree weather, but I digress. Sometimes something that smells putrid works really well.

But I do want that smell on my face?

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Once I took it out of the box, it was cute. Small and dainty.

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It’s a cute container and pouring out the primer, it was also dainty and neat; not a big mess at all.

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So I put it on my face and LORD HAVE MERCY….I was already over it.

The primer went on smooth and easily spread. However, the tea tree oil smell was overwhelming for my already sensitive nose.

It’s a no from me, dawg.

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So let’s review:

Pros:

  • e.l.f. is pretty much available everywhere – Amazon, Target, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, etc.
  • It was hella cheap – $10 USD.
  • The packaging was cute.
  • When I pumped some out, I felt the appropriate amount came out. Not too little, not too much.

Cons:

  • This has a lot of silicones. I know the majority of primers have them, but I was aware that this one had quite a few.
  • Tea tree oil. While it’s not a primary ingredient, it’s a strong odor that is daunting and unless you like the smell of it, you probably don’t want that on your face. (I will note, however, the smell didn’t last all day and if you wear makeup over the primer, you won’t smell it past a few minutes after application). But the smell was strong enough for me not to use the rest of the bottle and I just opened it.

Personally, I don’t recommend it but if you want to try it, go for it. You might love it while I hated it. Let me know what you think!

Beauty Product Review: Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask

Masks are a funny thing to review because you never know if something worked until way after the fact. I’m talking usually within a day or sometimes a week. You need to see how your face reacts to it, if there are any funky ingredients you didn’t realize you were allergic to, and if it’s a brand you’ll keep using. Sometimes, 24 hours isn’t enough to make that conclusion.

It’ll do for this post, though.

I test drove Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask (good grief, does the name need to be that long, SM?) recently. Let me keep it one hundred – I test drove it yesterday. And while I liked the results, I can’t for sure say with certainty this is a new fave. I would need to update this post next week.

Let’s talk about the mask itself. It’s by the Shea Moisture brand and despite the controversy they were in a short while ago, they’re still pretty reputable. I still regularly use their products and have no complaints. The mask, however, was the first time I’ve used a mask by them so I was curious about what the hype was (many of my girlfriends just lurve it!)

Of course, before I put anything on my face, I need to see if it’s something I wouldn’t break out like a pepperoni pizza:

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I was taught that the major ingredients are usually listed first, and the least ingredient listed last (makes sense). That being said, I advise everyone to always check the labels of any beauty product and see if it matches up with what you like and ultimately, want on your body. (I always make it a point to show the list of ingredients here).

So, now that we know the ingredients, what does it look like?

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To be perfectly frank, I’m not sure what color this is. Dark green? Grey? Grayish-green? I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but hey, I will say this: It went on very smooth and it didn’t smell at all! I kept it on for the recommended 10 minutes before I took it off.

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And this is the mask as it dried and right before I rinsed it off. Yeah, my face says it all doesn’t it? Like, what the hell is this on my face? LOL.

I will say I was impressed my face didn’t feel tight like a Beverly Hills housewife’s face.

Of course, the after pic:

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Easy breezy! I should also note I did put some moisturizer on my face. Despite rinsing off the mask, my face felt tighter than a penny-pincher’s wallet.

So, let’s review!

Pros:

  • Shea Moisture is a reputable brand.
  • The mask was very inexpensive. I paid less than $5 for this.

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  • Mask is available just about everywhere – CVS, Walmart, Target, Amazon, Ulta.
  • It didn’t make my face all tight.
  • It was super easy to rinse off.
  • No funny smell.

Cons:

  • I’m still not sure if it really worked. 24 hours later, my face feels fine but I think I would need to use this a couple more times to really see if there’s any improvement.
  • Some might be put off by the color. I know I was at first, but quickly got over it.

Bottom Line:

I do recommend – for now. I would need to see if it’s worth the hype!

If you tried the mask, did you like it?

 

Makeup Review – ELF Lip Exfoliator (Brown Sugar)

It’s been a while since I’ve done a makeup review, so let’s kick this year off right with a product from E.L.F.

E.L.F. stands for Eyes, Lips, Face (clever!) and while they’re still considered to be a small brand, they have exponentially grown in size and popularity! I decided to test drive their brown sugar lip exfoliator:

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Now, it’s supposed to help exfoliate and soften your lips prior to applying your lip treatment or color.

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Ingredients for those who care:

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It sounds good but the question is, does it work? Let’s find out!

I have to do a before and after so you can understand what I’m working with:

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Yes, all me. No filters, injections, or fat transfers. Just blessed by God.

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It looks like the standard lipstick. Putting it on, that’s when I felt the difference. It’s definitely a scrub. I put it on my lips and let it sit for a 1-2 minutes before scrubbing it off with water and a pad.

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Obligatory scrub photo.

Results:

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My lips felt fresher and rejuvenated on the first try. Not bad.

So, let’s review:

Pros:

  • ELF is a respected brand.
  • Very cheap! I paid $6 for this but you can probably get it even cheaper at other places.
  • Available pretty much everywhere – ELF stores, CVS, Target, Walmart, Amazon.
  • It works!
  • The brown sugar scent is yummy and for what’s worth, it does taste great.

Cons:

  • It’s rough! Which is a well, duh, but trust me, you might be a little surprised at how rough it is.
  • It’s not meant for everyday use. In case your lips need a little extra TLC, use lip balm.
  • Because it is a scrub, it might be as effective the remaining times because you are repeatedly putting it on your lips. (This is still a personal opinion but it’s something I have encountered).

Overall, I do recommend it for a cheap lip exfoliator.

What other lip exfoliators have you tried?