EMPTIES #1

Hello Everyone!

This is my first empties post! I don’t tend to finish many products quickly, and I have been saving some of my trash for a while now. If you have never seen or heard of an empties review, it’s when products that have been completely finished by the user are reviewed. I always love reading these, and I was excited when I realized that I finally had enough items for a good sized post! Let’s get to it!

The titles of the product = direct links to that item.

MAC Technakohl Eyeliner in Graphblack 

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This is actually a repurchased product. I used this eyeliner in high school as well. I flew through my first one, but I stopped lining my water line (and mainly use liquid eyeliner). This second one has lasted me a few years, but I still love it. I don’t experience transferring or smudging, and I don’t have to deal with sharpening my eyeliner all of the time. This was the first higher end eyeliner that I purchased, and I never saw the need to try something different. I loved being able to throw this in my purse for touch ups when I was only using liquid liner. The only reason I needed touch ups is because my eyes water like crazy by the way! This pencil retails for $16 USD, and I would definitely repurchase. I would probably buy whatever brown shade this is because I already have two black pencils at the moment.  I believe this eyeliner is part of the “Back 2 MAC” program, so I will definitely be saving it for a lipstick swap when I have 6 empty qualified products saved up!

L’OCCITANE Cooling Hand Gel Cream

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I linked the travel size, but this I used the sample size. I used this as a hand cream while in the car for my long drive to Seattle (from Orange County). I like that it was cooling, especially because it was hot outside. My complaint: the consistency is so thin! I felt the need to reapply so frequently that this sample definitely did not last as long as it should have. It had a nice, fresh lemon scent though. I have really dry skin, and this just was not enough for me. The travel size retails for $12 USD for only 1oz! Would I repurchase? Most definitely not. This was a gift, and I did enjoy using it. But that being said, I don’t like having to reapply a hand cream every single hour. I prefer a thick consistency!

LUSH Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub

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Oh LUSH. I do really like many of their products, and Ocean Salt was not an exception. The lime and coconut scent was amazing, and my skin always felt so smooth afterwards. I do prefer this as a body scrub because I feel like the salt is too abrasive for my face. Lately I have been using body scrubs from The Body Shop, and I have been preferring those over Ocean Salt. I do really like this scrub though. It retails for $21.95 USD for 4.2oz. Would I repurchase? Maybe someday. I just like The Body Shop scrubs more because they feel more moisturizing than this scrub does. Whatever you do, do NOT use the scrub AFTER shaving your legs. This is a VODKA-BASED scrub and it WILL burn. I made the mistake once, never again. I like that the salt melts down as your scrub yourself, and it does do a great job os stripping off the top layer of dead skin.

Dearderm Milk Vitality Ample Mask

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This mask was given to me by my friend Chris. I believe he bought it from the Japanese market in the area called Mitsuwa Marketplace. On Amazon the mask is about $6 for one + shipping, but you can purchase 12 for ~$20+shipping. I believe they are only $2-3 at Mitsuwa, but don’t quote me on that. These masks are always hilarious to me. It is a mask that has a cotton sheet drenched in the product that you put on your face for 20 minutes. People always look like a wet mummy with them on. It claims to help skin vitality, moisturize, tighten pores, and improve your skin’s elasticity. Does it help with those things? Not really. I’d say it did help moisturize, but my pores did not look any difference. I didn’t really feel like my skin was glowing afterwards either. It was a nice little moisture pick me up for my face, and it felt nice and cooling when I put it on. Would I repurchase? No. I liked using it, but non of the masks that I have used in this style have really done it for me! It also claims to be a milk mask, but it doesn’t have lactic acid! Lactic acid is an AHA exfoliant, which is great for daily use. I’ll stick to my St. Ives AHA pads.

Dove Go Fresh and Go Sleeveless Deodorant 

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I linked to the Go Sleeveless because I did prefer that deodorant to the Go Fresh. I purchased the Dove Go Fresh plum and sakura blossom scent twice before trying the Go Sleeveless soothing chamomile. I have a problem with a lot of deodorant scents making me nauseated, and I didn’t have a problem with these two. I liked the plum for a while, but I wanted something with a more mild scent. I do like both of these, but I have started using a different Dove deodorant that I do like more now. If you like a ibt of a stronger, more sweet/floral scent, then I would recommend the plum and sakura blossom. If you like something that it more mild then go for the soothing chamomile. The Go Sleeveless didn’t really make a difference in the appearance of my underarms like it claims, but I just wanted something that would keep me smelling nice and fresh! I would say that my underarms did feel a bit more moisturized as compared to the go fresh, but it wasn’t that noticeable. I bought these for around $3 at Target, and I may repurchase the go sleeveless someday, but I have been enjoying the new Dove deo that I have been using more recently.

Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask

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I bought this before I got a pixie cut when my hair was really fried in some parts. Now, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and get that fried hair cut off. I was trying to rescue it, but I was at the point of no return. However, I did continue to use this in leu of a regular conditioner, and it is great for that. I have short hair, and it lasted me almost a year. I purchased it for about $5 USD at my local Target. Would I repurchase? Yeah! This is a great conditioner. My hair always felt very full and soft after using it (about 2-3x/week). I bought a different brand (Aussie) because I was choosing between the two when I bought it, and I still wanted to try the Aussie. I will be going back to the Neutrogena once I finish the Aussie. This one doesn’t leave a strong lingering perfume smell like the Aussie one does, and I prefer the screw top to a squeeze bottle. I have only used the Aussie brand deep conditioner once now, so it really is too early to judge. I do really like this, and I would recommend it. I do still deep condition with coconut oil as well.

 

Have you used any of these products How do you like them?

xoxo
Tina

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TGIF: A LITTLE PAMPERING WILL DO YOU SOME GOOD!

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TGIF everybody!

I have no idea why I am saying that… I don’t have a job, and I am on summer break from school. We should enjoy everyday, even if it’s a Monday! Let’s always find something to be grateful for, even if we are thinking, “UGH I HATE MONDAYS!!!” Let me start, I am grateful for all of the fabulous people in my life!

Well, it is Friday, and I decided that today I needed some at home spa action! My favorite time to pamper myself is post workout, so I made sure to make myself sweat before I could enjoy the fruits of my labor, so to speak.

For starters, make sure you are drinking lots of water! It is important to stay hydrated, and your body will thank you for it.

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First things first, I did a lot of heat styling while I was in Washington, so I needed a nice deep condition session for those lovely locks of mine. I love coconut oil. I took about 3 tablespoons and spread it throughout my hair evenly. I warmed the solidified oil up in my hands beforehand, and then I made sure to focus on the ends of my hair.

I like to let the oil sit in my hair for about an hour (it’s in there as I type!!). Then I go about my normal washing routine. Yes, I condition twice.

The oil from Trader Joe’s is great. I got this jar for about $5 USD. I have had it for almost a year now.

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Next, what is a pamper session without a good ‘ol face mask? I chose Mask of Magnaminty from LUSH because it’s the only mask I own right now! I like it though. The cool tingling sensation is perfect for summer.

I spread a thin layer all over my CLEAN* face and let it sit for about 30 min. I rinse with warm water.

*I went for a run and made sure to wash my face before adding the face mask. I was covered in sweat in sunscreen, no bueno for a mask!

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Body scrub!! Yay! After conditioning my hair, I like to pop in the shower. A full body scrub down is in order. I am loving this Olive Oil Creme exfoliant from The Body shop.

After you shower, go ahead and slather yourself in the matching body butter! I don’t have that, so the Christmas Gingerbread one will have to do! (It smells like ginger ale, amazing!).

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Time to top it all off with a nice mani. I love love love Chanel nail polish!! This color may not be summery, but I like to bend the rules! I mean, I just used a Christmas body butter in July for goodness sakes! 😉

I’m too lazy for a base/top coat. I find that I don’t need one with Chanel polish. I get a good week out of them with no added help usually!

Well, that’s it for my little pamper session!! It feels nice to wind down after a fulfilling vacation (and a nice run!).

How do you like to pamper yourself?

If you were wondering what I was listening to:
Workout

  • Artist: Phantogram
  • Album: Voices

Relaxation

  • Artist: Wake Owl
  • Album: The Private World of Paradise

xoxo
Tina

Educational Review: Facial Sunscreen [Elta MD & Trader Joe’s enrich]

 

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Hello Everyone!

Today I wanted to talk to you about something that is very important: Sun Protection! If you haven’t jumped on the daily UVA/UVB protection bandwagon, then what are you waiting for?! The reviews of the two facial protections that I use will be towards the bottom of this post!

According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Melanoma is more dangerous than the other two, and it causes the most deaths. Basal/squamous cell carcinoma can cause a fair amount of damaging though (and can be disfiguring!!).

UV light is what causes skin cancer. UV light damages cell’s DNA. The DNA can be repaired to a certain extent, but if there is too much UV exposure the DNA in the damaged cell is unrepairable. There are three types of UV light: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC does not get past the ozone layer, which is awesome because it can be VERY damaging. UVB is what help produce vitamin D in your skin, but can still be damaging after exposed for too long. UVA is what effects the skin the most, and it can penetrate past the top layer of your skin!!

So, what can we do to reduce the risk?

  1. Use Sunscreen! The CDC Suggests a UVA/UVB protection of at least 15 SPF.
  2. Stay in the Shade. Find an adorable umbrella! 😀
  3. Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  4. Wear a hat! Sun hats are adorable.
  5. Wear sunglasses. They need to block UVA/UVB rays.
  6. Avoid indoor tanning.

 

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Reviews:

Let me tell you about my skin type:

I have very dry skin. The only area of my face that can get oily is my nose. I have pale skin, freckles, and I am very prone to getting sunburned.

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Elta MD Skincare UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40

This facial sunscreen claims that it is:

  • Sheer and lightweight
  • Contains Hyaluronic Acid (to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles)
  • Transparent Zinc Oxide- 9.0% (UVA Protection)
  • SPF 40- 7.5% Oxtinoxate (UVB Protection)
  • For normal, combination, and post-procedure skin
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sensitivity-free
  • Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores)
  • NOT water resistant
  • Made in the USA

Overall, I really enjoy this sunscreen. I use it on days that I know I will be outside with makeup on for more than an hour. If I don’t wear makeup (when I go cycling, for example), then I just put my normal sunscreen on my face and body. This is a great sunscreen/moisturizer duo to use under my makeup. I typically don’t wear a lot of face makeup, but I have used this under bb cream. It doesn’t make my face oily or irritated, and it doesn’t leave a noticeable white film on my face.

I am very prone to getting burned, so a higher SPF is a must for me if I am going to be outside! SPF 40+ if great for my sun-sensitive skin! If I am going to the beach, I prefer SPF 70+, but I have never gotten burned at the beach with this sunscreen on my face (I didn’t get my face wet by the way).

My skin looks nice with this on, and it feels light. The scent is quite faint as well. The list price is $24 on Amazon (It’s on sale for $19.55 right now). You receive 1.7 oz (That’s about $14.12/oz). It is a bit on the pricey side, but I would repurchase. I may end up trying some drug store products once this runs out, but that’s only because I am broke right now :D.

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Trader Joe’s enrich Broad Spectrum SPF 15

This facial sunscreen claims to be:

  • Fragrance free
  • For all skin types
  • Broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection
  • Enriched with vitamins A, C, and E
  • PABA free
  • Non comedogenic (won’t clog pores)
  • Octinoxate- 6.0%
  • Zinc Oxide- 3.0%
  • NOT water resistant
  • Cruelty Free

I use this as a daily sunscreen/moisturizer when I know that I won’t be outside very much. If I exercise I use a higher SPF and shower afterwards, so this is nice for very minimal days. When I am at school I am usually in the library, so I don’t need a high SPF when I am just walking to classes.

This does feel more greasy than the Elta MD, so I wouldn’t suggest it to people with oily skin. I don’t really have a problem with my dry skin wearing it. It doesn’t really leave a white film on my face. I don’t really know about flash back because I don’t use flash when I take photos of myself! (I am really not a fan of flash)

I bought this for $5 at Trader Joe’s. You receive 4 fl oz, so that is $1.25/fl oz. This is probably one of the cheapest facial sunscreens that I have ever seen! I think it is worth the $5 if you have dry skin.

The Verdict:

I prefer the Elta MD over this one because it is a higher SPF and it doesn’t leave my face feeling slightly greasy. I like owning both because I don’t feel the need to use the Elta everyday because of the price! I will review my next sunscreen haul. I am in the market for a new full body, so I want to pick up a facial one too. I don’t think that you can have too much sunscreen! It is probably the most important skin care products out there.

Where I apply:

  • Face
  • Neck
  • Chest
  • Tattoo (Upper back)
  • Back of hands

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A healthy body is a happy body! What products do you use? Do you have any good recommendations for a full body sunscreen? Mine is only SPF 30, so I need something higher, pronto!

xoxo
Tina

Coffee-Almond Zum Bar Review

Zum Bar Review

You know what I love? Free samples. You know what else I love? Whole Foods.

Whole Foods is my go-to place for studying. I can grab a bite to eat and sit in their dining area for hours minding my own business. When I need a break, I love to pack up and roam around the store. A lot of the time, there is someone promoting their business by handing out samples!

Last time I was at Whole Foods, a representative from Zum Bar, a soap company, was there. He had a very wide variety to choose from, but the one containing coffee grinds and almond  caught my attention immediately!

Zum Bar soap is made with goat’s milk which is close to the pH of human skin. You purchase the soap by the ounce at WF, but it is a bit different on their website. 

They have a very large variety of soaps to choose from as well as many other products (from lip balm to laundry soap!).

I have had the two small sample bars sitting in my bedroom for a few weeks now, and I decided it was finally time to give these suckers a try! Honestly, I have been so caught up with school that I completely forgot about them.

Todd liked the soap, and so did I!

Here’s my verdict:

  • Smells great and not too strong
  • Exfoliates well (the coffee)
  • Lathers well
  • Hydrating
  • Moderately priced

Would I purchase this soap? DEFINITELY!
I would love to try all of their scents and products.

Look out LUSH, I think I like their soap more than yours!

xoxo
Tina

*I am not affiliated with Zum Bar or Whole Foods.

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Let me start off with saying, I am guilty of being dehydrated too often. BUT, I am making sure to change that, especially with summer on it’s way!

Have you noticed your lips being dry? Flaky? Gross? Guess what a big part of that is, D-E-H-Y-D-R-A-T-I-O-N. 

Are you fatigued? Irritable? Skin looking dull? You know what can help? W-A-T-E-R!

Did you know you should be drinking AT LEAST 64oz of water a day? Also, for every 10 minutes you exercise, you should be adding 8oz on top of the 64oz? I probably only get in about 32oz/day and I plan on changing that; are you with me?!

Step 1: Buy a reusable water bottle, or dig yours out of your kitchen cabinet. 

Here* is the one I own:
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I purchased this from target for ~$10. It has a tack that allows you track how many bottles you have drank! I was using a 32oz Nalgene, but it was too heavy for me to carry!

Step 2: Follow these helpful tips!

  • ALWAYS carry that water bottle with you!
  • REFILL it immediately after you finish it.
  • Track how much you have been drinking.
  • Drink a glass of water before you go to bed.
  • Drink a glass of water immediately after you wake up.
  • Keep sipping on that water bottle all day long!
  • Get a straw if you are worried about your lipstick! (The larger Starbucks straw is tall enough for my bottle FYI!)
  • STOP DRINKING SODA!!! IT IS EMPTY CALORIES AND COLAS HAVE PHOSPHORUS WHICH DOESN’T ALLOW YOUR BODY TO ABSORB CALCIUM.
  • Every cup of coffee: add an 8oz glass of water.
  • Every 10min of exercise: add an 8oz glass of water.
  • Every alcoholic beverage, 21 years+: add an 8oz glass of water.
  • Only drink water with meals, and finish at least one glass with the meal.
  • Cut out juice while you are at it, too much sugar. (Homemade smoothies: OK.)
  • Add ice if it is feeling bland! Cold water is always more refreshing.
  • Add fruit/veggies to your water if ice isn’t sufficient enough!

Here are some good fruits/veggies to add to your H2O!

  • Strawberries
  • Cucumber slices
  • Mint
  • Oranges (Blood Oranges great too-this is acidic!)
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Lemon (Acidic, poor teeth.)
  • Watermelon
  • Mango
  • Pineapple (acidic)
  • Lime (acidic)
  • Papaya
  • Kiwi
  • Fresh Basil

Here are a few combos:

  • Watermelon & Mint
  • Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, & Raspberries
  • Strawberry & Kiwi
  • Mango & Papaya
  • Lemon & Lime
  • Orange & Mango
  • Lime & Cucumber
  • Pineapple & Orange
  • Fresh Basil & Strawberry

You could also add Chia Seeds for an extra energy boost! My favorite thing to add to my water would probably be cucumber slices, it is just so refreshing!

You will notice the difference, trust me! You will feel more energized, see a brightened complexion, your mood will be boosted, and your lips will definitely be less dry! Exfoliating your lips morning and night is also a good thing to do, especially if you wear lipstick. (DIY lip scrub post coming soon!)

I hope you are running to go grab some water after this! I have drank almost 24oz just while writing this post!

xoxo
Tina

*I am not affiliated with THERMOS brand.

Tutorial: Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes!

First off, I want to thank henryfacebeauty for the inspiration for this post! I was planning on posting this tutorial later on down the road, but it seemed like a great idea after seeing her recent post! I love seeing how every person has their own techniques, and it is so nice to learn from each other! (She puts a few drops of olive oil in with her diluted soap for conditioning!)

Cleaning your makeup brushes regularly is VERY important, not only for your skin but your makeup too! Oils from your skin will build up over time which can definitely give you acne. The oil that has built up can then be transferred to your makeup which can create a film overtime. If you have noticed that your cosmetics are not as pigmented as they used to be, it could be the result of you neglecting those beloved makeup brushes! Your makeup is not ruined by the way, you can always scrape off the top layer. Who wants to keep wasting their makeup when that can easily be prevented?

Tools Needed:

  1. Dirty makeup brushes
  2. Baby Shampoo OR Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Castile Soap
  3. Cup
  4. Warm water
  5. Clean towel
  6. Hanging dryer

 

1 You do not need to purchase expensive brush cleaners! Baby Shampoo/Dr. Bronner’s works just as well, if not better! The baby shampoo is cheaper than Dr. Bronner’s, but I strongly recommend Bronner’s for personal use! I use it to wash my body, face, hair, hand wash only clothing, makeup brushes, the list really goes on! I have baby mild, which would be most suitable for makeup brushes. I would love to buy more scents eventually though! I use baby shampoo and Dr. Bronner’s interchangeably.

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STEP 1: You will want to few a few drops of soap into a shallow cup of warm water.

STEP 2: Swirl your brush into the water.
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STEP 3: Take your freshly “swirled” brush and press the bristles to the clean towel.

STEP 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the same brush until the water transfer is clean on the towel. (I usually only need to repeat once- unless it is my lip brush!)

Repeat steps 2-4 with all of your brushes.

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STEP 5: Rinse ALL of your soapy brushes in warm water.

STEP 6: Wipe the water off the handles with your towel, and press the bristles into a clean portion of the towel to get the bulk of the water out.

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STEP 7: Hang your brushes upside down to dry.

I got this cute little octopus hanger at IKEA for $5! It also comes in red and white. I put a click-through link above on the list of items needed.

It is important to hang your brushes upside down because water could get trapped in the brushes leading to mold/mildew. You don’t want that on your face!

I would suggest to clean your brushes once a week if you wear makeup everyday. I don’t wear makeup everyday (too tired!), so I usually wash mine once every two weeks. Brushes used for liquid foundation should be washed after EVERY use! Beauty blenders (mine is generic) are great for liquid foundation. To clean mine: I dipped it in the soapy water last, squished it at the bottom of the cup repeatedly, then rinsed through with warm water twice. I squeezed as much of the excess water out as I could, then propped it on top of the octopus!

If you do not own any makeup brushes, I HIGHLY suggest ecotools! You can find them at: Target, ULTA, Rite-Aid, Amazon, etc… They are highly affordable and last forever. If you need something cheaper than that, the studio line from ELF is great (black handles).

xoxo
Tina

 

*I am not affiliated with any of the brands listed above.

Mask of Magnaminty Review

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Spring Break has come to an end and its time to get back on the school grind. I made sure to pamper myself last week, at least a little bit! I love face masks, and Mask of Magnaminty is one of my favorites!

I love LUSH. My brother’s girlfriend, Bonnie, used to work there. She always spoiled me with goodies! Mask of Magnaminty was one of many items I have gotten my hands on from LUSH all thanks to her (thanks sweetie!).

You use this mask like any other: apply to face, let dry, and massage with warm water until it is all rinsed off. I like hopping in the shower to remove my masks because it is an easier clean up. You can also put this mask on your back and legs. I enjoy putting it on the back of my knees because I have varicose veins. It helps relieve the pain from them a bit! It has a cooling sensation (mint IS in the name!), and has aduki beans for a mild exfoliation during removal. There is also vanilla and honey to calm redness and soothe your skin. I have a problem with redness on my face, and I do notice a difference after using this mask. I should be using it once a week, but I have been lazy. I will get back on track now that I rediscovered it in my drawer of goodies in the bathroom!

Pros:

  • Smells nice
  • Cooling
  • Soothing
  • Helps with redness
  • Helps with mild pain
  • Face feels very soft after use
  • Only use once a week
  • Adequately priced

Cons:

  • None!

Blushing Daisy Rating: 10/10

It is $13 for 4.4oz & $25 for 11.1oz. I have the 4.4oz and it has lasted me a long time. I would say this price is steep, but I honestly think it is worth it. I also don’t think that’s a bad price for an item from LUSH since their stuff tends to be a bit pricey.

The only thing that disappoints me with LUSH is that most of their shampoos have sulfates. I don’t mind as much now that my hair isn’t colored, but I am still trying to rid myself of them completely. My hair doesn’t like them. I have started washing my hair once a week with a diluted apple cider vinegar solution, and I will update on that in a month or so once I get some results.

Anyway, if you are looking for a weekly mask, I would really suggest for you to run to your nearest LUSH or order online. I am not sure of this, but I think that they will give you samples in store, so you may be able to try it before purchasing! Everyone’s face reacts to things differently, and you should always patch test first (I never do). They have a good return policy too. I’m not saying this because I doubt the product, but because I want you to have as much information as possible!

I hope you can take some time to relax from your busy life and enjoy a Magnaminty facial mask! 🙂

xoxo
Tina

*The Time Machine by H.G. Wells is an enjoyable Novella. It is science fiction and was written in the late 1800’s. I think its fascinating to read about what a man from the 1800’s would think the future would be like! Here is the link for those interested.

 

*I am not receiving any form of compensation from LUSH for this review. This is MY personal opinion.