Hacks to an "At-Home" Facial

I love getting facials. It's the one service that I feel like I get my money's worth. The treatment is enjoyable and relaxing, and I can take home the results. LOL But it does get pricey. So here's my trick to getting as close to a spa facial without breaking the bank*.

Before- super dry and dull skin

Before- super dry and dull skin

After- hydrated, bright and supple

After- hydrated, bright and supple

Materials:

Facial Cost: (dividing everything up by use per day for the minimum months it'll last- minus the travel steamer and pore remover) ABOUT $6.12

     

    Directions: 

     
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    STEAM for 10 minutes. Get one here. This is the most important step. If you open up your pores, all of the cleansing and masking will react better on the skin and give you better results. I use my little travel clothing steamer as a face steamer. I fill it up, place it on my bathroom counter, and sit about 1.5 feet away from it You totally can opt for a hot shower instead, but I like sitting in front of traditional steam.

    Please be careful! I constantly move my face around (while it's on the counter) so I don't get burned, and I sit at least 1.5 feet away from the nozzle. Don't move this thing towards your face or body. Leave it on the counter flat. 

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    WASH & EXFOLIATE. I pour about a dime size portion of the Fresh Cleanser (get one here ) onto my Clarisonic (get one here) and scrub away. I use the "Sensitive" brush (comes in a pack of two), but I am still very careful of my sensitive spots such as my cheeks and upper lip. I usually go over those spots very quickly and scrub my nose and forehead a little longer. I would not recommend going longer than one round of the Clarisonic. You don't want to over-exfoliate. 

     
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    EXTRACT PORES- This step is completely optional and I won't go into details on how I do it. Get a whole set here on Amazon. I usually extract my nose and between my brows before I mask. Please be cautious of heavy pressure on your skin. You don't want to "scrape" skin off and cause scarring using any tools. 

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    ACTIVE MASK- An "active" mask is a term I use for something that will "do something" for your skin- like a peel or a detox. This is why we get facials- to see results. 

    • I picked Murad's Intensive-C Radiance Peel (get it here) for this facial. This little mask is pretty amazing and gives you beautiful results. This mask smooths and brightens your skin. We've also learned in the past that V-C (vitamin-c) help even out your complexion and helps fight free-radicals. This mask helps boosts the elasticity and also has Glycolic Acid to promote cell turnover
    • Use a wet brush to apply the product on sensitive areas. I'll usually apply the product straight on my forehead, nose, and chin. But for my cheeks and upper lip, I'll wet my brush completely then apply the product on those sensitive spots. The water helps dilute it a bit so it's not too intense. 
    • Apply this mask all over your face/neck and leave on for about 10 minutes. I love how tingly and cool the mask feels on my face. Rinse with warm water. If it gets too intense, (on a scale of 1-10, if it's past an 8) rinse it right away. 

    SOOTHING MASK- I usually like to put on a soothing cucumber mask or a hydrating mask after an active one. This just give the skin time to calm down after all those intense treatments. I love using the Korean sheet masks because they are convenient and fresh every time. I usually leave the mask on for about 15-20 minutes. You're welcome to leave them on longer. I love the MediHeal Mask- grab a whole pack of 10 here. 

     
     

    SERUM & HYDRATE- Last but not least, after your soothing mask, apply a serum onto dry skin. I love the Pure Hyaluronic Acid (get it here). It really helps lock in the moisture from the mask and lotion all day. Just use about 3 drops (check out my Serums Blog Post to learn more). Then apply the lotion of your choice. I prefer the Kate Somerville Dry Skin Saver (grab it here) since my skin is on the drier side. But feel free to use whichever lotion you like the most. 

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    Facials are supposed to renew your skin and make it better. Give you skin time after your facial to breathe and to calm down again. I would recommend not applying any face makeup, except mascara, for the rest of the day. Don't ruin it by slathering on goops of foundation that will clog your pores afterward. 

    Until next time my beauties. Stay beautiful!

    *Disclaimer: All these steps in this blog are what I do personally and not shown here as instructions. This blog is for your reference only. Following any steps in this blog will be taken at your own risk. Please be advised that products I use may not work on everybody. These are products I have tested on myself that I like. Before trying a new product, it's advised to do a patch-test on your skin.

    Serums to Save Your Skin

    Winter's coming; which means a change in weather, which means a change in your skin's appearance. For me, it means death for my skin is coming! What the best way to save it? SERUMS

    I was in dire need to get a hold of a couple serums for my face. As you already know, my skin is super dry all the time; I have eczema on my cheeks; I have darker pigmentation around my mouth area.  After doing extensive research cuz there's a MILLION GILLION out there, I landed on two that would give me the results I wanted: pure hyaluronic acid and vitamin c serumPlus these items got over 5000 REVIEWS (what!?!)

    It's a clear and a bit runny. Feels like heaven

    It's a clear and a bit runny. Feels like heaven

    Remember to use in conjunction with a moisturizer! 

    Remember to use in conjunction with a moisturizer! 

    3 is enough to cover my entire face and neck area too!

    3 is enough to cover my entire face and neck area too!

    Hyaluronic Acid

    Get it here! 

    Acid? ACID? No, it's not really "acid". Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in our body, mostly in our eyes and joints. It acts as a lubricant for our joints. It's also found in our skin and is able to attract and hold an extensive amount of moisture

    In short, as we age, our cell walls weaken and lose the ability to keep moisture. The more moisture we lose, the more wrinkly we get. That's why babies have supple and soft skin, and elderly people have drier, looser skin. 

    So using hyaluronic acid (HA) will help create that suppleness and plumpness we are all missing. It is great for dry skin. Remember that this stuff does not work on its own. You must use it WITH a moisturizer (see my other post about my skin care steps here). 

    My favorite winter time moisturizer

    My favorite winter time moisturizer

    A little goes a loonnnngg way after HA serum

    A little goes a loonnnngg way after HA serum

    After toning, I drop 3 drops onto my palm and massage it into my face and neck. (It feels like diving into moisture heaven!). The little beads will kinda "pop". Then, I apply a face lotion. I've been favoring the Kate Sommerville Dry Skin Saver. If I feel uber dry, I'll wait for the HA to absorb, and then I'll apply another hydrating serum on my cheeks before I put on the face lotion.

    I tried it for a couple of weeks with my nighttime regimen. I found that using this has reduced my eczema by about 75%. My cheeks were less red and irritated. My face felt softer and plumper.  I really really love the results. 

    Tip: wait for everything to absorb before you go to sleep and rub it off on your pillow!

     

    Very thick compared to HA- you'll need more

    Very thick compared to HA- you'll need more

    I love that this stuff is all natural! Store in a cool and dry place. 

    I love that this stuff is all natural! Store in a cool and dry place. 

    5 drops is perfect for my face

    5 drops is perfect for my face

    Vitamin C Serum

    Get it here!

    Vitamin C is an amazing thing for the skin. V-C is an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect the skin from free radicals. It's also an ingredient in collagen. Collagen binds cells together in order to give us stronger skin cells and more elasticity- thus, firmer skin. V-C also helps brighten and tone skin tone, while preventing breakouts. 

    I added this serum into my morning regimen. After washing my face lightly, I'll use a cotton round to wipe it with witch hazel. Then, I'll drop about 5 drops into my hand and then massage it into my face and neck. I'll follow up with a moisturizer and sunscreen. 

    After a couple of weeks of using both of these serums together, I'm really happy with the results. My eczema has been reduced. No more flare-ups. My skin is smoother and softer. The pigmentation around my mouth area has lessen dramatically. My face is almost the same color throughout. And I looove how plump my skin feels after the HA serum. 

    Verdict: THIS STUFF IS AMAZING. Both products do exactly what they are suppose to and more! I totally recommend it for anyone needing a boost in their skin care. These products are more natural and more affordable than typical serums out there. 

    Price: HA is about $15 for 2 oz and V-C is about $20 for 1 oz. I think it's completely worth it. Get it before winter comes too soon!  

    Until next time, my beauties. Stay Golden. 

     

     
     

    Fatigue Eyeballs & Pretty Bath Bombs

    I got my hands on a couple of products from a company called "Grace & Stella Co". Their motto: to give women an at-home spa experience with quality products at a great price.

    Their products are available through their website or Amazon. Since I have Amazon Prime, I took advantage of my "Two Day, Free Ship". 

    I grabbed Cucumber Facial Masks, a Gel Bead Eye Mask, and a box (yup, a box!) of Bath Bombs

     
     

    Cucumber Facial Masks

    These babies came in a pack of 6, individually wrapped- enough to last you about 1.5 months, if used weekly. They contain no parabens, no alcohols, no phthalates, and no sulfates. Yayy! 

    You're suppose to cleanse and tone your face before applying the mask. They recommended putting the mask in the fridge for a couple of hours before use, and then apply the mask for 20-30 minutes.

    My roommate and I both tried it. Her skin is drier but prone to acne. Mine is extra dry with spots of eczema and rosacea. 

    Material: These masks were a little different from my typical Korean face masks. The Korean masks are usually made from cotton, while these are made from microfiber. The microfiber made these masks super soft, yet almost too delicate in comparison to the Korean masks, which are stiffer. I felt like it didn't hold it's shape properly since microfiber is so soft- which is why I think there was a plastic film over folded mask. The plastic film on top makes is easier to apply directly to your face. Just peel it off after you stick on the mask. I messed up and peeled it off first- hence it wrinkled on the edges. Oops.

    Size: The size of the masks were perfect. They fit our faces with a little material left over to fold under our chins. The only problem was that the eye holes were extremely small. My eyeball barely fit into the eye holes- and I'm Asian. It was almost uncomfortable because my eyeball was touching the edge of the eye hole. I've never experienced this problem from any other masks company. I would definitely would like them to make the eye holes a bit wider and rounder to fit a variety of eye shapes. 

    Serum: The moisturizing serum in the mask is suppose to clarify and renew your skin. Leaving the masks in the fridge for a couple of hours made it feel really refreshing. After 30 minutes, we took it off. We were both very surprised at how soft and supple out faces were! My cheeks were very hydrated. My roommates face was noticeably brighter. The leftover serum was not sticky or tacky at all. I went to bed right after I took off the mask. In the morning, my face still felt supple- even with the AC running. I would reccommed this mask for anyone who is on the dry side. 

    Price: $7.95 for 6 masks. That's about 1.33 a mask- which is GREAT deal. 

    Verdict: 4/5. This mask is overall an awesome mask. It does exactly what it's suppose to do. The serum is very refreshing and hydrating. I just wish the eyeholes were larger. I think I would like to try the other kinds of face masks they offer. 

    Gel Bead Eye Mask

    This little gem can be used HOT or COLD. I read that it helps with sinus pain, headaches, and eye strain. I HAVE ALL OF THESE! HAHA I get headaches and eyestrain from too much screen time. I have major allergies that causes more headaches and sinus pain. ugh, right? I was hoping this thing will solve all my issues. LOL I don't like sleeping with anything on my eyes, so I didn't use it as a sleeping mask. I used it as a "treatment" mask.  

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    Material: One side is fuzzy and soft, and the other side has a plastic (might be silicone- the package didn't state specifically) over the individual gel beads. The directions do state that you can use this mask hot or chilled, and that it is reusable, non-toxic, and BPA free. I was a little confused on which side was suppose to touch your skin.  I assumed that it would be the gel bead side since the fuzzy will get dirty too quickly from all your skin's oils. 

    Cold Test: Freeze for 15 minutes. Anything cold over your eyes will help depuff them in the morning and wake up your skin. This masks feels amazzzzzzing in the morning! I tried it a couple days in a row and I absolutely loved it. 

    I usually don't wake up to puffy eyes, but one morning this week, my allergies went nuts. I woke up with puffy, itchy eyes, and my nose was running constantly. I froze the mask for 15 minutes and placed it on my eyes for 10 minutes. The sinus pressure between my brows started to lift and my eyes were a lot less puffy after. 

    This thing is great after a long night out, a good cry fest, or just for crazy allergies like mine. 

    Hot Test: Microwave for 10-15 seconds (15 seconds MAX). Warning: this mask does get HOT and your eyes are very DELICATE! I was an idiot and thought it didn't felt hot enough after 15 seconds. So I stuck it in for 5 more seconds. Boy, was I wrong! It became too hot. 

    TIP: After microwaving for 15 seconds, take out the mask and push the beads around. They will actually get warmer from the movement. Remember your eye area is very delicate! What is warm to the back of your hand might be too hot for your eyes- so be careful!

    OMG the warm mask felt HEAVENLY! I used it at night before bed...MAN! It feels like you're at a spa. The warmth of the beads really relaxes your eye muscles. I LOOOOOOOVE IT! It's perfect after a long day on the computer. 

     
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    Price: $8.99 for 1 mask

    Verdict: 4.5/5 I loved this mask for hot and cold treatments. It really does soothe my eyeballs and helps from all the fatigue from looking at the screen. I was just confused on which side was the one touching your eyes. 

    Box of Bath Bombs

    I love bath bombs. I have to say, this box was quite heavy and smelled wonderful. It's literally a BOX of bath bombs- plus a bonus shower gel! The scents included: Red Rose, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, Chamomile, Jasmine, and Vanilla. They are made with Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Argan Oil, Olive Oil, and other organic ingredients! They are paraben and cruelty free! 

     

     
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    Each bath bomb was individually wrapped in plastic- so it was no wonder that I couldn't smell each scent. 

    For my bath trial, I used two different ones: Jasmine and Red Rose.

    I let the bombs sit on the surface of the water until I got bored playing with it. The pink and blue swirls looked like unicorn poop. LOL 

    Scent:  I'm not a huge fan of floral notes, but this bomb was not too "overly rosey". The Jasmine smelled amazing- not too strong either. I really enjoyed the both the scents together. It smelled like a spa. Rose and Jasmine. I think I might combo Vanilla and Lavender next time. Or Lemon and Grapefruit. :) 

    After: I didn't even need to rinse! These bombs left my skin feeling refreshed, super soft, and moisturized. There was a hint of the smell left on my skin- not too strong. The best part was that the bombs did not leave a residue in my white tub! Hooray! I love Lush bombs, but they always leave a residue in the tub and on my skin. So this was an wonderful alternative. 

    Note: Rose petals were added into the tub (they were from my garden!) and the bath bombs pictured are half the size they originally cuz we were playing with them for too long.

    Price: $17.95. 8 bombs= $2.24 per bomb. Considering Lush's bombs are about $7.95- I'd say these from Grace and Stella are a great deal. They aren't a large as a Lush bomb, but they do the job right! And they smell wonderful.

    Verdict: 5/5  It's worth the price! I like that they are individually wrapped- which means they are travel friendly! They smell so good, too!! I can't wait to try another round! 

    Overall, I'm super happy with my purchase! I can't wait to order more products from Grace & Stella Co.. They have so many different masks and spa items I want to try! 

    Until next time my beauties....