Sephora Collection Sleeping Mask in Pearl

I was so mad at myself for buying this when it arrived with the rest of my order. I had read reviews talking about what a great value it was at $4. And yes, Sephora is expensive, but I had something larger in mind.

Image of me holding the Sephora pearl sleeping mask in its packaging. It's a tiny foil topped plastic container inside of a cardboard box. The box makes it look like there's more product than there is.  Side view of the Sephora Pearl sleeping mask. The box is maybe two centimeters tall.

Image of the Sephora Pearl sleeping mask's tiny tub. It's got a large pocket of air in it and I haven't even opened it.

I work in milliliters, and am still not sure how this is 8mL.

Now that I’ve complained, guess how many uses I got out of this? Five. That brings us down to 80 cents a use. I think that’s an acceptable value for a treat. I was wrong, Sephora. A little goes a long way with this sleeping mask.

I also genuinely enjoyed using it. It reminded me a lot like a sheet mask, but I didn’t feel like I was creating as much trash. I was able to goop enough on that I got a nice, cooling sensation for a few minutes. I do recommend giving yourself some buffer time between putting this on and going to bed. I didn’t have to wipe it off my face, but it did take a little while (10-15 minutes) to absorb enough that I didn’t feel like it would just disappear into my pillow.

The pearl “flavor” advertises that it “evens and helps minimize irregularities for skin tone that is even, fresher, and brighter”. I don’t really have skin irregularities (?) or worry about uneven skin tone, but I did think my skin felt moisturized in the morning. After five uses I’m also tempted to say that my skin looked “brighter”, but I am also in the middle of updating my skincare routine. Nicer skin could be due to a number of things at the moment.

Oh no, I guess that means I have to try this again when my routine settles down so that I can scientifically say if it actually works or not.

The next time I order from Sephora I’m going to buy every “flavor” of these. They may be replacing my sheet mask habit.

My Current Skincare Routine — March 2018

I posted about my basic routine back in November, before I bought some new products to try from The Ordinary. I’ve also started wearing sunscreen on my face every day. Even in the winter. Even when it snows.

It’s important to note that it took me two months to integrate these three products into my routine. People that are posting about how they starting using all these new products on their face one week are either lying to you and getting their sponsorship money, or have skin of steel that they don’t actually need to put thought into taking care of.

The Routine:

As always, go see a dermatologist, even if it’s just for a skin check and you don’t have anything that you’re concerned about.

Image of my current morning skincare products. I've got a konjac sponge, CeraVe foaming facial cleanser, CeraVe moisturizing cream, Eucerin SPF lotion, and Dickinson's witch hazel toner.
AM
– Cleanse with konjac sponge and CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
– Dickinson’s Hydrating Toner
I still want to try a different daily toner. I’m almost done with this one and am taking suggestions!
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
I’ve been using the same tub of this for a year and a half. It’s bottomless.
– Wait at least ten minutes.
My sunscreen doesn’t play well with my moisturizer. It goes streaky and gross if I don’t wait long enough to let it soak in.
– Eucerin Daily Hydration 30 SPF
It’s drying and leaves a white cast on my skin. I want to switch it out so badly, but I should wait until I settle on a new toner.

Image of my current night time skincare products. I've got the konjac sponge, CeraVe foaming facial cleanser, and CeraVe moisturizing cream again. I've also added The Ordinary's Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution and Granactive Retinoid 2% emulsion.
PM

– Cleanse with konjac sponge and CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
The Ordinary’s Granactive 2% Retinoid Emulsion every three days, at least 20 minutes after I’ve washed my face to allow my skin’s pH to return to normal.
The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid Toner also every three days, typically the day after I’ve used the retinoid.
– A mask once or twice a week. The bubble clay and these sheet masks are my current favorites. Clay or otherwise drying masks are used on my third day of the three day retinoid/glycolic acid cycle.
The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

Further Tweaking:
I’d like to add some more hydration to my routine. I’ve been eyeing The Ordinary’s Buffet and Rose Hip Seed Oil.
I want to try new toners, even though the one I have now is totally fine.
I also desperately want a sunscreen that isn’t so dry and white.

I think I’m definitely on my way to having a scary intricate routine.
It’s a journey. Where are you on yours?

 

February 2018

Thank you, February, for being like two days long after January lasted for five years.

A Blog Update

I bought a domain! April Speaks is now Grumpy Skin. One of my 2018 goals was to put more effort into my blog. Do you know what motivates you to put more effort into your blog? Spending money on it.

Hopefully this year long subscription is more enjoyable than ipsy.

Nice Life Things

Image of my cat and a bunch of sheet masks on my bed, with the Snapchat caption "Gonna be so fucking hydrated"
My friend in South Korea sent me some nice sheet masks! I’m reviewing all of them. Be patient.

One plate of desserts from our dessert buffet. I've got two things of chocolate mousse, a truffle, a fancy hostess cupcake, and a fancy version of those strawberry shortcake ice creams.

And, I surprised the boy with an anniversary/Valentine’s date to an unlimited dessert buffet. Feminism is really ruining relationships. Look at how much we’re suffering.

Podcasts

Managed Retreat (Episode 293) by 99% Invisible
What do you do with buildings on the coast when the ocean starts eating up the shoreline?

A Very Fatal Murder by The Onion
Start with episode 1. The ultimate true crime podcast.

Episode 84: Masterpiece by Criminal
Do you ever feel like your crime stories need 100% more poodles? Here you go.

The secrets of church, state and business by Reveal
I had somehow missed the Jehovah’s Witness child sex abuse scandal, so I was glad to be going through the Reveal back catalog this week. I’m no longer avoiding eye contact outside of the train station, I’m glaring.

The story about high speed internet is also worth a listen. The situation in my home town is a bit better than it was growing up, but we’re still leaving the south behind.

The Man Who Ate Everything by Sawbones
I am fascinated, upset, and need to read a biography now. My favorite feeling.

Episode 2: Something Large and Wild by This is Love
Have you guys noticed that I love the podcast Criminal? 2018 is looking up because now they’re making a second podcast about love. Please listen to this. It’s beautiful, unexpected, and makes me miss my aquarium so much.

February 2018 Ipsy Bag

The premise: You give ipsy $10 a month. They send you a somewhat curated bag of makeup. I paid for a year up front and either a) the service is complete trash, or b) they figured they already had my money for a year and they are sending me the stuff no one else wants.

Oh boy, we have some shit to unpack here.

First, this month’s theme is “unzipped”. Because body positivity = about sex. Also body positivity is for EVERYONE that is conventionally attractive and not lumpy. There’s an article titled “Self-Love Starts Here: See Why *Everyone* (Including You) Deserves to Feel Sexy”. I can’t be bothered to click on it, but I feel like they’re negging me. EVEN I DESERVE TO FEEL SEXY.

Let’s see how they’re going to make me feel sexy this month.

What’s in my bag
Image of the February 2018 ipsy bag and contents. The bag itself is a light, light pink with a black lace trim.

My only complaint about the bag (other than I would never use it) is that it is described as “blushing pink”. Gross. I am pink with rage or not pink at all.

I traded in points for the eye mask. That will get judged separately later, because it was a choice that I made, rather than something ipsy subjected me to.

Swatches from top to bottom: Seraphine blush, Marsk shadow straight, Marsk shadow applied wet. Left photo is my ungodly bright bathroom. Right is with flash.

SERAPHINE BOTANICALS Lychee + Gold

I actually love peach blushes. I’m so pale that more true pinks make me look like I’m dying of heat stroke. Even this one is a bit much. I am a ghost. Solid job, though, ipsy.

Purchase or pass: It’s $14 and doesn’t have any weird ingredients aside from random fruit extracts. The only reason I’m hesitant is that all of the products say that they’re specially formulated to flatter all skin tones, but the half-assed clicking I did only revealed swatches on a girl as pale as me.

SAND & SKY Brilliant Skin Pink Clay Mask
I am 100% sure that ipsy reads my blog and is trolling me after I yelled about rubbing sand on my face last month. I’ll concede that I think clay masks are okay if you otherwise moisturize your skin well, so I’ll give this a try.

Purchase or pass: A jar of this is $50 and the website looks like a millennial marketing scam.

MARSK Loose Eyeshadow in Foiled Again
This is much better than the last metallic eye shadow they sent me! I wore it (with primer) and it stayed all day without creasing or shedding too much glitter. I haven’t tried a wet application yet.

Purchase or pass: I will never need to wear this much glitter.

BLAQ Meteor Shower
This is the most distressing thing that ipsy has ever sent me. We don’t have the space (lol) here. You will hear about this later.

Purchase or pass: Most. Distressing. Thing.

LUXIE BEAUTY Blending and Shading Eye Brush 249
It’s a brush. Neat.

Purchase or pass: I already own this.

If they had sent anything other than the meteors that I am supposed to throw away, I think I’d be okay with this bag. Weird.

Tell me the most traumatizing thing that ipsy has ever sent you in the comments.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel

First things first: I did not buy this $50 moisturizer. I got a sample with my Sephora order.

Having said that, I was super excited to try some Drunk Elephant. Skincare nerds love Drunk Elephant.

This moisturizer is terrible.

The first thing I noticed was that it smells pretty strongly of alcohol, which I was not expecting from something that is supposed to moisturize my skin. I looked up the ingredients and they’re mostly the ‘good alcohols‘. That’s nice. I have no idea why it’s such a bad product now.

It’s a gel. Usually gel moisturizers work well with my skin, which tends to be oily. Gels tend to absorb fairly quickly and matte on me. This one left me shiny, and instantly sticky.

I stuck it out for about an hour. Drunk Elephant is a supposedly good brand. Some things need time to sink in. My poor winter skin started feeling drier and drier. I finally gave up on this being a nice experience and slathered my face in my normal Cerave.

And no, I didn’t notice that layering Cerave over this made it work any better. Save your money.

Dermelect Microfacial Exfoliating Masque

Ipsy seems to have caught on to the fact that I’m into face masks. They sent me this one in my January bag. Normally I would do some research before buying and using a product, but I already have it, so on my face it goes.

The back of the tube says that the “MULTI-BRIGHTENING COMPLEX INSTANTLY RESTORES DULL, LACKLUSTER LOOKING SKIN TO LUMINOUS AND RADIANT!” Yes, the tube is shouting at me.

Here is my dull, lackluster skin:
A selfie of my bare face. I've got my hand on my chin and it's kinda cute. My skin looks perfectly fine.

Let’s see what miracles this masque can do for my face.
I dampened my skin, massaged and waited.

My face with the Dermelect Microfacial Exfoliating Masque applied. I don't look entirely pleased.
It was grittier than I expected. The ingredients listed on the tube are THD ascorbate (vitamin C, what is presumably ~brightening my skin~), kaolin (clay that sucks up oil), and coconut oil (the 12 minute wait is because we’re moisturizing here).

So what’s the grit? I had immediately thrown out the box this came in, so I had to pull the ingredients from ipsy’s website.

Water (Aqua), Kaolin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol,

Pumice

, PEG-40 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide,Lactic Acid, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Salicylic Acid , Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol,Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Limon Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Fruit Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Citral.

It’s more pumice than coconut oil. It’s not even a sugar scrub, which I rationalize as being “okay physical exfoliation” because the sugar eventually dissolves. It’s sand-based exfoliation. Baby rocks.

Did I scrape my skin off? Am I more radiant?
A shot of my face after Dermelect Microfacial Exfoliating Masque. It might look a little more radiant, but you can also see that my hair is damp. Water does that.

Nah, I’m okay. I’m a little less shiny and had to moisturize despite ipsy insisting it didn’t cause “uncomfy dryness”. I’ll use the tube, but do feel the need to shout into the internet void:

KEEP IT OUT OF YOUR EYES AND DON’T SCRUB TOO HARD.

Literal sand.

 

January 2018 Ipsy Bag

For the uninitiated: Ipsy is a monthly beauty bag subscription. You give them $10, and a garbage algorithm decides what leftover lipstick colors you get this month. I bought a year subscription and have to live with my decision until July.

This month’s theme is vaguely sporty. I understand the dry shampoo for gym days, but a contour palette? Okay, ipsy. I’m sure you’re trying to be coherent.

What’s in my bag

January 2018 ipsy bag and contents. This month's bag is a godawful blue mesh with a neon pink and yellow stripe down the middle.

First, this is a horrifyingly ugly bag with a horrifying texture. Check out how reflective that stripe is! I’m never using this bag for anything. In the pile it goes.

ABSOLUTE NEW YORK Eye Artiste Single Shadow in Posse

I like shimmery, neutral eye shadow colors. I was hoping for the brown, but ipsy heard me say I liked the pink eye shadow last month and gave me a baby shimmery pink. This eye shadow is not the best for me. It also comes with a straight up insulting applicator. It’s so tiny and awkward.

Image of the tiniest eyeshadow applicator. It's double ended and the width of my thumb just fits between the two sponges.Swatch of ABSOLUTE NEW YORK Eye Artiste Single Shadow in Posse. It's a rose color with some shimmer to it.

Purchase or pass: The colors are atrocious. Pass.

ORIBE HAIR CARE Gold Lust Dry Shampoo

The dry shampoo that I bought two years ago is starting to run out, so this is right on time. I clearly don’t use a lot of dry shampoo, but it’s appreciated. It doesn’t leave a weird visible residue in my dark hair. There’s nothing wrong with it. I’ll use it.
Purchase or pass: A 6 oz bottle is $46. It is dry shampoo. I understand luxury make up items are a treat, but luxury dry shampoo? It’s literally for when you don’t want to wash your hair. No.

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Lip Lingerie in Satin Ribbon

If you’re going to go for a straight up light beige color, your formula has to be ROCK SOLID.
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Lip Lingerie in Satin Ribbon on my lips. It's a shade darker than my skin (which is pasty white) and settles into every line of my lips.
My lips are heavily moisturized here. Gross.

Image of the NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Lip Lingerie in Satin Ribbon tube. It looks like a concealer.Arm swatch of NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Lip Lingerie in Satin Ribbon. It still looks like a concealer and not lipstick.

Purchase or pass: I actually have this lipstick in the darker, more flattering Exotic. It also settles into the lines of your lips, but it has great staying power. I’m convinced this color is in ipsy’s bag because it’s not selling well.

DERMELECT Microfacial Exfoliating Masque

We’ll talk about this one in it’s own post. I’ll give you a disclaimer here, though. It has pumice in it. Don’t make a habit of rubbing sand on your face. That’s a terrible idea.
Purchase or pass: ACTUAL SAND ON YOUR FACE.

CITY COLOR COSMETICS Contour Palette

I’ve never tried to hardcore contour before, but this palette seems pretty good. Two complaints: the middle color is a little orange and the whole thing smells vaguely of sunscreen.
Image of my wearing everything in my ipsy bag this month. It's not a good look. My lips almost don't exist and contouring makes me look a little gaunt.
I look downright gaunt. Is that the goal?
Anyway, he’s a swatch where I swear I’ve swatched the white. I’m just really pale.
Arm swatches of the City Color Cosmetics contouring kit. You can't see the highlighter, but it does show up as a light shimmer in person.
Purchase or pass: I’m not sure that I need to contour. I’m already pretty pointy. City Color has some good products at affordable prices, though.

A perfectly mediocre haul, yet again. Stay tuned for next month’s post, where I beg ipsy to free me.