It’s impossible to look glamorous in these things…

As you all know, this weekend i went to the wonderful K-Beauty shop in Chicago, Choc Choc Cosmetics and got a fairly complete skincare regimen. Today, i’ll be reviewing the two cleansers from Klairs, as well as the Skinfood mask.  Of course, the minute i got home, i had to try almost every single product i bought.  Of the two masks i purchased, i went with the Snail mask, as that was the one i was most curious about. Although i did try the toner, the serum, the moisturizer, and the makeup, i want to give my skin a bit more time to acclimate to those before i review them.  I’ve used the cleansers twice now, and my skin will react to those fairly quickly – the same goes for masks. So read on to see what i think!

  • Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil: Despite the name, no – this oil isn’t actually black. It’s named thus because it’s made with black bean and black sesame oils. Black sesame oil is wonderful for the skin because it has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties as well as being an antioxidant.  Black bean oil controls sebum production (oh, the irony of controlling oil with oil, right?). Finally, the black currant seed oil is packed with vitamins and minerals, containing high amounts of omegas 3 and 6, as well as being an anti-inflammatory.  This cleanser is specially formulated for sensitive skin to be extra-gentle. In my last post, i talked about the two-step cleansing process in K-Beauty – and so when i gently rubbed this ultra-rich oil into my skin, i wasn’t too concerned at how incredibly thick and, well, oily it was. It has a very faint scent of lavender, and feels incredibly moisturizing and luxe on the skin. It melts away makeup – although if you’re wearing a strong waterproof eyeliner/mascara you may require two passes, and then the second step with the foam before it’s totally gone (update, I had on the exact same makeup tonight and had no trouble, so I guess it was my lack of experience or just a fluke! It all came off beautifully this time).  This rich oil didn’t irritate my eyes, even when i realized i’d forgotten to take out my contact lenses! It WILL leave a light residue, but it’s meant to be followed up with the cleansing foam.  It leaves your skin moisturized and feeling healthy. It is not in the least bit irritating on the skin.  You’ll want to apply it to dry skin, then rinse off to get the full benefit – otherwise you’ll find it just sort of slips off. One pump is enough for the entire face and neck. Definitely a win!

  • Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser: This hypoallergenic cleanser will remove all trace of oil from the previous cleanser, without stripping your face of hydration. It’s a super-light foam, which feels surprisingly rich on the face. It contains hyaluronic acid, tea tree oil – and yes, it smells lightly of it, but it’s so faint that even i can take it, and i generally find the scent of tea tree nauseating, which is too bad, because it’s so good for the skin, being a natural zit-killer; But this is like the difference between a fine, aged patchouli used sparingly in an expensive perfume, and the gross fresh patchouli bought in a head shop and worn by a 16 year old neo-hippie who wears it to mask the fact that he hasn’t showered in like two weeks. It’s actually quite pleasant.  It also contains olive oil, obviously great for moisturizing but also a great source of squalene; rice bran extract, which cleanses, soothes, and moisturizes; broccoli-seed oil, which is a natural source of vitamin A; and linseed oil – a natural oil balancer for the skin as well as an anti-inflammatory, great for those us struggling with breakouts. It made my skin feel SO fresh and clean, yet it didn’t feel tight and dry afterwards. It just felt perfectly prepped for my toner! Oh, and my Snail mask ;).  Again, all you need is one pump.

After using these two cleansers for one night and this morning, i will say that my skin, which is VERY pre-menstual right now, did begin to purge a little bit. Or perhaps i should say, it HELPED to purge what was already happening in my skin because of gross period hormones. I had a nasty period zit – HUGE one, happening on the side of my nose, which normally would have festered and hung around, but these cleansers got it out overnight (with the help of my Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum). It was ready to go this morning, and after cleaning, it was gone. Tea tree oil is excellent for such things, but ironically, i also believe the heavy oils helped to purge what was going on underneath the surface. I also had a number of blackheads come up to the surface so i could get them out – and usually they are REALLY hard for me to get rid of. So expect these cleansers to help your skin to purge when you first start using them. And that’s a GOOD thing. It will bring it right out, and then they’ll be gone. Definitely a good thing! Then you just need a good exfoliation and you’re good to go.

  • Skinfood Snail Mask: And now, the part you were all waiting for (admit it) – the SNAIL MASK! As i talked about in yesterday’s post, according to Leah of Choc Choc Cosmetics in Chicago, snail mucous was historically used in Korea to help heal wounds, and has excellent regenerative properties for the skin. In terms of skincare, it’s great for rough, dry, aging skin, and some people swear by its ability to soften fine lines and wrinkles. Sign me up, i say!  This was my first ever sheet-mask, and i was excited to try it! After putting on my toner/essence, i unwrapped the mask, and patted it on to my face. It was almost dripping with slick moisture – and felt very cooling, and almost tingly on my skin. As all the instructions on the package were in Korean, i wasn’t sure how long to keep it on – so i just laid back on my bed and relaxed for a bit, figuring maybe 20 minutes or so would be about right. My cats were quite intrigued, and kept sticking their little wet noses next to my face. The very slight tingling sensation continued, and it was far from unpleasant. And indeed, after about 20 minutes, the mask began to dry out a bit on its own, so i removed it at that point.  Afterwards, my skin felt extremely hydrated, and slightly slick to the touch. Basically, just super-healthy, and when i looked in the mirror, i had a nice glow – a bit rosy and very definitely moist! Definitely a repurchase.

There you have it – a photo of me, directly after removing the mask. My skin looks nice and glowy; too bad it doesn’t do much for dark circles due to my poor Maine Coon kitty being up half the night with food poisoning. He’s OK now, thank goodness. We had a rough weekend, though! He spent quality mask-time cuddled next to me.

Also, you can see i’ve got that massive zit on my nose burgeoning…From that point, my skin was ready for serum, eye-cream, moisturizer, primer and powder. Everything went on extremely smoothly, and my skin just glowed. I’m most definitely going to start adding weekly sheet-masks to my skincare regimen from now on.

So there you have it! Stay tuned for more K-Beauty reviews! Tomorrow, my review of the new HOLY GRAIL eyeliner i bought from Choc Choc, as well as the incongruously named “Pink” eyebrow pencil. Let’s just say that that store is going to be getting all my money from now on, lol!

Le sigh.

Until tomorrow, my little Kumquats!