Facial Friday: Tea Tree Face Mask Review

“There are similar/better products for a fraction of the price.”

Price: $17.00

Let me start by saying I am a firm believer in The Body Shop skincare line. I will stand behind their tea tree oil for spot-treating blemishes until the day I leave this earth.


I gotta be honest here, The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing mud mask really didn’t do it for me. It’s not that it didn’t work, but I feel I get the same results when I use drugstore brands. For starters, this little pot of mud is $17.00. I can get a tube of Freeman’s Charcoal and Black Sugar mud mask for $4.29 at CVS. In my opinion, this mask performs the same duties: smoothes the skin and helps clear blemishes. (see mini review here)

For the record: I have been using this mask 1-2 times a week for three weeks. On Ulta’s website, the Body Shop claims that this mask works to draw out excess oil from the pores, but I haven’t noticed a change in oil production. I also haven’t noticed an improvement in my blemishes, nor are they being “prevented.”

I will give it this: the mask feels soothing on the skin, and once activated there is a tingly sensation on your face that feels like the mask is really working. It does not dry down quickly, nor does it leave your skin feeling super tight by the time you’re ready to wash it off.


  • lightweight formula which doesn’t dry down to a skin-tight feeling
  • tea tree scent is not overwhelming
  • a little seems to go a long way – I think the tub will last me awhile


  • I feel like I get the same results for less $$ elsewhere
  • it hasn’t worked “wonders” to clear my skin or absorb excess oil
  • the price tag

So that’s my summary! I will say, regardless of my opinions on this mask, it will definitely last me awhile, which could make the $17 worth it. That being said, I would also like to give their Seaweed Oil-Balancing clay mask a go.  This mask is $23.00, so I will wait until I finish the tea tree one before I jump into that purchase. I firmly believe the Body Shop has the potential to wow me when it comes to skincare, and considering it’s an investment, it may be worth it. Anything to balance out the oil in my face would be a godsend.

What is your favorite skincare item from the Body Shop? Should I be trying some other items? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! I love hearing new ideas/products to try.

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Facial Friday: Biore Charcoal Nose Strips

“I think I prefer the original pore strips.”


I’m sure we can all agree everyone loves a deep clean of the pores, especially the ones on our nose. Daily skincare is enough to break down makeup and exfoliate dead skin cells. However, once every so often it becomes imperative to clean out the gunk that clogs our pores.

For me, the worst of it is on my nose and the inner parts of my cheeks (as I assume is most people’s trouble area). I’m looking for a product that will adhere to a large surface area of my nose and a little on my cheeks, as that area tends to be much more sensitive.

Originally, I tried the Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, and loved those so much I wanted to give the charcoal ones a try. The Biore Charcoal Deep Cleansing Pore Strips are meant to perform the same duty, but also draw out excess oil.

These strips definitely get the job done. Once I peel back the strips I can see all of the gunk that exits my pores. I just have two problems with these:

  1. I never see a change in oil production. They claim you are supposed to see 3x less oil, and that hasn’t happened for me. I’ve gone through an entire box of six and have yet to see a change in my shiny t-zone.

    2. Pictured here, you’ll see that I’m pointing to where the strip does not stay adhered to the side of my nose. Every single time I use a strip, it sort of “puckers” on the sides of my nose, and does not stick. I have tried wetting my face more so that the strip really sticks, and without fail it detaches every time. Therefore, I have never been able to clear out the pores on the sides of my nose, which is kind of the point of this product.

For these two reasons, I am choosing the original pore strips over the charcoal ones. They perform the same job, though even better considering those strips stick to my nose. I wanted to give the charcoal ones a shot due to my oily skin, but I did not see a difference.

Have you tried either of these products? Did you notice the same/different effects? Would you recommend any different ones?

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Facial Friday: My Skincare Routine!

“Let’s get into the routine which has become my daily grind.”


I have been meaning to do this post for awhile! Although, I wanted to tweak my routine before I got started. Prior to last year, I literally only used Cetaphil cleanser to wash my face. No face masks, no exfoliator, no handheld face massager, nothing. Just some plain old SOAP. And don’t get me wrong, that’s perfect for some people, but my skin needed help. So now I have a very different regimen, as I have become very serious about improving the texture and oiliness of my skin.

Quick breakdown: I have very oily skin, and it’s hard to keep it matte by noon. I typically don’t powder throughout the day because, well, honestly I don’t care what I look like at work. However, if I’m meeting up with the bf or going out after work, I certainly have to touch up so I don’t look like a shiny mess. Other than that, I don’t particularly have bad skin, but I definitely have problem areas (my chin and under my jawline).

To start: I cleanse. This is where I use my Solo Mio (full review here), which has quickly become my holy grail device. I will apply my Philosophy Purity facial cleanser to my face as I normally would, massaging it into the skin for a few seconds. Then I go in with my Solo Mio and cleanse my face for approximately a minute (focusing on each zone of my face for about 15 seconds).
*note: I do this twice daily, once in the morning and then again at night. Jaclyn Hill mentioned once in a skincare video that it is just as important to wash your skin when you wake up, as you release toxins and sweat while you sleep.


Next: exfoliate. I have been using and loving the Aveeno Daily Brightening Scrub which works wonders for shedding dead skin and dirt, as well as cleaning out my pores. I have to mention as well that this exfoliator is the best-smelling face product I have ever used! I massage this onto the face with my hands only so it is not too harsh on my skin.
*note: I do consider washing my face with the Solo Mio as a mild exfoliator, so I only use the Aveeno scrub every other night (and also nights when I apply face masks).


Lastly: moisturize.
– at night, I will follow my exfoliator with my Tarte Maracuja Oil (full review here), and I swear by this product now. A combination of my recent skincare routine and adding this face oil at night has completely transformed the texture of my skin and I have noticed the biggest difference. My skin has become so much easier to work with as far as makeup application is concerned.
– in the morning, I will follow my Philosophy face wash with a basic moisturizer from CVS, the Ultra Calming Daily Moisturizer (good dupe for the Aveeno ultra calming daily moisturizer).


So that’s my daily skincare routine! I was considering including my face mask regimen here as well, but then figured I could dedicate an entire post to that. Let me know in the comments below if you found this helpful and use similar products! Is there anything I’m missing or should check out? As always, I’m open for discussion.

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Facial Friday: Mario Badescu Multi-Masking Kit

“I’m a multi-tasker using the multi-masker!”


Did anyone else get this for Christmas? Is is too late to ask that? Yes? Oh well.

Disclaimer: I cannot find this trio together anymore, however you can certainly buy each of these separately to achieve the same combination. Mario Badescu sells the Super Collagen mask, Whitening mask, and Flower & Tonic mask individually.

As an introduction to Mario Badescu’s Multi-Masker kit, you should first know that each mask (pictured above) is used on different areas of your face to target different skin issues. I kind of assumed when I got this that I could just use each one of them all over my face on a certain day of the week and rotate, but little did I know they were to be used all at once!


This is a three-step process, and I will list each mask and its benefits below:

  1. First, you should apply the Super Collagen mask to your forehead, and anywhere else you feel you need an extra boost of hydration. This formula is going to work towards plumping your skin to restore a natural radiance of youth.
  2. Secondly, you should apply the Whitening mask to your cheeks. This is going to help boost the glow to your skin and brighten your appearance.
  3. Lastly, apply the Flower & Tonic mask to your T-zone and chin (I applied around my nose and chin area). I use this wherever I think my pores need the most purging, as this formula is meant to re-balance your skin and clear out congested pores.

So far, I really like these masks! They have such a fresh scent, and feel less “goopy” than drugstore brand face masks, which I’ve attributed to a thinner consistency. They apply like a dream to the face, and for reasons I can’t put my finger on, they just feel more high end. I do not splurge when it comes to face masks, and I think my mom paid $12 for this set (here’s hoping it releases again soon!), but these are certainly nicer masks than you’d pick up at your local CVS or Target.


My other favorite aspect about these masks is that they are made to target different zones on your face! How often do you apply a different face mask to your cheeks than you do your nose? For me, the answer was never. If I continue to see positive results, I will be repurchasing them individually!

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried out the trio, or any one of the face masks featured here! I’d be interested in knowing what other Mario Badescu masks are worth checking out that I didn’t talk about in this feature.

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Facial Friday: Solo Mio Face Cleanser

“So this is different.. but in a good way.”


Today’s review is the SOLO Mio Sonic Face Cleanser and Massager Brush that I ordered from Amazon for $37.95 right before Christmas. This vibrating cleanser is meant to “cleanse your face of all dirt, reduce pore size, erase fine lines, and exfoliate your skin with a single handheld device.” Gotta be honest here, I watched Kathleen Lights do a comparison review between the Solo Mio and Foreo Luna 2 on YouTube, and that is hands down why I purchased this. Who doesn’t love a good dupe?!

First and foremost, it will take you a couple tries to get used to this, especially if you’ve never used more than your fingers to clean your face before (like me).

But I wanted to take my skincare game to the next level, and for me, that meant a sonic face cleanser. The Solo Mio has these miniature silicone beads on the head of it that are smaller on the bottom half and medium-sized at the top. I have sensitive skin, and these beads do not irritate me at all. I do notice my cheeks get a little red, but that’s pretty typical of my skin when I do anything more than rub my fingers across it. Due to that fact, I only use this cleanser at night, and not in the mornings, though it does claim sensitive enough to use both morning and night.


I followed the instructions rather directly, and stuck to about 15 seconds on each section of my face (cheeks, chin/jawline, forehead, and on/around my nose). I first apply my face wash to my face with my hands, and then turn on the device to exfoliate. When you turn on the Solo Mio, the vibrations seem a little fast and harsh, so I click the minus symbol twice to slow it down to where it’s suitable for my skin. Run your Solo Mio’s surface under water first so that it is wet to help with a lather. I move in a counter-clockwise motion on the left side of my face, and clockwise on the right side of my face, sticking to one “section” at a time. Unlike the Foreo Luna 2, this device does not pause when you should move onto the next section of your face, so you’ll have to count in your head until the rhythm becomes a memory of pattern.

The different sized beads on the Solo Mio are meant for different parts of your face. The bulk of its surface is covered with the smallest beads, meant to exfoliate the majority of your face. At the top of the Solo Mio, there are bigger beads, helpful to tackle the sides of your nose and exfoliate the crevices in that area. The back of the device is for deep exfoliation. Personally, I have not used the back, and probably will not considering the device gently exfoliates/cleanses perfectly and I wouldn’t want to risk deep exfoliation on my sensitive skin.

I have now been using the Solo Mio for two weeks, and have not needed to charge it once. I’m not sure how long it’s supposed to hold a charge, but I am completely satisfied with it lasting at least two weeks without having to plug it in.

That completes this review! I LOVE THE SOLO MIO, and will continue to use it every night. I feel much cleaner than when I only used my hands before, and I really feel like the massaging effects of the device exfoliate and get down into my pores more than I could. I have been trying a lot of new skincare products, and I have noticed an improvement on the texture of my skin, though I can’t confirm it’s because of this device alone. However, this has become one of my necessities while traveling, and the packaging makes it great to pack while I’m away from home. Besides washing my face in the morning with my hands, I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of the Solo Mio. It is also a great investment in case you were interested in the Foreo Luna 2, so that’s a perk as well.
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried this product and what success you’ve had with it, if any! Do you have other favorites? Did you try this before splurging?

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Magical Makeup Monday: Maracuja Oil Review

“I wish I could put into words what magical effects this has on the skin.”


We need to address the blessing that is Maracuja Oil from Tarte. I have nothing but positive things to say about this oil, except for the price tag. WHICH, I must say, I’m willing to debate because this will last you a long time.

I’ve been using this oil every other night (on the same night I exfoliate) in place of my moisturizer. The first time I used it, I felt rather awkward. You have to load the dropper with oil prior to pressing it into your skin. The bottle tells you to put 2-3 drops onto a clean face/neck and massage into your skin. I’m not sure why, but I got the impression you should load 2-3 drops into the palm of your hands first, then apply to the face. No, don’t do this.

Instead, try dotting a drop directly onto your forehead, each cheek, nose, and chin. That is five drops total. I’m not sure if that would be a lot for others, but for me it helps to get an even coverage over my face and neck. I mean, we’re talking drops, not a pump or squeeze of something. Then I try to make this last as much as I can, massaging it into the skin for a minute and patting it onto my neck as well.


The results I have seen have been magnificent. This is a product where my skin feels instantly plump, smooth, and hydrated. Not sticky or greasy whatsoever. It dries within minutes to a soft moisturized touch. As I stated, I use this in place of my nightly moisturizer, and it has proved to be a valuable substitute.

I wake up in the morning with extremely soft skin and little to no texture, which is an awesome benefit if you’re someone who struggles with bumps. I have noticed a little improvement with redness, but nothing show stopping yet. This is just an incredible product to try out if you’re interested in a nighttime oil to soothe your skin while you sleep.

I would highly recommend this and will be repurchasing, despite the rather high price tag. If you’re someone who is considering a higher end oil, give the travel size a chance! With a $15.00 price tag, it might help persuade you it’s worth the splurge. We are talking about preserving the youth of your skin.

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried something similar at a more affordable price! I’d definitely give something else a try if there is a good ploy behind it.

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Facial Friday: Freeman/Drugstore Face Mask Review

“These masks just don’t disappoint.”


Freeman’s Face Masks are a store-in-the-back-of-your-bathroom-vanity-and-pull-out-when-you-need-pampered type mask. I can’t say they’re a game-changer, but they are certainly an affordable and reliable option when it comes to clay face masks. There are some I like more than others, and when it comes to catering to all skin types, Freeman’s takes care of that.

Here’s what Freeman’s offers according to skin types:

For normal/combination skin: Avocado & Oatmeal Clay, Cucumber Peel-Off, Charcoal & Black Sugar Mud, Sweet Tea & Lemon Peel-Away Clay, Chocolate & Strawberry Clay, Charcoal & Black Sugar Mud
For all skin types: Dead Sea Minerals Anti-Stress, Charcoal & Black Sugar Polishing, Pomegranate Revealing Peel-Off, Acai Purifying Clay
For oily/combination skin: Sparkling Pear Pore Cleansing
For breakout/oily skin: Mint & Lemon Clay
For dry skin: Golden Grain Brightening, Honeydew & Chamomile Sleeping

A short synopsis on my skin type: I have combination/oily skin and an especially shiny t-zone. However, I can get dry patches in the winter that turns my foundation a little patchy if I don’t moisturize properly. I am always looking for products that are mattifying/pore-shrinking but also heavily emphasize hydration in my daily routine.

No shame in the selfie game, eh?

As for face masks, I’ve made it a bi-weekly routine. On Mondays, I will reach for a pore-cleansing or detoxifying mud mask, and Thursdays I opt for a more soothing and moisturizing option. I am not a fan of sheet masks, and haven’t really been into peel-off masks either.

My favorites:

  1. Dead Sea Minerals Anti-Stress is a blue mud mask that smells incredible. It is meant to “clear pores and smooth skin.” As corny as it sounds, I really do feel relieved of stress when I use this. I can’t tell you whether it’s the scent or cooling sensation, but I will reach for this mask on a Monday if I have had a rough start to the week. (I have the CVS version of this in the tube pictured above. However, I have tried the Freeman’s brand and feel the exact same way as my statement here).
  2. Another mask I’ll reach for is the Charcoal & Black Sugar Mud mask, which so far is my favorite. It is meant to “smooth, purify, and moisturize” the skin. This mask will dry really tightly to your skin and feel like it’s absorbing and extracting all of the toxins deep down in your pores. I notice my skin is visibly less red and textured when I wake up after using this the night before.
  3. The Avocado & Oatmeal Clay mask is a mask I will reach for on a Thursday when I focus on hydrating my skin. This mask seems to layer thicker than others, though that could just be the way I apply it. Once you wash this off, your skin will feel cooler and refreshed, like it absorbed all of the moisture.
  4. One mask I would like to point out that I did not like is the Cucumber Peel-Off mask. Could just be that I’m not a fan of “gel-like” masks, but I felt as if this did nothing for me. It applies in a very messy manner, just kind of sits on your skin, and after I wash it off I don’t notice any change in the texture or complexion of my skin the next morning. I gave the rest of the bottle to a colleague, so that tells you how I felt about it.

Overall, these mud masks are very reliable for a weekly routine. I purchase them by the bottle, after trying the sample packet, so that I get the best deal for my cash money.

I am in the process of trying out some new face masks (think: Mario Badescu and Tony Moly), so I will be sure to report on those! In the meantime, let me know in the comments below if you have a favorite Freeman’s/drugstore face mask or holy grail mud mask you use religiously!

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