SKIN SAVIORS: HADA LABO.

hada_labo_reviewOh, Monday. If you’re a regular reader of blogazine Into the Gloss, chances are those little Monday morning posts, “Because it’s Monday and we don’t want to work yet” somehow perk up my morning, serving as the perfect reminder that somewhere out there is a kindred spirit that feels the same way I do at the beginning of the beginning of a very long week: lethargic, lazy, and stuck in a daydream about the oh-so-distant weekend. If you don’t read ITG, then you have no idea what I’m talking about and I’ve probably helped you doze off back to sleep. No matter, here’s a few products to help wake you up and banish those Monday morning blues. Hada Labo is a brand off the high street in Japan that’s available in Ulta, as well as certain drugstores Stateside, and let me tell you, you need to try this stuff. The products are affordable but effective, doing the hefty work of some of the most luxurious skincare products I’ve tried. In a word, the Replenishing Hydrator* is, well, fabulous. Is there any better way to describe a serum that feels like a cool splash of water to the face, sinks in quickly, and leaves skin supple, plumped, and without any dry patches to speak of? Maybe, but come on, it’s Monday, and I don’t want to work yet. So we’ll stick with just calling it fabulous. It’s so good that a bottle of this stuff apparently sells every two seconds in Japan. The Hydrating Facial Cleanser* is a great in-between for those who love the hyper-clean feeling of a foaming cleanser but don’t like the way skin feels afterwards- think dry, tight, and generally like it’s had the life sucked out of it. Hada Labo’s offering is described as a:

  • Rich creamy cleanser with foaming action, deeply cleanses to remove impurities, dirt and oil. Rinses clean.
  • Restores and preserves skin’s natural moisture while cleansing.

Check, and check. It’s the creamiest foaming cleanser I’ve found, and it truly does get rid of all that unwanted grime either from a day of walking around town or in the morning to remove residue from skincare products the night before, and yet skin somehow feels hydrated after washing it off. My only gripe? It does have that odd scent of fragrance-free products, but that’s something I can deal with as it’s completely safe for skin that’s prone to breakouts. Both products are hyaluronic-based, making them perfect for both dry skin and oily-combination that’s simply dehydrated. Overall? Yes, you need this in your life ASAP. Simples. 

(* denotes press sample)

THE SAMPLE REVIEWS.

le cpIf you happened to read my October Birchbox Unboxing post, you might have noticed that I received an itty-bitty sized sample of the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, which I was kinda sorta beyond excited about. Well, that’s a bit of an understatement. I was over the moon. If you’ve been around the beauty blogosphere for a while now, odds are that you’ve probably heard our über-chic British blogger friends talking on and on (and on) about this little tub of joy. Problem is (or was, until Birchbox swooped in to save us all), Liz Earle products don’t normally ship to the U.S. bummer. I’ll save you the details of the story, since I talked on about it in the post, but basically Birchbox saved my bank account by sending me this bad boy and making it available here in good old ‘merica.

The product itself feels quite luxurious; it’s a cream in texture and massages into the skin like a dream. You’re meant to buff it onto dry skin to cleanse, followed by a quick towel-off with a muslin cloth. I found it a bit tough at first to work it in properly, since you have to use a considerable amount to effectively cleanse. In short, this is not one of those “a-little-goes-a-long-way” kind of products. It doesn’t bother me, per say, but it is something to think about if you don’t like the idea of repurchasing every so often. While it doesn’t have a particularly heavy scent, I find that it does have kind of a funny mint-ish smell to it. Personally, I don’t really enjoy the smell, but I’ve gotten used to it. For me, it’s just not a cleanser I massage in forever purely because of the joy of the scent, but I’m sure some people will love it. It’s not unpleasant, to me it just seems… weird. It definitely took some getting used to. In terms of its effectiveness? This thing cleanses off makeup with ease, although I find that prior removal of eye makeup if you wear waterproof mascara (like me) is necessary; it’s not the toughest stuff in the world. Do I love it? To be honest, not as much as I thought I would. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect cleanser, and this just doesn’t seem to fit the bill. It’s okay, but for me it just isn’t the oneRight about now, I’m pretty darn glad Birchbox saved me from buying the full size for a third more than it costs (including shipping), only to find out I’m not in love with the product. Still want to give it a go? Have a look here.

Second on the docket today is a sample of the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer that came with my Ambient Lighting Palette, which I did a post on here. I’ll admit, this is the first foundation primer I’ve tried, but I’m pretty sure it’s the only one I’ll ever try. It smooths out the skin like nothing else, leaving an even canvas to apply the rest of your makeup, whilst keeping oils at bay. Yes, it is expensive, but I’m definitely planning on purchasing when this product runs out.

Do you have any samples you’ve been trialling recently? Let me know below:)

MID-WEEK HOPPIN’.

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Happy Wednesday everyone!

Ha. Happy Wednesday. I’d rather not lie, so by “Happy Wednesday”, I mean to say that I hope you’re all having a fantastic wednesday to make up for my awful day, not that I myself am experiencing such things. Suffice it to say that I’ve had a really tough week, with today thus far proving to be the worst day I’ve had in a while. BUT. The lovely Lisa and Carrieanne of Beauties Unlocked, along with the equally lovely Katie of Katie’s World  and Daniela of A  One Way Ticket to My World have launched a new blog hop that just might lift some of your mid-week blues. The hop is called “14 Weeks of Melodies”, and the idea is that every week you pick a song that represents your mood lately, and share it on the Hop. Each week, there’s a prize up for grabs, and the hop is going on all the way up until December 31st, with a grand prize being awarded to the blogger who completes all 14 weeks! I think it’s a great idea, as lately I’ve been somewhat negligent of posting to my blog, so hopefully this’ll help get me into a routine to try to complete the challenge, and I love music and finding new and exciting songs and artists I might not have heard of before! Interested? Head over to the hosts’ blogs (linked below) and link up your accounts after sharing your weekly melody, and grab the button off of Beauties Unlocked to share with your own followers!

One of my long-time favorite bands/artists/whatevers has always been a duo called Tegan and Sara. If you haven’t heard of them before, they’re a pair of identical twins who have some AMAZING records. Stop. Don’t even finish reading this post if you’ve never heard them before, and go see my buddy google.com and have a listen. If you’re into indie/alternative music, this is absolute love. I’ve had a rough go of things lately, and I’ve basically had the song “Where Does the Good Go?” on replay every single moment of the day. It’s absolutely beautiful, and deep; I especially love the first verse. I find it really comforting, because it has to do with figuring out how to deal with yourself and life after going through a rough patch, but it’s not patronizing in any way so as to lie and tell you that everything’s all right. It’s wonderful and introspective and its a slice of reality. True and honest. So go ahead, have a listen.

SO. Apologies for my ramblings, but sometimes you need to let it all out to start taking the good back in. Have a look at the host blogs; I love them all!

Beauties Unlocked 

Katie’s World

A One Way Ticket to My World