Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review: Kirkland Daily Facial Cleansing Towelettes

I'm doing a review for lazy day aids.

Most of us have a daytime and nighttime routine. My nighttime is:
  1. brushing my teeth,
  2. washing my face,
  3. toning,
  4. applying lotion (Japanese kind),
  5. applying eye creams (one for lid and one for under eye),
  6. patting in whitening moisturizer,
  7. and then anti-wrinkle cream (starting early).

Usually, when I'm doing my thang, bf is making the bed. By the time, I'm done, he's already asleep, lol.

Some nights, I am just too damn tired to do the ritual, or I'm staying overnight somewhere else and I don't want to lug around so many products. That's when I turn to quick fixes. Haha, I used to just not wash my face when I was lazy, but I don't want to risk clogging my pores now! So cleansing wipes are a godsend, which means I have no more excuses. :P

I find faces on packaging super creepy. ZOMBIE FACE. :o

Ingredients: water, cetearyl isononanoate, ceteareth-20, cetearyl alcohol, glyceryl stearate,
glycerin, cetyl palmitate, ceteareth-12, propylene glycol, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, camellia sinensis (white tea) leaf extract, aspalathus linearis (red tea) leaf extract, tocopheryl (vitamin E) acetate, fragrance, butylene glycol, methylparaben, propylparaben, sodium citrate, citric acid, disodium EDTA, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol

Ingredient ♥ Ingredient :(

Experience: I heard raves on YouTube for this product. And it's also been mostly positive on MUA. The wipes are scented, but not overwhelmingly, with a fresh green tea fragrance. The towelettes are really moist, which means that they will not dry out when you're on your last wipe in package. Remember to reseal properly! It's still moist and large (6 x 8 in) enough to cleanse my neck and arms after I am finished cleansing my face.

My face feels squeaky clean and moisturized when I use this to remove sebum and sunblock off my face. It's very gentle, but effective. It claims to "remove the long-lasting make-up (including waterproof mascara)." I tried this on eye makeup. Though I can remove eyeshadow within a few wipes, liner is really tough to take off. I can still blink liner stains in the AM. A second step cleansing will necessary. But this is not a huge issue for me, because I rarely wear makeup. So if you're looking for a good eye makeup remover wipe, this isn't it.

Still, I like it enough to keep using it. Well, I have to. It comes in boxes of 150 wipes!

Cost-effectiveness: Quite affordable at $11.49 (not counting the Costco membership) for 150 wipes. There are 4 30-ct packs with 2 15-ct travel packs. This means it costs $.08/wipe. Sweet.

Availability: Costco and only Costco, Kirkland is a house brand. But Walmart sells something equivalent to this for around the same cost, $5.97 for 60 wipes. The ingredients are exactly the same! However, I haven't tried it myself, so I don't know how they work. I won't be buying the Walmart brand, I've got my hands full with the Kirkland kind. :P

Monday, July 26, 2010

Review for Deonatulle Deodorant Soft Stone M & W: for Picky Pits

Sorry for the slow in blogging! It's been stressful lately, but it's all over now, so I'm back! :)

I want to start this review with a confession: I am a super sweaty woman. Not only that ordinary drugstore doesn't work for me, but I simply can't use it. I really detest that most of the deodorant companies (Secret, Degree, etc.) in recent years have switched solely to antiperspirant versions. My problem with antiperspirant is that it contains Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly, which causes yellow armpit stains on clothing, which CANNOT be washed out. I wasted a few good tops this way in my teenage years. So I've avoided antiperspirants ever since and have been looking for a suitable substitute.

I spent a chunk of cash at Whole Foods using natural deodorants (Tom's, and Crystal), none of which were effective. I sweat a lot, and after an hour of sweating, no amount of the natural deodorants I bought could stop or cover up my nasty sweat. I needed to reapply constantly. I also tried some men's deodorants from mainstream companies (for some reason the companies kept deodorant versions for men, go figure) with the same result.

Flash forward to a year ago. I was wandering the aisles of Ichiban Kan, and I came upon the display for Deonatulle. I was shocked by what I thought were ridiculous prices for deodorant. I spent a good part of my time there mocking the price, wondering who would be silly enough to spend that much money on just deodorant... then bought one at the last moment out of curiosity and impulse, lol.

Deonatulle Deodorant Soft Stone Double M
potassium alum, o-cymen-5-ol, tannic acid, scutellaria baicalensis root extract, sophora angustifolia root extract, spearmint oil, menthol, menthoxypropanediol, squalane, silica, hydrogenated castor oil, cyclopentasiloxane, PPG-14 butyl ether, sorbitan sequiisostearate, stearyl alcohol, butylated hydroxytoluene

Deonatulle Deodorant Soft Stone Double W
potassium alum, o-cymen-5-ol, menthol, hydrogenated castor oil, cyclopentasiloxane, PPG-14 butyl ether, sorbitan sequiisostearate, stearyl alcohol, butylated hydroxytoluene
Ingredient ♥

Experience: I tried it out of curiosity and was not expecting much besides a waste of money. I was soo surprised by its effects! I apply deodorant in the morning, before I get dressed. Using this deodorant keeps me dry and odorless all day, no need to reapply. I was definitely impressed that this deodorant had antiperspirant effects on me. Of course, it's not magic. After 24 hours, I'll start to sweat and develop odor, even if I reapply. So it's not a cure to needing a shower, if that's what you're after! ;)
The deodorant claims to have no colorants or fragrance. But it had a slight minty scent, kinda like toothpaste. I like it!

It's slightly harder to apply than regular deodorant, it doesn't glide as easily. But you just need to press a little harder and it'll work.
I bought the men's one (M version), because I think that men's deodorant would be stronger, which I definitely need, haha. I also like the herbal extracts that are in the men's one. The second time, I bought the women's version, because the men's version was sold out. I found out that the women's version worked just as well. I still prefer the men's version, because the label is printed on, not stuck on. It's more fancy! Haha. But if you can only find the women's version, I still recommend it. This is my HG deodorant.

Cost-effectiveness: Depends. It costs $11.99 at Ichiban Kan for 20g. It'll last you about six months, if you apply it everyday. If you have pit issues like me, it might end up your HG too. But if regular deodorant/antiperspirant works for you and doesn't stain your clothes, stay put! Save your money for something you need.

A finished tube vs. an almost-new one. Don't worry, it's actually enough for six months!

Availability: Within the Bay Area, I've only seen this at the San Francisco Ichiban Kan in terms of Japanese stores. There's online retailers, but only Ichiban Kan is selling for as low as $11.99. Other retailers on the web are selling it for about $20, which is exorbitant! Good luck with the search for it. Let me know if you find it somewhere else for really cheap! I need to stock up. :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Review: Freeman Pineapple Facial Enzyme Mask

I would like to share my thoughts on this raved mask, since I've given it a few tries now.

Ingredients: water (aqua), bromelain, papain, ananas sativus (pineapple fruit) extract, glycolic acid, lactic acid, camomilla recutita (chamomile) extract, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, butylene glycol, glycerin, cocamidopropyl bentain, sorbitol, PVP/dimethylaminethylmethacrylate, copolymer, polyethylene, PPG-5-ceteth-20, carbomer, potassium hydroxide, hydroxyethylcellulose, DMDM hydantoin, ethylparaben, methylparaben, yellow 5 (Cl 19140), yellow 6 (Cl 15965), fragrance (parfum)

Ingredient ♥ Ingredient :(

Experience: I really wanted to love this mask, since it is so cheap for a chemical exfoliating mask! I always try to find an American version for whatever skincare I'm into. But it's been especially hard to find any American beauty brands that sell products featuring hyaluronic acid or peeling gels that are affordable. This is the only affordable American version that I know of that tries to imitate the peeling gel that's so widely available in Asia.
However, it doesn't work exactly the same as a peeling gel. You can put this on a wet face. And there's a waiting period for the mask to work its magic, 10 minutes. Usually, I do all my exfoliation right before or during my shower, so residue doesn't stay on my face or get stuck in my hair.
I apply a thin layer on my face 10 minutes before I take a shower. The scent is light, but smell deliciously of juicy pineapples. The texture is gel-like and feels gritty, but nothing that can physically exfoliate your skin. When I rinse it off in the shower, my skin feels soft and smooth, but not tight. The dead skin is sloughed away gently on my nose and jawline. I follow it up with a scrub. Adding a scrub after sounds like overkill, but I have done it ever since I've read Babybubblz's advice. I've experienced no adverse effects from the double exfoliation. But don't do this if you have sensitive skin or if you don't need extra exfoliation!

Cost-effectiveness: Very affordable at $3.99. This is less than a third of the price of peeling gels I see in Asian supermarkets in the Bay Area, which start around $13. And you get a lot of product for your money, 6 oz!

Available: Not available at every drugstore, but it can be found at Rite-Aid and Walmart and online.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Reviews: Freeman Chocolate & Strawberry Detoxifying Mask and Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask

I want to finish my reviews on Freeman mask packs and do a lil comparison between the three that I've bought.
First off is the chocolate and strawberry one.
Ingredients: water ( aqua), kaolin, bentonite, titanium tioxide, propylene glycol, magnesium aluminum silicate, theobroma cacao (cocoa) extract, fragaria vesca (strawberry) fruit Extract, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, tocopherol, caprylic/capric triglyceride, montmorillonite, disodium EDTA, sodium polyacrylate, diazolidinyl urea, methylparaben, propylparaben, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, fragrance (parfum), yellow 5, red 4, red 33, blue 4, iron oxides/dimethicone copolyol
Experience: I was initially not expecting much from the mask. Beauty products that center around food themes always tend to be more about the food gimmick than the actual effectiveness of the product. But the ingredients looked good to me. They actually use real strawberries and chocolate! I'm always disappointed if the advertised bit is not actually in the composition, like when something is called "green tea" and then it's nowhere to be found in the ingredients, but it's just green tea scented. Happily, Freeman doesn't do that.
It also smelled diviine, like chocolate mousse with a hint of strawberries. The mask dried quickly with no irritation. My face was moisturized and the excess oil on my face absorbed by the clays in the mask. I had no major breakouts at the time, so I'm not sure what it might do for acne.
It's a wonderful mask, but I like the Dead Sea Minerals one better.
Cost Effectiveness: All Freeman mask packs cost $1.99. That's cheap for a once-in-a-while treat, but if you want to use this as regular mask, it's a bit much. A pro that DSM doesn't have is that this mask is available in tube form (6 oz.), which gets you more for your money.
Availability: the mask pack type can be found at Rite-Aid, and the tube form on the Freeman site.

I am also reviewing the avocado and oatmeal one.
They use and photoshop the same picture for all the mask packs, lol.
Ingredients: water (aqua), kaolin, bentonite, titanium dioxide, propylene glycol, magnesium aluminum silcate, colloidal oatmeal, tocopherol, persea gratissima (avocado) oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, montmorillonite, disodium EDTA, sodium polyacrylate, diazoidinyl urea, methylparaben, propylparaben, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, fragrance (parfum), yellow 5.
Ingredient ♥ Ingredient :(
Experience: It has the same clay texture as the previous two Freeman clay masks. The mask is a light green color with a lotion-y scent. I found it to be gentle, though for some reason, my eyes watered when I first put on the mask. The irritating feeling soon disappeared but I am not sure why that happened, if it was because of the fragrance or something else. I found it to be moisturizing but the effects weren't as good as it was with the other two masks. However, this is a good choice, if you're just interested in something that moisturizes.
Cost-effectiveness: same as Chocolate & Strawberry, see above.
Availability: The pack form is only available at Rite-Aid, though Freeman online, Rite-Aid, CVS, and other drugstores carry the tube form.


  1. Dead Sea Minerals seemed most effective at getting rid of and reducing whiteheads. My skin had the best reaction to it.
  2. Chocolate & Strawberry
  3. Avocado & Oatmeal
  1. Chocolate & Strawberry and Avocado are tied for first, as they both have a tube version.

  2. Dead Sea Minerals
  1. Avocado & Oatmeal wins, since it's available at multiple drugstores. It's nice to be able to break the monopoly of Rite-Aid in Freeman products. :)
  2. Dead Sea Minerals and Chocolate & Strawberry tie, as it's only available at Rite-Aid or online.
Best Overall: Chocolate & Strawberry

Review: Freeman Dead Sea Minerals Anti-Stress Mud Mask

I'm super pleased that my Rite-Aid offered so many varieties of Freeman products, unlike CVS and Walgreen's. It carries a TON of Freeman masks. And I was able to buy some of the masks in packet form. I like this better, because I can try a bunch of different types of mask without getting stuck with a crappy mask in tube form. I am reviewing the Dead Sea Minerals type.

Ingredients: water (aqua), kaolin, bentonite , titanium dioxide, propylene glycol, magnesium aluminum silicate, macrocystis pyrifera extract , sea salt , lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil , citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil , tocopherol , caprylic/capric triglyceride, montmorillonite , disodium EDTA, sodium polyacrylate, diazolidinyl urea, methylparaben , propylparaben, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, fragrance (parfum), blue 1.
Ingredient ♥ Ingredient :(

Experience: When I ripped open the mask, I was shocked by how blue it was, like electric blue. It had a fruity scent. It totally brought back memories of blue raspberry ICEE's. It looked and smelled like one.

Bet it doesn't taste like it though. :P SO blue!

I put a thin layer over my entire face, avoiding the eyes of course. There was no irritation at all, which is surprising for a clay mask. I liked the ingredients, though I didn't know what to expect. After I rinsed off the mask when it dried, I was pleased to find that the pimples on my cheek had reduced in size and their redness dramatically diminished. My skin also felt softer and smoother. I loved it!

Cost-effectiveness: At $1.99 each, a packet (.5 fl oz. or 15 mL) has enough product for two uses, though in my opinion is still not very thrifty in the long term. It does deliver some pretty incredible results. Most Freeman masks in packet form also come in a 6 oz. tube size, which just costs two dollars more.
From looking on the Freeman site, this doesn't seem to be the case for Dead Sea Minerals. Still worth trying!

Availability (to the best of my knowledge): Rite-Aid

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Virgin Post: Be gentle!

I first wanted to post a haul, because this haul is significant to this blog. I had promised myself that I wouldn't buy anything after too many rounds of buyer's 'morse. Haha, prior to that I spent way too much money on something I basically wasn't sure I wanted. I've definitely been a shopaholic way before I regularly read beauty blogs, but reading glowing reviews on unfamiliar products is super enabling! ;)
So I resolved to stop shopping for six months....that lasted two days! Because I walked through Rite-Aid and saw this.

Temptation calling

I am a huge Freeman fan! They use some really lovely ingredients. I am always wary of skincare products when they seem to be composed mostly of fillers. But Freeman doesn't seem to do that. I've seen a good selection of Freeman products only at Rite-Aid. Perhaps they're better stocked on the East Coast?

Anyway, my bf reminded me of my ill-timed no-buy pact. But he said I could buy it if I wrote a review of the products on my blog. He's so sweet to encourage my blogging! Procrastinator that I am, this haul was from May 30. But I'm here now! :D

I bought:
Freeman Pineapple Facial Enzyme Mask ($3.99), thanks to raves from Muse and Jean
Freeman Chocolate & Strawberry Detoxifying Mask ($1.99)
Freeman Dead Sea Minerals Anti-Stress Mud Mask ($1.99)
Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask ($1.99)
N.Y.C. Blushable Creme Sticks in Plaza Pink and Big Apple Blush ($3.99)


Natural Lighting: Big Apple Blush (Top) Plaza Pink (Bottom)

With Flash: Big Apple Blush (Top) Plaza Pink (Bottom)

I've tried most of these products already, so expect to see reviews coming soon!
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