I was lucky enough to be chosen to review Benton’s newest product – the Dear My Best Friend Bar. Thanks again to Benton for sending it over for me to try! I’ve now been using this soap bar for a good few weeks, so time for a review.
The Dear My Best Friend Bar (aka BF Bar) is a natural and cold pressed soap that is for the face and body. This soap is naturally derived and has a vegetable oil base. It is also made from a variety of botanical ingredients that makes for a moisturising and cleansing soap.
The BF Bar is suitable for blemished, dry and sensitive skin too as it includes lots of great ingredients beneficial for all skin types such as oatmeal, honey, centella asiatica and more!
The soap comes inside a vintage looking box with a mesh net included to help create a rich lather as well as serve as a pouch for hanging the soap in when not in use. On one side of the box there is a cute little message area to write a name on it if you wanted to give it as a gift. The soap itself is sealed in a plastic packet to keep it fresh and shares the same vintage look as the box it came with. The soap bar itself is smaller than the average soap bar at 100 grams. The bar is embossed with the name of the soap bar as well as the brand name.
How to Use
The BF bar can be used on both the face and body. To use, it is best to place the bar inside the included mesh pouch as it helps to create a richer lather. Basically it is used like any other soap – you splash on some water and lather then gently massage onto your face and body.
The BF Bar is a vegetable based soap that contains 8 vegetable oils including coconut oil, olive oil and more. It has a pleasant and refreshing natural herb scent that isn’t too strong or overpowering (sorry I’m bad with describing scents haha). It also contains many other great skincare ingredients such as:
Honey – for a moisturising cleanse that doesn’t dry out the skin
Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Powder – to help manage the skin’s sebum levels and dead skin
Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour – to remove sebum and clear dead skin cells as well as to keep skin supple, soft and moisturised
Calamine – to calm and soothe the skin
Chamaecyparis Obtusa Oil – to soothe and improve the skin and relieve stressed skin
The b.liv masks are made of bio-cellulose which is derived from the natural fermentation of coconut jelly and has an ultra fine fibre that is 1000x thinner than human hair. The masks come in 3 variations for different skin types – Soothe Me Now, Hydrate Away and Age Eraser.
“Bio-cellulose is a specialized nano scale fibre structure that fits perfectly like your second skin. It serves as a high volume serum reservoir i.e. holds moisture while allowing air to transfer freely and skin can breathe better. Its 30 nanometers fibre increases extra contact surface area for crevices and wrinkles ; maximizing the absorption of effective essence.” – b.liv
The sheet masks come in a white glossy packet with a monochrome print and one accent pop of colour. I love the simple and sleek design of the packaging. The sheet masks themselves come with two protective layers, one attached to each side of the mask. The first side of the mask has a thin mesh and the other a fabric material to protect the bio-cellulose mask.
The bio-cellulose masks have a soft, smooth and almost firm jelly-like texture that feels so gentle and soothing on the skin. Since the mask is made from such a soft material it is a little fragile but as long as you are gentle and don’t pull at it too hard it shouldn’t tear. I love how high quality the masks themselves look and feel and how nice it feels on the skin. All 3 of the masks come with plenty of essence inside the packet so there was more than enough for your face, neck and even your arms too! The essences for all 3 masks are clear in colour and has a serum-like texture that feels very lightweight and absorbs well into the skin.
How to use
Before using this mask I like to prep my skin by cleansing and using a toner. When my skin is cleansed and prepped, I remove the protective layers from the mask, place it on my face and gently smooth it out so it adheres to my skin well. I found the process of placing the mask on was a little fiddly since the mask is very smooth so slipped around in my hands easily, but once placed onto the skin it stuck on well and didn’t slide at all. After 15-20 minutes I removed the mask and gently massaged any remaining essence from the mask and inside the packet onto my face and neck. I then follow with my usual skin care routine after.
“Allow the power of flower to bless your skin with a calming touch. Deeply infused with Organic Immortelle Flower Extract which has wonderful restorative properties, this soothing bio-cellulose mask effectively helps repair and rejuvenate skin.” – b.liv
Formula and scent
The soothe me now mask is meant to help soothe the skin, repair its barrier and also provide extensive rejuvenation. This mask would be perfect for those with irritated skin or redness. In terms of scent, it has an interesting somewhat floral like smell, though a little strong it is still pleasant and fades away fairly quickly. I can’t quite explain but it smells quite similar to a mask I had on when I went for a professional facial. I think the scent probably comes from one of the key ingredients for this mask – Organic Immortelle Flower.
Key Active Ingredients:
Organic Immortelle Flower
This Mediterranean plant has remarkable longevity – it never fades even when picked. It is known to be more soothing than German Chamomile, and more regenerating than Lavender.
Soothing Peptide (Acetyl Tetrapeptide-15) A tetrapeptide that helps increase skin’s sensitivity tolerance threshold and effectively reduces the sensation of discomfort.
Hyaluronic Acid Also known as HA in short, it lubricates joints and keeps skin layers full of moisture to stay in the right shape and place. It holds water, to be specific 1000 times of its weight, to keep collagen hydrated and promotes a youthful look.
When I initially placed the mask on my face it felt very cooling and soothing on the skin. After 20 minutes when it was time to remove the mask, it was still adhering well to my face well without any sliding. The mask left my skin feeling very refreshed, moist and soft. I was surprised that the mask itself was also still very moist and did not dry out at all. I found that the mask did leave up to its name “soothe me now” as it helped to calm the redness on my face, soothe my skin and bring back some moisture into my skin as well.
“Refresh yourself with an instant infusion of moisture and revitalizing nutrients. Made from Organic Spirulina, a deep sea blue-green algae, this moisturizing bio-cellulose mask is power-packed with minerals and amino acids to hydrate, repair and clarify skin. In addition, it helps protect skin from free radical damage.” – b.liv
Formula and scent
The hydrate away mask is meant to add moisturise back to the skin and boost the skin’s hydration level. So, this mask is especially useful for those with dry and dehydrated skin. The scent for this mask is more subtle than the soothe me now mask but has a somewhat similar smell that fades away fairly quickly.
I was kindly sent a box of lovely skincare goodies to try out by Ah…Skincare last month. I received three face skincare products perfect for my combination skin and one body care product as well. I have been using them for a while now so thought it was the perfect time to post up a review and to talk a bit about Ah…Skincare.
About Ah Skincare
Ah Skincare was founded in 2014 by Andrea Hutchins and is all about organic skincare packed full of goodies for your skin. All their formulas have at least 85% organic ingredients, are all handmade and free from all the nasties such as parabens, sulphates, mineral oils, any animal testing and more! The formulas for their skincare products are also PH balanced so will not disrupt the acid mantle, the skins natural defence barrier. Ah Skincare has a variety of products to suit all skin types, even for those with sensitive skin as they focus on creating natural products that are kind to the skin. So, now on to the reviews.
This Radiance Cleanser is meant to gently cleanse the skin whilst also nourishing and protecting it. It comes in a clear PET bottle with a turn to open/close pump that easily dispenses the perfect amount of product. In terms of scent, it has a fruity and soft scent that is subtle and not too strong which I enjoyed. The formula contains lots of natural and organic ingredients including extracts from fruits such as mango, strawberry, lemon, cranberry and more. The cleanser itself is white in colour and has a creamy texture. I pump out a small amount and gentle massage it onto my damp skin then rinse off with water. Though it has a creamy texture, I was expecting it to foam or bubble up but instead when massaged onto wet skin it is silky and slippery and cleanses the skin well in a gentle way. I liked how soft my skin felt after using this cleanser. It left my skin feeling moisturised and not dry or tight which is great as I hate cleansers that dry out and strip away all the skin’s natural oils in the process of cleansing.
This Skin Brightening Toner is a lightweight yet moisturising toner that is alcohol free and contains witch hazel. The toner comes in a clear PET bottle with a spray nozzle with a cap. The spray nozzle works well in dispensing a fine and even mist of toner. It has a unique scent that starts off slightly sweet and fruity, which I think comes from the grapefruit essential oil, followed by a distinct and slightly stronger smell that is probably from the witch hazel. Overall the scent is interesting and pleasant, and fades away almost immediately after applying it to the skin. The toner aims to help protect the skin and maintain the natural pH level of the skin. After cleansing, I spray a small amount of toner onto a cotton wool pad and lightly swipe over my face to gently remove any makeup or impurities. I sometimes like to spray some on my face during the day when my skin is in need of a quick refresher. I like how soothing this toner is (probably as it contains aloe vera leaf juice) and how refreshed my skin feels after.
This Tomato and Carrot Moisturiser is definitely my favourite of the bunch. It comes in a slim airless pump bottle that makes it easy to control and pump out the correct amount of product. The moisturiser is full of vitamins and minerals to help reduce shine, refine the pores and is also anti-aging. I like to pump out a small amount onto my hands and gently massage it on my face and neck. I love how soft, smooth and hydrated my skin feels after and how it does not leave any of the usual sticky, oily or tacky feeling that other creams with sunscreen sometimes have.
No Make No Life (NMNL) is a Tokyo-based subscription box that delivers a monthly boxes of beauty related products. This company is behind the Tokyo Treat and Yume Twins subscription boxes. The team from No Make No Life aim to curate and deliver high-quality and unique Japanese beauty products to improve your daily beauty routine. Each month’s box of goodies are sent out in a simple black cardboard box with the brand initials “nmnl” printed on the top. I have now been subscribed to the No Make No Like boxes for a few months and enjoyed discovering what new things are inside.
So let’s take a look at what was inside the August box.
Hada Bijin Tofu Soap
This soap is packaged to look like a freshly made tofu in a little basket that also serves as a soap dish. A foaming net is included to help you create the perfect bubbly lather every time. This tofu soap, like the name suggests, includes ingredients that are used in the tofu-making process such as soybean extract and bittern that are meant to have moisturising properties. The Hada Bijin Tofu Soap also contains extracts of apricot seed, yuzu fruit and polyglutamic acid to retain the moisture in the skin. I don’t usually use soap and am more of a body wash person so wasn’t as interested with this addition in this month’s box but I do like the fun packaging and the ingredient lists does intrigue me.
Lassic Creamy Mint Body Massage Milk
The Lassic Creamy Mint Body Massage Milk has a nice refreshing minty scent that is cooling like menthol. This body milk also doubles as a massage milk. This formula has various skin tightening ingredients such as caffeine and extracts from orange, lemon and bilberry. In addition, it includes the skin nourishing hyaluronic acid. The body milk is lightweight, non-sticky and has a slight cool and tingling sensation when applied to the skin, so would be the perfect body moisturiser for Summer. I actually really like this body milk and was a little unsure when I first read that it was mint scented. I was worried it’d smell like toothpaste but I actually quite enjoy this refreshing scent and the nice cooling feeling it has on my skin. It’s still winter here in Sydney so I’m saving this for use in Summer.
I always love trying out new beauty products and brands, and was excited that I was lucky enough to be chosen by Jolse to review the Olivarrier Dual Moist Toning Lotion. I had seen posts on my Instagram of Olivarrier products before and heard lots of great things about them but had never tried them before. Their products have been on my ‘To-try’ list for a while now so I was very glad I got this opportunity to test out this toning lotion.
What is the Olivarrier Dual Moist Toning Lotion?
The Olivarrier Dual Moist Toning Lotion is a moisturising toner that will purify the skin whilst also providing deep moisturisation. This product also has a weak acid based pH level of 5.5 so won’t irritate the skin.
The toner comes in a simple grey and white plastic bottle with a screw on lid. I like the minimalistic and monochrome design. Even though the bottle is plastic it doesn’t feel or look cheap at all. The small opening of the bottle makes it easy to poor out the perfect amount, not too much or too little!
How to Use
I like to use this toning lotion in two different ways depending on my skin condition for that day. The main way I use it is as a toner by pouring some onto a cotton pad and swiping it over my skin as a part of my final cleansing step before skincare to lightly exfoliate and remove any excess dirt or sebum. Secondly, when my skin is feeling in need of some extra hydration I like to pour some into the palm of my hands and pat it into my skin like I would with an essence.
Benton has released their second physical & chemical sun cream specifically for use during outdoor activities and I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the first testers for this new product! Thanks so much again to Benton for this opportunity and providing me the Benton Papaya-S Sun Cream for review. I had already tried out a few of their other products in the past and enjoyed using them so was very excited to have this opportunity to try out their latest addition.
The Benton Papaya-S Sun Cream is both a physical and chemical sun cream that is meant for outdoor activities like sports. This sun cream includes ingredients to protect the skin against both UVA and UVB rays. Like the name for this sun cream, the key ingredients come from the papaya fruit.
The packaging for this sun cream is similar to the other Benton product designs with a clean simple look and like the other sun cream available, all monochrome with a pop of colour – in this case orange. The sun cream comes in a white plastic squeeze tube with a metallic silver lid. The squeeze tip of the bottle is easy to dispense the correct amount of product without being messy.
This sun cream is an opaque white cream with a high SPF50+ (PA++++). The sunscreen is quite liquid but feels quite thick and sticky in texture when applying. I found that the stickiness made it a little difficult to apply smoothly. Although, after fully applying it onto the skin it didn’t feel too thick or heavy. The initial sticky feel after applying the sun screen disappears after a minute or so. After seeing the colour and texture of the cream I was sure that it would leave a white cast but luckily it didn’t. I found the best way to avoid getting a white cast is to make sure not to apply too much product at once and to really massage it well into the skin. The cream looked natural and didn’t look or feel greasy. I like that this sun cream gives a natural looking glow (as seen in the 3rd swatch in the image below). I also felt like the sun cream helps to brighten up the skin without creating that typical tell-tale ghostly white look after applying some sunscreens.
When I first heard that Cosrx was creating the Triple C Lightning Liquid I was very keen on trying it out. I was lucky enough to get my hands on one from their first batch. The product sold out very quickly as they only produce these serums in a small batches to ensure the freshness, so I was stoked I managed to get one at all. It’s second batch that was released a few months ago also sold out quickly and is currently unavailable again.
What is the Cosrx Triple C Lightning Liquid?
The Cosrx Triple C Lightning Liquid is a Vitamin C serum created in collaboration with Charlotte Cho of SokoGlam. The serum contains a high amount of Vitamin C that can help to lighten dark spots and brighten your overall skin tone along with many other benefits.
The entire packaging for this Cosrx Triple C Lightning Liquid is so different from the usual simple white packaging of other Cosrx products. The serum comes in a glossy black box with metallic gold text that looks very luxurious and premium, like that of a high-end beauty brand. Similarly to the outer packaging, the serum also sticks to the black and gold colour scheme. The serum is in a sleek black glass bottle with metallic gold text printed on it and a black screw top lid. The dropper for the serum was packaged separately in a plastic pouch. The dropper itself has a shiny gold lid with a white dropper. I also received a bonus little makeup pouch that is black with cute little yellow lightning bolts printed on it. I really like the look and feel of the packaging for this serum as it looks so classy and sleek.
How to Use
After cleansing and toning, 2-3 drops of the serum can be applied directly to your face followed by your usual skincare routine. The Triple C Lightning Liquid is recommended to be used as a night treatment since it is an exfoliator and can make skin more sensitive to the sun. Thus, whilst using this serum it is best to always apply sunscreen like you usually would during the day. For those with more sensitive skin or trying out a Vitamin C Serum for the first time, it is recommended that you mix 1-2 drops of this serum into your toner, essence or moisturiser for the first 2 weeks. This method allows the skin to adjust to the highly concentrated amount of pure Vitamin C in the serum that some people may experience sensitivity to on their skin upon application. This was my first time using a Vitamin C serum so I followed the recommendations to mix it into my moisturiser for the first 2 weeks.
No Make No Life (NMNL) is a Tokyo-based subscription box that delivers a monthly boxes of beauty related goodies ranging from skincare, makeup and more. This company are also the ones behind the Tokyo Treat and Yume Twins subscription boxes. The No Make No Life team aim to curate and deliver high-quality and unique Japanese beauty products that will help to improve your daily beauty routine. Each month’s box of goodies are sent out in a simple black tough cardboard box with the brand initials “nmnl” printed on the top. I have now been subscribed to the No Make No Like boxes for a while now and really enjoy the surprised of discovering what I receive each month.
Now, time to have a look at what I received for the NMNL July box.
First up, I received the Profael Massage Jelly Pack which is an in-shower jelly pack that you apply to wet skin and rinse off to leave skin feeling soft, supple and well hydrated. I like the concept of an in-shower moisturiser as I’m very diligent with my face skincare routine but to be honest not quite as much when it comes to taking care of moisturising my body! I have tried an in-shower moisturiser before but didn’t quite like it, so was looking forward to trying this out to see if I would have a better experience. The Profael jelly pack is a clear gel that is a quite thick in texture but once applied to wet skin is easy to spread. I tried this out a couple of times already and not too sure if it really help to moisturise my skin. The gel did leave my skin feeling slightly more hydrated than when I didn’t apply this in the shower but my skin still felt quite dry and lacking moisture. I think it’s more suited for those with normal to oily skin or for use in Summer for a quick and light moisturisation. Though, for those like me with drier skin, this won’t nearly be enough to moisturise your skin. I couldn’t find the actual retail cost for this jelly pack but saw that it was selling online for $9.52AUD ($7.53USD).
This Sweets Sweets CC Cream is a multipurpose base makeup product. It is meant to colour correct, conceal pores, moisturise and provide high sunscreen protection whilst also brightening your overall skin tone. The Sweets Sweets brand is actually a sister brand of Canmake, a popular drugstore beauty brand that sells lots of cute makeup products. I like that this has high SPF50+ rating which is always a huge plus for me. I haven’t really tested this out on my face yet but I tried it out on the back of my hand and didn’t quite like it. The colour I received was 03 Peach, which is a salmon pink colour. I love peach toned blushers but as a makeup base it didn’t quite look right for my skin tone. The CC cream did not feel moisturising and did not seem to colour correct or brighten my skin, and instead felt like it gave my skin a pinkish flushed colour I had just went for a run! I don’t see myself really using this, but I’ll be sure to update this when I test this on my face. This CC Cream was selling online for about $34USD which I definitely don’t think is the actual retail value in Japan.
The Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel is for all skin types including those with sensitive and troubled skin. The aloe gel contains 80% Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice that is rich in polysaccharides (helps to hydrate and retain moisture in the skin) and 10% Propolis Extract (known to have soothing properties). I love that this Benton Aloe Gel uses natural extracts and natural preservatives, and is free of alcohol, water, parabens, mineral oil and other harmful ingredients.
The Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel comes in a nice clean and simple matte white box with all text printed in dark green. The container itself that holds the gel itself is a dark green soft plastic 100mL squeeze tube with a black cap and nozzle tip. I like the clean and minimalistic design of the packaging. The squeeze tube makes it easy to dispense the aloe gel.
The aloe gel is a clear coloured gel, not green, so yay to no artificial colouring. The gel is also fragrance-less. The slight scent of the gel I think comes naturally from the aloe juice, and fades away very quickly after applied to the skin. In terms of the texture, it is a very lightweight gel that absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving any oily or sticky feeling. The aloe gel also helps to soothe and calm the skin.
Lily May Mac recently released her own line of lipsticks exclusively with Showpo and I was excited to try it out for myself. Her previous collaboration with 3CE x Lily May Mac collection was hugely popular and hyped about, and even sold out in multiple stores across Korea (be sure to look out for a review for the 3CE x Lily May Mac lipstick next month!).
The lipstick comes in a pretty white box with metallic gold trim and looks simple yet classy. The lipstick case itself is made of a pale metallic gold plastic with ‘Lily May Mac collection” printed in a matte white colour around the case. I was a little disappointed with the lipstick packaging itself as it felt a little cheap and plastic especially in comparison to the 3CE x Lily May Mac that has a similar price tag yet still felt and looked high quality and premium .
Also, on a side note, I was a little annoyed with how Showpo chose to package the goods for delivery as when my package arrived both the Lipstick boxes were quite squashed and damaged, one significantly more than the other. I’ve order makeup off multiple other online stores before and they at least lightly bubble wrap the goods to prevent it from getting crushed. The lipsticks were just placed into a large thin plastic satchel bag without anything to protect the lipsticks from sliding around and getting damaged during transit.