Products I Changed My Mind About

I don't mind being 'wrong' or changing my mind about things. Especially with beauty products you can fall in and out of love with something as your skills develop, skin or style changes from season to season, or maybe you find something more worthwhile. Today I'm taking a look at some products I initially wasn't toon keen about, but I have changed my mind!

 Products I Changed My Mind About | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Mahalo the Petal mask

Original review here. This mask is so expensive it makes me shake - $95/€95! You do get a generous amount of product 3.4 fl.oz/100 ml in a sturdy packaging while the mask itself is carefully hand-made in Hawaii. I still consider this an investment purchase - a splurge if you may. Although I love high end skincare I thought no mask can make such a big difference in my skin to justify the Petal's hefty price tag.

Then I had the pleasure to meet Mahalo's founder, Maryna, in person at Naturelle’s event. Maryna is such a super cool person, vibrant, fun and full of knowledge. She corrected me that the Petal isn't a plain moisturizing mask, but more to balance and promote even, hydrated and glowing looking skin. I decided to give the Petal another go, "just to get rid of it" and soon I started noticing a difference in my skin. It was healthier, plumper, balanced and overall tone more evened out. I simply had good skin days after reaching for the Petal on a regular basis. I also started to appreciate the scent, feel and pampering aspect of the mask more and more. I’m now on my second jar!

 Products I Changed My Mind About | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Rouge Bunny Rouge Blush Wands

Original review here. Although I gave overall a positive review, I wasn't blown away. The blush wands are good, but my expectations are sky high when it comes to RBR products. After the review I made myself to use these blushes despite not being totally in love - to use them up I suppose? But the more I tested, played and swatched the more I wanted to reach for them. Suddenly they have become my go-to blush formula.

They do sheer out during the day, but the wand is easy to carry in your clutch, dab on your cheeks, eyelids or swipe on the lips if you're in a pinch! I did the most gorgeous "no makeup" makeup look to my friend, Anna, with these blushes and used the shade Rubens in my Venetian Red Spring Look. I think the trick is to not swipe the product directly on your cheeks but instead use with your fingers to gently warm the product and pat on the skin for a natural, smooth, tint. Love!

Natasha Denona Eyeshadows

When I got my Beautylish Lucky Bag in 2017 (original post here) I was delighted to receive a Natasha Denona eyeshadow palette. I mean, c’mon, it’s Natasha Denona. Soon I noticed the shimmer/metalic shades were quite average and I wasn't blown away with the color combination either. Pretty, but I prefer my Viseart, SUQQU and Surratt shadows for example. In March I wrote about the eyeshadow palettes I had purged (post here) and had mixed feelings about parting with Natasha Denona. First of all, the shades look bomb on my friend whom I sold the palette. Secondly, I read Sweet Makeup Temptation's post (here) how the shadows are her favorite and how well her Builder One (my review here) works with the glitters. I’m weak when it comes to product + brush pairings.

The only problem is the price. These shadows are not cheap and while you do get a ton of product, great quality and whatnot, I cannot justify purchasing a larger palette. But when I saw there's a Mini Sunset palette available in Sephora, I asked an Instagram friend from the US shop it for me. I’ve heard some reviews the Mini Sunset isn’t as good as the full-size palettes, but I got to say I'm liking it. The shadows don't last as long on me as SUQQU or Viseart, but I’m happy with the Mini Sunset. So if you don’t have the funds and absolutely love a look of ND palettes.. give a smaller one a go? I’ve heard the new Mini Lila is very good.

 Products I Changed My Mind About | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

The Beauty Blender

Who wouldn't love the bouncy pink egg-shaped sponge? Well, me. I adore brushes and there was no way a puff or a sponge would be added to my routine. Until I gave a go to a triangle shaped powder puff (by KICKS) that was gifted to me. It was nice for precise powdering and really pressing in product, which gave me the idea to dig out my old Beauty Blender. Especially during the sweaty, hot Summer months the Beauty Blender was wonderful for really pressing in loose powder, smooth the under eye area and make sure there were no foundation streaks. My quickly drying THREE Angelic Synthesis foundation (review here) that I didn't initially love applied much nicer with this damp sponge. Is it worth the hype? I guess. Price tag? Mmh.. maybe only on sale.

Have you changed your mind about any products lately? Hits or misses?

*The Beauty Blender in the images above was kindly PR gifted to me.
(My original one is too battered for photos).

Autumn Empties with Mini Reviews

Another season has passed, so time for another round of empties! This time I'm doing things a bit differently - there are a couple of products I'm letting go. Mostly because they are expired, but I've started a new rule that if an opened product t a) doesn't bring me any joy b) can't be repurposed c) I would feel bad to pass them on - they'll get some Mari Kondo and recycled. Mostly these products are win for me, I'll mention if they are or will get repurchased!

 Autumn Empties and Product Reviews | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Skincare

Innisfree Eco Safety SPF 50 Sunscreen

My favorite sunscreen of all time; I've even loved all of it's reformulation. The yellow tube is not very photogenic and the formula is a thicker cream, but for someone who has dry skin yet hates greasy feeling from a sunscreen, this is perfect. Mentioned in multiple posts, such as my Best Sunscreens for Summer 2018 post.

Absolution Eye Cream*

This slightly illuminating eye cream was okay, but in the end I noticed no difference in, well, anything. I would've preferred it if the illuminating properties were stronger to cancel my under eye darkness or if the formula was more hydrating. Not awful, but won't be purchasing this. Part of my Glamlin box review.

NIOD Flavanone Mud*

Speaking of awful, it remains a mystery to me what is the purpose of this mask. The smell was absolutely dreadful, like rotten olives, and usually I'm OK with funky smells (such as yeasts) if the mask performs. Didn't use this up, it's gotta go. In the future I doubt I will be reviewing any Deciem products.

January Labs Daily Brightening Tonic

One of my favorite toners of all time! This one I purchased, but January has sent me backups fyi. This tonic is gentle, both slightly hydrating and exfoliating with lactic acid, perfect for everyday use. I see all skin types would benefit from this product without irritation. Full review here.

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelator

Josh Rosebrook makes some of my favorite skincare products and if you like mists this one is among the best. Great ingredients, the spritz is super fine, hydrating and has a slight vanilla scent (far from overly sweet). I prefer traditional toners over mists, but this one I'm planing to have in my routine.

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 (mini)

I got this mini size from my friend and fell hard in love. I've already purchased 150ml size and I rotate it with the January Labs toner. If my skin feels bumpy, congested or my blackheads look visible - it's time for P50. Very strong, so I recommend trying a sample size or a mini first.

Pur~Lisse Blue Lotus Serum*

As much as I like Pur~lisse, this serum falls into the category of products I just don't notice any benefit from or get particularly excited to use. I'm happy I powered this through, I used a ton on my neck and chest. Perhaps an okay 'starter' serum for someone in their teens, but for me.. nope.

Diego Dalla Palma Vitamin C Radiance Serum*

Vitamin C serum that doesn't discuss the % of Vitamin C. Despite the opaque package I felt this oxidized pretty quickly, could be because of the dropper packaging. Didn't see any results, won't use again. Part of my Glamlin box review.

Max and Me Sweet Serenity Mask and Wash*

One of the most decadent and delightful masks I've used. I would never ever use this as a cleanser, but it does "wash away" dirt when you rinse it off. Magical, creamy concoction of kaolin clay, manuka honey and shea butter that draws out impurities very gently, doesn't dry out the skin and pampers both mind and skin. Will repurchase (the mini-size, as this one is pricey)!

Mahalo Vitality Elixir Serum

One of my favorite oil-based serums of all time. Nourishing, antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory and very balancing and hydrating. I love Mahalo products and I think this is one of the gems. This facial oil/serum is very luxurious but I will repurchase once I've worked through some of my other facial oils.

Mahalo The Bean Mask

Again, one of the best antioxidant and exfoliating mask. A blend of cacao, coffee and vanilla (thus, the Bean) that draws out impurities, balances yet doesn't dry out the skin. My favorite mask from this line is still the Petal (review here), but I can't wait to dig into a fresh jar of the Bean.

Mahogany Naturals The Blue Lover*

If May Lindstrom's cult favorite balm is out of your budget, but you love blue tansy - you need this balm. This under-rated balm is gorgeous: nourishing, moisturizing yet very calming and soothing for both your skin and mind. I used a decant version of this balm so unfortunately my full-size started to grow mold, so I had to discard it. Will get a new jar once I've used up some of my other balms. 

Lina Hanson Global Treasures Balm

Another balm I simply loved. This balm is softer, melts easily between your fingers and works great around the eyes. Packed with antioxidants, simply a delight to use. Again, will repurchase once I've worked through some other balms and masks.

Luxe Botanics Marula Oil*

Simple yet excellent facial oil that moisturizes without leaving your skin feeling too greasy or oily. I loved the scent of this. I love how well-curated line Luxe Botanics is, my favorite product is still the Camu serum, but I would recommend the Marula oil if you're looking for a high quality marula. Full review here.

 Autumn Empties and Product Reviews | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Body and Hair

Ben and Anna Deodorant in Vanilla Orchid*

My favorite eco deodorant to date! I was very sceptic about this baking soda and shea butter-based formula, but it keeps me dry and odour free on most days. Vanilla Orchid is my favorite scent to date! Read my full review here.

Rituals Shower Gel in Sakura

I like Rituals, great if you're looking for a pampering gift. I prefer the shower foams though.

Mahogany Naturals Body Scrub*

Unfortunately this scrub was way too dried (or dried out?) on me.. The huge particles were kind of a messy for someone who'd prefer to use a scrub in the shower. Not my cup of tea.

Max and Me Flight to The Sun Body Oil

I adore Max and Me body oils! The Flight to The Sun was what I "needed" at the time, but at the moment I'm using Circle of Protection, which feels more like my cup of tea. Heavier than a dry oil, but doesn't make my skin feel greasy for a long time. They have several gorgeous nourishing body oils, just choose one what feels most like "you".

Makeup, Nails and Perfume

Essie Nail Polish

Unfortunately I can't find the shade name of this polish, I wonder if it was LE but judging by swatches 93 Mesmerized is pretty close

Rouge Bunny Rouge Diaphanous Powder

My favorite powder of all time. Despite the fact I used this powder daily to set my under eyes this jar lasted me for ages. This is the most smoothing, finely milled powder you can ever imagine. Will definitely repurchase. Review here.

KATE Liquid Eyeliner in Black

This might sound gross but I think I used this liner for a good year or two at least. It simply just didn't dry out and the brush tip kept its shape beautifully. Long-lasting, nice shade of black and the price is very reasonable. Will repurchase. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

I think this is my second? third? Brow Wiz and sadly my last. It's an okay product, but I just don't see what's the hype when there's a lot of competition on the market. A spoolie that breaks is a total no-go and turn-off for me. I much prefer Clinique or Dior.

Wella Luxe Oil

Nice and basic hair oil. Despite my hair being dry I guess this was a bit too heavy and a bit too scented for my taste, but I can see why it's very popular. If you have more damaged, perhaps bleached hair, I think you'd really enjoy this one.

Chloe Eau de Parfum

Chloe's Eau de Parfum brings me back a lot of good memories from Japan and my friends who live there. It'll always have a place in my heart, but as the years went by I noticed the scent wasn't very "me" any longer and I had found perfumes that I prefer. I might give it a sniff if I'm needing a new scent, but not sometime soon. The bottle has little left as I didn't use it all up before it started to smell funky. 

 Autumn Empties and Product Reviews | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Here's my most recent empties! Spot any favorites? What have you used up lately? x

*Products marked with an asterisk (*) were kindly gifted for consideration.
My opinions are honest and my own.

Moisturizing / Sleeping Masks Roundup

Not all moisturizing or hydrating masks are created equal. I love this type of a product - a quick-fix for thirsty skin or overnight treatment that's supposed to intensely nourish, pamper and soothe. When the season changed from Winter to Spring I experienced severe dehydration and dark circles, so I started to experiment with many masks and eye creams (theme for another post!), looking for The One. These are some of the masks I've tried that are clearly advertised as moisture/sleeping masks. Enjoy!

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How to use a moisturizing / sleeping mask?

I first encountered sleeping masks when travelling in South-Korea: they were thicker gels or creams with lots of moisturizing and emollient ingredients that "lock" in all your hydrating, treating skincare. One of the old school brands were Laneige, whose pink sleeping lip mask has now been popularized by Western bloggers.

Always follow the direction on the packaging, but 99% of moisturizing masks work in a similar manner. You can either apply them on clean skin for 15-20 minutes to instantly plump, sooth and moisturize your skin or you can apply all of your lotions and potions and leave the moisturizing mask overnight. "Locking in" all your other skincare will have the most benefit. The masks featured in this post I've tried either as a mask or as an overnight treatment with/without other skincare application.

Usually the difference with a moisturizing mask and a regular night cream is only slight. Do you need both? Not in my opinion. Masks are often lighter cream or gel textures with little other benefits except moisture and hydration. Masks are also less expensive, so they make a great night-time treat if you're on a budget! They also work wonderfully in airplanes where the recycled air tends to dry out your skin.

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 Sleeping Masks Reviews | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

CaudAlie Masque-Crème Hydratant / Moisturizing Mask*

€32.5 / $39 for 75ml / 2.5 fl.oz.

This mask is advertised as a 15 min treatment or as an overnight mask with grape oil, Caudelie's signature wine yeast and hyaluronic acid. There's also glycerine, squalane and fatty alcohols for retaining moisture. The fragrance and dimethicone (silicone to improve "silky" texture) I find as unnecessary ingredients and very high up in the INCI, but fortunately the mask smells very mildly. The texture of the Caudelie Masque-Crème Hydratant is light silky cream that sits on the top of the skin like a veil instead of getting absorbed. I very much enjoy this mask as a 15 minute pick-me-up when my skin feels dry or tight.

Madara SOS HYDRA MASK*

€34.60 / $40.25 for 75ml / 2.5 fl.oz.

The Madara mask could be like an eco-sister to the Caudelie as it's also a lightweight cream in a tube packaging. The cream similarly doesn't absorb but sits on the skin but sits on the top. The suggested wear time is 15-20 minutes but my skin starts to feel uncomfortably tight on the 5 minute mark and I just want to take it off. It does leave my skin silky feeling, but not moisturized or hydrated. I think I will pass this on to someone with more combo-oily skin type and see if they like it.

January Labs Moisture Renew Mask*

€29.25 / $34 for 75ml / 2.5 fl.oz.

January Labs is one of my favorite skincare brands and I was ecstatic about this launch. I use Moisture Renew Mask mainly as a sleeping mask on the top of my other skincare or alone if I'm feeling very tired. In the morning all tightness feels gone and my skin is left feeling bouncy and hydrated. I like this mask as it sinks into the skin and doesn't feel thick or tacky, I imagine this would be wonderful on airplanes as it's virtually invisible yet very moisturizing. 

Clarins Masque Crème "Anti Soif"

New version SOS Hydra Refreshing Hydration Mask €29.25 / $34 for 75ml / 2.5 fl.oz.

Clarins masks recently got relaunched, I think this mask is discontinued as it is. While the texture of this mask is light and milky, I don't find it made any difference on my skin. Convenient to use, but not hydrating or moisturizing enough for my skin type. I'm not sure why I've hold onto this. I might ask a sample of the new mask as I've seen some positive reviews, but I'm not in any rush.

V10 Plus+ Okinawa Deep Sea Water Mask*

€43.5 / $50.60 for 100ml / 3.38 fl.oz.

V10 Plus+ is a Japan inspired line with extensive range of serums targeted every possible cause. I was the most interested in the other products from the line, especially the Okinawa Deep Sea Water Mask. It has a simple INCI including hydrating glycerine, algae extract, antioxidant-rich natto gum and sodium hyaluronate. The gel texture is light, almost watery and doesn't feel like much on the skin, but after sleeping with this mask on my skin feels hydrated and plump. I like this a lot!

Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask

€72.5 / $65 for 45ml / 1.5 fl.oz.

This mask is like a grainy balm that melts between your fingers to oil-like consistency. This mask is packed with plant oils, butters and herbs, mostly certified organic. The scent is very calming (has lavender) and I feel the same way about the product. I like to use this if my skin is aggravated; I've done a lot of exfoliating or maybe a retinol. What I don't like is the steep price tag for the amount of product you're getting. Little goes a long way and Josh's products are top-notch quality, but sometimes my wallet leaves a little cry. I do prefer this to the Vital Cream Balm, which is even more expensive.

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Which mask should I choose?

  • Moisturizing mask on an airplane: January Labs, Caudelie, V10 Plus
  • A big drink to the skin overnight: January Labs, Josh Rosebrook, V10 Plus
  • To seal in other products (serums, toners) overnight: Josh Rosebrook
  • Quick morning mask: Caudelie
  • Hydration for combination to oily skin: V10 Plus, Clarins
  • Eco beauty: January Labs, Josh Rosebrook

I hope this post is helpful! What's your favorite night time product? Do you use moisturizing or sleeping mask? x

*Products marked with an asterisk (*) were kindly gifted for consideration.
My thoughts are honest and my own.