Review: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

If I'm being honest, I'd probably call the Laneige "Lip Sleeping Mask" a glorified lip balm. After all, it doesn't do much more than protect and soften lips overnight -- but it does that really well.

I got this as a sample just when I needed it most - in the dead of winter, when my lips were dry and chapped. I've been wearing it every night since, and I've been waking up with soft, smooth lips every morning. I even use it sometimes in the morning as a base under lipstick (especially helpful if I'm going to wearing a matte).

What I love most about this lip product is the texture. It feels a lot like Vaseline, but there is no petrolatum in it. That should be good news to anyone who's sensitive to petroleum jelly - I am, and if I tried to leave Vaseline on my lips overnight, I'd wake up with itching and irritation.

The mask protects as well as a petroleum jelly product, though. Its combination of waxes and butters - plus sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) - locks in moisture. It also stays put through the night - I typically wake up with a thin film still on my lips.

The jar comes with a cute little rubber spatula (which I immediately threw in a drawer). A little goes a long way, so I expect my full-sized jar to last until next winter (in fact I still have the sample jar - it lives in my travel kit).

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

Review: YesTo Tomatoes Peel Off Mask

I may be in my mid-40's, but I still struggle with mild breakouts from time to time. It can happen at any age - no matter how well you cleanse, you may still be subject to hormones and environmental factors that can lead to clogged pores.

Summer is the time I experience this the most - humidity leads to sweat which leads to salt and grime sitting on the surface of my skin which leads to the occasional angry red bump. Once the temperature gets above 80 degrees, I am never without the YesTo Tomatoes blemish clearing facial wipes. Those are infused with salicylic acid, an ingredient that helps to unclog pores. When the weather gets warm, I make them an occasional part of my nightly cleansing routine (like, once a week). (Hint: They're also great for obliterating the bacne that can be a part of what I like to call "the sweaty season".)

The mask doesn't have salicylic acid, but it does share another powerful ingredient - lycopene extract. Lycopene is one of those miracle ingredients that benefits skin in multiple ways. It's a powerful antioxidant, so it helps protect from sun damage and environmental factors. In turn, that helps prevent a whole host of things, like clogged pores (which lead to breakouts) and even the breakdown of collagen (which leads to wrinkles).

We think of lycopene as an ingredient that can be found in tomatoes, but it's also in a lot of tropical fruits like papaya, guava and mango. Eating those kinds of fruits will also be beneficial to your skin. But really, what's more fun than a mask? Especially a peel-off mask?

The peeling action in the YesTo Tomatoes Peel Off Mask is augmented by another ingredient we're seeing a lot of in skincare products lately - charcoal. Charcoal is getting popular because it attracts and absorbs foreign substances but is not metabolized by the body. Think of it as a dirt magnet, extracting oil and grime from your pores and lifting them away.

This mask has an applicator that I'm not in love with. The rubber tip has an opening in the center where the product comes out. I think that tip is meant to be used like a spatula, but I found it much easier to apply with my fingers. (Also: I squeezed and squeezed before realizing that the tip has an on/off setting - you have to turn it 180 degrees to 'ON' to get the product to come out.)

I left the mask on for about 15 minutes, although it was probably dry within 5. Afterwards, it peeled away pretty cleanly. The mask itself is a dark gray, so I couldn't literally see what was being pulled out of my pores, but afterwards my skin was so smooth. I'm not sure I've ever seen it cleaner.

I did feel a little dry afterwards, but that was probably to be expected. I should point out that I only applied the mask around my t-zone - across my cheeks, chin and nose - but tried to keep it away from some areas that are legitimately dry, like around my eyes and mouth.

As it happens, I've been dealing with a tiny breakout for the last few days. I used the mask last night, and today my skin is even and there's no evidence that there was ever a pimple there. If I were younger and more breakout-prone, I'd probably use this mask weekly, but as it is I'll probably only use it a few times a month over the summer. I think it's really great though! YesTo is really hitting it out of the park lately!

YesTo Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Peel-Off Mask

What's On My Face Today

I've been in Chicago at a conference for the past week - I just got home yesterday, in fact - and while I was there I popped into a local MAC store to pick up a few of the new Tendertalk Lip Balms. These are actually a re-release (they first appeared in 2016), but I missed them the first time around. I love these so much! I picked up Candy Wrapped (the sheer pale pink) and Play With Me (the sheer red). These lip balms glide on easily and work with your skin's pH to create a flush with just a little bit of tint. I could swear there's also some plumping action going on, although I don't feel any irritation - it may just be the appearance of plumpness that a slight gloss can give. Once I have a chance to take some photos, I'll do a more full review with swatches.

The cream cheek/lip color from Milk is not a new product, but it's one I turned to a lot this past winter. I find that cream blushes are a lot easier to blend, and of course they don't make me look as dry as a powder blush would, but you do need to set them with just a little bit of powder to keep them from migrating during the day. This shade, Swish, is a really bright pink. I think neon-y pinks like this can be a little intimidating, but I find that the brighter colors actually blend out into a more natural flush on the skin. I especially love this pink because it doesn't oxidize on my skin during the day - a lot of blushes start out looking natural, then turn orange on me be the end of the day. This particular product is very buildable, too, so you can go as pale or extreme as you want.

Just one more note: Hubert de Givenchy was better known for his fashion designs and a lifetime of dressing famous women then he was for the company's beauty products, but regardless of how you remember him he will be sorely missed in the beauty and fashion communities. Hubert de Givenchy passed away yesterday at the age of 91.

Givenchy's Top 5 Iconic Looks, From Audrey Hepburn To Kanye West [Newsweek]