Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask Review

by Sheryll on April 24, 2014

clarifyingmask Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask Review

In today’s edition of Sheryll Went Crazy at the Shinsegae Department Store Before She Left Korea, I’m here to bring you a review of the Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask.

We all have our basic skin care items: cleansers, toners, moisturizers. But sometimes, you want to add a little oompfh to your routine, and that’s where the Sulwhawoo Clarifying Mask comes in. It’s a peel-off mask that’s designed to hydrate, smooth, and brighten the skin, along with detoxing and minimizing the appearance of  your pores. Basically, it’s supposed to give you that ‘I Woke Up Like Dis’ skin in about 30 minutes. Like all Sulwhasoo products, the clarifying mask makes great use of traditional Korean herbal medicine ingredients. I’ve never been into the whole peel-off mask thing, as I feel like none have ever worked for my skin and they’re a bit gimmicky, but again, Sulwhasoo knocks it out the park. They are the truth!

The mask is packaged in the same type of tube as the Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask I reviewed earlier, but in a light golden color. When I went to my local Shinsegae counter in Korea, the saleswoman gave me a deluxe sample sized version, which is why there are 2 pictured. The sample size has 50ml of product, while the regular size is 150ml. I haven’t even touched the regular sized version, and actually had to take it out of the box for the photos. I’ve been using the deluxe sample sized one for about a month, twice a week, and I’ve barely made a dent in it, so know that one tube will last you ages.

The Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask has a thick, brown, honey-like texture that is slightly gloopy. It’s also quite sticky, but that’s to be expected. When you spread out the product, you can notice tiny little brown dots. It’s slightly hard to spread because it’s so thick, but you only need a little bit of product for it to be effective.

clarifyingmaskupcloseswatch Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask Review swatchspreadout Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask Review

It smells like the Overnight Vitalizing Mask, which means that it smells like a candied ginger and medicinal herbs. I LOVE the scent, but I know of people who are put off by it since it’s a bit heavy. And yes, the scent does linger while the mask is drying on your face, but I’m obsessed so I don’t care.

First, this is a nighttime product. To use, make sure all of your hair is out of the way. It’s extremely sticky, and will most definitely pull out some hair, so make sure to avoid that at all costs. I normally use a terry cloth hair band when I wash my face at night. Starting from your forehead, apply some of the product to your fingertips and slowly smooth all over. I try to make one smooth pattern, so it’s easier to peel off. You’ll feel it start to dry and harden quite soon, so make sure you apply enough product in the beginning, as once it starts to dry, you can’t apply anymore. This definitely isn’t a slap on, rinse off kind of mask, so make sure you devote a good chunk of your nighttime skin care routine to it when you use it. You also need to make sure you have at least 20 to 30 minutes for it to dry completely, so watch an episode of Parks and Recreation and grab a snack while you wait.

clarifyingmaskupclose Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask Review

After your 30 minutes is up, slowly peel away the mask from your face, starting from top to bottom. It should all come off in one peel, but if it doesn’t, the remaining bits of the mask easily come off with a bit of water. And then, BAM! Bright, smooth, clear, plump, skin! I’m not exactly sure how it works, but somehow, once you peel off the mask, it’s like you have a whole new set of skin. For me, there’s quite a visible difference immediately. My skin is smoother, brighter, and somehow slightly hydrated and plump. And unlike most masks where the effects are immediate, but don’t last, the Sulwhasoo mask results last until the next day. I always wake up the day after I use it and marvel at how smooth my skin looks. And if you’re looking for a holy shit my skin looks like it’s been airbrushed type of situation, use this mask on the same day you use the Overnight Vitalizing Mask. Thank me later.

Now, the one thing that confuses me about this mask is when to use it. In a typical Korean skin care routine, a mask is normally used after you wash your face, sometimes before or after your toner. With this mask, the instructions state to use it AFTER your emulsion. WHAT?! So that means you cleanse, tone, use a serum, maybe an essence, your emulsion, THEN the mask, then apply your creams and night packs or what have you. I don’t understand it. And it seems a lot of people on the internet are confused by it too. I’ve tried it both ways, and both ways still give me awesome looking skin afterwards, but I do find it a bit easier to peel off when I use it after the emulsion step.

Coming in at an affordable $39USD, the Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask is a fantastic mask for those looking to get smooth, hydrated skin with a little bit of detox action thrown in the mix. It’s a firm staple in my nighttime routine and the results are definitely worth it!

If you are in the US, you can purchase the mask from Neiman Marcus. It’s priced at $39USD.
If you live in Korea, you can pick it up from any department store counter! It’s 42,000W.
If you are outside of the US, w2beauty.com is selling it for $39.99. First time orders can use my sponsor code 05632401 to receive $5 off!

This post contains affiliate links. Shopping using these links helps with the upkeep of this site. Full disclosure is here.

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My Morning Skin Care Routine

by Sheryll on April 16, 2014

morningskincarephoto My Morning Skin Care Routine

I just realized that I’ve always detailed my nighttime skin care routine, but never my morning one. Well, that’s all changed now!

I wanted to talk about my skin care routine, as it has changed a little bit since I moved to Vietnam. When I left Korea, it was still chilly, and I was still using a bulk of my winter skin care products, but as we know, Vietnam is insanely hot and humid every single day, so I decided to leave most of my winter things with a friend and focus on bringing lightweight, yet moisturizing products. I’ve been using a mix of high end and low end products, since I went a wee bit crazy at the department stores before I left Korea.

On another note, I’ve found the water here in Vietnam is extremely drying. Proof is that I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s soap when I shower since who knows when, as I love the way it makes me feel super clean. I was in Vietnam maybe 2 days when I started to notice that my skin was unbearably itchy, especially after a shower. I know that it wasn’t any of my products, since I was using the same stuff I used in Korea, but I was showering more often, up to 3 times a day. Johnny suggested that I switch my body wash, since Dr. Bronner’s is pretty drying, and that changed everything. I’m not itchy anymore, but that also means I’ve had to make slight adjustments to my skincare routine, since I have noticed my face is a little dry after I wash it.

And now, on to the routine. First, I wash my face with my holy grail su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick. I’ve already raved about it, but know that it’s fucking amazing and actually the best cleanser in the history of the world. After I wash my face, I use the Benton Aloe AHA/BHA toner. I haven’t reviewed it yet (keep your eyes peeled next week), but I like it! It’s slightly hydrating without being sticky, and it helps keep my breakouts at bay. It’s incredibly soothing, and feels wonderful after I wash my face, since like I said earlier, the water is a bit drying here. I switch between just applying it directly with my hands or using a cotton pad. Either way is fine.

After I tone my skin, I use an essence. My essence of choice is the Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence. Another one that I’ll be reviewing soon, but know that everything you’ve read about it is right. I’ve realized that bee venom works really well for me at keeping my random pimples in check, and I’ve noticed I don’t scar as easily when I do get pimples. It isn’t the most hydrating essence I’ve used, but I do like it because it’s just so hot here that by the time I do go outside, I’m a sweaty mess within minutes.

After my essence, I apply my emulsion. I’m currently using the su:m37 Waterfull Rebalancing Gel Lotion. I’ve talked in previous posts about how much I love gel/creams and gel/lotion hybrids, and this one is no exception. I LOVE this emulsion. Some ingredients include fermented bamboo sap extract, fermented hibiscus flower extract, and fermented snow lotus extract. Something about fermented ingredients in my skin care products makes my skin quite happy, so I’ve been quietly stockpiling everything from su:m37, as their main focus is fermented skin care. It’s incredibly hydrating, while being completely lightweight. It absorbs into the skin almost immediately, and doesn’t leave behind any stickiness or shine. It’s a wonderful emulsion for summer, or for those living in tropical climates.

Since it’s so hot here, I skip a cream and go straight to my sunscreen. I currently use the su:m37 Sun Away Cooling Watery Sunblock in SPF 50. This was a impulse buy at Incheon Duty Free before I moved to Vietnam. The saleswoman swatched it on my arm and after feeling how lightweight it was, PLUS the fact that it absorbs ridiculously fast, PLUS the fact that it doesn’t leave behind a grey cast on the skin…I was sold. It’s so hard for me to find a sunscreen with a high SPF that isn’t tinted, or one that doesn’t leave a weird grey/white cast on my face. I get the feeling I’ll be repurchasing this one for a long time.

After my sunscreen has had time to absorb, I continue with the rest of my makeup routine, which I detailed a few days ago here.

All in all, my morning routine is quite simple. I like to focus on lightweight moisture, with a little bit of blemish control for good measure. What’s your morning routine?

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Also, please make sure to check out my interview with WISHtrend TV! I’m so excited I had the chance to do a video, so you all can see me live, talking and stuff. It was so much fun, and I wish I was in Korea to do more videos. Or maybe I’ll just start my own channel…ooooh!

There’s also an awesome giveaway, featuring a Wishbox full of Klairs products, which I have been using during my nighttime routine, and they are awesome! I can’t wait to get back to you all with a full review.

To enter the giveaway:

1. Like my Facebook Page.
2. Subscribe to Wishtrend TV and share this video on one of your social media accounts. (Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest, etc).
3. Make sure to add the hashtag, #WishtrendGiveaway and also mention @wishtrend.
4. Leave a comment on the video mentioning why you want to win this giveaway.

The giveaway ends April 25th. The winner will be announced on Wishtrend’s Facebook page.

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My Makeup Essentials

by Sheryll on April 14, 2014

everydaymakeupessentials2 My Makeup Essentials

While I love skincare, makeup has always been my one true love. I still remember the first time my mom said I could use makeup – a clear mascara and clear lip gloss. I felt like a whole new woman.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve ditched the heavy makeup of my college years for a more natural, fresh faced look. Also, I’m lazy and ain’t nobody got time to do a smokey eye every single day, I save that for special occasions and nights out. I’ve narrowed down my makeup essentials for a look that I can do in about 5 to 7 minutes.

After I cleanse my face and finish my morning skincare routine, I apply a primer. To me, a primer is a must have in any makeup stash. I prefer ones that not only blur out any imperfections, but also help my makeup last longer, as I’m not a big fan of having to touch up multiple times a day. I found a few that I loved in Korea, namely the Faceshop Velvet Primer, and the Innisfree No-Sebum primer, but before I left I repurchased the Etude House Goodbye Pore Ever Primer and fell in love again. The creamy texture doesn’t slide around on your face like most primers, and it really helps create a smooth canvas for makeup. Plus, my makeup lasts all day! I love it.

After priming my face, I use my NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in the color Seychelles. I don’t like really heavy makeup, so tinted moisturizers are my base of choice. I was using Laura Mercier’s offering for a few years, but the NARS one is a better option for my skin tone, as it has quite a golden undertone. I put a bit on the back of my hand and use my Too Cool for School beauty blender dupe to apply. It creates a flawless finish that’s incredibly lightweight, almost like I’m not wearing makeup. After that, I apply my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Caramel, which I raved about here. I find that the NARS tinted moisturizer does a good job of evening out my skin tone and covering any acne scars, so I only use the concealer for under my eyes. It instantly makes me look more awake.

After my base has been covered, I go in with a bit of bronzer. My favorite is the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in Warm Bronze. I get so many compliments on this every time I wear it, and people are always asking me what blush I’m using that looks so natural. It’s this bronzer! It’s lightweight and very finely milled, giving me a natural, healthy, bronzed glow. I’ve found that using blush alone sort of gives me a one dimensional look, but the bronzer takes it up a notch. I apply it using my Real Techniques retractable kabuki brush on my cheekbones and a bit on my hairline and jawline. After the bronzer, I apply my blush. If I want something a bit more natural, I use my favorite NARS blush in Lovejoy. If I’m going full blown bronzed goddess, I use NARS Taj Mahal, which is the orange blush pictured above. Yes, it looks insane in the pan but it’s the most glorious blush of all time. If you’re a dark skinned woman, YOU NEED IT. It gives you the most gorgeous golden color that looks like you’ve been hanging out on a tropical island all day. Obsessed.

I then move on to my eyes. Before I apply any eye makeup, I always use my Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer. It’s a dead on dupe for Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, and it’s a fraction of the cost, at about 6,000W. I used this primer faithfully in Korea, and bought a few extras to Vietnam with me. I have incredibly oily eyelids, and without fail, this primer helps keep my makeup crease free (even in crazy ass weather), for up to 10 hours. After my primer, if I’m really running low on time, I’ll just smudge a bit of my holy grail cream eye shadow on my eyelid, the MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Eclair (sadly limited edition, but the formula is still amazing). It adds a bit of dimension to the eye and lasts all day. If I have more time, I’ll add a bit of color to the crease, usually MAC’s Cork, and a little bit of a golden eyeshadow in the inner corner, normally either the Etude House or Too Cool for School offerings I mentioned here. I then use my all time favorite eyeliner, the Clio Kill Black Eye Liner pen, and finish it off with a generous dose of Maybelline’s Rocket Volum’ Express Mascara.

When I’m in a rush, I don’t do a bold lip, so I keep things natural. I’m obsessed with NYX’s Lipstick in the color Mocha, or MAC’s Lust. Both are amazing nude colors for women of color. I top my lipstick off with a bit of gloss, usually from MAC. I love the Creamsheen Glass in Deelight or Over Indulgence, or the Lustre Glass in Love Nectar.

As a final step, I do a light dusting of translucent mineral powder all over my face. I currently use the Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Pact, which is so much more convenient than the loose powder version. I can take it on my purse with me for touchups and don’t have to worry about powder getting everywhere. Throughout the day whenever I see myself getting a bit shiny, I use the Etude House Blotting Paper Pact, which is a super adorable compact that has blotting tissues that attach to a beauty sponge. It’s so much nicer than using a blotting sheet and your hands!

I know it seems like a lot, but trust, I always woke up late for work in Korea and always managed to squeak out this makeup routine in just enough time to make the bus. Simple, glowy, natural makeup for the win!

Do you have any favorite makeup tips? How long does it take you to do your makeup in the morning? Let me know in the comments! 

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Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask Review

by Sheryll on April 8, 2014

sulwhasooovernightmask Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask Review

Before I left Korea, I told myself I was going to buy some high end Korean beauty items as a goodbye present to myself. As you know, I already raved about the su:m37 miracle rose cleansing stick, but then I read Kerry’s review of the Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask and just knew that I had to get it.

Whenever I think of high end Korean cosmetics, Sulwhasoo is one of the first brands to come to mind. Sulwhasoo focuses on natural herbs and ingredients native to S. Korea, the major one being Korean ginseng. Sulwhasoo is one of the few high end Korean brands that’s available overseas, namely in Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. So yeah, shit is expensive. However, the Overnight Vitalizing Mask is one of the few items from Sulwhasoo that won’t completely break the bank. Sulwhasoo is known in Korea as an “ajumma” brand, meaning it’s more for older women, but who cares. I think the saleswomen were a bit surprised when I walked up to the counter at my local department store because literally everyone else there was at least 50+.  If the products work (and they do!), then I’m all for it.

Ya’ll know how I love my sleeping masks. I feel like they are one of my all time favorite Korean beauty buys. I’m totally here for all things that I can just slap on before bed and wake up with glowing skin. I bought the Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing mask at a great time because I was getting ready to move and could not sleep at all. Lack of sleep + not eating properly = me feeling like I was going to collapse at any moment. I was tired, stressed, and just all around a hot mess. But, let me tell you, my skin wasn’t showing it, and I feel like it was definitely in part to this overnight mask. The mask is designed to replenish your skin, giving you a gorgeous glow. It’s mostly for those with dry skin, but honestly, I think if you have oiler skin you could get away with using it maybe 1 or 2 times a week.

upclosesulwhasooovernightmask Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask Review

It comes packaged in a 120ml plastic tube with a plastic cap. It feels really sturdy, and looks super luxe sitting on the bathroom counter. What I also really love about the packaging is that the plastic is not completely opaque, so you can still see how much of the product you have left.

The product is a thick, creamy, easy to spread cream that smells absolutely divine (to me). It smells like ginger and other various herbs, and maybe a slight bit medicinal. Some people find the scent too heavy, while people like me are obsessed with it. Since it’s a sleeping mask, it’s designed to be used last in your skincare routine. You only need a small, dime sized amount to cover your whole face, as it’s quite thick. But even though it’s a thicker cream, it absorbs completely (and fast!), so you don’t have to worry about stickiness or an oily mess on your pillow.

productsulwhasoomask Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask Review

To apply, pat it on gently, avoiding the eye and lip area. According to the packaging, it says that the mask should be washed off in the morning with water only, but I feel weird about that so I usually use my rose cleansing stick as it’s quite gentle. I’ve tried it both ways, and didn’t feel like it made that much of a difference. I’m still super bright and glowy in the morning. As usual, less is always more, and one tube should last you quite a long time. I only use it 2 to 3 times a week, but the results are so amazing I have to stop myself from using it every night. Of course, no one is going to stop you if you want to do that, but, it is a little bit on a pricier side, so I like to consider it my little treat a few times a week.

As far as results go, the Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask blows all the other night masks I’ve tried out of the water. My results are not only plump, soft, moisturized, and hydrated skin, but very visible brightening and extreme glowy-ness. The Laneige mask is really awesome, but this one is just a whole new ball game. It’s like 15 hours of sleep in a tube and it just really takes your skin to a whole new level. And it’s not one of those masks where the effects are just visible when you first wake up…nope, it lasts ALL DAY LONG. People have been complimenting me on my skin left and right. I remember a particular day right before I moved to Vietnam I had gotten maybe 5 hours of sleep, had to work, then had to run errands and go to a dinner meeting later that evening. I felt like I should look ridiculously haggard and just in general a hot ass mess, but when I went to the bathroom to touch up my makeup, I actually still looked really great! My skin was still smooth and bright, almost like I wasn’t a stressed out disaster. I love it so much I ended up buying 2 more tubes of it in Incheon Duty Free before I came to Vietnam.

If you know you aren’t going to get a lot of sleep, or if you’ve been out all night partying, or if you’re a stressed student, or, if you just want to pamper yourself, I feel like this Sulwhasoo mask is a must have in your skincare stash. It also makes a really great gift.

I purchased my first tube of the Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask from my local Shinsegae Department Store for 52,000. Yes, it’s pricey, but I find the results are MORE than worth it. You only need a little bit, so the tube will last you quite some time. Treat yo’ self!

If you live in the US, you can purchase Sulwhasoo from a number of places, including their US online store. It’s $50.00, with free shipping from UPS ground. If you live outside of the US or Korea, w2beauty.com also carries it for $44.99, free shipping without a tracking number, and $2.50 for shipping with a tracking number. Use my code 05632401 to get $5 off your first order!

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bentoncream Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream Review

BENTON. BENTON. BENTON.

Oh Benton. I love you. I’m always so wary of ridiculously hyped up products, but the Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream is just one of those products that really deserves all the praise. I don’t understand how such a little tub of cream can deliver such amazing results. It’s legit a miracle cream.

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve read about Benton. Benton is an independent Korean cosmetics company that specializes in snail mucus cosmetics (as well as aloe) and products for sensitive, acne prone skin. Snail mucus has long been used in cosmetics, dating back to ancient Greece, where reportedly Hippocrates mixed crushed snails with soured milk to heal skin inflammation.  So yeah, snail mucus sounds pretty gross, but the benefits are amazing.  What I find interesting is that while Benton has seemingly taken off abroad and is gushed about on a lot of blogs outside of Korea, most people in Korea have never even heard of the brand. There’s no advertising here for it, and everyone that I’ve asked about it has no idea exists. It’s not sold in stores either, only through gmarket.com, which is a bitch and a half to navigate but once you learn, it’s the greatest thing in the entire world. To be honest, if it weren’t for Kerry and her awesome reviews, I would’ve never heard of Benton.

I’ve learned that the Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam cream actually comes in new tube packaging now, so I won’t be going in to too much detail about the packaging. In previous versions, the cream was packaged in a small plastic jar without a spatula. In both its previous and current packaging, there is 50g of product.

The cream is completely unscented, which is quite refreshing from all of the heavily scented products Korea tends to churn out. It is white, with a quite thick creamy consistency. And a TINY BIT is all you need. I’m one of those people that likes to slather myself in creams, pretty much like I’m embalming myself. The first time I used it, I put WAY too much on and I had a hard time getting the product to absorb. I was like umm….the hell is going on here?! This is product everyone keeps raving about? I can’t even get it to absorb into my skin?! But yeah, I was using too much. Just a dime sized amount is more than enough for your whole face. It’s incredibly hydrating and isn’t oily at all. I like to use the Benton steam cream in the mornings, as it dries matte and doesn’t leave a sheen to the skin. It’s the perfect under makeup moisturizer.

What I like so much about the steam cream is that it has this ability to really heal your skin from redness and irritation. Whenever I get my gross hormonal breakouts, I usually have 2 or 3 large, angry, awful, RED, pimples. They are the worst kind, because you can’t cover them up really with makeup, and the redness just takes it to a whole other level. While I have found that the Benton Steam Cream doesn’t help get rid of the pimples as fast as the AC Care products do, it really helps with the redness and scarring. I always get horrible acne scars from my pimples, and I’ve learned that while using Benton, my scarring isn’t nearly as bad. YASSSSSS!

But, I decided to put Benton to the true test. THE BOYFRIEND TEST. Ladies. I don’t know if you know the struggle, but I’d been trying to get Johnny to use Benton products for ages. He was basically like uh hell no I’m not putting snails on my face, nope, never, not doing it. Well, he has a port wine stain birth mark on his face, and before he left Korea, he had a laser treatment done. When he gets laser treatments, his face is extremely bruised, red, swollen, and takes an incredibly long time to heal. I’d told him all about how snail mucus really helps with redness and skin inflammation and all that great stuff, and after he researched it on his own, he reluctantly agreed to try it.

He’s had these laser treatments done many times before, but this particular time it was much worse because the doctor used a really high powered laser, much higher than he’s previously used. His face looked awful, and painful, and I don’t know how he does it because I would need Jesus to take all of the wheels if it were me. It usually takes him a little over 2 weeks to heal completely, but while using the Benton steam cream he was completely healed within 10 days. Now, he can’t stop asking me to use it. You know a product is good when your boyfriend starts to ask for it. I think I’ll have to buy him his own jar! It’s the perfect cream for those not only with acne, redness, and sensitivity, but for those recovering from laser or any other types of facial treatments.

I also think that if you test a lot of products, and are putting yourself at risk for skin irritations or allergic reactions, the Benton steam cream is a must have. I had a few little bumps on my forehead from a sheet mask, and within 2 days of using the cream, they were gone. It’s just really fucking fantastic at healing irritated, sensitive skin. I’ve been looking for the longest time for a no frills, effective, and affordable moisturizer, and the Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream is exactly what I’ve been looking for.

What’s your favorite moisturizer? Let me know in the comments!

I purchased my Benton cream from w2beauty.com for 19USD. Make sure to use my sponsor code 05632401 to get $5 off your first order!

If you live in Korea, you can order from Benton’s official Gmarket.com store. It’s 15,000W.

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