The Beauty Edit: Five Hot Product Reviews

Aug 10, 2017

Thanks to social media, beauty products now go viral.  Whether it’s a lipkit or a must-have mask, some products become must haves before they’re even released.  Here are reviews of five products I purchased after they took over my blog reader, Insta-account, and Facebook page.

The KNC Beauty Lipmask ($25 for 5) is the kind of product that once you see it, you’ll never forget it.  Don’t believe me?  Check out what it looks like when you apply it.  Every time this product comes up for sale, it sells out.  Partially because it’s Kardashian endorsed, but mostly because everyone woman wants softer, fuller lips.

KNC’s lipmask promises to hydrate, soften, and plump. Thanks to hyalauronic acid and vitamin E, it has the hydrate part down.  So if you suffer from dry lips, this will revive them.  As for the plumping claim…

The lip mask is loaded with collagen and rose hip oil, which they claim plumps your lips.  A cosmetic chemist disputes the science, claiming that collagen particles are too large to be absorbed topically.  But whether it’s the oils, the collagen, or something else, my lips were noticeably plumper post mask.  The effect was similar to other lip plumping serums I’ve tried.

Would I buy this product again?  I saved two in case my lips get really dry this fall (as they always seem to in September) or I have a special occasion.  I will say this for the product, it was a lot of fun sending my friends Instastory videos and snaps of myself wearing the lips.  It was the most millenial thing I’ve ever done.

Because I have noticeable acne scarring on one of my cheeks, face powder is my nemesis.  Over the years, I’ve developed a few techniques that minimize the settling that causes powder to make imperfections more noticeable, but nothing is perfect.  So when the folks at IT Cosmetics create a brush that claims to smooth imperfections, I’m there.

The Heavenly Skin brushes include a liquid foundation brush ($48) and a powder brush ($58).  IT claims that the brushes are infused with skincare ingredients (antioxidants, collagen, etc.) to treat your skin as you apply product.  They also claim the brush hairs are specially developed and cut to give a flawless finish.  The rave reviews on both Sephora and the IT Cosmetics website really raised my expectations, so it’s probably not a surprise that I was disappointed.

The brushes are, in a word, just brushes.  And at that eye-popping price, I need more than just a good brush.  The Sephora Multi-Tasker brush is just as good for much less.  If you also suffer from uneven skin, bareminerals makes the best brushes.  Their smoothing face brush ($26) and perfecting face brush ($28) are both solid performers.

Sorry, IT cosmetics, I love your concealer, but these brushes were just average.

This Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask ($49) is finally back in stock at Sephora, so if you want it go get it.  Because it will not last long.

Already a big fan of sleeping masks (the banana pack from TonyMoly is great), I grabbed this the second I saw it.  This Glow Recipe mask promises to smooth, boost radiance, and give you “post facial results” in a jar.  While those claims are a touch over blown, it is just a touch.

On the first night I wore the mask, my skin was noticeably more hydrated in the morning.  By the fifth night, the glow had arrived.  By the end of the eighth day, my pores were slightly tightened.  So while the effect does take a while to build, once it does, you will notice it.

I also really enjoyed this mask because it was so light.  The gel applied smoothly and felt weightless on.  It also smells absolutely incredible.  So fruity and delicious!  I would definitely buy this product again.

As for how it plays with other products, I skipped all of my other night products while I was testing it.  Eventually, I added back in my Cosrx Whitehead Power Liquid, and that didn’t seem to be drying.

The Hanacure All-in-One Facial Mask ($29) is the hot item of the moment.  The mask went viral thanks to this photo of Drew Barrymore looking like the crypt-keeper because the mask cracks as it dries.  Suddenly, it was on backorder for months and every blogger I know (including myself) was posting Instastories showing their mask experiences.

The Hanacure mask is loaded with soothing botanicals, plumping ingredients, and peptides.  It claims to fight hyper-pigmentation, reduce pore size, and combat wrinkles with the first month.  And even dermatologists admit that it’s packed with enough product to make good on those promises.

When I tried it the first time, it was a lot of fun mixing it up and watching it crack and split.  But when I removed it, I was like, “That’s it!?! For $29, these are the results I’m getting?”  Translation, some mildly smaller pores and nothing else.  But some of my Insta followers messaged me to say it takes three or four masks before you see good results.

After picking up the Facial Set ($110), which contains four masks, I tried one every week for one month.  Shortly after completing the third mask, I noticed that a substantial scarred/acne area on my cheek was healing like never before.  I can’t say for certain this was the mask, but I can’t say for certain it wasn’t.

Overall, my skin looks smoother and brighter, but I just can’t afford to keep this up.  $27.50 per mask is just too much.  At those prices, I could put a year’s worth of masks toward professional laser treatments and smooth my skin that way.  The price is just too high, but the company is probably banking on a steady stream of first time buyers brought in by social media.  So while the mask is good, no product is good enough to withstand this price.

This e.l.f. Poreless Face Primer ($5) kept popping up on my Insta and Pinterest pages, so I bought it.  And let me say, if you like a matte primer, this is the one for you.

The primer minimizes the appearance of pores, gives an airbrushed finish, and even soothes skin.  I’m fairly certain the tea tree oil helped my acne, so bonus.  I mix it with my foundation for everyday.  If I’m going to be outside, I apply it solo and let it soak in before applying foundation.

This is a great product, not just for its price point, but in general.  I highly recommend it.

Beauty, BPGP

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  1. Alison says:

    I am so excited this includes a primer recommendation! I am getting low on mine and this looks like a perfect option for me to try — thank you!

  2. Mallory says:

    I love that e.l.f. primer!
    But, is it just me or does it kind of smell like… WD40? Or some other sort of car-oil-ish smell?
    I still use it because the scent goes away once it dries, but man, every time I put it on, I’m always like, WHY.

  3. Michaela says:

    Thank you for this post! I’ve been eagerly waiting for your thought after you mentioned some of these products. I always appreciate your authentic reviews.

    I wanted to mention, while I love the new design, I found it much harder to realize there was content I’d missed from the home page. I went looking for this post from your instagram mention and found it by clicking “older posts” on your bikini post. I liked that in the old format it was possible to scroll through old content. Just wanted to share my feedback since maybe you can add a “previous post” button or several posts to the home page.

    • Nicole says:

      I second this. I like the look, but almost missed this post, which would have sucked because I love hearing your opinions on skincare!

    • Belle says:

      As I’ve mentioned before, all of this will change. We just can’t do it, until my designer and developer return from vacation. We intend to take a few things off the main page so that there will be four chronological posts on the main page.

  4. Victoria says:

    Long time reader chiming in to say how glad I am to see your reviews again. I really like the new blog revamp too. Thanks for all your work providing good content!

  5. MAEVe says:

    Hi – Quick q! I have acne scarring too, and I was wondering about your face powder comment. Should I not be using face powder? help! Thanks 🙂

    • Belle says:

      I still use it, because I have to set my foundation somehow. I just find that most of them cake, even ones that claim they don’t, particularly after a few hours. I like the Makeup Forever HD powder. It’s fairly finely milled.

      • Rhonda says:

        Same here, acne scarring, rosacea, aging skin. I use just a little Ben Nye power (usually in pink, as I’m cool-toned) then brush off excess with the crazy-looking-but-amazing Besame Long Hair Finishing Powder Brush. Then strategic additions of Kevyn Aucoin highlighter (Candlelight, or the purple palette) then go over it again with the Besame brush. It gives me enough of a glow to look fresher, plus draw the eyes away from the pock marks further down on my cheeks. I’ve found KA highlighter blended well is very forgiving. That and the Besame brush have been real game changers for me.

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