18 February 2015

For the Notorious Overpacker - PurseN to the Rescue!!

I should belong to Overpackers Anonymous, seriously. Because I have no idea how to just pack the essentials for any trip, not a weekend trip, not an overnight getaway, not a five day escape. Not apologetic, I'm just stating the facts. And for those of you who are like me, here's a little something that just might make your day - it certainly made mine!

Meet the PurseN! A nifty origami-like jewelry case to use when you travel:

I couldn't quite decide whether I needed the Vacationer size, which is intended for longer getaways, but decided to go with the Tiara size, which is considered a weekender case. Since ultimately I was looking for ways to satisfy, not feed my addiction, Aaaaand I'm kinda cheap...so I went with the little one.

The Tiara is intended for small to medium sized jewelry and has  6 attached pouches and 4 removable pouches, with clear view windows and zippered closures. There are 2 middle straps that snap in order to hold the removable pouches in places and a padded ring strap, that also secures with a snap. The overall quality feels very good and it is well put together.

Even with all the pockets, I was slightly concerned because I wear a lot of chunky jewels, necklaces especially. So I wasn't sure if I could get those types of things to fit.

I tried to pack it realistically, according to the types of things that I might actually take away with me. Here's what I was able to comfortably fit in:

6 necklaces - 2 which were quite chunky
4 bracelets - including a set of thicker bangles and one with oversized baubles
4 pairs of large size earrings
5 rings - which included one super big one

And I managed to get it all zipped up!

Plus, the bottom expands in order to accommodate your larger jewelry!

You could certainly pack more, depending upon the size and placement of pieces. For the purpose of this demonstration I went with the bigger stuff.

I feel I made the right choice with the Tiara and I love that they offer the cases in a variety of colors and prints, which speak to any diva's personality. I rate the PurseN Dazzling Diva Approved!

Please Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own and merchandise was purchased with my own funds.

04 February 2015

Battle of the Black Masks: Boscia Luminizing Black Mask vs Kerstin Florian Clarifying Moor Mud Masque

I love a good facial mask, and by good it has to actually feel like there's been some benefit. There's an improvement of some kind - a noticeable glow (even if I'm the only one who notices), improved clarity, or even a lasting soothing effect. What I don't want is for my super oily skin to be left feeling as dry as the Saharan desert and tight as a drum... No bueno.

More recently I've developed an affection for black masks. It started as intrigue really, as I'd mostly been used to using masks that were green or clear. So I decided to try something new, neither of the products are new to store shelves, they were just new to me. And I feel I've been using them long enough to give an honest and critical opinion of both.

Enter my two contenders: Boscia Luminizing Black Mask and Kerstin Florian Mood Mud.

First up, Bosica Luminizing Black Mask! Which I purchased at Sephora.

Price: $34

Looks: It comes in a simple shiny black tube. And when you squeeze out the product it's actually quite lovely - the deepest black, with a super smooth texture and a lacquer like shine.

Use: Apply a thick, opaque, even layer to clean, dry skin. Keeping it away from eyes, eyebrows, hairline, and lips. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes or until completely dry, then gently peel off mask in a downward motion from outer edges and rinse off any residue.

Application: I feel like you have to squeeze out a lot of the product in order to get that "thick, opaque, even layer," which makes the price tag pinch a bit. It isn't very easy to spread and I feel like you have to move quickly, because it begins to dry fairly fast and I try to apply in large sections in order to have better "peelability" (yup, totally just made it up) once it's dry. And I definitely recommend doing this in a mirror in order to stay away from the aforementioned hairy places.

Removal: Um...ouch. Ok, so I pretty much feel like I'm pulling tiny layers of my epidermis off. BUT for some, it may not be nearly as bad...because I have to admit I'm a fuzzy girl. There I said it. And so peeling off this mask from my fuzzy face is practically akin to like 50 Band-Aids. Hence the reason you want to keep it away from your delicate eye area. And if you have sensitive skin, just stay away altogether.

It looks a little like chicken skin, right?
Now, for me removal never comes off in one clean peel. This is where how thick or thin your applied it will come into play. Thin - you'll be there for a while and be tempted to just wash it off. Thick - hello, extra large Band-aid! But I admit it's also kind of cool!

Results: For at least ten minutes after, my face definitely felt tingly and alive! So following up with some type of soothing moisturizer is nice. But I can't say I notice any major difference, but my skin does feel smoother and there's a bit of a cooling sensation left behind. Glowier? Might be. Tighter pores? Maybe. But I just went through a lot of trouble, so I do feel some sort of satisfaction.

Next up, Kerstin Florian Clarifying Moor Mud Masque. I was introduced to this product line during a fabulous facial in a swanky NYC spa a couple years ago.

Price: $38

Looks: Also rather shiny, but slightly lumpy texture, which you feel more as you apply it. But hey, the ingredient list is short: moor mud.

Use: Apply to moist, clean skin, avoiding the eye area. Leave on 3-5 minutes. It is suggested that the masque is kept moist by spraying face with Neroli Water or applying in the shower. And it can be removed with a warm washcloth.

Application: Also in a squeeze tube, but I don't feel like I have to use a ton. It's messy (as most mud typically is), so I apply in the shower. On days when I plan to use this I was my face first, instead of last, then apply this, move on to washing my body and letting the steam do its job.

Removal: When I'm done I just stick my face in the water and let it rinse off. Outside of the bit of messiness, I just rarely use a washcloth on my face.

Results:  I honestly do feel like my skin is brighter afterward. And as bad as this sounds, this is my go to mask after if I happen to fall asleep in my makeup. *blink blink* Yes, I know, I know that's a cardinal sin! But just the same, I do feel this has saved me.

Hands down, the moor mud is my fav. It's faster and easier and I feel that I get immediate results. Yes, I do still use the Boscia Black Mask, but that's when I'm going into all out self pampering, and I prefer to use a facial steamer prior to applying the mask, I think it just works better. Or at least that's what I tell myself!