#42 - Skin Edit - It's not you, It's me

Let's be real here, how many times have you bought a product or have used a tester, only to find out that it doesn't really suit your skin? By then you may have already spent a fortune on those products and naturally, you can't return them.

I definitely have, especially with foundations.

For example, the tester for my Urban Decay All Nighter foundation was amazing. It really was, my skin looked absolutely flawless in camera with just one layer of this gorgeous full coverage foundation. So I bought the full sized product (30ml) for £27 to use on my wedding day. Something was fishy about it on my wedding day, where it was patchy and I haven't experienced this with the tester. Thankfully it wasn't anything major and the day went by without a makeup disaster.

And then it was another test shoot that I was doing... oh that was bad.... real bad. Not only did it patch up all over the face (forehead, cheeks, nose, chin...), it was also really difficult to work with the product . I had to wipe my whole face off and reapply the makeup - yes, it was bad enough that this was the best action to have taken!

So what went wrong? Well, whilst I am no longer fond of the product, but I have learnt to work with it; my skin had to be very hydrated and moisturised (well-prepped) for this product to work well. Was it the product's fault? Or was it mine, when my skin changes, becomes drier and this product no longer functioned as well?

I am 2 minds about this. On one hand, I feel that this should have worked regardless, that's the marketing and advertising, and that I have also invested in this product. Granted, it's onto the most expensive foundation out there, but still, I am expecting for the product to actually be worth the amount of money I paid for for it.

On the other hand, a product doesn't cater to my skin condition all year round. It's not a thinking thing and it certainly does not know my skin well. All products have some form of a shelf life too, just because it worked well when once new, doesn't mean they will always work in the same way. So maybe, it's not the product, it's me.

Now I'm sure not everyone will agree because, well, a product is supposed to do what it markets to do, and I get it, but no skin is made equal. One product would work amazingly for me whilst terrible for someone else and it is times like this we have to ask ourselves, is it really the product, or is it me?

Here are 5 examples:

  1. Foundation: how well the foundation goes on your skin depends on not only the product itself, but also your skin condition. If your skin is dry, chances are that thicker, full coverage foundations will patch up a lot quicker and you may have to prep your skin very well before applying it. There are also other factors such as the tool you are applying the foundation with, and what primer/moisturiser is layered under. There will be some products, like my Urban Decay All Nighter, that are a lot more unforgiving than other products, e.g. NARS, Illamasqua, MAC, Make Up Forever (and now we know why make up artists rarely have Urban Decay foundations in their kit!)
  2. Moisturisers:/oils: there are some "holy grail" moisturisers out there, and then there are some popular ones, then there are some cute ones... it's often hard to decide what is best for your skin and this is one of those products that you find you may have to change throughout the year for your skin to benefit from the product. Some moisturisers/brands that other people like may not suit you. I would say this is 50/50 - you have to pick one that works for your skin rather than just pick one that everyone likes. Occasionally you may have to break your perspective on certain type of products. For me this is steam cream - I had an amazing one from Skin Ceramic, and now I have one from Secret Key that I'm not necessarily liking, even if it's a steam cream. There may also be ingredients within moisturisers that may not work well with your skin at all and at this point, is it really the product? My skin does not mesh with oil at all, and I have even tried squalane, but this doesn't mean that these oils do nothing, it's just me.
  3. Exfoliators: so this one may be just me... when I first started using AHA and BHA exfoliators, I didn't think that my peel was working and dismissed the product for a while. Learnt that it should be used on dry skin rather than damp has changed my perspective on the product. Sometimes with products like this, it's not the product, but us not using it correctly for the product to really work
  4. Make up removers: whilst I will always condone a balm cleanser, this may not work for you. Many people I know use make up wipes and I am just not convinced that the wipes truly remove all make up because it doesn't work for me, whilst other people I know find it work well for them. Perhaps it is their make up habits, but even with light make up I definitely feel that I need some thorough cleansing before I feel that my skin is squeaky clean (and to prevent breakouts). Are the wipes bad? For me it is and I cringe every time I hear someone uses them solely for removing make up, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they are ineffective, especially for those who enjoy these products and feel it works for them

    (I still do not using solely make up wipes and I will always stand by this!)
  5. Toners/mists: honestly there are some toners and mists that are highly raved about and highly rated but I just cannot get along with them. One of which is Caudalie mist that everyone seems to love, but this product is far too fragrant and contains alcohol which doesn't sit well on my skin, nor do I enjoy the smell of it. That being said, there have been toners that I have enjoyed that have alcohol, but worked well on my skin (even though I still despised the smell). Time and time again I will give it a second chance because of travelling, but the fragrance is not something I prefer. Is this the product? No, this is definitely me


So, in conclusion, before your dismiss a product, ask yourself whether it truly is the product, or is it yourself that is the problem? Does the product just not work for your skin, are you using the product correctly, or are you using it under incorrect conditions?  This is why I will always trial a product for 3-4 weeks before writing up a review, unless I really love it upon first use, or would want to write up a first impression blog.

What are your thoughts? Do you give your products a second chance? How many circumstances are because of you and not the product?

#12: Skin Edit - 5 reasons why I hate peel off masks

So you know how we love positivity and all that? Not on my blog post today. Today is going to be a very biased "thoughts" about peel off masks. So if you really can't take the negativity in this post, my feelings are all in the title. If you want to read how "triggered" I get about masks, read on (I will try to tune it down). 

I don't actively purchase these masks (I've done it once back in 2014) but this month's GlossyBox came with one and I had to use it anyway so I can submit a review. In short, this particular one isn't too bad, but not every peel off masks are like that and just because these peel off masks don't work on my skin and I hate it, doesn't mean you should too.

Positivity ends here now.


1. Messy, oh so messy, but so hard to clean

So this happens every time. It could be because I'm clumsy, but I'm certain that this doesn't JUST happen to me. Tell me I'm not the only one. This stuff is a nightmare to get off too and I've learnt the hard way to not wash with water, and use a dry toilet paper/tissue instead. I opted for fingers because they are much easier to get off than a face mask brush. I've had experience with ones that just wouldn't budget and it's a mixture of water, soap, scrubbing, then more scrubbing with tissue to get it off my fingers.

2. Is it dry? I think it is, oh no, wet spot

So you probably thought, "oh I need a little on my nose, and seeing that I've got some product left, I'm going to apply more around the chin too". Until you discover that it doesn't dry evenly and if you accidentally touch these spots whilst you're waiting for a century for them to dry, you're going to get them on your fingers and end up with a bare patch on your face. So you say, "J, just don't bloody touch your face". How else will I know if all of my mask is dry, huh? HUH? Fine, I won't touch it, I just have to wait for it to dry and feel like it's for reals gripping on to my skin. 

But there will still be some wet patches that aren't dry. How do other people do this; again, is this just me??

To be fair, this one from Beauty Pro isn't too bad in waiting time to dry. If you've made a mistake like I have by applying it over the brows...that bit feels like it's never gonna dry.

3. I love how satisfying it feels to peel off. NOT.

Okay, okay, so it's dry, ish. Most of it is anyway, so I'm so ready to peel this pesky thing off my face. Those videos are hilarious! I'm going to have so many white heads and blackheads peeled off from my face.

This is the WORST part for me and one of the core reasons as to why I hate these masks - you have to tug on your skin! This Beauty Pro one wasn't too bad actually, but trust me I've used worse. That peeling feeling really doesn't sit well with me and if you continuously tug on your skin like that, like using nose pore strips (again, something I hate), your pores WILL sag and you will end up with larger looking pores.

Also I didn't peel off white heads/blackheads on my face or nose. Thankfully this wasn't one of those that feels like it's glued on to your face, otherwise I'd be in for a ride of discomfort.

Also notice how there are still bits left - these are WET SPOTS that I thought was dry. Think again, J, NOT dried.

4. I'm going to have such clear skin! Oh...maybe not?

They say these are supposed reveal fresh, clear skin...BUT DOES IT THOUGH??? From the pictures you probably think it does, but I can tell you this is 100% down to the camera being a little further away and not focused on the same spot. In other words, it's not focused at all, so it looks better. 

That being said, with skincare products, habits are key to having good skin, so maybe if you do this regularly enough, you will eventually peel off a layer of the skin and reveal good skin. But I ain't going through that mess and peeling and tugging at my skin/pores that often I can tell you. The Kiehl's Rare Earth clay mask does a much better job in the first application - no tugging, quick dry and you can TELL if you still have wet spots.

5. What is that strange sensation/itch on my face...

Just going to reiterate... you've tugged your skin

I don't know if many people get this or if it's just me (again), but I always have this itchiness/tingly sensation on my face that is not pleasant after I use these masks. It isn't so intense with the Beauty Pro one because it wasn't like one of those that glue on to the face, but it still gave me a little of that feeling. Remember, it's from the tugging of the skin.

Also because you've applied it on dry skin, when you peel it, your skin is still dry, if not drier. The mask doesn't inject water in the skin so you're not really getting moisturising factors. I opted in using the 7 skin method afterwards as I felt it was the only way I could rehydrate my skin well in a short period of time. If you have the time I highly recommend using toner immediately and then slap on a hydrating mask or a soothing mask to ease the irritation you've caused your skin.

So there you have it, my rant about how much I dislike/hate these peel off masks. In fact, I don't even use them any more and I honestly don't care for this trend of using these peel off masks. They've been around for ages and if you want to use it on just the nose area, I prefer these over a nose pore strip as that essentially is glue...and well, this at least has other stuff in it and it "soaks in" to the pores. But there are a million of other ways to deal with clearing pores (clay masks!) and skin regeneration (acids) that doesn't involve physically tugging at your skin, which I would say is one of the top things you can do to make your skin age quicker. You won't see it immediately, but doing this long enough and you will see pores looking more like a tear drop or elongated where the skin around it has lost elasticity.

What do you think? Do you like these masks? Is it just me who has these problems? How often do you use it and does it give you results?