Klairs Toner Mate 2-in-1 Cotton Pad

Klairs is a Korean skincare company that makes the 2-in-1 cotton pads. In the box are two types of cotton pads, a 5-times compressed cotton pad and a sponge pad, 60 each.

I had been using regular cotton rounds for toner and found they absorbed too much product, so used my fingers to pat in product. I bought these on a whim to get free shipping with a skincare order.

From the Klairs website: Compressed cotton pad – 100% cotton for soft, smooth skin. A certified 100% pure cotton pad designed for the Klairs toner, compressed 5 times with the waterjet process. Wipe away irritants and gently exfoliate for soft, smooth skin. Use before other skin care products to help aid absorption. Increase hydration, decrease product waste.
Sponge pad – Increase hydration, decrease the amount of product used. Air laid pulp fabric designed to act like a sponge. Doesn’t absorb the product fully, but soaks up the toner to effectively deliver the full hydration to the skin. Rather than wiping, use a patting motion to calm and cool irritated skin.

Directions state, after cleansing, saturate the compressed cotton pad with toner and gently wipe the skin. After this, apply toner to the sponge pad and pat on the face.

The cotton squares measure 6 x 6 cm with the sponge pads 2 mm thick and the cotton pads 1 mm thick.

The compressed cotton pads are thin with textured lines and don’t absorb much product (unlike normal cotton rounds) and they exfoliate the skin a bit, of course, being more gentle than physical scrubs, and quite good for getting rid of flaky skin from use with Retin-A and removing leftover makeup and cleanser residue after cleansing. These aren’t super gentle when using Retin-A or wiping around the eyes. The cotton pads don’t break down nor do they leave lint.

The sponge pads are a bit thicker and soak in the product rather than absorbing it, with most of the product being dispensed out to the face when patting in. Toner almost seems to multiply as I pat it on the skin. The sponges work best with watery formulas and not as well with thicker formulas; thin gel products work okay as well. I like to use the sponges as spot masks; apply essence or serum to the sponge and place on the area of the face to be treated. As an under-eye mask, I cut the sponge in half, apply a serum or eye cream, then stick it in the fridge for later use. The sponges work much better than the fingers for even distribution.

These toner mate cotton pads are more expensive than cotton rounds, but aren’t too small to be used when cut in half.

I will continue to purchase these, but might get softer cotton pads for use around the eyes. I love the sponge pads and wish they were sold separately as I use them for masks as well.

Thank you for reading.

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Olaplex No 7 Bonding Oil Review

The No. 7 Bonding Oil is the newest addition to the Olaplex line. This is a lightweight, concentrated oil that claims to increase softness, shine and manageability, repairs damaged hair, strengthens and protects hair structure and improves color vibrancy while minimizing frizz. It also provides heat protection up to 450 degrees.

Ingredients: Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Coco-Caprylate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, Propanediol, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Beta-Carotene, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Punica Granatum Seed Oil, Water (Aqua), Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Powder, Fragrance (Parfum), Hexyl Cinnamal, Eclipta Prostrata Extract, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Limonene, Tocopherol, Citral, Linalool, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Citronellol, Pseudozyma Epicola/Camellia Sinensis Seed (Green Tea) Oil Ferment Extract Filtrate.

The first ingredient is dimethicone which, from what I’ve read on different sites, is a cheaper silicone that is not water soluble and is hard to remove. However, Olaplex says they use a high quality, low molecular weight, water soluble dimethicone that easily washes away and does not build up in the hair. I was surprised to see corn oil listed, as this is not an oil I think of for use on hair, but corn oil prevents dryness by locking in the hair’s moisture. It contains vitamins K and E and omegas 3, 6 and 9. In addition to other oils, this has propandiol, a conditioning humectant. The Bonding Oil also contains Olaplex’s bond builder that helps repair disulfide bonds that are broken down during a chemical service.

Directions state to tip the bottle upside down and tap on the bottom to dispense a few drops to damp or dry hair. This can be mixed into the No. 6 styling cream (or leave-in conditioner or other styling aid).

As a side note, I’ve been using silicone-free products in my fine hair for about a year mainly because, if I use a silicone-containing conditioner, the silicone seals moisture in the hair, but doesn’t allow other treatments to penetrate the silicone (apparently), so anything I put on my hair after using that conditioner would be useless I gather. Over the last few months my hair has gotten so dry and looks quite damaged despite my best efforts (though I do need a haircut; I haven’t gotten anything done with my hair for about 8 months). I’ve also had breakage. I’ve been thinking about adding silicone back to my hair and thought this bonding oil would be a good place to start.

The oil is easy to get out of the bottle. It has a light scent that doesn’t really linger. This feels like a dry oil that is not heavy. Above, I rubbed it on my arm for a couple seconds and it doesn’t leave an oily residue, but leaves a smooth-feeling sheen.

Above, in the before photo, I air dried my hair and combed through it a bit, then added about 8 drops for the after photo. There is an immediate smooth feeling to the hair (due to the dimethicone) and it looks a bit less frizzy and less poofy with a bit of shine.

The before photo above was after using the Rita Hazan Weekly Remedy Treatment and after, 8 drops of the Olaplex oil. Again, the hair feels smoother in the after photo. It’s harder to see results on this curlier hair.

I’ve used the oil on towel dried hair as well to see if the hair detangles with a wide tooth comb and the Bonding Oil on it own. It’s better than combing with wet hair and no product, but using a leave-in conditioner detangles and combs through better.

My flat iron glides through the hair much nicer and with less friction with the application of the oil.

I wash my hair about every 5 to 6 days and can use the Bonding Oil morning and night with no buildup or heaviness on the hair between wash days.

Again, my hair is quite dry, damaged and poofy and my hair seems to absorb this quite fast, so there aren’t really amazing visible results in the photos (of course, I haven’t been using this for long). I can only assume that the hair is getting repaired from the inside due to the bond repair technology. My 4-inch grown out hair with no color feels better than my colored hair with the Olaplex use.

I’ve used the oil for about 3 weeks, morning and evening, and my hair is softer and more manageable. I apply after using a leave-in conditioner and/or heavier hair oils on towel dried hair to seal in moisture. I’ve been getting breakage at the back, underside layers of my hair when I wash it and I think, with the use of the Olaplex, there is less breakage.

I’ll try and update the photos here after I get my hair cut and colored in a couple weeks to see if there is a more visible difference using the No. 7 oil after I get a few of those dry, damaged inches off my hair.

I like that the Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil creates an immediate smoothness and softness on the hair and I can feel results rather than see a dramatic difference at this point. My hair might be too dry and damaged and this product is so light, I feel like I could use a lot of this oil before my hair would actually feel moisturized. I’ll likely continue to purchase for the bonding technology, heat protection and smooth feeling on the hair as a nice last step in my hair routine to seal moisture in. Time will tell if there is long term improvement.

Thank you for reading.

Skin Care, Hair Care and Makeup Routines

I store my skin care, hair care and makeup on Ikea Raskog carts and wheel them into my closet. This keeps products out of humidity, temperature changes and light in the bathroom.

Below are my routines using some favorites, finishing up others and adding in some new products to try out and review. For reference, I have oily skin prone to breakouts, blackheads, large pores and hyperpigmentation. My hair is frizzy, dry and damaged. I like natural-looking makeup.

Morning Skin Care Routine:

  1. Mask and cleanse with NIOD Sanskrit Saponins.
  2. Tone with Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner.
  3. Mist with Caudalie Grape Water and pat in The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics.
  4. Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid every second day.
  5. Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel.
  6. Saturday Skin Waterfall Glacier Water Cream mixed with The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder (every second day).
  7. The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30.
  8. Your Best Face Skincare Quench Lip Treatment.

Evening Skin Care Routine:

  1. Double cleanse with The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser and Biossance Squalance + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel.
  2. Exfoliate with Amarte Daily Exfolipowder.
  3. Tone with Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner.
  4. Mist with NIOD SDSM.
  5. Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel.
  6. Treat with Retin-A.

Morning and Evening Neck Skin Care:

  1. Cleanse as above.
  2. Mist with Caudalie and Marine Hyaluronics.
  3. Dior Capture Youth Age-Delay Advanced Creme mixed with L-Ascorbic Acid.
  4. Biossance 100% Squalane Oil.
  5. Add suncare in the morning.

Evening Lip Care:

  1. As-needed lip scrub with white sugar, L-ascorbic acid, The Ordinary Marula Oil.
  2. Marine Hyaluronics.
  3. Quench.
  4. Squalane oil.

Weekly Skin Care Routine:

  1. Steam.
  2. Foreo Luna 2 for combination skin.
  3. Choice of mask/Foreo UFO.

Shower Skin Care:

  1. Dry brush before shower.
  2. Cleanse with Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash with salicylic acid.
  3. First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub with 10% AHA.

After Shower Skin Care:

  1. Mist with Akita Rose Water mixed with L-ascorbic acid.
  2. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration.
  3. Biossance Squalane Oil.
  4. Christophe Robin Intense Regenerating Balm with Rare Prickly Pear Oil on extra dry spots; knees, elbows, heels.

Shower Hair Care:

  1. Wash and condition every 5 days with Briogeo Banana + Coconut Superfoods Shampoo and Conditioner.
  2. Scalp massaging shampoo brush.
  3. Every couple weeks wash with Briogeo Scalp Revival Micro-exfoliating Shampoo and deep condition with Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask.

After Shower/Styling Hair Care:

  1. Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Clinical Densifying Leave-In Root Treatment.
  2. Shea Moisture Strengthen and Restore Leave-In Conditioner.
  3. Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil.
  4. Every couple weeks Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector.
  5. For styling, Briogeo heat protectant cream and Blossom and Bloom Volumizing Root Powder.
  6. For my bangs I use Redken 05 Dry Shampoo Paste to absorb oil and add texture.
  7. As needed Redken 02 Dry Shampoo Powder.

Makeup Routine:

  1. Smashbox Primer Water.
  2. Altilis Beauty BFF Foundation.
  3. First Aid Beauty Bendy Avocado Concealer.
  4. Becca Under-Eye Brightening Setting Powder.
  5. Becca Hydra-Mist Set and Refresh Powder.
  6. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Unlocked.
  7. Morphe 9T Neutral Territory Artistry Palette.
  8. Benefit Eye Bright.
  9. Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade.
  10. Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara.
  11. Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Color.

Thank you for reading.

Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner Review

The Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner is a slightly acidic toner to rebalance the skin’s pH after cleansing to protect the skin’s moisture barrier. This toner uses 97% naturally derived ingredients and claims to balance, hydrate and cool stressed skin.

Ingredients: Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Betaine, Panthenol, Madecassoside, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, 1,2-hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Carbomer, Polyglycerin-3, Disodium Edta 

There are a number of moisturizing/hydrating/humectant ingredients in this toner; propandiol, glycerin, panthenol, betaine and butylene glycol. Madecassoside has soothing and repairing properties. Betaine is also an anti-irritant. Camellia sinensis leaf (green tea) extract is used as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Directions state to saturate a cotton pad and sweep onto skin after cleansing or apply in the palm of the hand and pat onto skin. Once absorbed, continue with your skincare routine.

I don’t generally use toners in my routine, but read about the importance of pH balanced skin, so gave this toner a try. I have been using the Soon Jung toner for a few weeks, morning and night, applied with Klairs Toner Mate 2-in-1 Cotton Pad.

There is no scent. It has a water-like consistency and applies nicely to the skin. The toner does absorb, but leaves behind a layer, that almost feels protective or a dry-sticky feeling, so that there is tugging on the skin when I run my finger down my cheek. It doesn’t bother me too much; it is not a heavy feeling and I don’t feel it on the skin, but rather to the touch.

After I applied the toner, I followed with The Ordinary’s Marine Hyaluronics, then NIOD SDSM. I didn’t apply moisturizer, as I wanted to see if the Soon Jung Toner provided hydration/moisture without using a cream for the first couple times of use (which it does; my skin feels more hydrated). I have oily skin and using the above routine, my skin didn’t seem to have the greasy shine that it usually does, but more of a dewy-like complexion. With continued use my skin feels more hydrated and my complexion looks better in general. I don’t notice a cooling effect, however.

Redness is one of my biggest skin issues (blackheads and large pores being others). After the first few uses I was surprised that the redness on my cheeks improved by about 80% and didn’t get much redder as the day went on.

I also applied to the backs of my hands and they feel smoother and softer, likely due to the layer left behind, though doesn’t feel as sticky on the hands as on the face.

I would definitely repurchase the Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask Review

The Lip Sleeping Mask by Laneige is an overnight treatment that claims to reduce flakiness and fine lines, and soothe and moisturize for smooth, soft and supple lips.

Ingredients: Diisostearyl Malate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Phytosteryl / Isostearyl / Cetyl / Stearyl / Behenyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Hydrogenated Poly(C6-14 Olefin), Polybutene, Microcrystalline Wax / Cera Microcristallina / Cire Microcristalline, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Synthetic Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax / Candelilla Cera / Cire de Candelilla, Sucrose Tetrastearate Triacetate, Butylene / Ethylene / Styrene Copolymer, Ethylene / Propylene / Styrene Copolymer, Mica (CI 77019), Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Dimethicone, Fragrance / Parfum, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Methicone, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax / Cera Carnauba / Cire de Carnauba, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985), Red 6 (CI 15850), Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Water, Potassium Alginate, Propanediol, Glycerin, Alcohol, Lycium Chinense Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Chiloensis (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Sapindus Mukorossi Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Chamaemorus Seed Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Chenopodium Quinoa Seed Extract, Magnesium Sulfate, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Ascorbyl Glucoside

The mask contains Moisture Wrap technology that forms an 8-hour time-release moisturizing layer on the skin that locks in active ingredients, and Berry Mix Complex that is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.

Directions state to apply a generous layer to the lips in the evening, leaving on overnight and wiping off or cleansing in the morning.

I got the mini size original lip mask as part of the Goodnight with Laneige kit that included the Water Sleeping Mask. I had gone camping last week and forgot my Quench lip balm, and my lips got quite dry, had some flakiness on the bottom lip and a couple cracks, so took this opportunity to try the lip mask.

It has a slight berry scent and taste. It applies smoothly with a bit of a sticky, heavy feeling on the lips. I applied with my fingertip and when rinsing with just water, there was a thick oily layer left on my finger, so needed soap to wash it off. It had taken me about an hour to fall asleep and by then, the mask had absorbed into the lips by about 50%. It has good staying power and I still felt it on my lips in the morning.

In the morning my lips felt a bit sticky and not as moisturized as I would have liked. They look okay in the “morning” photo. After cleansing with my regular cleanser, it looks like the mask helped with some surface hydration, but there is still a visible dry layer.

Above, I took a photo 20 minutes after cleansing as my lips felt drier and the three cracks on the bottom lip are more visible.

In the photo above, for a closer comparison, the surface hydration is better; the lips feel dry, however, and I still feel the flakiness on the bottom lip.

I also tried a small amount of the lip mask during the day and it made my lips drier and flakier than they were to begin with. To use up my mini jar, I might try it over lipstick to give a bit of shine, but wouldn’t put directly on the lips again.

The above photos were both taken the morning after their respective evening routines. I wanted to see how my regular evening lip care routine compared to the lip mask, so the next night after cleansing, I misted my lips with water, added a drop of The Ordinary’s Marine Hyaluronics, followed by my long-time favorite, Quench Lip Treatment Balm by Your Best Face Skincare, and Biossance 100% Squalane Oil. My normal routine performed much better than the Lip Sleeping Mask. In the morning, my lips felt moisturized and soft and the three cracks on the bottom lip were nearly gone. There appeared to be fewer fine lines (likely due to so much moisture and softness) and I felt no flakiness on the bottom lip.

While the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask improved surface hydration, my lips still felt dry and flaky. I would not repurchase.

Thank you for reading.