Sunday, March 3, 2019

Pray for My Face, March 2019

I'm at a really terrible point in my stop-consuming-shit journey: while I can ignore just about every new release and raved-about product for months on end, I suddenly want to buy everything Jordan Samuel releases. And since it's cold as the ninth circle of Hell right now, I'm also tempted by every balm, ointment, and glow-promising serum out there. I've managed to tamp down those desires by using deluxe samples that were hanging around my bathroom, and being "meh" about two of them reminded me that you can spend a lot to find one product you love.

Jordan Samuel Hydrate: The Mist, $29 at

I'm a sucker for facial mists, but I'm also weirdly picky about them. They have to provide light hydration without feeling sticky, they need to work under and over other skincare and my makeup, they have to have a fine mist, they must be "no-no ingredient" free, so on and so forth. I'm also loath to buy a mist if there's a similar, more concentrated product in the range. Jordan Samuel's Hydrate Serum is already one of my favorite products, and I use it regularly, so why buy a watered-down version?

Well, I had to repurchase my serum at the end of 2018, so I caved and tossed a bottle of Hydrate: The Mist in to my cart. And I am so, so glad I did. It is, indeed, a lighter, less hydrating version of the Hydrate Serum, and that makes it perfect for my morning routine. I can spray this all over my freshly-washed face in the morning, and it dries in a minute while plumping and smoothing my skin. All of my moisturizers and foundations smooth over it without issue. I especially love topping it with my Skin Laundry Daily Moisturizer SPF35 to lock in the moisture.

My one complaint is the smell: when I first spray it, it has a bit of a mildew scent. That dissipates after it dries, but it's always a little jarring.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, $45 at Sephora

According to YouTube circa 2017, this is THE mask to get if you have dry, sensitive skin. Frankly, I have plenty of AHA exfoliants and lightweight hydrators already, but this appeared in a sample pack I bought, so I figured, "Hey, why not." Alas, I'm not impressed. I find that this exfoliates my skin just fine, but it doesn't do anything else, and it's certainly not so gentle or effective that it warrants a $45 price tag.

Now, to be fair, I don't leave this on my face all night; I rinse it off after about 15 minutes. That said, the instructions say you can wash this off after 10 minutes, most exfoliants will do their work within those first 10 minutes, and frankly, there's nothing in the ingredients list that suggests it will be enough to keep me hydrated throughout the night. I do appreciate the lightweight gel texture of this mask, but the strong, artificial watermelon scent erases any of the textural benefits.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, $20 at Sephora

This is another YouTube darling, but unlike the faddish Glow Recipe mask, I think this lip balm is still quite popular and beloved. Karima McKimmie recently mentioned it in a favorites video, and it's regularly recommended on various skincare forums. I can see the appeal of this one: while it looks waxy and thick in the pot, it applies with a smooth, creamy texture and almost seems to blanket the lips. (I've photographed it against the waxier, dryer Nuxe Reve de Miel balm I use every night so you can get a feel for the texture.) It's very comfortable and works well under lipsticks.

Unfortunately, I don't find this as hydrating as other people do. When I wake up, my lips feel slightly dry, as if the balm sort of faded away instead of soaking in. Part of the problem may be the inclusion of denatured alcohol, which is halfway up the ingredients list and always seems to dry me out if I use it regularly. I'm sticking with my Nuxe balm for bedtime and keeping the Laneige pot on my desk, where it will serve as a lipstick primer or occasional "touch-up" balm.

Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb, $48 at Sephora

I hate it when I really like an eye cream, partially because they're also so damn expensive, partially because I know they're not entirely necessary. And frankly, this eye cream doesn't do anything so spectacular that I would rush out and repurchase it when I finish this sample pot. But yes, I do really like it.

The best thing about this eye balm is the texture: it's a "gel lotion" texture, almost like a body lotion that has been thinned out with a little extra water. A small amount spreads pretty far, and it smooths over the eye area easily, softening the skin and providing a tiny bit of plumping. This definitely helps with my fine lines in that area, but it's quite temporary, of course. I've also used it in the morning and tested it under makeup, and it soaks in quickly enough that you don't have to worry about it borking your concealer.

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