April showers bring April Empties

 

Clockwise from Burt’s Bees:
Burt’s Bee’s Tinted Lip Balm in Rose: An easy, moisturizing swipe of sheer red that makes me look more alive while blurring over my vaguely cracked lips. This was my 2nd or 3rd repurchase, so I may take a break on another repurchase to try something new, but I know this one is a good’un. Ingredients include coconut oil, olive oil, beeswax, and shea butter. ($7 on Burt’s Bees)

Hurraw! Green Tea Lip Balm: Smells like matcha green tea because…it has hemp oil infused with matcha green tea in it! Loved that (I mean, omega fatty acids for my lips is pretty ballin’) and also the moisturizing powers. Kept this at my desk for moisturizing when I didn’t want/need color. I have two more of these left in Vanilla Bean and Earl Grey. ($3.79 on Hurraw!)
Acure Argan Oil: I have used this as a makeup remover, face moisturizer, and a body moisturizer. This was good as a face moisturizer, but now that I’m getting fancy with facial oil blends, I have delegated this more towards makeup remover and body moisturizer. It is a little pricier than jojoba oil or sweet almond oil, but let’s just say my mother took advantage of an Acure sale at our local health store a bit back. Easily takes off all makeup and leaves my body even softer than jojoba or sweet almond ever did. Also, 100% certified organic. ($12.99 on Vitacost, $14.50 on Amazon, $14.99 on Acure)
Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner in Black Pearl: Stays put with minimal smudging even with my monolid eroding away at it all day. Makes a great cat-eye, and Black Pearl is black + sparkles. I’ve had this in Raven (just black) before, so I am also taking a break on repurchasing this to try something new, but again, this is also a good one. ($14.85 on Gabriel Cosmetics)
Konjac Sponge Co. Konjac Sponge with French Green Clay: This little guy has unfortunately developed a tear at the 3 month mark (average lifetime of a Konjac sponge), so I will be searching for a plant that will serve as its final resting place. A nice, gentle sponge that I enjoyed using in the morning or post-makeup removal at night. Always left my face soft. ($9 on Spirit Beauty Lounge)

Tator tots for your face ft. the Konjac Sponge Co.

No, sorry, there is no new study that says eating tator tots is beneficial for your face, let alone smearing them over your face. (Personally, I’m waiting for the bacon study. I’m obsessed with bacon.) But, the konjac potato packs a pretty good punch: protein, carbohydrate, iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, more vitamins, and even more vitamins.

The Japanese have used the konjac (that’s “KOHN-yak” to you) vegetable as a beauty treatment for their skin for over a century, as well as for medicine and food, but this sponge, made out of konjac plant fibre, is not for eating.

Description

“A naturally moisture rich plant fibre which is by nature alkaline, and thus balances the acidity of the skins impurities and oils. The unique net like structure of the sponge, gently massages the skin and stimulates blood flow and new growth of skin cells. Leaving the skin extremely clean and refreshed…..naturally! No need for additional cleansers or soaps unless you really want. Should you chose to use additional cleansers or soap, you can use a fraction of your usual amount, as the sponge will generate more bubbles and spread the cleaner further than usual.”

(source: The Konjac Sponge Co.)

I have the French Green Clay version for normal to oily skin and there are several different kinds (and colors!) for different skin types. The half-sphere sponge fits neatly into my palm and seems small and stiff when dry, but expands and softens upon soaking up water. My first impression: THIS IS SO CUTE.

One and a half months later, I still think it’s cute (I know, it’s just a sponge, but still) and I really enjoy using this as my morning cleanser. Different people say different things about cleansing in the morning; some say you should cleanse off the oil that has accumulated overnight, and others say it’s unnecessary. In this winter cold, I want to do everything I can to minimize dryness, but on the other hand, cleansing off excess oil can’t be too much of a bad thing. Previously, I had been using pure, raw, local honey as a cleanser, but found it drying as the days got colder. This sponge, however, is uber gentle and leaves my skin feeling soft, clean, but not taut or dry. I wouldn’t say this is a super flake killer, but it makes for a good, gentle exfoliation session.

squish squish

For science (*points finger in air dramatically), I tried a couple ways of cleansing with the sponge.

1. Alone

My favorite method because it’s easy. Good for morning cleansing or post-makeup removal at night. I just soak the sponge up and gently massage away. The sponge’s soft texture makes for a nice morning wake-up and is okay around the eyes too.
2. With another cleanser
Post-makeup removal, I squirted my other cleanser love, Dr. Alkaitis Purifying Facial Cleanser, onto my hand, into which I dabbed the wet sponge, and then massaged into my face. This cleanser on its own plus fingers actually can get some good, gentle foaming action which was slightly reduced with the sponge. It got the same job done, but the Dr. Alkaitis product brochure recommends using this cleanser with fingers and that’s personally what I like better, too. This time I stayed away from the eyes since the Dr. Alkaitis cleanser is not recommended for around the eye.
3. To remove water-based makeup
With a face of Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Luminous Foundation, Alima Pure Eyeshadow, and Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner, and Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Mascara, I massaged the wet sponge sans extra cleanser into my face. Just at a glance, it removed most of the foundation, but it was definitely no match for my eye makeup. I followed up with my usual warm washcloth + plant oil (currently sweet almond) makeup removal process and sadly had some foundation residue. I also had to do extra rinsing to get rid of the makeup that transferred to the sponge, so that was a bit of a hassle.
Konjac Sponge Co.‘s website has more thorough info as far as care and usage along with a video demo which are all very helpful especially if you want to prolong the longevity of the sponge. In short, always rinse before and after usage, let dry after usage, and after it has breathed its last (usually around 3 months), you can stick it in a plant pot and it’ll hold moisture for your plant. Also, it’s $9 from Spirit Beauty Lounge, which is where I bought it from. Extra cute, right?
P.s. if you want to see more pictures and read an opinion on the Red French Clay version, you should read Naturally Marcy’s take.