Beauty Review: Naruko Rose & Botanic HA Aqua Cubic Hydrating Mask

NB: This product was provided to me for review, but all thoughts are my own.

When I was emailing with Rachel from Naruko, it came up that I was unlikely to test the magnolia masks she sent me before my wedding because they contain an ingredient to which I sometimes react poorly. Now, it’s the sort of thing that usually takes prolonged exposure, but I didn’t want to take any risks before the wedding. In her infinite generosity, she suggested sending me a few of their Rose & Botanic HA Aqua Cubic Hydrating Masks to try in the meantime. Being a lover of all things floral, I leapt at the offer.

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I first tried this mask on a night when I’d had a fight with someone over the phone and was in a foul mood. I’d been crying a little and was just generally feeling terrible. I must say, the delightful rose scent of this mask lifted my spirits and helped me feel just a little better.

That said, I found that the scent was the only thing this mask had to recommend it. I was a bit worried, since the mask does contain a drying alcohol, but I thought that perhaps the multitude of hydrating ingredients would offset that. Unfortunately, while I didn’t find that the mask dried out or irritated my skin, it didn’t really do much to improve it either.

I did find that the mask calmed down my skin, but no more than just laying a cool, damp cloth over it. I was disappointed, given how lovely it smells, but I just didn’t find anything to really love about this mask. I wouldn’t buy it again.

If you’re looking for a nice rose-scented mask that isn’t overwhelming, and has a nice hydrating and brightening effect, I really like the LoveMore Rosa Hybrida mask. And hopefully the next mask I try from Naruko will be another winner.

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Sponsored Beauty Review: Naruko Raw Job’s Tears Sheet Mask

NB: I was sent these masks by Naruko in return for writing a review, but all opinions are my own. My official statement about sponsorship offers is here.

A couple weeks ago, Rachel from Naruko offered to send me a few masks so that I could review them and see how I liked them. I’ve been intrigued by Naruko since seeing Jude’s posts on them, but I always got distracted by something shinier when I went to buy something from them. So I leapt at the opportunity. We had a little conversation about my skin type and concerns and one of the masks she suggested was the Raw Job’s Tears Supercritical CO2 Pore Minimizing and Brightening Mask. Say that one five times fast!

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Naruko is a Taiwanese company, founded by the preternaturally youthful and attractive Niuer, which focuses on creating products of superior effectiveness and quality control. They also happen to have products in a variety of price ranges, and using both scientifically-studied ingredients and more traditional botanical ingredients. I was particularly drawn to them because of their various floral lines. In fact, I’ve been eyeing products from their Rose line for ages because, well, I just love anything rose. They even make a Rose cushion blush that might make its way into my cart in future.

Now, I received the masks in record time and they just happened to come at time when I was plagued with spots from a hormonal swing, as well as just general stress and poor health habits during tech week for Pygmalion. So I jumped right in and used one of these masks on the Sunday after our second weekend of shows, which happened to be the weekend we had had four shows, a positive marathon compared to my usual community theatre experience. I had a large spot sprouting on the side of my chin. I figured at the very least, the coolness of a mask would calm it down.

Well, the first mask I tried didn’t really do much except generally soothe and hydrate my skin, but when I tried it again later in the week, when the spot had had a little time to run its course, I noticed an immediate reduction of the appearance of the remnants of this spot. So it’s a nice effect. I used the third mask they sent last night because I was PMSing pretty hard core and expecting some spots to appear, but they haven’t yet.

The essence is lightweight and not sticky and absorbs quickly after I’ve taken the mask off, but it stays pretty moist for 40 minutes or so. It smells lightly of apple juice to me, which is odd but not unpleasant. The fit isn’t bad — it basically fits my face with a little tenting around the bridge of the nose and gaps around the nose, but it’s stretchy enough to deal with the slightly small eye holes. All in all, a nice mask. I might repurchase this when I’ve run through my other stash of masks because it is nice for the occasional breakout. The pore care aspect of is something I usually rely on my Tosowoong Pure Propolis Mask for, but I find the essence in the Naruko Job’s Tears Mask to be lighter and possibly more in line with summer skin care.

This was a lovely introduction to Naruko, however, and I’m excited to try the other masks they’ve sent, as well as maybe branching out into the rest of their line.

A Hectic Weekend and a Skin Care Retreat

This weekend was pleasantly busy. We started with a Friday date night at our favorite Japanese restaurant, then went to a wedding Saturday night for two of Boyfriend’s friends, and capped it off by getting brunch with an old friend of mine Sunday late morning. Boyfriend was running about prepping for a business trip Sunday night, and was throwing laundry in so he could pack. At which point, he realized he couldn’t find his phone. We tried calling it from my phone, but he remembered he’d never taken off “Do Not Disturb” after the wedding ceremony Saturday. But after about an hour, he did finally find it.

In the washer. After the cycle had finished.

He washed his phone right before going out of town. Needless to say, he felt frustrated with himself and I was mildly irritated that he was going to effectively be out of contact while traveling. It almost turned into a fight while tensions were high.

But instead, I say “screw this” to myself and decided to do a mask. Now, I usually mask on Sunday nights, but I had bumped my masking up to Saturday so I could be dewy for the wedding (which happened in a downpour, so dewiness wasn’t really a trick). But I have a stash of 50 masks and even though some of them might be fancy or expensive, there’s not really much point in buying nice masks if I don’t use them, right?

So I double-cleansed, toned, applied some first essence, and then pulled out an illi Orchid Moisturizing mask. A lush, 2-piece, microfiber mask soaked in an surprisingly thin, wet essence that smells lightly of a beautiful flower garden. It was cooling and soothing and lifted my spirits while I just lounged for almost an hour. And when I peeled it off and topped off with some facial oil and cream, I felt so much of my frustration just disappear.

Self care. It’s a wonderful thing.

A Floral Treat for Dry Skin: The Mamonde Flower Essence Rose Moisturizing Mask

This is just going to be a little review of a mask I tried last night and loved. As those who read my blog know, I’m a sucker for florals, especially roses. My signature perfume is rose, I have roses on my desk, and I wear rose earrings. And I love any kind of rose-scented skin care. Sadly, I’ve recently switched from my lovely Andalou 1,000 Roses day cream to CeraVe PM as a moisturizer, so I don’t get my daily dose of rosy loveliness. And Sephora seems to be phasing out my favorite rose sheet masks (which are overpriced anyway). So I was excited to get some recommendations for rose sheet masks from Asia.

I decided to order a 5-pack of the Mamonde Flower Essence Rose Moisturizing masks from Amazon, which came last week. The package immediately appealed, with a simple picture of softly pastel pink roses and simple writing. Mamonde seems like a company that melds well with my own personal aesthetic, in addition to having some widely-liked flower-based products. Last night, I decided to do a full facial routine, so I settled in for an hour and a half of real pampering. I double cleansed and then applied my salicylic acid serum, which I let sit for 20 minutes. Then, I did a clay mask. I just used a little hydrated Redmond clay. This I washed off after 15 minutes, then toned with some alcohol-free witch hazel. Then, the rose mask.

Immediately upon opening the packet, I noticed that the essence was thick and creamy and smelled lightly of roses. It was not a heavy or cloying scent. It smelled like walking past a cluster of rose bushes on a spring day. As I put the mask on my face, I noticed it was a nice, thick material, but not so thick it slid off under its own weight. Perhaps the thick lotion that soaked the mask helped it adhere. I found myself utterly relaxed. I sometimes have trouble with boredom while masking and generally leave a mask on only 20 minutes sometimes. This mask left me so blissful, I found 30 minutes had passed before I realized it. I checked and the mask was still quite moist, but I had to get to bed, so I removed it. The leftover lotion was almost sticky, like a thick moisturizer rather than an essence. I didn’t feel the need to do most of my routine after that, so I just applied my facial oil to lock in all the hydration.

The real surprise came this morning as I walked down the stairs to go running. As I turned on the light to find my shoes, I caught a look in the mirror and was amazed. The few residual spots leftover from a monthly breakout were completely gone and my skin had a bit of a glow, rather than the sheen of leftover oil and nightly sweat. All in all, this is a lovely mask.