I’m starting to get to my backlog of reviews. Good news, right? I’ve had my products from The Body Shop since my epic haul back in November (read about that here), so I’ve had a lot of time to try them and now I’m ready to start sharing with you guys what I learned.
 

image is a photo of the body shop tea tree face mask. It is in a round greenplastic jar with the green product visible through the package. The label is green with green tea tree graphics.
 
$15.50USD, comes in a 100ml (3.38oz) jar.
(I paid about $6 for mine due to epic sale abuse).

 

I bought the Tea Tree face mask because I have acne-prone skin and I thought trying another anti-acne skin product would be a good idea. If it worked well it could help when I get breakouts, or keep me from getting breakouts!
 

image is a photo of the body shop tea tree face mask open jar. The green creamy contents are clearly visible.
 
Check out this sweet texture.

 

When you put it on your skin, it’s very light, fluffy, and the texture is pleasant to work with. The smell will clear your sinuses (this mask also contains menthol), but for a tea tree product it’s not the worst I’ve smelled. I didn’t expect much, as tea tree is really only shown to be effective against acne at concentrations of at least 5%, and this product doesn’t say how much their concentration is (so it’s probably very low).
 

Image is a photo of the cakepie with the tea tree face mask on her face. She is fair skinned with blue grey eyes, she is making a neutral expression. The product is a semi sheer light green and very thin.
 
The mask is thin and semi-sheer on the skin.
Dries lighter in color than what you start with.

 

Normally when my acne is problematic I like sulfur masks (Proactiv’s best product is their sulfur mask imho), or the Queen Helene Mint Julep mask. My skin is oily and also my skin sheds too fast (my two big causes of acne), so I exfoliate and then apply anti-acne masks to improve my skin.
 

When I first applied the Tea Tree mask it felt a bit burn-y, which I think is strange. I can’t be sure what ingredient causes that.
 

INGREDIENTS
Water, Kaolin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Myristyl Myristate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Propanediol, Alcohol Denat., Caprylyl Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Cyclohexasiloxane, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Menthol, Limonene, Leptospermum Petersonii (Lemon Tea Tree) Oil, t-Butyl Alcohol, Denatonium Benzoate, Tocopherol, Chromium Hydroxide Green, Iron Oxides.
 

If we look at the ingredients we’ll notice it has Kaolin clay (drying, ie good for my purposes!), cetearyl alcohol (this is not drying; it’s a fatty alcohol), glycerin (one of my fave moisturizing ingredients), myristyl myristate (emollient/thickener, softening). Exactly 15 ingredients in, you have Tea Tree oil. I’m not really sure it’s a high concentration due to its low placement on the list (ingredients are listed by concentration). I also didn’t see any particularly effective preservatives (the safest and best studied, also the most effective are in the paraben category) so ironically this may lead to the product CAUSING acne if the jar becomes contaminated.
 

image is a photo of a tiny white plastic spoon with a little bit of the tea tree face mask product in it. Below you can see the jar it comes in with product visible.
 
I used my cute Baviphat spoon to prevent contaminating this jar of spoilable product.

 

How did it work, though? It definitely “feels” like it’s doing something (burning?), but is it really helping my skin?
 

First let’s make a note about what the product CLAIMS to do. It says it’s “suitable” for blemished skin, not that it treats it in any way, or that it does anything actually (clever marketing!). It also says it “instantly cools and lifts away impurities”, but I’m not sure how it would do any lifting, because it’s a wash-off mask. As for cooling, a cooling “effect” is probably because of the menthol in the product, and ice will “cool” skin for free so I’m not sure what the benefit there would be.
 

The Good:

  • Unlike most acne masks, it doesn’t dry hard, which means it doesn’t start to hurt if you accidentally leave it on too long. (I do this a lot)
  • Fun to work with, product in the jar has a “whipped” sort of texture.
  • Mild/tolerable smell, unlike some tea tree products.
  • My skin felt noticeably softer and smoother after use, probably thanks to all the emollient ingredients

The Bad:

  • Smells stupid, like all tea tree products. Bearable but not exciting
  • Burns a little. And that’s strange considering how impenetrable my skin is. Sensitive skin people be warned.
  • Weak preservatives mean you should try to use it up before germs grow in it. This can cause acne!
  • Comes in a jar, so please don’t use your hands or you will infest your product with germs.
  • Terpinen in tea tree oil can cause allergic reactions
  • Concentrations of tea tree oil at 5%+ are shown to be effective, but lower concentrations are not. The amount in this mask is unknown, and could be too low to be effective.

 

COST: One of the more reasonably priced masks from The Body Shop at $15.50USD (as of this posting)
 

Bottom line: Without knowing the concentration of tea tree (but having reasons to think the concentration is low) it seems like the marketing story is just to sell a product. It does soften my skin nicely, but My Beauty Diary Bird’s Nest masks do a better job. The Tea Tree mask isn’t bad, but it’s a waste of money if you need an acne product. If you just want a good mask to relax at night, this an option but there are MUCH better options available and for less. I will not be repurchasing this but I’m glad I was able to try it out.
 

Have you used this tea tree mask before?
 
Have you ever tried a tea tree product?
 
This product was purchased by me. Read my Disclosure here.
 

Posted by Cake-Pie
Dated: 27th February 2013
Filled Under: Beauty, Reviews
Comments: 20 Comments

I’ve set up swaps twice now, though like a jerkbag I’ve mostly been receiving swaps because I suck and I haven’t mailed my stuff on time. One was with Natasha from Confessions of a Skincare Junkie (Samples Swap), and the other was with Eva from Bunnykisskawaii ($20USD/$20Euro Swap). I sent Natasha my package so I totally don’t suck anymore, and tomorrow I’ll show you what I got from Natasha (she sent me TWO lovely packages, actually). But today, let’s reveal the glorious awesomeness that I got from sweetiepie Eva.
 

We had originally set this swap up MONTHS ago, but due to my unpredictable illness, and her CROSS-COUNTRY move (Greece to Northern Ireland) we kinda took our time. I like that we did it that way because I got to have more time selecting great stuff to send out (: If you’re like me and hate being rushed, I recommend lots of time as a swap tactic!
 

For the swap we agreed on spending $20 (USD for me, Euro for Eva), but it seems apparent that Eva was a bad, bad girl and spoiled the absolute crap out of me (don’t worry Eva, I think I did more than $20USD too >_> so it’s really okay!). We originally were going to include a lot of awesome nail polishes but apparently you can’t do that anymore >: Neither USPS nor Royal Mail allow that, and I was gonna be a rebel and totally defy that rule (eff the police, and whatnot) but Eva said that if we sent it and our packages were x-rayed or discovered to have nail polish they could be destroyed >: I relented to be lawful-good this time.
 

ON to the SWEETNESS!!!
 

image is a photo of the total contents of the swap from Eva from bunnykisskawaii. There's a ton of stuff, lots of makeup, eyeshadow palettes, asian beauty samples, stationary, and randomness.
 
The products Eva sent me, in all their splendor.
 
 

image is a photo of two hello kitty eyeshadow quads from sanrio. They are shaped like hello kitty and they have pink blue and orange graphic art. The cases themselves are white. The one on the left is a black, brown, grey, and light tan quad, the one on the right is a brown, plum, amethyst, light tan quad. There is text in pink added to the photo that reads: Cute Cute Cute!!
 
Oh man, she totally knows about my Hello Kitty weakness. Aren’t these shadow quads cool? I love the graphic art. [Left: “This show ain’t ova”, Right: “Pretty punk”]
 
 

image is a photo of vaseline limited edition pink bubbly lip therapy. it comes in a round tin, the product is a waxy fair pink. the packaging is half black and half pale pink, the font has a standard boring font for the vaseline word but pretty calligraphy style font for the pink bubbly word. A phrase has been added into the photo, it reads: This smells like my childhood
 
When I was a kid I got some kind of doll that came with it’s own perfume. I swear it smelled just like this Vaseline Lip Therapy. Not the kind of smell I usually go for (kinda flowery) but the nostalgia makes it fun! Oh and especially nice because despite all the goo I hoard, I had nothing therapeutic for my dry lips until now!
 
 

image is a photo of three products. The two on top are the body shop born lippy lip butters in raspberry (fuchsia) and passionberry (purple). Both of those have giant cartoon lip graphics. The third item is the body shop white musk libertine solid perfume. it comes in a heart shape tin and it is pretty light pink with white lettering.
 
The White Musk Libertine Solid Perfume is a sweet gift in a sweet heart, how cute is this? Oh and I got a set of these lippies (5 I think) to give to friends for the holidays, but this is great because now I have some I can keep ^_^ [All from The Body Shop]
 
 

Image is a photo of two eye makeup palettes and one bronzer quad from Makeup Academy. They are in a black case and the eyeshadows are in circular pans. The bronzer is in a square with each of the shades in a square shape. The shadow palette on top is called Heaven and Earth, the shadow set on the bottom is called Glitter ball.
 
I almost ordered these exact shadow palettes a while back, I wanted to try out MUA and I have an eyeshadow problem (I have too many). The Glitter Ball palette is all glittery (duh, right?) perfect for a German Sparkle Party!! I gave the bronzer set a little go, and so far I enjoy the top left and bottom right as nice highlighters. I’m stupid at bronzing but maybe this will learn me. [All from Makeup Academy Professional]
 
 

image is a photo of two products, on top is a coral-color lip gloss and the bottom product is a sky blue eye pencil, both are from Barry M.
 
Okay so I know this gloss is totally a “pink” (Passion Pink #11) but I couldn’t help but see coral a bit. As for that eye pencil (Sky Blue #16), I like pastels a lot, if only spring would get here (: [Both from Barry M.]
 
 

Image is a photo of a comparison between the Barry M lipgloss in pink passion and the sephora lip stain in coral. The sephora color is discontinued and the barry m lipgloss is a little pinker but they are similar colors.
 
Don’t these look similar you guys?? I miss this Sephora lipstain (coral) so much, it was such the perfect color, and it brightened up my face so much. Old Man Cakepie shakes her fist and gripes: “Dang you Sephora for discontinuing my favorite color!”
 
 

Image is a photo of korean beauty products, mostly from etude house. The right there are three green tea sheet masks, and on the left is a small bottle of tear eye liner which is pearly white. Below these there are tiny little circle pellets, they are blank sheet masks but look like little candies.
 
So glad to get sheet masks (Green Tea)! I haven’t tried Etude House masks yet, this will be fun! The Tear Eye Liner (#01 I think) is also from Etude, this is so glittery! Oh and guys, I bet most of you won’t know what those little “pellets” are, but they’re blank sheet masks! You soak them in whatever you want (some people use glycerin, soak them in asian toner, essence, or serum) and wear them My Beauty Diary-style. [Blank masks are from Maggier]
 
 

Image is a photo of two black charcoal masks, one for the chin and one for the nose. The one on the right is by etude house and is for the chin, it's a pink package with a cute girl graphic. The one on the right is by nesura and is a small white package with a graphic of a redheaded lady wearing a nose pack.
 
I don’t officially hate charcoal black masks just because I had a bad time with the last one (read about that for your amusement), but I will take care using these two packs! [Nose pack from Nesura; chin pack from Etude House]
 
 

Image is a photo of several stationary goods. On the left there are three stacks of chococat themed note paper, light brown, peach, and light pink. On the right there is a cute notebook with an owl print. And below that is two sheets of hello kitty themed white stationary paper.
 
CHOCOCAT, so cute right? I just found out about Chococat today ^_^ What a great Sanrio character. All of the stacks on the left are note papers featuring the curious little kitty. You can also see that awesome owl pattern notebook, I was glad to get this because I was looking for a small notebook but I’m picky about covers, they have to be cute or awesome and this is a little of both. Also, you guys can’t read my letter sorry ^_^
 
 

Image is a photo of the owl notebook opened. The inside is white and the pages are lined. Added to the photo are words that read: Write sweet and awesome things here. A heart is also added to the bottom of the page and isn't a normal part of the picture.
 
Inside the book is normal.
 
 

Image is a photo of the beauty samples from korea. Most are from etude house, but two are from missha and one is from skinfood. Pore products, cleansers, serums and more.
 
I love all of these samples and I can’t wait to try them, especially the Moistfull Collagen Peeling Wash and Skinfood Peach Sake Pore Serum!! [Top two rows are all Etude House, the bottom left two products are Missha, and the bottom right is from Skinfood]
 

 
 
Isn’t this such an awesome, sweet, amazing pack of gifts? I was so impressed and grateful, it’s like Eva is inside my mind! I hope you love your package too Eva ^_^ thank you again for knowing what to get me (:
 
Have any of you guys ever done a swap? What was it like?
 

For those who are interested in swaps there’s a swap thread going on in the Asian Beauty Subreddit (don’t be intimidated by reddit!!) you can find that here, so please post your own right there if you’re looking to do a swap too ^_^
 

Hope you liked this post, let me know in the comments what you think is the most interesting and I’ll try to review it! You’ll see some requested reviews THIS week (Lipsi face powder, some more items from my Body Shop haul, and if I’m not too sick I can finally get to the Coastal Scents palettes this month!) so even if I take a while understand that I will always get to it so be patient ^_^
 

Posted by Cake-Pie
Dated: 5th February 2013
Filled Under: Beauty
Comments: 23 Comments
Image is a photo of the full size tub of the body shop mango body butter. It's an orange tub with a large mango graphic covering almost the entire package, a small body shop logo is in the center.

 

Hey lovelies! I have to say it’s great to be able to post so often ^_^ I’ve been feeling a bit better so I’m using the extra energy to be productive.
 

We all know I bought mongo amounts of products from The Body Shop recently (if you don’t know, check out my haul here). Although I got something on the order of a $188USD discount I still hadn’t reviewed a SINGLE thing! I’ve had my products long enough to try them out well, and I’m going to begin by telling you about the Mango Body Butter!
 

Image is a photo of two mango body body butters from the body shop, each a different size. The full size on the left and the mini on the right. The image has text under each. Under the full size the text reads: Big Girl Size; under the mini it reads: mini. They are slightly different shades of orange, and the graphics are different, but both feature mango graphics.

 

The first purchase of the Mango Body Butter was actually a few months back when I picked up a mini to try out. It smelled so good but I didn’t want to blow $19 on a product if it didn’t work well, or if it broke me out (yep, body acne is the worst!). The mini product went FAST, so when I started my haul I decided it was time to grab the Big Girl size.
 

So first you already know I love the smell, it’s the most amazing scent and MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE BODY SHOP SCENT. It doesn’t smell the same in all versions of the Mango products (the body scrub, the lotion, etc), and to me the body butter is the best smelling of the Mango line. As for other favorite Body Shop product smells, I like limited edition Cranberry, and many of the Strawberry line. Remember folks, I’m biased against flower scents so keep that in mind.
 

Image is a photo of a finger with a swatch of mango body butter on it to show texture and color of the product. It is truly like butter, though it is more orange in color. The texture is silky and  smooth.

 
To me this is a fantastic product, does a pretty good job of making my skin softer, and after putting it on my skin feels moist which is important in this dry Vermont wintertime. I’m not sure the formula is strong enough to justify buying it over cheaper body butters but for me it is because it doubles as a scent. I’ll literally put it on just to smell good for a few hours, to cheer myself up and enjoy having a lifted mood for a bit.
 

Ingredients:
Water, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter, Glycerin, Cyclomethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Lanolin Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Hydroxide, Citral, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Citronellol, Annatto.

 

The Good

  • Smells the best out of any of The Body Shop’s current selection of body butters
  • Doubles as a body scent, especially if you can’t do perfumes. It’s mild but warms the heart just a bit.
  • Does NOT break me out! In fact, I think it helps my acne heal because of the moisture effect.
  • Works as a body butter too, for some reason.

 

The Bad

  • While pretty affordable, in this economy $19USD can be a lot to pay for a body butter. You could do what I did and wait for a sale before loading up.
  • It does work, but it’s not ZUPER FANTAZTIQUE enough to outperform cheaper body butters.
  • Comes in an unhygienic jar. I’m always worried about contaminating it with my gross human hands. Thankfully it uses safe and powerful preservatives otherwise it’d make me break out.

 

Bottom line: I love it. It’s one of my FAVORITE products from The Body Shop BAR NONE. Seriously you guys if you could all smell it you’d be in love with it and want to buy it flowers. Would I recommend it? YES, I’ve even bought it to give as gifts. If the price doesn’t scare you try it out!
 

Have you tried it? If so what do you think? Does it smell good to you?
 

Posted by Cake-Pie
Dated: 7th January 2013
Filled Under: Beauty, Reviews
Comments: 19 Comments

Hey guys. I’ve finally reached the max dosage for my Lyme disease medication (read about my struggle with Lyme here), so I haven’t been feeling too good lately, and with the holidays, well, there hasn’t been a lot of updating from me, has there? For those of you who follow me on Facebook I’ve been posting deals from the Good Old Games sale and the Steam sale (videogames), plus any awesome beauty sales I find (Sasa.com!). If you’re not following on FB, consider it. I find the best deals a lot of people miss + you may see awesomeness. Fair warning ^_^
 
 


Ddukbokki!

 
Holidays were good for me, I had a lot of Korean food (my favorite!) which is TOTALLY not allowed considering my strict requirements. Doctors orders: I have to eat a very careful diet, you guys would not believe how boring it is, lol. I can’t eat at restaurants and no one makes compatible food so I have to bring food with me. Usually I’m good, but I have no resistance against delicious Korean foods (ddukbokki, kimchi, japchae, bulgogi, ermagherd so gerd!!). Perhaps then it’s a good thing that we don’t have Korean restaurants in Vermont, if we did I’d fail at my diet and get so sick!
 

Though mostly I’ve been too sick to play a lot of games, the ones I’ve spent the most hours on recently are Harvest Moon Tree of Tranquility (Wii), and I just got The Sims 3 (PC) during the Steam flash sale. I’ve also been rocking Fortune Summoners Secret of the Elemental Stone (PC), which is unusual because I’m not typically into platformers, and they’re difficult due to my hands sucking at anything hands are supposed to do (like opening jars, writing legibly, holding objects, or jumping on shit missions in games). I’d say I enjoy all of these games so far, and yeah none are super hip roguelikes but I’ve been too sick, my brain can’t rogue. Every time I play I get Yet Another Stupid Death (YASD) because I can’t focus. So I’ve been playing more casual stuff for now.
 
Read more…

Posted by Cake-Pie
Dated: 31st December 2012
Filled Under: Beauty, Games
Comments: 13 Comments

Image is a photo of 15 products from the body shop. On the left six round jars are stacked, largest on the bottom. In the back, tube containers are arranged from largest to smallest, left to right. In front, bottle/pump containers are arranged largest to smallest left to right. So much stuff!!
 

WOW that’s a lot!! Wait till you see my total! (Hint: it’s not scary!)

 
You guys know I don’t overuse the word “Epic”. This haul was so amazing. In order to understand what I did, I want to show you two parts of my preparation.
 

Step 1. I bought a Groupon deal, $20 to spend in-store at The Body Shop for $10 (I bought three of these). Restriction: only one per visit. Must be spend before Dec 20, 2012. So I used each one on different visits.
 

Step 2. Get a Love Your Body Card for $10 that gives you 10% off in store and online.
 

Step 3. There was a “Buy 1 get 1 half off” sale during the Veteran’s Day weekend, but if you had a Love My Body Card, the sale upgraded to “Buy 1 get 1 free” (up to three items free).
 

Image is a photo of four products from the body shop plus a love your body card. The back row there are two body polishes, satsuma and strawberry, in front is the grapefruit body scrub on the left, and the mango body butter on the right.
 
My total haul from the first day (Friday)

 
Read more…
 

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Posted by Cake-Pie
Dated: 15th November 2012
Filled Under: Beauty
Comments: 16 Comments