The ‘Black Mask’ Hype – How Effective Is It Really?

After seeing this Black Mask suggested to me every 3/4 posts or so down my Facebook page, I started to pay attention to the videos of it and do a bit of research.

The Black Mask is supposed to offer us that one step better than a normal face mask, and that’s by pulling all the rubbish clogged in our pores out, whereas a normal face mask generally focuses on the surface of the skin.

I decided to give it a go.

I ordered a Black Mask tube off Amazon and on the day it arrived, I was really looking forward to seeing if it could put its money where its mouth is.

This is mine, it cost me a total of £3.42 including delivery for a 60g tube and it took exactly 2 weeks to arrive.

The brand is Water Ice Levin and the name of it is Suction Black Mask. 

I’m going to start by saying that if you have a low pain threshold, don’t bother. This mask hurts a lot. It latches onto every last teeny weeny hair on your face and refuses to let go.

Here is the pain in action:


Weirdly enough, it absolutely murdered on my cheeks, but proved entirely euphoric as I peeled it off my nose.

As you can see from the horror movie above, the mask was clearly gripping onto all that rubbish clogging up my pores.

Yummy, right?

I’ve never been so happy to see dead skin. The mask may have been excruciating, but it was over in a short while and it had actually rid my face of a truck load of mingin’ under-the-skin black heads and unwanted skin.

I left it on for about 20 minutes, peeled it off (half really slow, half really fast like a plaster), moisturised my face and voila! My skin felt lighter, a whole lot softer and I couldn’t stop looking at how much more fresh I looked!

To summarise, 10/10 would buy again, but I must warn you – invest in a decent face moisturiser – the mask really dries you out.

Elle x


Beauty Blenders.. And why not to use them.

So; as usual I’ve been on a personal journey to spread my best practice with you lovely people. 

Unfortunately, in this instance, it wasn’t by choice. 

It’s been a rough time.

Basically, I have been struggling with bad skin. For someone who was lucky enough to skip the ‘bad skin phase’ of the teenage years, getting hit at 22 by it was the last thing I expected. I’d (kind of) ‘recently’ got into a relationship and I work in luxury fashion, so naturally, I feel obliged to look fabulous every waking minute. 

Yes hello operator, I have bad skin. Please send assistance.

I tried to trace my steps. Had I changed a product? Was I wearing too many products? Was I not wearing enough product? Was there a miracle skin care product I wasn’t aware of? 

Luckily, one of my besties (shout out Kamran oi oi) worked at Lush, and he took charge of the situation. He kitted me out with all the right products; cleansers, scrubs, masks. You name it, I was using it. 

Still not working. New day, new spot.

By this point, my chin in general was starting to change colour from white to red. I’m disgraced to admit, but I was purposely making it worse at this point by sleeping with concealer on. I couldn’t even look at myself without flawless skin. Despair.


Then a light bulb went off. The only thing I’d changed was my beauty blender. Do you know why they’re called beauty blenders? Because they blend away your beauty. They harbour soooo many bad bacteria and no matter how often you wash them, there will always be rotten make-up lingering. 

See above a brand new blender vs a used, 4 week old blender. Soz Real Techniques, nothing personal. 

Would you put a dirty dish sponge on your face? No you wouldn’t. So don’t fall for it with beauty blenders, either! 

But they did make my skin so flawless and dewy… I couldn’t just abandon ship, I mean, brushes never created such an airbrushed look. 

So what did I do? 
I binned it. Temporarily of course, it was all I could do. The right thing to do. I then started applying my foundation with my fingers, yes I know I am vile. However, I have dry skin generally, and the moisture from my fingers transfers to my skin and it actually makes me look better. (Nice one for that fact, Nars MUA!) 

Then I had a geeeeeenius idea. A beauty blender is a sponge, right? It’s a sponge. Just a little sponge. Why am I paying so much for a sponge, and washing it repeatedly? Why didn’t I just buy an abundance of less expensive sponges, and constantly use new ones, before bacteria even had the chance to develop? 

Girls, (and boys), I’ve just changed your lives. 

Boots offer a pack of 4 latex free polyurethane foam makeup sponges that have done the exact same job as the pricey blenders. Plus, as they are in a triangular shape, you can identify exactly where you have already used the sponge and use the other side the following day. That’s 8 days, for about £1.

My skin is back to being flawless. 

I vow never to touch normal beauty blenders again. Who’s with me? 

Love Elle x

Illamasqua Masquara, the cruelty-free answer to lush lashes.

As of late I’ve been on a dedicated hunt for a new mascara. The one I was using, don’t get me wrong, is an amazing product. If you’ve been keeping up to date with my blog, you’ll know of my refusal to use any products that have had any involvement with animal testing. Unfortunately, my fabulous mascara was one of these items, amongst pretty much everything else in my make-up bag.

So if you’re on the same page, I’ll make it super easy for you. Illamasqua ‘Masquara’ in Raven Black (£18.00)

To be blunt, the mascara I was formerly religiously using is the best selling mascara in the world and has been for a long time, so I knew replacing it was going to be a serious task. Fortunately, I found a pretty ace one, pretty quick. 

* I do apologise, but I refuse to share with you which previous mascara I used, as I don’t promote products of which have been involved with any cruelty towards animals. * 

At first, I tried Urban Decay ‘Perversion’ (£17.50), but I found the brush to be too big for my eye – and my eyes aren’t particularly small – which made it hard to apply the product without getting it on my lids as well. That’s just irritating. Especially when you have done your actual eye make-up. Nobody enjoys that tactical cotton bud try-not-to-ruin-everything manoeuvre, do they? 

I also found this product to be extremely wet. Due to this, every single time I applied it, my lashes clumped together. It’s almost like there’s no catch on the neck of the tube to give the brush that slight shave of product as you pull it out. I literally couldn’t hate anything more than clumpy lashes. I knew I had to make a change, and quick. 

I did what any cosmetic obsessed mid-anxiety-attack young lady would do; I marched myself directly to a high end brand of which I hold a level of trust with. I went to Illamasqua and requested their cleverly named Masquara. 

I’m very happy with this mascara. Although not as lengthy as my previous mascara; my lashes are dark, separated and luscious. This mascara, or ‘masquara’, also semi permanently dyes your lashes darker over time. How cool is that? 

Over the last few days, I’ve been super tired, rushed off my feet and stressed about the lack of time I have to myself and to get organised for Milan in 3 days. Due to this, my facial pamper time in the morning has been cut in half. I’ve rarely applied my full eye make-up, but rather settled for mascara alone. And I’ve had so many compliments. 

If you’re into the ‘natural look’, give my previous post (Illamasqua & Nars; why they go hand in hand) a read & pair that knowledge with this post. I’ve never looked so natural in my life; and I’m loving it.. Besides the 3.5ml of lip filler, of course. 

Elle x

How to: Hydrate your dry skin for less than £5.00, in one night. 

I’ve always struggled with dry skin, particularly around my nose. I’ve tried countless face washes, creams and moisturisers. But nothing ever seems to work. 

Dry skin makes your make-up turn flaky throughout the day and feels coarse to touch. It ruins the whole look because you can spend hours on your 10/10 eye make-up but then think, ‘nah, nose looks a mess.’ 

Effort. Wasted. 

I wear a lot of make-up, seamlessly, of course; but I do wear a lot. Primer, foundation, concealer, contour, blusher, bronzer, highlighter, setting spray. That’s just my skin. Then I have lipstick, liner, and about a million different bits and bobs that make up my eyes. This doesn’t give me bad skin, because I use good products, but it does really dry it out. It feels tight after I use a face wash and it feels bitty and rough in the morning. 

Until now.

I’ve finally found a product that actually works. Good news; it’s not expensive. I understand that the majority of us don’t really feel overjoyed about splurging £20.00 on a semi-decent skin hydrating lotion and/or wash, myself included. I also understand that the majority of us just don’t have the time. I mean seriously, when you’re asked “what’s your skincare regime” don’t act like you’re not wracked with immediate guilt at the mental response of, ‘I don’t have one?!’ Like, who has half an hour to an hour at the end of every day to devote completely to their skincare? 

So here’s my secret to my hydrated, luminous skin, underneath all the make-up.


Good Things Acai Berry Micellar Water.

RRP: £4.49 for 250ml. 

• Suitable for vegans 

So, let me start by telling you how amazing this smells. It’s seriously lush. Who knew mango and blueberry would mix so well together?! It’s from the Good Things ‘Superfruits’ collection, so it’s pumping a load of natural vitamins and anti-oxidant goodness into your skin. 

What the hell is “micellar water” though?

Micellar water takes its name from the French word ‘micelles’ – which are the small cleansing molecules that float around in water. Take those micelles, pack a load of them into one bottle and voilà, cleansing galore. As soon as the cleaning agents come into contact with your skin, they search for dirt and grime to get rid of. 

How do you use it?

Well, if you don’t wear a tonne of make-up, you can use it to take off your make-up whilst simultaneously cleansing. If you do, like I do, I’d recommend you take off your make-up using a wipe/flannel & water or whatever your usual routine is.. And then use this. Simply apply a small amount of the micellar water to a cotton pad/ball and wipe your face, concentrating on the areas you feel need more care. I pretty much cover my whole face, but I make sure my nose is particularly covered. You also don’t have to wash it off, so I literally do it in bed and then go to sleep with the sweet smell of fruit lingering around my head. Not bad.

Top tip: always wipe your skin by pulling your skin up, rather than down. Pulling your skin down will only break elasticity, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be pumped with botox faster than you can say wrinkles.

When I wake up, my foundation slides on and blends much, much easier with soft, hydrated skin and lasts longer through the day too. I look and feel more confident, knowing I don’t have to constantly keep an eye on what I used to feel was such a big flaw before. 

Any cons?

I have noticed one thing about this product, and that is when I apply it, my face goes quite red.. Especially around my nose. I’m not sure if that’s the product ‘getting to work’ and getting deep into those grizzly areas that need a good hydrate, but I wake up borderline flawless anyway. 

This is a picture with no filter, no make-up and no flash. 


The glisten on my lips is lip plump – which I will do a post on soon. How fresh-faced and young do I look? 

• I’m also using the Good Things wipes, and they seem pretty good too. They take a lot more of my make-up off in one wipe, whereas before I used to have to use two wipes. They make my eyes sting though, because they’re not made for your eyes, so I’m going to invest in some specific Good Things eye make-up remover. 

Elle x