What is Essence ?

What is Essence? Is it a toner, serum, or face wash?
Today, I am going to dive deep into the most asked question in the beauty industry. In February, 2004, a Japanese skincare called SK-II launched in the USA with a handful of locations in Saks Fifth Avenue. In the same year, Vogue published an editorial page on SK-II. This article got so much buzz that SK-II sold out of the Facial Treatment Essence in the US.
I believe the first Essence has officially taken over the entire beauty industry by storm. With reasons to launch K Beauty at Sephora, more brands started to create their own versions of the essence.

 

So what is Essence?

A skin balanced liquid packed with lots vitamins and some key essentials to recharge your skin and help maintain skin’s natural rhythm.
In addition, Essence can help other skin care products to absorb much better and  deeper into the skin. If the skincare product you apply only sits on the surface of the skin, it will not work to its potential.

So, I call it magical liquid.

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering, which brands have the best Essence?

I honestly believe SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is truly the best of the best in Essence category.

Facial Treatment Essence SK-II’s signature product and highly awarded best-seller. Essentially unchanged for more than 35 years, this essence transforms all five dimensions of your skin to crystal clear – spots are less visible, appearance of wrinkles is reduced, skin texture is more refined, firmness is improved, and radiance is beautifully elevated.

Besides, each bottle of Facial Treatment Essence contain over 90% of pitera . I mean every bottle of Facial Treatment Essence is 90% Pitera which is SK-II’s key ingredient.

What I love the most is the texture of the this Essence. It looks and feels like water. Even after applying it onto the skin, there is no weight or stickiness after fact! Most essences have some kind of texture and leaves a residue which I don’t really care for.

Who can use essence? Basically, everyone no matter their age, skin condition or concerns!I hope this helps.

Korean Beauty Brand PURITO Review

Korean beauty brands are a huge hit in the US market. From luxury department stores to drug stores, you can see K beauty brands popping up everywhere. How exciting it is for the K beauty brands becoming mainstream.

I recently received PURITO skincare and after using it for a few weeks, I am telling you, I really like these products and I can’t wait to share my thoughts and tips!


PURITO Centella Green Level All In One Mild Pad $22
I used this pad right after a cleanser before the Essence. I love the smart design cotton pads with 2 sides. Rough texture side is perfect for extracting and exfoliating the surface of the skin. The smooth side is great for someone who has sensitive skin.


I love these presoaked cotton pads with 10% of Centalla Asiatica extracts to help improve skin texture and the anti-inflammatory effect calms skin. It includes 3 key ingredients:
Asiaticoside: an oil-water balance control and helps collagen formation of dermis layer.
Asiatic acid: strengthens skin barriers, anti-oxide effects, calms the sensitive skin
Madecassic Acid: helps repair damaged and tired skin and reduces trace marks.

PURITO Galacto Niacin 97 Power Essence $18.00

I applied this with my hands right after the toner. I found the texture was little slippery and just a tad oily. But after few minutes, it made my skin look so glowing.  For extra hydration, I soaked 2 pieces of cotton pads with this essence and use it as a face mask for a few minutes.

This water essence offers sebum control, whitening, anti-wrinkle and moisturizing. The very first ingredients is Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate (92%) follow by Niacinamide (5%) plus Viscum Album (Mistletoe ) Leaf Extract, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Arginine, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Allantoin and Lactobacillus Ferment

 

PURITO Centella Green Level Buffet Serum $17.30

Asian skin care like to use the word “buffet” instead all you can eat. I would translate this to “all in one” ingredients.  I love this serum! It felt like a super lightweight gel.  Once I applied it on my skin, it made my skin look so dewy. This serum helps improve skin barrier, lightens the skin, delays future aging and adds hydration.


Centella Asiatica Extract (49%) is the very first ingredient. As you may already know, first 5 ingredients may contain more than 60% of the actual product. So I am impressed, especially for only $17.30.
Beside the Centella Asiatica Extract, this buffet serum also contains a peptide,  Asiaticoside, Collagen & Ceramide and Niacinamide & Adenosine.

PURITO Centella Green Level Recovery Cream $17.30

I had a little bit of a hard time, in the beginning, using the tube because it looks to me like medicine lol. I have to take a very close look and make sure it is not. The texture is very light, looks creamy but applies like a gel.  This recovery cream contains 50% if Centella Asiatica Extract. plus Witch Hazel extract creating a synergy effect by soothing skin and minimizing the pores.

Since there is no SPF, I would recommend using this at night. If you want to use during the day, make sure you apply SPF on top.

Overall I am impressed with Purito. For the price you pay, you are getting results and improvements of the skin.

Do Asian women naturally have better skin?

Do Asian women naturally have better skin?

So many people will say that Asian women have the best skin amongst all western world women. Its this really true?
My option is that it is not true. What causes Asian women to have better skin is the following facts:

1. Environment
2. Skin Care Ritual

Here are my thoughts on these two critical reasons.


Environment  

Generally speaking, Asian countries have a more humidity climate than the USA. Humidity will give the skin natural hydration, resulting in skin that looks and feels more plump. In contrast, a dry environment  will dry our skin’s natural moisturizers and dehydrate the skin. Have you ever visited Hawaii or tropical country? The moment you step out the airplane your skin looks and feels far more hydrated.

Skin Care Ritual 

It’s very common to double cleans the face. Using makeup remover first before use cleanser to wash the face. After the wash from toner, essence , serum , face and eye cream, mask and SPF is must . Taking time to take care for the skin is huge deal for Asian women and men who live in Asia. Weekly masking is also very common.

Finally, taking time to care for your skin, increases everyone opportunity to have amazing skin. Even if you live in desert

Influenster Vox Box – Baxter Men Skin Care Review

 

I received the Baxter of California Vox Box complimentary from Influence for my blog review. First thing, I want to share is join Influenster! It’s one of best action I took last year ! This is my third box and just so thankful that they gave me a chance to try out and review the products. So anyone want to start be a blogger,I would highly suggest you join Influenster.

I received the following products: Exfoliating body bar, deodorant, hand and body moisturizer, oil free moisturizer and the pomade mixer kit. Wow…

Overall, men who don’t use skin care will find the Baxter of California is not intimidating. The packaging play a big part of this brand. Most men feel masculine and in their mind using a face moisturizer or eye cream is just not manly enough. So the simple packaging and colors, blue or black, works really well. Next is the texture of products. It needs to be lightweight with fast absorption and Baxter Of California nailed these elements.

See below for info on each product (includes info from their website with my comments and thoughts)

Exfoliating Body Bar:

A luxurious scrubbing bar for men with essence of cedarwood and oakmoss. The hydrating, paraben-free formula leaves the entire body feeling smooth, clean and refreshed.

Rich-lathering formula effectively exfoliates dead skin cells, with pumice, jojoba meal and crushed olive seed to scrub away dirt and rough patches all over body. Hydrating ingredients wash away impurities from skin without stripping moisture, making it ideal for daily use. Suitable for all skin types.

Mr. Jan’s Thoughts : 

Overall, I really like this body soap. It has a very refreshing scent and I use the shower puff so it created lots of lather and bubbles. The best part is after I rinse it off and my skin feels so smooth and not dry.

  • Paraben-free
  • 7 oz / 198 g
  • $17.00

Deodorant

Baxter top-selling, clean citrus and herbal musk-scented deodorant is aluminum-free, making it perfect for sensitive skin. The clear solid paraben-free gel won’t stain or discolor clothes.
GQ Grooming Award Winner 2015 for Best Deodorant
AskMen.com Grooming Award Winner 2016

Mr. Jan’s Thoughts :

I am not sure why this is top selling. After 10 minutes, it still hasn’t dried so I do not recommend this. Personally, I need to my deodorant to dry quickly and keep me fresh.

  • Paraben-free
  • Aluminum-free
  • 2.65 oz / 75 g
  • $19.00

 Hand and Body Moisturizer 

Hydrating hand and body lotion with a subtle herbal-musk scent.

Versatile enough to use all over your body, this lotion has plant-based moisturizers that combine with natural oils, vitamins and botanical extracts to restore the skin’s moisture barrier. Skin is left smooth and refreshed without a greasy residue.

Mr. Jan’s Thoughts :
This hand and body moisturizer dried very fast once you apply it on the skin. But as I apply the moisturizer on the body, I see the actual moisture sit on the surface of the skin. It takes extra time to massage in into the skin and disappear. Once the moisturizer absorbs, it makes my body feel very hydrated and not oily. I would strongly recommend this.

10 oz / 300 ml
$18

Oil Free Moisturizer

Hydrating face lotion for men infused with aloe vera, green tea and chamomile.  This oil-free moisturizer features plant-based technology that absorbs quickly to restore the skin’s moisture barrier. Green tea helps protect against free radicals and chamomile helps heal delicate facial skin. Skin is left feeling smooth and refreshed with a shine-free finish.

4 oz / 120 ml
$24.00

Mr. Jan’s Thoughts :

Personally I have dry combination skin , so this is not enough  for me . But if any guys out there have oil skin, they will like it. because 2 major component.

1.  The tube packaging is smart , also it feel more  masculine and easy to use.
2. The light weigh  lotion absorbs into skin so quick, so didnt make it look shine or oily


Pomade Mixer Kit

I can’t find this kit on their website for pricing … but I find a style guide below

Mr. Jan’s Thoughts :
Love these pomade, it created different look, see below for style  sample

 

Black Friday Cosmetics Deals (2016) USA only

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Many of you are planning big holidays shopping days, so I have listed some of my favorite cosmetics deals below, just for you! Most of them will expire with in next few days , so act quick …. Happy Shopping

 

 

https://www.birchbox.com

brichbox

www.bliss.com

bliss

http://www.clarisonic.com/facial-cleansing-brushes

clarisonic

www.dermadoctor.com

dermadoctor

http://www.giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-armani-us-Site/default/Default-Start?cm_mmc=cpc-_-googleSearchBrand-_-Giorgio%20Armani%20Brand%20-%20Ph_Brand%20Website-_-kw:%20www%20giorgioarmani%20com&gclid=Cj0KEQiAvNrBBRDe3IOwzLn6_O4BEiQAmbK-DpXQNIyMAXTPaTI2Vlzolg3dLUnCVAlO-28M8O2ikXkaAn068P8HAQ

armani20

www.kiehls.com

kiehl

www.murad.com

mrad

www.narscosmetics.com

nars

www.smashbox.com

smash

www.strivectin.com

striventin

http://www.shuuemura-usa.com/Special-Offers/special_offers-beauty,default,sc.html?gclid=Cj0KEQiAvNrBBRDe3IOwzLn6_O4BEiQAmbK-Dow5HEoko_qRcPdXgoRxySxfsY8rjc1et7hdbgqxgLwaAuSk8P8HAQ

shu_16_bf_car_bf16_en

http://www.yslbeautyus.com/private-sale?cm_mmc=cpc-_-googleSearchBrand-_-YSL%20Brand%20-%20Ex_YSL%20-%20Exact-_-kw:%20ysl&gclid=Cj0KEQiAvNrBBRDe3IOwzLn6_O4BEiQAmbK-Dsb8lFEUGh2Ix7ol7Pp10mExkfBom4W2mR53974wvrMaAu2H8P8HAQ

ysl

https://www.tatcha.com

tatcha

 

Can you afford the luxury skin care brands ?

Sisley

YES !! Under $10 per month !!!
I recently discovered, luxury skin care brand Sisley, is offering a monthly subscription and it only cost $100 for 12 months. The beauty box includes 5 samples, and of the 5 samples, 2 are deluxe. It’s a great way for people to try this super luxury brand.

This is the best way for anyone who wants to experience Sisley before making the investment. Yes i said investment, as the price of Sisley is very high. As for the results, I only enjoyed a couple of the products, and based on the price of the full size, I would not buy them on a regular basis. However, the beauty box is definitely worth the money, and getting the opportunity to try the products for a small monthly investment before you buy is very good.

I like to share the boxes I received and why i really enjoy them.

August Box:

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Tropical Resins Mask :
A deeply purifying mask with absorbent, cleansing and astringent properties for a clean, radiant complexion.

Mr. Jan’s Thought:
Always apply the eye gel or eye lotion around the eye before use any clay mask. Apply thicker layer for best results

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Black Rose Cream Mask:
A cream mask that has been specifically formulated to instantly provide the skin with a youthful and energized look.

Mr. Jan’s Thought:
For the dry skin no need to rise or wipe off. For oil skin you can use this as face cream
love the scents and make my skin look and feel amazing next day.

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Eye & Lip Contour Balm 
A gel texture to address the sensitive area around the eyes & lips that hydrates, reduces the appearance of fine lines, dryness and under-eye puffiness.

Mr. Jan’s Thought:
honestly any eye cream can be use as lip balm ..just saying

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Phyto – Touche Tinted Body Sun Glow Gel 
For a customized tan in 5 minutes flat.

Mr. Jan’s Thought:
Always exfoliate  before apply this for the best results

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Eau De Campagne Bath & Shower Gel 
Fresh, bright, sparkling, green, citrusy, chic. A foamy gel cleanser to soften and tone the skin while it cleanses.

Mr. Jan’s Thought:
Always use shower puff so you use less and get more foam.

 

*Above information from Sisley Webstie

 

Five Minutes Skincare for Men

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I have received this question: How much time do I need for my skincare? 5 minutes, 10 minutes or 20 minutes? My thought is not how much time you need but what your skin concerns are and if you are using the right products for you skin conditions.

I like to share some of the budget friendly skin care for Combination Skin Condition: But first what is combination skin? Usually, it means you don’t have dryness or redness on your skin, you will feel a little oily on the face, especially on the T zone after lunch. No major issues of your skin.  I found these products from Sephora.com. I like their website because you select the best products based on your skin conditions and there are mnay options and reviews on their products.

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Cleanser for day and night: Anthony Algae Facial Cleanser $36 8oz :
A gentle cleanser that moisturizes and calms the skin, leaving it feeling soft and refreshed. Algae cleanses and refreshes while extracts of azulene, lavender, and rose hip oil calm and sooth. Ideal for dry, sensitive, or mature skin, skin looks and feels fresh, smooth, and healthy.

Mr. Jan’s thought: No need to have day and night face wash, that’s just too much for men.  I love the fact it’s a very large bottle and lasts for a long time. You can even shave with this cleanser.

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Face Lotion:
Day: Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 $28 3.3oz
A multitasking daily moisturizer that acts as a broad-spectrum sunscreen and an advanced facial treatment. It contains blue algae extract to keep skin supple and reduce inflammation along with sea parsley, which contains a combination of naturally occurring vitamins A and C and minerals to improve skin’s overall appearance. UVA and UVB protection plus potent antioxidants help shield skin from premature aging due to sun exposure.

Mr. Jan’s thought: Always use SPF during the day. I love face lotion with SPF together. It saves time and money.

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Night: Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10 percent Moisturizer $45 2.0oz
A luxurious facial cream that features a gentle, patented time-release form of glycolic acid and helps to produce a beautiful, fresh, youthful-looking complexion. It helps clarify the skin and smooth away a rough texture, leaving it looking refined and revitalized.

Mr. Jan’s thoughts: The glycolic acid 10% is perfect to use at night before you go to sleep. It will help exfoliate the surface of the skin.

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Eye Lotion: Anthony High Performance Continuous Moisture Eye Cream $38 0.75oz
An advanced, time-released, cream formula that helps prevent premature aging around the delicate eye area. The eye cream fueled with arnica and allantonin to help stimulate circulation and reduce puffiness, and is infused with jojoba oil, shea butter, squalane, and carrot root to provide maximum hydration. vitamins A, C, and E protect, firm, and help diminish the appearance of fine lines and dark circles.

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Target Treatment:  The Art of Shaving Facial Scrub – Peppermint Essential Oil $25 3.0oz
An effective face scrub enriched with refreshing peppermint oil. This must-have Facial Scrub gently exfoliates the skin’s surface as it deeply cleanses pores. It’s formulated with peppermint essential oil, white kaolin clay, and lavender essential oil to refresh skin and leave it delicately scented.

Mr. Jan’s thought: 3 time a week you should scrub to polish the skin, but I would  suggest do this at night, if you use this in the morning it may irraites the skin after you shave.

All products informations were taking from the Sephora.com

 

 

My update skin care ritual spring 2016

RNA-Duo_848_v5Spring is just around the corner. Are you ready for your skin care update? I have always found that right after the holidays, my skin becomes very dry and sensitive so I want to share my updated skin care ritual with you.

After cleanser and toner I use SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, but I use cotton pads for application. I find that when I use cotton pads, it absorbs more Pitera, which allows my skin to absorb more Pitera and more is just better!

After the Facial Treatment Essence I apply R.N.A Power Essence, a new anti aging serum that helps address multi skin concerns such as fine lines, large pores, uneven skin tone, etc. This is the new upgrade from the SK-II Essential Power Essence. I love that the consistency is much more rich and absorbs even better than the Essential Power Essence. When I have sensitive conditions, I use less products which means I don’t layer 2 serums at once. Sometimes, you just need to let your skin breath a little.

Then, I use the eye cream, R.N.A Power Cream, which is also a new upgrade from Essential Power Cream. Overall, the texture is much more rich which is perfect for the season changes. I like this cream because you can see a difference after just one use. The skin looks and feels much firmer and my dryness and sensitives improves.

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Here are some products information from SK-II Website for your reference:

FACIAL TREATMENT ESSENCE The much-loved and most awarded SK-II bestseller

SK-II’s signature product, the much-loved and most awarded bestseller, Facial Treatment Essence has over 90% Pitera, the miracle ingredient discovered over 30 years ago that remains essentially unchanged till today.

Its irreplaceable formula gently exfoliates the face and helps moderate the skin surface renewal cycle.

  • SK-II Facial Treatment Essence helps to improve the appearance of 5 dimensions of beautiful, crystal clear skin: spots are less visible, appearance of wrinkles is reduced, skin texture is more refined, firmness is improved, and radiance is beautifully elevated.
  • Skin becomes breathtakingly crystal clear.

$165 5.1oz

00730870157763

R.N.A. POWER RADICAL NEW AGE CREAM Brings you the next level of firmness – lengthwise-crosswise firmness – for a hydrated glowing look

Improves multiple signs of aging, giving you a new level of firmness from multiple angles, so that skin becomes firmer, smoother, tighter, and more radiant. After one jar, fine lines appear less defined.

$230 2.8oz

00730870157794

R.N.A. POWER RADICAL NEW AGE ESSENCE Minimizes the appearance of pores next morning, with a fresh morning glow.

New R.N.A Power Essence brings you the next level of firmness – lengthwise-crosswise firmness

This powerful firming serum minimizes the appearance of your pores for a more youthful looking fresh morning glow. Immediately upon application, each drop fills the gaps in your skin, making it firm, resilient, and feeling plump.

Used with R.N.A Power Cream, this new duo from SK-II brings you to a new level of confidence from today and for the next 15 years.

$195 1.7oz

Luxury Christmas Gifts

 

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Many of my fans ask, “What luxury skincare and fragrances do I like to use the most”. The luxury products below are items that I have used for years now, so they are truly my favorites … Steve Jan’s “Holy Grail”. For my last Mr. Jan All In One episode for the year, I will review my favorite luxury products for 2015. This episode will air on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at the usual time.

  1. Ultra-rich, dewy finish

    Born from the sea, the legendary Crème de la Mer has the power to transform the skin. In a short time, firmness improves, lines, wrinkles and the look of pores become less visible, skin looks virtually ageless. Even the driest complexions are renewed and rejuvenated. With the nutrient-rich Miracle Broth™, the heart of La Mer’s profound powers of transformation, skin is immersed in moisture, sensitivities soothed, radiance restored.

    The Miracle Broth™ in Crème de la Mer is suspended in an extraordinary formula. The secret to activating its renewing power and enjoying its profound benefits lies in a soothing ritual. Crème de la Mer must be warmed for a few seconds between the fingers until it becomes translucent, then pressed gently into the skin.

    Mr. Jan’s thoughts: Is this the best face cream? I don’t know if I can say with confidence that this cream is the best ever, but I find myself coming back to it when my skin is going through a drama. Especially, given the fact that I travel so much. My skin can go through so many different weather conditions, including the super dry conditions in all the hotels. When this happens, I will layer La Mer Cream over my night cream and the next day  WOW, my skin looks and feels super hydrated.

  2. Dolce & Gabbana Fragrance

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    Velvet Patchouli Eau de Parfum, 1.6 fl. oz.

    INSPIRATION
    Incense as a source of inspiration. A church in a tiny village, the scent of incense diffusing all around the streets. A memory reproduced through exquisite ingredients in a perfume filled with chypre accents. Dominant in presence and statement. Exudes strength.

    NOTES

    • Dominant, intense, decisive.
    • Sweet and spicy patchouli oil.
    • The woody tones and elegance of Kephalis.
    • The tenacity of musk.
    • Olfactive family: Woody Chypre.

    1.6 fl. oz./50 ml

    About Dolce & Gabbana Fragrance:
    Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana founded luxury fashion label Dolce & Gabbana in 1982. Under their influence, the brand’s inherently sexy and adventurous designs have shaped Dolce & Gabbana into a globally renowned label. The designing duo has translated the fashion house’s unique point of view into the world of scents with a much-loved Dolce & Gabbana Fragrance collection.

    Mr. Jan’s thought: Fragrance is not a easy gift to give, because it can be very personal. I recommend you make yourself aware of the various scents he/she prefers, i.e. fresh, sweet, warm, light, etc. That will help you narrow the search for the perfect fragrance. I love rich warm earthy scents, this is why I used Velvet Patchouli. Eau de Parfum means that it contains more essential oils and therefore, will last longer. Best way to apply fragrances , spray directly on the skin anywhere you can feel a heart pulse and whatever you do dont rub it. Let the parfum work with your body chemistry to create a unique personal scent.

  3. SK-II LXP ULTIMATE REVIVAL ESSENCE 

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Strengthen your skin’s resilience, while drenching it with an intensive boost of moistureThis precious skin enhancing essence is infused with SK-II’s Highest Concentrated Pitera and Centella Essence to strengthen your skin’s resilience, while drenching it with an intensive boost of moisture.Mr. Jan’s thought:  In my quest to find the ultimate product that will hydrate and boost moisture levels on my skin, and provide the benefit of anti-aging, the list has been long and disappointing. However, after trying numerous products, the one that continues to provide these benefits time and time again is SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Essence. I use this product nightly and see results and increased moisture on my  skin each time. Using SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Essence also helps other serums and products to absorb into my skin.

   4. Sisley BLACK ROSE CREAM MASK  

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  1. The Black Rose Cream Mask offers the skin”instant youth”. Rich in active anti aging ingredients (black rose,padina pavonica,and alkekengi calyx extracts), it immediately gets to work on signs of fatigue and leaves the skin looking youthful and energized. It bring tighter three actions to restore a luminous complexion and redensified skin in just 10 to 15 minutes. 1. A smoothing and pluming 2. A revitalizing and 3. A softening and hydrating.Mr. jan’s thought: Everyone knows that I love skin care masks. The Black Rose Cream Mask because makes my skin feel well protected, moisturized, and after washing it off I see a more plump looking complexion. Normally, as all of you know, my “go to” mask will always be SK-II Facial Treatment mask. However, from time to time when you need something different this mask is clearly a treat.