beauty

Review: Korres Hydra-Biome Probiotic Superdose Face Mask

Monday, September 02, 2019

Korres Hydra Biome Probiotic Superdose face mask overnight sleeping mask facial skincare beauty natural organic anti-pollution

The natural skincare brand Korres so kindly reached out to me a couple of weeks ago and asked if they could send me a package containing a preview of their newest launch (out this Thursday, September 5th), the Hydra-Biome Probiotic Superdose Face Mask, and of course, I said YES! Korres is one of the more high-end natural skincare lines I keep going back to; if you've followed me either on YouTube or on this blog, you'll have seen that I've tried a large number of their products in the past five years and I'm a huge fan of their Yoghurt line due to the inclusion of lactic acid.

(By the way, I am in no way affiliated with Korres, being sponsored or compensated by them in any way. They didn't even ask me to review or feature them or the new mask on any of my accounts.)

The Hydra-Biome Probiotic Superdose face mask is an interesting mask. It has an incredibly thick texture and reminds of me a thick night cream or maybe even a cold cream. The description states that one can also use it as a sleeping mask by applying a thin layer to the skin overnight. I tried it both ways and filmed it - the video will go up later this week and I'll return to link it below.

Korres Hydra Biome Probiotic Superdose face mask overnight sleeping mask facial skincare beauty natural organic anti-pollution

Since I received this pre-launch, there wasn't an official description for the product on the internet. From what I could gather from the information sent with the package and on the Sephora website, the Hydra-Biome mask is a super-hydrator (with a 48-hour time release of hydration), has anti-pollution capabilities, calms redness, cools after-sun skin, plumps and helps the skin maintain a balanced complexion. Korres states that this mask contains the highest percentage of yogurt that any of their products has ever contained: 7%.

The instructions:
- Slather a super thick, creamy layer to clean, dry skin and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rinse and pat dry to relieve and soothe skin while giving it a healthy microbiome-friendly super-dose.
- To use as a sleeping facial, smooth on a thin layer before bedtime to wake up to plump and well-rested skin.

I first time I tried it, I applied the mask to my face which had recently seen a lot of sun and was possibly mildly sunburnt. I had some inexplicable dry patches around my nostrils that I hoped the mask would help banish. It didn't do much to hydrate the dry patches, and I'm not sure I would recommend using this or any lactic acid products on freshly sunburned skin, because the lactic acid in this product as well as the other Korres Yoghurt products tingle. This mask's tingle felt more akin to a mild burn at times.

Which isn't to say I didn't like this product. I appreciate a light tingle to know that the lactic acid is active and probably working. The scent was better than the other Korres Yoghurt products I'd previously tried (which had all smelled like chemical-tinged yogurt). This mask smelled of powdery almond. I felt the mask did leave my skin looking seemingly brighter and slightly plumper, although I wasn't a huge fan of the way it felt as if the mask left some residue on my face (it eventually dried or was absorbed).

I tried the mask again, this time as a leave-on. I didn't leave it on long enough (overnight) to see what the results were like, but I did not like the feel of the mask as a thin layer on my skin in the summer. It pilled and felt heavy and greasy, even for my combo-normal skin. If you sleep with satin pillowcases, I would recommend using another pillowcase if you plan on sleeping with this mask on.

Korres Hydra Biome Probiotic Superdose face mask overnight sleeping mask facial skincare beauty natural organic anti-pollution

Overall, while I have previously loved some of the products in the Korres Yoghurt line, this mask wasn't a huge hit for me. I'm not quite sure what sort of niche this product fills, and the anti-pollution claims are a little confusing/mysterious. My conclusion is that this product would probably be best for someone with dry, sensitive skin who can't handle direct acids or a higher lactic acid content. Otherwise there are better hydrators and better lactic acid products out there - Korres' included - that I think can provide both plumping and hydration at the same time with a better texture.

The Korres Hydra-Biome Probiotic Superdose Face Mask costs $49 for 3.38 fluid ounces - a lot of mask if you're going to use it as an overnight sleeping mask, as the product has a 6 month life.

Korres also sent along a Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser which I LOVE and look forward to using up: it smells faintly of peaches, is foamy without being stripping in the least and leaves my skin feeling clean and soft.

life

Final Update!: The Spotify Playlist Challenge

Monday, July 15, 2019

Spotify playlist challenge your girlfriend's mix tape Gigi Hadid
Photo: Spotify.com
In October of 2014, one month into my graduate program, I took on a gargantuan task: to listen to virtually every. single. Spotify playlist. that existed before I graduated from my program in late December 2015. (You can see the original post here, along with the name of every playlist I listened to, and comments where pertinent.) At the time, few people would have been able to identify the girl in the Spotify playlist photo. Now, most people of a certain age would be able to recognize her as Gigi Hadid, or at least be familiar with her face.

In November 2014, I realized I had to be more systematic about my quest, as Spotify had added a slew of playlists and I began to see no end in sight. By January of 2015, I had archived all the playlists to my account for easy tracking.

The numbers:

793 playlists, total (not counting those I stupidly listened to more than once)

I'd say each playlist probably averaged, on the low end and not including ads, about 5 hours. The vast majority of playlists fell in the range of just under 3 hours and a little over 6 hours. One was 59 minutes long and another was 59 hours and 35 minutes long.

That's about 3,965 hours or 237,900 minutes of listening (again, not including ads because I don't have Spotify Premium).

That's just over 165 straight days of listening.

So could I have completed the task in the 14 months I gave myself? Probably.

Would I have been able to get good grades and focus on my reading if I had? Probably not.

I am SO relieved to have completed this stupid task I set myself to, because now I can finally catch up on "new" music I've been wanting to check out. Like Khalid's "new" album, which came out just a little over 3 months ago. And the new Banks, the Julia Michaels EP, that Dermot Kennedy guy everyone keeps namedropping ...

music

Is the Scott Borchetta/Scooter Braun vs. Taylor Swift thing really a male vs. female issue?

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Taylor Swift and Scott Borchetta | Getty Images

I don't know who's right, who's wrong or, let's face it, who's being more honest or more deceitful in the Scott Borchetta/Scooter Braun vs. Taylor Swift issue because I do not know any of the three parties. What I'm about to say is not about that.
In her statement about Scott Borchetta's selling her masters (but actually all of Big Machine Label Group) to Scooter Braun, Taylor Swift says:

This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says ‘Music has value’, he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.

When I left my masters in Scott’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.


Taylor Swift is not dumb. Tone-deaf in all senses of the word, maybe, but not dumb. I have followed this girl - nay, this woman - since fall 2006 when her deftly written self-titled debut album was released, and I refuse to believe she is anything but intelligent, business savvy, calculated, even. But her logic here is not quite sound: "Music has value" to a record label president/businessperson will always mean its value is beholden to businesspeople who had no part in creating it. When her contract expired, Taylor walked away from Big Machine and her masters because she found a better offer elsewhere. Taylor, more than anyone, probably knows that business is business and, in business, money always speaks loudest of all.

I don't know whether there were offers greater than the reported $300+ million Scooter Braun paid for Big Machine Label Group. If Scott Borchetta had a larger offer from someone who was not Scooter Braun yet still accepted Scooter's offer, the implied collusion between the two men that Taylor hints at might have some feeble legs to stand on. But this was a business transaction Taylor took no part in and, it sounds like, per her original Big Machine contract had no right to take a part in.

Now Taylor Swift and some members of her squad (namely Cara Delevingne and Halsey) are fixing a lens of sexism, misogyny, betrayal, men vs. one woman upon the issue -- or, perhaps said in another way, appealing to others' emotions and creating a narrative. And Taylor Swift fans are eating it all up, with some angrily demanding Taylor's other celebrity friends to take her side (see responses to an innocuous Shawn Mendes tweet). It seems Taylor's use of the Madeleine Albright quote "there's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women" has been interpreted to mean "there's a special place in hell for women who don't side with other women simply because they are women," which is possibly the exact opposite of what the feminist movement is trying to achieve.

I'm not taking sides (and really, what are we even being asked to take sides on? Of course all artists and creators should own their work. And legal contracts should also be honored). But I also cannot forget the times Taylor Swift has stated her victimhood and backpedaled, been discredited, or asked to be excluded from the narrative.

Again, I'd like to make the assertion that Taylor Swift is not dumb. So I am continually surprised when she makes a staunch claim which is later discredited with evidence or "receipts". And because I believe that Taylor Swift is not dumb, my more cynical rationalization of this behavior is that she aims to taint someone's name or reputation in the time it takes for the other party to pull out the receipts by mobilizing her still enormous and devoted fanbase. My less cynical rationalization? That it's a marketing scheme. (Justin Bieber put it more basically: "seems to me like it was to get sympathy".)

Because look how neatly Taylor ties her statement together with a perfectly placed bow: "And hopefully, young artists or kids with musical dreams will read this and learn about how to better protect themselves in a negotiation. You deserve to own the art you make. I will always be proud of my past work. But for a healthier option, Lover will be out August 23."

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Further reading on this topic:
Taylor Swift's statement
Scott Borchetta's "rebuttal"
The Wall Street Journal article from which Taylor allegedly learned her fate
Yahoo! Finance's stance on the whole thing because, oh yes, they have one

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