There’s now a face mask you do while you’re in the shower.

Sheet masks are cool and all, until they suck.

Like, you’re eating popcorn and watching Netflix’s Love Season 2 when you taste serum from the juice dripping all over. Or when you’re moseying to the bathroom and realize you left a trail of goop. Like, did your water break or something?

But what if you could mask on the go without the mess, without the fuss? Enter K-beauty’s Make P:rem In-Shower Face Mask. It’s a product that seems heaven-sent for someone like me. The mask is one that you use while you’re showering, meaning you get that deep face hydration without sacrificing time or having to wipe away any droppings on your bed, couch or floor. The formula includes anti-inflammatory centella asiatica extract, sodium hyaluronate, an algae extract, antioxidants like blackberry and fig. Make P:rem says that it works by creating a barrier in your skin while the steam from your hot shower allows the ingredients to soak into your pores.

I received the product from the Glow Recipe girls (they’re currently having a pop up shop in NYC’s Soho), who told me that for someone lazy like me, it’s perfect. I was skeptical at first. Like, wouldn’t the mask fall off when your shower was blasting down on you? Did it stick to your skin and make it more inflamed? Would there be a bigger mess to clean? So many questions.

The first thing I did in the shower after thrashing my clothes off, was gently cleanse my face with Cetaphil. I then pumped the In-Shower Mask 3-6 times so that it could create a thick layer on my face. I couldn’t help but feel like I was the Swam Thing or something, this mask congealing to my pores. That being said, the formula isn’t sticky at all. It’s actually thick like gelatin and is the color of root beer. With wet, clumsy hands, I laid the mask on thick and waited for it to set in. Ten minutes later, I washed the mask off. Initially, I thought the mask was going to be so thick I’d have to scrub the formula off, but I was so surprised to know that it came off pretty easily.

And this is where the real test begins: What did my face feel like after I patted it dry and examined it in the mirror?

I have combination skin and still break out here and there. Sometimes I’ll get blackheads so deep I’m paralyzed with anxiety. Some days I’ll wake up with smooth skin and an even complexion, while others will leave me with dry patches (it really depends on which products I’m testing at the moment). After stepping outside the shower, I immediately felt my skin feel super bouncy and supple, instantly hydrated. It felt smooth, soft and left it matte. I was extremely impressed by how it not only cleansed my skin, but seemed to leave my pores a little tighter.

Do I now feel like a new man after this product? Nah, not really. But did my skin feel tighter, more hydrated and clear? Yas. And for someone who’s lazy like me, masking while multitasking seems like a godsend. Will definitely be replacing my juicy sheet masks with more time in the shower.

Buy it at Glow Recipe, $36, here. 

Can a purple toothpaste get rid of the frightening yellow in your teeth?

(Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light)

Suckling on a green teet, that is also called a straw from Starbucks since I was practically a fetus, made me realize that my teeth began resembling the very daily caffeine juice I slurped.

I always order my daily lattes “Solange,” not too dark but not too milky. Too much of a splash, and my latte turns into a “Lucy Hale on spring break,” basically homogenous whole milk with a drip of caffeine.

But years of careless abandon with my caffeine intake has had a major toll on my teeth, almost as if I was taking the nude on nude look to an extreme, matching my smile to my skin. I tried Crest White Strips for all of two days before realizing how much it made me wince in pain. Not only was it messy, drool seeping all over, the strips were so slimy I felt as if I was making out with a minty-mouthed snail named Dustin Diamond.

I stopped immediately and got an appointment to get them professionally whitened, the biggest mistake of my early 20’s, other than that one time I accidentally wore the same outfit as another Asian fashion personality. The stripping of your teeth was so unbearable, there was a lasting electric shock throughout the weak that felt as if you were chewing on tin foil.

I always order my daily lattes “Solange,” not too dark but not too milky. Too much of a splash, and my latte turns into a “Lucy Hale on spring break,” basically milk with a dash of coffee.

Needless to say, I’ve allowed my teeth to resemble my concealers throughout the years. It was the other day when I was hanging out with Michael Bastian for Very Good Light’s Groom Raider series that the designer joked with me about creating a purple whitening toothpaste. He had used purple shampoo to get any yellow out of his hair, so why wasn’t there a toothpaste that would counteract the yellow in your teeth? Genius! I replied. A totally amazing idea.

Little did we know that there actually was a purple toothpaste out in the wild. After publishing the article, said purple toothpaste company contacted me informing me that they already existed. It’s called PopWhite, a brand based in California. The brand said it was peroxide and sensitivity free. Instead of stripping your enamel by bleaching your teeth like other brands, this one is all about color correction. That is, using a purple formula to counteract the visibility of yellow stains.

If it works for your hair (purple shampoo, after all, is a god send to blondies!), could it work for your teeth?

Initially, I was skeptical. No peroxides? No bleaches? Vegan and vegetarian? It was even fluoride free? I mean, was this a dream product or a scam? Instead, it’s filled with Xylitol, a natural substance found in birch trees that naturally reduces plaque buildup. Instead of a minty taste, this one is a little sweet, though fresh. It’s because of its coconut oil. Apparently, coconut is not only for oil pulling but research shows that it also reduces tartar.

(Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light)

I started this product and immediately, everything in my sink and counter turned purple. If you’re a messy brusher, beware. I’d suggest going shirtless when brushing your teeth, or wearing an apron (lol). It also temporarily turns your tongue and lips purple, almost as if you were licking on a grape-flavored lollipop. Of course, the color goes away in a few minutes, of course.

(Purple sludge known as PopWhite).

What I realized after using Popwhite was how pleasant brushing your teeth can actually be. After years of being a masochist, using mouthwashes that burned my mouth until I spewed ugly tears like Lea Michele, I found that it simply didn’t have to be that way. Popwhite’s own mouthwash (its “toner and primer”) was super gentle, tasted like coconut candy and was effective. I had to retrain my brain that my mouth was cleansed and it didn’t need to taste minty for it to be so.

Best of all? THIS ACTUALLY WORKS! Ecstatic to report that after brushing my teeth twice a day and gurgling with the magical purple juice for a month, they are finally a lot whiter. It’s so much better than Crest White Strips and waaay more economical/less painful than going to get them professionally clean.

Both the toothpaste and the toner are $24 separately, or $36 in a bundle deal. It’s definitely not easy on your wallet and almost three times the cost of drugstore brands. But compared to professionally getting it whitened, it’s a steal. I find myself smiling more now, teeth and all. No more yellow, no more insecurities. I call my new shade “Sansa Stark,” pasty AF and totally beautiful. 🙂

To get PopWhite, Buy it here.

Run, don’t walk, to buy this cult Korean skincare brand



Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light

Do you believe in love at first try?

As a beauty editor, I am tasked with testing product after product. And like any first date, chemistry usually begins and ends within the first five seconds. You know you’ll like a product immediately or not on how it reacts to your skin. If it passes that test, perhaps you’ll go on week-long trial to see if you’re truly compatible. Sometimes, you realize said product leads only to stress, red bumps and a poor complexion. Then, there are times when a product truly does match your expectations and sweeps you off your feet.

Friends, readers and mom (hi!) Huxley is exactly that. It’s that one product line I feel I’ve been missing my entire life and I’m so enthused to write about it.

SEE ALSO: I used Sunday Riley’s U.F.O. to infiltrate my pores


If you don’t already know, Huxley is a cult Korean beauty product named after Brave New World‘s author, Aldous Huxley. It’s become an overnight sensation ever since the Kbeauty e-commerce brand, Glow Recipe, brought it stateside last year. So popular, in fact, that most of the Huxley products are consistently sold out on their site. I was one of the lucky few, able to nab a few products and my skin game has completely changed.



Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light

The entire brand is leading the trend of utilizing cactus oils for hydration, a practice that many women in the Sahara desert have been using for years. If it works for women who endure extreme desert climates, then absolutely, it should work on my dehydrated Brooklyn skin. While brands have introduced argan, jojoba and almond oils, this is one of the first brands that is touting cactus oil as an essential ingredient for supple skin.

Argan and jojoba oils? So last year.

Huxley’s comes in the form of high concentrations of prickly pear extract, which is tedious to use as a product. It takes about a million seeds to make just a small liter of product. So when the brand says every droplet counts, it really does.

The packaging is minimal and beautiful. It comes in glass bottles, in colors like yellow (the oil essence) and blue (the cleansing water), it’s hard not to feel like you’re using something special.

If the packaging is elegant, the products are dreamy. After testing these for an entire month, my skin is more supple, soft, and as Koreans say chok chok (that is, hydrated and bouncy like a baby’s booty). The products I tested were the brand’s oil essence, toner, cleansing water, Fresh and More Cream, anti-gravity cream and sleeping mask. Each was excellent on its own.



Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light

The toner ($35), is light, effective altogether lovely. Its fragrance is not unlike the smell of sweet grass after an afternoon rain shower. Unlike most toners, this one is free of alcohol, which dries out your skin. Instead, it has over 90% natural ingredients and is pH-balancing to improve the top layer of the skin, gently softening it so it allows for maximum moisturizer absorption. The cleansing water ($30) is equally as great and used for those times when you’re lazy in bed and want to wipe your face off with a cotton pad. Though I liked the product, I didn’t think it was necessary for your entire regimen. For a lot of guys who don’t wear makeup every day, this isn’t a make or break product for you. If you had to skip something, I’d say it’d be okay to pass on this one.



Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light

Next, I applied the brand’s oil essence ($40). In many ways, the oil essence is absolutely brilliant. It’s an essence infused with oil, a two in one product. A simple drop on the cheeks and forehead will do. It goes on light, hydrates your every pore and gives you an instant glow, almost as if you’ve gone to a facialist. It’s high in in antioxidants and vitamins like E, which is great for anti-aging.



Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light

The brand’s moisturizers are probably my favorite on the market. The Fresh and More cream ($48) is probably the best moisturizer I’ve tried in the past year alone. Yes, it’s that good. It feels like I’d imagine a cloud would, soaking each of my pores with dew drops. It’s light, completely hydrating and more so, soothing. I felt after using this night after night, my skin has definitely changed. It’s softer, brighter and completely hydrated. That’s saying a lot, since my cheeks get so paper-dry during the winter season.



Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light

Huxley’s anti-gravity cream ($48) is equally as great. Used as a night cream, it’s been so effective, I’m using it sparingly so that I make it last longer. The cream is like butter, melting into your pores, but doing so in a totally non-greasy or oily way, which is super annoying. It’s said to fend of stress, pollution or any other environmental harm. Here, we see that Huxley’s use of cacti simply works. It hydrates while firming your skin, much like, well, a real cactus. I’ve used so many high-end creams from La Mer (not for me) to Sisley. Those are expensive AF. I’m happy to know that this one is a lot more affordable not to mention works so much better for my skin type.



Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light

Finally, Huxley’s sleeping mask made my skin so soft, I felt it was like baby calf suede, the same you’d feel experiencing a Celine coat. After my above steps, I’d lock in all of the moisture with this sleeping mask, which would ensure nothing seeps out. Best of all: No more greasy pillowcases!


-Best new brand we’ve tested.

-Made from prickly pear cactus extract, it leaves the skin completely supple, hydrated and soft.

-Fresh fragrance, not overpowering and very pleasant.

-After a month, our skin became more plump and bright.

-If you’re one of the lucky few, head to Glow Recipe to find any of these products.


I made my own face moisturizer at home and this is what happened

The last time I attempted to make a DIY face mask, my entire kitchen turned into what could have been a meth lab straight out of Walter White’s trailer.

It wasn’t pretty, to say the least. And the outcome wasn’t as simple or cost efficient as a $.99 sheet mask from Koreatown, especially for someone who is exceptionally lazy like me. So when I came across Kitchn Apothecary (that’s not a spelling error) I was a taaaad skeptical. The entire brand is about creating the perfect moisturizer from the comforts of your own, well, kitchen. How would this go down for someone like me, a guy who prefers their products hand-delivered, packaged beautifully in a air-tight glass container and ready to go whenever I need? For the full review, keep scrolling!

The idea of the clever business came when the brand’s founder, Kevin Lesser, began getting a bit paranoid after his beloved dog licked his face. He didn’t know what ingredients were inside his moisturizer and was afraid that chemicals would get into his dog’s system.

After researching what went into his favorite products, he found that indeed, many of the ingredients were from plastics, chemicals and synthetics, obviously far from healthy for anyone. Many of his favorite products were also filled with fillers, bad oils, and preservatives that gave a longer shelf-life. Scary.

The idea of creating his own product, in turn, became Kevin’s passion. If it wasn’t good for his dog’s digestive tract, why the hell would it be good for his own pores? Years upon years of mixing and matching different products led him to his final product. It’s one that he says lasts a lot longer than any other moisturizer thanks to the more concentrated formula. The resulting product is a mix between sweet almond, apricot kernel, avocado, jojoba, rosehip, and carrot seed oil, beeswax, aloe and oatmeal.

After discovering the best ingredients, Kevin wanted to create the same process for others. If people liked to see what was in their foods from cooking at home, they’d surely want to do that for their skin care once a month, right?

We tried Kevin’s Kitchn Apothecary. The entire process took less than 15-minutes (I literally created the below while watching an episode of WeTV’s Mama June: From Hot to Not) and it was pretty easy. If I can do it, well, um, so can you. I think. Here are the steps.

1 Take out the ingredients from package. This includes beeswax, aloe, essential oils, oatmeal, a beaker, cute little mini whisk and a container for your finished product.

2 The first step is to take an alcohol wipe and clean your beaker out so that there’s absolutely no bacteria or nefarious substances inside.

3 You then heat an inch of water in a pot and place your beaker (filled with beeswax and the essential oils) inside. Wait for 1-3 minutes and watch the beeswax melt. Then you add Aloe (below).

4 After mixing the ingredients much like you’d beat some eggs, add some oatmeal. It’s supposed to soothe dry, itchy skin.

5 Whisk, whisk, whisk, until you find that you have a thick, congealed product.

6 Let it cool and then place in the container. Moisturize away!

Moisturizer review

After allowing the moisturizer to cool, the instructions said to whisk for another 10-seconds if you wanted that airy, light feel. I totally am a sucker for anything light, so definitely whisked away. The result was a moisturizer that smelled of strong lavender. I actually love the smell of lavender, but I did find that this one was a little, well, strong. While I was lathering this on my skin, my sister came by and winced.

“Who sprayed lavender all over the house?” she yelped.

“Mama June!” I replied.

Other than the strong smell, while testing the product out, I felt that maybe I had done something incorrectly. The end product wasn’t spreading smoothly as I expect my other moisturizers to. Instead, it lathered on with little chunks, almost as if baby food was poured onto my pores.

Kevin’s instructions say to use a pea-sized amount. I tried and it was indeed, super moisturizing. But perhaps, it was a little too moisturizing. Greasy, even. My sister and I both agreed that when applied, it felt sticky, almost as if you used soap on your hands instead of water. She immediately washed her hands of the product. I wanted to test more, so left it on.

I found that after applying it to my own skin, it was a little heavy and the more I tried to rub it in, the more the product started to slough away, like dirt being exfoliated from your sweaty hands. I will say that I do think that the product will last you longer, as a pea-sized amount truly does seem to go a long way.

Final verdict

An easy-peasy recipe that was enjoyable to make. But I’m not sure I’d want to do this monthly as I’m sure the fun factor will subside after the first batch. I can’t imagine that I’d want to do this after month six, for example, unless there was a new ingredient. Refinery29 cleverly described this product as being the “Blue Apron” of beauty. I couldn’t agree more. But the difference between Blue Apron and Kitchn Apothecary is that you get to experience brand new recipes and indulge right after. With Kitchn Apothecary, that’s not the case. For $45, it’s a good deal, but if you have oily skin, or don’t want to cook up your moisturizer, it’s definitely not for you.


-Fun to create, but probably only for the first time.

-A little too greasy, heavy and had us feeling that it had the consistency of soap.

-$45 for one-time purchase; $40, for a subscription.

-Strong lavender smell, smears on skin not smoothly, but with chunks.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Oscars look took all of eighteen minutes

(Photo by Getty Images)

Lin-Manuel Miranda had an historic night at this year’s Oscars.

Not only was he up for Best Original Song for Moana‘s How Far I’ll Go,” he was also going for an EGOT.

For those of you at home who are unaware of what an EGOT is, it’s an acronym for an individual who sweeps all of the prestigious awards in Hollywood: Emmys, Grammys, Oscars and Tonys. Lin-Manuel already won two Tonys for Hamilton and In the Heights, Emmy for composing the opening number of the 67th annual Tony Awards in 2013, and two Grammys for Best Musical Theater Album for his two musicals.

SEE ALSO: How to get Ryan Reynolds’ red carpet look 

More than anything else, Lin-Manuel made a statement in how he dressed and presented himself. It was his political statement with his blue ACLU ribbon that he sported to support the organization, one that’s fighting against anti-immigration sentiment. Of course, being dapper in a suit with a clean groomed look, didn’t hurt either.

To get the look, Very Good Light spoke to Hollywood groomer, Diana Schmidtke, who styled Lin-Manuel’s hair and grooming, along with other celebs like Viggo Mortensen. “The entire process was eighteen minutes,” she tells us. “It should be easy and shouldn’t be so high maintenance. It needs to always look natural, for guys.”

Lin-manuel Miranda

(Photo by Getty Images)

The face

The process, Diana says, was one that was more about skincare than anything else. “Skin care is so much more important any makeup,” she tells us. “In the even you have a blemish or a breakout, yes, we’ll cover it up, but it’s more about being natural. In Hollywood, it’s all about a guy looking like a guy.” That is, not caking so much on makeup or bronzer, as it detracts from the actor’s overall look.

With Lin-Manuel, Diana says she was super lucky. “He has natural beautiful skin, it’s so pretty,” she says. “We didn’t have to do much there.”

To get Lin-Manuel’s face super ready, Diana says she used La Mer’s skincare. This included eye cream, face cream and lip balm. “I’m really obsessed with La Mer’s lip balm, I have to admit,” she says. “It’s so good because it has a minty taste but works really well. It’s matte and it works really fast.” A big red carpet no-no, she says, is making any of her clients’ lips look too shiny. A good, less expensive alternative, she says, is Burt’s Bee’s.

Afterwards, she used a little bit of under eye concealer. “He has a little dark under his eyes but I’m not a huge fan of taking that way,” she tells us. Her favorites are Jouer concealer in number 4 or 3.5. The secret to applying under eye concealer is doing so very, very lightly. “You tap, tap, tap it in,” she says. “You don’t apply it on top of the skin you want it to go into the skin.” That same goes for any breakout or blemish, she says. To blend, you need to tap it in so it goes into the skin. For any darker shades, Diana says she loves Bobbi Brown. “They have great concealers and palettes and a range of skin tones.”

Finally, it was all about maintaining that anti-shine matte look all night. To achieve this on Lin-Manuel, Diana used Laura Mercier’s ‘Secret Finish’ mattifying gel. A good alternative is one from Peter Thomas Roth, she says. “I don’t love powder for guys, it’s just too much maintenance with brushes” she says. Instead, she uses the gel as a last step. She’ll place it on the T-zone with her clients that are super oily. “It works great on guys and looks great on-camera,” she says. “For women, it’s okay if they have shine or a ton of makeup on. If you see a guy with oily skin or tons of makeup, not so much.” Sometimes, Diana says, she’ll give out oil-blotting sheets for the entire night. It’s one that’s long, where celebs end up at the Vanity Fair party at 2 a.m. and the blotting sheets ensure you look fresh and matte all night long.


“Lin was well groomed tonight,” says Diana. “It was all about being compact and constructed.” It’s something she says was the opposite of Viggo’s deconstructed, more shaggy look. “For Lin-Manuel, we wanted to look more classic and clean.”

To get the look, she wet Lin-Manuel’s hair. After, she applied Paul Mitchell’s Hardwired. Putting it through his hair, she then used a blow dryer and using a medium-sized round brush, styled it up and off his face.

“He has super straight hair and this method gives him more movement,” she tells us. As for the product, it’s super strong and will get him through the entire night without having to be restyled. It also gives high shine. “The product comes out in a cream but you only have less than a minute to style it before it dries and gets hard,” she says. “You have to wet your hands and manipulate it until it holds and then gives a nice shine.”

Afterwards, Diana will use a hair spray to give it an extra hold. “It’s really important that we get the hair right and that it stays for the entire night. He was performing as well, then attending parties so didn’t have time to retouch. Doing all of these steps ensures he’ll be ready and looking great all night.”

As for any sort of facial hair? Lin-Manuel and Diana’s other clients opted out. She prefers the clean cut look. “Beards are out!” she says. “They weren’t seen on the runways of Milan, New York or Paris and they’re just like man buns. They’re going out of style.”

Man buns and beards being dead? We couldn’t agree any more.