It’s a bird, it’s a plane. No it’s… Supermud!

GlamGlow Supermud that is.  Today I decided to take out the sample of the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing mask for my face mask Friday.  I have worn a mask quite a lot this week and while that means that breakouts might be imminent, I didn’t think it was quite necessary to break out my Herbal Dynamics Beauty Chamomile and Cacao Clay Clearing mask.

Instead I decided on the sample of GlamGlow Supermud.  While the tube looks like it might have multiple applications in it, alas it does not.  I managed one full face of super mud before the tube was squeezed dry.  I used my Cosmedix silicone brush to apply it so that I didn’t waste any drop of product. 

I have an interesting history with GlamGlow.  Sometimes I really, really like their products and other times I feel they are overhyped and underperform.  However the ones I like, I really like.  The Bright Eyes eye cream I used and loved. When a sample came up on IPSY I snatched up a second sample just to have it on hand. 

Mask on

I’d like to say that as soon as I put this mask on I relaxed, but I didn’t.  I put the mask on and thought “Wow this smells like a combination of Licorice, peppermint and Eucalyptus.’  And then I reallzed it tingled a bit and felt a bit too energizing to lay down and relax while wearing, so I went to my desk. 

I didn’t stay there long though as my baby doll is working from home today.  After laughing at the surprise of walking around the corner to find me in the mask, he decided it smelled delicious.  He wanted to know what was in it and so I pulled up the site.  He felt vindicated when they said licorice root was in it as it is (against all odds) his favorite candy.

I don’t like it as candy, but I do like it in skin care. In fact my skin reacts really well to it in skin care.

After fifteen minutes

Full Ingredients: Water\aqua\eau, kaolin, magnesium aluminum silicate, mandelic acid, carbon, eucalyptus globulus leaf, tartaric acid, pyruvic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, eucalyptus globulus leaf powder, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, hedera helix (ivy) extract, symphytum officinale (comfrey) leaf extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) extract, peg-12 dimethicone, caprylyl glycol, sodium hydroxide, butylene glycol, mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, hectorite, hexylene glycol, glycerin, calendula officinalis extract, maltodextrin, ethylhexylglycerin, xanthan gum, fragrance (parfum), limonene, benzyl benzoate, linalool, phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, iron oxides (ci 77499).

Clean skin (I forgot the before picture today)

In fact this mask has several things my skin likes.  Kaolin clay is always a win with me as is much of the acid squad listed. Aloe and Eucalyptus I always like as well.  There is also the licorice root and the cucumber in there as well.

Over all it is not hard to see why I liked the feel of it on my skin or why my baby doll likes the smell of it.  In addition to liking licorice he adores the scent of eucalyptus.  It is his favorite bath salt. (not that he usually admits to having a favorite bath salt. At best he admits to using bath products he happened to find in the bathroom even if they are specifically ordered for him.).

Amused with the mask, and a story he wanted to tell, my baby doll stuck around until my alarm went off, even though I couldn’t chat as the clay tightened down on my skin.  After my fifteen minutes, he went back to work and I went to wash off my face. 

I wet the mask to loosen it and then washed it off.  It is clay so it did take a little bit of coaxing to rehydrate and rinse off.  Once off though, my skin felt really good.  While not always in love with the full slate of GlamGlow Products, I definitely think that the Supermud Clearing mask is going on my list of products to purchase from the brand. 

My skin feels nice and despite the lack of pulling my pores feel like they have just had the clearing of a peel off mask. It is a really nice and cleansing feeling. You know, without all of the horrid skin tugging drama of a peel off mask. This is definitely a product I will use again. Sadly though my sample sized tube is empty I am slowly working at clearing out my mask collection and only restocking the products I absolutely love. So it may be a while, but the GlamGlow Super mud mask will return.

For now, this little empty tube must become the first empty in the bin for April.  I have to say it looks kind of sad and lonely sitting in the bottom all alone. But at the moment, that can’t be helped.  Soon enough it will gain some friends.  For now, the mask stands alone.

No Fine Print Wine

Blanc Therapy for Face Mask Friday

Welcome once again to face mask friday and I can tell you, I am ready for a small break from my day. I spent so much of my week playing catch up and I’m fairly certain my e-mail took advantage of my inattention and began reproducing like bunnies. Maybe they just heard Easter was approaching, I don’t know but it was a lot of e-mails.

And so I very happily stepped away from my computer to take a break. Today I went with a sheet mask from the brand Blac Therapy. I used the Avocado one as it is nice and hydrating. Blanc Therapy is one of those brands that I was introduced to through my sheet mask subscription with Facetory. I honestly would never have found them on my own and now I keep reordering from the Facetory site. Their egg white mask is on my list of top masks and apparently I am not the only one who loves it as it sells out really quickly. Especially when they have $1 Masking mondays – which they have every week, because you know, there’s a Monday in every week.

Funny how that works.

They rotate what masks are in the weekly sale and I’ve learned through my subscription which ones I like. Before I got the subscription, I didn’t really think about sheet masks that much to be honest. And to be fair a lot of them are pretty indistinguishable from the others. It’s the stand outs I remember now. I get the Four-ever Fresh Subscription since Four sheet masks a month is plenty for me right now, but they do have the Seven Lux which unsurprisingly has seven and they also have a quarterly box that comes with skincare items that aren’t sheet masks. I haven’t tried it, but it is on my list of subscriptions to try. One thing I absolutely adore about the subscription (besides it’s low cost) is how easy it is to pause. If I get a bunch of sheet masks and feel overwhelmed I can skip a month (or several months) with a quick click of the button and then when I’ve worked through my masks I can start the subscription up again. It is also why I don’t always review the mask subscription on a regular basis.

Lately I’ve been working through my masks to get the number down, so I skipped a few months and am now ready to start the subscription back up again.

With the Blanc Therapy one of the things I really like about the mask is the material. I know that sounds strange but I was reminded about masking materials earlier this week. On monday I used an ONA gel mask and it kept peeling off my face, lifting up around the edges. It was a little annoying (although the serum was good).

This has that thin biocellulose kind of material that clings to the skin for the entire masking time. The mask is very saturated but not drippy, so if you want to use it at the desk you can. I started to go to the bedroom with it on and light the candles (still using the Poe Candle from Paddywax – although it is almost completely spent. I’m still trying to decide on spring scents for both my masking moments and for the house.) but the backlog from my e-mails kept calling so I ended up sitting at my desk with the mask on.

After fifteen minutes I took it of. Patted my skin down and let the remaining serum sink in. Now dry, my skin feels amazingly smooth and hydrated. I really like the Blanc Therapy masks and I’m really glad the Facetory subscription let me find them.

There is plenty of serum, but not too much, they never irritate my skin. the serum is hydrating and the mask stays perfectly in place once you apply it. Really, what more could you ask for from a sheet mask? Now, despite taking my masking break I am refreshed and ready to go on with the rest of my day. I hope the rest of your Friday goes well and I will see you back here later for the Happy Hour.

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Balance Me for Face Mask Friday

Balance Me AHA Glow Mask

Today my darlings we are going for another Balance Me Product for Face mask Friday.  This brand.  Oh this brand.  At this point I have tried a multitude of their products.  And here are the two basic truths. 

They work really well.

I can’t get past the scent.


I tried the Vitamin C serum.  It worked really well. The formula was excellent on the skin.

It also smelled exactly like Lemon Scented Pledge.

I tried their Bakuchiol Serum. (Bakuchiol is like retinol but doesn’t give you the same sensitivity to sunlight.) I loved the way it worked on my skin and even in a small sample tube I saw some decent results.

It smelled like high end floor cleaner. The floral kind.

For me this is the curse of Balance Me products.  My nose gets me every time. I was however excited to see this in one of my subscription boxes though, because it is a mask. And I know I love masks.  I love them in all shapes and sizes.  Even if there are some I won’t try more than once, I will try most of them at least once. 

Oh speaking of masks, Facetory is having a massive Spring Sale.  I’ll put the link below but if you are looking to stock up, now is the time to hit them up.  Fabulous products and while they are usually affordable anyway, the sale just makes them super fabulous. I highly recommend checking them out. I use the four-ever fresh mask subscription but they also sell individual skin care products (not just masks).

Four-ever Fresh Subscription!

But back to the AHA Glo Mask from Balance Me.  Why was I so excited to get a mask from them? Because masks aren’t worn every day. The thing with the other two products I mentioned is that they have to be used on a consistent daily basis to achieve results.  I knew that no matter how good they were the scent would still make using them a chore and I would seek out other products. At this point in my life I know this about myself.  I’ve tried to use good products whose scent I just don’t like and it just doesn’t work out, no matter how much I tell myself that this time will be different. There are just so many other products to choose from.

With a mask I am hoping that it works as well as all the other Balance me Products but that even if I am not as fond of the scent as I might be, it will be okay because it isn’t an everyday use product.

So are you ready?

Then it is masking time?! (and yes the theme song that I am now singing is oddly  enough based on the Adam West Era Batman song. Sing it with me…da na na na na na na na Mask Time!)

Okay now that we are all on the same page it is time to dispense the mask. It is white.  It is creamy and while it does have a citrusy scent that leans towards lemon and an underlying tone that makes me think floor cleaner, it is actually not bad.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not picking it up in a body butter scent, but it is a lot less strong than any of their other products have been. 

Oh my darlings, could this be the Balance Me product I enjoy?

Let’s apply and see.

I applied it to the face in a thin layer. The scent is a little stronger when applied but it still isn’t too bad.  The timer is set for fifteen minutes and While normally I lie down and relax, een if my thoughts aren’t as zen like as are usually encouraged, today I have several e-mail I need to type up so I will unfortunately be sitting at my desk.


But if you are missing your candles I suggest bouncing on over to Paddywax.  The last of their holiday scents (I adore the spicier candles and stock up on pre spring sales each year) are now all listed on their sale page AND they just released a line of incense called HAZE if that is more your thing than candles. I tend to lean more towards candles, but some of the incense scents are quite tempting.

Okay everyone back from the Paddywax site?  Excellent.  I finished my emails and the timer has dinged so off to the bathroom I go.

Much of the mask has absorbed which is usually a good sign.  According to the Balance me website …

After fifteen minutes

Restore radiance with our triple-action chemical exfoliation. Packed with a bio-active blend of fruit acids including glycolic, lactic and malic for maximum efficacy, our face mask will brighten, deeply purify, plump, and reveal a natural, more youthful, luminous glow in less than 15 minutes. To boost the formulation, we’ve blended with Kaolin Clay to draw out impurities and maintain the skin’s natural moisture barrier to lock in hydration and combat potential irritants.

RESULTS: Brightens, plumps and deeply purifies. Expect a natural, more youthful complexion.

Here are my before and afters.

makeup newly removed on the left, mask freshly taken off on the right (the red is partially because the water was really cold)

I have to say it was easy to wash off and quite enjoyable to wear.  I would say my skin looks a little brighter.  Most skin care requires repeated use for differences to be obvious.  While I don’t think my sample size will give me repeated use results, I do have enough in the tube for about two more applications.  I think what I may do is try this out on Monday and Wednesday for my masking and see if there is any greater difference.  I don’t think I’ll see major differences with such a short trial length, but there might be a few more details I can find out.  The detail I am most interested to see is if I am relieved that the tube is used up or wishing there was more in it.  Balance me is a relatively affordable brand.   A full sized 50 Ml tube is $29 (although it is only $21.95 on the Allbeauty site – I love their everyday discounts).

Which means that if the scent doesn’t get to me and I see some slight results, this may be the first Balance Me Sample I’ve tried that I am willing to put on my try in the full size list.  And honestly because I so liked the effects of the other products and couldn’t take the scent, I suspect that if the scent doesn’t make me want to avoid this by the end of the product then I may just give the full size a more complete try to make up for my noses rejection of the others. But that is something I’ll have to get back to you on.  For now, this AHA Glow Mask from Balance Me is a definite maybe.

Korres and the Friday Face mask

Have you ever tried a face mask and thought, that’s okay but nothing super fabulous, but then later you try it again and and are blown away by how fabulous it really is?

For me this is the Korres Hydra-Biome Probiotic SuperDose Face Mask.  I tried it and it was a good mask but not one I would reach for consistently.  Then I saw it and said to myself ‘Self, you really need to use that and not let it go to waste since it is open.’

Sometimes I yell at myself for things like that.  Especially with face masks.  I really love trying new face masks and so sometimes I have to reign myself in and use the ones that are already open before moving on. I have had some very stern talks with myself on the subject.

And when I tried the mask on, I found I loved it.

Now truthfully, the mask didn’t change.  A masking fairy didn’t fly into my skin care drawer wave a magic wand and poof suddenly it was an entirely different mask.

Although seriously how cool would it be to have a face mask fairy?

I bet she would smell of cucumbers and pomegranates.

But I digress.

The Hydra Biome mask.

the mask in the jar

The thing that changed, was the season.  When I first tried this mask, I tried it in the summer time.  I remember it being cooling and refreshing and good, but not something I wanted to reach for repeatedly. Then winter came.  The air dried out and so did my skin.  I stopped sweating outside and wasn’t nearly a oily as I am in summer months.  This is when I tried the mask again and oh my darlings did I love it. This is now one of my favorite winter pick me ups.  It is still cool and refreshing, but now my skin drinks in the moisture and my skin feels healthier because of it.  I know it probably did all of those wonderful things for my skin in the summer time, but I think then the product was too moisturizing for me to really appreciate it.  Now that my skin is craving extra moisture, this mask really shines.

I applied it today and really loved it.  Last week I used the quick and easy (and beloved by me) Milk Hydrating Clay mask and earlier in the week I used the herbal essences Herbal Dynamics Beauty Cacao and Chamomile clearing mask on my few problem areas so today I had no clogged pores to address.  I just needed moisture and soothing and that is exactly what this mask provided.

I popped it onto my face using my masking brush.  This is one of those masks where the silicone spatula brushes really shine regardless of which one you use.  It lets you neatly apply the product without dipping your fingers in the jar, but also lets you use less product.

The mask after fifteen minutes

Once applied I lay down and put on my music while it soaked into my skin.  I went with the Pogues  today as they suited my mood, and I thought of skin care fairies.I know, I wish I could claim deep thoughts, but my thoughts were kind of shallow.  I went with my Poe Candles from the Library collection from Paddywax as my accompaniment.  It is sweet and spicy with a hint of musk and quite frankly I really like it.  I picked up the small candles (the $12 ones) because I really like the little tin box, but quite frankly I really should have gone for the larger amber glass ones as I like them so much.  The tin I’ve got is almost empty.  There is just something so appealing about those little boxes though.

The candle worked well with the music.  The slight yogurt scent of the mask luckily faded into the background.  As much as I love the mask, I’m not a huge fan of the yogurt scent of it. It doesn’t bother me as much in the winter as it did in the summer though.  I think in the summer I kept thinking dairy in the heat and wasn’t happy with it.  In the winter there is no heat so the dairy scent doesn’t concern me.  I know that is very silly, but my sense of smell is always getting me into trouble.

At the end of the fifteen minutes I blew out the candles, turned off the music and dismissed thoughts of skin care fairies. Most of the mask sunk into my skin and the rest wiped off easily with a damp washcloth.  My skin now feels refreshed and clean as well as very moisturized without feeling greasy.  I may have been on the fence about the Korres Hydra Bioma Probiotic Face Mask in the summer, but in the winter, with my skin, this mask shines.

Greek Yoghurt Probiotic SuperDose Face Mask

A probiotic face mask with real Greek yoghurt that rehydrates, reduces redness, and reb… [More]

Price: $49.00

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Milking the Friday Face Mask

Today I decided to go for a no muss no fuss face mask with Milk Makeup’s Hydrating Stick Mask. Time is a little limited today as there is a long list of things I need to get done before I can call it a weekend. And so I turn to Milk Makeup and their face mask in a stick.  I have to say once I clear out a few of my open face masks I am going to be stocking up on these, in all different varieties. They are good masks and so convenient to have around.

Easy on

The mask I have is the hydrating version with cannabis sativa.  It is said to soothe and hydrate, which is exactly what it does.  My skin always feels so smooth and refreshed after I use it.  The trick to keeping these mask looking and working properly is in the little plastic cap that comes inside. 

It looks like something you should throw away when you open it, but don’t.  Keep the cap and when you are finished using it, roll the mask back down into the tube and put the cap back on.  It may not fit exactly as it did at first, but it will keep the product from drying out.  Once it dries out it cracks and becomes unusable.  So keep the cap. 

I’m ready for my Elphaba audition…now if only I could actually sing…

The reason I chose this mask today wasn’t because I felt like imitating Elphaba, but because it is just a jam-packed day and this is a quick, clean (and good) mask. You roll the stick mask over your face until your face is covered, let it sit for ten minutes and then take a damp wash cloth and wipe it off.  Seriously, easy on, easy off.

I’d like to say that in the ten minutes I wore the mask I relaxed with music and candles.  Sadly today I did not.  I wore the mask at my desk as I read through some notes I need to sort through for a complicated e-mail I need to write.  I managed to get a little bit of green mask on my reading glasses, but luckily they are super lightweight so it didn’t press too hard and of course the mask washed right off.

Today this Milk Makeup Mask was a great one to use.  It goes on with no mess, doesn’t drip or run or, as in the case of some sheet masks, slip and slide. I can wear it at my desk with absolutely no issues. I know that is a strange thing to say about a mask, but it actually comes in really handy when working from home. Just remember not to turn the video camera on for the ten minutes you are wearing it and you are golden. Then pop to the bathroom for a moment when your ten minutes are through.  It is a thin clay mask that comes off with a simple wet washcloth.  Easy peasy.  I definitely need to look at keeping more of these masks in my collection for future use. But now, skin feeling nourished, I need to take my notes and write up a proposal. (that’s what the notes were about).  Wish me luck!

Rehydrating with the Vichy Mineral Masque

Good afternoon my darlings and I hope your Friday is going fabulously. The word of the day is hydration. In fact it was really the word of the week.

As I had some break outs to clear away, I started using the Acne Control Cleanser from Murad. While it did a magnificent job clearing everything away, once the bulk of my blemishes were dried out and gone, I didn’t stop using it. I just reached for it automatically because it was on the edge of my sink.

I know, bad Mimsy.

As a result I ended up with some very dry patches which were exacerbated by the cold wind that seems to be lowling through my area. So this week became all about hydration. While I switched up a lot of my products this week, one of my best friends has been the Vichy Laboratories Masque Mineral.

20% off on orders $50+. Use Code: NEWYEAR21. Valid: 1/21-1/25.

I know this isn’t the first time I’ve talked about it and it won’t be the last. It is the mask I turn to when my skin just needs a really good hit of moisture. I use it in the summer when I’ve had too much sun, even though it is to moisturizing for everyday use then. The winter is it’s time to shine. Quite frankly I have lost track of how many jars of this I have gone through. It is the sort of mask you can put on and leave on overnight if you have to and I have been known to apply it to knees and elbows and let it sit until I shower it off. It is really good on dry skin and I have never had a problem with any sort of irritation from it.

It looks like blue tinted jelly and when you scoop it out of the jar it melts to liquid with the heat of your palm. It actually reminds me a lot of the Illamasqua primer I used this week. The scent of this mask is light and unsurprisingly slightly minerally. It actually reminds me of bottled mineral water. It is light and fresh as well as refreshing. While I have used it throughout the week, I will be using it again today for my Friday Face Mask.

I love the fact that it takes so little to cover the entire face. You can apply a thin coat and just let it absorb in and leave it for the afternoon or you can apply a thicker coat and just use it as a mask. Today i am going the mask route.

I applied it in the bathroom and set my timer for fifteen minutes before flopping out on the bed with my i-pod. Today, I went with a podcast. I’m going with Dressed: A History of Fashion by Cassidy Zachary and April Calahan. It is very entertaining and I am quite enjoying it. They are either starting their third year or they just finished their third year of podcasts. I only cam across them a few months ago so I am catching up. They have about two hundred podcasts in their library. Today I went back to the earliest ones and pulled up a podcast dealing with the House of Worth.

with the mask on, my face just looks wet It’s kind of a nice break from the pseudo bank robber look I usually get with masks.

It is however an hour long so I unfortunately only managed a short bit before I had to turn it off and go to wash my face. I’ll be finishing it up later. That is the one downfall. I tend to only listen to podcasts in short bursts so the longer ones I have to break up into segments.

But at least I can look forward to the rest.

When I went to wash my face it looked more or less like it did when I first applied the mask. Most of the mask soaked in but my skin still looked wet and felt slightly tacky to the touch. The remains of the mask washed off quickly with warm water and I patted my skin dry. After using this mask all week, my skin is now plumped and all of the dry spots are a distant memory.

The lesson remains though. Don’t over do it on the acne fighting cleanser. Sometimes less is more. At least with something that drying. I will say it took excellent care of my break outs though. And with the aide of Vichy Laboratories, no permanent harm was done. Once again my decision to always keep a jar of the Vichy Masque Mineral in my cabinet paid off. I love when that happens.

Vichy USA- ACD

Face Mask Friday: Herbal Dynamics Beauty, A week of masking

This week I have been using the Herbal Dynamics Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Clay Mask.  It was very kindly sent over by Herbal Dynamics Beauty for me to try out and review.  I very much appreciate it. 

the newly opened unused mask

It was also a very good time to try out this mask.

The holiday’s have been full of very rich food for me.  I honestly didn’t think it would be that bad as we weren’t traveling this year and pared things down.  I think the issue is that we have been eating rather healthy for a while now so the traditional favorites wanted at this time of year really threw my body for a loop.

We may have pared down at my house but the difference between the holidays and what we normally eat was very apparent.  And while it did send my weight up (temporarily) it also did a number of my skin.

Tis the season for clogged pores, my darlings. And I was blessed with a truckload.

So bring on the Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Clay mask.

First, let’s look at the specifics.

Brightens and evens skin tone.  Deeply detoxifies and cleanses with clays and blemish-fighting botanicals. Soothes inflammation and redness over time. Supports radiant, smooth complexion.

Indulge without the guilt with this delectable mud mask packed with antioxidants and skin-clearing botanicals. Cacao provides rich antioxidants that target signs of aging and inflammation while chamomile soothes. Gentle clays deep clean pores as botanical extracts and sulfur calm breakouts and blackheads.  Use twice weekly or as needed.

Ingredients: purified water, Bentonite, Montmorillonite, Watercress extract*, Lecithin, Salicylic acid, Kaolin, Sulfur, Extracts of Chamomile*, Lavender*, American ginseng*, Calendula and Honey suckle flower, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) powder*, Natural chocolate flavor*, Organic kelp powder, L- Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), Essential Oils of Kola nut and Coffee arabica, and Vitis vinifera (Grape) seed extract*.

*Organic/ All natural / paraben free. Not tested on animals. Made in the U.S.A. 

Herbal Dynamics Beauty

So let’s break down the ingredients list. 

Purified water is to be expected as you do need something to turn the clay from powder into a mask. Bentonie is a type of clay that has a fine, soft texture, Montmorillonite is likewise a clay (it is actually named after Montmirillon in France in case you were wondering).  Both clays are frequently used in clay mask.  As this is a clay mask I would expect to see clay in the mask.  I’m rather pleased to find it at the top. Kaolin a little further down is also a type of clay as well and again it is used in a lot of clay based masks.

Mask on

Watercress extract is something I find amusing as I ate a lot of it growing up.  I am somewhat anemic and my family tried to balance as much of my iron level with food as possible. Watercress is high in iron as well as calcium actually and we used to have it in salads and as a water cress soup when I was growing up.  It was very much a part of my childhood.  In skin care it is supposed to boost collagen production which I didn’t know until I looked it up.  I love that something that always helped my insides is also good for the outsides.

Lecithin is an emollient used to soothe the skin and I’m guessing it works well with the extracts of Chamomile which also sooths the skin and calms irritation. Salicylic Acid targets acne-causing bacteria via exfoliation and helps keep pores clean and reduce risk of future breakouts.  In most acne reduction formulas you will find some level of salicylic acid.  One of my favorite blemish fighting cleansers is from Peter Thomas Roth and features a pretty high concentration of it.  I was surprised to find that in this mask the salicylic acid is derived from willow bark.  I find that pretty cool actually. Sulfur is also often used in treating acne and blemishes so I wasn’t terribly surprised to see it on the list of ingredients.

Mask dried down

In skincare Ginseng works as an anti-inflammatory while Lavender not only fights acne but it has been used in the treatment of dry skin and eczema.  Calendula and Honey suckle flower are likewise also used to help treat dry skin and Cacao powder is a powerful anti-oxidant.

I have to say when I opened the container it was the cacao that felt like the dominant ingredient.  As you can see from the picture of the mask it looks like thick chocolate.  You want to know something?  It smells like chocolate too.

It doesn’t taste like chocolate though.  In case you were wondering.  It tastes like clay. Not that I recommend tasting it, I just couldn’t resist.

Given the ingredients I would expect a powerful detox to my skin when I apply it and I was not disappointed.  As I said, I used this mask this week as well as today.  I applied it as a full mask on Monday and Wednesday but did something different today.  I’ll get into that in a moment, first I want to talk about the full masking.

Mask off

I applied the mask in a thin layer over clean dry skin and let sit as directed for fifteen minutes.  I actually used my Cosmedix Masking brush to apply it.  The smooth side not the textured one.  I was actually impressed by how little I actually needed to use to cover my entire face.  While the top photo showing the product in the jar shows it untouched, the photo with the masking brush shows the mask after a week of use. I think that if I were to use this mask every week three times a week it would last at least two months.  It is a lot of product in the jar and not a lot is needed on the face.

Once applied,  I could feel the clay start to dry and tighten.  It felt cool on my skin but not tingly and the longer I used it the cooler my face seemed to feel for some reason.  I can see that eing a big advantage in the summer time.  As with most clay masks once it started drying changes in facial expressions were difficult, hence the stuck in place face I am making in the photos. 

The surfacing of the clogged pores. It may not look the prettiest but it is exactly what needs to happen to get them cleared away.

In fifteen minutes all but the oiliest parts of my face tried down.  If you ever want to find out where the oily parts of your face are, this and most, clay masks will help you out. 

After fifteen minutes I used a soft bristled brush to wet down the mask so it could be rinsed off.  It is a clay mask so it didn’t magically slide off the skin but it wasn’t difficult to remove. I’ve had clay masks that were much more difficult. This was relatively easy.

After my initial use I patted my face dry with a towel.  My skin felt soft, but I’ll admit I didn’t see much difference.  Then about ten minutes after I rinsed the mask off I went back into the bathroom and looked at the sink.  I was amazed by how many of my deeply buried clogged pores were brought to the surface.  It wasn’t a very pretty sight, but it is an effective mask. 

Luckily I didn’t have anywhere I really needed to go, so pulling all of those clogged pores to the surface so they could be cleared away was fine.  It was also the reason I didn’t test the mask when I had a bunch of video calls. 

I was very impressed with the way it worked with my skin.  The second time I used the mask didn’t look much different, but the blemishes that surface dried out faster and the second round brought more of the buried clog pores to the surface. Today I am doing something a little bit different.

Spot treatment

As I put the mask on and get ready for my fifteen minutes of calm, I am spot masking.  Instead of using the mask all over my face – because not all of my face needs a good clear out – I am putting the mask in the areas that need the most help.  For me that is along the lower orbital bone and on my chin.  I have always had issues with the area along my lower orbital bone breaking out.  The chin hadn’t really given me trouble since highschool, however with Face Masks in use when I leave the house, this has become one of my problem areas for clogged pores. 

Sure it looks a little strange to just mask in those places, but for me that is the best benefit. On the parts of my skin that don’t tend to get clogged pores, the second application of the mask was a little drying.   I can see myself using this as a full face mask once a month (or after a series of rich and heavy meals) to give my skin a full deep down cleanse.  I could see myself using this more as a spot treatment about once a week, especially with face masks being part of my daily use for a while.  It is excellent for that sort of use.

I think that while I may use more moisturizing masks to cover my whole face, this will be a once a week spot treatment for those congested areas.  Not only will it keep the non-congested areas of my skin from drying out unnecessarily, it will really help with my areas of clogged pores and it will last a really long time with the once a month full treatment and the once a week spot treatment. It will greatly extend the length of time I can use the Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Clay Mask as well as use it to its best advantage on my skin. Oh and did I tell you one of the best parts?  This large jar of chocolate scented masking is only $24. How cool is that?

So the question as always is would I pick up this mask again? The answer is yes. It is a lot of product for a reasonable price and it does exactly what it says it is going to do in the description. It brought my clogged pores to the surface and helped to treat my blemishes. The Cacao and Chamomile Cleansing Clay mask is definitely a keeper.

I want to send a big thank you to Herbal Dynamics Beauty for sending the mask to me to try out. I really appreciate it, and this will be far from the last time you hear about this mask my darlings.  Me and my boatload of clogged pores agree on that.  Admittedly there are a lot fewer of them than there were at the beginning of the week.  Who knows, I might soon gain the upper hand.

And now me and my clay goatee and under eye patches are going to light some candles, play some tunes and lie back and relax for the next fifteen minutes. I’m thinking today might be another history podcast. It’s been a while since I have checked in on the Soap Opera that is the early Roman Empire.  That sounds like a fun way to relax. If I’m not mistaken I believe I’ve reached the age of Caligula.  Not exactly Zen but it is interesting. And since today’s candle is from the Paddywax Library collection and named after Edgar Allen Poe, perhaps zen isn’t the theme of the masking.  Besides with the under eye and chin masks on I am strangely reminded of Cardinal Richelieu. And that certainly isn’t zen.

But it is kind of fun.

Herbal Dynamics Beauty

Fill in the Blanc (Therapy) with the Friday Face mask

Ah the Friday face mask.  Fifteen minutes of calm, quiet reflection at the end of the work week.  And boy did this week keep me hopping.  I think everyone who has been putting things off realized that now is the time to strike. 

Admittedly, I think they started last week and just continues this week. Unlike last week, I actually have the time for my Friday face mask and so I am saving my remaining portions of the three minute flash mask from Ursa Major for another time.

Todays mask is a sheet mask that came to me from my Face tory subscription.  I do the four pack of face masks (although ever couple of months they send an extra fifth mask as a bonus) called the Four-ever fresh subscription.  They have other subscriptions with more products, some regular skin care rather than sheet masks.  While I want to try out other products from them right now the Four-ever tier really suits me well.  It is $8.90 each month and it is super easy to skip a month if you are awash with sheet masks.  With a click of a button you can turn the monthly subscription into an every other month or even a once every six months if you want. I love it’s flexibility, as well as the fact that I get to try all sorts of different sheet masks.

Four-ever Fresh Subscription!

Today they have a great deal going on their masks actually 40% off their large sets of sheet masks (the 19, 20, and 21 mask sets). Its an excellent deal for anyone you know with a masking habit, or who just wants to try out some new sheet masks. Or you can split them out and use them as stocking stuffers. This year i think everyone on my list got a couple of sheet masks.

Today’s is from Blanc Therapy.  I’ve tried several of their masks before (Facetory has a bunch of them suiting several skin needs).  It is actually one of the better sheet mask companies and I really enjoy the texture of the masks as well as the serums.  Today’s is Vitamin C infused as you could probably tell from the citrus image on the front.  I’m not entirely certain if it is a lemon or an orange.  As the mask smells very lemony, I think I’ll go with lemon.

I really like the texture of this mask.  It isn’t as bio cellulose as the actual bio cellulose masks, but it has a texture that leans in that direction. It is more pliable than many other masks and really adheres to the skin well for the masking session. It is very juicy when you put it on so you will have to wipe off your hands, but as juicy as it is, as all the masks from this company are really, I haven’t had any problems with dripping once it is on the face.

And for once I don’t look like a strange sort of masked bank robber in the proto. I do sort of look like I had a strange skin experiment go awry though. And I took the photo before I adjusted the mask so it wasn’t covering my lip. in case you are wondering about the facial expression. While I like the serum it is for outside use only and I didn’t want to have it drip inside.

lots of post mask serum

As usual when applying it I begin to wonder if my face is smaller than everyone else’s, but there isn’t too much extra material. and the excess is only an issue around the mouth.

So after applying my very lemony scented mask, I lay down with my ear buds and turned on my i-pod. Today’s afternoon of zen was brought to me by The Offspring. I have an eternal fondness for the song Beheaded.

So I zoned out to music for fifteen minutes and returned to the bathroom to remove the mask. There was no drying down for this mask after fifteen minutes.  As you can tell from the photo, there was a lot of serum left on my skin.  I rubbed what I could in, but my skin drank in as much as it could and I wiped off the excess. 

Over all this is kind of what happens with the Blanc Therapy masks.  Nothing drips but oh my darlings are they juicy.  I don’t mind that.  I feel like the mask is holding all of the serum against my skin in an effort to let me absorb as mucyh as is possible.  I would rather than then have the serum run out.  As long as it doesn’t drip.  I hate having to wipe drips off my neck while trying to zone out during my mask. It’s kind of a pet peeve.

before on the left and after on the right, not much difference in a one use mask, but mys skin felt great

Once the exess serum was taken away and my skin left to try for a moment, I think that my skin looked brighter than before the mask (although not by a lot, it was a one time mask not a series of them).  I think if I were to follow up regularly with this mask I would see some definite brightening of the skin.  My skin also felt soft and hydrated, both of which are very good things.

Over all, I was very pleased with this mask.  I believe this is the third Blanc Therapy mask I’ve tried and I liked the other two just as much a this one.  It is definitely a sheet mask company that I am putting on my reorder list.  As Facetory also sells the masks it is super easy to order the ones I like.  Plus they have one dollar deals each Monday and the masks I like routinely go on sale then.  It’s one of the reasons I keep a list of my favorites.  Some months I’ll add one or two masks to the list, others I won’t add any.  But it is fun to try them and it is a great way to try a lot of different brands so I can figure out which ones I really like. To be honest I have been very surprised by some of the ones I really did like.

But now my moment of masking is over.  I have a new name for the reorder list and several calls to make before I can call an end to my work day.  I hope you have a great rest of the Friday and an excellent weekend.

Go ahead punk, Cake my Day (Facemask).

That’s right my darlings it is masking time! And although this is the friday face mask, I did something a little different today. I applied the mask as usual but this mask I also applied Monday and Wednesday. As it is recommended to use the mask two to three times a week for best results that it what I did. As we all know in skin care, consistency counts.

This I Dew Care Cake My Day mask is part of a trio f travel sized masks that I received from IPSY this month. And there was just enough product in this first jar to try it three times. This little jar is now, sadly empty. It gave it’s all for my facial hydration.

So let’s talk about it.

According to the product description for this specific mask…

Did someone say sprinkles? Scoop up I Dew Care Cake My Day Hydrating Sprinkle Wash Off Mask packed with moisturizing rainbow sprinkles that give skin an instant burst of hydration. This soft-serve inspired face mask is infused with hyaluronic acid to nourish and plump the skin, while squalane is known to provide deep hydration and improve moisture retention. Cake your day two to three times a week!

I went with three times, today’s face mask being the third. While even three times doesn’t show visible results I was able to get a better feel for it than a one time use.

First off when opening the jar it smells like vanilla cake batter. A part of me wanted to taste it, but I resisted. There is no eating of the face masks.

The mask is white with colored ‘sprinkles’ in it. when smoothed over the face, you can momentarily feel the sprinkles. It isn’t an exfoliate though as the sprinkled melt into the mask as you massage it on. It was just a little bit of a strange feeling when first applied.

Today I applied the mask, set my timer and lay back contemplating murder. Or at least alabis.

first applied

No I am not going on a rampage. I came up with an idea for a murder mystery I just need to figure out what my murderer uses for an alibi. I need it to be good enough to withstand the initial inspection but to have one slightly off detail that the intrepid detective can catch and use to prove she did it. I spent fifteen minutes thinking about it and I think I came up with a good one. Fingers crossed it works.

But then I set murder aside and went to wash off the mask. As you can see from the photo much of the mask sunk into my skin and my skin was very happy to have the moisture. I’m a big fan of squalane and hyaluronic acid so this was kind of a win for me.

15 minutes later

The mask washed off easily with no scrubbing. As it is a moisturizing mask there was no drying and tightening as there is with clay masks. A few splashes of water and a wipe with a washcloth and the remains of the mask were gone.

Using it three times I can definitely say that my skin felt nourished and hydrated each time. After only a week I can’t say that I actually say any real visible improvement, but moisture is always appreciated and there were no clogged pores in my problem areas. So good moisture and no damage. I did have a craving for cupcakes though. which is rare for me because I am not really a cupcake sort of person.

clean skin

Despite the odd cupcake craving, I think that I would definitely give the full sized jar of this mask a try. The full size is 100 g and costs $25 at Ulta. This travel size had 10 g of product in it and gave me a full week’s worth of masking.

Which means the larger one would last a while. Approximately ten weeks if my math is correct. that’s not a bad turn around for a $25 product.

(Incidentally Ulta also has the trio of travel sizes for $20. This is the first of the trio I’ve tried so I can’t speak to my feelings on the other two yet.) And as long as it doesn’t cause me to raid little kids birthday parties in a quest for a cupcake fix all will be well. Thumbs up for the Cake My Day.

Kerastase is having a sale and you know I have a weakness for some of their hair care products so I figured I would share this with you in case you too were looking at picking up some of their products.Because I like you and want you to have fabulous hair. From now until November 27th they have the Thanksgiving sale with 20% off. Use the code THXFF20. You also get free shipping with that as well. I am a huge fan of their Sérum Fortifiant Hair Serum. You only need a little and it lasts for a long time.Sérum Fortifiant Hair Serum

Training to be a mime or just face mask Friday? You decide.

Welcome my darlings once again to Face Mask Friday. Today’s face mask was a deluxe sample that came in an IPSY a while back. I thought it looked sleek and spa like when it arrived but somehow it got put with the moisturizers so I forgot I had it.  Today I dug it out.

It is the Georgette Klinger Collagen and Elastin Mask.  A quick look at the site reveals the details…

Renew and replenish a dull complexion with this transformative mask. Featuring Olive and Lavender Oil, our Collagen and Elastin clay based mask is rich in essential fatty acids to soften, calm, and soothe skin, while drawing out dirt and toxins without stripping your surface. Collagen hydrates and promotes healing as Elastin increases elasticity to lift and firm skin. Natural Avocado Oil replenishes and revitalizes your skin’s natural glow and Betaglucan prevents damage and provides an immunity boost, for skin that is smooth, supple and younger looking.

I am all for softening and soothing while not stripping the surface.  So on with the mask.  And in case you were wondering I did look up Betaglucan. It is not someone who loves the movie Beetlejuice and dresses and or recreates scenes from the movie in their home as one might expect. It is an antioxidant that helps with redness in sensitive skin.

Not as much fun as a die hard movie fan, but probably better for your skin.

The scent of the mask leans more towards lavender than anything else.  It is saved from being too floral by the olive which gives it a tempering earth/fruity note. As I find that lavender can be a bit cloying I really enjoyed it.  The scent is very light though and not terribly intrusive.

mask freshly on, smiling still possible

Now even though my   tube was previously unopened, it wasn’t full.  I had only enough product for one application.  I had hoped that I could maybe scrape by with a few, but when I held it up to the light it was clear, there would be no three day test for this tube. So a one shot deal it is.

Slathering it on my face made me feel like I was auditioning to be a mime.  It is white.  Unrelenting white.  No speckles of anything.  When first applied, it is movable, hence the reason I am smiling in the first applied photo.  As it dries it tightens and hardens, hence the reason I am not smiling in the second photo. I couldn’t.  But in between those two pictures I had fifteen minutes of quiet.  It was nice.

I will admit, I thought about Ipsy while I was masking today. I’m sure if you pay attention to subscription boxes then you have probably already heard the news that IPSY bought BoxyCharm.  Everyone is speculation about the upcoming changes.  Well there was one change that appeared in my inbox on Wednesday.

no smiling after fifteen minutes of drying.

Apparently Ipsy is discontinuing the IPSY Glam Bag Ultimate. They are replacing it with the Ipsy Glam X.  What this means is that you can switch your subscription to Glam bag plus and then four times a year pay more for a total of $55 and get a an upgraded month. Which sounds an awful lot like the Boxy Luxe Category. I went and switched to that so starting in January I will be on the Glam X plan instead of the Ultimate. What I find amusing is that they staggered the quarters so that the up-charged month for IPSY is not the same month as the Up-charged month for Boxy Luxe.  Boxy Luxe is for March, June, September and December.  Glam X will be for February, May, August, and November. I suppose now that Ipsy and Boxy aren’t rivals they can coordinate. 

It’s like a victory for conglomerates everywhere.

It also means that I will be getting fewer sample sized products each month from IPSY.  With the Ultimate there are four samples in the bag each month.  The Glam bag has no samples and the Glam X will have no samples.  It is seven – eight full sized products.  I’m guessing that I will still end up with samples from add ons but it means fewer ones automatically ending up in my dressing table and skin care selections.

Which I’m fine with.  As I have spent the last few months whittling down my samples collection I realized how quickly those samples can build up.  They clear out fast when you concentrate on using them, but my skin is craving the stability of more longer use products. Plus, I used so many skin care samples that my reviews of hair, bath and nail products had to take a back seat. And I have SOOOOOO many hair products I really want to sit down and talk to you about. Lock down was the hair care repair extravaganza at my house this summer.

clean, fabulous and able to create facial expressions again

To be honest I was actually thinking about paring my IPSY back to the Glam Bag level in January anyway due to the samples.  Now I will just try out the Glam X tier as they get that going and see how it looks.  So that will be something fun to report on in the new year.  I’m also planning more ingredient break down posts in the new year as well as a few other surprises I can’t wait to share with you.

But after fifteen minutes of plotting out my plans for 2021 and wondering what other new changes IPSY and Boxy would have before things settle back down, I needed to remove my mask.  As you can see in the photo, the mask dried and tightened. No more smiling for the camera. However it washed off really easily.  I did not need to use a brush to loosen it as I do with some of the clay masks I love so much.  It was very easy to rinse and I happily let my potential future as a mime go down the drain.

I was a little worried that the mask would be too much moisture for my skin as it is designed more for dry skin, but it wasn’t.  My face felt wonderfully soft and refreshed after using this.  I was actually quite pleased with the mask.  I am also quite sad there was only one use in the tube, but I think this is definitely a mask I will look at picking up for a full product test.  I really enjoyed using it.  It was a lovely end to a slightly off balance week.  And even though my thoughts drifted more into speculation and planning than a zen nothingness, it was still relaxing.  Although really, it is rare that I go into the zen nothingness anyway.  I tried last week and end up turning Roman history into a reality show/soap opera.  Well, more an updated version of the soap opera that it was naturally.  I still think Tiberius would have made a great Biff.

Yeah, zen nothingness might not be my strong suit.

But I did enjoy the break. And now it is back to work.  Have a great rest of your Friday and a fantastic weekend.

For those looking to splurge currently, there’s a promo for the month of November for Chantecaille. It is one of those pricey but worth the price brands that feels so luxe. They also donate to some fantastic causes like working to end childhood hunger and to preserve various habitats from ocean to jungle. So it’s one of those spluges you can feel really good about, whether it is for yourself or someone else.

Orders over $325 will receive a chic pouch filled with luxe Gold Collection minis. Gift includes Nano Gold Firming Treatment 8ml, Gold Recovery Mask 5ml, Nano Gold Energizing Eye Serum 3ml.