Is it a no-cal Afternoon treat? No it’s the Friday Face MAsk

I am used to seeing masks advertised as moisturizing or hydrating, pore cleansing or brightening.  This says none of that.  Or if it does it’s in Korean. The Mellow Cotton Candy Mask does have the word protection written on the front so I suppose that is something.  Admittedly I have no idea what it is supposed to be defending me from. 

I hope it’s Kale.

I don’t like kale.  Surprising when I think about it, as I like most vegetables.  I think it is a texture issue.  It feels like something you should know not to eat when it hits your tongue.  And yes I know it can be blended in a smoothie and consumed that way, but as the benefit of eating kale seems to be mostly dietary fiber based and the blender pretty much nixes the fiber, I don’t really see that as much of an improvement.

My favorite Kale remains the Sweet Chef Kale Serum.  That Kale I love.

So I kind of like the thought of cotton candy protecting me from kale. Actually, I find it somewhat amusing to think of cotton candy as any sort of front line defense.  Let’s face it, if Cotton Candy takes the front lines, the battle lines will be interesting.

And the cotton candy ranks storm kale's front lines, while the Brussels sprouts get bogged down in the taffy trenches. No help coming for the Kale from that quarter.

Poor Brussels sprouts. I actually really like them Sliced and roasted with a drizzle of balsamic and a dusting of parm. Yummy.

I’m sorry they had to go out that way.

I am in a bit of a silly mood today. My plan this morning was simple.  I needed to get my main character from point a to point b. As I was writing the somewhat straightforward scene she decided to take up with a magic mirror with a political agenda. It’s sort of bent everything around in my plot.

It’s a twisted fairy tale story, but I hadn’t planned on a magic mirror.  At least I got to use the name Balthazar. I’ve always wanted to use the name somewhere but no place ever seemed like the right story.  This did.  So now I have Balthazar trapped in the magic mirror and possibly using sleeping beauty (who has found a way out of her sleeping curse) to stage a coup.

It seemed like the perfect time for a Cotton Candy Mask. The more practical looking masks just seemed absurd.

This one was part of June’s Facetory subscription.  I am subscribed to their four pack level of subscriptions.  They also have larger subscription tiers that offer more than just sheet masks.  The larger quarterly one has all sorts of Korean skin care related items. Personally, I am happy with my four pack.  It gives me a good variety while I still work through my regular jarred masks.

Four-ever Fresh Subscription!

Due to my love of masks, I have a collection of partially used jars and tubes I am trying to whittle down.  I promised myself once they get to a more acceptable level I can order a jar of my favorite Annmarie Skincare Mud mask, but I have several jars left to go before I feel comfortable ordering it.

(Incidentally if you haven’t tried it and are on the fence, you can order a sample size of it to test out. I highly recommend it in whatever size you try.)

The cotton candy mask is really juicy when pulled from the foil packet.  You are not shorted on serum with this one.  Given the name (and candy pictured on the front of the mask) I expected the mask to smell very sweet.  I was afraid of the cloying factor.  There is none.  This mask just smells fresh and clean.  (Basically it smells more like skin care than candy). The mask itself is on the thinner side, but it adheres well to the skin.  I did have to blot the portion of mask over my eyes because it was a little drippy, but one pat was all it took. I apologize for the somewhat angry look on my face but I hadn’t blotted when i took the pic and realized i could see a drip so I forgot to smile in my haste.

So I applied the mask, lay down, closed my eyes and tried to figure out how Sleeping Beauty works as the leader of a rebellion.

When fifteen minutes passed, I got up to see what happened while I plotted.

The mask was less drippy but not quite dry.  It was far too saturated to be dry, but I was surprised by how much serum was gone.  I’m sure some evaporated, but when I took it off my face and patted the remaining serum in, I had to admit, my skin felt hydrated and nourished. 

And yes a small part of me expected my skin to be a little sticky. 

It wasn’t.  It was simply a decent hydrating mask.  Was it earth shattering? No.  It is not something that I feel I must have on hand at all times.  While it isn’t a mask I will rush out and buy, it is one I wouldn’t mind having on hand for a day when I’ve spent too much time in the sun.  I think it’s one of those I’ll put on the list and next time I order from the facetory site, I might have a couple chucked into the order.  Sort of a while I’m here add on, but not something I’d be there specifically to buy.

I know that sounds like a bit of a mediocre review, and perhaps it is, but the more sheet masks I try out the more I’m finding that they fall into four categories. 

Category 1: I really hate this and/or it made me break out/have an allergic reaction.

Category 2: I’ll use it if it’s here, but I don’t see the point in actually buying it.

Category 3: I like it enough to add it to an order I’m already placing for something else, but not to seek it out.

Category 4: I like it enough that I will repurchase it to keep around and possibly get notifications for when it goes on sale so I can stock up and never run out.

I know, my categories are a bit wordy, but that really is how I tend to mentally categorize sheet masks. I tend to use that system for a lot of beauty items actually now that I think of it. This mask was firmly in Category three. Which is far higher than I expected a mask called Mellow Cotton Candy to reach.

I suppose I’ll have to adjust my expectations.

So now that I have refreshed myself, and bought myself fifteen minutes of thinking time, it is back to work. I don’t think Sleeping Beauty is going to lead a full scale revolution, at least not in this book.  Maybe in the sequel…

Either way, I’m up for finishing the chapter before I call it quits for the day. I hope everyone else’s day is going well and that you are eagerly anticipating a fun filled weekend, or at least a well-deserved break from the work week.

Beautytap, your destination for all things K-beauty

The Pore Green Tea Mud Sheet mask for Face Mask Friday

What a name huh?

I’ll admit I chose the Pore Green Tea Mud Sheet mask that I received from my April Glossy Box because I was curious.  On the front it is listed as a 3D mask sheet and it is much thicker than your usual sheet mask packet.  So instead of thinking, oh what would my skin like today, I decided to indulge my curiosity. 

Bring on the Pore Green Tea Mud Sheet Mask!

Since there was nothing on the enclosed pamphlet about this mask (and most of the info on the packet is in Korean) I went poking around on-line before applying it to my face.  You know, safety first.  According to Amazon:

JJ YOUNG Pore Green Tea Mud Sheet Mask – Moisturizes and Calms The Skin with Green Tea Leaf Extract, Control Sebum and Cleans Pores with Kaolin – 0.85 oz. It Attaches Tightly to Face Through The Benefits of Mud. Kaolin Controls Sebum and Reinforces Firmness. Hydration and Skin Lifting, Leaving the Skin Calm and Moisturized with Green Tea Extract Controls Sebum and Eliminates Impurities within Pores with Sea Salt and Prevents The Loss of Skin Hydration and Leaves Skin Moisturized. Lifts Sagging Skin and Face.

For some reason the description really liked the capital letters. I left them because they looked fun. I have to say my favorite line is ‘Attaches tightly to face through the benefits of mud.’ The price I found on line was generally around $19.99 for a five pack if you are interested in attaching this to your face through the benefits of mud.

Okay so knowing that it is essentially a clay mask in sheet form, I went and opened it.  Once opened, it had a pungent scent of clay and green tea leaves.  It smells exactly like what it is.  There is no mucking about with other fragrances.

JJ Young apparently has no time for that.

the pieces

The mask slid out of the packet in a triangle shape.  There were many layers of plastic folded between the layers.  It turns out the mask is in two parts, each sandwiched between two plastic layers, one clear, one not. I peeled them from the plastic and placed the muddiest side against my skin.  I put on the lower part first, then the upper. There is some overlap.  I will say they stick better to the face than many other face masks I have tried.  Once in place, it wasn’t going anywhere.

Apparently it attaches well through the benefits of mud.

On the skin, it feels exactly like a mud mask and not really like a sheet mask at all.  It is alomost like they took a mud mask and spread it out on a mold and did something to it (possibly involving a magic wand) and it temporarily became a sheet mask.

But I feel deep down, it still yearns to be a regular mud mask.

Still after applying it, I light my candle. Actually I had to light two.  My Fern and Tobacco candle from April’s Vella box is now about spent and so I called in an older champagne scented one for back up.  They blended nicely. Incidentally, it turns out that the small candle from the smallest Vella Box subscription box will last for almost exactly a month’s worth of uses.  At least for me.  It’s the first today and I think my next candle is expected between the 5th and 7th . Which means I might actually have it for next Friday. And yes I do use the candle for more than just my Friday face masks.

the residue

So the mask is applied, and now we wait.

Well I waited, you don’t really have to since I write my mask experience up after I complete it.

So twenty minutes passed.

Pleasant thoughts filled my mind as I went to my happy place.  Oddly enough in my happy place dragons blasted tumble weeds that looked suspiciously like enlarged images of the virus causing so much trouble at the moment, but still it was a happy place. Because they were good dragons. Not the princess snatching kind.

But alas all good things must come to an end. Eyes were opened, candles were snuffed and I returned to the bathroom to see what the mask did while I lost myself to daydreams for a few moments. In the bathroom I expected to see the same sort of drying that I normally see with mud masks, you know, the mask changing color.  There might have been a little, but it wasn’t that noticeable.  The mask did dry a bit, even if it didn’t change color, and it felt tighter on the skin.  There was no possibility of smiling. So, yeah another serial killer looking photo for me.

close up of mask post use

The mask peeled off easily and even though it left a little residue it was easily wiped off.  I took a good look at the mask after removing it and it looked less like a sheet made of mud and more like a loosely woven sheet (almost like cheesecloth) that had mud pressed into it from both sides, like the cloth was the bizarre filling in a mud based oreo. (Which actually sounds disgusting now that I’ve written it out, but I will leave it because I can’t be the only one with that image in my mind. Plus I can’t think of a better description.)

 I will say my pores looked smaller, a little bit of redness I had from the sun has gone and my skin (once I washed off the residue and let my skin dry a bit, felt really nice.  It is not quite up to the Annmarie Skincare Mud mask level (which is my standard of fabulous mud masks) but it is far closer than I thought a sheet mask would get.  Most sheet masks I like, but I don’t really add to my list for potential repurchasing.  Thus far the only one on the list are the black gold under eye gel masks from 111Skin.  This face mask I will be adding to the purchase list.  My skin and mud get along like…well I suppose you could just call me Miss Piggy if you’d like. The issue is they often take a bit of extra time, especially with post mask clean up.  Normally, I don’t mind the extra time when I am masking, but there have been days where a mud mask would have been fabulous, but I didn’t have the time.  This would have been perfect for those times. 

I heard of JJ Young prior to this, but I don’t recall ever trying any masks from them before.  I may joke about the sticking benefits of mud, but I will be ordering this one again.  The one drawback is all of the trash produced by it.  I can’t lie, it is a lot. 

That more than anything will keep me mostly using my favorite jarred mud mask, but I will be keeping a few of these on hand for when I just don’t have the time for a regular mud mask. I will be poking around to see what other sort of masks they have from this company.  While I did find this mask on Amazon, it is also listed for sale on the Glossy Box site.  I will also be poking around the Facetory site later to see if it is there as well. If you like mud masks, I would definitely recommend giving this one a try, especially if you are pressed for time. I’ll link Glossy Box below if you want to check the mask out on their site.  I’ll also link Annemarie Skincare and my all-time favorite mud mask as well if you are curious.

Now it’s back to work before the weekend Wonder Woman marathon can begin. I hope whatever you have planned is fun and fabulous. I’ll see you back here on monday. Have a great weekend.

$10 sample kit

The Friday Face Mask with Korres Hydra Biome

Korres Hyda-Biome Face Mask

I have talked about Korres before and I have tried several of their masks. The Pomegranate exfoliating mask remains one of my favorite. And while I love nearly everything I have tried from the Pomegranate line, I wasn’t the biggest fan of their rose line so I have put off branching out into their yogurt themed products.

Until today that is. The Korres Hydra-Biome Probiotic Superdose Face mask was offered for sale on the Boxy Charm add ons so I decided to take a chance and snap it up. (plus on the sale site it was $12 instead of the normal $49 so I thought it would be less of a risk.

Lately all of the ads I have seen for Korres feature one of the products from their yogurt line so I suppose it was time. I really hope they aren’t attempting to get rid of their pomegranate one though. So what is this wonder yogurt themed skin care product supposed to do? According to the product page…

This mask works to fortify your skin’s natural protective layer, often broken down by stress, pollution, diet and more. Through a clinically tested blend of superfoods, hyaluronic acid, and skin-rebalancing technology, it improves elasticity, radiance, and texture for a revitalized, healthier look. Key ingredients: – GREEK YOGHURT – delivers instant soothing, cooling sensation with a Superdose of pre and probiotics to nourish skin. MICROBIOME RE-BALANCING TECHNOLOGY – Cutting edge microbiome rebalancing technology clinically proven to balance your skin’s invisible microbiome to protect and relieve signs of stressed skin. – LACTIC ACID – a natural AHA that gently dissolves dead skin cells for a natural glow.

Buy ANY Mask, get our Hydrabiome Cleansing Cloths for free! Use code: CLEANCLOTH

Okay then, not a bad sort of claim. I respond well to lactic acid and I can always use a dose of prebiotic nourishment, so light the relaxing candles and bring on the mask. First of all I would like to say this mask comes in a really pretty frosted glass jar. I love masks in glass jars. I don’t know why but it always makes me feel like they are more luxurious. Plus when they are empty I can use them to start seeds in the spring. Seriously most of my seeds were started in glass Oui Yogurt jars or empty skin care product jars. Eventually they’ll make it to recycling, but for now they are being reused at home.

But I digress.

When opening the jar I found the typical plastic topper keeping the cream safe from the lid. Once removed I found a thick white cream that reminds me more of yogurt than face cream. It was kind of nice. I took a sniff, because you know I have to smell everything. It does not smell like yogurt. I was actually worried it would be like smearing my afternoo snack across my skin, but no, it is not. The scent is…healthy smelling. I know that is not a terribly great descriptior. It kind of smells a little like you just opened the dairy case in a healtfood store. You can smell the dairy, but you also know someone is stashing homeopathic concoctions somewhere nearby. It isn’t herbally, but it is like something that smells ‘good for you’.

after 20 min

And yes I have been thinking of that description since about noon and it is the best I can come up with.

It doesn’t smell like you are smearing yogurt on your face though, which is what I was worried about. So I was happy, and yes, the scent is going to bother me all weekend. You can rest assured my darlings that I will be thinking and ruminating on the scent trying to pin point it all weekend. I suspect it may come to me sometime in the dark hours after three am. Because I know I’ve smelled it before, I just can’t place it.

Okay so while my brain goes crazy trying to place the scent, I will apply it to my face. It goes on nice and smoothly. There are no solid bits in it. I expected that the mask would be cool and upon first application it was, but then it got a little war, I’m guessing that was the AHA activating and relieving me of dead skin cells. The feeling of warmth didn’t last long.

Shop KORRES’ Mother’s Day Store and Save 15% Off Amazing Bundles for Mom!

As you can see from the pictures, as I sat for the twenty minutes with the mask on, much of the mask was absorbed into my skin. At the end of my masking time, I blew out the candles, washed off the mask and patted my face dry. My skin felt soft and refreshed and I think some of the redness I noticed on my skin was at least tamped down. Over all I was very pleased with this mask. I’m still not giving up my pomegranate themed line, but I suppose I can give yogurt more of a chance. Thanks Korres for suggesting I get out of my comfort zone.

Now freshed faced I am tackling the rest of my day. Burpee just delivered out live plants and soon we will have a bay tree in a large pot. For now it will live in the sun room. In a few weeks it will migrate to the back porch. And we will never go short of bay leaves for seasoning again. Once safely potted, I will get back to my writing. Then…then it will be the weekend. It is getting harder to remember which days are work days and which are weekends, but I hope you take some time off from working from home and do some fun weekend stuff. have a good one and I will see you back on Monday.


Show your glow with the Friday Face Mask

Good afternoon my darlings and welcome to the Friday Face Mask. I hope you have had a good morning. While I got a fair amount done this morning, I also took a call from my mother who informed me that she has decided to stop watching the news and is now re-watching all of the old movies in her collection.  She’s decided that if she interspaces her DVD selections with the Hallmark Channel Movies she can entertain herself between bouts of cleaning and purging for months. My brother is restocking her groceries as needed and has decided someone will either tell her when she can leave the house again or the apocalypse is truly neigh and she will never need to leave her house again.

I sort of got the impression that the deep down cleaning is actually in case there is a full on apocalypse. Because one doesn’t want to leave a mess at the end of the world.

That would be rude.

And while I don’t think the world is ending, after the call I went to the kitchen and did all of the dishes. Not because I don’t want to be rude to an incoming apocalypse (although I don’t) but because we are out of butter knives. 

My darling dearest likes to take the occasional snack break throughout the day.  For some reason this seems to involve dipping a butter knife into the peanut butter jar, coating it and then licking the knife off as his snack.  He doesn’t double dip, he only goes in once and then puts the knife in the sink. But he does this three times a day, which sort of uses up our supply of butter knives.  And yes I asked him why he doesn’t use a spoon.  Apparently the spoon gets too much peanut butter. I also asked and yup, he does keep a small jar of peanut butter and a knife in his desk drawer in the office too.

The things you learn, huh?

Anyway, the morning is settled and this afternoon I am going to attempt to pull weeds.  The ground is wet enough for them to come up pretty easily but it is not actually raining and not terribly warm outside.  We had frost last night, but not a deep one so the ground isn’t frozen. Before this though, I am taking a moment of relaxation (20 minutes in fact) with my Friday face mask.

I put it on a little early because my work was already interrupted by the call and dishes. Today’s selection was the Hey Honey Show Your Glow Colloidal Gold and Honey Beauty mask.  It was a deluxe sample size that came in an IPSY box and it is the sort of size where I can get between 3-5 uses out of depending on how full the tube actually is.  Hey Honey is usually pretty good about not leaving a lot of empty space in their tubes. The full mask retails for $65.

So what to expect from this mask? According to the website…

Show Your Glow provides anti-aging effects while hydrating skin and helping to prevent premature aging. The colloidal gold is an anti-inflammatory which helps prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin, preventing wrinkles from forming and smoothing the appearance of fine lines, while mica is used to give the skin a radiant glow. 

Personally I am not too thrilled by the mica as I’m not sure where the mica is sourced and there have been huge issues depending on where it comes from.

The mask is as gold as its name implies and the skin is covered in a yellow gold goo.  It is a little thicker than many face masks, which I think is due to the honey component.  I know there are vegans who avoid any honey as it is an animal product, but personally I adore honey. Growing up, at the first sign of a scratchy throat honey and a slice of lemon went into a tea cup and hot water was poured over it.  We also used it on cuts when there was no antibacterial ointment.  I am a huge fan of it and my skin always reacts well to it. There is also the comfort factor as it was present from my earliest childhood on. I think that’s why I tend to like most of Hey Honey’s skin care products.  I’m not such a big fan of some of their makeup, but I like their skin care.

This mask was no exception.  Even though it was a little thick on the face, it washed off easily with no scrubbing at the end of my twenty minute break and my skin felt amazingly soft.  I don’t know about long term anti-aging effects, but I have had some stress related breakouts lately and this did help calm my skin a bit.  I appreciate the assistance.

So thus cleansed and refreshed, I am ready to tackle the bind weed that is now attempting to take over the patch of ground where my pepper plants and tomatoes will spend the summer once removed from my small portable greenhouse (it’s the size of a book case and great for starting seeds in the early). Let the weed  whacking commence!

Beautytap, your destination for all things K-beauty

Rose Gold and Black Diamonds from 111Skin: its the Friday Facemask

the 111Skin Mask Duo for this week’s Friday Facemask

Today’s masking adventure was an interesting one.  Having received the Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Sheet Mask & Celestial Black Diamond Eye Mask Set from my IPSY Ultimate box this month, I decided I was curious enough to give it a go instead of one of the other masks I have in my collection.  I had to know what a $47 sheet mask was all about.

Technically it is two masks.  One is the sheet mask and the other is a set of eye masks.  It is recommend that the eye masks be worn under the sheet mask so that is what I did.   While IPSY does give a bit of a blurb about the masks I decided to go directly to the 111Skin site for more information. First off I found that a pack of the sheet masks (five masks in a pack) retails for $135 while the eye mask retails for $15 per set. Divided out that means each sheet mask is $27.  And as anyone capable of basic addition can tell you $27 + $15 = $42. My guess is they got to $47 with tax and shipping added or something like that.  I’m a little annoyed that it was considered a full sized item when they are sold in packs of five but that is a whole other thing.

To the masks!

First the Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Sheet mask.  According to the 111Skin product page…

The ultimate pre-event mask; this hydrogel formula infuses the skin with radiance boosting ingredients for a glowing complexion.Originally created as limited-edition item, this mask has grown into a global cult product and a staple in the 111SKIN collection. Containing 24k Gold and Damask Rose, this mask works both to illuminate and calm the skin for a party-ready glow. Used by supermodels, celebrities and influencers – this is a must-have in any skincare arsenal.

Not bad, but it is not just the mask alone we are using today.  That’s right I am going for the full relaxation face mask today.  I have my candles at the ready, soothing music awaiting the signal to play and the pillows fluffed on my bed so I can lay down and zone out for fifteen minutes. I even turned the ringer off on my phone. So of course I am adding the Celestial Black Diamond Eye Mask, which according to 11 Skin …

This potent mask has been formulated to combat fine lines, wrinkles, and dehydration around the eye area. The formula contains a small amount of retinol to retexture skin without irritation, vitamins to improve discolouration, and a potent peptide complex to fight lines. This mask is ideal for frequent flyers, night-owls, and those prone to fine lines and darkness around the eye area. Recommended to leave on for 20 minutes, or until completely dry, the result is a refreshed, plumped, hydrated, and brighter eye area

Giant jelly commas

Super fantastic.  First we rinse off the skin and pat dry, then on goes the eye mask.  The comma shaped patches are a set jelly like consistency and feel a little rubbery going on.  Once in place they feel a little cooling against the skin. They are sandwich between little sheets of plastic so make certain you get all of the plastic off.

The face mask too is sandwiched between plastic and is of similar jelly like consistency. Seriously if you have ever played around with gelatin and made a jelly sheet then cut out rounds for a fancy dessert, it is almost the same identical texture as this mask.  Because the mask was larger, I was more worried about tearing it, but I managed to get it on my face without issue.

It too is slightly cooling and is heavier than the regular cloth like sheet masks I’ve used before.  I have to say the weight is oddly soothing against the face. So mask in play I pressed play on my soothing music, lit my candle – a prosecco scented one today, lightly sweet scent to the air but not cloying or overpowering. Then I lay back on my plumped pillows and spent fifteen glorious minutes not thinking about anything.  The most conscious thought was registering a song lyric I always thought was something else when I heard it playing in the background.

Creepy, No?

It was a magnificent and much needed break to the day.

But alas, all breaks must come to an end.  So I arose, ended the music, snuffed the candles and set the bed back to normal daytime standard. Then I went to the bathroom to assess.  I have to say it is really a tale of two masks.  I peeled the larger face mask off and patted in the remaining serum. I then pulled off the eye patches.

I have to say while I love the eye patches, I am not a big fan of the sheet mask.  My skin does not feel refreshed, it feels kind of greasy.  Figuring I needed time to let it absorb, I left it alone for a few minutes and then came back.  It didn’t absorb any better after a few minutes.  I think that this mask is better suited to someone with dry skin. While it may claim universal suitability, my skin wasn’t having it.  I felt greasy and in need of a wash.  And I am not one of the most oily people on the planet.  I think if you had oily skin you would really not do well with this mask.

By contrast, the area under my eyes was fantastic.  The skin felt plumped and refreshed.  I felt energized and more awake.  Now as I did layer the two there is the possibility it was the face mask and eye mask working in tandem, but as that refreshed feeling was only under my eyes, I am going to have to give it to the eye patches.  They may look like oversized commas but I really enjoyed them. 

still greasy after patting dry and waiting 10 minutes

While it is doubtful I will ever pick up another of these sheet masks, I can see myself ordering the eye patches. At $15 per set they are a little on the pricey side, but these are the first under eye masks I’ve tried that I actually felt did something for me. Usually I put on eye masks and end up wondering what all the hype is about.  These make me understand the hype. I don’t think I’d use them all the time, but for a quick pick me up, these are something I could see having on hand.

So Friday face mask results, no on the face mask, but a resounding yes on the Celestial Black Diamond Eye Mask.  A mixed result to be sure, but at least I found a product I like which always makes me happy.  I hope whatever you have planned for the weekend you have a good, and safe time. As for me, I have a gain soaked garden in need of a good weed pull before I begin spring planting.  And as anyone who has ever pulled weeds knows, it is a natural social distancing mechanism because as soon as you start, everyone disappears lest you ask them to help out. I’ll be back Monday, ready to review projects and offer my first tentative comments on my new at home workout regime.  See you then.

If you are interested in face masks, you might want to try out one of FaceTory’s mask subscriptions. They will send you a variety of masks each month (the number determined by the type of subscription you choose.Its a great way to try a variety of different masks.

Also for those looking for a relaxing something to do this weekend, Botanical Interests has FREE coloring books for you to download, just click the ad below. Happy Weekend everyone.

Playing in the Mud with the Friday Face Mask

The Purifying Mud Mask from Annmarie Skincare

Welcome to the Friday Face Mask!  I hope your Friday is going well for you.  I spent the morning knee deep in editing and I have to say I was ready for a break.  As you might remember from earlier posts, I have been doing a two week long Annmarie Skin Care trial. Along with the daily regimen of products Annmarie skin care sent two separate face masks.  Last week, I used the first one and this week I used the second.  (In addition to the Friday afternoon Face mask I do face masks on Monday and Wednesday evenings when I can manage them.)

So last week was the Illuminating Pearl mask and this week’s was the Purifying Mud Mask as I wrap up my two week long Annmarie Skin Care trial. (Thank you again Annmarie Skincare for sending over the samples for me to try and review)

First let’s look at what the mask is supposed to do. According to the product page…

the dry mask

Firm and tighten the look of your skin naturally with this powder-to-paste clay mask. Rhassoul clay, exclusive to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, is rich in the minerals silica and magnesium. Chlorella algae provide phytonutrients, while rose clay absorbs excess oil. Each use will leave your skin feeling renewed and fresh.

mask after mixing

Right off the bat, I have to say this mask was fun to play with.  While the instructions say to mix in your hand and then apply to the face, I tried that with the Ayurvedic Facial Scrub which also comes in powder form and I made a bit of a mess. So I used a little sauce bowl to mix.  And before anyone starts wondering about mixing food and beauty products, I don’t use this sauce bowl for food.  It was one my grandmother left me and while I tried using it for food, I noticed it was starting to get a little chipped so I stopped.  I like using it for the more genteel world of skin care.

my little mixing bowl

And yes the legs of the little bowl are crawfish.

So Into the little bowl went the powder.  I kind of like that it is sent as a powder rather than a pre mixed paste.  It meant that my little sample jar, sent over courtesy of Annmarie skincare for reviewing purposes, despite its small size gave me a full week of use with a little left over for Monday should I so choose. I imagine the large full sized jar (retail $45) would last a really long time and I doubt it would actually go bad as there is nothing that could go moldy in it. I don’t know how long it is expected to last But I imagine it has a longer shelf life than a Twinkie.

wet mask, it dries fairly quickly as you can already see some lighter patches

Without the chemicals.

But keeping it forever is not where I was going. Although if my doomsday prepper neighbor goes looking for skin care to add to his supplies, I will definitely suggest it. You know now that he thinks we’re friends.  Since I spoke to him when I went to get the mail from the box that one time.

With the powder, I like that I get to choose the consistency a well. So I mixed my powder with the water.  It made mud. Very nice smelling mud actually. It took me all week to try and figure out what it smelled like.  Because it smells like something I have smelled before.  The only thing I can come up with is that it smells a bit like this Herbed bread my Aunt Theresa used to make.  I know that sounds really strange.  I think it was because she always used a domed clay pan to make the bread and so my brain kicks in the hot clay mineral scent to the memory.  At least that is all I can figure out.  I’ve been through the ingredients list multiple times trying to figure it out.  While I am pleased it is all natural and filled with fabulous ingredients, there is nothing on the list that says bread. So I’m guessing it is the memory of the hot clay pan rather than the bread itself.

mask all dried down

Either way it is a nice smell, and for me it is a scent with good memories.

I applied the mask in the usual way and as you can see, it made me look as though I smeared mud on my face. At least I don’t look like a bank robber.  While there was no tingling, as it dried, it tightened a bit and of course got lighter. In case you are wondering, that’s why I am not smiling in the picture of the dried mask.  I couldn’t.  The mask wouldn’t let me.

my clean and refreshed skin, bring on the commas and bad spelling of afternoon edits.

When I went to rinse it off, I was worried that I would have to chip it off.  I went first to the sink basin, anticipating trouble.  There was none.  A few splashes and the mask rinsed away clean and easy.  I tried my skin, wiped up a few of the splashes and checked out my face. While there isn’t a huge change, I can say that my skin feels incredibly soft and really clean without feeling stripped. 

I have to say, I am a big fan of this one. I think I actually like it better than their Illuminating pearl Mask. Admittedly that might be simply because I tend to prefer more of the purifying masks in general. Either way this mask from Annmarie Skin Care is a keeper. well actually it is an empty sample jar at the moment. But it will go on my to be ordered list, then it will be a keeper.

The mask wasn’t cold like other clay masks either, but it definitely cleaned out my pores. Now relaxed and refreshed I am ready to face the rest of my Friday.   I hope everyone out there takes some time to unwind for a moment and breath between the week’s work load and the chaos  of the weekend. I’ll see you on Monday.

Shop Annmarie Gianni Today.

Unfamiliar plants and an Illuminating Pearl Mask for Face Mask Friday

The Illuminating Pearl Mask from Annmarie Skin Care

Welcome to the Friday face mask.  Let me tell you, I was more than ready for this break today.  I think this might be the first time I’ve sat down since this morning’s post. I’m in the middle of editing a novel and so this week I let all sorts of other little things slide as I focused and they sort of piled up. So I tried to tackle them all today.

But then came the time of the mask and a moment of Zen in the day’s chaos.

I have to say I have really grown addicted to my Friday afternoon mask breaks. I actually find myself tackling tasks just so I can have them off my plate before my break which keeps me from procrastinating.  Well any more than leaving them until Friday that is.

This week was the first week of my trial featuring Annmarie Skin Care products.  They kindly send over several trial sized products for me to test out and I have been using them as my entire skin care regime for the trial.  In the products they sent me there were two face masks so I will be using one this week and one next week so that I can stick with the same skin care line throughout.

Skin care made with wildcrafted and organic ingredients that nourish your skin to give you a healthy glow. Shop Annmarie Skin Care.

That being said today’s face mask is the Illuminating Pearl Mask.  It sounded like a very lovely option for a very gloomy day. It is a hydrating and brightening treatment which sounded just about perfect.

According to the product page…

This luxurious mask restores balance and harmony while creating the perfect beautifying ritual. Honey delivers complex nutrients and hydrating properties to visibly improve tone and radiance. Turmeric’s bioactive compounds leave your skin feeling calm, making this mask ideal for sensitivities. Skin brightening pearl powder enhanced with uva ursi and licorice transforms your complexion to have an everlasting glow.

Illuminating Pearl Mask – Hydrating & …

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Price: $59.00

Now I grew up with a family that believed in the power of honey.  Scratchy throat?  Have a spoonful of honey.  Allergies acting up?  Have a spoon full of honey. Have a cut and no antibacterial ointment in the cupboard?  Smear some honey on that sucker and you’ll be fine. Seriously, I read a lot of Fantasy novels as a child and anytime anyone mentioned ‘magic elixir’ I pictured honey.

I also have a lot of friends who adore the benefits of turmeric and I distinctly remember a late night infomercial for a product called Pearl Cream, the ancient secret of Asian women everywhere. I can still close my eyes and hear the narrator’s voice. I also think I watched too much late night television as a child.

I will say that the Uva Ursi was a new one on me. According to the Penn State Hershey Medical Center it is an herb that helps to shrink and tighten the mucus membranes and reduce inflammation. So I can see why it is in the face mask given its intent.

So now that I have learned about a new herb, on to the face it goes!

The mask in the jar

As expected from something containing pearls, it has a slight iridescent sheen to it.  The scent is an herbal-ly citrusy one and really very pleasant.  I have no idea if that is the Uva Ursi but if it is I really want a couple of sachets to put into my linen closet.  I could really get used to sheets and blankets with that sort of scent to them. 

But that is something to look into later. For now, the mask.

The mask on my face, given it’s color it is not as spectacular a picture as some of the charcoal masks but I kind of enjoy having a friday where I don’t look like I’m getting ready to rob a bank

 It has a light creamy texture and smooths over the skin well.  There was no tingling of any sort but there was an itchy moment around my nose as the mask dried down over the fifteen minute window I was wearing it.  It wasn’t an allergic reaction more of just an itch from the drying down.  When I went to wash off the mask at first I thought it was completely absorbed.  It left just a sort of shiny film on my skin.  I washed it off and the scent of the mask, which faded as I wore it, roared back to life as I rinsed and rehydrated it. 

Apparently my skin took all of the mask’s hydration.

when I went to wash off, it just looked shiny, my skin stole all the mask’s hydration.

Which is probably why my skin now feels super smooth and hydrated.  I have to say, I really liked this mask.  It’s a bit like a really good night cream that does its job in only fifteen minutes and it smells really good. I really didn’t need that much of the mask and I think that I on my next skin care splurge I would pick up a jar.  At $59 it is on the higher end of face mask prices, but definitely worth it if you are looking for an extra special treat and a spa-like experience at home.

Clean and fabulous, even if my hair is sticking up like Alfalfa.

And like all of Annmarie’s skin care it is a clean beauty product made with sustainably ‘wild sourced’ ingredients. I suspect that means I won’t find a seed packet for Uva Ursi in my local garden center then.  I am definitely putting it on my plant watch though. I’m always looking for new herbs to try out whether culinary or just for scent packets in the linen. I just have to figure out if it can grow here.  Until then I will just enjoy it in the face mask.

And with that my quiet time is over and my next slate of things to check off my to do list before I call it a weekend has arrived.  I hope everyone out there has a fantastic run to the end of the work week and an excellent weekend.

And as a reminder, if you are looking for something good to read this weekend, March First kicks off the Smashwords Anual Read an E-book Book Sale. All of my books are 50% off and some are even free. You can download them in any format including plain text. The sale runs March 1-7. And if my books aren’t to your taste, no worries, there are many fantastic authors participating in the sale and you are sure to find something to suit your tastes. Happy reading.

Shop Annmarie Gianni Today.

Face Mask Friday: Take Away the Drama

Today for my weekly face mask, I tried this Take Away the Drama Peel off Mask from the brand Hey Honey (retail $49). I have to say, Take Away the Drama might not be the best name for this mask because there was plenty of drama when I went to peel it off.

It has been a while since I used a peel off mask, with the exception of the Draw it all out mask.  I don’t count that one because it peels off easily with no pulling and doesn’t really feel like a peel off mask. This Hey Honey mask, not so much.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

First, the claim is simple, this mask…

…exfoliates to lift away impurities and drama.

the mask is so pretty in the hand

So no real mega claims then. To the mask.  In the hand it is a gorgeous copper color. I love the color and I have to admit, I was secretly thrilled that I was going to get to smear this lovely shade on my skin. It is shimmery and metallic and I just loved it.  It also has a slight grainy texture for exfoliation.  So on to the face it went.

It looks less lovely on the skin.  I personally think I look a bit like I’m in a bad production of the Wizard of Oz and got drafted when the Tinman fell mysteriously ill and they were running low on paint and needed a quick substitute from the art room.

please excuse the slightly serial killer-y look on my face, it was already starting to dry stiffly and I was trying not to crack.

(Yeah I should point out that one set of my grandparents grew up in Vaudevillian families touring and doing comedy sketches and despite leaving the theater they always encouraged participation in the arts.  As a result I spent a lot of time back stage as a child. My specialty was last second fixes for emergencies. In case you are wondering)

So I sat with my faux tinman get up on until the mask was dry and then I went to peel it off.

Like I said, it’s been a while since I used a true peel off mask. My face is no longer immune to the sting.  I remember a section of time where I did use them quite often and after a while, they aren’t that bad.  I’m not sure if you get used to it or if you no longer have any facial hair for the mask to rip off, but they don’t hurt as much after a while.

That was not the case with this one.  Oh, Hey Honey, I peeled and felt like I was ripping my skin off. If removing drama means that it brings the drama out of you, then it did its job. 

I laughed. I cried.  I tried to decide if there was a way I could go through life with half of the mask still welded to my skin, Phantom of the Opera style, instead of taking it off.  I considered a life of crime and other masked adventures.

Finally, I sucked it up and took the mask the rest of the way off.

Boy was my face red. 


Lobster red.

But smooth as silk.  I had a couple of blackheads prior to the mask.  They were gone. It worked like an over grown nose strip. I’d say that my face was blemish free, but I couldn’t really tell under the boiled lobster façade.  I could only tell my skin was smooth.

Baby’s rump smooth.

It took about two hours for the redness to go away, but once it did, my skin looked fantastic. I just had to wait out the redness. (I put the mask on before lunch)

I suppose the big question is, would I use this mask again?

Yes actually, yes I would.  I will wait for the memory of the pain to dim and I will not plan to go out after I do the mask, keeping my schedule clear and myself away from the public until the lobster red fades, but I would do it again.

Beauty and pain, man.  Beauty and pain. Sometimes you just can’t escape the dynamic duo.

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