Good afternoon my darlings and welcome to the Friday face mask. Today was a sheet mask kind of day. I love masks but somedays are not meant for the wash off kind of masks. This was one of those days. This was a sheet mask day. In fact it was a Cool Down Drop Kick kind of masking day.
That’s right is was time to try the Haruharu mask that came in one of my Facetory Boxes. For those who don’t know, Facetory is a sheet mask subscription. I absolutely love it because it lets me try all sorts of different sheet masks so I can build a list of those I want to re order. It also lets me reorder the ones I like. Sheet masks can pile up though, especially if you have any subscription boxes and Face Tory is super easy to pause. If you are drowning in masks you just press a button and skip the month. They have different numbers of subscriptions. I use the Four pack masking subscription as that is the right amount for me.
They also have other skin care products and non-sheet masks and you don’t actually have to be a member of the subscription service to order from them. Even if you don’t sign up for a subscription, I highly recommend signing up for their free newsletter. They’ll send you e-mails about deals that way. And every Monday they have a selection of masks reduced to a $1. The newsletter lets you know which ones. Some of my favorites have made the rotation list into the $1 Monday lists so I think it is well worth checking out.
The only issue I have with some of the masks is that most of the information is in Korean. I do not happen to be able to read Korean so sometimes I have to sort of guess as to what the mask is for. This one actually says soothing and Maqui berry in English. Hich would provide me with more information if I knew what a maqui berry was.
According to Healthline: Maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis) is an exotic, dark-purple fruit that grows wild in South America. It’s mainly harvested by the native Mapuche Indians of Chile, who have used the leaves, stems and berries medicinally for thousands of years
When I took the mask out, it smells somewhat grape like. Beyond that the only other English on the package is Cool Down Drop Kick.
I will say the mask, right out of the package is quite juicy with serum. On the face it feels instantly cooling. The extra serum means that the mask sticks well to the face. Even though it felt oversaturated, no serum ran down my face once it was on. I did have to wipe off my hands, but the mask didn’t drip.
So mask in place I lay down closed my eyes and listened to my ipod. Today was actually a Beethoven kind of day. I know, surprise. But that was what appealed when I scrolled through my play lists. So I relaxed and I listened.
As I lay down, he mask almost felt like it was getting colder and colder. It was kind of fun, in an odd sort of way. After fifteen minutes I turned Beethoven off and returned to the bathroom. There was no noticeable drying of the mask. It appeared just as soaked as when I applied it. Once removed there was a lot of serum on my skin. I rubbed as much of it as I could into the skin but had to wipe some off in the end. Once my skin was patted dry, I have to say I really liked it. I felt super refreshed as though my skin just pounded back an energy drink. It was kind of nice actually. The skin felt soft and clean, but it was mostly the feeling of suddenly being wide awake that this mask provided. That is I think this masks strong suit. I didn’t feel terrible soothed, but I did feel invigorated. I feel ready to tackle the rest of my day. And so that is where I will be going now. Later I’ll return for the Friday Night Happy Hour post, but for now, I am going to finish out my workweek feeling energized and revived. I also think that this mask is going to go on my list of masks to reorder. I don’t think it is one I would use often, but I can definitely see the perks of keeping it around for occasional use.
The Curateur Subscription box has launched a new Welcome Box for you to try out the Subscription. The Welcome Box costs $25 (instead of the usual $99 of the full subscription box) It includes the best sellers and member favorites: Kat Burki Form Control Marine Collagen Gel (retails at $160), Carly Cushnie Grey Horizon Ombre Scarf (retails at $150), Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Glow (retails at $25), and Eddie Borgo Supra Link Necklace Gift With Purchase (retails at $350).
Those who sign up for the welcome box receive the same member benefits that seasonal members enjoy (you can find them listed on the website) and the box will roll into the normal seasonal subscription in Spring of 2021. I haven’t heard any spoilers from the Spring box but their past boxes look really amazing, so I’m sure the Spring one will be as well. The Welcome Boxes go on sale to day and I expect they will run out quickly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This summer, I entered the world of masking brushes. Prior to this I simply used my fingers and thought ‘why would I bother using a masking brush?’
Then I ordered a super cheap one (less than $1) and tried it, just to see why so many people seemed to use them.
Wow, what a difference it made.
I won’t lie and say I always use the brushes, because I don’t. I also won’t say you HAVE to have the brushes. Because you don’t. I also won’t tell you that you need expensive brushes, because you really don’t. But if you are interested in adding brushes to your masking routine, and maybe being a little extra, this might help you out.
First off, there are two main benefits to using the silicone masking brushes.
The first benefit I noticed is that I tend to use less product when I use the masking brushes than when I don’t. While there may be some seasonal swelling or water retention now and again, neither dramatically changes the surface area of my face in a massive way. Yet when I use the silicone brushes, I use less product than when I don’t.
Part of that is because of benefit number two.
And that is less mess. When applying masks with fingers, it naturally gets all over the fingers you are using to apply it to your face. It can also get on the sink and the faucet taps, but mostly on your fingers. The silicon brush has less of a surface area than my fingers. Even though I use a spoon or spatula to get masks out of the jar and start applying using one finger, I usually end up with three fingers covered in mask which I then have to wash off. The silicone doesn’t absorb any of the mask so little is left on the masking brush. In addition, it is easy to rinse off and in the case of peel off masks, you just let it dry, then peel the mask off. Then of course you wash it, but that is super easy with the mask gone.
Now the less than a $1 masking brush I picked up does the job no problem. I am quite happy using it. However I recently received a Cosmedix Brush set in a Boxy Charm. The set is composed of two brushes.
Take cleansing to the next level with this embossed brush designed for gentle exfoliation and effective deep pore cleansing. Plus, bring the spa experience home with a dual-sided silicone spatula that effortlessly and evenly distributes product across your face. Use it to apply cream, exfoliator, serum, or masks with ultimate precision and no mess.
The set retails for $25. While you can clearly get brushes for less money, I would say this is not an unreasonable price. There are two brushes so you are paying $14.50 per brush.
Let’s look at the silicone brush first. The handle is tapered and easy to hold. The brush head itself is flat, with an angle and has one smooth side and one textured side.
The angle of the brush is really nice. One of the ways my cheap brush falls down is that the shape of the head is triangular so the points are really hard to get into the crevices around the nose so I end up using my fingers to smooth things over, which sort of defeats the purpose of using the brush.
Not only is the Cosmedics brush angled but the corners are rounded which makes applying masks really easy no matter where on the face you are. The flat side of the brush is perfect for clay based masks. I have been using it this week for my Herbal Dynamics Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Detox Mask and it has been fantastic. I can run the brush over the top of the mask in the jar to pick up product and put it on my face with very little waste.
The textured side is not good for clay based masks but I find it is excellent for gel based ones. Recently I used both the Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber mask and the Kiehl’s Calendula Petal infused Gel mask. While both of these masks could be applied with either side of the Cosmedix silicone brush, The textured side does have a purpose. Just before those masks are removed, it is recommended that you massage the mask in a little before rinsing. The textured side of the brush is perfect for this. Just remember to rinse thoroughly, possibly even soaking the brush a bit especially if it is an exfoliating mask with particles, so that you can be sure to get all of the particles out.
The second brush, I’ll admit, I found a little confusing at first. I tried it a number of ways, but none of them seemed to be a benefit to my skin care routine. This second brush is not silicone, but an actual fiber brush with densely backed bristles. The head of the brush is not flat but textured with a circle of round nubbins. The issue I had with it, was that it is very absorbent. If you dip it into a mask or serum, or even a cleanser, it will soak up the product like a sponge, using far more than you actually need to use in one sitting.
However it is useful. The first use I found for it was to loosen dried clay masks. Wet the brush, but remember it will soak up a lot of water so when you first press it to your face be prepared for a release of water unless you squeeze the brush out first, and even then be prepared. It does an admiral job of loosening clay masks without harshly scraping the skin. The texture from the nubbins really helps in its effectiveness.
The second use is for massaging serums into the skin. Do not dip the brush into the serum or you will very quickly lose your serum as it is sucked in. Apply the serum to the skin and then lightly massage it in with the brush. The serum stays on your skin and the brush just helps it absorb.
I have also found that it is very useful if you are using a bar cleanser. While the brush will absorb liquid cleansers just like any other liquid. If you have a bar cleanser like the Erno Laszlo Black soap (which I personally really like) you can wet the brush (which absorbs a lot of water) rub the water loaded brush on the cleansing bar and then apply it to the face.
Not only does it work really well, but it helps contain the mess that the Erno Laszlo Black soap can create with drips (although really, the cleansing bar is worth the drips). If it stays on the dish or other container where you keep your soap then it can’t drip all over your sink. It also helps keep the bar longer as bar cleansers (or any bar soap really) starts to disintegrate when it is wet. The secret to keeping a bar of soap (or cleanser) for longer is to make sure it stays dry when you aren’t using it. Because the brush localizes the water, the bulk of the cleansing bar stays dry. So it lasts longer.
All in all once I figured out the best way to use the second brush in the set, I enjoyed using the brushes and incorporating them into my skincare routines. They are lightweight, but sturdy. Not only do they look good but they perform well.
The brushes may not be absolutely necessary to any routine. There are many other ways to apply product, but they do have benefits. If you are looking to add brushes to your skin care routine, this may be a set you might want to look into. I am quite pleased to be able to use them. I believe my less than a $1 silicone brush will still be used when I do peel off masks as I don’t want to deal with the textured side of the Cosmedix silicone masking brush, but otherwise I will be using these brushes for quite a while.
When teenage breakouts hit, my dressing table always had a stash of the pre-moistened toner pads infused with blemish fighting elixir. As my blemishes faded back, my reliance on such pads faded and in fact before this year, it had been years since I opened a container.
Then in a recent Boxy Charm box I received a container of Exfoliating Swipeys from the brand Go-to. I’ve tried facial oil from the brand before and found it was a pretty nice oil, and I really like their Properly Clean Facial Cleanser, so I was happy to try out another product from their line. Plus, I I figured, why not try another one since they were here? After all I do love a good exfoliation.
According to the product page…
Single-use exfoliating pads soaked in an all-natural solution that gets rid of dead skin cells and hydrates the skin.
We all know exfoliation is an enormously vital part of any skin care routine, but not all exfoliation is equal. A chemical exfoliator, for example, (which uses naturally-occurring acids to remove dead skin cells, usually AHAs or BHAs) tends to give a far more thorough, even result than scrubbing your face with harsh, jagged particles. Which is why we much prefer it.
So, we combined the well-documented effectiveness of lactic acid, the most gentle of all AHAs, with ultra-hydrating essential oils to create a face exfoliator that thoroughly removes dead skin cells (the cause of dull skin and congestion), refines skin texture, minimises the appearance of fine lines and deeply moisturises. And all in 60 seconds, and using just one sweet, disposable little cotton pad.Exfoliating Swipeys were created to make exfoliation simple and fast, and leave you with skin that’s healthy and happy. Important: When using AHA products, wearing daily SPF becomes even more crucial.
I know that is a larger than normal blurb that I copied out, but I wanted to have the official description there as I went through the product.
First of all, the scent. It is slightly fruity with an undertone that is slightly chemical in nature. Neither the fruit or chemical is one I can identify specifically. I tried. I kept sniffing and trying to identify, but to no avail. It is a pleasant scent and one I don’t mind in my skincare. It is also light and doesn’t linger. The scent just wafts up as you open the container.
The pads are thicker than any other pre-moistened pads I’ve tried. I like the fact that their thickness means they are less likely to roll up on you as they move across the face. with some of the thinner ones it was always a trick not to get them to roll up as you moved them across your face, at least for me anyway.
In the above description, you will notice that the pads are listed as a chemical exfoliate, not a physical one. When you pull the pad out of the container, it is smooth and covered with liquid. As you use it however, the pad roughens. It is like the liquid coating wipes off and then the pad starts to feel like very fine grained sandpaper. It isn’t terribly harsh, but it is certainly not smooth. It felt as though the pad changed from a chemical exfoliate to a physical one mid swipe. I don’t know it that is typical for this type of product, but I found it a little strange.
It was however very clear that the pad was getting dead skin cells off of my face. The pad did a good job exfoliating. It did so well a job exfoliating that using the pads more than once a week was a bad idea. Normally with exfoliates I can use them two to three times a week. This was a once a week maximum type of product.
In addition, I tended to use it at night on the one time a week I used it. The one time I used it during the day, I did go outside and even with sunscreen on I ended up getting quite red in the face. I usually don’t have that big an issue with sun sensitivity, even with AHA’s but with this product I did.
If I used it at night on the once a week use, I didn’t have this problem. I also do not have overly sensitive skin. If you are relatively sensitive, I would recommend trying a test patch before using this or skipping it all together. I think it might have been a combination of the physical pad and the chemical exfoliation that worked overtime one me.
One think that is also an issue to watch out is the fact that once opened pre-moistened pads tend to start drying out, so once you open them you end up being committed to using them until they are gone. Because I could only use these once a week, it takes longer to make it through the container. While I still have pads left (there are 50 to a container) I don’t know if I will make it to the bottom of the container without them drying out completely. When I opened the container, there was extra liquid in the bottom, now there is not.
While I like the actual liquid exfoliating formula, I would like to try it on a soft cotton pad rather than on the pre-moistened pads that come in the jar. I think the combination of the pad’s texture mixed with the AHA’s are a little too much for my skin to handle. I will not be purchasing this product to add to my skin care line up, however I will be keeping an eye on the brand.
I enjoyed both their facial oil and their cleanser. In fact I remember their cleanser being quite nice. This was just too much exfoliation for me. Perhaps, they will come out with an exfoliating serum at some point that would be more in keeping with my skin care needs. One can only hope. Well, hope and do some website lurking.
Welcome my darlings to Face mask, er, Wednesday. Yeah, Wednesday. Again because of the holiday some of my scheduling has been a little off. But no matter, today I masked!
Actually, I used this mask Saturday, Monday and today so that I could get a full week in with this mask. Wile after the New Year’s holiday I will be doing a week of the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Clay Mask, detoxifying masks have a tendency to bring things to the surface (which is part of their job, to be fair). And I know it is vain of me, but I will be doing a lot of friends and family video calls for New Years and I figured I would put off any potential detoxifying break outs off until after I did the video calls.
So this week I went with the Kiehl’s Calendula Petal Infused Calming mask. This mask came to me via the Macy’s beauty Bag and when you open the little glass jar the mask looks a bit like whipped honey. And since you know me, you know, I had to sniff it.
The scent is an odd cross between something vaguely medicinal and my grandmother’s dried flower arrangements. I know that sounds really strange, but after smelling it, and actually while I was wearing the mask, I looked up Calendula flowers and I believe she used them in her dry flower arrangements. However before we get further into my interpretations of the mask, let’s look at what Kiehls has to say about the mask…
This lightweight gel face mask refreshes and hydrates dry skin for a healthy-looking appearance. Experience a cool burst of hydration with our soothing face mask. Infused with Calendula and Aloe Vera, this hydrating mask leaves skin soft, smooth and refreshed.
Hydrates and soothes skin with moisture and helps reduce signs of distress; Bursts into a refreshing surge of cooling hydration upon application; Revitalizes skin over time for a healthy-looking complexion; For all skin types.
So on to my clean dry face the mask went. The whipped honey look fades as it is applied and like many gel masks it leaves the face just looking a little wet rather than looking like you have a full face mask on. There are little bits in the gel which surprised me, until I realized they were small flower petals, Calendula flower petals to be exact and I realized that Calendula petal infused meant that there were petals in the mask. I thought it would be like tea, you put them in when making the mask and then strain them out.
I didn’t mind the petals. There weren’t that many of them and they are small so it wasn’t a concern. They are the darker spots on my face as I am wearing the mask. See, really not that noticeable. It was just the solid bits in the gel that threw me. I got over it.
I’d like to say that I lit my candles and lay back for the fifteen minutes of quiet, but this week that would be a lie. My Baby doll is on vacation this week and any attempt at zoning out was met with questions.
Why are you laying down, do you feel okay?
Why is your face so greasy?
What are you listening to?
Why is that timer running?
Are you done working for the day and can I use your computer?
Yeah, I love him but sometimes he can be like a sugar amped three year old, especially if he sees something unexpected. Then he has to question it to death. While sometimes endearing, it is not conducive to quiet masking moments. So this week’s masks were taken at my desk, as when I’m in my office, I am clearly working and to be left alone. So, I worked while masking.
Not exactly a fifteen minute break, but my skin enjoyed it. Actually, my skin enjoyed it a lot.
When I rinsed my mask off and patted my skin dry, my face felt healthy. It felt clean and refreshed, even without my attempts at zen. My skin looked refreshed. I didn’t have any real damage to the skin that needed repair, but my skin felt very nice after using this mask. After three uses my small jar is all but used up. I think I have one more use left in the jar. After that it will be gone. This Calendula petal infused face mask however will be going on my to be repurchased list.
And as an exciting aside, I have a jar of moisturizer from this same Kiehl’s line (the Calendula infused one) having used this mask, it makes me more excited to try it. I am currently finishing up a moisturizer, but I think I may rotate the Kiehls into the line up after so I can test it out and compare it to the mask. Clearly they are different products with different uses, but I think it will be interesting to see if there are any crossovers or if one is better than the other. Perhaps I will like them both, who knows. I do know that this mask is going on my repurchase list.
I know I often complain about getting hand creams in subscription boxes, but the truth is, there are often just so many of them and a lot of them are relatively indistinguishable.
I do use a lot of hand cream, more now than I used to because of all of the hand washing, so the complaints are mostly because I often feel as though I am stockpiling. I dislike feeling like a hoarder or the thought that product might go to waste because I just didn’t get to it in time.
However, the Library of Flowers Honeycomb hand cream is not only one I enjoy, it is one I often think of in much the same way as I think of a perfume. The tube of cream retails for $20 and while the cream itself is in a painterly metal tube, the tube comes in a lovely decorative box.
And yes I did buy a second tube for myself as you’ll see in the photo below. I also bought a couple as gifts at the same time and figured since I liked it so much I would go ahead and add a second one for me into the cart. It is a hand cream I enjoy enough that I know I will use it. And the pretty boxes made it ideal for quick gifting.
While I work alone, my darling dearest supervises a couple of people, two of whom are women in their fifties. Because they work with archival materials they were constantly washing and sterilizing hands even before the pandemic, so hand cream was always going to be a good gift. (There are often complains about the industrial type lotion they keep at the office). This was pretty enough to serve as a gift and appropriate (especially this year) as a small office gift. Especially since they both know me and knew I picked it out as well as it being a general theme in their office.
But now that I’ve told you I like it enough to repurchase and to gift, let’s look at the official description
Cast of Characters: Top: Sugared Fig, Middle: Ambrosia Honey, Bottom: Royal Bee Blossom
Description Divinely creamy. Sublimely scented & irresistibly soft: sweet, silky joy is at hand! Specially crafted to dissolve quickly into skin, generous amounts of Cocoa Butter & extra-conditioning Shea Butter deliver deep hydration to parched skin. A replenishing pick-me-up, restorative Macadamia Nut and healing Avocado Oil infuse this unique formula with superior soothing power.
Do you see what I mean? The description reads very much like a perfume. And to be honest when I use this cream, I specifically don’t wear perfume. Given the ingredients I would be surprised if it didn’t absorb well and make the skin silky smooth.
And it does absorb well and quickly. The cream has a light texture and isn’t heavy even though it performs like a heavy duty cream. I think the oils tend to lighten up the butters. Admittedly, that is just my theory and one gleaned more from baking rather than product production. Regardless, it is a lightweight texture.
It is really good on dry rough spots and overwashed hands. Even though it is fragranced, I had no irritation from the fragrance on my over washed hands. I have also found that I can apply this on my legs for a hit of moisture and if I start with the legs and then apply it on my hands and arms then I have no problem pulling on a pair of leggings because the cream will have completely absorbed.
That’s sort of my test for quick absorption. Sometimes leggings or tight jeans will stick if pulled on over just lotion-ed limbs. If I start with the legs, then moisturize the hands and arms there wasn’t a sticking problem.
The scent is lightly floral and slightly sweet with lightly earthy back notes. To be honest it smells like Royal Bee Blossom, Honey and Fig. Which shouldn’t surprise as it is exactly what is listed in the description.
Truth in advertising, what a concept!
The green scent of the fig actually balances out the flower and the honey so that the scent is sweet without being cloying.
While the scent comes on a bit strong when it is first applied. After a moment or two it fades back so that you really only smell it if you lift your hand to your nose. Basically, as the cream absorbs into the skin, the scent fades. It remains present throughout the day, but it is a close to the skin sort of scent.
Of the multitude of creams that have come my way recently this is definitely in the top five and currently one of only two that I have reordered (The Cake Milk Made is the second in case you are wondering). I am very happy to have this hand cream around.
I found it interesting to test two similarly scented products so close together actually. As you know bergamot is not my favorite scent, but I adore mandarin orange. So fingers crossed, I hoped for the best.
Scent wise it was the equivalent of a horse race. I was hoping my horse Mandarin Orange would come in ahead of the perennial favorite Bergamot.
But before we see those race results, let’s talk a little bit about the Lavido Aromatic Body Lotion in Mandarin Orange and Bergamot. I received this as part of the November Petit Vour Box. Petit Vour is a Cruelty Free Monthly subscription box. I generally enjoy the products they send, many of which I would never have actually found on my own. I really like it in terms of discovery. I also like that they include Cruelty free makeup as well as skin care as it is becoming easier to find the skin care, but the clean, vegan and cruelty free makeup brands are still mostly unfamiliar to me.
I have also used a few Lavido products before and really enjoyed them. And on the label Mandarin Orange is listed above Bergamot. Hopes are high, my darlings.
So according to the product page…
This rich but lightweight body lotion leaves your skin buttery soft and restored with organic essential oils. Best for all skin types.
Over all pretty much what you would expect from the description of a body lotion. I love that it is cruelty free, which was to be expected considering it came in a Petit Vour Box.
As a cream the formula is a nice white cream. It is very light weight and melts into the skin beautifully without leaving streaks of white across the skin. It needed no extra massaging or warm up time. My skin simply drank it in. It left my skin feeling wonderfully soft and hydrated. Even on my elbows, which is where my skin often gets dry and cracked, especially in the winter.
But then there is the scent.
Now, I now bergamot is not my favorite. As my mother adores the scent, I know my dislike is not universal. It is not even the predominant view in my family as most of the rest of the family sides with my mother on the scent. I will say if you like bergamot, then you would probably like this scent. It is bergamot forward although there is much more orange essence in it than the Voce Vita perfume.
I actually don’t mind the scent that much. While not my favorite, there is enough orange to help balance it out a bit.
The real kicker isn’t the scent itself, but the potency of it. When they say aromatic, they aren’t joking.
I tend to use body lotion right after my shower. I also tend to take my shower at night. So I took my shower, picked up this lotion to try out and then continued on with my evening, eventually ending in sleep. The scent of the cream was strong when I applied it and strong when I went to bed. It was still quite strong when I woke up in the morning.
And I don’t mean I caught a faint whiff of it when I held my hand to my nose. I mean I was still enveloped in a cloud of scent when I went to put my coffee on to brew.
It is a potent scent.
It is a scent that lingers.
It is a scent that looks at fragrance free formulas and cackles madly while skipping off gleefully in the other direction.
I don’t mind scented products in general. I use both unscented and scented products routinely. When using this product, it is the only scent that you will be able to smell. It trumps all of them, and quite frankly is a little too much for me.
Which is really a shame.
In addition to trying it as a body lotion, I tried it as just a hand cream and placed it next to my hand soap and antibacterial gel. I thought maybe if i used less, it wouldn’t be as potent. The formula was fantastic. The rough and dry spots on my hands from far too much hand washing virtually disappeared. If the scent weren’t so overpowering I would adore this body lotion.
In fact it worked so well that I kept trying to use it.
When the scent was too much on my hands, I tried it on my feet. It worked really well on the tough skin of my feet as well. However, the scent slipped through the fibers of my socks and still made its presence known.
It isn’t a bad scent, in fact it is quite pleasant. It has enough orange to tame the bergamot so that even my dislike of bergamot is tamed. If it were more delicately fragranced I would be very pleased with it.
But it isn’t. It is a scent bomb.
And too much of a scent bomb for me. Even if it were my favorite scent it would still be too much of a powerful aroma for me to routinely wear. So it is with great sadness that I have to say, excellent cream, fantastic brand, but not an item I will purchase again.
I have tried several Sunday Riley products in the past couple of years. I know there are some people who adore everything the brand puts out and others who despise every product. It just seems to be one of those brands that everyone either loves or hates. To be honest, I am sort of in the middle. Most of the products I’ve tried from the brand generally work well for me. None of them have ever caused me problems and a few I like enough to reorder.
One product I had not tried from Sunday Riley was the A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum. I’d seen it around and I think it was an option in a subscription box a while ago, but I didn’t get it. I can’t remember if it was because I didn’t choose it or because I just didn’t get it. Either way I had not tried it.
In fact, I have not done much with retinols in general.
It is one of those categories I have been meaning to investigate, but haven’t quite gotten around to working with. So when I received this small sample in the November Birchbox, I thought it was a good place to start. As the sample is small I knew I wouldn’t see any major results, but I figured I could at least try it and see how my skin reacted so that I could decide about retinol use moving forward. Since there aren’t a lot of visible results, I decided to basically record my first impressions of the serum as I figure out if i would want to try out a full sized version for a full thirty + days trial.
When I looked on the Sunday Riley site I was happy to not only see a little bit of product information but to see extra information regarding retinol use. Normally, I try to keep the blurb I copy from the website short, but for this I did copy down the extra bits this time because they were extra useful.
A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum is an advanced-strength retinoid serum delivers a 6.5%solution of stablilized retinoid blends and botanical, retinol-alternative extracts into the skin.
Apply 1-2 pumps in the evening to clean, dry skin. For targeted instructions, see below:
For new retinoid users: Use two days on, two days off. Work your way up to every other day, then to daily, evening use. Follow with a hydrating oil or moisturizer, like C.E.O. Glow or Juno. Use an AHA serum, like Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment, on alternate nights to sweep away dead skin cells.
For advanced retinoid users: Use daily, in the evenings. Follow with a hydrating oil or moisturizer, like C.E.O. Glow or Juno. Use an AHA serum, like Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment, in the mornings to sweep away dead skin cells.
For sensitive skin: Apply a few drops of a gentle, hydrating oil, like C.E.O. Glow or Juno to your skin before applying A+ serum.
My Birchbox came in on the afternoon of November 27th so I decided to start that night. As a new to retinoid user, I went with the new use plan. I used it the 27th and 28th, skipped November 29th and 30th, used it December 1st and 2nd, skipped the 3rd and 4th, used it the 5th and 6th. The sample size I had ran out of product on the sixth.
On the nights I used it I followed the retinol up with the Malin + Goetz recovery oil (It is one of my favorite facial oils at the moment and one I happen to like a lot better than the Sunday Riley CEO Glow. This is actually my second bottle of this oil). I happened to still have some Good Genes Lactic Acid treatment on hand (which is one of the Sunday Riley Products I will reorder) so I used that on alternate nights as directed.
I really like that the directions are very specific as to what types of products should be used and when. As I am just learning about applying retinols I found this break down extremely helpful. Retinols are used to work on wrinkles and dark spots followed by oil to hydrate and alternated with AHA to get rid of dead skin cells. It is well outlined.
Did it work?
Well, given the amount of product I had to work with and the length of time I used it, expecting major results would be a bit much. I took a picture on the day I started and on the morning after I used the last amount of product. While there is little difference that can be seen, some of the dark sun damaged spots on my forehead have lightened. Thus far i haven’t had an product that I’ve tried that has done much with those spots. I think it may be a job for retinol. I do have high hopes that a longer trial might show some more noticeable results.
The product worked well with my skin and it is something that I could definitely see giving a longer trial, especially to see what it does with those dark spots on my forehead. I think that at some point in the future I will be picking this up to test out further. It also gave me a bit more confidence in trying out retinoid based products in the future as well. There is so much talk of sun sensitivity that I was very cautious of the ingredient. while I am by no means laying out in the sun to work on my tan, I walk most days and in the summer i spend a lot of time working in the garden (I’m pretty sure the forehead damage is garden work related). I did use the serum only at night and even though the garden is buried under mulch and waiting for the spring, I was still walking outside most days. I had no extra sun sensitivity. I also use sunscreen. In fact I was extra careful to use sunscreen while I was testing this out.
While I would still be cautious and ease myself in to any retinol product I try, now that I sort of understand the system of layering it with other products and interspacing it with AHAs I am less hesitant to try out this category of products. It may take me a little while to circle back to this, but given the way my skin felt as I used it, this does rank high on the list of products I want to test for a longer time period.
Using this product also brought home to me the need to use a product for a full month or longer to see results. While I am going to be working through a few more samples this month and gathering first impressions, in the new year I think I am going to adjust how I review skincare, like serums and moisturizers, focusing more on longer term reviews for those products. There will still be first impressions though as I decide what products I really want to try out for a longer term. As a first impression, the Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum performed well enough to be put on the list of the full sized products to try.
I have been a fan of many Marc Jacobs products for a while. I have a bronzer that I will use down to pan and when I found I still had a Velvet Noir Mascara still in my dressing table I squealed with delight. So I was very interested when I found out that Marc Jacobs was delving into skin care. I was even more pleased when I managed to get my hands on a jar of the Marc Jacobs Youthquake Moisturizer (retail $59). I have been using it for the past month and now it is time to share my thought on the product with you. First, a little about the product.
A multitasking moisturizer, with powerful pineapple enzymes and encapsulated sodium hyaluronate, that provides deep hydration and retexturizing results for a glowing, makeup-ready canvas.
Have it all with Youthquake. This multitasking moisturizer has the perfect combination of moisturizing and retexturizing results. Why bother rehydrating dead skin cells? Smooth away rough texture and reveal a fresh surface that’s ready to receive major moisture magnitude. Formulated with 54% enzymatic pineapple water and 5% encapsulated sodium hyaluronate, this innovative gel crème gives you an instant glow and lasting hydration for up to 24 hours. Most suitable for normal to dry skin, Youthquake’s hydrating formula with a full-bodied gel-crème texture and creamy tropical scent melts luxuriously into skin. With the addition of antioxidant-rich starfruit and dragonfruit extracts, the nourishing formula results in a makeup-ready canvas that looks smoother, plumper and more youthful.
Okay, first off – the packaging. It is gorgeous. It has a sleek and sophisticated look to it. I love the rounded edges and the way the product seems to hover in the jar. It is not a hardship to look at on the skin care shelf. I also like that inside it has a secondary lid to protect the cream from air and unwanted contaminants.
The scent of the cream is delicious. It is a tropical coconut pineapple blend. It is mixed with the scent of cream so that it doesn’t feel like you are smearing a cocktail on your skin. And the scent is light enough that it is not overpowering. It does linger though. You can smell it on your skin for a little while after you apply it. If you have issues with scent, you may want to think about that before trying it out. (or get a sample before committing to a full sized jar)
The texture is thick and creamy. Usually, in the winter I like thicker creams so that wasn’t an automatic dealbreaker for me. This cream is not just thick though. It is heavy. I would not be able to use it in the summertime. If I had very dry skin then maybe, but my skin just can’t take that much moisture in the warmer months.
I started out using the cream both day and night. For the first week I was fine. It was a heavier cream than I was used to and I applied much less during the day then I did at night. That first week it worked like a dream. Even though it is on the heavy side, it absorbed well and I felt any of the rough spots I from summer sun damage rehydrating and smoothing out.
Because it is so thick, I found that putting it on my hands and rubbing them together to warm the cream up slightly before application helped it absorb more quickly. Otherwise there was a lot of rubbing on my face as I waited for it to absorb in. That is more common in thicker creams, so I didn’t have a problem with it, I just have to remember to warm it first.
By the second week I realized that while I was still applying this cream normally at night, for day time use I was dipping a finger in to get as little product as possible on my finger, then rubbing my hands together before applying. It was simply too much for my skin during the daytime and I was beginning to see breakouts.
I stopped wearing it during the day and used it only at night for the rest of the trial, using a lighter weight day cream during the day. The break outs cleared up so I was happy.
For reference I have what is amusingly referred to as Normal skin. It means I balance on a very thin line with my skin’s needs changing with the seasons and sometimes the weather of a particular day. My activities during the day also have a greater impact on what product I use. In the summer, I lean more towards oily and in the winter I lean more towards dry.
As a night cream, the Marc Jacobs Youthquake worked well for me in the moisturizing department, combating the dryer air of the central heating system. I don’t mind a thicker cream at night, in fact I prefer it. I like putting on a thicker night cream and letting it soak in while I sleep. That way I can go with a lighter, more quickly absorbing cream during the day. That helps cut down my getting ready time while not depriving my skin. It absorbs well into the skin and really left me feeling hydrated.
Some of you may have noticed that with this post, there are no before and after pictures with this moisturizer. That’s because the only thing this moisturizer did was moisturize. While I felt hydrated and could feel no dry patches, it really didn’t do much beyond that.There was no minimizing lines, and quite frankly I’m pretty sure any resurfacing action was done by my exfoliators. This is not a multi tasker, at least I did not find it to be so.
It hydrates, that’s it.
With a night cream this doesn’t bother me. I really like using exfoliators and serums and then finishing off with a hydration bomb that sinks in overnight. As such this worked. It is simply too heavy a cream for me to wear during the day. I will continue to use it as a night cream until it is gone.
To be honest, it is one of the better night creams I have tried in a while in terms of moisture and I would keep it around just for that. I suspect that it would also be good for me in the summertime after a day with too much time I the sun. It wouldn’t be an every night use as it is in the winter, but it would be an occasionally welcome addition to my skincare arsenal.
At the moment while I have several moisturizers that I like, the list of night creams I enjoy is rather short and this does top the list. I would consider repurchasing only to use as a night cream and to be honest, really only if it went on sale. I think that at full price I would probably pass it up, but I could easily see myself tempted into a purchase by a sale, especially if I don’t find a better night cream. (That search continues). I would probably add it on when purchasing a bronzer or a mascara rather than seeking it out on it’s own. Kind of a while I’m here, and since it’s on sale purchase, not something I would stalk to wait for a sale. (To clarify). I like the scent of the Marc Jacobs Youthquake and I like using it as a night cream, especially in the winter. It moisturizes well, but overall it falls short on all of the other claims.
Today my darlings is a day of running. I hit the ground and haven’t stopped. I finally got a breather but to be honest, I don’t think it is going to last all that long. So what’s a girl to do?
Flash Mask, that’s what. Today is the day I pulled the second jar of the Ursa Major Bright and Easy Flash Mask out of my masking drawer. Two small containers came in one of my Petit Vour Boxes a while ago. I used one and saved the other for use on a day with little time.
And this is it’s day to shine. Today there are no candles, there is no attempt at zen. We all know Zen isn’t my strong point. In the quiet of my mind my brain starts making up stories and plotting fictional murders. Or at least plotting the alibi my fictional murder would use and trying to make sure they think they have all of the bases covered before trying to figure out how my intrepid detective is going to trip them up.
Or I just turn on music and blank my mind while I sing along. Or attempt to. Both the blanking and the singing. Neither are really my strong points.
The Ursa Major mask is a three minute mask. It has a slightly grassy alfalfa -y scent to it that you have to actually work to find. Otherwise it smells like almost nothing.
On the skin it looks just like you have wet skin. I put it on my face and then ran around the house for three minutes trying to get the last things I need together before my next conference call/meeting. Not exactly restful but necessary.
The three minutes zoomed by and I returned to the bathroom. The mask dried and my skin felt the tightness of the mask on it, but I still couldn’t really see anything. I rinsed my face with water. After toweling off I had to stop a minute and run my hands over my face.
My skin was fabulously soft and delightful. I forgot how good this mask makes my skin feel. There is a little bit of brightening that I can see, but really the wow factor is in the texture. This mask makes my skin feel fantastic.
When I got it in a Petit Vour Box it came in two little jars. Each jar has enough product for two masking sessions, possibly three if you go light on it. I used and loved the first one and set the second jar aside to be used when I was pressed for time but still felt the need for a little skin TLC.
I forgot how fabulous this was. I really need to look into getting a full size of this mask and using it on a more regular basis rather than just as an emergency mask. The full sized jar of the Ursa Major Bright and Easy Flash Mask is $44 and quite frankly i think it is worth it. There are no ml or oz marks on the little jar I recieved, but a little of this product goes a long way so I imagine the 50 mL of the full size would go a very long way indeed. It is a great pick me up and feels utterly fantastic on the skin. For a three minute flash mask, it can’t be beat. It may not be the nice restful break i normally like in my Friday afternoons, but this week, I didn’t have the time for my normal masking experience. And quite frankly, this mask out performed many of my other longer use masks doing in three minutes what some of the masks I have tried can’t do in 15. As far as masks to repurchase, this has now jumped to the top of the list.
And in case anyone is wondering the sparkly christmas red nail polish in todays pics is the brand Orchid Professional Nail Lacquer in the shade Bling It On. (I’d provide a link but I am having trouble finding one I can find reviews but no one who actually has it for sale. If anyone knows about this please let me know as it is a good polish) It is one of those polishes that gets shoved to the back of the drawer until after Thanksgiving and then gets worn repeatedly all december until i go gold or silver for New Years. the first coat is disappointing but with two to three coats the color is impressively deep and fabulous. It is a pretty long lasting polish as well, even without a top coat. You just have to take the time for the extra coats to dry.
Because I know this afternoon is likely to be just as crazed as this morning, I am adding in a set of the Grace and Stella eye masks to my desk top as well. Luckily while i have several conference calls none of them are video calls. This means I can keep my hair pulled back, not worry about applying my makeup and when my eyes start to droop from too much computer time, pop these eye masks on to feel refreshed. Until then, I am just going to enjoy my clean and fabulous skin. It may actually be the best part of my meeting.
So I am now off to discuss budgeting and scopes of work. i hope you enjoy the rest of your day and have a fabulous weekend. For me, there are long calls with an eye mask refresh and tonight when all the work is put away, there will be an icy cold martini. The Plymouth Gin is in the freezer, the Noilly Prat Vermouth is in the fridge and a fresh jar of olives is standing by for the friday wind down and the weekly cocktail hour. This week my baby doll and I are taking a break from our experimenting with recipes and returning to the standards. So tonight it is a dry and dirty martini for me and probably either an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan for him. Some days, you just want the classics. Happy Friday everyone.