Review – Origins “Original Skin Face Mask”

I guess you could call this a baptism by fire review? i am in the throws of a hormonal breakdown in every sense, so cue hyperventilating, manic, pitchy, stress rant:

At this point — no joke — I will swallow, snort, sit on or slap on practically anything that promises results. A dangerous place to be with a credit card and only one emotion: desperation.

I had another baby four months ago — yeah yeah, congrats me — but let’s talk about the fall out, shall we? LITERALLY. My fucking HAIR IS FALLING OUT. I have two bald spots just above my temples! WHAT?!

While my hair collected on the bathroom floor trying to create a new species of mutant dust bunny, my body then began to break out in unexplainable, inexplicable hives — from boobs to butt — little red spots started to rise, and then spread! They were so mysterious, even the Dr. couldn’t give me any idea what plague I had contracted! I cleared the pharmacy shelves of every ointment, cream and lotion they had. I took Benadryl, bathed in oatmeal, prayed to god (then to the other one, you know, below) and nothing — NOTHING — helped. I had never had any kind of skin irritation on my body before. I was the lucky gal that only had epidermal nightmares on the face, you know, where the WORLD could see. Usually my white ass stayed — well, white! Not anymore — now I am a pimply mess from head to toe. Continuity is nice, isn’t it? FUCK NO.

After my body started looking well diseased, I had the pleasure of welcoming back my old friend, the crimson curse. Yes, I got my period back and no word of a lie, my latest visit with flow sent me to the river. THE RIVER, PEOPLE. I bled for ten days! I thought I was going to die! I bled through tampons within minutes! My local drugstore made their rent on my frigging tampon bill for fuck sake!

But then came the worst of it all. The ultimate in humiliation. My face blew the fuck up. I got acne in places on my face I have never in my life had acne, man! My forehead was (sorry, IS) more red than my regular pale-as-a-ghost porcelain. And, not just “red” with irritation, no, fuck no, that would be pleasant! My forehead erupted in huge pustules, really big puffy buggers, the ones you can’t deflate, or cover, or even speed the healing — nada can be done for these things — they are a force of nature. My chin had open real estate for the normal splattering of hormonal acne so of course, I just got more this round. Really painful bumps mixed with white heads, from my lips down to the underside of my chin, oh god … it is not a pretty sight.

And, so? I have been battling. Tooth and nail. Fighting the good fight pretty well since sweet little Sophie Elizabeth was born in the New Year. Yes, she tore me asunder and then took my beauty too, evil nugget.

Oh. And, I forgot to mention in the middle of all this my husband gave me a cold sore AND thought it was hilarious to give me a hickey on my forehead. Plain and simple people, I’ve been praying for the eternal sleep (after hickey –his, and mine.)

Didn’t I say I was writing a review? I am, trust me. You just needed a little back story to understand what drove me to the brink of beauty-related desperation. Turns out, I am a vain creature … and Sephora loves that about me.

I’ve been wanting to take a swing at the brand Origins for a while now. Of course, every time I tried, I recoiled in fear because of the prices of their product line. I am not exactly used to thirty dollars for a FACE MASK. Plus, working for LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, I already had really great masks at my finger tips. But, because I was embroiled in the fight of my life over this “acne” — aka zombie apocalypse of the damn face — I wanted more than the powerhouse herb approach. I wanted what was trendy, what people seemed to be talking about and I wanted something I had heard might work. So, I paid my local provider of all things beauty 60-something dollars to fix my face. I bought the Original Skin Rose Clay Mask, and the popular Clear Improvements Charcoal Mask (review to come.)

I slapped on “Original Skin” after raking my face with tea tree wash laden fingers (probably not my best laid plan to clear skin — using torture and physical trauma — smart) and left it sitting for ten minutes. It stung a little, no doubt because I’ve recently been clawing at my skin, picking, over-washing, and literally scrubbing tea tree into my pores for days. So blame the product not, blame the dumbass known as Princess Desperato. Hello.

Why I chose this mask for the acne-attack 2016? Well, to be fair, that is a valid question. This mask is not sold to those looking for something for acne per se, but for me personally, anything with clay usually does a stellar job of sucking out the red, calming inflamed skin and bringing back a matte, even toned surface — and it did do just that.

I applied this mask and washed it off only mere moments ago, but here’s what I can see from this rapid-fire experiment. The rose clay does tone down the inflammation, the citrus oil (grapefruit peel) cleared my skin of excess oil, and the lavender soothed my skin, seemingly. The mask contains jojoba oil beads for exfoliation, and they left my skin feeling gently scrubbed and really nicely clean. Just clean, and sometimes especially during a breakout, just feeling “clean” can go a long way to settling your worries. To the touch, my skin felt refined, smooth and lovely après mask — as advertised — even though, I probably shouldn’t be shoving my fingers all around my face while having such a notorious breakout. Again. Dumbass. Hello.

It has a fairly inconspicuous scent, though if you’re not used to masks with a real fragrance to them, this might be slightly overwhelming to the old nostrils. It is fruity, or citrusy to my nose, and definitely flowery not unpleasant but I was happy to wash it off after ten minutes. The wash was the most pleasurable bit. When combined with water this mask becomes smooth and buttery while the beads give a little scrub in the places you apply pressure. For that reason alone, I quite liked the mask even before examining the final result.

The Origins website promises “Glow big with our innovative 2-in-1 mask! Made with Mediterranean Rose Clay, Canadian Willowherb and exfoliating Jojoba beads, it helps gently deep clean while refining skin’s texture. Pores appear to vanish. Clarity is restored. Glow is instant.” and frankly, even with my acne issues, I felt like it delivered on these points, maybe not excessively (let’s face it, pores are pores and they don’t really “disappear”) but overall it was an accurate description. Is it worth 25+ dollars? Well, let me try it a few more times and I’ll get back to you.

So whether or not I wake up tomorrow with better or worse skin, I suppose my initial reaction to Origins’ face mask is a positive one. Looking forward to trying the charcoal mask, though apprehensive it’ll be just “another charcoal mask” that I will have dropped a hot 25+ bucks on … then again, mayhaps, it will be an acne destroyer and I’ll once again regain some of my lost attractiveness … See, I know I am not just being melodramatic because husband just came to bed and didn’t even try to hit me up for nookie.

Maybe if this mask was really all that good I’d be fully decked out in nipple clamps by now, hitting my high notes. Goddamn it. Do I need to write a whole other review..?

Oh yeah, it has been a while. Reminder, I don’t believe in TMI. There is never “too much information” especially, ladies and gents, not in the world of beauty.

Until next time, beauty-battlers. Goodnight & good skin.

 

Post Script: dedicated to my fellow blogger & friend, Aubree. For her friendship & her inspiration — something that has been feeding and fuelling me more than she knows. Find her brilliance here: Broke Buyer’s Club 

 

 

 

 

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Lazy Kelsey’s guide to selling a kidney for beauty

A few days ago I put out a teaser on my instagram, touting that I would soon be launching a post about an Innisfree skin care collection. I had dreams of following up that night, writing it and posting it hastily. But Lazy Kelsey took over and made me catch up on my PVR. Then, Lazy Kelsey made me eat Brookside fruit & crunch chocolate goodies. Finally, she made me sleep half the weekend away. Somehow now it is Wednesday night and I am just now tapping at the keyboard. This long (insightful) intro should allow you to preclude that I am not exactly “prepared” nor am I going into this post with a plan. Enjoy the probable mediocrity!

Just know that Lazy Kelsey is still in charge. She likes to write too, but she’s a touch vapid, easily distracted, and a bad speller. Moving on! Now, beauty-lovers o’ mine, here is the topic at hand. Innisfree.

To be more specific (as I fancy myself a beauty-blogger and they are supposed to be professional and detail-oriented) it is Innisfree’s “Bija Anti-Trouble” line. The foam cleanser and the lotion in particular (and an honourable mention of Innisfree’s “White Tone Up Sleeping Pack”) Oh, lovelies. I am in love with a new Korean brand. From packaging to efficacy – this one had me at “Helloooo, nurse!” We’ve been in bed together ever since. Well, when we’re not in the tub.

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I can’t help but fantasize about what the Memebox Innisfree collaboration box will look like … I’ve let myself run away on thoughts of a box brimming with expensive lotions and miracle natural cures curated carefully by the folks at Innisfree headquarters (heaven) knowing full well Memebox will have constraints and may very well not meet my absurdly lofty hopes for this box. But, we all must continue to dream even in the face of our reality – the reality being that of late Memebox’s offerings have been slipping in quality. I don’t harbour anger toward them, I know too well that new businesses grow in leaps and bounds – as they struggle to keep up things will change, sometimes suffer, and often quality takes a few hits below the belt. We can only hope the kinks get ironed out and they bounce back, dressed to impress. In other words, I am giving them a little slack as a consumer and customer, only because I am the type that feels “once I am done with them, I am done with them.” And, with me, it holds water.

As you remember, in past posts I’ve been bemoaning my breakout caused by my beauty forays. And, well. It has been a long road back to recovery. Once I had recovered, I was unwilling to pull the trigger on new face products, but at night while I laid there unslept and restless, I heard them calling. So I broke out a few goodies from one brand, hoping that if I stayed with a single brand I might be able to calmly introduce a new regime to a face that has recently been so abused by the beauty industry and its insipid little minions of evil. Yes. They do exist.

I’ve had relatively “calm” skin now for two weeks. The residual marks and the last two or three puffy painful spots were deflated and defeated by this gentle duo by Innisfree.

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Here’s what I’ve been doing in the tub with my little tube of foamy delight. I used the Innisfree Anti-Trouble foaming cleanser with my exfoliating gloves at first because I was trying to combat the drying spots and rub down the bumps and get them to heal up. Yet, I quickly discovered this cleanser was potent and the more I scrubbed the more I was likely to overwhelm my skin, dry it out and add to my problem. I ditched the gloves. I began to use a small dollop of cleanser, day and night, I massaged the creamy cleanser onto my skin gently, let it foam and then let it sit on the surface of my face for a minute or two. After those minutes pass, I rinse my hands with hot water and place my warm palms up to my face to warm my skin and the foam together. Finally, I rinse with cool water to close my opened pores. Bear in mind, that some nights I used an oil cleanser to remove my makeup first before commencing this process with the Innisfree foam cleanser.

At night only, I followed my cleansing routine with the LJH Tea Tree essence (that I have used religiously for months, and it didn’t aid in my recent breakout which was a reaction to another product, so I don’t think it changed the efficacy of the Innisfree) and the lotion in the same anti-trouble line as the cleansing foam. In a few days, a visible change took hold. Not only have my acne issues quieted but the tone and texture of my overall skin is vastly improving. Over the two week trial, I used the White Tone Up Sleeping Pack twice to add to the evening out of my skin tone. It helped wash out the red, but it was a tad uncomfortable to wear overnight as it stayed a little wet and tacky.

Needless to say and what is best of all, these two Innisfree products did not irritate or worsen any of my issues. I credit them with keeping my breakouts at bay for the last two weeks. My face and I have returned to our quirky selves … you can barely see what once was an epidermal beastie’s romping playground! In the following pictures the only foundation I am wearing is a mineral makeup with lightweight coverage. Something I only can get away with when my skin is behaving.

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These Innisfree products came my way in my last eBay haul. I purchased them through a Korean seller and didn’t pay any shipping. The cleanser was 12 dollars, the lotion around 11 and the sleeping pack was 20 (USD) – I received them about ten business days after I ordered, and the seller sent updates during the wait. I have had nothing but good experiences with eBay and Korean sellers so far, nothing against Memebox but it is nice to order exactly what you want – even if it’s less of a surprise, there is less disappointment going this route.

I will be reordering from this line in my next haul, you know when the day comes that I have a little cash to throw around. This Anti-Trouble line also has quite a few other options such as a gel cleansers, a spot treatment, patch treatments, other creams and so on. I am eager to try them all but I can only collect them a couple at a time unless I plan to stop feeding the kid and selling his personal affects … heeeeeey … my hubby has an Xbox to sell … and a kidney! Offers?

It is refreshing to discover a product or two that I know I will use until the bottles are empty. It still amazes me how rarely that happens! In any case, if you yourself are experiencing a “skinmare” try looking this line up, it might be worth it. And, if you do or you have already let me know your thoughts!

Until we meet again, my beauty-extroverts … be safe out there.

Dirty Girls Club

Whether you’re into sheet masks, heating or cooling packs, mud masks or clay masks; we’ve all been touched by the magic that is the face mask. I discovered masks really late in my life, but once I rubbed clay onto my face for the first time, I was hooked. Not only does my skin prefer this type of pampering, but I love the whole process. As I discussed at length in an earlier post about clay masks, they really do transport me to a tranquil space. Emotionally they provide me with therapy, physically they help my hormonal acne, and immediately they calm & centre me. Now, I can’t imagine living without them. Luckily for us, it doesn’t matter the type of face mask you like, there are so many choices out there on the market. Korean or not, you can find the right one for you through trial and error. And, for the first time “trial and error” translates to a fun beauty adventure.

During my last eBay haul, I bought a slew of different clay & charcoal masks. More than anything else I’ve found, these types of masks do wonders for my skin. I never have to worry about them breaking me out because they are so neutral and calming. I have sensitive skin and skin that doesn’t like to be fucked with but I can’t remember a time when a natural based clay pack or something similar ever caused a problem. It’s one of the reasons I always go back to them time and time again. I don’t have to think about it and because of that, it adds to the relaxation in the process of my facial cleanse.

There are three stages to keep in mind when you are using a clay or charcoal mask. The first stage is when you apply the mask pack and it is smooth and wet in consistency. While the mask is moist, our skin is receiving beneficial minerals and nutrients from the pack. The second stage is when the mask becomes tacky, at this point your capillaries are getting good exercise as the pack tightens and contracts. This also stimulates blood flow to your face aiding in your skin’s regeneration. In the third stage, the mask will dry – now, the longer you leave it on after this point, the more you leave yourself open to dehydration and irritation. Ideally, you want to wash off your mask pack at the end of the second stage just before the third stage is in full swing. Before it dries, cracks and leaves you unable to move your mouth or any other parts of your face.

I often get far beyond the second stage because I often apply these masks while I am readying my two year old for bed at night. Thirty minutes or more will go by before I’ll get to wash my face. Luckily, I tend to be able to get away with this, though it is not recommended. It is important to remember that if you forget to wash off the mask before the drying stage is complete, don’t over compensate with too much heavy moisturizer. This could possibly overload your skin, stress it and trouble won’t be far behind. By all means moisturize, but use it sparingly.

There are several different types of clay and they vary in colour, mineral density, and level of absorption ability. For example, white clays are best for sensitive skin, brown clays are great for exfoliation and green clays tend to be packed with minerals. I seem to work well with all three, though it is beneficial to know that any clay mask can bring on a breakout at first as they all will draw out toxins, bacteria and extra sebum from the pores. This is normal, but minimize this possibility by picking a mask that compliments your skin type, and don’t let it over-dry and crack. Similarly to clay, charcoal does much of the same. It absorbs what you don’t want and it delivers nutrition your skin will benefit from.

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My recent purchases included a charcoal & bamboo mask pack from Nature Republic. Already a fan of clay masks, I was eager to try this one in particular. As I expected, this one acted much like any other clay mask would, except I noticed that charcoal’s ability to absorb and draw out sebum was extremely powerful. I did leave it on for much longer than intended – as you will see in the pictures – but because of that lapse in judgment you can really see the level of absorption and the efficacy of this mask in particular.

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After removing the dried pack, I noticed refined pores and a decrease in overall redness. I followed with a mild oil cleanser because I left the mask pack on much longer than intended and I wanted to head off the possibility of dehydration. After, I did not find my skin irritated or dehydrated which I expected. Hours later, my skin feels drier than usual but soft. All my acne spots are reduced, flattened and feel less irritated. I certainly feel like it delivered on it’s “detoxifying” claims. With this mask’s seemingly powerful grip on absorption, I wouldn’t use this more than once weekly whereas with a white clay mask I might use it twice a week or even three times depending on my skin’s condition.

In the end, I really like this mask for its potency and effectiveness. I’d add it to your next shopping haul if you’re looking for a powerhouse absorbing monster of a mask. At a fraction of the price of say a celebrity favourite like Glam Glow, which I can’t for the life of me shell out for … for stay at home moms like me, Nature Republic might just be where we get our own glam glow-ing skin!

Until next time, Beauty-bombshells. Be safe out there.

Review – from Jeju or from Heaven?

When the spoilers came around for memebox’s From Jeju edition, I clamoured to find them. This was one box I had been looking forward to for quite a while. It felt like it took forever for its shipping date to arrive, and then even longer to actually ship to my door. I was mid-wait when I saw the first unboxing picture of the box, and just like that, the great white hope, the excitement, the anticipation was dashed. Upon first look, it seemed to me to be a pretty unexciting box. My initial thought was, wait … two products that are one use only, a hand cream, a sample size … sigh. So, I waited for my own to arrive, knowing that and reminding myself that even when a box doesn’t excite you when you see it online, it is totally different when it is in your hands.

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Jeju arrived tonight and I unpacked it with my usual zeal. I read the information card and looked through my box’s contents. As I drove home from the post office, I unpackaged the hand cream and rubbed a little between my palms.

This is where my attitude got put in check and things started to turn around.

The Yeon hand cream smelled, downright heavenly. Floral, soft, practically effervescent! Normally, I find floral scents very hard to take because they tend to be intense. Though this one is strong, it is beautiful and the aroma mellows quickly. It isn’t greasy or oily in the slightest and it sinks into your skin incredibly rapidly, and the finish is silky verging on powdery. I absolutely love this “Jeju Canola Honey” Silky Hand Cream, and I never say that about hand creams.

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Later on, while soaking my worries away in my tub, I kept staring at the rest of my box’s goodies. I hadn’t planned on trying anything new because I am still gun-shy from my experiences with the Linzy Egg Soaps but if I finally liked a hand cream, maybe that was a cosmic sign.

I cleansed with the “SanDa Wha” Oil Cleanser and was pleasantly surprised. It smelled sweet, mild and of chamomile. It felt incredibly soft and wonderful between my fingers, and my skin loved it. No issues with irritation and it left my face feeling comfortable. Also did a commendable job removing my makeup. I was disappointed off the hop when I saw it, because it is very small. Memebox says it is full size and though I like it, I still question that. It is 30ml, I hope it will last and it should, as you don’t need much to cleanse your face.

I followed that with the “HallaBong” Peeling Toner. Ok, I know I keep harping on the scents of products this time around, but oh my God – this toner smells freaking unbelievable. Fruity, fresh, crisp and clean. It is an absolute treat for your nostrils. Now, I didn’t find any “peeling” to speak of, in this peeling toner … but I have to confess I used the Lemon D-Toc peeling gel this morning, so this might have altered the efficacy of this Hallabong toner. Yet, that doesn’t take anything away from its impressiveness. This toner left my skin looking so bright and awake I will have to start using this in the morning. It also didn’t irritate my skin, not even the left over red bumps from my recent breakout. I was happily applying this toner over and over, smelling it and making Hubby smell it. I love love, love this!

Then, since I was riding high, I threw caution to the wind and whipped out the “Skindeco” Volcanic Pore Clay Sparkling Heating Mask. This stuff is bizarre! But bizarre in the best way! First off, the texture is other-wordly. It looks and feels like hard-whipped whipped cream, it looks almost dessert like. It even smells kind of dessert like! It is light brown, and silky soft. It is very thick but easy enough to apply over your face. It quickly heats up, and while you remove it, it heats up even more (though I tend to react differently than most with these Korean heating masks) I enjoyed it. I left my pores cleared out completely. The texture was the most surprising, at first glance I thought it was dried out but it wasn’t at all … it was just trying to trick me. I think this mask will be a favourite among Memebox addicts worldwide. It could have qualified to go into an “OMG Box” without a doubt.

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These three products are my standouts from the “From Jeju” box from Memebox. I feel like I may have judged this box sight-unseen, harshly and with undue haste. Also, I think I was swayed into thinking this was going to be a poor box because the packaging of these products are rather ho-hum. Yet, after trying these products for myself, I am convinced that this box is a quiet winner. The box also included a one-use sleeping pack from Etude House, a sheet mask and a serum. The serum, in my opinion, was rather mediocre. It didn’t smell of anything particularly yummy, and it was slightly oily. It didn’t sink into my skin as fast as I would like, either. I am trying the sleeping pack tonight, mainly just to be rid of it, and the sheet mask will go into my collection of sheet masks for use later on. All in all, this little box changed my mind and made me put my attitude away. I think the four products I mentioned in detail above make this box worth the money, which is something I questioned early on. Perhaps this will teach me to get my box first before having an opinion about it.

We can only hope. Until next time Beauty-mavens. Be safe out there.

Yes, I Am Sleeping With Him

Some times ladies and gents, it’s not a man that saves you. Once in a while, if you scream “rescue!” a face moisturizer arrives, proudly, on a steed and dressed in shiny armour, the knight to your damsel in beauty-crisis-distress!

No, seriously.

Many of you know, that last week I was brought to my knees by a skin care mis-step. As you may also know, this mis-step kept a record. On my face. And, for a week my Hubby was forced to inspect my face twice daily, once nightly, to discern a careful answer to, “Ok. How does it look now?”

He finally told me today, after we finally agreed that we started to see the red-splatter monster begin to fade, that it was in fact my “worst reaction and breakout ever.” Bar none. Nothing else makes a wife feel sexier, folks.

Every night in recent memory I have been labouring over my face. Today was the day I was attending a baby shower of a very old and dear friend – and I was intent on fixing my face for the event. Even if the internet at every turn told me, no, you can’t heal acne overnight – Well, screw you interwebs! I have to find a way! I refuse to be the woman at the shower that terrifies the kiddies. Halloween is over!

So every night it was a flurry of safe cleansers, cold compresses, moisturizers, tea tree, hyaluronic acid … praying … meditation … deals with the devil – a little clarity for my soul – you know. The usual. By last night, things had started to even out and clear up. It wasn’t perfect, and at the baby shower I looked like the living-dead as I foundation-ed like a maniac and powdered my already white face with even whiter powder. People kept asking me if I was “feeling alright,” and that’s when I kicked a baby and ran like hell.

Ok that didn’t happen. But people? It wasn’t my best day for vanity and I felt less than celebratory.

So let’s move on, shall we? To the good news portion of this shitshow post. We have a helpful creature in our midst! Something that I think really went to bat for me while I fell apart under the stress of my chicken-pox-on-acid like breakout on my face.

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If this were a man, I’d be sleeping with him.

No, I mean that literally. This is what I went to bed with, on my face – and I fell in love.

This is a really good moisturizer. The Pro You Aroma AC Cream. It is for “troubled” skin and its formula is extremely pleasing. When you have a breakout, the last thing you want, or least the last thing I want is to be left too oily from a moisturizer. But conversely, I also don’t want to dry out my skin. For me, excessively oily moisturizers (which I find is most of them) just add to the problem – I inevitably find new pimples cropped up the next morning. If I use a harsh cleanser and follow up with a lacking moisturizer then the next day when I try to apply makeup to my face but my spots are dried, peeling, crunchy and disgusting. Nothing covers them, and it is a horrible task to even try. These are the mornings that Bestie gets a text from me stating I am cancelling any foreseeable plans for hanging out in public.

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I was surprised to find myself liking this cream, and even more surprised to see myself going back to it, time and time again. I haven’t been a fan of other Pro You products thus far, their wrinkle care cream in particular (you know one, huge gigantor tub, came in the Anti-aging 3 box) that one was just way too freaking rich for my skin. I quit using it after a short stint, I was sure it would break me out. Why does that tub have to be so huge?! So, when I opened this AC cream by the same company, to say the least I was dubious.

Pro You managed to make a very rich cream for troubled skin that is non-irriating, non-stinging, and absorbs like a dream. Absorption is always on my list of grievances with moisturizers. I always feel like they sit on my skin, slough off or leave me sticky or tacky. This one absorbs rapidly, so much so you have to have quick fingers to spread it out quicker than it dries. But it does dry, and it soothes and it feels cooling on the skin. I was happy to find something that didn’t burn my skin, or the spots even if I applied it directly after cleansing. As far as effectiveness, I only have a short window to study its efficacy. But within the week my acne lightened up, and at least 40% of it disappeared. What’s left are the stubborn spots, but even those are well on their way to being healed. It wasn’t greasy when I put it on, and it wasn’t greasy when I woke. This cream came with my “Free from Oil and Trouble 4” box, so I can only guess it was fate – it was my reprieve from those egg soaps from hell.

In the end my dear beauty-lovers, I am on the mend. Today, I braved sunlight and I put on pants. That should signal to you that this crisis is almost adverted.

Until next time, Beauty-babes. Be safe out there.

A WTF Moment

Everything was going so well. i mean, so well. at first, i had apprehension but as more Korean goodies arrived at my doorstep, the more my worry faded, and the more fun I had and for a while even I – the always critical one – saw a noticeable change in my skin.

Was it anything more than the mystique of the magical looking elixirs, that convinced me of significant and positive epidermal change? Well, we could argue that long into the night. The point is, me and the “probably Korean drugstore products” as Hubby would say, well we were getting along. Making beautiful beauty music. But, I guess I always knew that one day it would come to a screeching halt.

By no means is my skin perfect. Who’s is? Yet, my skin and I, we’ve got an accord. I know her, intimately. I know her inside and out, I know her tendencies, I know when she’s about to get bitchy and I know how to put her back in her place, but all bets were off when I started experimenting with lotions & potions from afar.

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Usually with a proper cleanser, and a decent drugstore foundation I could pull off looking like a female. Win. Sure, sometimes people would tell me I was more pale than the dead … but what of it? I was a stranger to the tan, but lucky to have just bouts of hormonal acne once in a while, and as I aged my skin got a little less sensitive. We were in a good place. So what drove me to dally and gamble with my skin care routine?

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The promise of “even better skin.” A harrowing thought now that I’ve taken a turn down another path: Reaction a la ma-face-she-go-boom.

It is extremely hard to nail down a culprit to label devil but I have a hunch! Dick Tracy hats on, Beauty Detectives.

I am not as smart as many of you out there currently receiving Memeboxes. Most of you open one product, use it and then open another. Or you all have specifically rendered routines where you have three or four (five, six … twelve) products you use over the day and night and you become well accustomed to each one and their results on your individual skin. Very smart Memeboxers!

I am more a student of chaos theory? Yes, I have a few items I use without fail because I love them (e.g. LJH Tea Tree Essence) but with every box that arrives, I’ll throw something new into the mix. I play it fast and loose, and shoot from the hip. And, apparently I’ve gotten a little too bold with it. I had a really good run with my skin for so long, and I stupidly started to feel invincible. New cleanser? Yes! New serum? Why not? New moisturizer? Hells yeah, baby. Pour some sugar on me, I am your sweet sweet cherry pie!

… Wow. Total Eighties hair-band flashback.

New (weird, odd smelling, EGG SHAPED) facial soap? Again, I said yes but this time, I hadn’t realized I was in the presence of pure evil.

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photo credit: memebox website

I was so excited to receive my “Free from Oil & Trouble 4” box from Memebox and this one had some real winning products. I figured one night, as I was lazily soaking in the tub that the “Linzy Egg Soaps” would be nothing short of deeeeelightful!

I wish I could smack those soaps right out of the hands of Kelsey of the past, but no. I left my Wiccan powers in my summer jacket. AGAIN.

Now, I know it is unfair to point the witchy-poo finger at the eggy soaps, but I have thought about it. It is the only new product I’ve introduced in the last week. Everything else that is relatively new has been with me now since the last box I received which was weeks ago. Thusly, I elect the eggies as the evil-doers.

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Here’s the D-L on the haps, peeps. I broke out in the weirdest (angriest) way. The pimples came and they came with friends. They were the red, painful kind – not a lot of whiteheads or blackheads, just round painful dots, ranging in size, spread out from the underside of my chin up to about mid-cheek. Against my white skin, they looked exactly like little constellations splattered out from chin to lip to cheek. Constellations as in just like the stars, but in pimple form. But curiously? Less attractive. And, definitely less romantic. You get a sense of what I mean by the pictures above – the polysporin I’m using to quell the rage and take the edge off the pain, covers their pattern pretty exactly.

For about three days now the infection has been spreading and worsening, because I didn’t think the innocent white and red eggs were the issue at first. I also did some things in an attempt to calm my skin, that I found out recently you should not do. Not ever!

One. I tried popping the buggers.

Ok. So I know already that isn’t what you’re supposed to do – so sue me.

Two. I tried using a hot compress to help heal up the broken skin.

Apparently, no! You should be using cool water, to calm, close the pores and not irritate.

Three. I introduced yet another new product. Blithe Patting Water (soothing & healing green tea). Something which had no hope of helping! Zero chance because let’s face it, this was no small skin freak out and again, *hangs head in shame* I used super heated water.

So Beauty Adventurers, where does this leave us? Well, it leaves me to go to a baby shower on Sunday looking like my good old halloween pal, Freddie. And, it leaves you with this cautionary tale. Yours to use as the last line of defence!

What was my last line of defence, you ask? Well my darlings, I have a two-year old that was obsessed with the evil eggs from the moment he saw them … So after the obligatory will this give you flesh eating disease? check …

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Holy Grail Beauty Must-Haves

For the longest time, this term as far as it related to beauty products made no sense to me. I didn’t know what a “holy grail” item was because I rarely finished any beauty product unless it was out of necessity, like shampoo or conditioner. More often that not, even if I found something I loved, I either quickly lost interest or I physically lost it before the real love affair began. (Hello, Bonnebell lipsmackers, I think lost you most of all)

There are, of course, the holy grail items you hear about through the beauty grapevine. And for a time, I listened and followed suit, buying up whatever was the hot ticket. This is how I came to be the temporarily proud owner of many beauty-mistakes: the quintessential 90’s pixie cut with blonde frosted tips, orange lipstick, roll-on body glitter, chunky glitter hairspray, neon blue mascara, frosted pink lipgloss – just to name a few. Let’s just say I didn’t exactly make high school easy for myself. That haircut especially, haunted me for many years … *shrugs off chills* egads. It just didn’t always register with me that my pale skin, big eyes, and freckles just wouldn’t look so hot coupled with many of these trends … ah, the folly of youth.

And, so? It goes on. And, it gets worse. We finally grow up a little and learn to not blindly take on every trend whole-hog and we become a bit more discerning in our tastes. Yet, no matter how old we are, if our best friend finds something and shouts “Holy grail! Holy grail!” we all still jump in line, don’t we? Even my Bestie – the makeup neophyte – even we have this relationship when it comes to mascaras. If I ever stand a chance of holding a cosmetics-related chat with her then you can bet it’s about that. If she finds one, I buy it. If I find one, she’ll roll her eyes but usually she’ll buy it too.

But none of these situations truly constitute finding a real holy grail item. These are just scenarios where we amuse ourselves while we wait for the real thing to come along. And for me? It never did. I would use certain things a few times, maybe repurchase them if I was really caught up but eventually something new would come along and I was a terribly disloyal harlot and frankly, when it came to cosmetic brands, I really “slept around,” I liked them flashy and I liked them cheap. Hence the Bonnebell and roll-on glitter filled purses of my youth.

But now, as I stand at the end of my twenties, staring down my thirties, my relationship with cosmetics has changed. I have to be more thoughtful with what I splash on my face, and sadly, I have to spend more money and give myself over to the going theory that you get what you pay for and with cosmetics and makeup that really tends to be the truth.

In my recent explorations into the Korean beauty market, and on the back of a well researched friend’s opinion I found something that fits the bill. A truly holy enough item to call itself grail.

Now at first when I was buying and trying new products from Korea I was hesitant about anything that alluded to “whitening” or “peeling” … even the mention of skin-brightening or descriptions of dead skin cells sloughing off … I just buried my head in my western beauty ideals and stayed away. It wasn’t until I was more versed, and did my own research that I finally became open to these ideas. And now, frankly these elements are integral to my new skin care regime.

On Instagram, I had started to follow fellow beauty bloggers, and thrill-seekers in the Memebox/Korean beauty sphere, and a few became friends and the more we all talked, the more I valued their opinions, reviews and suggestions. Christina, another Vancouver-based Memebox lover posted a picture, late one night on Instagram that hooked me straight away. A peeling gel she had received in one of her Memeboxes, and she touted it as being an almost-holy grail. Suddenly, at two am, I found myself skulking around ebay to find this illusive lemon peeling – magic – gel. I had to find it. It became an obsession. I the hunter, it my prey … ten dollars later it was mine. My own. My prrreeeecious. *cough cough*

Two weeks later, it arrived and it sat on the bathroom shelf for a while more … even though I had taken the plunge, I was still terrified to try it. The idea that I would apply this and my skin would drop off horror movie style to the floor and I would have no one to blame but myself, stopped me every time I reached for it. It became a game of chicken. Nightly. And every night, I lost.

One night somehow I found the balls it took to whip it out and slather it all over my face. Listen, I told myself You’re married. If your face falls off, guess what? He still has to love you. He took vows and shit. Girl. He has to love you even if you come out looking like Voldemort. Go on. Do it. 

and so, I did.

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Here is my review of the Lemon D-Toc Peeling Gel by Secret Key

If you’ve never tried a peeling gel before, take a breath and be brave – it is worth it. If you think you’ve exfoliated successfully, try this and see what a peeling gel can really do, things that an ordinary exfoliant can’t do, even in its most sudsy, soapy, moistest dreams.

I think I thought that dead skin cells were few and far between, and that I obviously had the issue covered by exfoliating twice a week. Bah, oh Kelsey of the past. I laugh heartily at you. Fool!

This peeling gel is miraculous for one reason. It is an incredibly gentle yet effective product that not only renews your skin, but removes your dead skins cells and lets your true “best skin” emerge. You’d think that a lemon extract peeling gel product would have to be particularly harsh to be effective, but not so with this Secret Key winner – and that in itself was extremely surprising.

I sparingly applied the gel to my face and even before I had evenly distributed it, I could already feel my dead skin begin to ball up underneath my fingers. It took less than thirty seconds for the gel to permeate my skin’s surface and begin to remove all the waste. It didn’t burn, irritate, leave my skin red or inflamed in any way – and for someone with sensitive skin, this was a huge shock – I kind of expected my skin to scream out in agony, or break out, breakdown or break up with me entirely … but she remained calm. Bloody fucking miracle. I washed away the bits of old skin with warm water, and my skin didn’t feel dry or tight which I expected. It felt extremely clean, so soft and oddly moisturized which I did not expect.

But the best came after looking in mirror aprés my pampering session in the tub. My face was bright. Beautiful. And as I inspected, it truly was descaled and smooth. Best of all was my acne scaring; all of it was at least a shade or two lighter. The old red marks where my hormonal acne had gotten the better of me and I bugged it far beyond the point of necessary, all of those reminders of breakouts past were remarkably diminished. Anyone who battles hormonal breakouts – and is like me, always has their fingers to their face to “cover it” or bug it – would know that even after those breakouts heal, they leave behind a red spattering of marks that only a decent foundation can really hide. Yes, they do fade over time, but it takes eons, and by the time they fade, a new breakout has begun and the cycle begins again. It’s heart-wrenching.

Well, this gel helped more than anything else I’ve tried to help heal, hide or blur those marks, and I wasn’t even expecting that as a result when I applied the Lemon D-Toc for the first time. It was a perk and it was glorious. I sincerely urge you to try a peeling gel if you’re so bold, and I think this one by Secret Key is something to consider. Gentle, effective, and surprising. Give it a whirl.

A few tips from me to you:

One, with this product less is more. Two, you don’t need to leave it on long. Just cleanse then apply, wait a second and then rub & rinse. Three, don’t use it more than once week. Since it is as effective as I say, it is pointless to use it more often. I used it a second time in a week where I had previously used the gel and I had no dead skin for it to find, so it ended up being unnecessary!

If you’ve tried this or something similar, tell me about it below! This newly appointed holy grail item comes to me by way of my fellow beauty adventurer “Mmnoob” – A braver soul than I by far so check out her blog too – We thank her for her bravery and for her need to share her beauty secrets! Beware though, if you’re the jealous type. She has the most beautiful skin EVAH!

Until next time, beauty-bots. Be safe out there.

Thoughts on Memebox’s Restocked Boxes – Zero Cosmetics Box

Since joining in on the Memebox fun in late July, I quickly realized I had missed quite a few boxes since the company’s inception. When I found out Memebox “restocks” some popular boxes from time to time, I began to watch very closely to see if any old missed opportunities popped up.

In my early relationship with Memebox – as with all my relationships – I was very chaste. (Hubby is snickering) I was extremely choosy and I let many boxes slip by even if I was interested, I rarely pulled the trigger. By September of course, I had a full-blown addiction to the hot pink box and I rapidly fell to other extreme. On a high, I sailed through a few weeks buying boxes on a whim, catering to my fancy, my mood and ignoring any telling signs that maybe, just maybe, not all the boxes were right for me. After doing some calculations late that month, I drearily made myself revaluate and once again I slowed right down, however, when a certain restock hit my radar – I aimed. I fired. Target acquired.

“Zero Cosmetics” was on my list because I am always on the lookout for natural, simple skin care options, because the fair british skin I inherited from my father rarely takes on cosmetics of any kind without struggle or utter rejection in the form of the angry “Fuck you PIMPLE” – You know those beasties, I am sure. Zero Cosmetics promised nature’s best options for any myriad of skin issues and even though I had intended to dam-up my purchasing, I let one more slide in the gate.

To me, the term “restocked” means that. Re-stocked goods. We’ve gone out and acquired the contents of a certain box to sell again, hoping to capitalize on its earlier popularity. Ok. So that is completely fair. You are a company. You’re money-hungry, and by God we the consumers, well we love you for it. Here here! But what I don’t think I realized, or maybe I just didn’t think long enough before I metaphorically injected myself with the online shopping high – “Restocked” can mean whatever they want it to mean.

Every Memebox I have received thus far has been very well presented. Not only have they been packed well, I’ve had no leaks or breaks and most of all everything has been safety sealed and wrapped up tight. This is something I personally really appreciated about the box and the products I receive inside. My restock was different.

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Now, I have heard (after the purchase was made) that restocks were cancelled boxes or send-backs but I guess I didn’t really heed that information at the time. It wasn’t until I received my box and I was ravenously tearing into it, that I thought to myself, Whit-a-tick. Where is this box actually from?

Much of my box’s content was clearly untouched (the soap was wrapped, and the sheet masks obviously still enclosed) but the creams, serums and so on – none of them had safety seals. So many boxes in, I was used to and comfortable with those safety seals, so missing them got me to reconsider my decision of investing in a restock.

So, call me crazy, but I guess I feel just a little divided on the subject. I think I knew all along what a “restock” could be, so I can’t really be upset. Can I? A cancelled box that never left the warehouse is one thing, but a send back is another. In that sense they aren’t restocks so much as they are “refurbished”. The more I think about it the more I feel like one of two things probably should have happened on Memebox’s end.

One, they could say up front, what we all are thinking or what many of us know – give us, the customer, the head’s up, tell us where the restocks come from, and two, maybe sell them at a discounted price if they are in fact, refurbished boxes. Then I think you would have all the information you would need to make the decision that is right for you. I still don’t know if I would have bought this box now after receiving it the way I did. I also don’t know if I blame Memebox for being vague or if I blame myself for not thinking about what “restocked” meant in reality. So, I put this out to the interwebs to foster some conversation.

What have you thought about restocks? Have you received one in the condition I received mine? Is it better to know, or is blind acceptance easier? Of course … it is possible my situation was a one off, hell, it is possible that just not all products come with safety seals – but I don’t know, so, of course I am filled with questions!

I ask you fellow beauty-addicts and memeboxies – How do you feel about the “Restocks”?

Quick Review – The “Oh Sheet Mask” Company – Updated Nov 24th 2014

Well, beauty aficionados. i found yet another subscription service that i like! My credit card heaves a heavy sigh … I hear him cooing sadly from inside my wallet … Yet, we mustn’t spoil the joy of finding a new service, especially this one because I think I found a gem!

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Oh Sheet Mask is a new company run by a husband & wife team living in the Thai city of Chiang Mai. Patt is the woman who makes the beautiful boxes that the (10 luxury) mask come in, and Phil, her husband takes care of the business side, together they travel, find & test each of the masks that go into their monthly handmade subscription boxes. They have an option to just buy one box, as needed, per month should you choose not to subscribe – and that is what I did. I’ll likely order as I need more masks and as my stay-at-home-mommy budget allows.

One of the first things that stuck out to me about this company was their website. It is extremely welcoming, easy to navigate, beautifully designed, simple and functional. The content on every page is helpful, humorous, light-hearted and engaging. It really feels home-spun but in the best way possible because it still retains a level of professionalism and sophistication. Being married myself, whenever I work with my husband on a project, I truly feel that much of our love and great working relationship shows through the work – and I think Oh Sheet Mask has the same vibe going on. Their site feels happy & joyous and it immediately makes you want to support them and their efforts in bringing quality Asian sheet masks to the masses!

Secondly, their pricing and shipping is on point. There are two options, One being a mask bag (5 masks for 11 dollars) and the subscription box (10 masks for 23) – what makes this a fair price in my mind is their attention to detail, their customer service, the handmade boxes and the fact that they give free worldwide shipping. A little over 2 dollars a mask may seem the pricier option as you can find masks on the market for cheaper – but because of everything else I’ve stated thus far, I personally didn’t feel it was too much to ask. I enjoy the surprise element of the masks being chosen for me, and that they are tried and loved by the owner and operators themselves.

My box arrived mid-month as expected, in great condition with a hand written address. The box comes with a little note citing the individual mask’s list of ingredients. Something I am always looking for because I am interested in what I am putting on my skin, especially when trying something new and from afar. When I emailed the company to inform them I would be writing a review, I instantly received a lovely response from Phil with some personal information about the company.

We’re fairly new to the business side of things so any feedback would be great and help us to improve or add new features that people are looking for, and we want to have a great relationship with our customers, that’s one thing we aim for first and foremost.

I was pretty charmed. In this day and age, I rarely expect a response to some of the things I personally write to, big companies are usually pretty dismal at reaching their customers on a personal basis or even responding to issues in a timely manner, so the fact that Oh Sheet Mask even wrote back, to me, was pretty impressive. I hope that as their company grows they continue to be so dedicated to this aspect of their work.

We don’t want to just be generic and send you the same old stuff because it’s ‘safe’. We want every box to be special, brands you haven’t tried, a wide variety of different masks, stuff you’ll rate without any other influence so you’re really just judging it on quality and effects.

I appreciated Phil & Patt’s candor and lively enthusiasm of their newly launched business and it just added to my positive experience with them through the process of buying one of their boxes. I’ve unpacked my own box and begun to use the masks, and so far, I am happy and having a lot of fun experimenting. For any girl or guy that loves a good long bath, some pampering and of course, sheet masks! I think this subscription service is a great place to start. Check out Oh Sheet Mask here, and you’ll see for yourself that it is true: good things come in small packages!

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This is an unsponsored review of Oh Sheet Mask and I am not affiliated with the company in any way

Hello all. I wanted to update this entry now that a huge controversy has surrounded “Oh Sheet Mask”, its products and its owners and operators.

I had a very early conversation with Phil Miles of Oh Sheet Mask when I emailed the company after purchasing a box of my own, asking to review his box upon arrival. I wanted to post my email and his response to my blog in order to add to the conversation about this company that is currently under hot debate amongst beauty bloggers, and beauty lovers alike. The date of this conversation took place on October 12, 2014 – it seems much has changed since. Please go to Eugenie’s blog to familiarize yourself with the issues that have come to light on this company. Her unboxing is informative, and the reader comments below are extremely illuminating.

I will leave my entry and review of “Oh Sheet Mask” unaltered because I mainly reviewed the company’s website and customer service. However, I have been upset by some comments coming from the company’s owner, in his replies to customers and friends of mine on social media. Hence why I’ve decided to share my information. Though, It is up to you alone, to read, research and come to your own opinion on this company regardless of my opinion or anyone else’s.

October 12th 2014 (unedited)

Hi,

I’ve ordered one single box for the month of October – it has yet to arrive – I am very excited.
I wanted to reach out and ask if it will be all right for me to review your subscription box, online, on my personal beauty blog. I know I haven’t received the box yet, but I am already impressed by a few important features to your company: service, website and your choice to provide free worldwide shipping.

If I have your permission I’d like to review your company and the box. If there is anything you’d like me to include (ex special information about the company/products) please let me know.

Thank you in advance of what is sure to be a great box, and relationship

Kelsey Huyghebaert
Vancouver, Canada

October 15th 2014 (unedited)

Hi Kelsey,

Of course, feel free! We’d love to know what you think.

We’re fairly new to the business side of things so any feedback would be great and help us to improve or add new features that people are looking for, and we want to have a great relationship with our customers, that’s one thing we aim for first and foremost.

The main idea was to show you guys in the West that there are a lot of really great masks in Asia, they just don’t get marketed to you like MBD and The Face Shop etc. Those are not bad masks of course, but they’re kinda generic bargain masks, they fill the 7-11s here, you can even pick them up in dollar stores now over there from what I’ve read on reddit, so they’re really standard, not ‘special’ you know? Also brand blindness affects everyone. I’m sure you’ve read countless positive MDB blog reviews (has there ever been a negative?!) but for instance, a good proportion no doubt received fake masks when buying cheaply online yet they didn’t know any better and gave a glowing review, based on brand, other reviews and not having tried a good selection of high quality masks to compare them to. (Or maybe the fakes were just that good!) Not sure if that makes sense, but one thing we don’t want, is just to be generic and sending you the same old stuff because it’s ‘safe’.

We want every box to be special, brands you haven’t tried, a wide variety of different masks, stuff you’ll rate without any other influence so you’re really just judging it on quality and effects etc..

Of course some people would like to have the usual brands (far better and far cheaper just to buy online though we think) and there might be masks people don’t like but we’d rather have a few misses and the rest hits out of the park than 100% safe first bases. Probably a terrible apology there but we hope you catch our drift!

Sorry I’ve rambled a bit! Basically, sure! Review away!

If you have any questions just let us know!

Phil & Patt @ Oh Sheet Mask.

Ancient Practice For Modern Girls

Well, Let’s face it. There is just something primordial and satisfying about slathering your face in mud. I can’t be the only one who feels this way – am I? I mean I know I am the cheese … and mayhaps in this case the cheese stands alone?

I ask you to walk with me on this one. When I am stripped down to my all-together (that’s naked, darlings) and I sink my fingertips into in the cool, soft, pliable clay of my mask packs, I am instantly soothed. Then, as I spread the muck across my face, the warrior in me emerges, slowly at first and then more and more – meeeeoooow – and by the time my face is fully greyed-out, I begin to feel a kinship between me and ancient man. Going back thousands and thousands of years my ancestors did this very same thing. You know … late on Wednesday evening, when the little cave-babies wouldn’t shut their gobs, and the cave-husband forgot to take the carcass out, again … you can bet our cave-sisters took a stroll to the water’s edge and packed on some clay for relaxation, therapy, and of course to cleanse. Believe it or not – getting mucked up – is a very natural thing to do, even now, in the age of sanitation, technology and zero relaxation time. For me, a clay mask is a beauty must, a soul rejuvenator and mind relaxation tool … all reasons why I may or may not have purchased several varieties of clay pack in the last few weeks, two of which tonight we shall discuss in finite detail. Parchment and quills at the ready, beauty geeks!

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The Volcanic Ash Pore Pack from Secret Nature is from the raved about Earth & Sea box. A slow-starter for me, because by the time I had hit midway to the bottom of the jar my thoughts were undecided. A few weeks ago, I explained my findings like this:

This is a great middle of the week mask. It hasn’t broken out my über sensitive skin – yet – and it is easy to apply and wash off. What I like about this clay mask is pretty simple – it’s non irritating and the 100g container is enough product to get 5 – 7 masks applied. Many of you might get more as I tend to really pack on products like this in thick layers. I don’t mind the fragrance but I don’t love it – It’s a little pine needle-y but in a more chemical way than say, natural but fear not, it’s light and it dissipates. As for results I find this mask helps to just keep my facial skin “calmed” I can’t say it does more than that however, that is fine with me – for a mask that’s a result I would expect but not one you always get! I find the action of applying it very therapeutic, it is velvety-smooth and because of that it doesn’t quite dry like other clay masks. Its very unique texture is extremely smooth, and the clay has a very subtle blue hue or undertone. If you leave it on for eons it will dry for the most part. If you require that your mask dry, try applying less than I apply, if you like it dried out and tightened on the skin. Is this mask a repurchase for me? Probably not simply because I’m not in love, it was a great mask to play with and to experiment with but I’m not keen on the scent, not enough to buy again, however, if it is as integral to my clear skin as it could be, I may have to reconsider.

Now, a few more weeks have passed and I am a little more “in love” with this mask, one because I’ve now compared it to another, and two because I think this mask had a larger effect on my clear skin than I had given it credit for prior. Also, call me crazy – don’t worry my friends do – but the scent grew on me, and that is saying something. Usually I am pretty steadfast in my opinions … don’t know if you’ve noticed. So after some real quality time with Secret Nature’s Volcanic Ash Pore Pack, I can say it is effective. Not only does it clean the pores, but it calms the skin really well, and quickly. It doesn’t irritate the epidermis or the olfactory – Also, I got way more than 5 – 7 uses out the 100g, like Kelsey of a few weeks ago told you. That chick is batshit crazy. This pack delivers ten uses or more. After use, my skin felt clean, and primed for absorption of further skin care. This mask gets a solid 7.5/10 and find it for yourself, here.

In the other corner we have a mask I picked up from Memeshop (on the memebox website) as part of a late-night, wine-induced small spending-spree. At the time my skin was going through its usual hormonal breakdown mid-month, culminating in those deep-seated, painful bumps that are both unpopable and impossible to calm. When they descend – it’s all hands on deck – and fingers – and it just makes it all worse. Enter Velieve White Clay Mask.

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I know, I know. It is a stunning picture – thank you. I get asked this all the time, and no. No, I do not model.

On to my findings. All right. yes. I saw the Toucan on the label and was definitely swayed by the stupid tropical creature. But let’s remember, it isn’t just me that is always raped and pillaged by good packaging … but the bird and then the “limited edition” comment on the top … oh it was all so good and before I knew it, it was in my basket. I paid around 15 dollars in USD for the beaked bird and its clay. When it arrived, I went against good sense and dove into it before finishing my last open clay pack – but it was a good thing. These two packs ended up being very different from each other.

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Velieve’s clay pack was a lighter in colour (white amazonian clay) and is a more dense clay and therefore it felt much dryer to apply. It also dried quicker and more throughly than the volcanic one from Secret Nature. It has no discernible fragrance which for me is a good thing, and usually means it won’t be as reactionary with my skin – my rule tends to be, more smell more chance of holy shit my face just blew up. This clay mask is effective but maybe a tad average. It does do a lot of what the first mask did, but just on a lesser scale, I suppose. I did feel it just wasn’t as active in taking out the red or calming the inflamed areas as well, but it did leave my skin dryer – not too dry – and more matte than the volcanic ash mask. If that is your preference, then this mask would be great for you. For myself, I did find this mask useful for the morning routine because my makeup went on my skin flawlessly and with ease because my skin was calm and matte after the mask application. This reason was the one quality that both set it apart from the other mask and differentiated it. In the end, I enjoyed it and it did perform as expected, I just wish it did more to heal up and calm breakouts, so 7/10 is where it stands.

I have been looking for a more in-depth list of the ingredients than the memebox website provided, when I come across an English list of ingredients for both masks I will be sure to add them for your perusal.

In closing, if you should take anything away with you from this piece, then let it be this: slapping a little war paint on and having a soak will do more for you than you think. And maybe, just maybe you’ll feel akin to your ancestors too. Until next time beauty-adventurers, be safe out there.