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 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

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.

photo

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.

2014-11-16_1416098881                      2014-11-16_1416098651

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.

2014-11-16_1416124700                      2014-11-16_1416125168

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.

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.

photo 1

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.

photo 2

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.

IMG_6202

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?

IMG_6493

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.

IMG_6029_1

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.

photo 1 photo 2

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 …

photo 2 photo 1