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.

2014-11-06_1415253316

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.

2014-11-06_1415252687

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.

2014-11-05_1415164935

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.

photo

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.

2014-11-05_1415164731

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.