Face Mask Monday: The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask & British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask

If you’re an avid reader of Love. Life. Beauty., or, if you know me, you’ll know I’ve been obsessed with The Body Shop’s face masks for years.  I’ve owned every one they’ve ever had, and have always repurchased.  Using The Body Shop masks are what started me on my serious face mask routine, I just couldn’t, and still can’t, get enough of them.
I was beyond excited when The Body Shop launched five new face masks, each geared toward a specific skin need, and ideal for multi-masking.  If you’re unfamilar with multi-masking, it’s basically the idea of using more than one face mask at a time depending on your skin needs.  For example, given the masks I mention in this post, if your T-zone/ chin area is oily, but your cheeks are more on the dry side, you may want to use two different masks on these areas, at the same time.  I don’t always multi-mask, I more so use one, and then follow up with another, but I know the multi-mask phenomenon is real.

I was so stoked to try each of The Body Shop’s new vegetarian & cruelty-free “Expert” masks.  I’ve been using them regularly, and since there are five of them, I’ll write about them in installments, don’t want to overwhelm you with too much face mask realness! =)

The Body Shop was kind enough to send me a gorgeous box with all of the Expert Masks.  When I opened the box, I immediately got right to it using the Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, which is a mud mask that exfoliates to help clear clogged pores and and remove any yucky toxins or whatever else we don’t want.  Mud masks are my absolute favorite, and this one is excellent. 

It applied perfectly, not too chunky of a texture, but also not thin which always make me think a mask isn’t good enough, or not doing its job to the full potential.  The main ingredient is bamboo charcoal, which is a powerful charcoal when removing toxins from the skin.  The sensation of the mask a perfect mix of the tree tea oil and green tea leaves ingredients.  It tingles, but is refreshing, not annoying.  
I left this mask on for about 20 minutes, when I removed it I used warm water and a towel.  It wasn’t difficult to remove, which is sometimes an issue with charcoal/ mud masks.  My skin looked incredible once I took it off, I seriously examined the pores bridge of my nose, and they looked clear as could be, I was so impressed- it lives up to the Glow in its name for sure.
Another option, for a more hydrating experience, is the British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask, which I have to say, looks like you have smeared strawberry jelly all over your face when applied.  It’s a little startling, but so very worth it.  The rose and aloe vera ingredients feel so cool and relaxing while you let it sit.  A much different experience than the Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, but still great nonetheless.

I have found this mask a bit more difficult to apply due to the consistency, but given the ingredients I think that is to be expected.  Since I have rosacea, I’ve been using this mask most often when I’m experiencing a flare up, since it has such calming ingredients.  The rose hip oil and aloe vera give a refreshing light scent, I wish I could just smell the mask all day!  On my Spa Sunday’s sometimes I’ll do two masks back to back, especially if the first one is like the Charcoal Glow Mask or a deep cleansing mask.  The British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask has been the perfect follow up mask to calm and hydrate my skin.
The price point of these Body Shop masks is a bit higher than what you’d find in Target or the drugstore, but these give both luxury and results.  Also, if you want to try the mask out before making the full size purchase, The Body Shop now makes these in single use, which can be perfect for traveling too!

British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask | $28
Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask | $28
Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask Single Use | $2.50

[Disclaimer: The Body Shop provided me with these products.  All opinions are my own.]

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Budget Beauty: Nugg Face Masks

One day while perusing the skincare aisles of the bank account killer, but soul gratifier, Target, these cute little face mask packets appeared in my line of view.  I had heard about them for a while, but never purchased, so I figured, let’s make today the day I actually try these nügg face masks!

nügg, a cruelty free, natural oil & extract skincare brand, makes a line of face masks that cover a variety of concerns.  Each mask is sold in a little pod, which makes them an ideal face mask to travel with…or just use on a Spa Sunday perhaps.

While I haven’t had the chance to use all of the nügg face masks yet, I’ve been able to use three, and enjoyed them all!  Although the masks serve different purposes, the texture of all of them is a the same, it’s a gel that isn’t too sticky and doesn’t dry onto the skin like so many masks.  First, the Exfoliating Mask, features cranberry seed oil and jojoba beads.  This one felt great on my skin and my face looked fresh and new after using it.  I don’t think I had ever used a mask with cranberry seed oil in it before, so that was something fun and new for me.

The next one I used about a week later was the Hydrating Mask, the main ingredients Camellia seed oil and Spirulina extract, which is an antioxidant packed superfood, were also new to me.  I love that nügg has been introducing me to new natural skincare ingredients, it speaks to the difference in their brand compared to competitors.  

The last nügg mask I’ve used is the Revitalizing Mask, which has flaxseed and peppermint oil as its main ingredients.  I love peppermint oil, so this mask was by far my favorite.  It really woke my skin up and gave me a great glow.  I used this as a Wednesday night skin pick up to keep me looking fresh and revitalized for the rest of the week.

If you’re new to nügg and want to experiment with what their face masks have to offer, I would highly advise trying out the Soothe, Hydrate, Exfoliate, and Revitalize Four Pack, which includes one of each mask.  The only one from there that I haven’t yet tried is the Soothe mask, but I’m sure I’ll get my hands on it eventually! Next time you’re in Target, which you know you will be soon, think about adding one or two of these masks to your cart!

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Revitalize Your Skin with When Face Masks

Face masks are my thing, seriously my face mask collection is growing at a rapid rate, and I’m loving every minute of it.  For me, the ritual of the face mask is the best part, whether it is a Tuesday night or midday Sunday, face masks are relaxing and give me time to pamper my skin.
Sheet masks are having a moment, and it makes sense.  The ease of pulling out a mask, already soaked in goodness targeted for your skincare needs, and the no mess clean up of it all is so appealing for women constantly on the go.  Also, I’ve found sheet masks are totally addicting.  I love searching through Sephora for some new masks to try, particularly Korean sheet masks, which are all the rage.

I was so excited to try out a couple masks from When recently, I know Sephora & Ulta carries this brand, so it is crazy easy to obtain these masks (also, Anthro & Birchbox sell When online) and now that I’m branching into Korean skincare products it was perfect timing.  Everything I had read about the quality of When the masks was positive, for example, they’re vegan, & they have a great variety of masks to target different skincare needs.  Also, I love the bright & punchy packaging, they look so exciting to use!  I was able to pick out two masks, so I chose Snow Magic, to brighten my skin, and 10:00 PM to replenish my skin.
The When sheet mask leaves plenty of room for eyes & mouth while not being too big.
All of the When face mask sheets are made from a fermented coconut juice, the sheets themselves feel better on my skin then other sheets I have used, and I found that for each When face mask the size and shape of the sheet was the best I’ve ever used.  The fit of the mask on my face was perfect, I barely had to adjust it at all and it was so comfortable.
The first mask I tried was the Snow Magic, I felt my skin looked a bit lackluster and blah, so I was looking forward to this brightening me up a bit.  Ginseng and hyaluronic acid are responsible for refreshing the skin, while niacinamide works to brighten.  I kept the mask on for about 20 minutes, it’s tempting to want to leave it on longer but I know that that isn’t always the best idea.  I never had to adjust the mask at all, or worry about any of it getting into my hair, as I said, the sheet fit perfectly. 
 When I took off Snow Magic, I was shocked by how magical my face truly looked.  I was noticeably brighter the second I removed the mask, I was so impressed!  I’ve used quite a few masks that promise to and sometimes successfully deliver instant brightening, but this one, in a sheet mask, takes the cake for $7.  I would def repurchase this and use it before a big glam night out to give my skin an extra oomph.  

The second mask I used was the 10:00 PM, designed to restore and revitalize tired skin.  For me, that’s after a hectic teaching workweek…which is, just about every work week.  Similarly to Snow Magic, 10:00 PM has ginseng and hyaluronic acid, but it also contains collagen & watermelon extract to help improve elasticity.  Watermelon extract sounded so great, I don’t think I’ve used any type of mask with this ingredient before, so that was nice & new.  
Once again I was very impressed with the look and feel of my skin after using this When face mask.  My skin felt so soft, hydrated, and fresh looking.  I felt I looked alive again, which is just what I was going for…see ya later tired skin!
When is sold at Sephora & Ulta, so go check out their line of sheet masks next time you’re out shopping, at $7 each, they seriously do not disappoint!!
[Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post powered through Brandbacker.  I received this product to review.  All opinions are my own.]

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Budget Beauty: Dead Sea Essentials by AHAVA Soothing Chamomile Spa Facial Mud Mask

This mask stays on your skin for two minutes.  Two minutes, that’s it.
I needed to open with that because I love love love using this Soothing Chamomile Mud Mask before work!  I’m still so shocked that I have the ability to use a face mask before work…can you tell I’m overjoyed by this?!

Let me take a second to actually introduce this wonderful product, the Dead Sea Essentials by AHAVA Soothing Chamomile Spa Facial Mud Mask is a deep cleaning mud mask that sits on the skin for about 2 minutes.  The main ingredients of chamomile, Dead Sea mud, and a variety of natural extracts work together to unclog pores and purify the skin,
As you can tell from the beginning of this post, I love using this once a week before work.  Usually by Wednesday I need a pick me up, and this quickie mask delivers on that feel good vibe I need by the middle of the week.  Or, if I have a long night out for an event and I’m worried about oil control, I’ll use this mask as a primer before the primer to help keep my skin and makeup look refreshed and clean.
Since mud masks essentially draw out and absorb excess oil from the skin it is best for oily or combination skin types, although you might want to only apply this mask to the oily areas of your face if you have combination skin.  Also, if you’re like me and only suffer from acne once a month, the Soothing Chamomile Spa Facial Mud Mask is a great option for calming breakouts and reducing redness. 
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Budget Beauty: Boots Botanics Iconic Clay Mask

Boots Botanics Iconic Clay Mask

I’m a major fan of the clay mask- they help to control breakouts/ oil production and they leave my skin feeling purified and detoxified.  The Boots Botanics Iconic Clay Mask is a perfectly priced clay mask that will target your blemish-prone areas and clear up any congested areas.

While I use this mask all over my face, it would still work really well as more of a spot-treatment if you prefer that.  At first I was a little confused because it seemed strangely watery, so I always made sure I shook it up a few times before applying.

A key ingredient in the Iconic Clay Mask is willow bark, which is known for its anti-inflammatory and it being a natural salicylic acid.

One tip I recently learned about clay masks is to not let them dry completely.  Typically I would remove the mask once it felt dry and like I couldn’t move my face.  Well, don’t do that.  Remove the mask once you begin to feel it tightening.

Boots Botanics Iconic Clay Mask | $9.39 


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The Body Shop’s Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Cleansing Scrub Mask

If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with face masks.  Seriously, obsessed.
I’m a huge fan of The Body Shop face masks, especially the Tea Tree mask.  It’s one of my absolute favorites and I can always rely on it to give my skin exactly what it needs to get back on track.
I’ve been wanting to try the Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Cleansing Scrub Mask for quite some time now, and I’m sure glad I finally did!  Except, I do have a funny story…
{Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Cleansing Mask, $17}
The first time I applied this mask I applied it all over my face.  BIG MISTAKE WITH ROSACEA, HUGE MISTAKE.  It literally burned my cheeks and I was pretty sure I was going to die so I immediately took it off and stared in the mirror like a crazy person.
I quickly learned, I can only use this mask everywhere else on my face besides my cheeks.  If you have ridiculously sensitive skin I would stay far away from this product, or if you just have super sensitive areas make sure you don’t apply near those areas.  Otherwise, it’s an amazing deep cleanser.
I noticed my forehead and jawline area, where I can sometimes have hormonal acne, looked amazing after using the Blue Corn mask.  It’s so incredibly refreshing, and felt amazing while it was on, and while I was taking it off.  It felt like a mini-peel and I could see immediate results which I love.
This mask is so interesting because with the power it has you would expect it to be somewhat hard and drying to the skin.  The Blue Corn Mask applies very creamy and will not leave you feeling tight and dry after you rinse it off, promise!
The Body Shop always has special offers, and when you’re a Love Your Body Rewards Member it’s that much better, so next time you’re in the mood for a new face mask, I highly suggest this one!!

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

 I’d been meaning to try the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask for quite some time, so when I got it in a Sephora Beauty Insider promotion, it didn’t take me long to go run to buy a full bottle (that I’m now almost out of!).
First of all let me say, I am a huge face mask junkie, and I will try any and every face mask on this planet.
Next, let me say that this mask is not for the faint of heart.  It’s serious.  Like, super serious.  
Why is it so serious?  Well, because it pries every single yuck thing out of your skin…and when I say pries, I mean it.  It’s not the most comfortable experience, but boy does it get the job done
This is a mineral peel-off mask- it applies like liquid and peels off as one whole mask.  The first time I applied it I was a little shocked by how uncomfortable it was to take off.  It was a little painful, but I don’t want me using that word to deter anyone from using it, because it’s also easily the best mask I have ever used.  Any doubts I had were instantly erased when I saw what my complexion looked like immediately after removing it.
{Boscia Luminizing Black Mask, $34}
The black mask is an exfoliator, and it clears the skin of all dirt and other impurities.  When you remove the mask, you can see everything it pulled out of your skin…it’s kinda creepy and downright gross in that regard…but also totally awesome at the same time.  Did that make sense?  
The “immediately visible results” claim is no joke.  My complexion was instantly brighter and unbelievably smoother.  I have sensitive skin and while I did experience some redness after using the black mask, it wasn’t enough for me to say AH I’M NEVER USING THIS AGAIN.    
If you’ve read any reviews on this product you’ll see a lot of people complaining about the peel-off part.  I promise you, the results far out weigh the annoying-ness of taking off the mask.  I mean, isn’t there a saying beauty is pain?  Right?  Okay then.

Anyway, I’ve given samples to my friends and even they have agreed, it’s just too great of a mask to allow the peel-off process to deter you away from it.  

If you’re looking for a new intensive face mask, one that will seriously rid your complexion of all the unwanted dirt and grime, I highly suggest this product, it’s so amazing and will instantly change the look and feel of your skin. 

Racinne: Ultimate Aqua Blanc Brightening Masque Review

I was recently given the opportunity to try out a few of Racinne’s products from their Ultimate Aqua Blanc Series.  If you’re unfamiliar with Racinne it’s a skincare company based out of Canada focused on biotechnology and the use of various herbs to create skincare lines aimed at treating different skin types and focus issues.  Racinne has three different lines, Ultimate Youth Power, Ultimate Hydra Perfection, and the one I sampled, Ultimate Aqua Blanc.  
I had requested to sample Aqua Blanc because its ingredients best suited my skin type.  According to Racinne’s site, Aqua Blanc products contain an “effective brightening formula penetrat[ing] deep into the core of skin cells to facilitate self revitalization and regeneration, correcting enlarged pores, balancing oil distribution, reducing dark spots to reveal brightened, glowing looking skin”.
I need that oil balance and the brightening agents, so I was super excited to try out the Ultimate Aqua Blanc Brightening Masque.  When I first applied this mask it just resembled a thick moisturizer, no color or anything, and certainly not messy to apply.  The purpose of the Brightening Masque is to “promote skin rejuvenation, strengthen moisture level and reduces pigmentation”.  It also helps with UV damage, which unfortunately I think every young woman has to deal with these days.

I can say without a doubt it increased moisture level just in the short amount of time I had applied it.  The directions say to leave on for 15mins, wipe of excess, and then rinse your face.  I left it on for probably close to 25-30mins while I took a bubble bath.  Then I wiped it off and rinsed.  My skin felt so supple and soft, I was really impressed!
I have to say I wasn’t expecting to notice the effects instantly my first time using it, but I definitely saw a brightness in my face that wasn’t there before I applied it.

I would suggest using this product in the AM before going out on the weekend or something, since the brightness results really are instant you wouldn’t want to apply it at night and then go to sleep.  I’d say only apply in the evening if you’re about to go out and party the night away! 

I applied the mask again a about a week after first using it and had the same results, which tells me that the Ultimate Aqua Blanc Brightening Masque is a consistent product, which is what I aim for when adding new products to my routine.

You can purchase the Ultimate Aqua Blanc Brightening Masque and other Aqua Blanc products on the Racinne website!  Stay tuned for some more Racinne reviews coming soon.

[Disclaimer: I received free samples directly from Racinne for use in connection to this posting. All opinions, however, are my own.]

Ahava Purifying Mud Mask

In my April Birchbox I received this little gem of a face mask, Ahava Purifying Mud Mask.  I’m currently doing a full body detox [more on that next week] so I figured on Sunday morning, why not detox my face too?  It just seemed to fit.
Ahava describes itself as the Dead Sea cosmetic brand.  The brand uses ingredients such as dead sea mud, date extract, vitamin C, raspberry root extract, witch hazel, Shea butter, and Icelandic moss to create its line of natural products.  The main ingredient, however, is their Osmoter, the brand’s own dead sea mineral concentrate.  What is Osmoter, you may ask?  Well… 

Given my preferences on Birchbox I was given Ahava’s Purifying Mud Mask which is perfect for the combination/ oily skin out there.  It says to leave on the product for two minutes, but I had mine on for about 10.  One thing I really loved about this mud mask was that I never got thatoh, I can’t move my face’ feeling [because of the added jojoba]…which is so common with all mud face masks!  It just makes the experience of giving yourself a face mask more enjoyable…in my opinion. 

My skin wasn’t irritated by the mask at all, but I must say that by the afternoon it definitely had brought impurities to the surface, which I didn’t mind because I knew I’d be rid of any little flare ups by the next day, but some people may not like…even though it’s a positive sign of the product working!

Anyway, it’s suggested to use this product twice a week, which I think I’ll start doing, so I can see maximum benefits.  Added bonus: the mask works well as an overnight spot treatment as well. 
Sooooo, in conclusion, I will certainly be buying the full size Purifying Mud Mask, it’ll be a good thing to mix up my face mask routine for the summer! xo    

The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Face Mask

I really love The Body Shop, I mean like I realllllyyyy love that store.  All of their products are great, nothing ever disappoints me.  One of the very first products I started using was their Tea Tree Face Mask, I think I’m on my third or fourth pot and you get SO many masks out of it!

First thing I like about this mask, it’s super cooling and a tad tingly…I personally love that feeling, I guess it makes me think the product is actually doing something!  This mask is geared toward blemish prone skin, so it’s right up my ally– its goal is to remove impurities and combat excess oil & I think it succeeds at both.  [You won’t feel dried out after using it, I promise!]  I def see a difference in shine control right after using it, which is super important to me.

I ideally try to use this mask once a week, but the reality is I don’t always get the chance.  If you pick this up def try to keep on a schedule when using it, and it’ll be super effective!  I noticed a change after two weeks.

PS: I also use the Aloe Protective Restoring Mask [see review here] to combat redness and help keep me hydrated during the winter months.  Just like this mask, it works!