It’s Glam Glow for Face Mask Friday

My plan was to go through my sample sized masks and clear a few of them out. And then I saw the Glam Glow Youthmud Face Mask on sale. Now here is the thing. While Glam Glow and I have a hit or miss relationship, I adore this mask. I have had numerous sample sized tubes of it come my way over the years. Any time it is a selection option I choose it and if it is an add on, I add it. I absolutely love this mask.

But I have never had it in a full size before. I’ve lost count of how many samples I’ve had of this mask, but never gotten around to purchasing it. It seemed strange to me that i would never have purchased it, so I went ahead and purchased it. And when it arrived I still had every intention of using my samples. Except when I reached into the mask samples I pulled out the Glamglow Supermud face mask sample.

So I decided it was a sign.

I know, I didn’t need much convincing.

clean pre mask

This mask is an exfoliating mask. It goes on with a rough texture and sits for 10 minutes. Then you add a little water and do a bit of exfoliation rubbing before rinsing it off. They say that the mask feels tingly when it is on and I suppose that is so, but for me it is less a tingling zing and more like a bracing wake up sort of tingling. I always feel more awake when i use this mask.

Plus you know how I love exfoliation.

So today I am using the full size. I think I am going to use this as a full month mask, but it really only needs a twice a week use, so I am going to go for a Monday and Wednesday with the Glam Glow and Friday I an still use my samples. Since most of my sample sized masks are hydrating masks it should work out fairly well.

wet mask

With this mask I was surprised by how large the box was in comparison to the jar. The jar was the size I picture it being, but the box was very large and seemed like overkill. As usual I applied the mask, waited ten minutes, it mostly dried down and changed color, and my skin felt invigorated. It is a clay mask so there is some tightneing in it as it dries. Personally I really like clay masks so I am okay with this even if it does make me look like a grumpy guts midway through because I can’t move my mouth to smile. When it was time to rinse off, I added water, massaged a bit to exfoliate and then rinsed off.

dry mask

With exfoliating masks it is important to moisturize right after. Since I was moisturizing, I like to go over my face with just a little bit of toner on a pad to make sure i took off all of the mask before adding a layer of moisturizer.

Every time i use this mask I am impressed by how my skin looks and feels and this time was no different. i enjoyed it thoroughly and am glad that i will be using this for the next month. I am very curious to see what effect a month of use will have on my skin from this mask.

clean skin post mask

I will be monitoring the exfoliation level though and if it does become too much I will discontinue use. I will be setting aside my regular exfoliators while I use this because i am pretty sure that would simply be overkill. The exfoliating Glam Glow Youthmud Face Mask twice a week should be plenty for me. in terms of exfoliation,

Honestly I am glad that i am finally getting to try a mask that I loved in sample form in the full size. It makes me want to go through my samples faster and to double check my list for things I want to add for longer term use.

Which to be fair, is kind of the point of samples.

LovelySkin

Trying the Gatineau Gommage

I have to admit, I chose to try this out so soon after it arrived because it was the one item that came in my Allure beauty box that wasn’t explained in the pamphlet. I kind of find this amusing actually. There is an entire page about a lip scrub scrubbing lips and a body moisturizer being used to moisturize the body but not a single mention of the Gatineau Radiance Enhancing Gommage.

Because gommage needs less explanation apparently?

(oh and I checked, the Limited Edition refers to the packaging not the product so I’ve linked to the product on the website in the usual packaging just in case they take the Limited Edition down from the site. The difference between the regular and the Limited Edition is the color of the bottle – white for regular, peach for limited edition. If there is any other difference I couldn’t find it.)

Right, so let’s look at the product page on the brand’s website…

The perfect exfoliator for sensitive skin and for those experiencing breakouts, clogged pores, dull skin, uneven skin tone and pigmentation. Radiance Enhancing Gommage uses a mild enzymatic formula free from grains and beads to remove dead skin cells. The unique texture begins with a luxurious balm-like consistency, transforming into a soft nourishing oil as it gently dissolves the outermost layer of the skin. Radiance and luminosity are immediately increased and a fresh, glowing complexion is revealed.

Gatineau

Yup, it’s an exfoliator. Technically it translates to erasing or exfoliation and is considered a more gentle exfoliation than is traditional. well traditional here, it is apparently the more traditional French variety.

So now that we’ve had our morning vocab lesson, let’s look at the exfoliator.

I generally like using an exfoliator once or twice a week. This week has been interesting. In the summertime, time outside causes me to sweat a lot and while that causes me to seek out gentle cleansers so I don’t over wash my face as I add in an extra mid afternoon rinse, it also tends to limit my exfoliation use. I don’t know if it is just the summer sweat making me feel like my pores are purging themselves but i just don’t feel it as necessary.

product on and turning to oil

However this week has been different. The heat index popped very high, too high to spend time outside so it has been an indoor week. While exfoliation is usually a Saturday self care moment, I find myself thinking mid week wasn’t a bad thing. I think it may be the not sweating while staying indoors with the air conditioner aspect.

For whatever reason I decided an exfoliation was in order and as i just finished my last exfoliator, I chose this newly arrived one to replace it. The scent is light and fruity. It is like a peach mixed with a hint of mandarin. It is a very light scent and it also smells like fresh skin care. It is just enough scent to be a pleasant whiff, but still clean enough to smell of skincare.

it dispenses into the hand and feels like a gel. On the website the advice is to “Rub until the balm turns into an oil, then rinse’. So that is what I did. I applied to the skin, and felt it melting into an oil from the heat of my skin almost immediately. Still I massaged a bit and then rinsed.

product rinsed off

My skin felt fantastic. It was a very light exfoliation, there are no hard bits in it whatsoever so I’m guessing it leans more towards chemical exfoliation (hence the enzymatic in the description) If I run my finger over the areas where my pores tend to get clogged, they feel slightly more raised then they did prior to use. And to be honest, I felt that rise the next morning rather than right away. For me this tends to happen with chemical exfoliators. My skin will feel soft and extra clean after use and then the next morning the clogs in the pores will rise. this was done in a gentle way. It smelled light and fresh and gave the rest of my skin a good clean (with surface clear out) while bringing clogs to the surface.

This is all i really expect from an exfoliator. To exfoliate. this worked well, but gently and I think would be good for someone just trying exfoliation or who has sensitive skin. I would try it on the inside of your arm before your face if you have sensitive skin (and as always double check the ingredients list before applying it if you know you have allergies). It is however a very gentle exfoliator and I was very impressed by the Gatineau Radiance Enhancing Gommage. Prior to this I never heard of the brand Gatineau before, however with this product working so nicely, I think I may have to take a deeper dive into it. It was a very nice brand introduction. I just wish Allure saw fit to put more about it in the brochure.

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The Daily: May 26th, 2022

Today my darlings, I was sabotaged. The started off fabulously. I awoke after an actual good night’s sleep. I remembered that I needed to get up early and get my walk in first thing. I even checked the air quality stats and weather reports. Partly cloudy with rain later this afternoon.

Perfect. I double checked my sunscreen, put on my walking shoes and out the door I went.

The first half of my walk was fine. The clouds prevented the sun from a murderous attack but it was still warm enough that I had worked up quite the sweat. By the time I walked the length of the trail and was ready to turn around and come back, I was sweat coated and thinking longingly of the shower and fresh clothing. The sun may not have been as broiling behind the screen of clouds, but the humidity was high so the sweat was inevitable. It was like being in a sauna you couldn’t really escape.

But I finished half the walk and turned around in high spirits. A few steps into the return trip, the wind picked up and my spirits faltered. The wind kicked up and I could literally see great yellow clouds of pollen being blown out of the trees. Much of it fell on the pathway. It was very much like the trees decided to throw confetti on my one woman parade. Because of the sweat, it stuck. By the time I got home I looked like I was rolled in yellow dust. Seriously if you have ever added too much turmeric to flour when preparing a flour dredge for chicken, that is sort of what I looked like. Minus the flour.

I stripped in the laundry room and post shower I vacuumed the floor of the laundry room. So today became more about eliminating the pollen coat then about adding makeup. So I thought that in the wake of runny eyes and a beet red dripping nose, I would talk to you about the products I did use today.

First up, we have the Advil Sinus Congestion and Pain tablets. At the moment these are my go to sinus tabs. They knock out all of my symptoms without making me feel drowsy. It still makes me feel like there is a cheese cloth between me and the rest of the world, but it is just a slight mental haze that I can still work through.

The Soda Stream is there to rehydrate after sweating buckets and to wash out any pollen that I might have taken in. I can’t do anything about my nose and lungs, but it makes me feel good to wash my throat clear with carbonated bubbles.

For my hair, which locked in the pollen in every strand, I went with the Christope Robin Cleansing Purifying scalp scrub with Sea salt in place of my shampoo. The salt gets deep down through the hair and scrubs the scalp clean without being too harsh and the foam this product produces is thick and luxurious. I actually used the last of this scalp scrub in today’s shower. It is hands down one of my favorite scalp scrubs and today it was amazing. This jar is now empty but I will be reordering it probably later this afternoon. I usually pick it up on either the Skinstore site They have memorial day sales going on so this is one product I will be adding to my sales purchases.

Since I replaced my shampoo with scalp scrub, I went ahead and replaced my conditioner with the Kendra Platinum Intense fortifying hair masque. I’ve been using this a couple of times a week for the past week and this far it has been a really good hair mask. I don’t always like Kendra products, but this one is definitely a winner. It leaves my hair feeling soft and easy to manage. Of the Kendra products it is my favorite and the one I will reach for repeatedly. I think it is also currently on sale with Lovely Skin’s Memorial Day sales if you are looking to add a hair mask to your collection.

I also used my Honey Pot, because it is standard for my bathing and at this point i reach for it automatically in every shower. Ladies, if you haven’t tried this, you are missing out. It is a fantastic product to add you your line up. I picked it out just to try and see how it performed and have since repurchased this every time i get low on product. It is plant based feminine care and perfectly ph balanced to keep you fresh and clean. I can not recommend this highly enough for any woman. It is not about fixing a problem it is about self care. I am not an affiliate in any way, just a big fan.

While the packaging for the Daily Concerns Daily Body scrubber is in the above photo, I did take a picture of it before I took it to use in the shower. It has a nice sponge inside which hold a lot of the product so you can actually use less as the product comes out as you use it and the exterior is nicely exfoliating on the body. It isn’t that harsh an exfoliation, but you still might want to switch to a mesh body scrubber for your delicate bits. It may not be too harsh for the skin, but it is a bit too exfoliating for certain areas. This was my first use of it and I think I will get a lot of use out of it, it just won’t be replacing my regular mesh scrubbie.

And with this sort of exfoliating scrubber I really like to use a moisturizing body wash. Todays was the Olay Fresh Outlast Orchid and Black Currant Body Wash. Generally if I am not testing out a body wash, this is my standard. It provides a nice level of moisture which is always good for my skin, without becoming slimy as some moisturizing body washes can get. It was especially important to use a moisturizing body wash after the exfoliation of the body scrubber.

And of course post shower I vacuumed the floor of the laundry rom and porch where I entered the house, turned on the air purifier to high to clear out the remaining particles and then scrubbed off the yellow ring of pollen left in the bathtub after I washed it from my body. So needless to say, today did not go as planned. However I now have a very clean bathroom, and I am clean myself. In addition, may hair feels quite amazingly clean all the way down to the scalp. Even if it does mean hat I realized my hair color has faded and more grays are poking through than I realized.

That just means it is time to reach for the root touch up and to pick out another hair dye color to try. I rather like the darker color so I think I will be sticking in the darker range. I had fun with the reds, but I think the darker color might actually suit me better. Something to contemplate while I reach for the root touch up and get back to work. Settling back into my desk I notice the computer is now flashing a Pollen High notice at me in bright red. You know, just in case I missed it. Sigh. I hope your day runs a bit more smoothly than mine. Ah, the joys of spring.

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Using the ESPA Refining Skin Polish

I have a life long weakness for physical exfoliators. There is just something so refreshing and even exhilarating about their use. It is a moment where dead skin cells and any residue of any other product is buffed away from the skin and you are left with just clean fresh skin.

At least if you are using a good exfoliator.

while there are many exfoliators that say for daily use on them, I haven’t really found an independent exfoliator that I would consider using on a daily basis. The only one I can think of that i would use on a daily basis is the Olay exfoliating cleanser from their Regenerist line as the exfoliation is sprinkled lightly enough through the cleanser that daily use isn’t an issue. And while I highly recommend the Olay cleanser, this is not what we are hear to talk about.

the scrub, creamy with fine particles

We are here to discuss a separate exfoliating product. With these my personal use may vary, some I can use once a week, others once a month. It is very easy to over exfoliate your skin, so it is best to tread lightly. I also look for a product with fine particles. I find the finer particles much more gentle on my skin and whether it is true or not I like to think that the finer particles get into every little nook and cranny that some of the larger particle exfoliates miss.

So on to today’s trial. Recently I have been using the ESPA Refining Skin Polish. ESPA is one of those brands that I absolutely love, but for the most part I have tried their body and hair products. Their intensive Pink Hair and Scalp Mud mask is absolutely fantastic and I tend to get it for myself as one of my birthday spa treats. I am also a huge fan of their Ginger and Thyme shampoo and conditioner which comes in low waste pouches. (On my birthday I treat myself to an at home spa day with some of my favorite products, speak of as my birthday is in June I’ll need to get that order in soon.)

polish on

As I have had good luck with the non face products from ESPA I was very much looking forward to trying out this exfoliating facial polish. And it didn’t disappoint. According to the brand this exfoliator is…

A deeply cleansing, super-fine exfoliator that leaves skin feeling refined and smooth. Spherical Diatomaceous Earth exfoliates to help clear pores, lift impurities and balance uneven tone, while nourishing Rose Damascena and Shea Butter soften skin revealing a smooth and radiant complexion.

ESPA

I know some of you see the rose damascena in the description and immediately clenched up. Rose can be over used and there are some rose products that I just have to avoid because they are so rosy that I find them over powering. This exfoliator does have a rose scent, however it is very light and dissipates quickly. In addition, this is not a product you keep on for long periods of time. It is applied to damp skin, massaged in circles for a bit of exfoliation and then rinsed off. The scent goes down the drain with the product and doesn’t linger in the air at all.

skin post wash

The exfoliation particles are super fine. There were no harsh chunks. It applied easily and felt really good going onto the skin. I personally like to spread it out gently over the skin so I can make certain my entire face is covered. Then I massage a little in small circular motions all over the face before rinsing.

The only thing you have to watch out for with super fine particles is that it does take a bit of rinsing to wash all of the particles off. For me this was just a little extra splashing about and then I was done. I patted my skin dry and looked in the mirror to see the effects. To me my skin looked brighter and less dull, but then I always think that after a good exfoliation.

The part that did have me worried was the shea butter. While I love shea butter on my skin, sometimes when exfoliators use it, it can leave a bit of a residue on the skin. This didn’t. The shea butter absorbed instead of leaving a film on the skin and my skin felt both clean and moisturized. While I probably wouldn’t use this more than once every other week due to my skins needs, if you are in need of more exfoliation, I think you could easily roll this in a s a once a week product without over exfoliating. It exfoliates without drying or stripping the skin. After using, my skin felt fantastic and I am looking forward to using this exfoliator until the sample is completely empty. After that, I will definitely be repurchasing this ESPA Refining Skin Polish in a full size.



It’s Exfoliating time with Edible Beauty

For those of you who are subscribed to BoxyCharm, then you know that each month Boxycharm gives you points for reviewing the products in the boxes you receive. Each month I review the items, but often times when I go to their charm room there aren’t a lot of items I want to use my points to redeem. Recently I was in the charm room and I saw this Edible Beauty Desert Lime Flawless Micro Exfoliant face polish and I thought it looked like an interesting product to spend my points on. I believe it might have been an item in some of the base boxes for either November of December (not entirely certain about that as I don’t get the base box).

I love the internal seal

You know I love exfoliants and I am a big fan of lime scent. I don’t think people use it enough. And I had never even heard of Edible Beauty. Because I am spending a month with the Juice Beauty Bamboo Pore Clearing mask, I am bringing up a lot of buried clogged pores to the surface so it is also the perfect time to test out an exfoliator. The Juice Beauty mask may bring things up but another product is needed to clear what comes up away.

It turns out Edible Beauty is an Australian based skincare company focused on a holistic approach to skincare. When this is applied to the Desert Lime Flawless Mirco Exfoliant the site description becomes…

A gentle micro-exfoliant that uses natural rice grains to gently dislodge and dissolve dead skin cells and impurities to reveal a smooth and radiant complexion. Australian native Desert Lime deeply hydrates whilst radiance is further boosted by naturally-occurring AHAs found in Strawberry and Lime fruit extracts which work to visibly maximise skin hydration for a renewed complexion.  

This polish is enriched with a nourishing blend of oils including Camellia Seed Oil, Coconut Oil and Cocoa Butter which ensure skin is not stripped of its natural oil balance.  

Lime and Coconut scents complete the fresh and rejuvenating feeling when applying the polish.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetaryl Glucoside, Glycerin*, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Saponaria Officinalis (Soap Wort) Leaf Extract*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Glyceryl Caprylate, Sodium Levulinate, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Glauca (Desert Lime) Fruit Extract*, Xanthan Gum, Acacia Senegal Gum, Sodium Anisate, Acacia Victoriae (Wattleseed) Extract, Fragraria Ananassa (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Gingko Biloba (Gingko) Leaf Extract, Limonene^

Edible Beauty

I put the ingredients list up with the description, mostly because I wanted to talk about scent. It is an interesting one. The scent of this exfoliant has a top not of lime which you get right away. as you apply it though the blended scent of coconut and sunflower oils come to the fore front. They are not so nice and sort of block out the lime scent. It is clear there is still lime in it but after that initial lime blast, the sunflower and coconut oils scents take over. (not that is smells like coconut. Coconut oil has a bit of a different scent to it.

before water is added

I was very surprised to find that this jar was listed for $28 on the Edible Beauty sight as the package feels far more Luxe. It is a glass jar with a study plastic lid. It feels heavy and kind of expensive in the hand.

The exfoliant itself is thick and creamy, almost like a moisturizer that has exfoliation bits mixed into it. Given the oils, butters and wax in the ingredients list, it is easy to see why. The exfoliates are very fine in texture and when massaged into the skin they are very gentle. This is not an overly harsh exfoliator. The cream is thick enough that it can be put on the skin and then massaged in without worrying about the product dripping.

rinsed but still left with a layer of moisturization

The directions say to apply it to the face in small circular motions and then add the water to emulsify. The water naturally thins out the cream and makes it spread more easily. When rinsing off the cream I used water splashed in my face and my hands. The I toweled dry. I like this method when I first use an exfoliant because it lets me know what is left behind. The rice powder washed away fairly easily. I didn’t have to scrub to remove all of the exfoliate. It is a micro exfoliant so the particles are smaller and I think they were unable to resist being dragged down the drain when the cream itself was rinsed off.

I only pat my skin dry and then waited. Once my skin was dried down and no dampness from the rinse remained, I again looked at my skin. the exfoliation particles worked well, my skin is smooth. There is a just been moisturized feel to my skin as well. Given the rest of the ingredients I would have bean surprised it there hadn’t been. Typically I prefer when my exfoliators rinse of completely clean, then I go back in with a serum on the newly exfoliated skin and follow with my moisturizer of choice. While this didn’t leave a heavy layer of moisturization behind after it, it was still enough that I did not feel as though I should add to it and just went about the rest of my afternoon.

As something to follow a pore clearing mask, this is a great second step. Is it my favorite exfoliator? No. Had the scent of lime not faded so quickly and been replaced by the scent of the emulsified oils, perhaps it would have stirred something deeper in my heart. But alas the scent faded. More importantly, it didn’t rinse away as cleanly as I would have liked. However it was a great exfoliator, the moisturization layer it left behind is more of a preference than a deal breaker and it was all in all a nice product to use. I plan to continue using it until there is no more left in the jar and in the future I would consider repurchasing it. It may not be my personal favorite, but the Desert Lime Flawless Micro-exfoliant face polish is still a very good product with a good price point that I have no problems using. In addition, I would not mind trying out more products from the brand in the future.

JuiceBeauty.com

Giving the Pore Tight Peeling Mousse from NeoGen a trial run

Have you ever had a product you picked up for the sheer novelty of it? That’s how I came to purchase the NeoGen Pore Tight Peeling Mousse. I’ve tried a couple of products from NeoGen before. A few I liked, a few I didn’t. I was actually looking up one of those products on the NeoGen Website when I came across this product.

According to the website…

Unique mousse-type peeling formula with alginic acid found in deep-sea marine botanicals such as red algae captures impurities, blackheads, makeup residue, and dead skin cells within the pores of the skin to cleanse and purify the skin. The further added ingredient from purple sea urchins deliver tightening benefits to sagging skin for an overall smoother and firmer-looking skin.

NeoGen

Now normally after I list the basic product description I leave the website and go off on my own to try the product. For this product I am also going to list the how to use section because it is a bit important.

How to Use:

1. On dry hands and face, pump an adequate amount of mousse in your hands to apply completely across your face.

2. Thoroughly rub the mousse gently across your face until it completely disappears.

3. Once it completely disappears, make sure to completely rinse it off with water.

* Shake well in an up and down motion before using.

* Make sure to use only on completely dry hands and face.

NeoGen

I would like to point out that there are no other instructions for use. Or if they are then they are printed very small on the bottle and written in Korean. What I find missing from this description is how many times this product ought to be used. Part of this product sounds like it ought to be used daily in place of a cleanser or to remove makeup. But it is a peeling product and I am hesitant to use it more than once a week.

To try out this product I tried it on bare skin and then once on top of makeup to see if it was like a makeup remover or cleanser. I will say it did remove the makeup and my skin felt clean after use, but I felt like it was a waste of the product. It could be used that way in a pinch, but it is better on a dry makeup free face. You actually see more skin care benefits that way. When you use the peel over makeup then it just peels the makeup off. With the bare skin, it works on the skin.

As for usage, I tried once a day for a week and while it didn’t harm my face, it was a diminishing returns kind of experiment. Each day seemed to have less of an effect. Perhaps it is because there simply were less accumulated dead skin cells for the peel to remove. For me the best use time line is a once a week type of use, as though it were an exfoliant, which it kind of is.

awkward if you just try to dab it on, go in boldly and it works better

What this product does more or less is it pulls the gunk out of your pores so that your pores look smaller. What I found it helpful in dealing with are the clogged pores just below the surface of the skin. The first application of this Pore Tight Peeling Mouse, helped take away a lot of the smaller bumps and reduce the larger ones so they were smaller. With continued once a week use, there were less bumps in general.

Then I started using a pore refining mask (Juice Beauty). This mask brought more clogged pores rising to the surface and then I used this mousse to help clear them away. It Is an effective combo. I have several other masks that also raise pores (the Herbal Dynamics Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Mask still reigning as my favorite). Any good clearing mask will draw clogged pores to the surface so they can be more effectively cleared away. This Pore Tight Mousse is one of those products that does a great job of clearing away what is brought to the surface.

after the foam disapears

I would use a clearing mask to bring everything up to the surface, say on a Friday night when you are staying home and planning to be home all weekend. And then Saturday night clear away what the Friday mask brought up. Or make it a Tuesday/Wednesday thing. It’s your call. Just give the clearing mask time to bring as much up s possible before employing the Mousse.

Now while I did pick this up because I do like peeling products, I mostly chose this because of the novelty of the foam. I’ve only seen peeling masks in liquid form. The bottle looks like hair mousse. It also dispenses like hair mousse. There is a light skincare kind of scent to it, but the scent fades quickly.

After the foam and before rinse

While I like the fact that once the foam fades away it is time to rinse off the product, applying the foam to the face can be a little awkward. The best course of action is to be bold. Tie your hair back from your face, dispense the product into your hand, divide it between your two hands and rub it straight onto your face, concentrating on the areas you need help with the most. Don’t be timid or you will start to dab the foam on to your face and it will be kind of a pain because parts of your face will look like they are ready to be rinsed while others still have foam on them.

Just commit and go in with gusto. It is well worth it as once you are done, there are fewer raised pores and the skin is smoother and clearer looking. While I don’t think daily use would hurt your skin, I found the best results with once a week use. I did purchase this product for the novelty but in reality it is one of the best peeling masks I’ve used in a while. I am glad I indulged my curiosity and I would certainly purchase this NeoGen Pore Tight Peeling Mousse again.

It’s time to exfoliate!

It’s time to exfoliate!

I know the world is often leery of the word exfoliate. Many people fall into the only chemical exfoliators please.  Just give me the AHAs and get out.  (Or whatever their chemical exfoliate of choice is, there are many to choose from after all.) And there are some who are physical exfoliation only. And there are some who feel horror at the thought of their non-chosen choice or at either actually as they feel neither is necessary.

Personally, I use both.  While I am still experimenting with the chemical varieties, as I have not been playing with them long.  I have used physical exfoliators since I as a teenager.  And let me tell you, some of those early physical exfoliators were rough. 

Literally.

With physical exfoliates there are two main things you want to watch out for.  The first is large harsh particles.  The larger, harsher bits can actually cause micro tears in the skin and that isn’t something anyone wants.  The most often culprit is walnut shell.  While powdered walnut or walnut extract can be fine, generally walnut shell is going to be a little on the harsh side.  If you take a bit of the exfoliate between your fingers and rub, you shouldn’t feel like there are hard pebbles in the mix.  If there are and you can dent them with your fingernail then you should be fine, if they are hard solid things, you might want to think twice about it. 

Or at least that is my rule of thumb. (Literally as I use my thumbnail).

I also do not have overly sensitive skin, so keep that in mind too.

The second thing you have to watch out with physical exfoliation is overdoing it.  I generally use a physical exfoliator at best once a week, and really often only once a month.  I use my exfoliators sparingly and generally when I just feel I need a bit of a scrub down.

For those who have been following my ongoing skincare use and evaluation, you know that a few weeks back I had some product reaction followed by hormonal breakouts which led to the incorporation of blemish fighting products loaded with salicylic acid. While great for fighting breakouts it does tend to dry the skin out a little bit.  Which isn’t surprising really when you think about it as it is drying out the blemish and there for the skin around it gets dry too. 

Plus as the blemish itself dries out if can leave flaky bits .

I generally find that just as things more or less finish up healing, I need a good physical exfoliant to scrub me down a bit.  I am currently reaching for the Kaoilin Micro Exfoliant from Annmarie Skincare. It came in a sample set that Annmarie skincare sent to me. I personally love this sample kit.  Actually I really like most of Annmarie’s sample kits.  They generally bundle a few of their products in sample size and offer them for a small price.  (This bundle of three: Kaolin micro exfoliant, charcoal cacao mask, and pearl illuminating mask retails for $12.99). Then you get a coupon code with the bundle that lets you take most if not all of the sample price off of a purchase.  While this bundle was sent to me by the brand I tend to pick up their sample bundles quite often.  (Less so now because I am trying to work through my skincare backups and clear a few things out).  The trick for me is deciding which product I actually want to order because I really like the brand. I love poking around their samples section on their website.

Get the Hydration & Exfoliation set to love your skin! $12.99 with free shipping

Annmarie Skincare is a clean skincare brand and one of my favorite things about them (besides their products) is that if you go on their website and click on their blog, scrolling down to their about the brand not only gets you news about their new releases and such but it also gets you to their annual sustainability report. They publish one each year, obviously, and you can what they are doing each year and see how it meshes with your thoughts on clean and sustainable.

I’ve noticed every brand seems to draw that line a little differently so I really appreciate being able to see in detail where they draw their lines (which quite honestly are pretty good)

the sample sized exfoliator

But feeling good about the brand and liking the actual product are not always the same thing.  There are several brands out there whose ethos I like, but whose products fall short of the mark.  I cheer them on and keep my fingers crossed, but their products aren’t quite there yet. You know those brands. The ones you really want to like, but just don’t end up using?

I’ve never really had that problem with Annmarie skincare and I didn’t have that problem with this exfoliator. 

*Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, *Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, [Sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate, Lauryl glucoside (saponified oils of coconut oil and plant starches/sugars)], *Glycerin (vegetable derived), *Diatomaceous earth (silica crystals), *Montmorillonite (green kaolin clay), Populus tremuloides (aspen) bark extract, Camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, Essential oils [Lavandula angustifolia (lavender), Salvia officinalis (sage), Cymbopogon schoenanthus (lemongrass)], Xanthan gum (wood pulp derived).*Organically grown or wildcrafted

Wildcrafted: A selection of the herbs used in our line are hand picked in the mountains where they grow wild—this is the definition of wildcrafted. When we use wildcrafted herbs, we know that no commercial farming methods have been used, and that the plants are hearty, vibrant and full of skin-nourishing nutrients.

Annmarie Skincare

The Kaolin Micro Exfoliant doesn’t look that appealing in the jar. It is a tannish mud color. The scent is surprisingly of rosemary, at least to me. There is some aloe type scent helping to balance it a little bit but it is very rosemary to me. It isn’t overpowering but it does have an herbal/medicinal scent to it. I was expecting more of a clay scent to it if I am honest. Or something more earthy at least given the color, but it is a bright herbal scent instead.

Which I’m not mad about at all.

a small ammout goes a long way

The texture is of very fine grained sand and there are no hard particles or lumps in the mix. Very little product is actually needed. I dipped my finger into the small jar, rubbed the resulting product on the fist two fingers of each hand and then applied it to my face. I concentrated on the places where I get blocked pores and on the areas that have just healed from break outs, but that little bit of product is just enough to cover my entire face.

This is especially nice as it means that this small sample sized jar has more than enough product to last over a month. At the moment I am exfoliating once a week. If I use it less, then it will last longer, but for now that is where I am for this time of year and my skin’s concerns.

The product rinsed off cleanly and easily and I have to say I really like the way my skin feels after being rinsed off. Any dry flakiness is gone and my skin is smooth. I like to follow my physical exfoliators with a good oil and this time I used the Anti-aging oil from Annmarie. One drop is all that is needed as it is pretty spreadable stuff. I’ll be honest, the oil is my least favorite Annmarie product and the only one I don’t tend to reorder. I’ll use it if it is around because it is a nice formula, but it is too intensely herbal and medicinal scented even for me. It is a good oil, but once again my nose gets me in trouble.

Thus far it is the only product I don’t absolutely love from the brand, so I am okay with that.

But I do like to follow my exfoliation with a small amount of some sort of facial oil. I know it isn’t science but there is a part of my brain that thinks that now I’ve exfoliated my skin may be more accepting of products so I always add a good quality facial oil. Whether that is true or not I don’t know, but it works with my skin.

For me, the Kaolin Micro Exfoliant was a triumph and it certainly goes on the list of Annmarie Skincare products to reorder. It is gentle enough that I could use it more than once a week if I felt the need, but I will probably stick to my once a week approach. It does nothing I don’t want and everything I do want in an exfoliator and it has no bad stuff in the mix for me to worry about. Over all, its a definite win.


$12.99 Pure & Proven Trial Set: Kaolin Micro Exfoliant, Illuminating Pearl Mask, Charcoal Cacao Mask

$12.99 Pure & Proven Trio

Trying out the Ritual of Jing

I am a big believer in trying new products. I know anyone who reads this regularly sees me swap out makeup, skincare and even hair care products. I make a list of what I like so I can repurchase them and use them again and I make a list of products to never purchase again. Often the category I forget about is the bath.

while I generally don’t take a lot of baths once the weather warms and tend to shelve a lot of my soaks and bath fizzies until the weather turns, I still try out different bathing products on a regular basis. One of the products I have been trying recently has been the Rituals Ritual of Jing Mild Body Scrub.

Now, I love a good body scrub. In fact since I have been exercising more , I like the body scrubs more as well. Oddly enough, I use them more in the summer time than I do in the winter. In the winter I will tend to use a dry brush before I get into the shower or bath. (Actually I tend to use the dry brush, and then shower. If I am having a bath I still take a really short shower first to rinse off before sitting in the bathtub. That way I rinse the dirt of the day off before I sink into the fragrant water- in case you were wondering)

My dry brush comes from SpaRitual in case you were wondering. I picked it up last fall as an experiment to see if I liked dry brushing and used it all winter. I really enjoyed it. The pristles are stiff enough to get the circulation going but not stout enough to be scratchy feeling. (Which was a problem with a brush I tired initially). I was actually tickled to find the brush on their site as previously I only went to the site for their nail polish. They have a really good Vegan nail polish line actually. Although now that I found the brush I really need to expand my poking around on their website instead of getting sidetracked by the nails.

initial product dispense

Although speaking of getting sidetracked…

Back to the bath.

Anyway the point is, I don’t use the dry brush in the summer because in the summer time I tend to be amp mand sweaty when i go in for my evening shower. So I just don’t use the dry brush in the summer. (I know, it was a long way to go to get there)

In the summer I use body scrubs in the shower. Again not all scrubs are created equal. Some are too harsh, others leave too much residue behind. With Rituals I have only tried their body wash before so their scrub was a new thing for me. Used to the foam of their body wash the cream that came out of the tube was thick and at first, looked like a cream body wash. The grain of the exfoliating particles is quite fine. I tried to spread it out in my hand so that you can hopefully see some of the texture.

It is like very fine sand. It isn’t as harsh as sand though and does a pretty good job of scrubbing without being too harsh. It also rinses off cleanly with out leaving a residue or a sandy feel to the skin.

spread out to show the bamboo texture

According to the website, this was the goal of the formula.

Treat yourself to the most relaxing exfoliation experience ever with this body scrub from The Ritual of Jing. Composed of ultra-fine bamboo particles and a rich cream base, the scrub gently yet thoroughly removes dead skin cells and hydrates without leaving the skin feeling greasy. The cream base promotes the absorption of valuable active ingredients and makes the scrub suitable to use on more sensitive areas such as your neck and cleavage.

Rituals Website

Incidentally , this product is on sale on the Rituals site for $13.50 for the full sized jar. I’m not an affiliate and clicking the link does nothing for me, in case you are wondering. it is just where I went to get information about the product. I saw it is on sale and I think it might be a site wide sale but I am not certain. Just something to be aware of if you are shopping.

While I will say that the scrub does exactly what it claims to do, something you might want to be aware of is that the scent is strong. I think it is more noticeable to me now because I have been using the Zents Shampoo and Conditioner, both of which are designed to have very delicate scents. But even so, the scent of this product is noticeable. I find the scent pleasant. It is a slightly floral, slightly spicy product with maybe a hint of coconut at the back. I can’t actually pin down exactly what it smells like. I looked at the ingredients list and while I can tell it has shea butter in it, more from feel than scent, I am not certain what lotus flower of jujuba fruit smell like. I would just describe it as creamy, with slightly floral, slightly spicy notes.

I like the scent and it does fade once you wash off the scrub, but it is a very present scent when you are bathing. If you are sensitive to scents, you just might want to bear that in mind. In fact that is something I would say about Rituals products across the board. I like them and they work really well for me, but I always think of them scent first and use second. If scent doesn’t bother you, their products always work well. In fact they work almost exactly as they are listed on their website. What they say they do, they do. And as scented as their products are, they are rarely sweet and floral. So many of the bath products I have tried out have been scented like candy or flowers that it is nice to have something that leans more into the spicy realm. Even if my babydoll does occasionally borrow the rituals products when I leave them in the shower. It is a nice change from the typical bath products. In the end I think that this is a product I would definitely repurchase.

60% off Vegan Nail Lacquers, use code: GOODBYE. Runs until inventory is out

Sparitual

Face Mask Friday with Korres

Have you ever come across a product that you completely forgot you had?  In the back of my masking drawer I came across the Korres pomegranate resurfacing mask.  I forgot completely that I had it.  I remember loving it, but then I had a slew of new masks come in and it ended up buried.  Since I skipped pretty much all of my exfoliation this week, once I saw the mask I knew, today it was time to see if I liked it as much as I remembered. 

This mask from Korres is also only a five minute mask.  Which given my still somewhat warped schedule, is not a bad thing.  I love the fifteen minute relaxing time with my music and candles.

(I even picked up a new candle actually.  It’s from Paddywax. They currently have a 20% off sale going on for Father’s day fight now if you are looking to stock up. I know you are braced for another Edgar Allen Poe Candle which I absolutely love and will purchase again in the fall, but I decided to shake things up and go with the La Playa Salted Blue Agave instead.  I’ve ordered it before and actually I still use the glass as a drinks glass. They are great glasses and I wanted something lighter and fresher for the warmer weather.  I love the beachy citrusy scent.)

But when time is short, sometimes the candles have to be used later in the day.  I’ll probably light the candle later tonight as it will go well with the ceviche I have planned.

It has been a while since I used the Korres Pomegranate Resurfacing mask.  It still smells as fresh as ever although there isn’t much left in the tube.  I may actually keep it out and use the last of it up this week rather than put it in the drawer again. And then repurchase a fresh tube later. 

Because this is a good mask that I do want to repurchase.  The scent is fresh and clean and very pomegranate-y.  It has a rough texture so you get both a physical exfoliation as well as a chemical one from this mask.  I know chemical exfoliation is supposed to be better for your skin because it is gentler, but there is just something I love about a physical exfoliate.  I don’t use them as much as I used to and limit my time with them so I don’t do damage to the skin and I am very careful about the ones I do use, but on occasion I really like a physical exfoliator.

And this one was really nice.  I left it for five minutes so the chemicals could do their thing and then I massaged it with a little water before rinsing it off.  My skin feels smooth and clean and super fresh.  I have to say, I am almost glad I ended up missing my exfoliation this week, just so I could have the fabulously fresh feeling that I have right now.  I will go back to my normal routine, but really, this is a wonderful feeling and I feel energized enough to plow through the rest of my work day at top speed.

Bring on the paperwork.  I am ready.

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Trying out a new lip scrub

Lip scrub is one of those items I don’t use everyday, or even every week. It is one of those things I always have around, so that when I need it I can reach for it. Consistently I tend to need lip scrub through the transition time in the autumn as we go into winter. I then use it periodically over the winter and then my use of it fades out though the spring. There is always a stretch of time where spring becomes summer where my lips need a good scrub and that is the time we have now entered.

This lip scrub came to me in a Subscription box. I believe it was Glossy Box. The full name is the Avant Hyaluronic Argan Oil Peony Sweet Almond Age Protect And UV Velvet Perfecting Rose Sugar Lip Scrub. For the purpose of not making anyone reading this out of breath before they reach the end of the name, I’m just going to shorten that to the Avant Lip Scrub.

This was an interesting lip scrub to review.

First, the packaging. It is quite nice. Sturdy plastic that can stand up to squeezing but isn’t too firm. An angled tip so that it could easily be spread on the lips. I think the full size does come in a jar though. Which I think I’d prefer the trail sized tube, but that is just a personal preference. In addition, the hole for dispensing product is large enough that the granules can get through. During the times I used it, there was no clogging and the product was easy to use.

The argan oil always works well on my skin, lips included so that was nice and quite frankly I like seeing hyaluronic acid.

And in truth, my lips did feel gloriously soft and smooth. It performs really well. The exfoliant particles were gentle enough not to cause any harsh scrubbing, yet quite effective. It really is a very well performing product.

I know you are thinking, well that doesn’t sound like it is an interesting scrub to review. It just sounds like you liked the scrub.

The interesting part is that I found it really a hard scrub to use. In fact i found that I often talked myself out of using it.

‘Oh no, I think my lips are fine tonight, I’ll just add an extra layer of lip balm instead.’

And here’s why: The Avant Lip Scrub tastes awful.

It quite frankly tastes like its name. It tastes like Rose, Peony, and argan oil. It is not a delightful combination. When sniffed in the tube, the Sweet Almond comes through and so i expected that to be the taste, which would have been fine. It might be mixed in, but the taste is oily dead flowers.

I know, it isn’t a product designed to be eaten. However, it is on my lips. To use a lip scrub, you apply it to the lips and then roll your lips a bit so the sugar can work around and exfoliate. Then you pat off any particulates that remain so that the softness of the oil can remain on the lips and be absorbed. That’s just how lip scrubs work.

Because of this, at some point (possibly many points) you are going to taste the scrub. And this Avant Lip scrub tastes vile. Argan oil is great for hair and skin but it isn’t a tasty oil and mixing it with florals doesn’t help. In fact all it does is insure that if you do get any in your mouth the oil will case the flavor to linger.

Normally, I brush my teeth, use my mouthwash and then use my lips scrub so that I can leave the oils on my lips to settle in overnight. With using this scrub this week I had to bring the lip scrub forward a bit and apply it well before my nighttime routine. Then make a conscious effort not to eat or drink anything. Then I washed off the oils before brushing my teeth. After I just added My Bite Beauty Agave Lip mask for moisture and called it good.

I will say that the product does work well, but the taste insures I won’t really use it. The best thing that can be said about the taste is that it works well as an anti snacking device. If you are looking for ways to keep yourself from snacking in the evenings, this might be a good choice for you because after you taste it once, you will do your best not to taste it again.

Sometimes, taste does matter. Even in skincare.

The Avant Lip Scrub (the 10 ml not the trial size I have) retails for $71. Which is a lot for a lip scrub. Personally I don’t think a lip scrub should cost that much. As far as lip scrubs go, my two favorites are much less costly. I really like the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish ($18). Fresh is one of those brands I can always trust for good products actually. Personally I also like the Elf Lip exfoliator sugar scrub ($4). It comes in a lipstick form and is very easy to use. The exfoliation on that one is nice although I do find I need to add something like the Bite Beauty Agave lip mask to the lips after using it to provide post scrub hydration. I think the dryer formula used to crate the stick form just leaves it lacking in the post scrub moisture department.

Even though both are less expensive (even if you also add the cost of the Bite Beauty Agave Mask ($26) into the tally) were they all the same price, I still wouldn’t go for the Avant Lip Scrub as a repurchase. The formula may be great but the taste insures I would never use it.


I think that Fresh has a standard 15% off for new shoppers on their site. They also seem to have a 20% off deal going with their refer a friend section. I’m not an affiliate (and the link will just take you to the general page) but it seems like if you and a friend each purchase from the site you both get 20% off. Bite Beauty and Elf also have some sales going at the moment which I’ve posted below. The ELF 60% off clearance sale lasts until June 18th.

Bite Beauty: Take 30% off the Changemaker Collection!

Elf Cosmetics: 60% off Clearance Sale!