Trying out some bling with the Soon Golden Eye 24 K gold Patches

I love eye patches. They are adorable little under eye masks capable of perking you up and depuffing the under eye area. Or at least the good ones are. There are two I reach for consistently and that I repurchase. One is a long time favorite and it is the under eye masks from Grace and Stella. In allergy season they are my saving grace and I always keep them to hand for deputffing and perking my up while my allergy meds are working in keeping my air ways clear. Sometimes my allergy medicine can male me feel a little drowsy and I find they are a great topical way to combat that feeling.

in package

Lately the Grace and Stella eye masks have been joined by the Klorane eye masks. They aren’t as energizing but they de puff a little bit more and really help the bags under my eyes deflate when I have had a sleepless night. Insomnia and I are old friends. Mornings after a no sleep night get Klorane eye masks and allergy season is dominated by Grace and Stella.

while I love both brands (and will always repurchase from them) I have started accumulating a collection of single pairs of eye masks from different brands. They tend to come in subscription boxes. I always ooh and ahh because I love eye masks. And then I reach for my two standards and forget to try out the singles.

on face

So now I am making an effort to try them out. I think I have about ten pairs so I will be using them once a week to try out the non-regular use eye masks to see how I like them. The first pair I took from this collection is the Soon Golden Eye 24K Gold Eye Mask. Soon sells them in a jar of thirty sets for $54 or a 10 pack for $28. According to their website this 24K gold hydrogel mask…

Prevent collagen loss, and renew skin with our 24K gold eye patches. Formulated with 24K gold to slow collagen breakdown and reduce fine lines, and niacinamide to brighten your under eyes, our biodegradable hydrogel eye patches leave your under eyes firmer and brighter. In our opinion, it’s way better than bling.

Soon

I’m not entirely certain gold actually does anything for your skin, but it is definitely pretty. And I like that it is biodegradable. Or at least the eye patches are. The plastic they come in, might not be as earth friendly.

In general I like the hydrogel formula for eye patches. I generally find it makes them stay on well so I can wear them while working at my desk. These came out of the package easily, applied well and stayed in place the entire fifteen minutes I wore them.

post mask, eyes refreshed, but one use isn’t going to give much in the way of long term skincare benefits

They are a bit more highly fragranced than I care for but it isn’t an unpleasant scent, just a little on the perfum-y side. There wasn’t a lot of excess serum, just enough to saturate the masks and keep them in place, not enough to drip down the cheeks.

Once the masks were removed I looked at my skin. It feels hydrated, but I didn’t see a lot of depuffing going on and not a lot of brightening. Nor do they have the energizing appeal of the Grace and Stella eye masks. Theses Soon 24K Golden Eye masks feel good and I think with repeated use I might see some reduction in fine lines, however I am not a fan of the perfume and they are a bit pricy for something I am just okay with. I think for me to purchase these on the regular I would have to love them. I like them and would happily use them again, because my under eyes do feel moisturized and somewhat refreshed, but I don’t love them. I am however happy to have tried them and look forward to seeing what other eye patches are lurking in my collection.


Acing face mask Friday

Welcome my darlings to the Friday Face Mask. This week, I can’t lie, its been stressful. And a fifteen minute break with a relaxing face mask on zoning out from the world sounds like a fantastic plan. Unfortunately, I am still waiting on Rapid test results which should be in later this afternoon, and every time i try to simply lie back and relax non-relaxing thoughts creep in.

Somedays, being alone with your thoughts isn’t the best plan.

So I chose a mask that i can move around and do things while wearing. Plus it is also a new to me mask that I have been really eager to try. This Aceology Brightening Treatment mask was supposed to come in my December IPSY bag. It didn’t quite make it to the station on time and so I had to wait for it to be sent along later.

Incidentally IPSY was really good about it and it did get here very shortly after. It just felt like a long wait because I really wanted to try it. I was actually impressed with IPSY turn around on it

And then of course the mask was mine. Now I know what you are thinking, haven’t you reviewed Aceology before? First of all, if it’s a good mask, it will always come back into rotation. Second, that was the greeny/gold Aceology Lifting Treatment Mask. And actually this was the reason I was so excited to give this mask a try. with repeated use, I actually saw a big improvement in my skin’s texture. It felt smooth pretty much right away, but I didn’t notice most of the benefits until I used the mask a couple of times.

And then I continued using the mask until it was all used up.

So since this is the first time using this Brightening Treatment Mask from Aceology, I don’t actually expect to see magical brightening, but I do think that over the course of using this tube, I will see a brightening to my skin. According to the website this mask…

Provides gentle exfoliation, Revives tired, dull skin, Encourages an even skin tone, Reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation, Easy-to-remove peel-off mask 

*Product can be applied with finger or any brush or applicator. Please note this product does not include a brush. 

Aceology
always peel from the bottom and go up to keep from dragging your skin down

Luckily, I have my handy dandy silicone masking brush. I can’t reccomend picking one up highly enough if you are a routine Masker. It makes application so quick and clean and it really does help you not waste product. They make expensive masking brushes and very inexpensive ones. They all work. I just reccomend getting a silicone one. With peel off masks you just set it to the side after applying your mask and when it dries, peel it off the brush. Easy peasy.

I wash the brush afterwards, but the bulk of the mess is dealt with.

This mask smells light and fresh with a scent that more or less just smells like skincare. I’m sorry i don’t have a more clarifying scent profile to offer, but when i smell it my brain just thinks ‘skincare’. The mask applied easily. It isn’t too sticky.

Because it is a peel off mask, I went and dermaplanned my face just before so there would be fewer hairs for the mask to pull when I peel it off. The painful part of the pull off mask is generally due to those fine hairs on your face being pulled out. Less hair, less pain.

a little brighter maybe, but definitely really nicely exfoliated

It’s pretty simple math.

The mask is a lovely metalic-ish blue that I really like. As with all peel off masks you have to let them dry down completely before peeling. If there is a wet spot it simply won’t peel. So you just have to wait. Normally it still takes about fifteen minutes for the peel off mask to dry down all the way. Today it is really wet outside so it took about eighteen for it to fully dry and be ready to peel off.

It peeled off relatively well. There was not a lot of drama because I took off some of the fine hairs first. So there wasn’t much pulling at all. As always when first removing a peel off mask there is a moment of redness, because you have actually been pulling your skin. Once that dies down (after about five minutes) the redness goes away. Unless you have actually had a reaction. In which case you might want to stop using the product and see someone about the irritation.

My redness was just from pulling (Plus I tested the mask on my arm a few days ago just to make sure there were no issues.). After the redness died down I took a good look at my skin. While I can’t say that any dark spots were magically faded, my skin did feel as though it had just been lightly exfoliated. It wasn’t a major exfoliation, just a very light one, still it is something to keep in mind. If you routinely use exfoliating products then when you use this mask you might want to give them a pass so you don’t over exfoliate.

It is a very light exfoliation though so I didn’t feel like it was too rough on my skin and I really liked the feel of my skin after I took the mask off and let the redness die down. I really rather liked using this mask today. While it worked on my skin i was able to move around the house and o other things without worrying about it flaking off or dripping down. It stayed in place and my skin felt great after. I think to see some of the brightening effects I would have to use this mask on a routine basis. Because of the way it felt, I just might end up using this mask on a routine basis long enough to actually see the effects. This was a great first use of the Aceology Brightening Treatment Mask and I look forward to using it again.

Kosas - available at Alyaka.com

Face Mask Friday: MIA

I know, there is no masking today. I got called into an assist in helping to set up tables. It was like a demented math problem actually. You have X number of people coming to the charity dinner and auction. You have the space for all those people, but must now make certain that your tables are socially distanced without enlarging the space.

It sort of made me feel as though I forgot to study for an exam.

Luckily i was not actually in charge. I was just volunteer labor and not actually on any committee. To be on a committee I think you have to have at least eight generations of your family born within the confines of the town limits. I’m not sure what you have to do to lead the committee.

I don’t even want to guess actually. I think it might involve sacrificing a goat or something.

I do know that the Organization Committee and the Entertainment Committee are like rival gangs. With older southern lady hair and armed with scathingly polite commentary that cuts deep.

The table debacle involved one group ceding territory to another. It was quite dramatic.

It is for a good cause, the local Food Bank, but it was quite the dramatic pre event show. All side glares and polite insults. I’m sure tonight will be fun, and then we get to leave to have drinks and break down whatever drama occurs over drinks with the other people who want to be involved but lack generational rivalries.

While the event was an on-line auction with no dinner last year, two years ago the two committee chairs had a bidding war on the same item. I have never seen so many arched eyebrows and cold glares in my life.

It’s kind of fun to watch when you aren’t involved.

Sometimes it is good to be the outsider.

But the table math and debate took up more time than planned (especially since I hadn’t planned to be involved to begin with) so no mask today. However if you are looking to stock up on masks, Facetory has 48 hours left on their mega sale. So you might want to give them a look. But now I am off to finish a few things before I need to shower, change and head back to the Community Center. Have a great weekend!

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The Daily: December 1st, 2021

Hello my darlings. Today, the world decided to go mad. I should have expected it, I know. We are on the first week back from a major holiday, November just ended and month’s ends are always a bit crazed. I think though that a lot of people flipped the calendar page today, realized that there were no more pages to flip this year and that a chunk of the month will be taken up by people taking days off for holiday adventures.

It seems to have made everyone I work with determined to get everything needed to get done before the end of the year set up before the middle of the month. I can’t even count the number of times I heard, ‘and it can be done before the 15th, right?’

I am pretty sure the next two weeks will be absolute insanity.

My two scheduled phone calls blossomed into about eighteen. Luckily most people have given up on the obsession with video conferencing, at least where I am concerned, so none of the calls involved video. Which is good because I never got around to putting on any makeup.

I did manage a set of under eye patches. It was a bitter sweet moment. I used my long term favorite ones, the Grace and Stella energy drink for your eyes, under eye patches. They were my allergy season life saver. However I hit them pretty hard. And while I loved putting them on today, I discovered that this was the last one I had. I have lots of single sets of eyepatches that came in subscription boxes that I need to use up, but no more of my favorites. I actually need to use the singles up before I order more, but with the sales going on it is really hard to resist. I think I may order a pack and set them aside to use after I use up the singles. I may even try the new pink ones to see if they are as good as the original.

Buy 4 of any product, get 30% off both!

Oh speaking of masks. December is the month I am going to go back to using up my sheet masks so that I can clear out the old and restock with the new. So Monday through Thursday there will be a Sheet mask each afternoon, with Friday being my regular Face Mask Friday.

Sheet mask for December 1st, 2021

Today’s sheet mask is the Elmolu Day Nature Mask. It is an energizing mask and hopefully it will do the trick. I’m keeping a list of the masks and my thoughts on them to post at the end of the month, in case you are wondering. This particular mask came to me in a Facetory subscription. If you aren’t looking for subscriptions, Facetory has a store where you can just purchase face masks of all varieties. (There is a huge Cyber Week Sale going on if you are looking for extra discounts). They are very reasonably priced and I have started building my list of favorites so that I know exactly what I ant to order from them in the future. I have actually been surprised by some of the ones that have made the reordering list. Whether this one will or not, remains to be seen as I will use it later today. And in case you are wondering most of the sheet masks I buy tend to either come from Facetory or The Masque Bar. It is just really easy to place an order for multiple masks from different companies with them instead of running all over the place. Facetory even has sheet masks from Challans de Paris which is a skin care brand I really enjoy. I didn’t realize they actually had sheet masks until I saw them on Facetory actually.

I’m going to try to remember to list the sheet mask of the day during the week this month, along with the daily makeup. However today, there was no daily makeup. Just my last pair of Grace and Stella Eye patches and an upcoming sheet mask. Tomorrow though, tomorrow there will be makeup. And walking. The calls made me skip my daily exercise as well today so there will probably be extra walking tomorrow as well.

But for now, it is back to work for me. I hope your day runs a little but more smoothly.

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Evaluating the Facemasks

Anyone who visits this site with any regularity knows that I love face masks. I am, to be honest an equal opportunity masking lover. I love the clearing masks, I love the hydrating masks and I love the brightening masks.

But all masks do not shave my love equally. At this time of year, I go through my masking drawer and I look at all of the masks I have on hand. I set the masks I plan to use up and discard to one side. I then look at what remains. I filter the ones with not a lot of product into one box so I can use them up and put them on a list for repurchasing and I set the unopened ones I still need to review to the side. I’ll still use new masks on Fridays from my reviews when possible, but throughout the week I will make an effort to use up as many open masks as possible to clear out space for the new year.

It’s sort of my process.

Mixed into the process is the general evaluation. Which masks did I use this year that i absolutely love and want to reorder. And to be honest, a few of the masks that made this list, I have already reordered. So who made the top cut? Let’s take a look. (I’ll try to post links to the Black Friday Sales if they are currently available)

  • Herbal Dynamics Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Clay mask: If you are looking for a mask to bring all of your deeply clogged pores to the surface, this is the mask you want to pick up. It is pretty intense, so test it on your arm first and pay attention to the length of time you have it on your skin. I can only use this mask about once a month. Although I will do spot treatments on my problem areas more often. It is a fantastic mask to have around, just know that because it draws everything to the surface, the next morning your skin may not look it’s best as you now have the clogged pores brought to the surface. I know, kind of a no brainer. I tend to use this on a weekend where I plan to stay in most of the time and treat it as an inhouse spa weekend. Apply on Friday and deal with the after effects on Saturday. With fab skin again on Monday. Or at least that is always the plan. Some weekends it works better than others. Just plan on dealing with the post mask rise of the clogs.

Shop our Black Friday Deals Now!

  • Annmarie Skincare Charcoal Cacao Mask: This mask is a little more expensive than the other masks on the list, but so worth the splurge. It is thinner than a lot of masks and when I apply it I feel as though I am painting my skin with black ink. That is the charcoal. Despite the charcoal and Cacao in the mix, this mask smells fresh and clean with a hint of rosemary. While it doesn’t look very herbal in nature, and feels like it out to smell of squid ink, I would be surprised if anything from Annmarie skincare didn’t smell herbal. While I love the skin care, it is the scent of their products that draw me in. They had me hooked with their Aloe Herb Cleanser right from the start (it smells of Lemon Verbena). After using this mask, my skin felt clear and refreshed. At the risk of sounding too over the top, I actually felt slightly more luminous. My skin felt pampered, rejuvenated and fantastic. This mask is a splurge, but so worth it. Prior to this My splurge mask was the Mud mask from Annmarie Skincare. while I still love that mask, and will probably repurchase it. This mask has now risen to the top of the self care splurge list. Their black Friday sales starts November 25th and runs through the 28th, so instead of the black Friday sales link I am linking the Clean Beauty samples kit. If you have never tried the brand this is definitely the way to give them a try. Plus you get a coupon code that rolls the cost into a full sized purchase so it’s kind of a win. Especially with the upcoming holiday sales.

Clean Beauty Trial – Evergreen 2021 Offer – $19.99 with free shipping & 2 free gifts

  • Healing Bark Golden Tree Bark Mask: I used this mask for the entire month of October. It is one of the few masks that can actually be used on a daily basis with no ill effects to the skin. For the purists and label readers out there (i’m with you my friends) thee is only one ingredient on the label. It is the powdered bark of the Thanaka Tree. When using this mask daily I found my dark spots lightening significantly. I found my skin was less acne prone, even during the hormonal outbreaks and the blemishes I ended up with were cleared up more rapidly than usual. While this mask was fantastic on the skin, it was also the daily ritual of the mask I liked. Using it each night involved measuring the powder, blending it with water, applying it, letting it dry and rinsing it off. In addition it had to sit for about half an hour. I find having that ritual in the evening helped quiet my mind and relieve a lot of stress. As we go into the holiday season, I have restocked with a second container and will be using it to both calm the skin and my racing thoughts.
  • Vichy Masque Mineral: This is not a new mask to my collection. This is a mask That I have used for quite some time and always find myself returning to purchase. I think this may actually be my fifth jar. Possibly sixth. And it won’t be my last. This is a clear mask, that feels like jelly when you scoop it out of the jar (i recommend a spoon). With the Heat of your hand it very quickly melts to a liquid. A light layer over the skin is really all you need. The skin absorbs most of it so this is an easy mask to apply while sitting at your desk. If the layer is thin enough, you don’t really have to wash it off. I almost always go a little too thick and have to rinse the last of the residue off. Because it is clear, you just look really shiny when you are wearing it. In the winter time, this is my go to hydration mask. Vichy’s Black Friday sale starts on the 25th of November and has 25% off so it is a great time to stock up on their products. since their sales link is not available the link below will take you to their Antiaging Set with Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid. If you are shopping for someone who loves skin care I highly recommend this set. Both Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid are my hero ingredients for great skin. Its nice to see them in one place.

Shop Our VITAMIN C + HYALURONIC ACID ANTI-AGING SET!

  • Korres Hydra Biome Probiotic Superdose Face Mask with real Greek Yoghurt: I’ll be honest, I didn’t think I was going to like this mask when I first saw it. I was worried that it would smell too yoghurt-y for me and that I would just feel like i was smearing my breakfast all over my face. It does have a light dairy scent, but it is a really fabulous mask. And it doesn’t feel like smearing yoghurt all over myself. For me I keep it in the fridge, partially because my brain won’t let me store it on a shelf. It has enough of a dairy scent that I just can’t stick it on a shelf. It is also a fabulous ,mask you use cold. It takes a little bit longer to absorb when it is cold, but it is so worth the wait. You not only get the coolness on a hot day, but most of the mask absorbs into the skin to give you a fantastically moisturized glow. (You just rinse off the excess).It is especially nice after you’ve spent too much time in the sun. Equally it is also nice after too much time in the cold wind. Wind is usually a winter problem for us here and I end up with wind burn quite often throughout the winter. This is a great product to use to sooth the cheeks. In the winter time just remember to warm yourself up first before applying it. This mask was definitely a surprise for me. I didn’t think I would like it, but once I tried it, I loved it.

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  • Milk Makeup Cannabis Hydrating Face Mask: This mask is going on my list for several reasons. While it is hydrating, it is also once of those masks that leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean. I always feel good after I’ve used it. It is also a stick mask which makes application and clean up super quick and easy. It does leave your skin Hulk Smash green while it is on, but it is light weight enough to forget you are wearing it. Especially when someone unexpectedly knocks on the door. It’s only drawback is that it smells slightly like Play-doh. The scent is easily forgotten as it fades after application. But it is a little odd. I enjoy this mask, and I am going to be looking into other Milk Masks this year to see if it is just this one I like or if there are others to enjoy. It is simply quick and easy without a lot of messy clean up. That and fresh clean skin are two definite reasons to keep it around.

Do Your Skin a Solid W/ Our Stay Hydrated Set: Matcha Cleanser, Watermelon Serum, Cooling Water & Matcha Toner for $49 ($90 value).

  • Elemis Papaya Enzyme peel: I know, a peel isn’t exactly a mask, but this is one that you leave on for ten minutes, like a mask instead of simply rubbing and rinsing, so I thought I’d put it on the list as well. I really enjoy this mask. It has a light fruity scent, it is cool and clean on the skin. A thin layer goes a long way and my skin looks fantastic once the mask is rinsed off. It is one of the more gentle peeling masks I’ve tried so if you are interested in leaning into peeling masks, but are a little nervous, this might be a way to go. Try it on your arm first, but I’ve had no issues with it at all. For some reason I had three samples of this mask in a row from subscription boxes and I have been slowly working my way through the, This is my final sample and a full size is definitely now on my purchase list.

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So that my darlings is the list of the top products in my masking drawer. To be honest, I thought there would be more. However these are the ones that made the top of the list for this year. I’m sure that next year other masks will rise to the surface, but these are the products that have earned a place in my skincare drawer and will be repurchased.

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Face Mask Friday: Klorane Smoothing & Soothing Eye patches

Good afternoon my darlings and welcome to another face mask Friday. I have something special today. Klorane just released a new product. It is the Smoothing and Soothing eye patches and they sent a box to me to try out.

I know most of the time I am going on and on about their fabulous dry shampoo (which to be fair is pretty fabulous), but one of my favorite products from the brand is actually their waterproof eye makeup remover. You are probably wondering why that is relevant. Well, it is the Cornflower Waterproof eye makeup remover. And these eye patches are Cornflower and hyaluronic acid infused.

Easy open tab

While I always love hyaluronic acid, especially around the fine lines around my eyes, I’ve noticed that the Cornflower waterproof eye makeup remover tends to not only take off all eye makeup and not sting my eyes, or cloud my contacts, but it tends to leave the skin feeling soft and nourished instead of stripped. Which is actually quite an accomplishment considering it’s job is to take off waterproof makeup.

While I like the effect, I am very curious to see how this ends up working with the eye patches, especially in conjunction with the hyaluronic acid. According to the website…

In just 15 minutes, soothing hydrogel eye patches visibly reduce signs of fatigue and under-eye puffiness, diminish the appearance of dark circles and visibly smooth fine lines.

Klorane

Personally I love eye patches, and the hydra gel ones are rapidly becoming my favorite style. Whenever allergies hit, my eyes get very puffy (as well as itchy and watery, but that can’t really be helped with eye patches)The eye patches really help with the puffiness. When things get really bad, putting them in the fridge for an hour or so before putting them on my eyes really knocks the puffiness out.

Before

While it was tempting to put these in the fridge, I decided my first trial of them would be straight out of the box. while I am not suffering from massive allergies we are in the throes of the first regular heating use of the season. The first few weeks the heating is on, my eyes tend to be a little puffy. I think they are reacting to whatever might have sat in the vents when the system wasn’t being used. So eyepatches are a welcome relief right now.

Eye Patches on

This box comes with seven sets of eye patches (retail $26). Each set is encapsulated in its own container. I kind of like that actually. My eyes also tend to get puffy when I travel and having them in separate containers that are easy to slip into a travel bag is not a bad thing. The container is a durable enough plastic that it should be able to travel quite easily.

There is no real scent to the eye masks and there isn’t a lot of extra fluid. The packaging is damp with a few beads of moisture on them after the patches are removed but there is no dripping. Which is really nice as I like to sit up when wearing the eye masks. I like wearing them at my desk while I work.

After 15 minutes

The patches, which look like big blue commas stick to the skin well and don’t slide around. They aren’t sticky or anything, it is just the moisture and gel texture keeping them in place. Given that they have hyaluronic acid in them, I placed the fat part of the comma over the fine lines at the side of my eyes. Expecting miracles after fifteen minutes is pointless, but I think every little bit helps.

As it is skin care, even if it isn’t a full face mask, I made certain I wasn’t wearing any makeup when I put the eye masks on. I left them in place for the recommended fifteen minutes and I have to say my eyes do feel refreshed. The skin under my eyes feels soft and hydrated and yes, I think the bags under my eyes are slightly less than they were before.

All in all I am rather impressed with my first use of these patches. I will certainly use the ones in this box although I will probably mark at least one to slide into my travel bag for Thanksgiving. I really like the soothing cornflower mixed with the smoothing hyaluronic acid. With that combo, I can very easily see these Klorane Smoothing and Soothing Eye Patches as a repeat purchase and an essential element in my fight against seasonal allergy puffiness.

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Face Mask Friday: A month of the Golden Tree bark Mask from Healing Bark

This is a sponsored post but as always the thoughts and opinions are my own.

Skincare isn’t magic. There are very few items in the skincare realm that you can apply and expect to receive instantaneous results. And if they do give instant results they really should come with a doctor to supervise.

Or maybe a poof of smoke and jazz hands.

Possibly with a Ta Da to follow.

Skincare is something that takes time to work, the effects cumulative. It was one of the reasons that I was so tickled when Healing Bark sent their mask Golden Tree Bask Mask to me to try out. Like most masks it can be used a couple of times a week. It can also be used daily. Once i tried it out and found that my skin had no adverse reactions, I used it once a day for the past month.

It was an October long experiment.

Useful tools

In other posts I’ve gone into the ingredients list – in this case a list of one ingredient, Thanaka Bark as well as other aspects. As this is the end of the month long trial, this post is going to be about what I learned and re results i saw. But first, lets look at what the mask claims on the website.

Solve your skin problems with Myanmar’s ancient beauty secret! Give yourself beautifully renewed skin with the deep cleansing and detoxifying Healing Bark.100% Natural, Detoxify & Brighten, Anti-Oxidize, Cool & Calm, Gentle on all skin types.

Healing Bark

Over all it is not a long list of claims and none of them are that outrageous. This past month I used this mask on a daily basis. I got myself into the habit of taking off my makeup after dinner mixing up the mask and applying it to my skin. The mask then sat on my skin for thirty minutes. Then I rinsed it off and went about my evening.

The ritual of it helped calm things down. This was a bit of a strange month and I generally found that taking the time to slow down to use the mask calmed me down. It let me think through issues (mostly with scheduling) without panicking or making a snap decision without putting too much thought in it. The measuring out of the powder, the stirring until the water absorbed, the application and the sitting was actually very beneficial. And destressing also helps your skin out so there was a natural side perk to it.

The last mask of the month

With the mask itself I learned how to use it over the month. At the beginning of the month I followed the directions. I measured three scoops of mask powder and two scoops of water and then stirred. If it needed more then I added a bit more water. The goal was to get it to a spreadable paste.

I generally found that with these measurements, I had mask left over. So the first thing I did was reduce the tablespoons. I started with one tablespoon of mask to half a tablespoon of water. This wasn’t quite right so I added another half tablespoon of mask. Then dribbled a little water into it. That seemed to be about right for me on most nights. Occasionally i went with two tablespoons of masking powder. In general I found this cut down on waste.

With the masks Healing bark sent a masking kit. The bowl is perfect for mixing the mask. Even if you don’t use their kit, you need a bowl with rather steep sides. To mix the powder in, you need to mix fairly vigorously and for a little while as the water is slow to absorb. The high sided bowl keeps you from making a mess. The tablespoon in the kit was very handy as was the plastic palette knife. while I mixed with the plastic, I did use my silicone masking spatula to apply it to my face. As a consequence I mixed the mask to a consistency that was easily spreadable with the silicone spatula.

I learned that while you can’t rush water absorption, warm water mixes faster than cold water.

And finally with my reduced measurements, I went through exactly one container this month. So once a day masking used an entire container in one month’s time. As the mask retails for $14.99, that wasn’t an extravagant cost either. Of course it only matters if the mask works. And so to the before and after pictures. The before picture was taken on October the 1st before I used the first mask and the After picture was taken today after I washed off the last of the mask and patted my skin dry.

Before
After

After each masking my skin felt fantastically clean. It didn’t feel stripped but it did feel as though I had given myself a deep down clean. And while I love the improved feel of my skin, I noticed that I was getting fewer blemishes and the number of clogged pores on my skin was also reducing.

My skin feels clearer and cleaner. The changes are subtle and a lot of them are things that are easier to see with the fingertips than they are with the eyes. But even though i can’t invite you over to feel my face (which would be very weird invitation in general). I think the before and after photos do show an improved look to my skin. For me having fewer clogged pores in my frequently clogged zones is just kind of amazing.

All in all I am very happy that I used this mask this month. Using the mask each day for an entire month gave me a real feel for it and an understanding of how best to use the mask. It allowed me to feel the cumulative results and to take that time out each day to just breathe and take a moment to sit and think rather than react.

So lets take a good look at those claims again and see how the mask did. Deep cleaning? Yes. I think that deep cleaning was definitely done with this mask. Detoxifying? Well if the fewer clogged pores are an indicator than yes, I think we were successful there as well. Anti-oxidizing? A fancy word for reducing the look of dark spots. My main dark spots are on my forehead and I can definitely see a reduction of the spots there, so I think we are good with that claim. Brightening? Yes we are good there as well.

Over all this mask did pretty much what it said it was going to do. It is what it claims to be. I like that. Just as I like that their ingredients list has only one item on it. Will I use this mask again? Definitely. Do I think this mask is worth picking up and adding to my masking collection? Absolutely. While I will still try out other masks, This is a mask I will keep coming back to when I need a good deep clean and a fresh feeling face. I was very happy with the Golden Tree Bark mask from Healing Bark.

Face Mask Friday: Let’s talk Thanaka

This is a sponsored post, however the thoughts and opinions are all my own.

Usually I try out a different face mask each week, some because they are new to me and I want to try them out and others because they address a certain skin care issue I have at that moment. October is a little different. This month I am trying out the Healing Bark Golden Tree Bark Mask. I am using it daily for thirty days.

One of the reasons that I can do this is that the mask can be used daily rather than just one or two times a week. To be honest I really like taking an entire month with a mask and may do this again as I am finding that i am learning more about the mask when focusing on one rather than rotating through several. Also like every other item of skincare, a mask takes time to work. Results are very rarely immediate.

In addition to getting to know the mask on a daily basis, I am finding that I really like the scheduled masking time in each day. On Fridays I usually take a little time out to apply a face mask and relax a bit. I light a candle and listen to music while I let my thoughts drift. During the week, I tend to use this mask in the evening. Because of it, I have been taking off my makeup earlier and letting my skin breathe more, which I’m sure has helped. This is the end of the second solid week of using the Golden Tree Bark Mask and while last week I talked about playing around with the application process, this week I wanted to talk ingredients.

Bare skin makeup newly removed

Technically that word didn’t need to be plural. there is one ingredient in the Golden Tree Bark Mask and that is the dried and ground bark of the Thanaka Tree. That’s right, there is only one ingredient. This powder is turned into a paste by adding water to the mask in your house. I suggest using a deeper bowl to mix your mask as it takes quite a bit of stirring.

But why is the Thanaka Tree Bark a good thing to put on your face?

The ground bark has been used for centuries in places like Myanmar. When I went to look into it I came across this fantastic National geographic article that covers the history far better than I could and is a very good read besides. The wood is believed to be antibacterial. It soften skin and helps clear up rashes and blemishes. It also works as sunscreen.

There are three active ingredients contained in Thanaka bark; Coumarin, Arbutin and Marmesin.

Mask on and dried down

Lets look at Coumarin first. Coumarin is a colorless crystalline solid with a sweet odor resembling the scent of vanilla and a bitter taste. It is found in many plants, where it may serve as a chemical defense against predators. While I found many arguments against eating it in large quantities, it is a vegan ingredient that is used in heaps of cosmetics. It can cause some sensitivity. I have been using this mask every day for two weeks straight and have had no sensitivity issues. Basically this is the antioxidant part of the Thanaka bark.

I should also mention here that while many of the websites had cautions against overuse of Coumarin it was always as a specific ingredient, usually ingested, and most of the time seemed to be on it’s own. No one mentioned it as having issues inside the Thanaka bark or applied topically. I don’t know if that is a concentration issue or if it just isn’t a problem in the naturally occurring compound in the bark or simply that it is used topically. The only reason I mention it is that for those with sensitive skin you should definitely do a test patch before use as it may cause sensitivity. Oddly enough, this mask has helped with some of my sun sensitivity issues rather than causing me sensitivity, so it might not be an issue. But do a test patch just in case.

And maybe don’t eat your face masks, which is sort of a good general rule…

Arbutin is used to even skin tone and is actually used in a host of products all designed to lighten skin pigmentation and fight hyperpigmentation. There are both natural and synthetic versions and I counted at least fifty separate products that contained Arbutin in some form or another from brands like Paula’s Choice Radiance Skin Renewal Mask to GenOptics Aura Essence Skin Brightener from SK II and Skincuticals Discoloration Defense. It is simply a compound that helps to even skin tone and helps with hyperpigmentation.

mask freshly removed

Marmesin works as a sunscreen actually protecting the skin from UV rays. It also helps fight signs of aging. It also is a rich source of Vitamin E, I know that vitamin E is really good at softening scar tissue and helping the skin to heal, so I suspect that is probably helpful with the anti-aging elements of the product.

A lot of what i found out about the Thanaka tree I found HERE on a website dedicated to the tree and its properties. It isn’t associated with the brand in any way and is a very interesting read. Essentially the bark has been used a really long time to really good effect. That seems to be the general break down of the Thanaka bark.

Essentially this bark, dried, ground to a paste and applied to the skin has been used as a cosmetic, blemish treatment and sunscreen for about 2000 years, from what the various sources I looked at claimed. I’ve listed several in this article should you want to look up some more information. I actually went down a rabbit hole of research as I found a strain of Cancer research documentation.

As that seemed like a bit much for a face mask post, I left that off. It was a fascinating exploration though. While this is a one ingredient product, the three naturally occurring compounds in the wood make it an interesting blend that is much more complex than it first appears. While I have only been using this mask for two weeks at this point, I have noticed that the texture of my skin has improved quite a bit and when the nice days tempt me out to spend a little more time outside than i planned, I haven’t suffered as much irritation to the skin. Typically I will get a little sun sensitive at the end of the summer as though even with sunblock my skin is just done with the sun. While there have been many days whether weather kept me in the house, on the days it didn’t I extended my time outside. And my skin hasn’t been suffering for it.

At two weeks into my month Long trial I am about half way through the container of The Golden Tree Bark Mask sent to me by Healing Bark. So I’m guessing the mask will last just until the end of the month. Each jar retails for $14.99. In general $14.99 is a really good price for a facemask. Considering that it is all product and you just add your own water to mix up the amount you need, I think that is a great deal. while i have seen some improvement in my skin texture and am really beginning to snjoy the ritual of the evening face mask, I have not done a side by side comparison of photos yet. All of the photos are from today’s making. I am not looking at the first day’s masking photos until the end because I want ti to be a surprise. I am really rooting for visible improvement though. Right now i am happy with the improved texture, fewer blemishes and lessened sun sensitivity. But I still can’t wait to see the final pictures.

For now I am happy with this mask and more than happy to continue wearing it for another two weeks to see how thirty days with a face mask turns out.

A Phat Friday Face Mask

Today’s Friday Face Mask is an interesting one. I am trying it out as a Friday face mask, but if it works well I will be using it twice a week (as recommended) to see how it performs overtime, thus incorporating it into my skincare line up.

This mask is the Phat Glow Facial from Ole Henriksen. I am a big fan of the brand, or at least I used to be. For a long time several of their products were my go-to. Their balancing cleanser and Toner pretty much lived on the side of my sink for a long time. I just bought them on repeat. Then I started trying other products. I still love them and will purchase them again, but it has been a while. I tend to do that with products. I find a favorite use it repeatedly for a while and then decide to take a break and try something new. While I like trying new things this also has the benefit of being re-surprised by old favorites.

Even though I have had very good lick with Ole Henricksen before, I have never tried this mask. I have seen and read great things about it though so I decided that as a birthday present to myself I would pick it up. And so I did. According to the website…

Get flawless skin in a flash with PHAs, the no-downtime exfoliating acid and key ingredient in Ole’s first one-step at-home facial. What makes PHAs so special? They’re fat, literally. Like AHAs, PHAs deliver skin-perfecting, age-fighting results, but PHAs are just a little “plumper.” They’re a bigger molecule, so they don’t go as deep as they loosen up the “glue” that binds the surface layer of skin together, and reveal the newer, fresher skin underneath. That means less irritation and recovery time for everyone—even sensitive types.

Whether your plans involve a red carpet and limo or red wine and the couch, this innovative at-home facial is the ultimate “get ready with me” prep step. The massage-activated formula creates a perfecting cocoon, then instantly reveals smoother, illuminated, no-filter-necessary skin.

This is also listed as one of their best sellers.

The pump took a little while to get going but eventually it did dispense. I have to say it is not a very appealing looking mask. It has a slight minerally scent to it that is not unpleasant and really not that noticeable. It tends to fade away as you apply it. It applies onto the skin in a tanish color, but then you massage it to turn it white.

Once it turns white you leave it to sit on your face for 15 minutes before removing with a damp wash cloth. It is not a startling reveal but it is a noticeable change from the tan to white. I actually really like the change because it lets me know that I have massaged it enough and can now let it sit.

And so I let it sit for fifteen minutes. Because this Phat Glow facial is an exfoliating mask I didn’t want to lay down and risk falling asleep with it on, so I moved around the house while wearing it. There was no tingling or discomfort from the mask and when the timer went off after fifteen minutes, I returned to the bathroom to remove it.

Before on the left and after masking on the right.

These are the before and after mask photos. While the mask claims that there is an immediate difference, I don’t detect much of a difference. My skin does feel cleansed and soft but not stripped. I am okay with the fact that there was no noticeable change right away. I tend to trust skin care more when it works over time. I think it is because I don’t expect immediate results to last.

And because I don’t think of skin care as magic.

I am very happy with this first use of the Phat Glow Facial. There was no skin irritation, my skin feels nice even if there doesn’t look like there is a major change. I am very happy to give this one a go twice a week for a while to see if there ends up being some long term benefits. Since it worked well, I will be migrating this into my skincare line up and I’ll keep you posted on how it works with continued use. Thus far, the Phat Glow Facial gets a thumbs up for a Friday Face mask.

If you are a fan of the brand, I noticed when I was on the site looking up information in this face mask that they have some kind of sale going on with many of their products. Quite a few of their cleansers and scrubs seem to be on sale. I personally really enjoy their cleansers. If you are looking to stock up, now might be the time to check them out.

Ole Henriksen

A little Papaya for the Friday Face Mask

Good afternoon my darlings I hope your Friday is going well. Mine has been kind of busy, but I can’t complain as it has also been quite quiet. So I’m taking advantage of the quiet to catch up on a few things. As a consequence, today’s face mask is being taken at the desk.

Through a mix of subscription boxes I managed to get three separate sample tubes of the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel mask. I am not complaining. First off because I really like Elemis products and second because the mask was already in my on-line shopping cart when the first of them showed up. Once the other two appeared I figured I could get a good long test and then I would know for certain if this was a product i wanted to purchase.

yesterday’s spot treatment

Before I get into this mask I should point out that while my skin is mostly clear right now I had a bunch of clogged pores that I am 90% sure are due to the eye cream I was using. One of the best ways I know to clear them out is to use the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Chamomile and Cacao clearing mask on the affected areas to bring them to the surface and then the following day use and exfoliating product to help clear them away. So yesterday I used the clearing mask. It is pretty strong so I try not to use it too often. It’s kind of a once a month mask or a spot treatment mask for me.

Yesterday I spot treated and then today I am using the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel mask. The mask is a thin white cream that has a consistency almost like a gel cream moisturizer. It smooths on well and has a lightly frutal/floral scent that actually reminds me of freshly cut papayas. You know that initial scent when you first slice into them. It isn’t a strong scent and it smells very clean.

mask on

I applied the mask and let it sit while I answered some e-mails at my desk. This isn’t a mask that lends itself to the lying down and relaxing. It has a zingy tingling so it that feels oddly energizing. If you’ve got no one in your office with you, this is definitely a mask you can work with. I went with a thin layer because I was concerned about the peeling aspect. I didn’t know how strong it was likely to be. Last night I did a test patch and had no reactions to it, but with the tingling I knew it did something so I figured caution was in order.

According to the Elemis Website this peel is…

After fifteen

A non-abrasive cream exfoliator infused with natural fruit enzymes to gently smooth and clarify tired, lacklustre skin. This rinse-off exfoliator gently dissolves dead skin cells without abrasion. Infused with the natural enzymes from Papaya and Pineapple, the mild cream formula purifies and protects whilst leaving skin looking and feeling smooth, revitalised and radiant.

Now I know a lot of people have issues with fruit enzymes and if you are one of them then I would steer clear. Personally I do not have issues with them.My skin has never reacted poorly to a product I’ve used containing them. everyone’s skin is different though, so check the label if you know your skin has issues.

I applied the mask, set the timer for fifteen minutes and began typing. In the fifteen minutes a lot of the mask absorbed into my skin. There is clearly some left on, but much of it was absorbed. I washed it off and my skin did look brighter once I had. it could have just been the dulling cream look to it, but I’ve posted before and after pictures below. It isn’t a massive brightening, but I think it is noticeable, especially in person. My skin felt soft and there were no negative after effects. I think the woord peeling just makes me a little nervous. It brings mental images from horror movies to mind where massive strips start peeling from the body exposing muscle and bone.

I should probably watch fewer horror movies.

But i was pleased it was a gentle and not overly dramatic and traumatizing peel.

The fact that most of it seemed to absorb in made me feel better about the thin layer I applied. It seemed like the right amount to get the job done. I liked the way my skin looked and felt. The only issue I had was with my lips.

Okay, I know that sounds strange because as you can see in the photos, I did not apply the mask on my lips. However when I washed it off I’m guessing some got onto my lips and the residue left my lips feeling a little waxy. I used my Milk Makeup Kush Lip Scrub, partially because it was handy and partially because it is almost empty and if the mask affected the remaining product it wouldn’t be an issue. I just didn’t want to leave something called a peeling mask on my lips too long. the mask took it off easily with no damage to the Milk Makeup, although it did scrape off the top layer with my finger nail just to be sure.

I really like this mask, but I think what I might do before the next application is to apply a lip mask first so that my lips are covered and it won’t be an issue. The only reason it makes me potentially nervous is that it is a peeling formula and my lips tend to dry and chap easily. I think peeling masks, like any exfoliator really, should be used sparingly so I will be using this mask as on occasional thing every couple of weeks to see how it performs. With three travel sized tubes I am set for quite a while on this mask. At the end of my supply I will definitely know if i want to purchase the full size, but for now, it looks very good.

Incidentally Elemis is having a customer appreciation sale going on right now. If you are looking to stock up on some of their products, now is a good time to look into it. I’ll post the link below.

To thank you for staying with us through a tough year, enjoy 25% off sitewide plus 30% off select daily items* Use Code: THANKYOU

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