Tonnes of Face Masks!

If there is one thing I desperately rely on, it is face masks. Ever since I went to a luxury spa last spring and spoke to the masseuse who gave me an amazing facial for combatting break-outs, I have since started to use a mask every weekend to keep my skin clear and taut. They are great for people fighting wrinkles, fighting acne, or just wanting their face to be brightened. I wish I had my own personal photos for most of the products used, but alas, over the past year and a half I have gone through so many different kinds, and I may not even recall some of them. Here is a list, roughly ordered from favourite to least favourite.

Keep in mind that these are the products that work best for my skin and everyone should figure out what works for them. I have combination skin and I break out mostly on my forehead and cheek bones. My forehead breakouts are usually credited to having bangs--but the ones on my cheek bones usually come from the natural hormone changes a woman goes through every month. I normally do not have a severe acne problem--and I also do not have dry skin on my face, so those of you who are looking to this for solutions to those kinds of problems, please take what I say with a grain of salt. =)

Indian Healing Clay: I purchased this at Whole Foods market soon after I discovered that the lady who did my facial used a similar clay. It is pretty pricey (since it is Whole Foods), but over the past year I've had the tub, I've barely gone through a quarter of it. You have to mix the powder with water until you get a kind of paste-like consistency. The recipe that the jar gives isn't the best, so I just say use trial and error until you get a thick, smooth, paste that you can apply on your face. This is a VERY DRYING clay, so I do not recommend it for sensitive skin. I leave it on for 10-15 minutes while using a steamer, and I never break out when I'm using this. If I currently have some pimples, they quickly reduce and disappear within the week after using it. By far my favourite, but not the best for someone who wants a mask that smells good. It just smells like plain old clay, and is wonderfully natural.

For those of you who don't know, I am a huge Lushie! I pretty much consistently use Lush products for everything, and for that reason I have tried a bulk of their masks.

Lush Brazened Honey: This wonderful mask is perfect for brightening your skin and is very gentle. I feel that my face can handle using it twice a week (vs. the Healing Clay which should probably only be used once a week--and I have oily skin so probably even less often for someone who has dry skin) and it smells wonderful. There are also crushed almonds in the mask that provides a fantastic exfoliating effect when you wash it off. Absolutely perfect if you want to get rid of some dead skin or brighten dark spots from previous acne-prone areas.

Lush Cosmetic Warrior: I just tried this for the first time last week, and it is absolutely fantastic! The photo that Lush provides is much bluer than it actually is--it's a stark white mask that sadly doesn't have the best smell in the world. The main ingredient is garlic, so it tends to have a bit of a bad smell--but when I removed it my face felt tightened and smooth! It is probably the most effective mask that I have tried for acne reasons. Brazened Honey tops Cosmetic Warrior only because it is great to alternate with other masks and perfect for skin brightening. Cosmetic Warrior could probably be a bit drying for people who do not have oily skin though.

Lush Catastrophe Cosmetic: I am so thankful that the person who worked at my local Lush decided to take it upon herself to give me an extra sample of this mask she had lying around. It smells AMAZING (it is overloaded with blueberries after all) and was fantastic for evening out my combination skin. It is also not nearly as drying and can probably be used as often as Brazened Honey. Strangely enough, I think the mask looks more like the photo Lush provided for Cosmetic Warrior. It's a blue colour, and you can see the bits of berries that were used for it. My mouth honestly waters when I see this mark--haha!

Lush Cupcake: Despite being the supposed favourite for most Lush users worldwide since it was created specifically for problem skin--I really did not like Cupcake. It is a chocolate mask that has oils in it that help calm break outs, but I just didn't see an effect. When I wiped it off, I was left with this distinct "sticky" feeling--maybe from the chocolate--and I just didn't find it the most pleasurable experience. Most Lush shopkeeps are stunned when I say I'm not a fan of it--but maybe people with more acne will like it more than I do. This was actually the first mask I used from Lush--I may give it another try in the future, but I am so attached to Brazened Honey and the Cosmetic family masks that I may never return to this one. Anyone else try this mask and had a better experience with it? Let me know!

Sana Hadanomy Deep Moisturizing Mask with Collagen: This is probably the worst mask I have ever tried--but it could be because my skin really doesn't need moisturising... I wanted to try out one of the paper masks, and this one is very popular. I found it all over the place when I visited family in Chicago last year, so I took the plunge and picked up a box. They come in a set of four, and is loaded with product. It's dripping with the lotion/moisturiser that they advertise, so I didn't feel like I was being ripped off. I broke out so badly after using it, and no matter how much I tried to wash my face with water after using it, I could not get rid of the oily feeling it gave my skin. (The directions say to just remove the mask and let the extra product soak into your skin, but even after half an hour I felt like I had excess oil.) Looking back on it is, it is a moisturising mask, and I definitely don't have dry skin, so it was just a bad idea on my part. Since then I've been super wary of buying any other Asian masks (I have a mask I purchased from a Korean store just lying around that I haven't used yet because I don't want another repeat of this instance), and am probably going to stick to the sloppier kind you have to spoon out of a tub vs. the cloth masks.

Masks I have yet to try:

My Beauty Diary Mask -- Aloe: This is the mask I mentioned picking up from a Korean place earlier. It has good reviews on Amazon and I feel bad just letting the box fester around, so I'm probably going to try it when I'm back in my own apartment in August.
Lush Love Lettuce: I just purchased this mask a few days ago, but since I just used Cosmetic Warrior I probably won't use this mask until Tuesday or Wednesday. According to the shopkeep I spoke to, this mask is great for all kinds of skin, and it has a very pleasant smell to it. I can't wait to give it a try, since it seems like a very well-balanced mask for people who just want to pamper themselves from time to time.

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