Friday, December 27

Skincare Favorites & Routine: Facial Masks

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Facial Masks //

It's the most wonderful {and exhausting} time of the year. Just ask my puffy under eyes!

Treat yourself to the at-home, mid-holiday spa day you've been deserving, so you can look and feel a tad more refreshed for New Years Eve and start the New Year on the right foot {or face...?? -- ooh, self, bad pun}!

Welcome to face mask heaven ...

There are so many incredible {and not so incredible} face masks on the market right now. It's can be challenging to differentiate between which masks actually work and those that are just beautifully-bottled under-performers in disguise.

I've tried my fair share of masks {and constantly am trying new ones -- and this honestly could've been the longest post of all time and don't be surprised if there's a facial masks 2.0}, but I've weeded out my top mask picks for those of us ones that will (a) hydrate or (b) purify / detoxify. My dry skin has needed a good dose of both lately.

That being said {and in no particular order}, it's time you give your skin the luxury and attention it has been craving with one or more of these five incredible face masks.

Hydration //

MICHAEL TODD TRUE ORGANICS - Avocado and Mango Hydrating Facial Mask

If you're looking for instant hydration, this mask has got you covered. Literally... well your face covered... and hydrated... ugh (this is my last bad pun. I promise). It smells primarily like ripe mango, but the texture is creamy like super-smooth avocado purée. I've been using this mask about once a week {although you can use it more} for almost a year now, and my skin is thankful.


SHISEIDO - The Skincare moisture relaxing mask

This mask provides skin with deep, lasting hydration, and the scent is delicious - it smells like light floral tea and lotion. If my skin is feeling tight, I smooth on a light layer and within 30 seconds, my skin already feels better. This product can be hard to get a hold of, but it's worth the search. I found mine at Marshalls. Its texture is incredibly luxurious, and it feels like a cream but is most definitely a mask {so follow the directions on the packaging and don't leave it on all day}!

ORIGINS - Drink Up-Intensive overnight mask to quench skin's thirst

I recently picked up this mask at the glowing recommendations of Suzie & Alix {they're both amazing UK-based beauty bloggers -- go check out each of their amazing blogs}. I've only used this overnight mask a handful of times, but I can tell you -- it works! ... maybe too well. My incurably dry skin even felt a tad oily the next day {well, at least my definitely of oil, which is probably more like dry to normal for most people}. I'll definitely continue to use it. I'm sending a massive thank you to Suzie and Alix for the great advice, as always!

Purification //


GLAMGLOW - YouthMud Tingling & Exfoliating Mud Mask

I like to call this product good skin day in a tiny tub. Aside from the fact it smells like [delicious] tea, whenever I use this product, it vastly improves the texture and calms any sensitivity redness in my skin. The next day, my skin is back to it's normal self but a bit better.

I try to use this product sparingly because the price tag is makes me want to cry. I scored the baby-size on HauteLook forever-ago when they had a GlamGlow flash sale, and I've since repurchased {even though I'm still rationing that first small tub}.

I just recently picked up SuperMud Clearing Treatment, which I haven't had time to fully evaluate {although I can already tell it's good stuff}, but I am fairly certain I'm more of a YouthMud enthusiast {probably because SuperMud is better suited for oily skin}. I've also got my eye on their new ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment {umm, sign me up!} -- but I haven't heard much about it. Have you?

MICHAEL TODD TRUE ORGANICS - Kaolin Clay Detoxifying Facial Mask

There's a funny story behind this one {and the good news is that you'll get a review as I go, I promise}... As you may know, I was in London last May visiting one of my best friends {which is when I wrote the long-windedly titled  "5 Beauty Products to Get Your Hands On While in the UK"... and now there are way more that 5 products I'd want to get my hands on if I went to the UK again ... swap anyone? ;) } and I picked up one of the Michael Todd True Organics Discovery Kits to take with me abroad, which have since been discontinued, rearranged & repackaged and relaunched. I'd heard good things about and was excited to try the baby-sized Charcoal Mask Detoxifying Facial Mask. It didn't disappoint! I ordered a full-size while I was still in London, so it would be waiting for me when I got home.

...but when I opened my full-sized Charcoal Mask... it wasn't the Charcoal Mask... or was it?

After a thorough investigation with a very helpful Michael Todd True Organics customer service rep {which included me sending detailed product descriptions -- aka: my confused interpretations of the two products -- and product pictures & swatches}, I found out my beloved baby-sized Charcoal Mask was actually the Kaolin Clay Detoxifying Mask, which is supposed to be targeted for normal to oily skin because clay is very tightening and drying. Fortunately, my extremely dry skin has responded well to it. It's the one product among all the moisture-rich products that I use to "clarify" my skin. I still use the Charcoal Mask occasionally, but the Kaolin Clay has won in my heart!

Now that you know my favorite hydrating and purifying / detoxifying masks, you must tell me yours! Have you tried any of these masks? Comment below and let me know!

While you're at it, you might as well follow me on BlogLovin' and Twitter @drtyblndambtn if you haven't already. If it feels like the right thing to do, that's because it is ;)

Until next time... Lauren, out!


Overview //
Facial Cleansers & Face Washes //
Serums & Oils //
Moisturizers //
Facial Scrubs //

Wednesday, December 18

This Just In: Trader Joe's Micellar Cleanser & Makeup Remover Towelettes

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Over the weekend, I was at Trader Joe's stocking up on my groceries for the week. I was casually strolling through the beauty section, and out of the corner of my eyes, I spotted a light magenta package that I'd never seen before. It turns out Trader Joe's is now carrying micellar wipes -- Trader Joe's Micellar Cleanser & Makeup Remover Towelettes! ...and they're not that expensive, either, at $3.99!

If the world of micellar is unfamiliar to you, cleansing water is a huge trend in the beauty community right now, but it's easier to come by (and cheaper) in Europe. Bioderma makes an amazing one that I reviewed in my Skincare Favorites & Routine: Makeup Removers & Toners post. Cleansing water has been very well-received in the beauty world because it's gentle on skin, helps remove makeup, and sometimes serves as a toner.

As far as a I know, Trader Joe's is the first to the finish line -- merging the ever-popular makeup wipe with cleansing water!

I've used a few wipes already, but I haven't fully formed my opinion. I can say, though, they've done a decent job of removing my makeup, and they haven't irritated my skin. If you can get your hands on them, and comment below and let me know in either the comments below or on Twitter @DrtyBlndAmbtn if you like them!

Don't forget to follow me on BlogLovin', and keep any eye out for the rest of my Skincare Routine & Favorites Series! I have some great product information coming your way, and you won't want to miss it.

xx Lauren