Mask-arade – Multimasking with Lush

20150801_183737As you know, I love Lush masks!  The only downside, is that they expire so soon since they are made fresh, so I thought I’d multimask so I can use two at once.  I tried two new masks I hadn’t used before: Brazened Honey, to brighten and revive and Catastrophe Cosmetic to soothe and cleanse.  I’ve used both masks before and liked them.  The associate at Lush said Brazened Honey helped to even out scaring and brighten skin, so I used this one in my cheeks, and the Catastrophe in the T-zone.  Brazened Honey has Ayurvedic herbs so it feels warm, but not uncomfortably so.  After reading up, I probably should have switched the placement since the chamomile in Catastrophe helps to calm and soothe redness.   As usual, I didn’t notice an instant difference after using the masks, but my skin felt soft and smooth, and looked even.  I’ll probably try the Brazened Honey again, but I don’t think the Catastrophe is for me.  I just don’t need the calming benefits, but in my cystic acne days, this would have been great.  I’m definitely loving the multimasking technique though.  I can never make decisions, so I love that I can use to or three masks at once.

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Any masks that you love?  Have you multimasked?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reviewing Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser

I love cleansing oils!  I’ve been a long time devotee, so I’ve been thrilled to see them gaining popularity recently.  Anything that “melts” or “dissolves” just beckons to me.  Nothing removes makeup better and doesn’t over-dry, even when following with a second cleanser, so I had to try Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser.  It’s not a typical cleansing oil, which made me even more intrigued.

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I’ll tell you, from the first time I used it, I realized I should have stuck with my old faithful oil.  This product is awful!  I’m surprised it has a four star review on Sephora.com.  It’s the consistency of hair gel, and leaves a waxy film on my face, even after rinsing.  You definitely can’t just rinse it; you have to cleanse with a washcloth, toner or second cleanser.  It also doesn’t remove all my makeup.  I am left with black smudges under my eyes.  I’m very disappointed, but I’ll be sticking with my beloved cleansing oil.  I probably won’t even finish a jar of this stuff.

My Accutane Journey

I recently completed an 8 month course of the infamous drug, Accutane.  In my mid 20’s, it was like a switch flipped in my body.  My metabolism stopped dead, and I developed severe cystic acne.  Thanks, hormones!  I had never really broken out.  While my friends struggled through our teen years, I used some Neutrogena on the occasional zit and got through, but my luck ran out as an adult.  I went to a dermatologist pretty early on, hoping to get a handle on it quickly.  I went through years of trying different treatments including topical retinol-based products (made me very itchy), oral antibiotics (didn’t work after several courses), spironolactone (supposed to decrease testosterone and balance hormones. It didn’t work for me, and I experienced side-effects), and finally several courses of chemical peels and laser treatments.  I would see short periods of time, up to a year, where my face would improve and be manageable, but then it would come back with a vengeance.  After trying literally everything else, I finally gave in to my derm’s pleas to try Accutane.  I had heard so much negative hype that I was kind of afraid of the side effects, but I couldn’t take it any more.  My only regret is not having done it sooner.
I should preface this by saying I’m not a medical professional, nor is my experience guaranteed to be the same as yours.  With that said, I do recommend it.  Now, it was definitely a pain in the butt.  I had to get lots of blood work, and practically sign my life away before I started.  Due to the side effects, mainly the risk of very severe birth defects if you take it while you’re pregnant, they are very careful to monitor you throughout the process.  Although it was annoying and time-consuming, it gave me comfort to know that they were keeping a close watch.  Some people experience elevated triglyceride  levels so they watch for that, as well as liver function and other basic things.  The most common side effect is dryness, and when I say dry, I don’t mean you need to use a thicker moisturizer in the winter dry.  I mean cracked, bloody nose, scaly rough patches, eczema-like rashes, hair breakage, very chapped lips.  Now, I’m normally a dry skin type, so I’m used to dealing with this, to an extent.  I used extra moisturizer diligently and only used cleansing oil on my face and was fine.  They tell you not to really use anything on your face, and they aren’t kidding.  You have to bench your benzoyls and salicylics.  No peels or other treatments.  No waxing, and not just on your face.  You have to be very gentle with everything you use, or your skin will revolt against you.  It was kind of strange at first to simplify my routine so much, but it was kind of liberating to not have to apply 3 treatments products every night, do masks on a regular basis, and be so cautious about what you put on your face to avoid a potential break out.
The dosage is based on a mathematical formula to ensure you get a certain amount over time based on your weight.  You may get a dose based on a factor of one half, 1.0, or 1.5.  I started out on the 1.0 course, but had delayed results.  It took me awhile to see a significant improvement, so I had to extend my course a few months.  After almost 9 months so chapped lips and twice daily meds, was it worth it?
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Yes!  Definitely, yes.  For me, acne wasn’t just esthetic; it was painful!  My face was swollen and irritated.  Not to mention, I work in the beauty industry, and I wasn’t feeling very beautiful.  So now, 9 months later, my lips are recovering and my skin has never looked better.  Now, just to keep it that way.

Mask-arade: Lush’s Cosmetic Warrior

I love to try different masks, but I am always frustrated.  Masks are hard because you often don’t see an immediate effect, or any visible effect at all.  We’re all always looking for a quick fix, miracle in a jar.  I recently bought a few new masks, so I’m hoping to find some instant gratification in the bunch.

First up, Lush’s Cosmetic Warrior.

wpid-IMAG0446.jpgLush recommends this mask for oily, breakout prone skin.  The main ingredients in the mask are garlic, egg whites, and tea tree oil.  This brings me to the first problem, the scent.  To me, it was nauseating.  It smells just like the description sounds.  If you like tea tree, you should not mind it, but I’m not a fan myself.  The texture is like a little grainy, kind of like very watery oatmeal.

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I have to say, this is a nice mask.  After removing, my pores are noticeably smaller, and the effect lasts for a few days.  My skin feels smoother and irritation is calmed.

The downside here, it also one of the perks of this product.  Lush masks are made fresh on a regular basis.  In fact, each mask has a sticker that tells you who made your mask and when.  They are so fresh, they can only be bought in stores, from the Lush fridge.  Here comes the flip side, at home, they also must be stored in the refrigerator.  For me, the fridge is not easily accessible from my bathroom where I do most of my skincare.  It’s obviously not a major barrier, but is a little inconvenient.

The freshness factor also has another downside, shelf life.  My mask was only good for 20 days, this is a little more than 2 weeks.  I bought it a few days in to that time frame, so only had a couple of weeks to use it before it expired.  Now, I estimate that you can get at least 6-8 masks per jar, and I don’t mask more than a couple of times a week, myself so to me, it’s hard to use all of it before it expires.  You’d have to use it every other day to get the most of it.  Doable, but even I’m not that diligent with my skincare.  It’s still effective shortly after the expiration date, but it separates out and gets watery.

Overall, it’s a great mask.  If you have a Lush near you and have problem skin, I definitely recommend trying it.  If you can get past the smell, and use it up quickly you’ll love it!  It’s definitely worth a try!