Real talk, if you are my homie and are hanging out at my house on a Sunday morning (*cough* 3pm) you know this sight, minus the bodega sausage, egg & cheese. You also likely have a smattering of mask(s) on your face (any protests fall to the wayside) as I extol the virtues of skincare and interrogate you on your experience of x new product. The product at hand today is the “Don’t Look At Me” fresh face mask from lush that are available in stores only due to the rather short, preservative-free, shelf life.
The question: does it or does it not smell like fruit loops?
I’ve been meaning to try this mask out for a hot minute now. It launched as one of the exclusive products at the Oxford Street store and made its way stateside close to fall last year. When it comes to skincare, I’ll be the first to admit that even though results always come first, smell+aesthetics+fun factor almost always sells me on otherwise subpar offerings. In this case, neon turquoise and the promise of childhood cereal nostalgia beckoned. At the store, amidst the heavy fog of every possible variation of soap stacked high around me, I was convinced my nose was missing the mark. Nope, once home and less confounded by my olfactory surroundings, I still smelled the same – a sharp citrusy kick comprised of fresh lemon and the more mellow, slightly bitter grapefruit. There was a hint of something else, something earthy and grain-like, that rounded out that acidic-alarm-clock-punch with a mellow mushroom sauce. My best guess is the unidentifiable note there was the tofu, or combination of tofu and rice powder – ingredients that discombobulate even if you are familiar with the smell. And yet, no fruit loops.
But, good news for all of you that were hyped/sold on the original premise – I was the only one that didn’t associate the mask with that smell. The sales clerk, my friends Nick and Rochelle all unanimously commented on the fruit loops similarity – prompted and not. I give up, my nose is a deviant or cannot make loose associations because it’s busy breaking down individual notes. Smell aside, I can’t say it competes anywhere near my favourite masks, not even when stacked amongst Lush’s other creations. It hovers somewhere in the middle, something I might potentially re-buy, yet probably won’t. Regardless, the ish is fun to put on because you get to look like a smurf and annoy the shit out of all your friends on snapchat. DLAM is great straight out of the fridge and is a perfect picker-uppper for spring-skin transition or at the grimy end of a hot summer’s day, though I would advise not going out in the sun right after because of the lemon. Nor would I recommend this for dry or sensitive skin folk but my combo & greaseball skin fam, feel free to go crazy with this. It does no miracles, in fact, beyond a little noticeable brightening I felt like it didn’t do much at all. The exfoliation is too light to get a real scrub or peel, the kaolin clay ratio is not binding enough to truly extract dirt deep from your pores and while effective as an astringent the lemon will definitely leave your skin stripped of its natural moisture.
When it came to rehydrating my skin after the mask, I wanted to go with an aroma that I knew would not falter and is a standby for everything from funerals, grandma’s vanity table, to legions of the luxe-obsessed: roses. I wanted layer upon layer on my skin, much like how the aggregation of petals splayed out, builds upon itself to to become something weighted and substantial – the flower itself. This Mario Badescu mist is so soothing, it may as well be a belly pat/forehead kiss in spray form. It’s relatively cheap, accessible (on both ulta and amazon) and I will probably keep buying this for a long time as it beats out the more expensive alternatives in both quality and function. The aloe’s immediate sun relief had me stashing this in my pool bag last summer where I almost killed the whole bottle. I recently rediscovered the last bit and I’m trying to be sparing and not kill it in a week but things are looking grim. I just love it too much to not use obsessively and keep it by my desk to spritz on and feel refreshed between long hours hunched over the screen. But this is just the first stage of putting moisture back in my skin, the prepping and priming phase.
I was invited to the launch of a few new products from Fresh, a company I adore and have been devoted to since before I hit puberty, thanks to my mother. I feel like I have so many stories with their products, from moment of discovery to the scents that have marked adventures in my life, but I’ll save the meandering love letter for another post. Suffice to say I have a near encyclopedic knowledge of their arsenal of products, so getting to sample new releases before they are formally released pretty much made my day. The Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream is already in their current line-up and is on the more delicate end of the rose scent. I would describe this as a deeply hydrating, day-to-day eye cream. It’s the sort of eye gel that will penetrate deeply and quickly, rather than sitting on the surface for a long period of time to undertake a more exhaustive hydration (which I find their black tea eye cream more suited for) – five minutes and you’ll be ready to pat on concealer if you’re putting on your full face for the day. You don’t have to worry about creasing or separating of the oils because you’ll already be relatively dry and I personally found that I could skip eye primer all-together as this functioned just as well so long as there was no use of heavy foiled shadows or glitter to be patted and locked down. It is cooling and when I put this on, I was dealing with an allergy flare-up so my left eyelid was significantly puffy and starting to hood and hang over the corner of my eye. Unsure of whether to leave it the hell alone and heal or try my luck with a product, I took my chance on this eye cream. No lie, I felt relief almost immediately. Within the hour the puffiness was all but gone. Eye-bags and puffiness are not concerns I usually deal with as my eyes are deeply socketed and lean towards hollowed out dark circles instead, but for those of you who struggle with it especially in the morning after a long night of sleep, give this cream a shot. I truly hope it works for you as well as it did for my shrimp-induced annoyance.
On to the new products. These launch in April and I am hella psyched. For the longest time, I was in camp “wtf is a serum and why do I need to spend extra coins on it?” and am now firmly in the “what is wrong with you, serums are life, you cannot go on without them!” party. I see a huge difference in how my makeup goes on when I skip serums and certainly the quality of my skin itself. I often forgo moisturizer during the warmer months but serums still keep my skin hydrated and packed full of the good stuff without being greasy or sticky. The Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum smells less of a heady rose and more of a cucumber rose spritzer – the allusion of a garden party replete with fancy parasols. It settles in taut and despite the fact that my skin feels supple, it still looks smooth and matte. A quick look at the ingredient list confirms the cucumber extract I just smelled, alongside angelica leaf extract, a “smart” algae, hyaluronic acid (aka skincare version/appearance of fillers on your face), vitamin e (great for scarring and pigmentation) and obviously a magic combination of rose oil and rosewater. My first impression: I dig it, a lot. There’s an 80% chance I’m buying it once it comes out (barring funds) and working it into my upcoming summer skincare routine.
Though marked as lightweight, the Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream may very well be too heavy for me for daily use, if only because I have naturally oily skin. It goes on significantly thick but does in fact dry down quite quickly. I would likely use this as a night cream, frankly, because I do see great merit in it. Having on my face all day long while I’m out and about? Nope. Maybe in the dead of winter but I’m having selective amnesia right now regarding winter (as in I’m pretending it’s over and never coming back) so that point is moot. Fresh’s Rose Face Mask (with real petals!) is already one of my holy grail products so using the new cream in a similar fashion seems redundant for my medicine cabinet. This cream has something called “hydropatches”, an advanced combination of hyaluronic acids that simultaneously function as a humectant to prevent dehydration and a provide a hardcore moisture surge. Texturally, it feels very similar as my skin right after a honey-wash. For my readers with dry, aging, irritated or flakey skin – you ought to live by this cream. Try it on in-store or ask for a sample to take home because I have a feeling aside from making you face smell fancy as fuck, it will do wonders for you.
Now that I smell like floral tea and Old English talc powder I’m off to have breakfast (pinky up, of course) but please do let me know if you guys want more beauty & skincare reviews on this blog. It’s significantly less work and scheduling than full outfit posts since I can just whip out my phone whilst organically using products and as always, I do beauty impressions on snapchat all the time, so if that is up your alley, I hope to see you over there.