Reviewing 8 Different Facial Mists!

Hello summer heatwave, that time where any skin friendly liquid found in a spray bottle becomes fair game for me and my face, tbh. Today I was SO insanely hot that I started to worry I was getting heatstroke – needless to say I generously availed myself of my collection of facial mists… I thought I would share my thoughts on all of them, since there are SO many mists on the market right now, perhaps this will help you decide which one to go for, when the next wave of inescapably warm weather hits (or, you know, you go on holiday).

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1. Avene Thermal Spring Water – the most basic but deceptively effective spray ever – this is pure water from a spring in France that has a uniquely soothing affect on the skin. When spring water is underground it sits in a cave and in the Avene water’s cave are microbes that excrete a completely unique amino acid compound. It’s this that has the calming and soothing affect on the skin, because the acids actually have an affect on the itch-receptors in the skin. If you have bug bites, heat rash or sunburn, or you want a spray to use on a baby, opt for this.

2. Caudalie Grape Water – this 100% organic grape extract has an intense moisturising action on the skin, increasing its hydration levels by 127%! This is thanks to an invisible layer of natural polysaccharides that keep moisture in the skin. I spray this all over myself, all the time. It’s also been shown to reduce redness from sensitivity in the skin by 61%. I would recommend this one for sunburn too, as it helps to hydrate as well as soothe.

3. Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist– if you like roses you will love this mist. Made from rosewater and aloe, it’s scent is calming and soothing while also feeling like a luxurious treat. I like to use this one when I feel really sad because it’s feminine, pretty scent is so uplifting. It’s wonderful on the feet too!

4. Caudalie Beauty Elixir – This is one of the most unique products I’ve ever used. The idea behind Beauty Elixir  is that it gives the skin a boost of radiance, resets and refreshes makeup and tightens pores whilst also having an aromatherapeutic affect on the mind. And it really works! A spritz of this when you’re feeling low, sweaty or stressed and you just feel ready to take on anything. It’s also bloody amazing for travelling, especially when you’re fellow travellers (or you) are smelling…less than fresh.

5. Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist – Interestingly then inspiration behind this mist is the same as the Beauty Elixir, but they are totally different and I don’t find this one anywhere near as good, despite it being almost twice as expensive. One benefit is that it contains Hungarian thermal water which is REALLY good for the skin, but the spritz is way too fine and I don’t really think it does much to refresh, soothe or hydrate. I tried using this as a toner for a long time to see if the thermal water would have an effect, but didn’t see any improvement at all.

6. Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist – I love this stuff so much. As a makeup setting spray it works wonders, and the rose with green tea scent is perfect for waking the skin up in the morning. I also find it’s amazing as a primer on bare skin before my foundation, and for dampening brushes and sponges before blending. It definitely helps my makeup to last longer, and I love how it’s more skincare than makeup.

7. Mario Badescu Facial Mist with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater – I used to love this stuff. A gorgeously light and refreshing scent, similar to the Pixi Fixing Mist and I found it was very cooling in summer. However, this contains phenoxyethanol, a preservative with a questionable safety record. You’ll find it in almost every skincare product because it replaced parabens as the cheap, effective preservative of choice. However there is research that indicates it’s just as bad as parabens, so I try to avoid it in any product that I actually leave on my skin, and definitely mists as you’re likely to inhale it too. So while this is a lovely product that I used to adore, I would give it a miss now for that reason.

8. Pixi Glow Mist – I use this instead of  the fixing mist when my skin is dry or irritated – the formula has a gorgeous mixture of oils including lavender, argan, avocado and evening primrose in it so it really helps to calm the skin and get a smooth finish when my skin is rough or flaky. It also gives a lovely dewy finish when used as a setting spray, which is really nice for going out – though I definitely prefer the fixing mist for everyday when I don’t want anything too shiny.

Stay cool xxx

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My Everyday Spring/Summer Makeup

As soon as the weather starts getting warmer, all I can think about is escaping from under the layers of makeup I live in during the winter. I enjoy makeup a lot, and I’m so pale that in the winter my skin looks ridiculous – red nose, pink cheeks, dry patches, white as death. So in the summer, when my skin is a little more…consistent looking…I like to scale the coverage back a lot. Plus, there’s also the fact that for the past two summers I’ve worked in an office with no air con, which I love because it means I actually experience summer instead of spending my days in a temperature controlled vacuum….but it also entails a fair bit of sweat, and sweating in heavy layers of foundation and powder is UNPLEASANT. So anyway, let’s get to the products!

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Base: Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF30. I had been meaning to try this for years after it was recommended to me by several people, but I just didn’t believe it would give my skin enough of a boost. I picked it up on a whim in an airport, and haven’t looked back. The formula is free of everything I’m sensitive to (I’m allergic to a lot of chemical sun filters), and the shade is a perfect match. It sinks straight in, and keeps my skin ‘perfected’, hydrated, and protected all day. I’m so glad I’ve finally found a BB cream that works for me, and is the right SPF for everyday usage! Fun fact: unless you are a child under 3, have a specific skin disorder, work outdoors or are on holiday somewhere hot or at a high altitude, you shouldn’t be using SPF50 – not only is it pretty unnecessary, the chemicals are also a lot stronger and aren’t good for your skin over long periods of time. 

Concealer: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. This has been my go-to concealer for about three years and I love it. There will always be days where your skin needs extra coverage somewhere, whether it’s dark circles or a pesky blemish, and this concealer gets rid of them seamlessly.

Anti-shine: DHC Blotting Papers. In the winter I would happily dust powder over my foundation to set it and prevent oiliness from sneaking through. But in the summer that just seems too much! So instead I use blotting papers whenever I need to. These from DHC are wonderful – they’re pretty cheap, and don’t smudge your makeup at all. I use them after I’ve applied my makeup to make sure there’s nothing residual, and then whenever I notice some shine during the day.

Blush: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush. I mean, I don’t think I’ll ever find a blusher I like more than this, and since I’ve owned this one for about two and a half years now (and it’s been my regular everyday blusher for that entire time) I can’t see myself every using a different one for any reason! I piled it on a bit in the photo below, but it wasn’t showing up in the photo so I went overboard.

Setting spray: Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist. Is there a better, nicer to use or more refreshing setting spray out there? I think not. This mist has the most beautiful fragrance of green tea and rose, and it really helps to set your makeup for the day ahead. One thing I love about it is that the spray is quite heavy – your face is completely drenched after you use it, but within seconds it’s dry and your skin feels refreshed and ready for the day. I always use this and then apply my mascara while it dries, and my face is completely dry by the time I’m done. It’s the perfect way to wake your skin up after a sticky summer night.

Mascara: Fairydrops Waterproof Scandal Queen. I LOVE this mascara, and what I love more than anything is that even though it doesn’t budge when you drench your skin in a face mist, or you’re sweating on the tube, it still comes off super easily (although that might be because I use the greatest makeup remover of all time, I dunno). It doesn’t flake, and its really buildable. You can get a very light layer indeed (way lighter than the photo) or you can get a proper night time look. It’s not a mega volume or curl mascara, it just enhances your natural eyelashes perfectly.

Lip product: Perricone MD No Lipgloss Lipgloss. I’m not sure how many more times I can bang on about how much I adore this product, but here I go again. This is honestly the best lip product I have ever used, in the most flattering shade of all time. I cannot think of a single person who wouldn’t look amazing wearing it. It’s beautiful. It moisturises the lips SO well, and leaves them looking super plump even though it doesn’t actually plump them. It lasts for a long time even though it’s a gloss, but the application is seamless too so you can easily reapply in seconds. Crucially, for a summer beauty product, it isn’t sticky at all, instead it just feels super smooth on the lips!

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So those are the products I’ve been using when the weather is hot. However, it’s equally as important to make sure your skincare fits the season, and if possible, helps you to achieve skin that you’re comfortable showing off under lighter coverage makeup. I’ve already written another post about skincare must haves for the summer, check it out here!

Spring Skincare Favourites

While I don’t believe in changing your body in preparation for warmer months, I do think there’s a lot we can do with our skin. In colder weather the skin can wind up dull, dry, lifeless and clogged, and unfortunately it’s often ignored because full coverage foundation and concealer are much easier to slather on in 7am half-darkness while you’re still basically asleep (this is how I spend my winter mornings, don’t know about you). I get a red nose in cold weather too, so there’s no point even thinking about going foundation free! In the spring, all I ever want to do is take a layer of makeup out of my routine, but to do that and feel confident, I need radiant, smooth and soft skin. Over the past few months I’ve been using some amazing products that have renewed and rejuvenated my complexion, so I wanted to share!

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The first product I wanted to talk about is Caudalie’s new Vine[Activ] Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum. This serum contains a complex of four anti-oxidants that increase your skin’s ability to product anti-oxidant enzymes by 255%, thereby helping protect the skin from pollution and stress. which for someone who works in central London, doesn’t sleep very well and is stressed all the time, is an absolute lifesaver. I’ve been using this for four months (one bottle lasted 2.5) and I have never seen a product work such wonders on my skin – it literally glows from the inside out, as well as being super hydrated, calm and smooth. It absorbs immediately, smells gorgeous and is 98% natural. It’s oil and silicone free, contains an exclusive anti-oxidant patent created by Caudalie, and is just about the highest quality product I’ve ever used. Get it for £36.

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Next up is Aesop’s Parsley Seed Cleanser. I adore this thick, gel cleanser and it’s gentle exfoliation from lactic acid. It leaves my skin soft and ready to absorb my skincare. I’ve been using it for quite some time now and it is honestly the best cleanser ever for helping to boost your skin into ‘only wearing BB cream’ territory. If you’re worried about pollution, using this together with the Caudalie Vine[Activ] Serum is the absolute dream team, because the Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser helps to slough pollution particles away from the skin at the end of the day, while the serum defends your skin from the free-radicals during the day. Get it for £27.

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I feel like I’ve been looking for a BB Cream that won’t make my skin react or break out since the beginning of time. The Bobbi Brown BB Cream is the only one I’ve found that has a good SPF without containing any of the ingredients that my skin hates, and I absolutely love it. It’s so important to use an SPF everyday, so if you want to use a lighter product than your usual foundation and you have sensitive skin, this is PERFECT. The formula gives much higher coverage than I expected, and I feel like it evens out my complexion flawlessly – obviously it doesn’t cover blemishes completely, but I actually don’t feel the need to use concealer under my eyes, which is a bloody miracle. The coverage lasts all day and my skin feels nice and soft when I use this too. They have 9 shades and definitely don’t serve the darkest skin colours, so I wouldn’t usually recommend it, but my skin is SO picky and this really works for me. Get it for £29.50.

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Pixi’s Makeup Fixing Mist has become my favourite part of my morning ritual. It’s gorgeous light scent and fast-drying, refreshing consistency is absolutely perfect for perking my face and my mind up. I feel like it puts me in a positive mood whenever I use it, and it helps my makeup stay put ALL day. Seriously, it’s soooo good. My skin also loves it as a primer to help prepare for a full coverage face, but recently I’ve just been using it over the Bobbi Brown BB Cream and it’s leaving my skin looking smooth and radiant every day. Get it for £16.

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The last product I’ve been obsessed with over the past few months is Jurlique’s Skin Balancing Face Oil. This stuff is perfect for when your skin is just losing its mind, which always happens to me at the change of the seasons. It contains a blend of herbal extracts including marshmallow (protects and soothes), evening primrose oil (heals), macademia oil (nourishes without being heavy) rosehip oil (anti-wrinkle, healing) and chamomile (calming). I find that when I use this at night, dry patches and areas of irritation disappear. The scent of this product is absolutely unbelievable, it smells like a fragrant meadow in the sun, which just makes it even more perfect for use in the warmer months! It might not be suitable for hypersensitive skin types though, as it’s heavy on the essential oils. But I absolutely adore it. Get it for £30.50

What are your spring skincare essentials?

Homemade face masks with Latin Honey

Honey has been a beauty product pretty much since humans first learned how to harvest it. It’s anti-bacterial properties are well known, and is the reason that raw honey never actually goes off. This means it helps to reduce blemishes by eliminating bacteria, and it also helps to soothe irritation in some people because it purifies the skin without stripping it of natural oils. It also has some anti-inflammatory properties, and as if that wasn’t enough, honey is also moisturising, which makes it great for both the skin and hair.

I’ve never actually tried using honey in skincare so when Latin Honey invited me to try out their honey with a beauty perspective I was intrigued. Their honey is raw, organic, single origin South American honey and let me tell you before we begin that it is the best tasting honey I have ever tried. Raw honey is far more nutritious than pasturised honey as it contains enzymes that are apparently good for digestion, as well as some antioxidants.

But what does it do for the skin?

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My partner and I have very different skin types so we both had a go. Firstly I tried the Riviera Gum Honey* as a hair mask. I mixed it with shea butter and coconut oil, and applied it all over the front section of my hair. This part is very brittle, so it dries out and frizzes up much quicker than the rest of my hair. After I applied this mask and left it on for half an hour, it definitely felt different. The honey created a barrier to hydrate and to keep the oils in, and I’m absolutely certain that this mask repaired damage to my hair. It was very sticky and took a while to wash out, but my hair has been softer ever since.

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Then we tried the Volcano Sunflower Honey* as plain face masks – and this was amazing for me. After leaving it on for 10 minutes and rinsing with warm water my skin was so soft and smooth, with no sign of irritation or redness. In fact, some of the redness I already had was reduced, thanks to those anti-inflammatory properties! Some blemishes I had very quickly reduced afterwards too. I was really impressed that my sensitive skin looked so calm after using honey on it. I will definitely continue to use the honey this way, as I can’t quite believe how soft my skin was! It’s also worth nothing that because they’re raw, these honeys can be used to exfoliate thanks to the slight crystalisation that naturally happens in storage. I felt the granules when I was washing it off and it was very gentle, but definitely contributed to the smooth feeling.

For my partner, who has very oily, blemish prone and congested skin, we tried something a little more intense, and squeezed half a lemon into the honey before he applied it. The effect was amazing. His skin was much more radiant, mattified and super soft without being oily at all when he washed it off.

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We were so impressed by the honey’s effectiveness on its own. But of course we had to experiment, and we also discovered the best beard scrub of all time: mix a tablespoon or two of honey into roughly blended oats, and massage into the beard. This not only purifies the skin underneath facial hair by eliminating bacteria lurking there, it also softens the skin and hair, AND gets rid of dead skin buildup, allowing the hair to grow healthily. I think this could also be used as a really luxurious body scrub too, but I have so many scrubs to use up I haven’t gotten around to trying that yet!

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I am amazed by the quality of Latin Honey, they taste incredible, and the effect on my skin and hair is really impressive. By using a raw, organic honey as a face or hair mask, whether combined with ingredients or not, you’re also benefitting from using simple, pure skincare that you know is safe enough to eat – and when those kinds of products are actually effective, it’s definitely a good idea to give it a whirl! Latin Honey have a selection of four honeys which all look amazing, but here are the two that I’ve tried:

Volcano Sunflower Honey from Mexico: Tastes fruity and floral – this is amazing on toast. This is the honey I’ve used for face masks, which have left both my and my partner’s skin smooth, radiant and purified.

Rivera Gum Honey from Uruguay: Tastes buttery and toffee-like. I love eating this on porridge. It’s also apparently good for dandruff so this is the one I used this on my hair, and was very impressed with how soft my hair ended up.

Have you used honey in your beauty routine before?

Murad Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum

Murad is a brand I’ve always been curious about, and on my seemingly endless hunt for the perfect serum this one jumped out at me as a perfect way into the brand. I’ve tried Avene’s Hydrating Serum, Weleda’s Pomegranate Serum and Caudalie’s Hydrating Serum and while I loved the Caudalie one, but the bottle didn’t seem to last very long. Long story short, I don’t recommend any of them. REN’s Omega 3 Serum was good for a while but a few months ago it completely stopped working for me. So I went back to the drawing board, and decided to give Murad’s Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum a try…

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The Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum is part of their Redness Therapy range, which is formulated to tackle the causes of irritated redness, and soothe the effects of it too. By intensely hydrating the skin with hyaluronic acid and glycolipids the Soothing Serum helps the skin to maintain its protective barrier. There’s also chamomile, cucumber and camellia extracts to soothe and calm any redness or irritation. Mallow extract provides an invisible protective shield to support the moisture barrier, and there’s also goji berry extract for, I assume, antioxidants. I was really surprised to see all these plant extracts in the formula (there are even more than I’ve mentioned here; ginseng, elderberry, ivy, arnica, seaweed and yeast extract all feature) because it looks like such a plain, basic product on the outside!

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I am so incredibly impressed with this Skin Soothing Serum. The texture is a bit like hair gel, but without being sticky. It leaves my skin super calm, it sinks in immediately and my skin is soft and plump all day, and it lasts for ages (I’ve been using it for months and it isn’t even half gone). It was nothing like I was expecting – I think Murad have struck the perfect balance between pharmaceutical and plant based skincare, and even though this serum is really simple, it’s amazingly effective. It’s perfect for anyone who’s skin gets tight after cleansing, or blemish prone skin types that can get dry patches (as these are usually caused by dehydration so you need to hydrate your skin rather than add oil to it). It’s also perfect for anyone with red patches or sensitive skin, and according to Murad you can even use it to soothe razor burn, sunburn and after waxing so you know it must be gentle!

I really like Murad’s Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum. If you’re looking for a good starter serum because you aren’t sure where to start with them or you have sensitive skin, this is definitely the one for you! Get it here for £47.

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Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser

Aesop is fast becoming one of my favourite brands, so when my boyfriend presented me with their Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser on my birthday, I was so excited to try it! This is a cleanser unlike anything I’ve used before, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

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The idea behind Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser is that it helps to keep your skin immaculately clean in polluted environments. Something I recently learned is that microscopic pollution particles stick to your skin like you wouldn’t believe – even after cleansing. Unless you have a layer on your skin protecting you during the day (obviously many of us wear foundation, but this is a flaky layer which doesn’t actually stick to the skin consistently) then you will end up with this sticky pollution layer which is slowly absorbed by your skin, and is almost impossible to get off with conventional cleansing. Because of the way Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser works, it is uniquely able to combat this problem….

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What looks like a pretty normal gel cleanser is actually an acid exfoliator as well. With lactic acid in the formula, it very gently eats away at the upper parts of the stratum corneum (layers of dead skin) – not just to leave your face smooth, soft and radiant, but also to completely remove that pollution! To use this cleanser, you gently dampen your face, then gently apply it all over, without massaging. Then, leave it on for a couple of minutes (they say moments but uhhhh, it’s £27 per 100ml, you leave that stuff on your face for 2-3 minutes baby). After that, you wet your hands and massage it into a lather, then rinse it off. My favourite way to use it is just before a shower, because I can wipe the excess gel onto my neck and chest without worrying that I’ll create a huge mess when I wash it off.

I was really expecting my skin to be at least a little bit red, flaky or irritated after using this, but it’s been completely calm. This is an incredibly gentle cleanser, and the exfoliating effect is just absolutely perfect! My skin is left feather-soft just after leaving it on for a couple of minutes. It’s been radiant and bright, and much softer than it usually would in winter.

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Along with the lactic acid, this cleanser contains a mixture of antioxidants – parsley seed extract, liquorice root and blackcurrant seed oil to help the skin to process the free-radicals it has already absorbed. There’s also soothing, anti-bacterial lavender, and two types of chamomile to calm the skin. The cleansing base is SLES, the more skin-friendly version of SLS, along with olive oil cleansing compounds. This means that it effectively washes away dirt, without upsetting the balance of the skin. The bottle has an open mouth, which I expected to make it difficult to dispense the right amount, but the gel is very thick so you have good control over it. The scent it a light herbal/floral concoction that is absolutely wonderful – soothing and refreshing all at once.

Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser is absolutely perfect for people in their 20s and 30s, looking to prevent ageing but also to give the skin what it needs right now – oil balancing, soothing, radiance and redness prevention. Yes, it’s a bit expensive for a cleanser, but you only need to use it in the evening, and you can use it 3-4 times a week to make it go even further. I’m confident that it will make a huge difference to my skin in the long run, as it’s made such an amazing difference already. Get the 100ml bottle from Beauty Expert, or the 200ml from Cult Beauty.

 

Five of my favourite face masks

I’ll be straight with you. These are not my 5 all time favourite masks. But I am obsessed with face masks, and I want to talk more about them! Think of this as part one of an introduction to my mask collection. These masks are all very different, and funnily enough I realised I’ve managed to pick five from different countries and different skin concerns! Let’s get stuck in!

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Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask – A New Zealand skincare brand, Antipodes have some of the nicest smelling products in the world, the Manuka honey reviews are really good – their hand creams are divine, and I’ve been dreaming of their Juliet Brightening Cleanser for years (soon, my love…). I was very cautious about trying this mask because a lot of people with sensitive skin do react to honey in cosmetics. But I’ve found it to be unbeatable on problem areas! I don’t usually put it all over my face, but when I get hormone-chin it is The Best. It hydrates, soothe redness and inflammation, and purifies with the honey’s antibacterial properties. I will also often dot it on spots when I get in from work and leave it there until I go to bed.

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Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask – Origins are well known as The Mask Brand, and rightly so, their masks are out of this world. But I especially love this active charcoal mask both for myself when my skin is super congested, and for my boyfriend, who has oily skin and open pores. Because I trial a lot of skincare products, some of them don’t work for me and I do occasionally have a skin meltdown where a cleanser hasn’t been working well enough, or a face oil has been way too thick for me. This is my go-to rescue mask for when that happens – over the course of a couple of week’s use it clears my pores and prevents them from turning into spots. Love it.

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Tony Moly Aloe Sheet Mask – This is probably the simplest sheet mask of all time from one of the most famous South Korean skincare brands. With aloe vera to soothe and bamboo water to hydrate, this is a seriously cheap and cheerful mask that anyone can try. It leaves your skin plump, soft and calm. I’ve tried more complicated sheet masks, and they are great, but for me I like to be careful about what I leave on my skin (remember with these other masks they get washed off) so this has become my go-to for when my skin needs a moisture boost.

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Lush Rosy Cheeks Mask – Ok so I may have about 20 favourite masks but if I could only choose one as my all time favourite, it would be this. A pink clay mask with a beautiful rose scent, this mask has everything. Kaolin to draw out impurities and deeply cleanse, glycerin to hydrate, calamine powder to calm redness or irritation and rose extracts to soothe and balance. Honestly, it does everything, and it leaves your skin feeling absolutely wonderful. This is one of my top five all time skincare products. It is absolutely incredible.

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Caudalie Moisturising Mask – Everyone needs a moisturising mask in their collection, and this is one of the best. With hyaluronic acid to hydrate, grape water to soothe (also hydrate) and reduce sensitivity, and Vinolevuere, a hydrophilic active ingredient that draws water into the skin as it’s absorbed, this is a powerhouse of a moisturising mask. It also contains grape-seed oil, a nourishing but light oil packed full of anti-oxidants that will both nourish and protect your skin. This mask can be used on the eye area, which most masks can’t, so if you’re into multi-masking you can always put this around your eyes to give them a treat too.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this mini world tour of my mask collection! If you have any questions about any of these, let me know in the comments.