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I recently did something I never, ever thought I'd do... I, the die-hard blush addict, bought a bronzer. For too long I saw no need ...
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I'm going to let you in on a little ritual of mine, fondly known as "the weekly treat..." giving it a name just makes it all the more special to me!
You've probably gathered that I'm a bit of a granny, so when it comes to my Saturday night, I leave the drinking and the clubbing to the kiddies, and opt to spend it clutching a copy of Cosmopolitan, sipping on hot chocolate and slathering my tired old skin with a double whammy of mask action... so rock and roll it hurts.
Towards the end of the week, my skin starts to look a little congested from long days in hospital, and endless hours of wearing a full face of makeup day in, day out.
So Saturday, post-dinner, pre-bed, I start by taking off every last scrap of slap using the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm, and remove with a muslin cloth.
I swiftly smooth on a thin layer of Ren Invisible Pores Detox Mask. I absolutely adore this product, it has a gorgeous lavender scent, along with a whole host of pore-clearing ingredients, including French clay to draw out impurities and skin-soothing proteins to encourage cell turnover. I usually leave this on for about 10-15 minutes to dry, then remove with a warm, damp flannel.
I can honestly say that the difference before and after applying this mask to my skin is pretty astounding - it somehow manages to look lighter, brighter and clearer.
Now you might think, that's it. Weekly treat, done. But you are very much mistaken...
Caroline Hirons (if you don't already read it, her blog is pretty much the gospel for all things skincare) advises that moisture sapping clay masks should be followed up with a super nourishing, intensive moisture treatment.
My pick? Origins Drink Up Overnight Intensive Mask (first mentioned here) - let me tell you now, this stuff smells heavenly; each and every week I find myself grappling with the overwhelming urge to eat it instead of putting it onto my skin.
You're probably thinking, "... boy, oh boy, this girl is seriously weird..." but I'm okay with that, and I challenge you to not feel the same way should you end up buying it.
Anyway, back to the mask - essentially this is a moisture-boosting treatment containing lots of skin goodies, such as hyaluronic acid (I've spoken about what exactly that does here) and "Japanese seaweed" - I'm not all too sure what the seaweed being Japanese has to do with the mask's benefits though...?
I like to really massage and work this into my skin, leaving excess product on to be absorbed (the bottle advises that you tissue it off but I think that's a waste of precious product). You go to bed looking a bit... well, greasy (sexy, hey?) but wake up with plump, smooth skin, so it's totally worth the sleep spent looking all wet and shiny!
And yes, oily-skinned gals (a group which I am well and truly a member of) who are thinking, "I can't use that Origins stuff," you absolutely can - if anything, I've found since I started using it, my skin has been veering towards combination rather than downright oily.
These two masks work really well together, and I can honestly say my skin and I practically count down the hours 'til Saturday night (just 56 to go!).
Ren Invisible Pores Detox Mask (£18.00) is available at Space NK.
Origins Drink Up Overnight Intensive Mask (£20.00) is available at House of Fraser.
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