It’s 11:51am on Sunday night.
Instead of being tucked up in bed asleep with my boyfriend who is quietly snoring as I type this, I’m wired awake.
That’s not a typo either.
I know the saying is “wide awake” and I’ve even hummed along to the Katy Perry song. But, I’m actually feeling “wired awake”, which is the result of some pain-killers I took two hours ago. As well as softening the stabbing pain of a developing ear infection (yay!), they’ve also made me feel like I’ve drunk ten cups of the world’s strongest black coffee.
Anyway, the purpose of this ramble is actually not about being awake or pain killers or ear infections, I wanted to write a review of a face mask.
But first, I feel like I should say some other stuff. We’re all conditioned from a very young age to be mindful of our appearance. This is not something that is unique to me – I think most women experience this (and I’m sure men do too), although I obviously can’t speak to everyone’s experiences.
This isn’t something I’ve really thought a lot about before but as I’m reflecting now, I think it started when I was a child and the feeling that came with receiving a compliment. For the most part I still love receiving these and I enjoy giving them too!
Side bar: compliments are powerful. They can make you feel like you’re being wrapped in a hug – they can brighten your day, surround you and make you feel all warm and fuzzy. But they can also make you feel uncomfortable, slightly anxious and like you want to have a shower. This depends on the individual receiving the compliment, the person delivering it, as well as how when and where it’s given and of course what the compliment is.
As I got older and started to observe the things around me, I think the conditioning came from the content and media I consumed (both passively and actively). This might’ve been the books I read, the TV I watched, magazines I bought, music videos and teenage gossip with friends of course.
In my 20s it also became driven by perception, my desire to influence other people’s perceptions of me and validate my perception of myself.
These days, caring about my appearance is a conscious decision I’ve made. My care factor goes up and down and my reasons for caring are complex and ever changing in rank of importance. Enjoying compliments is still on the list and so is my observation of the things around me and wanting to influence how other people see me. I’m only human.
But the biggest contributing factor that drives me to care about my appearance is how I feel about myself because at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
That’s why I’m totally open to using techniques, tools and products to help me maintain or enhance my appearance. For instance, being clean is a great appearance enhancer, as are tweezers, a good moisturiser, mascara and lippy.
Anyway, I’ve been using the GlamGlow Super Mud as a full face and spot mask (sparingly ‘cos it aint cheap!) for nearly two months and I LOVE it, it makes my skin feel so fresh, so clean and really seems to tame my oily T-zone.
I’d also heard good things about the other GlamGlow mud masks and when I say ‘heard’ I really mean I watched a tonne of YouTuber reviews (thanks Shaanxo and Jeffrey Star) and also read a bunch of online reviews (cheers Sephora users and Reddit).
So during a recent online Gravity Mud purchase I also picked up a sample of the GlamGlow YouthMud Tinglexoliate Treatment, which is what I’ve tried out tonight. The sample is 5g of product, which promised to give me instant camera ready skin in ten minutes.
I used the whole lot in one application and just went right ahead and smeared it on with my fingers, in hindsight I probably could’ve got two uses out of it but YOLO.
So what did I think?
Applying it was super easy, it goes on a medium grey and dries to a darker grey so you can clearly see where you’ve put it and where you haven’t.
The texture on applying it was a little grittier than I thought it would be, not in a bad way and you want that in something that’s meant to exfoliate. But on removal it felt like a super, super fine sand (more on that further down).
The smell is hard to describe, it smells clean and familiar. I can’t put my finger on it but it could be a combination of the green tea, lavender and cucumber (they’re listed ingredients).
The tingle is intense. When I first applied it, I was like WOAH. This is why all the reviews were like “It burns and turned my face red”. BUT, the tingle calms down pretty quickly and probably peaked at a 4/10 on the pain meter.
Like all clay masks it makes your skin feel tight as it dries but not excessively tight. What I did like is that my skin retained that tight feeling after I’d removed it.
Removing it was harder than I thought it would be, but that might’ve been because I left it on for 60ish mins instead of the recommended 10 mins. The packet said to use some water and circular motions, which I did initially with cold water and then with warm which was definitely more effective.
The exfoliation force is strong in this one. As I made my circular motions I could feel it sanding off all the dead skin. I only needed to use a gentle light pressure and the micro volcanic rock in the mask did all the work for me.
The only thing I would do differently is plan when I was going to use it better and rinse it off in the shower. Doing it over the sink wasn’t doable but I think being able to let the shower do the work for me without worrying I was spreading the bits of volcanic rock everywhere would’ve been easier.
It’s only been five mins since I removed it but I’d definitely use it again. My skin feels beautifully smooth and fresh, my pores are smaller and there’s certainly no more redness than normal.
Would love to hear what other people think or have used?