I wisited another huge retailer today. It was the second time actually, but it was only now that I managed to perfect the rute by which I can get there. Also, this time I had enough time to actually look around and notice some very interesting things. For example that the brand Queen Helene is actually available in Hungary too! What a wonderful discovery! At first I was a bit disappointed that their Mint Julep Mask is so expensive (and resides in such a huge container), but to my immense relief I found the last 56.7 gramm version which I immediately put into my shopping basket accompanied by a girly little giggle. :-) (Okay, don't take me seriously here: I don't ever giggle.) I put it on after I got home, and my first impression was how similar it really is to St.Ives's Mineral Clay Firming Mask, which is no wonder if we compare the list of ingredients: very similar. It has a minty-toothpasty smell and is quite thick but easy to apply once you get the hang of it. It dries pretty fast (especially if you put only a thin layer on as I did) and leaves your face clean and fresh after you finally manage to remove it. Overall, it really is very similar to aforementioned mask and has roughly the same benefits too.
I'd been neglecting this mask up until very recently when two horrendously red zits suddenly appeared on my normally clear face. I decided to introduce a new member to my anti-acne arsenal and applied a thick layer of QH Mint Julep Mask to those two rascals. I left it on during the entire night and the zits look much calmer now: I would say that 50 % of the redness is gone and they're not as painful as they were the night before. I assume that this is the combined effect of the mask's active ingredients: zinc-oxide, sulphur and menthol.
Zinc-oxide: anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial
Menthol: soothing properties
I know that many people apply toothpaste to inflamed zits and leave it on overnight and I assume it works just as well because of its high menthol content, but I also hope that the other two ingredients have something to do with the mask's success. :-)
I also picked up a full sized (150 ml) tube of Freeman's Peppermint and Plum Foot Lotion (it's that good!) and a Cucumber and Waterlily Hand and Elbow Butter (125 ml). About the butter: the smell is unmistakably that of cucumbers, and while I really don't like "green" smells, I'm willing to tolerate it for the sake of the benefits. After applying just a pea-sized amount and rubbing it in, my hands are super-soft and perfectly moisturised. I'm guessing this could also be put to use as a foot lotion, either during the night or in cold-hard winter when our feet need all the help they can get to stay soft.
My other haul is a 30 ml packet of Freeman's Peppermint and Plum Foot Scrub. It smells delicious just like its counterpart the lotion, and does an amazing job at exfoliating and sloughing off all the dead skin cells. I've only tried it on my hands while dispensing the stuff into a jar, but I already like it very much. It has got enough pumice in it to be effective, not to mention that I find the size of the scrubbing particles perfect too: not too small but not too big either. Probably like grains of refined salt... I would not, however, recommend this one to be used on the entire body as it is too rough for that purpose and could easily irritate your skin.
Finally, I got myself a 10 ml sample of Weleda's Wild Rose Massage Oil because as you may have noticed I'm very much into rose scents right now, and also because the ingredients seemed pretty good. In fact, if you look at the ingredients only, I think it's safe to say that you could use this on your face too, which I intended to do. Now, on the other hand, when I actually applied the oil, it had an awful rancid smell to it which left me completely baffled: the expiry date seems to be more than okay (2009/02), and the bottle had definitely not been tampered with either. Also, the main ingredient is jojoba oil which is hardly capable of going bad. Is it just me then? I don't think so: it smells sour, bitter, the worst you can imagine, whereas all the reviewers on MUA were so enamoured with the smell that I tend to think the problem is not with me after all. However, my skin seems to tolerate it pretty well (no rashes, no itching, no allergic reactions whatsoever), so I think I'm going to give this oil another chance. After all, both jojoba and almond oil are excellent for oily and acne-prone skin, and all that rose extract can only add to the miracle.
I've been using the oil for little less than a week now and I'm happy to say that I'm not experiencing any adverse effects; in fact, my skin has been behaving much better ever since I started to use this stuff. I had two very annoying zits at the time I first put it on (I haven't had any for ages): one was already in full let's-make-Izar's-life-miserable mode, while the other one was just starting to appear and by the looks of it it was gonna be a pretty nasty one. However, after only two days of using Weleda's Rose Oil (and only at nighttime) the former started healing while the latter suddenly disappeared into nothingness. I'm now using this oil day and night and I find it very beneficial for my skin: every morning I wake up with beautiful rosy cheeks and a well-rested complexion. I still find it very difficult to stomach its scent but the good thing is that it disappears very quickly so people around me don't even get a single whiff of it.
Yeah, well, umm... I still find the smell very overpowering when I put it on my face but I tried this oil on my body the other day and I was pleasantly surprised to find it smelling lovely on my skin. Actually, I think the smell is a dead ringer for LUSH's Fever massage bar.
So if you want to use this on your body then you should definitely give it a try.
Now, I hope to return to this store in the near future, and would really like to buy the following items:
- Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Lotion
- Queen Helene Almond Massage Cream
- Freeman Grapefruit and Honeysuckle Hand Lotion
- Nesti Dante Chocolate and Mint (or Chocolate and Coffee) Soap
- 100% Natural French Soaps in the following scents: Musk (it turned out to be my favourite though I did not expect it to), Vanilla, Melon, Green Apple, Rose