14:07 Jazz Blackwell 0 Comments

So I'll preface this by stating that, unfortunately for all of us, I'm not Zoe Sugg or Bunny Meyer or Tanya Burr. In short, I'm no a beauty guru, and I don't claim to be. In fact, I'm quite the opposite. I'm a fairweather make-up user, as in I only put it on when I'm going out, or if I'm really in the mood to do it in the mornings. There are several reasons behind this, the most prominent being I'm actually pretty okay with how I look naturally. However, another thing that plays a big part in my not wearing make up on the reg is the fact that my skin sucks. If I do a full  face of makeup more than a couple of times in a row, I come out in eczema all over my face, especially right under my eyes. It looks nasty, and to be honest it's kind of painful.

That being said, something I am big into in terms of beauty is skin care. I collect moisturisers and toners and  micellar waters and face masks the way some kids collect Panini football stickers. On one of my recent adventures into the Boots website I discovered an intriguing brand that I'd never seen before named Quick Fix Facials. Essentially what they sell is a number of face masks for several different issues people have with their skin e.g. dryness, acne, redness etc. I bought them back in January, when I got double points on any purchase due to it being my birthday month, so I took a walk on the wild side and invested in the three ones I thought were best suited to my skin type.

L to R - Brightening Peel Mask for Dull and Uneven Skin Tone,
Purifying Charcoal Mask for Congested and Lifeless Skin,
Mega Moisture Mask for Dry and Thirsty Skin.
First off, let's talk about the charcoal mask.

Charcoal masks are by no means a new concept. They've been all over social media over the past year or so and they've always intrigued me. However, this was the first one I got round to  trying. The science behind charcoal masks is that activated charcoal - that is, ordinary charcoal that's had oxygen added to it - can absorb more than a hundred times its own weight in impurities. For this reason, it's been used by the medical community for decades to treat things like poisoning and nasty infections. Whether or not it actually works on the skin is the subject of much debate by experts, and there seems to be no chemical evidence one way or another.

As you can probably tell from this photo, I've gotten through quite a lot of this stuff. I generally have pretty clear pores anyway, so whether or not the idea of charcoal absorbing impurities is a placebo, I can't comment on. What I can say, however, is that this stuff has made my skin feel better. It also contains dragon fruit, which is high in Vitamin C and has moisturising properties, and cinnamon, which reputedly has astringent qualities and helps to clear the skin. Those two, I can definitely say I've noticed. My skin feels much softer and much firmer after using this mask, and spot breakouts seem to be well and truly under control. 

Apologies for the shit lighting in my bathroom.
As you can see, when you rub this stuff on your face you do end up looking a little bit like the moon emoji. The tube recommends using a 'thick' layer of product at least once a week. However, I'd be careful how you interpret 'thick'. When this stuff hardens, it really hardens, and if you have too much of it on your face it can feel very heavy and uncomfortable. Aside from that, the only major drawback to this product is the smell. The combination of charcoal, dragon fruit and cinnamon leaves it smelling like some kind of past-its-best Christmas treat. However, while the smell is unpleasant, its not overpowering when you apply it to your face and its completely vanished by the time it dries. All in all, this stuff does make my skin feel much nicer, but it doesn't do much for my pores. While I will continue to use it, I'll stick with my Soap & Glory The Fab Pore mask to keep my pores looking tightened.

Next up is the one I was most excited for; the moisturising mask. As a long time sufferer of dry skin, as well as conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, anything that promises to moisturise my skin is incredibly exciting to me.

I'm happy to report that this stuff works. As I mentioned before, I'm prone to very dry skin underneath my eyes and when I start to get a bit of a flare up this stuff nips it in the bud before it gets painful. I don't have a photo of it on my face as it's white, very much like a lotion in texture, and it sheers out as you rub it in, so there wouldn't really be much to see. Again, the tube recommends a thick layer and while this one isn't quite as uncomfortable as the charcoal mask once dry, I'd still be wary of how thick you think thick means. A positive is that this doesn't smell as bad as the charcoal mask. To me, it smells like the Garnier Ambre Solaire Sunscreen (specific I know), which as far as I'm concerned is a good thing. However, if you're one of those people who can't stick the smell of sunscreen you might want to bare that in mind. 

Obviously this isn't intended to be a replacement for your regular everyday moisturiser, and you should still be applying that twice a day. This is more of a supplement to it, very helpful to those of us with incredibly dry skin. 

The last mask, I got purely because it sounded fun to me. I mean - who doesn't love a peel off mask? Especially since this one in particular is a clear gel, and as such spurs nostalgic memories of the junior skill days when everyone would paint PVA glue on their hands to look like they were peeling their skin off. 

As with the moisturising mask, I don't have a picture of this mask on my face as it's totally clear and so you wouldn't be able to see anything. This one's tube actually recommends a thin layer, and I'd have to agree with that - put it on too thick, and the peeling process becomes quite painful. I haven't noticed a massive long term difference with this one, however my skin does look a bit more radiant for a few hours after I use it. As such, I like to use this one in the morning if I'm going somewhere that I want my skin to look nice, but don't want to slap on layers of primers and concealers and foundations. Also a massive pro to this mask is that it smells absolutely amazing. It contains papaya, goji berry and mulberry extracts amongst other things and it smells like a fruit basket or an exotic cocktail. My advice with this would be to make sure you avoid your hair line and eyebrows as it's very difficult and mildly painful to get it out of these areas. 

All of these masks recommend leaving them on your skin for 5-10 minutes, however I've found that 15-20 minutes tends to work better for me personally. The charcoal and moisturising masks are very easily washed away with just a flannel and some warm water. They retail at Boots for £4.99 a tube. Boots do ship internationally to most EU countries and the USA, but unfortunately I don't think these masks are available elsewhere. If you know any different, please leave a comment letting me know and I'll try and link international sellers! 

Happy reading,
Jazz xo

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