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Beauty Obsession: Osmia Organics Detox Mask

I’m always excited to try a new release from Osmia Organics, but truly, few things make me happier than a great facial mask treatment on a weekend afternoon. When that afternoon includes a fresh mask from Osmia plus relaxing with a great book (I just finished this one) and a glass of sparkling water with lemon, there’s almost nothing better.

If you’ve shied away from dry facial masks in the past, this may be the perfect one to try. Yes, it can take a few tries to get just the right ratio of mask to water (start with the mask, and add a tiny amount of water bit by bit), but these dry masks have two big pluses, in my opinion: they last a really long time (if they ever expire), and you control the mixing, so you can customize them to get the perfect consistency for your skin. Plus you can mix up exactly the amount you need, whether you’re doing an all-over mask or just a dab for a spot treatment. —Aleigh

What I tried: Osmia Organics Detox Exfoliating Mask, $50*

First impressions: As with all of the Osmia products I’ve tried, the packaging for this facial mask is simple and beautiful. This new mask is a dry formula and comes in a glass bottle tucked into a small box with a small ceramic bowl and spatula. It’s potent (and pure), with three types of skin-purifying clay and activated bamboo charcoal. If you’ve got troubled or problematic skin—or just feel like your complexion is a bit dull—this mask is a great option, especially because with finely ground walnut shells, it’s also an exfoliator.

What caught me by surprise: Sarah warned me that because this mask does exfoliate and detoxify, my skin might be a little red for 10-15 minutes after I rinsed off the mask. And, frankly, I fully expected this—my skin has been a bit more on the sensitive side lately. (I always slather on a great, soothing facial moisturizer after a facial mask.) But after testing this mask several times, I haven’t experienced redness once. I can absolutely feel the mask tightening up my skin as it dries, and it does offer some great, gentle exfoliation when it’s rinsed off. (Note: when you rinse, move your fingers in a circular motion, gently—don’t scrub!) But my skin is just absolutely glowy post-mask, and it definitely calmed a recent cystic acne bump on my jawline.

Bonus: This mask comes with its own little ceramic bowl and spatula—such a great touch. I’ve been stealing bowls from my kitchen cabinets to mix up my facial masks in the past. No more!

*This product was sent to me for review, but I only write about cosmetics I think are truly worthy of being shared with you. View my full disclosure here, and my review policy here.

(Images via Osmia Organics)

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Bee Lovely: A DIY Honey Facial Mask

I interviewed Julia Compton, the lead esthetician at the Ritz-Carlton Charlotte, for the latest issue of Charlotte Wedding. She shared her favorite at-home treatment for stressed-out skin: a DIY honey facial mask that’s especially good for combating breakouts.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed, my skin definitely shows it. (And planning a wedding? Can definitely be a stress-fest at times.)

Luckily, Julia’s mask is super easy—all you need is a jar of fresh (preferably local) honey, warm water, a couple of bowls, and a towel. Get the details here.

Do you have a favorite DIY facial treatment? Please share! I’d love to try it. —Aleigh

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Beauty Obsession: Cell Stimulating Facial Mask

I like to spend my lazy Saturdays going to the farmers market, doing a little cleaning around the house…and relaxing on the couch for a bit with a great facial mask. (You too?) Anyway, on a whim I snapped up a jar of this great little facial mask from Acure Organics, and I’m so glad I did.

What I tried: Argan Stem Cell + CGF Facial Mask from Acure Organics, $15.99

First impressions: This is luxurious stuff. The texture is really creamy and thick, like a whipped mousse—perfect for slathering. And it has some powerful skin-healing and anti-aging ingredients: Moroccan Argan stem cells, CoQ10, and Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF). Add to that Seabuckthorn Oil for moisture and French Green Clay to draw out impurities and cleanse your skin, and you have a recipe for a soothing, healing facial mask that feels just as amazing as it sounds.

What caught me by surprise: It smells (lightly) minty! At first I thought perhaps the CGF smells like mint, but after a quick study of the ingredients list, I spotted a sage and spearmint essential oil blend. Mystery solved.

Bonus: I can absolutely tell an immediate difference in my skin after a session with this stuff. My face feels smoother, softer, and healthier. And it doesn’t feel uncomfortably tight or itchy as it dries.

Do you use facial masks? What’s your favorite? —Aleigh

(Image via Acure Organics)

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Beauty Obsession: Neom Organics

One of my favorite ways to decompress and de-stress is through aromatherapy–specifically, aromatherapy in the bath. When we bought our little 1930s bungalow a few years ago, one of the biggest selling points for me was the huge, jetted tub in the master bathroom. My soak-and-decompress strategy usually includes a lovely bath oil (I really like this lavender bath oil from Dr. Hauschka), a facial mask (lately I’ve been using my Una Biologicals facial masque or my Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai & Goji Berry mask from Pangea Organics), and at least one candle for aromatherapy and ambience.

A few weeks ago, O&N Collective sent me a sample* of the Neom Organics Complete Bliss Candle to try out, and I’ve been happily burning it throughout the house–while I’m watching television, in the bedroom while I’m folding laundry (ugh) and finally in the bathroom while I treated myself to a bath!

What I tried: Neom Organics Complete Bliss Candle. I have the travel size ($21), but there’s also a larger home size ($60). These candles are made with 100% vegetable wax—not paraffin, which can release icky chemicals like toluene and benzene as it burns. Add a lead-free paper/cotton-blend wick and there’s no black soot when you burn the candle.

First impressions: My little candle came packaged beautifully (in a recyclable box), and I like that the glass container can be recycled as well. The light rose scent (made with a natural essential oil) is delicate, but powerful enough that it permeates the room. For hours after blowing out the candle, I could still smell it.

What caught me by surprise: This is an important one. I get the occasional migraine, and harsh/strong scents are a big trigger for me. (You should see me trying to navigate a mall…I have to hold my breath when I walk by Bath & Body Works or Abercrombie & Fitch. It’s kind of hilarious.) I can happily say that I’ve burned this candle for several hours with zero migraines.

Plus, I like that my Neom candle doesn’t contain any binders to adhere the candle to the container, so you’ll eventually use up every last drop of wax. So many candles become impossible to burn after a while because there’s so much wax left on the sides of the container that you can’t reach the wick at the bottom. Wasteful.

Bonus: I love that the sustainable beauty apothecary who sent me this sample, O&N Collective, is based in Burlington, N.C. We’re practically neighbors!

I’ve been burning my candle as I’ve been writing this–time to go blow it out and start the rest of my day. What’s your latest beauty obsession?

Want to read about more of my beauty obsessions? Here’s where you can find them.

(Photo credits: Top, via O&N Collective; Bottom, my Neom candle burning in my living room.)

*Disclosure: This candle was sent to me for review, but I only write about the products that are truly worthy of being shared with you. View my full disclosure here
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