Daily rituals are important to me; they’re how I keep my sanity during long periods of boredom and ennui. I drink two cups of coffee in the morning. I have a beer or a cocktail with dinner. I take long hot baths with my favorite bombs and bath salts. I indulge myself in a longer skincare routine. I study Japanese. I go to bed.
The skincare part of my rituals enjoy the most variety. I enjoy trying different concoctions and seeing what they can offer my skin and also how they make me feel. And one of my favorite indulgences is in discovering small-batch skincare that makes me feel good and that delights my skin.
I found Marble & Milkweed back in May, and so far it’s been one of my favorite discoveries of the year. In particular, I am enjoying the green tea mask and the nourishing face balm.
Jasmine Green Tea Mask
The jasmine green tea mask arrives in a powder form, and this is perhaps one of the reasons I enjoy it so much. I have many masks in my collection, most of them ready-to-wear. But sometimes I get to feeling frisky, and I like to concoct my own treats. This powder mask lends itself nicely to that. I can mix it with water or a hydrosol for a very basic (but still very effective) skin treat, or if I’m feeling fancy, I can add honey, a favorite serum, a few drops of oil..the sky’s the limit, really.
Even by itself, though, the mask is a treat. I mix it with a small amount of water in a ceramic bowl. I prefer the mask to be a tiny bit on the watery side, as it is easier to apply and I don’t feel I am wasting anything. I use a painter’s brush I bought from Michael’s for about nine bucks, dip it in the mask, and spread it in even strokes over the skin. I’d usually leave it on for about fifteen minutes before removing with a damp, warm towel.
The results were pretty immediate: my skin took on a…radiance is too strong a word, and glow is so overused as to be nearly meaningless. I noticed a definite brightening, a pinkening, a silky sheen where my skin was a bit lackluster before. In fact, let’s use that word. Luster. My skin had a decided luster that it didn’t have before the treatment.
The smell is not my favorite. Even after using it several times I never really got used to it. And it’s pretty strong, too. It’s not artificial oer perfumey, and it didn’t irritate me even though I can be sensitive to smell. But something worth noting.
It’s a clay mask, and it does dry very tight, which can feel uncomfortable for some. For that reason, I did not apply to my upper lip area, because I didn’t like how it felt. You can mitigate how tight the mask gets by adding emollient ingredients like shea butter or honey, to your mixture. This is the joy of a powder mask!
Nourishing Face Balm
The second product I’m enjoying from Marble & Milkweed is the nourishing face balm. I bought this as a cleansing balm, initially, and while it can be used for that purpose, it doesn’t emulsify. Also, it’s a bit thick and, on account of the beeswax, not as quick to melt on the skin as other balms I’ve tried. So if you want to use this as a cleansing balm, the best way is to ensure the skin is warm before application. Perhaps lay a warm cloth across the face to warm the skin, and then apply the balm. You can use the same cloth to remove the balm once your face is clean.
But perhaps my favorite way to use this balm is at the end of my nightly routine, right after I’ve applied my evening oils. This stuff makes a really nice “sleeping mask”. I am a face sleeper, which is exactly what it sounds like–I smash my face into my pillow to sleep. This usually means that half my product is gone before I even actually fall asleep. But because this stuff has a nice, thick, beeswax base, it doesn’t melt into my sheets nearly as quickly as other balms and occlusives I’ve tried.
This has a very pleasant woodsy-beeswax scent. Not at all overpowering, but if you don’t like beeswax, you won’t like this.
To wear as a sleeping mask, I prefer to apply to moist, cool skin, as I don’t want it to lose its firmness too quickly. I find that it stays on my skin longer, therefore making my skin feel softer in the morning, when I apply it this way.