I woke up with brand new skin today.  It was a congested, sensitive mess yesterday, with rough scaly bits and bumps everywhere.  Tight, dehydrated and dull as dog shit.  Today it is smooth as bro, thanks to some good old Kiwi lovin’.

I’m staying at Mum and Dad’s for a few days while Husbo is in the Land of the Long White Cloud, so I took the opportunity to book in for a facial with my life long friend and beauty therapist, Katie.  Unfortunately she fell ill with a chest infection (get well soon gal pal), and couldn’t fix my cranky bitch of a face.  I was desperate for a treatment, but didn’t want to see anyone else, so I decided an at-home facial was the next best thing.  I wouldn’t get the pampering or the girly chats, and my DIY job would not give me the results of a professional treatment, but with limited time and a tight budget (we are getting a pool and air con for Christmas, woo hoo!), it was my only choice.  With nothing suitable available at the health food store, I made my way to the trusty aisles of Priceline.

 You know I have a special place in my heart for New Zealand and stuff that comes from there, so it was with absolute pleasure that I treated myself to some Kiwi face masks to heal my suffering skin.  Antipodes is just a given when it comes to effective organic skin care, and their Aura Manuka Honey Mask has been on my wish list for ages…I just needed to smell it.  I like to leave my hydrating masks on overnight, so I have to be sure it’s not going to stink up my bed and keep me awake.  With the smell test passed, the ingredient list approved, and the whole Antipodes range on sale, I excitedly grabbed myself a tube.  I just needed something to either exfoliate or deep cleanse my bumpy face.

Many natural and cruelty free brands are lacking when it comes to non-abrasive exfoliation, especially in the ‘affordable’ price bracket.  I know I could get exactly what I needed from Mecca, but I’m under strict budgetty instructions not to spend too much until we pay off the pool – this bloody pool better be the best thing ever and at least give me a sweet tan or a pool boy pony to play with.  Anyway, the brands available at Pricey only offer a scrub (did somebody say ‘red raw’ and ‘making it worse’?), so a deep cleanse was my only other option. Clay masks are mostly formulated for oily and combination skin, and although I don’t shine bright like a diamond anymore, I do get a bit blackheady around my nose and congesty on my forehead and cheeks – wow, don’t I sound sexy?  However, having had a great experience with the Milk & Co clay mask, I don’t discount them as an option, even if the descriptions sound like they’re gonna strip my face of all its goodness and leave me looking like an extra from The Walking Dead.  If they have some moisturising ingredients stuffed in there somewhere alongside the kaolin clay, then they are usually pretty sweet.

I bought one from a new little Kiwi brand called Moreish.  It has argan oil and manuka honey in it, so it does more than just suck the crap out of your face – it puts lovely stuff back in.  It’s also one of the very few products I’ve tried that properly tightens your pores and makes them appear smaller, without drying out your skin.  I was pretty amazed by the immediate smoothing effect it had on my skin, and I think it will be my new special occasion skin prepping mask.  The product itself is fantastic, but I also think that some of the smoothness came from the fact that I used a face washer to remove it, which gave me a very gentle, but effective exfoliation.  I was really into using face washers a while back, but because I’m a complete domestic failure, my lovely white ones all went a bit scuzzy and too gross to use.  I now clean couch and carpet stains with them.  I have since discovered that the charcoal coloured, cheap as shit ones from Woolies, do just as good a job and you don’t have to know what bleach is, to be worthy of their ownership.

Back to the products though…so the Emergence Clay Mask from Moreish is a dead set winner, prepping the skin beautifully for night creams, serums, facial oils or hydrating masks.  The Antipodes Aura Mask is loaded with manuka honey and antioxidants, making it an antibacterial and hydrating machine.  Although it is intended to be washed off after 15 minutes, I left it on overnight #rebel.  I wanted it more for it’s nourishing and moisturising benefits, so I figured I might as well leave it on for as long as I could.  I was right to rebel, as my skin feels absolutely amazing today, and a new skincare obsession has been born.  Using the mask for cleansing purposes has me intrigued, so I’ll be giving that a crack too.

That salon facial is still high on my things to do list, but if I can get my skin into a bit better condition in the meantime with these lovely products, then why the hell wouldn’t I?  If you are time poor or just a bit money poor, and can’t make it to the salon, then I would thoroughly recommend you try these wonderful masks.  If you’re lucky enough to go for regular facials, then this little routine would be excellent to maintain your professional results in between visits.  Fabulous for the party and sun worshiping season too, as you’ll get a great detox and replenish.  You could even drink cocktails while having your at-home facial, just be sure to add some antioxidant rich fruits to your boozy concoctions and lush about guilt free.  Cheers!

Kind Beauty Points : Cruelty free, eco friendly, natural.