I’ve become a true mask enthusiast over the last few years. I love the variations you find in natural skincare and the range of purposes they serve. Most of the masks I use are a blend of clays, spices, and herbs that give me the classic mud-mask look. (Think Osmia or May Lindstrom.) Let’s just say I don’t walk out of the house to get the mail in one of these masks. Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask, which dries to a clear paper-thin finish, is a total departure from many of the masks I use. It’s what I grab when I want a gentle, nourishing treatment that also packs a pore cleansing punch.
Tata Harper recently launched a limited edition, seasonal version of this cult classic—the Wild Plum Resurfacing Mask. So which one should you try?
Let me tell you a little about both. The main active ingredients in the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask are aloe vera, white willow bark extract, pink clay, pomegranate enzymes, beet extract, and witch hazel. Lots to love there, right? This combination hydrates, repairs, exfoliates, calms redness, and prevent breakouts. The Wild Plum Resurfacing Mask builds off the stellar ingredient list of the original with a seasonal twist—wild plum blossom extract, of course! Plucked from a small organic farm in Missouri, the wild plum blossoms were harvested and distilled on the same day. This special ingredient is a natural humectant that provides intense hydration and helps plump the skin. In addition, the pink clay from the original is replaced by purple French clay that’s high in minerals like magnesium to help detoxify pores without stripping the skin.
Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask is recommended for all skin types, once a week, for oil and blemish control. Though I don’t really have blemishes to treat, it really brightens my skin tone, calms the redness I’m prone to, and minimizes my pores. The Resurfacing Mask is so gentle and weightless that when I first tried it, I wasn’t convinced it was going to perform. Wrong! I love the way my skin looks afterward. Seriously, I used this while visiting my grandmother, and the first moment she saw me—without even knowing I’d just used this mask—she put her hands to her cheeks and declared, “Oh your skin looks so pretty!” Now that’s instant results!
Both masks are the gentlest I’ve ever used. They share a unique jelly-like texture that is soothing. It doesn’t cause your face to tighten very much when it dries, so it’s comfortable to wear for a long period of time. In fact, I practically forget I have it on. You’re supposed to smear on a thick layer and let it rest for 20-30 minutes, but I always go longer than that. It can also be used as a spot treatment overnight. I like to rinse the mask off in the shower, damping my face a bit and massaging the mask back into its original gel texture. Then I let it sit some more while I do my thing in the shower. It rinses clean, and you’re left with a baby soft, glowing face.
The Wild Plum Resurfacing Mask is said to deliver the benefits of a glycolic peel without the redness, irritation, or downtime. Does it? Indeed. While the Wild Plum Resurfacing Mask has the same resurfacing and oil-controlling results as the original, it is definitely more hydrating. Since it doesn’t pull at my skin at all, I can sleep in it all night without noticing. I’d recommend it for anyone, especially during cold weather, but I’d recommend it for those with dry skin over the original Resurfacing Mask. The same seasonal ingredients that give the Wild Plum Resurfacing Mask its potency also make it a very limited edition release. Only 600 masks were produced!
If you want to scoop one up, perhaps you should wait until Friday and check back with us for a little Tata Harper surprise, hint hint.
We are all about women helping women, especially when it comes making smart decisions in love. How many times have you cried your broken heart out on a girlfriend’s shoulder or warned a bestie that the dude she’s into is, well, just not the best choice? Thanks to technology, you may be able to sidestep trouble in love more easily than ever. There’s an article in the New York Times this week about a new app for women that takes love advice to the next level by harnessing the power of social network.
The app is called Lulu and it was created as a private network to give women a place to share their honest opinions about the guys they know or have dated.
Lulu is supposed to help women make smarter decisions about dating by helping you figure out, all in a sisterly spirit, whether your crush is #TrustWorthy or a #ManChild. I love this concept. Lulu aims to empower women in the dating game. It may also encourage men to be on their best behavior. Here’s a quote from the NY Times article that resonates with me:
“The thing that drew me to Lulu was that dating without a reference is the scariest thing you can do. Meeting someone out in the world when you’re not in school or don’t work with each other or have mutual friends — you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.”
So very true. So how does it work? Lulu describes their reviews like a Cosmo quiz. To create a review, women answer multiple-choice questions about a guy’s sense of humor, manners, ambition, commitment level, and appearance. Reviews are always anonymous. Women can rate men in categories—ex-boyfriend, crush, together, hooked-up, friend or relative. Pink hashtags are used to describe a man’s profile, ranging from the good (#KinkyInTheRightWays) to the bad (#NeverSleepsOver) to the ugly (#PornEducated). Lulu then creates a score from 1 to 10 that appears under the man’s profile picture.
What’s your take? Is Lulu something you would use?
P.S. Lest you think this puts men at risk of false reporting from, say, a psycho ex, Lulu has built in protections to prevent abuse. For example, Lulu is friends only. Guys can only be seen and reviewed by their female Facebook friends. If they don’t want to be reviewed, they can have their profile removed immediately.
Do you use an eye cream or serum? For a long time I’ve just used whatever goes on my face for my under eye area, too. Usually, this is an oil of some type. I’m such an ardent fan of oils that I have trouble committing to one, and I definitely have trouble not purchasing new oils that catch my eye. Oils to me are like shoes to other women. There is always a reason to have another pair (or bottle). I use them on my face and body and hardly ever touch anything else. This has largely been perfect for my skin.
Yet, every now and then I look closely in the mirror and see things that make me dash off in search of an eye cream. Oh vanity.
I’ve tried some lovely products with sophisticated and pure ingredient lists, but nothing has been noticeably more effective than the oils I use on my face, so I’m left thinking—why bother with two steps? I’ve never repurchased a single eye product. Have you? I just started using a new eye cream, one that I’m loving so far in terms of texture and scent. If it seems worth it, I’ll be sure to let you know.
So what’s your position on eye creams or serums? Love them? Hate them? Don’t care? Tell us!
Gluten allergies are scary, but it’s also just plain inconvenient for those poor souls who can’t handle gluten. Just last night I had the pleasure of having dinner with Siobhan. Don’t be jelly, but it wasn’t just any dinner. It was a special treat courtesy of the lovely Tata Harper. We were invited to a farm-to-table dinner by the farm-to-bottle skincare line we love so much to celebrate the launch of the Tata Harper Limited Edition Wild Plum Resurfacing Mask… more on that mask later; for now let’s talk gluten.
While we were chatting away about the makeup I splurged on at ABC Home minutes before dinner (while in New York, gotta get my fix) this gorgeous salad appears before us featuring napa cabbage, baby beets, thumbelina carrots and crispy croutons. Shoot. Siobhan can’t take gluten! Oh but wait… this isn’t bread… it’s crispy tofu croutons! Hooray! But seriously, despite our deepest wishes, we can’t be treated to conscientious dinners by Chef Daphne Cheng everyday, and we certainly can’t count on our skincare products to be gluten free.
One of our readers recently wrote in seeking advice about gluten free products. Our very own Rebecca won’t touch anything with gluten, but you might not even know it considering the wide variety of products she’s reviewed for No More Dirty Looks. While it might take a little research, there are some pretty fabulous non-toxic beauty products for those who must also forgo gluten. We know you all will have some thoughts on this, and so did our reader Meghan. She specifically asked us to pitch her question to you! Here’s Meghan:
I have recently realized that my Celiac Disease stretches out to my skin (duh!). Whenever I use products with gluten, I get flaky and dry. It’s really difficult to find the best gluten free and healthy products out there. I have just received a sample of Intelligent Nutrients shampoo, which is exciting, but I wonder what else you or your readers recommend for the best gluten free products?
Ok, friends—go! Tell us what gluten-free products you love and we promise to tell you what we think of the new Plum Resurfacing Mask, ASAP.
Name: Susannah Compton
Where I live: Washington, D.C.
My relationship with makeup: Complicated. I grew up in an area of the country (Texas and Oklahoma) where women wear a lot of makeup from a very young age. I remember a time when I wouldn’t be caught dead without mascara on my pale lashes. I’ve been on the east coast for nearly a decade now, where women have a very different relationship with makeup. I’ve worked with many women here who never wear it. I’ve reached a point where I’m very comfortable leaving the house bare-faced, but I love the clean, natural stuff I’ve discovered so much that I don’t want to be without some of it. I’m terrible at applying eye makeup, so I experiment more with my cheeks and most with my lips. I’ve always been drawn to the natural, beach babe look—glowing, minimal color in just the right places.
Here’s what’s currently in my makeup bag:
Complexion and SPF Protection: I use either Juice Beauty CC Cream (haven’t we said it all about this baby?) or Jane Iredale PurePressed Mineral Foundation in Warm Sienna. Both contain sunscreen. The Jane Iredale PurePressed Mineral Foundation is a bit more polished looking with better coverage, though not heavy. The color match is great for me and there are a lot of options. Before buying, I called Jane Iredale’s customer service and their lovely representative helped me select a few possible color matches and then sent me samples to try before deciding which to purchase. Amazing! For perfect coverage, I apply it with the flocked sponge, sold separately but completely worth it. Setting the foundation with a hydrosol brings the finish to life, and it lasts all day.
Concealer: Sometimes I’m all like, yeah I’m gonna rock the dark circles under my eyes like it’s heroin chic and I don’t give a hoot…but really…I just look tired. I have mixed feelings about concealer. The thing is, I kind of want to break up with concealer altogether. I only need it under my eyes, but even my favorites settle into fine lines (looking at you RMS). More and more, wearing concealer just looks too obvious. Does anyone else feel this way? For now, I’m just dipping a small brush into Alima Pure Mineral Concealer in Sand, tapping off the excess powder, and swiping it directly under my lower lash line where my eyes are particularly red. It’s too dry of a look for the entire under eye area, but this little trick alone has done wonders to brighten my eyes.
Cheek Color: A few months ago I started using the ILIA multi-stick in tenderly. This pale pink is the most flattering shade of blush I’ve ever used, period. It’s the perfect tone—not too cool, not too warm. It looks incredibly natural on, and it lasts for most of the day. During the recent NMDL + Nubonau promotion I bought the new RMS Buriti Bronzer, but I regretted the purchase almost immediately. Cream bronzer? What was I thinking? When I opened the pot to find a color that looked more mauve than bronze, I felt certain it was a bad purchase. But then I tried it on. Hello new favorite thing in my makeup bag! The Buriti Bronzer gives the most natural sun-kissed glow. It blends in effortlessly, even on top of powder. Tenderly + Buriti together are a pretty magical combination.
Eyeshadow: Most often, I swipe some RMS in Solar on my lids and call it a day. This is the one RMS eyeshadow that stays put. I’m not sure why, but the texture is less oily than the others. I have big blue eyes, which sounds good on paper, but since they are such a prominent feature, it’s actually awkward to apply eye makeup without looking way overdone. Or perhaps it’s just that I never learned to create a “look” with eye makeup. Smoky eye? More like black eye.
Mascara: The good news—I found a clean mascara that performs like a dirty mascara on my lashes: Pure Anada Natural Mascara. It volumizes for real and lasts all day, no flakes or smudges. Seriously, this is the best clean mascara I’ve tried. The bad news—I’m really hooked on a dirty mascara: Clinique Lash Power Mascara. This is one of those “tubing” mascaras that looks fresh all day long, but the thing that keeps me coming back for more is the way it washes off. With warm water, it slides off your lashes in little strips rather than smearing all over your eye area like other mascaras. This means I don’t have to tug at delicate skin to remove all traces of makeup.
Lip color: Lately, my favorites are Tata Harper’s Be Adored tinted lip treatment, W3LL People Nudist Colorbalm Stick in #1, and ILIA Beauty lip gloss in Gypsy. Have you tried Tata Harper’s lip treatments? I love Be Adored for its effortless application, incredible moisture, and perfect rosy tint. It’s plumping and anti-aging, plus it leaves a nice stain of color that lasts. W3LL People’s Nudist #1 is a more subtle coral color that is hydrating and provides a barely-there, my lips but better look. ILIA’s lip gloss in Gypsy is very on trend this fall, but this one takes more effort. It’s a lovely deep color, and it isn’t sticky like some lip glosses. However, it’s so glossy that it tends to bleed. To help control the application and boost the color, I like to apply it over DeVita absolute LIPS in Sanguine Angel. I’ve been impressed with DeVita’s lipstick. Though I’ve only tried one, the texture, wear, and color are fantastic.
Etc: There are two things I also consider essential in my makeup bad—a natural perfume and a mutli-purpose balm. I am madly in love with Tsi-La Organics Kesu Perfume Oil. It’s warm and seductive, plus the tiny roll-on bottle travels well without leaking. My go-to balm is Badger Organic Baby Balm with Chamomile and Calendula. This stuff makes a killer lip balm and soothes any dry spot on your body. Plus, the scent of chamomile is so relaxing.
That’s it! Now, anyone want to teach me how to apply eyeshadow?