Let me preface this by stating that I was one of the fortunate ones.
Even though my Manhattan apartment didn’t lose electricity, water, or heat during Sandy, I was stuck in the house for four straight days with nothing to do but write (deadlines, deadlines, deadlines!), so of course I fucked all the way off and decided to turn my cabin fever into a little cosmetic "me" time.
I scrubbed my elbows, shoulders, knees and heels, painted my fingernails and toenails (blue and red, respectively), washed and deep-conditioned my hair (twice!), arched my eyebrows, shaved my pits and stems, snatched my snatch (and blowhole), and clarified my face with mud. (Not actual mud-mud, a mud mask!)
Thankfully my skin type is normal, but I do have an ever-so-slight T-zone (which is the ultimate beauty bane of my existence). As a result, I like to strip away of every single trace of excess sebum, so I tend to gravitate toward products that are earmarked for oily skin, like Ahava’s Purifying Mud Mask ($31 at AhavaUS.com). It helps dredge up every bit of ickiness festering deep within your pores, in a cleanse-your-skin-from-the-inside-out sort of way.
As for my mini mud facial process, here's what I do:
Step 1: Brush, brush, brush.
I start every morning (along with every DIY beauty treatment) with my Clarisonic brush. I'm sure you all know this by now, but I'm what you might call a pimple-phobe, so I use acne face washes (even though I don't have acne) -- with Clarisonic's new Acne Brush Head ($25 at Clarisonic.com). Its bristles are softer and gentler than their other offerings (but just as effective); it's perfect for those of you with sensitive and easily inflamed skin.
Step 2: Slather on the mud, nice and thick.
I hate getting my fingers dirty (especially after I just polished them), so I like to paint my face masks and peels on with makeup brushes. (I have so many!)
I prefer to use a dense liquid foundation brush. They're big enough to cover my face with minimal effort (lazy chicks stand up!), but the curved bristle tips are small enough for me to be able to easily coat the smaller crevices of my face (like around my nostrils and eye sockets). Seriously -- try it, even if it's just with your face lotion. It's a simple pampering step that feels like a little bit of luxury.
Step 3: Wipe me down! (Like Lil Boosie.)
I'm not a fan of washing with a regular cotton washcloth, but I'm all about specialized bacteria-resistant cleansing cloths, like Dermalogica's The Sponge Cloth ($15 at Ulta.com). I dampen it with piping hot water, wring it out, place it over my face and wipe everything off in one big downward motion, rinse and repeat until every single trace of the mask is gone.
That's it! As I stated before, it's a clarifying mask, so it helps pull up gunk that's buried deep in your pores. Translation: Don't be alarmed if a few whiteheads surface three or four days later. Trust me -- that's a good thing!
Do any of you use mud masks? Which one is your favorite?
(Tell me on Twitter: @IndiaJewelJax!)