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A few weeks ago, after much online window shopping and deliberating, I found myself replenishing my stocks from Lush over the internet and (quite on impluse) decided to buy a couple of items that Iíd never tried, one of which was their Mask of Magnaminty. Iíd seen it online and in the Preston branch a few times but hadnít tried it out, so I took a gamble.
Lush class it as a cleanser rather than a mask, and it comes in a deceptively small tub so I doubted how many uses Iíd realistically get out of it . . . I usually get around six face-sized applications from 75g of Catastrophe Cosmetic, but that only has to cover my face and I expected this one (at 125g) would last perhaps long enough for three or four back/chest/face coverings.
It looks like a slightly darker mint ice cream green. Iíve heard it described as being like mint ice-cream and it is similar - dull pale mint green with bits (ground aduki beans, apparently - I donít know what these are but theyíre finely ground so the mask doesnít look lumpy or uneven, just grainy), so itís worryingly like a Mr. Whippy consistency mint ice cream might. Unlike with the fresh face masks, I donít think this one has to be kept in the fridge - the best before date is about four months after the ďmade onĒ date, and in the shops it always seems to be on a shelf rather than in the chilled section. I think this is probably a good thing - I reckon it would be more invigoratingly minty if it was chilled before use, but that might result in someone digging into it with a spoon which might not be a great idea! (Incidentally, I reckon one application would equate to just over a tablespoonful, but I just apply it with my fingers.)
I exfoliated first with Lushís Angels on Bare Skin cleanser - which I use almost daily, or daily if I remember to - having a really bad cold at the moment, all of me feels congested including my face (it doesnít look it, but I thought that - for once - Iíd be good and cleanse before using this mask).
I like certain things in a face mask and one of my minimum hopes is that it will be spreadable and moist for long enough for me to cover my face before it dries. This Mask of Magnaminty isnít as ďthickĒ and ďpowderyĒ to the touch as Catastrophe Cosmetic (I noticed in the ingredients list that it does contain honey as well as kaolin and talc, whereas Catastrophe Cosmetic has more ďdry ingredientsĒ like calamine powder and talc, so this might explain it) and I liked the consistency - not so thick that it dried too soon but not so runny that I expected it to drip.
The scrubby bits in it donít feel scratchy when it goes on, actually itís relatively smooth. The main feeling I noticed was a tingly nearly-cold-but-not-quite-cold minty sensation a few moments after applying. I wouldnít say the minty smell was especially overpowering - Iíve currently got a pretty bad cold but I first used this mask before that struck and thought the minty scent was present, but not so strong as to be ďin your faceĒ or eye-watering.
As it dried it felt a little tight, as though it might flake if I yawned (although it didnít) and the colour darkened to a darker (slighly less vibrant) mint shade, so I think ďmaskĒ is a perfect description - I felt like I was wearing one! The cold feeling had all but gone by the dry stage (which the mask reaches within a few minutes, so I suspect leaving a half-used tub open would be a seriously bad idea) - Iíd say this was more of a ďput it on, let it dry, wash it offĒ mask than the ďput it on, lie back in the bath and relax for agesĒ variety, and interestingly applying this before a bath doesnít stop the mask from drying.
Removing it wasnít as hard as I first thought. It seemed to stick firmly, but this turned out to be where the exfoliating side emerged. This effect isnít anything like as rough as sandpaper (although perhaps very sensitive skin would react?) but I found that splashing a bit of warm water over the mask, then rubbing slowly in circular patterns had the effect of both loosening the dry mask and exfoliating gently at the same time. As it was quite firmly stuck when dry, I expected it to take some effort to remove but it comes away quite readliy and - luckily - my other brief initial fear when I first used it (ie. that it might tint my already pale skin green) came to nothing! It didnít feel scratchy at all when I removed it - I had been in two minds about whether to buy it, since my face can be a bit temperamental - but probably the dry consistency counteracted that so that it didnít upset my face because it took quite a bit of rinsing to remove it. Immediately afterwards, my skin felt really soft and smooth but after around five minutes it did seem a little dry (not irritably dry). I didnít use moisturiser, though, and the dryness only seemed temporary. My skin tends to be more dry than oily now but I think this mask might be too much for very sensitive dry skin.
Itís described as a face and back pack, which I think is a great idea - Iíve been after a mask I could use on my back and chest since I stopped seeing the Sanctuary Rasul Mud Mask on the shelves in Boots, and like a few other people, my problem skin areas (ie. my skin seems to think Iím thirteen not twenty-six!) extend to my back and chest. I have used it on my back and chest with similar effects - if I do use it on them Iíve found that itís more practical to apply it, then get in the bath to let it dry and wash it off with the bath water. (Otherwise the whole bathroom gets splashed . . .) I think the best option for use as a back pack would be to get someone to apply it for you - as long as youíre OK with them seeing you turn briefly green!
Iíve used it as a shoulders-chest-and-face mask about four times so far, and thereís still about half of the 125g tub left (costing £4.95) which Iím surprised and impressed by - I think the great thing about Lush products being in tubs (rather than sachets) is that you can get every last little bit out so nothing gets wasted. I can only assume that the larger tub (315g, costing £7.90) would cover face, back and chest about eight times quite generously - Iím only five feet tall, so Iím looking at it from a petite perspective!
I donít think Iíd necessarily buy it if my face was feeling particularly dry or irritable - although a little drying, the Catastrophe Cosmetic mask seems to suit my face better when itís looking aggravated - but even so Iíd definitely consider this as an occasional buy because itís nice just for once to to find a mask that I can use for ďnon-treatmentĒ purposes (the best way I can describe it!) that doesnít irritate me.