When life gets stressful, skincare makes me happy

The end of last year and the start of this year haven't been the greatest of months. There has been a lot of difficult things happening in my family and work has become quite stressful. That's not to say there haven't been some really great times recently, there have been! Charlie and I tucked ourselves away at a luxury hotel in Dublin for a little valentines trip, which you can read about here. And having that time away from all the stresses of life reminded me of how important it is to take a break and give ourselves a little relaxation. Before Dublin I felt incredibly guilty taking some time to myself with everything that has been going on. I even felt guilty for spending the morning getting my hair done! Which at the time felt entirely rational, I was selfishly doing something for me rather than thinking about the people in my family that are going through some tough shit right now. It wasn't until we were in Dublin, and I felt the world was off my shoulders, that I realised taking time for yourself isn't selfish. If you're not feeling good, how can you be strong for those that need you? 

Since our little trip, I've stopped guilt tripping myself for taking time out to relax and look out for myself. And it got me thinking that making regular time to sit and just be me might be a good thing. So I headed to boots for some of my favourite relaxation tools - face masks!! With my make up drawers now well stocked, I don't need to feel guilty taking half an hour to myself.

Face masks are perfect to relax with at this time of year. Let's be honest, on top of anything else going on in our lives, November through February is not a good time for our skin. The cold weather and lack of sunshine doesn't tend to give you fresh bright skin. And having well looked after skin definitely makes me feel better when life's a little tough. I've been throwing myself into relaxing, and keeping my skin healthy and bright, and these are the a selection of my favourite face masks.
I think I find face makes so relaxing because they remind me how much I enjoy beauty. But they also remind me how badly my skin needs to be looked after. I'm currently obsessed with the Korean sheet masks - I have a bit of a compulsion for buying them now, is anyone else? I think they're just brilliant, no more awkward application, and I think they actually  hydrate my face far better than any traditional cream or serum based face mask. Of the ones I've tried, my top four favourite brands Garnier, FACEINC, MaskerAide, and Boots all absolutely nail the skin saving sheet face mask. First up, the FACEINC  by Nails Inc Cat Nap mask. I'll be honest, I bought this mask for the cat part. I'm a cat person what can I say.
Sadly this mask didn't make my kitty cats want to come for a cuddle with me. But it did make me smile. From the packaging, to the actual face mask, to the smell. Everything about this mask made me smile. Which doesn't help the wrinkles I've started developing round my eyes but you know what, if they're wrinkles from smiling then who cares! (God did I just say that?) Nailsinc nail polish is fantastic, and a strong mid level product. Not the most crazy expensive, but not your normal nail polish from the make up area in boots. As with the nail polish, this mask is a little pricier but definitely worth that little bit extra. This was another brightening mask (most of the masks in this post are brightening, and I think thats a reflection of how I've been feeling recently) and my skin glowed after this mask. Glowed. Like a beaming pregnant lady, just without the impending responsibility of a baby! I wish I could use this mask all the time, it was a bit of a dream to use to be honest. But I like to try new things, so I made sure to stock up on other brands too. 
Boot's Ingredients have brought out a large range of sheet face masks made in Korea, and I had a hard time choosing which ones to stock my face mask drawer with - but I eventually settled on the Lotus Flower & Tiger Lily one which promises radiant and bright skin. And what a perfect choice this one was! This face mask smelled absolutely incredible. I would love it if my room could always smell of this! It reminded me of the flowers in the hotel I stayed in when I went to Thailand years ago. It brought back memories of a beautiful country and a really wonderful trip. After 20 minutes with this gorgeous mask on, my skin was so bright and plump. The next morning when I put my make up on for work, my foundation went on so much better than I think it ever has! I'd never quite appreciated what a difference moisturised skin makes with make up. 
Another favourite, and frequent staple in my make up drawers is Garnier's Skin Active Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask. This mask is part of a full range that contains Hylouronic acid, which I recently found is used to treat damaged knees to re-moisturise the joint (thank you great Auntie Pam!). It freaked me out a little, but if it's used medically it can't be bad for you surely? Anyway this mask is incredible. It's actually the cheapest of them all at just £1 and I even convinced Charlie to have a face mask date with me over FaceTime with these masks. Even he felt the softening benefit of these masks, even if he laughed the whole time we were trying them over FaceTime! There is so much serum on the fabric mask that it's a bit difficult to get on your face, but once its on it works its magic and voila - perfect skin. Genuinely,  this mask gives you utterly glorious skin. It smells rather lovely too. 
My last face mask treat is Masker Aide Pre Party Prep. I ordered a bunch of these from ASOS a while ago and I recently saw them in Marks & Spencer's. Pretty sure they're sold in Selfridges too. I was a bit apprehensive, as its a brand I had never heard of and my skin can be extremely sensitive. I get nervous using different bath products or laundry detergents. I shouldn't have been nervous for trying these face masks though. They use natural ingredients, smell divine, and left my skin so very soft. No redness, no stinging, just really healthy looking skin. I was so impressed! This mask was nice to relax to, but this mask is perfect for part of your pre-make up routine! However, on ASOS at least, these masks were quite pricy compared to the others at £8!!! Do I think they're 8 times better than the Garnier mask? Maybe not. But I love trying new things and new brands, so if you're looking for a skin care range you've never tried I would definitely recommend checking out Masker Aide!

I've turned a new leave recently in terms of looking after myself. And whilst you wills always sacrifice your wellbeing to help those you care about, you'll be more helpful to them if you're in a good place yourself. It can be something as simple as taking 20 minutes to have a face mask, or taking a weekend to go away somewhere special. But taking the time to have a little rest and relaxation for yourself can do you the world of good. Swapping stress for happiness is something I definitely plan on doing more of this year. Even if life throws a couple of curve balls at us. 

How important is relaxation? What do you do to keep yourself healthy when you're going through a tough time?

1 comment

  1. Ahhh your photos are so pretty! I would love to try more masks but I'm scared of my skin not liking them and my face turning all blotchy and swollen >< such a cute collection, I love your blog! :D xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara
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