Pearls & Mud Masks

Pearls & Mud Masks

For the past few weeks, Tyler and I have been settling into our new place and making it home. Luckily the apartment came equipped with all of the basics: furniture, dishes, and even bedding. On our first night, I grabbed a set of clean, crisp, and ironed sheets (it's a thing here). It wasn't until I shook them out that I realized I could see right through the 5-thread count "sheets". Ok, so maybe it sounds ridiculous, but sleeping on them has been awful. I've searched high and low in a number of stores for something better, and I finally struck gold this past weekend with a set of soft, white, beautiful, sleep-inducing linens. It's the little things, right?

On the same day, I also stumbled upon a store which sells bath and beauty products. Needing some lotion, since my travel-sized Jergen's was running on fumes, I popped in and was thrilled with what I came out with. 

The store was called "Stenders" and had all of their products perfectly displayed on large, black floor to ceiling bookshelves. I was immediately drawn to the "Pearl" description on the box. Anything that leaves my skin with a natural, delicate shine, is fine by me. The smell is subtle, also a bonus. There's nothing worse than an overly perfumed lotion.

When I got home, I tore open my bag and with a bit more tact, opened the box only to reveal the most delightful touch of beauty.

The lotion soaks right into my dry skin and leaves it feeling smooth all day. It's too soon to tell you the long-term moisturizing effects, but I'll keep you posted. So far so good.

I couldn't very well leave without some bath oils or "foam" in this case. I love the smell of lavender. When I was little, my dad brought my sister and I each lavender pillows from Provence with our first initial sewed onto it. Since falling asleep to the smell of those delicately dried blossoms for years, I've always found lavender immensely soothing.

This was my best purchase by far. The scent is dreamy and makes bath time utter bliss.

The bubbles piled high and made for the perfect luxuries while I read the Halloween edition Food Network Magazine that I'd brought with me from home and had held off reading until October came. That, a candle, and a cup of tea, I nearly melted into the tub.

Staying with the beauty theme, I have to tell you about these strange looking "rocks" that I have.

It was in the ancient village of Yb where a woman with a mouthful of gold teeth and a scarf wrapped around her head, handed me these curious pebbles. She explained to Tyler, in Russian, that they are hardened clay from the village's forest and that women rub it on their faces to maintain a youthful complexion.  I examined her glowing face and warm smile and promised to give them a try.

I'll be honest, they sat on my bathroom counter for a couple of weeks, before I finally thought, "Why not?" So, after my lavender bath, my pores were ready to be excavated. I wasn't sure if the clay pebbles would completely turn to goo once mixed with water, so I experimented and found that just lightly wetting the clay and rubbing it directly onto my face worked just fine.

Couldn't help feeling a little crazy taking pictures of myself in this state. β†“ 

I kept the clay on my face for 10 minutes until it dried, and then let it sit for five more, for good measure. I could visibly see that something had happened, but whether it was good or bad was yet to be determined.  

I grabbed a washcloth, ran it under some more warm water and slowly, began gently wiping the clay away.

Channeling "Two-Face" β†“

With a clean face, I examined myself in the mirror, eager for a verdict. 

I kid you not, my pores have never been so clean and clear. My nose was where I especially noticed a drastic change. I was thrilled and will be savoring every last drop of this magic clay.  (I even convinced Tyler to give it a go after some nagging on my part and....he loved it! Don't tell anyone.) If I can get my hands on some more, I'll be filling a suitcase with it.