Monday, 2 February 2015

Currently Obsessed: May Lindstrom the Problem Solver Mask

Happy February, everyone! If you're been following the blog recently, you'll know that I've been a bit crazed for natural skin care, particularly items with a bit of a luxurious touch. Today I'm singing the praises of a mask that's actually been in my stash for several months (you can see it packaged all nicely, here), but have been waiting to review. I wanted to make sure I gave this product a thorough test before sharing my thoughts, as it is silly expensive. I needed the initial infatuation to wear off and wanted to make sure that if I was recommending a $100 mask (yes, really), that it was backed by the results of several uses. So finally, here it is- the incredible, sensual, ultra muddy May Lindstrom The Problem Solver Correcting Masque!


For those who aren't familiar with the brand, May Lindstrom is an American model-turned-"skin chef" who hand-crafts her products in small batches directly from her home with the help of a small, passionate team. Her goodies are designed to be ultra effective, while maintaining unique elegant textures that are an utter pleasure to use. She includes ingredients that are organic, wild-harvested, sustainable, and nutrient-rich. Each product is free from fillers, chemicals, GMOs, parabens, sulfates, silicones, pesticides, and a host of other potentially harmful additives. The line is also cruelty-free. Overall, the brand focuses on indulgence, self-care, and embracing the healing properties that nature has to offer.

As with all May Lindstrom products, The Problem Solver comes housed in a weighty violet-black glass jar with beautiful gold detailing. The mask has the moniker of "Hero. Over-achiever. Superstar." and is aimed at purifying the skin, tightening pores, soothing inflammation, combatting and healing blemishes, encouraging circulation, and detoxifying. Quite the list to live up to! It is rich with antioxidant-packed ingredients, including cacao, bamboo charcoal, soil nutrients, and exotic spices. Luxurious indeed! Here is a full list of ingredients (from maylindstrom.com):



Unlike the  majority of masks on the market, The Problem Solver comes in powder form. This format has the benefit of not requiring excessive preservatives and also allows you to activate each dose individually. In its powdered state, the mask is a medium brownish grey with a light, blended texture. 


The instructions for the mask are as follows:


"Activate a tablespoon of powder formula with equal parts water in [a] bowl, blending to form a soft mousse. Massage over skin and relax. Treatment time is 45 minutes (or until fully dry). Expect a slightly hot and tingly sensation. Rinse and follow with [a serum or moisturizer]" (from maylindstrom.com)

I find that a full tablespoon creates way too much for one use, so in the spirit of being efficient, I use about a teaspoon's worth. I prefer to mix the mask in a little bowl, as doing so in the palm of your hand can get messy, wasting product. You can buy hand-crafted bowls and brushes from the brand for this purpose, but for now, a plastic bowl and kitchen spoon work just fine!

Here are some photos demonstrating the magical transformation of this mask as water is blended in. 






As you can see, the end result is a dark-brown mousse-like concoction that could easily pass as an exotic chocolate pudding. It also begins to bubble gently as it blends and activates, which is quite the fun effect!

Here is The Problem Solver just after initial application. I look like a true muddy monster! With heavier application, the mask takes on a jet black hue, and with a thinner layer, more of a cinnamon colour. 


About a minute after smoothing on, you begin to notice the heat. As promised, I do experience quite a notable warming and tingling sensation which was mildly uncomfortable the first time I used it, but that now feels rather therapeutic (not that I know the burning does not signify skin irritation). At this thickness, the mask dries in about 20-25 minutes, but I usually leave the mask on for at least half an hour, as I like scaring my boyfriend and kitty (ha!) and I hate having to wash away the spicy, earthy, chocolately scent. 

By the time the mask is dry, it takes on an almost greenish hue, which is admittedly not as cute as the original look. It does dry quite tight, making exaggerated facial expressions quite impossible (see blank stare below):


During my first use, I was convinced that the initial burning and eventual tightness was a sure signal that my skin was being irritated, reddened, and dehydrated. Fortunately, this has not been the case! Removing the mask does take a bit of a scrub (more or less depending on how much water and patience you muster), but after all traces are removed, by skin is left looking fresh, even, clean, and glowing. Not hints of irritation, redness, or flakiness in sight! 

Here is a shot of me, just moments after removing the mask. My skin always has a touch of redness to it (particularly post-acne marks), but you can see that my skin generally looks quite calm and radiant. I was so pleasantly surprised the first time around and have experienced these same impressive results ever since!


Clearly I love this mask, but here is a full breakdown of the ups and downs of this luxurious product:

Pros:
  • Packed with beautiful organic, activating, food-grade ingredients
  • Such a pleasureful, unique experience to use- the bubbling effect upon mixing is so much fun!
  • For anyone who loves spicy, earthy, chocolatey scents, you'll want to eat this up
  • Gives a therapeutic warmth and tingle that signifies the ingredients are working their magic
  • Despite the burning, this has never irritated my skin- my complexion is always left calm and even
  • This definitely is a great radiance-booster- it always gives me an amazing glow!
  • Leaves my skin smooth, soft, and balanced
  • Beautiful, weighty, elegant packaging
  • Cruelty-free and free from harsh, chemical, artificial ingredients
  • Perfect for looking like a deep sea monster and otherwise scaring your significant other
Cons:
  • Yeah, the price. No way around it, this is $100 CAD
  • Some of you might not appreciate the warming sensation or the way the mask dries tightly
  • The mask doesn't leave skin feeling particularly hydrated, though this isn't one of the mask's claims
  • The mixing process can be a bit messy.

Overall (assault on my wallet aside), I am so incredibly happy with this mask. There were a few reasons why this might have been a disaster on my sensitive skin (e.g., activating spices, drying clays). but The Problem Solver has left my skin nothing but calm, even, and happy. The ingredients are beautiful, the scent is intoxicating, and it's such a pleasure to use! Truly a pampering treat. This joy of use combined with the ethical mantra of the brand will certainly have me coming back for more. I am already using and loving the Jasmine Garden face mist and am currently sampling the Blue Cocoon, which is truly calming and luxurious. Again, aside from the steep cost, I truly have nothing bad to say about my experience with May Lindstrom so far!

Is this mask something you'd be tempted to try? Have you sampled anything from May Lindstrom? What's your favourite face mask at the moment?

Thanks for stopping by! xo

27 comments:

  1. I love this type of deep cleansing mask and throw in the heating properties and you have me sold! That price is really steep, but if you only use a teaspoon each time, it may actually not be that bad since it would last forever.

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    1. It really will last forever! A little goes a long way, and because of the powder formula, it will age much more slowly than a typical cream mask.

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  2. This is interesting - I agree the price is a little steep. It reminds me of Kate Sommerville products actually which also have sort of a stingy sensation.

    - Deniz
    www.dressedupdeniz.com

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  3. Ouch! That would really put a hole in your wallet! I'm not keen on the DIY aspect of it, though. I'm just lazy!

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    1. I actually find the DIY aspect pretty fun- watching the mask bubble up is like a science experiment :)

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  4. I'm always looking for a good mask! I will have to try it!

    http://www.lifeofbrookeandjane.blogspot.com

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  5. I honestly love the sounds of this mask but ouch! CAD100 is no joke, that's a serious blow to my wallet.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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    1. Yeah, a serious splurge for sure! But I justify it as it's unique, effective, and will last forever :)

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  6. This mask sounds really fun, but I just can't even begin to think about it at that price! You'd think they'd mix the mask for you if you pay that much :P x

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  7. I've always wanted to try this one, but I'm too scared too as my skin is so extra sensitive these days. Maybe some day! I'm glad it works so well for you!

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    1. I was actually so surprised at how this didn't irritate my skin, especially in light of the warming sensation. Definitely worth snagging a sample :)

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  8. Good to know!! Good tips!

    www.nissimendes.ch

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  9. I think the pros may out way the price a little haha. Hey if it works it works right? Its cheaper to buy something that will work instead of wasting money on ones that dont :)

    http://floralsandsmiles.blogspot.ca/
    twitter.com/floralandsmiles

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  10. Ever since you mentioned this mask on Twitter, I've been intrigued! Was ogling the fancy packaging when I was at Husk, and I have to say, I AM TEMPTED TO SPLURGE. EVENTUALLY.

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    1. Husk is great at giving samples! I'm sure they could make one up for you next time you're (we're?) there! :)

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  11. oh boy this is not only a splurge but I wonder if I'll even like it as a splurge! Thanks for the heads-up. I am curious about it!
    xo,
    nancy

    http://www.adoretoadorn.com

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  12. Great review and thanks for sharing. Thanks for sharing.

    Eye See Euphoria | http://eyeseeeuphoria.com/post/maxmara-bold-and-confident

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  13. I have a similar mask and I love it. ^^ Great review...

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  14. This mask looks great! I love that you can make it at home!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  15. I love how it's different than other masks I've seen. I'd love to maybe give this one a try. $100 though? ah! >.<

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    1. I know! It's an ultra splurge, but so fun to use. And it works! xo

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  16. This is an interesting review. I am about to dive into the world of masks but I don't want to scare the postman and my husband, so maybe I should start with a colorless one ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Haha, this really is a scary one! I do enjoy scaring my boyfriend with it, though :)

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All of your lovely comments make my day! Thanks for taking the time to share your musings, ideas, and opinions. Feel free to leave a link to your blog- I'd be happy to check it out :)