It's extremely rare for me to do an all out negative review on my blog. Normally if I don't get on too well with a product I will be at pains to stress who I feel it might suit and explain why it didn't suit me but might suit you. This time I can't think of a single positive. No wait, I can actually think of two, but lets start at the beginning.
I was contacted by Montagne Jeunesse to see if I'd like to review their Skin Hero products. Although it's lower budget than I'd usually buy for a face mask, I've seen the lovely bright packaging around and read good reviews, plus I've had a slightly stressful time lately and imagined myself relaxing on the sofa with the face masks and so I accepted the offer to receive them in return for a review. So here we are.
I received the following and thought it was a jolly nice parcel to receive. Something really treaty for me and I was looking forward to giving them a whirl.
At the time I received these I was suffering from a small break out, a monthly occurrence unfortunately, so the first one I decided to try was the Break-Out Mask.
So I slapped it on all over my face (except eyes and mouth obv.) liberally. It felt lovely I must say, a bit mentholly, so cool, smooth and creamy to apply and then as I left it on for the next twenty minutes and as you would expect it dried out giving you that face lift feeling. Then I washed it off and admired my lovely smooth soft clean skin. Then I went to bed.
When I woke up in the morning my face was itchy but it took me a while to drag my sleepy bum out of bed....by which time I realised I was not only very itchy, but my skin was feeling really bumpy and sore too....then I looked in the mirror.... excuse the crappy photographs, I used my phone to take them immediately.
Caroline Hirons came to my rescue as did the lovely London Make Up Girl. Between them they explained what had happened (Acid Mantle destroyed) and how I could relieve the irritation (antihistamine to relieve the itching and Estee Lauder Advance Night Repair to create a barrier). And do you know what, I'm so grateful to them. The anti histamine very quickly reduced the itching, and the Advance Night Repair soothed quite substantially... that's not to say I was fixed though. Oh no, this first day was just the start of it. Those things did help to relieve the discomfort a little though.
So after panicking and getting advice from those fab experts, I calmed down and penned an email to my contact at Montagne Jeunesse. I wasn't snotty, I wasn't rude, I explained what had happened, explained that I was nervous to try the rest of the products I was sent, I explained how sore I was and what did they think? I think I expected them to consult their "experts" for me or something and offer me some advice on how to treat the damage, explain what might have caused it and whether they thought I would be okay to try the other products. And call me unreasonable but I also expected a fairly quick response. All of those things might have helped me to write a more balanced review... you know to include how quick they were to offer advice on what I could try to help and that perhaps they thought it was an ingredient in this one mask and that the others should be fine for me etc.
If someone emailed me saying the acrylic nails I'd done for them had destroyed their hands I'd be emailing pretty sharp to a) apologise b) see what I could do to help fix it and c) do some damage limitation...
But they never replied.
So here it is. A review with no positive input from the company at all.
So after the initial irritation died down, what happened? Well the itching remained for a week, although admittedly, nothing like as bad as the first three days. Then my skin started to get dryer and dryer and dryer. Then it started flaking. There's no foundation that I own (and I've got about 10) that could cover this...and obviously I would want to keep my skin free of cosmetics and just keep it clean and moisturised, but I didn't feel I could do that because of the final unpleasant side effect. I now have the mother of all break outs. I'm talking more spots than I've had in a long time. Massive sore, hard spots. No, no, I can't go out like that, I just can't do it. I appreciate that's my vanity and no one's problem, all I can say is I've put my foundation and concealer on it the morning and as soon as I knew I wouldn't be leaving the house have cleaned with oils or balms before slathering on my most effective moisture giving products. A week on... the spots remain but the dryness has nearly gone.
So yeah, the Break Out Mask is appropriately named. I sure broke out. And flaked. And itched. And swelled. And got bumpy.
With no input whatsoever from the company I've felt totally unable to put a positive slant on this review at all as I normally would, so I'm sorry about that. I won't be trying the rest of the products they sent me. I won't be giving them to anyone else to try. I won't ever purchase one of their products and I will never recommend anyone does.
Just as a final note, I am writing this post a week after using the mask, at the time this post goes live it will have been nearly a fortnight...if by any chance I've had a reply from the company in the meantime I'll be editing this... so if you are reading a rubbish review you'll know that I gave them a reasonable amount of time before going ahead with this post...
*In case it wasn't clear - PR SAMPLE*