I can’t believe that time of the year is almost upon us. After the year marked by fear and loss, Christmas lights are starting to twinkle on high streets and people are making plans for family festivities or Christmas reunions with friends. With uplift in mood, also comes the apprehension about sourcing the gifts and while I certainly am NOT going to contribute to gift idea overload, I thought I would write about a few things that I would as happily give, as I would love to receive myself. For me, the duo of VOTARY face masks (or each mask individually) truly fits into that category. Luxurious pampering of the skin and senses, coupled with the even more precious time for self.
VOTARY Intense Overnight Mask, 50ml, £85
Feeling like silk upon contact with the skin, this mask boosts skin’s nocturnal renewal cycle and results in the skin looking more radiant, healthy and plump. Enriched with natural plant oils and Hyaluronic Acid for the deeper hydration, this face mask will be particularly ‘appreciated’ by dry and more mature skin types during colder months – whether you work in the office or escape to ski in the Alps. Expect fine lines to be less pronounced and for the skin to feel softer and more sensual to the touch. There are extracts of narcissus and Camu Camu plants, jointly tasked with brightening up the skin, as well as improving its appearance. What we all want – whether we are 20 or 60 – is for our skin to look good, even if we went to bed late or had a disrupted night sleep. The beauty of this product is in that it intensely nourishes the skin, while adding alluring pleasure to your weekly skincare routine.
When I started to think about festive gifts this year, I really didn’t want to contribute to hype and marketing. We are tired and frazzled enough as it is, and when brands start piling up the pressure for us to shop, the joy all but disappears. Masking is something that I know truly does make a difference to how skin looks and feels and Votary is one of those enchanting brands that doesn’t overload the senses and can turn five minutes of the skincare routine into something that feels like a truly pampering and nurturing experience. Votary responds to customer’s skin needs via each and every of their products, while also taking into account busy lifestyle and shortness of time.
Face masks that provide visible benefits, while also pampering your skin is something not to be sniffed at. Many women can’t or won’t go to see a facialist or dermatologist, so an effective mask that you can regularly use at home, while doing mundane chores or watching TV, while NOT looking like a storm trooper, is truly a gift in itself.
As this is the mask that you apply and ‘sleep in’, Votary’s team made sure it had the ‘it factor’. From the celestial creamy texture to the barely there, yet hypnotic scent, applying it to the skin with your fingers feels like a luxurious treat – done in the privacy of your own bathroom. Or you can keep it on your bedside table, like Arabella Preston, Votary’s co-founder does. Somehow I feel more feminine by just applying this overnight mask to my skin and almost instantly emerging as a better, happier version of myself. And in the morning not only does my skin look radiant, the effect of the mask on the skin overnight cuts down on the time I have to get my face ‘ready’, before school drop-off or a work meeting. Thanks to this mask (you can use it several times a week), I actually smile at my reflection in the bathroom mirror before the first cup of coffee hits my lips and kicks my adrenals up a notch, ready to run towards the day, stretching ahead like a yellow brick road, with a radiantly blissful complexion.
VOTARY Radiance Reveal Mask, 50ml, £55
The newest addition to Votary product family (the mask was launched six or so weeks ago at the time of this review) is formulated with a powerful duo of Mandelic and Lactic Acids that together are highly effective in both exfoliating your skin AND revealing it’s best qualities. The powerhouse duo achieves a very even effect, but also takes into account that exfoliation can sensitise the skin. For that reason the mask is enhanced with a scientifically-proven calming complex of natural plant extracts.
- Mandelic Acid (5%): an AHA that works to accelerate cell turnover, while being gentle on sensitive skin
- Lactic Acid (2%): exfoliates, while improving skin tone and texture
- Calming Natural Plant Complex: soothes the skin, while providing ant-inflammatory benefits
This face mask also helps to improve skin’s texture, even out pigmentation, reduce the appearance of existing fine lines, de-congest pores and prevent breakouts. A multi-tasking beauty fairy in a creamy form. Smooth a little bit of this creamy mask onto face and neck, taking care to avoid the eye area. Leave on for 5-15 minutes, depending on your skin type (for example 5 minutes for sensitive skin) and remove with a damp, warm face cloth, enjoying the sensation of clearer complexion.
“As summer draw to a close, I reach for this mask. It’s an acid peel treatment that helps even out my pigmentation and smooth away fine lines. It reveals my best, baby-soft skin every time I use it. I love that the powerful acids are supported with calming ingredients in a fragrance-free, plant-based formulation.”Arabella Preston, VOTARY co-founder
Face masks not only offer the pampering of our skin, they ‘encourage’ us to touch our faces, exploring bumps or easing the tension our of muscles and fascia. Living through the pandemic that all but put an end to our contact with other people for an extended period of time, it only brought closer into focus the importance and need of touch for human beings. Both in terms of health and the state of our minds. We kiss the worry away or express our passion, we reassure with a hug or comfort a with a loving embrace. Pandemic took this away, as we became fearful of touching others and spreading the virus. But we can also touch ourselves, offering reassurance or putting us back in touch with our own inner self – for many people that was one of the things that helped them survive through those lockdown weeks and months that blended into each other. That’s really one of the reasons why I think Votary masks would be such a welcome and delightful gift. The other is how efficacious and sublime they make the skin look and feel.
This year John Lewis’s festive slogan is “for every wish, there is a gift”, so my wish for 2022 is that we all look after our inner world, so we can and do care more about the others and thus magnify the level of kindness in the world. The truest joy comes from the little things and a gift chosen with love, care and thought for the recipient’s individuality and preferences is doubly precious, so do choose something that will make the recipient smile and think of your fondly well after the holiday season comes to its natural end.
To learn more about VOTARY or to order the products, please click here to go to brand’s website (the link is not sponsored)