This exfoliating mocha face mask smells downright divine and is a wonderful gentle cleanser. It was just what I needed after submitting my manuscript for Make it Up: The Essential Guide to DIY Makeup and Skin Care, By Marie Rayma, creator of HumblebeeandMe.com to my publisher on Friday. Whew.
It’s hard to describe how it felt to send off those obsessively composed 46,000+ words. With a fairly unassuming Apple Mail “whoosh” it had been emailed to my editor and I was left standing in my kitchen, staring at my computer screen, thinking “what now?”. I settled on washing dishes and beginning to re-claim my house and kitchen from the dozens of tiny bowls of experiments and scraps of paper that have occupied all my free counter space since October. That, and drinking a midday beer (or two) on my porch in a sunbeam. And then going to Village Ice Cream for dinner (no, they don’t serve proper food, I had salted caramel ice cream in a waffle cone and it was amazing).
The rest of my weekend was dedicated to putting off other ignored responsibilities for just a little while longer. As of today I’m back at work full time and I have to do things like my figure out my taxes and wear a bra again. Sigh. But the weekend was for, well… cleaning. I did so much cleaning (and sleeping). Over the last month of writing the book I was really missing having a tidy place to live, with luxuries like usable kitchen counter space allowing me to prepare meals that required more than a square foot of working room (I will admit to making Kraft Dinner precisely once over the course of writing the book). Cleaning is hardly a celebration, but I’m pretty stoked to have my house back so… eh 😛 I have plans to escape to the mountains next weekend with some of my favourite people, so that’ll be my proper celebration.
Something I wasn’t expecting over the last couple weeks of writing was the amount of anxiety I experienced. I was waking up at 4am in completely nonsensical lipstick themed panic fits, terrified that I was doing everything wrong and I was going to let everybody down. I had dreams where I couldn’t finish important tasks because The Beatles came to Calgary and I was stuck in a massive traffic jam in a pair of very impractical heels. I’d be writing and realize my heart was racing uncontrollably. So… that part = not fun. With the manuscript done (minus edits, which will come in a couple weeks) that’s abating, which is lovely as I’ve really missed sleeping through the night.
Anyhow—onto this mocha face mask! The base is a simple blend of sandy rhassoul clay and soft white kaolin clay, spiked with some antioxidant rich cocoa powder and scrubby coffee beans. A touch of skin softening cocoa butter and some delicious smelling cocoa absolute round it out. Yum. The powder base recipe will make enough powder for about three face masks, so you can do this one a couple times or have a bit of a mask party with some friends. I loved the bit of exfoliation I got from the coffee beans as I washed the mask off and really enjoyed the coffee/cocoa scent following me around while the mask dried 🙂 Give it a go, I think you’ll love it!
Mocha Face Mask
2 tsp fine rhassoul clay
4 tsp white kaolin clay (any colour is fine)
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
~7 coffee beans
Wee knob cocoa butter (mine was about the size of three coffee beans)
3 drops cocoa absolute (optional)
To make a single mask
1½ tsp water
2½ tsp mocha mask clay mix
To make the mask mix simply combine the two clays, the cocoa powder, coffee beans, cocoa butter, and cocoa absolute in your DIY coffee grinder and blend them together for about a minute. Make sure you’re wearing your dust mask so you don’t inhale the powders ’cause that’s not good for you. After the first blending stir everything around in the coffee grinder with a small spoon, making sure to turn over any powders that might’ve been left untouched underneath the blades. Scrape down the sides and the lid before giving everything another blend.
When you’re ready to turn your mix into a delicious smelling mocha face mask, simply measure out 1½ teaspoons of water into a small bowl and slowly whisk in 2½ teaspoons of the clay mask mix. It won’t want to incorporate and will sit on top of the water initially as you whisk, but it will eventually incorporate and you’ll end up with a creamy face paste. Spread it on your face and leave it to dry for at least fifteen minutes (I got carried away and left mine on for nearly an hour—it doesn’t get nearly as tight and itchy as some masks can). When you’re ready to wash it off I find it’s helpful to soak a wash cloth with warm water and hold that up to my face for a few seconds to help re-hydrate the mask, making it easier to remove.
Follow up with some awesome argan serum (I’m still in love with this stuff) and enjoy your clean, smooth skin!
Don’t have a coffee grinder? You can make this without one with a few simple swaps: use ground coffee instead of whole beans (~one teaspoon); swap the cocoa butter out, simply adding a drop or two of a carrier oil of choice (grapeseed or safflower oil would be nice) to the mask when you are whisking it up to use it; and add the cocoa absolute (if you’re using any) as you hydrate the mask (one drop per mask). With those changes you can just whisk the powders together in a small bowl.
Want to make a big batch of this to use later? Read this.