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Wouldn’t you though?

I realise that Muddy Stilettos is here to alert you to everything new and wondrous and life enhancing. Yet there are so many occasions when I’m experimenting with the very new and exciting and then, kerpow! a wave of nostalgia hits. This happened recently during a pleasant and naturally fragranced playtime with a selection of Mallow & White face masks, courtesy of the elegant and ethical entrepreneur, Joanna White.

Let me explain. As a teenager, I was addicted to face masks. You know those sachets that you could buy from Boots? I used to slather them on, and sometimes get absorbed in a book, or even once, was on the phone to a school friend and the mud pack was so dry and cracked I resembled a parched desert landscape, and no amount of warm water could help. In the end, I had to chisel it off with a teaspoon. So scarred – not literally – from this experience, I’ve pretty much avoided face masks ever since. Yes, I exfoliate from time to time, but it was with a mixture of trepidation and teen memories that I tackled the Mallow & White range of masks.

First things first: don’t sneeze when you open a jar. Otherwise…disaster! Given my dashing around blogging lifestyle, when Joanna first sent me the face masks, I didn’t have the patience for sitting and waiting, so I just followed the instructions and used the powder and water mix and did a few circular motions here and there and rinsed it all off. The beauty of this powder is that you can use it to exfoliate and it works wonderfully well, leaving skin delightfully soft. But later I graduated to a mask. I didn’t measure and as you can see I think I got the water to powder ratio slightly wrong and that’s why I look as if I’ve added cornflakes to the mixture. Here I am, pretty in pink, with some still damp and some almost dry patches, sporting the Revitalise mask:

The Revitalise mask is for *mature* skin, which is me through and through. The six ingredients are as follows: pink French clay, red French clay, Moroccan lava clay, organic cornstarch, organic hibiscus flower and palmarosa essential oil. The ingredients actually feel pure and clean. They’re packed with anti-oxidants and they smell gorgeous. The effect it has one me while I’m wearing it is calming yet potent: I can feel my skin relaxing without that harshly astringent sucking out of toxins of my teenage years. The flower and oil fragrance is reminiscent of a heady summer garden. And the result? My skin is as soft as a soft thing and it even made me smile:

The following day, I try Restore, and I follow the instructions – roughly a teaspoon of warm water to a teaspoon of powder – and that results in a beautifully smooth consistency and my masked face is the heritage hue of a pale Farrow & Ball green. I’ve now tried all three and they are fantastic. Each mask contains a maximum of six ingredients, and Soothe has only four: corn starch, white clay, marshmallow root powder and lavender oil. To smell them is to love them. You can even customise and add extras if you’re in the mood, suggestions include honey or yoghurt but, laziness aside, I liked them as they were.

The genius behind Mallow & White is Joanna White and here she is. Joanna lives in Harpenden and worked for the BBC as a producer for over 20 years. She started her business while she was still at the Beeb, when she started to experiment with ingredients to make cleansing and moisturising mixtures that her ultra-sensitive skin would tolerate. The simpler the mixture, and the fewer ingredients each recipe contained, the better it was for her skin. She handed in her notice, and Mallow & White is now 7 years old and has garnered an impressive clutch of awards for the masks, facial oils and balms, all of which you can buy from her website. As you can see, Joanna is radiant. What I like about her ethos, is that she celebrates the fact that our skin ages – and oh, do I know about this – and rather than making false promises about turning back the clock, she encourages people to nurture themselves and their skin as it *matures*. She also loves chocolate, which makes me like her even more.

Mallow & White


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