It has been almost a year and a half since I reviewed the Flower and Spice range and it is one that has stuck with me for some time. It’s not just because the products are beautifully formulated, it’s because I have also struck up a lovely friendship with the wonderful founder, Karmen. She is such a kind soul, incredibly loving and generous. And even though we are miles apart and only speak from time to time I always end up feeling very connected to Karmen and have the utmost respect for what she does. Anyway, I was delighted to be sent out the latest Flower and Spice Beauty Masquerade – a spa-like clay-based mask that will leave your skin silky smooth, refined, and rejuvenated.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this is NOT a sponsored post. Karmen sent me this Flower and Spice product as a gift but I chose to write a review because I loved it so much. All opinions are my own and 100% honest. If you buy anything from the Flower and Spice website I will not be at any personal gain. If you’d like to know more, feel free to contact me.
Also, because Flower and Spice are super generous they have provided you lovely lot with a 15% off discount code – so, just enter ‘GREEN15’ at the checkout.
About Flower and Spice
Flower and Spice Modern Apothecary was founded by Slovenia born, Karmen Novak – a self-professed science enthusiast and art lover. Karmen worked across a wide range of careers such as photography, video production, and marketing – she even created an online fashion store at the young age of 25. But these high-stress jobs left Karmen craving a lifestyle of her youth; a calm, green environment surrounded by flowers, herbs, and spices.
She began to research into the benefits of essential oils made from her favourite culinary spices and discovered that her inkling had been correct the whole time, that they were, in fact, beneficial to the skin.
Karmen went on to study at the UK-based Formula Botanica – a top accredited Organic Cosmetic Science School. It was there that she truly fell in love with the beauty of natural skincare. Karmen was first hand experiencing the benefits of using organic formulations on her skin and alongside her passion for cooking with world spices her passion grew. She often pondered whilst she cooking with these spices – if they were so potent to the taste buds, could they maybe benefit the skin too? She began to research into the benefits of essential oils made from her favourite culinary spices and discovered that her inkling had been correct the whole time, that they were, in fact, beneficial to the skin. Karmen started to experiment with different botanicals and created her first real shelf worthy product – Midnight Beauty – now her best selling product – this successful serum was the final push that made her launch Flower and Spice.
All Flower and Spice products are vegan, 100% natural, and organic. Although Karmen hand formulates every product in The Netherlands they are manufactured in a 2nd generation family business and natural skincare lab in Switzerland. They were certified with the ‘Certified Sustainable Economics Standard (CSE)’ in 2012 for their ethical, ecological, and economic excellence – they even recycle their water that’s used for cleaning. They’re also certified under NaTrue, EcoCert, and BdiH. Though none of the ingredients contain gluten it cannot be assured that the facility in Switzerland that manufactures the products doesn’t use gluten so for severe allergy sufferers it’s best to stay safe. If you’d like to read more about where Flower and Spice sources their ingredients and their ethos click here.
Beauty Masquerade is a customisable clay treatment that uses rhassoul clay, white kaolin clay, hibiscus, turmeric root, and panax ginseng to address your skin’s evolving needs. It’s scented with citrus and spices to give you that indulgent ‘I’ve just been to the spa’ kinda feeling.
Although every ingredient is super clean and you don’t need to worry about what’s on the label, it is nice to know what the ingredients are and learn more about what they can do for your skin. So, let’s take a look:
Montmorillonite (Rhassoul Clay)*, Kaolin (Kaolin) Clay*, Colloidal oatmeal (Oat), Prunus amygdalus Dulcis (Almond) seed extract*, Maltodextrin, Zea mays starch, Curcuma (Turmeric) longa root powder*, Panax ginseng (Ginseng) root powder*, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) seed powder*, Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice) root powder, Calcium carbonate, Mentha citrata (Lemon Mint) leaf extract*, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf oil*, Hibiscus sabdariffa (Hibiscus) flower extract*, Cymbopogon flexuosus (Lemongrass) oil*, Piper nigrum (Black Pepper) seed oil*
*Certified organic ingredient
So, let’s break down some of my favourite ingredients from the list above a little further:
- Rhassoul Clay – Rhassoul is great for all skin types but best for mature skin. If you’re aged 30+ you will love rhassoul clay – it has elasticity and texture improving properties as well as being great at removing blackheads. It has a really lubricating feel unlike other clays so glides on smoothly. Another great quality is that it loves water and swells quickly, so a little goes a long way!
- Kaolin Clay – Kaolin clay cleanses the skin by absorbing excess oil and is rich in minerals. It helps to keep the moisture in the skin but still strip away any impurities meaning you can kiss those blackheads goodbye without expect your skin to produce lots of oil after. It’s a fab and gentle exfoliator.
- Colloidal Oatmeal – Oats were used in skincare as early as 2000 BC in ancient Egypt! They contain polysaccharides which turn gelatinous when mixed with water, leaving a protective film on the skin, which helps to lock moisture in. They also contain a natural antibiotic polyphenol produced by the plant called avenanthramide, which helps to soothe and calm the skin. Colloidal oatmeal is perfect for ultra-sensitive skins as it possesses anti-pruritic properties meaning it helps to battle itching and inflammation. Oh, and it’s also anti-fungal too. It’s perfect for dry and flaky skin but also battles the ageing process by protecting your skin from UV rays and pollution. Just wow!
- Turmeric Root – Don’t worry this golden wonder won’t stain your skin but it will leave you looking radiant and glowy AF. Turmeric has great anti-inflammatory properties so it is brilliant for healing scars and acne.
- Cocoa Seed Powder – Cacao is incredibly mineral-rich (particularly in magnesium) and is also packed with antioxidants which help to get rid of those harmful free radicals and repair your skin. It’s also great at lessening redness and inflammation. This anti-stress ingredient will pep up even the dullest of complexions.
- Panax Ginseng – Ginseng is an energising ingredient and acts a lot like caffeine by reducting any puffiness. But, it’s packed full of phytonutrients that help to protect the skin from environmental stressors and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It helps to firm and tighten the skin as well as retain moisture. It also helps to balance the oil production of your skin so if you’re dry, sensitive, or oily it will help to level this out.
- Hibiscus Flower Extract – Aptly dubbed the ‘botox flower’, hibiscus is chock full of vitamin C and antioxidants that will leave your skin glowing and boost the production of collagen, thus reversing signs of ageing. I like to drink a cup of hibiscus tea every day and often powder the flowers down to add to face masks at home. It is my go-to and I swear it leaves me looking younger.
Directions For Use
According to Karmen, a clay mask should not be left on the skin until it becomes dry and flaky. This is because it can result in the skin becoming dry, dehydrated and irritated, which I have to say makes a lot of sense. Instead, if you want to keep it on for longer, or notice it drying out, you can add moisture by spraying your face with water or a hydrating mist.
“Mix one part dry mixture with a liquid of your choice to form a lightweight paste. Apply and enjoy the cooling sensation on your skin. Wash off with warm water when the treatment begins to dry. Follow with your favourite Flower and Spice moisturiser.” – Flower and Spice
Karmen has some great customisable recommendations up her sleeve. She suggests mixing with water, honey or kombucha to tone skin. To refresh and calm the skin, yoghurt and squashed fresh fruit such as avocado and strawberry. Or for the ultimate indulgence, a few drops of Flower and Spice’s Midnight Beauty serum.
I love Karmen’s suggestions and they’re all things I have tried in the past when making my own clay masks. it’s fun to mix things up and I can vouch that they all work. My favourite would have to be kombucha and honey.
Oh my, where do I start? I regularly make up my own clay-based masks at home, adding in special ingredients such as; spirulina, matcha, hibiscus, red wine, and cacao. But, I have to say that nothing has ever come close to the Flower and Spice Beauty Masquerade.
For me, the winner was that Beauty Masquerade gave way to a whole olfactory experience that made me feel like I’d ventured into a luxurious Moroccan spa.
The glass bottle that it comes in is absolutely stunning to look at. I love the fact that you can lift the lid off like a stopper, something that reminds me of an old-style apothecary. The bottle is fully recyclable and I’m all about sustainability as you know
I first tried out the mask just by mixing it with water, it came together like your typical clay mask without forming any large lumps, and it smoothed onto the skin like silk. The colour came out an earthy, muddy brown. I laid in the bath for 10 minutes and got my ultimate chill on. Much to my surprise, the mask didn’t dry out within this time, usually, I find with clay masks that they start to dry and flake quite early on. I’m not sure if this only happened because of how hot my bath was and that I was sweating like a bitch. (Update: According to Karmen this is because the mask is only 50% clay!)
I washed off the mask with a little warm water and a muslin cloth to reveal skin so smooth it rivalled a baby’s bum. Much to my surprise, my pores were not only cleaner but they were almost invisible! I felt like Beauty Masquerade had really toned my skin and left it looking younger, clearer, and more radiant than before. There was definitely a decent glow on the go.
Unlike any other pre-packaged clay mask I’ve bought, Beauty Masquerade has the most beautiful and aromatic scent, something that has become somewhat of a signature for Flower and Spice. The uplifting scent of lemongrass hits you first followed by an undertone of rosemary and lemon mint. It reminds me of when you make a mint tea from fresh leaves.
For me, the only issue is the price – there is no way that I would normally be able to afford something like this but I totally accept that you’re paying for some pricey ingredients and Karmen’s expert formulation which as taken a lot of time and love. If you’re not quite sure if you want to invest in a full-size product, it’s worth noting that Flower and Spice sell a 1-week sample kit which includes every product from their range in 5ml samples (except for Beauty Masquerade which is 10ml) and only costs €19.90. You can pick up the sample kit here.
Overall, I fell in love with Beauty Masquerade within minutes of using it. Its luxurious formula serves a whole host of benefits that will suit every skin type and every age. For me, the winner was that Beauty Masquerade gave way to a whole olfactory experience that made me feel like I’d ventured into a luxurious Moroccan spa.
If you’d like to give yourself the ultimate gift of self-love then the wonderful Flower and Spice Beauty Masquerade is what you need. You can pick it up directly from the Flower and Spice website for €115.00 which is roughly £97. But, don’t forget you can enter ‘GREEN15’ at the checkout for 15% off your order. For more clean beauty reviews click here.