A review of Clinique's City Block Purifying™ Charcoal Clay Mask & Scrub
City Block Purifying™ Charcoal Clay Mask & Scrub
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Complexion Perfection With Laura

Author: Lauren Coleman

Lovely Laura does an awesome job of managing the Rock My Wedding Love Lust List and today we’re letting her loose from her directory admin to share her latest find for complexion perfection.

As I approach thirty I realise I need to give my skincare routine a little more attention. My mum and nan both have amazing skin, my great gran did too, and the key denominator? They each take seriously good care of their skin. Whilst i’ve been exfoliating, cleansing, toning, moisturising for as long as I can remember, hyperemesis in my pregnancy with Bertie wreaked havoc with my epidermis, and quite honestly, it’s never been the same since. My skin isn’t oily, or dry, it just lacks any kind of glow, or brightness, and every girl wants some glow, right?! When I spoke to the lovely lady who did my most recent facial about what I need to add into my regime she didn’t take any time to mull it over at all, in fact, I don’t think I even got to the end of my question before she had heralded face masks as the thing that would give me the quickest complexion transformation.

Face masks though? The mud packs I used to slap on at teenage sleepovers whilst we gossiped about who was kissing who? Was this really going to be a revolution? Despite my reservations I did a bit of research and true to my beauty consultant’s word, face masks do seem to be making a rather excellent name for themselves right now.

I decided to get myself a few samples and see which one suited me the best. There was one clear, stand out, all singing, all dancing winner. In fact, I may have even uttered the words, “life changing”, after first use. Say hello to Clinique’s City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask & Scrub. The schpiel says “Dual-action mask purifies and polishes skin for a delightful deep-clean treatment. Natural bamboo charcoal and kaolin clay help remove pollution and impurities, while natural silica beads gently refine texture.”.

This mask literally sucks every single bit of dirt and oil out of my skin, and makes my pores cleaner than a clean thing. I LOVE that there’s very little commitment involved; 5 minutes is all it takes for the grey, gritty mask to turn bright blue (it’s a little smurf like, much to my husband’s amusement), and it’s ready to scrub off. Even better is as the mask is washed off it becomes a gentle exfoliator, perfect for whisking away any dead and flaky skin. My complexion felt all kinds of dreamy post-mask, and the next morning I didn’t even want to put make up because it just felt so incredible and clean. Despite the clay and charcoal make up of the mask, to my surprise there is nothing drying about it at all, and I even think I may be starting to get some of that elusive glow back.

The mask is SO good that I had to share it with the lovely RMS readers, but would it be really cheeky to ask for something in return? Now I’ve nailed the mask, I’m going to have to start thinking about serums, eye creams and night creams, so recommendations for normal skin with occasional dry patches please!

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman

28 thoughts on “Complexion Perfection With Laura

    1. Oooh Victoria I’ve been using Liz Earle’s Hot Cloth Cleanser for as long as I can remember. I’ve never really thought to try the other products though? I have 3 moisturisers that I’m a bit of a slave to and never try anything else – such a creature of habit. Thanks for your recommendation, I will have to look it out!

  1. Combination/dry
    I will put my hands up, I’m a self confessed skin care addict and will most certainly be trying this mask out, even when I find the perfect skin product I will always try something different if it looks a bit “sciencey” . However saying that I have recently purchased my second round of indeed retinal, peptibright and eyelix products which I love before I apply those I use Paula’s choice 2% bha serum as I suffer with blackheads and the eye serum from them over the top of my eyelix finishing up with my Elizabeth Arden prevage city bright moisturizer, my skin looks bright and glowy and I don’t have to wear any makeup for work. I do need to find something I can apply during the day to maintain this though as my skin loses this look from about 2pm if you have any suggestions

    1. Blimey Emma you certainly do know what you’re talking about!!!! I hope you like the mask as much as I do, I can’t imagine life without it now. I can only dream of not having to wear any makeup. I know Charlotte (another self confessed addict) recommends the Estée Lauder BB brush on glow pen – could that be something for you try to top up the glow factor through the day? xxx

  2. I have recently hit 30 and been thinking about a few changes. I don’t like to spend a fortune on my skincare and prefer more natural products where necessary, and coconut oil has been a (albeit trendy!) revelation. The Waitrose baby solid massage oil smells a bit more luxurious than the food variety but I’m not sure it really matters. Coconut oil is hydrating and not to ‘oily’. I always wake up with lovely smooth skin when I’ve used it, plus it’s slightly antibacterial so helps fight spots too. Excellent stuff!

    Liking the sound of the mask above though – I always enjoy a Clinique product!

    1. Kerri lots of people around me have been heralding coconut oil as a life changing discovery. I tried it once on my hair when it was going through a particularly dry phase and just couldn’t get my head round the fact it was oil. Perhaps I need to whack it on my face instead. I have borrowed my daughter’s Waitrose bottom butter before and it cleared up my dry patches in minutes – it’s a bargain too!!! xxx

  3. I am so lost with what I should be doing with my skin. I have little red marks, and it’s not even. It’s getting dry in winter so my foundation ends up patchy some days. I use liz Earle hot cloth cleanser religiously, No 7 microdermabrasion exfoliator, boots simply sensitive hydrating eye cream….but flit from one moisturiser to the next. I’ve just gone back to the No7 facial oil too as my skin is parched. I would love some proper advice, but I don’t know who to ask. I don’t want a sales pitch from a counter lady. Any advice you could give would be gratefully received!

    1. Oh Claire I can completely empathise, I absolutely hate it when I feel like I lose sight of what the heck is going on with my skin. I would 100% recommend the Bobbi Brown Extra Face Oil. Don’t get me wrong, it’s quite pricey, but I’ve had mine for ages and the bottle looks barely touched. It’s super moisturising without being leaving that horrible greasy residue, and smells amaaaazing. I remember when I bought it, the lady said it’s also fab when mixed with your every day moisturiser. If you don’t fancy the sales pitch treat yourself to a facial. They will analyse what’s going on and make recommendations, even if not for specific products, but for the type of thing you need to be using. I’m sure the rest of the team will be on hand with some more recommendations for you too, but hope my two cents helps! xxx

    1. I had a bad Clinique experience when I was about 18 and until this face mask I never stepped over the beauty counter threshold!! I must admit I do rather like a gel formation for Summer but in Winter I find if I don’t use something a bit more creamy my skin dries out thanks to blasts of heating indoors and chilly weather out! I will give their hydrating gel a whirl next Summer, thanks Hariette xxx

  4. It definitely sounds like I should try the Clinique mask. Thank you for the tip. I completely overhauled my skincare a few weeks ago as I was looking very dull and dehydrated. Every hint of glow had been zapped. I’ve started using the NIOD range (this intro set – combined with the Clinique Moisture Surge moisturiser in the day and the Moisture Surge Mask overnight. Yes, I’m throwing any moisture I can find at my parched skin! There’s a long way to go still but I have started to see a difference. I’m just not sure which product is to thank???

    1. Yes Laura, you should!! I’ve got a sample of the moisture surge overnight mask to try actually, I just haven’t got round to it (that sounds a bit lame when it could be used every night doesn’t it?!). It’s good to have an overhaul every now and again, I think, so good on you! Off to have a peak at that NIOD range now…

  5. If anyone could recommend a mask that will clear out my skin (buh bye bleakheads!) but isn’t clay based/drying, I would be very grateful!

      1. Lol, Paula’s choice cleared mine up I use the 2%bha but if you contact them they can recommend what’s best for your skin

    1. Lauren and Lorna both speak highly of a Soap and Glory face mask – I will ask them to swing by and let you know which one it is! xxx

      1. Hi Sarah, on a daily basis I use Soap & Glory Scrub Your Nose In It on a daily basis and find it’s good for blackheads though I’m on the lookout for something to remove the more stubborn blighters.

        1. Have you tried the St Ives Face scrub??? I only found out about it about 6 months ago and find my skin improved dramatically. I did use it every day for like a month which they don’t advise, but hey it worked for me and is in most supermarkets which is even better!!! H x

  6. Great recommendation Laura, love a clay mask (50% for cleansing properties, 50% for pulling silly faces).

    On the serums, I would really highly recommend Origins Original Skin. I think it’s specifically for the late twenties/early thirties of us who have sadly waved goodbye to glowy teenage skin that looked perky even after a night on the tiles (why didn’t I appreciate it whilst I still had it?!?!) but don’t yet really need the wrinkle stuff. I got a fairly big sample a couple of weeks ago with my usual night moisturiser purchase and I am loving it, my skin is looking more evenly toned, somehow both less oily and less dry (I have classic combo of oily forehead, nose and chin, papery dry cheeks) and I’m definitely recapturing my glow. Lol I feel like I’m writing an advertising campaign for it! I’d defo give it a whirl though, I know they’re really pushing it at the moment so you could probably wangle a freebie at the counter before taking the plunge.

    1. Jenni I think the Origins advertising team may be missing a trick in not employing you!! I’m loving the sound of this serum – adding it to my list immediately. Thank you! Oh and don’t worry, I didn’t appreciate the perky teenage glowy skin either…!!

  7. Pixi Glow tonic…I never really thought toners did much but now I swear by an acid toner/ exfoliator in my routine. I use Pixi in the the am and Alpha Liquid gold once or twice a week in the evenings and my skin is so much bettie for it. Fewer hormonal spots and much less dull

    1. I’m not going to lie, Rachel, the name acid toner is scaring me slightly, but fear not I am undeterred and going to Google this Pixi Glow miracle tonic straight away. All these amazing recommendations, I wonder if my bathroom cabinet can handle it?!

  8. Kiehls creamy eye treatment with avocade cream – sorted my dry bits straight away

    I’ve just went back and got L’oreal Extraordinary Face oil – I tried a few face oils last winter (Clarins, Sanctuary wonder serum oil as apparently Kate Moss uses it) but L’oreal worked just as well if not better than the more expensive ones.

    This Clinique mask is going on my list! I had an amazing facial on Sunday (Elemis modern super wizzy super expensive facial – thanks Mum) and my skin looks and feels so much better. I’m good at exfoliating – I love Balance Me Radiance Mask – I did use Origins Out of Trouble Mask but I think this Clinique one sounds better.

    1. I love a face oil too, Lynn. I recommended my favourite Bobbi Brown one above, but this L’Oreal one sounds like a bargain to be had when my current stash runs down.
      Oh your mum sounds like a very good egg treating you to a facial – what a treat. I’ve heard really good things about the Origins masks, I was telling RMS’s editor Lauren about them the other day. Have you tried any of their others?
      I think you should get the Clinique one immediately though, I don’t think you’ll regret it! xxx

  9. My life changing skin moment happened earlier this year – I bought Olay Essentials Complete Care Day Cream for Sensitive Skin and I haven’t looked back! I like a thick moisturizer, however my pores disagree…this moisturizer has a nice texture and sinks in nicely without any pore blockage! Along side this I bought a Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb tissue mask as it was going for half price (a meer 99p!!!) and it was brilliant! My skin felt so smooth and moisturized, and this feeling lasts, according to the marketing it is equivalent to “1 week’s worth of hydrating serum in only 15 minutes”
    These are the 2 things I would recommend wholeheartedly!

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