Mary Kay Charcoal Mask Review

Mary Kay debuted their ClearProof Charcoal Mask in mid May of 2017 and by mid June, 1 million masks had already been sold? Why? Here are my thoughts on why:

The mask works! the mask uses charcoal to pull out impurities from your pores and remove excess oil. You can see this working because the mask will go on shiny and dark but dry and turn light gray/white as it absorbs oil! It’s fascinating and gross to watch! This is a deep cleanse that minimizes the appearance of pores. Activated charcoal binds to dirt and toxins to bring everything to the surface! Mary Kay also holds a patent for the use of navy bean, which brightens skin!

It’s $24! If you’re like me and like to try lots of products you know that there are lots of expensive masks out there claiming to do various things. The Mary Kay Charcoal Mask comes in a large tube that can be used approximately 30 times. That’s $.80 per application! Depending on your skin type, those with oily skin can use the mask 3 times a week. Those with dry skin should use the mask once a week. You can continue to exfoliate as usual!

The mask easily washes off! No painful/damaging pulling! Your pores aren’t going to get smaller if you’re pulling, ripping, damaging your skin! Simply use a wash cloth to wash off the mask after 20ish minutes. The mask contains no glue! No pain, but plenty to gain from using this mask!

Multi-masking! Mary Kay also offers the TimeWise Moisture Renewing Gel Mask to hydrate your skin. This means you can mask specific to your skincare needs! Oily on your T-zone? Use the Charcoal Mask! Dry on your cheeks? Use the Moisture Renewing Gel Mask! I can help you map your skin!

My experience: I first tried the mask at an event at my local Whole Foods! I was masking in public! Talk about some crazy looks! But trying the mask is so fun because everyone can enjoy it (even your hubby!) and everyone is glowing by the end (thank you charcoal and navy bean)! I’m not kidding; the results are immediate because you’re removing impurities as you mask!

When I ordered my mask, I could smell the mask as I approached my front door where it was boxed on my doorstep from UPS! But the SMELL is WONDERFUL! It’s such a clean smell of rosemary, peppermint, and honeysuckle! No harsh smell of chemicals!

I have extremely acne prone skin because of both oily skin and hormonal acne. I actually prefer to use the mask as a spot treatment. I see a spot on my skin that looks like a pimple is forming or a spot where I need to calm the agony, I apply the mask and let it do it’s thing for 20 minutes. I wash off with warm water and immediately or by the next day the pimple has shrunk or is gone!

Want to try it? Let me know!


Mary Kay Vitamin C Squares Review

Did you know that Mary Kay Cosemtics has 1,300 patents? Mary Kay is where you can find industry firsts and cutting edge research for the best skin care!

This July, Mary Kay introduces the TimeWise Vitamin C Activating Squares! It feels like skincare technology from the future!

Vitamin C is essential to produce new collagen, the connective tissue that provides elasticity to your skin and helps wounds heal! Don’t want wrinkles? Apply vitamin C to your skin to prevent anti-aging! Your body cannot create Vitamin C, it must be added to your skin! This makes Vitamin C essential!

Do you know what Listerine Strips look like? They are those breath strips that dissolve in water. Well, the Mary Kay Vitamin C Squares use similar technology!

Vitamin C breaks down when exposed to light, air, and water. This is why each square is individually packaged. You activate the power of vitamin C when you open the package and apply a few drops of water to dissolve the square.

C square + drops of water + your favorite serum = evened & more radiant skin tone and diminished fine lines/wrinkles


My experience: The first time I used this product I did it wrong! ūüėā Make sure you dissolve the square in the palm of your hand with some water first! If you don’t let it completely dissolve, it will feel sticky on your face.

I then add the TimeWise Night Serum (vitamins A, C, and E; “Neosporin” for your face!). I applied this after my normal night routine of cleanser and toner. Then you can moisturize. Mary Kay also offers the TimeWise Replenishing Serum+C, TimeWise Tone-Correcting Serum, TimeWise Pore Minimizer, and¬†TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Lifting Serum.

You receive 12 squares per package for $24 and you should use the squares three times a week! I’ve heard claims of brighter skin and a lessened appearance of wrinkles, especially the thin skin around the eyes.


I just started using this product and will report back with my results!

Fairbanks, Alaska Travel Guide

IMG_0137My husband and I left for Fairbanks, Alaska one week after we got married in May of 2016. We spent a little of two months living and working in Alaska as assistant camp counselors. We went back in July 2017. Here’s some of our favorite things and what I suggest you check out in Fairbanks and the surrounding area:

Fairbanks, Alaska is in the interior of Alaska and is the second largest city in the state. It’s a college town with rich history and beautiful scenery all around it. At times it reminded me of the eclectic city of Asheville, NC– a bit hippy-ish and outdoorsy. The downtown area is very small and the city itself is easy to navigate.

We visited in the summertime, which meant almost 24 hours of sun. I found this very disorienting when I first arrived, but for Joshua, this was his fifth summer in Alaska and you do get used to it eventually.

  1. Santa Claus House in North Pole, AK! You see this place on the news when they do a weather report from Santa’s house around Christmastime. It’s outside of Fairbanks on Richardson Hwy. You should totally stop by and get an ornament. They also have a coffee shop with fudge, reindeer on property, and lots of places for a “Kodak moment.” Christmas card picture time, anyone?¬†
  2. Then as you continue south on Richardson Hwy, stop at the Knotty Shop. And yes, you can laugh at that ridiculous name. The outside looks cool with the unique knotted wood and the ice cream is a great pick-me-up. It has a cute shop with lots of Made in Alaska souvenirs.
  3. The University of Alaska Museum of the North at UAF is beautiful!¬†It’s $12 for adults but Joshua and I spent all afternoon here. They have Alaskan art of all sorts highlighting the state and Alaskan natural history. We really liked the display about the Alaskan geography and paleontology– it was almost like you were at a real dig. There’s a small caf√©, stunning views from large windows, and a great little gift shop.
  4. Chena Hot Springs in Chena, AK- aka my favorite place in all the world! This a resort built around a natural hot springs pool. It’s about 60 miles from Fairbanks, but Alaskans are used to driving far distances, so that’s just something to get used to when visiting. The pools are open year round and it’s wonderful. There’s the outside natural pool, hot tubs, and an inside pool (which was under construction when we were there, but a lazy river was in it’s place). We went in the summer¬†and on a beautiful day, so we didn’t get the full experience and I’m looking forward to going back¬†in the winter. Check out the many other things to do here too, like the Ice Castle that looks like something out of the movie Frozen.
  5. Fred Myer–¬†If you’re from the lower 48 and love Target, then you must¬†visit Fred Myer, if you’ve never been on the¬†west coast. This like a¬†Super Target, with everything you need! This is also the best place for inexpensive souvenirs and postcards.
  6. The Cookie¬†Jar Restaurant is the place to get giant cinnamon rolls and¬†a menu¬†where everyone will find something¬†they like! Fairbanks is¬†NOT a dining¬†mecca of the world and often we struggled to¬†find good restaurants to eat where the prices weren’t outrageous¬†and we both recommend this one.
  7. Pioneer Park, formerly Alaskaland in Fairbanks is FREE,so why not visit!? It takes you back to when Fairbanks was a frontier town. It’s a little hokey but very family friendly.
  8. Fairbanks Visitor’s Center, known as Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center, is a must-see! It’s¬†FREE and really helped me get my bearings in the city and surrounding area. The museum is lovely and there’s lot of brochures about visitor attractions. The staff is really friendly and can answer your questions. The gift shop is overpriced though. Make sure you explore the grounds, which has a live stream video so you can wave to friends watching online (Haha!), the antler arch, a little cabin, and beautiful flowers in the summer time (remember that 24 hour sunlight?).IMG_0135.JPG

Other ideas: Escape Room AK; Pagoda Chinese Restaurant in North Pole, AK; Chowder House; Fireweed Boutique; If Only – A Fine Store in downtown

Planning a visit? I’d love to hear your plans and can make more suggestions based on your interests! Joshua and I both loved Fairbanks. We met lovely people, made lots of friends, and are looking forward to going back!


My Favorite Podcasts

Y’all– since Serial dropped in the fall of 2015 I’ve been a podcast fanatic.

And the truth is, it goes back further than that… Before Serial, I listened to Car Talk on NPR on my car radio while I drove around for an entire hour drinking Starbucks coffee. Car Talk took me back to my Arthur watching days and I still find it hilarious.

There’s just something about the storytelling with the mixed media of voice overs, music, historic recordings, and voice actors that’s addicting.

I like crime podcasts mostly, which many of my friends find particularly creepy. But there’s some fascinating about people disappearing, criminal investigations, and judicial proceeding that gets me interested.

I could probably list a top 20 but I’ll stick to my top 5 for today (besides Serial, the one that started it all):

  1. Up and Vanished- This podcast has been in the news lately because after 12 years there’s been a break in the case of missing teacher Tara Grinstead from a small town in Georgia. I’ve been listening since early on and the host seems like a really easy guy to talk to and get a long with. He really gets people talking and does a good job of researching the case.
  2. Missing Maura Murray- This podcast breaks my heart because for 40+ episodes these guys have been trying to get questions answered about how a young woman could just vanish off of the side of the road after her car breaks down in freezing, rural New Hampshire. The podcast starts off rough (babies crying in the background and traffic noise) but really picks up the pace/gets in the groove¬†quite quickly. I’m left with more questions than I started with but it’s not for lack of trying to get answers.
  3. The Vanished- Each episode is the story of a missing person. I like that the host takes her role very seriously and works to honor each of the missing people individually. If you’re seeing a pattern here it’s because I’ve always been fascinated about how people can just go missing.
  4. Radiolab Presents: More Perfect- This podcast is about the Supreme Court and each episode is meticulously researched. The cases are presented in a way that’s easy to understand and various sides of the arguments are considered. The episode that has stayed with me the longest is the one about the baby adopted and her Native American father fighting for custody (“Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl”).
  5. Stranglers- Find out all you ever wanted to know about the Boston Strangler(s)! This podcast is a little different than the ones listed above in that it uses a fair amount of voice actors. The research is phenomenal and the layout of the entire series is well planned.

Honorary mention (because there are so many good ones out there):

– The Mystery Show- not crime and very light! The host solves mysteries that can’t be solved online.

-Suspect Convictions- from my hometown! Very creepy case about the murder of a 9 year old and the three trials (!!) of the suspect

-Serial- I’m a fan of both seasons 1 and 2 and try not to compare them. ūüôā

-My Favorite Murder- I was hesitant to listen at first the hosts just say what everyone is already thinking. And I feel the need to send in my Hometown Murder. Karen and Georgia, can we be friends?

-Generation Why- Excellent questions about some really tough situation.

-Thinking Sideways- It makes me crazy that these guys interrupt each other so much, but they select really interesting mysteries to discuss.

I’m open to any and all suggestions!!