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Do we really need masks for our bottoms?

January 6, 2020

It’s rather unlike me to do a product review as I’m not really that kind of girl/ blogger/ chemist but I just couldn’t help popping this little beauty into my basket when I visited Mecca late last year:

Yes, this shiny piece of consumerism is a butt mask!

Now I’m not sure about you but I don’t ever, in normal every-day life consider taking time out to beautify my butt.  As I’m typing that I feel a bit weird actually,  like why wouldn’t I exfoliate, moisturise and treat such a big part of my body and identify (hahahahahaha)???   Maybe it’s because I just have not had the time or energy or imagination to do it until now!  This mask certainly got me thinking of all the years of neglect my poor backside has had…

Anyway, I had forgotten about this mask after the initial excitement of the purchase wore off and it became just another sample in my sample draw until the other day when I was looking for something else (as is often the case).  The other day was New Years Day and I’d just sat through a barrage of ten year challenge photos on Facebook as my (mostly English I have to say) friends posted their ‘this was me at the start of 2010 and this is me in 2020’ pictures.  I have a sister in England who is currently heavily pregnant (yay, baby time!) and feeling rather blobby about herself.  We were having a chat about this photo-challenge thing and she was trying to get me to participate – I don’t generally do things like that as I just think it’s a bit pathetic to be honest but I did want to make her laugh so I said that I’d be tempted to post a picture of my arse ten years ago vs now, just to make a statement about how ridiculous the whole thing is – just an opportunity for people who feel they have aged beautifully to show the world and get some kudos.  My sister loved the idea but I was like ‘damn my mouth, why did I say such a silly thing’ and went off to bed and forgot about it again.

But that thought didn’t go away and as I was doing some New Years cleaning out under my bed I found the box of ‘Amongst Sisters’ books that I’d kept for myself as a memento of that project I did that went wrong (I wrote a book, realised it was too heavy to post and too expensive to sell so it got nowhere and ended up being dumped along with all the money I’d put into it which, at the time was devastating and financially problematic but we all live and learn…)  The good thing about this book in relation to the above challenge is that it was compiled in 2010 AND…  It has a picture of my arse on the front!

I quickly got the camera and got myself on the floor, in the same position as I was in when the original was taken and tried to get a selfie of my butt that was both artful and realistic while resembling as closely as possible the look that had been achieved back in the day.   Here are the results:

I’ve put that cats face there just to save your blushes really as god knows who you are but I’m sure you do not want to be confronted by anything close to porn on a blog like this at this time of day (insert time here…..).  Look, you can see my dirty floor (oh my god that’s bad),  my un-matching PJ’s and the fact that I used the Christmas decorations suitcase as the backdrop for the picture.  The top is my arm as I skilfully reach for the camera to get the shot having not received a selfie (or arsey) stick for Christmas!  After some careful cropping to sort of align it to the original and then putting a light filter on to give it a similar tone too I ended up with this:

Top = the book cover, bottom = my bottom now.  I couldn’t work out on the picture which way I was facing but I kind of like the result anyway.  Arty bums.

With that done and my bum mask re-discovered I was set, my new smoother bottomed life was only a 10 minute mask away…

The mask.

Ingredient wise this is a hydrating, water-based sheet mask that contains marine extracts as its actives. There is a blue algae (Haslea Ostreaia) and Bladderwrack extract (Fucus Vesiculosus) plus a little oat, hydrolysed soy protein, aloe and chamomile (also mostly soothing and hydrating).  The pack tells me that the marine algae will firm my butt (which I wasn’t sure I needed but hey, let’s give it a go) by combating gravity – that’s a big call but I guess in the butt world it may be a case of go-big-or-go-home! For a minute I forgot I was a chemist and fell in love with the marketing words turned into promises that were thoughtfully strung together across this pack. Plumping, Soothing, and firming, how nice.

I  have a very close relationship to bladderwrack seaweed as it reminds me of the times we spent at our holiday beach home as a kid. I used to collect lots of this stuff which I felt looked a bit like witches hair!  I’d put it into my bucket then sit popping the little glands rather like you might pop bubble wrap or that Angalypta embossed wallpaper which was another favourite of mine to pop (google it, it’s that cool stuff everyone had in England back in the day).  As a kid some of my best memories were around being outside in the woods or on or around the beach just collecting and playing with plants and other stuff.  My mum would tell me about how, in the olden days, people would come and collect and eat this stuff which I always thought was gross but now it would be trendy to do such a thing – wild harvesting, off-the-grid-living,  foraging maybe.  My mum and her brother (who still has a very keen interest in all of natures wonders) would also tell me about how different plants could be used for the skin and for washing the hair but I didn’t pay too much attention to that back then, for me it was more to do with the sensory aspect of stuff and for me, seaweed was and always will be the slimy stuff you pop!

I toyed around with going into the chemistry of the ingredients here but don’t want to as I feel it would be best for me to do that in another post.  That said, I didn’t want to leave anyone hanging and so here is a link to a decent introduction to the benefits (and chemistry) of Bladderwrack. Suffice to say that these are good choices for any skin care and are worthy of further investigation.

Time to try it:

I’ve made a bit of an attempt to make the action shot a little less explicit by adding the fake flowers. Hopefully that helps, sorry if it doesn’t.

That stain on the shake part is MICA God Damn it!  I repeat MICA!!!

The experience:

Firstly there is mica so that’s what has stained the sheets and that’s what makes your butt a bit shimmery afterwards. It’s on the ingredients list of course but I overlooked it before. I assume this is the ‘illuminate’ part of the claims.  Light up your backside with shimmer 🙂

Next the sheets were bigger than I was expecting – not a bad thing as surely one wants their whole booty covered in serum goodness rather than just a slither but it was quite a surprise to see the bigness of the sheets.

Further, the sheets were much better quality material than I’d anticipated so I’m sure these could be rinsed through and used again, possibly with any other serum you wish to pop on your bot.

It’s a cold experience.  Now two days ago we had a hot-day-to-end-all-hot-days.  12 Km down the road the town reached a recorded temp of 48.6C which is insanely hot. I would have died for a cold butt mask then but today it’s only 20 something degrees so the coldness was less pleasant, especially as it was cold and damp. I would probably heat this up next time or use it on another hot day.

Other than that it’s quite nice and you do get a good 10-15 minutes of forced down-time to just chill out (literally) and indulge yourself as there’s not much you can do with two sheets stuck to your bottom.

The verdict:

This is definitely something that people like me that don’t get out much would find amusing and for that reason it’s worth buying and trying. The ingredients are all pretty lovely and it is well made so it doesn’t feel like a waste.  The mask would go just as well on your face or boobs if you so wished but the butt factor did give me a laugh and God knows we all need more of that in our lives.  As a chemist I’ve done a poor job of explaining this product but as a regular, suburban mum shopper I think this is just peachy and because the sheets are such good quality you can satisfy your inner anti-globalist, anti-capitalist urges by beating the system and using the sheets again and again! Ha! Take that neo-liberalism.  Oh and for all you adventurous types why not get a handful of friends (and masks) together and have a butt mask party?  Now I’d better stop there as that sounds a bit risqué.

Now, if only I’d have done the mask BEFORE my ten year challenge photo I’d have had a firmer more illuminated butt to share…



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