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Pampering Mothers

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Face masks sound like a real chore don’t they, especially when you’ve got toddlers to run after and a home to run. But if in your head you are screaming I NEED SOME ME TIME NOW, let me suggest spending 20 minutes pampering yourself with a clay mask. Now this is not just any clay mask mind you, but a sensational one.

Meanwhile, never underestimate the power of self-care sessions when you have no time for yourself.

A beauty secret no more

Aztec Secret clay mask is being touted as the “World’s Most Powerful Facial”

Now, there’s plenty of clay masks out there. They’re all touted to be doing the same thing – cleaning out and tightening our pores, brightening our complexion, and breathing life back into dull skin.

But then, there is the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay mask. Supposedly it is different? It has over 18,000 reviews on Amazon with 72 percent of reviewers rating it with 5 stars. Even Buzzfeed gave it a spin. It calls itself the “The World’s Most Powerful Facial”, so how does it really fare?

What is the hype all about?

Users are finding that this clay mask really works!

This clay mask contains 100% natural Calcium Bentonite Green Clay, which is a natural ingredient used by generations to get rid of toxins from our bodies. It has multiple uses in this regard, but one of the most common usages is for skincare purposes. Many reviews describe this clay mask as ‘vacuuming’ your pores, so I was looking forward to giving it a go!

Aztec Secret’s clay mask comes in a pretty huge tub. Compared to other commercial clay masks found on the aisles of beauty shops, this is pretty much a steal. It retails at RM33.62 for 450 g on iherb.

Only a little is needed for each application. Mix one teaspoon with apple cider vinegar or water using non-metal bowls and utensils. This amount would be more than enough for your entire face, neck and collarbone.

About that ME time

Spare some time for this clay mask – it’s worth it!

The packaging of Aztec Secret recommends the clay mask be left on for 15-20 minutes. You can lie down and relax or have some fun and scare your children after applying the mask. However, 5 minutes after application, my skin started to pulsate, as mentioned on the packaging. This pulsating sensation is pretty intense as the clay mask is working hard to rid your skin of all the dirt and grime. You will feel some tugging!

After the recommended 20 minutes, the clay concoction hardens and makes your face feel a little tight. That’s your cue to wash it all off. I was left with slightly reddish skin, but this dissipated after five to ten minutes. I looked in the mirror, and an unbelievably squeaky clean face greeted me. “Is this really MY skin?” I marveled.

That’s not all. After prolonged use, you will find that your skin is no longer as prone to breakouts. And there’s still so much clay left in the tub!

This clay mask is truly no joke. It leaves a wonderful sensation on your skin but more than that, it is healing. It heals by getting rid of all the grit and sebum that causes breakouts. With a great price to boot, great reviews by thousands of users and some pampering time on offer, you can’t go  wrong with this one.

In a nutshell: 4 / 5

Where to buy: iherb

When someone you care for gets pregnant, presents or gifts may be a little tricky – what will they like? What would be safe for them? What could she need right now? Well, wonder no more, as someone has actually researched and sourced products especially for expecting women. I had recently been seeing a lot of these pretty boxes around, and was thrilled someone had actually started doing this in Malaysia.

Before She Pops is a subscription service that curates beautiful gift boxes filled with pregnancy must-have products for expecting mothers. Each box contains items that cater specifically to the three pregnancy trimesters. All three trimester boxes contain a unique set of products, such as organic teas, bath & body products and other delightful surprises.

Helpful and safe products to your doorstep

Founder and CEO Zuliana Zulkiflee Abbas was a full-time Green Building Consultant and took the last month off to work from home during her third trimester. She and her husband both decided she shouldn’t be driving during this time, and this was when the idea for Before She Pops came about. “I didn’t have the energy to look for things and I did a lot of research – I was constantly Googling what was safe to consume during pregnancy.  As I knew working women usually did not really have time to do research, I wanted to provide something that could help. I thought of a box that had products which were 100% safe for pregnant women. The best part? The box would be delivered to your doorstep!  That was what I wanted for myself,”  Zuliana said.

Zuliana gave birth to her daughter in February 2017, and soon decided to quit her full-time job. She ran her idea past her husband and sister, and they encouraged her to pursue it. With that, Zuliana started scouting for items and suppliers in May. It took her 3 months from planning to execution and in August 2017, she started Before She Pops with help from her well-known graphic designer sister, Zurisha, who runs TinyType

Before She Pops currently comes in three boxes:

First trimester Nausea Battle Kit   RM190

Second trimester Bring on the Babymoon   RM250

Third trimester Ready to Pop   RM280

Products for each box range from body oils that prevent stretch marks and travel socks, to scented candles and foot soaks.  There are many other products tailored specially to pampering mummies-to-be, and each box even comes with pregnancy milestone cards. Most of the products are from local small businesses run by women. Mini Boxes for second and third trimesters will also be launched soon. Zuliana is even already working on boxes for ‘After She Pops’ for the pantang (confinement) period. Definitely can’t wait to see that!

Mother and Businesswoman

For Zuliana, work time is when she sends her daughter to play school twice a week, or when the little one is asleep. When I asked her how it was like changing from a full time office job to becoming a mother with her own business, her face gleamed. “It is tiring but I have more control over my time. Time management is very important. For me, it’s been a very fulfilling journey becoming a mother. I am thankful for the support from my husband and family members. They are all so supportive and volunteer to take care of my daughter. Just like now  – my aunt’s taking care of her so that I can meet you!” she said. 

Celebrate the mother

“I got so emotional when I was sending my first boxes out. It was surreal and exciting. My other baby was making its debut into the world. My goal is for mothers to pamper and take care of themselves before they become mothers. I’d like to celebrate the journey towards parenthood. Once you become a mother, it’s all about the baby. You can’t be a good mother if you’re not happy yourself,” Zuliana said.

 

Before She Pops can be found on Instagram and Facebook, or email [email protected].