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Queen Helene feeds my retro-thing, kills the sebum factories in my pores.

July 4, 2011

Remember when you would watch a film or tv show set “back in the day,” and a requisite component of the “sorry but I’m washing my hair tonight” look involved the woman in some odd-green face mask? Which would necessarily terrify the small child or pet that would pass her by? I’m pretty convinced that green came from Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque. I mean, this is IT. Weird, pungent, clay like cream you smother all over your face till it’s a shocking green. If I remember my most-precious Crayola collection right, “sea green” is about the right shade… I’d never ever lend that color out unless you were my “best friend” of the week in kindergarten.

Kind of like this, without the cucumber.

I distinctly remember finding out about this product when I was doing a bit of research on clay masks. The intrigue from that started with a free sample from Lush, which has a ridiculous selection of clay masks at its shops (not on its site, since they can’t ship them, but they exist in the US I promise), but all of which require storage in the fridge and use within two weeks or so. I know me, I’ve got some shit in my fridge I’ve forgotten about for months on end, this wouldn’t work. But amongst my research, reviews over and over kept throwing their hands up with whatever mask they were talking about and saying that their Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask pretty much did a better job. What the heck was this thing??

I have the good fortune of having a Walgreen’s in my building lobby so I popped down to just have a look. Basically, this stuff is like $4. So why not?

And oh. my. god.

I have been using this stuff religiously now for about 7 months and I will tell you this much – I no longer have ANY problems with mid-day shine and oiliness. That stuff is like, gone. I don’t even carry blotting papers around in my purse anymore. It’s pretty much amazing. I use it maybe every 2 night or so, plop a thick smother on my face for ten minutes and watch a round of Criminal Minds until the next advert segment, wash it off (surprisingly easy, considering how thick this stuff is and how it really hardens like a mud stain would on your jeans), give my face a good, rough, dry with a facial washcloth, and just do everything else as is. And wow.

This is maybe the best reason I have to not pay worship at the altar of all-natural prods. Cos this shit works. And it’s got parabens. I mean, ok, Queen Helene has apparently been around for some 80+ years, back when the beauty industry didn’t really give a rat’s ass about the ingredients (See their frighteningly named Cholesterol Hair Conditioner). Today, nothing evil is a selling point. But really, Queen Helene has been the first of a few recent products that I’ve discovered which are touted by a lot of bloggers and magazines as cult products (MoroccanOil, Embryolisse) but which contain the same ingredients which those people decry (silicones for hair, mineral oil for skin). So now I take those warnings with a grain of salt, and without any blind adherence. As for Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Mask, we’ve more crucially got Kaolin, Sulfur, and Zinc — three magic zip-zapping ingredients of legend, all in one product. Screw the parabens, I’ve got these bad boys. And they do work for zits — when I feel zit impending, a good layer of this stuff followed by a dose of Keihl’s Blue Herbal Spot Treatment will help keep it from volcanic eruption nine times out of ten. I’ve also read people saying that sleeping on a spot with a huge dab of the Queen Helene on top also does something awesome, though I’ve yet to try.

I’m not going to lie, as fantastic as this shit is, I get bored easily. And I’m already thinking of giving Clark’s Intense Radiance Mask as a classy upgrade. But maybe this is just frolic? It’s nice to know the Mint Julep’s there to come back home to.

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