On the 3rd day of LUSHmas…

…my LUSHIE gave to me…

A RUDOLPH!!!!

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But first…our cold snap has broken! HALLELUJAH!!! THERE IS SNOOOOOOWWWW IN MY YARD!!!!! And my cat still seems to gain life by cuddling with me; even MOAR HALLELUJAHS!!!

Yet amidst this rejoicing, I have been very reflective upon this season of death that December seems to be bringing us.

Paul Walker, doing what he loved, maybe a little too well.

Nelson Mandela – a man that I know not nearly enough about – fighting with his voice and spirit, even until the very end. He saw almost an entire century of our world, can you believe it?

Eleanor Parker, another well-ripened beauty. For me, she will always be the Baroness Schrader from The Sound of Music. She is timeless to me, as well as Julie Andrews + Christopher Plummer. God knows I’ll be adrift at sea when they finally depart.

And yesterday, I spent the entire day remembering my childhood friends Stephanie and Rachel. Six years ago, they left. Already six years and one day. If not for the cruelty of another poor soul’s anger, these sisters could be married now. Publishing stories, chasing after little windmill feet, laughing by the Christmas tree. I’d like to hope that we’d still be friends. But more than hope, I know that I will see them again, and they will teach me everything I couldn’t quite grasp here on this frail earth. I anxiously await that day.

Perhaps that’s why I love this season so much, and cherish the snow on the rare moments it falls. Without it, all we have is the dead ground and naked trees, reminding us of what once was here. A covering, a protection, is laid upon the dirt and wood, giving us something new to look at, all the while preparing its inhabitants for the time when they come back to life. They don’t know it yet, but they won’t be dead forever. The rain will wash away, the sun will demand the trees and grass to reach out their arms to him as far as they can go. We may be lost in the dark season now, but we WILL BE – dare I say it – lush and green once again.

Much like the earth, our own bodies need a protective covering every once in awhile. A thick coat of healing, and a thunderous act of washing away. Starting over. This concept is written into the very fiber of what LUSH stands for.

“We believe…in the right to make mistakes, lose everything, and start again.”

I don’t know about you, but that statement gives me such a feeling of freedom. Freedom from the label of “failure”, freedom to be myself, freedom to live and move and have my being even if I trip on my own clumsy feet and break a precious vase or two. Freedom to be beautiful in a way that goes beyond the standard of the dreaded 36-24-36.

And the other day, Rudolph gave me the freedom to love my face and have some fun while I was at it!

When I finished my shift on Saturday, my blogging brain got totally turned on. I’ve already talked about 2 bath bombs…I’m not ready to talk about my hair experiment yet…what can I do to shake things up?

The best thing I could have done was talk to a co-worker. We’ll call her Avery. I explained that I was very new to LUSH still and hadn’t tried everything, but I wanted to keep my readers invested, yo!

“Oh! Have you tried any of our face masks? I think Rudolph would be the best one, he’s great for winter!”

So into my basket, I plopped that little container of the reindeer.

I didn’t have any downtime until Sunday evening. Steve and I were at his parent’s place for our eat-dinner-and-watch-Once-Upon-a-Time tradition, and I told my sister-in-law Sarah about my new purchase. What she did next took this whole thing to an unbelievable level, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

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Behold, my face! Freshly washed, and looking just okay under this glaring bathroom light. For the integrity of the experiment’s sake, I took all of my “after” pictures underneath the same bathroom light. And can I just say that I HATE when all the magazine’s models with “before” pictures look like they’re heavily medicated, and then suddenly they’re beaming in the “after” pictures? Come on. We all know that a smile is an instant pretty-maker, so of course they’re going to look better if they only smile AFTER you’ve given them their makeover. Hence, why I am smiling NOW, so ya’ll will actually be able to TELL the difference.

Here’s where this gets awesome. You may have noticed in my picture of the face mask that Rudolph contains a precious little red jelly plop. That is not for show. That belongs on your nose, son. To feel the full effects of the Rudolph face mask, you must BECOME THE RUDOLPH!!!

So when Sarah saw what was going on, I could see an idea come over her face, and she took off down the stairs. After rummaging around in the basement for a couple of minutes, she came back with a gift and bestowed it upon my head.

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Transformation: complete. And, not surprisingly, Mr. Fox didn’t have a whole lot to say about it either.

10 minutes. That’s all you need for Rudolph to work his magic. So if you’re one to say that you don’t really have time for a face mask, IIIIIIIIIIII’m gonna have to disagree with you. Look at how much fun you can have in 10 minutes.

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Needless to say, I was invited to join ALL THE REINDEER GAMES RIGHT AWAY, BECAUSE HONESTLY, WHO WOULDN’T WANT ME THERE.

My favourite things about this face mask:

– After 10 minutes, it had somewhat dried, but it didn’t “freeze” my features (obviously) or make me feel like I was going to crack in half if I moved.
– So refreshingly tingly! It’s bursting with fresh ingredients, including a cucumber-oatmeal-coconut oil combo for moisturizing, kaolin clay and tofu for exfoliation, and lavender oil-organic aloe vera powder-calamine powder for soothing the sad, redness-inducing irritations that winter brings. Topped off with fresh peppermint and green tea to make me smell oh-so-nice.
– LUSH obviously wants you to have a lot of fun with this product. I’m not sure if the jelly nose has any special healing properties for your nose other than seaweed, but it sure makes you smile and that’s good enough for me.
– This mask is part of our passion for the environment! On the lid, it says, “Bring back 5 clean pots with this logo and we’ll give you a free face mask!” Not every pot says this yet, but it’s a great motivator to not throw away your black pots once you’re done with them. We send boxes full of black pots back to headquarters and they are then recycled into other things. Hooray!
– Rudolph is easy to keep in the fridge, and stays fresh for about 3 weeks. I think there’s enough in there for me to have 3 once-a-week applications!
– It’s been almost two days and my face still feels so soft. I didn’t apply any lotion or moisturizers afterwards either! After only 10 minutes of this amazing winter-fighter: dead skin was buh-bye, fresh new skin had been born, husband was not able to stop touching my face, and I was feeling pretty fiiiiiine (even under that lovely bathroom light!)

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See what I mean? I think this is my most vain entry ever! Heheheh.

So, dear reader, I can now 100% recommend the power of the reindeer to coat and soothe and heal your face. (But if you’re looking for something a little different, we also have at least 6 other face masks plus a hair mask that may be the answer to what you’re searching for.)
Rudolph is a limited edition product, only provided in the winter, so the time is now! Go forth and BE RUDOLPHED! And take pictures! And show them to me! Be freeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

Take heart, the dark season is half over, with no lack of glorious rests of light along the way.

xo Carly

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