Book Reviews (and My Take on the Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Honey Mask)

origins clear improvement charcoal honey mask
Hey, honey!

Among other mind-blowing things I’ve learned in the last few weeks…did you know that when silent film starlets would wear lipstick on camera in the 1920s, the lipstick would register as black on film? Also, although perhaps less interestingly, I’ve finally figured out that the key to properly using face masks is — drum roll, please — reading books!

For serious.

Yes, I know. Face masks have many skin benefits, especially for combo skin like mine, but I absolutely loathe waiting for them to dry because it feels like there are so many other important things I need to be doing, like plotting to arrange the marriage of Idris Elba and Beyoncé so they can finally adopt me and make all my dreams come true. 🙂

If I apply a mask before I sit down to read, though? Oh, man, the time just flies, and my skin is better for it!

The mask I’ve been hitting the books with lately (reviews below) is by Origins.

Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Honey Mask to Purify and Nourish ($34 for a 2.5-oz. jar

I usually steer clear of anything “purifying” or “detoxifying” because they often render my cheeks dry and tight (UGH), but Origins spiked this deep-cleansing mask with honey to moisturize while it draws out the gunk from your pores.

origins clear improvement charcoal honey mask

It smells like honey, and it kinda feels gooey like honey, too, but it’s weirdly satisfying when I smear it all over my face. I’ll read a chapter or two as it dries, then rinse it off, and my skin just glows afterwards.

From the Origins website

This gentle purifying mask deeply detoxes while nourishing skin, leaving it feeling comfortably clean, clear & conditioned.

Formulated with Bamboo Charcoal, this purifying mask actively deep cleans & draws out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers, impurities & debris. Golden Wildflower & Fermented Honey help nourish skin.

Parabens, Phtalates, Propylene Glycol, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Paraffin, DEA, Polyethylene Beads, Animal Ingredients*
* except cruelty-free Honey & Beeswax

Bamboo Charcoal acts like a magnet to draw out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers, Wildflower & Fermented Honey help nourish. Skin looks clear, feels perfectly pure & conditioned.

Water, Butylene Glycol, Bentonite, Montmorillonite, Honey, Polysorbate 20, PEG-100 Stearate, Polybutene, Jojoba Esters, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil*, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil*, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil*, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Bud Oil*, Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen) Leaf Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Extract, Triethyl Citrate, Ethyl Phenylacetate, Limonene, Linalool, Eugenol, Citral, Benzyl Benzoate, Yeast Extract, Kaolin, Charcoal Powder, Caffeine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Trehalose, Lecithin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, PEG-150 Distearate, Silica, Hexylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Tetrasodium EDTA, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499). *Essential Oil

❤️❤️❤️❤️ 4 out of 5 hearts.

And because reading is fundamental…

The Glass Forest by Cynthia Swanson

Oh, gosh, so good! — but don’t start reading it before bed because you’ll end up staying up way your past your bedtime. This suspenseful tale tells the story of the three women of the Glass family — Angie, Ruby and Silja.

The action kicks off in the fall of 1960 when Silja goes missing and Ruby’s father commits suicide deep in the woods of upstate New York. Angie, Ruby’s aunt, thinks she’s traveling from her Wisconsin home to New York to care for and comfort her niece, but she discovers dark Glass family secrets instead…

the glass forest

I practically tore through the pages and was even tempted to skip ahead and read the last few chapters before finishing the book (which I never, ever do). That’s how desperately I needed to find out what happens at the end.

Highly recommended reading for your next long flight because the time will fly! Haha.

Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta

This comedy is firmly on the schmexy side, and it’s written by the same person who wrote Election (yup, the movie with Reese Witherspoon!). Eve Fletcher is a mid-40s divorcee dealing with an empty nest, and Brendan is her hard-partying son who leaves for college.

mrs fletcher

Both characters have a difficult time adjusting to their new lives, as Eve develops an unexpected addiction to a naughty website, and Brendan stumbles and struggles through the first few weeks of his freshman year.

The writing’s witty, and there are several saucy scenes during which I screamed, “OH, NO THEY DIDN’T!” The entire time I kept wondering, “Will she? Won’t she?” And those pages, they kept a’turnin’.

River Under the Road by Scott Spencer

This character-driven tale follows two couples whose lives intersect in New York in the ’70s and ’80s.

river under the road

Even though there are lush, lovely passages, I couldn’t connect with any of the characters in this book. I had a hard time with this one and didn’t finish it. 🙁 I felt like it often rambled…slowly… I say skip it.

How about you? Have you read anything good lately or used any great masks?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


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