Mercury, the planet of communication, went retrograde on September 24. When this happens, the world of communication goes a little haywire: cell phones calls go whack, computers break down, appointments are rescheduled and, very frequently, flights will be missed. The latter was experienced when Delta wouldn't let me board my flight to Arizona last week (long story, another day). When I arrived in Phoenix after booking a different airline, the car rental company lost my reservation and rates and their whole system crashed whilst looking it up. Of  course, I kept my cool knowing these retrograde periods would test my sanity.

But it doesn't mean I didn't stress, worry or simply grin and bare it (with gritted teeth, mind you). When I stress, I instantly break out so I knew I had to immediately get a face mask (not to mention the soothing aspect is also beneficial).

I arrived in Sedona and even before unpacking, I headed to the Mii Amo Spa shop to see what kind of face masks they had in stock. The shop clerk, Hemali, had encyclopedic knowledge of the brands they carried and introduced me to Eminence, an organic grooming line I hadn't heard of before. I told her how particular I was with masks (I'm not a diva about this, I just like masks that can really penetrate the pores) and she immediately suggested the Herbal Mud Mask Treatment ($44). "I have to warn you. It's going to burn."

And she wasn't kidding. When I returned to my room, I applied it liberally as suggested. During this process, the sting had already settled in. Not even thirty seconds later, the burning initiated. If felt like I had rubbed hot tamales (the candy) all over my face. But don't get me wrong: it was a good burn. Kinda like that good, post-work out pain. And the scent of cinnamon (which has antibacterial properties and is rich in minerals) was equally pleasant. In addition to cinnamon, the mud mask is packed with ivy (high in vitamin C), sage (for toning and healing) and paprika (gives stimulation and a natural antioxidant). There's also some other awesome stuff in here, like lemongrass and walnut leaf.

Ten minutes later (and I have to admit, I secretly never wanted to take the mask off), my skin was red, kinda like a sunburn. It looked like I had put my face through torture but the whole experience was exciting, unusual and stimulating. In the morning I was astonished at how my pores appeared more clear and how soft my face seemed to feel. This product is great for those who have oily or acne-prone skin as it decreases oil production and improves skin texture.