The Mask has made a comeback in a big way. No, not Jim Carey. We have seen a rise in the popularity of facial masks over the past few years. Maybe it has something to do with increased access and influence of K-Beauty. Or maybe this beauty product was just due to have its moment as we take collective deep breaths and set aside time for much-needed self-care.
This shift from a once-in-a-blue-moon luxury to routine staple has recently claimed significant shelf space on beauty counters, at big box retailers, and even in the aisles of small drug and grocery stores. Instacult beauty brands, such as the few-years-old Glossier, might only peddle a couple dozen products, but are quick to offer a face mask or two in its arsenal.
As we shroud our pores in sheets and clays and goops to address any number of skin issues, these product trials are making their way into our feeds and stories, because if we didn’t post it, did it really happen?
Thanks to social media, I have discovered four of the most eye-catching masks for review. After purchasing what I believe to be the more ridiculous looking masks on the market, I put them to the test on my Normal-to-Sensitive, 30-year-old, cystic acne and acne-scarred skin. Below, I offer my humble opinion on the two most important questions: is it worth the ‘Gram? Does it actually do anything?
This two-step product is not your typical sheet mask. You begin with a really luxurious “ampoule” pod which you massage into your face and décolletage (sounds fancy, huh?). Then, the real fun starts when you apply the sheet portion of the mask – an algae-based, rubbery mask that comes in an upper- and lower-face part, ensuring a somewhat custom fit. You will 100% look like a Blue Man Group cast member and be 100% tempted to nonstop touch your now bouncy face.
I found this mask to be refreshing, relaxing, and thoroughly enjoyed its cooling effect for the full 40 minutes. My skin did seem hydrated and plump the next morning. Though, my favorite part of this experience is that I could talk, laugh, and move my face while wearing the mask!
I used the Hydration Lover mask, but Dr. Jart+ offers this line of masks for Firm Lovers, Bright Lovers, and Clear Skin Lovers too. Each comes in a different color.
Pro Tip: Wear for the full 40 minutes. When done, don’t rinse face, but instead massage remaining product into skin and sleep with it on!
Song to listen to while masking: “Blue (Da Ba Dee)”, Eiffel 65
Worth the ‘Gram? yasss
Upon twisting open the lid, I was bummed to see this whitish-silver goop was not nearly as metallic as my wild imagination (and Instagram Story) had hoped for. A scent of my favorite kind of sunscreen + Elmer’s glue came wafting out of the jar. I slathered this piña colada-smelling mask on and – woah! It kinda feels like glue too. Mesmerized by the weird, cooling effect dancing across my face, I caught a glimpse in the mirror and HUZZAH! The mask dries as more of a chrome.
This mask is really fun to look at. Put it on, take a disco nap or dance around the house. You’ll feel like an intergalactic rock star. However, this specific GlamGlow formula aims to firm and tone the skin, and I feel like it was mismatched with my somewhat sensitive skin, as my face mildly itched within an hour of taking this mask off. The GlamGlow line is spendy, which is something to consider, as this mask sees best effects when applied generously.
I don’t think I’ll use this product again considering my skin’s incompatibility. However, I really enjoyed looking like I had a mirror for a face. Oh, and peeling off the mask at the end was oddly satisfying!
Pro Tip: Be generous in your application and move your fingers fast! This mask starts to change consistency quickly.
Song to listen to while masking: “Tin Man’s Dance,” Wizard of Oz
Worth the ‘Gram? meh.
I was perhaps most excited to try a black mask, as I have seen this mask (or variations of it) pop up all over the interwebs, with one of my Instagram friends posting about how she could finally cross it off her Bucket List. I read “Bucket List” and thought this mask must be life-changing. After reading the instructions and other reviews, I was excited at the thought of this mask’s powerful lifting ability, with cautions that it might not only extract blackheads, but hair it came into contact with. Deeply detoxifying and ‘stache removal?! A gosh darn 2-4-1! Sign me up.
If you’re looking for a mask with a dramatic look, this is the one for you! This mineral-rich mask containing activated charcoal is a true black, which goes on tar thick for great coverage. The mask itself tightens as it dries, making it somewhat uncomfortable when moving facial muscles. It, too, has a cooling effect, though not as intense as GlamGlow and not as refreshing as the Dr. Jart+ masks. Also a peel-off mask, I noticed sloughed off dead skin cells on the used mask, but no blackheads. Much to my dismay, my peach fuzz remained happily rooted to my chinny-chin-chin. Again, my sensitive skin had a temper tantrum, resulting in visibly red, itchy and dry face aftermath.
I can confidently say that I can cross this mask off my Bucket List with no need to revisit. But don’t take my word for it. This popular mask has nearly 3,800 reviews, 4-star rating, and 110,000+ “Loves” on sephora.com.
Song to listen to while masking: “Back to Black,” Amy Winehouse
Corresponding Emoji: Worth the gram? NOPE
This is a basic sheet mask, but the animal print makes for a fun twist! This mask rings in at the lowest price point, significantly less expensive than even the next cheapest option in this 4-mask heap. I would definitely classify this as a budget mask, a great value for a little pick-me-up. The mask itself doesn’t have a lot of “wow factor,” refraining from making any big skin innovation claims.
And, yet, it does the job of a simple sheet mask, giving the skin a little drink. It comes out of the package moist, sticks to the skin well, and cools during the duration of the wait time. I’m not sure if you can assign a value to entertainment factor in this experiment, but as far as my 15-month-old toddler is concerned this is the best $3.99 Mom has even spent on vanity. *Editor’s Note: he was definitely laughing at me, not with me.
I bought several Pretty Animalz masks and brought them along on a friends cabin weekend. Everyone on the trip – guys included – indulged me with wearing a mask and everyone roared with laughter! Using this mask is a don’t-take-yourself-so-serious activity to restore your skin and lift your spirit. Share with friends or snicker to yourself.
Pro Tip: buy two and enjoy with a friend! You will LOL
Song to listen to while masking: “Roar,” Katy Perry
Worth the gram? yasss
You only have one epidermis in this lifetime. So, you might as well mask. I highly recommend finding one (or a rotation of a few) that work well with your skin to address your unique concerns. Do it for the dead skin turnover, not for the Instagram. And if you do decide to post a selfie of a favorite mask, please accompany with a full review in the caption, hyperlink to where I can find it, and Amazon Prime it to my doorstep. K THX.
BY Ashley Paguyo El Shourbagy - October 8, 2017
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.