Here’s a fun fact: I use face masks every. single. day. It may be a sheet mask, a [bubbly] clay mask, an overnight sleeping pack, a treatment wash-off mask or a toner pad mask, but one thing is for sure: That little luxury is what gets me through the day, both as a self-care moment as well as from a health perspective, the skin being our largest organ and all.
It probably explains the sheer number of masks that I go through! I also like to think that daily masking is helping with ageing well. I actually don’t mind getting older, I’d just rather look groomed while doing it.
Side note / mini rant. I cannot remember the last time I did something just for the sake of it, by itself. So for example, I cannot just watch a movie by myself, it has to be together with my husband so I can count it as a relationship moment and turn it into a date night type of activity. If I want to put on a face mask, I have to combine that with some kind of meditation. I can't just watch a YouTube video, I have to fold laundry while I listen. I cannot just crank out some music, I need to clean the floors while I do it. I can no longer read fun books, they have to be nonfiction so I learn while I read. I cannot just write for fun, it has to be something useful, like this blog, for other people to get value out of, through product reviews. Trying to decide whether that's too high-strung, too type A personality or a normal way of using time efficiently? Do you do the same? Your thoughts?
But, back to the topic at hand. Face masks!
Lindsay – Vitamin Modeling Mask Cup Pack
I first came across the concept of modelling masks in my Taiwanese roommate’s medicine cabinet back when I was living in Australia. For some reason, these appear to be more of a concept in Asian countries, whereas they seem to be more of an obscure treatment in the West.
The way they work (including this Lindsay number here – 1 cup gets you one application) is, you take some powder, mix it quickly with (if possible, purified or filtered) water, then spread it all over your freshly cleansed face. Ideally, you’d want a friend to apply it for you, over your eyes, so you can lay back and relax. They dry down like jelly and after a few minutes, you can pull them off like a big rubber ball – they’re very gentle, not like pore strips or peel-off masks (personally, I’d avoid the latter two).
While modelling masks are fantastic for that Freddy Krueger effect (which I’m into), great for upping your social media game (if that is what you’re into), I have to say… none that I have tried have had any effect whatsoever. They feel nice and cooling, provided you mix them with cold water, but that’s it. On the other hand, they don’t appear to do you any harm either. You decide whether that is something you’re after. 🤷♀️
Skinfood – Rice Mask Wash Off
Yeah, I’m not sure about the order of these words either (wash-off mask seems to be more commonly accepted?).
The beauty industry will have you believe that Asian women have used rice water for centuries, and that that custom alone can be credited for their amazing skin – I have my doubts – but this mask certainly riffs off that myth.
It is lightly moisturising and hydrating, with a touch of emollience. The bits that you see are non-abrasive and only serve to add a bit of texture. I did use it up but somewhat reluctantly, as this contains a lot of fragrance. I will not look into repurchasing this.
I’m from Mugwort Mask
This is actually a mask that I have repurchased several times already! I like mine to stay in the fridge and apply it on hot nights for a little treat. I’d peg this as a summer rather than a winter mask simply because the gel texture lends itself so well to being kept in the fridge, but that’s just personal preference.
It is a hydrating wash off gel mask that comes after cleansing; you leave it on for 5 minutes – you can go for longer but it does dry down, I like to get it off when it’s still a little soft – and your skin will feel soothed and hydrated, pores look smaller. The effect is not dramatic though – do not expect miracles.
I love the sensorial experience of the herbal smell and the little bits you have to mix with water to really get them off – this is much better suited to in-shower than sink removal. While it is pricey, it gives me that spa moment that I need in my otherwise hypoallergenic (read: less fun) skincare routine.
Laneige – Water Sleeping Mask Ex
Now, the famed Laneige Sleeping Pack. This is another mask that I have used reluctantly, and yet I keep buying it. Allow me to explain.
This mask is meant to be hydrating, yet I find myself reaching for multiple layers of hydrators and a moisturiser before topping off with this one. It dries down and feels somewhat tight, especially come morning. I actually feel dehydrated and stiff with it on my face. HOWEVER, once I wash it off, skin looks and feels plump and rested – I enjoy adding a little water and rinsing it before going in with a separate cleanser. This mask attracts all sorts of dust and pillow lint, so a separate cleanser is essential.
But in spite of the tight feel, my skin looks amazing come morning! Go figure.
Hatherine – Green Tangerine Papaya
Despite the fact that my skin is naturally quite dehydrated, I am not immune to the appeal of a clarifying clay mask. As long as they are not super drying, that is. This was a great example of a non-drying clay mask that also smelled lovely. While I was concerned with the citrus oils in this one, it was actually brightening and never dried down super dry – my favourite kind of clay mask. I no longer see it in the shops but it still seems available online.
Laneige – Cica Sleeping Mask
Compared to the classic Water sleeping mask, this Cica mask is a completely different animal – and one that I somewhat prefer over its blue sibling. For starters, while the water sleeping mask is more of a gel, this one is more of a whipped cream that dries down yet stays soft throughout its wear time. Skin is always comfortable, soft and smooth.
Contrary to the water sleeping version, I can simply layer a few watery products underneath, then go in with this cica mask, and not have to worry about my skin feeling tight the next morning.
As for efficacy, I personally find this one great for soothing burgeoning breakouts and bringing down redness in particular. While I no longer find myself having to extract like I used to, I may still get the occasional breakout every time I eat too many sweets and this is an absolute godsend on those days. It should come as no surprise that I have repurchased this mask several times over already and I can see myself continuing to do so in the future.
Some by Mi – Super Matcha Pore Clean Clay Mask
Remember that soft Hatherine Clay Mask I mentioned above? Well, this Some By Mi is NOT like that. Indeed, this is one of those hard clay masks that used to be all the rage in the 90s and 2000s. It dries down and sucks all the moisture out of your skin – while it does clear out pores and purify, I consistently found that I could not leave it on for longer than 5 minutes.
I will have to say though that the smell was absolutely gorgeous, a real green tea treat. It smells just like a fresh cup of iced green tea and I could have bathed in that scent.
Have you tried any of these masks - if so, how did you fare? Any recommendations from your end? Let's talk in the comments. 💌
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