When I was a teenager, applying a face mask felt like the epitome of elegance; it’s what real beauty enthusiasts and proper grown ups did, although I’m not sure they were using the same 49p sachets from Superdrug as I was. In the last twenty odd years not much has changed – I still love a face mask and I still see it as a moment of indulgence, as well as an opportunity to treat my skin or tackle any issues I may be seeing in the mirror. I’ve got a huge basket of different brands and formulas in my bathroom, all offering something new, as my skin is rarely the same from one week to the next; I pick out the ones I think will help boost my complexion, remove the gunk that’s giving me jip, or simply help to hydrate, so there’s always room for something new. Spring is a hotbed for facial treatments as we look to counteract the festive over-indulgence and look to creating a clearer and brighter complexion for the new season, and there are so many new launches worth knowing about. Having tried, tested and compared, these are the five I think are worth exploring…
THE GLITTER ONE: GlamGlow GlitterMask GravityMud (£44.00)
The most over-indulgent and ridiculous face mask ever made, but I blooming love it. GlamGlow have taken their best selling GravityMud Firming Treatment and turned it into a black transparent glittery wonder, which makes the perfect Instagrammable moment; they are clever, making their face masks totally sharable and unique – something no other brand has even attempted. Although the price point is extreme, the pleasure I got from this was unrivaled: I enjoyed every moment of applying this to my skin, and every tightening minute it got to work. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was trying to get it off and leaving my sink covered in glitter, but it did leave my skin feeling tighter and perkier after a week of feeling tired.
THE MATCHA ONE: Garnier Matcha Detox Pore Unclogging Mask (£TBC)
A great weekly treatment to help look after clogged or spot-prone skin, this relatively fluid mask formula includes Kaolin Clay and natural Matcha Green Tea Extract (a powerful antioxident known for its ability to help trap and inactivate free radicals in the skin) alongside Salicylic Acid to clear pores and absorb excess oil, leaving skin feeling squeaky clean and clear. It also claims to remove pollution caused by city life from the skin, so it’s a great one if you work in a city or have been into London for the day; I know for one I can always feel and see it on my face! Just make sure you only use it around the nose and chin, or you’ll dry out the rest of your face. Although I don’t have a price right now, it launches into store imminently and is likely to be not much more than a fiver – a great buy.
THE ‘DOES EVERYTHING’ ONE: Skin Republic Purifying + Charcoal Sheet Mask (£5.49)
We’re totally not over sheet masks, but we’re also not over bubble masks either. This handy little sachet brings the best of both worlds, with the added benefit of charcoal too. The sheet is saturated with a liquid that starts to bubble when exposed to air, oxygenating the skin and providing a boost in only a few minutes; not only do you look hilarious, but this does some serious good too. It helps to draw out impurities thanks to the charcoal, inject oxygen thanks to the bubbles, plus it contains fruid acids to exfoliate dead skin away from the surface, leaving a much brighter, fresher and more luminous complexion. It’s great if you’re getting ready in a rush, or just need to effortlessly perk up your complexion – and at a fiver it’s not expensive either. (Read more about bubble masks and how they work in my post here.)
THE INDIVIDUAL USE ONE: Superdrug B. Clay Face Masks (£2.49)
Clay masks are ten a penny, but they certainly do work. Superdrug’s own brand ‘B.’ are launching their very own mini versions that are perfect for on the go, or simply giving them a try before you invest in the full size. I love the fact there are three different clays depending upon your needs or preference (including a purifying one, glowing one and detox one – clay is more multi-functional than you realise!) and these are really quite effective, leaving skin feeling fresh without drying the surface too much. Singular sachets and pods are nothing new, but until now they’ve been quite costly; this is a great affordable range from a brand that’s really underrated.
THE MULTI-FUNCTION ONE: Garnier Refreshing Botanical Jelly 3-in-1 Mask (£12.99)
Is it a cleanser? A hair masque? A moisturiser? Nope, this rather unique jelly is in fact a multi-functional mask and treatment enriched with hydrating Aloe Vera. You can apply the transparent formula either as a thick hydrating treatment, when left for ten minutes and removed with a cotton pad before you apply makeup, or used as a lightweight moisturiser after your usual skincare. Additionally, apply it before bed for a more intense result that leaves skin feeling and looking plump and hydrated the morning after – although make sure you leave plenty of time before hitting the sheets, or your pillow will be covered in goo! Although there’s nothing revolutionary about this, I do really like the fact you can use it in different ways and the texture lends itself to a quick hydration boost; it’s a great add-on to any skincare regime and perfect for any age range, plus the massive pot will keep you going to an age. Surprisingly different and somewhat intriguing!
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