Catastrophe Cosmetic by Lush
This is a staple in my fridge. Yes, fridge. The ingredients in this face mask are so fresh and active that it needs to be kept refrigerated. Lush products are whipped up in a Canadian cosmetic kitchen, so if keeping local is your thing, here you go. This mask in particular combines locally sourced blueberries and calamine to help soothe redness and dry flakes. Lush recommends leaving the mask on for 5-10 minutes after which time you will see immediate results, like a mini facial. I even use the mask as a morning face wash in the winter if my skin needs something a bit extra. After using it, my skin literally looks airbrushed, as though I applied a tinted moisturizer. The thick mask controls my combination skin, T-Zone and removes red and dry patches at the same time - really evening out my red freckled face. At only $7.95 a pop, it's possible to use more without the guilt. Another thing not to feel guilty about? This product is 100% vegan, not tested on animals and all packaging is made from 100% recycled materials. You can even order online. Responsible consumerism at its finest with all the benefits of being selfish.
REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial
This is another product that I see immediate results with and after only 1 minute. The mask is loaded with vitamin C that, when activated with water, goes to work on your skin, brightening the overall appearance. Vitamin C is such a skin powerhouse because of its ability to rejuvenate by diminishing sun damage and fading post acne marks and the redness that comes from taking breakouts into your own hands. I use this mask frequently because with a couple of tots, sometimes I only have a minute. This does wonders for my bi-polar skin which is a mix of red patches, t-zone and dry with brown freckles. I use it as part of my ritual on the mornings after I crash with my make-up on (happens more than I would like to admit) to make it up to my pores. Formulated without chemicals - it passes my no parabens under any circumstance test. A 2.5 oz supply runs for $58 or you can try the Pure Glow Trio which includes a calming face cleansing balm, the mask and an additional gycol lactic face mask to further results for $65 all available from Sephora.
Supermud Clearing Treatment by GLAMGLOW
This mask hails from the backstages of Hollywood, and for me is a clear explanation of what separates the stars from the ordinary. Well ... maybe not the only thing. It is created by the only skincare company to appear on the Hollywood "Walk of Fame", and is loaded with an activated charcoal complex that can soak up to 500x it's volume in excess oil, dirt and grime from your face. This supermud clearing treatment is a hybrid, delivering to me EXACTLY the results outlined in the little fine print on the outside of the box. I have never experienced the clearing benefits of a product like I have from this one. Acne is not a usual part of my skin life, and I get blemishes far and few between, but when I do, always before an event of course, this treatment clears my skin like no other without drying it out. My pores are tightened, my skin toned and even and by the next day usually my blemish has literally just gently flaked off. Is it pricey? Slightly, but use it once and you will see why. A whole lot let less than buying new skin, if that's even possible. 1.2 oz is $76 or try it in a smaller version in the ultimate anti-aging set, a combination of three products also $76, both from Sephora.
Homemade Face Mask
There is nothing wrong with a little DIY face mask. It may not have the science behind it that promises near face lift results but many of the most popular products on the market contain ingredients that you can find in your own pantry and fridge. My personal favourite for a quick dry skin fix is an avocado banana and oatmeal blend that I prelude with a lemon exfoliation. Here's what you need:
1. 1 lemon cut into quarters
2. half a banana (you're going to have to eat the other half, these things don't store well)
3. half an avocado (kind of the same deal)
4. 1 cup of real oats - not the microwave kind - soaked in warm water - just enough water for a paste consistency
5. A bowl to blend it all in
First, I prep my skin, make sure that it is clean so that the benefits of the mask can be seen and my face won't be soaking up the grime on my skin instead of the mask. Then, I take the lemon and cut it into quarters, taking two of the quarters and rubbing each one in gentle circles on my face, avoiding the eye area for obvious reasons (ouch!). The lemon acts as a toner and will help to gently exfoliate the skin and tighten the pores before applying the face mask.
Then, I mix the banana with the avocado. Throw that banana in your bowl and mush it with a fork. Now do it again with the avocado. Once they are both mingled together in mushed up bliss, add the concoction to the warm oats and mix together again. Apply to your face and neck; it is a bit messy, so why not relax in the tub while you do it, and leave on for at least 10 minutes. I like to use my fingertips and rub it around my face for the last couple of minutes. Rinse off with warm water and if you want, follow up with another lemon treatment with the remaining lemon quarters. For added benefits, don't rinse off the lemon juice and instead apply your nighttime moisturizer on top. Left on, lemon juice helps heal acne, diminish scars and brighten the skin. Voila!
Miracle Worker by Philosophy
This may not technically be a face mask, however, I count it as a face mask as it can be left on overnight without all the mess. This miracle worker in a jar is more like a genie in a bottle that has the entire night to go to work granting all of your skin wishes without the wait time of a typical face mask. I wouldn't use this every night as it is a bit heavy and so can actually cause skin to become oily if used before bed every single time, but used 2-3 times a week it plumps out the fine lines on my face (yeah I've got them) and makes my skin bouncy and rejuvenated. Proof that it works? I still get asked for I.D on the regular. $68 from philosophy.com.
Feel your best. Look your best. Do your best.