It’s that time of year again – changeable weather, central heating being cranked back on, blustery, windy days. Oh, and the impending Bake Off final. All of these play havoc with our skin (yes, even the latter – the stress of watching a ‘showstopper’ collapse is sometimes too much to bear!), resulting in dryness, blotchiness, uneven skin tone and a dull complexion. Being Verymakeupmad, we try to treat our faces to a weekly – OK, wishful thinking, make that monthly – nourishing face mask. Admittedly, it’s not always easy to find the time to apply a mask, but it’s so worth it. And it’s a great way to ‘scare’ our kids back into bed in the evening, should they wander out of their rooms! Mwah ha ha…
V’s already sung the praises of Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel, from £15. We hope you were paying attention! These pads provide the perfect antidote to sluggish, dry, blotchy skin. The acids remove all dead cells leaving bright, glowing, ‘baby’s bottom’ skin underneath. She doesn’t use daily as suggested (admittedly, she can’t afford to), but weekly or even fortnightly. And after using the pads, her skin is ready for the Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Modeling Mask, £43, by the same brand. Hyaluronic acid is something of a buzzword in the beauty industry at the moment, and if you suffer from dry, dehydrated skin – as V does – then this is definitely an ingredient for you to look out for in any creams or serums (a great example is The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid, 2%, £5.90). Occurring naturally in the body, it draws water into the skin and keeps it there, which means plumped up, smooth, bouncy skin, with less fine lines or signs of dehydration. Yes please! Part of the beauty of the Dr Dennis Gross mask is that you get to play apothecary. You mix the two components of the mask together – a powder and a gel – to create a gloopy, ocean blue mask that should be applied quickly, thickly and evenly. V’s modelling it above and she will get her own back on M for ‘conveniently’ forgetting to take a photo of herself with a mask! Leave on for as long as you wish – V usually leaves for 15 minutes – and then peel off in one satisfying motion (although prepare to find stray bits of blue gunk in your nostrils and eyebrows for a while after!) Et voila, hydrated, dewy, glowing skin is revealed! V often uses in the morning and her skin honestly feels like silk when she applies her skincare and makeup.
We’re both big fans of Peter Thomas Roth’s cult face masks. V loves the bubblegum pink Rose Stem Cell Gel Mask, £50, and has been known to sleep wearing a thin layer of it, to wake to a more radiant and soothed complexion. M, meanwhile was recently treated to the totally indulgent 24K Gold Mask, £77, and thinks it’s pretty special. It promises to make you look years younger with its key ingredients (yes, including pure gold) that lift and firm, plump and hydrate and give an amazing radiance. On the occasions she’s used it, M has been very impressed and reckons it’s a good one to try before a special event. Her skin definitely looks tighter and brighter after use and the effects are cumulative. Plus she thinks (hopes!) it gives her the Midas Touch! M also believes that part of the ‘glow’ you get from using a mask, is down to the sheer pleasure derived from pampering and spending a few moments on you – you can’t help but feel and look good afterwards. V’s inclined to agree.
Still on glowing, youthful looking skin (and let’s face it, we all want that), Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment, from £16, has been causing a stir among beauty mavens since its launch several years ago, being touted as a ‘facial in a jar’. It gently exfoliates (and tingles as it does so, hence the funny name) to reveal smoother, brighter, even-toned skin. Try it, it really does make a difference!
So those are our top picks for nourishing, restorative masks, perfect for this time of year. But, as ever, we bring you the Verymakeupmad lowdown of the best of the rest – the masks that help all manner of skin issues…
If it’s spots and breakouts that you’re worried about, then there are plenty of masks on the market to choose from. La Roche-Posay Effacler Clay Mask, £9.75, is our winner. We love this French drugstore brand anyway, and trust that we’re in good hands when we buy its products. Plus they’re very reasonable. This creamy mask is easy to apply and hardens as it dries, and it doesn’t irritate sensitive skin. Skin feels soft, clean and less oily after use. Another good bet for skin that gets congested and for anyone with enlarged pores, is The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, £17. It draws out all manner of ‘nasties’ and leaves skin looking clear and bright. M has recommended this to lots of friends with teenage kids – it’s perfect for calming ‘angry’ teen skin. And what kid doesn’t love covering themselves in mud?
To combat telltale signs of ageing around the delicate eye area, Elemis Pro-Collagen Hydra-Gel Eye Masks, £48.50 for 6, are just the ticket. Packed with ingredients to hydrate (yep, you guessed it, hyaluronic acid) and to tighten, simply wear under the eyes for twenty minutes or so, and then throw away. You’ll notice that your lines and wrinkles are less obvious. Or for a cheaper option, go for Eyeslices, £16.99 for 20 uses, which are brilliant for tired, puffy eyes and feel cooling and soothing. We’re loving them…as you can see below!
Sheet masks are a hot new import from South Korea. Everyone’s doing them. They’re a little ‘Hannibal Lecter’ to look at, but they’re packed full of great ingredients and there’s a sheet mask out there to suit everyone. The Tony Moly ‘I’m Real’ masks are our favourites – cheap (£5), cheerful and they do exactly what they say on the tin.
Meanwhile, Sarah Chapman Skinesis 3D Moisture Infusion Mask, £43 for 4, instantly hydrates and plumps (hello hyaluronic acid!), while Suqqu’s Face Stretch Masks, £72, for 6, contain a serum that claims to tighten the skin and sharpen the jawline. Estee Lauder Doublewear Priming Moisture Mask, £8, is a primer in mask form. Wear for around 3 minutes before applying makeup and your skin will be perfectly prepped, primed and moisurised. And if it’s a tan you’re after, then try St Tropez Self Tan Express Face Sheet Mask, £6. Leave on for 5, 10 or 15 minutes depending on the depth of shade you wish to create. Kiko’s Bubble Maker Mask, £3.90, purifies and mattifies the skin, and is good fun as it starts bubbling on contact with the air. Even more fun – or bonkers? – perhaps, are the Kiko Zoomania Hydrating Panda and Tiger masks, £3.90. Yes, you too could look like your favourite zoo animal, knowing that your skin is also being nourished and hydrated!
And finally, if you want to put all this mask talk “behind you” (get it?), then you should invest in Nannette de Gaspe’s Plumping & Lifting Techstile Infuser Derriere, £130 for 3 pairs, which promise to give you the buttocks of your dreams!
Love, Masks & ‘Me Time’,
Ps. Head to bobbibrown.co.uk for a limited edition offer of 3 mini masks – Instant Detox, Skin Nourish & Radiance Boost – for £12.50!