As a Makeup & Hair Artist in the fashion and beauty industry over the last 15 years, I have always loved trying new products and seeing what results they can yield. So, when Dress to Kill asked me to start a column reviewing products in each issue, I jumped at the chance! Trying out the latest innovations and advancement in beauty is one of my favourite things to do, so going forward you will get to see what I think and experience with some of the many, many products out on the market.

Spring is a time for newness and feelings of rebirth – a time where we shake off the dark, dry, bitterness of winter and dive into revitalization! We feel like the world is coming back to life and so is our skin. For the spring issue, we thought it apt to review some of the most popular masks on the market to see how they stack up and which give the biggest bang for their buck.

Art Director, Makeup, Hair, & Text: Sabrina Rinaldi

Photographer: Carlyle Routh

 

Mask: Black Luminizing Mask ($45) BOSCIA. Lips: Agave Lip Mask ($30) BITE BEAUTY. Eyes: Super Hero Mascara ($32) IT COSMETICS. Gimme Brow 3 ($28) BENEFIT. Gel eyeliner ($22) INGLOT AMC.

PEELING & EXFOLIATING

One of my favourite types of masks are exfoliating and peeling masks. Various brands use different ingredients to help get rid of the dry, top layer of skin, revealing a brighter, fresher looking complexion.

BOSCIA Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask ($45 – 80g) at SEPHORA.

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask and Masque Bar Luminizing Charcoal peel-off masks both use a black tar like substance that clings to the skin. After drying, it is then to be peeled away, taking dead skin with it. Boscia is a popular brand and I can see why: the black gooey mask applied much better and more evenly than its counterpart from Masque Bar. It also peeled away from the skin in a much more cohesive manner. It definitely does feel like ripping a band-aid off of your entire face, but the skin feels softer to the touch. “No pain, no gain” definitely applies here!

PETER THOMAS ROTH FIRMx Peeling Gel ($48 – 100ml)

An absolute favourite would be the Peter Thomas Roth Firmx Peeling Gel. This gel is so fun to apply to skin and as you rub it all over, you visibly see your dead skin ball up and exfoliate off! It takes only a minute to do, and yet yields results so major your skin feels as soft as the day you were born. Also as an added bonus for those with sensitive skin, there is no major rubbing, tugging, or sand-like ingredients to scratch and irritate your face.

FRESH Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask ($75 – 98ml) at SEPHORA.

Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy Boosting Face Mask uses the acids in citrus fruits to help rejuvenate the skin. It smelled and looked like orange marmalade and applied to the skin with a sticky mixture that contained bits of orange and other fruit. It didn’t look cute, but it smelled delicious and left my skin refreshed and glowing.

CAUDALIE Glycolic Peel Mask ($47 – 15ml)

The Caudalie Glycolic Peel Mask uses one of my favourite power-house ingredients, which is clearly stated in the title: glycolic acid. This acid works wonders to improve skin texture and radiance, and this mask delivers on its promise. It’s a sure hit for anyone looking to brighten up dull or lack-lustre skin!

NIP+FAB Lift Bee Sting FIx Lifting Mask

Nip+Fab Bee Sting Lifting Mask is a clear gel mask that is said to boost the radiance in skin and minimize fine lines and dullness. The bee venom is said to work as it sits on the face. It may have included ingredients that were a bit too aggressive for my skin, as it quickly got red and irritated and needed to be removed before the ten minutes was up.

DERMALOGICA Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque ($71 – 75ml)

The last mask in this category is from Dermalogica. I was excited to try the Multivitamin Power Recovery Mask. This mask is said to use vitamins A, C, and E and linoleic acid to help combat the signs of fatigue, aging, dullness, and skin damage. I waited to try it on a Sunday morning, after a late night of drinking. Needless to say, my skin looked as bad as I felt, and after applying this cream to my face and letting it sit, my skin bounced right back to life even if I didn’t.

Mask: Umbrian Clay Mask ($75) FRESH. Lips: Ruby Woo Lip Pencil and Lipstick ($32) and Lip gloss ($19) MAC COSMETICS. Eyes: Super Hero Mascara ($32) IT COSMETICS. Gimme Brow 3 ($28) BENEFIT.

MUD MASKS

There are mud masks – the original mask. My teen years were filled with mud masks and the many on the market that promised to keep my hormone-ravaged skin under control.

ORIGINS Clear Improvement® Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores ($34 – 100ml) at SEPHORA.

For years and years, my go-to mask of choice has been Origins Clear Improvement® Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores. This may be the first black charcoal mask out there. It also uses sulphur to combat break outs and other oily skin conditions.

GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD® Activated Charcoal Treatment ($75 – 50g) at SEPHORA.

I decided to try the GlamGlow SUPERMUD® Activated Charcoal Treatment during my hormonal time of the month. Being one of the more popular brands on the market, I wasn’t sure if this mask was more hype than it was worth. But, it was worth it and more. It quickly deflated and took down my hormonal acne while leaving my skin feeling taught, clean, and refreshed.

CAUDALIE Purifying Mask ($47 – 75mL)

Caudalie also has two stand out clay masks: the Instant Detox Mask that removes impurities and oil and the Purifying Mask that utilizes white clay, sage, and zinc to zap blemishes and leave a more even-looking complexion.

FRESH Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask ($75 – 100ml)

The Fresh Umbrian Clay Mask has such a luxurious feel that makes you feel like it’s only reserved for celebs and royalty. This clay is so soft and creamy, you almost can’t imagine it drying like a traditional mud mask. However, it does dry and very rapidly, quickly tightening and setting. This high mineral content mask left my skin so visibly clear and improved that even my husband noticed. After 18 years together, if he notices and actually comments on an improvement in my skin, that product is a winner and keeper for me!

 

PETER THOMAS ROTH Hungarian Thermal Water Mask

A super fun and luxurious cream mask is the Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mask. This mask utilizes rich minerals from deep inside his family’s Hungarian thermal water spa. The mask starts out as a dense, rich cream, and a little goes a long way. As you rub it into the skin, it melts into the most buttery and creamy mask. Leaving it to sit on the skin for a few minutes, you activate the flash of heat by wetting it with cold water and further rubbing it into the skin. A final rinse, and you are done. It is such a fast and enjoyable mask-experience with major results. My skin absolutely glowed and felt like I had given it the VIP treatment!

Masks: Timeless Ferment Snail Eye Mask ($5) TONYMOLY. Gold Crystal Collagen Lip Mask ($12.52) BOOLAVARD. Skin: Insta-Fix Foundation ($20) REVLON. Eyes: Super Hero Mascara ($32) IT COSMETICS. Gimme Brow 3 ($28) BENEFIT. Naked Palette 1 ($66) URBAN DECAY.

INDIVIDUAL MASKS

Eye and lip masks are a fun trend to try. Applying odd shaped pieces onto the face make for great photo ops while infusing the intended area(s) with a concentrated blast of ingredients.

Tony Moly and another Asian brand I ordered off of Amazon make individual gold lip and eye masks. While these masks are cute to wear, five minutes after removing them, my skin went right back to its pre-mask dry state.

SEPHORA Orchid Eye Mask

Sephora’s Orchid Eye Mask, however, left my under eyes with such a surge of moisture that I will continually be stocking up on these for regular use in my daily life.

BITE BEAUTY Agave Lip Mask

In the lip mask category, I tried sheet masks from Sephora and Rodial and overnight masks from Bite Beauty and Laneige. The sheet masks felt great while on, but didn’t leave my lips with an overly moisturized feel that lasted. The Rodial Dragon’s Blood Lip Mask was definitely the most effective of all the lip sheet masks. The Lip Sleeping Mask from Laneige and the Agave Lip Mask from Bite Beauty are both so rich and moisturizing that I just use them as my daily lip balm. I’m not sure if you are supposed to use them this much, but for products that feel as good and rich as they do, I want that feeling of intense moisture and hydration on my lips all day and all night.

Mask: Dead Sea Mineral Gel Mask ($4) DOLLARAMA. Skin: Powder Blush in Peaches ($27) MAC COSMETICS. Lips: Satin Lipstick in Peachstock ($22) MAC COSMETICS. Eyes: Super Hero Mascara ($32) IT COSMETICS. Gimme Brow 3 ($28) BENEFIT.

CREAM & GEL MASKS

Cream and gel masks are made to infuse skin with so much moisture that they leave the face feeling like a ripe piece of fruit that’s ready to burst.

SHISEIDO Ibuki Beauty Sleeping Mask ($48 – 83ml) at SEPHORA

At first, applying the Shiseido Beauty Sleeping Mask before bed felt odd knowing that I would be sleeping with this goopy mixture on my skin. I decided to stay up and do a little Netflix & Chill to see if the mask would absorb somewhat before I lay my head on my clean pillow. I had visions of it smearing all over my sheets and waking up to my cats licking it off. But after 20 minutes, I felt like it had absorbed enough that I could rest my head on my pillow without any worry. By the morning, it had fully absorbed, and yet when I went to wash my face, it re-activated and I felt it rinsing away. My skin thanked me for the overnight TLC and felt amazingly hydrated all day long!

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Multi-Miracle Glow Cleanser, Mask & Balm for Baby Soft Skin ($70 – 100ml)

Charlotte Tilbury is known for her Multi-Miracle Glow Mask that can either be wiped away or left on overnight for an indulgent, balmy night-time mask. Much like the Shiseido, it delivers what it promises.

 

SHEET MASKS

Sheet masks are super trendy and I can see why. Not only are they fun to apply, but they also have the ability to pack some mighty powerful ingredients into your skincare. This is amazing for refreshing skin or helping prep before a big event. Whether you are going to the Oscars or your cousin’s wedding, a pre-glam sheet mask should be on your to-do list.

DR. JART+ Ceramidin™ Skin-Friendly Nanoskin Sheet Mask ($7.50 – 1 sheet) at SEPHORA

Dr. Jart is known for some really outstanding masks. I tried both the Ceramidin and Brightening Infusion Sheet Masks. These masks came soaked with active ingredients. I applied them to my skin and left each one on long enough to watch an episode of Schitt’s Creek (roughly 22 minutes). The Brightening Infusion mask gave my skin a slightly numb feeling. The instructions state to apply any remaining goopy, gel amazingness to your face after removing the mask and letting it sit on the skin. Both masks left my skin super supple, revitalized, and bright!

RODIAL Pink Diamond Lifting Face Mask

I found that the Rodial Pink Diamond Lifting Mask also yielded a similar result, while also delivering on the lifting promise. My skin was soft and snatched after using this sheet mask! These masks would be my top picks for pre-glam prep. The Egg Cream Mask, available at Sephora, utilizes egg whites and vinegar to achieve its results. I found after leaving on for the required 20 minutes, that my skin didn’t have any noticeable results. In fact, it left it slightly blotchier and less moisturized than when I started.

In an effort to see what Amazon could provide, I found some Tony Moly Snail excrement sheet masks that I ordered from Asia. Snail excrement is supposed to provide a ton of revitalizing moisture to skin. I did not find this to be the case. The mask itself did feel slimy to the touch, which made me think of the snail juice it claimed to be. Not one to be squeamish, I slapped it on and left it for the appropriate amount of time. My skin felt nice to the touch, but shortly after, it felt dry and in need of moisturizer.

ESTÉE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery PowerFoil Mask ($88 – 4 sheets)

On the more intense side of the sheet mask spectrum, Estee Lauder has an Advanced Night Repair Foil Sheet Mask. Taking this mask out of the pouch, it comes in two pieces: a piece for the top half of the face and another for the bottom, and you are supposed to overlap the two. I wasn’t sure about the foil on my face, but it definitely looked neat and made for a fun “Tin (Wo)man” selfie! The mask didn’t cling to my face with the tight precision of the others. It slid around and felt like any movement would send it sliding all the way off my face. However, it’s packed with hyaluronic acid and delivers a powerful ingredient punch, making it a sure hit.

RODIAL SNake Oxygenating & Cleansing Bubble Mask

Both GlamGlow and Rodial have Oxygenating Bubble Sheet Masks. For someone like myself who loves that feeling of a good, deep clean to the skin, the fizzing and bubbling of these masks was immensely satisfying. You apply the black mask like a regular sheet mask, and as soon as it comes into contact with the skin, it starts to oxygenate and bubble. When trying the GlamGlow Bubble Sheet Mask, I couldn’t help but think I looked like a Chia pet as the foam kept growing and expanding on my face. This mask left a deep clean sensation, but I have to say that the Rodial Snake Oxygenating & Cleansing Bubble mask took it one step further. It fizzled and foamed even more, sounding like I had dumped a package of pop rocks on my face. Not only does this mask leave skin so fresh and clean, it also has the added bonus of ingredients to help minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles. For me, this was an absolute standout product! I feel like if this mask was combined with an overnight moisturizing mask, you would wake up to the best skin day of your life!

 

In conclusion, after a month of daily masks, I am now convinced that some have amazing magical powers to transform the outer layer of our skin. If even for just the day, having glowing, vibrant skin so radiant that others look at you with J. Lo glow envy is never a bad thing. I will certainly be going forward into this new spring season with a new routine and rotation of masks. Watch out, J. Lo.

Photographer CARLYLE ROUTH at FUZE REPS. Art Dircector, Makeup, & Hair SABRINA RINALDI at P1M.ca and THE PROJECT using ORIBE and MAC COSMETICS. Model SHAYNA MCNEIL at MODE MODELS.

 

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