Beauty de-puff: The best ways to take the holiday stress off
What It Does: Omorovicza is an amazing Hungarian skin care line that uses by-products derived from Hungary’s therapeutic thermal springs. This mask is a classic mud mask, meant primarily for cleansing and clearing out pores.
Star Ingredients: White clay, to draw out impurities and unclog pores.
What It’s Like: The mask has a smooth texture and dries relatively quickly, with a mild tingle while it’s drying. It has a fresh smell, with an undertone of the sea. Washes of easily and left my face feeling clean without that tight feeling. One of the best ones we tried.
What It Does: Another classic mud mask, this one is pretty perfect. It’s meant to tighten pores and get rid of dead skin cells which can clog up those pores.
Star Ingredients: Zinc to regulate oil, clay for purification, linseed to prevent blocked pores, and cypress, sage and lavender.
What It’s Like: You can smell the lavender right away, and it is smooth and creamy with a bit of tingle when you first apply. Washes off easily. Just be careful if you have really dry skin, because it causes a bit of skin tightness when you take it off. I slapped on a bit of moisturizer afterwards and my face felt unbelievably clean and uncluttered.
Star Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal and Avena sativa oat bran, both of which soothe (and help you drop weight really quickly if eaten in paste form while you’re prepping for a role in Les Mis). Also contains an antioxidant cocktail to combat free radicals, and shea butter for moisturization.
What It’s Like: This mask has a very fun texture. It’s creamy but you can actually see clumps of oatmeal in it, and it has a faintly sweet scent. When you wash it off, the mask has a bit of texture in it–I felt like I was getting extra exfoliation. Great product and the most affordable of the bunch.
What It Does: Hydrates, brightens, and evens skin tone.
Star Ingredients: Sea Fern Algae which reduces the look of age spots and hyperpigmentation, Pro-Vitamin C increases collagen, Salicornia which hydrates.
What It’s Like: One of the most unique masks we’ve ever tried. It dries to a bright white, almost rubbery finish. Anyone who appreciates picking off nail polish or peeling skin after a sunburn (and who doesn’t), will love this. It peels off and leaves absolutely nothing behind except a noticeable glow.
What It Does: The most powerful of the anti-blemish masks we tried. It can be used for a mask or as a spot treatment.
Star Ingredients: Willow bark to clear blemishes, rose to soothe, clay to purify pores, and rice to soften.
What It’s Like: Spicy! If you’re the type who doesn’t think a mask is working unless it’s tingling, you’ll love this one. And I was squeaky clean after this. (I only used it a few times so can’t attest to its ability to fight future break-outs as it claims.)
What It Does: Treats blemishes, gets rid of blackheads and calms redness and irritation.
Star Ingredients: Retinol helps smooth wrinkles, licorice root is an anti-inflammatory, colloidal sulfur reduces blemishes and absorbs oil, and prickly pear calms redness and irritation.
What It’s Like: We’ve used sulfur acne medications before and they smell awful. But this product smelled fresh and menthol-ish. It also has an impressive list of ingredients that have all been proven to do what they say they do. Best bang for the buck in our opinion.
What It Does: Skin brightening, creates a dewy finish, and reduces pigmentation.
Star Ingredients: Botanicals like milk thistle, gingko leaf, orange peel, and magnolia all work together to brighten.
What It’s Like: Like a lot of Asian brands, it’s an actual linen mask, complete with eye and mouth holes, saturated with the ingredients. It’s such a relaxing and non-messy experience, and you just take it off and toss it–no face scrubbing necessary afterwards. A piece of advice: Don’t wear it in front of your significant other or small children–they’ll be horrified.
What It Does: As the name suggests, this one is all about moisturizing.
Star Ingredients: Vitamin E and Sodium Hyaluronate, both meant to lock moisture in.
What It’s Like: It’s less a mask and more a really rich moisturizer. Unlike a thick moisturizer though, this one slowly sinks in, leaving very little residue or greasy feel. Fantastic for a long flight.
What It Does: Moisturizes and helps decrease redness, hyperpigmentation, and irritation. The overall goal is radiance.
Star Ingredients: Anti-oxidants, vitamins, hydrators
What It’s Like: It’s a sort of gluey texture that was off-putting at first. But it didn’t have much of a smell, and washed off nicely. Afterwards I could actually feel a glow–my face felt flushed and warm, in a good just-had-one-glass-of champagne way.
Buy:Neiman Marcus, comes as a set with Chem60 Pro-Peel, a salicylic and glycolic acid peel, $265/set of 2 products.
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If you're like us, these next few weeks are brutal on our skin and our bodies! Break-outs from sleeping in your makeup? Yep, holiday party season is officially here! Bad diet (hello, Christmas cookie season!), alcohol, lack of sleep, and cold winter air can all do a number on your skin.
Masks are a great quick fix–they can deliver a concentrated dose of active ingredients for whatever pick-me-up your skin needs. Whether you're lacking radiance, need some moisture, or want to clear up a break-up, there's a mask for that–and we tried a ton of them.
Here are our 10 favorite new masks for whatever ails you and your skin.