Beauty de-puff: The best ways to take the holiday stress off

Beauty De-Puff: The Best Ways to Take the Holiday Stress Off
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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.

Buy: Bergdorf, $113

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.

Buy: Sephora, $40

What It Does: Provides moisture and radiance.

Star Ingredients: Firm Q2 lifts, golden seaweed provides “resilience,” Brazilian fruit extracts plump to reduce the look of wrinkles, and shea butter moisturizes.

What It’s Like: Creamy with a fresh, almost clinical, scent. It washed off easily without any residue or tightness. My face was really soft for two days after this mask.

Buy: Sephora, $68

What It Does: Hydrates and “calms” the skin.

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.

Buy: Skinstore, $22

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.

Buy: Sephora, $38

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.)

Buy: Skinstore, $35

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.

Buy: Nordstrom, $42

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.

Buy: SpaceNK, $90

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.

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.

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