- Hydration (by Allison O’Rourke and CS)
For my younger skin, the Awake Hydro Force Gel Mask was just what my dry, flaky skin needed. The plant extracts in the Awake mask were moisturizing enough after 20 minutes without making me feel oily. This innovative cloth mask is made with a surgical material that is like a second skin, and it comes in two parts – a top and bottom for the areas of your face respectively. After all of the holiday stress, the cool and soothing mask was a definite treat. After removing the mask and lightly rinsing my face, my skin felt intensely hydrated and smooth. My pores seemed to be diminished in size and I makeup application was a breeze after that. For more information, visit http://www.neimanmarcus.com.
I must admit the packaging looked daunting when I opened the mask kit and saw a small mixing bowl, fan brush, gel bottle and pack of masks, but the MD Skincare Intense Hydra Mask from Dr. Dennis Gross proved to be quite simple to apply. While it’s suggested for all ages, I found that the plumping collagen agents and stiff cocktail of antioxidants was a bit more than my sensitive skin could handle. The mask contains hyaluronic gel which retains skin’s moisture. The application of the gel, followed by a self-heating mask was calming for my overly dry skin, but post treatment I noticed that a tingling sensation that tended to lean more towards the burning side. I would definitely not recommend this mask for those that have sensitive or easily irritated skin. For more information visit http://www.mdskincare.com.
Sisley’s Flower Express Gel mask is a moisture powerhouse with a gentle and pleasant fragrance. Apply it on skin that’s greedy for a lot of moisture and watch your skin transform in three minutes from dry to happy. The mask contains extracts of lily and iris that have powerful water-retaining capacity, and extract of sesame. Don’t rinse off because the plant extracts continue to work after the cream is absorbed into the skin. http://www.sisley.com
- Energizing (by Amy Sciarretto)
New York’s world famous Bliss Spa has administered a whopping 75,000 oxygen facials in the past decade, so it’s no wonder that the company has bottled an at-home version of this popular procedure. Bliss contends that the more oxygen you supply to your face, the younger your skin will look. I was more than game to slather Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask on my face with a pitch like that.
I smeared a generous amount of the gel-like mask onto my damp face, and immediately, it morphed into a frothy, airy consistency. The citrus-scented foam tingled and effervesced, and it felt like I sprayed Alka Seltzer or Pop Rocks on my face! I could feel it working its magic. The directions expressly state to apply for no longer than five minutes, as it is specifically formulated to work within that time frame. I guess this particular beauty regimen is like baking: an exact science! But I didn’t even need to leave it on for that long, as the foam started to thin out and disintegrate while sitting on my skin! Several splashes of water were required to get the residue off, but my skin felt taut and refreshed. http://www.blissworld.com
- Anti-Stress (by Michelyn Camen)
With too many holiday parties and too many deadlines, the Anti-stress mask by Cellcosmet sounded like a Holy Grail. This moisturizing mask with plant extracts promises to detoxify and soften skin. Just the act of applying this face mask is supposed to relax you. Ingredients include orange flower and rosewater to calm and clay to exfoliate.
I applied a small amount of the surprisingly creamy mask to my entire face except under the eyes. No tight, plaster of Paris feeling, which is why I seldom use face masques. Although you are supposed to leave it on for 15 minutes, I forgot I had it on and tissued the remains off about two hrs later. The mask melted into my skin so no cracking, peeling or pastiness. My skin did feel softer and more radiant as if I had eight hours of sleep and not a care in the world. Pricey-1.7 ounces at $155, but I would buy it! http://www.cellap.com
- Wrinkle Warrior (By B. Kim Taylor)
The Mastic Regen Mask from Greece is ideal for sensitive skin that dries out easily and exhibits signs of wrinkling. This rich, rejuvenating mask is dermatologist tested and rife with iron oxides from green clay that promote cell growth. There is a touch of jasmine in the mask to soothe and calm the skin; spirulina is added to tone, promote circulation and deliver oxygen to skin cells, and rosemary both tones and reduces wrinkles as well. Mastic provides antifungal protection for skin to recover from the effects of dirt and irritants.
As someone who usually finds masks to be too drying or too irritating to my skin, I was pleasantly surprised that this vitamin-enriched Mastic & Olive mask left my skin feeling hydrated and smooth as a baby’s bottom. Twice a week should keep your skin happy. Available at http://www.masticspa.com and at the Mastic Spa Boutique in Soho.
- Anti-Blemish and Clarifying (by Sharon Gomes Thomas, Dina Fierro and Charu Suri)
Annemarie Borlind’s Purifying Care Cleansing Mask is a smooth and light cream, and felt gentle on my face. The mask was almost completely odorless, with a faint botanical fragrance, like fresh cut grass. After the recommended application of five minutes, the cream washed off easily with warm water. It left my skin felt slightly tight and dry, but the sensation went away after a few minutes. Containing delicious ingredients like licorice (to sooth the skin), yarrow (for skin renewal) and rosemary (for healing) this mask is a recipe for purifying blemished skin.
Mastic Face Care Masque Dermique is a rich cream with a faint nutty scent, as one of its main ingredients is macadamia nuts. This acne preventing mask also contains rosemary which acts like an astringent and Propolis to deep clean. It went on evenly, although it tingled a little on my skin. After the recommended 10 minute application, the mask washed off simply with warm water and my skin felt fresh and matte. Available at Mastic Spa Boutique at 438 W. Broadway and at http://www.masticspa.com
Boscia’s Detox Clarifying Mask is an odor-free kaolin clay-based mask goes on smooth and feels cool as it dries. Willowherb serves as an anti-irritant while lavender and peppermint purify and reduce pore size. Rinse after five minutes and you’re left with clean, taut feeling skin. Recommended for twice weekly use.
The Seikisho Mask White by Kose is a Japanese black mask that is a serious blackhead and clogged pore warrior. Skin feels cool as applied and the mask dries gradually. Peel off after 20 minutes (slowly, carefully!) by scrunching up your face to loosen. This mask leaves skin a bit red, thought it settles into a nice glow after just a few minutes.
Nars’ Mud Mask is your alternative to a deep-cleansing facial. It uses natural botanicals and minerals to deep clean your skin in five to ten minutes. The mud mask comes in an attractive, square glass container and has a paste-like consistency. It is extremely easy to apply and dries fairly quickly. After ten minutes, my skin felt thoroughly cleansed, dry (you’ll definitely need a highly effective moisturizer following this) but much clearer than before. It is formulated with Active Phytoseed Complex, seaweed and Masada Mud from the Dead Sea. http://www.narscosmetics.com
- All-Natural (by Jasmin Guleria)
Asiana’s all-natural soy and oat milk hydrating facial mask – the texture of this facial is best described as gooey. Once it was on my face however, it stayed on and I almost forgot it was there. The cinnamon oatmeal smell was quite soothing, although it did make me a bit hungry! After 10 minutes, I went to wash the mask off – it came off fairly easily and my face certainly felt moisturized. The next morning, I definitely noticed a nice soft glow on my face. I’d recommend it for women with dry skin.
Asiana’s AHA fruit juice peel mask contains a mixture of organic apple juice, lemon juice, and sugar. This was another application that smelled tasty enough to eat. Upon applying the peel to my face, I felt a slight tingly sensation. The peel left my face feeling soft and smooth. This peel is recommended for those with sun damaged, problem combination, or sensitive skin.
The Papaya and Honey Exfoliating Facial Mask has a tangy pungent smell. The honey and green tea ingredients aide in softening, soothing, and hydrating the skin. After washing off the facial, my skin felt fresh and exfoliated.