Sephora Spring Series: Face Masks

This is the last (and SUPER LATE) post of the series, but I am so happy to FINALLY conclude the Sephora skin series I started a few months ago… and yes, it was labeled “Spring” series and yes I do realize it is no longer spring… Sorry 😥! I’d like to close by saying whatever your skin concerns may be, I think masks are a great way to help target some of those trouble areas. Much like serums, masks help to treat current concerns and also prevent new or worsen existing conditions. Your skin is your largest organ and I think we each need to pay more attention to what our skin is telling us. Listen to your skin and forget about the “routine” and just tend to your skin’s current condition. The general rule of thumb I like to use is the example of how we dress. We choose our clothing based on the weather outside, mood, or how our body is feeling that day, be it hot or cold. Your skin behaves (or misbehaves) quite similarly; tend to your skin based on what it needs and learn what works and doesn’t work through experience. Sometimes there just isn’t a simple explanation as to why our skin is reacting a certain way and it could be caused from a plethora of reasons (hormones, weather, diet), but there are certainly things we can do to help. Continue reading to find out what masks I have loved, hated or felt indifferent!

Disclaimer: As the intent of the series was initially to provide products that can be easily bought from one destination, Sephora. Most of my products mentioned below are limited to the face masks I have tried from Sephora exclusively. I did, however, mention two other face masks that I have recently been LOVING from Kiehl’s and thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share some of my thoughts.

Update: I also realize Sephora has started selling Kiehl’s products as well.. so it all works out in the end! 😚

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Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Masks with Echinacea GreenEnvy – I LOVE this mask mainly for its unique texture as well as for it’s key ingredients including honey and propolis. When applied initially, it resembles the thick viscosity of honey so it’s important that you gently apply the mask in circular motions to prevent any pulling or tugging of the skin. Through applying the mask in gentle circular motions, the warmth from your fingers helps to break down the mask which then transforms into a rich cream-like texture. By this method of application, you will also notice that your skin will start to feel a little warm which I suspect is the combination of the anti-inflammatory properties of Echinaecea GreenEnvy™ honey as it is full of natural antioxidants. I leave this mask on for about 10-20 minutes and rinse gently with warm water; my skin feels so soft and supple every time! Although this mask has worked great for me over the last 2 years, I know of people who have reacted to face masks with honey as an ingredient so I’m not sure if this will work for everyone. I’d still say this is a luxurious mask that is definitely worth trying!

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask – I’ve raved about this product for years and always recommend this within my network and quite frankly in all of my other posts. It helps with hydration, calming of the skin and is just an overall good staple to have as part of the beauty arsenal. Laneige offers this mask in two formulas, the original water sleeping mask and the firming sleeping mask, however I personally prefer the original formula as it just feels better on my skin. The firming variation resembles a jelly-like texture which I’m not too keen on. This has always been an all-star product for me (believe it or not, but since my teenage years) as it really works and is a great quick overnight treatment. Plus, I’m super lazy and if you’re telling me I can just slap something on my face, go to sleep and wake up with beautiful skin… why would I be against it?! The formula is light-weight, gel-like and only takes a few minutes to absorb. I also love how you can apply this on top of your other skin care to really lock in all of your skincare benefits without feeling like you’ve just layered on a bunch of stuff on your face. HIGHLY recommend!

Shiseido Ibuki Beauty Sleeping Mask – As you may have discovered, I am deeply obsessed with sleeping masks so, yes, I am inclined to try all variations of sleeping masks! I am a firm believer that one can never have too many sleeping masks and so I decided to expand my collection with the popular Ibuki mask from Shiseido. This formula contains Vitamins E, C and phytoplankton extract. I was intrigued with the texture as it is gel-like with little white flecks (possibly plankton?) that quickly dissolve once applied. As you apply this mask the texture becomes even more watery which is great for quick absorption. I haven’t really had any issues with this mask but if you are sensitive to scents, this mask has quite a pronounced scent of alcohol and fragrance. Although I enjoy the experience from this mask, the Laneige sleeping mask is still irreplaceable on my vanity so if I had to choose one over the other, the Laneige mask would be my winner. I’m actually on my second container of the Shiseido Ibuki, but will most likely not be repurchasing this product for a while as there are other sleeping masks I feel more inclined to try.

Before I continue, I went ahead and purchased a few different face masks from GLAMGLOW as I was always curious about their collection. I will reserve the below section for the GLAMGLOW products.

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GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD Activated Charcoal Treatment – Having never tried any of GLAMGLOWs raved about face masks, I decided to give their best-selling mask a try. Now, I’m not a huge fan of using masks that are primarily clay based as I find it can be a little drying for my skin. Even though I tend to lean towards the oily skin-type, I find that if I use products that dry out the skin it can actually leaves my skin in worse condition and just doesn’t feel very pleasant. However, this mask applies very easily as it is incredibly lightweight and has a very wet consistency. This is quite different than some of the other clay masks I have tried as they tend to be thicker and almost what I would describe as “chunkier,” which is certainly not the case with this mask. It also dries very quickly, within 10 minutes a full-face application should be fully dried unless you have applied thicker in other areas. When it has dried, you will definitely notice the clay/charcoal ingredient; it has that patchy, cement-like finish like most other clay masks. For this reason, I would recommend rinsing immediately after it has dried as the clay/charcoal can over dry your skin if left on too long. In comparison to other clay masks, this mask does leave your skin feeling very clean and clear without any residue or grime. I have found other masks are quite difficult to rinse and remove and feels like you have a layer/film left on the skin; this is not the case with this product. You can also use this mask as targeted treatment on the troubled areas where you have congestion and/or blackheads.  For me, I tend to use this on my nose and cheeks (or anywhere I need spot treatment), skip the forehead and use a moisturizing/brightening mask in that area instead. There are cheaper clay mask alternatives, but I can say that overall I prefer the feeling of this mask and experience; will definitely repurchase! 

GLAMGLOW YOUTHMUD Tinglexfoliate Treatment – Let me start by saying if you have sensitive skin or dislike a tingling/burning sensation in your skincare, you may not want to try this product. Similar to other GLAMGLOW masks, this product is clay based, volcanic pumice and contains green tea which is supposed to help detoxify and exfoliate your skin. Once you’ve applied an even layer on your face, you will start to feel the tingle almost immediately. The burning sensation doesn’t last too long, I’d say maybe for the first minute so it’s not totally unbearable. Like most clay products, it dries fairly quickly and I think it’s for this reason that I’m not a huge fan of this face mask because it just makes my skin feel dry, and not particularly in a good way. It probably also means that it does an excellent job of detoxifying the skin, but I am looking for something that can make my skin feel balanced rather than stripped. Generally speaking, I like my masks to make my skin feel moist and plump and I find that my skin tends to react to most clay mask formulas very poorly. I can say my face feels invigorated after using this mask mainly for the tingling sensation, but apart from that it hasn’t really impressed me and the experience is one that I could go without. Now, before I say I would not recommend this product, keep reading through the other formulas I’ve tested and you can decide for yourself.

GLAMGLOW THIRSTYMUD Hydrating Treatment – By far one of my favourite masks from the GLAMGLOW collection. It has a buttery texture that leaves your skin feeling supple and smooth. It contains hyaluronic acid and coconut which are both great ingredients for hydration. I love how my skin feels  incredibly soft and moist so I can see this working very well for folks that have dry skin or people that are looking for a hydrating mask. Even if you’re oily or combination skin (like myself), I think it is still key not to forget about moisture as lack of moisture exaggerates texture, fine lines and wrinkles. When I’m using the GLAMGLOW Supermud mask on my nose and cheeks, I like use this one on my forehead to keep it hydrated and supple! Now if you’re sensitive to moisturizing/thick masks, I’m not sure how this might react on your skin. My skin isn’t very sensitive to begin with so I haven’t had issues with thicker ingredients like coconut and avocado – just a word of caution!

GLAMGLOW FLASHMUD Brightening Treatment – Similar to the hydrating mask above, this mask doesn’t dry hard like the SUPERMUD or YOUTHMUD formulas. The brightening treatment mask contains a blend of salicylic acid and lactic acid as well as Vitamin C which are powerful ingredients that help to brighten the skin. It also has a light pleasant citrus-berry smell and has a creamy texture in comparison to the other mud masks. You will also notice little flecks of what appears to be white birch leaves. With the creamier formulas, the time it takes to dry is slightly longer than the dry clay masks so we’re talking about 15-20 minutes versus 10 minutes. I enjoy the experience and the instant effects from this mask, but will most likely be open to trying more masks before deciding to repurchase this one once I am finished. Between this mask and the Kiehl’s Turmeric mask (mentioned below), I think I prefer the Kiehl’s product over this one. 

Closing remarks – If you’re curious about GLAMGLOW face masks, the two that I would recommend would be the THIRSTYMUD and SUPERMUD masks, both for completely different reasons. The SUPERMUD is great for detoxing and as maintenance for clear pores where as the THIRSTYMUD is an excellent moisturizing treatment for smooth supple skin.

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Kiehl’s Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque – I am not new to Kiehl’s skincare products, but I am certainly new to their face mask products and I can tell you that I am very pleased. Turmeric is famous for it’s brightening/glowing properties plus it is an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. It’s a creamy yet thick texture and applies very easily. It has flecks of Cranberry and once the mask is dried it almost serves as a gentle exfoliant as well. I recommend wetting the face slightly before you start to wash off in circular motions just to avoid tugging and damaging the skin. It leaves my skin feeling soft, radiant and invigorated – HIGHLY recommend! Not much more for me to say. 😊

Kiehl’s Calendula and Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque – Again, LOVE this mask! The aloe and calendula have excellent soothing and cooling properties which makes it great to use in the warmer weather and just if you ever need to calm your skin. Confession, I use this mask if my skin starts to get sensitive or if I’m recovering from a breakout, this mask really helps soothe my skin and hydrate at the same time. Personally, I find that when my skin starts to have a temper tantrum, if my skin is lacking moisture it really doesn’t help with the appearance of redness or troubled areas. So even if you’re experiencing a breakout, please don’t forget to keep your skin moisturized and hydrated! Calendula is also great for folks with oily and sensitive skin. I think you may be able find other mask alternatives that use aloe as a key ingredient and this mask in particular has been a first aloe mask for me so I am open to trying out others. Overall (and totally unbiased), I would recommend trying this mask as it has worked for me and I really can’t see anything wrong with it!

It took a while, but I am glad I was able to conclude the series. I will continue to post my honest thoughts and review of products as I come across; I would love to hear your experiences and stories. I wish you all a wonderful skin journey and hope you’ve enjoyed this series!

 

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