Face masks are basically a lazy or busy girl's beauty best friend. First of all, they cover your entire face (obviously), thus tackling all areas at once. Second, they are the ultimate beauty-and-life multitasker - if you pop one on, you can go about and do other things (be that beauty-related, like paint your nails or shave your legs, or life-related, like doing some work, doing your laundry, or just sitting down and watching Netflix) while they work their magic. And nowadays, there's a a mask for everything: Whether you need to clear up your skin, deeply hydrate, de-wrinkle, rejuvenate, add radiance, exfoliate, you name it and there's probably a mask for it. Heck, there's probably one that tackles more than one problem, making it incredibly easy to disguise (or even better, solve), whatever skin drama you're facing. Plus, unlike other at-home beauty treatments, there is a certain spa-like quality to them - it's just a much cheaper, more convenient, and travel-friendly alternative. There's a whole world of seemingly endless face masks out there that I'd like to try (K-Beauty I'm looking at - and profusely thanking - you here), but for now, these are a few of my favourites.
It tingles, it works in just 10 minutes, and it'll leave your skin baby-soft and glowing. Perfect for when you need to get rid of a load of dead skin cells and add a little radiance in the process.
Yes, I'm into GlamGlow. But it really works. This stuff smells like coconuts, and infuses your skin with so much moisture (without feeling sticky, or overwhelming it so much that it weighs it down and freaks it out, resulting in breakouts - no worries of that here, at least for me and almost everyone else I know who has tried it) that it's like taking a long gulp of water even when you feel parched. This is also one of my travel beauty secret weapons - I apply it regularly throughout my flight and when I arrived, I look deceptively fresh since it goes on like a moisturizer but hydrates like a mask, helping you not look strange by using a mask during a flight, but serving up enough moisture to keep you from having "plane face."
Ok, maybe I'm obsessed. But like I said, these products really deliver. This one goes on black but dries to a greyish tinge, showcasing you the oily spots that its sucking up the greasiness from - making it immensely satisfying, and showing that it's working. Yet it manages to do this without drying your face out to feel like parchment paper, and works insanely effectively for clearing up skin that's feeling breakout prone. If you already have a problem area, you can also use this as a spot treatment on specific areas and leave it overnight to work wonders and wake up with them virtually gone.
StarSkin The Master Cleanser Kelp Mask
I love pretty much any mask that StarSkin comes out with (their exfoliating puffs are pretty impressive too), but this one is pretty unique - it's actually made of kelp leaf, and while you will look a little bit like the bad guy from The Mask when you wear it (do this in the comfort of your own home, in privacy, if you can), it does work extremely well for purifying and refreshing fatigued, stressed-out and generally run down skin, leaving it clearer, more firm, and brighter.
StarSkin Red Carpet Ready Hydrating Mask
One of the brand's best, in my opinion, despite being called a hydrating mask, this one is really just a good all-rounder: It'll infuse much-needed moisture back into your skin, while tackling fine lines and plumpness. While there is an after-party mask available (that's actually what it's called), I find this one works well to prep you before a big event, as well as after a party, and it also is great when you've just had a rough week or two at work or out in the sun.
SKII Facial Treatment Mask
The Lamborghini of facial sheet masks, this one is slick, sexy, and is a classic that will always do it all - if you can afford the heftier price tag. My mum has been using this brand for years, and trust me, Asian mums know their beauty shizz. This one will leave you radiant, fighting dullness, wrinkles, sensitive patches, uneven skin tone, dehydration... I could go on.
Dr. Jart Moisture Lover Rubber Mask
The packaging of this mask is immensely creepy, and you'll feel equally as creepy wearing it: First of all, it's a surgical type of blue, and second, it is actually extremely rubbery in texture - which is oddly satisfying once you start playing with it. Nevertheless, the way this mask works is for you to slather your face with the accompanying cream, then to layer the rubbery mask layer on top - this helps to lock it in. And yes, I found it extremely effective - after a week of pulling 4-5 hours of sleep due to a heavy deadline, it made me look so alive over the weekend that my friends didn't even know that it had been deadline week.
Rodial Super Acids X-Treme Hangover Mask
The name of this mask is misleading, at least for me - fair enough, I can see how this would be a great go-to when you are, in fact, hungover, but I just use it when I'm feeling especially tired or that my face looks dull from exhaustion. The natural fruity acids in it will leave your skin softer, brighter, and exfoliated, while the other ingredients in the mask will also leave your skin looking more bright and, as a bonus, more firm and tight. It's a great do-it-all mask and it does so quickly, too - so it may be a little on the pricier side, but it is worth it, and a little goes a decent way.
WHEN Travelmate Sheet Mask
I like that this brand clearly states when you should be using each of their masks, be it for makeup prep or, like in this case, while traveling. Consider it sheet masking for dummies - it's super straightforward, and the masks fit well and are relatively comfortable, while being slightly more affordable than some of the other brands while still being one step ahead of the rather thin and fabric-feeling Sephora sheet masks (though don't knock those, when you need some bang for your buck they're great, and they do a pretty darn good job as well - in general, Sephora's own brand products are quite impressive, and have been ever since I was at college, which was a long time ago. I'm glad they're gaining more traction now). Pop this one into your suitcase and jet-lag-face will be a thing of the past.
Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Mask
If you're seeking radiance and a serious glow, this is it - and not because it'll make your face gold. Sure, it'll have a lovely gold sheen to it while you're actually using it, and it'll make you feel like a modern-day Cleopatra (despite the fact that this is a surprisingly gel-like texture rather than solid gold or gold leaf) - but she was onto something, and using gold in facial products (from masks to serums) does actually leave your skin brighter and more rejuvenated looking, while also helping to combat wrinkles and fine lines. My mum swears by them, and after trialling her products for a while, I had colleagues telling me how glowy I looked within a week. This mask lends that same effect and relatively quickly - I like to combine it with the same brand's Pumpkin Spice Exfoliating Mask and/or their Charcoal clarifying mask.