beauty

The Glow's mega face masks review.

Sssssmokin’! (Images: supplied by Eddie and Carla, and via The Mask movie).

There’s something magical about a mask. It’s the ultimate indulgent ritual. That fruit-scented goop that I’m slathering onto my face goes more than skin-deep; it’s also about taking those few minutes to rest quietly, and know that I’m doing something to care for myself.

For these reasons, masks are hot property right now. It seems that every skincare brand has a new mask to launch, but which one should you try? That’s where we come in to help you. We’ve offered up our faces to test masks for every skin type, and every budget.

Related: What really happens to your skin when you don’t wash your makeup off?  

SK-II

I was truly happy to be trying this SK-II sheet mask, I promise! And... I was trying to look pretty! HELP! (Image: supplied)

We’re kicking off with the best of the best. The SK-II Facial Treatment mask is the much-hyped, much-loved darling of beauty editors and celebrities, and it’s also the most expensive mask that we reviewed. Unbelievably, we found that it was worth every single cent.

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask, $28 for 1 sheet mask
Reviewer: Carla
Skin type: Dry and sensitive

The SK-II mask comes in a little foil packet. The mask inside is made from cotton, and soaked with goop. Technically speaking, this goop is Pitera, “a clear liquid rich in vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids…[which] work to dramatically improve the skin’s natural surface rejuvenation process”, according to SK-II. The mask felt cool and heavy on my face, and smelled slightly floral.

Related: Skin primer is a no-brainer. But lip, eye and lash primer? Here’s what you need to know.  

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Once the 15 minutes was up, I removed the mask, and wiped off the residual goo, as instructed. My face looked strange in the mirror. Something was missing. I looked closely, and realised what it was: my pores. My pores had disappeared. How?! My skin was moisturised, smooth, calmed and even in colour and texture.

I would highly recommend using the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask before special occasions, such as weddings, or even when you want to treat yourself. (Post continues after gallery.)

Sephora

Were they separated at birth?! Kahla (left) and Brittany (right) try Sephora sheet masks. (Images: supplied)

Sephora is famous for its cheap, fun sheet masks, and now that the beauty retailer is finally on our shores, we tried them out for ourselves.

Sephora Lotus Face Mask, $4 for 1 sheet mask
Reviewer: Kahla
Skin type: Normal and oily

Despite its camp pink packaging, this cloth mask was minimalist: white, pleasant-smelling, and covered in transparent goop. Although it felt super refreshing on my skin, it made me look like the only slightly less terrifying cousin of the "Scream" mask. Seriously, it's like wearing someone else's face. My skin felt very hydrated when I removed it - none of that awful tightness.

According to the package, the Lotus mask "refreshes tired skin" and reduces signs of stress and fatigue. Admittedly I looked just as tired afterwards, but the whole process was pretty relaxing, so I guess that's good for my stress levels?

Related: Skin primer is a no-brainer. But lip, eye and lash primer? Here’s what you need to know.  

Sephora Pomegranate Energizing Mask, $4 for 1 sheet mask
Reviewer: Brittany
Skin type: Combination and dehydrated

The packaging is really nice, although the mask looks and feels a bit like a soppy wet tissue when you open it. It goes on easily and instantly feels hydrating which is soothing. I like that it sticks on well so you don't have to lie down and can do other things while waiting for the 15 minutes to go by.

Only problem? You wouldn't want to run into anyone you don't know very well, as it kind of makes me look like a serial killer clown. I certainly look a lot less glam than the celebs who take selfies with them on! My skin feels smooth and nourished when I take it off, and definitely makes me look less tired and more energised (although a little red!).

The Body Shop

Eddie (left), Brittany (centre) and Carla (right) sampling masks by The Body Shop. (Images: supplied)

Ah, our old, reliable favourite. Thanks to The Body Shop, we spent our teen years slathered in quality, fruity-scented balms and butters. Those were happy days.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask, $18 for 100ml
Reviewer: Edwina
Skin type: Oily

My skin hasn’t been its best lately (hello hormonal acne), so I welcomed the Tea Tree Face Mask with open pores. After slathering the mask onto my face and laughing about the fact that I was now a dead ringer for Jim Carrey in The Mask, I could feel the magic working. With a mix of community trade tea tree oil (which has antibacterial qualities - take that, whiteheads), lemon tea tree, and tamanu oil, my skin felt all tingly and the green formula felt cool and soothing.

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Related: “A counterfeit lipstick put me in hospital.”

15 minutes later I washed it off - using a washcloth would’ve made my life a lot easier - and moisturised my skin. I’ve actually used it a few times since because, at the very least, it’s a really nice relaxing thing to do on a week night.

The Body Shop Aloe Protective Restoring Mask, $24 for 100ml
Reviewer: Brittany
Skin type: Combination and dehydrated

There are no instructions on the tub which makes a mask newbie like me a little nervous. Although it feels like a cream I apply it like a mask, smoothing it over my skin but not rubbing in too much. There's a pleasant smell and it feels nice and gentle on the skin so it's great for sensitive skin. I'm not sure whether to wash it of or not, so after 10 minutes I rinse with a warm flannel. Skin feels lovely and smooth and toned but not that tight feeling.

Related: The trick to finding out whether short hair will really suit you.  

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask, $44.95 for 90ml
Reviewer: Carla
Skin type: Dry and sensitive

At thirty-something years of age, I am the oldest Glow member, which means that I have taken it upon myself to trial all the anti-aging products. Enter: The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask. This is the mask for mask enthusiasts, as it takes dedication to use it. The product lives up to its name, in that it is literally bouncy – in the jar, the mask has the consistency of a panna cotta.

You need to use the tiny, supplied spatula to scoop up the mask, as it’s solid, yet strangely slippery. Once applied to my face, the mask resembled a clear, ultra-shiny gel. Then, according to the instructions, I slept in the mask. When I awoke the next day, the mask was still intact, and only a little less sticky than when first applied. My skin was no doubt hydrated, and had a smooth feel.

Montagne Jeunesse

Kahla (left) and Lizzie (right) try Montagne Jeunesse masks.  Photographic evidence that these girls are awesome. (Images: supplied)

Think you haven’t heard of this brand before? Think again. These masks are the little packets you see at Priceline, emblazoned with smiling models whose faces are covered in wonderful fruits and flowers. You should definitely take a punt on one of these next time you see them out in the wild, because there’s big bang for a tiny little buck.

Montagne Jeunesse Pulped Pomegranate Passion Peel Off Mask, $3.99 for 10g
Reviewer: Kahla
Skin type: Normal and oily

This “mask” is bright pink, smells like candy and has the consistency of bubble bath, so smearing it all over my face was fun. My housemate took one look at me and burst out laughing, so clearly I looked ridiculous (and sunburnt).

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Peeling all that goop off after it had set and dried was disgusting yet satisfying, especially as it came off in one go! The mask dragged out heaps of gunk from my pores, so I call that a success. My skin felt incredibly tight afterwards, and flared up for about 20 seconds, but settled back down once I fed it with face oil.

Related: Can coconut oil REALLY be used for everything, Miranda Kerr?  

Montagne Jeunesse Fun Blemish Mud Mask, $3.99 for 20g
Reviewer: Lizzie
Skin type: Dry and sensitive

I used the Montagne Jeunesse blemish mud mask. It was really thick to put on, and quite sticky. It is a mud mask, so when it dried it was really tight on my skin, which is a problem as I have really sensitive skin, and then it kind of flaked off. Washing it off was difficult but – afterwards my skin felt really soft and smooth. Which is the point, right?

Dermalogica

Lizzie looking cute while trying a Dermalogica mask. (Image: supplied)

A salon and celebrity favourite, and for good reason, too - Dermalogica is known for their skin-friendly and specialised formulas, which are well worth the investment.

Dermalogica Multivitamin Recovery Masque, $70 for 75ml
Reviewer: Lizzie
Skin type: Dry and sensitive

I used the Dermalogica Multivitamin Recovery Masque, which you apply after cleansing as a remedy for dehydrated and dull skin. The texture is really smooth, and went onto my skin easily.

It is clear, and kind of yellow in colour. It felt good on my skin (which is sensitive and really dry so I can have problems with masks making my skin too tight) and afterwards my skin felt soft, and noticeably less red.

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I would definitely use this one again, it was gentle, but effective. The mask contain vitamins A,C and E and Algae extract (which helps to soften the skin) and also vitamin B-5 which nourishes the skin.

Related: 5 Melbourne-based beauty brands The Glow loves. 

Freeman

Carla wears a Freeman mask. Masked, robed and ready to go. (Image: supplied)

You may have seen this mask lurking on the bottom shelf of your local supermarket and wondered, how can that be good? It’s ultra cheap, and we’re here to tell you that it’s ultra good.

Freeman Facial Clay Mask with Avocado and Oatmeal, $10.99 for 150ml
Reviewer: Carla
Skin type: Dry and sensitive

This is the ultimate budget buy. Freeman’s clay mask has a cult following, and for good reason, too. It’s super cheap, and easy to find. And there’s no surprises or weird business with this mask. It’s a good, old-fashioned clay mask – the kind you’d use at a year 6 sleepover party.

All you do is slap on the green-coloured goo, and let it dry on your face. The mask has a creamy consistency, and as it dries, you can almost feel the gunk being sucked out of your pores. Wash it off, and you’re left with smoother, clearer skin, and a sense of nostalgia.

What are your favourite masks?Join in on the fun by taking a mask selfie, and tagging @theglowau on Instagram and Twitter. 

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