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Masquerade

April 8, 2011

By Liz Donovan

Four masques face off to win this editor’s approval.

Product with a Purpose

Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque
By Kiehl’s
This clay masque was developed by actors Michael C. Hall (of Dexter) and Chloe Sevigny (of Big Love) to benefit the Waterkeeper Alliance, which helps preserve bays and rivers.

To use: Apply it to the face and allow it to dry, wash off.

Pros: Left my skin feeling super clean, tight, and smooth.

Cons: I noticed a slight stinging sensation while it hardened, and it was a little drying to the skin (resolved by applying a mild fragrance-free moisturizer)

$23, available in May at Kiehl’s Since 1851, Garden State Plaza, 201-843-1125; and Kiehl’s Since 1851, The Mall at Short Hills, 973-258-0790.

Splurge

Masque Precieux
By Bulgari
This anti-aging formula is designed to boost the production of collagen and elastin.

To use: Apply it to skin, allow it to absorb for about 20 minutes, smooth off excess with a washcloth.

Pros: The frothy consistency is easy to apply, and it is great for moisturizing the skin. Also, my skin is very sensitive and prone to breakouts, but this was mild enough to cause no irritation.

Cons: I didn’t use it for long enough to notice a difference. Also, my skin felt slightly filmy when just removing the excess with a washcloth as directed, so instead I washed my face with water afterward.

$130, Bergdorf Goodman, NYC, bergdorfgoodman.com

Go Au Naturale

Mandarin and Rooibos Antioxidant Masque
By Eminence
This certified organic skin-care line offers a variety of masques for different purposes with ingredients ranging from tomato and garlic (fights blemishes) to quince and ice wine (tones and nourishes). The one that I tried out claims to be “immunity supporting and rejuvenating.” I don’t know about that, but it did leave my skin feeling fresh and soft.

Pros: Smells nice and is ripe with antioxidants. Also, the company uses plant-based products, sustainable farming, and other eco-friendly processes/ingredients, so it gets a “green” thumb up.

Cons: Is goopy and a little difficult to apply. Also, washing it off is a bit of slimy process, but it didn’t leave a film as some other masques do.

Do-It-Yourself

Honey masque
Honey is a natural antiseptic and has antimicrobial properties, so it can be beneficial on acne-prone skin.

To use: Simply apply local honey to your face and allow it to sit 30 minutes before washing it off. Tip: Honey crystallizes over time. I used this to my advantage by gently applying the crystallized honey in circular motions to allow the slightly abrasive substance to exfoliate.

Pros: I found this to reduce minor breakouts and soften the skin.

Cons: Sticky, sticky, sticky! I prefer to apply this masque prior to taking a shower because it always manages to seep into my hair.

Blemish Buster

Sulfar Masque
By AcneFree
This company claims to be the less expensive, more effective version of Proactive. The mask (an add-on to the 3-step system) is made with Vitamin C and contains 3.5% sulfar to treat pimples.

To use: Apply it to the face, continuing to rub it in until the beads in the masque turn it into a blue color. Allow it to dry (about 20-30 minutes) and wash it off with warm water.

Pros: This actually works really well to clear up and prevent blemishes. I noticed an immediate improvement. Also, a dab of it can be put on a pimple and left on overnight for more immediate results.

Cons: This can irritate the skin if used too often and is very drying, so use in moderation and follow it with a mild, fragrance-free moisturizer.

$8, ulta.com (or a local convenience store)

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