Tuesday, 23 September 2014


I have a serious obsession with face masks. If it promises to make my skin glow, even out my complexion, minimise my pores or just in general sort out my combination skin - i'm sold. Over the last few years i've gone through countless of face masks and have managed to narrow down my favourites to 5, that means a face mask for almost every day of the week. Face mask crazy I tell you! 

Having said that, I don't seem to have a firm favourite out of the above 5 - they all have their benefits and I think they're all as equally as good as each other, which I think is amazing as they vary in price so much. 

The first on my list is the Sanctuary Spa 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask - £10.50. This mask in particular is great for oily/ combination skin - it's a self heating mask that promises to 'open up the pores, draw out impurities from the skin' as well as 'rebalance the skins oil levels to clarify, cleanse and leave skin with a silky touch and the essential oil of myrrh helps soothe and calm'. This mask is my go to mask when I don't have a lot of time and my t-zone doesn't seem to want to co-operate with the rest of my face, which is unfortunately more often than not. I tend to use it in the shower and whilst my face is wet, slather on, wait for 5 minutes and rinse off - I actually like to scrub it off using my Clarisonic, but a muslin cloth or just your bare hands will work fine too. The end result is soft, glowing skin, with minimised pores and a t-zone that actually behaves itself for once. At £10.50 a tube, it's inexpensive and lasts a really long time and actually does what it says on the tube.

The next on my list is the Origins Drink Up - Intensive Overnight Mask -£23. Although I have combination skin, it can tend to feel a bit tight and dry especially in the summer months (particularly if I've been out in the sun, or on a plane). This mask is a great over night remedy, with Plant Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Apricot Kernel Oil, Avocado Oil and Mango Butter, it leaves my skin feeling plump and soft the next day - any dryness from the day before has gone completely and my skin is feeling thoroughly refreshed. However, what I like about this mask in particular is that it's not super heavy, doesn't clog up my pores AND it leans towards the natural end of the skincare spectrum. In fact, the next day there's no trace of it at all - my skin literally drinks this stuff up. Whats even better is the smell, it smells like peaches...almost good enough to eat mmmmmm. This is slightly pricier at £23 but it's lasted me since March (with regular, weekly use) and still going strong.

Another favourite is the Antipodes - Aura Manuka Honey Mask - £22. I'll save my absolute love affair with Antipodes products for another post, but just let me say I am in LOVE with this brand and this mask. Antipodes uses 100% natural ingredients and their products are fully certified organic products - this alone means the brand is a winner in my books. Their Manuka Honey Mask is an absolute treat to use. I like to use this after a long day, particularly if i've just finished working out and my face is a sweaty mess (lovely image there for you, you're welcome). I'll put this on after cleansing with my Clarisonic and leave for 15 minutes. As the brand has some of 'natures finest antioxidants' i.e Manuka Honey and Avocado Oil, I feel like my skin gets a well needed detox and a deep cleanse at the same time.  After using this I'm left with impeccably soft skin, that feels like its been thoroughly cleansed of all the dirt and grime from the day. The one thing i'm not keen on however, is the smell - I just don't like it, but the mask itself more than makes up for it.

Next up is the NIP & FAB - Bee Sting Fix Lifting Mask*. First things first, this mask smells divine. I have absolutely no idea how to describe the smell of this mask but oh my, it smells so good! This is another mask I use over night, however you can use it as a quick fix 10 minute mask if you wish. I like to use this mask to keep any pesky wrinkles at bay - yes I know i'm only 24, but prevention is better than cure. That rhyme was totally unintentional. This mask is packed with bee venom, yes, actual bee venom so don't use it if you're allergic to bee stings. This element helps plump and firm the skin, and after using this mask I can see a difference the next day, my skin feels nice and...springy. The rest of the mask promises to tense, smoothe, soften and hydrate the skin and I do have to say, my skin feels lovely after using this and with the added benefit of battling those wrinkles, it's a winner. *This mask was given to me as a PR sample, but you can find it in Boots for £9.95...hardly breaking the bank. 

Last up is the Glam Glow Youth Mud Mask £24.99 - £49.99. This mask is the most expensive out of the above 4 masks. I discovered this mask when I heard Fleur De Force's review about it and me being me, well I had to pop into the Space NK next door to my old work (yes, I was definitely a regular ahem everyday customer) and buy it. As it wasn't something i'd tried before, I decided to be relatively sensible and go for the small pot at £24.99 although when I say the pot is small, I mean it's TINY. This pot holds a total 15g worth of product, so it's still pretty expensive for the amount of product you get - but trust me when I say less is more when it comes to using this. 

This mask is a HG product amongst celebs and beauty bloggers alike and it definitely lives up to the hype. I wouldn't recommend using this on sensitive skin as it is a pretty harsh mask. Although it's a mud mask, it's quite rough in texture, so that when you wash it off you also further exfoliate your skin. It has a combination of minerals and oils to brighten up the complexion as well as tone and tighten. I like to put this on for 15 minutes and wait for it to work its magic - what I like about this is that you can see it pulling the oil out of your pores, so by the time you go to wash it off the mask is all speckled...that's how you know it's really working. 

Also, this mask has a crazy tingling effect and depending on the sensitivity of your skin it'll tingle more for some than others, I personally quite like the tingling effect but it may be too much for some people. This mask completely re-balances my skin, as it also buffs away any dead skin and make up is an absolute dream to put on after. After the first couple of uses it did leave my skin a little on the red side but a soothing moisturiser soon sorted that out and I was good to go. I've had so many compliments on my skin after using it, that i've decided it's definitely worth picking up the larger pot when my tiny one runs out...even if my bank account will hate me for it. I'd really recommend this mask to any who feels like their complexion is a little dull, lifeless and needs a little pick me up! 

Have you tried any of the above products, or are there any other face masks that I should try?

Natalie x

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