Roundup Skincare

Winter Skin Savers: Face Masks for Every Need

January 12, 2016

Today I’m chatting with you about the face masks I have in rotation right now. Winter weather usually means my skin starts to feels dry or lacking in luster and the best way to help improve my skin’s texture, clarity and the way it feels in general is by using weekly mask treatments. I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to share a roundup of 12 masks which include a mix of tried and true treatments along with a few new discoveries. I’m obsessed with masks in general – I often use them 2x per week, sometimes I mix it up depending on how my skin feels at a specific time.

First, a bit of background. When it comes to masks, or with any skincare in general, I would say recommendations depend on your skin type and what kind of treatment you’re looking for. I’ve split up my recommendations into four main categories: 1) lift and firm, 2) moisturize, 3) clarify/purify and 4) boost radiance. I’ve put 12 to the test to see how they hold up for my sensitive skin and super sensitive nose. In terms of types, I love a good sheet mask, but for today I’ve rounded up the kind you apply, leave on for 5-15 minutes and rinse off. The traditional apply-then-rinse-off kind is what I prefer, they are easy and fun to apply and I like the whole process of rinsing with water for that squeaky clean feeling.

Up first are two lifting and firming face masks. I’ll start with the best face mask I have ever tried which is the the La Mer Lifting and Firming Mask ($245 for 1.7 oz/50 ml). I was lucky to find a mini sample of this one during a gift with purchase event and it was pure love the first time I tried it. This is the most I’ve ever splurged on a mask, but it’s one of those skincare products I tested and immediately thought, “oh my god this is amazing.” It comes in a large tub with a brush applicator. I’m relatively new to using brushes to apply masks but after testing a few, I think I kinda like it. With this mask, skin feels ultra soft after using it. It’s formulated to tighten, firm and refine the face and neck although I’ve only tested this on the face so far. Skin does indeed look and feel noticeably firmer after using this. Fine lines are minimized. After using this you can feel the moisture without any greasy feel and the skin glows. I would call this one life changing and at the high price I think it should be. It’s a luxurious splurge but worth every penny. I don’t think I’ve ever been so in love with a skincare product in my life.

Another good firming mask is the Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask ($70 for 75 ml/2.5 fl oz). This one is formulated to lift, smooth, brighten and tighten pores. It sounds like an all-in-one kind of mask and I think it works wonders to lift and plump the skin. This one needs a very thin layer, if you apply too much it won’t dry properly and will be difficult to wash off. This one is heavily fragranced so it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I don’t mind the scent (I find it pleasant and unique). After using it skin feels smooth and lifted. The skin glows and looks noticeably brighter after using it. I noticed redness was reduced drastically. It does shrink pores around the nose area too. If you want a sampler of her skincare (trial or travel size) you can still find the mask in her Red Carpet Skin Set ($85) or the Gift of Goddess Skin Trio ($59) and the sizes seem large enough to get several uses out of the tubes.

Next are masks for an added moisture boost. My favorite gentle moisturizing mask is the Caudalie Moisturizing Mask ($39 for 75 ml/2.5 fl oz). This one is a game changer for me, most moisturizing masks are too heavy or leave the skin feeling too glowy so for moisture I prefer sheet masks. For a more traditional mask, this one adds enough moisture to soothe dry skin and makes it glow without the heavy feel. It has the most wonderful refreshing clean scent making it feel extra nice. It also works really well to help calm irritated skin and reduce redness. I really like Caudalie for the gentle but effective skincare.

Bobbi Brown just launched new face masks. I bought the Mini Mask Trio ($20 for 3 minis each .24 fl oz/7 ml) which comes with super tiny tubes. For these I was able to get 2 uses out of each one which is enough to get a sense of how it will feel on the skin, but not quite enough to get a true sense of how it will perform. The moisturizing option is the Skin Nourish Mask ($47 for the full size). It has an ultra smooth almost gel-like texture. It has coral grass and green algae to help boost collagen production and smooth the skin. I felt it did smooth and sooth the skin. Given the fact that I already have some other favorites for moisture masks, I’m not sure I will purchase the full size.

My second most favorite moisture mask is the Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment ($69 for 1.7 oz/50 g). This one smells delicious (I almost want to eat it). It adds the most moisture to my skin out of all the masks I’ve tried. It helps reduce any flaky areas or patches. It can tingle a little but it’s not too strong. If you’re super sensitive to tingle or scent, you might want to skip this one and opt for the Bobbi Brown instead which is more gentle but still adds moisture.

Next up are some clarifying and purifying options. This type is my favorite kind of mask to use but many purifying/detox masks can be really strong and end up drying out my skin. Some dry my skin so much it leaves my face red afterwards and flaky by the next day. My newest discovery is the Kate Somerville EradiKate Mask ($54 for 60 ml/2 fl oz). This was used on me during a facial, my aesthetician mentioned that a lot of her clients had been raving about it. I saw really good results from my facial so I bought this the very next week. It’s part of the anti-acne line and normally these kinds of products are too strong for my skin, but this one is pretty gentle. It’s foam activated so you apply it to your skin and leave it on for 10 minutes. It starts to foam as it works and removes impurities. It tingles slightly as it foams up but does not sting (and I’m a huge wimp when it comes to skincare that tingles). It contains colloidal sulfur which helps reduce redness (it really works wonders in this area) and reduce acne. I highly recommend it.

Caudalie of course is on the list for favorites. The Purifying Mask ($39 for 75 ml/2.5 oz) targets spots to reduce blemishes. It clarifies the skin by drawing out impurities but it’s super gentle. Out of all the purifying masks, I would say this is the most gentle purifying mask I’ve ever tried. If you need something stronger the Instant Detox Mask ($39 for 75 ml/2.5 oz) is really good at drawing out the gunk that builds up in your pores. It’s a super deep cleansing mask – I prefer this on the T-zone or on spots (with Caudalie they recommend you mix masks at one time to target different needs on different areas of the face). It’s on the strong side so I would recommend on the nose or on trouble spots, I would not recommend using it all over the face.

My most-used clarifying mask is the Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment ($69 for 1.2 oz/34 g). I’ve lost count of how many I’ve used up and repurchased. Anytime my skin starts to break out from buildup or hormonal acne, I use this and it clears up within the week. It cleans out the skin like nothing else I’ve tried. Regular use has also helped tremendously with acne scars. It’s good for oily skin and helps rebalance the face. It’s a more gentle version of the Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Mask. If you still find the Supermud too strong, try the Caudalie or Kate Somerville ones instead.

Bobbi Brown has a mask called the Instant Detox Mask ($47 for the full size). This is a like a gentler version of the Caudalie Detox Mask. I liked that it acted like a clarifying mud mask without being too strong. It cleared up my skin and helped to rebalance oily and dry areas without being too strong or too drying. I will be purchasing the full size of this one once I use up my Glamglow and Kate Somerville Masks. Pores were significantly reduced.

The last category is radiance boosting or complexion savers. Bobbi Brown has one called Radiance Boost ($47). This one felt like it had exfoliating properties with tiny grains inside. For radiance, I tend to prefer sheet masks, but decided to give this one a try from the mini trio set. It has superfine walnut grain to exfoliate dead skin cells and orange oil extract to rebalance the oils in your skin. I didn’t notice as much of a glow as I did with the La Mer or Charlotte Tilbury masks, but I did notice a subtle glow and my skin did feel smoother with the exfoliating properties. This one has a gentle citrus scent. For now I will be sticking to my sheet masks for radiance.

Last but not least is the Caudalie Glycolic Peel ($39 for 75 ml/2.5 fl oz). This one is the most gentle peel mask I’ve tried. I do an occasional peel treatment with other brands but my skin is so sensitive that I can’t tolerate the tingling sensation (some make my eyes water). The Caudalie has no tingle and is non-irritating. For this one you will see results over time. It’s a super gentle treatment that helps with exfoliation that improves the skin texture and radiance over the course of a few weeks. It’s the most gentle kind of peeling mask I’ve tried.
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If you’re in search for a new mask, I hope you found this roundup helpful. There are so many different kinds of masks and brands. Nordstrom has over 200 options to choose from and you can filter options by benefit, price point and brand to find the one that suits your specific needs. I have tested quite a few, but for me testing has happened over the span of several months before I usually decide if something really works. My rotation changes as the season shifts to warmer weather. My top picks for right now are:
  1. La Mer Lifting and Firming Mask – for the most impressive results in terms of skin texture, appearance and feel (gives you baby soft skin)
  2. Caudalie Moisture Mask – best moisturizing mask
  3. Kate Somerville EradiKate Mask – best anti-acne redness reducing mask
  4. Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment – best clarifying and brightening mask for me

Do you have any favorite winter skincare masks? What’s in your rotation right now? I always get the best recommendations from my readers, if you have any tried and true or new discoveries please share!

Many thanks to Nordstrom for partnering with me to sponsor this post. As always, all opinions my own.

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  • So many lovely products!! I reaaaaally want to try the GlamGlow masks and Charlotte Tilbury x

    http://www.shayholly.co.uk

  • This is such an amazing array of products, I don't know which ones to consider buying first <3 Glamglow and Charlotte Tilbury's mask have been on my list for a long time. Gonna definitely buy one soon πŸ™‚

    Rebecca xx
    ohkalukalay.blogspot.co.uk

  • I also like the Bliss Oxygen Mask and Origins Retexturizing mask.

    http://www.makeupmusicbooks.com

    • I'll need to look into both of those!

  • I've been so intrigued with Glamglow mask! Hopefully I can get the sample size soon πŸ™‚

    xx
    Oh Dear Bumblebees

  • Wendy

    I recently found sheet masks and I've been hooked on a new brand called Florapy. Their masks are made of coconut and infused with aromatherapy. I'm an extra anxious person so their lavender sweet dreams mask really helps to calm me down at night lol

  • I really want to try out that Charlotte Tilbury mask!

    Ashley
    http://www.ashleyelizabethbeauty.com

  • I fall in love with your images, they are so gorgeous. Really want to try a sheet mask as they are all the rage at the moment. I have heard mixed reviews on the Goddess Face Mask by Charlotte Tilbury, don't know if I am willing to splurge based on the mixed reviews I have heard so far. Beautiful post as always x

    Kiran | http://www.alittlekiran.co.uk

    • Thanks Kiran – there are a lot of good sheet masks out there!

  • Just ordered a heap of TonyMoly sheet masks…I needed to see what the fuss was all about. I tend to avoid anything with clay as I find it quite drying. I have all of the Caudalie Masks and use them as my skin needs them but I am really wanting to try the La Mer. Xx

    • I'm so impressed by Caudalie and La Mer πŸ™‚

  • I'm reading this while trying the Caudalie Moisture Mask for the first time! We had an electrical fire here in my house last night and I spent the night in the hospital getting breathing treatments. Between the burnt plastic smoke and being at the hospital I came home to a mostly wrecked face, so I figured the ultimate test! I may have to add more because my skin soaked up the first layer I applied!

    • Oh my days. I do hope your home is not too damaged and that your aren't suffering with smoke inhilation. Bit of a fatuous comment but it may help…..we have a holiday home in Cyprus and I often get sunburnt as I am very pale. I then go for a hydrating facial and basically they just keep covering my face until the lotion / hydrating masque and cream until it no longer penetrates any deeper into the skin which essentially means when my skin has taken on all it can. absorb then we stop feeding it anymore. It's a wonderful experience done through cotton gauze cloth, ice and lots of if to bring the core body temperature down too. Just keep layering, the cooler the better until your skin tells you that it's full. Good luck. Xxx

    • Oh my goodness, I'm sorry to hear about that! I hope you are ok πŸ™

  • Anonymous

    CleverGirl, that sounds tough. Best wishes to you.

    I find the Glamglow a little too harsh. My skin feels totally dry and stretched out afterwards. I still like the Chanel purifying mask but have been wanting to try the Caudalie masks since your last review. LaMer is out of reach.
    Thanks, Tanja

  • I apply a mask every night but rotate it a sheet mask here, clay, etc. My all time favorite mask of life is Ahava Time to Clear mask. It will clear out a pimple overnight it is absolutely amazing. Next favorite is Aztec Indian Heal mask and that one will clear up scars. I rotate between Korean masks and sheets too.

  • I need to incorporate MASKS into my skincare rountine….thanks for reviewing so many!
    Those glass candle holders are perfect to hold makeup supplies.

    http://a-woman-of-a-certain-age.com/

  • I have been on the look out for some masks! thank you so much for this! Super useful!!

    Love,
    Merin
    http://meiasos.blogspot.co.uk

  • Thanks for the round up! I love a good mask, especially during winer time. I really like Sephora's Rose Sheet Mask. Another great hydrating option is Dermalogica's Skin Hydrating Masque. The last one I tested was Boscia's Luminizing Black Mask and I'm quite impressed with it. I would love to check out the Charlotte Tilbury one, especially after your review. Goodbye redness and hallo tighter pores. I'm so in!

    Love,
    Alexandra

  • The CT Goddess Clay Skin mask is amazing! I need to pick up a full size soon πŸ™‚ x

    http://www.farfromperfectionxo.blogspot.co.uk

  • This is such a thorough, helpful post! I'm dying to try the GlamGlow masks, especially the Clearing one πŸ™‚ xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

    • Glad you liked it, I'm a huge fan of Glamglow! I still need to check out that new peel-off one πŸ™‚

  • Looks like i'm going to be purchasing loads of skincare soon.

    Megan | http://megadoresbeautyx.blogspot.co.uk