Lessons in Beauty

Giving Your Skin A Break | The 5 Masks I’m Obsessing Over On My No-Makeup Week

So normally every Friday I’d be posting a #100DaysOfMakeup challenge update. Well… I didn’t feel like wearing makeup this week. My skin has felt AWFUL. I wasn’t getting enough hydration and there was a lot more fat and salt and dairy in my diet than I’m proud of and my skin suffered MAJORLY. Basically everything I know to do for my skin… I didn’t. Brilliant, eh?

So I took a week off. And I did a face mask almost every day this week, and I wanted to share the masks I’m absolutely obsessing over in my little daily spa treatments to make me feel better about the dreadful acne attack going on in my facial region. And since my face is wanting to stay away from cameras, I got two little helpers to model each mask for you guys this week!

Meet Clark & Danbo. If you’ve read some of my older stuff you might have met them before, but they’re my and the bf’s “plastic cardboard robot twins.” They also like getting into EVERYTHING.

2015 two boys

Danbo is slightly “older” (ie: bought first) and has the branding,
“Clark” is incognito, and a very curious sort.

Shall start the countdown? This feels like a countdown thing.

The Top 5 Masks I’m Obsessing Over This Week

*I’ll add in what masks I know for sure have certain properties like cruelty free, vegan, etc, it doesn’t mean the others aren’t unless I list them as not,

#5: BalanceMe Radiance Face Mask


I got this in BOTH Birchbox(es) I received this month, and it actually really does make my skin feel healthier. It feels like it softens up the scratchy bits over healing blemishes for a smoother application. It’s not a super dramatic result, but leaving it on for the 5 minutes it says (or 10 or 35 because I really don’t listen to directions and like testing things to make sure you guys know if they’re going to make you sensitive – to the best of my testing ability,) definitely is a noticeable difference in how easily I can apply makeup the next day. I’d definitely say this is a before bed kind of mask, not a morning one, as I’ve noticed a bit of redness after (not like bad red but a little bit of extra makeup red.)

Full size of this mask runs around $24.50 on LookFantastic.

#4: TonyMoly I’m Real Sheet Masks


Basically all of these. You can get a set of 11 for ~$10 on Amazon (and it’s prime! – even cheaper if you use CrowdTap and earn some gift cards 😉 ) and there’s one for almost every serum-type-fix. Seaweed and Pomegranate are my favorites, and I’m going to need to snag another set of these soon myself because I’m down to my last two! (But I also have a set of sheet masks I’m really not fond of.. So I need to get rid of those first…) These fit very well to my face and always have a decent amount of extra serum that you can squeeze from the packet and apply to your chest, arms, neck, or face. I love the variety pack, though you can purchase them just in individual packs (it’s a little more expensive, actually, usually, to get just one kind.) And they smell great too! (Not perfectly like the ingredient theme, but really good)

#3: Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask


*I got this mask as a PR sample (from BrandBacker) for the opportunity to review it several months ago. I gave my honest review of it in a mud mask tips tutorial at the time, and including it in any posts past that is purely because… I use this mask at LEAST weekly*

I really do love this mask. especially down onto my neck and chest (my chest seems to have permanent red discoloration which bothers the bejeezus out of me some days.) It’s a bit rougher going on, but still a very gently exfoliating mask, and it smells fruity and indulgent – think raspberries. There’s little fibers in the clay mask that soften as it dries and pull your oils into them, so when you re-wet the mask to scrub it off, you get an even more gentle (but thorough) exfoliation in removal. This could be done in the morning if you’ve got a bit of time before you apply makeup, but really any mask that cleans out your pores is more of a bedtime thing to me so your skin can breeeathe.

This mask can be found for $25.00 on Amazon.

#2: L’Oreal Pure-Clay Mask


*I got all 3 of this mask line as a PR sample (through the site that will be in my All About blogger resources series this Tuesday!) for the opportunity to review it this month. I fulfilled my obligation to them through outside reviews. I’m including it in this post is because I love it for a deep cleaning of my pores!*

This is part of L’Oreal’s new line and is my favorite of the 3 and absolutely brilliant for oily or acne prone skin. This is another super exfoliating mask and I’ll preface this immediately… it makes my skin more sensitive. Seriously, go an extra half inch away from the eyes even further than you normally put it, and if you have sensitive skin you might want to skip this one entirely (but you might enjoy the other two of the line, depending on your personal mask needs.) I don’t have redness or anything after, but it’s pretty uncomfortable on the extremely sensitive skin areas when it’s first applied, which is NAWWWT normal. It’s definitely more of a cheek & chin mask. But this exfoliates the dead skin away and makes my skin feel gorgeous after using it. You can almost feel this penetrating your skin with the good clays and red algae. I definitely notice my pores feeling more refined and appearing smaller (dead skin can push up around the edge of the pore and make it look more recessed and noticeable, since we notice pores due to light and shadow.)

Again this is probably more of a bedtime mask and you’ll want to use a serum, toner, and or light moisturizer after it. I wouldn’t recommend using this mask MORE than 3 times per week because it is SO exfoliating and you could over-exfoliate. But that’s most exfoliates anyway.

This mask runs around $12.99 in most drugstores, and can be found for ~$10 on Amazon (add-on only price.)

and my #1 all-time favorite mask, easily called a Holy Grail product for me…

#1: RE:P Bio Fresh Mask With Calming Herb


I got this in my January 2016 Korean Beauty (curated) Birchbox. This was the first Korean skincare product I ever tried, and I was hooked. It smells like pure clay as most mud masks do, but with a bit of chamomile undertones bordering on basil. This is also the first mask I ever tried that WORKED for blackheads. I applied it, let it dry down, removed it with water and massaged it off my skin with fingertips only… and the little balls and cylinders of sebum massaged themselves right out of my nose. BOY was that weird when you didn’t know it was possible. This is a PRICEY mask, $41 for a jar, but a little goes a long way. Even my ~$7 sample from Birchbox lasted me through DOZENS of uses and I still had a lot left to give the boyfriend. If you have Birchbox points and blackheads? Holy crap get this.

It’s also gentle enough that many, MANY times I have left it on OVERNIGHT either as a spot treatment or genuinely falling asleep with a face full of mask and there’s no dryness at all. It actually hydrates your skin pretty well. I’ll be sad if Birchbox goes down if for no other reason than this mask, because I don’t know where else to get it besides SokoGlam. If you do choose to go through Birchbox, try COMEBACK15OFF, as it’s been working for people that had not used it before. BBSHOP should always work for free shipping, but adding the mystery pack gets you above the $50 for free shipping anyway on this.

What do you use to give your skin a break?

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9 thoughts on “Giving Your Skin A Break | The 5 Masks I’m Obsessing Over On My No-Makeup Week

  1. Love it! I really love those amazon dudes you had in your pictures! I need to get better about using mask. Maybe i’ll check out a few you had tried 🙂


  2. If only masking was an official day job! Whenever my skin acts up, I’ll splurge and use one of PONY Effect’s luminous boosting really long name sheet masks. It will take the swelling and redness down to next to nothing in just 30 minutes! Perfect to have stashed on those days when your face decides it wants to be a war zone 🙂 your “models” are super cute btw. Totally made me smile!


  3. Oh my goodness, that Re:P mask sounds absolutely incredible. I LOVE a good face mask. Before I was on night shift, I was doing them every other day…but now I’m having a hard time remembering to fit them into my before sleep schedule!

    Thanks for sharing some of your faves 🙂

    Haley, TripleShotOfBeauty.com

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post!

    When I want to give my skin a break, I’ll stick to my favourite Olay products – so basically Olay face wash, Olay toner, Olay Day Fluid with SPF. And that’s it. No fancy serums, eye creams, etc. I might also enjoy a face mask (peel off or mud/clay), but that would depend on the state of my skin…

    Sometimes it’s best to keep it simple and to only use products I know my skin loves. Sure, everyone’s different, but I’m glad that I know what works for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Knowing what works is an amazing feeling. Get an issue or want a rest and it’s like “OK, I can fix this with this!” good to go! 🙂 my Neutrogena acne products are my savior besides masks when I need to SOS my skin or let it breathe 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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