Tatcha knows packaging, but they've got the formulas down too! The container is reminiscent of an apple, coated in shades of violet. It begs to be picked up. The top opens to reveal a swirl of creamy mask in another brilliant purple hue. The product includes a small golden spatula for application, which makes the experience that much more luxurious. This mask is perfect for folks with sensitive skin because it's so mild. I noticed my skin felt plump, moisturized, and refreshed after use, but didn't see the miraculous results some people have reported. Though I've enjoyed using it, I won't be purchasing another. It might work wonders for you, though! I recommend asking a Sephora employee for a sample of the mask (they'll make them for you in store!) before buying. If you're looking for something similar for way less dough, check out the Mario Badescu Azulene Calming Mask.
Mario is THAT DUDE. Though this line is famous for it's super-trendy Facial Spray, this is my favorite MB product. I bought it on a whim from Amazon, and after only one use, my BFF noticed a change in my complexion. This thick, creamy formula goes on smoothly with a minty/botanical fragrance. It doesn't harden completely, but after 20 minutes, it dried to a comfortable tension. After use, you'll notice firm, clear, even skin that feels refreshed. The gentle fruit enzymes help speed cell turnover while vitamin oils moisturize. For only $20, this is a steal and one of my favorite treatments of all time.
Leave it to my sister, Sarah, to know that I desperately wanted to try this. I've been burned by Instagram beauty clickbait, so I paused my impulse buys for a while. Luckily, big sis came through with the Christmastime mask hookup. This sparkly concoction promises one thing (to firm) and it delivers. After use, my face felt taut without overdrying. This formula moisturizes while it tightens and smells slightly of bubblegum in a way that's inoffensive. The included brush allows for smooth application without sticky fingers. The confetti stars and glitter remain safely within the goop so your bathroom won't end up looking like a bachelorette party. You'll get a kick out of applying this glitter glue-esque mask then peeling it off. Because of the price, I suggest splitting a jar between friends for a sleepover. Or, if the cost doesn't scare you, go 'head and get your glitter on! I first used this at a New Year's Eve pajama party for two while drinking champagne from a disco ball cup, so you could say I leaned into the theme.
If you're even vaguely interested in masking, I'll bet Hanacure has shown up in one of your social media feeds. Drew Barrymore is a fan which is enough for me! (Fun fact: I looked exactly like Drew Barrymore when I was a wee babe and even got approached like a child star a few times!) Hanacure is expensive, it's true. Four masks sell for $110, but the fact that it keeps selling out speaks to its efficacy. The application is fun because it feels like a mini science experiment. Pour the small vial into the cup of gelling solution and shake it up until it's properly mixed. Then, use the included brush to smooth an even layer all over your face. Here comes the "fun." Prepare to look a zombie, but a zombie that's about to have the skin of a newborn. Wait. Not like that. You know what I mean. As the solution hardens, your skin will be pulled taut to the point of disfigurement. Talking, eating, and drinking are nearly impossible with Hanacure on, so choose a time during which you're straight chillin'. It might itch a little, but be strong. After it dries completely, remove it with a damp washcloth. I noticed some redness but it faded quickly. For the next week, I had the best skin of my life. This stuff is the truth, and worth every penny. I've repurchased once and will continue to. Hanacure purports to be inspired by the purity and resilience of the lotus flower and I have a lotus tattoo, so this love story was meant to be.
I'm still on the fence about sleeping masks. They're touted as a integral part of Korean skincare, but I've not found any I'm crazy for except this one. Laneige is a trusted K-Beauty brand and this mask is one of their star products. The scent? Perfect. The texture? Perfect. The results? Pretty damn good. Smooth this lovely blue gel on after your nighttime moisturizer absorbs and allow it to sink in fully before you go to bed. The subtle blue formula won't rub off on your pillows and you'll wake to smooth, plump, supple skin. I noticed reduced redness and a more even tone for a few days. A large jar is $25 and you'll get a good number of uses out of it. Laneige also makes clutch choices when it comes to packaging. I've not purchased one of their products without wanting to immediately display it on my vanity. Skincare that serves as decor? Perf.
Photography: Kelly Martucci