Beauty

Holy Grails and Holy Fails Series: Face Masks

Hello there!
Lately, I have been feeling uninspired by new beauty and makeup products. There are a few reasons why I feel that my inspiration has been lacking lately.
The market seems saturated. Everything has been done before and nothing is new and exciting. We have seen it before. Many times…. Now, we are even seeing products coming in at lower price points with the same results.
One of the root causes of my recent lack of inspiration, is last year we saw every brand launch new eyeshadow palettes almost every single month. Eyeshadows are always the way to play with colour, new formulas and now it’s all been done before.
I have decided to start my own project pan to use up some of the products that I already have in my collection.
I have so many empties that I have been wanting to review and honestly, I was going to put them all into one post, it just didn’t seem to make a lot of sense. The post would be super long and not curated at all, so I have decided to revive my Holy Grails and Holy Fails Series!
Recently, I have been loving on Face Masks in the evenings, in the bath with some bubbles. It is so enjoying and relaxing to be able to forget about all of the stress of the day and unwind.
In the bath, I like to have my salts, bombs and bubbles, but having a nice face mask is also extra special and makes the time in the tub have extra benefits.
The problem with face masks is that they are expensive but they are also hard to gauge if the truly live up to their claims.
After using up a bunch of face masks, here are my reviews!

Peter Thomas Roth - 24K Gold Mask Skincare Review

Mask #1: Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Mask Luxury Lift & Firm Mask

Price: $112.00 CAD for 5 oz/150mL

The Claims

The ultimate luxurious anti-aging treatment, this rich mask is infused with pure 24K gold and colloidal gold to help improve the appearance of skin firmness and impart an opulent glow. Known from the time of Cleopatra to have powerful anti-aging benefits, 24K gold helps firm, lift, brighten and calm the appearance of skin.
Caffeine helps skin appear firmware and tighter while peridot – an exquisite gemstone rich in magnesium-re-energizes and helps reduce the look of aging and stress. Hyaluronic acid and glycerin deliver exceptional hydration for a more lifted appearance.
This lavish, pampering treatment helps to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, leaving skin looking silky smooth, firmer, radiant, revitalized and youthful.

Suggested Usage

• Apply a very generous, non transparent layer to clean skin, thoroughly covering entire face
• Allow to remain on for five to ten minutes
• Rinse thoroughly with warm water
• Use two to three times a week, or as desired
• Leave a thin layer on legs for a radiant glow on a night out
• Apply as you indulge in a long bath or relax in a sauna to prevent dehydration

My Findings

I had a mini size of this mask that I used 3-4 times, always in the bath while relaxing. At the time of using it, I didn’t realize how expensive the full size product was, and I am glad that didn’t let me sway my decision.
The application of it seemed a little difficult to judge if you had a thick enough layer covering your face, because it is quite a transparent formula. I wasn’t entirely sure if I had a thick enough layer at times because of this.
While having this on my skin, it really didn’t dry down, which I appreciate with an anti-aging mask. However, it did have a thick goopy consistency of glue. It felt quite sticky on my skin.
After applying it to my skin, it did look quite hydrated and happy-but the results are immediate and don’t last long. I feel that I can get the same affect by using a good primer or moisturizer. I feel that I would much rather spend my mask night on a product that gives me more long-term affects.
As for applying this to my legs for a glow, there are many great highlighters, body oils and moisturizers at a fraction of the price that could do the same job or better.

Final Verdict: HOLY FAIL


Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment Review

Mask #2: Glamglow Supermud Activated Charcoal Treatment Mask

Price: $77.00 CAD/ 1.7oz/50g

The Claims

A clarifying mask with six exfoliating acids and activated charcoal to instantly and visibly clear pores and clarify the complexion.
Super Six Acid Blend: Unclogs and minimizes the look of pores.
Activated-X Charcoal: Attracts dirt, toxins and impurities from within pores
TEAOXI Eucalyptus Leaf: Delivers actives and leaves directly into formula.
This advanced clearing treatment fights skin imperfections and skin problems, and is suitable for acne-prone skin. Kaolin clay, activated-x charcoal, and the Super Six Acid Blend work together to target skin congestion’s, clogged pores, and dead skin cell buildup, resulting in clearer, poreless-looking skin.

Suggested Usage

• Use as a full-face mask one to three times a week.
• Apply a thin layer to clean skin; leave on until the mask hardens.
• Remove with water.
• This product tingles to let you know it is working. Skin may appear flushed for a short time.

My Findings

Applying a thin layer of this was pretty easy to use, it is quite opaque and easy to see where you have it applied.
Right away, after applying, I did feel a tingly sensation, particularly around my nose where I have some sensitivity. It didn’t bother me that much, and the sensation quickly subsided once the mask started hardening.
I did feel like my face looked fresher, pores looked tightened and my breakouts definitely subsided. I definitely noticed a difference when I stopped using this weekly.
This product can be super drying to your skin, so unless you are SUPER oily, I wouldn’t recommend using more than twice a week. I used it 4 times in one week (I know what was I thinking and freaked my skin right out, so use this one sparingly when needed only).
This is a great product to use for multi-tasking, only using it in areas where you face can be congested and pores more prominent. I can’t wait to purchase this product again for when my face is feel drab and congested.

Final Verdict: HOLY GRAIL


The Inkey List Kaolin Clay Mask Review

Mask #3: The Inkey List Kaolin Clay

Price: $6.99USD

The Claims

A natural, deep-cleaning face mask using high-grade clay to help absorb excess oil. Kaolin Clay is gentle, so it’s perfect for all skin types as a deep clean once to twice per week.
Oily skin can be used more often as needed without drying the skin. Unclog should pores and evens skin tone

Suggested Usage

• Use in the AM or PM once to twinge a week
• Apply a thin layer to dampened, clean skin
• Leave on for 10 minutes
• Rinse with warm water

My Findings

This is a great clay mask for congested, large pores. I felt like it did actually make a difference with my pore size. It was inexpensive and contains great ingredients.
The bottle was large enough that I think I got around 8-10 uses out of it with generous helpings of product each time.

Final Verdict: HOLY GRAIL


Ole Henriksen Lemon Strip Flash Peel Review

Mask #4: Ole Henriksen Lemon Strip Flash Peel

(now-discontinued but available in the Power Peel Transforming Facial System)

Price: $66.00 CAD for the Power Peel Transforming System

The Claims

This is an at home, professional-strength AHA peel that is supposed to make skin feel smoother and more radiant.

Suggested Usage

• Apply evenly over clean, dry face
• Leave on for 7-10 minutes
• Rinse with warm water
• Use once a week at night

My Findings

This was a great peel, that did provide excellent exfoliation. The unfortunate side affect was that is really did sting quite a bit. It was really hard to leave on for the recommended time frame. I did find that after I washed it off, my face was really, really red. However, in the morning my foundation went on a lot smoother. It did perform as advertised.

Final Verdict: HOLY GRAIL


Elf Beauty Shield Magnetic Mask Review

Mask #5: elf Magnet Beauty Shield

Price: $24.00USD

The Claims

Uses magnetic therapy through a mess-free wand and nourishing ingredients, for skin that appears firmer and pores that are tighter. Lift away surface impurities with our innovative Magnetic Mask Kit that uses an iron-based formula and magnetic tool to help extract impurities, brighten skin and minimize the appearance of pores. Skin is left feeling clean, soft and recharged.

Suggested Usage

• Use the scoop of the magnetic tool to apply mask to a clean dry face
• Leave on for 5-10 minutes
• Cover the head of the magnetic tool with one of the included magnet covers for a mess-free removal
• To take the mask off, hover the magnetic tool just above the surface of the skin and glide slowly
• Discard cover after use

My Findings

I think this broke me out! It’s a super cool concept and I have tried the UBER expensive Dr. Brandt Magnet Mask in the past and loved it. So I was super excited to try one out at a cheaper price point. This was fun to use, removal is easier than the Dr. Brandt because it comes with sleeves to put over the magnetic removal tool, which makes clean up a breeze. I never felt like all of it was removed and something about the ingredients my skin just didn’t like. Skip this one and buy the Dr. Brandt if you really want to try one of these masks (I’m sure Winners, Marshalls, or TJ Maxx will carry them one day)!

Final Verdict: HOLY FAIL


Fresh Sugar Face Polish Review

Mask #6: Fresh Sugar Face Polish

Price: $80.00/4.4oz/125g

The Claims

A two-in-one face scrub and mask that buffs and hydrates with real brown sugar and strawberries.
-Brown sugar: a natural humectant that seals in moisture, gently buffs away dry, dull skin
-Real wild strawberries: packed with vitamin C to help brighten and soothe
-Plum Seed Oil and Grapeseed Oil: Notable for their hydrating and nourishing properties.

Suggested Usage

• After cleansing, apply a generous amount to damp skin and gently massage using circular motions
• Let it work for 5-10 minutes and rinse with warm water
• Can be used 3-4 times a week

My Findings

First off, the strawberry seeds are visible. As we are coming to learn, this isn’t a good thing to have such a strong exfoliantion on your skin. I did not enjoy the way that it felt. It just felt too abrasive.
Even on my super dry spots, I felt that it was doing more harm than good on my face. I would recommend going with a much gentler rice powder exfoliant that can give you results in a much safer way!
I ended up using this as a body polish to finish it up, which was nice, but there are much cheaper body polishes on the market. On the plus side, it smells very sweet and pleasant.

Final Verdict: HOLY FAIL


REN Evercalm Face Mask Review

Mask #7: REN Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask

Price: $54.00 CAD/1.7oz/50mL

The Claims

A soothing face mask that reduces redness, irritation, itchiness and inflammation. This 10-minute rescue mask is ideal for skin that is red, blotchy, irritated, sunburned, wind-chapped, dry, stressed, or jet-lagged. For the first time in cosmetics REN has used an original white mushroom extract to de-stress the skin for a sensation of calm and comfort. Skin feels velvety soft and smooth with even tone and a luminous, healthy complexion. Use anytime your skin is in need of urgent TLC. It’s also the perfect makeup starter mask.

Suggested Usage

• Use 3 times a week or anytime your skin is in need of urgent rescue
• Apply a generous amount onto clean skin, avoiding the eye area
• Leave on for 10-15 minutes
• Gently remove any excess with a damp cloth or cotton pad
• Follow with your usual skincare routine

My Findings

Ok, so I went a little overboard with a certain clay cleanser and my skin was FREAKING out. To be honest, I am pretty sure that I broke the moisture barrier on my skin because it was dry, flaking and painful. I reached for this mask in desperation of some comfort, I didn’t think it would do much.
It really did soothe my aching skin. It felt nice when it was on with a slightly cooling affect. I do not recommend using masks more often than their suggested usage, but if you do, reach for this one in a pinch!
I really think that I am going to miss this mask in the winter-time when my skin is super dry from the super cold weather here in Canada. During the next Sephora VIB sale that is coming up, I have this on my list to re-purchase.

Final Verdict: HOLY GRAIL


Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask Review

Mask #8: Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque

Price: $45.00CAD/5oz/125mL

The Claims

A cleansing face mask that helps minimize the appearance of pores.

Suggested Usage

• After cleansing, apply a thin layer to damp skin, avoiding the immediate eye area.
• Allow to dry for approximately 10 minutes
• When dry, gently remove mask using a warm, wet towel and pat dry

My Findings

I am pretty sure that this product has been saving my skin when I have used it right before my time of the month. Normally, I am prone to hormonal acne and breakouts. When I used this mask right before, I had ZERO breakouts, I’m not even kidding. I tried it for several months in a row and found that if I did get a pimple, it wouldn’t even surface.
You get a good amount of product for the price, it’s gentler than the Glamglow or other mud masks but works very well. I am very happy that I picked this up and will be considering buying it again.

Final Verdict: HOLY GRAIL


Tatcha The Rice Polish Review

Mask #9: Tatcha The Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder in Deep

Price: $84.00CAD/2.1oz/60g

The Claims

A water activated exfoliant of nourishing Japanese rice bran that transforms to a creamy foam for smooth, polished skin. Provides non-abrasive daily exfoliation to create a smooth, makeup-ready canvas.
Rice and papaya enzymes delivered in a creamy, rich foam soften, exfoliate, and gently release debris, promoting healthy, natural skin turnover to instantly reveal flowing, baby-soft skin. Daily use helps to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines, uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation.

Suggested Usage

• Begin with wet hands and face
• Pour a half-teaspoon of powder into hands and rub together to create a creamy foam.
• Gently massage onto face for 15 seconds, avoiding the eye area
• Rinse with warm water
• For best results, use after the Tatcha Pure One Step Camelia Cleansing Oil

My Findings

Before I get to into this, I use this one DAILY. I am also on my THIRD bottle. Yes, it’s super expensive, but you need such a tiny amount! A little goes a long way and I love the feeling of it when it gets all frothy!
I love to use an oil cleanser to remove my makeup and follow up with this polish to gently exfoliate my face. The great part is that I don’t need to think about it, it’s good enough to use everyday!

Final Verdict: HOLY GRAIL


Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask Review

Mask #10: Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask

Price: $73.00CAD/5oz/150mL

The Claims

A refreshing, cooling, moisturizing, and calming gel that helps soothe dry, irritated skin. This ultra gentle gel helps soothe, hydrate, and detoxify dry skin with botanical extracts of cucumber, papaya, chamomile, pineapple, super maple, sugarcane, orange, lemon, bilberry and aloe.
It is excellent to calm and soothe irritated skin after sun exposure, peels, waxing, facials, and extractions and may be used under the eye area to help reduce the look of puffiness.

Suggested Usage

• Apply a generous coat on clean skin
• Allow mask to remain on for 10 minutes
• Rinse with cool water
• For a very cool treatment, refrigerate product
• For an intensive treatment, apply a thin layer as the last layer of skin care and leave on overnight
• Use 2-3 times a week or daily for intensive hydration

My Findings

I tried this when my skin was freaking out and the cooling sensation was a little bit too much when my skin was super sensitive. I didn’t feel like it calmed my skin down at all, and I just wanted it off my face!
This did have a slightly cooling affect, but felt kind of slimy on the face. It never dries down and continues to feel like I smeared my face with aloe Vera. I would love to say that I saw results but with this mask, I felt like I was putting it on my face simply for the sake of wearing a mask with no real benefits.

Final Verdict: HOLY FAIL


Check out some more of my Holy Grail and Holy Fail Series Below:

L.A. Girl Holy Grails and Holy Fails

Drybar Holy Grails and Holy Fails

Urban Decay Holy Grails and Holy Fails


Face Masks to Avoid, and a few to try tooWhat skincare face masks will ACTUALLY make an improvement in your skin?AVOID these Face Masks and BUY these other ones to get real resultsI tried a bunch of face masks so you don’t have to! I used up a lot of face masks in my #projectpan here’s my thoughts on eachWhat face masks ACTUALLY work? Which should you avoid?

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