The Humble Face Mask - Lazy Skincare?

The humble face mask – lazy skincare?

I have a routine every Saturday night.  Usually involving a cheesy bites pepperoni pizza, sometimes salt & chilli chicken strips and fried rice.  Always involves Casualty on BBC1 and a face mask.  I get upset when there is sport on the TV,  it messes up my routine because they knock Casualty off the schedule.     I work hard all week, leaving the house at 7:30am and returning most nights at 7pm if the trains are running on time.  And I’m off just about every single Sunday, so my Saturday night ritual is how I unwind and relax; and set myself up for the following week.

I’m not particular about what face mask I’m using, I make a choice based on what my skin needs – or let’s be honest, the ones I come across first when I’m running a bath.  But I do have a collection of masks on the go and I do have favourites that do different things for your skin, so here are my faves in no particular order.

Just to let you know – I have oily, acne-prone skin with dry patches and acne scarring. Lucky me, eh? I prefer a face mask that helps to clear pores of excess oils, target blemishes and reintroduce moisture, so the active ingredients of clay and charcoal feature heavily!

7th Heaven Black Seaweed Peel Off Face Mask

7th Heaven Black Seaweed Peel Off Face Mask

Everybody loves some 7th Heaven, surely? Available pretty much everywhere that skin care is sold for about 99p, these masks are a staple in my skincare drawer.  I love the Black Seaweed Peel Off mask out of all the peel off ones, because I feel like I can really see all the dead skin and.. stuff? that comes off with the mask against the black! I’m just disappointed it doesn’t smell more like the sea, even though it’s packed full of Welsh seaweed.

Good for: oily skin, clearing out pores, skin detox
£0.89 – £1.00 from Savers, Superdrug, Boots, FeelUnique, Wilko, Asda… yeah pretty much everywhere.

7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud Face Mask

7th Heaven Dead Sea Mud Pack Face Mask

Similar to the peel off mask, but this one you need to wash off so I usually use this one when I’m in the bath for easiness.  Again, it’s packed full of detoxifying seaweed and sea salt and helps to clear out pores and leave skin feeling squeaky clean afterwards.

It takes around 15-20 minutes to fully dry, but I swear you can feel it drawing out impurities from pores whilst it dries but that just might be it stopping your skin from moving! It feels amazing to ‘crack’ the mask when it’s fully dried by smiling or raising your eyebrows, but then again I am a bit of a weirdo.

Good for: oily skin, clearing out pores, skin detox
£0.89 – £1.00 from Savers, Superdrug, Boots, FeelUnique, Wilko, Asda… yeah pretty much everywhere.

Montagne Jeunesse Face Food Vitamin C Peel Off Face Mask

Face Food by Montagne Jeunesse Orange Oil & Vitamin C Peel Off Face Mask

Face Food is another range of masks from Montagne Jeunesse, who make the 7th Heaven Brand.  I love their masks because they feel and smell so amazingly fresh and vitatlising for your skin.  My favourite one is the Orange Oil & Vitamin C Peel Off Mask for those days when my skin feels dull and sluggish.  The smell alone is enough to perk anybody up. 

This mask goes on clear and really easily – they’re not quite as sticky as other peel off masks – and dry super quickly without loosing the amazing smell of oranges with a hint of lime. I leave these on for about 15 minutes, peel off in one go and honestly, my skin feels so much perkier and brighter after this mask. 

These masks come as a two piece that you split by tearing down the middle & I’ve only actually seen them in Savers on the UK High Street where you get two different masks together for 99p.  I like the Avocado and Walnut Shell one two for exfoliating my skin when it’s needed. 

Good for: dull skin needing a pick me up.
£0.99 for a twin pack in Savers, £4 for a 4 masks on eBay / Amazon.

Creightons Photo Perfect Ultra Mattifying Face Mask

Creightons Photo Perfect Ultra Mattifying Face Mask

This clay mask is another great one for helping to soak about excess oil from my skin. That sounds absolutely disgusting, and it is a bit if you think about it too much, but it does really work to reduce the shine on my forehead and nose!

It smells really fruity (berries, I’m sure) and feels nice and cooling on my skin.  Usually I use this one to mutlimask with an exfoliating mask too to save even more time.  The result is super clean feeling skin that looks matte and my makeup lasts a wee bit longer the following day without going super shiny! 

The tube also makes this really easy to apply with no mess or waste as you only squeeze out what you need. This tub usually lasts me about 10-12 applications for the areas that I’m targetting. 

Good for: oily, shiny skin

£4.99 on icon

L’Oreal Pure Clay Mask range

Loreal Skin Expert Pure Clay Detox Mask -  Detoxifying and Clarifying Face Mask

The L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox face mask is part of a range of 5 clay masks that promote multimasking – i.e using a different mask for different parts of your skin that need different care. Which is both obvious and a clever marketing spin. Which I’ve fallen for hook, line and sinker.

What I love about this range is that it feels, looks, smells and acts like a high end, expensive face mask. The jars are glass and feel heavy, and don’t look out of place on your makeup desk or on a bathroom shelf. 

Typically I use the black Charcoal Detox mask on my t-zone to suck out all the excess oil in my pores and the green Eucalyptus Purifying mask for my cheeks and chin to help keep my skin looking matte.  Both of them smell amazing, like a fresh spa treatment and you can see the impurities being drawn out into the clay as darker spots as the mask dries down.  

Leave this one on until fully dry and wash off with warm water for clearer looking.  Or use all 5 coloured masks to paint your face in intricate patterns for a topnotch Instagram photo. Your call. 

Good for: all skin types with all sorts of problems – there’s a mask in the range for it all and you’re encouraged to multimask!
£4.99 in Savers, £7.99 in Superdrug & Boots.

Garnier SkinActive Pure Charcoal & Algae Tissue Mask

Garnier SkinActive Pure Charcoal & Algae Black Tissue Mask  - Face Mask

Sheet masks are big business.  Hailing from South Korea and a staple of the biggest beauty trend of 2018, K-Beauty, these masks are packed full of ingredients to help your skin.  One of the first ones that I ever tried was from Garnier’s SkinActive range and to this day they are my favourite type of sheet mask.   The Pure Charcoal & Algae one is light and refreshing (you’d be forgiven for thinking the opposite was true) and helps make my skin more matte and more hydrated after use. I don’t know what witchcraft that is, but I’m living for it. 

Because the mask is soaked in  a serum packed full of Hyaluronic Acid, it’s best to use this one lying down! After 30 minutes (longer than advertised but once I’m comfy.. I’m comfy), just remove the mask and pop it back in the packaging for disposal and massage the remaining serum into your face and neck.  I rub it in my hands, too for good measure because who wants to waste skincare?

Good for: dry skin, sensitive skin
£2.49 – £2.99 in Savers, Superdrug & Boots.

Superdrug Coffee Face Mask

I love Superdrug own brand skincare, I really do. It’s made from such good quality ingredients and priced on the lower end of the scale plus it’s usually on a 3 for 2 offer and you get BeautyCard points. What’s not to love?

The Coffee face mask reminds of the Korean brand Skinfood in both packaging and ingredients. It comes in a little plastic resealable pot with probably enough product for about 8 applications (although, obviously depends on where on your face you’re using it).  It’s an exfoliating mask and the exfoliating goodness in this one is.. go on guess.. it’s crushed up coffee beans but it’s super gentle so it’s suitable for sensitive skin. 

If you’re not a fan of the smell of coffee, give this one a miss because it has a beautiful aroma of coffee which I think helps make you feel like your skin’s getting a wake up call!

Good for: dull skin,  sensitive skin
£4.99 in Superdrug

Starskin Ready Carpet Ready Sheet Mask

Starskin Hydrating Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Face Mask - Red Carpet Ready Sheet Mask

Another sheet mask for dehydrated skin and admittedly this one isn’t a regular feature in my skincare routine because of the price of it.  But it is worth every penny.  I generally use this one when I’m heading out somewhere that I know that I’m going to have photos taken – so well done to the marketing team for the name of this sheet mask!

This sheet masks pretty much sinks into your skin, coating it in a mix of coconut juice, amino acids, brown algae and sugar maple.  Which all do their thing in 20 minutes to give you fresher looking skin that’s a dream to apply makeup to.

Good for: pre-event prep, dry & dull skin, indulging 
on BeautyBay and Birchbox

Featured Photo by Isabell Winter on Unsplash

All opinions are my own, and I’ve bought all these products with my own money. I’m just sharing my favourite face masks so hopefully, you can find your own holy grail!

This post does contain some affiliate links.

Beauty Advent Calendars – 2018 Edition

You’d have to be hiding underneath a rock to not to have noticed the huge surge in the popularity of having a beauty advent calendar instead of (or as well as…? I’m not judging) a traditional chocolate version over the last few years.  We adults just can’t enough of the marking the countdown to Christmas with makeup, skincare, perfume, alcohol and jewelry.   Here’s my top 10 pick of beauty advent calendars that are suitable for every budget this Christmas time.

OhK! 12 Days Of Beauty Advent Calendar RRP £14.99

Inspired by the impact of Korean Beauty in the western market, OhK! offers a dip in the water of K-Beauty without the import charges.  This 12 Day countdown (I must admit, I want a gift every morning during advent – but then again that’s just an excuse to have two different calendars so I can switch between them each day) contains hairties, false lashes, hair chalk and other cutesy items behind the 12 doors.  This one is an ideal choice for my 9 year old niece who’s eagerly awaiting being old enough to actually be allowed to wear makeup and spend her pocket money on something other than slime and squishies.

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Lynx Men’s Let The Countdown Begin 12 Days Advent Calendar RRP £15

It’s nice to see that brands primarily aimed at men are getting in on the countdown to Christmas, too.  The Lynx 12 day countdown includes a mix of full and trial sized products as well as a selection of male grooming tools.  It’s a steal too at just £15 from Superdrug at the moment.  And not a whiff of Lynx Africa to be found, either as the scents included are the Gold & Black variety.  Save the Lynx Africa gift set for Christmas Day, as is tradition.

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George at Asda 12 Days Of Christmas – RRP £20


This is George at Asda’s first beauty advent calendar and it promises 6 full size satin lipsticks and 6 nail varnishes, which means you’re netting a £10 saving on the products on their own.  I must admit that I’ve never actually tried George makeup, but there a fwe good reviews around the internet.  A great wee buy I recon for younger people just getting into makeup as the products won’t break the bank and will be universally suitable for all.

Launches November 1st on George @ Asda

Revolution Advent Calendar –  RRP £50, currently £30

Advent Calendar 2018 from Revolution Beauty

I had a Revolution Advent Calendar last year and I loved it.  Even though it’s sort of easy to tell what you’re getting from the size of the window each day, this beauty advent calendar has a great mix of products including a new eye shadow palette.

The products in this one would normally cost you around £65 (and that’s quick maths on my part on the normal RRP on the Revolution website) so if you manage to grab this one at £30 you are getting a bargain buy and some great wee additions to you makeup kit that maybe you wouldn’t normally pick up.  I won’t ruin the surprise, but there’s a good mix of lip products, highlighters, eyeshadows and even brushes in this beauty calendar.

Buy Now at  ::  Buy Now at

Soap & Glory It’s In The Calendar! – RRP £40


It’s not really Christmas if you don’t get a Soap & Glory gift set, is it?  Following the success of last year’s beauty calendar – It’s A Calendar Girls! – this year we have 24 mini and full size products to count down to Christmas with. The reason I love the Soap & Glory beauty calendar is because it’s a great mix of makeup, skincare and toiletries.  And the mini Hand Food! is just the perfect size for throwing in your handbag.   Plus the smell of Soap & Glory products might actually be the most amazing smell in the world, I literally can smell Clean On Me as I’m typing this (nothing to do with the fact I showered with it this morning, mind you).

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Maybelline Countdown Advent Calendar – RRP £50, now £33.50

The Maybelline Countdown 12 Day Beauty Calendar is the perfect pre-Christmas Christmas present to yourself.  This one comes with all your favourite Maybelline products in their top selling colours (I’m guessing this fact, but the shades listed on the ingredients are totally some of the most popular ones).  You’ll get yourself a mix of Colour Tattoo eyeshadows, Babylips lipbalms, Superstay 7 day nail varnishes and Colour Sensational lipsticks as well as the brilliant Babyskin Primer, a Master Strobe Liquid Highlighter and a Master Precise eyeliner, meaning that you’ll be set to go on Christmas Day for makeup if Santa doesn’t pop any extras down the chimney for you.

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The Body Shop 24 Days of the Enchanted Advent Calendar – RRP £45


This Body Shop Beauty Calendar – one of four that they have on offer this year – is my favourite imagery because it doesn’t scream out Christmas to me.  You get 24 products in this one too, from shampoos and body lotions to face masks and cleansing sponges while you countdown to Christmas with Olivia the Owl and her forestry friends.

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Birchbox UK Beauty Advent Calendar – RRP £65


This calendar is the one that I’m really dropping big hints for this year.  Just look at it, it’s beautiful. Although on the pricier side (the products inside are worth £179 though, so that’s a saving of 63%) it’s certainly worth every penny.  There’s no images on the Birchbox website showing what products are included in this calendar, but some of the brands you can expect to receive include Benefit, Pixi, Makeup Forever, Nuxe Paris and Sand&Sky.

This one’s a dead cert hit for anybody who subscribes to Birchbox as it’s sure to include a great mix of skincare and makeup from the high end side of the beauty market.    The only downside to this one? It doesn’t mention anywhere if this is the usual trail sized products or full size… only one way to find out though.  My guess is that it will be a mix of product size, just like the usual Birchbox.

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Debenhams Ultimate Beauty Advent Calendar – RRP £70


This is Debenham’s first own branded advent calendar, with goodies from brands such as MAC, Makeup Forever, OhK!, Too Faced, Glam Glow and even a mini Paco Rabanne Lady Million perfume. There’s a gift card for Debenhams in this one too, which can be used against buying the full sized product of your favourite products out of this calendar.  To be honest, this one is singing to me as it looks premium and is packed full of some really nice sample sized products that I’d like to try too… we just won’t mention the Kat Von D tattoo liner in this one (it’s a good liner, it really is but I’m having problems trusting the KVD brand at the moment).

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Selfridges Glam Sparkle Beauty Advent Calendar – RRP £130


I’m not going to lie – the price of this one is enough to make your eyes water. But it is packed full of some amazing trial sized premium brands like Urban Decay, Kiehls, YSL and Lancôme including some cult beauty staples such as the UD All Nighter Setting Spray,  Kiehls’ Midnight Recovery Concentrate and a sample of one of my favourite perfumes – Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb.   The only problem that I have with this one is that the actual calendar doesn’t look very premium, more like a 6th year graphic design student has thrown together a mockup and they’ve ran with it.

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Remove makeup with just water?

I’m all for an easy life. I’m also for saving the planet, so I’ve been trying my hardest to stop using makeup wipes and cotton pads to remove my makeup.  I actually haven’t bought any more wipes or cotton pads in the last 4 months or so and was just working through the ones that I already had – and it turns out I apparently compulsively buy different wipes to try when I’m buying other toiletries without giving any thought to what I already have at home… tell me I’m not the only one?

My first option for removing my makeup with no throwaway products was using Micellar water with a muslin cloth.  Which was working well for the first few weeks but eventually I felt like I was washing the muslin cloth that often that whatever planet saving that I was doing by not buying one-use wipes was being cancelled out with the amount of electricity I was using washing the muslin clothes not to mention the extra washing powder and they never actually ended up that clean anyway.

I had seen microfibre makeup removal pads around the internet, especially on YouTube, but I really wasn’t into spending £20 plus postage and customs charges for 3 pads.  Hey, I’m a cheapskate ok? So when I noticed the Derma V10 Make Off Mitt when I was out shopping for just 99p, I figured it was worth a punt to try it out.

I’m glad that I picked this microfibre cloth up.  It works really well at removing all my makeup – including my mascara – using just water.   My routine for removing my makeup now involves holding the mitt under the tap for a few seconds to get it damp and turn off the tap (I’m trying to save the planet, remember?  Get that tap turned off when you’re not using it) and start gently with a little pressure, moving my hand in a circular motion to remove foundation and concealer from my cheeks and forehead first.  Then I wash the mitt to get the liquid products washed out as best I can before moving onto the tougher eyeliner and mascara removal.   This takes a little more effort, but it’s not horrendous nor does it take forever to remove.  I’ve not tried this with waterproof mascara because I generally don’t wear it, but I can confirm that it does remove my mascara without leaving my eyes looking red or like I’ve been rubbing them for 5 minutes (disclaimer: I don’t have sensitive skin, so I’m unsure if you do have sensitive skin if this would leave redness behind from the gentle scrubbing).

Again, I was out the remaining makeup from the mitt before popping it on the towel hanger in my bathroom to dry naturally overnight.  There is a little staining from mascara but it’s so much better than the muslin cloth that seemed to just let all the makeup cling to it no matter how much I rinsed it out.

The great thing about the Make Off Mitt is that you don’t need to use any additional products, so you’re not changing the PH of your skin – or spending money on remover or micellar water.  Which suits my bargain-loving self.