Disclosure Snail says: The products featured in this post were provided to me for unbiased review by Glow Recipe. You can find my rules and standards for accepting press samples in my sponsorship policy.
Do you have that one friend who’s always trying to shake things up? Always coming around with something new that you’ve got to try, always devising crazy adventures, always smashing bottles of fancy tequila and sitting on your chest dangling the worm in front of your face in an effort to make you try it, just to do something new?
Uh, Glow Recipe is like that for me, except not scary, no worms (as far as I know), and all the new things they make me try are fun and good for my skin. It is entirely their fault that I’m constantly lusting after Whamisa hydrogel masks and always debating with myself over whether I should just buy another five bottles of LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule once my last one runs out. And then they sent me these things.
Apparently a staple of the spa facial experience, modeling masks (or rubber masks, as some call them) are made primarily of the same material that SFX artists use to make molds of actors’ faces before turning them into orcs or aliens or David Bowie. (That is special effects, right?) Supposedly, they clarify the skin by drawing impurities out of pores while simultaneously delivering skin-beneficial ingredients, making for a well rounded facial treatment. Home modeling masks are gaining popularity in Asia (you’ll hear Peach and Lily CEO Alicia Yoon’s take on them in an upcoming post).
The home versions are individually packaged in disposable cups, like those pictured above. Inside you’ll find a spatula and a pile of powder. Mix the appropriate amount of water in, spread the resulting paste all over your face, wait for it to harden into a solid, rubbery mass, then peel it off and revel in your newfound glow! At least, that’s the idea.
I was so intrigued by this concept that I livetweeted my first time with it. But having a blog means having more than 140 characters a time to tell the story, so here it is, in more detail.
Freshly showered, face cleansed and totally bare, sans fards. I’ll have you know that it’s entirely because of K-beauty that I’m even daring to put my bare face on the Internet in the first place. At this point, you all have seen worse.
I wasn’t about to gunk up what could possibly be an amazing mask with some nasty old tap water. Even if that’s what I use to wash my face every day. Ah, shit. I do wash my face with nasty old plain tap water, don’t I.
The flat end of the big spatula is intended to help spread the mask evenly, and the size of the spatula is nice for mixing the mask up.
You add water to the line on the inside of the cup, a process which reminded me strongly of making noodle cups. The little dark flecks floating around aren’t soup seasonings, though, but rather little herbal bits that will soon be seasoning my face.
Mixing the powder and the water results in a generous amount of a thick, whitish paste. At this point, I noticed that it smells vaguely of Comet. Yes, the Comet that you might use to scour your bathtub. It has that sharp, fresh, detergenty smell, overlaid with a hint of lavender. It’s a little unnerving, though not entirely unpleasant.
Before I used the Lindsay Lavender Modeling Mask, I asked Glow Recipe (via their Twitter) whether they had any tips for making the most of the experience. Glow Recipe’s Twitter account recommended applying a thin layer of serum first, so I slapped on some Honey Bomb (review coming soon!) and let it sink in. Then I got down to business.
I had a lot of trouble applying the mask with the spatula. Instead of distributing the product evenly over my face, the spatula tended to shove it around in lumps. To be fair, this was probably more due to my complete lack of coordination than it was to any spatula design flaw. Anyway, I gave up and just used my hands to apply. I made a mess, but I did manage to get all of the paste onto my face more or less evenly. I even applied it more thickly at the edges of my face, as recommended for easier removal.
Though the paste is a little drippy at first, it begins to harden quickly, keeping your clothes and furniture and floors safe. It’s an interesting sensation. As the mask firmed up, I could feel it tightening my skin and, eventually, beginning to pull loose on its own.
You only need to wear the mask for about 15 minutes. The time passed quickly for me. Before I knew it, the mask was solid and dry to the touch, the timer on my tablet beeped (way too loudly), and I was ready to take it off.
Unfortunately, I failed to startle anyone besides Mr. Crazy Snail Lady, who, like you, has already witnessed much worse anyway. At this point, seeing me pace around with a thick, lumpy white rubber paste on my face is pretty much a normal Friday night for him. Listen up, youngins: this is love. This is commitment.
As I started to peel the mask off, I had a scary moment where I became convinced it was going to take my eyebrows off with it. I don’t have a lot of eyebrow to spare, so that would be a very bad thing. Fortunately, my eyebrows survived.
The instructions on Glow Recipe’s product pages for the modeling masks are pretty clear about applying it thickly. See all those little white flecks on my face? That’s why. When you apply it thickly, it all hardens together and peels off cleanly, but any areas that were too thin will stay behind. It’s nothing that a quick rinse with tepid water won’t wash off, though. I didn’t even have to scrub with my konjac sponge.
And here are the results! It may not be as noticeable in the photo because I am a truly awful photographer, but in person, I was more than a little impressed. My skin looked much brighter and very very clean. My pores had become amazingly clear. I felt radiant, even without a speck of makeup on. And despite its pore-purifying powers, the modeling mask didn’t dry out my skin at all.
My face felt smooth and soft to the touch, not as plumply hydrated as it would have been after a sheet mask, but remarkably nourished and calm.
Here’s a before-and-after so you can compare.
I’m really happy with what the mask did for me. In addition, all the skincare products that I applied afterwards sank in super quickly and thoroughly, and I woke up velvety soft again the next day. A few days ago, I also used the Vitamin version of this mask, with the same results.
Conclusion: These masks are amazingly multifunctional. For brightening, calming, and soothing the skin, they’re on par with the best sheet masks or hydrogel masks. They combine that goodness with the clarifying effect of a clay mask and lift off some dead skin cells as well. My only complaint is that the modeling masks are a little bit labor-intensive compared to most other home facials. I don’t think I’d do these frequently, both because of the work and the potential mess involved. A drip of the second mask seems to have permanently stained the shirt I was wearing that day. (It was one of my schlubby home shirts anyway, so no loss, but definitely don’t wear a nice top when you use a modeling mask.) The bottom line is that these are not only unusual but effective. I’m planning to acquire a few more for special occasions or certain moods.
Where can I buy Lindsay Modeling Masks?
Currently, Glow Recipe is selling sets of Lindsay Modeling Masks for $10.00 for 2 masks or $13.00 for 3. Glow Recipe also sells the masks individually for $6.00 apiece for the following varieties:
- Cool (I bet this would be amazing on a very hot summer night)
- Lavender (so far, my favorite)
- Vitamin (also excellent; FYI this one turns orange when mixed, so don’t get scared)
Have you used a modeling mask yet?