We are all aware of both the instant, as well as longer term gratification we get from a great face-mask…

From the acid based versions that slough off dead skin cells to reveal baby soft skin, to the clay varieties that beat any blemishes overnight, face-masks are the next best thing to an on-hand dermatologist on your doorstep…

The art to masking however, is working with your own skin type and individual concerns. As tempting as it may be to trial the latest glycolic peel, if you have particularly sensitive skin then this is only going to exacerbate it. Same goes with blemish prone skins avoiding very rich, oily masks.

So, which masks come out top? Consider these my very own cream of the crop. Tried and tested by not just myself, but friends and family too, I’ve covered off all complexion types for an ace skin base… (natural born poet.)

FOR OILY SKIN: Tata Harper Clarifying Mask

It’s green, so you have a definite resemblance to Shrek when wearing this and by God, will it clear out your nasal passages. It’s also one of the best masks for sorting out unwanted sebum, especially in the Summer months. I tend to get a little shiny sveeral hours after applying makeup, but despise using powders. I apply this once a week and not only does it prevent the oily outbursts, it also really clears out my pores and all without drying out my skin or antagonising my rosacea.

FOR DEHYDRATED SKIN: Aesop Blue Chamomile Facial Hydrating Mask

This comes with me on every flight, and I also use it every day after a day in the sun. My skin drinks it up as soon as applied and looks so much better for it, similar to when I’ve had a facial and you leave with that plumper, post-massage glow. If I’m applying this at night, I’ll always leave it on till the following morning – Aesop’s products are all natural, so I never experience any irritation from their collection.

FOR DULL SKIN: Lancome Energie De Vie Nuit The Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask

I’ve been a little late to the party in trialling Lancome. I recently got hold of a few of their makeup and skincare essentials, and I’ve been momentarily blinded by their brilliance. More on that to come… this overnight mask however, happens to be a new favourite. Whilst you can use a thin layer of this as a night-cream, I find a thicker layer as a mask is far more effective. Developed with ‘stressed skins’ in mind (erm, that’ll be me then!), this works to combat the signs of fatigue and general dullness that you’d expect from higher stress levels. Come morning, the biggest difference to my complexion is how bright it is, with a much smoother and glowing finish.


FOR REDNESS/SENSITIVE SKIN: Sisley Facial Mask with Linden Blossom For Sensitive Skin

By far my favourite luxury skincare brand, Sisley is one of the few premium brands that delivers on results. If ever my skin has a rosacea flare-up, or certain products are stinging my skin, that ordinarily wouldn’t, I know I need a dose of this mask. I apply a really thick layer at night, and then leave it for the duration of a Marcella episode. Tissued off, I am forever flabbergasted by how much it reduces redness; especially on the cheeks where the blood vessels seem the most inflamed. I kid you not when I say that by morning, they are non-existent. It also hydrates dry patches and re-plumps the whole face. Impressive.

FOR BLEMISHES/ACNE SKIN: Sand & Sky Brilliant Skin Detoxify & Brighten Purifying Pink Clay Mask

You can’t have missed all the hype on this mask, it was plastered all over my Facebook and Instagram walls- if not by bloggers then via paid for advertising by the brand. I really didn’t want to buy into it, because I resent having a product shoved in my face involuntarily. However, after a friend left hers at mine, I succumbed and decided to give it a opportunity for me to dislike it even more. Epic fail on that front. I loved it after that first use. Applying it only to the blemish-prone, oilier areas, it really does tingle/sting for the good few minutes. Left on for around half an hour (I never listen to the product guidelines), and then washed off, it dries out spots like a nifty laser device, but cleverly leaves the glow to the rest of the face.