After spending the past week or so with my face feeling like it’s been dipped repeatedly in dry ice, i’ve been having to step up my mask game. No longer will i mock those who mask every night as obsessive weirdos! No, in fact, if i could find a super-cheap sheet-mask source, i’d be all over that shit – you better believe it. I’d be walking around in public like these brave chicks in Korea, masking on public trans like a boss. But until then, i shall be scouring my various sources like Choc Choc and Sephora and Target (yes, Target!) for masks that won’t totally break the bank, and start doing it at least 4x per week until the weather here isn’t so freaking brutal. And you know what? I may even continue when the weather is nicer – considering how amazing it makes my skin look when i mask more often. It’s actually pretty mind-blowing.

And not only will i be masking my face as often as possible, but i’ve found something that made my heart dance for joy – a lip-mask!


Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask – my new holy grail lip product

You guys don’t understand the importance of this – when i saw this little pink pot calling out to me at Sephora, my lips almost wept with joy. If such a thing were possible. I have the most horribly dry, peeling, messed up lips in the known universe. They bleed on the regular. It’s just…ugh. Especially in winter. They are in a never-ending loop of peeling/bleeding/scabbing/peeling that makes my life miserable. So when i saw this baby? I knew i had to have it.  It is $20 for .70 oz, which trust me, considering how much you actually use to cover your lips, will last you a good long while, even if you use it nightly like i am doing.

It’s so pink!

The consistency is very emollient, yet not greasy or overly-sticky – like i wasn’t picking cat hair off of my lips all night, which is miraculous. It’s like an extremely thick treatment gloss (as a matter of fact, i use it as treatment on extra dry days – just a very thin layer under lipstick). It comes with that cute little spatula thingy so you don’t have to dip your fingers into the pot (yuck), and has a little plastic case you put it in after you clean it.

Let’s hear it for sanitation

The instructions say to wear it overnight, then gently wipe off the excess in the morning (ha, ha) – but i find my lips have sucked it all in my then and there’s nothing to wipe off. However, my lips ARE super-soft, with absolutely NO flakies, or peeling bits at ALL.

It’s a freakin’ miracle!

Never again will i have to stop myself from picking at little bits of skin on my grossly peeling, overly-dry lips, which no amount of chap-stick or lip balm could ever save.  Seriously, this is a miracle product for me. It’s been an embarrassing thing for so long, my gross, scaly, dry lips. If Laneige ever stops making this, i will tie myself up to a tree outside their headquarters in protest, bleeding lips and all.

But moving on:

I know, you can’t tell wtf this is: It’s Missha Super Aqua Snail Hydro-Gel Mask

So lately, Target has started to carry some K-Beauty products.  It can be a bit hit-or-miss finding one in your area (i live in Chicago, and it’s STILL hard to find a consistent carrier), so online might be your best bet. I did, however, find this wonderful mask by Missha, as well as a couple products by the excellent Whamisa, which i’ll get into at a later post.

Now, you all know how much i love the snail goo. So any time i find a mask with the stuff in it, i’m all over it. This particular mask was in two pieces – one for the upper-face, and one for the lower. This can be good when you find regular masks fit awkwardly, which they sometimes can. I liked that this one fit directly beneath my eyes, which a lot of masks don’t do very well. My eyes need all the help they can get (cough…crowsfeet…cough).  Anyway, this one had an interesting, sort of rubbery, thick material, and was nicely soaked in essence. It was cooling and had that snail-slime feel to it that i just love. I put it on along with my Laneige Lip Sleeping mask, set the timer for 20 minutes, and lay back. There was no real discernible smell to it, and it stayed moist for about 15 minutes, at which point it started to lose some of its juice – which is probably more an issue with my super-dry apartment and its radiator heat here in sub-arctic Chicago than an issue with the mask itself. I really need to get a humidifier…


Super-smooth, hydrated, and bright! Now if only it could deliver caffeine directly into my brain...

My skin felt SO good after i took this off – despite not going for the full 20 minutes! There was absolutely no irritation, although afterwards my skin did slough a bit due to the lactobacillus ferment – it IS for brightening, texture improvement, and fine line reduction.  It also has green tea, snail mucin (obviously), carrageenan,  chamomile, and sodium hyaluronate.

I’ll definitely be purchasing this one again – i could see immediately that it had brightening effects on my skin, and my under-eye area looked less crinkly when i smiled – and when my face was at rest, the lines were practically invisible. Score. I finished up with the rest of my routine, and then proceeded to get a crappy night’s sleep (my Maine Coon Calvin decided to spray my comforter, which upset Fritz, and there was much crying and chasing and scratching at the door until some ungodly hour. Like, i’m pretty sure they don’t get that it’s -10 out there. And now i have to replace my comforter. Sigh. Boys.), and when i woke up, my skin STILL looked great! I’m having a gross eyeball day so just swept on mascara and chose a bright lipstick, and put on the usual sunscreen, cushion, and blush. This is how my skin still looks the next morning.


I could bring airplanes in at O’Hare with that white-girl glow

Out of direct sunlight, and somewhat less startling…

Pretty damned impressive, particularly considering i slept like 4 hours. Why didn’t i get snakes, or maybe some nice, quiet sea-monkeys…?

Mother McGrath Strikes Again…

Anyway, this is my new routine for winter now. Masks, masks, and more masks.  I’ll be reviewing more for you as i pick them up (and don’t forget the excellent Merbliss one i got at Choc Choc! I need to get more asap…).

I hope you’re all keeping your skin on this Winter! Unless you live someplace like Hawai’i, like my best friend the Samurai and beautiful Niece, Holly, still do. Sigh. Some day i’ll go back. But for now, apparently, i’m a glutton for punishment…

I hope you all enjoyed today’s Winter Skin Mask post – stay warm, unless you’re the Samurai or Holly – then you can just kiss my butt ;).

XO – Monday