On the Surface: Our 4 Favorite Face Masks for Fall

Not the blood of a dozen virgins. We promise
photos by Jane Bruce

Easily our favorite Instagram selfie meme is the “face mask.” You know the one: Wide, staring eyes being the only discernible feature on a face covered in anything from craggy dollops of green clay to white swathes of goop-infused cotton sheets. These photos are always funny, and sometimes a little scary (who knew a face mask could make you look so much like a serial killer who bathes in the harvested blood of a dozen virgins?), but looks can be deceiving (that virgin blood? it’s actually powdered hibiscus petals!), and the real question isn’t about what you look like with the face mask on, but what your skin looks like with it off. In other words: Do these highly meme-able face masks actually work?

In short: Yes. Or, well, experiences vary, we suppose, but our skin has never been softer, smoother, or more clear since we started regularly using face masks. Below are our four favorite masks of the moment, plus, reasons why they’re good for things besides just getting all the Insta-likes you can handle.


Aesop Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque
This mask’s intoxicating smell (why do all Aesop products smell so amazing? it’s the essential oils! we get it now!) is not the main reason we like it, but it sure doesn’t hurt. No, the main reason we like this mask is it calms down redness and clears up blemishes like nothing else we’ve tried. Uh, plus: That smell!
51 Bergen Street, Cobble Hill


S.W. Basics Hibiscus Mask
Ah, so: This mask looks like dried blood once it’s sitting on your face, but don’t be scared! Its simple formula—it’s made of only three ingredients: hibiscus, green clay, and lavender—belies the stunning, clarifying effect it has on skin. Plus, we actually think the whole “dried blood” thing is cool. So there’s also that.


Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask
This mask brightens and moisturizes and feels like a cool dream on your face. It seems to plump up our skin, smoothing out any lines we have, and magically erasing all traces of our late nights in a mere 20 minutes. Plus: You’ll have the luminosity of a pearl post-Moon Mask, which is exactly the look we’re going for this fall.


May Lindstrom Skin The Problem Solver
This all organic ingredient mask is something of a miracle worker. Whip up the powder into a mousse and smooth it over your face, where it will proceed to do all sorts of great things, like tighten pores and reduce inflammation and just, you know, make you look amazing. Plus, its smell—all earthy cocoa and nutmeg and cinnamon and cayenne—is as addictive as, well, the other qualities about it that make our skin glow.
Shen Beauty: 315 Court Street Street, Carroll Gardens


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