trend whore

Face oils, double-cleansing, cushion compacts, contouring, contouring and highlighting, strobing, Korean skincare, brows on fleek (shudder – I’m sorry). It used to take a solid year or two for trends to work their way from the coasts inward to middle America. It’s quite incredible how this has changed. (Get off my lawn!) We could blame the internet, but I think it’s her bratty little sister, social media, that’s truly responsible. It would suck to be a skincare and/or makeup manufacturer today. Not only do you have to watch emerging trends with an eagle eye, you’ve got to have the resources to concoct and shit out a competitive product in the blink of an eye. Then, you’ve got to make sure your production and ingredients can stand up to the inevitable dissection that will take place across multiple platforms by self-important, otherwise uneducated individuals with loud voices. Seriously, this sucks. But I digress.

This frantic pace has led to a lot of what I find really silly products and services. Take eyelash extensions. You have to go something like every two weeks, at $75 a pop. As extravagant and superfluous as I can be, even I say really? Nail art? Same deal — pricey, time consuming, will need to be redone before you get your next period. No. I realize this is probably a function of me being a) a busy professional who b) has very little tolerance for going out in public. But still! That’s crazy money and time for something that is so temporary and insignificant.

So you can imagine how I feel about face masks. Not regular old, smear-on-allow-to-dry-wash-off masks, but those sheet masks, the ones that make you look like a serial killer, require at least twenty minutes of princess style inactivity, and are sold by the individual mask for upwards of four bucks apiece. I think they’re silly. Plus, most of the ones I’ve seen lean more towards the “moisturizing” end of the spectrum, which is horrifying to someone like me who naturally generates tidal waves of grease. So when I received a Dr Jart hydrating sheet mask in this month’s Birchbox, I sort of tucked it behind a bunch of sunscreen samples in the bathroom, not being real stoked about it. However, I must admit, there’s been some recent photos of me looking more on the haggard side, and the common denominator is that my skin looked sort of flat and dull, even in areas where I didn’t diligently apply my Becca mattifying primer. So when my SO ran out to do a couple errands this weekend (read: when I could be alone for half an hour to look stupid in peace and quiet), I thought, what the hell, Dr. Jart. Let’s give you a whirl.

I hated the way it felt, in my hands and on my face, slimy and goopy. The sheet was heavy and sticky and slid all over whenever I made a facial expression or talked. The product was everywhere, getting into my hair which I had just washed, virtually seeping out of the sheet, everywhere. The eye and mouth cutouts nowhere near matched my according anatomic features, making me wonder if my face was super fucked up or something. It was claustrophobic and cold, and that’s in a marginally well air conditioned house when the outdoor ambient temperature was at least 105 degrees. It basically drove me batty and when I saw my SO pull in the driveway ten or fifteen minutes later, I was happy to yank it off even though my time wasn’t up. I gladly dropped it in the trash can, where it landed with a wet plop, and I got to business rubbing the rest of the slimy shit into my face, neck, chest, and hands. Then my SO started making margaritas, so I forgot about it and went about my business.

  
When I looked in the mirror a few hours later, though, I got served a giant steaming plate of crow. My skin looked AH-mazing. Luminous, glowing, but not greasy. I couldn’t believe it. The few fine lines I have were practically unnoticeable. I almost hated to put my nighttime crap on top of it, lest I ruin the luminescence. This morning, I did my usual a.m. wash followed by P50, and somehow, through all that, my skin still looked better than usual. Unreal!

So, just what I needed — another step to add to my already convoluted and high-maintenance skin routine. What products/services have you poo-pooed and begrudgingly tried, only to end up surprised at how much you love it? 

7 thoughts on “trend whore

  1. I love a good sheet mask, but it is rare that I buy them. Ok, I have used two… they must have left me with good impressions also.
    I was challenged to get a manicure and got a french polish with the white tip. Oh, that was gorgeous, I got so many compliments. But that much money for a third of my nail painted, maybe a quarter? Sigh, just no.
    I do like your posts. Not at all self important or reeking of enabling behaviour. I am getting weary of my favorite girls all having the latest release all at once – from the same store.

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    1. Ah, the white tip French manicure! The ultimate in 90s decadence. Did you ever get a French pedi? These will come back into fashion, soon, it’s almost time, at which point you will be compelled to get another, cost be damned! ;)

      And many thanks for the kind words. xoxo

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  2. I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t feel like using a sheet mask is the height of luxury.

    The first sheet mask I tried was awful, it smelled like a strawberry antibiotic I took so much as a child that at some point I puked every time I tasted it. It also had a lot of alcohol so it stung. This week, one year later I’ve tried one yet again and although the smell was odd and the texture still displeases me (I don’t think I’ll be able to do them in the winter, ugh cold and slimey) my skin looked great. Literally glowing. May need to order some and not live off gifted ones by kind sellers.

    Besides sheet masks the one thing I never thought I would love was highlights. They gave my hair dimension without being obvious (no one noticed them except when my hair was braided) and I would gladly do them again if I wasn’t content enough with my hair and attached to my money.

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    1. Isn’t it funny how childhood smells stick with you? Certain artificial fruit flavors remind me of the horrid fluoride rinses we had to do. Other artificial fragrances remind me of Strawberry Shortcake dolls. You win some, you lose some.

      Either way – I tried a cheap no name “moisturizing” sheet mask tonight and it did nothing compared to the Dr. Jart. Naturally. $1 vs $6, of course the expensive one is better. It seems, unfortunately, that they are worth the splurge.

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      1. It is! Artificial grape for me will forever be a scented lilac pen. I’ve heard good things about My Beauty Diary masks and they seem to be cheap. To be honest, I have been avoiding reading about it in fear I’ll buy a lot to see which ones work better and end up with a stash that will get me through a zombie apocalypse. Also, you can squeeze the liquid out at the beginning, put the mask back in the package when finished and in a closed ziplock bag in the fridge to get another use.

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  3. Haven’t tried this yet, but have heard lots of positive things about the Dr. Jart masks. Le sigh. Another money-eater! Do you prefer this to regular, slather-on-your-face masks?

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    1. Well, I don’t do masks for the experience — I only do them if they work. So to say I prefer sheets over traditional masks or vice versa would be inaccurate. Regular masks seem like less hassle, but how much efficacy of the product is lost when it dries out on your face? The occlusive nature of the sheet mask lends itself to greater outcomes in some settings, such as with ingredients that require deeper penetration into the epidermis for success.

      TL;DR – dunno. I’m new.

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