If I may edit David Dudley’s already much-quoted blurb in the Times from last week, it should probably read, “A snowstorm rewards the well-moisturized and punishes those who haven’t been methodically stocking up on sheet masks, which is only one of the many reasons it’s the best natural disaster there is.” While the rest of the world was waiting in line at the Union Square Trader Joe’s for almond butter, I stopped at the much more conveniently located Space NK in Nolita because, yes, easy alternative protein is important—but when faced with a 48-hour snowstorm-enforced house arrest, it’s important to think about all facets of life. (Whole Foods is on my way home too, and they had plenty of almond butter left, so I did spend the weekend well-moisturized and well-fed.)
It turned into sort of a challenge, seeing just how many sheet masks I could accomplish during two days on the couch without a) freaking out my skin or b) freaking out my roommate. The best laid plans start with a sacrifice, so I tossed a prized SK-II Facial Treatment Mask her way as a peace offering. She seemed satisfied, so we turned on Ina Garten’s Back To Basics—the BEST thing on Netflix right now—and got to work.
With a project like this, you want to start slow, and give yourself a nice base moisturization to work with. Mess with the crazy ingredients later. Laneige Water Bank Soothing Gel Mask doesn’t make too many big promises or claims and that’s what I like about it. Instead, it’s all about comfort, and it does this two ways. The first is to make the mask out of extremely thin hydrogel; the second is to make it two pieces that you can fit together and overlap at will on your face. It’s also not too saturated, which makes for an easy, clean wearing experience.
Similarly there’s Ariul 7 Days Mask in Bamboo Water. It’s part of a Korean line purposefully designed to look like a daily newspaper, so that you’ll remember to use a sheet mask every day. It’s tencel, which made me feel better about the possibility that I might stock up on these—throwing 365 face-shaped pieces of tencel is apparently better than throwing away 365 pieces of anything else. (Reformation agrees.) It’s refreshing and it smells nice and sometimes a mask doesn’t need to be much more than that.
By Saturday night, I found myself needing something a little more party-party, y’know? Something to take the place of going out on the town (ha). Thank God there’s The Extremely Fancy One: Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle 24K Gold Intense Wrinkle Sheet Mask. It not only drips GOLD, but it leaves your face just a tinge sparkly. Can’t say I noticed its effects on wrinkles—maybe because I was so distracted by the sparkles. My roommate looked over at me in the process and gave a one word review: “Juicy!”
In one day, we’d gone through three bottles of wine, so Sunday morning was a bit rough. There’s always a hangover mask, or the more recently released DHC Medicated Q Pack Sheet. Once unfolded, it looks a bit like Shrek—a comparison not aided by the fact that it’s yellow-ish green in tint. (Of course, this is not to be confused with the actual Shrek sheet mask, something that came into the office last year but for dignity’s sake, I opted not to try.) The “ears” attached into my hairline, which wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but hey—maybe the coQ10 antioxidant formula is good for my roots, too. It was certainly good enough to revive dehydrated-by-alcohol-and-radiator skin in 10 minutes or less.
To stave off too much snacking, I brought out the Patchology Flashpatch Lip Gels on Sunday afternoon. They’re a sort of physical lip balm—a mouth-shaped hydrogel patch that dangles from your lips as long as you have the patience to keep it on. There’s a little hole in the middle, but you definitely shouldn’t try and stick food through it. It also tastes not great, so it’s good if you want your couch potato-mates to keep quiet as you try and figure out what Nicolas Hoult is shouting through Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s streaming on HBOGo so you can stop pretending that you’ve seen it and actually join the movement.
By Sunday night it was clear I would have to venture out into the world again soon, so I brought out the heavy hitter: Colbert MD Illumino Anti-Aging Brightening Mask. Dr. David Colbert, in addition to running New York Dermatology Group, has a really gorgeous line of skincare products that look not clinical or doctor-y at all. The latest addition to the ColbertMD line is this mask that makeup artist Frankie Boyd says he likes to “spoil” his clients with. Good enough for me! It’s the sort of mask where the packaging even suggests that you are going to sparkle like all that new snow on the ground before it gets slushy. And the results were good enough to get me over the Sunday Scaries hump and out to work the next morning. No small feat.
Photographed by Tom Newton.