I'm a masking master. Sometimes, I'll mask twice in one day, or even multi-mask (aka apply multiple masks over different parts of my face). But even bonafide masters must regularly put their skills to the test. I decided to try out $1,580 worth of masks so you don't have to, and my face mask reviews are about to make your pores tingle with delight.
Recently, I enlisted a friend to help me organize my tiny, closet-sized NYC apartment. He suggested I dwindle down my immense pile of masks to make room for utilitarian staples like shoes and laundry, and I nearly smacked him in his friendly, smiling face. Though I wasn't about to toss out my perfectly good skincare products, my pal was right about one thing: I certainly have a bunker-like stockpile of instant skin boosters.
Why? Because masks are the Band-Aids of skincare, of course. If you need a quick fix for a special event, or you want to jumpstart a new routine, masks will get you there in mere minutes. Some of my favorite masks have high price points that make me wince a bit as I lay my credit card down on the counter. Others cost less than my favorite Starbucks Chai Latte.
Whether you're bougie or just bougie on a budget, I tried out more than my rent's worth of masks, ranging in price from $3 to $80, to discover the ones you actually need.
Here, the 12 best face masks on the market — period.
1. Masque Bar Gold Foil Peel-Off Mask
If you want a sensible peel off mask that won't rip your literal face off as you remove it, then Masque Bar Gold Foil Peel-Off Mask ($3; target.com) will have you dripping in gold like the queen you are.
With the mask on, I looked like I was winning the full face of highlighter challenge. Even in my dim bathroom lighting, my face was shining brighter than my future. I tried the Gold mask, but you can also paint Rose Gold and/or Silver on your face if that's more your speed.
Most peel-off masks take forever to dry, even when I apply a thin amount. This one dried in the 15 minutes it promised and it came off easy as pie.
The raspberry fruit extract, grapefruit fruit extract, and macadamia ternifolia seed oil left my complexion luminous and hydrated. The glow didn't disappear with the gold.
If you want a one-time use, you can snag the Masque Bar Foil Peel-Off Mask Pod ($3; target.com). If you'd rather slather yourself in metallics every darn day, you can bring home the Masque Bar Foil Peel-Off Mask Tube ($8; cvs.com) instead.
2. Bath & Body Works CocoShea Revitalizing Cucumber Face Mask
Bath & Body Works now has masks and my life has never felt more complete. The new Bath & Body Works CocoShea Revitalizing Cucumber Face Mask ($8.50; bathandbodyworks.com) is the store's first foray into jar masks, and I'm beyond certain they nailed it.
Whenever my skin is feeling super sensitive (during the dry winter months or sunburn-prone summer months), cooling cucumber masks are my go-to. This one delivers results for under $10.
The formula calmed my sensitivity and redness while flushing my skin with moisture. I highly recommend leaving it in the fridge for an extra boost of de-puffing cooling sensation as you apply.
3. Clinique Pep-Start Double Bubble Purifying Mask
The Clinique Pep-Start Double Bubble Purifying Mask ($24.50; sephora.com) is just as fun as it is effective. This is one of my favorite morning masks because it mattifies, smoothes, and diminishes pores in just two minutes before I put on makeup. You read that right, speed demons, it takes a mere two minutes.
Immediately after I applied the pink-tinted gel to my skin, it started to bubble up.
This mask does what it says in 180 seconds flat. If only all results were delivered that quickly.
4. Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Face Mask
If your skin needs some soothing, then the Origins Dr. Andrew Weil Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Face Mask($39; sephora.com) will give you the TLC you deserve. This one relies on a cocktail of shrooms (teehee) that bolster your skin's ability to defend itself from stressors like inflammation.
The second I slapped this onto my skin, all signs of irritation were gone. My itchy, sensitive skin chilled TF out.
It numbed all my topical aggravation in the best way. My skin was so smooth and supple after I rinsed it off, and the results lasted for days.
5. Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer
The Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer($58; sephora.com) has been a favorite of mine for years — an oldie but goodie. Besides the delicious-smelling pumpkin enzymes, the aluminum crystal oxides and alpha hydroxy acids get me glowing in the most gentle manner.
The ingredients work together to slough away dead skin cells both physically and chemically, revealing the smoother baby skin underneath.
Whenever I have an important event where I know I have to look my best, this mask is a must. Plus, it smells like pumpkin spice latte in the best way.
Since it works so well, I recommend only using it once a week. You seriously don't need it more often than that.
6. Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask
I only just started using the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask and I've already given it a permanent place in my weekly routine. The kombu seaweed, red algae, and lotus seed powder feel so luxe and light, but they go to work immediately to save my skin.
This mask works its magic in under five minutes, and treats a host of issues, from uneven tone to blotchy texture and dullness.
It's a perfect makeup prep step, but you also look so radiant that you may skip foundation. The results are visible.
7. Kate Somerville EradiKate Mask Foam-Activated Acne Treatment
The Kate Somerville EradiKate Mask Foam-Activated Acne Treatment ($54; sephora.com) saves my skin during that time of the month. The creamy, gel-like consistency feels amazing AF on, while the sulphur and rice bran help my breakouts go away ASAP.
Even when I have no active breakouts, I'll still use this mask once a week to prevent them from forming.
I credit this product with keeping my acne-prone skin as clear as it possibly can be.
8. Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches
I've gotten everyone I know hooked on these patches. If you notice fine lines, wrinkles, or puffiness after a late night, the colloidal gold and caffeine in Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches($75, sephora.com) will diffuse them in a flash.
I once gave a pair to my best friend when he woke up with puffy under eye bags after sleeping at my apartment. After he removed them, he screamed and demanded to buy them ASAP.
They're just that good. Plus, they also double as shadow shields when you're applying a casual smokey eye.
9. Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask
The Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask ($48; sephora.com) has been selling like hot cakes since its release, and not only because of the incredibly clever name. Vitamins C and A work quickly to improve your skin's allover appearance, even if you didn't just get off a plane.
This mask is hydrating AF. If you're looking to fix dry patches instantaneously, this little tube of heaven will be your new best bud.
Plus, you don't have to rinse it off! Lazy girls (like myself) rejoice. Just slather it on, fall asleep, and wake up feeling totally renewed.
10. GlamGlow x My Little Pony #GlitterMask GravityMud Firming Treatment
First of all, there's no denying that the GlamGlow x My Little Pony #GlitterMask GravityMud Firming Treatment ($59; sephora.com) is the cutest thing that's ever existed. Sure, it's glittery and glitzy, but does it really firm and tighten your face?
Not only did this mask make for a great selfie, it also magically Photoshopped my pores right off my face. I wasn't even expecting that one.
Even my roommate (who sees my face more than I do) noticed a huge difference. I was able to skip primer for the first time in my life that morning. My skin was as smooth as buttah.
11. Oh K! Pearl Hydrogel Mask
The Oh K! Pearl Hydrogel Mask is by far the best sheet mask I've ever tried. It comes in two separate pieces so you can perfectly fit it against your face, because there's nothing worse than an ill-fitting, serum-dripping sheet mask. Oh, and it's infused with skin-brightening pearl extracts.
The gel of the mask was less messy than all of the cotton sheet masks I've ever tried. The contents stayed in place on my face, not dripping down my neck. I was able to curl my hair and pack my lunch while I let the mask operate.
After 20 minutes, my skin was smoother, plumped, and ridiculously radiant. I am so obsessed with the Oh K hydrogel masks, I would do them every day if I could.
12. Ren Glycol Lactic Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask
Finally, I donned the Ren Glycol Lactic Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask, aka my favorite mask of all time. There's a reason this natural, pineapple and papaya-packed potion has racked up more than 1,000 reviews on Sephora's website.
Now, I've tried most masks on the market, so I'm hard to impress. I originally tried this product on the recommendation of a fellow makeup artist, but I didn't have high hopes.
As I removed this after my first use, I literally screamed at the top of my lungs because I was shook by how smooth my skin felt. My roommate rushed into the bathroom to make sure I wasn't being murdered. True story. Now I do this mask once every week, and it's the reason why my skin remains smooth and bright. If I had to choose one mask (and only one mask) to live with for the rest of my life, if would be this one.
So if you're in the market for a brand new mask, let my over-masked skin be your guide. Just slap one any of these stellar performers, pour yourself a glass of wine, and let the mask do all the work.