With thousands of beauty brands crowding virtual shelves and influencers touting a new product every day, how do you decide what's actually worth a shot? You leave the trial and error to the pros. In Elite Daily's new beauty review series, What's The Deal With..., we'll sift through and test the buzziest products to give you an honest, no-bullsh*t look at how it works IRL, from the price and packaging all the way to the actual results. From there, you can decide which ones deserve a coveted spot in your beauty arsenal.
As soon as I sense a rise in temperature, I’m ready to ditch all my full coverage makeup in favor of any and every skincare product guaranteed to give me the ultimate radiant glow. Face masks are one of my go-to products for a quick luminous boost, and even better, they’re usually pretty inexpensive. Recently, I decided to put Pholk Beauty’s GlowUp Mask With Apple and Hibiscus to the test to see if it could fulfill my need to glow. After all, it’s got “glow up” right in the name.
Pholk Beauty is a Black-owned, vegan skin care brand founded by Niambi Cacchioli, whose passion for and knowledge of the African Diaspora's healing and herbalist traditions inspired her to start a brand that prides itself on creating natural skin care celebrating women of color. The Pholk Beauty GlowUp Mask With Apple and Hibiscus ($15, Pholk Beauty) is jam-packed with notable natural ingredients and vitamins to help boost skin elasticity and combat premature aging. All in all, the mask is suitable for all skin types, but especially those prone to dryness and in need of a hydration surge.
So, did it deliver on its claims? Here’s how I scored the GlowUp Mask after a week of testing:
There was something about the GlowUp Mask that gave me an immediate sense a lot of TLC had gone into creating it. When I unscrewed the cap, the instant aroma of the sweet and spicy mix of hibiscus and apple stood out to me, and with its clear glass jar, the product reminded me of the many spices tucked away in my Grandma’s pantry. When it came down to using the product, I found the overall process wasn’t as easy as the instructions on the bottle made it seem. It’s recommended that the mask be used as either a gentle exfoliant or just as a mask. I decided to use it strictly as a mask and was really intrigued by the directions: “Slowly stir ½ tsp of water with 3 tsp of powder with masking brush until mixture is a paste. Smooth over face and leave on until the mask is firm but not completely dry. Rinse well with warm water.”
It sounded pretty straightforward to begin with, but I found that I had a hard time mixing the powder and water into a paste using the suggested ratio of water to mask powder. I added in a few more drops of water, which thankfully helped to turn my mixture into a soft paste. After applying it, I let it sit until it felt firm and then soaked a flannel in warm water and gently wiped it off.
Once I’d tested the mask a few more times, it was easier to get the hang of. I turned online after my first use and realized the powder-to-water ratio could be customized to your liking, which made the process a whole lot quicker. Had that been detailed on the packaging, I think my first experience with it likely would have been a lot smoother.
One of my biggest pet peeves is face masks that feel hydrating while you have them on, but your skin feels drier than the Sahara Desert as soon as you take it off. Thankfully, I didn’t experience that sensation at all with the GlowUp Mask. In fact, I really liked the feel of the mask on my skin from start to finish and was pleasantly surprised at how hydrating it felt (and how radiant my skin looked) once it had been removed.
Overall, while it did restore some necessary hydration to my face, leaving behind a nice little radiant glow, the end result didn’t necessarily blow me away beyond belief. However, I think my experience might have been different had the mask come ready to use, as I’d probably focus less on making it and more on the results. Still, a healthy-looking glow is always a win.
At $15, this mask boasts an affordable price tag, and if you start obsessing over it, you won’t break the bank when you need a refill. Shop the Pholk Beauty GlowUp Mask below to give it go:
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