When holiday stress runs high, it’s always better to address it than let it fester. There are plenty of ways to relieve stress without spending money, like going for a run, cooking your favorite meal, confiding in a friend, screeching into a pillow, and more. But sometimes, it is easier and more fun to spend money on a frivolous face mask. From minimalist to completely extra, here are five face masks that will lend you a self-care moment this season.
Dr. Jart+’s Shake & Shot™ Rubber Masks
Slimy, yet satisfying! Amazon
This mask is actually an art project. Combine the two packets inside the cup, pop the lid on, and shake it to activate the mask. Then, before it dries in two to three minutes (hopefully this time limit does hot increase your stress level), use the included spatula to apply it in a thin layer all over your face. After relaxing for 20 minutes, you can peel the whole, rubbery thing off, often in one big chunk. Slimy, yet satisfying!
Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial
Improve your radiance. Amazon
If you really want to achieve radiance in a short amount of time, perhaps for an important holiday party, the Babyfacial is the way to go. Though I will caution that this thing really packs a punch—its AHA and BHA acids will exfoliate to reveal, yes, baby-soft skin. But leave it on too long and it may over exfoliate. Once you find your sweet spot time-wise, rinse it off with warm water and follow up with a luxurious face oil, and you’ll be glowing by party time.
I’m not always keen on products with charcoal, which is a trendy ingredient that’s not really backed by science. But this mask from Origins has cleared my skin better than any other one I’ve tried. It feels tingly in a good way, and if a relative knocks on your bathroom door while you’re wearing it, you can yell, “I’M DOING A FACE MASK!” and they will leave you alone. It has ingredients like golden wildflower and fermented honey, which makes me feel relaxed even just while reading their names.
Every time I go to Sephora in person, I end up grabbing one of these bad boys on my way out; they’re only the price of a latte. There are a variety of options to choose from like green tea, coconut, and lychee. And while each version claims to have a different benefit—mattifying or brightening, for example—you can always depend on these sheet masks to deliver extreme hydration. Best of all, you’ll look absolutely terrifying while wearing one. Send some selfies while masked up and claim to be the Ghost of Christmas Past.
Ever wanted to dress up as a Christmas eel? A Hanukkah slug? A New Year’s Baby hagfish? You’re in luck. Slather on a thick layer of this jiggly, pudding-like substance, and you’ll glisten like all of your favorite slimy animals. The mask is packed with hyaluronic acid, a super-hydrating molecule that can hold 1,000 times its weight in water. Leave the Aqua Bomb on overnight, and you can rest easy knowing any dry patches from the harsh winter air will be soft and moisturized by morning.