The Instagram Effect

4 years ago by

Last week Chrissy Teigen appeared on her Instastory in nothing but a bath towel while whipping up a casual lunch that would probably take me five hours to prepare. She remarked to the camera, “I feel like I should have a face mask on.”

With the disappearing act of Instastories mitigating the risk of an embarrassing post, it seems everyone is forgoing the outdated beauty notion, “Don’t let them see how the sausage is made.” Instead a quick scroll on any given #MaskMonday will deliver a woman mugging in a facemask and looking damn good while doing it.

I find myself jealous of this preening as my weekly beauty routine renders me looking like Gollum (yes that Gollum), a small, slimy creature that survives on cave fish.

There must be a face mask that can deliver results and act as a de facto filter to hide my pores, obscure my blemishes, and frame my features, so I can peacock with the best of them. I rated a slew of masks on a scale of 1 to 10 for both effectiveness and Instagramability, in the hope that I can be more Chrissy and less Gollum.

First up, perhaps the most Instragrammed mask ever, Glossier’s Moon Mask. With the consistency of lotion, this mask soaks into your skin for a crazy deep hydration that leaves you as dewy as a wood nymph. But snap those selfies fast because the mask dissipates as it hydrates, leaving you with something that, ahem, resembles a different kind of facial. Instagramability: 7. Effectiveness: 10.

L’Oreal’s Clay Mask is as gloriously goopy as mud and cools instantly upon contact with your skin. It has a delicious cucumber-laden-spa scent and the charcoal color made my features pop and furthered my want for a charcoal walled bedroom as charcoal is one of those selfless colors that makes everything around it look better. The downside, the mask adheres so much to your skin that after scrubbing your face to remove it you resemble a peeled grapefruit rather than a Hadid sister. Instagramability: 10. Effectiveness: 5.

I like to think of Kiehl’s Tumeric and Cranberry Seed Mask as the Honda of facemasks. Reasonably priced, works on all skin types, and consistently brightens skin after a single use. The mask contains exfoliating cranberry seeds you can see and feel as you spackle it on. This sucker has got everything going for it except its color, as I stand by my belief that no one looks their best in orange. Instagramability: 5. Effectiveness: 8.

The all-knowing Nora Ephron said, “When you slip on a banana peel, people laugh at you. But when you tell people you slipped on a banana peel, it’s your laugh.” A modern day equivalent of this expression is a sheet mask selfie. You will look about as sexy as Hannibal Lector. You will feel about as sexy as Hannibal Lector. Basically you will be Hannibal Lector as your face is frozen in fear of the mask slipping off into your bowl of soup that is balancing precariously on your chest while you lay in bed and Netflix. I urge you to take and share this selfie to own this thoroughly modern moment and laugh.

May I suggest Peach and Lily’s Three Piece Sheet Mask Set? I love that these masks come in a trio, each promising to deliver something specific from “Drench and Nourish,” to “Lift and Plump,” and “Soothe and Restore.” Together they held my hand and coddled my skin brilliantly during my right-on-time-monthly-hormone-induced-outbreak. If only I was as punctual as my chin zits. Instagramability: 9. Effectiveness: 10.

But after all my peacocking and posing, the mother of all Instagramable masks is barely a mask at all. The KNC Collagen Lip Mask is a collagen filled lip mask aimed to plump, smooth and exfoliate your lips. Upon placing it on your lips you will resemble a long lost cousin of the Kardashians with just the slightest wink to the absurdity of it all. You will want to laugh at yourself, a lot, as you practically hear Kris murmuring in your ear to snap a few selfies. The mask preps your lips for a night of bold lipstick so well that you’re guaranteed to snap a photo worthy enough for the prestige of the permanent feed. Instagramability: 10. Effectiveness: 10.

There you have it! A brief ranking of face masks for the ego and epidermis. You know, depending on your priorities.

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