Every week, I partake in a Sunday night masking ritual. Depending on how my skin is doing, I choose the right mask for the job. If blemishes are my concern, I whip out a clarifying mask (either sheet or the kind from a jar). If the wrinkle in my forehead seems more pronounced than usual, I reach for the one with promised anti-aging benefits. This week though, I was inspired by Posh Spice, er Victoria Beckham. In a recent Instagram post, she shared a snap of herself sporting the Estée Lauder PowerFoil Mask ($22 for 1 or $79 for 4; nordstrom.com) and sunglasses, as one does.
Right off the bat, I could tell this mask was … unusual. From the outside, it resembles a sheet of tin foil, or as my roommate described it, something out of Star Wars. It also comes in two pieces, and the bottom half goes on first, like a metallic beard. Nice.
I was impressed with how substantial it felt compared to sheet masks. This type of foil mask isn’t just made for selfie opportunities (though that’s a definite plus); it’s intended to create a barrier, to help deliver the hydrating formula faster and deeper into the skin. (Makes sense, when you think about how quickly other masks can dry up after they’re exposed to air.)
The side that you apply directly to your skin is more like a typical mask: It’s where the hyaluronic acid-based serum (the key hydrating ingredient) is infused.
After I applied both halves to my cleansed skin, I waited for the mask to do its thing. Unlike with other masks, my face didn’t feel immobilized. Talking was actually easier than it usually is. The cutouts for the mouth and eyes are significant and sturdier than most, which made all the difference to me. I also felt a cooling sensation when I put the mask on, so I could see how it could help with de-puffing before a big event. (Beckham was using hers at Cannes.)
As I sat in my bed, waiting for the 10 minutes to tick by, I could feel the mask getting stiffer, which I imagined was the effect of the serum getting absorbed by my skin. When my timer went off, the foil seemed to be pulling away from my face, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I have experienced before. The area around my eyes still fit snug, and that’s where I usually find myself pressing down on other masks to make sure no spot goes untreated.
I removed each piece and massaged in the remaining serum as instructed. My face looked and felt refreshed, though I wouldn’t say that my skin tone was completely even. (But hey, what mask can work all those miracles after just one application?) I was satisfied with the mask’s moisturizing effects, and I think they even held up over night: The next morning, my skin was noticeably smoother and plumped up. For those results, I would definitely go full-on Tin Man again.