Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Masquerade

Hey Belle,

I’ve been reading your blog for a year now, and I love everything about it!  Thanks for all the great posts and ideas.  I’ve got a skincare question for you:  Do you have any weekly mask routines that you would be willing to share when a trip to the spa isn’t in the budget?  I’ve been looking for something to cut down on oiliness and breakouts when the Clarisonic doesn’t always cut it.  I’ve thought about this charcoal one (good price, good reviews), but would love another opinion from someone who has skin similar to mine.  I recently figured out I am allergic to sulfur, so masks of the past have wreaked havoc on my pores, but I’m trying to get back into the mask game.  

Thanks in advance,

I’ve mentioned on the blog before that I am also allergic to sulfur, and it does make finding a face mask difficult.  Here are a few that I really like in the more expensive ($30+) category.


Fresh Umbrian Clay Treatment ($38) // Ole Henriksen Feel the Difference Mask ($35) // Glam Glow Tingling and Exfoliating Mask ($69)

If you want to read my review of the Ole Henriksen Feel the Difference mask, click here.  If you want to read my review of GlamGlow, click here.  I use the Feel the Difference mask more like a treatment because it really brightens the skin, while GlamGlow is a true mask that you scrub off to leave your skin feeling soft and rejuvenated.  As for the Umbrian Treatment Bar, it’s a gentler option for sensitive skin that doesn’t have any rough edges that will scrub your skin.

Looking for something more affordable?  There are a lot of great drugstore or under-$25 masks on the market.  


Say Yes to Tomatoes Clearing Mask ($14.50) // Mint Julep Masque ($5) // Murad Vitalic Pomegranate Mask ($23)

Despite my sulfur allergy, I’ve never had a reaction to the Mint Julep masque despite the fact that it does have some sulfur in it.  So if you don’t have an allergy, this mask is a great substitute for the GlamGlow.  As for the other two masks, they have a lot of fruit acids that can help clear skin, brighten and even tone.

Have a favorite mask?  Leave your recommendation in the comments.




  1. Meg says:

    Have you ever tried Aztec Secret Healing Indian Clay? I saw it recommended on a blog a few months ago and gave it a try. It's less then $10 on Amazon but I found it at Whole Foods for a similar price. It will last forever too because it comes in powder form and you mix it with Apple Cider Vinegar to create a mask (and oddly you can't mix it with or in metal). I can actually feel my skin pulse as it dries and my skin is red for about an hour after I take it off, so it's not necessarily good for that facial glow, BUT its deep cleaning powers are amazing. I use it about once a month because that's all I feel I need it and use an alternate mask* in between for that facial “glow.”

    ** One drugstore favorite of mine is Freeman Facial Clay Mask( It's not a superstar miracle worker like Ole Henriksen but I like it for the price and routine skincare.

    October 16, 2012/Reply
  2. Belle says:

    Meg: I've heard of it, but never tried it. Maybe I'll give it a shot.

    October 16, 2012/Reply
  3. Megan says:

    I'm a HUGE fan of the Lush masks (there's a Lush in Georgetown and I think one in Pentagon City). They're refrigerated and made with all natural ingredients. I've noticed a difference both with breakouts and my skin feeling softer. They're pretty affordable, and if you take 5 empty containers back you get a free mask.

    October 16, 2012/Reply
  4. Heather says:

    I posted about Aztec Secret Healing Clay on this blog earlier this year! It definitely works! But the face tingling/pulsating involved is so crazy strong, I too can only use it once a month. (It's not painful, just really noticable, to the point where if you don't find tv/book/another chore to do while you're wearing it, you'll fixate on it so much it will drive you mad!)

    October 16, 2012/Reply
  5. Anonymous says:

    Aztec Secret Healing Indian Clay. I've used this at the recommendation from a friend. I use it probably on average once a month, maybe twice (more in the summertime). I actually just mix it with water. I like it and feel like it is removing the toxins from my face. My face doesn't get all red or blotchy, though the label says that could happen. Maybe it would if I used the suggested vinegar to mix with the clay. I can't say much more than this because I don't use masks for any spa-like treatment or to get rid of acne or things like that. I use it only because I think it makes sense to detoxify once in a while. Based on my intent for using the clay, I like the results.

    October 16, 2012/Reply
  6. Amy says:

    I highly recommend Formula 10.0.6's Deep Down Detox Ultra Cleansing Mud Mask. It's made by Bonne Bell (but sold under the name Formula 10.0.6) and is only $5.99. You can find it at Ulta, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It smells like oranges and does a great job of cleaning out pores.

    October 16, 2012/Reply
  7. K... says:

    With my sensitive, slightly oily skin, I've never found a true mask that was worth the trouble.

    However, I am additcted to exfoliating treatments. BHA is a must for blackheads and keratosis pilaris. My fave for weekly/biweekly use is Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. It goes on like a toner and clears up blackheads overnight.

    I also love the AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel. I got a sample of it at Sephora several months ago, and now I'm totally hooked. It smooths the surface of the skin like an AHA, getting rid of flakes so makeup applies perfectly smooth. For me, it's much less irritating than AHAs because you wash it off after 30-60 seconds. I use it once or twice a month. It's expensive and messy, but it lasts forever and is totally worth it! Try to get a free sample at Sephora.

    October 16, 2012/Reply
  8. Catherine says:

    I really like Bliss Spa's Steep Clean Mask ( I have combination skin (whatever that means) that is actually pretty sensitive to most masks. This cleans our my pores without overly drying my skin or causing additional breakouts. I like the way it feels to put on, too. It works well if I use it once every four to eight weeks. At $55 a bottle, it's pricey, but it usually lasts me about six months to a year. If I can avoid battling my skin issues for that length of time for around $50, I'm sold.

    In a lower price point, I always liked St. Ive's Apricot Scrub ( It comes in several strengths (blemish and blackhead controlling, invigorating, and gentle), which is good because my skin's sensitivity tends to vary depending on the time of year. (I might need something gentler in the winter when it's really dry, but bring on the blackhead control in the summer). I haven't bought it in a while since my Steep Clean lasts for such a long time, but I seem to remember it being under $5 at drugstores.

    October 16, 2012/Reply
  9. Monica says:

    Thank you for posting about the mask bar! I've been trying to cut back on personal care products that come in plastic containers and have really missed having a clay mask treatment since almost all come in bottles or tubs. Can't wait to try it!

    October 16, 2012/Reply
  10. Sara says:

    I like Lumene's deep cleansing peat mask, which CVS sells for about $10. It comes in a blue tube and lasts for quite a while, even when you slather on a thick layer like I do. You look like something the Loch Ness Monster ate for breakfast while it's on, but your skin feels great afterwards – so smooth and calm.

    October 18, 2012/Reply