Smart Guide: finding the right face mask

Get a movie-star complexion with the perfect mask for your skin type

Sure, Kirsten Dunst plays a mean Marie Antoinette in Sofia Coppola’s striking new biopic, but it’s her gorgeous, porcelain-like complexion that really grabbed our attention on the big screen. How does she attain such flawless skin? Chances are, Dunst – along with the Kate Hudsons and J. Lo’s of the world – gets a little help from the beauty industry’s not-so-secret weapon of choice: the face mask. According to the experts, including Whitby, Ont.-based esthetician Tracey Horrell, adding a mask to your weekly pampering regime can give you an instant red carpet-worthy look, or better yet, that much sought-after, post-coital glow (c’mon, you know the one). Simply put, a good mask will rejuvenate and calm your skin, leaving you fresh-faced and beaming.

Masking the truth
Esthetician Tracey Horrell’s do-it-yourself recipe for flawless skin.

Step 1: Clean your face with warm water and the appropriate cleanser for your skin type.
Step 2: Apply a toner to stimulate your skin.
Step 3: Give yourself a steam bath in a hot shower. It will open your pores and help release any residual dirt.
Step 4: Exfoliate. Rub on a mild exfoliant or a non-abrasive scrub.
Step 5: Apply a mask. Lie down and relax for 15 minutes.
Step 6: Remove the mask using warm water with sponges or a face cloth. Splash on a little toner using your hands.
Finish off with your day or night cream.

Try this delicious blend for an instant moisture boost.
1 cup (250 mL) oatmeal
1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt
A dollop of honey
Stir all ingredients together and apply to face.

Bonus tips
• To appear recharged, look for products containing alpha-hydroxy acid, vitamins C and E, coenzyme Q10 and aloe. You can also help soften wrinkles with carrot oil and grape seed oil.
Wish list L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Intensive Lift Mask (three 22-mL masks/$29). Estée Lauder Resilience Lift Extra-Firming Revitalizing Mask (75 mL/$48).

• To remove dull, dead skin, try fruit extracts such as papaya (a natural exfoliant). Carrot and camomile help soften skin for a healthy glow.
Wish list Red Earth hydro’ white Brightening Treatment Mask (five 26-mL sachets/$42).