I’m all about splurging on skin-care products when they’re really, really good. Like, I’ve already declared my undying love for SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Cream, which is a whopping $125 per jar (OK, it’s not that bad, but it’s still not as cheap as drugstore options), and I’d probably pour the last of my money into refills of my Paula’s Choice BHA Liquid. But what about a gilded face mask set that costs $3,300? What if the mask comes in its own little white briefcase in a set of 12 and promises to change your skin into an ethereal, golden dream? What about then?
Welp, lucky for me, I got to actually try one of the masks (the Adore Cosmetics Golden Touch 24K Techno-Dermis Facial Masks, to be exact) before spending triple my rent to try to look like a goddess. Admittedly, the masks seemed a little gimmicky at first. According to the website, the 24K line will “harmonize the restorative power of pure gold with age-defying plant stem cells to bring you unsurpassed skin renewal.” Each mask apparently “calms and equalizes the electric energy of skin,” and “escorts oxygen molecules to the cellular level for deep renewal,” while the lavender in the product “stimulates new skin cell formation to fight signs of aging.” OK, Adore, we love you, but let’s take a step back, here.
So yes, it’s true that gold is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, so theoretically, when you lay a gold-laced mask on your skin for 15 minutes, your skin will look a bit calmer and brighter. The thing is, it’s not like gold is the absolute best, top-of-the-line antioxidant that contains special powers unknown to all other skin-care ingredients. In fact, vitamin C, Vitamin E, and green tea are all excellent antioxidants that are also a zillion times cheaper. Of course, I know that there’s more than just a heaping pile of gold in this mask, like collagen, lavender oil, and a bunch of plant extracts, but since gold is the main aspect this mask is touting, we’re focused on the gold.
But before I investigated any of the press-release statements, though, I went in with a semi-clear head (I mean, come on, it’s a $275 one-time use mask; how un-biased can you be?) and tried to just test the product like any others. The shimmery mask sits in a little plastic tray with a foil backing that took all of the strength in the world to pry off, and it feels like a wiggly gel, like those sticky hands you’d throw at the wall when you were a kid. Weirdly, the mask is almost dry to the touch—it doesn’t sit in a bed of serum, which was probably why it had trouble adhering to my skin—and it was a bit too small for my very average-size face, so it didn’t cover half of my nose, chin, or jawline. Also, because of its thickness, it didn’t really cling to my skin like a normal sheet mask, so I had to lay down to keep it from flapping away from the sides of my face.
Basically, at that point, I was a little disappointed, knowing that my face was covered in nearly $300-worth of product that was barely staying on. Still, I waited the 15 minutes, feeling myself get very zen (something about having a weighted mask on my face really did feel like a continual hug), before peeling off the mask. And to be legitimate surprise, my skin actually looked really, really excellent. Like, the redness on my cheeks was pretty much gone (a thing that never, ever happens) and my complexion looked weirdly bright.
Basically, I looked kind of excellent. $275-level excellent? Uh, not really—at least, I can’t tell, yet. The instructions do say to use a mask every month, so maybe after a few months of use, my skin would glow with the light of one-thousand moons. Still, if you’re into beauty splurges, and you really, really love masks, then definitely buy yourself a suitcase-worth of gold masks. The worst thing that could happen is that you feel really, really fancy.