Well, after trying out so many cleansers, I wound up trying a Glamglow one, which led me to want to try out the whole brand... which leads us to Glamglow having its own post!
There's clearly been a whole lotta hype about this brand recently, Sephora even based their entire November box around their masks for different skin concerns, and for good reason. What started out as a brand all about hype has clearly delivered on several fronts, making a name for themselves as the masters of one of the most overlooked steps of skincare, the face mask.
I first heard about this brand with the launch of their eye cream pods, but that was awhile ago and I haven't seen those in ages. They never really appealed to me, but it seems their game is now a lot more on point than I realized.
Glamglow currently has six different masks, but their line seems to be growing every day to include cleansers, moisturizer, and lip treatments, while staying inside the realm of skincare, specifically for the face (though some have other uses). Now that I've had an opportunity to try pretty much everything, I can talk about the brand as a whole and findings.
Let's start with the masks though, as these are the real deal. All retail for $69, though you can find deals on Sephora and on their own website occasionally, and smaller sizes for $22. They seriously have such a huge line now I'm breaking this up with masks first, cuz the post was getting out of hand.
This is a mask, but a deeply cleansing one. I wound up getting a couple samples when I picked up one of their Gravitymud masks, and like all of their products, this carries that branded tingling sensation on the skin, which in my head makes me think it's working better. I was surprised with this one, as it definitely dried the quickest out of all the masks, probably fully dried in under 10. It carries that trademark fruity scent that's so nice, but for a mud mask, this was a surprisingly thin formula.
I used this prior to the shower to wash it off with the help of the steam (as is my preference with mud masks), and when i washed it off, the whole part where it transformed into an oil felt quite nice indeed, making it feel refreshed instead of dried out after a 'deep cleanser' traditionally feels. My skin felt super soft afterward, and prepped for moisturizer (though tbh it may not have needed it). I can see a solid use for this after a big weekend wearing a ton of makeup (like after a con or music festival I would say), where I really need to give my skin some tlc.
To be totally honest, I haven't found anything that compares, as I think most people just grab a normal cleanser, but this is a really unique format, and doesn't have the drying properties of a regular wash. Definitely worth it if you find yourself needing a serious cleanse without the negatives.
This is a bit heavy for my face, but it definitely has its use for neck and décolleté, using hyaluronic acid to get that super deep hydration while helping resurface your face. It leaves skin feeling incredibly silky and smooth, as well as moist, and stays on well for overnight treatment. It calms and energizes, and is the only mask where you don't really remove it, just leave it on and then kind of rub it in, or remove excess as per preference. If you have problems with dryness, this is a super deep hydration that you could even use sparingly and have have great results. It is definitely effective and does exactly what it claims.
Compare to: Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask ($56): because of honey's natural antibacterial properties, this helps to take care of minor breakouts while moisturizing the skin. It delivers a lot of help for dry skin while not being over the top for normal or oily skin, and also works against wrinkles.
This is the first mask I actually purchased in a full-size version, and I have zero regrets. This is the only one that actually comes with its own brush, but I prefer to brush on all masks as you get much more even coverage and more product goes on your face than is wasted on your fingers. And like usual, this has that tingly sensation. This is meant to help with fine lines, wrinkles, and evening skin tone, all things I care about. What I love about this brand is unlike most masks where you have to use consistently for some time to see results, you can tell an immediate difference. It smells amazing, looks really cool on, peels off easily, and gives your face that 'lit from wihin' look immediately. And you face feels firmer, not tight like it's overly dry. The trick with this mask in particular is it really does peel off, in one shot if you can manage it, but you have to put a solid layer on your skin, no skimping here. It's not that hard to do, but you basically just want to make sure your pores aren't showing through and you're good. The brush really helps with this one, as it makes that nice even layer more achievable. Always make sure to lift in an upward motion–this whole mask is about fighting gravity, so you don't want to undo the good you've just done.
Compare to: Farmacy Hydrating Coconut Gel Mask - Firming (Celery): This has all the same attributes of the Glamglow one, but as a sheet mask a set of 3 costs $24 so I feel like you get more use out of the Glamglow option, and it seemed to me that it worked better as well. If you're not ready to commit to the $69 Gravity Mud, this is a nice alternative, but defintiely not as effective.
This is so great for clearing breakouts, it's not even funny; as it dries, it pulls the impurities out of your skin, drawing out blackheads and peeling off oil like it was never there. You can literally feel it happening, and see the results immediately. This one definitely stings as you apply it, and smells like licorice as it dries. Definitely not the usual candy-fruity scent. Removing it, my skin felt insanely tight, so you def have to moisturize after, as this Really dries out your skin. It feels really refreshed though, so this is an interesting mask. You can also use it as a spot treatment with mixed results, though it is Super clearing, so I wouldn't leave it on a large area overnight, just on one problem spot, as it dries it out insanely. I've seen positive results as a spot treatment on small pimples, but nothing large, so that's why I feel it's mixed results. Overall this is good to use really once in a while, so this seems like a good mask to get the tiny size in.
Compare to: Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque ($16-30)
This is a much smoother, creamy mask that dries exceedingly fast. It's definitely cheaper, dries faster, and goes on more evenly plus you need a smaller quantity for each use. You don't have that instant gratification though of visually seeing what's being pulled out, but doesn't leave my skin feeling as tight or dried out. I think this is one that's more where you see results after continued results.
This is a great anti aging treatment, helping skin look brighter, softens, smoothes, and helps lift fine lines while helping dryness. This is pretty similar in use to the gravity mud, but while that is more designed for firming, this one really focuses on skin cell turnover and anti-aging properties, most notable with the use of green tea–you can not only smell the tea, but the leaves are actually visible chunks on your face, which is super cool to me. It's strange though, this one obviously is tingly too (it's even in the name) but it's a much stronger sensation than the rest of the masks, which juxtaposes with the calming scent of the tea. It allllllmost stings, but has a very 'facial' feel and scent to it, which is kind of amazing. My skin almost felt as though it was moving as different sections dried, and not in an unpleasant way, but I really just can't get over how great the scent is. Also, a little bit goes a really long way–you can easily cover your face with very little, as opposed to a lot of muds where you have to kind of cake it on in spots to get it smooth and even. Pretty sure I'm buying this one next.
Compare to: Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask ($92)
This one feels absolutely amazing, glides on softly and easily, and has a really soft neutral scent. Your skin really does feel perfect instantly, and you definitely don't need to moisturizer and it does all the same things as the Glamglow one. It is significantly more expensive, and while I would say Fresh does work better, if you like the Glamglow one, $30 less is definitely the way to go.
This targets exactly what it sounds like-giving a glowing complexion. This one is unique in the way it's used, giving the direction of initially using three days in a row to start the results, then following up 2-3x per week to maintain results. It again smells amazing, tingles a bit, and is a touch sandy feeling as opposed to the mud feel or smoothness of the peel. You're also supposed to rub this one on to give some initial exfoliation before it soaks in, and it definitely soaks in. You have another visual with this mask, as it slowly becomes transparent as it seeps into your skin. Another thing I found interesting, is they make a point of mentioning you need to use sunscreen with this one or the results won't last. I feel this is important in general as a pale girl, but it's definitely something that's overlooked, which is especially necessary when dealing with skincare, and even more so when trying to change your skin. This honestly felt a little intense for me, the rough texture was a little rough when I tend to stick to more gentle exfoliation techniques. I didn't have the immediate result from this mask I'm used to either, and I definitely have to give my face a break from the more intensive treatments. I think I'd have to do once every other week, instead of the 2-3x. The second use I didn't rub the mask in initially to give it a break.
This is unfortunately not for me, I'll use other means of brightening my skin. This is very harsh and I couldn't see much of a real difference except redder skin and extra breakouts.
Compare to: Eve Lom Brightening Lotion ($75)
While this one isn't a mask (though there is one for $160 here), this is an amazing brightening treatment that really works to slowly even out your skin tone and brighten up your complexion. I 100% prefer it to the Glamglow mask, as it's not abrasive or rough at all, gentle enough to use it every morning, plus it helps to get full absorption from your moisturizer.
Ultimately, I feel like for the most part continued use of the masks do have a noticeable effect, but in the short term even though you're seeing results, You are really the only one who can see the differences in your skin pre–post mask.
Also I found this handy sheet about the masks on Sephora's site, which is a nice quick reference to see which mask suits your needs: