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11 Face Masks To Revive Your Skin For Summer

It's time to get that old thing back.

Beauty & Fashion

It's hard to believe all that we have endured the past year and a half. Between mask mandates and shutdowns, we have been cooped up in the house longer than we would have ever expected. And while our bodies have experienced change, so has our skin. "Quaranskin" is a whole thing – how our skin has been impacted during the quarantine. You may have been looking in the mirror wondering what's different and how can I get my old glow back? Two words: face mask.


We recently learned the magic behind face masks from Penn Medicine. "The mask traps the moisture or ingredient in the skin and creates film that helps to either hydrate, moisturize, dry or exfoliate the skin depending on the ingredients used and its purpose." Basically, face masks understand their assignment. We also understand our assignment to help you shine all summer. We have rounded up some amazing face masks that will not only revive your skin but feed your soul as a means of self-care.

LUSH Mask of Magnaminty 

www.lushusa.com

When LUSH says this is a cult classic, they are speaking facts! Its powerful ingredients intensely clean and exfoliate your skin in ways you can't even imagine. Kaolin, peppermint, aduki beans, and honey work together to discard the debris and promote hydration. Trust us when we say that this is the awakening your face needs.

LUSH
$15

Glossier Mask Duo greens + moon masks  

glossier.com

The tagline: "Two masks to put skin in a good mood." And we love a good mood, honey. Packed with superfruit antioxidants, the mega greens mask detoxes while the moon mask brightens and hydrates. You can use them alone or you can give your skin a one-two punch by applying the moon mask and then the mega greens, in that order. Whether you struggle with hormonal acne, combination skin, or random breakouts, this duo is life-changing.

Glossier
$40

fresh Mini Rose Face Mask 

www.fresh.com

It's basically self-care in a jar. The real rose petals make this face mask luxurious and we believe you and all your homegirls deserve luxury in all ways. Not only does it soothe and tone, but it also plumps your skin to keep that melanin glowing. 90 percent of reviewers said it nourished and visibly improved the appearance of their skin.

fresh
$19

RéVive Masque de Radiance Brightening Moisture Mask

RéVive

The Vitamin C in this souffle-like mask boosts moisture for a radiance you've never experienced. The way the formula transforms from pearlescent white to a shimmering shade of gold is truly magical. If you're struggling with dull skin, you need to add this to your cart ASAP. Best of all, it now comes with a "dual-applicator to invigorate skin with a gentle massage."

RéVive
$150

Eminence Organic Skincare Clear Skin Probiotic Masque 

Eminence Organic Skincare

Did you know that Tamron Hall said she's in love with Eminence's Clear Skin Probiotic Masque? "Sometimes I'll walk the dog with the mask and sunglasses on and scare my neighbors." That means it has to be worth it! Clear skin is much more achievable with this product in your beauty arsenal.

Eminence Organic Skincare
$56

Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask 

www.sephora.com

Lather this creamy mask on before bed for bright, even-toned skin. It's formulated with a proprietary Superberry Blend: Maqui, acai, prickly pear, goji berry, sunflower, moringa, squalane. Word on the street is that it's the most tolerable Vitamin C face mask. You'll look forward to your nighttime routine for this reason.

Youth to the People
$48

Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask 

www.kiehls.com

Still nervous about getting a facial in a pandemic? Try this Kiehl's masque. It is an instant facial that will have you looking like a new woman. Turmeric is known for its antioxidant properties so it is ideal for brightening skin. Then, you have the effervescent cranberry made up of antioxidants and resveratrol. The seeds from the cranberries assist in delaminating the skin which equals smooth and radiant.

Kiehl’s
$45

Versed DOCTOR'S VISIT INSTANT RESURFACING MASK 

cdn.shopify.com

In just two minutes, this Versed mask begins tackling hyperpigmentation. From lactic to glycolic acids, you can count on Doctor's Visit to make dead skin and dark spots disappear. Your pores will never be happier than after drenching it with this vitamin C-rich pineapple and papaya enzymes mask.

Versed
$18

Herbivore Botanicals Prism Exfoliating Glow Facial 

Herbivore Botanicals

What's better than rose water and aloe vera? The answer is nothing. That's why this jelly-textured facial is what dreams are made of. It sits comfortably at the intersection of cleansing and exfoliating so you'll notice brighter and softer skin before you know it. It doesn't hurt that the packaging is super cute!

Herbivore Botanicals
$58

ORIGINS ORIGINAL SKIN™ Retexturizing Mask With Rose Clay 

origins.com

Keeping with the rose theme, we are obsessed with the way this mask makes our skin soft as a baby's bottom. With ease, the clay mask "gently draws out dirt and debris, exfoliates to refine skin's texture and visibly minimizes the look of pores in one simple step." The results? Skin like Beyonce.

ORIGINS
$27

Keys Soulcare HARMONY MASK 

www.keyssoulcare.com

Manuka honey is known to improve your skin's appearance. Activated charcoal is infamous for being a super cleanser. When you put them together, you get long-lasting hydration and a balanced stillness that is unmatched. We also can't get over the affirmation that comes with this mask: "I walk in my own strength." What a vibe!

Keys Soulcare
$28

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Featured image by Getty Images

You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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