Ain't no glow like an Angel glow. Having gone backstage at the 2016 Victoria's Secret show in Paris last month and seen said glows sans makeup, I can personally vouch for this. While yes, genetics are always in an Angel's favor, there was a new secret weapon behind many of their flawless visages this year: Celebrity skincare expert Mimi Luzon's 24 K Pure Gold Leaf Mask.
The most unapologetically-luxe, selfie-worthy mask in the game, I had to get my hands on it—eye-watering $300 price tag be damned! 'Tis the season to
slay sleigh, I reasoned. So here's how it all went down:
The mask arrived in a shiny, oversized gold box I almost couldn't bring myself to throw out. Inside, there was a bottle of Luzon's Corrective Anti-Wrinkle Mask, as well as sheets of delicate gold leaf layered between silk paper. The combination of the mask, which contains cell-renewing and moisturizing ingredients like sea-based glycoproteins, hyaluronic acid, peach extract, and red tea, teamed with a top layer of gold leaf, is said to even out skin tone, reduce redness, and diminish the appearance of fine lines in one fell swoop. While it's clear from the Angel selfies that the gold leaf is social media catnip, I was still curious how it played into the treatment.
So I asked Luzon herself and she explained that while gold has become increasingly popular, its benefits have been utilized since ancient times. In fact, Cleopatra herself looked to the gilded metal to give her skin a healthy, radiant appearance. "Gold is known to help renew cells within the basal layer, improve skin elasticity, reduce wrinkles, and give skin a more youthful appearance," Luzon says.
The Test Drive
Following the streamlined, step-by-step instructions listed on a card inside the box (which contains enough supply for 3 treatments), I began by applying a thin layer of the mask with some circulation-boosting face yoga (another Angel beauty secret). It had a lovely earthy scent and felt soothing on my cold-weather-ravaged skin. Then, it was time for the gold leaf...
Per the instructions, I placed one of the sheets on each cheek. On my first go, I had trouble getting the slab of gold leaf to stick. So when it came time to do the other cheek, I slathered on more of the mask and it stuck nearly perfectly. The gold leaf is so delicate, it's bound to crack as you naturally maneuver your face.
To cover the rest of the negative space, I used scissors cut out custom slices and the creamy mask like glue to create collage-style, gold leaf art on my face. As evidenced by Luzon's Instagram feed, I didn't apply it as gracefully or symmetrically as she does during one of her facials, but I was still pleased with my arts-and-craft-style results.
But here's the thing—while, full disclosure, I took my sweet time carefully applying the gold leaf with the intention of taking a selfie, it took nearly 20 minutes, which is double the time I was supposed to leave the mask on. I was a little antsy because I had also applied a lot more than the "thin" layer of mask instructed. However, the mask proved to be gentle enough for my extremely sensitive skin and it was a non-issue. Having to wipe off my hard-earned gold leaf visage was sad when the time came, but I was impressed with how easily it slid off with my oil cleanser. It's not nearly as messy as you think it's going to be.
As for the results the morning after, I am officially adding Luzon's Pure 24K Mask to my list of Beauty Things You Should Do If You're Going Home for the Holidays (because looking good is the best revenge...), but only if you can really, truly afford it and will be taking a selfie/getting some social media love in return. As someone who struggles with chronic redness, my skin was visibly more even-toned and vibrant. It was also baby's bottom smooth and bouncy. But while other masks will give you similar results, none will earn you as many Instagram double taps. That's just a fact.
Mimi Luzon Pure 24K Gold Mask (Pack of 3), $300; mimi-luzon.com.
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