In my eternal quest to achieve bright, glowing skin, I have sampled hundreds of products. I’m talking about everything from cleansers and toners to moisturizers and masks. (The number of brightening serums I’ve tested is a category all its own.) . While I have my favorites—namely Cosrx’s Triple C Lightening Liquid ($27) and Peach & Lily’s Super Reboot Resurfacing Mask ($43)—I’ve come to the conclusion that I will always and forever continue to test new products because I’m that committed to finding the best and most effective out there. Plus, as a beauty writer, it’s quite literally my job. Nevertheless, I carry on as a discerning critic. That brings me to the other day when Versed’s $10 brightening mask came across my desk (or should I say my Target bag?). While I usually don’t discriminate between high-end and drugstore products, I must say that the $10 price tag had me questioning its brightening abilities. However, with many celeb fans (pics to prove it at the end of this post), I figured I’d give it a go. Spoiler alert: It worked. Keep scrolling to read my full review. PS: Versed is offering 10% off today, February 23, with the code VIPLOVE10.
The mask in question is this one—Versed’s Photos, Please Brightening Tightening Mask. It uses red kaolin clay to gently exfoliate the skin while antioxidant-rich turmeric brightens and evens skin tone. It’s also formulated with witch hazel to give the skin a tightening effect.
The first thing I have to say about this mask isn’t actually about the mask. It’s about the packaging. The mask comes in a handy pouch, which makes application less messy than traditional clay masks, as you can just squeeze it directly from the package onto the skin. There’s no scooping and smearing involved. I also like the fact that it saves on shelf space, which is a precious commodity in my house… I’m grateful, as is my tiny bathroom.
The reason I love brightening products so much is because my skin has an affinity for dullness. My dry, redness-prone skin lacks natural radiance. As you can see, without a lick of makeup on and despite my best efforts, my complexion looks rather, well, tired to say the least.
Upon application, I was happily surprised to find that the mask was smooth and creamy. It lacked the coarse, grainy texture of other clay masks, which just so happens to be the reason I’ve avoided them in the past.
I applied it all around my face and waited the full recommended 15 minutes for it to do its work. Again, I was happily surprised to find that there was no extremely drying feeling like there is with other clay masks (you know, when it feels like you just dipped your face in wet cement). This one felt, dare I say, comfortable.
Once I wiped it off using warm water and a washcloth, my skin was a little pink, but that’s nothing new. (As someone who has a moderate case of rosacea, I’m used to that.) Aside from the slight redness, I noticed a certain brightness had come back to my complexion—a lit-from-within look—that was almost akin to a post-workout glow. I also noticed that the sagging skin around my eyes and lips seemed to be subtly tighter and perkier.
A half hour later, the brightness was still apparent, so all I needed was a light touch of concealer under my eyes and around my nose along with a coat of mascara to feel ready for the day. That’s a big deal since most days I won’t start Zoom meetings without applying my beloved Chanel
Les Beiges Foundation ($60).
Before you click add to cart, know that there are two other iterations of this face mask, and they’re all $10 a piece. One is hydrating, and one is purifying. You can rotate them in and out depending on what your skin needs at any given time.
This hydrating mask is formulated with aloe vera, rosehip-seed oil, and a plant-based collagen alternative. All of these ingredients work together to hydrate and plump the skin.
The Find Clarity Purifying Mask uses two different kinds of charcoal and clay to gently exfoliate the skin and draw out impurities. Celebrity fans of this mask include the likes of Chrissy Teigen, Kourtney Kardashian, Chriselle Lim, and Whitney Port.
Remember when I said I struggle with dullness and hyperpigmentation? That’s why I’m down with this toner. It’s formulated with vitamin C, kojic acid, and azelaic acid to brighten the skin and banish hyperpigmentation. Plus, it’s gentle enough to be used daily.
Along with the aforementioned toner, I’ll be adding these reusable cotton pads to my cart. Why? Because sustainability is sexy, and single-use cotton pads are passé.
What’s one of the best ways to prevent hyperpigmentation? If you said sunscreen, you get a gold star. This one never (and I mean never) leaves a white cast, which means I can wear it with or without makeup. Plus, the lightweight, oil-free formula doesn’t break me out. It’s a win-win.
Here’s another mask I turn to when I want to target my skin’s affinity for dullness. It’s formulated with a combination of AHAs and BHAs to slough away dead skin and pore-clogging debris while vitamin C–rich pineapple and papaya enzymes work on dark spots.
I love a good lip oil. Not only are they silky and luxurious, but they’re also very moisturizing, which is important for me and my dry and peeling winter lips. This lip oil is no exception to the rule. I could apply it all day long… Wait, I actually do apply it all day long.
Skincare means caring for all of your skin, not just the skin on your face. For moisturizing everything below my neck, I love this silky body oil. It’s a dry oil, which means it absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy film on your skin like others on the market (ahem).
Next, The Absolute Best Hair Masks, According to Editors and the Internet