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Something Blue, Something Purple: Strange Looking Masks Are Trending

We tested two from indie beauty label Herbivore Botanicals – they have products with names that sound like bands at Coachella – for your benefit.

To appeal to the millennial consumers these days, things often come with a side of Instagram possibilities and the beauty industry is no exception. Instead of just “pretty” packaging, however, the Instagrammability has moved on to what is inside the jars, bottles and packets. With the rise of selfies came the rise of Instagramming with your beauty products, and then the rise of rather strange looking masks. We’ve seen sheet masks printed with animal faces. We’ve seen gel masks in gold, rose gold and silver. We’ve even had ones that bubble all over the face. Long live the ‘gram!

The latest strange mask trend to hit the shelves aren’t in sheets – they’re in jars and bottles, which makes putting them on seem a lot more fun, like toying with silly putty – and the ones that have caught our eye belong to a little brand called Herbivore Botanicals. (You can get them locally at Sephora.) Hailing from Seattle, Herbivore, for short, uses very millennial ingredients like sea salt, coconut, chia seed, French clay and the fancy-sounding azulene, all wrapped up in chic, minimal packaging.

We tried two: the Moon Fruit Superfruit Night Treatment and the Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask. As far as Instagrammability goes, these match up. But, the way we see it, the “strangeness” of a mask has to have a point. You don’t add glitter or holo specks into a mask just for the sake of it. For Moon Fruit, it comes from all the berries and indigo root powder within. For Blue Tansy, it comes from the blue tansy flower, its key ingredient.

Moon Fruit works like an intense moisturiser or an overnight leave-on mask. Chockfull of fruits like prickly pear, goji, raspberry, orange, bilberry and cranberry, the pastel purple gooeyness spreads easily, and turns colourless and melts into the skin in no time, leaving a finish that feels almost like a primer. The texture is light and refreshing, but the lavender scent – intentional, we suspect, to match the colour – can be a little overwhelming for non-lavender fans. It is best used as the last step in a skin routine, but given its lightness, go for something else if you need proper hydration.

Blue Tansy works in a completely different direction. With a texture that feels like runny jello and a minty scent that may take some getting used to – we found that it became quite pleasant after a few minutes – the blue mask contains azulene from blue tansy and natural AHAs and BHAs from papaya and pineapple enzymes. As far as exfoliants go, Blue Tansy is gentle, which makes it good for sensitive skin types, and easy to rinse off. While it isn’t as powerful as other AHA and BHA peels we’ve tried, it’s a good thing, because you worry less about it giving your skin a reaction.

The verdict on Hebivore’s Instagram-toned masks? Not bad at all. Compared to other masks we’ve seen out there that look fancy just for the sake of looking fancy – which could actually do crap for the skin – Hebivore’s “strange” look serves a purpose. Bring on the millennial pink mask and the blue oil!

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