7-Second Morning Mask by Starskin, $34, beautybay.com.
Innovative skin-care brand Starskin is known for its luxe masks that revive dull complexions, lifeless lips, rough hands, cracked heels, and more. Now, for those of us who are really—really—short on time, the company has come out with the 7-Second Morning Mask, made with probiotics, antioxidants (from fermented milk), amino acids (from soybeans), as well as kudzu root, a vine that's traditionally used in Chinese medicine that brightens skin. The company's signature K-beauty fermentation process maintains the ingredients' potency.
I'm skeptical about a treatment that claims to be an exfoliator, moisturizer, balancer, smoother, and makeup primer, but I'm dying to try it out to see for myself.
Not only does the mask work faster than other masks, it also doesn't look like other masks: I open the container to find a stack of pads—each with an exfoliating side and a moisturizing side—soaking in a serum. I'm skeptical about a treatment that claims to be an exfoliator, moisturizer, balancer, smoother, and makeup primer, but I'm dying to try it out to see for myself.
The tweezers are provided to help pick up the soaked rounds—how convenient!
I have a busy day ahead of me when I try the fast mask—a photo shoot and a long bus trip home to D.C.—so I want to see if this mask really can work a seven-second miracle on my stressed-out complexion.
I wash my face with my normal cleanser and pat it dry. I pull out one of the pads and, to my surprise, it opens like a little mitten so you can slip your fingers into the pad—I love how well designed and hygienic that is.
Will I make it in time?!
I start with the exfoliating side, which has little raised circles for gently scrubbing the skin, and am rushing to cover my forehead, cheeks, chin, and nose in the liquid magic before time runs out. I make the seven-second cut and flip the pad to the smooth, moisturizing side. I press the hydrating formula to my skin for another seven seconds.
That. Glow. Wow.
After the 14-second process, I use my fingers to smooth the serum residue into my skin, and I notice that my skin is instantly softer and is drinking the product in (it's been struggling with dryness lately). Because of this, I follow up the mask with a little bit of day cream and a layer of SPF to protect my complexion, even on this gray day. Before I leave for work, I feel my soft cheek with the back of my hand: so far, this mask is the real deal, but I still have the day ahead of me.
It seems to be harder-working than a typical sheet mask, which takes 15 minutes or more to sink in.
Throughout the day my skin glows and glows, keeping my spirits up through the day's stresses. During a shoot, I snap some behind-the-scenes footage and notice that my face is radiant under the cool lighting our video guy, Michael, has set up. Then, after a grueling seven-hour bus ride, my skin still feels smooth and doesn't look like it's peeling or dehydrated, like it usually does after hours of travel.
Me, under the blue lights of Michael's setup, and my skin still looks good.
Overall, I am really impressed with the fast mask. I do wish it had SPF built in so I could spend even less time getting ready, but otherwise, it really does live up to the hype. It seems to be harder-working than a typical sheet mask, which takes 15 minutes or more to sink in. I'll definitely use these on days when I have a lot going on: it stands up to extreme pressures—without putting any pressure on my morning routine.