There are so many things I want to say about this, I hardly even know where to start. I suppose the beginning is a good place; so a couple of weeks ago I began to suffer a random attack of the dreaded flaky scalp (still no idea why). Before I washed my hair on Sunday, I gave my scalp a good massage with coconut oil – it worked a treat, by the way – and whilst it was working its magic I figured it’d be a good time to give one of my untried face masks a whirl. Thusly, out came the Crystal Clear Mini Mask Lift*!
Crystal Clear Skincare is a British brand (as far as I can tell) that have a variety of specific treatments available in salons across the country, and that also sell their products for use at home, with the idea of enjoying a relaxing salon facial experience in your bathroom. Whilst I’ve got to admit I had fun with the Mini Mask Lift, I wouldn’t necessarily call the experience relaxing! Let me tell you more.
The Crystal Clear Mini Mask Lift promises to firm, smooth and soften the skin, giving a ‘mean reduction of 26% in wrinkle depth and 40% reduction in the amount of wrinkles’ – all within half an hour. In the box, you get a Mask Powder, Liquid Activator and a wooden spatula along with the instructions. This is where my first annoyance came in – the directions give no indication as to the amount you need of the powder and the liquid. Then I noticed a red sticker stuck hastily to the instruction leaflet: ‘Due to a printing error, please note the correct mixing quantity should be 80ml activator and 25g powder’. Oh, okay – would have been a touch more professional to just reprint the leaflet but I realise that’s probably expensive. But then, my second annoyance. The powder supplied is 25g in weight, while the liquid is 100ml. WHY would you give us those stupid quantities? So you’re supposed to use up all the powder in one go, then 80% of the liquid activator… then what do you do with the remaining 20ml? Throw it away? Orrrr.. you could just make the liquid activator bottle contain 80ml. Problem solved. *sigh*
Anyway, I totally disregarded this and just used half the powder (12-13g) and half the liquid (50ml). I’ll be buggered if I’m only getting one use out of it! This turned out to be fine, as the consistency came out as intended and I don’t think it affected my results. You are instructed to mix the measured amount of powder and liquid into a creamy paste and apply the mixture IMMEDIATELY using the spatula. I now see the reason for the word ‘immediately’ being in capitals – it starts to set FAST. As per the instructions, I spread it thickly and evenly in upward and outward motions across the whole face. And I looked sexy. If sexy is defined as looking like you’ve plastered a thick layer of PVA glue over your face, but then again face masks aren’t supposed to be particularly attractive whilst they’re working! Luckily it doesn’t smell like PVA – in fact it doesn’t have much of a scent at all, a slight whiff of the typical salon smells but nothing overwhelming.
Despite using a totally different ratio of the liquid and powder, and a much lower quantity than suggested, I still ended up with some surplus mixture once I’d applied it all. I beg of you, if you use this, DO NOT try and wash any excess down the sink as you’ll clog the bugger up. I learned that the hard way. Scrape out as much as you can with a sheet of kitchen roll and throw it away.
The instructions say it’s best to keep your facial muscles still as the mask sets – well, you won’t have much of a choice because man this stuff gets TIGHT after a while. I couldn’t give it the full 30 minutes – by the time 15 minutes had passed I literally couldn’t move a muscle in my face and since it was clearly fully set, I decided to take it off. This was easily the most fun part – you just loosen it up around the edges and peel the whole thing away. SO much fun! Sorry the mega close-up below is a little frightening, but here it is partway through peeling it off.
I have to say, for all its faults in the what-a-palaver department, I actually really liked the results when I got the mask off. Check out the super attractive bathroom shot at the top of the post to see the the removed mask! Despite being the tender age of 21, I have a deep line in my forehead. It’s not a frown line – I get it when my eyebrows are raised and I look surprised. Which is ALL THE TIME. But there was a noticeable improvement to it when I removed the mask which I will admit did impress me. My skin overall looked a fair bit more plump, too. The effects lasted about 24 hours before my lovely ol’ forehead wrinkle was back to normal on my permanently surprised face.
Crystal Clear Mini Mask Lift (aka ‘Face lift in a box’ on the website) costs £22. I’m not entirely sure if I would recommend it or not. The results were impressive but short-lived; deciphering the instructions and stupidly mismatched quantities was a right faff. Using my slapdash quantities of half-and-half each time will give you two uses out of it, but with their suggestions you’d only get one so it’s quite pricey for a single use product. It’s probably worth it if you desperately need a one-night-only boost to your skin, though.
I just don’t know. I like it, but it’s a pain and I don’t think I would repurchase it. Still, you guys are quite capable of making your own decisions so the choice is yours!
What are your thoughts? Have you tried any Crystal Clear Skincare products before?