Sunday, January 14, 2007

Black & White & Red All Over

On a recent business trip, I found myself in a hotel that provides lit magnifying mirrors in the bathroom. Nice touch, right? Well, it was a mixed blessing. Sure I could apply my makeup with amazing precision. But I could also see all my clogged pores and imperfections.

So, I decided a peel-off mask would be just the thing to pull all the nastiness out of my face. I went to a C.O. Bigelow store and asked for a recommendation. The sales girl pointed me to Kose Seikisho Mask White, a Japanese whitening mask. I said, "I don't need any whitening! Any whiter and I might as well be Casper the Ghost!" She assured me that it wouldn't really whiten my face, that rather it's supposed to clear out imperfections and leave you with a clear, radiant complexion. Given the jet-black color of the mask, I was intrigued and gave it a try.

Back at the hotel, I applied a thick layer of the black, honey-consistency mask to my face, avoiding the eyes and the hairline. It really stuck to my face and was even a little hard to rinse off my hands, so make sure not to get it under your nails. It took about 20 minutes to dry and got quite tight. I could barely smile, so thankfully nobody was there to make fun of me. Because, you know, I did look like a Victorian-age chimney sweep!

Image of the first female chimney sweep in the Highlands & Islands of Scotland!

Once it was completely dry, I was ready to peel the mask off. Ouch! This product really binds to the skin, so it was pretty hard to remove, and hurt a bit as I had to tug it off. (Make sure the layer you apply is pretty thick or you'll have trouble peeling it off later.) My skin was red for a short while from the peeling, but afterwards I could see that I had fewer blackheads and a smoother, more even complexion due to the intense exfoliation.

On the chance that it does provide a whitening benefit, I am careful not to use this too often! However, whenever I feel that my pores need a strong deep-clean, this product is definitely the one I reach for.

$28, available at C.O. Bigelow stores (but not at C.O. Bigelow online, no idea why) or at


At 2:06 PM, Blogger Lil_Bit said...

Hi Beauty Chick! I read your blog everyday and check out all your recommendations. I was all set to try this mask but at the description blurp says it is "melanin-supressing". Why would I want that?

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Beauty Bug said...

Hmmm, that's odd that it would suppress Vitamin C. Maybe someone can clarify.

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Beauty Chick said...

I think what they're trying to say is that the Vitamin C helps to suppress melanin production. That's what helps to justify the "whitening" claim - melanin is the stuff that makes you tan.

Even though I experienced no whitening, if you are after a tanned look, this probably isn't for you. (Many of the reviews on Makeup Alley also said they did not experience whitening.)

Let me know if you have any other peel-off mask recommendations... because I'm not sure I'm going to repurchase this one.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Tara said...

Hi there everyone...

I noticed you said that this product isn't available online. ??? Actually, it's available at a lot of different stores. Check out and do a search for it.

Hope this helps anyone wanting to buy it. It sounds likes a really cool product!

At 10:15 PM, Blogger Beauty Chick said...

Sorry, I just meant that CO Bigelow sells it in their stores but not on their website. You can buy it at Bliss online as well as some other online shops. Thanks for pointing out ShopWiki - it's a great resource.

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Meg said...

Hey Beauty Chick! I've been reading you for a while on RSS but I wanted to finally stop over and say hi. I've never heard of Kose, but this mask sounds pretty awesome (and for a high end mask, reasonably priced, always a nice bonus). I'll have to check it out next time I'm at Bigelow.

Oh, and I loved your "Favorite Things" post; if you like the Shu oil cleanser, you should check out DHC's version, I think it works just as well and is way cheaper.

Have a great weekend!

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Parisjasmal said...

Great review and ROFL at the chimney sweep picture. I am headed to CO Bigelow this week--so I will for sure check this out!

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It can't really have success, I consider like this.

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