Think you've smelled the worst smelling facial mask ever? You haven't. Biologique Recherche's Masque Vivant is THE worst smelling mask I've ever had the "privilege" of using. It's a balancing mask (I'm not fancy enough to say "masque") which intends to balance (duh) and also brighten, tone, and refresh your complexion. I was recommended this product during my facial at Rescue Spa in Philly -- which, by the way, was awesome and I would totally recommend to anyone in the area. Like, I'm seriously upset over the fact I don't have the time to fit in an appointment when I'm back in town for a weekend wedding awesome.
The esthetician warned me about the smell before she put it on and I, thankfully, had already tried it before as a sample in the previous week and knew what I was in for. Why? Like I've said, the smell is STRONG. So strong you're convinced that she is really just wiping some sort of compost bin sludge on your face and calling it a day. The mask itself contains high concentrations of cucumber, witch hazel, and live yeast extracts... which, if I recall correctly, was some sort of goat yeast that is omg, so amazing for your skin... or something like that. Also explains the smell. Spoiled yogurt/soy sauce is probably the best description? I'm not kidding! The yeast, and mask in general, is also supposed to be great for seborrheic skin (read: seborrhoeic dermatitis/seborrhoeic ezcema), which can be a very tricky skin issue. [ Note: Biologique Recherche recommends that "[f]or seborrheic skin mix a pinch of bicarbonate of soda and a few drops of Complexe Iribiol with Masque Vivant and apply the frothy mixture in a thin layer over the entire face, neck and cleavage." ]
Speaking of skin issues, I am having a major one at the moment. My much hated chin skin is at it again. I'm chalking this all up to I have some sort of freaky hormone imbalance and I need to stop being a lazy ass and get my hormones tested at the doctor ASAP. Because of this bullshit I seem to always be dealing with on my volcanic chin, I've busted this mask out in hopes that 1-2 weekly use can be of some help, but only time will tell. What I do know is that the rest of my skin, my normal skin from the top lip up, really enjoys this mask.... even though my nose doesn't. Word on the street is that this mask is awesome for oily skin when you mix a little baking soda in (akin to above recommendation for seborrheic skin), so I plan on trying that out soon.
How to Use: I slap an even layer all over my face after I've cleansed and applied P50, avoiding the eye area because I need a trip to the ER with a fucked up eye like I need more zits in my life, so no thank you. I leave it on anywhere from 10-20 minutes, per the tube's instructions, or whenever it is I look at the clock and realize I totally should have taken my mask off a while ago. Their website says 15 minutes wear time and to double rinse it off. The tube says with tepid water and a soft sponge. Continuity error. I do not have a soft sponge at my disposal, nor do I want to use one from the pack underneath my kitchen sink, so I just rinse it really well with my hands or use a washcloth very lightly. I typically dread the taking it off part because the mask's smell subsides a little bit when it has settled onto skin/slightly dried. When you get it wet in the removal process, the smell is back full force. Joy. It also looks a little like baby diarrhea, which only just adds to the whole gross out factor. Overall, I'd recommend this mask to anyone with or without the skin issues described above, so long as you're cool with the price tag ($59).
Don't believe me? The skin care wiz and owner of Rescue, Danuta Mieloch, says:
"If you do Masque Vivant at least twice a week you'll never age. This unique mask contains live yeast extracts which are packed with amino acids and famously nourishing Vitamin B. There is no product like it to keep your skin purified, revitalized and bright. In my 20 years of experience with it, I have seen it drastically improve many peoples complexions."