The Glasshouse Guide to Masks

Modern life is so multi-faceted – going from busy to stressful or exciting, and sometimes all three at once – that taking a time out for any reason usually feels like a no no: there’s just always something else to do.

When there’s so much going on, the act of simply making a moment for yourself can feel like an unnecessary indulgence, but every so often, it’s important to find an excuse.

One justification for lighting a candle, locking the door and taking some personal time comes in the form of applying a mask to your skin or hair. These intensive treatments have made a major resurgence of late, and in order to do their jobs properly they have to be left on over a number of minutes. This means that they almost force you to have a break whilst they work their magic (unless you fancy leaving the house with a face or scalp covered in interestingly-coloured product…)

No longer solely the remit of teen girl sleepovers or glamorous mums, masks have risen in popularity massively over the past few years. This is due in part to the more general boom in the skincare industry (it is estimated that in 2014, mass and luxury skincare combined was worth £1 billion), and more specifically because of the recent popularity of Korean skincare, which brought ‘sheet’ style face masks to the UK.

However, whilst sheet masks are beloved for their convenience, we favour a more relaxing approach. More hard-working than cleansers and exfoliators, there is a mask for every skin or hair concern, and the process of applying one really gives the feeling that you’re doing something to take care of yourself, which in our increasingly busy lives, is a welcome extravagance.

By using a mask, you’re also joining in with a longstanding beauty tradition – masks date back as far as Ancient Egypt, where Cleopatra was known to make her own face masks with natural ingredients to nourish her skin. They have since been used throughout history to treat skin and hair concerns, and whilst we can’t promise that any of our favourites bring Cleopatra levels of opulence, we do advocate taking time out to apply a mask and luxuriate for a few minutes in your favourite way.

Image: AL&K for Glasshouse Shop
Image: AL&K for Glasshouse Shop

If we’re talking face masks, there’s only one man for the job: Guy Morgan Apothecary produces a trio of masks to target various skin concerns. Beautifully packaged and handmade in Clapton, these feel like a real indulgence, whilst also making a positive difference to the state of your skin.

Guy’s masks are all made with sun-dried clay bases. Clay masks are designed to draw out and absorb the toxins in the skin, so that they’re washed away with the mask, leaving skin fresh and clean. Because of their harder consistency and different properties, they also lend themselves perfectly to the most recent trend in the masking world: multi-masking.

Multi-masking means applying masks with different properties to different areas of the face at the same time – if you’ve got an oily T-zone, it makes sense to use a different mask than you would for dry cheeks, making it a hit for those of us with combination skin. Multi masking is also a thoroughly modern way of masking: it saves time, whilst giving the skin an intensive, bespoke cleanse.

Our failsafe Guy Morgan multi-mask for combination skin involves his Midnight Black clay mask, which we’d suggest for any oily areas, alongside the White Marble clay mask which rejuvenates the skin by lifting dry skin cells. Used together, it’s an unbeatable pairing and a combination skin saviour. These masks are also gentle and made with natural clays – Guy notes that “the Rhassoul clay in Midnight Black Clay is formed by natural processes and volcanic activity. The clay is washed in fast flowing river water before being sun dried in the desert.”

Equally, if doing it yourself is more your speed, you could make like Cleopatra and whip up a mask at home. Our favourite recipe is this one for a Matcha and Raw Honey Masque; matcha is a powerful detoxifier, and raw honey contains many free-radical fighting enzymes to repair skin damage. Put together they’re a formidable pair, and in itself the process of making the mask gives the opportunity to take a few moments away from the pressures of daily life.

Image: Laura Allard-Fleischl for Glasshouse Journal
Image: Laura Allard-Fleischl for Glasshouse Journal

Though they’re the most popular, masks for the face aren’t the only ones on the market. Hair masks – deep hair treatments left on the hair for around fifteen minutes – can be great for hair condition, and again, they give the opportunity to take even a few moments out of the day to rest and relax, whilst doing something kind for yourself.

Choosing a mask for your hair and taking the time to solve its problems is the ultimate in self care, and though it seems like something small, it can be really rewarding and calming. Big on luxury levels are Leonor Greyl and their large selection of hair masks, which offer a solution to any hair concern.

For those with thin hair, we like Masque Fleur de Jasmin, which is infused with jasmine oil, and works to nourish and regenerate hair that is in need of a little love. On the other side of the spectrum is Masque a l’Orchidée, a conditioning mask designed to increase softness and flexibility in hair that is dry, thick or frizzy.

And of course, no guide to masks would be complete without mention of our favourite in-salon hair treatments, Power Build and Aqua Boost by Organic Colour Systems. These are designed to re-infuse the hair with protein and moisture, and leave hair in improved condition. For the ultimate ‘treat yourself’ mask moment, you could even book in to have one of these treatments in the salon, with a specialist consultation identifying your hair’s specific needs.

With all this in mind, put down that iPhone, step away from the laptop and mute your emails: even if it’s only for fifteen minutes, choose a mask, apply it and then enjoy your rejuvenated skin or hair (or maybe even both). You’ll thank yourself right away!

Words: Lauren O’Neill
Cover image: Andrew Gallo

Share this:

More From The Journal

  1. What Is Sustainable Fashion?

    ​As Fashion Revolution Week kicks off, we are exploring what it really means for fashion to be sustainable or ethical. With help from Sandra Capponi, co-founder of the Good on You app, we have put together a guide on how to made your wardrobe as planet, people and animal friendly as possible.

    More +
  2. Local Loves: Straw London

    Our newest East London neighbourhood shop is home to an enviable collection of vintage straw, wicker and crochet bags, sourced from far-flung corners of the world. Straw London has taken up a temporary home in London Fields - we catch up with brand founder Emily to learn more about all things Straw.

    More +
  3. Work with us at Glasshouse Salon

    Fancy being a part of our close-knit Glasshouse team? We are looking for a talented Receptionist to come onboard.

    More +
  4. Q&A: Holly Allenby of The Acey

    ​With a brand new business model that aims to tackle clothing waste in an innovative, stylish way, we catch up with Holly Allenby of The Acey. Proving that sustainability and style needn’t be separate entities, Holly tells us what she’s doing differently and how her latest collection is her most sustainable solution to date.

    More +
  5. The Plastic Problem

    Our ocean has a microplastics problem; these tiny pieces of plastic that will never quite disappear have been found on beaches across the planet, in the bellies of marine animals and even in our own food chain. The beauty and fashion industries have a big part to play in the plastic clean up and so we’ve dived into the issue to find out exactly how these particles are getting into the ocean and what we can do to help stop them.

    More +
  6. Beauty Trend: Coral

    Fresh, bright and full of optimism: coral is the springtime update your makeup bag is ready for. Inspired by Living Coral, Pantone’s colour of the year, we delve into coral’s many guises and recommend how you can introduce it your beauty routine.

    More +
  7. Reads: Body by Alexa Coe

    We chat with London based illustrator Alexa Coe about self-portraiture, our relationships with our body and her newly released photography and art book, Body.

    More +
  8. Hair Trend: Headbands

    Embracing the ongoing revival of 90s accessories, we’re now turning our attention to headbands. Spotted across the SS19 catwalks and striking a balance between playful and chic, the grown-up headband is a practical accessory that makes an unfussy statement.

    More +
  9. Adaptogens in Beauty

    With the ability to regulate the body’s reaction to stress and anxiety, adaptogens have been a key part of Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for centuries, but also contain a plethora of benefits for the skin when applied topically. From turmeric to aloe vera, we’ve rounded up our top adaptogenic ingredients to look out for in your skincare routine.

    More +
  10. Q&A: G Binsky

    Taking the Instagram world by storm, G Binsky combines the worlds of ceramics and jewellery in a unique collection of London made, wearable art. We speak to the founder Gabriela Bins about the inspiration for the brand and the importance of handmade items.

    More +
  11. Beauty Forecast: CBD

    The skincare world is constantly abuzz with new ingredients and technology, but one ingredient in particular seems to have taken 2019 by storm. CBD is popping up in our facial oils and cleansing bars and here at Glasshouse we have cut through the buzz to find out what CBD is really all about - and how it can benefit our beauty routines.

    More +
  12. Q&A: Scarlet Crawley

    ​Having left her publishing job to launch contemporary bodywork studio MASAJ, Scarlet Crawley is redefining the concept of massage, using the power of touch to cleanse the body and mind whilst restoring anatomical balance and combating the negative effects of city living. We sat down with her to discuss the benefits of massage and how best to incorporate it into our modern lifestyle.

    More +
  13. Ingredient Spotlight: Rosehip Oil

    ​Transform your skin with the latest ingredient on our radar, rosehip oil. Packed full of vitamins and essential fatty acids, find out how this cult ingredient can improve the over appearance and texture of your skin.

    More +
  14. Hair Trend: The Ear Tuck

    Effortlessly cool and extremely practical, the ear tuck is the latest - and easiest - way to style your hair this Winter, and it’s something you probably do already. Carefree, relaxed and the opposite of try-hard, this is a lazy girl’s dream that lets your facial features do the talking.

    More +
  15. Winter Dry Skin

    ​Cold temperatures drying out your skin? You’re not alone. When winter hits hard, sometimes our face is the first to feel the consequences, with dry skin becoming a more common occurrence than usual. With a little help from the founder of Evolve Beauty, we’re here to guide you through your seasonal dry skin woes.

    More +
  16. The Vegan Beauty Trouble Shooter

    ​As the vegan diet and lifestyle continues to grow in popularity, an increasing number of vegan and cruelty free products are flooding into the beauty industry and whilst this is a step in the direction, not all ‘vegan’ products are created equal. We’ve put together a guide on the subject to help you discern what is, and isn’t, 100% animal and environmentally friendly.

    More +
Load more posts