Fall semester finals week is particularly difficult because, unlike the spring semester, everything in the Binghamton area resembles a desolate, frigid tundra. The only thing that keeps many students going is the holidays coming just around the corner. This finals week, Pipe Dream decided to combine the good, the bad and the freezing in a de-stressing activity — creating DIY Christmas-y, Grinch-like face masks. The masks are easy to make with a blender to clear up your stressed out, sleep-deprived skin, while providing some holiday cheer.
Green Tea and Mint Mask
— 2 teaspoons matcha powder
— 5 sprigs mint, leafy stems included
— ½ teaspoon water
Avocado Honey Mask
— ½ avocado
— Juice of half a lime
— 3 teaspoons honey
Cucumber Cooling Mask
— Half a cucumber, cut in pieces
— Inner liquid part of the base half of an aloe leaf
Blend all until smooth. If you don’t have a blender, mashing together in a bowl will create a similar, but lumpier consistency.
Shauna B: I made a matcha-mint mask. I originally wanted something with more hydrating power, but because we did the masks right after Santacon, I was in the mood for something more detoxifying. I let the mask dry completely on my face, and then washed it off with warm water — beware, because this mask will stain your face green and you may need to cleanse a second time with a makeup wipe or micellar water. However, after testing each of them, we agreed that this mask packed the biggest punch — I was shocked by how much clearer and more radiant my skin looked after I washed the mask off. The green tea detoxes your skin and tightens pores as it dries, while the mint is packed with acids that combat redness. Yet, unlike most inorganic acids, it creates this effect while soothing the skin with a cooling feeling. This mask was also the most Grinch-y — it came out with an opaque forest-green hue, which was so concentrated color-wise that I felt like I had gotten a real spa treatment.
Nikki S and Katy W: The avocado honey mask was our face mask of choice. Before you begin to apply this homespun face mask, we would suggest exfoliating your face with any gruff facial cleanser you may have at home with a washcloth. It will allow the mixture to seep into your pores better, resulting in a better outcome for your skin. Avocado helps soothe skin inflammations, including eczema, acne and psoriasis, while both the honey and lime possess antibacterial properties to combat acne-causing bacteria.
As we spread the face mask onto our faces, we felt it was difficult keeping a good layer on our skin. It became chunky in some areas while very scarce in others. We would suggest adding a bit more honey or avocado to the mix to make a thicker substance. The mask also left a burning sensation where our skin had breakouts due to the lime juice. We would not recommend this mask for sensitive skin types or severely acne-prone skin, as your skin would feel the burning sensation much more. On the other parts of our face, like the T-zone area, it was more of a “cool” feeling. Toward the end of the 15 minutes, we felt our skin was getting tight and knew it was about time to take it off with cold water. On the bright side, your skin has a glow after you rinse it off, and it smells great, too. This mask wasn’t the most Grinch-y of the three, though it still had a noticeable green hue for the festive effect.
Gabby I: I chose the cucumber aloe mask. Because the cucumber was so gelatinous, the addition of aloe resulted in a runny liquid mask, similar in texture to Cetaphil. As someone who rarely does face masks, I appreciated that this mask was light, soft and not too thick. With healing aloe and fresh-scented cucumber, this seems like an ideal summer mask, but it can also be great for winter dryness. My skin gets chapped and flaky in the winter, and the moisturizing properties of the aloe and cucumber gave me a healthy glow, cooling and refreshing my wind-weathered skin. In terms of Grinch-iness, however, this fell low on the scale. There were a few flecks of green from the cucumber skin, but the mask was mostly transparent and not very pigmented; the shimmery sheen on my face was a far cry from the Grinch’s aggressively verdant visage. This was preferable for me as a timid face mask novice, but not optimal for the dedicated Grinch impersonator.