As mentioned before, I have quite oily skin. This means I'm usually protected from things like dryness. Alas, this cold winter weather is breaking through even my thick layer of protective juices (did I just write that line?). This, paired with the fact that I was sick for two weeks over the holidays and therefore neglected my usual skincare regimen, means that my skin has been in need of some serious assistance. Luckily, it hasn't been terribly broken out, but there's definitely something to be desired. It's been dull, congested, lacking a certain vitality, and peppered with strange flaky dry spots. Ew.
I've been wanting to try Tata Harper for a while, specifically this mask, so it was the perfect time to break out one of my FreshFaced samples! I'm trying to do this whole product trial thing right for a change, i.e., only trying out one new product at once rather than all of them at the same time like some kind of crazy junkie. This means that I took the time to try this mask twice (with several agonizingly boring days in between) before making the final call. And what is that final call? Success! But... not overwhelmingly so. Let's discuss.
The first time I tried it, I was certain that there was no way the tiny little sample I had would last for two sessions. In fact, I was a bit worried that it wouldn't even cover my whole face. Luckily, like many quality, clean products, a little bit of this magic goo goes a long way. It's totally not what you would expect in a mask. It looks more like some kind of gelatin dessert than something you put on your face. To be fair, I'd probably put a gelatin dessert on my face if I thought it would help. It has the consistency of a silky jelly, if that makes any sense, and is a clear-ish, peachy color. The scent is subtle and lightly fruity.
It dries to a tight, papery texture almost as soon as it's applied. You can barely tell it's there just by looking, except for a certain android-like shininess. It feels tight on the skin, but not uncomfortable. I didn't experience any tingles, which was slightly disappointing. I like tingles. That means it's working, right?
When I washed it off, to be perfectly honest, it seemed like nothing had happened. My skin certainly felt softer than normal, but no magic. After a few minutes (and then again the following morning), I started to notice a few changes. My skin appeared subtly brighter, and the dry patches were mostly gone. Nothing huge or dramatic, but it did seem like the mask had brought some life back to my face.
The second time around, I was struck again by how far just a small amount of this mask goes. I feel like I could have even gotten a third application out of the tablespoon-sized sample, but I decided to just really slather it on instead. Afterwards, I noticed more of a difference than before. My skin was soft and bright, and it definitely helped to clear up some of the small blemishes I'd developed. I don't have too much trouble with my skin tone, but it also seemed to improve the small amount of redness I'd developed.
Unfortunately, what I was really hoping to get out of this mask was some improvement in the appearance of my pores. Now, I realize that you can't actually "shrink" pores. It doesn't actually work that way. I've just always had a lot of trouble with large, visible pores and stubborn blackheads that inhabit my entire face (and part of my chest and back, too, but we don't need to acknowledge that issue), and I was hoping against hope that the mask would help. Alas, I didn't see any improvement in that area, apart from a general improvement in the clarity and texture of my skin. Looking at myself a few days later, there might have been some small change, but nothing very noticeable, and some of that could be due to a decrease in stress and increase in fluid intake.
Would I buy this product? I can confidently say that I would love to, if only it was less expensive. My skin certainly seems refreshed, I'm just not quite ready to drop $55 on a feeling I can probably get from a less expensive and more readily available product. Then again, there was a noticeable difference in the first application as compared to the second. This could be one of those products that just gets better and better the more you use it. If you've got the cash to spare, this is a product with lots of fantastic ingredients that does improve your skin. If you're broke like me, maybe wait around until something better comes along.