When 17 year old Cachet Raynor got her hands on the latest beauty trend promising clean, fresh and blackhead-free skin, she was oblivious to the fact it would be a 2 minute roller coaster of emotion. Upon uploading it to Twitter, I bet she had no idea it would hit a nerve with so many people who have also had moments swearing at themselves in the bathroom mirror. Prompting article after article, I knew I had to get my hands on a tube. I absolutely adored watching Cachet peeling off the black mask and nodded in solidarity, knowing I have been in many similar situations and it’s pure hell. Like that time I thought I could wax myself (just don’t) or that time I thought I should get my fat lasered (I still have flashbacks) or that time all of us have been sunburnt thinking it would result in a glowing tan with many painful nights filled with aloe and cool bathroom tiles. Yet as a glutton for punishment, I wanted to give this viral trend a try.
I came across Cosmetic Distributors Australia, founded by Eddie and Jami who cleverly solved a problem I think many of us experience when trying to get our hands on beauty trends that originate overseas. After trying products themselves, identifying a demand for it in Australia and noticing competitors ‘drop ship’ their products from overseas taking from 4 – 6 weeks for customers to receive their orders, the solution to hold stock in an Australian warehouse and ship within 7 business days or less is genius. And so helpful for curious and impatient beauty bloggers like myself who can’t stand waiting. When researching this black peel off mask trend, the SHILLS brand was the original that kept coming up. Originating in Tawian, popularity grew for the brand due to their local TV variety show Ladies First and then saw the Activated Charcoal Black Peel-Off Mask trend spread through South-East Asia to a nosey (pardon the pun) beauty blogger in Sydney.
The SHILLS Black Peel-Off Mask promises to remove blackheads and dead skin cells, unclog pores, improve blood circulation, deep cleanse, purify, increase vitality and leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. But like any over-promising product or boyfriend, there’s a price to pay. Sometimes it’s in the cost, sometimes it’s in the amount of time and in this case, it’s in the level of pain. Think of a pore strip, but on your face. And if you’re anything like poor Cachet, you wouldn’t want it to be too thick.
Application is easy – ensure face is clean and dry, spread evenly over your face and obviously avoid your brows, hairline, lips and eyes. It’s a thick paste anyway, not unlike a sticky balm or golden syrup, so you’ll cover what you need to without much product anyway. Then wait between 15 to 30 minutes to see the mask turn from gloss to matte, experience the intense fear of what you’ve just done and you’re ready to peel off. Pick the edges first to trick yourself into thinking ‘oh this doesn’t even hurt!’ and wonder what all the fuss was about. Then upon the first peel, you’ll know it. I will say it certainly doesn’t hurt as much as old mate led me to believe, but it’s not like a stroll in the park. It’s a jog in a park with annoying weather – you can bare it, but it’s not great.
The results were really great – skin was super soft, revitalised and fresh. Pores were unclogged and felt pretty confident being make-up free. In the spirit of full disclosure, I would probably recommend another peel the following day to really get every single spot, but for $15 it absolutely does more than it’s fair share. And I completely overreacted during the build up to peeling off the mask (very unlike me) which you really don’t need to do, so keep in mind that it really isn’t as awful as it seems. It’s not super fun, but better than a slap in the face. Something I probably should have done to calm myself down. Viral beauty trends don’t always work out, but for Cachet’s re-tweet count and my soft face, this one is worth a try.