My theory as to why DIY beauty tricks got so popular so quickly is simple: It’s all about control. Why leave your face in the hands of others, when you can make a perfectly useful mask out of manuka honey, oatmeal, and Korean grains (my recipe), all by your lonesome for a fraction of the price?
But I’ll admit, occasionally I feel the need to get a bit of professional help when it comes to my skin. And when the DIY mood strikes, but I need a bit more oomph in the ingredients department, I turn to the Fresh Topping Masks from Innisfree.
The genius thing about them is that they’re the spiritual cousin of your favorite DIY concoction, without all the guesswork. An array of about 13 “topping” packets are available, each with a different hyper-targeted purpose. You can mix one or two of them into a separate container of clay or ‘creamy’ base, essentially ending up with your own, personalized formula targeting whatever ills may be plaguing your face, from dry skin to dullness. I’m particularly fond of the clay base (this formula cleans pores but doesn’t suck all of the moisture our of your skin) and two different toppings—green barley (for brighter skin) and volcanic (for even cleaner pores). But choose for yourself, from a bevy of all-natural ingredients like mugwort, camellia, olive, strawberry, and more. After mixing the two toppings into the clay base, I just spread it allover with a mask brush and washed it off with lukewarm water after 15-20 minutes. The results: visibly more radiant skin with less noticeability in the panda eye sector.
Now for the bad news—these mask sets are only sold in the two Innisfree stores in Seoul. I got mine at the Innisfree Jeju House, which features a large selection of their products as well as an Innisfree café, located on Samcheong-dong gil, a long street lined with quaint boutiques, traditional tea ceremony cafes, major art galleries, restaurants, and beauty roadshops. It’s one my top five destinations list when traveling in my native country. So whenever in Seoul, take a look around—I won’t judge if it’s just to get your hands on these mask packs.
Photographed by Tom Newton. Read more of Stella's series here.