I used to babysit a kid who had a knack for pointing out all sorts of things that you were trying to bury deep down or politely ignore. When he crawled up close to examine my face one night, I was afraid of what he might say: “My mom says she hates you and you were her fourth sitter choice but the first three cancelled and she wanted to have a ‘me night,'” perhaps.
Instead he tapped my nose with his fingers and told me that I had polka dots all over it.
“Those are freckles you sweet, silly, adorable child,” I cooed. Children are great; they’re able to make me feel like I’m part Dalmatian but in a good way. Later that night, while admiring my spots and thinking about how keen his eyesight was for catching them in the dead of winter (they tend to fade), I realized it was possible he was talking about my bevy of blackheads instead.
You can’t see my blackheads here but you can see my faded nose freckles that I mistook for the object of my child-friend’s focused interest.
Blackheads haunt me. I get rid of them for a day or two and do all the face hygiene things you’re supposed to, but they always return, faithfully, like an indoor/outdoor cat. So when a friend told me about the ultimate blackhead mask that I just had to try, I concurred that I just had to try it.
Step one suggests that you wash your face then use a warm washcloth over the blackhead “cluster” (officially the grossest word ever now) to open your pores. I used my kitchen sink because it’s the only waist-level faucet in this apartment where hot water comes out.
^ Live footage of me at a Japanese restaurant after being handed a warm, lemon-scented towel.
The next step is to apply the “export liquid” that is meant to further-loosen your pores. You apply it by soaking cotton pads with the liquid, then pressing the pads to your face like you have a bloody nose for fifteen minutes.
Everyone had fun today.
Once you rinse this off, it’s party time. Apply the face mask to your cluster of blackheads and hang out for what feels like an eternity.
Fifteen/twenty minutes later, once the mask hardens, you peel it off in one single, satisfying swath of sunburned-skin-like swipe. I would peel this mask off myself even it gave me blackheads, that’s how much I enjoyed this part. Then, of course, you have to show it to everyone.
My blackheads are in there!!!! You can’t tell because blackheads and the mask are monochrome, but the IRL visual equivalent is like four-o-clock leg stubble shadow.
You can follow all of this up with the toner that comes with this three-part kit if you want. I didn’t because I wanted to nap instead.
Let me tell you, though, this blackhead mask is amazing. It is better than Bioré wishes it could be. It is my new favorite thing, my Sunday ritual, a cool way to trick someone into thinking you don’t have a nose, like a Jack-O-Lantern, and well-worth the $29.99 plus shipping. Nicole Cohen, who shoots apartments for us, was at my apartment and she literally said, “Wow!” Verdict: I’m all about it.
Let’s talk about blackheads in the comments.
Feature photo by Edith Young.