I’m sure just about everyone saw the video that went viral of the hysterical woman peeling off a black face mask over how much pain it was causing. This had the slightly sadistic face mask lover me in intrigued, and when Just Beauty offered me the chance to try one I jumped at the chance, so here’s my thoughts on the iconic Shills Black Mask.
There are many similar versions of this mask floating around now, but the one you want to avoid potential disappointment is from the brand Shills. The product comes in a box with all the instructions and ingredients listed, and inside comes a 50ml tube of product. It’s priced pretty reasonably at £8.99.
The box is a little mis-translated I think, whilst the tube itself seems to have had better English added, I mean the outer box claims that this increases complexion, nothing can increase your complexion – it can increase a smoother complexion, brighter complexion – but your complexion is your complexion isn’t it – whether it’s good or bad, so it can’t do anything to increase it.
I reviewed a very similar mask from Tony Moly not too long ago and that one left me especially disappointed, it didn’t pick up on anything other than the odd pore extraction here and there, and whilst both myself, and Ben – who loves a peel off face mask as much as the next hetrosexual male – have ever found it to be doing anything. So we both have been putting this one to the test over the last few weeks.
This one is probably the blackest of it’s type that I’ve tried, other black masks I’ve tried have really been grey or charcoal coloured, but this one is very definitely black.
I’ve found the best way to apply this is in sections, you can use this face mask all over (although definitely recommend giving your eyebrows a wide berth), however I like to leave at least small sections between each area, or repeat the process a second time filling in the gaps to areas you left free the first time.
The reason for this is this mask is as painful as the hysterical woman made out. This isn’t for the faint hearted and it takes me a good ten minutes to be able to get it off. This makes my eyes water, my nose run. You can see from the picture below just how much it pulls at the skin as you remove it, it makes my eyes and nose water, especially in the really tender areas around the eye area. Having smaller pieces you can keep giving yourself breaks (and pep talks – “Rachael, you got this”) from I’ve found is very beneficial, And the longer you can wait to let it set – the box recommends up to 30 minutes, the easier it is to remove. This normally comes off in one big piece at a time and a thinner layer, or an unset layer can mean that you have to almost rub this face mask off. I tend to leave it on between the 45-60 minute mark so I know that it is absolutely 100% set and it is going to come off easily, albeit painfully.
I’ll admit the first few times I used this I almost wrote this off as a gimmick, an immediate look at my face afterwards had found that it hadn’t touched the most obvious, bigger blackheads at all. All that pain for nothing. But it was only on the third and forth times that I noticed it was in fact doing quite a lot. Warning, prepare yourself for gory peels of face mask.
If you can I’d recommend zooming into the pictures below – if your stomach can handle it. What this does do a really great job of doing is picking up all the small clogged pores and blackheads that the eye can’t really detect or see. You can see lots of white dots on the reverse of the peel which is a teeny clogged pore – this is just a small fraction of what I peeled off my nose and cheeks. What it picks up isn’t the biggest or the deepest, but I guess over time this will stop these becoming the biggest and deepest. My skin certainly feels smoother thanks to using this one-two times a week for the past 6 weeks. It’s worth noting that any tiny fair hairs you have are also picked up by the mask, I think over the pores that’s where the most wincing and pain comes from.
I recommend the Shills Black Mask if you have clogged pores, if you’re relatively good with handling pain. I think I’ve gone far enough to explain how much it hurts, and this is an evening mask rather than one you might do just prior to makeup, skin up to an hour later can still look a little red and feel a tiny bit tender. If like me you get a weird satisfaction over those types of painful feelings when you can see results then this is worth trying.
Whilst it feels like you’re putting on a really thick layer and it’s not going to last very long with frequent use, I’d say with both Ben and myself using this over almost a month we’re probably just half way through our tube. If you’re in the UK you can get this on Just Beauty (here) and get 10% off if you’ve not ordered before with the code THANKYOU10, and this has me intrigued about trying some more of their extreme sounding skincare.
What are your favourite skincare items for unclogging pores and removing blackheads?
Shills Black Mask kindly sent for review, but thoughts are reflective of my own experience with the product.