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The Instagrammy Masks That Actually Work

Masks in all colors of the rainbow are a thing; these are the ones worth buying.

A woman wearing different colored face masks Photo: The Image Bank/Getty Images

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Instagram is really changing the beauty industry — and sometimes not in the best ways. Take masks, for instance, which have gone from being non-photogenic gray mud to glitter and metallic. I’ve said it before, but thanks to social media, beauty has become performative and not just a thing you do in the privacy of your bathroom.

It arguably started with sheet masks, which look visually strange and could guarantee a lot of likes in the early days. Soon, other companies were making pretty and/or weird masks, like ones you remove with a magnet or ones that are called “Disco Kitten.” In all of this commotion, I somehow ended up with a rainbow of masks in my cabinet.

I’ve always loved a good ROYGBIV theme, so in a nod to my unicorn sticker-collecting self, here are six masks in all colors of the rainbow that are a lot more than just Insta-bait. Sure, they’re visually pleasing, but they also do stuff.

A jar of SW Basics powdered Hibiscus Mask
S.W. Basics Hibiscus Mask, $21.99


S.W. Basics Hibiscus Mask ($21.99): When you mix this powdered mask with water and apply, it looks just like that picture of Kim Kardashian getting a vampire facial, except darker and more clotted. It’ll also leave you glowing thanks to French clay and hibiscus, which contain natural alpha hydroxy acids.

Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vitamin Boosting Face Mask ($62): The orange marmalade texture and scent is aesthetically pleasing, but it also contains antioxidants and vitamins for an immediate glow.

A jar of Kiehl’s turmeric mask
Kiehl’s Energizing Radiance Mask, $39
A green tube of Sunday Riley Saturn acne mask
Sunday Riley Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask, $55


Kiehl’s Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask ($39): One of my favorite all-around masks and one I use almost weekly, this one contains some grit for manual exfoliation as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask ($55): My 14-year-old son and I both love this pleasingly mint green mask to diminish spots and nose blackheads. The scent of tea tree oil hides the usually disgusting smell of sulfur, an effective acne treatment ingredient.

A jar of Herbivore blue tansy mask
Herbivore Blue Tansy Mask, $48


Herbivore Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask ($48): If you can get past the slightly pungent smell, this tingly ocean-blue mask will leave you absolutely radiant. It’s also one of Herbivore’s best sellers.

Tatcha Violet-C Radiance Mask ($68): This is another one I slather on weekly. It contains vitamin C and gentle acids (no tingling or irritation here).

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