A face mask has many uses. First and foremost it is supposed to nourish your skin, to moisturise it and to restore youthful vitality. At least that's what a lot of them promise.
Second, it is an extremely effective tool for scaring your children into leaving you alone. I can guarantee that pulling a stupid face and roaring while wearing a chalk-white moisturising mask will send the little critters screaming from your bathroom. Which brings me neatly to the third and, in my view, most important task of the face mask: to give you quality time with yourself.
The fact that I rarely have any such time at home means that the first things I pack when going away are my face masks. I have a few favourites: the Dermalogica Age-Smart Multi-Vitamin Power Recovery Mask (try saying that in a hurry), the Elemis Fruit Active Rejuvenating Mask and the Clarins Thirst-Quenching Hydra Care Mask.
They are different enough to warrant use in one day. The Dermalogica is the one I use in the day. Even before I unpack my bags I cleanse my face for its nutrient boost of Vitamin E, for tissue regeneration, and Vitamin F, an essential fatty acid that helps repair and restore damaged skin. Then I lie down on the bed and just inhale my solitude.
The Elemis mask is a good all-rounder but an essential product before a night on the town. A revitalising pick-me-up for tired complexions, this mask is the perfect beauty "flash treatment" before special occasions.
At night the last thing I do before getting into bed is to smooth on the creamy, rich Clarins moisturising mask, which stays on all night rehydrating my thirsty skin. The trick here is to sleep on one's back; you don't want to waste the mask on the pillow. Added to which, sleeping on your side gives you wrinkles. Not only on your face but on your décolletage, too.
But even more than the moisturising effect or the vitamins E and F penetrating my skin, the benefit of the masque de beauté is in the time it takes, time that I have to totally relax and do nothing but breathe. Because it is all very well running around like a madwoman trying to stay young looking, but one of the most beneficial effects of beauty treatments such as a massage or a facial is the fact that you fall asleep during them.
What can be more revitalising and nourishing than nature's own rescue remedy? Especially when coupled with a masque de beauté.
Three of the best
As the saying goes, every great workman needs great tools. These grooming accessories are an absolute must to stay hair free.
TWEEZERMAN TWEEZERS DH240 Yes, every girl does need custom-made tweezers bejewelled with Swarovski crystals. Favoured by celebrities the world over, the Tweezerman brand is the crème de la crème when it comes to plucking.
VEET READY-TO-USE WAX STRIPS DH18.75 These lightly scented strips just need to be heated in the palm of your hand and are ready for waxing unwanted facial hair in minutes.
SILK-ÉPIL 7 DUAL EPILATOR DH619 The latest epilator from Braun removes hair from the root and exfoliates your skin simultaneously. You can even use it while you shower to save yourself some time and pain.
New opening: Abu Dhabi's LATEST beauty BONANZA
The word is out and the rumour is true: Neal's Yard Remedies will open this month in the capital. Every girl on the planet, whether obsessed with beauty products or not, knows that the UK brand Neal's Yard is the closet thing to a modern-day apothecary, renowned for its natural and organic products. Each store is packed with "smells good enough to eat" face and body treatments, all beautifully encased in its trademark blue bottles. We love the brand's sweet-smelling almond oil and its Wild Rose Beauty Elixir.
The new Neal's Yard branch is next to Marks & Spencer on the first floor of the Fatouh al Khair Centre. Plus, as an opening offer you'll get 20 per cent off your final bill when you spend Dh249 or more. We'll see you there!
Neal's Yard Remedies, Fatouh al Khair Centre. For further details, call the Dubai Mall location, 04 325 3154