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The Face Mask That Saved My Skin: Guest Blogger

Have you ever wondered what you would eat for your last meal? Melanie Dunea has. When she’s not interviewing people for her site My Last Supper, she spends her time as a freelance portrait photographer and casual instagramer. And this week, Melanie is sharing her favorite beauty, food, and photography tips on the Birchbox blog. 


I used to dodge kisses from my Grandmother Oma at bedtime, not because I didn’t love her, but because her face was always greasy. Sitting in front of a vanity mirror, dressed in a lovely robe, she would slather layer upon layer of cream while going on about the myriad benefits of moisturizing. “Trust me,” she would say. “When you are old, you won’t regret having taken care of your skin.”

I took her words to heart and by the time I was a teenager in the ’80s, I was blowing over half my paycheck ($4.35/hour working in the school cafeteria) on—you guessed it!—moisturizer. Lotions, creams, serums, fluids, balms, salves, emulsions and unguents. You name it, I was daubing onto my face, lids, neck, shoulders, knees, and toes.

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Somme Institute’s Boost Mask: Perfect For a Brisk Fall Day

You might remember Mollie mentioning last week that there’s a cold floating around the Birchbox office. Despite my best efforts to ward it off, this weekend was spent holed up in my apartment instead of out enjoying the first few days of real fall weather. It seemed like a good time to try out a new mask and as luck would have it, I brought home a new one from the Somme Institute.

It’s called Boost and according to the package it’s supposed to “boost” the effect of the Somme Institute 5-Step Regimen.  I don’t know if it does that, but let me tell you this mask is heaven on its own. It’s self- warming so the moment I started spreading it across my face I felt that I could have been in a glamorous spa getting a facial, instead of my tiny East Village shoebox. Mineral-rich zeolite provides the warming sensation and opens pores to allow white kaolin clay to extract dirt and imperfections. Unlike other clay masks, Boost isn’t drying or hard to rinse off and the smell is a delicious cinnamon pumpkin. I don’t usually go for skincare that smells vaguely of food (Chocolate moisturizer? Gross) but this got me in the mood to pick apples and crunch leaves. It’s perfect for prepping skin for a brisk fall outing or just soothing a congested nose. 


Find your perfect facial mask based on your skin type in our handy guide.

Holiday Weekend Pampering: You’ve Got Male

Once a week, Birchbox’s resident yoga and men’s product expert, Eric, will gives us girls some insight into his world in You’ve Got Male. Whether he’s giving his expertise on skincare (boys need advice, too!) or highlighting his new favorite grooming trend, this guy has got taste — so we’re lucky he’s on staff and willing to share.

I think a holiday weekend is a perfect opportunity to take a little extra time and indulge in some of the beauty and grooming practices that we might otherwise skip under busier circumstances. Even if you’re in a crowded house or entertaining guests, take a moment to shut the door and relax. Here are my August picks for pampering — they will definitely all be coming with me to the Hamptons this weekend!

June Jacobs Papaya Purifying Enzyme Masque: Using a purifying mask is essential to keeping pores small and clear. This June Jacobs treatment is one of the most soothing masks I have ever used. It smells lovely and leaves skin feeling clean and smooth, but not stripped. Put a thin layer all over your face and leave on for ten minutes. You’ll be glad you did!

WEI Tibetan Chrysanthemum Correcting Eye Treatment Pads: I called out these gems in my video about de-puffing your eye area. The ultimate in eye pampering, they take the cucumber trick to the next level. Place these over your eyes for ten minutes while lying back in bed and be amazed at how quickly they take down swelling and darkness.

Number 4 Lumiere d’hiver Reconstructing Masque: Your hair needs the same love that your skin does when it comes to deep cleansing, moisturizing, and conditioning. Using a hair mask is a great way to provide your strands with some extra TLC. This formula is amazing. It restores shine, moisture, and overall health to your hair. Perfect for the end of summer after all of that sun, salt, and chlorine.

While you’re pampering, don’t forget to light a candle to take your Zen experience to the next level.