There’s no way around it – everyone looks terrifying in a sheet mask. Being Hannibal Lecter’s doppelganger, even if you’re Mr or Miss Universe, is hard to avoid.

However, there are some serious contenders for skin-enhancing, one-use wonders that really have lasting powers.

For the fellas, we must stipulate that to get the maximum benefit out of any of the below, slapping them on your beard unfortunately won’t suffice.

Sheet masks, in general, work as a great post-shave workout, but having one sit on top of your stubble will be a fine waste of dosh, so crack out the razors.

Whether you’re looking to give your tired eyes a little lift or give your makeup some extra tszuj, the below list of tried-and-tested treats should help on a night in when no one can see you.

For an all round happy face: Verso Deep Hydration Mask: £70 for 4, Space NK

Swedes just have a knack of getting things right. Taken from the Latin for “reverse,” Stockholm-based Verso catapulted themselves into the limelight with their Retinol 8 formula. The deep hydration mask comes in two gel parts and fits wonderfully on the face, hugging each contour nicely.

It’s a really terrific all-rounder with hyaluronic acid to give you a moisture boost and grapefruit and ceramide-3 for a smoothing effect. Verso also claims its patented Artificial Moisturising Factor which keeps you feeling moisturised for up to 120 hours as it has absorbent silica particles, is also part of the package

Even after the first use, we were really impressed with the results. After whipping off the cooling gel masks, we found our skin to have more life and vitality to it. Not only do these work as a occasional pick-me-up, we found that with continued use, skin is bouncy and supple; hard to capture in these cold months. The Intense Facial Mask is for those who want an extra anti-aging boost with the aforementioned Retinol 8 to boot. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme. It’s the ABBA of sheet masks.

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For a delicious dewy finish: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Dry Sheet Mask: £18, Charlotte Tilbury

“Darlings!” – the rose gold, eponymous empire shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon and this dry sheet mask, launched in 2017, is still a bestseller staple. The USP of this is the mask, which upon first inspection, is a pretty uninspiring piece of dry cloth with strategically placed hooks that secure it to your face. Tilbury infamously said you could have sex in it and it won’t come off. We unfortunately didn’t have a chance to try that.

Instructions say to massage your face while it’s on, but we found it more effective pushing the mask into the skin to activate the ingredients. Leave it on for 15 minutes and upon removal, you’ll notice a rather nice dew left on the skin. Massage in the leftover serum and go for broke on your make-up. It’s a primer on steroids as well as having vitamin B and a cocktail of moisturisers for an extra hit.

Last but not least, because it’s dry, bacteria doesn’t stick to it so you can pop it back in the packet and knock it out a couple of more times before you have to bin it. Apparently Charlotte used it on Nicole Kidman pre-Golden Globes. Say no more.

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For a shimmer in winter: Dr Maryam Zamani Hydra Bright Golden Facial Treatment Mask: £85 for 5, MZ SKIN

Dr Zamani knows skin. Period. The aesthetic doctor’s Instagram says it all with her wizardry being performed on punters the world over. The stylish surgeon is renowned for her injectable works of art on all types of faces and as she is undoubtedly aware, the needle is not for everyone, so the next step, of course, was her own skincare line. Titled MZ Skin, you can have a taste of her expertise at home. The Hydra Bright Golden Facial Treatment Mask is a two piece golden jelly mask that fits snugly across the entire face. Results are a definite brightening and firming effect with the nano gold particles in particular aiding to your newly radiant complexion.

One thing we would say is that this is most effective when lying down as it’s not the most stable on the face if you’re trying to multitask. Equally, our best suggestion for Zamani’s magic is if you’ve got a big soiree you’re planning on making a splash at, the immediate firm/glow double whammy will do you proud.

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For big, bright and even texture: Eve Lom White Brightening Face Mask: £45 for 4, John Lewis & Partners

With the brands’ cleanser sat firmly at the top of the proverbial beauty tree, Eve Lom has turned her hand to many luxe additions to the range since its inception. This brightening mask is saturated with oodles of product – with some of it left inside the pouch when testing, we must admit. Best application is to take the mask out the sachet, gather all the remaining product and pat onto the skin evenly. Then place your mask on top to seal it and voila! As the cotton mask is quite thick, it doesn’t absorb the product like some of its counterparts so acts more as a sealant to stop the actives escaping.

This is a mask for you, if you’re after evening-out skin tone and giving any hyperpigmentation the boot. The next day, after our first application, we definitely saw a difference in the tone of the skin – making it appear more bright and even. Worth it if you’re after speedy results and a sparkle after 15 minutes.

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For your eyes only: Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist 24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask: £60 for 12, Space NK

One of the oldest cosmetics companies in the world stands its ground with this retinol eye mask. Housed in a small tray, these are no-fuss, super effective treats for your peepers. The milky, very pleasantly scented, eye patches are secure and stable when placed under the eyes. The skin around the eye area with a reduction in darkness which was certainly most welcome.

Retinol is one of the very few scientifically proven anti-aging ingredients on the market today. This particular eye mask isn’t full to the brim with it, which is probably a good thing as baby steps are key if you’re going to play in the vitamin A pool. In turn, regular use would be recommended to lessen any fine lines and give an oomph to the under eye area. Otherwise, having one in your hand luggage to pop on before you land on a long haul would have you looking spritely upon exiting the aircraft.

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For the city dwellers: Dr Dennis Gross BioC Brightening Treatment Mask: £88 for 8, Net-a-Porter

Dennis Gross has teamed up with luxury retailer Net-a-Porter for an exclusive vitamin C concoction. Sandwiched between two mesh layers, this thin sheet mask is saturated with naturally-derived ascorbic acid sitting snugly on the face.

We loved using this in the morning, right out of the shower before trucking on with our usual routine. Vitamin C is a terrific way to start the day due to its efficacy when fighting against free radicals and the general grime of the city. It’s a tricky one to formulate that’s pleasant to apply, so this 15-minute mask is a welcome new addition to the family. Not only will this mask shield you from the mucky outdoors, with continued use we saw a firmer and more perky texture to the skin.  

Keep these in the fridge to ensure the ingredients stay stable and pack a punch even when you’re down to your last one.

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For the time restrained: Patchology FlashMasque Hydrate: From £8, Space NK

Patchology prides itself on its products being effective whether you’ve got five minutes or five hours to dedicate to your face. The five-minute flashmasque is a great addition to your weekly regime if you fall into the drier skin category. Betaine and vitamin B5 work in tandem to help give a shot of moisture for those who are particularly parched. We found this a great base before makeup too.

All you need is to add an oil after this to seal in the moisture. So if you’re strapped for time, but want to look like you’ve drank about two litres of water, this is the one for you.

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For dryer complexions: Huxley Sheet Mask: Oil And Extract: £20 for 3, Oxygen Boutique

Arguably the titans of beauty trends, Korea brought the sheet mask to the mainstream and here’s one of our favourites from the country. Huxley’s mask is a unique take on the format. Cactus extract essence sits in the top pouch with a super fine sheet mask folded into it. Below, in a separate pouch, is prickly pear seed oil which you have to mix with the cactus extract. Smoosh it into one another and you’re ready to apply.

What’s good about this is the ingredients are kept separate until you need to apply to sustain maximum efficacy. It’s also quite satisfying mixing the two together as you play the alchemist at home. It’s a full, fresh mask for those with dry skin or redness. The tightly woven fabric of the mask allows maximum absorption too. Freshen up your bedtime with this one.

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Verdict: Sheet masks

The Verso Deep Hydration mask gets the gold with its mix of ingredients and general loveliness overall, while Dennis Gross’s BioC Brightening Treatment Mask strikes again with a new and rather potent way of wearing vitamin C. Finally, the Huxley Sheet Mask and the Patchology FashMasque Hydrate masks are a great option for those in need of a pick me up.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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