This Face Mask Is So Good I Smuggled It Through TSA


Urban Outfitters

Like many among us, I’ve long believed that French girls have the whole effortless style thing on lock. That being said, a recent trip had me questioning whether I’d been attributing It-girl beauty to the wrong country—nay, the wrong continent. When a friend and I embarked on a girls’ weekend in Mexico City this past August, we were struck by the way every woman we came into contact with had radiant skin, great taste, and an air of ease and confidence to boot.

Whether we were exploring Frida Kahlo’s studio or languishing over beer and sopes (Mexico City has some seriously upscale vegetarian food, FYI, and the cultural norm is to spend approximately 10 hours eating lunch), our conversation couldn’t help but return to how awed we were by these chic, glowy women. Perhaps my wonder was piqued because my own complexion, by contrast, was a disaster.

Air travel had left my face parched and peeling; add in heat, humidity, and my naturally overproducing sebaceous glands, and I was suffering from the terrible plight that is being dry and oily at the same time. (For those of you with combination skin, I see you, and I am here for you.) So when I spotted what appeared to be cosmetics during a leisurely post-taco stroll, I had to get a closer look.

It turned out I’d fortuitously stumbled upon Botanicus—a Mexican beauty brand that offers fair trade, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly haircare and skincare products. Intrigued by the prospect of authentic Mexican maquillage (and super-cute packaging), we perused aisles of organic soaps, serums, and creams before seeking out expert aid for my complexion crisis. And after a short explanation of how my skin was suffering (okay, to be honest, I mostly just pointed at my face), I was introduced to a peel-off mask with an ingredient I’d never considered smearing on my face—cactus.

In light of Mexico City’s recent earthquake, here are some resources for donating to rescue and relief organizations: I recommend Topos México and Direct Relief.