Tips + Tricks: Mastering The Mask

Model and NYC-based creative Gia Seo teaches us the best ways to use each mask on the market, and lets us know which ones are best for keeping skin clear and bright.

Photos by Anna Ottum, Curated
Hi Gia! Tell us a little bit about yourself and what it is you do in NYC.  

I am an Alaska native, born and raised. I moved to NYC for university when I was 18 where I studied Film and Business of Entertainment at NYU. My background is in content direction and branding, as well as styling. This year, I recently joined the Webster team as a buyer!
OT7A9262
What are your favorite mask treatments?  
To be honest, I am very low maintenance when it comes to mask treatments. I usually don’t do them, and when I DO remember to do one (usually high summer when it is scorching hot in the city), I use Fresh’s rose/honey face mask pot. If I feel this is too “soft” for how my skin is feeling and I need something more severe, I go with Estee Lauder creme mask!
Are there any ingredients you always keep an eye out for (either in masks or skincare in general)? 
I wish I was this person, who was incredibly well informed on skincare. In New York, I really don’t have time to even brush my teeth for more than 2 minutes. When I do happen to come upon a mask, I always look at the packaging first, to see how cute it is. (Guilty, I’m a visual shopper NOT an educated one.) Then, if it is enticing, I will look to see if there is any coconut in it as in the past, coconut and my skin have reacted very well together.
OT7A8700
What’s your own skincare routine like? 
In the morning, I begin by using a Lancome crème cleanser. To follow, I then apply a Shiseido brightening and evening skin toner, to be finished by Kate Somerville’s Goat Milk moisturizer. If I am feeling unconfident, I will skip the moisturizer from Kate’s line, and will apply directly the Dior moisturizer tinted BB cream SPF 30, and sprint out the door. The Dior keeps me moisturized and skin protected for up to 8 hours which is perfect for me!
At night, I use an Aveeno makeup wipe, to finish with an Aveeno crème nigh cleanser, Shiseido toner, Kate Somerville moisturizer.
OT7A8360
Any top secret tips you’d like to share? 
I’m not sure how big of a secret this is, and I am not sure what your skincare professional will tell you, but for a girl like me who is always on the go, I know what works for me and I stick to it. I don’t believe that you have to have the entire set from the same brand. I like to mix and match. Trust that took me YEARS of trying new brands to find what works for me, but like anything in life, you have to keep at it and know that it’s in your best interest in the long run. So, find what works for you, and don’t worry that you aren’t purchasing the entire set from one brand.
What I have noticed: most brands not only use the same ingredients in most of their products, but many share a production facility!
What’s your favorite mask to use? Do you have favorites for different situations? 
Masks are tough for me as I have very sensitive skin and anything tends to either dry it out, or over oil! The best mask I have tried thus far are all of the Avocado treatments from Nature Republic, which is a Korean owned beauty shop! Their masks are not overly drenched and dripping when I open the package, and they truly do moisturize without all of unnecessary chemical oil that leave a slimy residue on your face.
Can you tell us 5 of your favorite skincare brands? 
1. Lancome
2. Shiseido
3. Neutrogena
4. Glossier
5. la roche posay
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done or tried in the name of skincare/beauty? OT7A8165
The craziest thing I have done is not wash my face with soap for 4 days when I went camping. I found this lake with all of this red clay mud at the bottom and I put it on my face instead. Go nature!