Julep’s Mask Noir: A Very Candid Review

Sooooooo, I just covered my face in what felt like the BP oil spill. That’s normal, right?

I’ve been obsessed with Julep for a long time. As a Julep Maven, I get a monthly subscription box of nail polish or beauty products for $20 (PSSST: If you want your first box free, sign up with the code MAVENBFF, and use my link – don’t say I never gave you nothin’!). Then, if you refer two people, you get a free box. It’s easy and painless. Trust me, I hate signing up for monthly stuff, and Julep is the only one I consistently receive. This is a pretty awesome deal considering their nail polishes sell for $14 each at Sephora, and you usually get two or three (depending on your style profile) each month.

But let’s talk about this face mask, shall we?

This month I received the “Modern Beauty” Maven box, which featured the Mask Noir face mask. At first I was intrigued. A black face mask? This isn’t a minstrel show – this is my beauty routine! But then I figured, okay this is kind of like that purple sunscreen we had as kids – it helps you figure out where to put it on your face. Maybe it would dry clear? 

Yeah, no.

The packaging: Julep consistently nails it with their packaging, and for a company that comes out with a whole new line of products each month, that’s pretty impressive. I thought this bottle was a little small, but it is a container of black sludge that you slather on your face, so I imagine a little goes a long way.

The smell: It doesn’t really have much of a smell. I think that’s good. It faintly smells like clay, but it isn’t overpowering at all. This is a good thing when it comes to covering your face with it.

While putting it on: Whoa, this stuff is weird. This stuff is not your usual face mask consistency. Like a cross between a gel and that stuff Alex Mack melted into, it’s a thick solution that is a bit heavier than flan. The formula includes the “Power Cell Complex” – which apparently is a “trio of skin-boosting superstars,” which is likely code for “a whole bunch of buzzwords that are expensive so you should believe they work.” Okay, I believe you, Julep.

Above, I am trying to be cute. I am failing. I accept this.

After five minutes: Will this actually dry? No, but really… I just slathered my face with an unknown material and I’m really wondering if it’s going to dry.

After fifteen minutes: It’s mostly drying, getting colder, but my face doesn’t feel as stiff and mummified as it normally does after a peel-off face mask. It still itches. Yep, this shit is itchy. Am I having an allergic reaction? Shit, that would suck.

I moved into the living room to get better lighting, and then I realized my neighbors might think I’m a demon wandering my house if they see me, so I should probably go back upstairs.


Removal, after 23 minutes of wear: No allergic reaction! Sweet! So I’m thinking to myself – there’s no way this is going to come off flawlessly. It’s just not. I’m wearing a face full of black mystery mix – ain’t no way I’ll be able to just peel this off. But surprisingly, most of it came off easily.

Look how beautiful I am! I will make my zombie husband very happy.

It’s very Givenchy SS14, right?


Like any face mask, it had leftovers where I put it on too thick and it didn’t get to dry all the way. The only difference with this is that it is freakin’ BLACK, so you’ll be able to see where it didn’t come off, a witnessed here:

I ended up using two makeup remover towelettes to get rid of the rest of this lewk. Sorry about the cleavage and my fleshy body.

How my face feels after: FREAKING ALRIGHT, IT FEELS NICE. Yes, this mask is a huge pain in the ass and you look like a total freak with it on, but about 20 minutes after removing it, my face still feels cool and refreshed.

I don’t think I need to show you a photo here of my skin, because it, ultimately, looks the exact same way it did before. Yeah.

The price: While this product feels sufficiently lovely, ain’t no way I would drop $32 a bottle on it.

The whole time I couldn’t help but wonder – seriously, world? Seriously? We’re still encouraging women to slather their faces with shit because it’ll make them look more beautiful? Unless you’re ballin’ out of control in the money department (unlikely if you read my blog, #sorrybutitstrue), just use decent exfoliator and moisturizer on the regular and your face will look like diamonds.

I’d give this product a B-. I appreciate the innovation, but this is far from a “must-have.”