The Best of the Budget Face Masks

Over the past few months I’ve secretly been trialling a bevy of drugstore skincare in the hope of collating a ‘not-too-pricey’ complexion cleaning routine. It’s still a work in progress, but while conducting my tests I’ve stumbled across a handful of face masks that match up in function to the more luxer options of my regime. From deep cleansing to exfoliating – there’s even a pick for sensitive skins – this weekend I’m opening up the doors to my bathroom cabinet and giving you the deets on the best of the budget face masks (so they’ll be more pennies left over for your next Space NK spree).

The One that BrightensLush Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask – £5.95 from Lush. I had completely forgot about this old chestnut until I started looking into a drugstore skincare feature – I used to love the Lush mask offering back in the day. They’re freshly concocted, so need using within weeks of purchase and must be kept in the fridge, but the fact that it’s cooled makes the whole application a very pleasing one. Love Lettuce contains whole bunch of good stuff but the ingredients are skewed to the more exfoliating end of masks. Almond shells make up the bulk of the grit, so I do tend to be very gentle when removing, but overall it makes for a brightening and tightening experience. Plus, it makes me look like Princess Fiona. Score.

The One that Waves Blemishes Bye, ByeAvene Cleanance Mask – £12.95 from Escentual. I’ve spoken about this one before as when a recent volcanic eruption occurred on my chin I credited this as the one skincare item that helped it come to an end. It mixes the benefits of a clay mask with the benefits of an exfoliating one without being too harsh or scratchy on the complexion. Leave to dry, then wet slightly, slough away and watch things get clearer, quicker than you thought.

The One that PlumpsSuper Facialist by Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Intense Moisture Mask – £8.99 from Boots. I always find masks like this a bit weird. It’s one of those formulas that you slap on generously, leave to sink in and then rinse off without as much as a crack to tell you it’s ready. I like my good ol’ clay-based ones; they feel like they’re really getting down to the nitty gritty, but sometimes you need need a little hydration and that’s where this comes in. It’s slightly rose scented, but not too much so and after it’s done its thang my skin feels soft. So soft that I usually spend the rest of the evening stroking my cheeks and singing soft kitty. Una Brennan does it again.

The One that’s a ClassicBotanics Shine Away Iconic Clay Mask – £5.49 from Boots. I have a feeling that this isn’t my first time using this mask. I think this is something that I may have cracked out in my teenage years along with the gel masks that dried and you peeled off (weren’t those the best?). Something sloganed with the words ‘Shine Away’ would usually be shoved to the back of my drawer as it’s against my religion, but sometimes you need something that’s really going to clean, unstuff those pores and get moving pesky blemishes and this sea silt laden formula does just that.

From the titles can you tell that I’m current wading through Friends from the first ever episode to the last?


  • Danielle D’Amato

    What is your take on leaving masks on for longer than the instructions recommended?

  • Daniela

    Ahh you can’t beat a good Lush face mask – I tend to use one at the weekend to detox my skin after lots of make up-wearing during the week.

  • I love the Love Lettuce from Lush 😀 it’s not too strong of a clay mask, and it actually soothes irritated skin thanks to the lavender in it. Plus, the almond bits helps you get the darn thing off, where other clsy masks can feel like a chore 😛 currently in my fridge!

  • These all sound fantastic! I haven’t tried any of them but I’m really interested in the Una Brennan and the Avene offering – I’ve heard so much about both of them, especially the UB one, and it sounds right up my alley!

    Stephanie | Love, August

  • Saskia

    This is so useful, I find it difficult to differentiate between which mask is good for what. Think I’m gonna try out the Una Brennan one! X

  • Lifestylesheblogs

    Loved this, just what I needed. You should hash tag this one on instagram, a lot of people that don’t know about your blog would love this! Thank you. X

  • Great post!

  • Mel Zia

    i love face mask they are so soothing

    great post hun ! i want to try the lush one

    The Inked Blonde

  • Love Lush products!

  • Zazie Bibi

    i really want to try a lush mask, but their products are so expensive here! x

    A Little Treat

  • Stephanie

    Lovely post, there’s loads here for me to get trying!

    Stephanie (@hopefreedomlove)


  • I love Lush’s Love Lettuce!!

  • I love LUSH masks, they feel so cleansing on my skin! x

    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDD


  • Abby Connigale

    I’ve been looking for a good, affordable face mask for ages! Thank you for the recommendations! xx

    Abby |

  • molly

    i may have to try some of these out, sound great xxx

  • Georgie Piccaver

    The best ever mask is tesco skin care wisdom, 50p a sachet. Thermal clay mask, amazing!

  • Olivia

    I would really, really reccomend the Sanctuary 5min Thermal Detox Mask – i recently brought the origins clay mask thinking it would be better but i have to say i prefer the sanctuary one! It doesnt set as much which is actually better – it feels really cleansing but also just re-sets the complextion and doesnt strip the skin!

  • I’m having real trouble with spots at the moment so might just make a sneaky purchase of the Avene mask!

    Tiny Alis

  • Stefanie Meier

    I would love to try that Botanics Mask, it sounds lovely


  • Hattie S

    ooh the una brennan one sounds good! I might have to treat myself 🙂 xx

  • Catrin

    I really need to try the Rose Una Brennan one, I love the Tea Flower one.


  • lucycarterart

    I have both the Boots clay mask and the Una Brennan one and love them both. I find the clay one really pulls everything out to the surface (whether you like it or not!). There was one I used to use in my twenties (yep, over 30 now! Gulp!) from Botanics, which I loved, called the Vitamin Recovery Mask – it was only a few pounds – this post reminded me of that one, must see if they still sell it – it really woke up my skin… off to look on…

  • Lys

    I love Lush face masks. I’m real curious about the Una Brennan mask, I’ve been seeing it on a lot of blogs, too bad it’s not available in Belgium

  • ekta jagtiani

    I was never too interested in Lush face masks, but since trying some (love lettuce, cosmetic warrior) i’ve realised how amazing they are!

  • nina alexandridis

    I love the lush oatifix mask for when my skin is feeling a bit drier especially in the coldr months!

  • Great roundup! Definitely need to give that Avene mask a go. Sounds like exactly what my sensitive, acne-prone skin needs! Love Lush fresh masks too. BB Seaweed is my new fave- really calms my skin down! xo

  • Anna I must have a quiet word with myself – I cannot visit your blog without adding things to my wishlist!

    Georgina at

  • Amber R

    I love this post! I’ve been fancying a new mask or two lately, and had totally forgotten how much my teenage self loved Lush masks. I used to get Love Lettuce, and also a minty chocolate one! x

  • Chelsea Leigh

    Great post! I must try these! Currently I’m loving lush’s mask of magnaminty!

  • I love Lush face masks, they’re amazing

  • have you tried the aztec clay mask? I got it off recommendation from Sandra, and it’s amazing!

  • Kristi C.

    What is it about a peel off mask that is just so gross and satisfying all at the same time?!! I’ve used the Boots one before and also like Freeman masks as a budget option. Ran out of the REN invisible pores one & needed one stat – so grabbed Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal one at the drugstore.

  • Sydney Nichols

    I’ve never tried anything from Avene but this mask really looks like a good place to start, I’d love to hear a little bit more about their brand, any words about it (perhaps a blog post???)

    keep up the great work vivianna xx

  • Great (& very helpful) post!! 🙂

  • Shireen Pasha Yasir

    superb post 🙂 been compiling my own mask avengers 🙂 now I have a few new ones to try 🙂

  • khannablog

    eek i was looking for a new face mask, i use the sanctuary deep cleanse one but I like the sound of the lush one. I will have to hold my breath to go into the store though…wish me luck!

  • ceeebeee

    Definitely going to try the Una Brennan and Botanics masks you’ve recommended. I’ve been using overnight masks lately ( Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight mask and Akane Mask Cocoon Nocturne) but fancy a change.

  • Kirsty

    The Una Brennan mask is fab! Avon’s Planet Spa range also does a good face mask that’s quite affordable and quite often on offer too xx

  • Sounds like I need to get my hands on the Una Brennan mask. Might have to track it down online as I haven’t seen this stocked in Australia xx

  • Iso Bean

    I love Lush face masks! The Una Brennan face mask sounds great 🙂

  • Ooo! I’ve been really wanting to try the Avene mask. And I have fond memories of Lush masks. Sometimes it feels like your smearing the contents of your fridge on your face, but in a good way! 🙂

  • Amber Hunter

    I think the only downside to the Lush offering is that it expires relatively quickly. However it does sound like a wonderful product! Thanks for sharing all of these–it’s always nice to save a bit when you can!


    Lovely Notions

  • debasree banerjee

    Out of all the products mentioned Lush is the only one that I can get my hands on, and their face masks are always a joy to use.

  • Harrietrose

    i’m working my way through Lush BB seaweed which i’m finding useful against breakouts, but the Avene mask sounds like one to try!

  • I just tried the Love Lettuce face mask. 🙂 It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for (I wanted move of a purifying mask), but it still was really nice. And the cool factor from refridgeration probably would have gone over better in the summer than the winter.

    I’ll have to see if I can find any of those other masks in Japan to try out. 🙂

  • Amelia Holly

    I’ve never really seen the appeal of mask but I am willing to try a good drugstore one! Thanks for the suggestions

  • Boots Botanics clay mask awww! Memories i need to use it again its amazing – feel so bad i neglected it xx

  • Who knew a mask under a tenner could work wonders!

  • This year I’d like to get into clay masks, maybe the botanics one is where to start! 🙂

    Kate xo /

  • Really want to try the Lush offering! Never tried Lush skincare before, only their bath bombs and the like x

  • Ella

    The superfacialist clay mask is amazing too! Even for dry skin, as it’s not at all stripping.

  • Sarah xo

    The botanics mask looks good, my fave is the Una Brennan tea flower clay mask though (: xo

  • such a helpful post, i really want to try some of the una brennan line, everyone always speaks so highly of the masks.

    little henry lee

  • Madeleine S-B

    A really helpful post (: I currently use Una Brennan’s Tea Flower mask, and now I’ll give the moisture one a go too!

  • PeonyandPeach

    I’ve been on the look out for a budget clay mask, will definitely try out the botanics one!