Chantecaille jasmine and lily healing mask <p>Soothes and hydrates sensitive skin £60,</p>


It takes a certain level of dedication to manage a regular face mask. For some, the idea borders on the ridiculous; lounging around slathered in inch-thick goo (presumably while painting your nails, talking on the telephone and eating pink bonbons) is just a bit 1950s starlet. Vanity never goes out of fashion, of course, but these days indulging it needs to take a shorter, snappier form.

Or does it? Bathing and beautifying are, like it or not, one of the few areas of our lives that still punctuate our days with comforting mini-rituals. Likewise, a weekly or monthly face mask, applied before a soak in the bath or a sit-down with a cup of tea (you can even talk on the phone and eat bonbons if you must) is as good a device as any for building some reassuring repetition into the madness. That the best on the market also have instant, visible benefits is merely a bonus.