It was Teen Vogue EIC Lindsay Peoples Wagner that first brought it to our attention. At the end of Milan Fashion Week this past fall she posted what has become a commonplace selfie trope: hotel bed, fluffy white robe, mask on. Only she added carbs. Peoples Wagner was mid-bite of al dente pasta for this memorable selfie, giving it that perfectly aspirational-yet-relatable quality. We noticed a few more pasta and mask selfies, encouraged you all to do the same, and now here we are with the only logical next step in this process: an unnecessary pairing of pastas and masks.
A classic with a classic. But that’s not all they have in common! This glorified mac and cheese is usually on the cheaper side, and Avene’s mask is available at the drugstore. It’s moisturizing, good for all skin types and not too messy; the pasta is also not too messy, and pleases even the pickiest eaters (at least the ones who, uh, eat gluten). Neither are overtly basic, both are great.
Another classic pairing! With pasta as with skincare, no need to reinvent the cheese wheel. Like spaghetti Bolognese the Aztec Secret mask is deeply satisfying and effective. And both give you a little room to play with your ingredients—do you prefer all beef in your meat sauce, or a little bit of everything? Water to mix your mask, or some ACV? Whatever you choose, do not attempt either while wearing a white shirt or something you don’t want stained.
A lively, zesty pairing. The olives, capers and anchovies will hit you over the head with flavor, while the active ingredients in this mask—glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids—exfoliate to improve skin texture and reduce dullness. Its deep red color and low viscosity make it a little on the messier side, but also means you’ve got a great working color theme for your meal. Tingles all around.
The luxury pairing. The pairing that makes you ask, “Wait, is this mask more expensive than my dinner per use?” Stop worrying (it probably is) and enjoy the moment—an indulgently rich pasta should be paired with an indulgently rich mask. This one, with fancy ingredients like black rose extract, rings in at $162, and happens to be great. You’ll want to take a nap after eating carbonara and conveniently, this mask choice fights the look of fatigue with deep hydration. We won’t blame you for falling asleep in it.
The springiest and greenest of our pasta picks deserves a green and energizing mask. Pesto has basil, Lancer’s mask has green tea to soothe and green clay to clean out pores. But the real stars of this mask are acne-fighting powerhouses like sulfur and azelaic acid. You’ll be getting in a lush self-care moment, but also doing your skin a solid. Just like you can almost convince yourself that green pasta is basically a vegetable.
An underappreciated workhorse pasta with inexpensive yet deeply satisfying ingredients (tomato, eggplant, that’s basically it) deserves a similarly simple mask with hardworking natural ingredients. And the simplest you can go is manuka honey which, as a refresher, is made by bees who eat tea tree. You can get manuka honey at any grocery store—even Trader Joe’s if you’re on a budget—but this one has the highest levels of methylglyoxal, the compound that makes manuka honey antibacterial. Clearer, more hydrated skin, simply. You can take the rest to go.
Photos via Getty and Instagram