About a year ago I interviewed Margot Robbie. Naturally, when discussing her beauty regime she listed off a few key beauty products that she uses regularly: Chanel perfume, Aesop body products, the ReFa facial roller...but when she came to 111SKIN's face mask her voice became animated.
‘Good skin is all about good skin prep - the 111SKIN Rose Gold mask is unbelievable,' she said breathlessly, as if she was relieved to be passing on a secret this good.
Ever since then I haven't stopped hearing about 111 SKIN and their Instagram-famous face masks. Victoria Beckham is often seen wearing the masks on social media, the Duchess of Sussex's make-up artist and friend, Daniel Martin, revealed she uses 111 SKIN too, as does a host of Hollywood actresses, any of whom I'd happily trade complexions with.
Priyanka Chopra, Rosie Hungtington-Whiteley, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Cate Blanchett are just a few 111SKIN fans. But then came Jennifer Aniston, who posted a picture to her Instagram last Sunday, when prepping for the Emmy Awards, wearing their Anti-Blemish Bio Cellulose mask dressed in a satin robe and sipping on champagne. The post received 4.2 million likes.
What is it about this lesser-known skincare brand that A-listers are going nuts for? After all, these women have access to the world's best skincare experts and could bag just about any product from any part of the globe, at any cost.
'They're not made out of paper, which ends up sometimes drying out your skin. I keep them in the fridge so it's refreshing when I wear them - I'm kind of obsessed with them at the moment,' says Margot Robbie.
111 SKIN founder Dr. Yannis Alexandrides explains, 'I have been using bio-cellulose in wound repair throughout my medical career due to its ability to adhere to the dermis like a second skin. With fibres 500x finer than tissues masks, bio cellulose can lock hydration into the skin while encouraging superior penetration of active ingredients.'
When I asked the brand directly how they've cultivated such an A-list following without traditional advertising, they revealed that it's often the make-up artists and facial therapists who fall in love with the products and use them on their celebrity clients. Ah, good old word of mouth.
Indeed, therapists like the Kardashian's facialist, Joanna Czech are as powerful as fashion stylists and surgeons in Hollywood when it comes to pushing product.
From a beauty editor's perspective I can see the attraction. Each mask infuses the skin with high-grade skincare ingredients for a specific problem - spots, wrinkles, loss of radiance - and there's little effort involved.
They can be worn while you make a cuppa, do the kids dinner or watch Netflix and drink wine, like Aniston. What better way to use up half an hour of curfew time?
My favourite is Margot's favourite, the Rose Gold Treatment Mask, a brightening radiance enhancer which just so happened to win our Stella Smart Beauty Awards last year. Jennifer Aniston wears the Anti-Blemish Bio Cellulose Face Mask with exfoliating ingredients that help to clarify and clear a congested complexion. Or try VB's go-to, the Celestial Black Diamond Eye Mask with a hint of retinol for line smoothing.