Benjamin Button may have been born with the physical maladies of an elderly man, but there’s a far less curious reason your Facebook friends suddenly look like they aged overnight. Nine times out of 10 (the 10th being a new Snapchat filter), this sorcery can be attributed to the freaky skin treatment that is Hanacure, a mask known for its remarkable ability to wrinkle your face faster than an overheated grape in a vineyard — then wash off to reveal brighter, softer, firmer skin immediately afterward.
I loved the product when I managed to get my hands on it a few months ago, but recently discovered a similar, lesser-known face mask with just as much creepy (and skin-tightening) potential — for about one-fifth of the price. Like Hanacure, the aptly-named Skin1004 Zombie Pack works as a two-part system: All you have to do is mix the powder with the activator gel using the included bristle brush and prepare to marvel at your undead glow.
When I tried it over the weekend, the gel hardened within minutes of sweeping it over my face, creating the kind of crackling texture that'd be great for any Walking Dead getup. (The costume of which did cross my mind after scaring the crap out of my girlfriend... until I realized the directions recommend you only leave it on for 15 minutes, tops.)
The tugging effect it had on my skin was just as strong as Hanacure, too — I couldn't move my lips for fear of ripping them off my face, a sensation I found weirdly satisfying. The only downside was the scent, which managed to somehow smell like cornbread and burnt skin all at once. (My S.O. likened it to a "wet dog that just rolled around in yogurt," but the sentiment remains: This shit stank.) Hanacure, for the record, does not.
Immediately after, my face looked splotchy and red — an unfortunately common practice for my sensitive skin even with Hanacure — but by the next morning, something amazing happened: My entire complexion looked brighter, more even-toned, and lifted. Despite drinking an ungodly amount of spiked punch out of a Halloween cauldron that night, I woke up feeling like I had just hit Ctrl + Z on all my skin issues.
The biggest differentiator between the two treatments, though, is the price. At $110 for a set of four masks, there's a reason Hanacure is loved by celebs like Drew Barrymore or Olivia Culpo, but might not be a reasonable investment for the average person. Zombie Pack, on the other hand, costs less than $18 for twice as many masks. You gotta admit: That's scary good.