Photography provided by Hanacure

If you haven’t heard of Hanacure, you’ve been living under a rock. The at-home facial kit from South Korea (natch) has become an absolute media darling and a go-to for celebs from Drew Barrymore to the Kardashian clan. It even sparked an Instagram movement complete with hashtag (#hanacureeffect), encouraging devotees to post selfies sporting the telltale totally tightened, slightly brown, fairly terrifying look. The all-in-one facial is touted as an antidote to basically all skincare issues and claims to simultaneously smooth, correct, brighten, tighten, lift, firm and detoxify. Sounds too good to be true, right? Which is precisely why we needed to give it a try.

Photography provided by @drewbarrymore

The backed-by-science Hanacure kit comes with four lifting serum bottles, four gelling pods and a brush. The experience feels equal parts skincare fanatic, mad scientist and amateur artist. First, you pop open a lifting serum bottle and pour its contents into a gelling pod. After vigorously shaking the pod for a good 20 seconds, you use the brush to evenly paint the gel onto your face, your neck and, if you so choose, the back of your hands (I skipped that last part). Next, you let it work its magic for 30 minutes, during which you are advised to move minimally for best results. The instructions are clear and comforting (“Don’t worry!” “Don’t be alarmed!”).

A rule follower to a fault, I sequestered myself in the bedroom for a little me time with a couple episodes of Schitt’s Creek. The first 10 minutes offered a pleasant buzz best described as a sort of freeze-drying feeling; if this was what the next half hour entailed, I was in. But as the gel began to dry, the sensation shifted to an intense tightening. My eyes started feeling dry and slightly uncomfortable; I realized this was because the mask was tightening my skin so much that I couldn’t completely shut my eyes. Slightly panicked, I started checking my phone every couple minutes to see how much time remained. About 25 minutes in, David Rose forced me to break my minimal-face-movement vow as I attempted (and failed, due to my skin tautness) to LOL at a joke.

Photography provided by Hanacure

After exactly 30 minutes, I headed back to the bathroom to assess the situation. True to form, my skin was crusty tight and slightly brown, my eyes were droopy like a cartoon dog’s, and the overall look was pretty alarming. And that’s how I knew it had worked.

The mask easily rinsed off, and my skin immediately looked tight and bright, plus it felt super soft and hydrated. There was some residual redness (which the handy instruction booklet had warned of), but that disappeared by morning. Any imperfections that were threatening to rear their ugly heads simply vanished. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate it a 100. It’s recommended to use the mask just once or twice a week, but if I could, I’d use it daily. Consider me hooked.