Things appear sharper when having higher contrast. Masking can also improve edge effect. When printing color negs there is only so much you can do with paper choice. There's nothing equivalent to
VC paper as in printing black and white. You can pick a somewhat more contrasy film to begin with, like
Ektar, or move up in format. But color masking is somewhat more involved than simple black and white
unsharp masking, simply because you have to understand how the colors are themselves are affected.
You have to commit to it. And it's a pain in the butt if you don't have good registration gear. But masking is a wonderful asset to your tool kit.