Continuing with my K-Beauty Madness reviews: next up we have sheet masks, super cute stuff, and a few miscellaneous items.
Sheet masks were probably my first introduction to Korean skincare products…I think. I feel like maybe my BGF brought me a few back from one of her trips to Korea, but I don’t remember ever actually using them. Or maybe I am imagining that scenario, it’s hard to tell with me sometimes!
Anyhow, sheet masks are basically microfiber sheets saturated with serums and a variety of botanical ingredients and/or vitamins to help diminish various skin conditions. After just 10 minutes of using the mask, skin is supposedly noticeably springier, softer, and more radiant. I’ve read that they are best used for hydration – they don’t exfoliate or cleanse deeply, and they are not meant to replace your regular serum. And they are meant to be used but once or twice a week, definitely not an every day thing (also the effects aren’t supposed to last more than a day.) Also, maybe not for acne-prone skin.
As for when to use these masks, I am still not entirely certain. According to a user on reddit:
“I do my nightly sheet masks after all my essence/serum/ampoule steps and before my cream/sleeping pack steps. This way, the sheet mask format can help my essences, serums, and ampoules penetrate more effectively and avoid evaporation of those products, and then the cream/sleeping.” I guess that makes sense, right?
The first brand I tried, Hey! Pingko Girl, is actually not even Korean! Hey Pinkgo Girl is a Taiwanese brand. But amazon told me that I might want to try them, and I threw them in my cart without knowing anything about them because I am very impressionable. There are 8 masks in the set that I purchased (for about $18); 4 of the microfiber, and 4 cotton lace variety – with ear straps! And a total of 8 entirely different formulas. The first mask I used well, let’s just say I am an idiot. The microfiber masks in this set come with a thin paper backing…which I didn’t realize…so I just slapped the whole thing on my face. “Why isn’t this contouring to my face?” I thought irritably. “Why is this flapping around so much?” 20 minutes later I realized my mistake but I was too grumpy with myself to give it another try that night. Unfortunately the one I tried was the Black Rose Collagen mask, which was the one I was most looking forward to.
After that I tried the Brightening White Yogurt mask with aloe and hyaluronic acid, for all skin types, but particularly dull skin. The lace was super stretchy, which was good, because I have a pretty big head. After laying back on the sofa and listening to John Diliberto’s Echoes on public radio in the dark for 20 minutes, I removed the mask. It’s a soothing, relaxing process to be certain, but with this mask, other than feeling like my face was weirdly drippy (without the actual drips? Hard to explain.) I couldn’t tell the difference.
Not pictured: The Face Shop Hyaluronic Acid sheet mask. I don’t recall anything good about this one. I used it one evening while keeping my grandmother company. It didn’t fit my face right and it was kind of dried out. Another reviewer mentions it smells like Cool Water for men, and I don’t quite remember that, yet nonetheless now I like it even less.
Now I am not entirely certain about this, but I think the main demographic for Tonymoly products are meant to be teenagers. Which is not to say that a grown ass lady can’t love the adorable packing, because more often than not, I suspect that is the case. And you’d think something marketed toward teenagers (and I am really just guessing at that) would be of an inferior quality, because teenagers – what do they know, right? I am happy to report that this is not the case. Out of all of the sheet masks I have tried so far, I think the Tonymoly is the best of the bunch. These weren’t even something I picked out for myself – my BGF brought them back for me from a recent trip- so it just goes to show that I’m not nearly as smart as I like to think I am.
The only one I have tried from this lot is the Tomato Radiance mask. This one was definitely well saturated, it fit my face well, and while it did not smell of tomatoes, it smelled pleasantly enough. I think my face actually felt nicer after wearing it, though I could not pinpoint exactly why! I am excited though, to try the rest of the masks in this line up.
What are your favorite sheet masks? What should I try next?
I could not order just the masks from Tonymoly, of course! I mean look at that pink winky cat compact! And the bunny glosses! Here’s a quick breakdown of some other things I picked up.
The Petit Bunny Gloss bars are a must. So cute. So stinking cute. I bought the entire set, though I am fairly certain you can purchase individually. I just know myself, and if I got just one or two, they’d probably be misplaced in the span of a day. Better to play it safe. Each one is a different flavor, (cherry, apple, peach, etc.) and though I as a general rule don’t care much for fruit flavored cosmetics, these aren’t too obnoxious. If you’re curious as to the colors, here are some swatches.
As an aside, don’t you hate it when people describe soap, lotions, creams, etc. as “flavored”? If they’re not anywhere near your mouth, then my take on it is that they are “scented”. That’s not a raspberry flavored deodorant, you psycho! What, are you going to eat it? It’s raspberry scented. Jesus.
The Tonymoly Cat Wink Clear Pact is another one that I didn’t really care what it did, I just wanted it because it was cute. Which is good, because as soon as it was delivered, I dropped it and all of the powder in it shattered and fell out. That’s ok! I really just wanted a cute mirror for my handbag. Anyway, it comes in two shades and people seem to like it, so I still consider it a good purchase.
The Etude House Kissful Lip Concealer is a weird little product. Lip concealer itself is a weird concept, you know. It’s supposed to “conceal lip blemishes”, but I got it because my lips are naturally not very neutrally colored and sometimes when I want to wear pale lipsticks, I think my lip color interferes . Also, I though the girl on the packaging was kind of creepy, so bonus points for that.
The Etude House Precious Mineral Blooming Fit has some opinions: “Brightening OK! Darkening Zero!” This is sort of illuminating BB cream, which leads me to think that I got a bit of a bad batch. It gave my skin a dull, grayish cast that was even less attractive than it sounds. The packaging is really pretty, so there’s that, but I have since found some great BB creams so I just gave this one away.
The Missha The Style Under Eye Brightener works just as well as that NARS under eye concealer that everyone is wild about; I use them now interchangeably, and this is loads cheaper.
Some miscellaneous items:
The Tonymoly Peach Anti Aging Hand Cream is fantastic. I cannot even believe I am saying this. Ordinarily I hate artificial fruit scents and fruity fragrances, peach in particular. But I keep this little pot of cream by my desk and it is really perfect. Wonderfully hydrating, non-sticky, and the peach smell is really, really strong. But it’s not sickly sweet, which I love, and I think that’s where so many peachy fragrances get it horribly wrong. This is so much like a ripe peach. Also: it looks like a boob.
Another Tonymoly product I can’t get enough of is the Gel Eyeliner #1. Let’s face it; I cannot now, nor will I ever be able to draw that perfect cat’s eye swoop that so many of you are good at. That’s 50% of the reason that I bought these cat’s eye glasses frames, dammit. And I think I prefer a more smudged look anyhow. I love the packaging, it looks like a little ink well! The brush is built in at the top, and the eyeliner is in the little pot at the bottom. It’s highly pigmented, so a little bit goes a long way, and I also like that it’s small and can fit into nicely into my weirdly tiny hands.
Last and most definitely least is the Skinfood Salmon Dark Circle Concealer Cream. Infused with salmon oil and boasting salmon undertones to brighten the under eye area, packaged in a cute retro little pot, highly pigmented and super creamy – this product has a cult-like following and I really wanted to love it, but it didn’t seem to work for me at the time. It seemed too orange-y; like I was sporting some sort of salmon-tented eye grease that the football players wear underneath their eyes (to reduce glare. I just now found that out) I am at this point retroactively reading all of these glowing reviews about it though, and I am starting to wish I’d given it more of a chance. Oh well!
Up next: some other stuff!