Maskology Vol I: an introduction to sheet masks.

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Since I love masks so much, I've decided to start a new post series entirely dedicated to these awesome beauty boosters. Whether your skin is dry, dull, oily, showing fine lines, there's a mask out there for you, and I'm hoping that the Maskology series will help you find it!

Sheet mask Asian skincare review

For this first edition, I'll be starting with three sheet masks that I have tested in the past few weeks. No surprise here if you read Beaumiroir regularly, as I've told you many times how much I love sheet masks! Originating from Asia, sheet masks are generally made of cloth soaked into a serum or essence, and they've become increasingly popular in the past couple years. They're very easy to use and mostly mess-free: you unfold the mask as you get it out of its packet, place it on your face (yes, it has holes for your eyes, nose and mouth), keep it there for as long as needed, then remove and discard! You usually don't need to rinse, most brands actually suggest to massage in the serum that remains on the surface of your skin.

Let's take a closer look at today's mask selection!

My Beauty Diary Collagen Firming Mask

My Beauty Diary is the brand that ignited the sheet mask madness in the Western world. Years ago the word started spreading that My Beauty Diary sheet masks were the cat's meow, and beautystas like myself went to great length to get ahold of them in Europe or in the US. At that time, Ebay was the only widely available source, besides local Asian stores. As the masks got more and more popular, Walmart eventually picked up the brand! I purchased a sampler box at 99 Ranch a while back and fell in love with a few of these masks (especially the Pearl and Aloe), but I just tried the Collagen one for the first time.

As much as I love My Beauty Diary, I have to say that their masks are never a great fit for my face (I haven't tried the latest releases though, does anyone know if they changed the shape?). The holes for the eyes and mouth are always way too small, so much so that I have to rip the cloth in order to make them bigger. It's the only way for me to avoid getting serum in my eyes or on my lips!

This mask is nicely soaked in liquid serum, so it won't dry no matter how long you keep it on. The serum being so runny causes the mask to drip, however, so this is not really something you can wear on your face while moving around the house doing stuff. I didn't really like how it smelled, I found the scent a bit strong old-fashioned, but it left my skin feeling refreshed, soft and plump. I don't know that it really infused it with collagen, but it definitely felt more hydrated!

Verdict: B. Not a great fit but does a good job.

The Face Shop Character Mask Panda

The Face Shop Character Mask Panda Review

If you've been following beauty trends, you know that Korean brands are all the rage these days, especially when it comes to skincare. The Face Shop is one these brands from Korea that is gaining popularity, partly thanks to their affordable prices. They have their own stores in the US and Canada, you can find the locations here.

The Face Shop offers a ton of different sheet masks, and I received this one for Christmas. The Character Mask series features cloth masks with an animal drawn on, and I got the Panda! There's a sheep, a dragon, a fox, a tiger among others, but I think that beyond the design, the masks all contain the same serum. I was excited to see how it would look on my face, but I'd say it looked more like a clown on me than a panda... I don't think that pandas have rosy cheeks, you know?

The Face Shop Character Mask Panda Review

Anyways, it adds a bit of fun to the sheet mask routine, and this mask is one of the best I've ever tried. The shape wasn't perfect for me, but it was still a much better fit than My Beauty Diary. The serum this mask is soaked in is a rather thick gel, which surprised me at first, but I ended up loving! No dripping, which means you CAN wear this and keep working on your computer, folding your laundry or cooking dinner. Once I removed it, it only took seconds to massage in the leftover gel serum, my skin just drank it, and it felt so, so well hydrated. With most masks I feel like I have to use a moisturizer afterwards to keep my skin fully hydrated, but with this Panda I really didn't have to! My face was plump, soft and radiant.

The Face Shop Character Mask Panda ingredients list
Ingredients for The Face Shop Panda mask

The ingredients list is quite impressive: it's rather short, features a handful of plant extracts, hyaluronic acid (a very hydrating substance), panthenol, glycerin, collagen, and there is fragrance but it's the very last ingredients.

Verdict: A. This is the most moisturizing sheet mask I've ever used.

Freeman Facial Purifying Paper Mask Star Fruit

I was thrilled when I found out that Freeman, an American drugstore brand that's affordable and easy to find, was starting to make sheet masks. While I love to discover Asian brands, nothing beats stumbling upon new masks at the drugstore when I go buy toothpaste! Freeman makes a lot of classic masks, peel-off, clay or creamy treatments in tubes or packets for single use, and I've enjoyed many of them, so I was seriously excited.

Unfortunately things didn't go too well with the Star Fruit mask. First of all, when Freeman says "paper mask", they're not lying. Instead of being made of a thin but stretchable cloth material like most sheet mask, this one feels paper thin, stiff and scratchy. But the real problem came for the awful burning sensation that I started to feel as soon as I put it on my face. It burnt so bad that I just took it off after a couple minutes and washed my skin with cold water, because it was already very red. Never again.

Freeman Purifying Paper Mask Star Fruit ingredients list
Ingredients for Freeman Star Fruit mask

Looking at the ingredients list, there are several problematic things here. A lot of witch hazel, something my skin never likes, several essential oils and some alcohol. I actually haven't seen this Star Fruit mask again in the store and it's not available online either, so I'm wondering if it was discontinued, although other Paper Masks by Freeman are still around.

Verdict: F. Terribly irritating!

Do you use masks often? What do you think of sheet masks?

Where to buy?

The products featured in this review were purchased by Lulle. I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links.

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