This week's review is the first of many sheet mask reviews, as there are so many of them out there it can be difficult to choose between them or judge their effectiveness. Considering how comparatively short this week's review is, I have also included a mini haul from my usual ebay vendor, rubyruby76.
So first off is the sheet mask. If you aren't familiar with them, they are a paper or cloth sheet that has been cut to form to the face (not necessarily your face, sadly, as they fit me terribly) and soaked in a solution which your face will slowly absorb as you wear it. They are more convenient than wash-off masks as you only need to peel them off and pat your skin to absorb any remaining liquid, instead of messing around with washing it off and having to fuss with moisturizers afterward.
This review is of My Beauty Diary's Japanese Cherry Blossom Mask. My Beauty Diary is a popular brand for face masks, so popular in fact that they're available from ... Wal-mart?! *clap of thunder and faint smell of brimstone* Either way, I actually prefer wash-off masks to sheet masks, even if the latter is more convenient.
So, keep that in mind as we review- everything is relative to that point!
Full product name: My Beauty Diary's Japanese Cherry Blossom Mask
Purpose: This sheet mask claims to: "Relax, Tighten, Whiten, Moisturize, Calm, and Sooth" your skin
Scent: DEAR GOD. If you have been too close to a really old, dusty jar of potpourri, that's what this smells like. Dust and old flowers. It was pleasantly floral at first, but within the first minute it turned to ancient potpourri and I wanted it off my face.
Quantity: You can get single masks or a box of 10.
Availability: Much to my astonishment, google told me they are available from walmart.com?! Hello, random?! I got mine from Pretty&Cute for almost the same price, and I got the pleasure of supporting a small business with great customer service instead of a soul-sucking corporate monolith. But it's up to you. They're also available at all sorts of online vendors.
Price: Single mask $2, box of 10 is $13-ish.
Rating: Sheet masks are a 3/5 at best, so I am going to give this a 1.5 out of 3.
Repurchase: No. Can't handle the ancient potpourri scent.
So if you've never heard of one of these before (unlikely, but possible) they look like this when you get them out of the package and unfold them:
What you are actually seeing here is the plastic 'backing' that keeps you from ripping the delicate paper/cloth material of the actual mask until you get it all unfolded. I ripped my first ever sheet mask because I didn't know it would have a plastic backing, and I tried to peel it off instead of unfolding it properly.
I then discovered that Saran wrap has a distant cousin in the form of sheet masks, because if you get it stuck to itself, there is no way you are getting it apart without ripping it. Argh.
As for the shape, although I have a round face, a small mouth, and a small round nose, these sheet masks do not fit me. The nose section is too small/short, the mouth is too tiny, the eye holes are too small and set too closely together, and the cheek sections are huge. I assume that's because your average Korean woman's facial bone structure is a lot smaller than mine in general, since their average height is 5'2" and I'm 5'7". As it is, the cheek panels overlap part of my ears. I usually have to tear mine in a few places to be able to wear it comfortably, like the eyes; I find my lashes flick against the edges of the eye holes if I don't.
There is usually a lot of essence left in the pouch, so I usually drop in some cotton swatches or undereye patches to soak up the essence so you can use it another time, but this stuff's scent is so off-putting I am not going to bother this time.
If you aren't sensitive to smells like I am, you may really like this mask, but I can't see reusing any of the leftover essence unless it's on a part of my body too far from my nose to bother me.
In terms of the effectiveness, I found that although the mask felt good when I first applied it, my skin was very sticky when I peeled it off some 20 minutes later, even after massaging/patting the excess essence to absorb it. An hour or so later, my skin feels slightly irritated/warm on my cheek areas, and not particularly moisturized. Not pleased. It's very warm here right now (already in the high 90's) so I am looking for something to sooth my skin and give it a nice boost of hydration without making it feel heavy or greasy. It's definitely not greasy, but I really don't feel that it gave me much long-lasting moisture and I've had better success with other masks. My skin feels firm to the touch, but it also feels a little tight in places, which I am not happy about.
Looks like I will have to slap on some of my trusty Mizon Snail Recovery Gel, which to my dismay, I had run out of! Luckily, the postman left me a package today. Haul-ho!
If you're thinking that I ordered two boxes of the Snail Gel, you would be correct. This way, I can have a back-up tube for when I run out, because I have learned my skin does not appreciate going without it. Now that we've hit summer, my skin isn't liking any of my heavier moisturizers, so the Gel has become my daily moisturizer of late.
Also in this haul is the Skinfood Gold Kiwi 'Clearing' Toner, which I picked up to test as a 'summer' toner, as it's supposed to be good for clearing waste from the pores, removing dead skin, and fading 'dark skin' from UV damage. As the weather has changed, so has my skin, and the heat is turning my skin into a sweaty, greasy, clogged mess. This means my focus is turning from winter-skin dryness to summer-skin congestion and sun damage.
I also picked up a 2nd bottle of the Skin79 White Reviving Solution, which I haven't reviewed yet as I haven't made up my mind if I like it or not. Therefore, I picked up another bottle to keep testing it out before I make my final decision and review it for you guys.
The seller also threw in some Skinfood Gold Kiwi cotton swatches, which was nice of them, but honestly I would have preferred a sample of something as I don't tend to use cotton swatches for my expensive toners.
And lastly, I'm super excited to try out Mizon's Acence Blemish Control Soothing Gel Cream, as I am hoping it will become a good summer moisturizer and help combat some of the breakouts I have been getting due to my skin changing from the weather. My first thought is that it smells like ... lemon vodka?? Anyway, look for a review on it in four weeks, unless it does something heinous to my skin immediately.
Leave me a comment below with your favourite sheet mask, or if you've tried any of my haul products!
All the best,
**Disclaimer: All products reviewed/mentioned in my blog, are 100% purchased with my own money, with a single exception of a press sample I tested & reviewed in 2015 which swore me off of them forever. This blog contains both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself. Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.