Sheet Mask Roundup and Holy Grail: Spring 2015

As I mentioned in my prior weekday post Sheet Mask Shortage, Frantic Hauls, & Introducing Sheet Mask Reviews, I would be doing mini-reviews of any new sheet masks I've tried on my Instagram.  I don't post mini reviews daily, as I don't use new masks daily, only when I am not patch testing a new product.

However, since not everyone uses Instagram, someone suggested I periodically do a masterpost of the mini-reviews here, and I'm happy to oblige!  Besides, I do have a lot of masks:

What 153 sheet masks + DIY dry mask patches looks like.
I'm definitely a member of Team 1일1팩 (1 day, 1 pack) which is a Korean trend of using a mask every day, whether it is a sheet mask or wash-off mask pack.  Also, some Asian celebrities like Fan BingBing use sheet masks twice a day (link to CNN interview) and she is famous for her skin.

View from our car during
a Haboob (dust storm)
As a desert-dweller, my skin needs lots of uninterrupted daily ~alone time~ with topical hydration; the jealous arid air is usually trying to steal away any moisture that dares to flirt with my skin.  (Photo evidence at right!)

Applying essence/serum/ampoule type products usually results in evaporation before my skin has had a chance to benefit.  I also dislike wash-off masks; the water here is also, well, gross.  It's highly chemically treated and is a bit high on the pH scale, so by the time I rinse off the mask, my skin feels stripped and dry.  I'm not that fancy as to break out the bottled water to rinse my face, so sheet masks are my best friend, and I use them up to 2x  daily.

Uh isn't using masks daily way overkill?  As with everything in skincare, YMMV; if you skin doesn't like masks/doesn't like frequent usage, listen to it!

In this Post:
  • Mini-reviews for: the Bad, the Good, and the Holy Grail
  • Ranting about hydrogels and bio masks
  • Liberal use of stickers as a form of expression
  • Ingredients translation for the HG mask
 That may seem brief, but there are 27 mask reviews in this post, so that's plenty of reading!

Let's rip off the bandaid and start with the things that I regretted putting on my face.

I should note before we start that I have really minimal expectations when it comes to sheet masks; I expect them to hydrate my skin, have an inoffensive smell, and be comfortable to wear.  I also expect them not to be so poorly made/shoddy material that they flap around and jut over my chin, thus dribbling their very watery essence all over my chest.  (I'm looking at you, Etude House masks; stop peeing on my chest, I am NOT into that!)

I also refuse to pay more than $1-$2 USD for my masks, and prefer under $1, because I use so many. If it's over $1, it had better be magical.

The Bad:

I didn't haaaaate some of these masks, but I disliked most of them quite a bit.  Sometimes violently, with extreme prejudice.

Sadly I don't have a sticker with a
'what the hell is that smell?' face
Sooryehan Pomegranate Mask: 2/5 stars 
Oh man. You know how you can see a really handsome man and be excited to talk to him, and then he opens his mouth to talk to you and this cloud of noxious fumes billows forth from his breath and you turn the colour of a dying seagull and flee?  Yeah.   
This package was so promising, and the sheet mask was cotton, had a generous amount of essence, smelled herbal at first sniff ... until I unfolded it and put it on my face, where it suddenly turned into laundry detergent and stale nicotine.  What.   
The cotton was also a bit heavy/stiff so it didn't cling to the face well.  It was nicely hydrating, but that smell though: Saint Snail save me. Would not repurchase.
Supposedly potato is a folk remedy for
whitening; specifically the raw liquid

Malie Potato: 2/5 Stars
Yep, you read that right, POTATO. "This is quirky" I said. "They're only 17 cents each" I said. "I should get this" I did.  
Spoilers: it does smell like raw potato, and unless you're really into your face smelling like a french fry cutting assembly line, I'd skip it.  I do like Malie masks because they are cheap, have a decent cotton, and a reasonable amount of essence, just not ... eau de spud. Don't Tater me, Bro. (Ok I will stop.) Would not repurchase this specific 'flavour'. 
Malie Snake: 2/5 Stars
I am suspicious that this mask broke me out, but I will need to retest it (once my face calms down) before I can make a final judgement.

This was the first synthetic snake venom (known as syn-ake) product that I have tried, so I am a bit disappointed.

These masks are cheap & overall I like them, but if it breaks me out, it has to goooooo. Would not repurchase.

Illi Lotus Water Nutritional Mask: 2/5 Stars 
Smells gorgeous, but the sheet feels papery rather than cottony, has weirdly placed eyeholes, doesn't stretch or curve to fit, and the essence is runny. Would not repurchase.

(Still sad about this one; it smells so nice but it otherwise sucks.  Alas.)

Illi Artemisia Truly Nutritional mask: 2.5/5 Stars. 

2nd Illi mask. Scent is pretty and herbal but very overpowering.  Generous essence, fit is still terrible, and cotton is too stiff to mold to the face. Would not repurchase.

AR Meang Aloe Water Mask: 2/5 stars 
Nice cotton sheet, but holy exploded perfume factory smell, batman! Ugh.

Was not as soothing as I expected.  Would not repurchase. 

AR Meang Acacia Water Mask: 2/5 stars
Holy fragrance.  I think I have a headache.  NOPE.

No soft cotton sheet can make up for the vendetta of olfactory terror this is unleashing on my nasal passages.

Would not repurchase, might even destash the rest. 

Hydrogels and Bio Masks

Hydrogels/Bio masks deserve a special mention.  I am aware that hydrogels are a Big Thing, the Next Big Thing in fact.  People write breathless reviews and articles about how they 'melt' into the skin, how they're scientifically advanced, how they're sooooo much better than regular masks.  This 'overwhelmingly superior technology' justifies the (in my 1일1팩 eyes) outrageous price of hydrogel/bio masks; they're often in the $5-$10 range per mask.  Sometimes $2-$5 if you're lucky.

So when I finally got to try out these much-hyped newfangled masks, you can imagine my shock and dismay when I realized that they don't work for my skin/climate I actually kinda detest them.  You can see how I grow increasingly disillusioned as I review more and more of them:

I think this sticker face sums up
my feelings pretty nicely
Mizon Returning Starfish Bio Mask: 3/5 stars 
I both love and hate this mask.

Love: This essence smells just like the Returning Starfish Cream (one of the few products I have repurchased) and is slippery, hydrating, and so wonderful I wish Mizon made it in bottled form because I'd buy it.  
Hate: The star shape of the mask.  Too far, Mizon, too far.  Having something that's a cross between an 'Aliens' Facegrabber Hugger and Hannibal Lecter's mask might have been a charming 'starfish' concept but in real life it just makes the tips dry out quickly while the rest of the mask is wasted. 
(Edit:  Actually, you need some visuals.  See below; not my image, found on Google, source is here.  You see what I mean?  Now imagine this on someone who has a larger face.  Like me, sadly.  Like I said, half Aliens Face Hugger, half Hannibal Lecter mask.  And the texture ... welp, you'll see when you get below.)

(I also have to include this actual ad from Mizon which pretty much sums up my description above about how this mask felt; maybe this was intentional?)

Not my image image source
I can't believe this ad actually exists, but it's hilarious!
(The translation says 'STARFISH' but as a verb, literally 'starfish do'.  It's so ... menacing though. Looks like a horror film ad.   Anyway, back to the mini-review!)
They're also ridiculously expensive.  If these were $0.50 or less I'd be tempted to pick them up for those days where I want to feel the clammy grip of a many-tentacled condom on my face, but these are up to $7 a piece (mine came free with my Cream repurchase.) I love Mizon, but no.  Would not repurchase. 
Innisfree Olive Hydrogel Mask: 2/5 Stars 
Hydrogels just aren't hydrating enough for me. The bottom kept trying to slide off my face and the mesh backing (one side is smooth, the other side has a texture) formed a bit of a textured edge around the eye holes that I did not like. 
It had a generous amount of essence that could have been used for a few days after; I layered it on my face first before putting on the mask to boost hydration. Would not repurchase. 
Petitfee Koelf Jewelry Mask Ruby + Bulgarian Rose. 2/5 stars. Hydrogel. 
Yes, it smells like roses, yes it is pink, yes it has gold shimmer in it.  It also fits terribly and doesn't cling to the skin, feels dry when it's on, dries out quickly & gets crusty in places, and leaves my skin feeling ... dry afterward.

Lesson learned: Hydrogels are not for me/the desert.
Leader's Insolution Coconut Bio Gel Mask in Orange: 2/5 stars 
This was the second 'Bio' mask I tried, (the first was the Mizon Returning Starfish Bio Mask), and the 4th 'gel' type.

I have realized I don't like Bio/Hydrogel type masks; they always feel dry- dry while I am wearing them, they dry out and become hard in weird places, and worst of all- they leave my face feeling dry afterward. :(

When I take off my mask, I want to feel like my skin is ~suffused with glorious moisture~ but gel masks just feel like I've put on a clammy condom for 20+ minutes and got nothing good out of it.  They're also super expensive; a single bio mask goes for around $3.  Do not want.  Will not repurchase. 
Final thoughts:  I am pretty sure that it's just my environment that is compromising the gloriously hi-tech uber hydrating unicorn tear melting gel awesomeness that Hydrogel/Bio masks supposedly have, but I know of a few other people who just don't get along with them either.

They are a pain to apply because they often have double-lined backing, meaning you have to peel off a lot of stealthy liners in order to expose the fragile gel. It tears easily, is very slippery, and it is like saran wrap if it manages to flap onto itself; you will never get it unstuck/unfolded without a lot of cursing and tears in the gel.

Also, they're expensive, so I'm quite lucky they don't work for me!  I suppose even if my face is a temperamental and harsh mistress, when it comes to sheet masks, least it's got cheap tastes?  Wait, we haven't gotten to the HG masks yet, I take that back.  *sobs over charred ruins of wallet*

The Good

I am so glad I finally got an excuse
to use this sticker <3
Malie Snail: 4/5 Stars
SNAAAAILS! If you follow my blog, you know I have an ongoing love affair with snails. The Maile mask did not disappoint; it was nicely hydrating, soothed my skin, and left it plumped with hydration afterward.

The scent surprised me- normally snail products have a herbal smell, but this smelled a bit like ... candy? Vaguely floral/herbal candy.

As usual, Malie masks are a new staple because they are less than 20 cents USD (plus shipping from Korea, so I get them when I haul from Avecko) they have a nice light cotton, a generous amount of essence, and hydrate my skin. They're not ultra luxe masks, but for that price, they're fantastic. Would definitely repurchase, and I regret only getting 3.
Malie Green Tea: 4/5 Stars
Green tea masks are a staple for me for #acnecare and soothing my skin if I've gotten too excited with acid exfoliants or didn't hydrate enough.  
Malie masks are cheap, made with a cotton (not papery) mask, fit reasonably well, and have a good amount of essence.  Will definitely repurchase. 
(Green tea masks are my jam; I bought 10 of these and have almost used them all!)

Finally a pretty Illi mask works out!
Illi Camellia Oil Nutritional Mask. 3/5 Stars
Last of the Illi masks. I finally gave up and cut this mask in half, hydrogel-style, and it solved the mega fit/stiffness problems. I need to do this more often! 
(I actually do this as a matter of course now, you can read more about how I cut my masks for a perfect fit, and my unnessarily pretty scissors here.)
Lots of essence (a few days' worth) and surprisingly creamy. Scent isn't as strong as the others, very pleasant. Would repurchase this one!
Innisfree It's Real Squeeze Mask ~ Rice.  4/5 Stars  
Soft enough material, decent fit, generous essence, and the Rice type is a little more creamy and moisturizing than some of the other types.

Good for dehydrated/dry, maybe not for oily skin. These are a staple in my stash. Repurchased.

Hanayuki Moisturizing Facial Mask 4/5 stars 
A Japanese mask! These have a LOT of essence; enough to fill a small jar and be used for a few days, so you might want to squeeze it as you take it out of the package.

Has an unusual fit but stays on the face fine and is very hydrating. Was a gift, not sure of the cost. Would repurchase if cheap! 

AR Meang Cactus Water Mask. 3/5 stars
I like the cotton sheet (paper masks have a terrible fit) and it has a lot of cuts to help with fit.

Medium fragrance, reminds me of something I can't put my finger on, almost aloe-like + perfume.

My face was feeling a bit warm/sensitive so I put this on and it definitely soothed it. It's nice, but not nice enough to repurchase.

I do love the art on these masks, though
AR Meang Cherry Blossom Water Mask. 3/5 stars. 
Pleasant, if strong, Cherry Blossom scent, nicely soothing, but not intensely hydrating.

Possibly a good summer mask, but it left me wanting to do a second mask afterwards.

Cotton mask has a lot of cuts for customization of fit.  Watery, but not drippy.  Would not repurchase.  

With the last two, you might be wondering why a pair of 'would not repurchase' masks ended up in the 'Good' pile, but as you can see, they were both decent masks.  Just not good enough for me to shell out for more of them and stock them in my limited-space stash.

Hanbang time!

As you may know, I'm unrepentantly obsessed with all things Hanbang, (traditional Korean herbal medicine) and I especially enjoy Hanbang sheet masks.  Although most of my other 'risky' sheet masks purchases turned out to be duds, taking a chance on these ones turned out to be worth it in spades.

Evercos Luxury Bogam Herbal Clinic sheet mask ~.행인 - Prunus armeniaca: 5/5 stars. 
One of my beloved Evercos Hanbang masks, these are so hydrating, made of lightweight but still soft cotton, and are so soft and flexible/stretchy that it's effortless to stretch and drape for a perfect fit.  They're also under $1 USD.

I want all the fermented Hanbang herbs on my face.  ALL OF THEM. 

Evercos Luxury Bogam Herbal Clinic sheet mask ~ Phellinus. 5/5 stars 
I think this is probably Phellinus linteus, the variant of Phellinus fungus that wikipedia says is used in traditional herbal medicine in Korea, Japan, & China = therefore not the scary rotting kind D:

I love these hanbang masks, because they fit so well and are so soft, hydrating, and full of fermented herbal hanbang love. 

Evercos Luxury Bogam Herbal Clinic sheet mask ~ Licorice. 5/5 stars
Fits like a dream, clings weightlessly to the skin, rich/hydrating essence.

I love Hanbang everything; fermented herbal goodness on mah face. 

Evercos Luxury Bogam Herbal Clinic sheet mask ~어성초 - Houttuynia cordata: 5/5 stars
I've raved about these masks before, and I'm doing it again.  Cheap, great fit, generous essence, and they're Hanbang.  What's not to love?  
This mask was unusual compared to the others as it had a noticeable yellow tint (presumably from the herbs, it was in all of my masks of this type) but it did not stain my face. 

Evercos Luxury Bogam Herbal Clinic sheet mask ~ Ginseng. 5/5 stars 
Final mask from this series, just as amazing as the others.

Beautifully thin and soft cotton, curves and stretches for a great fit, generous and hydrating essence.

I need more of these; a lot more. 

Holy GrailMediental Bidanpo Balhyo Healing Masks

I just want to preface this with the disclaimer that 1. I hate the term and concept of 'Holy Grail', 2. I am so product-promiscuous that I could meet something I like better tomorrow and leave without a backward glance, and 3. my HG could be the worst thing you've ever tried.  

That being said, if I could afford it, I would replace everything in my mask stash other than the Evercos masks with these beauties. 

A fellow Asian skincare addict (sadly blog-less so I can't credit her) recommended these Hanbang masks to me, and once I heard her describe them as 'fermented angels' on her face, I was sold.

From left, ranked from most loved:
  • Balhyo Jinjeong Troubled Skin Healing Mask (green)
  • Balhyo Mibaek Whitening Mediental Healing Mask (purple)
  • Balhyo Tanryeok Firming Mediental Healing Mask (yellow)
  • Balhyo Boyangsu Hydrating Mediental Healing Mask (blue)
I like all of them, but the Troubled Skin mask is just ... *swoony sigh*

Why they're so good:
  • The fit/fabric: They are very high-quality masks, which are not only fabric (instead of paper) but they also have an interesting cross-woven texture which allows them to stretch and flex perfectly to fit your face. These are the 'Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants' of masks, because even though I have a completely different face shape (and size, blooo hoo hoo) than the friend who recommended them to me, they fit us both perfectly
Scissors not needed!
I don't even have to cut or fold over parts of it, they just seemly mold to the face, like hydrogels are supposed to do, but don't.  The plush weave of the fabric allows it to hold a lot of essence without having weird patches drying out far ahead of the others.   
It even perfectly shapes around my nose and mouth, even though I normally need scissors to cut masks in half (hydrogel style) for them to fit in those spots.
  • The essence: O Saint Snail. This essence.  The scent is definitely Hanbang but without the cheap floral notes so often used to reduce the herbal bouquet in many masks.  The mask and the essence for all 4 is faintly yellow/brown, like it it's been infused with tea. :3  The essence is a wonderfully thick, slippery, and easily-spread hydration bomb that makes my dehydrated skin croon a little when I apply it, and I find myself randomly texting Asian skincare buddies and breathlessly gushing about how it feels.
If they ever release bottles of this essence on the market, I am going to be all over it.  Not only do these masks (all 4 of them) plump my face with sustained hydration that lasts for hours even in the desert, they're so soothing
The Whitening (purple) type is my 2nd favourite and it does have a noticeable whitening effect for about 12 hours; I assume that it is chock-full of anti-inflammatory and soothing ingredients which temporarily reduce the look of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), redness, and uneven skin tone.   
It's encouraging, because if I can ever succeed in fading those marks through long term whitening product use, my skin might look that good as a regular thing.

My favourite is the Troubled Skin (green) type, because it just ... I am not even sure how to describe it.   It feels so good to wear that my eye roll back in my head a bit and I make involuntary NC-17 noises.  I never want to take it off.   
It calms down my skin and eliminates redness, irritation, reduces the look of PIH, reduces the visibility of my pores, reduces redness of blemishes, and gives my skin this transparent glow that I wish it had all the time.  Or I'd take just weekends?  I'm flexible, skincare gods, just please just give me that look naturally.
Balhyo (발효) is one of the Korean words I instantly recognize in Hangul because, well, a huge part of Hanbang medicine is the fermentation process so a large portion of the products I own, lust after, or research are 발효-heavy.  The Hanbang pedigree is lovingly depicted at the top of these masks, which is adorable.

The only problem is, they're expensive.  Really, really expensive.  With shipping, they're around $3 USD ea at the cheapest, sometimes much more.  If I ever find them under $2 including shipping, I'm just going to set fire to 6 months' worth of my skincare budget and stock up.

For that reason, they are special-occasion-only masks for me, because I can't justify wearing $3-$6 worth of 1 time use items on my face as a regular thing.  This is also why there are no action shots, because I can't bear to sacrifice one of my expensive fancy masks when I'm not going anywhere this weekend.  Please forgive me!

The ingredients aren't available anywhere online, but Lin Lin Hime came to my rescue and translated the ingredients right off the back of the mask for me. <3

Ingredients for Balhyo Jinjeong Troubled Skin Healing Mask: 
Distilled Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Rosin Hydrolyzed Collagen, Witch Hazel, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Lactobacillus/Soybean Extract Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Portulaca Oleracea Ferment Extract, Saccharomyces/Artemisia Princeps Leaf Ferment Filtrate, Saccharomyces/ Plum Extract Fermentation Filtrate, Saccharomyces/Camellia Sinensis Extract Ferment Filtrate, Saccharomyces/ Fermented Green Tea Extract, Saccharomyces/Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Honeysuckle Flower Extract Ferment Filtrate, Saccharomyces/Imperata Cylindrica Root Ferment Extract, Saccharomyces/Phellodendron Amurense Bark Ferment Extract, Lactobacillus/Rhus Semialata Gall Extract Ferment, Saccharomyces/Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma-yuen Seed Ferment Filtrate, Saccharomyces/Lycium Chinense Fruit Ferment Extract Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Phaseolus Radiatus Seed Ferment Filtrate, Trehalose, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Malt Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Extract, Pinus Thunbergii Leaf Extract, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Propylparaben
Mmmm, so much fermented plant extract action!  And look, real preservatives!  Only one ingredient scored a 2 or above in Cosdna, which was PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, which is a surfactant and emollient, and a few usual suspects in the form of pH-adjusters, Vitamin E, and preservatives (Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.)

Where to buy them: I bought mine during imomoko's 20% off masks sale, which dropped the price down to around $2.40, and they had a low threshold for free shipping.  I did try to get some from Korea, where they go as low as $18 for a box of 10, but the shipping costs completely negated any savings.  You can sometimes buy them on eBay for $2.50 each, and they're a whopping $3.50 on Amazon incl shipping

You can also get them in various places online, and here is the name in Hangul if you're going to be hauling from Korea anyway (say, from Avecko) and want to throw these in: 비단포 발효진정 메디엔탈 힐링 마스크

Final thoughts:

If you're looking for some amazing masks that won't set your wallet on fire, my runner-up masks are the Evercos Luxury Bogam Herbal Clinic sheet masks which are also Hanbang, have wonderful essence, delicate and soft fabric (much lighter than the Mediental ones) and cost 870 krw (around $0.80 USD) if you get them from Korea.  Read about how I purchased mine here: Sheet Mask Shortage, Frantic Hauls, & Introducing Sheet Mask Reviews

I like them at least 80% as much as the Mediental ones, but they're so much cheaper and come in a wider range of 'flavours'.  I am down to 96 masks (from 153 at the end of February) so I recently ordered 60 of the Evercos masks from Avecko to restock my supply; I plan to rely on them as my staple masks and pad them out with cheap-and-minimal masks like the Malie, and get a few 'quirky' ones here and there.  Otherwise, it's going to be all Hanbang all the time, baby, for quite a while.

All the best

**Disclaimer: All products reviewed/mentioned are 100% purchased with my own money and my opinions are entirely my own. 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.


  1. I don't think my first comment got posted ;p I've been lurking here for such a long time, i LOVE your blog. I basically mirror your skincare routine. I've been using sheet masks regularly and i was wondering if I could just buy a serum/ampoule instead of the sheet masks, or is there a difference? Sheet masks seem a little gimmicky to me.

    1. "i was wondering if I could just buy a serum/ampoule instead of the sheet masks, or is there a difference? "

      Absolutely! The only reason I go for masks over essences/serums/etc is that the air here is so dry that they evaporate off my face before my skin can soak them in. That's why I need to keep a wet sheet mask on my skin for a long time, so my skin can slowly absorb the moisture.

      "I basically mirror your skincare routine"

      Ooo? What are you using? :D

    2. I have oily/acne prone skin, so i've been using Mizon AHA/BHA toner, Mizon snail repair gel, OST Vit C serum and Mizon 8% AHA serum. I'm new to AB and i read through ALL of your blog posts before i ordered everything from tester korea! ;P

    3. Hi five! How is it working out for you?

  2. This post is amazing! wow - thanks!
    Where do you buy your Evercos masks? I must try these!
    Renee C.

    1. Aw, thank you! Glad it was helpful. :)

      I purchased mine at 11st when they had a shipping coupon, but I have also re-ordered them from and gmarket using Avecko's buying service. :) I have a post on finding things and then using Avecko to buy the things you want but can't get outside of Korea.

  3. So many masks! I think I felt my heart skip a beat!

    1. I know what you mean; when I see people posting hauls of sheet masks I feel a little dizzy with covetousness. ;)

  4. Cat where do you buy your evercos masks from, i cant find them anywhere!

    1. I purchased these ones from 11st when they were having a shipping coupon off EMS, but I have repurchased some using Avecko's buying service and got them from and GMarket (korean, not international because their shipping policies are ... welp. Nope.) and had Avecko buy them for me. Ironically it was cheaper for me to go 11st/GMarket --> Avecko --> Me than 11st/GMarket --> Me.

  5. I'm sorry if this question has already been answered, or if this post already exists on this blog, but would you possibly consider creating a master post containing all of the online stores that you purchase your Asian products from? I am a fellow Asian (mostly Korean) skincare/makeup addict and am trying to find more reputable websites that also offer a wide range of brands to purchase from. I love your blog by the way! I've been reading it for a while now; keep up the great work! :) Thank you!

    1. Aww, thank you! <3

      "I'm sorry if this question has already been answered, or if this post already exists on this blog, but would you possibly consider creating a master post containing all of the online stores that you purchase your Asian products from?"

      I haven't posted a masterlist, mostly because my buying preferences shift over time depending on my experiences and the experiences of others. I do buy a lot of products from Roseroseshop and Testerkoera, but both have customer service skeletons in their closet and TK has been struggling to promptly ship out products for over 6 months now. I have also made purchases from; although their prices are a bit higher, they offer free shipping so it's usually comparable to the lower-price-but-high-shipping sites.

      If I want really unusual products, I buy directly from Korea using Avecko's buying service. :) I hope that helps!

  6. I've just stumbled on blog since I've been wanting to get into Asian beauty products and oh my is it overwhelming!! Where do I even begin?!! *looks under a rock* After reading this post, I am now on the hunt for your Holy Grail: Mediental Bidanpo Balhyo Healing Masks. Super eager to try them out!! After moving to Canada, my skin has begun spiraling downhill and I am caught in between trying natural remedies and testing out skincare products in hopes of finding something that works for me. But alas....the journey continues with one step at a time. Looking forward to reading your other posts :D

    1. One step at a time is a good approach to have. :) Don't worry, you can do this!

      If you find yourself in a spiral, I'd recommend starting from the basics: gentle, low-pH cleanser, simple moisturizer, and sunscreen.

      Then, you can start adding in other steps to address specific concerns. As frustrating as it is, you need to establish a baseline routine that is at least non-irritating to your skin, and then you can start tackling concerns like acne, pigmentation, aging, etc.

      I hope you will keep me posted on your progress! :)

  7. Hi Cat, I was wondering you can please help me. My daughter gets these bad cystic nasty pimples on her chin and jawline. What would you recommend for cleansing, mask and toner? I saw your reviews on the evercos hanbang masks. Which one you prefer. I can use some myself. But I have very dry skin and developed 2 milias in my face. Pleaseee help me :). Thanking you in advance

    1. Hi Wilberto,

      I am sorry to hear that your daughter is having skin troubles; that's a hard thing for anyone to deal with, especially when you are young. Since I am not a medical professional, I couldn't begin to recommend a routine to treat a skin condition. I can tell you that the research I did on low pH vs high pH had very compelling studies about the link between high pH and disruption of the skin's natural defenses, and then ensuing increased risk of skin conditions.

      I would recommend that you seek out the advice of a medical professional (ie dermatologist) but if that is impractical where you are, you could start by investigating how to repair her skin barrier and what ultra-gentle, non-irritating products (locally) are out there.

      Alternatively, if you are in the US, you could look into Pocketderm, or other similar telederm services.

      Take care!"

  8. P.S. I forgot to mention daughter also gets blackheads on her nose.

  9. Hi Cat, Please call me Mia. :). Ty for replying I really appreciated it your advice :) I did take pnly for her skin to be badly burnt from some meds that gave her! Then when we returned we saw a different dermatologist. She was like this medication is too strong. She hardly has acne just 2 cystic acne pimples. Omg! Her son was burnt badly but I read and where to apply fresh aloe vera to heal your skin. It worked wonders. My daughter is just looking for a regular routine to cleanse, moisture and pamper herself with sheet masks. Ty for your time

  10. Hi there, first time commenter here! Read from your various posts that you love the Evercos hanbang masks! Can you please advise where you buy them and what their Korean translation is? I looked it up on eBay and came up completely blank! :'(

    1. Yes, I got the Hanbang masks here: :)

  11. Just an FYI, the Mediental masks are being sold for around USD 1.50 on Testerkorea (10 masks for 17000 KW, at current USD 1115.30 exchange rate).

    1. Nice! I just purchased some from Korea Depart not too long ago. Glad they're more readily available! :)

  12. Hi Cat,

    I was wondering if you know the specific uses (hydrating/brightening/tightening/troubled skin/etc) for each of the Evercos masks. I'm thinking of starting a mask-a-day routine for the winter and I was going to stock up by doing a Gmarket haul of hanbang masks (I live in Japan so Gmarket ships here pretty cheaply/ quickly). I've tried looking for descriptions but they're all in Korean and for my organizational peace of mind (+ maybe to set up something of a scedule?), I want to sort them into types instead of chucking everything into the same basket like I've done up till now. Any info you have would be great! Thanks in advance :)

    1. I do not, other than I assume that the Licorice one is for brightening, but honestly all of them are stellar in my opinion. They all hydrate and reduce redness in my skin. Mmm, delicious. Watch out for the Ginseng one though, because it will Ginseng you hard, and then Ginseng you harder. ;D

  13. Hi, have your tried this brand of masks (Dermal Korea) before?

    Been hearing really good things about them and will like to see how they compare against your favs! I just bought some evercos masks! excited!

    1. I believe so, but they were not particularly memorable. What do you like about them? :)

  14. Hey hey! ghettofab55 here. Where do you get the Evercos sheet masks? They seem marvelous! <3

    1. Hey hey! I got them from 11st, which is a KR site that ships internationally with EMS only, but they usually have some rockin' coupons on shipping. I have a guide on how to use it here: :D

    2. Yippieeeeee thanks so much! <3 <3 <3

  15. Ok so I'm sure you already know this bc fanserviced-b posted about it today (I think), but I had to tell you anyway... your fave Evercos & Mediental masks are on the cheap at Global Interpark right now + free shipping & 10% off if you use Paypal. I'm about to order a combination of 35 of these babies for $33, which is straight bonkers.

    1. I got so excited there for a moment, but just as an FYI, only the items marked as "free shipping" are actually free shipping, as far as I know? :(

      Please let me know if you were not charged shipping though, because if so, I'm about to set this wallet on fiyah!

  16. I adored this post! I read up on the ingredients of the Malie Green Tea mask and noticed on cosdna that it contains some parabens. Given all the conversation surrounding them at the moment I'm a little apprehensive. What are your thoughts on parabens?

    1. Hi Moi,

      I would definitely recommend that you read this post about parabens:

      Take care :)

    2. You're a star! Thanks a bunch! :) x

  17. Hey, I was browsing on BeautyKorea and noticed some of the Mediental masks are on sale. a little bit over $1/piece. They only have two flavors though, but thought I'd share!