Thursday, October 13, 2016

Korean Beauty and Sheet Mask Haul

Hey Guys,

It's been a while since I've updated my last K-Beauty post and I've been getting some DM's about my skincare regimen and the products I love.

I had a chance to go to Pacific Mall over the weekend  and as I only had three masks left, there couldn't have been a better time to update the post. Here's a look at all the stuff I got:

As you can see it's not just sheet masks, I also got cleansing agents, a hair mask and hand cream, but for this post we'll just focus on the sheet masks.

Pacific Mall K-Beauty Haul 

Just to give a little bit of background, K-beauty (Korean Beauty) is a phenomenon thats been taking the beauty world by storm in the last couple of years. A few years ago you couldn't find Korean beauty products anywhere and were probably even less likely to try them if you did (The lack of English on the packaging can be a deterrent for some who don't speak the language). In recent years, as popularized by bloggers, celebrities, models and fashion people, Korean beauty products exploded into the mainstream and now have a global reach and a steadily growing fan base.

For many, skincare isn't about loyalty to a particular brand, it's mostly about isolating the things your skin needs to improve on and finding a fix for that, whatever the brand may be. One mask probably won't drastically change your skins appearance, but routine use has a lasting impact. With most masks your skin does feel different even after just one treatment, so you can just imagine the long term results.

In the world of masks there are many different options. You can get the classic sheet mask, a gel mask, cushion mask, peeling masks, toning washes, scrubs, overnight repair packs, heat activated masks, the list goes on. There are masks with the brand's characters on them, there are masks that make you look like different animals as you wear them, there are masks with popular K-Pop groups/ individuals on them (See below the It's Skin's Bam Bam - Snail  sheet mask featuring GOT7's  Bam Bam.) It's not uncommon to walk into a store and see large posters of famous Kpop groups or individual performers repping the brand. It's a marketing strategy that seems to work time and time again and as K-pop stars generally have great skin, having that person as the face of your skincare line is a great way to increase interest.

(Clockwise from the Top Left)  Sheet Masks Isolated by Use: Repair, Elasticity, Spot Control / Toning, Purifying, Brightening and Hydration.

In the picture above, beginning at the top left, the masks have been divided into piles representing their use:

Repair: These masks are used for repairing damages to the skin. They usually focus on elasticity and firmness and usually include collagen, extracts and vitamins in their respective formulas.
Masks shown:

  • Holika Holika - Juicy Mask in "Mango" and "Collagen + Pomegranate"
  • It's Skin - sheet mask in "Honey"
  • Etude House - sheet mask in "Collagen"
  • Skinfood - Healthy Food Sheet Mask  in "DN_A"

Re-energizing: These masks are used to refresh the skin's look and often contain serums and extracts that repair the skin's elasticity and overall look. You can buy a variety of options from flower extracts to rice and baking soda ones.
Masks Shown: 

  • The Face Shop - Character Mask in "Resilience" 
  • Holika Holika - Juicy Mask in "Pomegranate" and "Blueberry".

Spot Control / Toning: These masks are used for evening out the skin tone and focusing on acne scarring and facial blemishes. Because of the nature of the mask they often include a soothing and hydrating effect. These masks are also great for taming breakouts quickly and naturally.
Masks Shown:

  • Holika Holika - Juicy Mask in "Tea Tree - Spot Control"
  • Holika Holika - Before / After mask sheets in "After Hard Study" and "Before A Date"
Purifying: These masks are used to remove impurities and cleanse the skin.
  • Etude House - Mask sheet in "Lotus"
  • Holika Holika - Juicy Mask Sheet in "Aloe"
  • Holika Holika - Mask sheet in "Arbutin and Pearl" - Should have been sorted with the brightening masks
Brightening: As the name says, these mask brighten the complexion.\
Masks Shown:
  • Etude House - mask in "Pearl"
  • The Face Shop - Real Nature Mask in "Peony" (Peony root extract) 
  • The Face Shop - Character Mask in "Brightening"
  • It's Skin - Mask in "Carrot" 

Hydration: Having well-hydrated skin is the basis for a healthy complexion so it's not surprising that there are so many masks on the market dedicated to tackling the issue. These masks include anything from peach to rose to hyaluronic acid.
Masks Shown:

  • It's Skin - BAM BAM Mask in "Snail"
  • It's Skin - Moisture Mask Sheet in "Hyaluronic Acid"
  • The Face Shop - Character Mask in "Hydrating"
  • It's Skin - Moisture Mask in "Rose"

It's Skin Sheet Masks and a Butterfly Eye Mask
Holika Holika Sheet Masks

The Face Shop Sheet Masks and Samples

A note of caution:

  • Skincare is tough sometimes and an expert opinion always helps. Now that Korean beauty products are so wide spread, its easy to get sucked into buying a sub-standard product or random mask from Sephora (Note: Sephora does have some good masks but they are more pricy, tend to have chemicals and don't work as well as their Korean counterparts.)
  • Try to visit a flagship location if you can. There are The Face Shop, Tony Moly and Holika Holika locations throughout Toronto. There are also specialty beauty places like Jealousy Beauty on Queen St and L'Amour Beauty on Dundas that carry a wide array of products. 
  • Feel free to talk to the sales people as they are often very knowledgeable about matching products to skin problems / appearance and won't just try to sell you the most expensive thing in stock. (FYI: The most expensive things are usually the serums or specialty collagen lotions.) I've often found great new masks and cleansing products after talking with an associate. It's a game changer. 
  • Make sure to purchase your mask at a reputable retailer or online platform. Just because it's on eBay / Amazon and the packaging looks the same, does not mean that the product is authentic.
  • Another good reason to talk to the sales people is that they more often than not speak Korean  and if you have an allergy or sensitivity, you can verify that the mask or product you are considering doesn't include that ingredient.   (Ex: Masks sometimes contain fish or snail collagen)
  • Try the mask or serum on the inside of your wrist and leave it on for a bit to make sure you don't have a bad reaction.
  • Masks go bad too! make sure to use your products in a timely fashion. 

That's all for now guys, hope this helps!


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