Snap Review: Primark Hydrogel Mask

Hi everyone!

I picked up Primark’s attempt at a hydrogel mask a few weeks ago when browsing their beauty shelves with AT, and finally gave it a try a few nights ago. I put on a few episodes of my current-watching anime series, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and unfurled it to give it a try.

Casually sneaking a pic between action scenes.

I’m sure nobody is ever expecting miracles from a mask like this especially from Primark, but I’ve not tried a hydrogel mask before so this was interesting to me. It didn’t seem like other hydrogel masks that I had seen online, though. It seemed like a regular sheet mask but with a slight gel texture on one side and a mesh texture on the other. I placed the gel side on my face.

It had no unpleasant or sharp fragrance, and the essence was not too runny. It survived over an hour on my face and probably could’ve lasted longer as it was still quite damp.

Yeah. The fit of this mask was kind of horrendous. Normally even with chin fitting issues, the mask is flexible enough for me to fold it over my chin. This material is a bit too stiff for that. It was also a bit too small to go right to the sides of my face. It’s occurred to me now, writing this post, that I could have cut extra slits to make the fit better but at the time I’d forgotten I could do that.

Overall, for £2 it was a total dud. It would make sense if this was more £1. So this was disappointing, but I did like their lip masks!

Have you tried any Primark skincare?

Until next time,

X

Review: Banobagi Vita Genic Jelly Sheet Masks

I may have mentioned in my blogging process post about a draft or photo or two that was just buried in my notes and folders. Well, I dug up some photos that looked really nice and re-shot a sheet mask selfie, and boom. The pretty shots here were taken last May (!!!!!!) so for me to say that this review is overdue is a severe understatement!

The Vita Genic masks were a gift to me from a friend in Scotland who I met in October of 2016. You’d think I’d have used them all up by now, but that’s a real testament to how often I use sheet masks (i.e. not a lot). From a quick search, I can see that a pack of ten costs about £12.50 on eBay (and very overpriced on Amazon…) so they’re quite inexpensive as masks go.

The sheet mask packets are a bit big and round, so depending on how much room you have for your masks they might be a little big for your container.

I have all four varieties available:

  • Green – Calm & Balance/Relaxing, Vitamin B, containing Jeju Aloe Water
  • Red – Firming/Lifting, Vitamin A, containing Jeju Cactus/Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract
  • Yellow – Tone Up/Whitening, Vitamin C, containing ‘Jeju Halabong Fruit’ extract
  • Blue – Moisturising/Hydrating, Vitamin E, containing Jeju Oxygen Water (LOL)

The sheet is made of 100% cotton. It fits really nicely on my face. Of course the chin and nose are a bit funky but that’s always the case with me. The sheet is super comfortable and adheres well.

It’s the return of the awful sheet mask selfie!

The essence, true to the ‘jelly’ part of the name, doesn’t drip even though there is loads of essence in the packet! I’m talking 30ml! There’s enough to slather on your whole body. I used it to ‘top up’ my mask as it began to dry out, and I had enough to do it TWICE. (I probably could have managed a third time if I had another hour spare.)

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TWICE.
(K-Pop gifs are SUCH FUN. Why didn’t I do this sooner???)

As for the effects? I never usually pay heed to how a mask affects my face, to be honest. I wear them as an occasional treat more than anything else, or just so I can do both my skincare and my revision in the evenings at once! I did feel very refreshed after using it although there was nothing in particular to note.

Overall, I really like using these masks and they are certainly something I could see myself rebuying in the future.

Until next time,

X


Days since last buying lipstick: 34

Review: The Creme Shop Sheet Masks

Since hearing that TK Maxx in the UK had begun to sell K-beauty items, I have made a point of dropping by more often to scour their messy shelves full of open products. You do find gems there occasionally. They’re also fantastic for the odd bit of gorgeous stationary in the notebooks section!

Most recently, I bought two packs of sheet masks from The Creme Shop Fusion Mask line. The Creme Shop are actually a US brand (based in LA) but the masks are made in Korea, which they mention proudly along with the fact that their products are cruelty-free.

The mask multipacks cost £4.99 for a pack of five individual sheet masks, which means each mask is about £1. This is a decent price in my opinion, and its US source is probably the reason why seeing as actual Korean-branded masks are usually sold for £2-3 individually at the same store! Price markups are scary.

Now, here’s a little pointer I have to mention. I noticed soon after purchasing my masks that they had an expiry date in 2016. We are well into the second quarter of 2017 now so that is a little concerning (Although not as bad as some 4-year old mask horror stories I’ve read!) I did patch test the essence just to make sure it wouldn’t immediately burn my face, and during my first use I kept the mask on for less time than I normally would have (twenty minutes as opposed to my usual hour or two) just in case.

I decided to make an exception and not return these masks seeing as sheet masks are individually sealed and my skin is generally unreactive. However, in future, I will definitely be checking for expiry dates and erring on the side of caution as to not buy them.

I don’t think in the UK we have expiry dates on cosmetics, just shelf life recommendations, so I don’t think there are any laws concerning any expiry dates on cosmetics anyway. With the rise of global products in cosmetics and especially the popularity of sheet masks recently, I hope regulations on cosmetics expiry dates and retail are considered soon in the future.

EDIT: From the cardboard packaging I had assumed these were expired, but on the individual mask packets the expiry date is listed as 2019. EH. It really shouldn’t be this misleading.

Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the Fusion Masks! I bought two varieties – the Green Tea and Latte, and the Honey and Lavender.

(Displayed on packaging for both masks)

Fusion Masks – The benefits of 2 masks in 1

The Creme Shop’s fusion sheet mask is designed to deliver the benefits of two masks with just one application.

Directions:

  1. Cleanse and dry skin.
  2. Pull out sheet mask from package and place mask on face. Use the excess essence in packet on neck and parts of face not covered by mask.
  3. Leave mask on for 20-30 min or until dry.
  4. Remove mask. Do not wash off or pat dry. Allow skin to absorb remaining nutrients.
  5. Proceed with routine skin regimen.

For a cooling effect, store your mask in the refrigerator.

Not only is each mask infused with two nutritious ingredients, it is also rich in the ultimate moisturiser: hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic acid’s superpower: Retains moisture. One gram can hold up to six liters of water. When skin lacks moisture, it can become cracked, aged and dull. Hyaluronic acid keeps skin young and perfectly dewy.

One of the first things I noticed was that The Creme Shop really play up the Korean inspiration of their masks. Since sheet masks became the next new thing, we have seen brands from Superdrug and Garnier to Estee Lauder and Charlotte Tilbury bringing out their own variations. I am aware that some brands do manufacture theirs in Korea as well. The Creme Shop is the first brand I have seen put Korean text on their packaging. Honestly, at a glance, I thought it was a proper Korea-based brand and that is what made me check out the products in the first place. Interesting move.

Green Tea and Milk 

Green Tea’s Super Power: Combats age. Antioxidants in green tea create a barrier to protect skin from free radicals while preventing deep, fine wrinkles.

Milk’s Super Power: Smooths out skin for a soft, silky complexion. Proteins and lactic acid in milk nourish the skin and gradually repair skin discolouration.

Ingredients:

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Xanthan Gum, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tricadeth-10, Betaine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Milk Protein Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Allantoin, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

Compared to the Honey and Lavender, I found this mask to be more pleasant to use. Largely because the smell is less strong and more tolerable, and doesn’t induce the visual of putting straight-up bar soap on my face. Otherwise, the fit was alright. There is a bit of awkward nose shaping but that’s not really new.

There is quite a bit of essence dripping from the mask so I did end up with extra to rub down my neck and arms.

Honey and Lavender

Honey’s Super Power: Filthy rich. Honey is rich in natural sugars and minersla, providing skin with essential nutrients. As a humectant, it traps in moisture to create silky, hydrated skin.

Lavender’s super power: Kills softly. Lavender is known for its therapeutic purposes, but is also effective in combating acne. They key to unblemished skin.

Ingredients:

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Xanthan Gum, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tricadeth-10, Betaine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Lavender Extract, Honey Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Lavender Oil, Allantoin, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA

Okay, when I opened this particular mask, I noticed the bubbles. When I took the mask out, I also noticed the bubble on the eye holes. This being a lavender mask, it totally smelt of lavender soap.

I found it was dripping in essence, and if I had not been erring on the cautious side, I would have used it all. The essence is clear and runny.

The mask fit was decent. As usual, there’s a lot of excess around my chin but the rest of my face fits alright. I should also note that the cotton is standard – thicker than My Beauty Diary, about the same as Etude House. If you’ve tried any sheet mask chances are you’ll be familiar with this type of sheet.

Overall, a decent experience with these masks but I’m not sure I will go out of my way to buy either of these in future!

What have been your beauty finds at TK Maxx recently?

Until next time,

X

Review: My Beauty Diary Aloe Vera Sheet Mask

My Beauty Diary sheet masks are routinely praised on the Asian Beauty Subreddit, so I have been wanting to try out some of their masks for a long time. They are a Taiwanese brand also well known for their version of the blackhead-removing peel mask, which was one of the first I had heard of and I dare say helped kick off that trend.

An unlikely opportunity to try the masks arose in the form of Joyce, destashing her masks in her blog sale (Her beauty blog is also a joy to read, so do check her out!). I caved in and bought all the MBD masks she had, plus a backup of my beloved Bourjois Beau Brun lipstick. It came to about 80p per item including delivery costs when I bought them so I think I snagged a good deal there.

My Beauty Diary sheet masks can also be purchased online on Amazon, Ebay, and YesStyle. In packs, they come to about £1.10 a mask. Separately, they can go for up to £3 a mask! Therefore, I would recommend waiting for some sort of a deal to arise or just buying a well-priced box with a reputable seller.

As usual, these come individually wrapped. Lately, I’ve been very aware that individually wrapped sheet masks lead to a lot of packaging and subsequent waste especially if used daily but, for my very occasional masking habits, these are appropriate for me. If I were to ever up the ante to a daily mask, I’d consider trying the Lululun brand who pack 7 masks in one resealable bag.

These come in smaller packets than other masks I have tried. This is nice if you only have one shoe box to stuff 19 masks in (coughmecough)! It also means generally less packaging that goes to waste. However, I guess this is countered by the plastic backing these masks have which need to be peeled off before you can wear the mask. In this case, it turns out to be helpful in getting the mask unfolded as this one is so unusually thin.

This mask has a clear, runny essence. I used to think that Etude House masks had a lot of essence, but My Beauty Diary masks have enough for DAYS. It dripped everywhere. I rubbed it into my arms and legs and even after five minutes of doing this the mask essence was still dripping all over my chest.

Unsurprisingly, I did have an issue with essence dripping into my eyes, which stings a little but doesn’t last forever.

Ingredients

Water, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Hydrolysed Yeast Protein, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Lemon Extract, Triethanolamine, Kiwi Fruit Extract, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Fruit Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Licorice Root Extract, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Lactate, Citric Acid, Hydroxyethanol Urea, Hydrolysed Jojoba Esters, Polyglutamic Acid, Codium Tomentosum Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Grapefruit Extract, Lecithin, Polysorbate-80, Glyceryl Glucoside, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, iodopropynyl Butyl Carbamate, Fragrance, Sodium Hydroxide, Glycosphingolipids, Tocopherylacetate.

Now, I’m not sure about Taiwanese Ingredient-labelling regulations, but I have noticed that Aloe Juice is on the ingredient lists of all the MBD varieties I have, and in the cases of the Hyaluronic Acid, Mexico Cactus and Apple Polyphenol Varieties, it appears higher on the list then the Aloe mask itself. Curious…

Me trying to open my eyes after flooding them in Aloe Vera essence and taking a photo at the same time. 

The mask is super thin – much thinner than other masks I have tried, apart from the Muji Compressed sheet masks. I can see the awful state of the skin through it! It clings super well thanks to the sheer amount of essence in the packet. It’s still not the perfect fit for my chin but this is normal with my face shape. It’s a bit small on the forehead side though and I haven’t experienced this kind of problem in fit before.

Overall, I do really like this mask and I am looking forward to trying out the other varieties that I have!

Until next time,

X

Review: Maskingdom 2-Step ‘I Wish’ Happy Birthday Mask

I’ve been wanting to do another sheet mask review for so long after the unparalleled success on this blog of this review here. However, sheet masking has become just an occasional treat for me seeing as my skin doesn’t need it that much.

This mask from Maskingdom was passed along to me by a family friend. I was surprised to find that it costs over £4 by itself- making it the most expensive sheet mask I have tried so far. I have another from the same range which I think I will also review.

The packaging on this mask is gorgeous, with some stunning art and cute colour scheme. It makes me almost believe in the idea that wearing such masks will make my wishes come true! I think this style is typical of Maskingdom so that’s nice!

03 I Wish ‘A Special Time’ “Happy Birthday” Mask

‘Just like flowers blossom every year, let not age get in your way. Added with the jasmine extract and caviar essence, recapture your youth and joy.’

From this, I think it is an anti-ageing, hydrating mask aimed at older skins, but that didn’t really stop me.

Ingredients (Mask essence):

Aqua, Methylpropanediol, Hydroxyethyl Urea, PEG-55, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Triethylhexanoin, Macademia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Crambe Abyssnica Seed Oil, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Trideceth-10, Sclerotium Gum, Butylene Glycol, Natto Gum, Methyl Paraben, Ethyl Paraben, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin, Glycerin, Vigna Aconitifolia Seed Extract, Sodium citrate, Tetradecyl, Aminobutyroylvalaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate, Magnesium Chloride, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Jasmine Officinale Oil, Ethyl Ascorbic Acid

You may be concerned with parabens in the mask, and there are a number of oils in it too. CosDNA link here.

Step 2 Lotion ingredients

Aqua, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium PCA, PEG-3350, Propylene Glycol, Centella Asiatica Extract, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cellulose, Chlorphenesin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Acetate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-39, Lecithin, Ectoin, Cyclopeptide-5, Sodium Hyaluronate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Potassium DNA, Argania Spinosa Sprout Cell Extract, Isomalt, Lecithin, Sodium Benzoate, Dextran, Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3 Jasmine Sambac Flower Extract

You may be concerned with Isopropyl Alcohol which is marked as 4 as an irritant. CosDNA link here.

I took this mask to Bristol for my birthday weekend, as the mask itself is so appropriately named. It’s so pretty and really suits that special occasion.

It has a plastic backing, which made unfolding a little easier. Not that much, though. If you usually have trouble unfolding masks you might like this, but I don’t so I just thought it was a little extra and also perhaps wasteful.

Tha mask is both thin and very very saturated with essence. I don’t use a mask cover which others use to keep a mask damp and on their face as it dries. So yes, even without a mask cover it remains damp for well over an hour. I ended up wearing it to bed. Despite being very saturated, there was almost no leftover essence in the packet.


I really liked the fit of this mask. It looks baggy and stretched around my nose but that was because I stretched it a little too much there. Sheet masks are hard to fix once they’re on the face because trying to pull one into position can cause it to rip, so I left mine alone. You can see how closely it fits my cheeks and it’s just a little too big for my chin. The bit that goes between the nose and mouth is also too big, so it covers my upper lip (making me look very pouty, but that’s not important in sheet masking!).

I wish I could tell you how I liked the second step serum, but when I ripped open the packet, it all flew out. There wasn’t very much, either! An annoying packaging flaw, but next time I will be sure to use scissors.

Seeing as I don’t have any more of these masks I can’t tell you how the effects are with regular use, but I imagine that these are quite expensive to use regularly. From one night of use I didn’t see much of a difference, in all honesty.

Overall, I really like this mask. It fits well, feels very hydrating and packs a real punch, not to mention the packaging. However, due to the price I wouldn’t stock up on these, but would very very happily accept these as gifts and use them for special occasions.

Thank you for reading! Until next time,

X

Reflection: Mock My Week.

(Featuring sheet masks and insta-crafting.)

Mock exams are a roller-coaster of emotions. Psychology was fine other than that I didn’t write enough,  and didn’t know my arguments well enough to write more. I know full well I am capable of at least two sides of writing for topics I definitely get,  but for now I’m not at that stage and there’s still plenty of time before the real exam.

Biology was a disaster. I know my theory well enough but my application is horrendous and I am being nice to myself when I say that!

General Studies is impossible to revise for,  but I think I did fairly well on that.
Now I have three days to revise for Chemistry and I’m feeling good about it right now.

As if out of spite, my lamp broke.  Just as I was about to settle in for the night.  I turned it on and it just…  Popped. Sparks and everything.

image

That little sphere by my laptop is the bulb that fell.

So, since I really needed it, I treated myself last night to one of the Etude House Masks from my 20Pc set: Damask Rose. Here’s a sweet and snappy review…

It really does smell of roses, and reminds me of the rose hand creams from M&S. I really like the designs on the packaging and this rosy one is ultra pretty. This one is a fairly simple moisturising mask and the scent is really noticeable when you first take it from the sachet. There’s lots of clear essence left over.
I think the fit was a little strange but I think I put it on my face a little too much to the right. I struggle to get positioning right with masks, anyway.

 

image
I’m not good at smiling in a sheet mask, and yes, that is an Adventure Time T-Shirt. I am also not really that… yellow. It’s the bedroom lighting. 

As another form of relaxation I picked up my knitting again, and finished a facecloth. The motivation for it was purely that I am totally into skincare now and need more facecloths to rotate. I have knitted all of mine (three) thus far.

That one got finished quickly after a few hours, so I was in need of something else, but I had run out of the cotton that I keep specially for washcloths. So instead, I decided I needed a headband to keep the hair from my face when I cleanse and do my skincare routine. I did have one previously, but ended up giving it away, and I already had a second on hold from last year…

(That photo has 54 likes as I type. It’s an instagram record. *cries with pride*)

I’m trying to figure out how to embed so the instagram images align in the centre but it seems WP doesn’t do this. Sigh.

If you are an A-Level student, how are your mock exams going? What are you doing to relax?

Until next time,

X

 

Korean Sheet Mask Review: Malie Green Tea

My skin has been acting up recently and I couldn’t figure out why – although I could put forth some vague guesses.

For a start, I study Biology and Chemistry in labs where water is not allowed. Plus I often simply forget to sip my water at school; as a result I’m not as hydrated as I should be. Secondly, I’m not getting my beauty sleep. Thirdly, the most decent food in the school canteen is the chips and I’m limiting my carb intake  – effectively reducing my choices to a chicken-burger-without-bun-but-with-salad, or a wrap-without-the-wrap-bit. Sigh.

With great timing, my package of sheet masks arrived. I kind of had to explain to my dad what I had ordered since the package was from Korea which both surprised him and made him suspicious, but I was just as shocked. The package was from Korea! I took my chances with free international economy shipping! I wasn’t expecting the package for another month!!

I ordered 17pcs of Malie Green Tea sheet masks from K-beautybox on ebay, for £9.75, so each mask was about 57p, not counting the extras included. I was looking specifically for these masks because they’re cheap, but seemingly good for the price. The sheet masks came with a resealable bag of 15 pairs of collagen eye patches from LUKE and a little free charcoal nose strip from LUKE as well. They dispatched my order the day after I made it, and estimated delivery was between 1st Oct – 3rd Nov. It arrived on 26th Sep – way before estimated. Not that I’m complaining.

I have used sheet masks before to try, in the form of Superdrug’s own brand. I have a review sorta ready, but no photos whatsoever, so posting my review would be breaking a law of sorts.


I was a bit cautious with the ingredients list because there are key differences in labelling regulations in Korea and other places – outlined briefly by Tracy at fanserviced-b (a great K-Beauty site that I often use as reference). I personally am not concerned with any of the ingredients, even more so as I don’t use face masks often. However, you might be concerned with methylparaben or fragrance in the product.

According to another review – I don’t recall which – most of the Malie masks appear to be of the same base formula besides the extract which appears at the end of the list. This is why I chose Green Tea, even though the extract is listed second-last, as my acne-prone skin needs all the help it can get.

The mask fit is standard. Even though there are some shallow (and unhelpful) cuts to help with fitting, I had to make some folds and stretch in some areas. I foresee fitting masks on my chin being a regular problem, as this happened with the Superdrug brand masks too. Besides that, the eye holes are in the right place and whatnot. (I was surprised to read reviews of other masks that stated otherwise, so I thought it was something I should mention.)

I think this counts under my semi anonymous mantra.

There is a vague scent of tea (beyond, what I call, a standard skincare scent, which is slightly stronger and overtakes here). Not brewed tea, but the cosmetic scent of green tea, if you get me. It’s not overpowering and is quite nice. Plus once it’s on my face it fades to a hint.

The mask is actually fully saturated in the essence. It’s neither a thick or runny essence and there are a few drops left over in the packet which I massage into my neck. The mask itself is thinner than Superdrug’s, but not super thin like Muji’s compressed face masks. In regards to the price, I am not expecting a miracle with this mask, although I expect regular wear will be handy during the winter months to provide extra hydration.

I wear my mask as the last step in my night routine and sleep with them on my face, so the essence is all used up. I tend to use them fortnightly and, to be honest, will only stock up properly during the winter where I might use up more. Otherwise I’ll only use them if I feel like a bit of pampering is needed.

I was tempted to buy K-beautybox’s pack of 36 masks + a bunch of nose strips for £13-ish, but the huge pack contains all the Malie mask types and I really wanted to avoid the Potato (which apparently smells like raw potato and why would I need it??) and the Snake (which just doesn’t appeal to me!).

Out of the others, the Snail, Pomegranate, Royal Jelly and Seaweed options are appealing. Possibly for the next batches I buy?

X