MaskGenie – January Pouch Review

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I couldn’t decide whether this post should be an unpouching or a full review and as anyone who knows me well could tell you, when faced with a dilemma I procrastinate…..BIG TIME!

One of the main targets (time wasters?) for the procrastination this time was my new found love for Buzzfeed video, and more undeniably,  ‘The Try Guys‘ (seriously, check them out – I promise hours upon hours of free time wasting and you may either laugh yourself into next week or fall slightly in love …..probably both!)

Anyway, enough of humorous men and my time management issues and onto MaskGenieMaskGenie has been set up by one of my fellow Memebox Addicts, Genie of Genie’s Favorite Products and came at a very opportune time, just as Memebox was closing up shop to international customers.

I can’t help myself but every time I type the name I think of this!:

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That’s the TV programme ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ (1965-70).  Seriously, I’m not that old, it was repeated constantly in the 80’s on daytime TV!

MaskGenie is a monthly mask subscription service with a difference.  Similar to Memebox, you do not have to commit to months of a subscription but just buy a pouch as and when you want one. Genie provides pouches of 5 different masks (at $12) and 10 different masks (at $22) every month. The masks are all from reputable Asian brands and international shipping is included in the price. Details on how to order at the end of the post.

Genie will post a spoiler for each pouch before the payment deadline and then a full unpouching video (link at the end) when the pouches have been sent out so that you know what you are going to get! Some people watch because they have no self-restraint (me!) and some prefer a surprise when their pouch arrives! 🙂

She also has occasional themed pouches, such as the Oriental Beauty pouch for Chinese New Year (which unfortunately I missed as I did not have the money in time for the deadline – which I really regret as that one looked amazing and even had sweets!) and the current limited edition ’10 Days in the Wild’ pouch (see the end of the post for further details). The pouches are packaged in a drawstring bag each month and are posted securely in a robust envelope marked ‘fragile’ from Hong Kong. I have not had any issues with customs or the postal service.

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Onto the unpouching / review!

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MaskGenie includes a small slip of paper with a ‘thank you’ for purchasing and the link to the Facebook page for more information about the masks. To be honest, I would much rather have an information card with the names of the masks and some details about them rather than having to keep referring back to either the FB page or the Youtube unpouching. That isn’t always entirely helpful either as not all of them are featured on the FB page and having to find the right bit on a video is tiresome (especially when there are a few different types of one mask sent). This is a small gripe however and although I hope that this changes in the future, it is not a deal breaker.

I have used all of the masks for this pouch so far apart from one and I’ll fill in the review for that when I use it!

MASK No 1: MediHeal Mogongtox Soda Bubble Sheet (Korea)

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(Urgh, please excuse the photos! These were among some of the first photos that I took with this camera and hopefully I’ve improved a bit! It was also a very very dull day).

Description:
Blackhead Control, deep cleansing. Extracts from papaya, apples and mung beans clean dead skin and microscopic keratin from pores with bubbling. Fine bubbles are formed, developed by utilising the principles of carbonated water, which will provide a massaging sensation. It is a wash-off typed soda peeling sheet, not only it helps skin pore care but also allows tree leaves and Galactomyces ferment filtrate to clear skin. Suitable for: combination skin / oily and acne skin.

How to Use:
1. Apply mask pack on dried face after face washing.  Contents may stay at the bottom of the pouch, it is recommended to mix the contents by rubbing the pouch before use. (Use immediately after open).
2. Stay for 10 minutes and remove sheet when enough bubbles cover your face.
3. Softly massage face with remained bubbles and wash off with warm water.

Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids, Dipropylene Glycol, Disiloxane, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Methyl Perfluorobutyl Ether, Methyl Perfluoroisobutyl Ether, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Propanediol, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Phaseolus Radiatus Seed Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Castanea Sativa (Chestnut) Bark Extract, Diospyros Kaki leaf extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Propolis Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Bark /Leaf/ Twig Extract, Carbonated Water (0.018 mg), Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Butylene Glycol, Milk Protein Extract.

My Thoughts:

This was actually the last mask that I tried from this pouch and it was definitely one of my favorites!

This mask was the spoiler for this pouch as Genie had tried this one out during a mask challenge and a lot of people really wanted to try it out!

When you open the pack there is no distinct smell at all and you find a dense, fairly thick black sheet mask. After unfolding, you will see that the mask only covers part of your face. The mask was full of essence and there was plenty left in the pouch. Having not read the instructions above (which were not in English on the package) I put some on the bits of my skin not covered by the mask and the rest I used afterwards.

You put it on like any other sheet mask and after half a minute or so it starts to bubble up with fine white bubbles. One thing that I questioned before I used it was whether the bubbles appeared on both sides of the mask as from the pictures that I had seen, it seemed that the bubbles were mainly on the side exposed to the air. I did find that they were mostly on that side but that the essence still soaked into the skin fine on the other side. You do get a slight tickling sensation (much less so than say the Elizavecca bubble clay mask) when the mask is on but I found that that was mainly in the places that I had put the essence directly onto the skin.

I don’t quite get why it is shaped like it is, other than for the sake of being different / quirky, and it would be great if they made one that covered the entire face. One thing that possibly may influence it, would be the potential for bubbles to drip down into the eyes if it was covering the forehead and that would NOT be good! The bubbles didn’t seem to go any further than the material though and definitely didn’t drip onto my neck / chest whilst they were doing their thing.

Disclaimer: I find it very difficult to take photographs with masks on, as I remove my contact lenses to use them and to be frank, I am as blind as a very blind bat! (-15 myopia). If I tried to take a picture in that state I would probably end up taking it of my feet or worse – boobs! As a consequence of this it is very unlikely that I will be showing off my visage a la sheet mask but luckily in this case Genie did the honours on her Facebook page.

Jan Mediheal soda(source)

It says to take off after 10 minutes and Genie made a point to emphasise this as she left it for 15 and had a slightly red face afterwards.  I, of course, got distracted and left it on for about 20 minutes (maybe longer!). Luckily I am not that sensitive and saw no redness but obviously if you have sensitive or a drier type of skin I would advise that you follow the instructions 😉

I then poured out the remaining essence in the pouch and massaged it into my skin like a foaming cleanser, washing it all off with warm water and then continuing my usual routine. I found that my skin looked clear and even and that my pores seemed a bit less noticeable.

I would definitely like to try this mask again and would buy it. It has good ingredients, is fun to use and showed some results.

8.5/10

This mask is available to buy in packs of 10 at Sasa (¥189.10 / £20.40) and Ebay ($24.92 / £16.80). It is also available as a single on Ebay ($3.99 / £2.70).

MASK No 2: Beyond The God of Patches Bye-Bye to Excess Fat (Korea)

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Description:

With a simple application, this firming patch provides intensive conditioning for the abdomen, thigh, upper arms and other areas that require special care. This hydrogel-type product helps to achieve smooth and soft body contour and its cooling and moisturizing composition provides firmness to the skin surface.For smooth and firm skin. Leaves a refreshing and moisturising feeling. After repetitive application, you will find your skin much firmer and moisturized. Beyond The God of Patches Bye-Bye to Excess Fat is produced by using natural and organic ingredients without chemical preservative, chemical colourants and animal experimentation.  Beyond products are dermatologically tested. Contains Garsinia Canbogia Fruit Extract (HCA).

How to Use:
1. Clean areas where to put patch and make it dry.
2. Remove film of patch.
3. Attach patch on the trouble areas and attach adherence sticker over it to fix it.
4. Leave it for 8 hours for absorption of active ingredient and remove.
* Recommended to attach during working out or sleeping.

Suitable for all skin types.

Ingredients: (were not on the package but these are thanks to Biancardi at CosDNA)
Purified Water, Glycerin, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, 1,2-Hexanediol, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil,  Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract,  Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Caffeine, Agar, Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, Paeonia Suffruticosa (Peony) Root Extract, Niacinamide, Carnitine, Ethanol, Disodium EDTA, Isomerized Safflower Acid, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Polyglutamic Acid, Coco-Glucoside, Garcinia Cambogia Fruit Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract,  Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glaucine.

My Thoughts:

This is the one mask that I haven’t used yet. I am saving it for a special occasion!! I have another similar slimming patch that I was sent as a free sample with a Tester Korea order (bit of a weird one there!) so I may compare the two. Genie did use this mask as part of her challenge. She used it on her tummy and wore it overnight. She said that it felt a lot firmer the next day and that she and she started to go to the loo a lot!  It may possibly act as a diuretic and any weight that you lose may be water weight.

Jan Hippo(source)

This mask is widely available. For example, Rose Rose Shop (2100 Won / £1.25); Korea Depart ($13.10 / £8.85 for 5); Tester Korea (3500 Won / £2.10); Ebay ($40.60 / £27.52 for 10) and various Amazon sellers.

MASK No 3: Secret Key Snail & EGF Repairing Mask Pack (Korea)

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I received three of these masks in my Memebox Secret Key Value Set so I will copy the info from there.

Description:.

These masks have a dual function essence that has Whitening & Wrinkle diminishing properties including over 90% of yeast ferment filtrate.  They also contain filtered extract of snail and ingredients of EGF, which will make your damaged skin look much healthier and smoother. This concentrate type of essence will revive the healthy skin rhythm keeping the skin moist and with a clear tone.  This Essence with rich nutrition will help improve the condition of your skin and provide continuous moisturising effects after application so that your skin can remain healthy and hydrated. They have 7 intensive results of Hydration, Resilience, Brightening, Wrinkle diminishing, Soothing, Rearranging skin texture, and Anti-oxidation.

How long to use:
15-20 minutes.

Ingredients: (in Korean but the key ones are)
Snail Mucin (Chondrotin Sulfate), Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Albutin, Adenosine, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Leaf Extract , Grapefruit extract and Rosemary Leaf Extract. It also contains rhEGF, which helps skin firming.

My Thoughts:

This mask is one of the MaskGenie‘s favorites. It is her go-to for breakouts or that time of the month as it is very soothing and lessens redness and irritations.

It wasn’t one of my favorites I’m afraid. I know a lot of people rate this one but it really did nothing for me. I will however try again with the other three that I have and will update if my opinion changes.  My thoughts from the previous review:

Sheet masks are all pretty similar. It is rare to find either a really terrible or a really amazing one. This was one of the good but not amazing ones. The fit was a bit off (after all everyone’s face shape is different). There were huge gaps at either side of the nose and the mask was incredibly wide on me with excess folds at the cheeks (I don’t have a narrow face!).

The mask did not smell of much and had a decent amount of essence soaked into it. I invariably always fall asleep when I have a sheet mask on and I did when I tried this out, when I woke up some hours later it was bone dry and even the essence that is usually left in the pouch (there always seems to be plenty with a lot of brands) was non existent.
The mask left my skin feeling comfortable and clear but it was not luxurious or special in any way. I did compare it unfavourably with the Benton Snail Bee Mask, which has a similar function.

I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to buy this mask but would happily use it if it came in a set or subscription.

6/10

These can be bought at BNK for $5.40 for 3 with free shipping (£3.50).

 

MASK NO 4: Sister Diary Rose Hyaluronic Mask or Apple Polyphenol Platinum Mask (Taiwan / Japan)

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I got the Apple one ….thank f….

(NB: my abject hatred of strong floral scents, most especially Rose is well known!)

Description:

Pore tightening – Using Europe rare species of apple – Spatlauber Apple effectively tighten skin, regenerate skin pores, hydrate skin and lock in skin moisture. Through latest micro molecule technology, essence particles is now small enough to penetrate deep into skin most inner layer, brings you incredible silky smooth skin.
Oil Controlling – Platinum helps to renew dead cell, effectively control skin oil secretion. Enhance skin tightening and hydrating effect, which improve skin clarity and promote youthful skin. Natural hydrating factors help skin to absorb the nutrition, penetrate deep inside the skin, and prevent skin dryness.

How long to use:
15-25 minutes.

Ingredients:
Water, Trimethylolpropane Triethylhexanoate, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20,  Glyceryl Stearate, Peg 100 Stearate, Steareth 2, Dimethicone, Ceteth 24, Choleth 24, Phospholipid, Propylene Glycol, Disodium Edta, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Hamamelis Virginiana Extract, Cucumis Stivus Fruit Extract, Applephenon, 1, 3butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Peg 120 Jojoba Esters, Aloe Vera Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Palmitoly Tripeptide-3, Acetyl Hexapeptide-3, Xanthan Gum, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Methylisothiazolinone/Iodopropyl Butylcarbamate, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Perfume, Platinum.

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My Thoughts:

I believe that these are in some way associated with the better known My Beauty Diary brand. They are supposed to be made to a special formula developed by a factory in Japan, that apparently adheres to the face better. The intended Rose variant ran out and some people will have got this Apple version instead. I am pleased with this situation 🙂

I have to say that I really loved this mask!! It had a gorgeous sweet apple scent (very slightly floral, not too strong) and the mask itself really felt like it hugged my face.

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…..but in a good way!

The mask was cooling and really refreshing. I fell asleep and when I woke up my face felt smooth, moisturised and my skin looked refined, bright and clear. It didn’t feel sticky like some masks can. There was still a lot of essence left in the pack, which I patted in for added nourishment.
This mask does contain alcohol, so may be best to avoid this one if you have dry, reactive skin or are at all sensitive to it.

I have a My Beauty Diary Apple Polyphenol mask coming in my long awaited Beauteque order (less said about that the better at the moment but I will be doing a post at some point) so I will be able to compare.

I would definitely buy this mask again and I wish that it was more widely available.

8.5/10

I could only find this mask in a few places and none of the ones that I had used before. It is available for S$1.29 (about 65p and about £2.20 with shipping) on Qoo10, and also on various Malaysian and Hong Kong based sites.

MASK No 5: NextBeau Aqua Collagen Piggy Mask or EGF Collagen Piggy Mask (Korea)

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Aww!!

This was again a choice of two masks from the same range. I got the EGF Pore Tightening version.

Description:

Provides moisture and nutrition to the skin by containing E.G.F, which promotes elasticity, Helps to keeps the skin moist. It is a essence pack that keep the skin vibrant and sleek.

How long to use:
20~30 minutes.

Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Hyaluronic Acid, Betaine, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Collagen (1.000 ppm), Allantoin, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Polysorbate 20, Human Oligopeoptide-1 (60mg), Fragrance.

My Thoughts:

MaskGenie used the Aqua (Moisturising) version of this mask and thought it was pretty good for the price as an everyday mask.

Jan Nextbeau(source)

I think there are much better ones out there at a similar price point that produce superior results and are more satisfying to use. I honestly don’t remember that much about this mask other than it wasn’t a particularly good fit with the nose and mouth holes being too big and it had no discernible effect on my skin or pores. Hyaluronic Acid is fairly high up on the ingredients list, which implies a high level of moisturisation but it was not particularly noticeable to me.

Would I buy this mask? nope (I would of course use it if I got it elsewhere).

5/10

If you want to prove me wrong :),  this mask is available in the following places: Ebay ($2.79 / £1.88) or Rubyruby76 on Ebay ($14.03 / £9.51 for 10); Roserose shop (the same place!) at Qoo10 (S$14.40 / £7.00 for 10 inc shipping).

MASK No 6: Petitfée 98% Collagen & Co Q10 Hydro Gel Essence Eye Patch (Korea)

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Description:

Collagen and Co Q10 Hydrogel Essence Eye and spot patch infused with extracts of natural flower plants. Our products carry these plant essences directly to the skin to encourage health and reveal true and lasting beauty.  Hydro gel can absorb high amount of water, 98%, hydrating and moisturizing, re-hydrates skin and improves blood circulation.  Collagen is rich in amino acids and Co Q10 is a potent antioxidant and the mix of all these ingredients will help reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and dark circles around the eyes, leaving the area bright and moisturized. They are to relieve eye fatigue pressure, eliminate eye lines, eye bags, dryness and roughness.

How long to use:
20-30 minutes.

Ingredients: in Korean unfortunately and I couldn’t find an English list.

My Thoughts:

MaskGenie initially did not try these out as she is not a fan of hydrogel masks (I love them!). But has done since the pouch has been sent out as she had one left over. She noted that they look like the yinyang symbol when you take the disc out from the packet! 

Jan Petitfee eye

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When you have opened the packet, you remove the film, and tear the two patches apart along the dotted line. As Genie noted, this patch is pretty dry. In fact, I did wonder whether I got a dud or it had dried out in transit as normally hydrogels are as wet and slippery as normal sheet masks … sometimes even more so. The fact that it is this dry (it feels almost silky rather than moist) caused problems for me with adherence. They are quite large and it was pretty difficult to get them into a comfortable position under my eyes and every time I moved it, it started to slip. I ended up having to lie down and stay very very still.


After the recommended time I really didn’t notice any difference to my under eye area. The area felt bone dry and the slight dark circles I had (I had been up for way too long) were exactly the same. These are apparently pretty expensive but I would say not really worth it. I have tried much better eye Korean patches and I would not buy these.

5/10

If you want to try these out they are available at Qoo10 (S$7.99 / £3.90) or a website I haven’t heard of before called Skincare Genies ($12.99 / £8.80 for 5). They also sell them in a pot (maybe more moist?) for $19.99 / £13.50 (for 60). There is also a ridiculous listing on Ebay for $119.99 for 5 (funnily enough by the same seller as the Qoo10 listing!)

MASK No 7: Etude House Green Tea Nose Pack (Korea)

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Description:

Easy-to-use nose sheets are formulated with green tea additives that purify pores of deep seated dirt and excess sebum. Powerful adhesive clings tightly on skin, binding whiteheads, blackheads and excess sebum ready to be lifted away to keep nose clear and smooth. Green tea extracts not only remove waste materials, blackheads, sebums and dead skin cells on the skin, but also tighten pores and relax skin. Use pore strip 2-3 times per week to minimize pore size and keep pores clear of dirt and debris.

How to use:
1. After cleansing, wet nose with lots of water, remove patch’s transparent film & press smooth side of patch onto center of nose.
2. After 10-15 minutes, once patch dries up, remove patch starting from outer edges.
3. Apply toner to nose after use.

Ingredients:
VP/VA Copolymer, Water, Silica, Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Chromium Oxide Greens, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Fragrance.

My Thoughts:

Etude House is a very well known Korean brand. It’s pretty cheap, cheerful and very cute and makes some very good products and some more average ones. I have used many different brands of nose strips over the years, from the classic (and relatively expensive) Bioré to your more bog standard 99p for 6 from the cheap beauty shop (probably Purederm!). They are all much of a muchness but where the ones I have used in the past and the Korean branded ones I have used more recently differ is that the Korean ones all seem to be coloured and scented rather than plain white and smelling of nothing.

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These little lovelies are a muted apple green and smell VERY strongly of something but definitely not green tea! I think it was more of a minty herbal, slightly smoky smell, quite artificial.  The smell continues as it is drying on your nose (close proximity!) unfortunately.

Ok, the results – just ok! I have had better. There was a bit on there but not much. I think part of the problem I have with these coloured nose strips is that it is much more difficult to see the gunk that they extract (too much information??) than on a plain white strip. The Black charcoal one that I have used previously was impossible, especially in the fairly dull light of a British winter. Of course, it could be that my skincare routine and relatively new Clarisonic are rendering this process obsolete? hmm

Anyway, a nose strip is a nose strip. Despite the claims they are never going to purify or tighten your pores. They will however hopefully suck out any lovely blackheads that happen to be lurking (temporarily … they always come back!).

Some tips from my experiences with these things to make the process more successful:

1. Use a mask that opens pores before hand. I recommend the Tony Moly Egg Pore Blackhead Steam Balm or a clay mask that does not also claim to tighten pores. Alternatively, holding a warm wet flannel on the area for a bit before will also help.

2. Really wet that nose area!

3. Press the strip down all over thoroughly.

4. Leave it until it is bone dry.

5. Pull it off slowly but surely. Firm and even is good, like ripping off a plaster.

6. Complete the routine with either a mask which will soothe and calm the area or a splash of cool water and a decent toner.

Would I buy these? No but they weren’t that bad as these things go.

6/10

These are widely available: from Etude House itself ($0.50 / 35p) or from Yes Style (£5.90 for 10). Tester Korea has them for 500 Won (30p).

MASK No 8: Lebelage Natural Essence Egg Mask (Korea)

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Description:

– Containing egg yolk extracts helps skin keep fresh. Egg tightens skin and provides nutrition.

– preserve moisturising and nourishment skin and help to manage a healthy, energetic and clean skin.

– this is an effect of enhancing the skin’s elasticity and moisture.

How long to use:
20-25 minutes.

Ingredients:
Purified Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Xanthan Gum, Calendula Officinalis Flower Water, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Water, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Egg Yolk Extract, Panthenol, Beta-Glucan, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Phenoxythanol, Methylparaben, Polysorbate 80, Fragrance.

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Yeah, couldn’t resist …. at least it isn’t another bunny 🙂 ♥

My Thoughts:

I had high hopes for this mask, knowing that eggs have been used in beauty for thousands of years. The All-China Women’s Federation tells of Zhang Lihua, a renowned beauty who lived around 600 B.C. and used a facial cream made from egg white and powdered vermilion. There isn’t much actual scientific evidence out there to back up the many claims and home remedies around but it has been shown that egg whites applied to the face and neck will tighten the skin, providing an instant temporary face lift.

This was another mask that I don’t really remember much about. The fit wasn’t good, with the eye and mouth holes being a bit too big so that I had to do a lot of adjusting before it sat right. The scent was slightly floral and a little bit ‘off’.  It reminded me somewhat of going into a hotel room on holiday for the first time (very specific I know!) – I presume because the floral fragrance smells a bit like a room cleaner / air freshener.
There was no noticeable results. My skin felt a bit sticky afterwards but that was about it.  Nope, I wouldn’t go for this one.

5/10

This mask has been available on Ebay but there are no current sales.

MASK No 9: Dermal Syn-ake Collagen Essence Mask or Collagen Essence Mask or Charcoal Collagen Essence Mask (Korea)

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I got the Syn-ake version.

Description:

1. It is a simple sheet type essence mask offering your skin direct nutrition, and after using it is possible for you to go out without washing your face.

2, Compared to other masks you can feel the difference immediately when using this mask only once and it includes a high quality mask sheet that sticks to your face very well.

3. It contains minute peptide ingredient “Syn-ake” (2.5 ppm) which is officially authorized by the Swiss Technology Award. The “Syn-ake” is similar with a real Snake venom and it spreads to your skin fast and keeps your skin smooth and elastic while preventing skin muscular from contraction.

4. Vitamin E and Hydrolysed Collagen (0.02%) – it provides your tired skin nutrition and makes your skin healthy and bright.

5. When you put mask sheet on your face, it makes you feel cool and keeps your tired skin elastic.

How Long to use:
15-20 minutes

Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Beta-Glucan, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polysorbate 80, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance.

My Thoughts:

‘It makes you feel cool ‘ …. ha, no. I don’t think that a sheet mask can ever do that!

I do of course realise that they mean cool, as in, cooled down. Just being facetious as usual. This mask makes a lot of promises and as I understand it, you are never going to see an immediate result from using syn-ake as it is meant to be a cumulative thing. So with that in mind, and not expecting miracles, this mask was ok.

The sheet itself was a decent thickness and there was plenty of the essence. There was no distinctive smell and this was one of the masks which has eye flaps, which you can choose either to fold down so it is like a normal mask (and you can see!) or have them up (and not see – obviously this is not a problem for me as I can’t see anyway!).

My skin felt a little bit moisturised but not as nice as my main stand by masks. This mask is good for a daily mask and I would try the others in the range but wouldn’t specially purchase it. I think you would have to use it pretty frequently to see any changes of the botox-lite variety!

6.5/10

This mask is available at Tester Korea for 500 Won (30p!).

MASK No 10: Sasatinnie Soya Milk Mask or Honey Peach Mask (Hong Kong)

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Description:

Suitable for all skin types. Energises and nourishes skin, effectively moisturises and brightens skin tone.

How long to use:
15-20 minutes

Ingredients:
Aqua, Butylene Glycol, Prunus Persica (Peach) Leaf Extract, Niacinamide, Hydroxethyl Urea, Centella Asiatica (Hydrocotyl) Extract, Panax Ginseng (Ginseng) Root Extract, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Triethanolamine, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Lactic Acid, Allantoin, Carbomer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Hyaluronic Acid, Methylparaben, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Parfum, Methylisothiazolinone.

My Thoughts:

Sasa is an retail store which is really popular and famous in Hong Kong. Genie wanted to include a mask made by them as it is rare to find a mask made in HK because of the high salaries and standard of living, which make production costs generally higher. I was thinking perhaps Sasa is equivalent to our Boots here? High Street but not necessarily cheap / cheap.

The first thing that you notice about this mask is the smell – it is very strong! I wouldn’t quite describe it as fresh peach. It is more of a concentrated peach juice or a peach jelly sweet perhaps! The mask has plenty of rich, milky, slightly sticky essence and fits pretty well.

This mask really moisturised and hydrated my skin and my face seemed a lot brighter and clearer after use. I found this one relaxing and a pleasure to use.

Yes, I would buy this one!

8/10

This is available directly from the Sasa website at $8.80 (£6) for 10, plus shipping. Also available on Amazon at £21.99 plus £4.99 shipping.

Conclusion

This first pouch from the MaskGenie was a bit hit and miss for me but I do love that about masks. You never know whether they are for you until you try them and it is worth trying some so-so masks to find some that you truly enjoy.  They are generally fairly cheap so it isn’t like buying a £90 serum and finding you don’t like it!

This was a good wide selection of masks, personally chosen by Genie and you can see the process here in her unpouching Youtube video.

I had no bad reactions and I would use all of them again if I was gifted them or got them in a box / pouch. I went ahead and ordered the February Pouch (upcoming post) and the March Pouch (awaiting!).

Out of 9 masks that I have tried I would definitely want to stock up on 3.

Luckily, that may become easier as Genie is working on a MaskGenie website which will sell the pouches, as well as some masks that have been in previous pouches that maybe hard for us to get our hands on without paying a lot of money for shipping. I put in a vote for my favorite 3 from this pouch right now! 🙂

I also hope that some of the masks from the Oriental pouch that I missed out on will be available to buy separately.  In anticipation……

Bunnies lunar new year
The website will make it easier for people to order the pouches as well, as they will no longer need to e-mail or message Genie each month, and can just press the icon on the new website. She will still continue to automatically invoice every month however.

At the moment though the process for ordering is as follows:

There are currently two options for the monthly pouches: US$22 for 10 different masks, US$12 for 5 different masks. That price includes all international shipping (refreshing, I know!)

If you would like to order, please send an e-mail to maskgenie@gmail.com with which set you’d like to order (10set or 5set), and please provide your PayPal address so she can send you an invoice.  All pouches are purchased separately, but if you would like to be invoiced automatically each month, please let them know.

At the moment of posting the April pouch is still available (Spoiler: One of the new My Beauty Diary Black Masks!,  Deadline: 27/03/2015) and there may be some Limited Edition 10 Days In The Wild pouches left (animal masks but be quick!!)

10 days in the wild pouch(source)

I know this post is extremely long (understatement of the year!) so I was wondering what you think – would it be better to post a quick unpouching at the time of receipt and then review the masks as and when?

or perhaps it would be better to split the review into two ‘5 mask’ smaller ones?

Let me know what you would prefer and any ideas, requests, complaints are always welcome (some of those are more welcome than others of course!).

and with that I bid you adieu…..

2nd jeannie gif(source)

NB. All prices and availability correct at time of posting. These opinions are my own, not sponsored, often brutally honest and may include naughty words and gratuitous bunny pictures 🙂

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Memebox – Elizavecca Skincare Set Season 2

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As well as mystery, naked and theme boxes (is it just me or does that sound like the beginnings of a spectacular party??),  Memebox more recently began to curate ‘Value’ sets. These sets were based around one brand (a bit like the old Brand boxes) and were ‘naked’, that is to say that the contents were exposed at the very start, as in the screen grab above. This lot of goodies would set you back $43 (£28 approx) with free shipping (although that had been reduced and otherwise changed at times so you needed to keep your eye on it). That is 4 items for a Memevalue of $118 (£76.80 approx).

I ordered this along with some other ‘Value’ sets and the Detox & Renew box at the end of January just before the closure announcement was made. I have only managed to try one product so far but I am extremely happy with this box and honestly wish I had got more than one. Let’s see why:

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4 lovely items! As you may have guessed they are all from the brand ELIZAVECCA.  I really, really like this brand. I have been using their Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask for a good few months now and have purchased quite a few (ahem ….4) backups from the Meme Shop and also from complete fools who have allowed me to swap or buy one from them on Facebook (not really, everyone likes different things!)

The Brand

I can’t find out too much about the brand and it’s general philosophy as unfortunately I don’t read Korean but the first thing that struck me about Elizavecca was the wonderful packaging and general sense of whimsy in the graphics on said packaging. Their trademarks are an incredibly cute pig and a wonderfully cool rabbit (never would have guessed I’d like that, eh?). Whilst the bunny stays effortlessly hip and the same on all the packaging, the little piggy changes his/her dress and circumstances dependent on what the product he is advertising is. This is the header from their website showing the bun and the plain pig, about to go do his thing with all their wonderful products:

web(Source)

There have been a number of the products in boxes over the last year, as well as the Bubble pack, I also have the Green Piggy Collagen Jella Pack pig mask to try (of which I got a very similar mask in the Winter Essentials Mask box but by a different brand). They seem to have been one of Memebox’s stronger brand partnerships and if the Korean warehouse had continued I’m sure we would have continued to see more of their products popping up in boxes.

Even though the website above is in Korean, you can see that there is a vast range that would be fascinating to try. I particularly like the look of the Milky Wear Salicyl Cream (an exfoliating salicylic acid cream), which looks like it would work wonders on all those icky blackheads and open pores; the Vitamin C 21% Ample Mask (a high concentration Vit C cream mask), this looks so sunny, juicy and healthy – the bunny sunglasses are needed with this one; the Milky Piggy Glutinous Mask (a snail 80% ampoule mask), anything snail is good by me and this has anti wrinkle and whitening functions; and many more (there is a Mayu horse oil cream, hydrogel and fancy sheet masks (my absolute favorites),  pore masks and various serums and essences. I want to try the whole range! I foresee some Tester Korea requests in my future! There are various websites that already stock some of these items and I will list those at the end of the post.

The box

Let’s start with the absolute winner. (Retail prices given are from the Elizavecca website as Meme did not provide a Memevalue for the individual products).

1. Water Coating Aqua Brightening Mask
Full Size Product: 100ml (38,000 Won / £22.40 approx)
Known as the “flight attendant” mask , this facial treatment is perfect for those that are experiencing dull, weather skin due to constant switching between central heating and harsh winds. This treatment uses the extreme hydration and anti-ageing active technologies as it moisturises, restores, replenishes and brightens the skin. Active collagen boosts and locks in moisture for a dewy and youthful result while baobab water and bamboo water brightens the complexion and leaves skin with an instant silky, soft and supple feel. This miracle facial treatment energises the skin, giving you a healthy looking, glowing complexion.

How to use: On cleansed skin, evenly apply the treatment all over the skin. Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse.

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Ingredients: in Korean

My Thoughts

Although this product was well sealed when it arrived I think that the changes in temperatures or pressure made the cream expand as when I took off the cellophane wrapping on the pot it was very oily inside and all around the top of the jar and opening, as if it had separated a bit and some product had squeezed out under the wrap. This wasn’t a problem and probably hardly any was lost – just a heads up if you are ordering one that ships from Korea internationally. I just wiped it down and rubbed the excess on my hands.

This particular piggy graphic is a deep sea scuba diver with his helmet filled with water (presumably to represent the protective coating layer of hydration that this product provides).
He is standing next to some buried treasure ……and since there are bubbles coming out of it I going to presume that he has found a wondrous stash of the bubble clay mask! This mask itself smells lightly floral (but not too much for me and I am fairly sensitive to strong floral scents …as in I detest them!) and is a watery gel cream, that is marvellously cooling and refreshing on the skin. It comes with a little spatula in the protective lid.

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I have used it twice so far both times after using the Bubble Clay Mask to take off my make up (having already removed my eye make up).  I have then put a generous layer of this all over and enjoyed. The first time I fell asleep (a common occurrence and it did no harm) but both times I left it on much much than the allotted 15-20 minutes. It hasn’t even really started to absorb by then to be honest.  It could even be used as a sleep pack but I think that the consistency is such that it would not penetrate a moisturising cream beneath it very well.

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When I finally washed it off (after it had totally absorbed)  my skin felt so soft and silky, almost like satin, velvety …. an entire haberdashery in fact!
I followed it up with my usual night time routine from serum onwards and that seemed to work fine. The next day my skin looked rested, glowing, bright and even in tone. I look forward to further uses and will definitely replace this when I have used a bit more (I need back ups to match my bubble mask stash!!). It would be interesting to try the other masks / creams in the range and compare the effects.

2. 100% Galactomyces Essence
Full Size Product: 50ml (19,000 Won / £11.10 approx)

This 100% Galactomyces infused ampoule instantly revives dull skin and provides intense hydrating and skin repairing benefits to the skin. One use softens and evens the skin texture to give a natural glow and youthful radiance.

How to use: Using the spoid, apply to clean skin and massage. Use as a substitute for serums and essences. Mix with moisturisers and creams for maximum effects of both the ampoule and moisturisers / cream.

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Ingredients: in Korean ….presumably 100% Galactomyces 🙂

My Thoughts

I had never really considered the word ‘spoid’ before discovering Korean skincare.  I have no idea whether it is used in the West for the same purpose. In fact it isn’t actually a word, at least not one that any dictionary (including the urban one which has altogether another meaning for it) would recognise. It seems to be solely used in the skincare and medical fields.

I still prefer ‘sucky thing’, or maybe ‘pipette’ if I have to be serious (which is never…).

So, What are Galactomyces?

glactonew100sg(Source)

And in plain English (not being too cheeky – I can’t read Korean at all so they are doing far better than me!),  Galactomyces ferment filtrate is a kind of fungi or yeast (also sometimes known as Leaven) and is an offshoot of the fermentation process when making alcoholic beverages (yum!).
The people making the alcohol discovered that they had very smooth, young looking hands after working with the product.  It was then discovered to be very rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids under further study.

It is classified as a humectant (which is a hygroscopic substance used to keep things moist; it is the opposite of a desiccant. Thanks wiki).

The effects and benefits include:

  • Increased moisture and hydration to skin for a long period of time
  • Absorbs deeply and quickly into skin
  • Helps control our skin’s PH balance
  • Brightens skin
  • Creates clear and vibrant skin
  • Effective for ageing skin; makes skin elastic
  • Naturally remove dead skin cells, resulting in softer, smoother, glossier skin
  • Relieves and calms skin irritation and stress
  • Prevent and improve skin damage
  • Provides vitality to fatigued skin
  • It has been proven in studies that that ‘GFF-containing moisturizers help protect the skin against damage…. such as due to dryness or environmental stress …..and also having antioxidant effects.’

(Partial Source: 574. EFFECTS OF GALACTOMYCES FERMENT FILTRATE ON EPIDERMAL BARRIER MARKER CASPASE-14 IN HUMAN SKIN CELLS. Hattori, K., Date, A., Nakajima, A., Ishida, K., Yan, X., Yoshii, T., Tamura, H. Department of Hygienic Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan. P&G Beauty & Grooming, Kobe, Japan. 68th Annual Meeting of Amer. Acad. of Derm., Miami, FL, March 2010.)

It also does not contain any nasties:

glactonew2(Source)

So if anyone knows any non-irritating and available children …………nope, that even sounds wrong in my head!

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This is 100% Galactomyces, as is the one by the brand Purebess that I have been using since before Christmas.
I believe that some other well known brands contain much less – even very well known and expensive ones.  I did see one that claimed ‘even more than 100%’!! but I think that may have been a fib.  I also have a version by Secret Key to try (that came in another value set) and I will maybe get some more as well to do a thorough comparison.

The blurb says to ‘Use as a substitute for serums and essences’, but I must admit that I use the Purebess version as one in a multitude of steps (the K Beauty routine, to be posted about soon).
I have been using it as a second toner of sorts.  I cleanse (sometimes twice), apply a more stringent toner on a cotton pad and then pat this into my skin until absorbed and then continue on with my essence, serum and moisturiser.  I have oily skin ….this has not been too much for it.  Probably best to play around and see what works best for you.

Since starting using a Galactomyces product my skin has vastly improved, mainly in tone and clarity. I look more alive and vibrant, refined.  Whether it is this, another product that I have been using or (most likely) a combination of factors, I don’t know, but it will be very interesting to experiment with different brands to see if I notice a difference …..watch this space!

3. Hyaluronic Acid Serum 100%
Full Size Product: 150ml (38,000 Won / £22.10 approx)
This hyaluronic serum rapidly rescues skin from the visible signs of ageing and replenished youthful volume from the inside out and stimulates the skin’s natural production of hyaluronic acid for lasting results, and protects the skin from environmental damage. Use to smooth away facial wrinkles and lines, correct ageing skin, restore skin suppleness, and prevent the formation of new lines and wrinkles.

How to use: Apply to clean dry face after cleansing. Take a dime sized amount and massage into the skin. Pat gently until fully absorbed.

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Ingredients:
also in Korean, again presumably 100% Hyaluronic Acid

My Thoughts

This is one damn huge bottle!! It is really heavy, brushed glass with a shiny silver lid and no sign of the piggy! Bunny makes a small appearance on the logo. I don’t think I have ever seen a serum at this size before, this will take a while to use up! As I have other serums open at the moment I will not be opening this but the consistency seems fairly watery as far as I can tell, which is perfect to use after my essence and before a thicker consistency ampoule, lotion or cream.

So, What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a gel-like water holding molecule that is the space filler and cushioning agent in all mammals.  HA cushions joints, nerves, hydrates skin and hair, and fills the eye.  Although originally discovered in 1934 by Karl Meyer, HA gained momentum only after a visit by a reporter to a Japanese village of Yuzuri Hara to find out why both men and women in their 80’s and 90’s had smooth wrinkle free skin, flexible joints, full heads of hair and activity levels that defied their age.  This was eventually found to be related to oestrogen-like molecules in their diet from soya and tofu, which sent signals to the cells to make more hyaluronic acid.

Our bodies roughly contain 15 grams of HA and it is found in virtually every part of the body.  With such a widespread occurrence, it is logical that HA also has multiple functions.   Scientific studies have shown that HA improves skin hydration, stimulates production of collagen in skin, works as an antioxidant and free radical scavenger, maintains skin elasticity, cushions joints and nerve tissues, has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity and maintains the fluid in the eye tissues, which may help to protect against numerous possible eye concerns.

Decreasing levels of hyaluronic acid are known to accompany the ageing process and it is estimated that by the time we reach our mid-40’s, the synthesis of HA is roughly half that required by the body.

The benefits specifically for the skin are:

  • Hyaluronic acid helps to retain over a 1000 times its weight in water within the cells of skin, making it an excellent moisturiser
  • Boosts skins moisture content and prevents moisture loss
  • This results in increased smoothness, softening and decreased wrinkles
  • It also has an ability to remove waste matter from cells including those where there is little blood circulation
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Hyaluronic acid is considered equally important, if not more important, than Collagen for the skin
  • Anti ageing, elimination of skin imperfections and wrinkles

(Sources: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, July 2014, pages 177–184; The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, March 2014, pages 18–26 and May 2014, pages 150–180 and Victoria Health).

I can’t wait to have a go with this and hopefully will write about it then.

4. Blackhead Solution 3 Step
Full Size Product: Sachet (3,500 Won / £2 approx)
This powerful, yet gentle, 3 step nose clearing kit provides the A-Z in achieving a spick and span nose. Step 1 instantly removes blackheads and unclogs pores, Step 2 extracts all pore cloggers and Step 3 tightens, soothes and cleanses the pores. Complete with a dry patch and wet patch for anytime, anywhere use, this 3 step system features optimal pore purifying benefits for clear, healthy looking skin.

How to use: On clean skin, apply Step 1 to the nose. Then apply Step 2.  Use Step 3 last.

Those instructions are brought to you by the Kitty Chinchilla School of Technical Writing……

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Ingredients:
in Korean but main ones are Green Tea Extract, Lavender Extract, Aloe Vera Leaf Extract, Apple Extract, Lemon Extract, Lime Extract, Camomile Extract, Peppermint Extract, Grapefruit Extract.

My Thoughts

Well, that has made me a bit peckish! Those obviously aren’t the ingredients that are going to extract the nasties from your nose but in my experience all nose pore packs are much of a muchness anyway. The ones that I have usually used are 1 step – they stick to your nose, you pull them off and nasty stuff goes with it. I am under the impression with these that the first step softens the nasties, the second extracts them and the third tightens everything back up and soothes any redness.

I must comment on the graphics again – just look at that little evil piggy!! Torturing the poor little blackheads and making them cry! I love his wings and puffs of hellfire smoke (??)

I do have blackheads. Always have done as far as I can remember. I think I am much more aware of them than other people would be, as is always the case when it comes to your own imperfections (rightly perceived or otherwise). They do not, however, look as bad (or as even) as this:

blackhead 1(source)

I have tried many things over the years to rid myself of the buggers for once and for all but to no avail. I have promised a post on this very subject some time in the not too distant future after I have tried a few more things out in the world of K Beauty (where they are very very keen on blackhead extraction products). One final observation is this: the blurb says that ‘Complete with a dry patch and wet patch for anytime, anywhere use‘ …….so walking round the supermarket it is then!

Conclusion

I really love this box! (I think I’ve said that already). I will use every item in it, which is rare with Memeboxes. Everything that I have tried from Elizavecca, I really enjoy. They are good quality and great value for money. They do what they claim to do and that is everything in skincare … well, the whimsical graphics don’t hurt at all as well. I want to get my little mitts on more of their products and luckily they are more widely available than some other Korean brands that we have seen in Memeboxes.

Some places I have seen them are as follows:

Korea Depart – A few products. I haven’t used this store myself yet and apparently their shipping and packaging fees can be confusing but they have very good prices and I haven’t heard any bad reviews yet. I will try them soon and report back.

Tester Korea – Just the Jella Pack at the moment but TK has a great service where you can request any product and they get back to you super quick and let you know whether they can source it. The prices are usually full retail price if they do that though, which should be taken into account. I have ordered from them before with no problems.

Yes Style – Another one I haven’t used yet but they do have a few products at ok prices. Again I have heard of no major problems with skincare purchases on here.

Rose Rose Shop – They have quite a selection on here, as well as the opportunity to order in bulk. Do I need 10 Water Coating Masks?? They also have the Hydrogels that look epic! Again, I have not ordered from here before but have heard good things. They are also on ebay for those who prefer to shop there as Bring Bring Shop and Ruby Ruby Shop, both of which carried Elizavecca at time of posting.

Also on ebay:

Blueprint 21 – .has a selection of Elizavecca at time of posting.

Another shop called Honest Skin was selling Elizavecca at cut throat prices recently but I cannot in all good faith recommend them as there were some issues and some very very poor customer service. If that situation changes I will update this.

Any questions or requests, please let me know

Until the next one, Charlotte x