Face Mask Memory Lane by hwaibada
Hi guys, this is my official first blog post. I'm excited for my friends who will be opening their Houston location this Saturday, April 9th, 2016. I'm not sure how this blog will help, but I am more than happy to help in any way that I can. Most, if not all, of you will know me from a haul post I did at /r/AsianBeauty. You can find it here. I explain a bit about road shops in that post if you are not familiar with the term. I use the term frequently so it should help. So here we go...
Seoul Korea, 2004
The first time I remember trying a sheet face mask was when I was younger and all my friends kept talking about how amazing this sheet mask was from The Face Shop. The Face Shop launched in 2003 and became all the rage and the top road brand by 2005. It was the first road shop that started making sheet masks and became a huge hit.
One day, I was in Korea visiting my parents for winter break and decided to try it. I went to the nearest Face Shop and picked up a few. I applied it on as it said on the instructions, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then took it off...
Umm, alright. I guess I don't get it. My skin was just...sticky and my hair clumped together because of the sliminess. Now I am used to it, but the first time was just...weird. Well, nowadays it's a lot better and less slimy, but back then, it was just a ton of water, glycerin, and fragrances. I couldn't find the exact photo of the ones from back then, but it kind of looked like this, but tackier.
So I would try different kinds here and there but nothing really stood out. That was until one day...
Why Hello SK-II...
...around 2006, I was introduced to SK-II's Facial Treatment Essence by a colleague from work. She was raving about it and kept insisting I try it out. This sounds awfully familiar...emphasis on awful....sticky...slimy...
One day she just brought a small sample bottle of the Facial Treatment Essence and gave it to me. I used it for about 2 weeks and this time, I admit, I did notice some changes in my pores, tone, and tightness.
You'll generally find SK-II at places like Saks or Neiman Marcus. So I went ahead and got a regular-sized bottle of the Facial Treatment Essence. This is some pricey stuff.
Some time later, I received a gift from a friend, who got me the Facial Treatment Mask. So just like before, I applied it on just like it said on the instructions, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then took it off.
WHOA...I finally get it.
This was the first time I actually felt something like that afterwards. It felt like I just got out of an hour long facial massage. I saw that there was still a good amount of liquid left in the package, so I scooped that up just rubbed the rest on my face, neck, arms...wherever.
The story with SK-II is that in Japan, people began to notice the hands of the employees from the sake factories. The face and body was worn from age and the rigorous labor, yet the hands remained supple and soft. Japanese scientists believe this was due to the daily handling of the fermented rice. They figured out a way to isolate the enzyme from the fermenting yeast for topical use.
These masks cost around $17 each. I normally stick with road shop brands because it didn't hurt to much if it didn't work whereas with these high-end brands...it hurts quite a bit.
MISSHA, the best of both worlds
It was some time from 2010-2011, I came across a road shop product that came close to my first experience with SK-II. Missha came out with a product line called Time Revolution and it had a fermented enzyme essence called The First Treatment Essence.
You can tell from the look of the bottle that they didn't even try to hide the fact that they were targeting the SK-II line. This Missha line sold in record numbers in Korea. This was one of few products that I actually finished all the way through and kept buying back to back. I ended up buying about 5 or 6 bottles of the stuff.
Every now and then, Missha would run a sale and you could get this stuff for a 1/4 of what SK-II costs. Missha also had some Hydrogel Sheet Masks that worked great. The Time Revolution line was probably Missha's best.
This is what was used alongside the First Treatment essence. So while the First Treatment was made in the same vein as SK-II's facial treatment, this Time Revolution Night Repair Ampoule went head to head with the more expensive Estee Lauder Advanced Night repair.
Mom Knows Best
These days, I use a little known brand from Korea that my mom recommended me after she consulted with a dermatologist regarding my acne. I got great results from a soap that he recommended.
This small company is called MB Skin. They make products specifically for delicate skin. The packaging may not be as nice as the more mainstream brands, but they just as well, if not better than a lot of the medium and high-end brands like Hera, Iopi, or Amore Pacific. It could be because of my mom's and my skin, but my mom also ordered some for my husband, and it seems to be working well for him as well.
The Difference a Decade Makes
For the past few days, I have been trying a variety of different masks from snails to stones, and have been jotting down any subtle nuances I notice and compare them to each other and masks from the past.
I have the last two left to try and I'll finish off Part II of this blog post. Thank you for reading!
P.S. I wanted to add something about a Korean Drama I fell in love with. So many KDrama fans must have been watching as well, it's Descendants of the Sun.
It's currently an on-going series and I just watched episode 13 today and can't wait for EP.14 tomorrow. Something crazy happened at the end of 13, I can't discuss anymore here for those of you who haven't watched but I really hope the story goes well.
Song Hye Gyo stars as a doctor who fell in love with a Sergeant Major of the Korean Army Special Forces. Going through extreme events with him and growing their love. You know K-drama, they managed to fall in love in any circumstances. I mean it. They're good.
Song Hye Gyo has been a Korean beauty icon for over a decade. She's been a heroine of Laneige for a long time.
Those cushion foundations are in Target! And I know they are doing buy 3 get 1 free for a sample pack (contains two jars of moisturizers.
In the drama, being a busy doctor, she shows basic makeup with a clean foundation on her skin. Her original skin is already flawless so anything would look good on her, but Korean Beauty gurus are already talking about what products she used. It's just such a look. I always enjoy her beauty.
Some of her cuts from the drama.
And the actor is Song Jung Gi
He's clearly leading the current Korean leading man trend. Baby face, with a lean, built body. For me, he's a little bit thin, but who's gonna say no to that face. I won't.
That's it. Hope you enjoyed the post.