What Is It: Three very different, but very cool, face masks from Korean beauty brands Glow Recipe, Too Cool For School and Miss Spa.
Who Tried It: Sarah Kinonen, Style & Beauty Editorial Assistant
Why We Did It: Because in case you haven’t noticed, Korean beauty is having a major moment in the American beauty scene right now. Besides, I’ll try any beauty product that hits my desk.
Glow Recipe Lindsay Rubber Mask
Kicking off my quest to try the newest and most innovative Korean face masks on the market, I selected Glow Recipe’s Lindsay Rubber Mask in Collagen, which promises to “deliver a dose of intensive moisture for lasting hydration.”
Almost immediately, I knew this mask was unlike any others, as it requires users to mix it themselves before applying. The formula comes powdered, and the user must add water and stir it into a thick, gooey paste. Once I stirred the mix into the required texture, I then took the spoon it came with and began painting it on my face. But because it was so thick and heavy, this process wasn’t as easy as it sounds. It took about two minutes to evenly apply it all. (And I had lots left over.)
Once on, I played the waiting game. While the directions say to wait about 10 to 15 minutes for the mask to dry, I found that the drying process is actually a lot quicker than I was expecting, and the mask began to peel off after about five minutes. (You can see in the photo above that my chin was the first spot I layered on the mask — and where it first began to come off. The whole thing reminded me of this scene in Mrs. Doubtfire.)
Once the mask began to peel off in different sections of my face (my chin and cheeks were first), I slowly started taking it all off. Because it formed into a rubber-like texture in most spots, it was easy to take off, revealing smooth skin and diminished pores. But what I didn’t expect was the mask to dry differently in other parts of my face (like my forehead and nose), which gave the mask a crusty, flaky texture. This meant it became incredibly tedious to take off. I basically had to stand over a trash bin to scrape off the remaining bits of mask for more than a few minutes.
Overall, as annoying as it was to scrape off the last of the mask, I loved how my skin looked after everything. It was smooth, redness was reduced and my blackheads were diminished. This one is definitely worth the extra few minutes of removal, I promise.
Buy It! Glow Recipe Lindsay Modeling Rubber Mask, $6 each; glowrecipe.com
Too Cool For School Egg Mousse Pack
For my second go at the Korean face mask game, I chose an egg-based product from a new-to-me brand, Too Cool For School. Before trying it out, I knew one of my fellow editors was a fan of the beauty label, so I had high hopes. And rightly so, because this mask turned out to be one of my favorites.
To apply the whipped-mousse formula, simply shake the can, pump a small (or your desired) amount into your hand and blot it directly on to your face. But because it was so light, I practically caked on the egg white extract-enriched cream for full effect.
What’s cool about this one is that the meringue-like formula went from creamy white mess to evaporated goodness in mere minutes. After rinsing off any remaining residue, I noticed the final results: The mask left my skin shiny, smooth and luminous. And with such a quick-and-easy application, this one is sure to become a regular in my routine.
Buy It! Too Cool For School Egg Mousse Pack, $20; sephora.com
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Miss Spa Tone Hydrogel Chin Mask
Lastly, since I’m a big fan of sheet masks, I decided to take my fondness for the at-home facial to the next level with a vitamin C-rich, chin-specific version from Miss Spa. Little did I know how incredibly awkward the application process would be. (Seriously, it was far from pretty.)
Here’s how it went: After taking off the plastic cover sheet, I first began applying the sheet mask, which is formulated with plant extracts to firm and lift skin, by centering the mask in the middle of my chin and then stretching it to my ears, where the mask would loop around my ears to stay put. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. Pulling the mask to fit around my ears, which didn’t actually fit, was maybe one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve done in the name of beauty.
So after finally getting the mask on (if you look hard enough in the photo, you’ll see how it’s pulling down my poor ears), I let it sit (it’s not like I could do much else with it, to be honest) and do its skin-firming magic for 10 to 15 minutes. Once it was time to pull it off (and believe me when I say I did not wake a second more than 15 minutes), I discovered a glowy, slightly tighter complexion on my chin, cheeks and neck. While it wasn’t the most comfortable (or easy-to-apply) mask I’ve tried in my beauty career, I will admit that I definitely noticed a difference in my skin after using. With that being said, I don’t know if one night of luminous skin is worth 15 minutes of pain. Ask me tomorrow, I might change my mind.
Buy It! Miss Spa Tone Hydrogel Chin Mask, $6 each; miss-spa.com
Verdict: I love Korean beauty. It’s much more advanced than American skincare, and I was so excited to try each and every one of these masks because deep down, I knew they would actually work. And they did. So if you’re in the market for a new take on the traditional face mask, give these a try. It’ll be worth it. I promise.
Have you tried any Korean face masks? Do you have a favorite? Share below!