Review: Beauty Friends II sheet masks

Beauty Friends II sheet masks

Beauty Friends II sheet masks from Vanedo

Some weeks ago I had the genius idea of walking into a K-beauty shop in my town, and of course I wound up biting… I had to take home these Beauty Friends II sheet masks from Vanedo.

My next purchase ought to be a pair of horse blinkers… I’m not even that into sheetmasks, in fact I‘ve actually been viewing masks from K-beauty brands with suspicion since the last scandal, so until recently I had a sort of moratorium on Korean sheetmasks. Or on sheetmask from anywhere, really, but my skin’s seasonal thirst and the inexpensive price of these masks got the better of me. I bought these for 2€… they can be found for a lot less in Ebay and such, but I just can’t be bothered to order online something I’m not all that sure about.

All in all, my impulse buy was satisfactory. These sheetmasks do their job of feeling nice and adding a dose of extra hydration to my skin, though not much else… they certainly won’t leave you feeling glowy and fantastic and all those things that sheetmasks typically promise, not that I expected anything like that for the price.

The essence formula is pretty much the same for all masks, except for the main ingredient of each flavor, as can be seen in each of the INCI lists a bit further down: water, glycerin, humectants / penetration enhancers, preservative/bactericide (phenoxyethanol), thickeners, fragrance, and various botanical extracts: purslane extract (soothing, rich in omega-3), grapefruit extract, licorice extract (soothing, antioxidant, helps even out skin tone), apricot extract (fruit extract, not the oil from the pit), soja extract (antioxidant, soothing, antiaging), and acerola extract (vit. C source).

The masks are made of soft, thickish cotton, and were very well soaked with essence; there wasn’t much left over in the package, but enough to scrape the envelope and smear it on hands, décolletage and hands. Great.

sheet maskI’m leaving out the commonplace horror of the #maskfie. Suffice to say that the cut of this mask isn’t one of its strong points: it’s a very large face with a very small nose, which is the exact opposite of me.

The fit wasn’t great either: the forehead is too high and wide (even for my fivehead… but I got to condition my hairline, I guess?), the nasal part is cut for a nose much thinner and longer than mine, and the mask seemed designed for a much bigger, longer face than my own, so it tents in some places, bunches up in others… it isn’t a huge problem, but this is certainly not the most comfortable mask to wear.

The envelope says to leave it between 20-30 minutes, but I got at least 40 min. of use from each while I did other things, until they dried up. They left behind a bit of an odd feeling, a little like having painted my face with egg white, but suuuper soft.

Red ginseng

The package indicates this is for dull, stressed and fatigued complexions. Besides red ginseng, it also contains a favorite of mine, licorice extract.

The smell is faint and sort of herby-medicinal, as can be expected of a staple ingredient of traditional Korean medicine. Maybe not the most divine fragrance, but I didn’t find unpleasant, and it faded after a little while anyway.

After removing the mask… nothing, really. At the most, a touch of redness on forehead and cheeks, which soon disappeared, and my skin was veeery soft. I applied a touch of moisturizer on drier areas and was off to bed.

The following day was pretty much the same. My tiny forehead lines were nowhere to be seen – they go underground when they have had enough to drink -, but there was no significant improvement on skin tone and luminosity. There were also no breakouts, redness or any other negative reactions: good.

See CosDNA analysis.

Pomegranate

Another of those lovely antioxidant ingredients I like… the packaging of this sheet mask recommends it for providing intensive hydration, elasticity and firming. In my experience, it does fulfill the claim of intensive hydration; as for the rest, I think that once one is of a certain age, it can’t be realistically expected from any cosmetic, however expensive (which this is not).

It seemed to me this one had more essence than the red ginseng one… with the remnants in the envelope I had more than enough to slather on neck, décolletage and hands.

Scent: synthetic-perfumey, typical of the idea that many cosmetic brands have of how “fruit” should smell like. Anyway, just like with the first mask, the fragrance didn’t bother me much, and it went away not long after applying it.

I put this on right after a night of copas, tapas, and staying up long after all the decent people are tucked in bed, which shows right on my face the day after. After taking it off there was no redness or anything: skin looked nice and hydrated; It was pretty much the same the day after, though nothing to write home about.

See CosDNA analysis.

Coenzyme Q10

Recommended for hydrating and helping fatigued skin recover, improving elasticity, firmness and the appearance of wrinkles. I don’t have deep wrinkles, but I do have fine lines on my forehead.

I applied this on the night of January 18, a date I won’t soon forget since that was the Day it Snowed in Murcia (to give outsiders an idea, this lies only a longish jump from North Africa). I can now say I lived to see it, and I seriously doubt I’ll see this again. Like Ralph Wiggum, it doesn’t really take much to make me happy, and this did… there is nothing special about driving a couple hours north and seeing snow, but it is definitely a very special ocurrence over here.


The Hells are about a forty-minute drive from where I live, on the way to the beach, and they froze over. True story.

Anyhow, lovely as the experience was, the unusual weather did not suit my skin at all, and at night my face was red, so I decided to apply this Q10 sheetmask.

Scent: pretty similar to the pomegranate mask. Rather artificial and though I didn’t find it a problem, it may be too much for more sensitive complexions. Be ye warned.

After removing it at the 45min. mark, the redness had disappeared, with only a touch on my forehead, and my skin seemed smoother and more hydrated than with the other masks I’d tried to date.

However, I don’t know if this was due to the mask or to the weather (more likely it was the latter) but in any case, the next day I had flaking on most of my face. Nothing too serious: a good coating of moisturizer banished all flakes. Otherwise, it was pretty much like with the other sheetmasks: fine lines were drowned for the time being, but not much more.

See CosDNA analysis.

Green tea

Recommended to soothe and deal with redness and irritation, as well as controlling sebum production. I tried this one a day or two before that time of the month, since for that reason I had lurking just beneath my skin a breakout that threatened to make an appearance right before a dinner invitation.

Scent: slightly strange and undefinable, though very faint and vanished quickly.

A few minutes after applying I felt my face grow hot. Ugh. Fortunately the feeling subsided not long after.

Upon removing it I didn’t see the redness I feared to find, in fact it had toned down what redness there was already (my poor skin must have been really, really thirsty… ) On another note, the zits that threated to appear didn’t do so in the end, but hung on laying low for a couple more days.

See CosDNA analysis.

Collagen

“Anti-aging” (ahahahaha) sheetmask, as per the packaging. Oh well… anyhow, from the ones I tried, this one had the strangest smell, which could be defined as “3€ wine from the supermarket”. Just like with the others, the scent fades soon, which I appreciated.

As for hydrating, it does so quite well, in fact I find that it was among the very best of the lot in that respect. The fine “11” lines between my brows disappeared after drinking up the essence and my skin felt plumped and smooth overall, remaining that way for the following two days.

See CosDNA analysis.

Aloe

The scent is almost imperceptible, so out of all these masks, this is the one I’d recommend to anyone who finds scented face products overwhelming… careful, though, since “Perfume” still appears in the INCI list, so if your problem with this type of ingredient isn’t so much a sensory issue but rather that it irritates your skin, keep this in mind. In my experience, this one of the most hydrating masks I tried along with the collagen one, which left my skin nice and bouncy for the longest period of time after use (a couple of days).

See CosDNA analysis.

Royal jelly

I have a love-disappointment dynamic going on with each and all products that feature this ingredient… it is enough to see royal jelly, honey or propolis announced on cosmetic packaging to awaken in me a bearish urge to nab it, though I know perfectly well that no product of this kind has ever given me any remarkable results (for good or bad); thinking about this objectively and beyond the anecdotic, I can’t recall ever running into any (convincing) publication that conclusively confirms any real benefit of royal jelly in cosmetic formulas.

In this respect, this sheet mask isn’t different from many other products I’ve tried before. Curiously enough, this one wasn’t honey-scented, but instead smelled rather similar to the collagen sheetmask. It hydrates nicely, without causing redness, breakouts or any other issues… on the other hand, I didn’t find any other remarkable effect on my skin, beyond the psychological kick I get from including lovely honeyed things in my beauty rituals.

See CosDNA analysis.

Overall rating: 3.5 points. Would I buy any of these Beauty Friends II sheet masks again? I don’t know… I think they’re good, but not great, at least not enough to justify the expense, small as it is, or to use them with some frequency… at the most I might get one of these again (probably the aloe or collagen one, which are the ones I found worked best for me), when an extra dose of hydration for a special event is needed… though generally, as I said before, I’m just not that into sheetmasking; I trust more in using regularly a good hydrating essence or serum in my routine.

1 point: No! Never again, not even if you gave it to me, or even paid me to wear it.
2 points: I didn’t finish the container and it’s very unlikely I’d buy this again. It might work for you, but it does nothing for me.
3 points: Meh. I’ll use up my jar/tube, but I don’t think I’d buy again. It might work for you, but it doesn’t do much for me.
4 points: I like it. It’s nice and does its job. I might buy this again, if I find nothing I like better.
5 points: I love it! It does its job very well, I find it a pleasure to use, and it’s earned its place in my beauty routine.

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