Reviews: Freebies

I had shopped with Hong Kong-based K-beauty store once before (review here,) and I was so happy with my experience (their customer service is absolutely outstanding,) that I jumped at the chance to review some products they choose for me. So, here come all my freebies, along with my honest and unbiased experience with each.

Here is a photo of my package and the list of the randomly selected goodies I have received. My products were packaged very carefully with bubble wrap, and - the sheet-like - products weren't even slightly bent. (Please click on each photo in this blog entry to see the larger-size version.)

1. Four Season Collagen Lifting Wrinkle Care Intensive Mask

Packaging, directions, and ingredients:

My thoughts: I had actually received several flavors of this line of masks with my aforementioned order, but had never reviewed one.

As you will see in the photo that follows, this mask isn't a great fit on my face; it's way too wide, and it leaves a large uncovered space on each side of my nose. However, the material is surprisingly thin (and dripping with essence) and easy to adjust, and ends up clinging to my skin pretty well.

This mask stayed wet for a good 25 minutes, and left my skin feeling and looking like, quite honestly, most cheap-ish sheet masks do: it was more hydrated and plump, it was soft - but, other than that, not much has changed.

I think this is a good "beginner's mask." If you're new to K-beauty and sheet masking, I am pretty sure you will enjoy this product.
However, if you've been around the K-block and have had the chance to try higher-end masks (or even cheaper, Taiwanese ones,) you will not be excited about this one.

This mask is available for $0.85 here, or as a freebie here (click link to see the rules that apply.)
2. Holika Holika Golden Monkey Glamour Lip 3-Step Kit

Packaging and instructions:
Step 1: Water, Glycerin, Cellulose, Butylene Glycol, Gold, Nelumbium Speciosum Flower Extract, Chrysanthemum Morifolium Flower Extract, Gnaphalium Leontopodium Flower Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Flower Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Carbomer, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract,Propanediol, Propanediol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tromethamine, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA


Step 3: Polybutene, Diisostearyl Malate, Mineral Oil, Dimethicone, Dextrin Myristate, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Fragrance, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, CI 19140, CI 15985, Honey Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Butylene Glycol, Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Sophora Japonica Flower Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Fructan (source)

My thoughts: I'll admit that this one was the product I was most excited to try because 1. I really do like Holika Holika, and 2. I have dry lips that need constant care, otherwise they get chapped ridiculously easily, which is neither pretty, nor comfortable.

(I apologize for the lack of photos. I used this product early in the morning while trying to multitask, plus I kinda hate close-ups of lips, but I am hoping my verbal recollection will be helpful.)

Step One is a small, lip-shaped sheet, soaked in essence, that you use as if it were a cleansing pad, over your lips. It stung just a tiny bit, and it almost immediately made alltheblood from the surrounding areas rush to near the surface of the lips, making them look fuller and healthier. It didn't smell like much of anything, and was extremely easy to use.

Step Two is a lip-shaped hydrogel mask that I had seen people look really funny wearing. For some reason, I had a hard time getting it to stick, and it kinda flapped around, underneath by lower lip. However, I can see how my lips are unusually full, and were they less "three-dimensional" (like they should be,) I am pretty certain I wouldn't have had this issue. Once I covered the mask with my hand for about a minute, it stayed on for the recommended 15 minutes without issues. When I removed it, my lips were very, very soft, and instead of their usual pale pink color and the patches of small dry spots, it looked Photoshopped to (healthy) perfection.

I then took a little time to take care of the dogs, and finished my morning routine before moving on to the last step.

Step Three is a honey treatment/gel made for dry lips. It smells faintly of honey, and it has the consistency and stickiness of honey. The packaging is a little wasteful, since there's definitely more product in there than you need for a single application, so you will have to be careful when trying to get it out, and you will have to figure out a way to conserve the leftover to be used later. It has an immediate softening effect, and I could see it being sold as a standalone product, maybe in a tube. Because it's thick and sticky, I can see it working working wonderfully as an overnight lip treatment.

This lip kit is available for $4.00 here.
3. Foodaholic 3D Grain Natural Essence Mask

Packaging, directions, and ingredients:

My thoughts: A 3D mask is supposed to adhere better to one's face because of a slight, stitching-like protrusion that runs vertically along the middle of the sheet, and it also has a small flap under the ear, on each side, to help with the V-line. 3D masks have been a hit-or-miss for me so far (see my reviews of two of them here.) This one, by GoshenKorea, was not a great fit for my face, unfortunately. The material is rather thick and hard to adjust, the holes for the eyes and the mouth were too small, yet it was way too long on my nose and my chin. Now, I do have big eyes and lips, and a kind of small nose and chin (I used to look a bit like a cartoon character when I was a kid,) so YMMV.
Because it wasn't too comfortable for me to wear, I left it on for only 20 minutes.

Surprisingly, I quite liked the effect, though. The skin seemed very smoothed and plumped, and the essence took very little effort to pat in - despite the fact that I already had a first essence, a hydrating toner, and a couple of serums as well as some of my Mamonde Camellia Oil underneath. Once it was completely eaten up by my skin, it didn't leave any sort of uncomfortable finish, and I could easily layer my CosRx snail essence and snail cream over it, and my skin stayed hydrated and soft all day.

This mask is available for $1.50 here.
4+1. Luke Collagen Hydrogel Eye Patch (Green/Firming) + Luke Mugwort Nose Cleansing Strip

Packaging and instructions:

(Non-confirmed) ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Castor Oil, Octyl Dodecanol, Cellulose Gum, Kaolin, Tartaric Acid, Methyl Paraben, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citrus Nobilis Fruit Extract, Titanium Dioxide, Retinyl Palmitate, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Extract, Chromium Oxides (Green), Ascorbyl Palmitate, Fragrance (source)

All the eye patches in this series (there are five different kinds) include collagen, which we already is not terribly useful when applied topically (for the molecules are too large to be able to penetrate as deeply as would be needed; however, glycerin - the second ingredient on the list - is probably the most widely-used moisturizer which regularly appears as one of the first three ingredients in sheet masks, too.

The eye patches I had used before, were all pretty slippery and in need of constant adjustments (that is, if you are like yours truly, and wear masks while going about your business inside your home, instead of being able to relax, lie down, and enjoy the pampering.) These ones, though, reminded me of nose patches - except you use them on dry skin and they can be removed very easily, just like a sheet mask - both in looks, feel, and the ability to stay in place. While it's definitely a positive, don't push them as high as I did (see photo above) because it might get uncomfortable. You live an learn.

I use these patches after a rough night - Aunt Flo was in town, and I had awaken to an awful, shooting pain in my abdomen, a pain that would keep me up for the next couple of hours, whimpering like a baby, despite the pain killers, and leaving me with too little sleep and eyes that reflected it.
While I didn't notice any visible changes after wearing this mask, the undereye area felt remarkably soft to the touch. About an hour later, my eyes looked much less tired; however, I followed these eye patches with my regular morning routine, so I cannot tell how much of the smoothing-out was due to the patches.

You can buy these for $1.80 here.
As for my "plus one," the Luke Mugwort Nose Cleansing Strip, I cannot use it, unfortunately. Nose strips adhere very tightly, and typically remove some layers of skin. Which is not even necessarily a bad thing if you have issues with dead skin; however, ever since I started using chemical exfoliants, I have had to say good-bye to all nose strips.
Please take note that, according to some well-known sources, using nose strips on a regular basis might stretch out pores; read The FutureDerm article about it here.
While I therefore do not have my own experiences with this product to share, the reviews seem to be pretty glowing; you can read a couple here, which is also where you can buy them for $0.65 each.
All that said, if you have made it this far and want to try this nose strip, let me know in the comment section and I will happily mail it to you, wherever you live (shipping is on me, in the spirit of paying it forward,) as long as you are willing to write a review I can link here.

I hope you have found at least one thing you are interested in trying.
Head on over to and check out their selection of products! Happy shopping!


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