@MusingMutley: Putting five face masks to the test

@MusingMutley: Putting five face masks to the test

Face off

Text: Norman Tan

Real men wear masks. Not like Zorro or Batman vigilante masks, but moisture-packed face masks. But which one to use? Here's my review of five sheet masks to combat dull and jet-lagged skin

Guys, have you missed me?

I know it's been a while since I last punched out a @MusingMutley column (I've missed two Mondays, for those who are keeping score), but peeps, it's been a massive three weeks. From attending both Milan and Paris men's fashion weeks, hosting the inaugural Buro 24/7 Global Conference (attended by Mira Duma plus the editors from 11 different Buro offices), and celebrating the first year anniversary of Buro 24/7 Singapore with the #BuroDigitalAwards, I've averaged about four hours sleep per night for 20 nights. That's freaking hectic. 

Wouldn't it be awesome, if like the Many-Faced God assassin in Game of Thrones, you could just change your face at the drop of a hat? Swap out tired and dull skin for a clear and radiant alternative (one that looks like Justin Trudeau would be super) after a long flight? Now that's a super power I would kill for — metaphorically speaking, of course. But alas, not so. Luckily, knowing full well that this gauntlet of late nights was waiting for me, I pre-arranged for some face masks to get me through this period — what better time to test-drive and review face masks, then when your skin is really getting a battering? IKR. Scroll down and check out the results.

1. For Beloved One Extreme Moisture Bio-Cellulose Mask

For Beloved One Extreme Moisture Bio-Cellulose Mask

Price: $63 for 3 masks
Ease of use: 4/5
That hello-boys-post-mask-glow: 5/5  
Tried-and-tested: After flying 15 hours from Singapore to Bangkok to Milan. Super exhausted, super-dehydrated, and in need of a pick-me-up before my meeting with Missoni HQ.  
Overall verdict: With the promise to penetrate rough dry skin for effective hydration, leaving your skin dewy and soft, expectations were high. Given the state of my skin after the red-eye flight, I really needed something that would give me that "I just slept eight hours" look, without actually having to sleep eight hours. And, I have to say, out of the five masks I sampled, this face mask from For Beloved One was definitely one of my favourites. Relatively easy to use — just take off the two sheets that protect the mask before applying it to your face — and delivers on that immediate hit of refreshment.

2.  Sulwhasoo Snowise Brightening Mask 

Sulwhasoo Snowise Brightening Mask

Price: $162 for 10 masks
Ease of use: 3/5
That hello-boys-post-mask-glow: 4/5  
Tried-and-tested: Late one Parisian night, technically early morning, after completing an audio review of day two at Paris men's fashion week. Silent hum of 3am and the refreshing hit of this mask put me to sleep. Woke up 30 mins later, laptop still opened, mask almost dry, and hankering for a gallon of Diet Coke. 
Overall verdict: Similar to For Beloved One, the mask is a membrane drenched in essence between two protective sheets. However, when I removed it from the sheets, because of the thin nature of the mask, it collapsed onto itself and I found myself trying to unravel an intricate membrane at 3am. Admittedly, this might be due to user error rather than product error. However, putting my unco-self aside, I found my skin noticeably brighter and less dull after just 20 mins. Win.

3. Clé de Peau Beauté Illuminating Concentrate Mask

@MusingMutley: Putting five face masks to the test (фото 1)

Price: $195 for 6 sets
Ease of use: 4/5
That hello-boys-post-mask-glow: 4/5  
Tried-and-tested: Back in the Lion City after a crazy flight route from Paris to London to Bangkok to Singapore, so that I could get back in time for our first year anniversary celebrations. Needed to look my best for Mira Duma the next day. Needed something to wake up my tired skin. 
Overall verdict: Gents, I don't know about you, but I find that most sheets masks are too small for my face. I usually have to tear the nose-bridge section of the face mask so that I could stretch it over my massive head (okay, stop thinking of rude and inappropriate jokes). But, as this mask from Clé de Peau Beauté comes in two pieces — one for the forehead and nose; another for the chin and cheeks — the fit was perfect, and very comfortable. The mask operates more like a 'hibernator' to improve absorption of the lotion (step 1) and essence (step 2) into your skin. It doesn't have that cool feeling you often associate with face masks, as the sheet is a substantive woven membrane, but it still delivers on impressive hydration that helped soothe my post-flight dullness.

4. SK-II Facial Treatment Mask

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask

Price: $127 for 6 masks
Ease of use: 5/5
That hello-boys-post-mask-glow: 4.5/5  
Tried-and-tested: In Malaysia, staying in the Ritz-Carlton, merely hours before the big bash for Buro 24/7 Malaysia's first anniversary party at the St Regis Grand Ballroom. Was travelling with fellow Singaporeans Tabitha Nauser (winner of our Best Upcoming Digital Influencer Award) and Yvette King (E! News Asia host and gun contributor to Buro 24/7 Singapore through her column, Brunch with Buro) and needed to front up looking semi-decent (hard task given the #gorg factor of those ladies).
Overall verdict: Of all the full-face one-sheet masks, I found this the easiest to use. No protective sheets to remove, and not slippery to handle as it was a woven fabric-like membrane enriched with SK-II's proprietary Pitera formulation. Instantly refreshing on the face, and an impressive post-mask glow — like you've exercised, but without the redness. Recommended for times when you need a quickie to look alive. True, the sheet mask is a bit small for men's face (SK-II, it's time to make one just for the guys) but still a winner all round.  

5. Shiseido Vital-Perfection Wrinklelift Mask 

Shiseido Vital Perfection Wrinklelift Mask

Price: $115 for 12 masks
Ease of use: 5/5
That hello-boys-post-mask-glow: 4/5  
Tried-and-tested: First weekend at home after all the madness. After 20 days of late nights and non-stop travelling and partying, my eyes needed a hit and a lift. Some would argue that my eyes always need a hit and lift, but we're not talking about those haters. 
Overall verdict: Given the size of my visage (oh, I'm so fancy, I used a French term) I found that most sheet masks didn't cover my under-eye area — probably the most tired, puffy and dull area on my face. Which is why I really liked this brand new eye masks from Shiseido. Like SK-II, it's a fabric-like membrane with no fiddly backing sheets. Translation: Cinch to use. Saturated in an essence that contains retinol and a skin-brightening complex, it felt so good place the two sheets right under the eyes. Immediate relief, like cold spoons left in the fridge, that left my skin feeling taut and terrific afterwards. On that note, would definitely recommend chucking these eye masks in the fridge for 30 mins beforehand for more of an icy hit.


Check back every Monday for another @MusingMutley column from Norman Tan, Editor-in-Chief of Buro 24/7 Singapore. For more columns from @MusingMutley, click here.

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