One of the most visually interesting trends in skincare, the foil sheet mask, didn’t come out of the Amore Pacific or LG labs at all (as far as we know), but from Estée Lauder, which decided to launch the mask in Korea before releasing it worldwide in February 2016. I first heard about the mask in a post by Joyce Kong on Refinery29 at the turn of the year, but I wrote it off as too expensive for my budget. I reasoned that I’d wait the necessary 12 months or so and just try the kbeauty versions that would pop up in the wake of the successful launch. I’ve miscalculated; less than 6 months later kbeauty foil sheet masks are being released with a vengeance and my first box of them is passing through U.S. Customs now. Here’s a quick trend report breaking down the first wave of kbeauty foil sheet masks and where to find them.
Foil Sheet Masks: Why the Hype?
The cool thing about foil sheet masks is that they’re backed by–yup–foil, which acts as an occlusive and supposedly drives moisture into your skin quickly. The Estée Lauder mask claims that you only need to use it for 10 minutes due to the foil backing.
Foil Sheet Masks: Downsides
Foil masks tend to be quite expensive and reviewers have noted that the foil makes it more difficult to mold the mask to one’s face.
Uhh So How is this Different from a Cheap Silicone Sheet Mask Cover?
Wondering if you should ditch your beloved Daiso mask cover in favor of $25 Estée Lauder masks (lol no you’re not)? If the purpose of the foil is occlusion, then a silicone mask cover should theoretically work as well while being cheap, reusable, and absolutely terrifying to anyone you happen to see while wearing it. The benefit of the foil masks would be really fucking awesome sheet mask selfies and less risk of a mask cover-induced panic attack. Seriously, the Daiso mask cover was too restrictive on certain parts of my face and I started to freak out. ahaha
The Original Foil Sheet Mask
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery PowerFoil Mask
This foil mask is designed to help drive a mask essence based on Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair formula to “penetrate fast and deep within skin’s surface.” Estée Lauder recommends using this mask once per week for 10 minutes (the time is shorted by the foil).
The Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery PowerFoil Mask is currently waiting for me at the office, so expect a review shortly!
Kbeauty Foil Sheet Masks
Kbeauty foil sheet masks seem to be launching every day, so watch for the term “호일 마스크” and track the #호일마스크 tag on Instagram to see the masks that inevitably launch after I press publish on this post. The gold sheet masks seem to be based on technology and styles that have been around for some time–see the Goodal Premium Gold Snail Hydrogel Mask that I wore for an Instagram photo many months ago for an example. For that reason, make p:rem is my pick for the kbeauty foil sheet mask to watch.
make p:rem Wrapping me (versions: Moisture Sauna, Whitening Sauna, Firming Sauna)
The make p:rem Wrapping me foil mask is the most visually similar to the Estée Lauder mask and seems to have been the first kbeauty foil mask to launch. With a slick website, flawless visuals, and marketing advantage, this seems like the one to beat. I doubt it will be long before we see these at the usual U.S. kbeauty shops.
Is it good? No idea–my box of make p:rem masks is sliding through U.S. Customs now, and I’ll review the masks and compare them to Estée Lauder’s PowerFoil mask as soon as they arrive.
Cost: 4,000 won retail; they cost more if you buy them outside of Korea
Oozoo Face Golden Foil Mask with injection ampoules
Oozoo continues to work the shade-worthy injectable ampoule concept in their launched-yesterday (I’m not kidding, it was literally launched on home shopping TV yesterday ahahah) gold foil mask release. Given my feelings on the regular Oozoo injection mask, I doubt I’ll be trying this one. I try not to buy products that I think I’ll dislike–it’s just not a good way to live, and I’m here to mainly talk about wonderful, amazing things.
Cost: launch kit price is 129,000 won for 24 masks and 12 injectable ampoules
BRTC Gold Foil Mask (versions: Blue Phyto Complex, White Phyto Complex, Tannin Pore Complex)
The BRTC and the CL4 mask that follows don’t really resemble the Estée Lauder mask in part due to the goldness and also because they seem to have more of a gold coating rather than straight foil. Like Estée Lauder, they sell the concept that they’re putting ampoules in sheet masks. I don’t think I’d drop $45 or so plus shipping for a box of five masks. That’s just not my style and I doubt readers will be requesting reviews of these–tell me in the comments if I’m wrong!
Cost: 50,000 won for 5 masks
CLIV Supreme Gold Foil Mask (versions: Collagen Resurgence Ampoule, Max Hyaluronic Formula Ampoule, Revitalizing C Corrector Ampoule)
Same concept as BRTC: ampoules turned into gold foil sheet masks, pat the envelope some before removing the sheet, pop it in the fridge before applying for a cooling effect. Here’s a video on how to cool the mask to 4 degrees Celsius by BRTC.
And here’s info from CL4 on cooling your gold foil mask to 4 degrees Celsius. uhh Are these the same company or?? Or maybe Korean fridges are all just 4 degrees? Or maybe these brands need distinct directions?
Cost: 50,000 won for 5 masks
Holika Holika Gold Caviar Gold Foil Mask
The very recently launched Holika Holika gold foil mask appears to be very similar to the other masks in form with the added benefit that it’s way WAY cheaper. I’ll be tossing this in my cart as soon as it becomes available from shops in Korea that ship internationally because, for under $5, why not. The partial ingredient list on the Holika Holika website looks surprisingly good and that black backing looks cozy as fuck.
Cost: 5,000 won
Yay or Nay on Kbeauty Foil Sheet Masks?
Thoughts on these new foil sheet masks from Korea? Do you expect that they’ll soon be dominating the sheet mask selfie tag or popping up infrequently?
Check back because I’ll be reviewing the Estée Lauder and make p:rem Wrapping me masks soon–any others that have you curious?
Looking for more sheet mask intel? Check out the sheet mask category.
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