It’s been a while since the last but welcome to another Beauty Log, otherwise known as B-Log, where we share real reviews – no holds barred – by and for those who are constantly on the lookout for the latest additions to their list of holy grail products.
Ever since I started being conscious about my personal impact on the environment, I’ve been trying my best to reduce my consumption of single-use items. As I can no longer slap a sheet mask on my face without feeling guilty for the unnecessary plastic waste that I generate, I’ve decided to opt for jar masks for when my face is in need of some TLC. I know, glass containers are even harder to recycle, so I intend to reuse and repurpose my jars to contain my ear studs, rings and other knick knacks.
Over Christmas last year, I got my hands on Fresh Beauty’s Unmask the Magic Gift Set ($120), which contains four of their best-selling face masks. I’m down to try anything from this skincare brand because one of my close friends, who was their sales associate, constantly raved about how their products work wonders. I have a favorable impression of Fresh Beauty, since the brand is well-known for using natural ingredients and I like the products that I’ve tried thus far—their rose floral toner and of course, their soy face cleanser, a perennial cult-favorite. After putting these masks to the test over a span of months, I recorded my thoughts, from first impressions to final takeaways, along with their ingredient highlights.
Sugar Face Polish
- Brown sugar: a natural humectant that seals in moisture
- Plum seed oil & grape seed oil: contain hydrating and nourishing properties
- Real wild strawberry seeds: packed with vitamin C, brightens and soothes the skin
First impression: This face polish dissolves easily and is surprisingly gentle, more so than the face scrubs that I had used previously. I’m usually very stingy when it comes to product application (so they last as long as possible), so I was unaccustomed to having to use a generous amount of polish in order to feel like I’m actually applying something on my face. Otherwise, the polish just dissolves before I can rub it into my skin. The scent was pleasant, which I appreciated. I noticed that my skin did feel softer and more supple after I washed the product off.
Final takeaway: I dutifully use this polish once a week to exfoliate my face, though the instructions on the back of the jar states that the mask can be used three to four times a week. This face polish does a fantastic job of buffing away dry, dull skin and the best part is undoubtedly how gentle it is. I will definitely purchase a replacement when I run out because this is truly the exfoliant that my ultra-sensitive skin deserves.
Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask
- Sea fennel extract, kombu seaweed flakes, red algae particles, and lotus seeds: a blend of super-charged ingredients that refines and smoothens the skin
First impression: I had high expectations for this product given that it is a “rescue mask”. I was mostly excited to see if it would live up to its name and “[reveal] incredibly smooth and radiant results after just one use”, as stated at the back of the jar. As I rubbed the creamy mixture onto my face, I couldn’t help but notice that the mask looks and feels more like a scrub, thanks to the seed and seaweed bits. After applying and washing it off while massaging my skin in circular motions, my face felt really smooth and firm. No mask has made me feel this way so I’m pretty sure this gem has ruined all other masks for me.
Final takeaway: While I can’t be sure if it restores radiance to my face, this mask has become a huge part of my routine, especially when I’m looking to remedy my monthly hormonal acne. After an angry red bump surfaced, I used this mask diligently every two days or so. The pimple went away after a week or so, without getting too inflamed. It has worked quite well for subsequent milder outbreaks, so I know it’s the real deal. For my first few applications, I used to exfoliate my face with the sugar face polish to prep my skin for the mask but I stopped after realizing that it works as a gentle exfoliant as well. This is hands down my favorite product among the four contenders!
Rose Face Mask
- Real rose petals (an average of two-and-a-half roses per jar) and pure rosewater: contains soothing and toning properties
- Cucumber extract and aloe vera gel: for an immediate cooling and calming effect
- Porphyridium cruentum, a “smart” algae: targets dry areas and delivers optimum moisture
- Antioxidant-rich green tea: brightens and protects
First impressions: Maybe the lotus mask gave me unrealistic expectations because I tried this rose face mask the next day and was not impressed at all. I applied it after washing my face with Fresh’s soy face cleanser. I took one whiff at it and instantly recoiled from the overpowering scent of what the website states as “fresh roses”. I do, however, like that this mask can be used everyday, since I feel the need to deep cleanse my face after using makeup (not like I’ve touched any during this stay-home period).
Final takeaway: While I do like that the gel mask is gentle enough for everyday application, I can’t get past the scent. I have the same gripe with the cucumber scent that comes with the soy face cleanser. This is the only mask of the lot that I won’t be revisiting. Also, like the sugar face polish, I have to ensure that I dry my face thoroughly before applying a generous amount of this gel mask because I can barely feel the product otherwise.
Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask
- A complex of kombucha, black tea extract, blackberry leaf extract, and lychee seed extract: inhibits damaging free radicals and improves skin elasticity.
- Belle de Nuit extract, “nature’s nocturnal flower”: soothes and rebalances the skin.
- Hyaluronic acid: maintains moisture for supple skin.
First impressions: I’m no stranger to sleeping masks, as an avid user of Laneige’s Sleeping Masks. But I was surprised when I opened the jar to see a non-gel texture. Surprisingly, this creamy mixture locks in more moisture than the water masks that I’ve tried. When I woke up, my skin was indeed firmer, presumably thanks to the hyaluronic acid.
Final takeaway: This product has definitely convinced me that sleeping masks don’t have to contain water-based formulas to work. While my usual water sleeping masks keep my face sufficiently hydrated, I’m more inclined to reach for this overnight mask since it is a high-performance mask that moisturizes and lifts.
After trying the Unmask the Magic Gift Set, I’m game to try even more products from Fresh Beauty. Have you tried any of the above or other masks by the brand? Let us know what works for you and what doesn’t!
All images by Sherryl Cheong