I’m starting to notice fine lines under my eyes and have freaked out a little knowing I’m no longer in my 20s, and it’s time to up my skincare routine. But let’s be realistic and not dive into a 10-step Korean beauty regime. Baby steps, ok?
Speaking of K-beauty, I’m in Hong Kong for the next couple of months and have been poking around Sa Sa Cosmetics for their best-sellers. Surprise, surprise, K-beauty products are amongst the most popular. In fact, the Shangpree eye masks caught my eye in store before I even knew what they were!
If you’re not familiar with the Shangpree brand (I wasn’t), they’re actually an award-winning Korean spa that also puts out at-home beauty treatments ranging from cleansers to masks. Shangpree is famous for their luxurious treatments and rigorous staff training. Their estheticians must go through 3 years of studying the Shangpree methods, regardless of experience level! It’s said their products are also upheld to the same exacting quality and standards, requiring to pass approval with all their master estheticians before going to market.
So after some research, I decided I had to try the eye masks out! They do come in 4 other types, but the Marine Energy (green) and Ginseng (red) were the cheapest at $85 HKD. Gold Hydrogel ($250 HKD) and Black Pearl eye masks ($348 HKD) were a bit out of my budget for my first foray.
Ginseng has historically been used in Chinese medicine and herbal treatments for its antioxidant and restorative properties. Given I’m after something anti-ageing, I selected this mask over the Marine Energy. But since I’ll still be in Hong Kong after this tub’s finished, I’ll most likely purchase again.
Apparently, Shangpree products are so popular there’s now dupes out there. So the box comes sealed with a special silver sticker. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo. From memory, there’s a little patch on the seal to scratch off for an authenticity check. While Shangpree’s usage instructions looks like they highly encourage me to stick the masks all over my face and neck, I’m going to just use them for the eye area. The eye masks are immersed in a gel solution, and I prefer using the little spatula to separate the top one to keep from tearing. The spatula isn’t great for fully scooping it out, as the gel masks are quite limp and slippery.
There’s some really gorgeous gold flecks in the mask and it had a delicate, sweet ginseng smell which I loved. Some users online did suggest to put the widest part directly under the eye (using the masks in reverse or flipped), but I’ll just go with Shangpree’s intended usage for now.
I usually put on the eye masks right after showering, with light serum on the rest of my face. Then chill for about 30 minutes, letting the masks do their thing. Unlike other eye patches, these masks do not dry out, although towards the end of 30 minutes, I do feel a tightening effect. The eye masks flatten and thin down after use, but retain that gel-like feel.
During my research online, I also saw a video demonstrating that the Black Pearl eye masks are completely soluble in hot water. So I decided to try melting mine after use with boiled water. While the Ginseng eye masks did break apart, I had to stab and stir it around with chopsticks (I grabbed the first thing I found in the kitchen), although it wasn’t completely soluble like the Black Pearl mask.
Nevertheless, I broke it down enough to turn the water into a gel-like consistency, which I used on the rest of my face. If it’s good enough for my eyes, it’s good enough for my face! I left the gel to sink into the skin a bit and dabbed the excess off with a tissue. Once it was fully dried, I slathered the rest of my moisturiser on and went to bed.
Have to admit, I’m quite impressed with the results. Definitely seeing smoother skin and smaller pores. However, I really wanted to address the fine lines directly under my eyes, but felt the shape of the eye masks didn’t quite cover that area. I did also feel a mild tightening effect towards the end of each session, but I think it’s probably from the mask shrinking. In doing so, I felt it could be digging into my undereye, so I may have put it too high or too close to my nose, and need to adjust the position. Overall though, I’m already thinking to repurchase these and stock up before I head home!
What do you think of the 2-in-1 method?
Do you use something similar to Shangpree?
What other eye masks are you already using?