In my humble opinion, the epitome of k-beauty is the sheet mask. The concept is a pretty simple one; you want to maximise the absorption of a product, usually an essence. So in order to do so a cotton (other materials available) mask with eyes, nose and mouth cut out is soaked in the product which you then place on your face and keep there for anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes. It's a great accompaniment to a long soak in the bath for relaxation, or as follow up to deep exfoliation to ensure your fresh new skin doesn't dry out. You can make them yourself by buying the sheet masks on their own and soaking them in your favourite goop, but most commonly you tend to find them pre-prepared and pre-packed. These are not for people who are strongly adverse to lots of packaging on products, by the way, as you throw away everything once you're done!
Nearly every K-brand makes masks, some specialise only in masks. In Korea, there are entire shops that stock nothing but masks which look rather like Clinton Cards, but with masks (obviously). There are low end and high end versions. Cheaper ones are easily found for about £1 a time. They are, naturally, less soaked than an average mask and don't necessarily fit your face very well, but they still do the job for a quick fix. There are also high end versions that can go up to £10+ per mask. These tend to be made of a jelly like substance (which feels amazing) that means they don't dry out for the half hour or so you're wearing them. They also tend to be drenched in product; an added bonus if you have a spare empty bottle as you can collect the excess from the packet and save it for top up applications between mask days.
Yes, that's right, there are mask days. Once masks are in your life, they become a routine. Every other day or so, I like to indulge and I've made it a mission to try different ones as it's very easy to become stuck to a brand very quickly. The bonus is, masks tend to turn up as freebie samples! This is a great way to find random ones that you otherwise may not have seen before.
There is, however, a downside to mask day. I won't put it into words, instead I shall illustrate it with the following picture:
Yes, that's right, mask day does make you look like Leatherface / Michael Myers / Jason Vorhees. You look like a serial killer who is probably hiding a machete somewhere. You also can't really talk so if, like me, mask day comes with a boisterous toddler, you can feel doubly odd. Oh the price of beauty!
Despite looking like a murderer, sheet masks are something I would recommend to anyone and everyone to try at least once and luckily they're making their way over here. Even Boots stock them. I've managed to convert my mum to them. M already wants miniature ones for herself. I'm not sure if R would be willing to give them a go with the beard, but it would be interesting to try! If you haven't, give one a go and let me know what you think!