Given that they’re made of silk, I wish I had a better impression of these Lovemore sheet masks. I first heard about them from raves about the silk’s second-skin fit, which, to be sure, is its standout quality. The two flavors that I tried were Black Pearls and Pearl Barley & Milk.
Lovemore is a bit pricier than most sheet masks–I got them at Image Beauty when they were on sale for $10 for a box of 5, and they’re $3 apiece at U.S.-based MelodyCosme here and here (no affiliation)–so naturally I had high expectations. (For comparison, I’m used to paying $1-$1.50 per mask by My Beauty Diary or My Scheming. People in Taiwan are cackling right now at how much I pay.)
Let’s start with what Black Pearls and Pearl Barley & Milk have in common: fabric and fit. The fabric is extremely thin, so handle with care. They’re so thin that they’re packaged between TWO backings. Otherwise, they’d be impossible to unfold.
My first time, I made the n00b mistake of removing only one backing…and then wondering why the mask was so stiff and awkward.
So follow the pictorial on the packaging: peel off the white backing first, fit the mask onto the face, and then peel off the blue backing.
Once you smooth out the wrinkles, it’s the clingiest mask ever. In the best way. Every part of your skin is in contact with the fabric. I even blow-dried my hair upside down in this mask. No Daiso mask cover needed here.
Check out how it’s practically shrink-wrapped on. The sheet is so thin and pliable that you can see your moles and acne marks (beauty marks, ahem) through it. Like applying a creepy porcelain skin…
I’m actually unsure whether these are 100% silk. The packaging says “Natural Silk Sheet” under “100% 安心,” but 安心 doesn’t mean silk in Chinese. It means more like “peace of mind,” so I think it’s making some claim about the quality. (Before you think I can read Chinese, those words comprise 20% of the words I know.) Regardless of however much is silk, the fabric is undeniably a second skin.
Each mask has enough essence that a bit drips out when fitting it on your face. The dripping stops soon enough though, and you can feel the mask start to dry out sooner than with, say, My Beauty Diary.
As the mask starts to dry out, you can feel it tighten against the skin and see the fabric weave turn solid white. The mask dries unevenly, with the center tending to dry out first.
The instructions say to leave it on for 10-15 minutes. I took mine off after 25-30 minutes though and–even though some parts looked dry–the mask still had essence left, apparent if you touch it, even the dry parts. Nonetheless, the dry areas started to feel uncomfortable because of how tight and stiff the fabric turned–almost like a pore strip but not painful.
Neither flavor had enough fabric to cover the sides of my nose. I also noticed that Black Pearls had very small eye holes, just big enough for my eyes when they’re open but otherwise covering my eyelids. In contrast, Pearl Barley & Milk had typically sized eye holes, although it had a longer nose flap, covering some of my nostrils.
Now let’s move on to the substantive differences between the flavors…
Black Pearls True White Mask Sheet
There isn’t much English on this sheet mask, but it does boast 30 ml of essence and the star ingredients of black pearls, honeysuckle, ganoderma (a mushroom), royal jelly, and polygonum multiflorum (Chinese knotweed).
My eyes generally gloss over assorted extracts, but other ingredients caught my eye: ubiquinone (aka CoQ10, an antioxidant) and tranexamic acid (a melanin inhibitor more commonly found in Taiwanese and Japanese skincare than in Korean).
I didn’t care for the added fragrance, which was a soft vanilla? cotton? pearl?? scent. It wasn’t noticeable beyond the first few minutes, but it’s not my taste and is one reason why I wouldn’t rebuy Black Pearls.
The mask felt cold and numbing when worn. I also felt some very slight stinging. Not sure what was going on there as I don’t have the most sensitive skin. At the time, the areas of my nose and mouth were a little flaky and sensitive, but the sensation was all over.
And the results? The mask produced solid–but standard–hydrating/plumping effects. Although my skin was bouncy, it didn’t have the translucent/water-logged look that I routinely get from a My Beauty Diary mask.
Where it really shined was the brightening effect–if only temporarily. Here I am after wearing the mask for 25 minutes, looking really smug because my skin is so bright. You’ll notice that the unbrightened parts are my eyelids (where the mask didn’t reach) and a zit that (I think) got redder.
Although I liked the results and the close fit without a lot of drippiness, Black Pearls was not as “so wow much amaze” as I expected. They’re solid sheet masks, just in a different material.
Pearl Barley & Milk Smoothing Mask Sheet
I have similar feelings about this flavor.
There is 28 ml of essence in each mask. In addition to the “cover stars”–pearl barley and milk (job’s tears extract and milk protein on the ingredients list)–this mask also boasts deep ocean water. None of that purified spring trash or crystal geyser junk!
Water actually appears 4 times on the list: first as water, then sea water, and then twice more as water. I know wetness is the essence of beauty, but that’s overkill.
So what about results? Although the fragrance is lighter than Black Pearls (I notice a powder scent only when sticking my nose in the package), Black Pearls produced better effects. Pearl Barley & Milk’s effects were not as strong: plumped-up forehead lines were back to normal by the time I put on makeup 30 minutes later, and the brightening effect took away some morning sallowness but was otherwise mild.
Tl;dr: Although the second-skin fit makes for convenient masking, the plumping and brightening results are quite ordinary and I have to remove the masks sooner than others because the fabric feels increasingly uncomfortable as it dries. They’re well suited for someone who doesn’t get along with thicker fabrics or who wants to be able to walk around with a sheet mask on.
Since those things have never bugged me much (and I have my Daiso mask cover anyway), the one standout quality about Lovemore–the fabric–is of less value to me and not worth the price premium. I’m glad I tried these given that Lovemore is on my IG feed every single day, but I don’t plan to buy any more.
Update: My conclusions were reinforced after I used the My Scheming Black Pearl Brightening sheet mask (link to Renee’s review). That one’s also silk (at least partially), super thin, clings tight enough to allow me to walk around in it, dries evenly, and feels smoother (not as coarsely woven)–so it didn’t feel uncomfortable as it dried.
15 Replies to “Less Is Lovemore: Review of Lovemore Black Pearls True White + Pearl Barley & Milk Smoothing Mask Sheets”
I always love your reviews. Full of information but also, hilarious. I died at “purified spring trash.” I hear you on the Lovemore on your IG feed, same here!
Thanks, Grace 😀 Lovemore is so popular on IG that it’s like the #catsofinstagram of sheet masks.
I have boxes of these from Taiwan that still remain unopened! They are pricier when ordering in the states but at least I got mine pretty cheaply in the motherland! BOGO baby!
That commentary and the meme… You have a beautiful mind lol. Yeah if you’re not in love with the silk material it’s tough to shell out for these. Especially when My Scheming does similar ones for much less. But I don’t not buy things for packaging reasons. – Joan
Thanks, Joan 😀 I was happy to finally fit Grumpy Cat in a post. Good point about My Scheming. I forgot that they have a very clingy fit AND without the price tag.
I agree with you on silk masks like these. Not really super excited. The brightening effect from that Black Pearls one does have me planning to use mine tomorrow, though.
Also! Thanks for putting into words the effect I also always notice from MBDs–the translucent waterlogged look!
Good to hear you feel the same ☺️ Sometimes I second-guess my opinions even though I logically know that skincare is YMMV.
P.S. I wanted to link to you when I mentioned ocean water, but I could only find your love letter to seaweed. 😕
Hahaha–I got pretty excited when you mentioned ocean water:D
I bought a bunch of Lovemore masks and My Scheming Masks from Image beauty store but I never use them because I prefer cotton masks that will last longer. I only get around 20 minutes out of these, which isn’t even enough time to get comfortable, IMO. Also, what’s up with all the water?
I also experienced the Lovemore drying up in 20 mins once (when I was in Calif.; maybe it was the dry climate). Weird masks! My Scheming stays wet for longer though.