Monday, April 22, 2013

Taiwanese luxury facial masks - For Beloved One vs Dr. Wu

During my Taiwan trip in March, I hauled back a ton of beauty products. Today's post is about 2 famous Taiwanese brands: For Beloved One and Dr. Wu.

Among those were 6 boxes of For Beloved One facial masks for N. I 'purchased' a single piece of the For Beloved One Extreme Hydration Extreme Mask from her to try out this brand. This brand first shot to fame with its Melasleep Whitening Bio-Cellulose Mask due to East Asian women's fascination with whitening. The brand founder is a former beauty editor who discovered the cellulose material while hanging out at her family's business.

Its Mandarin name is 寵愛之which to me translates far better to "To pamper oneself". Google Translate is up to par on this one, translating the chinese characters to "Beloved One", close enough to its official English name.

For the Extreme Hydration Bio-Cellulose Mask, the packaging states "Calmosensine Tornare Hydrergy Moist24". My web searches reveal nothing much about these ingredients, so I am unable to confirm the effectiveness of these ingredients. 

Ingredients list

The mask itself is sandwiched between a netted paper towel layer (A) and foil/paper layer (B). Instructions state that you take the middle piece and apply the wet side to your face. Figuring out which is the wet side is easy as the layers surrounding the mask itself are different. The side closer to layer A is the side meant to be applied on the face.

The mask felt cold and thick as I placed it on and adjusted it to my face contours. Being unaccustomed to the thickness of this mask, it felt as if someone had placed a single layer of 九层糕, nine layer kueh lapis (a Singaporean snack) on my face. I would believe that the amount of pressure exerted by the mask due to its thickness is not suitable for thin-skinned consumers or those who have slight cuts on their faces. 

After removing it, I followed the instructions to massage the excess into my neck, knees etc and went to bed after it had been absorbed. I felt my skin was not as dry as usual when I woke in the morning but could not tell any other visible effects. 

For Beloved One Bio-cellulose masks comes in 3 types: whitening, hydrating and anti-aging (launched in early 2013). For Beloved One can be found in Sasa and Watsons stores in Taiwan (retail price of NT$1170 for 3 pieces). In Singapore, For Beloved One can be found in Sephora stores. 

Dr. Wu is arguably the most famous Taiwanese cosmeceutical brand outside Taiwan. The brand has established itself in Singapore (available at Watsons) and HK (available at Mannings). Dr. Wu has also launched a Bio-Cellulose Mask meant for hydration. According to the packaging of both brands, the materials are similar - Bio-Cellulose.

Ingredients list

According to the instructions stated (above pic), it would seem that like For Beloved One, you would place a certain side onto your face. However when I opened the package, I saw a mask sandwiched between 2 pieces seemingly identical netted paper (A & B). 

The essence in Dr. Wu mask was far more runny compared to For Beloved One's viscous essence. The Dr. Wu mask dripped over the table top as I was removing it from its packaging. The mask itself felt like a thicker version of the typical paper masks I had been used to and did not give the impression of weighing down on the skin like For Beloved One. 

Due to the similarity of the layers (A and B), I couldn't tell which side was the 'essence-side' but since the mask felt like the typical paper facial mask, I just went ahead and placed the 'wetter' side (one side felt more moist to my fingertips) and adjusted to my face contours.

 (Layer A on the left, layer B on the right- they are identical to me!)

Like For Beloved One, I removed the mask, massaged the excess into other areas and went to sleep. Waking up in the morning, my skin felt more hydrated than if I had not used any creams before bedtime but not as moisturised as after For Beloved One. 

This mask was selling for NT$199 for 1 piece (the store information indicated that this was an 'introductory' price, meant for consumers to trial the mask). But the Taiwanese and HK beauty magazines have been showing this mask sold as a single piece since 2012 (my estimate, since I don't have many magazines released in 2011). I found my Dr. Wu products at Watsons in Taiwan (this mask retails for NT$1050 for 3 pcs). 

Disclaimer: I did not receive any payment or payment in kind for writing this blog post. Any opinions expressed are my own.

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