If you don't know what Murphy's Law is, it goes like this:
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
That's pretty much my life, in a nutshell. The other day, Ulta put all Leaders sheet masks on sale for BOGOFREE HERE (valid now through tomorrow, 4/23). When I posted about that here on the blog, I mentioned that I had actually ordered a Leaders sheet mask in a recent Ulta order, and that I was going to hurry up, test it out, and share my thoughts with you in time for you to take advantage of this sale. And that, I did. And here is my review. Only one slight problem: the exact mask that I purchased, Stop the Clock, is the one mask that is now out of stock on the Ulta site. Like, there isn't even a listing for it anymore. Murphy's Law in full effect.
So if you want this particular mask while it's on sale (or even when it's not), you may want to call your local Ulta and see if they have it in stock. Otherwise, just take this review as an overview to give you a better idea of what you may expect if you try a Leaders mask in general. I almost didn't post this review at all, but then I thought that something is always better than nothing, right? So here we go!
Leaders Daily Wonders Stop the Clock Anti-Aging & Nourishing Sheet Mask
(retail: $4 for 1 mask)
Click to enlarge
Made in Korea
Click to enlarge
The photo above of this sheet mask was taken AFTER I had already used it. When it comes to sheet masks, the essence (the liquid that the sheet masks are soaked in) is extremely precious and you don't want to waste a single drop (more on that later). So I didn't want to put the wet mask on a paper towel to photograph it and lose any of that precious essence. Which is why I'm showing it to you "used" and why it looks a bit dry.
Not all sheet masks are created equally, and I love when they have little darts (see above) that help the mask conform to your face better. This mask has two darts--one on each side of the chin.
The mask itself fit me like a glove, and I have a round face. I can imagine that if you have a longer (oval) face, it might be a tiny bit short, because it really fit me perfectly from my hairline to my chin. Width-wise, it fit perfectly too, butting right up against my hairline on both sides. The eye holes, nose hole and mouth hole were all well-proportioned and fit me perfectly as well.
As for the mask material itself, this mask is made of a thicker, more sturdy material than some of the less expensive sheet masks I've used. It's not thin or cheap feeling, and it's also quite soft to the touch.
Now let's get to the essence! This mask is heavily saturated when you take it out of the package. It's literally dripping with essence. I know that this is a selling point when it comes to lovers of sheet masks, because that essence generally contains skin-loving ingredients. People love to squeeze the excess essence out of the package and pat it onto the neck, décolleté area, hands, etc. You can most certainly do that with this mask, and even have some left to spare.
I applied this mask at night, right before bed. You are directed to cleanse your face before applying (which I did) and some people also like to tone before applying (I did not). I left this mask on for about 25 minutes (the package recommends 15-20 but I got distracted with a movie for an extra five minutes). I didn't experience any slipping, and I easily sat in an upright position and walked around the house while wearing this mask (no lying flat on your back required).
This mask has a VERY light, fresh fragrance, which I love because sometimes the fragrance in certain sheet masks can get a bit overwhelming while you're sitting there with it stuck to your face for 20 minutes. Speaking of, pictures of people wearing sheet masks creep me out, in a Michael Myers sort of way. But if you have never seen someone wearing a sheet mask before, just do a Google image search for "Korean sheet mask" and you'll see a zillion scary images.
After removal, I still had quite a bit of essence left on my face so, as directed, I lightly patted that onto my skin, neck, etc. as best I could. If you're new to sheet masks, you are not supposed to wash off that precious essence unless otherwise directed. That's the stuff you're paying for, so generally you're directed to leave it on the skin overnight (which is why it's best to do sheet masks at night before bed). There's some debate about whether to apply your regular nighttime serum, moisturizer, eye cream, etc. after using a sheet mask, but I think there's no hard and fast rule about that. Some people like to, some don't. I personally did not apply anything else after I removed the mask, because I didn't want to interfere with the essence for testing purposes.
Immediately after removing the mask, I went to the mirror and I noticed that my skin looked a little bit more plump, including the fine lines around my eyes. Nothing too dramatic, but I did notice some "plumpage". I also noticed a slight glow to my skin but again, nothing to dramatic. The thing about the essence in this Leaders mask that surprised me a bit was that it just refused to dry down and sink into my skin. When I finally went to bed (about two hours after removing the mask), there were still some spots on my face that felt quite slick and sticky. This essence does have a sticky/tacky feeling to it, which could be a deterrent if you dislike that type of texture. I know that there are some masks that contain essences which never dry down (or dry down very slowly) but up until this point, most of the masks I have used contained essences that sink into the skin pretty quickly after removal. So it was a little surprising, but not unpleasant (it just took a little time to get used to).
By morning, the essence was absorbed into my skin (and probably my pillow) and the sticky texture had turned into one that would be best described as slightly oily. I think some of that had to do with the natural oils of my skin mixing with the essence, but overall my skin felt soft, hydrated, and slightly oily to the touch the next morning. After cleansing my face in the morning (I used my e.I.f. cleanser), my skin felt clean with no lingering essence residue. My skin also felt a bit softer than usual, and looked a tiny bit more plump than usual. I can't really comment beyond that as to any longer-term effects, because I did this mask last night (I told you I was in a rush to get this up before the sale is over and I meant it!).
I can't really give you a final verdict (for the reason I just explained) but I will say that I don't think a single sheet mask, by any brand, can "stop the clock" but, with lowered expectations, I very much enjoyed the whole experience of using this mask, even with the slow-to-sink-in essence. I feel like you really get your money's worth in terms of how much essence is packed into this package, and I absolutely loved the feel of this mask while I was wearing it. It was a very pleasant, soothing, relaxing experience overall. Is it worth $4 (or $2 while it's BOGOFREE)? Absolutely, in my opinion.
Have you tried Leaders sheet masks? If so, would you agree, or disagree, with my assessment? I'd absolutely love to hear from you!
The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.