WHY I BOUGHT IT
Because I can never resist a deal!
Someone posted a PSA on /r/asianbeauty about Whamisa Organic Flower Facial Oil selling for ₩8,700 on gmarket. For whatever reason, Whamisa items seem to be heavily discounted fairly frequently in Korea, which makes for some great Avecko hauling opportunities!
I picked up the face oil but didn’t stop there, also picking up the oil cleanser and bb cream. I was intrigued by the bb cream because there is no SPF or PA on the label! I don’t think I’ve seen a bb cream without sun protection, so I was intrigued.
WHERE I BOUGHT IT
GMarket via Avecko. I paid a whopping 6000KRW ($5.43) for this bb cream! Shipping ended up being a huge chunk of change, but considering this sells for $30 on Glow Recipe, I think I can safely say I got this for a steal.
PACKAGING AND APPEARANCE
Comes in a wide, thin, flat tube with a twist-off cap. As always, I’m a huge fan of the packaging. One of the reasons I keep coming back to Whamisa items is the packaging.
Let’s start with the good! The texture is lovely, like really lovely. It spreads like a dream, carries a good amount of moisture, and even does a good job as an occlusive without feeling heavy at all. Also, the scent, which is a bit floral and a bit nutty, is really pleasant and very faint! I was not a fan of how the Whamisa water cream or olive spray smelled, so this was a good surprise! If Whamisa took out all the oxides and pigmentation, I would use this as a moisturizer and it would be a better moisturizer than their water cream.
Moving on to color payoff and coverage. This is where things get weird!
The cream that comes out of the tube, It’s so dark. In real life, it looks even darker than it does in these photos. I am about a NC20-25, depending on how much time I’ve been spending in the sun (my arm is definitely closer to NC25), and usually my concern is bb creams being too light. This? I took one look and thought no way.
Then, I started applying it and to my surprise, it applies super sheer, like almost invisible sheer. There’s essentially no coverage, yet it is noticeably on my face. My skin looks healthier and glowier with a hint of dew. It also made me look a bit more tan at first, but that effect fades. Also, when I oil-clean on days I wear foundation, I can see the foundation come off in the oil. With this bb cream? There’s nothing visible for my cleanser to remove and It doesn’t seem like I’m wearing any base makeup at all.
Here are the ingredients. Most of this is a mish-mash of oils, extracts, and filtrates. There’s only a handful of oxides* included for pigment (presumably), and they all occur near the end of the list (italicized):
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Rosa Damascena Flower Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Beeswax, Lactobacillus/Chrysanthemum Morifolium Flower Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Dandelion Leaf/Root Extract Ferment Filtrate, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, CI 77492, CI 77491, Xanthan Gum, CI 77499, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil
*uncoated oxides (including zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) will degrade avobenzone, so be careful if using this with sunscreen.
Determined to make more sense of this cream, I tried again the next day, applying more generously than I did the first time and with my hands instead of a sponge. The results were different but still not fantastic. If I look in a mirror from a comfortable distance, the coverage looks good and this cream makes the PIE/PIH on my cheeks less noticeable. In fact, my skin-tone looks even, smooth, and healthy! However, if I stick my face up really close to the mirror, which I like to do whenever I have access to a mirror, the pores and fine lines on my face are more pronounced than they are without makeup. Also, as the day went by, the bb cream would settle depending on what my face movements were like for the day. If i squinted a lot, I would have lines in the coverage around my eyes. If I smiled or laughed a lot, there would be lines in the coverage around my mouth. By lines in the coverage, what I mean is if you were to spread frosting on a cake and then take a toothpick to draw lines in it. My theory is this bb cream acts almost like a clay mask (the pigmentation after all relies on oxides sitting in an aloe/oil base). From a further distance, this seems to work, but up close, this emphasizes any changes to texture on the skin and does not work well with attempts to build coverage.
IMO this product isn’t really a makeup product at all, but a skincare product that happens to have a bit of tint and blurring effect to it. If you don’t have a lot of pigmentation, redness issues, or any wrinkles, this product could give you a your skin-but-better glow (but then again, if you don’t have pigmentation, redness, or wrinkles, you could probably look great without any bb cream). If you’re looking for coverage, definitely look elsewhere because it doesn’t provide much, if any, unless you use a lot, which causes it’s own set of problems.
Bizarre product! BB cream with little to no coverage, subtle tint, and no SPF rating. I know that makeup as skincare is having a moment, but this bb cream isn’t really makeup at all. The texture is really nice and the small amount of tint it has does make my NC20-25 skin look healthier and slightly tanner. Not recommended for those who, like me, struggle with blemishes, pigmentation, or excessive redness. I like the texture enough to use up the tube I have (likely on slow weekends when I don’t have to leave the house), but it’s just not practical for me to use.
Pros: very lovely texture, moisturizing, pleasant (very minimal) fragrance, natural finish
Cons: no coverage!