Tag Archives: asian beauty

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Nov & Dec Empties

Happy 2017 everyone! These are my empties from November and December of 2016:

Benton Honest TT Mist
My 4th or 5th bottle? Honestly at this point I’ve lost track. Continue reading

Astalift Cleansing Oil review

Astalift Cleansing Oil Review

For the longest time, all I wanted was a cleansing oil that worked. Something that removed all my makeup, didn’t leave any residue on my face, and didn’t break me out. After a comically long struggle, I found one, and I still think it’s the best no-nonsense, super functional, great value, oil cleanser out there.

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But as they say, if you give your mouse a cookie, she’s going to ask for an even fancier oil cleanser that smells like rose red tea and has the same golden orange color as salmon caviar, which is what this cleanser is.

Product Name
Fujifilm Astalift Cleansing Oil Continue reading

dearpacker mascream review

Dearpacker Moisture MasCream Review

As much as I love summer, it doesn’t make for interesting skincare, at least for my dry skin yup, I’m going to go ahead and blame the neglect of this blog the past couple of months on summer and now that autumn is upon us, I’m finally getting my act together and am busily stockpiling new products to get me through Los Angeles’s frigid winter months.

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One of my recent acquisitions is this Dearpacker MasCream. I’ve been oogling Dearpacker’s whimsically packaged and delicious sounding products for literally over a year after first spotting them on a Korean beauty blog, so it’s about time I finally got around to trying their goods!

Product Name
Dearpacker Moisture MasCream Continue reading

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Whamisa Organic Flowers Toners Refresh Review

To date, I’ve used quite a few Whamisa products, most of which were overwhelmingly meh. A wiser person would’ve given up on the brand by now, but the marketing- the promise of better skin delivered by organic flowers- keeps me coming back. This time, I’ve found a keeper!

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At A Glance

Product Name:
Whamisa Organic Flowers Refresh Toner Continue reading

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Comparison Review of Benton Honest TT Mist and LJH Tea Tree 70 Mist Toner

RoseRoseShop sent me the Benton TT Mist for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own. The LJH Mist was purchased by me.

I had initially decided to do a comparison review of these two products because I expected them to be very similar. After all, they both contain high amounts of tea tree water – 70% in the LJH mist, 80% in Benton- and let’s be honest, who wants to read two FULL reviews of nearly identical mists?

However, after spending some time with both products (7 weeks with Benton and 4 with LJH), I’ve realized that not only are these products very different from each other, they are also some of the most overachieving mists I’ve used! My initial expectations were completely off base and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Without further ado, here are the two tea tree mists:


At a Glance

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BENTON HONEST TT MIST

Size: 40ML
Price: $5.96 on RoseRoseShop, $8.48 on Jolse, $12.13 on Cosmetic-Love,  $6 on Memebox (get another 8% off all Memebox orders from TopCashBack)
Packaging: Soft plastic, non-aerosol spray tube
Fragrance: None detected
INGREDIENTS
Acne Triggers & Irritants: Butylene Glycol (1) is an acne trigger
Full IngredientsMelaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Water (80%), Sodium Hyaluronate (7%), Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Extract (5%), Butylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Althaea Rosea Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Beta-Glucan, Polyglutamic Acid, Aspalathus Linearis (rooibos) Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Psidium Guajava (guava) Extract, Zanthoxylum Piperitum (Japanese pepper) Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (lichen) Extract

 

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LEEJIHAM (LJH) TEA TREE 70 MIST TONER

Size: 100ML
Price: $27 on HKCPlaza (currently 60% off), $33 on Birchbox, $33 on Glow Recipe (get $5 off your first order), $33 on Memebox (get another 8% off all Memebox orders from TopCashBack)
Packaging: Hard plastic, cylindrical spray bottle
Fragrance: Tea tree scent of light – medium strength
INGREDIENTS
Acne Triggers & Irritants: Butylene Glycol (1) is an acne trigger
Full IngredientsMelaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Extract (70%), DI-Water, Niacinamide, Sorbitol, Humectants, Disodium EDTA, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Butylene Glycol, Rhus Semialata Gall Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Enantia Chlorantha Bark Extract, Oleanolic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Fruit Extract


Performance

The production value of the LJH mist is really high in every way! The packaging looks unexceptional in photos but is much more impressive in person. It’s larger than I expected, made of a sturdy plastic, and looks quite sleek. The misting mechanism is top notch as well, releasing a consistent, finely dispersed amount of product with each pump. On the skin, the LJH mist has a lot of slip, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t leave any residue. It’s a very well formulated product from both an ingredients and cosmetic elegance point of view. It does smell very slightly of tea tree, which I dislike but I feel like most people wouldn’t give it a second thought.

By contrast, the Benton TT mist did not make the best first impression. The soft plastic tube, while practical in its portability, is mostly unremarkable, and the mist that comes out is way too dense and forceful! I actually stopped using it as a mist, for the most part, choosing instead to spray into my hands then patting onto my face. Also, the liquid that comes out feels exactly like water, which made me extremely suspicious that this mist would be a repeat of the CosRX centella water toner, which not only felt like water but was about as effective as water.

Here’s a video that shows how different the mists that each of these products produce are:

However, after spending some time with both mists, the Benton mist has completely won me over while the LJH mist sits mostly unused in my stash.

The LJH is not a bad product by any means. It’s a light-to-medium strength astringent toner with some moisturizing properties, likely from the niacinamide it includes. I think it would be a great product for oily but dehydrated skin types, but it’s not something that suits my skin type very well. I also think it has slightly too much slip, but that’s probably a personal hangup.

The Benton mist on the other hand, is neither astringent (this is a VERY good thing for dry skin) nor hydrating, but is remarkable in how effectively it calms my skin. My skin is very prone to redness and inflammation, especially on my cheeks and around my nose. Using this Benton TT mist not only reduces visible redness immediately, but after a few weeks of consistent usage, my face has been generally less prone to redness. If you’ve got sensitive or easily irritated skin, I can’t recommend this enough. It is also extremely gentle (again, it feels like water) and has become the first product I reach for on days when my skin is irritated, sensitive, and/or over-exfoliated.

In short, the Benton mist is perfect for my skin’s needs! I don’t even mind the lack of moisturizing power, because I’ve got tons of other products in my routine to do that. What I don’t have is another product that can soothe my skin nearly as effectively. The only complaint I have with this product is the misting nozzle.


 

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Size Comparison

The Takeaway

Despite a rocky start, the Benton TT mist has earned a long-term spot in my skincare routine. It is neither astringent nor moisturizing, but has remarkable anti-inflammatory effects on my skin. The LJH mist would be a good product for oily but dehydrated skin types (I think) but does not suit my skin type.

Benton Honest TT Mist (1)


Disclaimer: The Benton TT mist was provided to me for review purposes by RoseRoseShop. The opinions expressed are my own. The LJH Mist was purchased by me. This post contains affiliate links. See here for my full disclosure policy. 

 

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Chosungah22 Mineral Toning Essence Review

The problem with shopping for things from Korea is sometimes I don’t realize how much stuff I’ve ordered until I receive everything. This is how I ended up with all these Chosungah22 products. I’m usually very cautious about ordering too many things from a single brand, especially one I have ZERO experience with, because things can go south quickly!

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The wonders (Juice and Milk) of the Chosungah world + the Mineral Toning Essence (MTE). Not pictured: Chosungah22 Mint Sun Essence

Luckily this hasn’t been the case with Chosungah22 for the most part.

Packaging & Appearance

This “essence” comes in a simple but stylish plastic bottle. All of Chosungah’s products come in plastic, even though some of it looks like glass. This is actually a very good thing if you think about it. Glass things get easily shattered in cross-oceanic transit. I LOVE the design of this bottle. It’s minimal and looks like it could belong in either a laboratory or a Scandinavian kitchen.

This essence is clear and very fluid, only a tiny bit thicker than water. It is not sticky at all and has a very faint fragrance that I love! To me, it smells of cleansiness with a hint of lavender.

chosungah22 MTE 2 swatch

Performance

I honestly don’t think the folks at Chosungah22 know what an essence is. First of all, they named this product the confusing name of “toning essence.” In addition, they also categorize Wonder Juice as an essence, but seems to be, from my experience, a pretty straightforward hydrating toner. MTE to me is a toner. It is, after all, composed primarily of onsen-sui (spa water), and water.

I apply this MTE after my second cleanser, either on a cotton square or by patting it on my face with my hands. It is not a powerhouse hydrator nor does it contain a significant concentration of active ingredients, but my skin does react positively to it. After cleansing, I tend to have a lot of redness around my nose and on my cheeks. MTE is just soothing and hydrating enough to make my skin feel normal again, removing any tightness, if any, and noticeably reducing some of the redness.

chosungah22 MTE 1

I also like to use MTE to prime my skin before applying serums and ampoules. It makes ampoules easier to apply and allows me to use less product. This is particularly useful for sticky ampoules like the Scinic AIO honey ampoule, because using less product means that my face is less sticky after application.

The full ingredients are below. Cosdna identifies butylene glycol (1) as the only acne trigger.

Onsen-Sui, Water, Glycerin, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Mesembryanthemum Crystallinum Extract, Betula Alba Juice, Ceramide 3, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot Fruit Oil), Geranium Maculatum Oil, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Rose Flower Oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Commiphora Myrrha Oil, Styrax Benzoin Gum, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin

The Takeaway

This is a good, basic, non-irritating toning product. That doesn’t sound super exciting, but like cleansers, finding a toner that doesn’t suck sometimes takes a lot of effort. However, I won’t be repurchasing this because at the end of the day, this product just doesn’t excite me.

I purchased this from Koreadepart. It is also available on Chosungah22’s website but for a lot more. 

Final Score (2)


Disclosures: This product was purchased by me. There are no affiliate links in this post. 

 

whamisa organic flowers cleansing oil

Whamisa Organic Flowers Cleansing Oil Review, aka, the Mystery of the Emulsifier and Preservative Free but Water-Soluble Cleansing Oil

It took a while, but I am now a full-fledged double-cleansing convert – my face just does not feel clean without it! That said, I’ve still yet to find a oil-cleanser I love. I like Innisfree Apple Juicy cleansing oil, a lot even, but I don’t love it and life is too short to stick with cleansers I don’t love, ya know?

whamisa organic flowers cleansing oil

WHERE I BOUGHT IT

The real reason I chose this oil, I admit, is because it was cheap. I purchased this off GMarket where it was heavily discounted, with Avecko’s help, for about $8. It is possible to order this from Gmarket directly, but EMS shipping is the only option if you go that route. It is also newly available on TesterKorea but in a different bottle.

APPEARANCE AND PACKAGING

As always, Whamisa impresses with its packaging design. I mean, look at the etching of flowers!

whamisa organic flowers cleansing oil

It comes in a light but sturdy plastic bottle. It seems like Whamisa has been revamping its packaging based off this image posted to their website recently and this seems to be the new packaging for their cleansing oil.

About a week into using the oil, the pump started to malfunction. I have to push down really hard to get the pump to budge and after I manage to push it down, it takes forever to come back up. I usually do 2-3 pumps of this oil when washing my face, and the pump issues have made this oil extremely annoying to use.

This cleansing oil has a thin consistency and is very fluid. It’s got a yellow tinge to it and has a smell that is neither sweet nor floral, but rather a bit herbaceous and musty – I think chrysanthemums are the large contributor to this scent, although I’m not sure. It is not overpowering in any way, but I can’t say I’m a fan.

whamisa organic flowers cleansing oil

PERFORMANCE

This oil removes makeup well and does not irritate my skin. It glides across my dry face better and faster than Innisfree’s Apple Juicy cleansing oil (warning: lots of comparisons with IAJCO in this post because that’s my standard of a good oil cleanser and the one I’ve mostly used) and as a result, I find myself having to use less product than I did with IAJCO. For the most part, I am digging the thin and smooth consistency, but sometimes I wish the oil were thicker!

The thin consistency is definitely different from what I’m used to with IAJCO. Even though this oil cleanser removes makeup, the makeup doesn’t really melt or mix with the oil. It forms a chunkier makeup/oil face soup than I get with IAJCO. I’ve heard the mantra “like dissolves like” many times to explain why oil cleansing works, but with this oil there’s less dissolving than I’m used to. It still works, it just confuses me a bit.

Another downside of having such a thin consistency is that it’s less conducive to face massages. First of all, this stuff runs down my arms faster than I can react to it. Also, a few times a week, I will oil cleanse for a prolonged period of time in a yet-to-be-successful attempt to get grits (fyi no grits yet with this cleanser either). I try to massage as delicately as I can, of course, but sometimes the urge to really get in there and rub something out takes over. It may be entirely psychological, but Innisfree’s AJCO, because it is so thick, forms a nice, substantial barrier between my fingers and my skin and makes me feel like I have an extra layer of protection to minimize any excessive roughness I may be exerting. With Whamisa’s cleansing oil, the safety net feels a lot smaller.

whamisa flowers arm swatch

Base makeup, eye, brow, and lip point makeup easily removed.

The main question I had with this oil is understanding how it works. This oil emulsifies and rinses off fairly cleanly, but doesn’t contain any obvious emulsifiers! Here’s the full ingredient list, with cosdna acne triggers and irritants indicated, to see what I mean:

Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Lactobacillus/Chrysanthemum Sinense Flower Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Nelumbium Speciosum Flower Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Dandelion Leaf/Root Extract Ferment Filtrate, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Fragrance

whamisa organic flowers cleansing oil

There are lots of good and interesting ingredients there, but when I looked it up on cosdna, I noticed there are no emulsifying agents identified. With all-natural brands that avoid adding / listing chemicals in their products, I usually look for esters or saponified oils in the ingredient list to explain emulsification but with this oil, even those indicators were not to be found. I had two theories as to why this product works and, determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, worked my way through both.

  1. Capric / caprylic triglycerides: These are medium chain fatty acids that are derived from coconut oil, glycerin, or some other source. In the paleo / body-building / fitness supplement world, they are known and marketed as MCT Oil (medium chain triglyceride) and consumed because they provide quick energy, something fats usually don’t do. In the skincare world, capric / caprylic triglycerides are used because they have a light and silky texture, a virtually unlimited shelflife, and acts as a solvent for oil-soluble actives. I thought they might help with emulsification because they also have a high polarity. I messaged a friend and former trainer who introduced me to MCT oil because I know he puts it in his coffee. He told me MCT oil stays separated when added to hot coffee, so it seems like this theory is bunk.
  2. Fermentation: The only other ingredients in this cleansing product, other than oil (and fragrance), are handful of fermented extracts and ferment filtrates. Specifically, these are Lactobacillus/Chrysanthemum Sinense Flower Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Nelumbium Speciosum Flower Ferment Filtrate, and Lactobacillus/Dandelion Leaf/Root Extract Ferment Filtrate. I haven’t taken a chemistry class since I was 15, but I have taken tours of breweries and recalled fermentation is responsible for the formation of alcohol. A quick google search indicated that alcohol does in fact have emulsification properties. Actually, alcohol is sometimes used to emulsify essential oils into room sprays. This by itself seemed very promising, but what’s more is that fermentation also results in the formation of esters! Esters are largely what give beer its flavor, but more importantly can be used as emulsifiers in cleansing oils!

I should reiterate at this point that my understanding of chemistry is remedial at best, so its very possible this fermentation –> esterification –> emulsification theory is all wrong, but it makes enough logical sense to me so I am declaring this mystery solved, barring new information!

The TL;DR

Thin and light cleansing oil that effectively removes makeup. It’s a decent, non-irritating cleansing oil but, I don’t know, I’m still not in love. If it were a little thicker and washed off a bit better, it would be an excellent oil cleanser. Next up in my cleansing oil roster are (this ridiculously beautiful) RECIPE’s marine mineral cleansing fluid and a deluxe sample of the (very highly regarded) Shu Uemura cleansing oil (pink bottle).

Pros: lightweight, applies smoothly, emulsifies pretty good

Cons: not a fan of the scent, a little too thin

whamisa cleansing oil review

let's cure honeybunny 40 propolis ampoule

Let’s Cure Honeybunny Propolis 40 Ampoule Review

Update: Please note the Honeybunny Propolis 40 Ampoule has been reformulated. The new formula has a sweeter scent and lighter color, and YMMV but I do not find it as effective or hydrating as the version reviewed below.

It is kind of surprising how diligently I’ve been able to stick with a multi-step skincare routine because in most aspects of my life I am lazy as shit. I literally have not prepared a single meal for myself, excepting the occasional breakfast smoothie, in months because I do not want to deal with dishes. I think this is a huge part of the appeal of Asian Beauty. If I can do a full-fledged routine every morning and night, then maybe I am a better adult than I give myself credit for.

There are times though, where I just cannot be bothered to do much more than wash my face. This happens mostly on nights where I’m overworked, over-drunked, sleep deprived, and / or have stayed out too late. It’s rare, but it’s happened a few times this summer. The last couple of times its happened, I noticed the next morning that my skin looked surprisingly good. Somehow, instead of looking tired or dull, my skin was glowing. I racked my brain for reasons as to how this might be, did some experimentation, and ultimately landed on the fact that this one, amazing product, is responsible. Ladies and gents, allow me to introduce you to Let’s Cure Honeybunny Propolis 40 Ampoule.

let's cure honeybunny 40 propolis ampoule

WHERE I BOUGHT IT

I purchased this from Memebox via Avecko. At the time, it was not available from any vendors that sell directly to US customers. As of this week, it’s available on Testerkorea, along with a lot of other products from the Let’s Cure brand, including the pH adjusting AHA/BHA toner that I reviewed here (and am also a big fan of).

Update: This ampoule is now available at The Wild Jasmine, which is a new US based store that also stocks the toner from the same brand and Evercos masks, and Memebox US. (Btw, you can get 8% cash back on all Memebox orders from topcashback.com)

APPEARANCE

let's cure honeybunny 40 propolis ampoule

This ampoule comes in a white, airless pump. The packaging is nothing special, but it’s highly practical and I actually love it! No dipping of fingers, washing of spatulas, or even unscrewing of lids required. Seriously, this is the fastest and easiest product in my arsenal to use. I am considering buying a bunch of airless pumps to decant all of my products into, except I would probably receive the containers but never get around to decanting anything, because laziness.

The ampoule is brown / amber in color. It smells faintly like cough-syrup, but the fragrance is not overpowering and does fade significantly upon application. The texture is thin and watery. It has a lot of slip, making it extremely easy to apply quickly, and adsorbs like a dream!

PERFORMANCE

Ok, I started this review with spoilers so let’s backtrack a bit. I use this ampoule every day in the PM after any essences I may be using. The packaging for this product speaks to its abilities to defend skin against UV rays, so I suspect it is intended to use as an AM product. I try to keep my AM routine as uncluttered as possible, because I usually have less time in the mornings than at night, so instead use this at night.

Upon application, my skin feels immediately better. Sometimes after cleansing, my skin will feel tight and extra-dehydrated. When that is the case, this ampoule eliminates that tightness almost immediately. Also, after application, my skin feels smoother and (for lack of better word) bouncier.

honeybunny ampoule

Going back to the story I started in the intro, what really distinguishes this product is its self-sufficiency. To test my hypothesis that this product by itself can make my skin look great, I chose a few different nights where I ditched my usual PM routine and only double cleansed + applied this ampoule at night. The result? My skin looked great! Not only did my skin look bright and healthy, it also looked and felt adequately hydrated. So many of the products I use in my routine are designed to add hydration or maintain hydration. It was crazy that one product could do so much on its own.

That said, I have no plans to ditch my PM routine permanently. I think that this ampoule is effective enough to maintain the health and hydration of my skin for one night, maybe even two, but over time it would ultimately be no match against my skin’s chronic dryness. I also think that the summer climate has been kinder to the hydration levels of my skin. During winter months, I suspect the effects of this ampoule may be less impressive (I’ll update this when / if I test this in winter!).

Here is the translated ingredient list (originally posted here), with cosdna irritants and acne triggers indicated.

Purified Water, Propolis Extract (15%), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Sodium hyaluronate, Ethanol, 1.2-Hexanediol, Centella Asiatica Extract, Green Tea Extract, Honey, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Licorice Root Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Pomegranate Extract, Ficus Carica (Fig) Fruit Extract, Codonopsis Extract, Polyquaternium-51, Sciadopitys Verticillata Root Extract, Ubiquinone, Althaea Rosea Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Allantoin, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Spices, Human Oligopeptide-1, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopherol Acetate, Adenosine, Hydrolyzed collagen

let's cure honeybunny 40 propolis ampoule

The star ingredient here is propolis. I had heard of propolis mentioned in various places in terms of skincare, but had actually incorrectly assumed it was a honey product. Turns out, propolis is actually a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive. 

In skincare, propolis is used to heal wounds and possesses anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. One of the constituents of propolis is beeswax, a wax ester that can create a protective, non-allergenic layer over the skin.

COMPARISON WITH SCINIC AIO HONEY AMPOULE

In some ways, this product is similar to the Scinic AIO Honey Ampoule, so I thought it might be helpful to compare the two but also point out the differences.

Let’s start with the ingredients! The first five ingredients of AIO are Honey Extract, Glycerin, Water, Niacinamide, and Royal Jelly Extract. Compare that to the first five ingredients of Honeybunny, which are Water, Propolis, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, and Sodium Hyaluronate.

Given these ingredients, both these products seem targeted towards hydration. From my experience, I find Honeybunny to be more moisturizing. I think the reason why Honeybunny has an upper hand is because I can apply a lot more, probably twice, of it than AIO. The reason for this? AIO is sticky, which is not a problem if I use sparingly, but becomes an issue if I use too much. Honeybunny does not have issues with stickiness.

In terms of texture and fragrance, I prefer the scent of the AIO Honey Ampoule, which smells honey-like and sweet, to that of the Honeybunny ampoule, which smells vaguely like cough syrup. I also prefer the texture of the AIO over Honeybunny because it has a little more structure, which I like. That said, Honeybunny absorbs faster, even though I apply a lot more.

Overall, I prefer Let’s Cure Honeybunny Propolis 40 Ampoule over Scinic’s AIO Honey Ampoule. I find it more convenient to use and more effective for my skin’s needs. That said, both are excellent products and you really can’t go wrong with either (or both, like I am currently doing)!

The TL;DR

I LOVE this product! It’s dispenses in a jiffy, easy to apply, quick to absorb, and impressively hydrating, even when used without other supporting products! I highly recommend this to anyone looking for extra hydration! It’s lightweight yet effective!

Pros: Quick to apply, able to both hydrate and sustain hydration.

Cons: Somewhat difficult to source. May enable more late, drunken nights that lead me to neglect my skincare routine.

let's cure honeybunny 40 propolis ampoule

let's cure aha bha exfoliating toner

Let’s Cure Pure Skin Basic Step Exfoliator (pH Adjusting Toner) Review

let's cure aha bha exfoliating toner

WHY I BOUGHT IT

My review and excitement of this product will make a lot more sense if you have some basic understanding of how pH affects the order in which skincare is applied. For a fantastic overview, check out this post over at Snow White and the Asian Pear and scroll down to the part entitled How to incorporate ‘actives’ which are pH dependent. To key take away is that for maximum efficacy, it’s important to allow your skin to adjust to its normal, mildly acidic pH, before applying low-pH actives. This can be done by waiting 15-20 minutes, which is what I had been doing, or by using a pH adjusting toner. Continue reading

Komenuka Bijin Deep Moisture Jell Cream

On Komenuka Bijin and Rice Bran Oil

Komenuka Bijin is a Japanese skin care brand that utilizes rice bran as its star ingredient. Rice bran contains a form of liquefied Oryzanol (Vitamin B), which according to the marketing material can help soften the skin and regenerate new, healthy skin. Rice bran certainly is nutritious and I did manage to dig up this little bit of research (but small sample size and no access to full report = can’t comment on the robustness of the experiment’s design) demonstrating rice bran’s success in 1.) enhancing hydration and 2.) improving lightening, thickness, roughness, and elasticity in human skin. However, my guess is those results are due to Rice Bran oil’s occlusivity (aka moisture retention-ability, which is very good but not necessarily any better than more common oils such as jojoba, shea, or olive) more than its micronutrient content. If every oil did half the things it advertised, botox peddlers around the world would be out of business. They’re not.

This is the third product I’ve tried from Komenuka Bijin, the other two being the Body Care Cream (great for lizard-dry skin) and Makeup Base Cream (terrible in every way). I’m not sure why I purchased this but it’s probably a combination of my need for a night cream at the time and the discounted price and positive reviews on Amazon.

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Deep Moisture Jell Cream Continue reading