Monthly Archives: December 2013

Damage Report I

Damage Report I

So, I purchased items from Gmarket in November, and couldn’t resist buying another batch. I wasn’t very smart about it, you see. I should have combined all of them in one shipping, so I’m more inclined to call it “damage to bank account” than “haul”. A glitch in one of the Korea domestic delivery resulted in the entire batch of purchases reaching me on Boxing Day rather than the anticipated Dec 19. A number of other items were meant to be given as Christmas gifts, but now are of little value. But still, I’m relieved that everything came.

  1. Hanyul Rich Effect BB Cream SPF50/PA+++ (40ml) to replace the Lancôme BB cream. I’ve already begun to use this since last month, and darn its so much better than the Lancôme. I only though the Lancôme was good since I haven’t used many BB creams before.
  2. Hanyul Rich Effect Overnight Mask (100ml) to replace my Laneige Water Sleeping Pack
  3. Hanyul Rich Effect Cream (70ml) sans “Revitalizing” compared to the one I’m already using. This cream is specifically for “damaged and degraded skin” and for wrinkles. I’m not getting my hopes up though.
  4. Hanyul Eungyeol Light Eye Cream (30ml) (read review) to replace my Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye
  5. Sooryehan Bichaek Jadan Whitening Sun Powder SPF50+ PA+++ (14g)
  6. Sooryehan Hyo Fermented BB Cream SPF30+ PA++ (50ml) 

Shopping on Gmarket was a little confusing. While there’s a decent global version in English and a great support team that replies within the hour, many product descriptions are entirely in Korean, and sometimes Google Translate doesn’t make sense. Overall though, it was a pleasant experience.

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Review: Lancôme Génifique Youth Activator

I did a skincare swap with my lovely Mom late last year. Lancôme Génifique wasn’t working out for her, Guerlain Abeille Royal Serum is terrible on me. Turns out it was a bad situation for both of us. She didn’t see any results with Abeille Royal Serum, and Génifique… sigh, what should I say.

Many claim that Génifique is identical to the L’oreal Youth Code, and suggested purchasing the latter at a fraction of the price. I have used Youth Code in 2011, and I found it alright, but not remarkable. While there wasn’t a rewinding of the clock, it did not do major damage either. With Génifique, there is indeed similarities in consistency, color and texture. The effect though is fairly different.

I popped a few whiteheads the first day after using it. I pushed on, and on the second day I was greeted by small pimples. By the fourth day, my skin is dull and angry looking even with the use of a good moisturizer like my Hanyul Rich Effect Revitalizing Cream. It was like the Alpha Hydrox again. I gave it a rest for a few days, and went back to Hanyul Optimizing Serum, which did helped to clear those pimples.

The second time I returned to Génifique, a month after my first try, everything was good. I didn’t have any breakouts, and it was just like Youth Code again–not remarkable, just mediocre.

If my feeling towards this product can be summed by one word, it’d be “indifference”.

The almost HG: Hanyul Rich Effect Revitalizing Cream

Hanyul Rich Effect Revitalizing Cream 01

The Rich Effect Revitalizing Cream is another Hanyul product that I got the same time as the Optimizing Serum (read review). It claims to help to strengthen self-generating skin power, with emphasis on improving skin texture, elasticity and dryness. I’ll say it first, if I were to have a “Skincare Hall of Fame” this would be right at the top with Estée Lauder ANR. If you have been other entries in this blog you’ll know that I don’t gush about products or declare holy grails, but darn, this is getting close to gushing.

Like the Optimizing Serum, information about this product in English is elusive. There are English translations of the ingredients list on Koreadepart, but I will not post them here because I’m not sure if it is complete. Partial ingredients list includes:

  • Niacinamide & adenosine: well researched skincare ingredients
  • Angelica root extract: traditionally used in China, Japan and Korea as a whitening agent, with research support. I’ve actually heard of people who purchases this in powder form and mix their own whitening masks
  • Black bean extract: no research support
  • Coix extract: seems to be a fancy name for wheat germ oil
  • Apricot seed extract: aka apricot kernel oil
  • The list goes on. There is a combination of well-researched and what-is-that ingredients, but of course the ingredients list is really not important if the product works.

Hanyul Rich Effect Revitalizing Cream 02.1Hanyul Rich Effect Revitalizing Cream 02.2

The cream has a strong ginseng scent upon application but will dissipate within five minutes. The texture is very creamy and absorbs very nicely. It does not form a film on my skin as I had anticipated with the heavier creams. Like the ANR, I wake up in the morning with very well-rested skin. The effect is visibly better than the DHC Kakonjuka Cream (read review). While it is supposed to have anti-aging effects, I have not observe any long-term effects on the fine lines on my forehead and laugh lines (so far). That being said, it is an excellent all-rounded cream which improve the overall condition of the skin.

The only downside is that it is not as hydrating as I’d like it to be. After I shower and finish my skincare routine at night, I still have five hours of work to complete before I go to bed. By bedtime, there is an uncomfortable tightness on my forehead while wearing this. The problem is easily solved by slathering a sleep mask on the dryness prone areas before heading to bed.

I must say my interest in Korean skincare products piqued after using this, and I especially went on hunting for products containing ginseng or traditional skincare ingredients. I like this a lot, but I will not be purchasing this again anytime soon, as I am keen to try out moisturizers from Sulwhasoo, belif and Whoo.

EDIT: The sister product Hanyul Rich Effect Cream has become my HG. Read about it here.

Quick Reviews II

Clay Masks

I have normal skin, with decent oil-water balance. However, I do get the occasional oily T-zone because the of the warm and humid climate here. Since last year I have been using a clay mask once a week to absorb the oil, then follow up with a hydrating sheet mask to restore moisture.

Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask

Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask

This is one of those products that is highly rated on MUA, but somehow I just don’t like. I have no qualms about the application or removal, it’s all fine. It’s just that my eyes sting and tears up upon application, and during drying, my face gets really itchy and I can’t wait to wash it off.

The end result is good. I did not observe any effects on pores, but it does remove some of the oiliness from my skin. After following up with a hydrating sheet mask my face appears to be much brighter and healthier looking.

Repurchase? Nah, I don’t really want to put up with the tearing or itchiness.

Petal Fresh Aloe and Pomegranate Clay Facial Masque

Petal Fresh Aloe and Pomegranate Clay Facial Masque

This mask has a creamy texture and a strong pomegranate scent. When it dries, it does not crack like the Freeman, and is easy to wash off. The end result is similar to the Freeman. Without irritating my eyes and skin, I must say this is a lot more pleasant to use. Not a standout product, but then what miracles can you expect a simple clay mask to do anyway.

Repurchase? Maybe!

InnisFree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

InnisFree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

Highly raved by bloggers in Asia, it seems to have reached a miracle product status. I find that while it helps with whiteheads caused by excessive oil production and lack of exfoliation, it doesn’t help with inflammatory acne as some claimed. I tried applying this earlier this year when I was battling an outbreak of  pustules and papules (courtesy of the Alpha Hydrox 10% Glycolic AHA Enhanced Cream), but it didn’t do much.

Like the other clay masks, it is great at oil control, provided I follow up with a hydrating sheet mask afterwards. It does not sting or irritate, and has a faint earthy scent. However, squeezing it out of the tube is a chore, why must they make the texture so tough? I should have bought the tub version.

Repurchase? Nah. Maybe in the tub, not the tube.

I’m also interested in making some DIY clay mask at home, I’ve seen recipes and they seem simple enough. It just seems more of a hassle since you need to mix a new batch every time you use it, there’s no way of storing… Maybe when I have more time!