Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Hanyul Review Series II: Rich Effect Cream

Hanyul Rich Effect Cream 01

This baby knocked its cousin, the Rich Effect Revitalizing Cream (read review) off the podium as my favorite moisturizer. I am currently rationing what I’m left with, because it  will definitely not be around when I finish up my existing stash of moisturizers (I still have a number of moisturizers unopened).

While the Revitalizing Cream is focused on anti-aging, dullness and elasticity, the Rich Effect Cream is for a much older age bracket, with focus on wrinkles and repairing skin damage. It is not really for me, but then who really cares? I am sure skin care obsessives everywhere start on anti-aging routines when the tiniest of lines start to appear. And I’m not going to pretend I’m getting any younger than this.

Hanyul Rich Effect Cream 02

Hanyul Rich Effect Cream 03

The texture is a lot thicker than the Revitalizing Cream, highly emollient, but surprisingly absorbs just as well as the other lighter cream. It gives a fantastic morning-after glow. It is just an overall highly effective moisturizer, with all the plus points the other ones has.

The one advantage it gains over the Revitalizing Cream is its texture. Remember I said the Revitalizing Cream is not as hydrating as I would like it to be, and I have to combine it with a sleep mask? Well, I don’t need to do so with the Rich Effect Cream. Probably the problem is not that the Revitalizing Cream is not hydrating enough i.e. poor supply of water, but rather it is not that good at retain the moisture i.e. poor supply of oil. In any case, the Rich Effect Cream is a clear favorite.

I’d say if you have normal to dry skin, go for the Rich Effect Cream. If you have normal, oily to combination skin, the the Rich Effect Cream may be a little too cloying and uncomfortable.

Go get these two moisturizers! If you cannot find them on Gmarket or Koreadepart, even better, try out something from their new range, and let me know if it feels like new (or just old products repackaged)! I will not be purchasing skincare items anytime soon, so I will have to rely on reviews.

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Damage Report II

Alright, I have gone temporarily mad. The AmorePacific store on Gmarket had a sale right after I discovered the Hanyul line was revamped. The old Hanyul products were on 20 to 40% sale. Mamonde was 30% off. Plus from the other side of Pacific, iHerb was on 10% off. Of course I had to make use of the chance to try some new products!

It doesn’t help that work is getting so much more stressful at this time of the year. A little retail therapy is due.

Damage Report II 01

  1. Real Techniques Stippling Brush & Powder Brush — I have been using the Ecotools Bamboo Foundation Brush for my BB creams, but finally gave in to my curiosity and bought brushes from Real Techniques. They are so wonderfully dense and soft.
  2. Hanyul Rich Effect Cream Foundation SPF25 PA++ — This is my first official foundation after dabbling here and there with BB creams and tinted moisturizers. Like all Hanyul make up, it veers on the edge of being too yellow and has poor range of colors.
  3. Hanyul Rich Effect Twin Pact SPF28 PA+++
  4. Skinfood Peach Sake Silky Finish Powder — Based on reviews, this seems to be quite comparable to the Jurlique Rose Silk Finish Powder, which I’m running out of.
  5. Nature Republic Shine Blossom Blusher
  6. Mamonde Shimmer Skin Primer
  7. Mamonde Real Skin Founder SPF33 PA++ — “Founder?” I honestly thought it was a case of bad English until I noticed it is described as a “foundation+powder” combo. Interesting.

Damage Report II 02

  1. Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
  2. Mamonde Natural Peeling Gel — I’m running out of the Cure Natural Aqua Gel, and it’s really expensive. Mamonde is a lot more affordable, but I’m not sure if it is as good.
  3. Hanyul Optimizing Serum — Repurchased the 120 ml jumbo-sized version. To be honest, I think I’d feel much more excited to repurchase the Rich Effect Revitalizing Cream (read review) than this one, but I do have too many moisturizers to use up and no back ups for serums.
  4. Mamonde Age Control Power Serum — Just to try out something from the Mamonde skincare range.
  5. Hanyul Rich Effect Whitening Powder Serum — Another repurchase. I wasn’t even entirely why I like it so much even though I don’t see visible results.
  6. Hanyul Ga-eum Whitening Cream (한율 가음미백 크림) — If I’m not wrong, this is part of a Hanyul line only available via television shopping. It’s quite interesting that there are shopping channels on TV, and apparently also door-to-door sales in Korea still.

Damage Report II 03

  1. Mamonde Daily Moisture Sun Cream SPF35 PA++
  2. Kiss My Face Face Factor Sunscreen SPF 30 
  3. Verite Ice UV Sun Shot SPF 30 PA++ — This is a gift with purchase, seeing that I bought so much from the AmorePacific store. It’s one of those spray-and-go sunscreens that reduces the hassle of rubbing the product in.

At this point I’m more excited to try products from Mamonde than anything else. With Hanyul I already know what to expect, but Mamonde is totally new to me. By the way, the new Hanyul lines are now available on AmorePacific store on Gmarket. GOGET’EM!

The Hanyul Review Series I: Eungyeol Light Eye Cream


Hanyul Eungyeol Light Eye Cream 01

Hanyul Eungyeol Light Eye Cream 02

This is part 1 of my attempt to rush finish reviewing all the Hanyul products before they are no longer available on all online shops. Are you tired me talking about Hanyul? Sorry, but the brand has never disappointed thus far.  This particular eye cream is housed in one of my favorite packaging designs of late. The blue and red color combination is just beautiful, and it’s made of glass! Appearances aside, though, it’s the content that matters. Sadly, I have say this product is not all that impressive.

The cream contains schizophyllum commune extract, which is type of mushroom that can support liver, immune health, blood pressure and cardiovascular health when taken orally. As for its purported skincare benefits, I can only lift from a Sulwhasoo website (here). It claims that the mushroom extract creates “a thin moisture layer on the skin’s surface to ensure long lasting hydration effect”. From the rest of the ingredients list, I can only identify the Asian medicine angelica sinensis. If you are well versed in Korean, help yourselves with the ingredients list below!

Hanyul Eungyeol Light Eye Cream 04

Hanyul Eungyeol Light Eye Cream 03

The texture is indeed light, easily spread and absorbed. It is not a gel–more like somewhere between gelatin and cream texture, which is quite interesting.

Despite its lofty claims, I have observed no difference in my under-eye area after using it for two months. More than ever it seems to reinforce the claim that you don’t need a separate eye moisturizer. Any of the other creams under the brand would have worked great as a moisturizer for the eye area.

So the verdict is favorite packaging, least favorite content from the Hanyul brand.

IOPE Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning

IOPE Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning

I don’t like to use toners all that much, but here’s one I’d be happy to soak up if I have a bottomless purse. The IOPE Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning costs 65,000KRW (US$65), and lasts about two to three months from my experience. I first came across this product here, a Korea shopping guide on CNN Travel. With a bit more research I realized this sounds a lot like SK II Facial Treatment Essence (so darn expensive) and its many Korean dupes, like the Missha First Treatment Essence. The Bio Essence claims to:

  • Maintain skin health through its Bio-redox 93.7%
  • Restore transparent, clear and smooth skin
  • Boosts the vitality of the skin, encouraging skin renewal and aiding in cell cycle

The product comes in a sleek frosted glass bottle. The texture and smells is just like water, and I wasn’t sure what it is doing to my skin. I followed instructions dutifully—soak the Bio Essence on cotton pad and gently swipe in circular motions. After three weeks of usage, there was an overall improvement to my skin in terms of texture and tone.

My problem with the product is how wasteful it is. The cotton pad soaks up most of the essence, so with every application half of the product actually lands in your bin. It’s the sort of guilty feeling when you don’t finish your meal and you think of others who can’t actually afford to have any food. Moreover, I was at a point where I wanted to streamline my skincare to reduce the number of products I put on my face. I decided I’d rather spend more on moisturizers and serums instead. I benched it after the first month.

It is only in the past two weeks that I have started to appreciate what it can do for me. I am currently undergoing a skin crisis (zits, peeling skin and all), and the Bio Essence is one of the few products that does not sting my face. I think I’d write about the other products that I’m using to calm my skin at a later date.

I will not re-purchase this despite my new found appreciation. The Bio Essence, though cheaper than SK II, is still far too expensive to order five times a year for a constant supply.

Yay and nay: Olay Regenerist

Olay Regenerist

I have had Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Serum (50ml) for ages and only finished it recently. This was bought before I became more fanatical about skincare, so a regular drugstore one worked fine for me. It works well enough as a moisturizer on its own, as the texture is very heavy, even heavier than a gel-cream moisturizer. I do like this, but its not right for my climate. People living in cold and dry climates could possibly layer this on top of a watery serum and below a cream moisturizer. There is a slight brightening effect as this contains mica, but the effect is purely cosmetic. Don’t expect any sculpting effect!

I only bought Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream (50ml) since there was a ridiculous sale, but I regretted this purchase. The serum is fine, but the cream is honestly too heavy and forms a film rather than settle into the skin. This is a prime example of why I like to research and plan my purchases. The times I don’t, Micro Sculpting Cream happens.

I will not repurchase any of the above products.