[#Gifted] StyleKorean Haul

Sometime after their first upload, I came across ‘Beauty Cookie‘ – a YouTube channel centred around K-beauty. I wasn’t just interested in this channel just because of being familiar with the hosts Edward Avila, Coco & Megan Bowen; I was intrigued by the concept of one series they do named ‘WWW’. I actually don’t know that the acronym stands for, but the premise of this segment is to compare a high end skincare product, K-beauty or not, alongside more affordable K-beauty alternatives or dupes.

To my knowledge the channel is sponsored and perhaps also run by the online shopping site ‘StyleKorean‘, which once again is something not new to me. One of the main reasons that has lead to me to comeback each week to watch WWW, is how the installment is similar to ‘ONSTYLE D – Get it Beauty’ – a Korean show which also discusses & recommends trending K-beauty products. Get it Beauty still remains popular even 6 or 7 years on, but sometimes subtitles aren’t available to comprehend it fully. Thankfully Beauty Cookie is like an English version of Get it Beauty, and to an extent is more ‘relatable’ as it isn’t presented by mainstream celebrities as such.

I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of Beauty Cookie’s giveaway winners, which has enabled me to share this StyleKorean haul with you all. There are five items chosen by Edward & Coco, so I’m going to cut straight into introducing them.

THE PLANT BASE – MIELROSE PETAL ESSENCE

Petal infused skincare is far from being a new concept, although it seems to be an increasingly popular theme among K-beauty skincare brands as of late. Whilst being eager to test out petal infused skincare for myself, I finally got my hands on the “The Plant Base – Mielrose Petal Essence” which has been noticeably favoured among Malaysian beauty bloggers. This essence is self-claimed to be “a bottle of pure rose extract & Honey with rich nutrients of fresh rose petals… moisture of Mielrose that becomes more enriched with time”. With this in mind, we can compare this infusion method to tea brewing – the petals enrich the 75% Damask rose water (with non-refined water base) throughout time from the moment they are placed into the formula to the time it arrives in our hands.

Honey, Royal Jelly & Propolis extracts have been used in this essence for their hydration properties & ability to protect skin from environmental stressors. The front of the packaging seems to focus on the rose extracts, particularly how they can energise skin whilst taking care of complexions, however I noticed that it also contains an interesting natural patent ingredient: INFLAXβ„’ – based around persimmon leaf, licorice , prickly pear cactus & white mulberry extracts for soothing.

Since using this twice daily I do feel like my skin is staying hydrated for longer than compared to when skipping this step. In some ways due to it’s slightly tacky texture, it feels like a smooth shield for skin, enabling other products to sit comfortably on top of it. Admittedly, I do just prefer to use it as a mist throughout the day if my skin feels a little tight – it’s much more handy for this purpose.

ISNTREE – HYALURONIC ACID TONER

I actually can’t remember if I’ve spoken about Isntree on SimplyEm’sBlog before, however I have review three of their other products on IG – including the ‘plus’ version of this toner. To explain simply this is a Hyaluronic ACID (HA) toner with the texture of an essence; I suppose you could say it’s a toner & essence rolled into one. This award winning toner contains 3 different HA of differing molecular sizes for a quick source of hydration. HA contributes to 50% of the solution. For a toner it consists of a relatively small number of ingredients – supplying many skin-loving ingredients like aloe, althea Rosea (Hollyhock) root, beta-glucan & Panthenol in addition to the key HA.

This toner is loved by all skin types as it’s non-complex list of ingredients makes it suitable for all. Despite it’s viscosity it doesn’t doesn’t leave stickiness, enabling you to layer further steps of skincare on top of it without an interval. Personally I like this original version just as much as the ‘plus’ version; this one is slightly less thicker than the other in consistency.

BLITHE – TUNDRA CHAGA PRESSED SERUM

Are you familiar with Tundra Chaga? – It’s a variation of mushroom which are rich in Beta Glutan. The last time I used Beta Glutan, a prebiotic (similar to probiotics) which supports the healthy functions of immune systems. The last time I used Beta Glutan was in a powder face wash so I was interested to see how it works when used differently. This BLITHE Pressed Serum uses this type of glucose, which is found in the cell walls of fungi (in this case 59.4% Tundra Chaga), to strengthen the protective barrier of skin whilst firming & improving skin’s elasticity. Fermented olive & argan oils have also been combined in this to further improve the appearance of aging skin through nutrient supply.

This serum has a very interesting texture which I can’t compare to anything else I’ve tested out before. In a way it’s like a gel cream, but thicker with a lower water content. Then again you can feel the oils as you apply it to skin, although they aren’t greasy nor sticky. It looks like a balm, but doesn’t feel like a balm … and it doesn’t have the same characteristics as a serum neither. Simply to say: it’s unique! I’m totally satisfied with my experience of using this product so far. It will certainly take plenty of my time to see lasting effects it may have on fine lines, expression lines, etc.

For now I’m pleased with how well it has softened my skin without any negative outcome. As it’s quite nourishing some days it’s fine to use this as your last step in your skincare routine after toner + essence. Unless of course your are going outside, in that case you will still need to apply moisturiser & SPF after this serum – yet totally ideal for your coronacation (?)

HEIMISH – ALL CLEAN BALM

If you follow ‘skinfluencers’ on Instagram, you most likely have seen them rave about this even if they don’t typically use K-beauty for it’s ability to gently yet effectively cleanse away heavy makeup. What makes it stand out among other well known cleansing balms – the ever so popular ‘Banila Co Clean it Zero Balm’ is one to mention – is it’s 3-step transformer texture (Balm – Oil – Milk). I find cleansing balms to generally be hydrating enough in it’s basic form, although the addition of coconut extract seemingly heightens the moisture levels of this balm.

The packaging design is notably considerate in terms of practicality. It has a pop-up lid which won’t become greasy upon closing a like if it was a screw-on lid. It is a pressed balm that’s packed tightly into the tub, so to assist you in removing the correct sized amount of product easily & hygienically a miniature spatula is provided on top of the protective cap.

The scent isn’t strong but it does have an aroma of mixed natural oils including orange peel, lavender, geranium, balsam torchwood, eucalyptus, tea tree, grapefruit, bergamot, frankincense & cedarwood oils. Now that’s a unique concoction!

I was quite excited to try this cleaning balm as it is more affordable than the Banila one. The only thing I was concerned about was whether or not some of the aroma oils would irritate my skin & also because coconut as well as shea butter in skincare is controversial due to it’s tenancy to clog pores when used generously or often. But if Coconut extracts are good enough for Eric Nam, then it’s good enough for me!

One time use was enough to convince me to never fall for overpriced cleansing balms ever again. This cleansing balm literally has no bad points about it. If you’re going to commit to double cleansing, as you should already be, then you need this balm as your first step of your evening skincare regime. It even removes stubborn lip tints with minimal effort!

SOME BY MI – AHA.BHA.PHA 30 DAYS MIRACLE SERUM

This is actually my second bottle of this serum. I haven’t opened it yet as I’m only half-way through my first, which I use almost everyday in conjunction to the matching toner. This serum includes Centella Asiatica Extract (14.5%), whereas the corresponding toner favours Niacinamide more greatly. Tea tree leaf water (10,000ppm) remains a key ingredient in this Serum alike the other products within the range; however several different ingredients contribute to this Serum – which I now use everyday regardless if I’m testing out other skincare. For instance malic acid, glycolic acid, wintergreen leaf extract, cranberry, basil, lilac, rice, meadow foam, propanediol, etc. The main functions of this Serum, is to soothe skin & strengthen it’s barrier.

First impressions: After 4 consecutive days of use, twice per day, I felt as is the Serum absorbs well with limited residue. It’s very lightweight & liquidy – making it ideal for placing underneath semi-thick emulsions or moisturisers on top of it. I wish I had this Serum at hand during the humid months last year in Korea, because it hydrates oily skin well without promoting excess sebum production the t-zone. Some days I find that using the Miracle toner, the Miracle Serum + a suitable SPF are enough skincare for daytime, as the Serum is quite rich despite being watery (in some ways it resembles a light oil moreso than a serum).

Overall I’m impressed with this serum’s ability to care for Oily Sensitive skin & for the same reasons I believe those who live in humid climates or have combination skin will benefit from using it too.

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Disclaimer: The products featured in this post were gifted via a give. I was not asked to review them on this occasion, I have chosen to do this on my own accord. All opinions expressed are my own & have therefore not been influenced by the brand or any company in association. Any links shared are not affiliated.

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