1 / HILL HOUSE HOME had a nap dress drop on Wednesday. They had more stock than their October 2020 drop, so I was able to order what I wanted despite forgetting about the drop until launch time. They had me at the Ellie in black dots (which I plan to wear with a black turtleneck) and the emerald trellis pattern grew on me.
Amorepacific owns a ton of brands (including Sulwhasoo, Laneige) but the Amorepacific brand itself is not popular in Korea. My Korean friends often don’t even know that there are Amorepacific branded products!
I love the Amorepacific Vintage Single Extract Essence. Green tea leaves are picked by hand from Amorepacific’s green tea gardens on Jeju Island, naturally fermented for 100 days, then the tea extracted through a 24 hour process. The “vintage” is from the product of a single crop and the aging process. It is full of powerful antioxidants, which protect against sun damage and is touted to promote skin clarity, texture and elasticity.
I bought mine in Seoul last October and am almost done with the 4 oz bottle after non-daily use (I alternate with a Sulwhasoo water). I am a bit heavy handed with application. I shake some into my palm and spread/pat it on my face. It is very watery. If you use serums, essence helps your skin absorb the serum and you should apply them while your skin is still wet from the essence. My skin feels hydrated, dewy from using this essence in addition to healthy despite what serums I use.
The con? It is pricey. A full size bottle is 4 oz and $145. They recently started selling a 2.36 oz bottle for $95.
I compiled a list of my favorites… not just skincare!
Listen to your skin. It’s hard for me to tell the effect of one product, since I switch around and may add multiple new ones at one time. But, I will say that anyone that goes from using nothing to something will see a difference in your skin. Hydrating toners (not the stripping kind that you apply with a cotton pad), cleansers at a right ph, double cleansing, some exfoliating, or essences make a discernible difference. There are always affordable options for every product type.
Favorite Cleanser:Tatcha Cleansing Oil and Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser. I have tried other cleansing oils during the year (and will continue to) but my favorite is still the Tatcha. I’ve been using the Cerave as a first or second cleanser for a long time. These cleansers clean well and don’t strip the skin.
Favorite Watery Essence: The Amorepacific Vintage Single Extract Essence was on my wishlist for a while.This was a rare product that was sold out on the Lotte Duty Free app so I had to buy in person, but it worked out because I got a ton of gifts. It’s made of fermented green tea (yummy antioxidants!!).
I’m fairly fond of Drunk Elephant (past mentions). However, I have not tried their sunscreens or soaps. Nor do I plan to. When DE dropped the new Beste jelly cleanser, I thought eh… why not. My experience was consistent with many lackluster reviews, I was not impressed. My skin is normal (I used to think it was combination). In general, I wash my face at least twice a day and do a double cleanse at least once a day. I tried this cleanser on dry skin, wet skin, as an only cleanser, and as a second cleanser.
Texture: A little goes a long way, but it felt slippery and stripped my skin of moisture despite having Marula oil and glycerin. Maybe it works better for oilier skin. It does foam up.
Packaging: People were extremely upset at the packaging. The bottom lid is concave, you turn it for the center opening to open and squeeze the tube to dispense cleanser. You turn it back and hear a click for it to lock in place. My bottle never leaked but others complained about it leaking. Also, if you leave it in any wet surface in an upright position, that can’t be hygienic. The tube comes in a cardboard box which has an internal black/white print, which leads a gray line on the right side of the tube.
Pricing: Drunk Elephant is by no means a wallet-friendly brand. This cleanser is $34 for 5 oz.
Compared with the other jelly cleansers you see here, or my favorite non-jelly second cleanser (Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser), this cleanser is not worth keeping and already returned to Sephora.
Reviews of the other two cleansers. Both have hyaluronic acid, which is hydrating.
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser. Thicker texture. I like it on wet skin. Nice packaging and it comes with stickers for customization. It has a smell – like a mild floral scent of a plastic toy from childhood – but it’s actually from rosewater. This is probably the only Glossier product I like aside from the lip balms. It’s slightly pricier than the next cleanser, but since it’s a thicker cleanser, you will have to use more to properly cleanse. I like trying new cleansers so most likely won’t rebuy. Referral link: 10% off first purchase.
Lagom Cellup Gel to Water cleanser. Lagom is a Korean brand. Gel = jelly. This cleanser is great — if you wanted a jelly cleanser in concept, this is the one to try. It does not strip at all. In fact, I think it’s super moisturizing*. I love how the gel dissolves into a watery consistency once you swipe it. Similar to the Beste, a little bit goes a long way. I would have be impressed if DE formulated a product like this. (*You will never get enough moisture from a cleanser — you still need actual moisturizer.) It’s also a large tube — at 7.44 fl oz for $17, the cost per oz is almost 1/3 of the Beste cleanser. Find it at Target and Peach & Lily (referral link: $10 off $50 for first purchase). This bottle is lasting me for a while since I rotate cleansers regularly. If I had to decide right now whether I would rebuy one day, I would say yes.