by Rosy Day Blog
I’ve received some products for review from new Korean beauty online store Lluillui.com back in early May. Normally I would try and do thorough reviews for each product. However, towards the end of May and early June, I’ve become very busy with work and re-organizing my apartment. I’ve also been back working in the office again since mid June. I couldn’t dedicate as much time to all 3 products as I would have liked. I also have other reviews that I need to work on fairly soon. Instead I’m combining these 3 products for an intro to Lluillui.com and doing mini-reviews here instead. If you do have any questions about a product, or would like for me to go in depth about something, do not hesitate to ask!
Introducing Lluillui.comYes there are so many online stores that carry Korean beauty products now (especially U.S.-based). However, what makes Lluillui.com unique is that they carry brands that no other U.S.-based k-beauty store has or harder to find k-beauty brands within the U.S (without necessarily ordering and getting them shipped from South Korea). Some of the standout brands that they carry that I’ve either never heard of or had very little exposure to in the U.S. are: 9wishes, Ecolline, Hanyul, Mustus, and Round Lab (to name a few). There’s definitely a lot more that South Korea offers than the same handful of brands you might see carried at all the other online stores.
Here I will highlight and do mini-reviews on 3 products that I was most excited to try once Lluillui.com launched a few months back.
Disclosure:I have received all products here from Lluillui.com in exchange for my honest review. I was not given anything else in exchange for reviewing the products. I enjoy doing product reviews to share my own experiences with the products and hope someone finds it useful. I do not work for Hanyul, Mamonde, or Missha, nor am I an employee of Lluillui.com.
Table of Contents- Hanyul Artemisia Miracle Relief Essence
- Mamonde Red Energy Recovery Serum
- Missha Glow Skin To Go Blam Mist
First Treatment Essence
Hanyul Artemisia Miracle Relief EssenceLots of people love treatment essences. Unfortunately the majority of them do use fermented ingredients which not everyone can use, especially galactomyces ferment. I think that I can do well with other types of ferments, but the very last treatment essence I used (which had galactomyces ferment) irritated my skin. If you’re like me, then using a treatment essence such as this mugwort/artemisia one from Hanyul, is definitely a great alternative. It might not do much in terms of anti-aging or brightening your skin as much as other treatment essences, but this soothes sensitive/red skin (similar to the popular centella asiatica), while adding a lightweight (but buildable) hydrating glow. While I don’t think the soothing effects are quite on par with centella asiatica (which seems to work faster for me), it’s still a good treatment essence.
Now, this is the first and only mugwort/artemisia product I’ve used so I can’t compare this to any others. However, I really do like the consistency of this as the slight afterglow it produces, reminds me of this cleansing water/toner from RAWRAW (I don’t think this company is even still in business anymore). The only thing is that if you’re sensitive to CBD products, I would advise against trying this or at least look for a sample. CBD has similar results to mugwort/artemisia, but unfortunately there’s a small percentage of people that are sensitive to it, despite the ingredient being known to soothe irritated skin. Trust me, I’ve used a very expensive CBD oil and it constantly broke me out, so I would try mugwort/artemisia with caution if you’ve never tried it before.
Final Rating = 4.25/5 (Great alternative for ferments, but might not be as good as centella asiatica for some. I don’t recommend it if you’re already allergic to the similar ingredient CBD. I mention this because after a few weeks of using, I eventually developed an irritation due to the mugwort. Most people shouldn’t have this problem though - I’m abnormal, LOL).
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Mamonde Red Energy Recovery SerumThis is supposed to be Mamonde’s star product (besides their famous rose water toner). I was a bit surprised when this first launched because I’ve never really known Mamonde to have any serious anti-aging products. Here Mamonde has used special technology and their extensive research to harness polyphenols (powerful antioxidants) from every part of the pomegranate (seeds, flower, etc.) to help replenish moisture and firm skin, creating a more supply appearance. Mamonde claims hydrated and smoother skin in 5 days. After 5 days, I did notice some pretty decent hydration on my face considering how lightweight this serum felt. It’s thicker than most liquidy serums, yet lighter than most emulsions (it absorbs fast and doesn’t necessarily leave you greasy). Now I’m not sure about the smoother skin since I’ve already been using the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow PHA+BHA Pore-Tight Toner and that stuff is awesome for glass skin (you always look like you’ve had an aqua peel facial as they claim)...Mamonde also claims that you’ll have firmer and brighter skin in 14 days.
I did feel like my face (especially the cheek area) was slightly more voluminous after 14 days. Nothing too major that is noticeable in photos, but I noticed since I see myself everyday of course. I’m not too sure about the brightening since again the Glow Recipe toner seems to be taking care of that for me, but this Mamonde Serum is very high in vitamin C if you don’t necessarily want to use a dedicated vitamin C serum (usually ascorbic acid). Although this says that it’s a mild formula for sensitive skin, don’t pay attention to that. I don’t recommend this product if you have dry skin (it will feel drying due to the alcohol), not to mention the alcohol itself is high up the ingredients list and is potentially irritating to some. The strong floral scent might put off some people though. Some say it smells like wine, but all I get is an after scent of the alcohol...Also some say this is like an affordable option of the more expensive Iope Stem III Ampoule. I haven’t tried that one, so I can’t comment. Overall it’s pretty good considering the price (it’s not super expensive) and I would recommend if you are new/starting your anti-aging journey.
Final Rating = 4/5 (Good product but is highly fragranced with an alcohol after-scent and it can be irritating to sensitive skin. However this does absorb fast and is a great anti-aging option for oilier skin).
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Hydrating Facial Mist
Missha Glow Skin To Go Blam MistI’m not the biggest fan of mists so I don’t exactly use them religiously. I used to really like the Belif Aqua Bomb Mist and used it every time after I washed my face/stepped out of the shower, until I discovered the high alcohol content was slowly making my face more irritated and red. This Missha mist is definitely on the more hydrating side and not necessarily super watery/light like some others. It has 77.8% rose damascena water and is marketed as being something for when you want more of a hydrating glow (especially over makeup). I don’t know about its claims of 30 hours of moisture retention (most people re-hydrate with some kind of moisturizer daily).
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this mist for more oily skin as you’re probably looking for something more water-like and not necessarily looking to look more glowy than the natural “glow” oilier skin tends to produce. However Missha does advertise this as also a 5-in-1 quick daily mist so oily skin could technically just use this as an all-in-one hydrating product when traveling or in a rush. More dry skin if using this method, might have to mist several times to get their desired moisturization level. I do think the best way to use this mist is over makeup to break it up and make it look less cakey (also hide dry flakey spots), especially to make matte makeup look more glowy and natural. I appreciate the rose water but I feel like this is more of a makeup fixer rather than an actual skincare product (there are better mists if you’re looking for actual skincare benefits).
Final Rating = 3/5 (I’m not the biggest fan of mists but this does what it needs to do, and is more on the hydrating side than most making it a great choice for makeup fixing and for drier skin).
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If you have any questions about any of the products above, please let me know.
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Photo Credit: Lluillui.com
by Rosy Day Blog
OST RebrandedIf you have been using Korean skincare for years (like before Sephora started to carry other Korean brands besides Amore Pacific), you might have heard of the OST C20 Vitamin C serum (this was also long before many started to jump on the vitamin C bandwagon). Prior to the OST C20 Vitamin C serum, I’ve only really tried vitamin C from Philosophy. I had really bad acne then, so I was kind of in the phase of trying all kinds of active products (vitamin C being one of them). The OST one was widely praised within the smaller Korean beauty community at the time, so I gave it a try. While I initially liked it, it was just a bit too strong for my skin and I ended up over-exfoliating. Although it didn’t quite work out for me, it was still a good product and I appreciated OST coming out with what was probably the only vitamin C product in K-beauty. I haven’t heard much from OST until earlier this year when I started seeing a brand called Tiam popping up on my Instagram...
Tiam is the rebranded name of the original company that brought to you the OST C20 Vitamin C serum. This might not mean much to you if you’ve never heard of or used that product before, but I still find it amazing that this brand is still around and didn’t just sink into the vast neverending sea of products out there. Still true to their original roots, Tiam’s products revolve around active (tried and true ingredients) for best results. Tiam or Tia’m means “a twinkle in the eye when you meet someone for the first time” in Persian. This might ring true for me as I have been lucky enough to get ahold of their new Vita A Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer, which I think is another one of many firsts as there are still not that many retinol/vitamin A type of products in Korean skincare. Read on to learn more about this product and my experience with it.
Disclosure:I have won this product as part of a global contest/giveaway on Instagram, in exchange for my honest review. However, it was my decision to enter the giveaway as this particular product from Tiam did interest me, and I’m always looking into more anti-aging type of products. I was not given anything in exchange for reviewing this product. I enjoy doing product reviews to share my own experiences with the product and hope someone finds it useful. I do not work for Tiam.
Table of Contents- Product Description, Claims, & How-To
- The Ingredients
- Packaging, Scent & Texture
- Product Review & Results
- Final Thoughts & Shop This Post
Reduce Signs of Aging, Anti-Wrinkle, & Skin Elasticity
Product Description:According to the Tiam website, the Vita A Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer is, “An anti-aging moisturizer that is formulated with high-enriched collagen and retinyl palmitate, a stable form of vitamin A, to smooth fine lines and wrinkles while improving skin’s firmness.”
Product Claims:Like most anti-aging products, this claims to slow down the signs of aging with the addition of collagen and other kinds of nutrition for not only reducing wrinkles, but to help with skin elasticity, firmness and resilience as well.
How to Use:Like most vitamin A/retinol products, this should be used after cleansing, toning, and serums, but before your night cream. Although this does have “moisturizer” in its name, since vitamin A/retinol products can be drying and irritating, you probably should top it off with a heavier night cream or facial oil. Actives should ideally be used as often as possible for the best results. However if you have sensitive skin or have never used a vitamin A/retinol product before, you should start off slow and shouldn’t force yourself to use this product every single night. Pay attention to your skin and take notice if it starts acting up. If you can tolerate the product, then you can increase how often you use it (again use your own discretion). More often isn’t necessarily better if your skin is going to suffer for it. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way, so please listen to me when I mention that!
I personally use every 2, sometimes 3 days. My skin is very sensitive and I hate the irritation and dryness associated with vitamin A/retinol, so unfortunately even after ~3 weeks of use, I still wasn't able to use it more frequently than this. I could still see evidence of it working though.
Vitamin A: Retinyl Palmitate vs RetinolUnlike retinol which is the purest form of vitamin A, retinyl palmitate is like a more stable derivative that still smoothes fine lines and wrinkles, as well as helping to firm the skin. Although retinyl palmitate is not as potent as retinol (retinol is 20% more potent), it doesn’t mean that retinyl palmitate can’t be effective in its own way. It might not be able to boost cell turnover like retinol, but it can still boost collagen production. Also, stronger or more potent isn’t always better. If you have sensitive skin like me, and tend to over-exfoliate/get irritated with actives a bit easily, then you will appreciate more gentle actives like this. I always say, there’s no point in using actives (or forcing yourself to use any particular ingredient/product) if it’s going to make your face look worse rather than better. You don’t know how many times I’ve had like a long skin recovery because I’ve forced myself to use certain products. Honestly, my skin looks better with less. When you have sensitive skin, using potent actives daily can be overrated and potentially damaging to your skin (the opposite effect that you want).
Full Ingredients List:Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Arachis Hypogaea (Peanut) Oil, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Polysorbate 60, Panthenol, Ethylhexlglycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Fruit Extract, Yeast Extract, Lactobacillus Ferment, Xantham Gum, Fragrance, Adenosine.
Packaging, Scent & Texture
Packaging:Tiam isn’t exactly a brand known for super fancy or unique packaging, but there’s totally nothing wrong with that. The amber-like brown and black plastic packaging is simple yet I wouldn’t say it’s cheap looking by any means. I also appreciate that it comes in a pump. Not all moisturizers have the consistency to be easily housed in a pump bottle (that’s why many come in jars), but this one does for those of you who are particular about that type of thing. Also, with something as active as vitamin A/retinol, it should come in a pump bottle to help preserve the ingredients and limit as much contact with your hands and the outside elements as much as possible.
Scent & Texture:The best way I can describe the scent is that it’s kind of a nutty-butter type of scent. I suspect that could be because of the peanut oil in the ingredients. It doesn’t smell like peanut butter, but I get faint traces of something nutty and a buttery smell, kind of like shea butter (I think shea butter has a similar scent). It’s not scentless, but I don’t think it has an overly powerful perfume scent for those with sensitive noses.
As for the texture, it’s kind of a stereotypical white cream. It is fairly thick, but not so thick and it couldn’t be housed in a pump bottle. It’s creamy without feeling overly heavy and doesn’t leave your face greasy after. I can even imagine someone with oily skin using this product, though they’d probably prefer it at night and not during the day (retinol is usually better at night anyway).
Slowing Down The Signs of Aging
Routine & Usage:I’ve kind of had a rough last couple of months the last time I tried any new actives in my skincare routine, so I’ve decided to make my routine a bit more basic during my “trial” of this product. If you’ve been following me and don’t see certain products in my routine below, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve stopped using those products, I’ve just temporarily omitted them from my routine for the time being.
My skincare routine for the ~3 weeks that I used the Tiam Vita A Moisturizer are as follows below.
Besides the Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask (which I use during the day), I didn’t use any other actives while using the Tiam Vita A Moisturizer. I also tried not to use too many “stimulating” products, though that is somewhat hard since I feel like I’m aging faster than I’d like so I’m always trying new anti-aging products and ingredients...
When I have extra time at night, I do use my Spa Sciences Aero skin infusion tool usually during my serum and cream steps or only the cream step if I’m more pressed for time.
Other than that, I don’t think I have too much to report results-wise. At least not anything super drastic that I think warrants posting a before and after photo. That is not to say that this product doesn’t work. It definitely does, it’s just that I’ve been using retinol-based products for years (since my mid-20’s due to acne-related issues). So it’s not my first time using retinol, therefore there isn’t much improvement to my existing skin condition. Vitamin A is definitely good for exfoliating/smoothing your skin as well as keeping acne under control (which is what I originally used it for). It’s also good for anti-aging in the long run. One of the things I hated about it was that despite using it for years, it never did anything for firming up my skin. It was also super irritating and drying for me, therefore I could never use it as much as I wanted to.
I’m happy to report that the Tiam Vita A Moisturizer was definitely both more gentle and hydrating than the majority of retinol-based products that I’ve tried. For someone that has very sensitive skin like myself, I can use this about every other night or so. I say every other night or so because if I use it too often, I do still get some increased peeling. But I guess that means it’s working. By comparison, I never got any peeling with the Inkey List Retinol which made me wonder if it was doing anything at all sometimes. Also, due to nurturing ingredients like sunflower seed oil and peanut oil, it is a bit more hydrating as well. That is not to say that it can replace your moisturizer because I don’t think it does. You also don’t want to over apply a retinol-based product like a moisturizer, because it will just increase dryness and irritation to your skin. I would recommend at least topping it off with a light facial oil if you’re not going to use another moisturizer or sleeping cream over it.
Final Impressions:I’m not sure what else I can say that hasn’t already been covered. I tried to be as informative as possible. Keep in mind that I have used retinol for many years already so I do apologize I don’t have much to add in terms of effects I’ve seen from this product. It’s kind of like you’ve “used one retinol product, you’ve used them all”. They’re all very similar with varying degrees of strength and different additional ingredients.
Will I purchase this product in the future? Probably not, but that’s because I’ve personally moved beyond vitamin A/retinol and want to start using bakuchiol (that plant-based alternative) now. However if I’m doing a haul at jolse.com and need to pick up an affordable retinol product for the bf, this is one that I might reach for.
Final Rating = 4/5 as someone with senstive skin (3.5/5 if you're a more experienced retinol-user)
Any questions about this product and/or my experience, please let me know! I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Photo Credit: Jolse