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Sunday, May 31, 2015

CosRX Galactomyces Alcohol-Free Toner and White Power Essence

I like it when a brand is active on social media and engages with the public. I like it when my queries are answered and when I am treated like a person, like an individual who is defined by more than just my purchasing power.

It's simply good business sense. Why? Because I am more likely to try new products from brands that have a helpful and friendly social media persona. 

CosRX is one of such brands.


Lubie kiedy firma kosmetyczna jest aktywna na mediach spolecznosciowych. Lubie kiedy moje pytania zostaja odpowiedziane, i kiedy jestem traktowana jak zywa, myslaca osoba, a nie przez pryzmat mojego portfela. Lub calkowicie olana, jak bywa w przypadku wiekszosci polskich firm, kiedy zada im sie pytanie.

Interakcja z potencjalnymi klientami jest po prostu dobra dla biznesu. Bo wiem sama po sobie, ze jestem o wiele bardziej sklonna kupic nieznany mi produkt od firmy, ktora jest mila, pomocna i przyjazna na portalach spolecznosciowych.

Jedna taka firma jest CosRX.

image source: CosRX website

It's a niche Korean brand that's the most recent darling of the foreign K-beauty blogging community. From the way its products are described by enamoured bloggers, you might be excused for thinking they give mass orgasms, in addition to simple skincare.

To niszowa firma koreanska, ktora jest obecna ulubienica blogowego swiatka koreanskich kosmetykow. Ze wszystkich ochow i achow i zbiorowych orgazmow w recenzjach, mozna by wywnioskowac, ze to cud, miod i orzeszki.

image source: CosRX website

I wanted in on the fun, and quickly jumped on the CosRX bandwagon.
After going through CosRX Instagram posts, I decided to purchase two products:

  • CosRX Galactomyces Alcohol-Free Toner (150ml)

and

  • CosRX Galactomyces 95 White Power Essence (100ml).


Sama chcialam ochac i achac, wiec szybciutko postanowilam cos zamowic dla siebie. Bo ja lemmingiem jestem z natury, i jak wszyscy, to wszyscy, co nie?
Po przejrzeniu CosRX'owego instagramu, zdecydowalam sie na kupno tych dwoch produktow:
  • CosRX Galactomyces Alcohol-Free Toner (150ml)

oraz
  • CosRX Galactomyces 95 White Power Essence (100ml).



Yes, the company is very well aware of what kind of implications the odd-sounding name of the essence might have in certain regions of the world.

White Power was named like that supposedly because according to Korean FDA rules, only cosmetics that are proven to offer whitening benefits can boast of their "whitening" properties in their product names.

I picked these two, because I was looking for dupes for SK-II Facial Treatment Essence that would offer the same benefits that SK-II have, but without the horrid breakouts that SK-II's essence gives me.

I ordered them from Cosmetic Love, which is a sister store of Jolse.


Tak, firma zdaje sobie sprawe z tego jak brzmi nazwa tego produktu.
Ponoc White Power zostalo tak nazwane, bo koreanski odpowiednik FDA ma bardzo rygorystyczne przepisy dotyczace tego co moze miec w nazwie odnosniki do rozjasniania. 

Wybralam te dwa kosmetyki, bo szukalam czego, co byloby odpowiednikiem dla SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. Szukalam czego, co dawaloby te same plusy, ale bez okropnych wysypow, jakie funduje mi esencja SK-II.

Zamowilam te dwa od Cosmetic Love, ktory jest siostrzanym sklepem Jolse.

image source: Cosmetic-love website

My order arrived quickly, everything was packaged very securely, and there were plenty of free samples inside. The package was declared as a gift, and if I remember correctly, the value was listed as US$8.00. Perfect.

When I bought them during a promotion, so they were slightly cheaper than the current prices of US$18.45 for the essence and US$16.45 for the toner, with free shipping.

Yes, they are cheap. Next to SK-II, they are dirt cheap. It would have been a crime not to try.

First impressions were ok.
Both products came in boxes, and the bottles were sealed in foil for extra safety.


Moje zamowienie przyszlo bardzo szybko, dobrze zapakowane, z wieloma probkami. Paczka byla zadeklarowana jako prezent i wartosc podana, jesli mnie pamiec nie myli, jako 8 dolarow.

Kupilam oba kosmetyki podczas promocji, wiec cena byla nieco nizsza niz obecne US$18.45 za esencje i US$16.45 za tonik. Wysylka byla darmowa.

Tak, oba produkty sa tanie. W porownaniu z SK-II, bardzo tanie. Byloby przestepstwem nie sprobowac.

Pierwsze wrazenia wzrokowe byly na plus. Oba produkty w pudelkach, a butelki szczelnie ofoliowane.



The designs, as typical of all CosRX lines are very minimalistic. The no-frills character is reinforced further by simple plastic bottles. All every utilitarian and cool and hip in a world overflowing with cutesy packagings. Very un-K-beauty almost.

I started with the toner.  I needed a new one anyway.

Dizajn taki sam jak w przypadku calego asortymentu CosRX, bardzo minimalistyczny. Butelki sa zwykle, proste, plastikowe. Bardzo utylitarne w porownaniu z zalewem slitasnych opakowan wielu koreanskich firm. Prawie ze nie-koreanskie.

Zaczelam od toniku, bo akurat inny mi sie skonczyl.

  • CosRX Galactomyces Alcohol-Free Toner


On the front of the package (the same on both products), we can read this blurb:

"Galactomyces ferment is an advanced antioxidant that helps to softening, smoothing, and enhancing lustre."

Their words, not mine.

On the side of the box, we have this:


Na przodzie pudelka mamy zdanie zachwalajace produkt, ze galactomyces ferment (ferment drozdzowy) to zaawansowany przeciwutleniacz, ktory ma pomoc zmiekczyc, wygladzic i spotegowac blask cery.

Ich slowa, nie moje.
Na boku pudelka mamy to:



It stresses again that it's an alcohol free product. And also instructs how to use it. If you are not sure what "clear off inside out along the texture" means, don't worry, you are not alone.

Fortunately, it's just a skin toner, not rocket science. The true and tried "soak cotton pad amply" does the trick.

Well, almost does the trick.

The toner is equipped with a spray nozzle. Inside the bottle we get 150 ml of product.


Znowu podkreslony jest fakt, ze to produkt bez alkoholu. I mamy tez instrukcje jak go uzywac. Instrukcje nieco engrish, ale to przeciez nie astrofizyka, a zwykly tonik. Na wacik z nim i gotowe.
No, prawie gotowe...

Butelka wyposazona jest w atomizer (spray).


The spray nozzle gave up on me half way through the bottle. Fortunately, you can unscrew the nozzle and simply pour out the desired amount the old fashioned way.

The consistency was very liquid, not sticky at all, and absorbed very quickly.


Koncowka spryskujaca wyzionela ducha w polowie butelki. Na szczescie mozna bylo ja odkrecic i wylewac na wacik po starodawnemu.

Konsytencja byla plynna, nawet bardzo, nic sie nie lepilo, wchlanialo sie bardzo szybko.

~~

Here are the ingredients for CosRX Galactomyces Alcohol-Free Toner:



The list is short and sweet and shouldn't cause any undue stress to the skin.

Sklad jest krotki i prosty i chwala mu za to.

~~~

And now for my opinion...

I have finished this bottle already. 
I haven't noticed any "softening, soothing and enhancing lustre". I haven't noticed any adverse reactions either. 
It was just a simple toner. Zero bells and whistles.

Thanks to the blogs and social media chatter, the bar was set pretty high, and as it's usually the case in such situations, the product proved wholly average.

I am very happy I could satifsy my curiosity.
I will not repurchase.

I teraz moja opinia...

Juz skonczylam ta butelke.
Nie zauwazylam ani zmiekczenia, ani wygladzenia, ani dodanego blasku.
Ale nie bylo tez zadnych nieprzyjemnych niespodzianek.
Po prostu zwykly, solidny tonik.

Dzieki blogom i promowaniu na mediach, poprzeczka ustawiona byla dosyc wysoko. I jak to zazwyczaj w takich sytuacjach, kosmetyk okazal sie bardzo przecietny.

Ale jestem zadowolona, ze zaspokoilam wlasna ciekawosc.
Nie kupie ponownie.


  • CosRX Galactomyces 95 White Power Essence


Yes, the essence with the unfortunate name. I felt so Aryan using it. LOL.

A teraz o esencji z bardzo aryjska nazwa...



Again, the same simple box. Inside the same simple bottle. But smaller this time. We get 100 ml of essence.

Znowu takie samo proste pudelko. W srodku taka sama prosta butelka. Ale mniejsza tym razem. Dostajemy 100ml esencji.



As with the toner, the essence bottle comes sealed in plastic. I like that and I am very grateful for the extra safety precaution. I wish more companies would do that.

The blurbs on the side of the box tell us this:

Tak jak w przypadku tonera, butelka jest ofoliowana dla bezpieczenstwa. Bardzo to cenie, i szkoda, ze wiecej firm tego nie robi.

Na pudelku mam takie zachwalajace informacje.



Galactomyces and ferment filtrates of all shapes and sizes are all the rage now. There are studies conducted by independent sources that confirm the claims that galactomyces are good for your skin.

SK-II was the first company to harness the power of galactomyces ferment filtrate in the form of their trademarked Pitera. 

CosRX goes the generic way and packs 95% ferment concentrate into its plain, no-frills signature bottle.

Fermenty drozdzowe i wszystkie inne to ostatnio hity pielegnacyjne. Badania naukowe potwierdzily dobre dzialanie fermentow drozdzowych na skore. SK-II bylo chyba pierwsza firma, ktora zainteresowala sie tym na powaznie, rezultatem jest ich opatenowana Pitera.

CosRX daje nam generyczny odpowiednik i pakuje 95% koncentratu drodzowego fermentu w ich zwykla, prosta, plastikowa butelke.


The bottle is equipped with a pump dispenser and this one, unlike the spray nozzle on the toner, worked like a charm till the end.

Butelka ma pompke, ktora dzialala bez zarzutu.


The usage instructions were provided on the side of the box:

Instrukcja uzywania na opakowaniu:


Basically, the same as any other essence.

The essence was clear, fragrance-free, and the consistency was half way between liquid and thick liquid.

Czyli tak samo jak kazda inna esencja.
Ta esencja, jak widac, jest calkowicie przezroczysta, bezzapachowa, i o konsystencji trochej plynnej, trochej zelowej. Taki bardziej gesty plyn.



It absorbed to a clear sheen and on my very dry skin I could feel a slight film.

Here, waiting for it to dry:

Wchlania sie calkowicie, daje delikatna poswiate, i na mojej suchej cerze czulam jakas powloke.
Tutaj, czekaja az wyschnie:


It absorbed fairly fast but made my naturally dry skin even drier. 

The "white power" bit comes from its purported brightening properties. 
I didn't notice any, but maybe one bottle is not enough to see any visible results.


Wchlanialo sie szybko, ale wysuszylo jeszcze bardziej moja naturalnie sucha skore.

To "white power" pochodzi od rzekomych wlasciwosci rozjasniajacych. Ja ich nie zauwazylam, ale mozliwe, ze do tego potrzeba wiecej niz jednej butelki.

~~~

Here are the ingredients for CosRX Galactomyces 95 White Power Essence:




It has sodium hyaluronate, so theoretically, it should have moisturizing properties, but I haven't noticed any. In fact, my skin got so dry that after finishing this bottle, I had to turn to su:m37 Flawless Regenerating Essence for moisture relief. 

Zawiera kwas hialuronowy, wiec teoretycznie jakies nawilzanie powinno tam byc. Ale nie bylo. Moja skora stala sie tak sucha, ze po skonczeniu tej butelki musialam ratowac sie su:m37 Flawless Regenerating Essence.


I liked how both the production and the expiration dates were printed on the bottle.

Bardzo podoba mi sie to, ze i data produkcji i data waznosci sa podane na butelce.

~~~

My final opinion:

I didn't notice any anti-wrinkle results. In fact, if anything, the skin under my eyes got even more finely lined. 
The essence seemed to improve the overall clarity of my skin. I wouldn't call it whitening, though. It made my face even more pink than it already was. 
I didn't get a single breakout when using this essence. And that alone is a small miracle.

Unfortunately, that is not good enough reason for me to repurchase it. 
So, no, I will not buy it again.


Moja opinia:

Nie zauwazylam dzialania przeciw-zmarszczkowego. Wrecz przeciwnie, skora pod oczami ma teraz wiecej malych linii niz poprzednio.
Esencja wydawala sie poprawic ogolna "przejrzystosc" cery. Nie nazwalabym tego jednak "rozjasnianiem". Moja twarz stala sie bardziej rozowa niz poprzednio, mam nadzieje, ze to ekeft tymczasowy.
Nie dostalam ani jednego wyprysku podczas stosowania tej esencji. To samo w sobie jest cudem.

Ale niestety, nie na tyle cudownym, abym kupila ponownie.

Wiec, nie, nie bedzie kolejnej butelki.


My perfect galactomyces search goes one...

In the future may try other CosRX products, especially those containing Centella. 
But for now, I have satisfied my curiosity.

Moje poszukiwania idealnego fermentu drozdzowego nadal trwaja...

W przyszlosci moze sie skusze na inne produkty z ofery CosRX, moze te zawierajace centelle. Ale na razie zaspokoilam swoja ciekawosc.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Haul - April and May part 2

What? Surprised?
Of course there was going to be a part 2. Because when I haul, I mean business.

When Berdever was running a promotion on A-True in April, it was the perfect occasion to snatch the entire White Snow Tea series.



I got:
A-True White Snow Tea Brilliant Essence (nobody does essences like A-True)
and
A-True White Snow Tea Brilliant Toner
and
A-True White Snow Tea Brilliant Aurora Cream.

If you get the distinct impression that I prefer to buy the entire lines of products, you are absolutely correct. I do mix and match in my skincare routine. But to form an opinion about a brand, or a line, I think it's a good idea to try everything, at least as samples.

And speaking of samples:


This was a calculated risk. I got 30 of each:
su:m37 Flawless Regenerating Essence
and
su:m37 Flawless Regenerating Eye Cream (my love!)
and
su:m37 Secret Repair Concentrated Cream.

The Flawless duo was legit, I checked it against the authentic samples I had from before.

But the Secret Repair foils got me thinking. Some were printed a bit sloppily. I started to compare the contents, foil to foil. In some the cream looked bright and fresh. And in some it looked and smelled like old butter. It's possible those were old samples. Or it's possible they were otherwise dodgy.

I wanted to provide a link to the ebay store where I got it from, but, wouldn't you know it, that particular seller (fortunebox_maker) is no longer selling. Oh well... moving on...

I was curious about this Privacy UV Gel BB SPF50+ PA++++:


Originally I wanted to get Privacy UV Face Mist, but it was all sold out.
So I took the very last UV Gel BB off the shelf.
According to the ingredients, it's alcohol-free.

And even though it comes out greyish pink out of the tube, once on the skin, it matches my complexion perfectly.
I'm very pleased.

And ladies, if you are looking for a matte BB cream, you need to look for a Japanese product.
If you want dewy glow, then choose a Korean cream.

And finally, placenta lotion!


The snobs of this world may shun placenta, but luckily I'm not that picky.
This is a huge bottle (500 ml) of alcohol-free placenta goodness. And it was ridiculously cheap, too. Around 1000 yen.

Yes, I was skeptical in the beginning. I didn't think this would do anything. And maybe what it does is just a placebo effect. But I'm happy. It calms my angry skin, it doesn't break me out, it doesn't smell, it's not greasy. What more could you want? Oh, yeah, and did I mention it's cheap? Yep. It's cheap.

And that concludes episode 2 of my April-May hauling adventure.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Haul - April and May part 1

And maybe a bit of March too.

It felt good to take a break from blogging, even if it was a bit of a forced absence.
But the fact that I wasn't here doesn't mean that I wasn't shopping. Shopping for skincare, that is.

I always feel very awkward doing these haul posts, because then I have to face up to the fact that I buy a lot of stuff. And by "a lot", I mean a freakin' truckload of face goo every month.
That's the bad part.

The good part is that all of this gets used up fairly quickly.

So, let's get going.

Last weekend I had to go to Tokyo to take care of some urgent matters, and I wouldn't be myself if I didn't pop in to Shin Okubo.

I got these at Skinholic:



The Saem Gem Miracle Black Pearl O2 Bubble Mask
and
The Saem Gem Miracle Black Pearl O2 CC Cream

It's only been one week, and I can tell that I quite like both of them.
I like them so much that I don't even want to look at the ingredient lists. Though I know that at some point I will have to.

I will definitely look for other items in this line.

It was quite a shock to see Whamisa at Skinholic:


Whamisa Organic Flower Fermented Cream
and
Whamisa Organic Flower Fermented Milk
and
Whamisa Organic Flower Fermented Lotion

What is this world coming to?
And what happened to the usual assortment of It's Skins and Tony Molys?

Anyway, I haven't had a chance to try these yet, because, sorry, I mean, I only have one face. Even though it's a pretty big one.

And this is the place where I got TheSaem and Whamisa:



My cushion hauling (yes, I know, I need more cushions like a pig needs a tutu) I showed before on instagram. Here's the photo:


TGI Wholesale is always very generous with samples. There were even more samples in that particular package. Lots and lots of them.

One day when I found myself away from home and without my usual skincare, I was forced, or rather, I forced myself, to get this DHC set:



DHC Kakon Juka cream
and
DHC Kakon Juka Lotion
and
DHC Kakon Juka Essence

In my defense, they were all on sale. Of course I got it at a local drugstore for a lot less than what's listed on the American website. I think the whole set cost me the equivalent of about 30 dollars.

I like it. Especially the lotion is nice.

And while we are talking about DHC:


DHC Cleansing Oil
and
Bifesta 2 phase Eye Makeup Remover

These are my cleansing staples and as soon as I finish one bottle, I buy another.

And speaking of cleansing:


This is my Derizum haul.

Derizum Pure Ceramide Lotion
Derizum Pure Ceramide Face Wash
Derizum Pure Ceramide Cleansin Water
and
Derizum Pure Ceramide Cream


Let's just say this is my discovery of the year.
Cheap, effective, meant for sensitive skin. Love it.

This shampoo and conditioner set comes from the same company that makes Derizum:


Ayurbio Damaged Extra Rich Shampoo
and
Ayurbio Damaged Extra Rich Treatment

Not sure what to think of them just yet. But then again, my hair is quite demanding.

I couldn't resist these lip glosses.
I mean, hello? Jill Stuart?
I buy.



Jill Stuart Lip Jewel in 01 Catseye Wink (top)
and
Jill Stuart Lip Jewel in 06 Amethyst Dew (bottom).


I restocked on face masks too:


Ainz & Tulpe had My Beauty Diary sheet masks on sale, and then I had a coupon, so it would be stupid not to buy.


And I was looking forward to trying something whitening:


Vercell-ity Absolute White Essence.
No idea how it's going to perform.
Let's see.


And finally - sunblock haul of 2015.

Lately I've been getting a lot of questions about Japanese sunblocks that are alcohol-free. And though personally I don't mind alcohol in my sunblocks (in some cases I even prefer "alcoholic" formulas), by popular demand, this year I decided to give alcohol-free sunblocks a chance.


Shiseido SunMedic is probably the most famous drugstore alcohol-free Japanese sunblock.
I didn't beat around the bush and got 3 different types: the normal waterproof one, the whitening one, and the "delicate" skin one.

I have used SunMedic before and I liked it, but that was before I started to blog about the all the random stuff I put on my face.

Buying these Dr. Ci:Labo thingies made me officially an old, oh pardon mua, a mature woman:


Dr. Ci:Labo UV&White Moisture Gel
and
Dr. Ci:Labo UV&White Enrich-Lift

Both feel nice on the skin. It's definitely rich, it's definitely for a "mature" woman (like me!) with "mature" skin (like mine!) that needs moisture (like mine again!). But let me use them for a few more weeks. Then, hopefully, I'll be able to tell you more.

It was a very nice surprise to find so many alcohol-free sunblocks right at my dinky little countryside drugstore.


I had no idea that both Solanoveil and Skin Aqua had alcohol-free options. Hopefully someday Biore will catch on, too.

I discovered Jewel Pinky last year, but back then I couldn't care less about formulas and ingredients. So imagine my surprise when I read on the box I got this week that it's alcohol-free, paraben-free, mineral oil-free and so on...
It's a great sunblock, especially, if you can't afford Astalift Perfect Protector. Jewel Pinky makes a worthy astaxanthin substitute. Though as my commenter, who's familiar with Jewel Pinky, observed, it's definitely for those of us with dry skin.

More cheap alcohol-free sunblocks:



Matsumoto Kiyoshi store brand is ethanol-free? Who would have thought?
So apparently is Sunplay Superblock.
I was stupid when I bought it. I should have noticed that it's actually made in Vietnam. Oh well...

But as an aside, I know that Sun Bears are becoming very popular among foreign fans of Japanese sunblocks, mainly due to their low price and lack of ethanol in the ingredients. However, Sun Bears are made in Thailand. So even though they are technically alcohol-free, I didn't buy any Sun Bears sunscreens during my UV shopping spree.

I did buy this Sunkiller Perfect Strong Moisture. Yep, it's alcohol-free. And yep, it's cheap.
Cezanne UV Cut Base 50 is technically a base/sunblock combo. It was cheap, so I bought it.

But wait!
There's more!


Shigaisen Yohou Whitening
and
Shigaisen Yohou Non-Chemical

These two are new to me, I haven't tried them yet.

And finally Minon Amino Moist UV Base.
Oh my lovely, where have you been all my life???

This is an awesome base. It blurs, it primes, it moisturizes, it has SPF47 PA+++. It's reasonably priced (considering it's Minon). I love it!

And that's all the haulings I remembered to take photos of.

A separate sunblock post will be coming up as soon as I thoroughly test all this alcohol-free goodness. If I feel ambitious I might even translate the ingredient lists.

So that's it for today.
Now let me figure out where I can watch the Eurovision Song Contest online.

Update: Sweden won. Oh well, I thought the song was just so so. I preferred Italy. Whoa! Since when such handsome guys sing popera?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Lancome UV Expert XL-Shield SPF 50 PA++++ (sunblock and BB Complete)

Sometimes you use a product, you like it a lot, but, for whatever reason, put it away to try new stuff. Then, after a long while, you go back to your old favorite. And there are two possible things that can happen:

  1. - you realize just how bad it was and can't fathom why you were such a fan of it, and 
  2. - you forgot how great it was.


That's how it went with me and Lancome UV Expert XL-Shield this past week.



It was Golden Week, I was going on a trip. I needed a heavy duty sunblock. I always carry a small tube of Anessa (Shiseido's famous sun protection line) with me, but I needed something... something... more.

I forgot I bought these two last year. So it was a good excuse to finally drag them out and start using them again.

And of those two possible things, which one was true in my case?

Damn, I forgot how good this stuff was!



Four days of constant sun (one day it rained), nearly 12 hours a day outside.
And what?
Nothing! Absolutely nothing on my face.
Not a smidge of sunburn. Not even a touch of tan. Not a single zit. Not a single bump. Not a clogged pore in sight. No redness, no irritation, no oily residue, no greasy finish, no white cast. No nothing.

While ripping apart Lancome Miracle Cushion, I mentioned there and then that I was a fan of UV Expert sunblock. And today, I am still a fan.



The blurb on the tube claims 12 hours of sun protection. True. Though I did top it off with a high SPF cushion as well.
The blurb says "feather-light texture". True.

It's light and non-greasy and worked great under the cushion. I did use a touch of pressed powder to complete the look, but after 12 hours outside, my face still looked very presentable, and dare I say it, fresh?
We were walking, we were sweating, we were hot and tired. On the way back to the hotel, I finally had a chance to look at myself in the mirror. I expected to see a sorry, red mess of a face.
And what a shock!
I looked surprisingly good. So good in fact, that I wanted to stare at myself in every reflective surface all the way back to the hotel. Just to be sure I wasn't hallucinating.



Lancome UV Expert XL-Shield SPF 50 PA++++ and BB Complete are both made in Japan for Asian markets.

They claim to be "studied, tested and developed for Asian skin".
I hate such claims. Because what? Asian skin is somehow special? Bullshit.
Asian women like to believe it is, but trust me, it's not.
So the logic of major brands to release special lines exclusively for Asia baffles me. What are we, Europeans? Chopped liver?

Why do the Asians get the good stuff? What about the rest of the world?  Ehhh...



When I bought them, the boxes came sealed in foil.
Inside, along with a 30ml tube of product, there was also a leaflet in multiple Asian languages: Korean, Thai, Chinese, and so on...

On the back of the box there was an additional sticker with a blurb in Japanese, along with the ingredient list:


"New Standard" says on the boxes, presumably referring to the 4-pluses PA rating.

Tubes, like tubes, nothing special here:



Flip tops! Yay! Hallelujah! See this, SK-II? Watch and learn!
The tops were sturdy enough to survive the mess of my makeup bag. Didn't accidentally open, nothing got spilled or squeezed out.


The back of the tube also had a Japanese sticker, which, of course, I promptly peeled off to see what was underneath.



The BB cream has this scary cold beige color that, while very popular in Asia, tends to terrify most Europeans.
I actually like it. It gives me that clean, fresh look that is all me, only better:


As you can see, on my skin it blends out perfectly.
The sunblock comes out white and disappears to a non-shiny finish.
I have dry skin and in my case there was no wet glow.
As you can see in the photo above - it was damn perfect.
Not near perfect, but perfect. Or rather, Perfect.

The ingredient lists are dreadful. I'm glad I bought these two before I started to obsessively read the formulations.


  • Lancome UV Expert XL-Shield SPF 50 PA++++ ingredient list:



Yep, alcohol denat. in the top 10. But then again, these were meant for Asian summers. And Asian summers require certain drastic measures. One of them is alcohol in the formulations of most decent sunblocks.


  • Lancome UV Expert XL-Shield BB Complete SPF 50 PA++++ ingredient list:



With the BB cream the story is much the same.

It's very close to L'Oreal RevitaLift UV Block BB SPF50 PA++++, which surprise, surprise, is also made in Japan. And which is also excellent. And a lot cheaper.

Final thoughts?

Lancome UV Expert XL-Shield was a favorite last year. And is still a favorite this year.
I honestly can't find anything to complain about here. And if you read this blog regularly, then you know how shockingly unusual that is.



They were on the pricier side, and if not for the buy 2 get a hefty discount, I don't think I would have gotten them.
But I'm glad I did. They're worth every yen.
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