etude house

Etude House Bubble Tea Sleeping Pack: What Happens When You Buy Skincare Based on its Packaging

It’s no secret that Etude House’s packaging brings me (and my wallet) to my knees. But that’s about it. With the exception to their Moistful Collagen line, I have yet to find more than an handful of products by them whose formulation is worthy of repurchase. From their makeup to their skincare, I buy based on looks alone, knowing I’ll be smiling at it every morning while reaching for something else.

That being said, the bubble tea sleeping pack gets a holy grail for cuteness, but two thumbs down for actual product.


It was surprisingly smaller than I had expected…

I knew going in that this product would 99.9% not be anything mind-blowingly amazing for my skin, but went ahead and purchased the pink, “strawberry” flavor meant for moisturizing dry skin. There is also a green tea version meant to help with acne and oiliness, as well as  a black tea one to help with firmness.

The product itself is a pink that would make Elle Woods swoon, and smells like “strawberries” as well (as in the chemical attempt at strawberries fresh from farm to table).


The bubbles in the bubble tea are a majorly cute selling point, but a total pain in the butt in real life. They are supposed to be broken and mixed in with the moisturizer, but they are super hard to squash open, and they don’t mix in much with the lotion, so when applying it, chunks of bubble wind up stuck in your eyebrows or drying on your cheek. It’s gross to say the least. Especially because of the dark brown color. At least this is meant to be worn at night where not too many will see you with “bubble tea face.”😅 

And for something meant for intensive dry skin care, this doesn’t moisturize much more than a regular hydrating toner or emulsion. The first night of testing, I applied this in lieu of my regular nighttime routine (like you can with most sleeping packs), and the next morning, my skin looked as if I hadn’t done anything the night before. Next night, same thing. Not okay.

I gave my skin a night of recovery, then applied the sleeping pack over my routine the night after. The next morning, no added hydration, plumpness, smoothness, or anything remotely resembling the common effects of a sleeping pack. Didn’t even seem to help seal in my other products.

Even when demoted to a regular, daily moisturizer, it’s effects are limited, if not non-existent. Pretty much, this product has been totally worthless in terms of my dry skin routine. I have toners-TONERS- that moisturize just as well as this supposed “sleeping pack.” (Sorry, Etude House 😢)


One perk is how the spoon attached directly to the lid-I need more of this is my life!

All in all, I wasn’t expecting much from the actual product itself, but this was a bit worse than what I had braced myself for. My skin has needs that this product certainly doesn’t meet like I’ve come to expect a sleeping pack to. At least it didn’t cause any breakouts or irritation! Frankly, I just love looking at this thing on my vanity, and am racing to use up the product so I can find a better use for the cuteness…maybe it can house all my other plastic spoons I use to scoop out products that actually work 😜

Well, now my feet, elbows, and knees are getting some bubble tea action because this stuff certainly doesn’t belong on my face…

The Verdict:

In terms of looks:

1-Holy Grail…cuz bubble tea is just too dang cute!

In terms of actual product:

3-a solid “meh.” Definitely won’t be repurchasing for the product (but gosh I love the cup container and could surely use one in every color lol!) Maybe the other “flavors” are better, but I highly doubt it. Right now, it’s a hella cute foot cream for me 🙂

I hear that many people love their bubble tea sleeping packs-are you one of them? What flavor do you have?


October Buy-and -Try/First Impressions

Some of my winter skincare products have already arrived! That means, of course, I couldn’t help myself and have already started trying some of them out. Here are my first impressions on some of these new-to-me products:

CosRX Propolis Light Ampoule

First of all, the color. Its drop-dead gorgeous and I want to paint my entire apartment in the exact shade so I can admire and stare at it all day long.

As for the actual product, the results are drop-dead amazing so far. It’s a bit sticky when first applied, but another layer of moisture on top takes care of that problem. It leaves my skin unbelievably smooth and supple; a few minutes after application, and it looks like I’ve spent the past hour sheet masking! Only a few uses so far, and I’m completely hooked. I can already tell its going to be a major skin saver this season 🙂

Etude House Bubble Tea Sleeping Pack:

I FINALLY have this bad boy in my well-moisturized clutches. I just had to have it in my collection because of the packaging. It just makes me so happy to wake up to it every morning. As I was buying solely for the packaging, I went all out and got the strawberry “flavor.” Sadly, the strawberry scent is minimal to nonexistent, and, turns out the pink kind is actually for dry skin (lucky!), but I have yet to be impressed with the results. The lid has a small notch which fits into a hole in the spoon you use to get the product out so the spoon snaps onto the product. Brilliant idea-why can’t all my moisturizers have this feature?

TonyMoly Tomatox Massage Pack:

While I did actually buy this product based on several well-loved samples, the packaging is sheer genius. It’s a tomato! The leaves/stem on the tomato are actually rubber (not painted on!), and the tomato is actually gradient colored with yellow and orange mixed in with the red-we’re talking a real-life looking tomato, not some cartoon version of one! The massage pack dries to a stark white color (think geisha like), and  makes skin look firmer and leaves it smooth and healthy looking. 

Vichy Dermablend Foundation:

I’ve wanted to get my hands on this ever since I cut my teeth on the makeup world via Lisa Eldridge’s Youtube videos. It works, just like she says: amazingly little product for an amazing amount of coverage. I bought it online in the lightest shade, but, of course, it is still slightly too beige for my stark whiteness. This being said, there were only 5-6 shades to choose from, so the colors are not as finely tuned like some other brands with 20+ different shades. My only complaints are that it is a little drying (but this is taking into account my already dry skin…this would probably be a great thing for any other skin type), and that it must have a layer of powder already dusted over it before adding any sort of other powder-based product. It doesn’t need powder to set or stay (I just do it anyway out of habit), but applying anything not liquid/cream based directly on top of the foundation means that it will streak and not blend evenly. Just a heads up.

Have you ever tried these products before? What did you think?


Real Talk+Etude House Play Color Eyes: in the Cafe Swatches and Mini-Review 

Staying content and happy in life can be really hard in today’s modern culture. Juggling professional demands with staying on top of house work, keeping up with social and romantic relationships, for some:maintaining a family or at least taking care of pets, trying to keep in touch with friends and family, social media, and simply trying to have a life on top of all this is a recipe for disaster and emotional burnout.

So where am I going with all this?

Your beauty routine can help you.

For me, personally, a diligent skin routine not only got me back on track in terms of self-care, but taught me to work with myself instead of against myself…give your skin what it needs over saturating it with harsh treatments. That easily translates into healthier habits beyond the vanity table.

Using your bathroom counter top as the starting point for a healthier, happier you may be the most helpful thing you do for yourself in the next year or so.

Having said all this, picking products that speak to you, that capture who you want to be, where you want to go, in short, inspire you, has become a hobby of mine.

This isn’t to say that, like, my deodorant reflects my future career path or anything, but I try hard to pick the product that will deliver the results I need in the most aesthetically pleasing way as possible.

In steps Etude House (and no, not because my ultimate life goal is to be a princess…although I wouldn’t be all too opposed to that if it were to just happen). When I saw this palette, I saw the seamless merging of three things that always put a smile on my face: Etude House, eyeshadow, and coffee. Oh. Hell. Yes.

First of all, can anyone look at the case without instantly thinking of their favorite cozy coffee cafe or smelling a dark, rich roast? It’s literally like your morning coffee…but for your face.

This palette has gotten a lot of love on a regular basis…should have cleaned it up a bit more for the photo but was too excited over this post-so my apologies! But one month strong and I’m still reaching for it more than any other one…let that be the proof.

The colors themselves are lovely basic essentials. I have blue eyes, so browns help my eyes pop. When I first got the case, the shadows were protected by a plastic insert that had the most adorable coffee/latte drinks printed on the along with, well, coffee-related names. Now if only they smelled like their titles (mmm, cafe mocha and honey milk )…

Etude House Play Colour Eyes In The Cafe - Hikoco - Korean Beauty, Skincare, Makeup, Products in New Zealand - 2

Here are some translations of the colors and a good view of the shades: Image credit

The colors all work really well with each other which is such a plus!

Even though I had to wait over a month for this palette to ship to my country (#kbeautyproblems), I am so glad I bought it. It’s by no means high-end in terms of quality,  but the pleasure I get from its super cute packaging and it’s wide range of simple, pretty, totally-spending-the-afternoon-in-a-coffee-shop-appropriate looks, makes me really glad I splurged on some shipping charges and got this favorite addition to my collection.

This review isn’t so much about recommending this particular product (although it’s really great and you should go buy it if you’d like!), but recommending using the things that will regularly add more pep to your step.

Things won’t make you happy; even all the Tony Moly and Etude House products won’t ever magically make your life turn into the life of your dreams. But treating yo’self to things that regularly put a smile on your face and help you feel you can take on the world? 100%worth the investment.

So go slay ’em readers! Take on the world!

What products or rituals help you channel your inner-awesomeness? What do you think of the palette?

Etude House I Need You! Hyaluronic Acid Sheet Mask Review

Etude House has really been on my radar lately ever since I saw their toast sponge/loofah thing with the strawberry jam body wash. I was too late to the game to snag myself one of those (ugh, I will forever be sorry), but I have been totally loving their I Need You sheet mask line.

Etude House generally markets towards younger audiences with cute and relatively inexpensive products. Their I Need You Sheet mask line is no exception. There is a huge selection of I Need You masks (somewhere between 20-25) that can be had for less than $2.00 a piece (minus shipping of course). Having gone through an entire 20 piece collection, I am very happy to say that ALL the masks in the line are very hydrating and brightening, giving me a glow that lasts all day. Most of the masks don’t go much beyond a high level of hydration, but some (like the Vita Complex and Silk Cocoon) were extra-brightening and smoothing.

Today, I reach the end of my I Need You collection and am finishing with the hyaluronic acid mask. I’d secretly been hoarding this one, having fallen in love with the smooth, plumping effects of my Its Skin Hyaluronic Acid toner. If a toner can do so much in so little time, what could a mask I leave on for 25 minutes do?IMG_4008

The ingredients list:

Water, butylene glycol, glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cetyl ethylhexanoate, dimethicone, citrus paradisi fruit extract, polyglyceryl-3 methylglucose distearate, clyceryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, panthenol,ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP copolymer, xanthan gum, ethylhexlglycerin, sodium polyacrylate, allantoin, hydrogenated polydecene, sodium hyaluronate, trideceth-6, camellia sinensis leaf extract, sophora angustifolia root extract, lonicere japonica flower extract, prunus persica leaf extract, paeonia albiflora root extract, ginko bilboa leaf extract, scutellaria baicalensis root extract, disodium EDTA, phenoxyethanol, fragrance

The ingredients list for the I Need You line doesn’t generally place the “star ingredients” within the first five, BUT the end results of these sheet masks are exactly what you would want from a basic sheet mask (especially a 1.60$ one). Italicized ingredients could potentially cause acne for some. For a more detailed analysis, please visit CosDNA.

Ingredients of note:

Hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate is the salt-form of hyaluronic acid) is this mask’s star ingredient. It’s something naturally found in the joints of the body and also in the eyes (super fun fact: to replace lost fluids, hyaluronic acid can be injected into the eyes during surgical procedures like cataract removal. It can also be used as a lip filler). In terms of skincare, hyaluronic acid is a humectant; its wonderful moisturizer that can reduce inflammation and help prevent moisture loss.

IMG_4011            Other ingredients of note include all those lovely plant extracts towards the end of the list. There is camellia sinensis leaf extract (antioxidant), sophora angustifolia root extract (has proven skin lightening effects), lonicere japonica flower extract (aka honeysuckle; has soothing and calming effects on skin), , prunus persica leaf extract (shows some promise against signs of aging) ,paeonia albiflora root extract ( anti-inflammatory, shows promise in healing wounds), ginko bilboa leaf extract (an anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial antioxidant that is UV-ray protective), and scutellaria baicalensis root extract (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory).

This is not a horrible list by any means. There are some pretty neat ingredients packed in there.

Behind the Mask:

One of the things I loved was the face coverage on this mask. It covered my entire face all the way to my hairline and to tuck a little under my chin. The eye openings are a nice size: big enough to cover most of the eye area, but not so small that essence keeps getting into the eyes or the edge of the mask cutting/butting up into the delicate skin in that area. My eye bags need all the help they can get! The nose area was a little wide in my opinion, but then again, who needs extra moisture in the crease where the side of the nostril meets the face (aka the Blackhead Crevice of Doom)?

Another thing I totally loved about all these I Need You sheet masks (and this one was no exception) is how saturated they are. They aren’t just damp; they literally drip with soaked in goodness. These masks require a pre and post game leftover essence tap in. It really is a whole bottle per pouch. The I Need You sheet masks have either a clear, thin-textured essence or, like with the hyaluronic acid mask, a thicker-feeling, white-colored creamier essence (it literally feels like the difference in textures between an essence and an emulsion-both deliver equal results though!).IMG_4009

The mask had a very subtle scent-just a clean “aqua” note that I barely noticed despite a piece of it being directly under my nose for 30 minutes. These masks are made of cotton so they generally dry out faster than hydrogel masks, but the I Need You masks are so soaked in essence, it takes a long time before the edges start to dry. I generally wear mine for about 20-30 minutes depending on how thirsty my face is.

The Results:

Like I mentioned earlier, these masks may seem like “just another cheap road shop” mask, but in terms of results, they offer pretty much everything you would want.

The essence absorbs into the skin very well. When I’ve taken off any I Need You sheet mask, the remaining essence on my face is easily patted in with very little residue. There is some slight stickiness (like with this mask), but after it is patted fully into the skin, all that is left is a little “barrier-feeling” to the surface of the skin (like a very, very light occlusive moisturizer). This goes away upon application of other products, but I personally think this thin film makes for even smoother make-up application (as I’ve been applying these in the morning).

After removing the mask, my skin was visibly plumper and smoother (plus the coolness from my chilling it in the fridge for 15 min helped in morning de-bloat). It was also hella softer. My dry, flaky, red bits (curtesy of my Curology prescription) had disappeared and the little army from the land of “Purge-atory” (again, prescription-grade actives) were much less red and inflamed. Hyaluronic acid is such a “classic” ingredient and offers such nice, instant effects. A war-zone face calmed to a truce in less than 30 minutes. I’d say those are some results! I just love these masks for their consistency, instant results, and their fun (the little doodles on the cover make me smile so wide I mess up my mask <3). IMG_4010

Overall rating: 1-I freaking love this mask line and would probably die if they ever discontinued it.

Rating Scale:

1:Holy Snails! Its a Holy Grail!

2:Current-routine worthy (would buy again unless I found something better)

3:Meh, it was worth a try

4:Bleh, this was terrible. Don’t buy this. Ever.

You can get the I Need You masks from Etude House or Amazon.*

*And (at least at the time of writing this post) I am not affiliated with either of these companies 🙂