Hi AB sisters! As I said in my last post, I’m still on a low/no buy on new products, so keeping the blog fresh has been harder since I don’t have any goodies to tell you about. However, I have been chatting with a few companies who asked me to review products, and that I am more than happy to do!
Today’s review is another Korean beauty subscription box, Jini Beauty! You may have noticed I love to review these sorts of boxes (read my review on Mishibox here and 3b Box here). One reason I am so into them is that I think they can often be the most gentle way to introduce a person to Asian beauty, and they can offer lots of small bits to try so you can get an idea of what you do and don’t like before you commit to full-sized bottles of product.
There are detractions too, however. One of the reasons I always cancel these boxes is because I end up with so much shit I don’t need. Mind you, I probably own 20+ full sized bottles of product and I also have my routine where I want it right now, so boxes like these don’t fit my needs as well as that of a beginner.
However, I think Jini Beauty might have the edge on all of the other boxes for a simple reason: Skin type-specific offerings.
While I appreciate that all monthly beauty boxes try on presentation, I can say something really positive about Jini Beauty’s box — I was excited about every single item in it as soon as I opened it. I know you have eyes, but in case you aren’t familiar with these products already, here’s the full list of what was in there, and what I think of each item:
If you’ve been into K-beauty for a while, you already know Sulwhasoo is king of the luxury brands. It has a distinct hanbang fragrance (think pine needles, nature, etc) which is not for everyone, of course, but if you are a fan of medicinal scents you will likely enjoy the fragrance of this line.
I don’t love that this mask has a zillion ingredients in it (I’m starting to learn towards simpler ingredient lists these days). But I do like that there are TONS of herbs in here. Do note that there are some acne triggers in the ingredient list on the Cosdna page.
I currently swap between my beloved Goodal Waterest Vital Sleeping Pack and the surprisingly excellent Sephora Pearl Sleeping Mask, but I love nighttime treatments so I was happy to swap this in for a bit. While I enjoyed the gel texture, it didn’t moisturize quite as heavily as the aforementioned products. However, it DID moisturize nicely. I’d guess this product would be best in the summer for a dry person like me, or at anytime for a combination or normal skin type. I wouldn’t buy the full size, but mostly because I am not a hanbang girl.
This mask was the only item in the box I was totally unfamiliar with, and seeing ginseng on the label was instantly exciting. I’ve read quite a bit about the benefits of using ginseng in skincare as well as consuming it. This is a hydrogel mask, split into two pieces (which I <3) so it can be fit to your face. I used it and enjoyed the experience, and my skin was glowy and fabulous afterwards. It did not dry out easily either. However, I didn’t check the full ingredient list on Cosdna before I tried it (bad, I know). Turns out it has one high potential acne trigger: Carrageenan. I just learned late last year that my body hates this stuff, and now here it is in my skincare as well. I figure if I don’t want to ingest it, perhaps I don’t want it on my face either. That’s just my experience though. If you haven’t been scarred by carrageenan already, this is a worthy mask to try — and I am curious to see what else Illi makes.
Missha is a tried and true brand for me, and I have already gone through some samples of this product in the past, so I knew I already liked it. I have never reviewed it though, as I haven’t purchased a full bottle. I can say that the price is right for this lovely stuff, which gives your skin a great moisture boost. I’d consider it a great serum for beginners. It has Bifida Ferment Lysate in it, which is a fermented yeast also used in Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair, a similar product that costs a lot more. The Missha product also has Retinol, while the Estee Lauder does not. This product has an ingredient list a mile long, and ranks pretty low on the acne trigger scale, so it’s just a good workhorse to have around. I would definitely buy a full-sized bottle — and getting these samples reminded me to do that very soon.
I have such fond feelings about this cream. When I was starting to get curious about Asian skincare back in 2013, I purchased a small set of this line that included the essence and this cream. I absolutely adored it, and it was instrumental in leading me towards 10-step beauty. The gentle scent was like nothing else I had ever used before, and it had a nice rich feeling when I put it on. I’ve since moved on to other creams, but I still really enjoy this one, and when I opened the little travel size in my Jini box I got a big smile on my face. This is also one of those K-beauty products that prove you can get effective anti-aging products without a crazy price tag. It’s one detractor is that it contains cetearyl alcohol, which has a small chance of irritating some people’s skin. I never had this problem, so all I have is praise for it, but if you feel sketchy about it, I recommend patch testing first!
Y’all know how I said that the Moistfull cream proved that good anti-aging products don’t have to be pricey? This cream is the polar opposite of that spectrum, as you may have noticed from that $75 price tag. IOPE are the makers of the cushion compact that sells once every four seconds in Korea, and having used that product regularly for years I am a pretty big fan of the line. I have not invested in any products from the skincare line though, so I was very excited to try this, and I was not disappointed. This cream is so RICH. It feels like a thick hand cream when you first scoop it out of the tub, but a little goes a really long way, so I suspect the full size would last quite a while. It contains a lot of the usual suspects found in cheaper creams, such as green tea, squalane, and niacinamide. So what’s the advantage over those cheaper creams? I can’t say for sure yet, other than that it feels good.
Look, y’all, I don’t like Tony Moly products that much. I have to get that out of the way because quite honestly I feel my take about them is something to be honest about. In other words, take my review of their products with a grain of salt. I thought this was a very average tint with mild staying power. Color is pretty, but so are Peripera’s red tints and those don’t come off after one meal. On the other hand, if you’ve never used a tint and this is your first one you might be thrilled with it. I did like that it was a little sample size, which is ideal for trying out a cosmetic product. I will hang onto it for emergency or travel use, but I would not buy a full size since there are better products out there.
The Jini Beauty box strikes me as better quality in terms of the items than some of the other boxes I’ve gotten. It’s $24.95 compared to $19.95 for Mishibox and $12 for 3b. For me personally, Jini wins over those boxes because of the skin type customization option. Also, having been at the k-beauty game for a few years now, I find I tend to get duplicate products a lot in subscription boxes (which has nothing to do with them and everything to do with me trying a zillion things). With Jini, I had not tried 3/5 of the products, so I was pretty pleased with that ratio, all things considered. The company also offers a one-time return of your box if none of the products have been opened, which might come in handy if you’re a products hound like me.
Would I subscribe? I might, if I clear out some of my samples to make room for more. I’m very interested to see how Jini Beauty develops, and think it could benefit them to also offer full-sized products for purchase in the long run as well. I’m happy to see some attention on older skin in their lineup, as that’s often neglected in the youthful retail world of k-beauty.
[Products for this review were sponsored by Jini Beauty. This review also contains affiliate links.]