Jini Beauty is a new K-Beauty subscription service that sends you a box of curated skincare items for your specific skin type! They are the ONLY Korean beauty subscription service that currently sends out different boxes for Dry/Mature, Normal/Combination, Oily/Acne, and Sensitive/Troubled skin! They launched in February 2016 and I had the honor to review complimentary box for Dry/Mature skin in exchange for my honest review! The subscription is $24.95 month to month and you can pre-pay for three, six or twelve months and the amount per box decreases a bit the longer you commit. I am TRULY in love with this box and I’m already using everything to create a mini routine! Click to see everything in the box and what I loved about each item!
About Jini Beauty
Jini Beauty was created after Jenny (from GeekinHeels.com) had published her post on her dream k-beauty box and her college friend approached her about making that idea a reality. They both jumped in to design the first ever k-beauty subscription service to curate skin and makeup items to your specific skin type. Jini Beauty is named after the famous gisaeng (highly trained artist) Hwang Jini, whose beauty, charm, and intellect were celebrated and retold in Korean poems (시조). Jini was also known by the name “Bright Moon” (명월). Jini Beauty aims to give us skin as bright and glowing like the moon because great skin is the foundation to looking youthful and beautiful. You can buy a month to month subscription for $24.95 to start, shipping included. They currently preview some items in their Instagram feed by using #JiniPreview so go over and follow them to see if any items pique your interest! (OMG, I see a Skylake Silk Serum sample for April’s Troubled skin box – WHAT?!)
They provide a very useful information card that also states at which stage you should use your new products! Those new to k-beauty would find this ultra helpful as it’s not always clear what something does or when to use it! You can also change your skin type anytime in case the weather (or erm hormones) mess up your skin!
Jini Beauty February Launch Box – Dry/Mature Skin
The launch box has six total products (five skincare and one makeup item). I was FLOORED to see:
- Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask (Sleeping Mask), 30 ml!!!
- Illi Ginseng Firming Mask, 28g
- Missha Time Revolution Night Repair New Science Activator Ampoule, 2 foil packets
- Etude House Moistfull Collagen Cream, 10 ml/0.33 fl oz.
- IOPE Super Vital Cream Bio Intensive (Eye Cream), 7 ml/0.24 fl oz.
- TonyMoly Delight Tony Tint in 02 Red, 3 ml
Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask (Sleeping Mask)
A Sulwhasoo product! Squeeeeeee!!! Sulwhasoo is a high-end luxury brand under the behemoth parent company, Amore Pacific. Sulwhasoo is currently available in Bergdorf Goodman’s and in Amore/Aritaum stores such as this one in Chinatown, NYC. Sulwhasoo prides itself in offering the best traditional Korean herbal forumlas, also known as hanbang. This sleeping mask is the last step in your skincare routine and should be rinsed off gently or taken off with toner or cleansing water when you wake up in the morning. From Jini Beauty’s information card, it has white mulberry extract to reduce redness and irritation and pomegranate acid to brighten the skin.
It has an absolutely delicious thick, whipped texture. It’s creamy and dreamy and glides onto my skin like a cloud. It has a light ginger scent to it but I love my herbal scents so if you’re not into that, this may turn you off. Again, it’s very light and dissipates after smoothing it on. I woke up to such hydrated and smooth skin as it really does its job in sealing in your entire routine before bed. I’m in love and I would definitely purchase a full size after I have the vanity shelfie space. I can sing a sonnet for it!
Illi Ginseng Firming Mask, Total Aging Care
This is also another product I have not tried although it’s been spotted on Instagram and other ABer feeds! Illi is also another Korean brand that uses hanbang in their ingredient list. I consider this product to be a bit more elevated in regards to quality and price because this is also a two-piece hydrogel facial mask. There’s a netted mesh within the gel and it’s DRENCHED in 28 grams of hanbang essence.
There’s ginseng, fermented beans, and camellia oil to combat free radical damage and protect your skin barrier. It also doesn’t smell like ginseng at all, instead it’s a light floral scent so this is a good way to get the benefits of hanbang without the herbal smell if you don’t like it. There’s an overall firming effect to reverse sagging skin. There isn’t any English on the back of the packet but the full list has been generously entered by a fellow ABer on CosDNA. There is a high acne trigger rating of 5 on the “Chondrus Crispus” ingredient but other than that, the list looks really simple and minimal of fillers.
Hydrogel masks are expensive and it’s not always worth buying even though companies claim that they adhere and allow the ingredients to penetrate better. Not always the case as both the essence and the mask material need to work hand in hand to deliver these skin-enhancing goodies to your pores. The hydrogel in this case for Illi was “just okay”. It comes in two half pieces. The bottom portion kept sliding off and I think the forehead portion was too big as you can see the sides flailing outwards on my hairline. The mouth hole was also way too big (and it seeped into my TonyMoly lip tint so I almost look like The Joker). 45 minutes later when the bottom of my chin started to dry out, I took it off and patted the generous amount of essence left over in the packet. The smooth and firmed effects lasted into the next morning! The application of my night and morning routine was smooth and breezy and I definitely tapped on my cheeks throughout the day because they were so bouncy. Essence was not sticky and you can layer on your normal moisturizer.
Missha Time Revolution Night Repair New Science Activator Borabit Ampoule
The famous Missha “Longer Name Ampoule” as Asian Beauty Redditors lovingly refer to it. The ampoule has been compared to Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair because they BOTH have Bifida Ferment Lysate – a fermented yeast that reduces fine lines – as their star ingredient. They both list Bifida Ferment Lysate as the second ingredient after water/aqua but I can’t tell you the exact percentage as it’s undisclosed (but I also have not googled it either – ha). Skin and Tonics did a comparison smackdown of the two back in 2013 and you’ll see that she dubbed Missha as the winner! Both have since gone under reformulation but my gut thinks the Missha would again kick Estee’s brown plastic bottle out of the competition once again.
Jini Beauty gave us dry-skinned gals two foil packets to sample (and I have my full size bottle waiting to jump the line to my top shelfie)! It’s a light brownish orange color and applies easily. The smell isn’t anything I dream about (smells like burnt rubber?) but it disappears quite quickly after application. I haven’t used this product yet so my first impression is the best I can do here until I open my full bottle!
Etude House Moistfull Collagen Cream
This is a ubiquitous cream in the k-beauty world and I’ve never tried it up until now. Etude House still puts a lot of marketing behind this line since it came out many years ago but I’m realizing that it’s not just hype and advertising – this cream is legit in hydration! I’ve always stayed away because I’m not a believer that collagen is an effective ingredient for firmer skin since its molecules are too large to penetrate through your pores (even with its little sister, hydrolyzed collagen). Collagen is also made from animal byproduct since only living organisms can produce it within bones, muscles, tissues and cartilage. It’s quite gross reading the process in wikipedia but I’m flexible with using collagen as long as the other ingredients on the list are top notch. The information card says that this cream has marine collagen which extracts the collagen from scales or skin of saltwater fish. Another key ingredient is baobab tree extract which contains anti-aging properties.
Using the sample this past week made me wonder if Etude House intended to dupe Clinique’s Moisture Surge Cream because of the similarity in texture and application. I happen to be using the last of my Clinique jar and did a side-by-side for fun. Clinique seemed to launch their Moisture Surge in 2008 and Etude House seemed to have launched Moistfull Collagen at around the same time from what I searched on Google so it’s possible that Etude House was searching to replicate Clinique’s best seller (is anyone really surprised? hahaha).
The reason why I (and most people) are in love with the Clinique Moisture Surge is because its cream gel formula gives an addictive silky soft touch to your face. It’s so lightweight that you don’t feel any grease or pulling on your face and it actually does its job and locking in moisture. No wonder this is Clinique’s best seller for the last eight years and Etude House can almost give Clinique a run for their money.
Side-by-side, you can see that Etude House’s cream is slightly less translucent than Clinique’s. It’s slightly thicker but has the same cream gel texture that always looks like it’s freshly whipped. I get the same silky moist feeling from the Etude House and the only slight difference is that application requires a teeny TINY bit more effort in spreading it on my face because of its slightly thicker consistency – I mean, if I were to split hairs here of course. Etude House retails a full 75 ml jar for $15 and Clinique retails for $52.50 for the same size, so whether or not you have a budget or not you won’t lose either way! If you mind fragrance, Etude House doesn’t hold back and has a nice floral smell while Clinique smells more like chemicals but I never notice it when I use it.
While they both seem comparable at a superficial level, the ingredient list will almost always break the tie for me. Clinique’s ingredients contain a lot more antioxidants, botanic ingredients and proven skin moisturizers like Aloe Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate and even Saccharomyces Lysate Extract – a yeast-cell derivative that acts as a humectant. Etude House’s ingredients are full of silicones which is how it mimics the jelly, slippery texture of Clinique’s. Besides the Baobab Tree Extracts, there is also Betaine (skin conditioner) and Hydrogenated Lecithin which is a cell communicating ingredient and emollient. I wouldn’t purchase a full jar of the Moistfull Collagen after seeing all its non-essential skin ingredients so the Clinique wins this mini smackdown!
IOPE Super Vital Cream, Bio Intensive
You gotta give it K-Beauty for inserting the most amount of buzzwords in the product name. IOPE is another Amore Pacific sub-company in the luxury ranks so I’m also ecstatic to try this! This is a very, very thick cream that has been developed by using glyco-biology technology. Their trademarked ingredient, BIO Glycan, reinforces the skin’s essential compounds and promotes visible firmness and radiance. At first, I thought this was an eye cream because it’s so thick. I’m not exactly wrong for using this only on my eye area since the thinner skin around the eyes require a little more nourishment. I experienced slight tugging on my eyes since the cream is so dense; I learned to only pat it on gently. Then I used it to concentrate on my smile lines since that area is my “mature skin” concern.
The information card cautioned that the cream would take longer to absorb because of its thickness but I didn’t really notice it sitting on top of my skin since I felt that the Sulwhasoo sleeping mask did a great job in making all my creams seep deeper. I let the heat of my hands also work the cream in and that did the job well. It’s a great cream since it’s still cold in NYC but I will switch to something lighter when it gets hot again.
A 50ml full sized jar is around $80-$90 shipped from ebay, direct from Korea. This is way out of my normal budget but thanks to Jini Beauty, I get to sample this rich life.
TonyMoly Delight Tony Tint in 02 Red
I’ve always seen this little red bullet-shaped lip tint in numerous places and it’s finally landed in my apartment! Turns out I already have the full size from a MemeBox package last year. I decided to just use my full size for a swatch and quick review. Look at the cute matching heart wands! I found its mini-me! It has Jojoba Seed, Argan and Rosehip Oils to prevent lips from drying out.
I’ve had this product since last year and it wasn’t a favorite for several reasons. While it looks wildly pigmented and looks like it will stain your lips in a forever type of way, it doesn’t. It’s gel formula is kinda splotchy and takes a novice to draw within the lines of your lips carefully otherwise it’ll be evident that you made a mistake.
It has a slight grapey scent and I HATE grape but it’s tolerable with the way TM formulated their scent. The doe foot is slanted and pulls out just enough product for my humungo lips. I don’t need to re-dip because I’ll use the slightly dried edges to soften the harsh outline of my lips as a finishing move. It looks incredibly dark, almost black in the tube but it’s actually very sheer and lightweight when applied on skin.
It goes on really moisturized and pigmented and it will stain lips like it stained the back of my hand but it will dry into a MATTE finish and therefore dry out your lips and look uneven. You will need to use a lip balm in order to keep lips moisturized despite all the nice oils it has in the formula. You can see that my top lip is slightly less saturated in color than my bottom lip. It also stains the inner ring of my lips more than the rest of the lips. I wasn’t looking to do that “just bitten” look here!
It’s just not long-lasting even though you think a lip tint would at least deliver on that. Nope. The tint fades dramatically as I drink water at my office desk and after 4 hours at the start of lunch, my top lip is almost all faded and my bottom lip retains slightly a stronger color (and so does the inner parts of my lip). Everything is uneven and I would reapply at least three times during work to keep that berry red color I love. Some ways around using this up is to layer it on top of an existing tinted lip balm or layer a lipstick over it in order to seal the color in.
I’ll say this though – I got a compliment from a gym buddy asking me if that was my real lip color! I didn’t think the tint was noticeable anymore because I had stopped reapplying since I was in the gym but she thought it was gorgeous and almost natural looking while I was raising my eyebrows to the sky. My criticism is that the tint looks vastly different when you first apply it on and when it fades away as I expected to remain highly pigmented. Still, not a favorite. Would not repurchase.
Conclusion – Is This Worth My Money?
I’m in love with this box despite getting a TonyMoly lip tint I don’t care for. The high-end Sulwhasoo, IOPE and Illi products were my favorites. The Etude House Moistfull Collagen cream completely surprised me as a close dupe for Clinique’s Moisture Surge! I’ve been using everything in the past 2 weeks and all the items were put to work, right out of the box. I appreciated the variety and the info card made it easy to see what the key ingredients were. I just can’t stress enough that this subscription caters to your skin type! I’ve subscribed to other k-beauty services before and I would groan every time I get something for oily/acne concerns that’s too harsh for my skin! No, I NEED my oils! Don’t suck all that away! I never subscribed for too long because I got sick of wasted products and money. I encourage you to check out Jini Beauty‘s Instagram for spoilers or go over to their blog to see the other launch boxes!