Peach & Lily, Glow Recipe, and Beigic review: How do the latest K-Beauty brands fare?
Seoul far, so good
As a general rule, I try not to alter too much of my skincare routine at a time. After all, the beauty world dictates that you should give at least two weeks before introducing a new offering into your regimen — a tenet I, unfortunately, have been known to break from time-to-time. What can I say, dear reader? Call it commitment, or maybe just unflinching curiousity in the face of today's groundbreaking formulas. In fact, I'd go as far as to claim that my reaction is almost Pavlovian, at this point. I hear about some newfangled skincare innovation; I see it in action; and the next thing I know, I'm possessed with the need to try it. So, it can hardly come as a surprise, then, that the arrival of the freshest K-Beauty finds had me hankering to make some changes.
In the spirit of maintaining my variables, though, I decided to spread out my test period over a duration of twenty-one days. In sum: spending a week with each product to ensure its exact results. A tremendous undertaking of my own making? You could say that. I dish the dirt on my harrowing journey, below.
Week 1: Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum
The claims: If you, like me, regularly trawl Asian beauty Reddit threads in pursuit of the most cutting-edge products in the field, it's likely you'd have come across this glass skin serum. Developed by the beauty arm of highly popular K-Beauty curation site, Peach & Lily, it comprises a hefty blend of ingredients that promises a poreless, pearly, and luminous complexion. That's a "revolutionary cocktail of peach extract, niacinamide, East Asian mountain yam, madecassoside, peptides, and hyaluronic acid," to be exact. Aside from that, its supposedly lightweight, refreshing, and should be applied liberally both in the AM and PM.
The impression: The packaging alone earns it some brownie points. Cute colour scheme aside, I like the pump nozzle function that carefully dispenses just the right amount each time. Its thin, watery essence means it's probably best applied with a cotton pad, but I faced no issue with my fingers either. As promised, it disappears close-to-instantaneously into skin, allowing me to get on my day — and rest of my night-time routine — with no hassle.
The effects: Am I the proud owner of crystal-clear glass skin? No. I am, however, harbouring brighter, cleaner-looking skin with nary a pore in sight. Further research on the Internet revealed that this is attributed to the winning combination of niacinamide and peach extract, both of which are often lauded for their pore-tightening abilities. In all honesty, though, the outpouring of rave reviews on the brand's site would have tipped me off even if I hadn't tried it myself. This one's a winner — and shaping up to be a staple on my vanity, I might add. BRB, I'm making my next order.
Buy it here.
Week 2: Beigic Correcting Exfoliator
The claims: Clean, vegan, and cruelty-free, we've talked at length about the rising star that is Beigic in our piece on minimalist K-Beauty brands. Founder, Kate Namgung, has developed the company's line-up in order to add indulgence and pleasure through everyday skin rituals. This means you can expect products that feel, smell, and even taste as good as they look, a fact I was reminded of upon glancing at Beigic's rich, thick Corrector Exfoliator. Beyond that, it was also crafted to boost skin-renewal and recovery rate while removing all form of impurities with ease. The standard exfoliator spiel, I'd say.
The impression: I won't lie — I was reminded instantly of thick, goopy maple syrup when I dipped my fingers into the jar. And uh, sprinkled with liberal amounts of rocks, I might add. Upon further inspection, I realised it was actually the coffee powder particles within the formula, aka the exfoliant responsible for ridding you of clogged pores and dead skin cells. It does the job well enough, but I find its coarse, grainy texture does leave my skin looking reddened and flushed, particularly when I (carelessly) apply a tad more pressure during application.
The effects: Sadly, I could see no discernable difference. At least, not in the short seven days I've used it. I'd say stick with the above serum if pore-management is the aim. However, I'd be remiss not to point out that those with oily skin would probably appreciate how thoroughly this bad boy flushes out debris, impurities, and dead skin cells.
Buy it here.
Week 3: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask
The claims: This bouncy, breathable, millennial-pink tinged gel acts as a as a radiance-boosting face mask, marketing itself as the one product to reach for should you be seeking fast and palpable results. Armed with amino-acid rich watermelon extract, moisturising hyaluronic acid, as well as pore-refining AHAs, healthy, glowing skin is to be expected.
The impression: Do not attempt to scoop this up with your hands. You will fail, get watery essence all over your sheets, and spend the rest of the night washing it off your pyjama shorts. Seriously, I learned this the hard way. Scooping up this springy, jelly-like offering with the provided applicator reaps better results. I also liked how quickly it absorbed into skin, where I didn't have to worry about leaving smear marks on my pillow upon falling into dead sleep after application.
The effects: This one surpassed my expectations, to say the least. Messy as it was, it did grant radiance to my skin, and left it feeling petal-soft under my fingers. As of late, it has effectively replaced my go-to moisturiser — though I dread to think how I'll have to de-pot it once travel becomes a non-issue. Has Glow Recipe considered producing miniature editions?
Buy it here.