Hello Beauties! Sephora has been coming out with limited edition sampler sets for the holidays. In particular I have been eyeing all of their ‘Sephora Favorites’ and there are 18 in total with the exception of 1 which is out of stock. They have a variety of choices for hair lovers, lip lovers, mascara lovers, fragrance lovers, brow lovers, etc…how can one resist?! When I saw that they had one for Asian skincare I had to get it! Even the name sounds adorable: Soko to Tokyo. This box features 8 deluxe sized items from Korea to Japan. Warning: This blog post is my unboxing and contains major spoiler alerts so if you want to experience this set for yourself do not read this post. If you must know in great detail before buying a product then by all means please continue.
This set includes 2 products from Japan, 5 from Korea, and 1 from the USA.-
You get 3 types of cleansers:
1. Boscia, Exfoliating Peel Gel
2. Amorepacific, Treatment Enzyme Peel
3. Erborian, Creme Scrub Beautifying Exfoliating Pearls
4. SK-II, Facial Treatment Essence
You get 2 moisturizers:
5. Belif, The True Cream Aqua Bomb
6. Dr. Jart+, Ceramidin Cream
7. Dr. Jart+, Beauty Balm with SPF 45
8. Skin Inc, Pure Deepsea Hydrating Mask
Now that you know what is in the box let’s get into more detail.
The box is beautifully designed as you can see on the right hand corner there is a map of Korea and Japan. Can you spot Korea? It’s the one that is shaped like a bunny. Look for the Asian writing , the one next to Soko translates in Korean and the one next to Tokyo is Japanese and they both mean beautiful. It’s also very fitting to add a touch of cherry blossom and make the box imperial purple.
Each product is nicely fitted in its own compartment so it stays in place. You can easily remove the plastic and keep them in a separate makeup bag. You can even reuse the box to fit thin or small items.
This is what the back of the packaging looks like when you remove the plastic compartment from the box.
The back of the box list all of the products and their ingredients. It also includes amount of product, the origin and a guide on which products to use first.
Now for the actual products.
1. Amorepacific, Treatment Enzyme Peel:
First Impression: I’ve used products from this brand a long time ago and really enjoyed the treatment toner and moisture bound cream. If you look at the cover of the box the bottom half of this product is covered so one glance and I thought this would be a moisturizer. When I actually saw this in person I was surprised and glad to try a different product from this line. I’ve never tried this type of enzyme peel before and I couldn’t wait to try it!
Complaints: I don’t have anything negative to say about this product except that there is no expiration date written anywhere. Perhaps it is good to use forever in which case no complaints at all!
Review: This product smells like all of the other AmorePacific products, flowery and feminine. This is an interesting product and one I’ve never tried before. First you dampen your face and hands and pour some of the finely milled powder into the palm of your hand. Just add a few drops of water and lather into a milky substance. Massage onto your face and instant softness! It isn’t harsh at all, it feels incredibly smooth and light. The more you rub, it turns into soapy substance. It’s just wonderful! It feels more like a face cleanser than a treatment peel. I am really impressed by this product.
Compliments: This product looks and feels unique. As soon as you massage onto your face it is so soft and even softer after you wash everything off. It contains papaya based enzymes to help with exfoliation and green tea leaf extract to protect the skin from free radical damage. A little product goes a long way so the price for the full size of 2.5 oz for $60 is not so bad.
Tip: It is suggested that this product be used after initial cleansing as it is an enzyme peel treatment and not a face wash. Make sure both hands and face are wet and rub onto skin for 30-60 seconds focusing on areas that need it most.
Product Rating: 4.5/5
2. Erborian, Creme Scrub Beautifying Exfoliating Pearls:
First Impression: This is a Korean product made in France and one I’ve never seen or heard about. It is in a bright blue tube that is fully contained with product. It says there are exfoliating pearls in here so I am guessing this will be nice and smooth on the skin.It has a strong but clean flowery scent as there are 7 different kinds of herbs in the ingredients but it can seem a little too perfume like for my taste.
Complaints: This sample has no directions written on the tube or on the box. I find this scent to be a bit too strong especially for someone who has never smelled herbs it can be a bit off putting. The color looks pretty but doesn’t seem natural to me and I don’t like that it is noticeably obvious they added color to the product.
Review: There is a good amount of product in the tube which is nice so you can get a couple of good uses out of it. Just make sure to use within 6 months because that’s when it expires. If you look really closely you can see tiny circular pearl like balls you would think it would roll nicely on the skin. The product feels gritty and feels like a real scrub. The consistency somehow reminds me of rice pudding. The smell is pretty strong and smells of heavy fragrance that can give some a headache or to some it can be relaxing.I will finish up this product but not something I would purchase.
Compliments: It’s a nice concept to create skincare using natural sources found in the woods. It is a nice feeling scrub and it does a good job of removing dead skin, and yes your face feels soft after you use it. A little goes a long way so this product will last you. For 1.7 oz this product cost $28 so not as expensive as the other products in this set.
Tip: As with any scrubs make sure your face is wet before scrubbing this product on your face. A little goes a long way so this product
Product Rating: 2.5/5
3. Boscia, Exfoliating Peel Gel:
First Impression: I’ve used Bosica’s Tsubaki Cleansing Oil Gel and didn’t like it for the first few tries and ended up loving it a couple of months later. My sister tried a sample from them but found the Detoxifying Black Cleanser didn’t do much for her. I didn’t have high hopes for this product but was happy to see a familiar brand and try out a new item from them.
Complaints: The blob of product that forms when you rub into your skin can get stuck in your hair or around your face. It can get quite messy so must be used over the sink or in the shower. Must make sure hair is completely out of face and have something wrapped around your hairline just in case some of those dried up glue bits get caught in there. Must be used on dry skin with dry hands or product will stick to your face like glue.
Review: This has a clear gel consistency and it feels smooth when you pour onto the palms of your hand. Once you rub it on your face, blobs form that look a look like dried up glue. This product states that this product works as a chemical and physical peel so perhaps those grits are dead skin peeling off. If that is the case that’s kind of cool because when you really scrub your body like they do in Korea, actual chunks of dead skin come off as well as leave your skin extremely red and raw. This took off the dead skin on my face without any harsh scrubbing involved.
Compliments: This product smells a lot like the other Boscia products it reminds me of fresh grapefruit. I love that this product doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates, phthalates, preservatives, colors, gluten, ethanol alcohol, and artificial fragrance. For a full 5 oz product this cost $34.
Tip: Do not use this product with wet hands or face. Make sure they are both completely dry before you use this. Best to use over the sink or in the shower as it can get quite messy with the little glue like bits rolling off of your face as you rub.
Product Rating: 4/5
4. Sk-II, Facial Treatment Essence:
First Impression: This is perhaps the star of the set. Most beauty lovers found that this was an excellent deal for this product alone to try. It is the most expensive product in here and many swear that it is holy grail status, or it can be a total disappointment. I calculated the cost of this sample using prices from Sephora’s site and got the average price of $31.85 per 1 oz. Although the full size bottle comes in a glass bottle this sample is contained in a plastic one. I used a bottle of this in my early twenties when I used to live in Korea and didn’t notice anything drastic. I wanted to give this a second try now that I am in my late twenties.
Complaints: Directions on how to properly use this essence should be written on the bottle. Make to check out Sephora to get the proper directions on how to utilize this product to the maximum potential.
Review: It is a cute miniature version of the full size bottle. It comes in a twist open top that has a nice stopper to help control the amount of liquid when you place onto your hands. Make sure to place some of this liquid into the palms of your hands and not on a cotton round, you don’t want to waste any drop of it. Gently press the product into your face and neck until it soaks in. My mother in law would smack her face when applying these sorts of products so she can get a nice blood flow to her face. I kid you not you can hear her, slapping her face from the room next door and you would think someone was getting abused.
Compliments: 1 oz is a generous amount for a deluxe sized product and this is a pretty pricey product at around $31.85! It makes this set worth it for the value just to try this product out. This is one of the softest essence I’ve used and it makes your skin feel smooth. The discovery behind this product was created when they noticed elderly workers with wrinkled faces had youthful and wrinkle free hands. Discovered at a Sake brewery in Japan the naturally derived Pietra from fermented sake held skin secrets and was used in Sk-II products. Hmm.. makes me wonder if it cost less to ferment my own sake rather than purchase this product..
Tip: It is recommended that you use this twice a day on clean skin. Using the palms of your hands to gently press the product into your skin and to use in conjunction with their Facial Treatment Clear Lotion for best results.
Product Rating: 4/5
5. Dr. Jart+, Ceramidin Cream:
First Impression: Prior to using this product I would always confuse Dr.Brandt and Dr.Jart+ since they have similar names. Now I will forever remember the difference because I really enjoyed this moisturizer.The packaging looks a lot like a tubed remedy you would find in Korean pharmacies there is Korean written on the back with some English. It’s like medicine for your face.
Complaints: There are no directions on the package and it would’ve been nicer to get a bit more product instead of the tiny tube.
Review: It feels light to semi-thick on the skin. It feels luxurious, smooth, supple, and my skin has a healthy glow from this. It smells nice and clean and I apply to areas of my face that needed extra plumping.
Compliments: I found a new favorite! This is such an excellent product, it doesn’t feel greasy at all. It sinks in nicely and I can feel a noticeable softness from using this. Even better this product doesn’t contain: parabens, sulfates, or phthalates and there is about 5 ingredients in here.
Tip: You can use this in the morning or night.
Product Rating: 5/5
6. Belif, The True Cream Aqua Bomb
First Impression: I received a free sample of this during one of my online orders and I was so excited to be getting another one in this set! Until I realized it isn’t the same one I tried. The one I tried was their True Cream Moisturizing Bomb and I really like that one. This one was a gel consistency and not the same thing. Either way I’m glad I got to try this one too. Limited Time Only: If you are interested in this product Sephora has this exact sample in their 100 deluxe point rewards section. I’m not sure how long it will be there so get moving if you want to try one for yourself.
Complaint: Nothing I can think of.
Review: This sample is contained in a cute jar the has a top hat for a lid. It may seem like there isn’t much product but when you stick your finger in there you can feel how deep it is. This product like the True Cream Bomb Moisturizer smells refreshing, clean, and almost has a hint of lemon and herb scent to it. It feels nice on the skin and makes your skin feel soft.
Compliments: This product is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. It is also free of synthetic dyes, fragrances, mineral oils, and petroleum.
Tip: This product comes in a jar, to keep it as sanitized as possible use the product from the lid first. If there is no product on the lid give it a shake upside down (with lid on of course) and you’ll have product to use without dipping your finger in the whole jar. Or you can use q-tip or makeup spatula if you have one.
Product Rating: 4/5
Fist Impression: I’ve never heard of this company or seen this product before. When I saw this in the package I was happy to receive a generous sized tube. For some reason I assumed it was one of those caps where you can easily pull off and easily pump out the product.
Complaint: To my disappointment it is in a twist cap, squeezable tube, and it’s not even a fully contained tube! It feels like 2/3 of the product is missing. The full size of this product comes in a tub and for 1.7 oz it cost $75!
Special Set: Or for a limited time only because Sephora only has a few left in stock, they have a Prep & Seal Set for $30 you get this exact product shape and size plus a Pure Revival Peel. If you already love this product hurry up and check it out!
Review: I squeezed some of the product onto my finger and realized it’s in a tube so I can control how much product I need. You only need a dime sized amount for just a thin layer to cover your face. I didn’t mind that it didn’t come in a pump as long as it is sanitary and the product comes out it’s all good. This product has a thin water based clear gel consistency that applies smoothly into the skin. It feels wonderful and my face looks soft and plump the next day. It contains interesting ingredients including: soybean extract, Hyaluronic Acid, and nutrient-rich Okinawa deep sea water. You can leave the mask on for 30 minutes or have it on all night and rinse it off the next morning.
Compliments: Some people dislike sheet masks, clay masks, or masks that feel cold and sticky. Masks that restrict your activity or masks that require all your hair and everything be nowhere near your face. This will change the way you see overnight masks! It goes on instantly and soaks into your skin! It has no added scent or paraben too! It basically feels like you don’t have any mask on. It dries instantly and you can sleep with your face in the pillows or have your comforter touching your chin because there is no sticky feeling or mess. I sometimes forget that I applied this the night before until I wash my face and it looks and feels soft.
Tip: Awesome for any occasion but even better for long flights! Take this with you on your next trip, the air in the sky can dehydrate your skin. It’s less than 1 oz so its the perfect travel size. Apply some while you are in the air and you won’t even notice it’s there and your skin will thank you for it!
Product Rating: 4.5/5
8. Dr. Jart+, Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45:
First Impression: This is a really tiny tube and I had no expectations for this because I’ve never heard of this product.
Complaint: There are only 2 shades in this line, the lighter one can leave a white cast on your face because it does contain ion dioxide. I’m sure the sample in this box 02 Medium-Deep would be just fine for lighter skin tones as it is a color correcting product.
Review: This 5 in 1 product claims to: hydrate, treat, moisturize, smooth, and camouflage. There is only 2 shades available and in this set you get to sample the shade 02 Medium-Deep. The SPF in this product can give off a white cast so I prefer to get the darker shade even though I can probably wear both for my skin. I didn’t expect much from this product especially because I had no idea what it was supposed to do. After I cleansed my face I applied a thin layer on my face and instantly I can see that my imperfections were blurred. This is an excellent product for last minute plans or “I just need to pick up the mail” without having to take the time to put on foundation.
Compliments: This product has SPF of 45, it is easy to use, blends in nicely, and gives your face a nicer look. It camouflages your skin nicely, it isn’t full coverage, it ever so slightly just makes the texture of your skin look better without seeming like you have makeup on.
Tip: If you already have clear beautiful skin this will make your skin look even flawless. A little is all you need to blur any imperfections. For myself I don’t have beautiful skin but this helps to blur my skin so it looks natural like it’s my skin but better. Just remember this is not a full coverage foundation. It is a beauty balm that helps your skin appear nicer. It is also a 5 in 1 product so don’t use a lot of other products when using this as it can build up and not work properly.
Product Rating: 4.5/5
Overall thoughts: This is an excellent way to try out Asian skincare. In my opinion it would’ve been nicer if they mixed up the type of products provided in the set. Perhaps an eye-cream, serum, cleanser, etc, not 3 different types of peels. But overall I enjoyed each and every product and some I found to be amazing. I do appreciate that most of these products have a long shelf life and love the ones that give exact dates. For $40 this is an awesome value especially since you are getting quality high end Asian skincare.This set is excellent for Asian beauty lovers who travel, or for someone who wants to try out high end Asian skincare, and definitely recommended for someone who is on the search for quality skincare.
My top 4 products from this set are:
- Dr. Jart, Ceramidin Cream
- Amorepacific, Treatment Enzyme Peel
- Skin Inc, Pure Deepsea Hydrating Mask
- Dr. Jart, Beauty Balm
Check out this set before supplies run out. I am sure you will find a couple of awesome favorites in here.
<3 Michelle K. M