Kbeauty Review: Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Gel

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This will be more of a rave than a review. I have been using Secret Key’s Lemon Sparkling Gel for a little less than a year now and I realized I haven’t shared this awesome product on my blog yet.

Before this product, I never really used peels before, but my dried up acne leaves my skin very flaky looking (especially under makeup), so I was like, gotta get these flakes off my face because they not that cute. I have heard of Secret Key as a brand, but I never actually used any of their products before this one. There are a number of great reviews on this peeling gel, so I decided to give it a go.

I got my peeling gel from memebox.com for $9, which is a pretty good price point for an effective peel.

The packaging is a simple and practical squeeze tube, with 120 ml of product in there. The instructions and ingredient list on the back of the tube is all in Korean, so good luck with that. This tube lasted me a pretty long time (at the very least 6 months), and I use it maybe 1-2 times a week and using a generous amount each time.

The name of the product does not lie, the peeling gel does smells like refreshing lemons. The consistency of the peeling gel is like that of a normal gel cleanser, but a bit more runny.

Wet your face and rub a quarter-sized amount on, then the magic happens. After, rubbing the gel on to my face for about a minute you can see these little solid white pieces form. They are actually dead skin that the peeling gel gathered from my skin.

I was skeptical at first that the white pieces weren’t actually my dead skin, like maybe it was the gel formula that solidified from the body heat or rubbing. So I did a test because I am a fabulous scientist ofc.

To test whether the white pieces are actually dead skin, I used the peeling gel twice. The second use, that immediately follows the first, should produce a lot less or even no white pieces because, hypothetically, my first use of the peeling gel would have already washed all the dead skin off.

The test results? It is safe to say that those white pieces are in fact my dead skin (gross, but yay!). During the first use of the peeling gel, I had a lot of pieces of dead skin rubbing off my face. During the second use, I barely had any pieces of dead skin, even though I had used the same amount of product in both washes.

My final verdict on this peeling gel is 5 out of 5 stars. I use this in my cleansing routine at least once a week. It exfoliates the dead skin cells, so that the nicer and newer skin cells can surface. It also makes my makeup go on a lot smoother. I plan on keeping this one in my routine for a long long time.

Enjoy! ^_^

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KDrama: 5 Reasons to Anticipate My Sassy Girl (2017)

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Okay, at first I wasn’t too excited from this 2017 My Sassy Girl remake, but then I heard some things (particularly this list of 5) that’s making me all pumped for this to air. It’s coming out in a few days on May 29th btw.

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Reason #1 is obvious, three words: Moon Joo Won. If you don’t know, check out Bridal Mask, 7th Grade Civil Servant, Good Doctor. In my personal opinion though, just the thought of seeing his perfect face on my laptop screen is enough reason to want to watch this. However, I can say with confidence that this guy is not only a pretty face, he proved himself good with his deeper works (Bridal Mask, again).

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Reason #2 is also quite obvious: Oh Yeon Seo. I first saw her acting in Come Back Mister and no other words can describe her other than, she is da bomb. This chick is uber hilarious, like I’m tripping. She is also super beautiful and she fits the word sassy to the freaking T, so yass yass yassss.

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3.

This remake is not just any old remake, it’s a remake where they’re changing the time period~ ooh plot twist. The original movie was set in the modern times, but this time around we get to see the romcom unfold in the Josoen Dynasty. So what does this mean? Only prettier costumes, more scenic sets, and ofc the addition of palace drama dundundun

The fact that the main girl is suppose to be all sassy and forward, makes her all the more a sore thumb sticking out in the conservative time period, I just cannot wait to see the Joseon pple’s face ^_^

4.

The teaser that came out like 10 days ago got me all excited. I already see hints of the perfect mix of humor, romance, action, suspense, and feeeels.

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Moon Joo Won with spectacles? I approve the look
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Well, she looks like she’s havin’ fun

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This is the heart-moving synopsis I found online for My Sassy Girl:

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You see those last few words that I highlighted above? Yea, can’t fcking wait to see that happen.

My impression on this Kdrama- it’s going to be a complete and utter riot. I’m still stuck in my little Three Lives Three Worlds Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms world, so it’s been real hard watching anything new, let alone finishing any dramas. Hopefully, My Sassy Girl is the answer to this drama death valley I’ve been stuck in for the past month.

Some additional visuals~

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KBeauty Review: Nature Republic Bee Venom Emulsion

HeyHeyHey, I’m back with another Korean skincare product review. As you’ve probably already noticed, there’s all sorts of crazy ingredients in these Asian skincare products, like snail secretion, donkey milk, mushroom necks, snake venom, etc., etc.- you name it, they use it.

So ofc, there’s got to be a bee venom product out there right? Abso-fcking-lutely. This brings me to the leading lady of today’s review: Nature Republic’s Bee Venom Emulsion

So, my reasons for trying out this exotic concoction is: one, I’ve tried the Mist Essence from this line and it was amazeballs and , two, it claims to be for acne-prone skin because it contains salicylic acid to fight breakouts and 70% bee venom to unclog pores/buildup.

I purchased this from a Nature Republic store location in NYC for about 30 USD and I have to admit this is a pretty stupid spur-of-the-moment purchase. I could’ve looked up this product online and see that it easily retails for no more than 15 USD. So the store location up-charged me by a 100% for this- thanks for that, now I’m going to avoid that location like I’m avoiding a fcking plague.

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The bottle of product is a bit taller than 7 in. (~17.78 cm) and the mouth of the bottle is not the most conventional opening for any type of skincare product. The bottle is made of a hard plastic that you can’t squeeze, so the only way to get product out of that opening is to shake the bottle until something spills out (hopefully in an appropriate amount).

The texture of the emulsion is super nice- it’s light and just the right amount of creamy. The problem is that is doesn’t absorb well, it just sits on my skin like a sticky and moist film. You can see that I applied the emulsion on the back of my hand and, after massaging & patting into my skin, it leaves a shiny finish. Normally, products that my skin drinks up leave a nice matte-ish and smooth finish. When I apply this to my face, the shiny and sticky finish is even more apparent than compared to the back of my hand. I feel like a total grease-ball. Just ugh -____-

As for the scent of the product, it’s not overpowering, but it’s a strong refreshing scent of something similar to ginger and honey. Maybe this is what Nature Republic imagined bee venom to smell like. Not a bad scent at all, I actually quite like it. The scent doesn’t linger long, give it an hour or so to fade almost completely.

This emulsion is said to be for acne-prone skin, but it’s really hard to imagine it helping my skin with the way that it just sits awkwardly on my face. The formula makes me oilier that I already am and I am a very, very oily-skinned person. I feel like the greasy product will just clog my pores more so than it already is and lead to breakouts.

I don’t plan on using this routinely, maybe only for my dry winter skin days. I give this disappointing emulsion a 1.75 out of 5 stars because of its hard to absorb formula and the horrible bottle design. Especially for the price that I paid, this emulsion is def not worth it.

Top 10 Romantic Comedy KDramas

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For those of you that are not yet aware, I’m a closet k-dramaholic.

What’s a closet dramaholic? It’s good that you ask- let me explain. It means that I secretly spend all the time I can on watching kdramas.

I think only 2 or 3 of my closer friends are aware of the fact that I am a kdrama freak… pretty much everyone else, including my family, coworkers, etc., are unaware of how unproductively I am spending my time. I’m not sure if they even know what kdramas are. They probably think I spend my evenings bar-hopping in the village and doing basic-b activities with my basic-b friends on the weekends. In reality, I am most likely just drama-marathoning away on my laptop.

Now that I have explained, let me bring you The Top 10 Romantic Comedy KDramas as a expert closet k-dramaholic. Just to be clear, I am a total fluffy romcom girl. Melos, actions, mysteries, fantasy, thrillers, and slice of life are also fine, just as long as there are some sort of romance and comedy hiding in there. I am not picky when it comes kdramas.

Please keep in mind that these kdramas are listed based on on their air dates. I’m sorry, but it’s just too hard to order them based on my personal preference because I feel like I love them all almost equally.

1. You’re Beautiful (2009)

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You’re Beautiful is a classic and this is also my very first kdrama. This show has the cliche gender switch plot, where the main girl disguises herself as a boy to move into an all-boys situation and the main guy starts doubting his sexuality when he falls for ‘him‘… gurl, you know how these stories always go. This drama also has a reverse-harem theme going on, which is always fun. I guarantee that you enjoy this oldie.

2. Secret Garden (2011)

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Another classic and another gender-bender plot, but there’s a twist to this fantasy drama! The main girl and guy somehow end up switching souls, so the main guy takes over the main girl’s body and vice versa. Get ready to pass out from laughing from their hilarious situations. And, gurl, it’s Hyun Bin, so how can you not??

3. The Greatest Love (2011)

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The leading lady’s popular idol days are of the past and now she is a unwanted extra in the entertainment industry. Meanwhile, the leading man is currently the nation’s hottest actor. What happens when the unlikely pair crosses paths? Bingo- you guessed it! Love will be in the air and, interestingly, love hits the trendy leading man first. I just can’t help but love kdramas where the guy falls for the girl first. This this like the foundation and principal that romcom kdramas are built on. A big plus, Gong Hyo Jin plays the leading lady and she almost never disappoints with her romcom fluff.

4. Queen In Hyun’s Man (2012)

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Queen In Hyun’s Man is one of those hidden gems that, unfortunately, did not get as much hype as it should have. This actually gave me quite a fun ride with their time-travel twist. A man from the Joseon period accidentally discovers a way to travel to the future, where he meets a aspiring actress who has taken up a kdrama role (drama-inception, oooh~) as a queen of the Joseon period. I think the concept of time travel was used beautifully to build up this love story- better than some of the other more popular time-travel dramas that are out there. Wayy better.

5. Haeundae Lovers (2012)

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Let’s be honest- it’s not a kdrama without some goddamn memory loss thrown into the mix. But, don’t worry, this time the drama gods have used memory loss towards a greater good. The main girl is a daughter of a former mob boss and the hot cop that is on to her family’s case looses his memory from an accident during investigation. And it’s not like a baby memory loss- it’s a serious case of memory loss where the guy legit forgets his entire identity and life. The main girl takes in the poor no-memory guy and hilarious romance soon ensues them. This is another low-key amazing drama, and I found this drama especially endearing and warm to the heart ❤

6. Master’s Sun (2013)

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Oh, look what we have here- another Gong Hyo Jin drama. This is one of those rare dramas that combines horror/thriller with romcom and I fcking loved it. Drama gods, please make more of these. It’s all scare-the-shit-outta-me one minute and all cutesy romance the next minute. The main girl can see ghosts, but they seem to disappear when she is in contact with the rich and cold CEO of a large mall. They are always rich and cold, are’t they… but I’m not complaining- throw all the rich, cold, and sexy CEOs you want at me.

7. You Who Came From the Stars (2013)

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It’s the boss lady, Jun Ji Hyun, and when it’s Jun Ji Hyun you better watch it. I don’t think I even need to explain why this drama is on my top 10 list. You all probably watched this already, so I’m gonna save my explanation. The only thing I will say is this- before You Who Came From the Stars, I would have never considered marrying a 400-year-old alien. It’s a entirely different story now.

8. Let’s Eat (2013)

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You like food? Welcome to the club- here we watch beautiful people stuff their mouth’s with mouth-watering food in every single episode. I started this drama as something to pass time as I wait for my other dramas to come out, but I fell in love with the sweet romance, I grew hungry from the delicious food scenes, and I was kept on my toes from the spooky murder case. You heard me- there’s a murder case.

9. Marriage, Not Dating (2014)

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Pretend dating, the cliche we all can’t help but indulge in- I gotchu, gurl. The leading lady and man pretends to be in a romantic relationship to mute their parents’ wishes for them to get married. Aside from the choco. ab-generating laughter, I liked that we get to see the personal development of the main girl. She started the dramas as a desperate girl that no guy wanted, but grew to be confident and independent. At one point, she had like 3 guys pining for her (I’m looking at you, you reverse-harem fans).

10. Shopping King Louie (2016)

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What’s going on with all this baby pink, you ask? It’s fluffy romantic comedy to the max, that’s what the hell this is. This is a more recent drama and, ofc, centers around the memory loss of the main guy. Memory loss in here, memory loss in there, memory loss everywhere~ A country-side girl journeys to Seoul to find her missing brother, but the only guy that seems to have a clue to her brother’s whereabouts losses all of his memories. She takes in him in and helps him regain his memories to get her brother back. Also, the main guy may not remember, but he is a mega-rich third generation chaebol.

Whew, we’re finally at the end of this long list.

I hope that you find this insightful, maybe one of these kdramas have caught your eye. And do please keep this in mind that this is a list of the top pure fluffy romcom dramas. So don’t go wondering why the hell Goblin, DOTS, I Hear Your Voice or Reply 1988 isn’t on this list. I left out the more slice of life, action, deeper meaning, or strictly romance dramas out on purpose. Let’s save that for another day- it’s a date <3~

Last, but not least, let me present to you some of my honorable mentions:

Personal Taste (2010)

Playful Kiss (2010)

Prosecutor Princess (2010)

Witch’s Romance (2014)

Lucky Romance (2016)

Strong Woman Do Bong Soo (2017)

KBeauty Review: TheFaceShop x My Other Bag CC Ultra Moist Cushion

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A few months back I vacayed in China and Thailand, which was an amazing eye-opening experience and, ofc, there was obligatory weight-gain from all the mouth-watering food I have gorged down. I also brought back some souvenirs for my family, friends, co-workers, etc.- which I kept minimal, very minimal. They were not offended in any way though because they knew, as per usual, I had another priority to fulfill. I had to save luggage space for something more important- BEAUTY PRODUCTS *o*

I know I can just order them online when I’m back in the states, but it’s just different ya know. I enjoy going to the actual stores to take in the beautiful product displays, be assisted by the beauty associates, sampling products, and shopping the better in-store promotions.

I happened to pass by TheFaceShop while I was in Guangzhou, China and got a few items on promotion that I wanted to try out. They are a Korean beauty brand, but I’m sure they’re like all over Asia by now with the current Hallyu/Kbeauty hype. I tried to exercise some self-control, but, gurl, you have to understand how hard it is when they’re priced so damn nice and packaged so darn cute.

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Of my hual, I will be doing a review of the TheFaceShop x My Other Bag CC Ultra Moist Cushion today. TheFaceShop was running a promotion, so for RMB 99.00 (~UDS 14.33), I got the CC cushion with a free cushion refill- not a bad deal at all ^_^

A little background on this CC cushion, the original cushion looks like this:

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But TheFaceShop launched a collaboration with My Other Bag and upped their game in the CC cushion’s packaging, while the CC cushion formula remains unchanged.

The cushion comes in this fancy little drawstring ❤

As you can see, the CC cushion has been revamped with inspiration from My Other Bag‘s Sophia tote. I’m in love with the packaging and I’m not gonna lie- it was the chic packaging that pushed me to make this purchase. The little drawstring that it comes in is super handy, it fits the CC cushion as well a number of other items, so I now use it as my makeup bag.

The product is kept in the white plastic area of the cushion, which can be pushed out entirely from the bottom when you are done & ready to refill. I don’t know how much a refill retails for, but I assume it would be cheaper then buying another CC cushion- otherwise I just don’t see the point of refills.

The refill I got for free with this purchase is wrapped in this shiny foil package and, thank the lord, there are pictures explaining how to replace the refill. I would have clawed at the cushion for hours without the picture instructions, since almost everything is in Chinese which I, sadly, can not read.

Now that I have bombarded you with enough pictures of the packaging, lets talk about the actual CC cushion formula. This cushion runs in 2 shades and I purchased the lighter one, #v201 Apricot Beige. However, I felt like I should have purchased the darker shade instead- my face has gotten noticeably darker from the time that I have spent in the sun (it may have been all snow and cold in NYC, but it was blazing hot in Guangzhou & Pattaya). Since I don’t want to scare people with a ghost white face, I apply this to the higher points of my face and let it aid me in my contouring.

The formula is on the light-weight side and because it’s more on the moisturizing side, as the name suggests, it gives my skin a subtle glow/dewy look. This formula doesn’t help much in covering the more pigmented blemishes and acne scars, so a concealer is def needed if you have some bad boys to hide.

On the plus side, this works great on evening out your skin tone to give you a nice uniform finish. I applied the cushion on the right half of the back of my hand above, and you can see the visual difference. The formula is light enough, so that even when I zoom in on the area that I have applied the cushion, there isn’t a visible layer of product caked onto my skin. I think one of the reasons that the product applies onto my skins so naturally is due to the super soft & smooth cushion sponge.

The CC cushion holds a generous amount of product and it comes out easily onto the cushion sponge with a little pressure. As a FYI to prevent over-packing the product onto your face, the cushion sponge holds more product then it looks like it is. Pressing the sponge into the cushion roughing 2 times, maybe 3, is enough to cover my entire face.

After 6-8 hours, I noticed the product starting to move. Because I have oily and combination skin, the product started collecting on the creases of my skin and the drier areas of my face- NOT a cute look -__- Thus, if you expect a long day out and about, I recommend a touch-up after the 4-5 hour mark (before the products moves to a point beyond fixable with just a quick touch-up).

As for the scent of this CC cushion, it has a nice, refreshing fragrance to it. It’s nothing too overpowering.

I give this CC cushion a 3.75 out of 5. It’s great for creating a natural look, like for work or a daytime outing- but I don’t think that this will fly well for your nightime clubbing adventures. You’re going to glow like a ghost under those colorful club lights. The packaging is 10 out of 10, but I just can’t with products that start to collect in my skin creases. Like, it’s fine it the product just rubs off my face over time due to oil-blotting or me unconsciously touching my face, but please don’t all crowd into my skin’s imperfections and make them all the more apparent.

***Bonus: I also got a free pack of extra cushion sponges because I spent over a certain threshold at TheFaceShop with my haul. Aren’t they just to die for? Winnie the Pooh-themed cushion sponges, how can they shake my heart like this T_T

These are great for this CC cushion because their refill packs do not come with cushion sponges of their own. I can also imagine using these super soft sponges with other products.

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KBeauty Review: Innisfree Olive Real Oil Mist

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Aside from pimple patches, I am also a huge fan of facial mists. I joined the face mist club back in early 2011 after watching Secret Garden, Big Bang’s version to be more precise. For those of you that have yet to watch or have forgotten, feel free to start the video below from minute 15:00 to 16:22 to open your eyes to the beautiful world of facial mists… Smmmell~~

So what exactly do facial mists do, other than make you look dramatic as fck as you douse your face with serum?

They are meant to give your skin a quick boost of hydration and moisturization. It can be used during your daily/nightly skincare routine to really pack in that good stuff or it can be used throughout the day when your skin starts feeling like that eh-I’m-so-done thing. Mists tend to be super light and liquid-y in formula; and sprays as a super fine mist, so that it’s quick and easy for your skin to absorb.

My first facial mist review will be on Innisfree’s Olive Real Oil Mist, which I ordered online from Innisfreeworld for USD 10.00. Innisfree has 8 lines of skincare, each using a natural ingredient to target specific skin concerns; and this mist is from their Golden Olive line, which is meant for deep moisturizing.

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The facial mist comes in a plastic spray bottle that is 6 in (~15.5 cm) in height. The bottle was packaged in a neat little cardboard box, but I trashed that after opening it (gurl, I had to- my room is so cluttered I can’t afford to be extra). To make up for that, here’s a image that I pulled off the web to show you how the box looks.

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The bottle is tinted a olive green, but it’s still transparent. You can kind of see the murky solution in the pictures. The mist uses extra virgin olive oil and you can see the oil beads clinging to the insides of the bottle. Because there is ‘real’ oil in this mist, the oil floats to the top of the mist solution after sitting for a while. This is just the nature of oil not being able to mix with water, so a quick shake of the bottle before spraying will fix that.

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The mist comes out of a typical spray nozzle, and let me tell you, gurl, it sprays super super fine mist. The image on the Innisfreeworld website shows the mist coming out like this-

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But, no, that is certainly not the reality of it, like at all. The mist comes out so fine that I wasn’t able to capture it on camera for you guys. I sprayed it on to the back of my hand and you can’t really see the solution- even when my magnifying lens is used. That’s how fine this baby is.

Despite not be able to see the mist, I can assure you, you will definitely feel it as it hits your face refreshingly with its cute little liquid micro-beads infused with olive oil. I’m not sponsored by Innisfree, btw.

Each time I use this, I spray 3 times (the two sides and then the center of my face) at a distance of about 8 in (~25.5 cm). Then, I will gently pat it into my skin until fully absorbed. It leaves my skin leaving a little sticky, but it’s not like a make-me-feel-crazy-annoyed-sticky feel. It’s more of a endure-able sticky.

I use this mist after my toner and before my lotion at night and in the morning. I don’t use this in the middle of the day, especially when I’m wearing makeup, for the reason that it feels like my skin is absorbing all my foundation and concealer too when I spray this mist on top, and I definitely do not want that.

The scent of the mist is a little weird to me. It’s not a bad smell, but it’s also not the best smell out there. It smells faintly of olives, but it also smells like lemons… did I get a tarnished product or something? The expiration date says 2019, so… idk. Do let me know if you smell this too!

In summary, I give this facial mist a 4 out of 5 stars. It makes my skin feel supple and refreshed. I love that the mist comes out so fine. I enjoy the fact that I can parody Daesung’s role in Big Bang’s Secret Garden parody whenever I use this. However, I took off a point for leaving my skin a slight sticky finish and its odd citrus scent.

KBeauty Review: TonyMoly AC Control Spot Patch

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Welcome to part 3 of my pimple patch reviews! What I have here is TonyMoly’s AC Control Spot Patch. I actually went through this pack quite fast because it’s that time of the month for me. Gurl, you know what I’m talk’in about.

I will be referencing these patches to the Mamonde ones that I reviewed in part 1 of my pimple patch review series just because these are oh so similar. I ordered these on TesterKorea.com for 1,000 KRW (that comes out to 0.87 USD, which is like dirt cheap). I order almost all my pimple patches from TesterKorea because they have a pretty good selection of them on their site at a very reasonable price.

Right off the bat, the packaging is already alike in appearance to Mamonde’s. The sheet of patches comes in a slim aluminum wrapping. The slim packaging makes it easy to be slipped into my makeup bag or into my luggage when I’m traveling. My only con about these is that the package isn’t resealable, so I need to find a Ziploc baggie to store these once they’re opened.

Bonus points: For once, there are actually directions in English on the back of the packaging. Thank you, TonyMoly, from saving my poor attempt to decipher the message with my severely broken Korean.

Once you open the pack, you will find the clear sheet of pimple patches. The only notable difference with the Mamonde patches is that all 12 patches only come in one size- about 1 cm in diameter. However, this doesn’t bother me at all because the 1 cm size is pretty much the one-size-fits-all of pimple sizes. I offer my sincerest apology and sympathy if you do get pimples larger than 1 cm in diameter tho- that must be fcking painful. Otherwise, the efficiency, thickness and transparency of these patches are on par Mamonde’s.

These patches are ever so lightly tinted, so they do help a bit in blurring your pimples. These are thinner than the typical sheet of computer paper, so they don’t do much in actually healing your pimples or sucking up acne secretion. I prefer to use these during the day to act as a barrier from the pollution and my nosy hands (I swear my hands be reaching for my face involuntarily throughout the day). I do feel like these lack adhesiveness, but it might be due to the serum that I layered before I applied the patch. I used these TonyMoly patches one time during the night, and 1 out of the 3 patches I used fell off by morning time.

I give these a 3 out of 5. These are not the best nor the worst patches that I have used. I probably won’t be purchasing these again, but if given the choice of these or the Mamonde patches- I would no doubt choose these for the reason that they are pretty much the same, but sold at a lower price.

Part 1: Mamonde AC Balance Patch

Part 2: SkinFood Trouble Clear Spot Patch