Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Sulwhasoo | First Care Activating Serum EX, Perfecting Cushion Intense & Essential Lip Serum Stick: Review and Swatches

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and the products featured were provided for review.
Sulwhasoo | First Care Activating Serum EX: Review
A luxury skincare brand under the South Korean AmorePacific beauty conglomerate, Sulwhasoo is all about combining traditional Asian medical wisdom and ingredients with modern scientific research. Offering a wide range of holistic skincare products (including Korea's number one best-selling serum), Sulwhasoo is available in Canada at select Nordstrom and Holt Renfrew. Recently, I've had the opportunity to try a handful of Sulwhasoo favorites so today I want to share with you my thoughts and review. To read on, click......

Sulwhasoo | First Care Activating Serum Ex ($105 CAD for 60 ml):
Formulated with a concentrated blend of five carefully-selected Korean medicinal herbal extracts (Solomon's seal for added elasticity, peony for its soothing effect, white lily and lotus for circulation stimulation, and Rehmannia for moisturization) that form the proprietary Sulwhasoo JAUM Balancing Complex, the First Care Activating Serum Ex is the number one best-selling serum in Korea for the past 20 consecutive years. Applied immediately after cleansing, the serum comes in a nice ceramic-like glass bottle equipped with a convenient pump dispenser. The formulation has a runny, translucent brown appearance and it spreads really nicely on the skin. The serum absorbs almost immediately, leaving behind no sticky residue or palpable texture. I have noticed that because the formulation is lightly colored, it will leave behind a very subtle tint on the skin, especially if you have a paler skin tone. So for that reason, I've only been using this serum at night time.
Sulwhasoo | First Care Activating Serum EX: Review
Sulwhasoo | First Care Activating Serum EX Perfecting Cushion Intense
I've noticed some small improvements in hydration and firmness with use but what I like the most about the serum is how it creates a nice base for the rest of my skincare routine. Sulwhasoo states that the serum actually improves the absorption and efficacy of subsequent skincare products and I do feel that that is the case. The ingredients do include alcohol (but no silicone); however, because it's not too high on the list, I'm not very concerned. Additionally, the sheer amount of botanical extracts included in the formulation is unparalleled with most other serums I've tried.

Ingredients: Ophiopogon Japonicus Root Extract, Water, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis (Licorice) Root Extract, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Betaine, Glycerin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Paeonia Albiflora (Peony) Root Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera (Sacred Lotus) Flower Extract, Polygonatum Officinale (Solomon's Seal) Rhizome/Root Extract, Lilium Candidum (White Lily) Bulb Extract, Rehmannia Glutinosa Root Extract, Honey, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Seed Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Zizyphus Jujuba Fruit Extract, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Natto Gum, Peg/Ppg-17/6 Copolymer, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Carbomer, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dextrin, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Phenyl Trimethicone, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Propylene Glycol, Tromethamine, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance
Sulwhasoo | Perfecting Cushion Intense in "No.23 Medium Beige": Review and Swatches
Sulwhasoo | Perfecting Cushion Intense
Sulwhasoo | Perfecting Cushion Intense ($110 CAD for 15 g x 2):
Made with firming red pine extract and antioxidant-rich plum blossom extract, the Perfecting Cushion Intense is a medium to full coverage cushion foundation that provides a broad spectrum SPF of 50+. Available in 7 shades, the foundation comes in pretty standard albeit well-made cushion compact. Included is a refill cushion so you get a total of 30 g.
Sulwhasoo | Perfecting Cushion Intense in "No.23 Medium Beige": Review and Swatches
Sulwhasoo | Perfecting Cushion Intense in "No. 23 Medium Beige"
The shade I received is "No. 23 Medium Beige", a medium sandy beige with a subtle yellow undertone that is unfortunately not a match for my natural skin tone. I was able to play with the texture and application but because the color is way too dark, I couldn't wear it outside for a full-day wear test. From what I can gather, however, the Perfecting Cushion Intense is pigmented but not overly so. It's medium coverage at best so if you struggle with acne and discoloration, a concealer will be needed to provide extra coverage. The formulation is surprisingly lightweight and smoothing and I like how it minimized pores and fine lines. The foundation provides a natural matte finish but a setting powder is still a must if you have oilier skin like me. Overall this is a foundation that I would like to experiment more with if I can find the right shade for me as the silky formulation applies well and looks great on the skin.
Sulwhasoo | Perfecting Cushion Intense in "No.23 Medium Beige": Review and Swatches
Sulwhasoo | Perfecting Cushion Intense in "No. 23 Medium Beige"
Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Zinc Oxide (9.8%), Octinoxate (7%), Titanium Dioxide (4.15%), Glycerin, Phenyl Trimethicone, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Niacinamide, Lauryl Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Trehalose, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate/Dimethicone Methacrylate Copolymer, Propanediol, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis (Licorice) Root Extract, Pinus Sylvestris Leaf Extract, Honey, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Lilium Candidum Bulb Extract, Mica (Ci 77019), Prunus Mume Flower Extract, Methoxy Peg-114/Polyepsilon Caprolactone, Beeswax, Sodium Chloride, Stearic Acid, Adenosine, Aluminum Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Polygonatum Officinale Rhizome/Root Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Rehmannia Glutinosa Root Extract, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Tin Oxide, Polysorbate 80, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Fragrance
Sulwhasoo | Essential Lip Serum Stick in "No. 2 Blossom Serum" & "No. 7 Deep Berry": Review and Swatches
Sulwhasoo | Essential Lip Serum Stick
Sulwhasoo | Essential Lip Serum Stick ($38 USD for 3 g):
Housed in luxurious brushed gold lipstick cases each studded with a unique gemstone, the Essential Lip Serum Stick is a lightweight tinted lip balm formulated with camellia oil and a safflower complex that "create a double layer of oil and water for long-lasting moisture". Available in eight different shades, the Essential Lip Serum Stick feels slick and nourishing but not heavy or sticky. The balms give the lips a gorgeous natural sheen with a plump and smooth finish, making it perfect for those dry, wrinkled lips.
Sulwhasoo | Essential Lip Serum Stick in "No. 2 Blossom Serum" & "No. 7 Deep Berry": Review and Swatches
Sulwhasoo | Essential Lip Serum Stick in "No. 2 Blossom Serum" & "No. 7 Deep Berry"
"No. 2 Blossom Serum" appears as a transparent peachy pink in the tube but it essentially applies clear while "No. 7 Deep Berry" provides a much stronger wash of color. The sheer berry settles a bit in the fine lines of the lips but it doesn't look too patchy unless you inspect it up close. In terms of wear, the Essential Lip Serum Stick fares about as well as expected for a tinted balm. There is transfering and fading with light eating and drinking but the lips are left soft and moisturized even when the product wears off.
Sulwhasoo | Essential Lip Serum Stick in "No. 2 Blossom Serum" & "No. 7 Deep Berry": Review and Swatches
Sulwhasoo | Essential Lip Serum Stick in "No. 2 Blossom Serum" & "No. 7 Deep Berry"
Sulwhasoo | Essential Lip Serum Stick in "No. 7 Deep Berry": Review and Swatches
Sulwhasoo | Essential Lip Serum Stick in "No. 7 Deep Berry"
Have you tried any products from Sulwhasoo? What's your favorite? Share with me in the comments below!

Availability:
Sulwhasoo is available in stores and online at Nordstrom and Holt Renfrew. 
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