Sunday, April 03, 2016

Review: AmorePacific Moisture Bound Sleeping Recovery Masque

This is a series in which, in an attempt to work my way through my sample overload, I spend the weekend trying out samples, then inflict capsule reviews upon the internet.

AmorePacific Moisture Bound Sleeping Recovery Masque $60/3.38 oz.

Skincare samples are like drugs

It's been a long time since my last Sample Saturday review, and for that, I apologize. Naturally, the biggest reason is my indolence, and by that I mean TOTAL LAZINESS, but there's another reason, and here I put the blame squarely on the manufacturers. 

It's the samples themselves. Have you ever noticed how unhelpful samples are? I mean, some of the stuff I get is worth a lot of money ... if any cosmetic product can actually be said to be worth what the manufacturers charge for it. 

I mean, say you're the OohLaLa Skincare Company, and you want people to buy your new serum, which you're pricing at $1,000 an ounce. So you decide to package wee little samples of these magical skin-perfecting unicorn tears in adorable little bottles to be given to spoiled housewives at a Neiman Marcus beauty event. The bottles hold .1 ounce, which isn't very much, but if the serum were cocaine, it would have a street value of $100. 

Wouldn't it make sense to enclose a leaflet or some instructions or something? 

But they don't. 

Which is how I managed to glue my face to my pillow. Twice.

... or maybe Apple products


Way back in the olden days of butterfly clips and extreme low-rise jeans, I had a first-generation iPod, complete with an audible click wheel and a generous 5 gigs of storage. It was lovely and clean and was packaged in a white cardboard cube that evoked reverence for the sleekness of its design ... except there were no instructions, and I couldn't figure out how to turn the fucking thing off. So I'd let the battery run down. "That," I'd think to myself "takes care of that."

In my defense, this was before you could google all your stupid questions and get non-judgmental help from total strangers on the internet.

Back to the product in question

I've mentioned before that I'm tiptoeing into the world of Korean skincare, and may I just say that there's a pretty steep learning curve? Because there is.

One of the biggest differences between Korean and western skincare is the relative emphasis on hydration. It's not that we want to dessicate our skin here in the west; it's just that in Korea, every step of your multi-step skincare regimen is designed to force more moisture into your skin. The ideal look in Korea is dewy to a degree that Westerners might find a little odd. 

You're supposed to double-cleanse your face, using first an oil, and second a gentle product that won't strip your skin. They you layer on essences, serums, and ampoules. Then you add a sleeping mask. Here's what this AmorePacific sleeping mask contains in the way of ingredients.

As you can see, there are extracts, skin-loving ingredients, and scary sounding stuff--the usual K-beauty cornucopia. But definitely moisturizing, right?

And so, in order to sample my AmorePacific Sleeping Recovery Masque, I double cleansed, used an essence (Estee Lauder Micro Essence)  then a serum (Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair)  then this sleeping mask. Then I added a bit of eye cream and went to bed. 

I tend to lie on my side with half of my face in the pillow. If I get a little restless, I switch it up. So I turn from one side to the other a few times every night. Which would be fine, except my pillow kept sticking to my face.

I decided maybe I was overdoing it. The second time I tried this stuff, I decided to just cleanse, use the same essence, skip the serum, use the sleeping mask, and apply the eye cream. Surely that wouldn't create a sticky tsunami of products. And yet it did. For a second night, my pillowcase stuck to my face.

I can't complain about the way my skin felt in the morning. Especially when I showered, because my skin felt great when the water hit the remnants of the mask and rinsed them off.

But really, some instructions would have been helpful. How many products is it safe to layer under this stuff? Can I put it on and go straight to bed, or should I wait a bit and let it get absorbed first? I have questions! And my tiny sample tube (.33 ounces worth, with a street value of $6.00) isn't answering them.


  1. Poppy! AmorePacific is my main skincare brand, but just for evening because using 2x a day would wreck my wallet even more than usual. I actually use the Time Reponse version of the sleeping mask from the brand. I work with very nice SA's at Bergdorf, but even they don't seem to convey the Korean "Layer Allll Teh Things" method of skincare. What I gathered / learned, I mainly learned while I was living in Seoul for a short spell. There's a term in Korean called "tchok tchok" often referred in skincare and in base makeup ads that mean moist (blergh) to the point of kind of sticky. That level of hydration is what the layering does. I don't think there's any rule for how many products you can layer since they keep adding more and more stuff to add on to your face. The key is from light to heaviest. What I learned was wash then toner (also called lotion), lotion (runny lotion often called fluid), serum and then cream. Then I add the sleeping mask on top. I've also added facial oil after serum on occasion. Trust me, at the end of this, I end up with a sticky MOIST face and good thing I sleep on my back because otherwise I'd also stick to the pillowcases! Surprisingly, in the AM, I find almost all of the products absorbs on my skin. But then again, I have crazy dehydrated skin.

    1. I usually use the AP Time Response line because I have crazy-dehydrated, aging, bone-dry skin that never broke out when I was a teenager (and now never will, because I'm too old for that nonsense!)

      I'm guessing the AP Moisture Bound line is for younger faces, right? Which is why it's very light in texture? Because it didn't seem to do much except glue my face to the pillow.

      I understand the thin-to-thick layering process, which makes total sense. I'm already layering a bunch of products: an essence, Vitamin C serum, a hyaluronic serum, eye cream, neck cream, and the sleeping pack.

      What bugs me is why there aren't more instructions. Nobody said I should layer the sleeping pack over a moisturizer, and now I've used it three times and wasted it. Wanh!

    2. :) I still regularly get zits (despite being drier) because my skin doesn't realize what decade of life I am living. Dumb skin. I think the other lines of AP are for brightening or for younger skins. For me, those lines are also not enough hydration for my skin... maybe just impressive glue tendencies. Try the TR version of the pack. I loved the texture and how it made such a nice difference the next day when I woke up. I do recall that in the package insert for the TR, it said to layer over the final cream and that oil prior to the sleep pack was a nice option as well.

  2. I'm half Korean and half the instructions are told by your ancestors and the other half in house along with a huge rated weekly show called get it beauty. Koreans do not mess about. They believe in slightly patting any solution with your fingertips gently. Like lymphatic drainage. You don't go to sleep soon after BC they think it bloats your face. They also do their routine when they get home not before you go to bed. I'm telling you the west is in the dark ages re skincare. I felt like a caveman when I asked which blue led light I should get BC it was my first one. It was as if I told them I'd never used soap before.

    1. Well, hand me some ocher so I can touch up my cave paintings of bison, because I don't know what a blue LED light is for.

      Also, do my skin care when I get home??? So I spend another four hours with no makeup on? OK, now I know why the women on Reddit were discussin whether their K-Beauty routine affects their love life. XD

    2. It kills bacteria so it prevents spots that just soap can't get rid of. I was convinced when it solved a recurring patch on my chin.


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.