Hi guys! A while I picked up this skincare set from Sephora! If you’ve been around here some, you’ll know that I like trying Asian beauty. So of course when Sephora released their Sephora Favorites SoKo to Tokyo Set, I knew I had to get and review it!
As usual, I’ll mention that the Sephora Favorites sets are limited edition and that the set is probably no longer available. I didn’t notice it at my local Sephora during the VIB sale a month ago. That said, the full-size products are available to purchase and the samples may be sold in other sets. The reviews of individual products are still valuable.
For reference, my skin is more on the normal-to-dry side but still acne-prone. I like to make the distinction between hydrating and moisturizing products. I generally look for moisturizing products to help add oil to my skin and help condition and soften it, but hydration is all about adding water to the skin.
$40 for ten products. This works out to $4 per product, and I know for a fact that some of these should be sold for much more money. The listed retail value of the box is $130. You’re paying less than a third of the retail value.
Sephora seem to have stepped up their packaging game! One or both of my past Sephora Favorites sets came in thin cardboard. You opened up one side and pulled the plastic insert out. The Sephora Favorites perfume sampler that I bought upgraded to a chipboard like what’s used here, but the lid was only the one face so it wouldn’t stay shut. Yes, this has the sturdier chipboard, but it also has an overhang to stay shut. AKA, this is reusable.
The background for the packaging is also very pretty. There’s a very faint gradient of pinks. I barely notice the gradient on the front or back and find it more visible on the sides and on the inside. The metallic gold paint strokes and sketched-in flowers in a darker pink add a little something extra. I also liked the Korean and Japanese symbols included here. The insert is also a pink cardboard to better match the inside. Of course, I managed to forget to take a photo of the outer box…
AmorePacific Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System
Belif The True Cream – Aqua Bomb
Boscia Sake Cleansing Water
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream
Laneige Water Sleeping Mask
Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream
Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist Intensive Eye Contour Cream
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder
Too Cool For School Egg Cream Mask
The AmorePacific Moisture Bound Spray:
This seems to be an all-in-one sort of face spray. Honestly facial sprays tend to confuse me a bit. I like using a refreshing spray when my face is hot, but otherwise they seem a little pointless and too open-ended. This is supposed to add hydration to the skin, both with or without makeup. It makes my skin feel smoother, almost silky, but not really hydrated. If you go overboard, especially when wearing makeup, it may feel thick and rubbery. The nozzle releases a fine mist, even though this is a sample size. There is a very strong “high-end skincare” perfumed scent. It’s a bit powdery and a little grandmotherly, and is my biggest concern with using this on the go in public.
The SK-II Facial Essence:
I received a sample of this in the Sephora Play All Stars edition, which was filled with high-end products. It’s the best essence I’ve tried, hands down, as it soaks into the skin incredibly easily and feels so hydrating. It seems to sink deeper into my skin than any of my other essences. If you get a chance to use this, go for it! That said, this stuff is super expensive. I’m surprised at how large this sample is, as I’d expect it to sell in the $30-40 range (aka the cost of this entire box) if this size was sold.
The Boscia Sake Cleansing Water:
This is more of a micellar water, even though it’s cloudy white instead of clear. I don’t have a ton of experience with micellar waters, but this does seem pretty good. The pump is one of those suction cup-looking things where you pump the product directly up and soak the product up with a cotton round instead of using a spigot to pour it onto the cotton round. It’s a really cool look for a product, and this is probably the easiest one I ever used.
It works pretty well as a makeup remover and cleanser. Personally I go for oil cleansers to remove my full face of makeup, but this does a good job. It removed liquid lipstick and liner with ease! I’m not big on going through a million cotton rounds just to remove my makeup, but this can handle a light amount of makeup pretty well. It also works well as a lazy cleanser, either if I’m not wearing any makeup or if I can’t be bothered to wash my face at all. It can leave a slight film on my skin.
The Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder:
This is a loose, gritty powder that you mix with water to create a paste. It seems very similar to the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, if you’re familiar with that.. It doesn’t do a great job at exfoliating a lot at once, but it can be used daily to compensate for that. My “normal” skin feels very soft after using this, but any dry, flaky patches need a couple uses to really get buffed fully away. This is a dual physical and chemical exfoliant, using finely-ground rice (physical) and papaya enzymes (chemical). The rice is so finely milled that I can’t feel any grains at all. There are a few variants based on skin type, and this Classic version seems best suited to me (for normal/combo/dry skin).
The Laneige Water Sleeping Mask:
I’ve used this a couple times in the past. I haven’t used any other sleeping masks, so it’s a little hard to judge. I generally use this in place of my normal moisturizer. This is kind of a hybrid between a cream and gel. I generally prefer creams, as they’re a bit richer and are less likely to make my skin feel wet but not moisturized. It does seem to leave my skin feeling soft the next morning, but it’s a little funny in terms of moisture. It’s more of a fall and spring product on its own, as I wake up with a sticky face in summer and don’t get enough moisture in winter. This does have a lightly perfumed but fresh scent.
The Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream:
This is a new product to me, but it seems better suited to me than the sleeping mask. It’s a thicker cream formula, but it applies onto the skin a bit more watery. It may be overkill for me in summer, when hydrating moisturizers tend to leave my skin feeling uncomfortably wet, almost sweaty. But it does still deliver enough moistue for the other seasons. The scent is similar but a bit stronger here than the sleeping mask.
The Belif True Cream – Aqua Bomb:
The return of the Aqua Bomb! This is my third mini sample of this moisturizer since March or April, and I just started using a deluxe sample I bought before receiving any of the minis. I was torn between purchasing the Aqua Bomb or Moisture Bomb deluxe sample, and with my luck obviously chose the wrong one. You can read my first mini-review here. It’s a thick gel formula, perfect for nighttime, and despite offering more hydration per the name, it gives me a great balance between hydration and moisture. At times it can feel a little sticky, though.
The Too Cool For School Egg Cream Mask:
I’m really bad at reviewing sheet masks. Some of the problem is that I don’t really take stock of my skin’s condition both before and after the mask. I also tend to forget to write notes about each mask to save for empties reviews. But I made an effort to write down my thoughts on this, so I can tell you all the ways that this mask is magic.
First off, it’s a thicker fabric than most of the others I’ve used, but still a finer weave. The fit was also spot-on for my face. Most others have bunches and folds everywhere. It had a thicker, milky essence that absorbed into my skin well. Usually there’s way too much essence that doesn’t really sink into my skin. That feels uncomfortable and makes applying products afterwards tricky. Not with this! Moisturizer just sank right in, and I wrote that “skin feels healthy, fresh, and bouncy” in my notes. I’ve never said or thought that before with other sheet masks, as my pores usually feel like they’re drowning and/or sticky or stiff. The actual results that I felt were hydrating, plumping, and softening, which are concerns that I’d use a sheet mask for.
The Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream:
This is a more emollient cream moisturizer. It’s definitely moisturizing enough for me and adds enough oil to the skin! I also love the scent. It’s very grassy, similar to how sencha tea tastes a little grassy, but it also smells a little minty and just fresh and wonderful. I don’t think it’s from added fragrance, which makes the scent even better! It’s supposed to hydrate as well as soothe redness and itching due to dryness. I had a bit of a cold with a very raw-feeling nose, and this calms the skin and coats it in what feels similar to a lip balm (minus any stickiness or slip). I’m sad that this package is so small, but the design of it is definitely just medicinal-looking enough that I don’t feel weird about applying it, say, at work.
The Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist Intensive Eye Cream:
I found this very thick and nourishing, with a texture very similar to Vaseline. It’s the perfect time of the year for that. I’ve actually put this on in the morning, spent several hours shoveling snow, and still had soft, plump skin at night! It also removes fine lines. It can leave that goopy feeling behind, though. I’m not sure if there are other anti-aging benefits, or how effective this is in the long term. But I would definitely consider buying a full size version just from what I’ve seen so far!
I can’t believe I got all of these products! My favorites are Too Cool for School mask, the Shiseido eye cream, the SK-II essence, and the Dr. Jart moisturizer. I do like all of these products, at least in certain instances. No duds here! Sephora definitely chose great products, especially compared to my luck with other sets or even supposedly tailored subscription boxes. My only complaint is that the set should have included a cleansing oil, as that’s more of an Asian beauty product. If by chance you do miraculously see this set, I’d urge you to snag it!