Do you know what I love more than trying new skincare? Trying it for a really great price. Which is why I signed up for a Beauty Pie membership almost as soon as I heard about it. Beauty Pie advertises itself as a company that will sell you makeup and skincare without any of the markup imposed by traditional luxury brands. They've got great deals on foundations (all less than $10), eyeliner (less than $5), and they have my favorite brushes ever for $2-5 dollars. The catch is a monthly $10 fee for the privilege of shopping, shipping and handling charges, and a monthly spending limit. Overall, I've been happy with the quality of the makeup I've bought form them and so this month I decided to dip my toes into their skincare.
Luckily, I had enough in my spending limit to buy the entire Japanfusion set which includes a cleanser, moisturizing toner, serum, and moisturizing cream - all for $29. The whole set boasts a "moisture-locking" complex made with a yeast derivative, jabara extract for Vitamin C and polyphenols, and an antioxidant grape seed extract. Impressive sounding, no? I also loved the packaging. The pretty pink and white looked like a dream in by bathroom and so my wallet was pretty happy with the purchase. But the real question is: what did my skin think?
I think my favorite part of the set was the cleanser. It's an oil-to-gel texture that really works best if you start it on a dry face, massage, and then add water. I found it got my makeup off with no trouble and left my face feeling nourished. I also like that it was the only unscented product in the range. It didn't work so well when I tried to use it in the shower because my hands and/or face would already have water on them. In that scenario, the cleanser would rinse away into nothingness before really getting a chance to work. So if you buy this, plan on using it at the sink. And I will say that I still prefer my usual cleansing method of starting with an oil cleanser (currently this one but plan on re-purchasing this one next) and then using my holy-grail Glossier Milky Jelly cleanser.
The next step in the system is the Hydra-Prep Lotion. Even though it's called a lotion, it's really a liquid texture. It's meant to be applied with a cotton pad or patted on with your hands and it claims to draw in moisture. The concept reminded me a lot of the Missha Time Revolution Essence and the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence: they are all meant to be used after cleansing and before other steps and they prominently feature yeast-derived moisture boosters. I can't really offer a comparison because I've never used the SK-II (because I'm not made of money!!) but I will say that this seemed to be the least necessary part of the regimen.
Which gets me to one of my complaints about this skincare set...most of the products contain the exact same active ingredients, just in formulas of different viscosities. I love me a good multi-step regimen but is it really necessary if they all provide similar benefits in the same ways? Also, the fragrance was strongest in the toner. WHYYYYY do companies have to put scent in everything????
Ok, moving on from my rant...the Deep Treatment Serum was nice. Again, it had many of the same active ingredients as the Hydra-Prep Lotion but I liked the texture and felt like it absorbed well into my skin. The scent was lighter and it was probably my second favorite product in the Japanfusion line. The fact that it wasn't crazy-expensive meant that I didn't feel bad about using several pumps at a time, which means I was probably getting more benefit with each application than I would have if I felt like I needed to skimp.
The final step in the Japanfusion regimen is the Supreme Cream. It has a lovely, rich texture and in addition to the active ingredients in every other product, it contains glycerin, squalene, and Shea butter which are all excellent moisturizing factors. I would definitely consider this to be more of night cream and a little goes a long way.
So what's the final verdict? I wasn't impressed enough to let the Japanfusion line take over my daily routine. Honestly, I think Beauty Pie is just as good as skincare from overpriced luxury brands like the ones you find at department stores (e.g. Estee Lauder, La Mer, Clarins...). In the end though, I couldn't get past my dislike of the scent and my confusion about the repetition of active ingredients and I ended up giving the set to a skincare-curious friend.
Have you tried any skincare from Beauty Pie? What did you think?