We all have those things we buy too many of and no matter that we actually use the products, we end up having about 10 of them in use at the same time. Hand creams are where I indulge. I use them almost daily, sometimes several times a day and yet I almost never run out of them. This isn’t my complete collection, these are just the ones I could find in my bedroom. To my credit, I haven’t opened the one from Soap and Glory yet. I think I’ve noticed why. I just keep buying them.
Hand creams are some of the cheapest beauty products that still offer excitement and variation. I particularly love the apple shaped hand cream that I have from TonyMoly and have tried other hand creams from their collections before. They’re just perfect to keep on your bedside table for both decoration and usage. I’ve raved about my SkinFood Gummy Bear ones before, so I won’t dive into too much detail here. Beyond those novelty items, my collection is fairly standardised. I’ve got one from Palmers that I use if my hands or elbows feel really rough and it’s super moisturising. It’s particularly good to use overnight as it’s a bit greasy. The one from Sephora is convenient, quite cheap, and smells nice. The Vintage & Co one is probably the one I use the least and I might get rid of it.
I’m weak for chocolate scents and that has started to become noticeable when you look at my makeup and skincare collection. This photo is lacking three products that I still use on a regular basis. I’ve got the Dark Chocolate version of the Gummy Bear Hand Gel in addition to the Cherry Chocolate one seen here, I’ve also got a Sesame Street Cookie Monster version of the Chocolate Macaron lip balm, and lastly, I’ve got a chocolate scented body wash from Etude House.
The Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar palette probably doesn’t need an introduction. It’s a series of highly pigmented shadows (almost to the point where they’re pigmented enough to be annoying) in a chocolate bar style package and it all smells of chocolate.
As you may have noticed from the photo, a lot of the chocolate scented/themed products I have are from SkinFood. Sure, the All Over Muffin Cake Finish compacts are a bit of a stretch but they’re close enough to the whole chocolate theme to count. However, one thing SkinFood does really well is scents. Both the Gummy Bear Hand Gels really do smell like cherry chocolate and dark chocolate respectively. The Choco Eyebrow Powder Cake doesn’t have a scent, but it contains two chocolate brown colours. One of those colours has a hint of red that works quite well with my current hair colour, so I’ve been using it more and more.
Lip balms are great products for scents and flavours. These macaron lip balms from it’s Skin are amazing and really convenient to keep on your desk or bedside table.
Scents appeal to our most primal senses and we are hard-wired to respond to them. The scent of chocolate is comforting to many of us and we generally associate that specific scent with happy memories. Even the scent of chocolate is a bit of a pick-me-up on bad days and being able to get that benefit from makeup and skincare is amazing.
Product: Gummy Bear Jelly Hand Gel
Scent: Dark Chocolate
Price: 8 USD at Ulta (other scents)
Available from: StyleKorean, Ulta
First Impressions: It smells just like dark chocolate, your hands smell good enough to eat. It’s very moisturising and smooth. The bottle is adorable but on the small side. This product lives on my desk and I use it several times a week.
Packaging: It’s a big gummy bear, what’s not to love? One massive plus is that the head always ends up facing forward when you’re putting the cap back on. It’s soft enough for you to be able to squeeze product out quite easily. Again, it’s pretty small.
Usage: Products that moisturise your hands are seldom complicated to use. It’s quite easily absorbed, so you don’t need to worry about your hands being gooey afterwards.
Would I recommend this: Absolutely. The scent is awesome, the packaging is awesome, and it’s a good hand creme. Go for it.
It’s no secret to anyone who even occasionally reads this blog, I adore the Korean packaging culture. It is innovative, creative, and still doesn’t compromise on the practical issues. So why aren’t Western companies doing the same thing as their Korean counterparts?
I think it’s quite simply a matter of realising that adult consumers like fun. There seems to be this notion that products need to be serious in order to be scientifically valid as well as the notion that you shouldn’t try too hard. Recently there’s also a trend in the west that everything should be ‘natural’, which is a word that means shit all in makeup. No matter how organic or natural something is, every product you put on your face is 100% chemicals. But the organic/natural trend seems to have influenced packaging to be minimalistic, plain, and well, boring.
Makeup is the adult version of face paint and somehow we often fall into the trap of taking it so seriously that we forget the fun. Korean women on average spend more money and time on skincare and makeup than Western women do and I believe this is a key factor in why Korean companies try to make makeup & skincare more fun. If your customer is going to spend a lot of time with your product, you want to make the whole experience positive.
My gummy bear hand cremes from SkinFood aren’t less good because they’re in packaging made to resemble massive pieces of candy. The TonyMoly powder compact I keep in my bag isn’t less effective because it has Jigglypuff on it, and my lip balm from It’s Skin isn’t less moisturising because it has the Cookie Monster’s face on it. These products get the job done, but in addition to that, they also make me smile. My day gets a little bit brighter when I get to laugh at the silliness that is “Psyduck Cheese Firming Cream” as I apply it after a shower. My skin gets moisturised and I get amused.
Looking at Sephora Australia’s website, the vast majority of the products I see look almost… clinical. There’s a handful of brands that have some fun with packaging. TheBalm, Kat von D, Benefit, and Too Faced are probably the Western major brands that dare to have fun with their packaging and themes. No one is going to look at the Chocolate Bar palette and assume it’s for kids or that it has to be low quality, and yet this is the assumption I’m often faced with when someone sees my Korean products.
Makeup & skincare are meant to be fun and functional, let’s have the packaging reflect that.