Review: W2Beauty Fifty Shades of Snail Light & Bright beauty box
Is this glow-getting K-beauty box worth it?
Fifty Shades of Snail Light & Bright Box, approx. RM205 at W2Beauty (retail value approx. RM300)
For years, beauty boxes have been a way to test new products without having to commit to full sizes. But let's be real – many a box from the early years were filled with seeming pick-and-mixes that didn't quite match our skin and hair types.
Fast-forward to 2017, beauty boxes have happily evolved into something else completely. For one, boxes aren't random, you know what you're getting into when you make a purchase, and you're willing to shell out more for a carefully curated selection. Sizes too, are properly generous. For great examples, see K-beauty e-commerce site W2Beauty, where boxes are tailored to your skin type and concerns.
This year, K-beauty blogger Jude Chao of Fifty Shades of Snail was appointed W2Beauty's Editor at Large, lending her experience with formulas and years of testing to educate Asian Beauty fans around the world about transformative K-beauty buys.
Jude sent us the Light & Bright Box, an easy, streamlined group of skincare picks designed to lighten dark marks and pigmentation while providing protection against damage. The best part? Jude says she had tropics-dwellers like us in mind when designing the box, filling it with her favourite lightweight products for our hot and sticky climate.
"My first one is a box I've put together for K-beauty fans in Southeast Asia, based on the goals and concerns I've heard about from my readers in the region," she says.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence 100ml
Swanicoco Bitamin C Calm Down Emulsion 120ml
A'Pieu Pure Block Aqua Sun Gel 50ml
Skinfood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Mask 100g
Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask EX 30ml
I used the products for over two weeks and my skin, while currently experiencing a bout of hormonal acne, already looks better for it. There's a definite increase in clarity and translucence, but it also feels smooth and plump from regular use of the night mask.
Even individually, the products are great. I really like the COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence, a fragrance-free water-like essence chock full of niacinamide and galactomyces ferment filtrate to inhibit melanin synthesis and bump up that glow.
Swanicoco's Bitamin C Calm Down Emulsion follows this and is similarly light and spreadable, absorbing in seconds when I do my skincare routine right after cleansing. It's got vitamin C and again niacinamide and ferment extracts to soothe and brighten skin.
After this, I apply a moisturiser of choice and in the day, follow with the last daily care item in the box, A'Pieu Pure Block Aqua Sun Gel. The SPF 50+ PA+++ gel is Jude's absolute favourite sunscreen and is lighter than most, but it does leave a slight filmy feeling on my combination skin.
The remaining two products in the box are occasional treatments to speed up the radiance: Skinfood's Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Mask and Sulwhasoo's overnight mask. The first looks and smells just like strawberry jam! For myself, I'm keeping this to once every couple of weeks because my skin is extraordinarily thin but even then, it feels so comfortable as it sloughs off dead skin
I saved the best for last: The Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask EX is simply the most luxurious treat. Applied after all skincare steps including serum, the herbal-scented cream left my skin visibly soft, plumped and bright the next day. The results are so astounding I'm contemplating getting a full-size.
Overall, I think this box is fantastic value, especially if you're a beginner to brightening products or K-beauty and want to try a relatively gentle, non-confusing routine. Apart from the overnight mask, all products are full sizes, so all you really need on top of these are an additional cleanser, a moisturiser and an optional serum. No fuss, no muss.