When I was originally searching for a face oil, I was a little hesitant. Moist oils are...well...oily. But after a few recommendations for Banila Co's Miss Flower and Mr. Honey Essence Oil, I decided to take the plunge. And although the price is a little steep, I'm really glad I did.
What follows is a review of my (current) holy grail level face oil.
Banila Co is very swiftly becoming one of my go-to companies for skincare products. For the most part, they have products that seem to love my skin and work well for me. And while skincare is very much YMMV (your mileage may vary), I feel very confident recommending this brand to others.
Banila Co is essentially a Korean dupe of the American company Benefit Cosmetics. They have a generally similar aesthetic and design and some of their products are straight dupes for Benefit products.
This product is one of the first that I tried from Banila Co (along with their Clean It Zero oil cleanser) and was a recommendation from the Asian Beauty Reddit community. I was looking for a moisturizing face oil that wouldn't leave me an oil slick, even in the last hurrah of summer.
The ingredients list is pretty straightforward. As you can see from the cosDNA list, there are very few triggers in here. It also has lots of beneficial ingredients like collagen, honey, royal jelly extract, and several plant oils.
The product itself is a slightly viscous amber colored liquid. It smells delightfully like honey. Not fake, sickeningly sweet honey. Just real honey. It almost makes me want to put some in my tea.
The essence oil soaks in pretty well, although I did notice that if I used more than 3 or 4 drops, it took longer to soak in and I was left with a slightly sticky face. This was easily remedied by using less of the product, however. Three drops will get me through a whole day.
As far as effectiveness, let me start by saying this: I've already repurchased this product twice. That's right, twice. I'm on my third bottle.
For me, this product helps lock in moisture without making my skin oily and without making my makeup slide off of my face as the day progresses. After two weeks of use (both in the morning and at night), my skin looked brighter and clearer. I feel like my skin is genuinely more plump and juicy and has that "sheer" quality that Korean women are known for having. In fact, I forgot to use this product after a couple of late nights, and my skin suffered for it. It looked dull and sad. Now, even after a night of drinking, I can wake up with glowing skin--as long as I remember my face oil.
As awesome as this product is, I do have one complaint. And that is the price point. Here in Seoul, this product retails in store for about 28,000 Won, or $26 USD. That's not that steep, but one bottle of this product lasts me about a month.
In addition, while the packaging itself is gorgeous (even if a fingerprint magnet), it has a tendency to leak. Supposedly, you're supposed to shake the essence a little before each use. However, that does seem to compromise the integrity of the bottle and the first one I got leaked a lot of product onto the shelf in my closet. I haven't had the problem since, but I also barely mix the product before using it. I've encountered no decrease in efficacy because of this, however.
My final verdict?
Effectiveness: 5 Stars
Cost: 4 Stars
Overall, this is an excellent product that really only suffers from some weak packaging. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a face oil that won't leave their skin slimy, slick, or shiny. Bonus points if you're looking for something with some brightening and nourishing capabilities.
Let me know in the comments if you've every tried this product or something similar! And as always, thanks for reading!
Writer, Photographer, Dream-Seeker