*Disclaimer* This product was gifted to me by a distributor but not directly by the brand. I have not been asked or paid to write this review and all opinions are my own.
Beauty advent calendars have taken us by storm over the past few years! They give you some additional treats than a little chocolate each day and are such an exciting way to lead up to Christmas! This year I knew I wanted one, I just wasn’t sure what to get! I have tonnes of make-up products and then when I saw the Miin advent calendar I knew I’d found the perfect thing to try! The only tough part is not opening it beforehand, but that’s where this review comes in…
Welcome to Seoul – This year Miin have curated some exclusive skincare products from one of the worlds most renowned countries for Skincare. Their cherry blossom pink box boasts 24 drawers filled with some of Korea’s best kept secrets in skincare.
Now for those of you who want to keep their advent calendar a complete surprise I would stop reading now! Frankly I don’t think I can give this box an honest review with its £90 price tag without delving deeper into the products. I guess the short version is if you’re interested in discovering Korean Skincare, don’t mind a few tester products thrown in with full-size as well as products containing animal by-products then go for it, the packaging is beautiful, completely reusable and it’s a great way to discover some new brands, however if you’re flagged by any of the keywords above I’d continue reading for more information.
What’s in the box?
1 – orange sherbert cleanser 2– pirem moisture cleansing foam 3 – blithe patting splash mist 4 – the skin lounge face mask 5– benton fermentation essence 6 – urang yellow glow oil serum 7– village factory eye cream 8 – Rose mary scalp pack 9– urang cerimide cream 10 – hand mask 11– g9 skin milk whipping foam 12 – spf 13-rose toner 14-pirem 12 ingredient cream 15– mizon eye cream 16– urang natural cleansing oil 17 – body oil cream village factory 18– urang blue brightning oil 19– snail cream 20– benton cleansing foam 21– konjac sponge 22-benton snail serum 23-neck mask 24 – shangpree capsules
So where do I even start? Face & eye creams, body treatments and masks galore. Serums, toners, cleansers and even hair products thrown in, there really is everything you need to take your skincare game from zero to hero! There are multiple products from the same brands and the same products from different brands, all of them are some of Koreas most renowned Skincare brands so it really is a great way to discover things that work for you.
An absolute standout from my first impression is the Konjac sponge – I LOVE Konjac sponges and honestly was SO EXCITED to open a drawer and see this! It’s a great way to naturally cleanse regardless of whether you add a cleanser to it or not. It is made of all natural Konjac plant fibers and I have been using these for years after seeing a Korean beauty Youtuber rave about them in 2015. I know this works, and I know not many people know about them or have tried them and even though this may not seem like the most exciting gift in the box I know this works and it works well, so this gives me confidence in the products in this calendar.
- Variety of products and a great way to discover new brands , multiple of some products allows you to discover ranges but theres not too many so you still feel like you’re getting variety
- Ranges of products really give you chance to discover what brand works for you. This is purely a skincare box and marketed as that, so if you open your 4th cleanser and think ‘oh another cleanser’ don’t. Think theres 4 chances for you to see which works for you. The max of one product is 4 anyway and I do believe there is enough variety here.
- So let’s get the first obvious thing out of the way, a lot of these products boast being vegan and cruelty free. There are 3 snail creams which – as much as I have heard about the miracles of this product – it is controversial for someone who only buys cruelty free products. As this was gifted to me without me knowing its contents I was unaware of this and won’t personally be using these three products, I am not a fan of waste though, I will be donating these to my mother and letting her use them and then showing her alternatives for future. I personally would rather not waste them and educate people in future than let it go to waste.
- I don’t know any other advent calendars that do actual testers rather than mini sizes. I’m going to be honest there are about 4-5 products that are so small they’re disappointing in size. Maybe they’re expensive products where a little goes a long way, however the yellow Ulang glow serum I did test and a drop from the pipette did not spread very far. Frankly even if they are expensive products so they give you testers to reel you in I don’t think they’re playing to the right audience with this.
Realistically this should be about £60 in my opinion, the retail value of the contents is advertised at £164 and being sold in the reusable box for £90. I buy A LOT of beauty boxes and even splurged on a second advent calendar this year and usually I will spend about £30-40 for contents of £150-£200+ So just in terms of cost I believe you should get double what you pay. Looking at the sample products (not even mini versions) is quite dissappointing but when you do get a full sized product it’s so exciting. I think some of this may be down to import fees and UK regulations of bringing in Skincare products to the UK from Korea so I do take that into consideration. I think if you’re a K-beauty fanatic, want to test out one of the best skincare counties hidden secrets and don’t want to dedicate to just one brand before you know then this is a good buy, I do just think it’s overpriced though.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again, i’m impressed with the variety in this box, it markets itself as purely skincare and you get the authentic Korean vibe of skincare with delicate products that are not overpowering in acids, perfumes and more. I’ve mentioned that some of the sizes of the products are smaller than i’d prefer but overall I’m really excited to try some brand new products that I’ve not had chance to try before. Obviously the snail creams take 3 items out of this box for me which is a shame, but it’s easy to see why they’re included in the first place, hopefully with laws changing in Asia about animal testing on cosmetics they may look towards finding synthetic versions of these kinds of products for future however for now it’s hard to argue with their perception of it as it’s so widely accepted in their culture, even if it’s something I personally disagree with.
I am honestly in love with this packaging, everything about it screams delicate, blossoming skincare. The simplicity in the illustrations is beautiful and the Korean accents feel incredibly authentic. It is completely reusable and not specifically ‘Christmassy’ so can be used at all times of the year. I will be using it as a makeup storage way after Christmas 2020. My other beauty advent calendar is a flipbook made of flimsy cardboard and filled with plastic. Sure you get the excitement of opening doors and peeling back the foil in that authentic advent tradition but it’s completely disposable. I really can’t say enough good things about how this box is curated and designed.
So there it is, my first impression of the Miin Welcome to Seoul Skincare advent calendar! Ill be opening my beauty advent calendars daily over on my instagram @ohsoviki so make sure you head over there for more in-depth openings of each product. In the meantime let me know in the comment section if you have a special advent calendar this year?