Thursday, February 13, 2014

AmorePacific Time Response Skincare

This is something like the third or fourth time I've written this post.  What's the big deal, right?  Post some product shots, show some goo, talk about the scent, the effectiveness (or non-effectiveness), some ingredient listing and call it a day right?  This is probably the part of my beautification routine that gives me the most agita.  It's one thing to talk about all the things described above, but once you look at it through the lens of cost, things begin to looks altered and grotesque.

I never, ever list pricing on this blog.  This is for several reasons (good, bad and bizarre).

  • One is my supreme laziness which prohibits effort related to digging up a receipt or looking on line to look at price.  I can't even be bothered sometimes to link to a shop where products featured are available to be purchased.  
  • Another is a self-defense mechanism.  Have you ever added up the money spent on purchases?  Seeing I am generally a luxury-only consumer, this sum total would be large.  Very very very large.  Do I really want to look myself in the eye while pondering the size of my beauty purchases?
  • Also is to give impression of sanity and something akin to savvy.  Knowing details, being well spoken, being well presented gives you, the reader, some impression that I know what the heck I'm talking about.  Once the price of a specific item is revealed, you may start to question my sanity.
It's impossible to talk about the Time Response range of AmorePacific products without talking about the price.  AmorePacific in itself is a luxury skincare brand and Time Reponse is the flagship line within the brand's many offerings.  You can find various lines of AmorePacific in Sephora but the distribution of Time Response tends to be in the more upscale of the stores.

Let's come back around to all this in a bit.

A while I ago, I was living in Seoul and my apartment had the driest forced-air heating and cooling system.  My first winter there, my skin had gone from being ok to something needing some serious and urgent care.  I had started tretinoin a little prior to this and was using it like a lunatic (too often, too much) and the dry air at home and the unbelievably frigid temperatures pretty much wrecked my skin.  I had cracks that bled and the word "flakes" didn't begin to describe the patches of skin falling off my face.  (EW)

I was inspired by my colleagues and the culture of Korea which emphasized really diligent care of skin.  And since in Korea, do as the Koreans do.  I started off buying all sorts of locally available products, but it wasn't until I started to sample and try out AmorePacific's Time Reponse line that I had a skincare epiphany.  My skin, once indulged just flourished.  It doesn't hurt that in Korea, all the cosmetics brands generous give samples and gifts with purchases.  This giant Green Tea Flower Candle is one such gift.

Part of the indulgence is layering and layering of multiple products to really let the active ingredients sink into your skin and then applying a layer to protect the skin's barrier.  I'd previously been a wash & maybe slap some moisturizer kind of a person but I was completely awed with the effectiveness of this approach.

I don't use everything in this range, but use the ones I find really important.  First up is the Skin Renewal Toner which I use after washing my face.  I shake some on to a cotton pad and wipe on my face.  Toner is meant to remove impurities from the water you used to wash your face as well as to get your skin more pH balanced.  Works?  I think so.  I find that omitting this step seems to make the other stuff I use after this not soak in as quickly into the skin.
The second product I use is the lotion, called the Skin Renewal Fluid which is dispensed via a pump top.  On the one hand, it's a beautifully light moisturizer without greasiness or heaviness.  I use this as my morning moisturizer prior to my makeup application.  On the other hand, I question why I need this when I have two more steps to apply after this.
The third step is the Skin Renewal Serum.  It's supposed to be a very potent mix of botanical ingredients to regulate melanin production, brighten skin, spur collagen production among many listed benefits.  It also boosts the effectiveness of the Creme and Gel Creme when used in conjunction with those items.

And for me the last step is the Gel Creme.  I normally use the richer formulated Creme (with more Shea butter, Jojoba butter) in the winter, but I mistakenly bought the Gel Creme. -____-    I'm actually finding the Gel Creme rich enough as long as I am keeping up with the steps before it.
 I don't understand why a product would be in an open jar such as this to potentially be contaminated or oxidized.  It does come with a spatula so that I don't stick my fingers directly into the creme.

Gel Creme feels very light, but with a lot of body to the gel.  It leaves a slight stickiness to the skin once applied.
I don't use eye creams.  I feel that if the ingredients in the other products are potent enough, it should be good enough for the all of my face, including eye area.

One of the interesting feature of these products is that instead of plain old water, bamboo fluids and green tea plant fluids are used.  All of these products are chock full of botanical ingredients like bamboo sap, cactus, blah blah blah.  Everything is very scented with a nondescript botanical scent.

Amazing thing is that it really works beautifully on my skin.  I think I have better skin over the age of 40 (soon 41!) than I did in my twenties.  A good part of it is better cleansing, good genes, sunscreen use  and retin-a, but I do have to give this skincare routine it's due.  I wake up on the morning and my skin looks amazingly glowing, plump and moisturized.

Do you know what gives me all the heebie-jeebies when I write or think about this?  All the products mentioned, minus the candle (which was a gift with purchase) retail at full price for $1335.  Yes!  One thousand three hundred thirty-five dollars.  And I haven't even added an eye cream.  I usually take advantage of the various beauty events, like the Bergdorf Goodman one where I get a discount with a qualifying purchase.  But hear me, it's a SHIT LOAD of money spent regardless of the posh gift with purchase or money saved.

Now we start looking through things via a fun house mirror where I start to appear to approach a cliff called insanity.

I can't believe you are still reading this, but do I recommend it?  If you have a lot of disposable income where spending such an amount doesn't faze you, go right ahead.  Make sure to get samples first so that you can check for your own individual allergies and sensitivities.  Definitely smell it first because I don't think everyone would like the strong scent.  I do think layering the products provides the most effective results.  Definitely take advantage of the various events around.  Nordstrom during the Anniversary event offered the cream in a kit with other full-sized products also included.  Bergdorf Goodman's events is also a great time to get some dollars saved.  If you have an opportunity to shop in Korea, Lotte Duty Free in COEX has the best prices I've seen globally (also great with samples and gifts).

Though I love these products and would like to continue to use them forever, I am actually transitioning my skin care routine.  Can I get the same effects as Time Response with less expensive products?  That's the goal.  If my wandering don't work, I may need to come back to this old routine though.

Recently for cleansing, I've been using organic raw cold pressed coconut oil.  I've been using several other moisturizers and creams.  This has all been touch and go as some of them have been causing breakouts.  I've recently purchased Pixi Beauty's version of the Biologique Recherche P50 toner.  I am on the lookout for a good anti-aging serum that is very hydrating.  Any suggestions or recommendations?

I try to be myself on the blog.  Even in the worst, consumer-driven way.  Do you have any indulgences you want to share?  Surely I can't be the only lunatic around.  Meep.

Ingredients:

36 comments :

  1. I am not one to judge on spending $ for frivolous (or semi-frivolous) purposes. Approximately 100% of my truly disposable income (after bills, savings, necessary expenses, necessary clothing, saving for vacations etc) goes to makeuppy skincarey bloggy nailpolishey purposes. Okay more like 98%, with the remaining 2% going to snacks. I figure if I get $X in fun money a month, and it makes me happy to spend the entire amount on makeup every month, that's fine. Though I wish I could convince myself to save up for the Suqqu cheek brush. WANT.

    In semi-related news, I did buy a new camera! I'm way excited. And still trying to figure out how to use it. And in completely unrelated news, do you have an instagram? I want to follow you!

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    1. New camera!!! Yay! I'm excited for all the pictures, emi!! Hey, no. I don't have an IG bc I can't even deal with all the other venues. I have pinterest of doom, though, which is never updated.

      I think I need to adjust my snack:makeup fun money ratio. More peanut butter cups more peanut butter cups. Less $1000 skin care indulgences. More candy. Mo' better.

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  2. Hey, if you can afford it... the rest of us will salivate over your bamboo sap infused creams and just nod. ;)

    I used to feel so guilty about my splurges and constantly felt judged, but the one doing all the judging was actually me. Once I let go of it, it was easier to save/spend in a more balanced way and not go crazy. I've been a good girl and living frugally for the past few years, so I figure an upgrade in skin care is definitely something worth investing in later on this year when the money is there. I've been looking at the DiorSnow line -- pricy but nowhere near insane territory. :)

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    1. Your own personal observation on where the judgment was coming from really struck me profoundly. I think I am the hardest on myself. I just have a very fraught relationship with the nature of consumption in general, but I think I need to come to terms with it.

      Budget or no, though, $1000+ on something very disposable seems wacko, no? Or is it just me? Meanwhile, my skin does look really good.

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    2. Ugh, don't even get me started. I'm totally at peace with the fact that I'll always be an indulgent and heavy consumer, but it does get the occasional side eye from other more "practical" people in my life. There's really no way to justify why anyone needs 100 lipsticks or feel the need to spend $1k on skin care, other than the fact that you can afford to and want to. No one ever regrets their vacation to Hawaii, right? You chose skin care instead and loved it, so that's your great splurge and experience. Also, you were in Seoul (epicenter of vanity fair) and went native - I can totally understand how it probably felt completely normal to haul AmorePacific there even though it will feel weird and narcissistic here. If your children aren't starving and your house isn't being remortgaged to deal with the fallout, it's your money and your business how you choose to reward yourself. You just have to own the choice and try not to feel the need to defend your action.

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    3. Everything you say is truth, Liz. Eh, except the kids are only slightly hungry. But what's wrong with that? *rolls around in the AP*

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  3. I know exactly what you mean, I do list prices on my blog, and now you've made me wonder whether I should be I frequently talk about the effectiveness of a product vs price and all that shiz. Tbh though it's none of anyones business what you spend your money on!! It doesn't faze me that you spend that, I don't even want to know what i've spent.

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    1. I don't think you need to talk about the relationship to price unless you want to. I'm sure that there are high quality products for the fraction of luxury product prices that are out there. Also it's your blog, you can focus on what you like! It's just when I add up and put a number on the screen, it does really give me a big jolt!

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  4. I have no problems with spending money on things that work for you - your money, your call! I splurge on expensive skincare as well so am with you on this one. Shame we have fewer deals and samples in the UK!

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    1. Samples are really important! How do you know you want to splurge unless you know it's worthwhile?
      So many oil wells to dig up to support my spendy habits.

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  5. I try not to think too much about what I spend on skin care, because the end effect is that I have better skin, which makes me happy. And you can't put a price on happiness, RIGHT?? And the fact is that a lot of the time, a higher price tag does indicate a higher quality of ingredients, or at least a higher concentration. One thing I have found that's not too expensive is a good quality Rose Hip oil, which helps with a lot of skin concerns and does go a little easier on the wallet than some treatments.

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    1. I think you are right that a lot of higher priced products will have better quality & higher concentration of ingredients. But when I recently really looked at my discontinued hg Shu Uemura cleansing oil, there really wasn't anything in there and seemed since mineral oil (plentiful & cheap) being the biggest volume of the product really doesn't justify the price. I'm sure this is a bit of sour grapes, but that's what got me interested in coconut oil as a replacement cleanser. And $10 for a big jar that I can use to cleanse, moisturize and cook with! Hey! Not bad!

      I will look into the Rose Hip oil, too! I used to be very oblivious about ingredients and quality, but it seems like to make the better, and more informed purchasing decisions, I need to study up!

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  6. You look fabulous and to be honest I thought we were similar in age before you revealed your actual age.

    Nothing wrong with spending money on skincare that works for you. I don't get into trouble about my skincare spending but I do get in trouble for buying more eyeshadows. Australian prices are ridiculous so I look at US prices like unicorns. Some lemmings die instantly based on price...like most of the clothes/shoes/bag fantasies lol

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    1. Thank you, Linda! I act like a bozo kid, but now I am firmly entrenched into my forties. (Yayyyyy, for 40's!)
      I'm sorry your Aus prices... just... NO! I don't blame you for lemmings dying like that. Things would need to be exception to be worth the kinds of prices you need to pay. *ships you a shipping container full of cheap USD stuffs*

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  7. Thanks for certain someone, I think I have a generous set of samples of the brand! :o
    Now I'm a little afriad. What if I get hooked on them and want the whole regimen!
    I have spent more than a thousand dollars on skincare a long time ago (La Prarie, for example), but maybe I was too young at that time and didn't see any visible difference. Then I have found some affordable yet effective (enough anyway) ones and I think I'm happy with them. I do feel my skin needs more help now as I'm aging, though.
    I hope you find something as effective at a more affordable price, but hey, if not, at least you have something that really works for you well. :)

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    1. :) well, they have some much more reasonably priced things, though none I would call inexpensive. Now that I'm older with older skin, I really appreciate my skincare more. Back in the day, I didn't really need anything apart from zit & oil control things. Now I need it alllll!

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  8. Holy shizzles, 1335 dollar?! That is insane! I'd be afraid to try the products, just in case I'd fall madly in love with them and would have the keep spending insane amounts of money on them, lol :-)

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    1. I KNOWS! Isn't that nuts? I was convinced it wouldn't live up to the prices until I samples and then I was totally amazed. But I'm on a MISSION to find some cheapies! Or at least cheapER than this current routine.

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  9. Well, it IS an expensive line - but obviously (look at you!!!), it's also very effective. The highest pricepoint ever in my skincare routine was of some prescription creams (tretinoin and eczema moisturizer), but I didn't have to pay them out of pocket thanks to insurance and coupons. I think sometimes you need to spend the $$$ to get good active ingredients, although there are more brands now that try to do it on a budget, like Reviva, derma e, Paula's Choice. Please let me know how cleansing with raw coconut oil goes for you, I have a jar waiting and really want to try it too :)

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    1. Oh, did I forget to post about bathing in the blood of virgins? >:)
      Tretinoin I would pay for out of pocket and I actually do. My insurance no longer covers for us old people. They think old people don't get zits. Jerks.
      Thanks for all the brand recs, Monika!

      The coconut oil has been amazing! As far as makeup remover is concerned, everything (waterproof, too) just MELTS off. And smells delicious. Now I'm working on finishing my cleansing oil so I can turn my attention fully to coconut oil, but it's been truly amazing. Smells yummy, too.

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  10. I have had several samples of various Amore Pacific products and love everything I've tried except for one of the heavier moisturizers which was too much for my oily/combo skin. I love everything but the price, lol. However, I might have to splurge on the Age Defense Crème for $195 very soon. I've never spent that much for a face cream in all my 48 (almost 49) years. :) But I have found something quite interesting lately which might just push me over the edge.

    My teenage son has been having bad breakouts on his face for quite awhile now. It seems like we have tried everything under the sun but nothing has truly worked. So while on amazon one day I noticed people were having great results with Lerosett by Gunilla of Sweden. It's a clay mask that you're suppose to use 2x/day for about 3 weeks and then use as needed. My son started using the mask, sometimes wearing it much longer than the recommended 15-30 minutes, and one night I gave him my sample of AP enzyme peel to use after he rinsed off the mask. The previous benzoyl peroxide treatment he had tried left his skin flaky so after washing off the mask, using the enzyme peel (which btw is really gentle and wonderful), I put some of the AP Future Response Age Defense Crème (from another sample) on his face. After just a day or two of following this 3 product routine, there was considerable improvement! The improvement is still continuing. We were both amazed, and happy! :)

    So for my son's sake (and probably my other sons who I'm guessing will follow in their sister and brother's footsteps of dealing with acne as teenagers) I will probably end up purchasing a full size of this cream. I know how hard having acne as a teenager is so if this system works then I'm all for it even if it means spending $60 on the enzyme peel, $195 on a moisturizer and $35 on a clay mask.

    If you can afford the $1300 on skincare and it makes you happy, then go for it! Honestly, you'd probably find something else to spend the money on so why not spend it on something that is working for you. :)

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    1. Dawn, thank you for sharing your experience and your son's! That enzyme peel is truly gentle and wonderful stuff. I am actually on my third bottle of it. It's remarkable how well the products are agreeing with your son's skin in his sensitive state. I think it perfectly illustrates how skin care products react to an individual's skin is so very specific to that person's skin!
      :) I'm convinced I'm going to spend oodles on drugstore products trying to replicate what the AP is currently doing for me, but that seems to be my current chosen path.

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  11. I am a mom to a beautiful baby girl and very very busy. I use Cle de Peau skincare in combination with some products from Sanitas skincare (retinol resurfacing treatment) line and Dr. Hauschka once in a while. Everyday I am Really looking forward to use my skincare products. Its such a pleasure for me. All these textures and smells totally divine. Can not compare with drugstore products. I use to use only organic or natural skincare that sells in Whole foods market, but never ever had skin like I have now using my beloved Cle de peau. What can I say...I work very hard (stay at home mom) and I deserve it. Nothing else makes me feel like I am a Goddess while using CDP. Life is short...so I would never save on my skincare or makeup ( I use again Cle de peau , Tom Ford are my faves). But what I do save on is Clothes, Purses, shoes...so everyone have their own priorities

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    1. Thanks anon! I loved how you put it! That using beautiful products make you feel like a total goddess and yes! I think you are totally worth it, especially if they are working well for you.

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  12. Hey, if these work for you, you like them and can afford them well I say, go for it Darling! You have no idea how much money I spent years ago in skin care. These days I'm quite happy with a few Avène offerings and prefer to do my splurging in makeup. Talk about having my priorities straight! :D

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    1. Helene, I know you are a skincare guru. I shall have to pick your brain some for help and guidance.

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  13. Gluttony is relative -:) I say if it works for you and you can afford it - enjoy!. Good skincare does cost$$$$
    Love my Tracie Martyn firming serum, Colbert MD Illume oil and waiting to open my new Zelens goodies - a skincare overhaul is good once in awhile. I always pray to the skin g-ds that nothing ends at the same time!

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    1. Oh god! Yes, they always seem to run out at the same time and it makes me cry... a LOT! D:

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  14. I totally feel that spending a little (ok a lot) more on skincare is the basis for great makeup application, no matter your brand or type. The closer I am to 50 the more skincare is what I focus on! Yeppers couple of grand would make me faint LOL but I just never know when the bug may hit! Great post, thanks for the review.

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    1. Thanks for writing in, Sherry! I appreciate your comment. Gah! Adding it all up makes me slightly want to barf... a little.

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  15. It always look so scary when you add it all up, but somethings cannot be scrimped on... especially skincare! I've never had great skin, so if I find something that really works, I stick to it! A good anti-aging and hydrating product that i liked recently is La Mer's Hydrating Infusion. It's not a serum, but a pre-serum / post-toner / something you slap on the face in between steps. It really makes a huge different in plumping up my skin! Another one you can try is SK-II's Cellumination Mask-in Lotion. This is a lotion / toner which you pat on with your hands instead of sweeping with a cotton pad, and has nutrients in it that goes to work like a mask. Do try to get some samples if you can!

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    1. I've heard wonderful things about SK-II! And thank you for the recommendations. Adding about beauty purchases is never a good thing. Gives me a case of the "HOLY... WHAT?! WHAT?!"

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  16. so many things to comment on in this post
    - firstly. I LOVE SEOUL!! i had the most amazing time when i was there for vacation and really didn't take full advantage of all the skincare items i could have gotten. i've heard good things about amore pacific!
    - secondly, $1000! woah. but yea, it comes with the name of the brand and i'm relieved to hear that all that money wasn't spend in vain and for no results..if only they could be cheaper
    - thirdly, i'm also in a stage of skincare renewal. i've been using the Missha first essence (or whatever its called) toner and their science activator night serum (again. name escapes me...if you're up on korean skincare you might know what i'm talking about as these two are very very popular). i can't even tell if they're working me since ive been using them for so long but i do think they make my skin more soft than it has been in a long time
    BUT
    after reading kate (the driveller)'s whitening skincare routine...i've been swayed to move in that direction to try and tone down my blotych redness and dark spots...so i'm doign some research to see what i should get out there. (any hints?)

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    1. Seoul. I love Seoul to death. Of course, the only thing I really think about when I think about Seoul is food. Always food. :) Did you get to eat some delicious things when you went on vacation there? Kate's routine looks very effective. It really did show some serious results on her skin. Seeing is truly believing. I have some random pigmentation and lots of surface redness, but I'm very keen on moisturizing these days. I have to watch out for fine lines which only seem to appear when I am particularly dehydrated. I'd love to know how the whitening routine works for you.

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  17. I've added up the cost of my travel makeup bag, my entire collection, estimated how much I've spent in my life time...it's tough to shock me at this point!

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    1. !! You added the whole thing up! *faints* that's dangerous! Or... sobering.

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