Korea truly is the land of the cute – I mean, yes, Japan is also the holder of such a title, but Korea is mad for anything that just makes you go ‘awwww’, or in my case, squeal with delight. There are times when it gets too much (I’m looking at you, matching couple outfits), but generally I’m enjoying living in a land where wearing Doraemon socks doesn’t make you look like a 7 year old.
Bearing this in mind, imagine how excited I was to find out that Holika Holika (and I know I only just posted a review about one of their products, sorry) were releasing a new range of products. Not just any old range – a Gudetama range! This cute little egg character hails from Japan and is from the makers of Hello Kitty (Sanrio), so you know it’s bound to be adorable. ‘Gude’ comes from Japanese onomatopoeia, meaning someone with no energy, and ‘tama’ is from the word ‘tamago’, which means ‘egg’. Gudetama is, of course, a lazy egg. Strange concept, but whatever, it works – this little guy is darn cute.
This can’t-be-bothered-with-anything egg is a hit in Korea, too, and Holika Holika have embraced this, introducing their new range of products with his sweet little face (or bum, as he often has that on show) all over them.
The range was released on Friday the 13th (argh!), so on Saturday I made a trip to downtown Busan to explore the two stores in Seomyeon – hoping beyond hope they hadn’t sold out of anything. I’m sure if I had been in Seoul, the displays would have been more impressive, but they were nice enough for sure. Bright yellow shelving guided me towards the products, and I was pleasantly surprised with how good they looked – I hadn’t known what to expect other than little Gudetama’s face slapped all over some products, all in the name of gimmick.
The full range is as follows:
Smooth Egg Peeling Gel
Lazy & Easy Cream Blush
Lazy & Easy Face 2 Change BB Cushion Compact
Character Mask Sheet
Cleansing Sheet and Mask
Quick Nail Kit
Lazy & Easy All in One Master
Lazy & Easy Oil to Foam Cleanser
In late May, dry shampoo and lip tints are to follow and complete the collection.
The products are well designed and the theme is clearly ‘easy to use’. It seems to target those who don’t want to spend hours on their make-up or skincare routine – the oil to foam cleanser is something I currently use instead of an oil cleanser then followed by a foam, making life much easier, and the All in One Master is an essence and serum at the same time. Combining two steps from a routine together certainly does appeal if you’re either short for time or lazy, just like Mr. Gude himself.
I haven’t tried all the products yet, but I’ll leave a mini review for the ones I have done. The nail stickers don’t need any page space – they’re cute as hell, let’s leave it at that. We all know we’d wear them every day if we could. The first things I tried were the character sheet mask and the peeling gel. I’ll start with the face mask.
Gudetama Character Sheet Mask
The packaging on this one is obviously very sweet. It costs 2,000w per pack, so that’s roughly €1.50/$1.70/£1.18 (at the time of writing). It states that it:
restores the balance of tired skin with soothing essence containing vitamins.
First cleanse, then tone, and put on this sheet mask as your next skincare routine step. Ingredients include calendula extract, aloe leaf extract, tea tree leaf water, and even egg yolk extract (well, it is Gudetama). These ingredients condition and calm skin, so in theory it looks like a pretty nice mask to look forward to at the end of a hard Monday’s work.
As I pressed the mask onto my face it was pretty evident that it wasn’t going to fit well. The space for my mouth wasn’t quite right in relation to my eyes, meaning the part between my lips and nose hung awkwardly over my top lip. I pushed it into position, but the fit wasn’t quite right and there seems to be a lot of sheet towards the outer part of the mask compared to in the middle. It does soothe somewhat, and it isn’t irritating or too rough, so the feel is nice. There is a hefty amount of liquid in it, and as I took it off my face after the 15 minutes it advises, it took a while to pat into the skin. So it is certainly loaded with product.
While fragrance is listed as being the last on the ingredients list, it certainly is strong. As I took it out the packaging, I got a whiff of the scent, and whilst it isn’t bad, it is a little too much. Luckily the smell doesn’t linger, and it was only my initial reaction to it that was slightly off-putting. After 15 minutes, my skin does feel smooth and calm – I have some spots under my eyes at the moment and I could feel the effect of the mask on them as a slight tingle.
Verdict: If they changed the shape of the mask, I probably would consider using it again as a calming mask to soothe tired skin. I’ve used better masks recently (Nature Republic Snail Mask springs to mind), but it did seem to have a cooling and relaxing effect.
7/10 overall. 1 hour later my skin is still feeling good.
The next product I tested was the peeling gel. It was my first time using a peeling gel, and I’ve got to say, I really like it. The packaging is great (although I’m worried about the shape of it when the gel starts to run low – the design means it looks like it’ll be difficult to get it out), and you don’t have to use much so it will go a long way. Squeeze a small amount onto your fingertips, and rub into your face, constantly rubbing for 2-3 minutes.
After just a minute, some skin started coming off my face, so it does seem to be effective. I say some, as peeling gel naturally balls up, as it were, when you rub – some of it is the product itself binding together, and some of it is your skin. Peeling gel gets rid of icky dead skin, and it is recommended no more than twice a week. Once is advisable. Never overdo this! Whilst the ingredients are not strong chemicals by any means (I know most equate skin peeling with something strong), as with exfoliation, you shouldn’t overdo it. This is basically another way of exfoliating. After rubbing it into your skin and seeing the skin come off, wash the face thoroughly with warm water, and continue with your routine.
The day I used this, my skin felt really good and much cleaner, if that is a good way to describe it. It felt just that bit softer, and I did notice change to the skin on my forehead, which seemed a little less oily and just looked more even all over. If you have sensitive skin I’d recommend this product, as it wasn’t harsh and is much nicer than an exfoliation (which I hate on my skin). Use it if scrubs or things with bits in are too much for your poor skin!
Verdict: I really liked this product. I like the packaging, the fact that it doesn’t have any kind of scent to it, and what it did to my skin. The only way it could be improved is if the product didn’t come out too quickly from the container (I have to be careful not to squeeze too much out, it comes out easily), and time will tell how awkward it is to get out when it runs low. At 7.900w (€5.91/£4.66/$6.70) it isn’t pricey either.
And to conclude, here are my pictures of the full haul, and of the Holika Holika store displays. Happy Gude-ing!