Iā€™m Kristel. I vlog. I blog. Professional makeup artist based in Manila. 300 hours training in Make Up For Ever Academy, Seoul, South Korea. I live makeup, you have no idea.

Monthly Skincare Snippets: Laneige Essential Care Trial Set (Light) for February 2014!

Hello everyone! As we close June, I thought I'd bring everyone up to speed with my belated series of 2014: the Monthly Skincare Snippets :)

Monthly Skincare Snippets is a year-long project of mine using one skincare set consistently for a month. I only have two rules: use it at night and don't allow more than seven days of non-usage. I wanted to set a period of usage for products (one month) instead of waiting for them to get emptied. This is my way of making a dent on the various skincare samples I've accumulated. 
You may read more here.

So for February, I took up a set I bought late last 2013. I was scrounging around Laneige Magnolia, looking at the CC Cushion for the fifty billionth time, when I thought to look around the skincare counter.

At the time, I was hearing a lot of raves about the sleeping pack and asked more about it. Billie, the SA who entertained me, told me it was the final step in skincare. It's not to be washed off but rather, left as an overnight layer. I wasn't really interested in additional skincare steps then so I looked at the regular skincare. Everything came out to about Php 1000-2000.

I commented that it was a bit expensive for trial, especially since I had no prior experience with Laneige, so Billie peeked into my mind and took out my one true weakness: MINIATURES!

review laneige essential care trial set light
Laneige Essential Care Trial Set (Light), Php 1950

Not exactly miniatures as these are deluxe trial sizes, but you get the point.


Php 1950, available at Laneige boutiques in SM Aura, Trinoma, SM MOA and Robinson's Manila, Galleria and Magnolia.

Product Description:

Laneige's Essential Care Trial Set comes in two variants: Light for oily skin and Moisture for dry skin. Both have the same components, with appropriate variants for the Refiner (toner) and Emulsion. I ended up with Light because no Laneige in the Philippines seems to carry Moisture.

The Essential Care trial set is a mish-mash of best-sellers from the Cleansing, Basic Care, Water Bank and Special Care lines. Their skincare categories can be confusing at first, but they're actually grouped according to purpose and so to compile the ideal layered routine, you will definitely have to skip across multiple lines.

Laneige Essential Care Trial Set (Light), Php 1950

Here are the contents of the kit and their respective lines, in proper order:
  • Laneige Multi Cleanser (Cleansing), 30ml
  • Laneige Power Essential Skin Refiner - Light (Basic Care), 50ml
  • Laneige Balancing Emulsion - Light (Basic Care), 50ml
  • Laneige Water Bank Essence (Water Bank), 30ml
  • Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream (Water Bank), 20ml
  • Laneige Water Sleeping Pack_EX (Special Care), 20ml

On the accessories: I don't like how the pouch has a cloth backing and base. It makes it very bathroom-unfriendly. On the other hand, I am very grateful for the inner stopper on each bottle. That makes the set extra-travel friendly as there's less chance of spillage when taken inside the pressurized plane cabin.

How to Use:

Use the Essential Care set in the order I listed above. Use the Sleeping Pack once or twice a week. I followed these instructions but found no improvement in my skin. By the third week, I realized how using the super juiced-up Sleeping Pack every day might move things along, since this set was designed for people with oily skin anyways. And it worked :) That's when I started to feel my skin so healthy and plump even up to the following morning.

Laneige's products are scented and the pamphlet has highly detailed instructions on how to use each product. For most of it, you're encouraged to incorporate smell therapy by first smelling the dispensed product on your hand. Then, apply massage therapy by spreading the creams using your fingertips over your face. There's also a face massage I did most of the time:

Make skincare therapeutic. Because it is.

You're also supposed to use a very measured amount of product like 0.2 cm or 0.4 ml, but I don't even know how to eyeball that so I just used what my face could absorb.


Laneige embraces the Korean trend of a layered approach to skincare. I didn't agree with it at first because to me, any other cream outside one serum and one moisturizer was overkill and probably predatory marketing.

After some time spent in my skincare journey, I'm more accepting of this trend. The idea, like in painting your nails, is that several thin layers are better than one thick layer. The initial thinner layers get "impacted" into your pores while the succeeding thicker layers sit on top, sealing the moisture.

This was the first time I felt my skin still plump the morning after. I've never before felt that feeling of washing my face and having my hands slip and glide around so smoothly because my skin was already so full of moisture.

Average skincare sets will remove my bumps and smoothen me out, but there's always that teensy bit of friction and grip when I wash my face the morning after. The friction feels like rinsing a perfectly clean plate whereas with Laneige, it's slippery almost as if there was still a bit of cream on it. I thought it was residue, but even as I kept washing my face, the slippery texture remains.

I would've never even known the difference prior to using Laneige.

Here's a quick commentary on each product. Take note of the progression of thickness from the Emulsion onwards:

  • Multi Cleanser - A thick and very foamy cleanser. It gets a little too stripping at times and I always rush toward the emulsion stage of this set because it dries me up too much. Scented.

  • Power Essential Skin Refiner - Light - A clear, watery toner. Nothing much to be said since the cleanser does already strip a lot. I can't tell how good it is for balancing oily skin as I have dry skin. Scented.

  • Balancing Emulsion - Light - A watery moisturizer that is an absolute joy to apply. Scented. Begin observing the progression of the textures from this point onward.

  • Water Bank Essence - A runny gel, which somehow mattifies the previous wet layers. Scented.

  • Water Bank Gel Cream - A creamy gel moisturizer. It doesn't dry as quickly but I do feel like it effectively seals in all the previous layers. Scented.

  • Water Sleeping Pack_EX - A lightweight pack that's HIGHLY moisturizing. I think the cleanser and toner dry me up but this goes a long way in re-moisturizing me, and then some. Scented.


Scent therapy and ease of application. I did not mind doing so many steps when everything smelled so good and was super easy to apply on top of each other. The fragrance is very classy; powerful yet not overwhelming. It was a perfumey and leafy scent that had great presence but never got close to sickening.

This set is a great introduction to Laneige's skincare and helped me learn a lot about their skincare philosophies. Currently, I'm quite interested to check out more from the Special Care line :)


I'll trade this off for the Moisture variant because I wonder how much better it could make my skin. I wouldn't really buy this again because, while good, it was not designed for my skin type. I would rather find the perfect set than make-do with one that solves problems it creates for itself.

Beauty by Tellie score: 4.75 / 5 - I've got HG material here, I just can't be sure since I got a set that isn't meant for my skin type.

Part of what elevates this set is the impressive skincare philosophy Laneige embodies. Layering isn't all that attractive but it is highly effective because each step in this set was designed to go perfectly on top of the other. My swatches show a very drippy and watery emulsion, gradually building up to a final, thick-bodied layer of the Water Bank Gel Cream.

Toilet Literature Great instructions from Laneige

The products don't get sticky despite the numerous steps, and it doesn't take longer than a moment for each layer to dry up and prep for the next.

With detailed instructions on how much product to dispense, to a methodic and mapped out facial massage to perform upon application, I can't help but make a ritual of my own nightly routine. Anything that helps in this department is a win, as I often find skincare a bothersome chore.

By the way, it made my skin super soft and juicy, if that counts for anything. (It means everything!)

P.S. If you're buying in Robinson's Magnolia, do look for Billie. She's the absolute sweetest! She took note of products that interested me while I was shopping and gave those as freebies when she rang up my purchases.

I mentioned that I tried some of my sister's Yogurt Peeling Gel, and she gave me a sachet so I could try it again. She also gave me some White Essence, because she loves it and I "should try it." Then, she gave me the Moisture variant of the Refiner because I was worried the one that came with the set would dry me up. She would've given me the Moisture variant of the Emulsion, too, they just ran out of stock. When I said I knew about the Sleeping Pack as a best-seller, she gave me a sample of the new release, the Firming Sleeping Pack. Lastly, when I lamented the fact that the set didn't include a spatula for the creams, she got one from their supplies for me :)

Considering that I bought only Php 1950 worth of product, and that GWP promos usually start at Php 3000 or Php 5000, I was very happy with how generous and accommodating she was. This may not be a big deal to international shoppers, but Philippine-based SAs are notoriously stingy and unhelpful, even to paying customers.

Yay, Billie!

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