CosRX Galactomyces 95 Toner Balancing Essence

One day, I woke up and decided I was bored with applying Cerave PM every single day. I know, complete blasphemy, right? Cerave PM is amazing. But I wanted to switch up my niacinamide treatment, so I picked up this product from CosRX.

I love CosRX for both their packaging simplicity, and their short ingredient lists. The product — clear, watery gel — can be seen from the outside of the bottle. You don’t need too much of the product, it’s easily spreadable once on the skin. The absorption time is a bit long — probably close to 5 minutes — and sits “tacky” on the skin even when dried. Considering the tackiness, though, it doesn’t pill up against other products as much as I thought it would.

Sadly, it turns out my skin is pretty sensitive to this product, so I wasn’t able to use it enough to see the long term results. For the short-term, I didn’t really see anything noticeable, not quite the way The Ordinary’s Niacinamide temporarily turned my skin into glass.

I tried this out both morning and night. A few hours after, I noticed quite a bit of pore congestion, and I believe I had some small breakouts from that. There’s no alcohol in this product, so my suspicion is that my breakouts are related to the fermented ingredients. Case in point, I used to use My Beauty Diary Natto Masks (natto = fermented soybean) religiously, with no issues whatsoever. Freakin’ love that sheet mask. But one day, a year and a half later, these masks started to have roughly the same effect on me that Galactomyces has on me now: it caused crazy pore congestion and breakouts.

I would tread carefully if you have sensitive skin. Cerave PM is probably a much safer option if you’re prone to breakouts. This is also relatively pricey — $18 — although you do get quite a bit of product. If you’ve been able to try this product out to see any long-term results, please comment and let me know how you like it!

Side note: You may also recognize this product as “Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence”. I think the renaming was probably for the best… ~A

Try out Galactomyces here:

Perceived efficacy: 1/5

Longevity: 3/5

How much I actually like this product: 2/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: No


Essence Extreme Lasting Eye Pencil

Another cheapie that’s worth a try while filling up your basket at Ulta with things you don’t need, but “it’s only 2.99, so I might as well!”

Packaging for this eyeliner is the a very common twist up pencil. This is a gel-like, wax-based pencil. Due to the softness of it’s composition, be careful while applying, since the tip can fall off. However, this happens far less often for this eyeliner than I’ve seen with others in the same gel-liner category (I’m looking at you, Colourpop!)

I LOVE how this applies. Absolutely beautiful and smooth. Due to the ease of application, I can finish my look in under 30 seconds for each eye. I have this in “But First, Espresso” (dark brown) — like with other Essence products, dark browns do skew more black and it’s hard to make out any tinges of brown, but that’s okay with me. The problem I have with the majority of eyeliners is that it can be difficult to line the skin right above the root of your lashes. But this “bleeds” just enough to pick up to make that a non-issue.

Now, unfortunately… again, like most gel liners, this transfers like CRAZY. Although it does “dry” quickly after initial application, I’ve definitely noticed transfer lines throughout the day while wearing this. Oddly enough, though, I’ve never looked in the mirror and been like, “Wow all the eyeliner is gone from where I initially applied it!”, despite all of the transferring. The look really will stay for very close to eight hours, a well-intentioned stab at living up to it’s “Extreme lasting” label.

I probably wouldn’t rebuy this due to the transferring issue. But for a $3 pencil, the overall application is outstanding, and it didn’t cause any issues for my sensitive eyes!

Can’t get to Ulta? Pick up the product here:

Perceived efficacy: 4/5

Longevity: 2/5

How much I actually like this product: 3/5

Essence Make Me Brow Gel Mascara

Essence Make Me

This will be a quickie review, since there’s not a whole lot to say about brow gel. I grabbed this at Ulta awhile ago when I saw it priced for $3. Considering that price, it’s been great — it was a staple in my makeup bag when the tube was new, and I think it would be ideal for travelling, due to the size.

The initial color on this is great — brown is actually brown, not black. Unfortunately once you get halfway down the tube, that color seems to fade and it’s much less intense than when the package was first opened. The staying power on this gel is pretty impressive throughout the day — it doesn’t flake off, and the color only starts to disappear around the 7-8 hour mark (which is usually when I stop caring, anyway).

I’ve NEVER had an issue with this product smearing, even immediately after application — this is a big one for me because my hair gets in my face a lot and I rub my eyes way more than I should. The wand is perfect size for my not-so-big natural eyebrows, which makes the application much simpler.

Make Me Brow Brow Gel is cheaper in Ulta than on Amazon, but if you need to take the Amazon route, click here:

Perceived efficacy: 4/5

Longevity: 3.5/5

How much I actually like this product: 4/5