BonjourHK Haul and Mini-Reviews: DHC, Hada Labo, Dr Bauer and More!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I'm always discovering new ways to buy more makeup and beauty products from, and recently I was introduced to BonjourHK's onlince website! I'm actually somewhat familiar with Bonjour, as it is a chain of stores across Hong Kong selling beauty products at accessible prices, much like Ulta (if you're in the US), Watsons, Guardian or Sasa (if you're in Asia). When I visited Hong Kong 3 years back, I stepped into quite a few Bonjour shops, although I didn't buy anything (I ended up with the smallest haul ever - sigh!). But the thing I liked about Bonjour is the eclectic mix of brands and products - there's everything from mainstream brands to niche Asian beauty brands I've never heard of before.

My BonjourHK Haul: A whole bunch of skincare and makeup items from various Asian brands

I actually never realized that Bonjour had an online website, but they do! And the website has pretty cheap shipping (which is free if you buy above a certain dollar amount threshold), and they ship internationally, too. And of course, the range of brands and types of products are just as varied as ever - there's everything from skincare to makeup to skin devices, and the brands range from fairly mainstream Asian brands (like DHC and Hada Labo) to more niche ones (like Choosy and Yu Mei). I was super excited when the package arrived, right on time within the 7-21 days window stated on the website.

BonjourHK DHC Hada Labo Dr Bauer Kobayashi Choosy Yu Mei 1
My BonjourHK Haul: Includes brands both fairly well-known, as well as some undiscovered gems

The mass of products above, as well as the fact that I actually want to do a mini-review for each product rather than just run through the haul, means that this post is going to be pretty long (and photo heavy). So if you're going to read onwards, don't forget to buckle up before you go! And if you're all ready, let's just head straight into my product-by-product quick review!

BonjourHK Dr Bauer Pore Sonic Cleanser
Dr Bauer Pore Sonic Cleanser: Asia's answer to the Clarisonic

Let's start with a product that will hopefully pique your interest, the Dr Bauer Pobling Pore Sonic Cleanser! This is basically a (much) cheaper version of some of the sonic cleaning devices out there, like the Clarisonic, the Neutrogena Wave, and so on. Like most of these devices, it comes with a stand (in the case of the Dr Bauer Sonic Cleanser, the stand comes in a few colours - gold, blue, and so on - and you can choose your stand colour, although the prices are the same). The Dr Bauer Pobling Pore Sonic Cleanser runs on AA batteries, rather than charging at its stand.

BonjourHK Dr Bauer Pore Sonic Cleanser Unboxed
Dr Bauer Pore Sonic Cleanser: A sonic cleanser that vibrates when used to help remove debris and exfoliate skin

The Pobling Pore Sonic Cleanser has a head of very fine, dense brush bristles. The bristles are really super-fine, and very soft. They also feel really luxe on the skin. There is very little chance of irritation to the skin or over-scrubbing with these bristles! They are similar to the nylon bristles you find on makeup brushes that use synthetic nylon bristles. I've tried zooming in on the brush head of the Pobling Sonic Cleanser, so you can get a sense of how fine and dense the bristles are.

BonjourHK Dr Bauer Pore Sonic Cleanser Head
Dr Bauer Pore Sonic Cleanser brush head: Very dense and soft bristles

The Dr Bauer Pobling Pore Sonic Cleanser's bristles are probably the softest among the sonic cleaning devices that I've tried before. For comparison, here is the brush head of the Pore Sonic Cleanser next to a Clarisonic Brush Head (this is the Radiance Brush Head). You can see that the Clarisonic's bristles are less fine, whereas the Dr Bauer's bristles are so fine the individual bristle strands aren't really discernible in the photo. It looks like a sponge, almost, but I promise it's not.

BonjourHK Dr Bauer Pore Sonic Cleanser Head Comparison
Dr Bauer Pore Sonic Cleanser and Clarisonic brush head comparisons, front

And here's a view from the side, where again you can see how much finer the Dr Bauer's bristles are. The good thing about having such fine, soft bristles is that there is much less irritating and "scrubbing" than the heads with coarser bristles. The con, though, is that because the bristles are so soft and dense, when you use the cleanser, although the Pobling Sonic Cleanser does vibrate, the vibrations of the cleaning brush don't really translate onto the skin - the vibrations kind of get dampened out by the softness of the bristles. I think which one you would prefer depends on how "scrubby" you want your brush to be.

BonjourHK Dr Bauer Pore Sonic Cleanser Head Comparison Side
Dr Bauer Pore Sonic Cleanser and Clarisonic brush head comparisons, side

The last difference between the Dr Bauer Pore Sonic Cleanser and the Clarisonic is that when you use the Clarisonic, only the brush head moves, and the brush head moves in a circular motion rather than vibrate. With the Dr Bauer Pobling Sonic Cleanser, the entire cleaning device - brush head, handle and all - vibrates. And it vibrates on the spot, rather than moving in a circular motion. so for those are used to the Clarisonic, this might feel quite different.

BonjourHK Dr Bauer Pore Sonic Cleanser Dismantled
Dr Bauer Pore Sonic Cleanser, dismantled:Don't forget to clean your brush head properly

Because the bristles are quite dense, I recommend that you remove the brush head from the brush after every use to give it a really good rinse to ensure there is no cleanser residue on the bristles. I also think it's best if you leave the brush head somewhere with good ventilation, where it can get dry and clean, since the bristles are quite dense.

BonjourHK Hada Labo Gokujyun Face Wash
Hada Labo Gokujyun Face Wash

Next, let's take a look at the Hada Labo Gokujyun Face Wash, which I also got as part of the haul. I've had good experiences with Hada Labo products in the past for their generally sensible, gentle and effective formulas, so I was totally expecting to like this.

BonjourHK Hada Labo Gokujyun Face Wash
Hada Labo Gokujyun Face Wash: Formulated to be gentle and hydrating to skin

I don't actually know what the ingredients are because they're written in Japanese, but on the Hada Labo website I found the following ingredients list:

Water, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-400, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Aspartate, Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, BHT, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hyaluronate, Lauric Acid, Methylparaben, PEG-32, Polyquaternium-7, Polyquaternium-52, Propylparaben, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Stearic Acid

That looked pretty gentle as a cleanser - the surfactants (Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Aspartate) are pretty gentle, there are some humectants (Glycerin, Butylene Glycol), and the other ingredients are mostly things like emulsifiers and thickeners (Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, PEG-400, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate), pH adjusters (Citric Acid), preservatives (Disodium EDTA,, Methylparaben, Propylparaben), and the like. so as a product for sensitive skin, it's fine.

BonjourHK Hada Labo Gokujyun Face Wash Swatch
Hada Labo Gokujyun Face Wash: Milky texture that foams easily and rinses cleanly

When I used the Hada Labo Gokujyun Face Wash, I found that it was pretty gentle. I'm not sure if the texture is supposed to be like this, or if mine had separated slightly due to the travel it had to endure, but it had a milky texture. It foams fairly well and rinses off cleanly, without leaving my face feeling tight or over-cleaned. I do like this cleanser, and it will definitely get use from me!

BonjourHK Hada Labo Gokujyun Face Wash pH
Hada Labo Gokujyun Face Wash: pH 5.5, which is optimal! (I hope I did it right)

And, it wouldn't be a review without a pH test! When I put my newly-ordered pH strips to the test (which I previously Instagrammed), and I tested the Hada Labo Gokujyun Face Wash both by itself, as well as with some tap water mixed in. Both times, I got the same pH reading of about pH5.5. Now this is my first time using the strips, so I hope that I didn't mess up the results or anything, but 5.5 is a pretty great pH for a cleanser, because it's in the range of the skin's pH.

Next, we have the DHC Cleansing Oil. The bottle has a cute limited edition Alice in Wonderland design, although the oil inside is the same. You basically use this as a makeup remover, and if you want, you can follow up with a separate cleanser after use. I've been a longtime user of DHC's Cleansing Oil since as far back as 2011, and I definitely will get lots of use out of this!

BonjourHK DHC Oil Cleanser
DHC Oil Cleanser: One of my all-time favourite oil cleansers

Now, on to some of the more niche products! There are some really esoteric brands in here, that even I haven't heard of (despite being born and bred in Asia), so I was pretty excited to discover these little gems.

First, the Kobayashi Lip Peeling Cream. This is made in Japan, and is basically a lip exfoliator. Since I've recently started a isotretinoin for my acne, my lips have been quite dry and peel-y, so this came at a good time! With my dry, chapped lips, I will be the ultimate lip product tester, haha.

BonjourHK Kobayashi Lip Peeling Cream
Kobayashi Lip Peeling Cream: To exfoliate and moisturize lips

For those who are wondering "Where are these random-brand cosmetics made?", the Lip Peeling Cream is made in Japan. It comes in a tiny little squeeze tube, like toothpaste. The back of the package has some instructions on how to use it, but since I don't read Japanese, I'm just going by the illustrations provided. I gather that you apply it to lips and massage in circular motions, and then sort of rub it into your lips? Not knowing any better, that's what I did.

BonjourHK Kobayashi Lip Peeling Cream Tube
Kobayashi Lip Peeling Cream: A lip scrub, with some exfoliating bits

The Lip Peeling Cream actually has a slightly thick balm, or salve-like texture, and feels quite moisturizing on my lips. It has some grains, which I think are sugar grains, to exfoliate the skin, although I'm not sure how visible they are in the photo below. At first I was worried that this form of mechanical exfoliation would be too harsh on my lips, but because the base is quite moisturizing, I didn't feel like my lips were being ripped apart, like I feared. The product also has a mild sweet-ish taste, which I guess is from the sugar grains. You can rinse the product off, or you can just leave it on for extra lip protection. I found that it did indeed help to exfoliate my lip skin nicely.

BonjourHK Kobayashi Lip Peeling Cream Swatch
Kobayashi Lip Peeling Cream: Good at exfoliating the lips without making them feel sore

Along with the Kobayashi Lip Peeling Cream, there is the PureSmile Choosy Lip Masks! For those who are wondering what on earth a lip mask is - well, just like how you have face masks, these lip masks are masks specifically for your lips, and you "paste" them on your lips for awhile, like you would a face mask, before peeling them off, with hopefully more moisturized lips! These are made in Korea, although the instructions are in Japanese, and Choosy is a Japanese brand. They have four variants of the same mask (Milk, Peach, Honey, and Herb), and the ones I got were the Milk, Peach, and Honey Lip Masks.

BonjourHK Choosy Lip Masks
PureSmile Choosy Lip Masks: Now you can give your lips the face mask treatment

The Choosy Lip Masks have the most interesting set of instructions ever. Although I can't read Korean, the illustrations at the back of the Lip Mask also indicate that you can use these as masks for your nipples! I have no idea why anyone would want to use a mask on their nipples, but I guess if your nipples get dry in the winter, or sore from breastfeeding, or other activity that involves chafing your chest area, then these would be a good idea, perhaps? If you have too many lip masks on hand, now you know what to do with them!

BonjourHK Choosy Lip Masks Instructions
PureSmile Choosy Lip Masks also have alternative uses if you don't want to use them on your lips...

Each packet only contains one mask (so yes, if you plan to use them on your nipples, you'll need two packets, or you could cut the mask into two halves), and basically you leave these on for 5-30 minutes, according to the instructions. The cool thing about these is that they are hydrogel masks, which means that the mask slowly flattens out as the hydrogel contents seep into your skin. I wanted to see how much flattening out it would do, so I ended up leaving it on for about 2 hours, just out of curiousity. In the end, there was a thin plastic sheet that was the mask backing, as well as some residual hydrogel. Once I tried removing the mask after 2 hours, I realized why the instructions give a 5-30minute timeframe - the mask will slowly also get stuck to your lips and get harder to peel off the longer you leave it on! But if that happens to you (like it did to me), don't panic! Just splasn some water onto both the mask and your skin, and the mask will come right off.

BonjourHK Choosy Lip Mask Open
PureSmile Choosy Lip Masks are actually a hydrogel lip mask

And below, you can see the Choosy Lip Mask in action! It's actually surprisingly biggeer than I thought,and covers not just the lip are but also the surrounding skin. It does stick quite well to the skin, so once it was on I didn't have to fuss too much with it.

Initially, I was like, "Pffft, lip masks, seriously? What sort of dumb gimmick is this?", but decided to give them a try since I was having dry and peely lips anyway. Turns out, the masks really worked and were much less gimmicky than I thought! I guess having dry and peely lips makes you appreciate a product that helps to hydrate your lips. These work surprisingly well, and my lips felt more moisturized, and also slightly plumper, and I noticed slightly less lip lines, too! Of course the effect isn't permanent, but it's pretty cool nonetheless. In the photo below I'm using the Milk Lip Mask, and it had a faint floral milky scent. I won't lie: using a lip mask does feel a little weird at first, but I did like the results.

BonjourHK Choosy Lip Mask Applied
Using the PureSmile Choosy Lip Mask

Lastly, let's look at the makeup items. These are both from the brand Yu Mei. I got a Triple Action Lip Reshaping Lip Lipstick and Lipgloss duo in the shade #04, and a Double Action Foundation Concealer Pen, which appears to come in only one shade.

BonjourHK Yu Mei Foundation Concealer Lipstick Lipgloss
Yu Mei Triple Action Lip Reshaping Lip and Double Action Foundation Concealer Pen

Initially, because of the packaging, and the name of the brand, I though that it was a Chinese brand that was made in China. I'm still not sure whether Yu Mei is a Chinese brand or not (they have a Hong Kong website and a Japanese one), but the products themselves are made in Korea, and the instructions on the back are in Japanese. So for those who were curious, now you know!

BonjourHK Yu Mei Made in Korea Makeup
Yu Mei's cosmetics are actually made in Korea

Let's start off with the Triple Action Lip Reshaping Lip #04. This is a double-ended lipstick/lipgloss combo. One side is basically a lipstick, with a lipbalm core in the middle.

BonjourHK Yu Mei Flawless Triple Action Lip Reshaping Lipstick Lipgloss
Yu Mei Flawless Triple Action Lip Reshaping in shade #04

The other end is a lipgloss in a tiny container with a doe foot applicator.

BonjourHK Yu Mei Flawless Triple Action Lip Reshaping Lipstick Lipgloss 1
Yu Mei Flawless Triple Action Lip Reshaping in #04

And, swatches! The lipstick side is a cool-toned medium pink, while the lipgloss side is a slightly warmer coral-pink. Both have decent pigmentation but are not "one-swipe-and-100%-coverage" type of massively pigmented. The texture is a tad waxy, as is typical of cheaper lipsticks, but nothing too alarming.

BonjourHK Yu Mei Flawless Triple Action Lip Reshaping Lipstick Lipgloss Swatch
Yu Mei Flawless Triple Action Lip Reshaping #04 swatches: Both the gloss and the lipstick are different shades of pink

And for anyone curious, here are the ingredients. They're not anything unusual, as far as ingredients go - mostly various waxes, oils, polymers and silicones to help the product glide better on the lips.

BonjourHK Yu Mei Flawless Triple Action Lip Reshaping Lipstick Lipgloss Ingredients
Yu Mei Flawless Triple Action Lip Reshaping Ingredients: Various oils, polymers, and waxes give the products their feel on lips

Next, let's move on to the Double Action Foundation Concealer Pen. Again, this is a double-ended wand, with a concealer on one end, and a foundation on the other. Here's the concealer end:

BonjourHK Yu Mei Flawless Double Action Foundation Concealer Pen 1
Yu Mei Flawless Double Action Foundation Concealer Pen

And here's the foundation end:

BonjourHK Yu Mei Flawless Double Action Foundation Concealer Pen 2
Yu Mei Flawless Double Action Foundation Concealer Pen

Again, swatches! The shades are somewhat darker than my NC20 skin, and a bit yellowe, too. I would peg them at maybe NC25ish. Both the foundation and concealer in the duo do have good pigmentation, even if the feel of the products is on the thicker side, and not as lightweight or aesthetically elegant as some of the more expensive brands. Still, it's pretty handy for travel and touch-ups, and they apply in a fuss-free manner.

BonjourHK Yu Mei Flawless Double Action Foundation Concealer Pen Swatch
Yu Mei Flawless Double Action Foundation Concealer Pen Swatches: A medium yellow-beige shade with good pigmentation

And below, the ingredients for the Double Action Foundation Concealer Pen. Again, the ingredients are fairly standard - the bulk of the product consists of there are emollients, waxes, polymers and silicones to give the product a smoother feel.

BonjourHK Yu Mei Flawless Double Action Foundation Concealer Pen Ingredients
Yu Mei Flawless Double Action Foundation Concealer Pen Ingredients: A basic but effective formulation that does the job

On the whole, I felt the Yu Mei products didn't really wow me, although they were definitely servicable. I think because they were rather basic and utilitarian products, they lacked the "wow" factor that I've been accustomed to seeing in some higher-end brands. But given the price point - these are, after all, quite cheap - I don't think I can complain. After all, noone buys Wet n' Wild and complains that it isn't luxe enough, so in the same vein, I think that for the price, you get fair value.

BonjourHK DHC Hada Labo Dr Bauer Kobayashi Choosy Yu Mei 3
My BonjourHK Haul: My favourites were the skincare items, including the ones that were a pleasant surprise to discover

So, what did I think of my BonjourHK haul? There's a lot to like, and I think for me the skincare items were great. I really liked the Hada Labo cleanser, as well as the DHC Oil Cleanser, and these are my top picks that I think are definitely worth getting. The niche skincare items, such as the Dr Bauer Pobling Sonic Cleanser, the Kobayashi Lip Peeling Cream, and the Choosy Lip Masks, were also surprisingly fun to use and effective as well. While they might seem a bit gimmicky, I found that they worked well and were actually pretty useful to have. Perhaps the only products that I weren't as keen on were the Yu Mei products. They weren't necessarily bad, but I just wasn't as wowed by them as the rest of my haul. Overall, I was quite pleased with my haul, and I can't complain.

(Product was sent for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)


  1. Awesome!! I love bonjour but I've always hesitated to try their weird brands. My best couple of bonjour buys were 3ce on super clearance at like below $10 per item!!!!

  2. The brand's name is actually Pure Smile, the product name is Choosy. Pure Smile is a budget Korean brand that is made specifically for the Japanese market. It started out as a very (and I mean very) low end brand, their products were found at Daiso and in sales bins, and needless to say were not popular at all. It has done a lot damage to their image, and now Pure Smile is working hard to recover that image and reinvent itself as a hip and cool drugstore brand.
    Even though their masks are featured in magazine articles, and so on, the memory of the cheap and tacky snail hand cream and totally horrid yoghurt face packs lingers on. I think Pure Smile is more popular outside of Japan than in Japan, which was supposed to be its intended market.

    1. @2catsinjapan: Thanks for sharing more on PureSmile! I've actually never heard of this brand before and was curious about its background, and you've really filled me in on the brand! I didn't know they had such a reputation in Japan (I guess going straight to the bargain bin is not a great strategy), but I found the lip masks to be surprisingly better than I thought they would be. But now at least I have some knowledge of which products of theirs are good and which aren't!

  3. I'm so down for those lip masks just because of the packaging. I'm such a lip related stuff hoarder hahaha I'm pretty set on my skincare routine right now, but I really want to get the DHC cleansing oil. Cleansing oils have definitely been my favorite skin care item these past few years. They get everything off my face and let me get a small facial massage as well (:


Thank you for commenting! I read each and every single comment! If you ask a question in your comment, please check back to this post, as I will reply in a comment to this post as well :) Please note that comments with soliciting links to shops or websites will be removed. Thanks!


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