I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
I am a sucker for cute packaging, which makes my local TONYMOLY store a dangerous place. TONYMOLY is a drugstore Korean beauty brand that’s best known in North America for its makeup/toy hybrid objects. Do you like hand cream? Would you like it better if it came inside a surprisingly sturdy plastic peach? Well, TONYMOLY has you covered.
In a recent moment of weakness, I walked out of TONYMOLY with a handful of panda-related products:
- Panda's Dream Brightening Eye Base
- Panda’s Dream Eye Patch
- Double Needs PangPang Mascara (which promises “No Panda!” on the package)
After some serious mulling, I realized that “panda” is shorthand for “dark circles around your eyes.” The panda dreams of being a fresh-faced polar bear. A quick look at the TONYMOLY site confirmed it: the Panda’s Dream line is mostly “brightening” products that “make Panda becomes to be a white bear.” These aren’t whitening products (as far as I can tell), but there’s still some weird undertones to all this.
If TONYMOLY is going to become a big brand in North America, they might need to rethink the whole cartoon-bear-white-supremacy thing. But the question remained: was this trio of anti-panda products any good? Or I had just been duped by cute packaging?
Panda's Dream Brightening Eye Base
Cuteness rating: 5/5
Efficacy rating: 1/5
I had the highest hopes for this because it’s the cutest. When I bought it, I had no idea what it was for. After some googling, I discovered that it’s supposed to be a combination of primer, eye serum and brightening cream that offers “portable and quick coverage by one-touch.” It contains haloxyl, an ingredient that may reduce dark circles over time.
Despite some good reviews on Sephora.com, I have no idea how this product covers anything. It’s translucent white! Even though I’m really pale, it offered no coverage. In photos, my dark circles were very visible.
This product could be useful if you really want to wear an eye serum during the day. This eye base doesn’t look greasy, and it seem like an okay primer for under-eye concealer. Personally, I can’t handle adding ANOTHER primer to my routine. It’s too much. I’m already doing face primer and eyeshadow primer. A third primer is just madness. (Also, I’m skeptical about how effective the serum is).
Panda’s Dream Eye Patch
Cuteness rating: 4/5
Efficacy rating: 4/5
The panda theme continues with these inexpensive sheet masks for the eyes. They contain bamboo extract, vitamin B, glycerin, and aloe vera.
These worked really well—my eye area looked plumper, smoother and all-around less haggard after I wore the patches for 30 min. The patches felt lovely and cool the whole time. The only thing I don’t like about them is the excessive packaging. I feel guilty using this much plastic for one “serving” of eye gel.
Double Needs PangPang Mascara
Cuteness rating: 1/5
Efficacy rating: 3.5/5
I bought this mascara in 04, Brown, because I wanted a lighter mascara for a summery, less made-up look. Overall, it’s a pretty decent inexpensive mascara. It makes good on the “no panda” promise, but it’s a little hard to wash off.
Now that I’ve looked at TONYMOLY site, I kind of regret not buying one of the other more exciting PangPang mascaras, like 02 Curling Pang, which offers “thrilling dimension of Kill Heel Curling.” I have no idea what this means, but I’m intrigued.
- Does anyone have any TONYMOLY products that they love?
- Is anyone else troubled by the “white bear” thing?
- What do you do with a product once you’ve opened it, used it a couple times, and decided you hate it?