By the way, according to both the US as well as the Japanese official websites, you're supposed to apply this emulsion with a cotton pad like you would a toner O.o Yeah, my reaction exactly, especially when neither websites care to explain why. Nordstrom is just a tad better, saying using a cotton pad would provide "ideal application and absorption," but still no explanation as to what is it about this emulsion that requires cotton pad application. At least with a toner, a cotton pad provides the extra physical exfoliation in addition to making it much easier to apply a runny/watery liquid (unless you prefer to splash it directly onto your skin like I do with SK-II Facial Treatment Essence). Even if they say it's for the physical exfoliation, what to make of the two Balancing Lotions in the step before then, both of which also require cotton pad application? Double exfoliation, every single day? Is this luxury really to pamper or torture my skin?
And why am I questioning the authoritative instructions? Because this emulsion is neither watery or runny. Hell, it's not even slightly viscous! It's just thick (picture below), thicker than the vast majority of facial emulsions, lotions and milks, even thicker than the Japanese sunscreens I wear regularly (Allie Extra UV Gel Mineral Moist N SPF50+ PA+++ still takes the cake though...)! Would you apply any of the above with a cotton pad? No? Me neither. Unless I'm missing something major, I honestly don't see how a cotton pad would help with this emulsion's absorption, that is, unless they were talking about it absorbing into the cotton pad! In that case, I just want to point out the full size of this product costs a cool $130. How wasteful. Not cool.
Cle de Peau Beaute Glow Fall 2012 Mook I bought in Taipei.
The mook came with the below freebies:- Top row, left to right: The Cream 2g, Gentle Cleansing Foam 6g, and Gentle Balancing Lotion 12mL.
- Bottom row, left to right: Cleansing Cream 9g, this Gentle Protective Emulsion SPF25 PA++ 5mL, and Gentle Nourishing Emulsion 5mL.
- A travel size packet of cotton pads.
So take a look at this emulsion. It's texture is like a slightly curdled yogurt and it goes on like a light cream. That is not to say it's heavy, it's not. It's quite light going on, pretty much identical to many Japanese sunscreens. It dries to a dewy matte finish and turns my skin quite smooth, which makes it an excellent makeup base. And unlike Japanese sunscreens, the majority of which can be quite drying, this emulsion is wonderfully moisturizing on its own, and even when I layer it over several other products it still doesn't not turn my skin greasy throughout the course of the day. That said, it's not perfect and will melt around the eye area after just a couple of hours as I have very oily lids. When this happens, I always know because it will seep into my eyes and sting like hell. Good thing I tried this at home! Big no-no.
It smells really nice though ^.^ more powdery than the Cle de Peau Beaute Cream Cleanser, like a more sophisticated version of the original Nivea cream. But of course, none of this justifies the $130 tag. I would rather they either leave out the ho-hum SPF altogether and just make it a nice but pricey emulsion, or make it a full fledge, albeit crazy expensive, sunscreen. Or wait, they already have one, and note the US version of this sunscreen is different than its Japanese counterpart, having a different formula.