Edit Jan 22, 2020
I downgraded to 3 lippies. Overall I don't think this does much, so I don't think I'll repurchase. I'm going to finish it though. See my original review below.
I purchased the AmorePacific Essential Icons kit from Sephora, which included small travel sized versions of the Treatment cleansing foam (15mL), Treatment enzyme peel cleansing powder (5g), Vintage single extract essence (30mL), and Essential creme fluid (30mL). I mainly purchased the kit for the essence.
If you read the AmorePacific website, they go into great detail about how the essence is made from hand-picked green tea leaves from Jeju Island, fermented for 100 days, and then extracted for 24hrs. Green tea has long been studied for its antioxidant properties, and this essence promises to improve skin clarity, firmness, and texture.
I am in my 30s, have oily/dehydrated skin that is acne prone. I struggle with redness around my nose/mouth, uneven skin tone and texture, and larger pores on my cheeks.
The full size bottle comes in 2 sizes - 70 mL and 120 mL. It is a heavy, frosted glass bottle with a a tiny opening and minimalist vibe. The trial size bottle in the kit doesn't have a minimizer in the bottle opening, so I decanted it into a small bottle with a flip cap so I can better control the amount dispensed into my hand. The glass bottles wouldn't be travel friendly, so that's something to consider.
The essence is a brownish coloured liquid, very watery in texture. There are no added dyes or fragrances. There is no stickiness or greasy residue after this product absorbs. Only the 120mL size is available in Canada at Sephora, retailing for $200 CAD. The ingredients are as follows:
Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin.
I've only tried one other essence before (Kiehl's iris extract activating essence), and it was fine - it did make my skin another and more hydrated, but I was looking for something more. The reviews I read for this essence either said it was amazing or did nothing, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I dispensed 4 drops into my palm and patted onto my clean skin twice a day for 3 days and I have to say I think it actually does what it promises. I have discolouration around my nose/mouth, hyperpigmentation from previous acne marks, and darkness around my eyes when I'm tired. My skin texture was pretty smooth but I did want to refine it further. I don't really have issues with wrinkles or sagging skin yet.
After 3 days, I noticed that the discolouration and hyperpigmentation is actually improved, where I don't feel awful without makeup (i.e. I don't look so sallow and ghoul-like). It absorbs quickly without stickiness or greasiness, but hydrates and preps the skin nicely for other treatments to follow. My skin is also smoother than before I started using it. I also want to note that just before starting this product I had a few areas on my face that felt like pimples were starting to brew (there were some lumps and bumps) and after 3 days they just disappeared. I have started to use a Jade guasha tool to massage my face before applying the essence, which I feel is helping with lymphatic drainage around my jaw line. It didn't cause any breakouts or anything weird to my skin.
I really like this essence, and I feel like it does what it claims. It has greatly reduced my discolouration and hyperpigmentation on my face in just a few days, and it does make my skin feel smoother and more hydrated. I'm just kind of bummed out because it's so expensive! But it's a good product to splurge on during the Rouge/VIB events at Sephora. For travel I recommend decanting some into a small bottle. For reference I use this product along with Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos serum and Firma-C serum, facial oils and sunscreen daily.