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NOW READING I Discovered an HG Cleansing Balm — & AQUTOP’s Other Stuff Is Legit, Too
October 14, 2018

I Discovered an HG Cleansing Balm — & AQUTOP’s Other Stuff Is Legit, Too

Beauty writers have a tough job: We have to test a lot of product. (Boo hoo, we know.) But tbh, most of the the time, the products we’re testing are fair to middling. And then there are those times when the clouds part and angels sing: We’ve discovered a holy grail. Here, one such writer on the moment she discovered an HG while reviewing AQUTOP skincare.


I previously wrote about AQUTOP’s color cosmetics line, which I really liked. Here, I’m going to explore their skincare line, which is dedicated to retaining moisture and slowing down the effects of aging using top-notch, hydrating ingredients. So let’s dig in.


The Cacao Nibs line


I was quite excited to try this line, as every product is infused with cacao. What does that mean, exactly?


Basically, you’re about to have a luxurious, anti-aging, firming moment with some serious antioxidant power. Cacao has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any of its superfood counterparts, as well as the ability to restore elasticity and bring nutrition to the skin, making it — IMO — one of the most underrated skincare ingredients in K-beauty.


aqutop skincare


All In One Nibs Cleansing Balm


I’ve been in sort of a limbo with cleansing balms. I have my holy grail and have purchased it multiple times, but was getting bored with it. Like any skincare addict, I wanted to know what else was out there.


Unfortunately, nearly every single one I used was — to say the least — absolute garbage. If it didn’t burn the living [expletive] out of my eyes, it would leave a weird, goopy residue on my face. If I wasn’t dealing with excessive fragrance, I was panicking over clogged pores. I was a bit hopeless and kind of broke.


Enter AQUTOP to completely restore my hope. No goopy residue? No sliminess? ALL while giving a gentle, effective clean? Say it ain’t so!



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The All In One Nibs Cleansing Balm feels amazing to massage with and has a silky feeling. My face makeup was melted away. My skin was left baby soft and prepped for my second cleanser. I. LOVE. THIS. STUFF.


I was surprised at how luxurious this actually felt considering AQUTOP doesn’t necessarily market themselves as a high-end brand. The only notable difference I could see between the Nibs balm and my OG balm is that the Nibs balm’s texture is a lot stiffer in the jar. Once applied, however, it’s just as luxurious and silky.


Youth Control Treatment Nibs Essence


I am very picky with essences. Like, REALLY PICKY.


Texture is a huge deal for me. In all honesty, I’ve really only gotten along with one essence (haaaay, COSRX) because I can never find the right product to apply between my viscous toner and thick, sticky serum. They all feel either too thick or too thin — never just right.

aqutop skincare


Finally, I had my Goldilocks moment: the ideal, not too runny, not too thick essence. The essence that won’t leave my face weirdly goopy and sticky, but perfect to prep my skin with. It imparted a nice glow that lasted, and I woke up especially glowy the morning after. I’ve yet to witness the full-blown effects of AQUTOP’s Youth Control Treatment Nibs Essence, but I already know that it’s the perfect addition to beef up my nighttime routine a bit.


Daily Nourishing Nibs Cream


This is ideal for dry and combo skin, mainly because this stuff is deceptively thick. It goes on super creamy and luxuriously but soaks up rather quickly, giving you the experience of slathering on a deliciously rich cream without the heinously long absorption time.



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I found this cream most effective during the day, especially for makeup application. I was able to spread my matte foundations effortlessly with no skipping or tugging, which is a HUGE deal for my combo-to-dry skin. If you struggle with blending in matte foundations or find patchiness in your powder contouring and blush application, then this will be your new BFF.


The Signature Tone-Up line


Dual Effect Signature Tone-Up Water


In order to maintain all the juicy moisture I applied to my skin the night before, I typically just go in with a cleansing water in the morning. My holy grail is Son&Park’s Beauty Water, but I know it can be a bit irritating to more sensitive skin types due to its more exfoliating ingredients. While the Dual Effect Signature Tone-Up Water won’t be my holy grail cleansing water, this is still a really good option.


aqutop skincare


Beauty Water tones while giving gentle exfoliation. AQUTOP’s water tones to give all day hydration and moisture. I still love my HG, but it’s really nice to switch it up, especially when my skin is feeling irritated and I want to opt for a more hydrating, soothing option. A bonus is that this one is alcohol-free! This makes it perfect to layer on à la 7-skin — a few swipes of this is better than any “hydrating” primer, and more comfortable, too!


Dual Effect Tone-Up Capsule Essence


This is an interesting one, to say the least. I have lots of redness, and tone-up products typically assist in bringing that whole mess down, so it’s safe to assume I’ve used enough to be discriminating. There’s the unblendable, light pink kind that literally just looks like a layer of beige glop — and then there’s the illuminating, ever-so-subtle “tone-up” creams that even out the skin flawlessly, no matter what your skin color is. They look as excellent under makeup as they do alone and make my skin look perfect.


Those are tone-up creams, though, and I usually have to apply them as my very last skincare step. This Tone-Up Capsule Essence, however, gives me my illuminated, even-skinned fantasy before I even put on a serum. Say what? Apparently, this guy has tone-up “capsules” that burst upon contact to reveal a more toned complexion. Do I genuinely think these teeny capsules are the secret to fading scars and permanently calming down rosacea? No, but I do enjoy how I don’t have to use a tone-up cream every time I wake up with irritated skin, so long as I use this instead. It takes away a step in my multi-faceted routine, which alone I appreciate it for.



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Aside from that, I feel a great amount of firming from this product. It makes my skin feel nice and lifted, without any weird pilling I usually find from lifting creams.


Have you tried anything from the AQUTOP skincare line? Let me know if you have any questions about the products!



Miranda is a 20-something writer who enjoys spending any and all of her disposable income (and time) on traveling to hunt for undiscovered beauty gems. When she’s not on the search for beauty products, Miranda can be found binge watching Law and Order: SVU and drinking copious amounts of iced tea. You can find her excessive selfie collection, travel diary, and other musings around her hometown of Los Angeles on Instagram @armbar.