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NOW READING K-Beauty Heartbreak: When Your Must-Have, Holy Grail Product Ghosts You
December 31, 2018

K-Beauty Heartbreak: When Your Must-Have, Holy Grail Product Ghosts You

It goes like this: Girl meets cleansing stick. Girl loves cleansing stick. Girl swears undying love and loyalty to cleansing stick. Cleansing stick inexplicably disappears, never to grace girl’s skin ever again. Girl cries into her sheet mask. Here, we reminisce about the one that got away.


Falling in love with K-beauty is kinda like being in a tumultuous relationship. One day, you’re in an amazing relationship with your favorite holy grail product that makes your skin look like unicorn tears and angel blood, and then the next day, poof. It’s gone. Or it’s reformulated for some unknown reason (*sigh* the original Missha First Treatment Essence), or it was limited edition. It’s like a stab in the heart when this happens. Or even worse, sometimes your K-beauty relationship was never destined to be *stares wistfully into the distance*.


Let’s all gather around for story time so I can tell you about one of my favorite K-beauty products that never even had the chance to shine *tear*.


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you remember the great, cult favorite, best cleanser of all time: the now sadly discontinued Su:m37 Rose Cleansing Stick. But how would you feel if I told you that there was a CHARCOAL VERSION of this stick that really never saw the light of day?! A charcoal cleansing stick that might have been even better than the rose cleansing stick?! Did you die? Because my heart does every single time I think about it.


k-beauty heartbreak


Back when I lived in Korea, I was besties with all the women who worked at the Shinsegae department store by my apartment. Like legit anytime I bought anything, they’d give me entire deluxe travel-sized skincare sets for “service” (aka for free), and they’d always let me know if there were any special deals coming up.


Well, when I first tried the Su:m37 rose stick, it was around the holidays. I bought one, immediately fell in love, and went back to the store to stock up because I just had an inkling that everyone and their mom was going to find out about it and it’d be sold out until the end of time (and I was right). But as a part of the special Su:m37 holiday collection, the rose cleansing stick came in a deluxe set with a charcoal cleansing stick. The charcoal stick was actual, legit heaven. If I close my eyes and picture it long enough, I can still feel the soft foam on my skin, the way my skin felt soft and supple to the touch after I washed it, the way it seemed to balance my skin but not dry it out. It was really that girl, OK.


I went back to try to buy the charcoal stick on its own but was told that it was limited edition and only a part of the holiday set for that year. I bought one more set, and then hoarded those damn charcoal sticks like my life depended on it. I never wanted to use them because I knew that I’d never be able to try them again, but eventually gave in because they were just so good. The day I finished my last charcoal cleansing stick was the saddest day. Su:m37 legit has never brought it back again. Real tears.


k-beauty heartbreak


After the Su:m37 rose cleansing stick was finally discontinued for real for real, I thought that they might bring back the charcoal stick, because hey, no one has been able to replicate a cleansing stick even remotely close to their formula. But no such luck. This is the definition of true heartbreak. If you’re a Su:m37 rep and you’re somehow reading this, PLEASE BRING BACK THE CHARCOAL CLEANSING STICK. I’d thank you by buying an entire case of them.


Have you ever suffered from K-beauty heartbreak because of a product? What is your favorite discontinued or reformulated product? Share your tale of K-beauty heartbreak and let’s commiserate in the comments below.



Sheryll Donerson got her start as a beauty writer by writing K-beauty reviews for her blog, The Wanderlust Project. These days, she's lifting heavy weights, eating tacos, drinking (too much) coffee and is 1/4 of the beauty podcast, Beauty Beyond Basics (or Triple Bees for short). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @sheryllrenata.




Not K-beauty, but the 2015 version of the Biore Watery Essence sunscreen...I saved my last bottle for my honeymoon because I wanted the best possible sunscreen with me.