Review: Holika Holika Strawberry Pore Cover BB Pact


Oh quest to update regularly is such a fail -_-   For those who don't know already, Holika Holika is a fairly new Korean brand and a sister brand to Enprani.  One of their makeup lines is the Strawberry Pore line and the pact I am reviewing is from that line.

For me, there are few things more irritating than not being able to read packaging so I took a stab at translating a few lines for reference.  My Korean is not half as good as it should be so this is good practice for me ^^ and I hope you peeps find it helpful!  FYI I try to capture the "feel" of what they were trying to say instead of just translating literally (though I try to stick to literal translations when I could).

To clarify a little about what HH's deal is with the vanilla-dipped strawberry - it's kind of funny actually xD  So you know how a strawberry has seeds embedded on its skin?  Kinda like....clogged pores you might say.  And what does vanilla fondue do to a strawberry?  Why it smooths it how makeup should fill in and cover pores. Hence Strawberry Pore = makeup that fills in your pores to make you pretty :D!!!  It makes sense in a way and the imagery is a rather poetic way of referring to gaping, clogged pores - oh the joys of Asian marketing xD

Purchased at: $15.20 @ BonjourHK

Description: Comes in two shades. Refer to the translated pics. It's supposed to smooth out your skin and fill in pores to create a "flawless complexion."  It also have SPF 35 PA++ which was a huge selling point for me!

Scent: A mild, somewhat artificial strawberry scent.  Smells fake but good :) Like a strawberry lollipop.

Packaging: I'm not even going to try and hide it - the packaging had me sold.  It's so pretty it looks like a toy!  That holographic-ish cover may be a bit much considering my usual tastes but I swear it's quite mesmerizing in real life.  It's a little on a the large side (as you can see it fills my palm) but well made.  Everything snaps nicely and for what it's worth, it doesn't feel that "cheap." 

The picture is a little dark, but I did that on purpose to show the imprint.

It's hard to see but there is a very cute strawberry imprint on the pan :)  You can see it a lot better in the product sample picture below.

This shows all the products in the HH Strawberry Pore line.  You can also see the two shades that this product comes in.  Mine is Shade 1: Light Beige.

The sponge that comes with it sits separated from the makeup with a nice little flip cover.  The sponge itself is quite nice (identical to the sponges you get from TonyMoly etc. (I swear that there's some shop in Korea just cranks out the exact same makeup sponges with just different ribbons for every drugstore Korean brand out there) - soft, easy wash, and picks up the powder well.

Texture: It seems a little dry and powdery in the pan, but rest assured that the sponge picks up the powder quite nicely.  That smudge you see on the sponge above is enough for my whole face - surprisingly enough, a little goes a long way.  Overall, reasonably silky though a hair powdery.

Color/shade: I bought Shade 1 and I confess it's a hair too light.  Nobody can really tell once I blend it out but this is useful to keep in mind since I am ~NC25.  I have gotten a tad tanner so I think in the winter when I am a NC20, this will be a better match.  For people who have found the Skinfood Mushroom BB cream in Shade 1 a good match, this one shade will work.

A caveat: This has a bit of an ivory/pink undertone rather than yellow undertone (though pictures don't show it that well).  I think foundations with a faint yellow-ish undertone suit me better but overall, the color blends pretty well on me.

Left: you can see the edges of where I slapped down the powder (the whiteish edge).  
You can tell it's a bit lighter than my natural skin tone (though my hand is darker than my face).
Right: blended into my skin.
Not sure why both pics are such varying colors. Both are no flash.

Coverage: Surprisingly good.  Not as good as say the MUFU Duo Mat Powder Foundation ($32) but defintely better than any powder foundation I've tried from drugstores.  That's not bad at all considering this puppy was just $15.20+shipping.   It really does cover up redness rather well and the powdery-ness does fill up pores well.

Lasting Power: I don't reapply makeup during the day because I am lazy.  It lasts about 4-5 hours I'd say,  then the oils of my face start breaking through.   Coverage does fade after a few hours but it's nothing awful. It doesn't melt off your face or anything and redness stays generally covered.

Bare: For all the people who think I have perfect skin.  Far from my friends, far from ^_~  My skin looks fairly flawless when this is combined with BBcream + Boi-ing Concealer on trouble spots. 

Patted on/Not Blended: The powder is that yellow-ish stuff on my cheeks.  It looks yellow unblended but in the pan and blended out, it really does have a faint pinkish undertone (as you can see in the blended pic).

Blended: Not bad. This shade isn't really my ideal color match but it's close enough.  It doesn't cover the more severe red scars, but it does an acceptable job overall considering the price.

Personal Experience: I got this product for three reasons:
  1. I needed something to help control my oily face/set my BBcream
  2. It has SPF35 and I am paranoid about sun protection
  3. Holographic packaging!!
As you can see, I have plenty o' redness and little ripple-y dimpled scars.  *sigh* and this is two years after my skin fiasco.  In any case, as you can see, the powder does a pretty good job of evening out my skin.  This product does NOT advertise itself for oil control so after 5 some hours, oil will seep through the cracks.  My personal opinion is that this does a good job adding a extra coverage for redness and filling in my dimpled scars (my substitute for pores ^_~).  I like this product a lot in the coverage department and would recommend that others try it if they want some extra coverage.

Unfortunately, I will not be repurchasing this for one particular reason.  This problem may be unique to my skin but just for awareness: This powder is fine when I don't sweat.  It lasts through the workday, keeps my skin looking good and there is no irritation. But when I DO sweat, my skin itches O_o  I do not get any visible rashes or cheeks just itch.  I noticed this because I sweat during my commute home (tmi anyone ;)?) and my cheeks always start itching only on the days I have this powder on. The good thing is that I don't breakout or anything but obviously, itching is really annoying even if it happens only when I sweat.  I imagine my skin is mildly reacting to one of the ingredients (which I have no desire to read that in Korean xD) but mild or not, I'd rather not subject my skin to something even slightly irritating.

It's a real pity because I think for the price the packaging, coverage, and general quality of this product is quite good.

I would recommend this to people that are looking to cover up redness and slight pore coverage.  This is a great product for that because a little goes a long way.  The SPF is a huge bonus too.  I do not recommend this to those looking for oil control or with highly sensitive skin because your skin may react like mine did.  I was lucky enough not to experience any visible irritation but some may.

Hope y'all liked this review and please let me know if these translations were helpful.  Out of curiosutiy, if you could please answer this question:

Does not being able to read the labels on Asian products (specifically makeup/skincare) significantly hinder/stop you from purchasing Asian makeup/skincare products?  Aka if more Asian packaging/directions were translated into English, would you try more Asian makeup/skincare products? Or is being able to read the labels irrelevant?


  1. I'd probably skip this product, because my face dries out too fast w/ powder foundation... but YAY on translations!!!

    Not being able to read the instructions/ descriptions doesn't necessarily "stop" me from purchasing them but I do prefer some sort of english. Even if it's poor and grammatically incorrect, that way I can get a jist of the product =] Labels are extremely important, so I like knowing what I'm putting on my face and what it's gonna do to it =p 

    More on the language bit... if it was in korean or chinese, someone would probably be able to translate it for me, any other languages causes a small problem. If I purchased it in stores the SA would most likely sum up the product for me and online they usually have some sort of instruction/ claim. 

  2. ohhhh the packaging! the packaging is just awesome!!!! i think it did a great job covering your redness. but sorry to hear that your skin reacts to it weird when you sweat -_- 

    i've read a lot of reviews on this brand & the packaging is always so adorable. i heard that their reg bb creams are actually pretty good!

  3. thecathyinthehatJune 7, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    I know I'm answering this question like, a billion years later, but I do want to be able to read the labels. I really do care about the ingredients and Asian skincare can be weird because you don't really know if what you're buying is a toner, emulsion, lotion, serum, or essence. It's weird. I have the Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream because it's been reviewed a billion times on youtube and it's the only BB cream that comes in my shade. And I just bought a Hyaluronic Acid product from Daiso 'cause it was only $1.50 so I thought I'd give it a try. But I kinda obsessively go through the ingredients in lists because I would rather spend a lot of time looking at reviews and reading labels than wasting money on trying a billion different things. I just have more time on my hands for that kinda stuff. I even want somebody to translate the label on the hyaluro mist for me. ._.

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