Happy Wednesday! Today I want to talk about a Korean product that I’ve been using for a little while now, which is The Saem Saemmul Pore Cover Pact. I’ve been using it exclusively as my mattifying powder, so it spends a lot of time moving between my vanity, my desk or my makeup bag. I don’t remember exactly where I bought mine from, but it was most likely from eBay, and was definitely before I went cruelty-free.
I had this product stashed away for quite a while, as I was previously working through the Rimmel Clear Complexion Clarifying Powder, which was featured in my most recent Project Pan. Like Rimmel’s products, at the time of writing, The Saem is not 100% cruelty-free, as they do sell in mainland China. So with this immediately in mind, I will not be repurchasing this product until their status changes, but I will be using it up as I want to avoid waste. This is a product I bought before going cruelty-free however, so if you’re wondering how this ended up in my collection, this is why.
The packaging is a cute minty-green which behaves conventionally like other powder compacts or BB cushion compacts. The top half acts as a lid, and requires a reasonable amount of effort to pull up, and so far haven’t had issues with the lid popping open. I haven’t had reason to doubt it’s ability to keep the powder secure while in my makeup bag, while traveling, etc, so that’s a positive in my books. While the packaging is like a conventional BB cushion compact, it is still fairly slender, and doesn’t take up a lot of space in my makeup bag.
Inside, there’s a clear plastic divider that let’s the BB cushion puff sit inside without having contact with the powder in the bottom half. This is where the packaging becomes more like a powder compact than a BB cushion compact, as instead of a hard plastic divider, it’s a plastic sleeve than can be taken out of the compact entirely. Whether this is preferable I think really depends on whether you’ll use the BB cushion puff that comes with it. For me: the clear plastic is fine as I don’t use the BB cushion puff for applying powder products, so I can take the puff and sleeve out, and keep the puff as a replacement for applying foundations on the rare occasions I wear it instead. If you do use BB cushion puffs for applying powder, then you may find that a hard plastic divider is preferable instead, but I’ll leave that to you decide for yourself.
As far as claims go, I’m going to quote Jolse’s product page as it includes English translations and official-looking claims, which are as follows:
“1. Sebum and oil controlling pact
Sebum control powder prevent greasy skin and darkening by controlling excessive sebum.
2. Light weight and smooth fitting to the face
Fine powder helps skin look smooth and clear without dryness.
3. Skin protection effect
Caring pores clogged with excessive sebum and calms down irritated skin.”
Some of the translation is a bit awkward, so I’ve corrected the spelling mistakes, but left the wording alone. The first claim is fairly straightforward and anticipated, but I assume by “darkening” they mean preventing blackheads caused by clogged pores from excess sebum. I don’t know if this is exactly what they mean though, so I’m going to address it without assuming it as the intended meaning.
The second claim is one that appeals to me a lot as I do have oily-sensitive skin, emphasis on the former. So my skin tends to feel quite congested or uncomfortable easily, so I like to use mattifying powders to give my face some relief from that uncomfortable-oily feeling. I especially like powders that feel lightweight on my skin, as that feels more luxurious and relaxing. It’s the kind of quality of life benefit that I like from basically all of my makeup.
The third claim is one that I find a little bit unusual, as makeup having skincare benefits are very difficult for me to measure. So when I consider this claim, I’m going to be consider it more from the perspective of “does my skin feel more irritated and congested”? That let’s me monitor the product within standards that I can quantify appropriately, particularly as my skin is both oily and sensitive, so I do have to juggle two very difficult skin types at the same time.
As far as the product goes, it’s a pure white compact that doesn’t leave any white cast or lightening effect on my skin. This for me has been both a positive and unfortunately not the rescue I’ve wanted. In the case of the latter, I tested a mineral face powder that was too dark for my skin, and it was one rare situation where I hoped the white powder would help lighten the colour. It doesn’t do this at all. In normal circumstances, this is absolutely a positive as I want to be able to touch-up with the powder as often as needed throughout the day and not worry about gradually lightening my face as the day goes by.
As I’ve said, the powder is white, but I don’t find it leaves any whitening effect. If you have a dark(er) skin tone, I can’t say for certain if it will or won’t have a lightening effect on the skin, so if you can find a blogger with a darker skin tone reviewing this product, I think their input would be particularly valuable. I do have very pale skin, so I can’t provide any helpful input in that regard.
The powder itself is very fine and applies beautifully onto my skin. I prefer to use my EcoTools Retractable Kabuki Brush, which is my go-to brush for face powders, as it gives me a lot of control over how much product I pick up and where I place it. I don’t like to use powder or BB cushion puffs for powder products as I find they apply it too heavily on my skin. With my kabuki brush, it applies a really nice thin layer, that really makes the claim about being lightweight true for me.
It is very silky on the skin, and does help minimise my pores, although they don’t vanish completely. I notice the difference most on the pores where my nose and cheeks meet, where they’re particularly large, and they do look less noticeable thanks to this powder.
The lightweight texture is particularly ideal as this is what I use to touch-up my face throughout the day, so it doesn’t leave the skin feeling clogged or weighed down under a layer of powder.
As this is what I use to touch-up, I won’t be surprised if I work through this product relatively quickly. Using only my kabuki brush to pick up the product, the pattern of the pan is already showing through with only a week’s use. I don’t know if this would happen as quickly with the powder puff that comes with the product. It’s because of this that I expect to hit pan fairly quickly, although it may take some time to use up the entire pan in spite of this.
I do find myself inclined to agree that it doesn’t make the skin look dry, as I can touch-up 3-5 times a day and my skin doesn’t look cake-y or dry. I don’t want to push my skin to its limit, but it is nice to know that I can keep my oily skin under control and not look like I’m wearing a few layers of makeup.
Overall, I’m really impressed by how compatible this product has been with my skin. My only gripe is that The Saem is not 100% cruelty-free, or I’d repurchase this as my go-to long term mattifying powder. Until that changes, I will be experimenting with cruelty-free options, but I wanted to put my thoughts out there for anyone isn’t pursuing a cruelty-free cosmetics routine.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, it means a lot to me to receive your support. I hope you are happy and healthy, and I’ll speak to you again soon.