Alrighty! The next item that I have on my list is the HOLIKA HOLIKA Tightening Serum. I bought this along with the Honey Sleeping Mask that I reviewed recently. I bought this serum, because it is supposed to help tightening my pores! When I was inside the store, I only had the mindset to purchase the 3-strip piggy nose pack (which I reviewed a while back), and when the sales associate introduced this serum to me – I thought might as well give it a try since those strips will be pulling my pores apart anyways.

Disclaimer: I do not consider myself as a beauty guru/expert, and all sorts that fall under that category. This product was purchased with my own money and I am not being paid to write this. My review, photos, impressions and thoughts are all my own, unless stated otherwise. While this product may or may not have worked for my skin, it may or may not work for yours – remember, your mileage may vary (YMMV)! 
Links: Affiliate links will be marked with an **. But to save y’all some time – I currently do not have any affiliate accounts anywhere yet. 


Total rating out of 5: 4.0

Retail: $238HKD -> $42CAD

I got 14% off this product because they were having a promotion back then! I paid: $205HKD -> $36CAD so it is quite expensive for a serum for a brand like HOLIKA HOLIKA! I was able to get a cheaper price of the essence from LANEIGE because I bought it from BONJOUR, but I bought this from the actual store itself which is why it’s so much more expensive. -cries-

The Good
  • Leaves skin well-hydrated and moisturised
  • Pump
  • Mild fragrance
  • Sort of works for pores? (but kind of not really)
  • No sticky finish
The Bad
  • Expensive..
  • Doesn’t seem to be super effective for closing regular pores! (For more detail – see explanation under Results!)
Will I buy this again

Nope – it doesn’t seem to do the one thing that I was expecting it do consistently, plus it’s expensive!! I’d buy it if I can find it for less than $20.. but I think I paid way to much for it even though I bought it from Holika Holika!


Like the Laneige Water Bank Essence_EX, this serum also comes in a GLASS container. Yay! I prefer glass containers over plastic ones any day, even though this one is quite an expensive product in itself, so if it was plastic I’d be pretty annoyed. The product is pretty heavy because its in a glass container – make sure you don’t drop it! I dropped it several times myself, but I got lucky because it didn’t break apart (yet).


Sadly, I threw out the box that it came with – but here’s a front and back view of the product! Almost all the information you would need to know is on there, except for the ingredients..


The product also has a pump! Yay for pumps, which makes it easier to extract the product from the container while keeping everything sanitary and clean :)


If you run out of the goodies inside the container, or it seems like you can get to all of it – fear not! You can open up the container and scrape as much as you can out of it.


I did notice that the pump area turned a little yellow (can you see it too?) I wonder if that’s just the product staining the tube or.. :S Scary!


Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Silica, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, PEG-11 Methyl Ether Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Polysilicone-11, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, PEG/PPG-19/19 Dimethicone, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Arginine, Fragrance(Parfum), Disodium EDTA, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Viola Tricolor Extract, Lecithin, Pistacia Lentiscus (Mastic) Gum, Eruca Sativa Leaf Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin

Check out the CosDNA analysis for this serum’s ingredients! I’ll highlighted the ingredients that CosDNA marked high in terms of safety, acne or irritant.

Cyclopentasiloxane – silicone-type that is usually used to make products easier to apply, acts as a form of solvent and is usually used together with Dimethicone

Dimethicone – also a silicone, and helps makes products easy to apply and spread, helps keep skin lubricated during the colder times of the year

This product is free of the 10 additivies – does not contain 10 harmful ingredients Benzyl Alcohol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Diazolidinyl Urea, Triethanolamine, BHT, Petrolatum , Polyacrylamide, Talc, Sulfate detergency, Mineral Oil

It is also not animal tested, cruelty free, and works for sensitive skin (or so they say).


Originally, I was going to talk about the application before texture but that didn’t make sense to me, so I switched them around! The texture of this serum is really really water-y and liquid-y. It moves around easily, even by a light tilt of the hand!


It has a milky opaque look to it, but don’t let it fool you – its very very slippery. Don’t believe me? That’s okay! I have a GIF to prove to y’all that this product just doesn’t stay still in one spot!


That quality though! Yikes, sorry :s sometimes it happens when I change a video to a gif ; n ; but hopefully it gives you a good idea about what I mean when I say it’s slippery~ and watery~


This product is extremely spreadable and easy to apply (probably thanks to the help of cyclopentasiloxane and dimethicone). Usually when I apply this product, I only use one pump! ONE PUMP, I find is enough to cover my entire face :o simply because the product is so watery and so spreadable.


Look how watery that is with only one pump! It’s also fairly light and doesn’t feel heavy at all after its set. In the photo above, I didn’t even spread and apply it properly, but if I used the remaining clumps it covers the entire top of my hand area, plus a little bit of my wrist! The shininess might fool you into thinking that this essence has a sticky finish, but it doesn’t!


Dun dun dun, the results! To give a bit of context of how I texted this product – I wanted to make sure that it actually tightens my pores, so one day I had this tiny blackhead bump thing where it looked like it was ready to just plop itself out, so I made it come out. I splashed warm water on my nose, and then used a blackhead remover tool to gently push out the blob.

It left a huge red hole, and I thought hey! perfect time to try to “tighten” that pore. But before I used the serum, I splashed my nose with cold water because when you apply something cold to pores it usually helps them shrink a little bit. Then I applied the serum.


I noticed that while the size looks slightly smaller, I don’t think the serum did much (obviously it’s not a magical serum), but the hole still looks the same size. It didn’t really shrink or anything. I’m baffled at how the size of the pore hole can be of similar size after using a tightening serum.

The next day, the pore hole has healed and still looks the same, even though I applied the serum again that morning. Because of this, it led me to think that it doesn’t really help much in terms of pore tightening (which is why I gave it a 6 in Effectiveness). However, it does leave my skin moisturised so I got that going for me!


In an attempt to be thorough, I also tested this product on half of my hand to see if there would be a difference. Rather than appearance, I think the serum made my skin feel more moisturised and soft, but the effect of this serum is hard to see. However, it does show how the finish of this serum is not sticky at all, lightweight and somewhat matte as opposed to shiny (that sometimes happens when you apply too much on your face).

In Summary

It’s a great serum and does most of what it promises which is a non-sticky finish, moisturising, and helping make the skin feel soft. However, the most important thing that this product is supposed to do, it doesn’t do very well. Albeit the overall product isn’t too bad, and if it was under $20CAD, I would probably go buy it and not be miffed about the fact that it doesn’t really tighten pores. Having used this product for the past 6 months and not noticing it doing anything for my pores, is a little sad because of how much I paid for it. But! On the bright side, it makes my skin feel as soft as a baby’s butt :)

Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s