Tony Moly at Selfridges
Tony Moly at Selfridges

Reasons to be cheerful on a Thursday? Tony Moly. This brand is having a massive expansion in the UK (it’s also gone into Ulta and into Sephora) and finally, finally retailers are starting to realise that there is actually something in this Korean trend lark. The thing you need to know about this Korean brand, which started in 2006, is that just because the packaging is fun doesn’t mean the products aren’t serious.

Tony Moly at Selfridges
Tony Moly at Selfridges

A big focus, as you can tell, with Tony Moly, is packaging – making beauty products look different and exciting. They’ll take unusual ingredients (sorry, but I just cannot do anything made from horse or donkey milk or snail slime) and experiment with how to present them until they have something that hasn’t been seen before. The Latte Art Cappuchino Scrub (above) is a prime example with the coffee cup shape and the applicator serving visually as a spoon to stir your coffee.

Tony Moly at Selfridges
Tony Moly at Selfridges

This smells of coffee (not strongly) and as you apply it to your skin, it changes from dark coffee to latte – it goes a light milky coffee shade. And, it contains both coffee and milk extracts and uses the lactic acid from milk to give a smooth feel after application. As I massaged it in, it felt warming on my skin, and did a perfectly decent exfoliation.

Tony Moly at Selfridges
Tony Moly at Selfridges

Next up, more literal translations – yes the Banana Hand Milk smells of bananas. the Tomatox Magic Massage Pack containing tomato fruit water (lycopene) and Egg Pore Black Head Steam Cream is an exfoliating scrub (better for oily skin types). With this one, I can’t find sign of egg ingredients, but the original Egg Pore series I do know used powdered egg shell, so it could be that as the range has expanded, the actual egg element has disappeared. I know it’s been a best selling range for them. So, I’ve tried all of the products: Tomatox is a smooth cream mask (quite thin) that left my skin absolutely zinging with a fresh feeling and it did look brighter post mask. Egg Pore Steam  – it’s gritty ectoplasm basically, that turns from clear to white on the skin and I am assuming you use it after a shower or something when your pores are softer. It did a perfectly good exfoliation job and whipped away sebum from my nose.

Tony Moly at Selfridges
Tony Moly at Selfridges

The little Peach and Apple lip balms – yes, of course they smell of peaches and apples! They do contain mineral oils.

Tony Moly at Selfridges
Tony Moly at Selfridges

Our little panda friend is an icy stick of cooling balm for under the eye area – it does work; it cools the skin on contact, but other than feeling very fresh and pleasant, it didn’t do anything for puffiness. I’d have this as a hot day product to swipe across a boiling brow to be honest.

This is the first time that Tony Moly (and watch the Selfridges space for further brand roll-outs) has been sold in a major retailer in the UK  (it is available elsewhere on-line) so you can look and play and not rely on pictures alone before deciding if its a brand you want to try.

Korean and Japanese products are a particular interest of mine and have been since – well, since the internet basically, when I could suddenly start to see what other countries were doing in the name of beauty. We’re not talking RMK or Suqqu levels of quality, but don’t be in any doubt that they’re not decent because they’re wrapped in a tomato. Tony Moly’s most recent venture is Pokemon (not available in the UK) beauty products which takes a little more convincing, but look out for a Panda focussed range that is irrisistible.

Tony Moly at Selfridges
Tony Moly at Selfridges

Everything is HERE if you want to browse, with prices starting at £6.

*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated