Naruko Magnolia Brightening and Firming Night Gelly Review

The YS Beauty Lab

Sigh. I messed up this month. When searching for a product to write about, I looked at eye care products and came across the Naruko Taiwan Magnolia Brightening and Firming Night Eye Gelly EX. At home I have a truly useless Clinique under-eye serum stick and some average all-natural hippie cream I bought on a whim from a health food store. I am on a mission to find an under-eye cream that will make me look like I get a good night’s sleep on the regular.

(But am I willing to give up the “lay off” aura my eye bags give me on early mornings? My puffy dark circles been around for so long, I feel like they’re family.)

Anyway, I accidentally ordered Naruko Magnolia Brightening and Firming Night Gelly instead, which I initially thought was okay until I read the description and saw that one of its main functions is to whiten skin. NOOO! I’m already on the paler end of the spectrum. A couple of years ago in Bangkok, I accidentally bought whitening foundation. The locals I worked with politely asked me if I was sick for about a week before I looked in the mirror under fluorescent lights and scared myself half to death. It was like the “bloody Mary” chant every schoolgirl does in the mirror finally came to fruition. Conclusion: I do not have a good association with whitening creams.

In the end, I decided to try it out a few times and then give it to a friend who’s into whitening products. The night gelly works to firm and whiten skin as well as slow the glycation process (when too much sugar in your system causes skin imperfections). The 60ml jar retails for US$24. It’s part of the brand’s Magnolia line, which allocates 20% of the sales from each product to the Taiwan Community Trade plan in order to give back to the community. Definitely a noble cause. Would the product itself be just as noble?

The gelly comes with a mini spatula to keep the preservative-free cream safe from contaminants. Naruko’s website has a step-by-step infographic of how and where to apply the cream, but I’m not one for directions. After cleansing my face, I just transferred the cream from the spatula to my fingertips and applied a thin layer all over my face, including under my eyes. The gelly is lightweight and soaks in almost immediately with no greasy or heavy feeling, which is a definite plus.

The website recommends using two large “soybean–sized” dollops, but that seemed too much for me. In the morning, I was impressed to see that my panda eyes looked tighter and some of the smaller lines seemed to have disappeared.

My friend and I agreed that due to the rich texture, this product is better suited for those with drier skin. I liked the obvious smoothing abilities and the way it just immediately soaked into my skin. My friend was impressed with the long list of natural ingredients and magnolia scent (I couldn’t smell anything due to allergies) as well as the fact that the gelly delivers on all its promises. I’m now curious to try the (non-whitening) eye cream. I just wish they would’ve spelled it “jelly” instead; come on, Naruko, you should know better!

The YesStyle Beauty Lab rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4 out of 5 stars)