Son and Park is a newish Korean cosmetic brand founded by Son Dae-Sik and Park Tae-Yun (which I’ve also seen Romanized as Park Tae-Yeun, but his official Instagram has the first spelling), two popular makeup artists. They have appeared on a number of cosmetics shows including Get It Beauty and Styleshowfill, and are known for their work with celebrities. Their products have only recently begun making their way into the US retail market. I’ve only really found their products on eBay (heavily marked up) and at SokoGlam, an e-tailer geared towards Korean cosmetic and skincare products. (There’s a pretty decent mark-up at SokoGlam too, just so you are aware, but it’s not as bad as on eBay.)
As of the time I’m writing this, Son and Park’s most popular product is their Beauty Water, which comes in two sizes (340 mL and 500 mL) and claims to be a micellar cleansing water, exfoliator, and hydrator. But that’s not what I’m talking about today, so we’ll move on.
Son and Park have a number of products other than the Beauty Water that could conceivably catch someone’s eye, and of course for a lip product junkie like me the first thing that jumped out were their Air Tint Lip Cubes.
Now available in 10 colors, the Air Tint Lip Cubes are designed to go on lightly, smoothly, and creamy, provide both a matte and a glossy finish as desired, and leave a stain behind as they wear away. Dab and rub the product on lips for a matte finish, or apply straight for a glossy finish.
I purchased 5 of the Air Tint Lip cubes through Dowaja, a Korean shopping service, and they just arrived a couple days ago.
Look, guys, I didn’t buy any reds or bright oranges this time! Someone check my temperature, quick. No? I’m fine? Okay.
The cubes themselves are made of plastic, and are molded in such a way that you can stack them – the bottom bit of one cube will click into the top part of another cube. The cubes themselves don’t feel either really cheap (which I was afraid of, since they’re plastic) or really luxe, which is kind of disappointing but at this price point (9,500 KRW) to be expected.
The cubes have a really stubby doe-foot applicator, with a guide inside the cube to keep you from pulling out too much product (or slopping it everywhere, depending on how charitable you feel about your abilities).
I used a picture where I’m holding the applicator to give you guys a sense of scale. These are not huge cubes, the wand is really stubby, the whole thing is kind of small – but a little of the product goes a long way, and they aren’t really expensive.
Here are some arm swatches of the colors, straight from the applicator.
Here they are again, slightly blended out. The light reflection is a little deceiving here – they do blend out quite a bit more matte than they are when they’re freshly applied.
The lip cubes are fairly pigmented, but they do feel a little bit… how should I say it…. oily maybe? The dry-down is to a powdery finish, but you can definitely tell that there’s something on your lips. It’s an odd feeling. For those folks who don’t like lipstick or gloss for that reason, you’re going to want to pass on these.
These are lip products that you absolutely cannot wear unless your lips are in great condition. Before wearing these, you need to exfoliate and moisturize your lips. They will catch on any rough or dry spots.
The formula, in my experience, isn’t quite as consistent between colors as I would like it to be. I’ve found that #4 is the easiest to work with, blends the best and looks the nicest, with #9 and #10 coming in the middle of the pack and #3 and #8 being the hardest to work with. True story: all of the lip swatches in this blog post were going to be double shots – one photo of the color blended out, like they are here, and then a second photo with the product applied just straight off of the doefoot. I enlisted my roommate to take the pictures, and when I asked her how she thought the shot of the first color went, she said “It looks better in the photo than it does on your lips”. She didn’t sound that convinced, and since it didn’t look that great on my lips, I decided to scrap that idea. The doefoot clearly pulls out more product than I need, and it turned my lips into kind of a gooey mess. I really didn’t love it.
So without further ado, here are some lip swatches!
As you can see, the texture of the product is totally different depending on whether it’s applied straight or blended or patted down after application. Just for reference, the photo on the left is using about half the amount of product as the photo on the right.
Here are the rest of the colors.
Those are some great colors, no lie. So let’s talk a little bit about wear. These tints never set. They’re more like a lipstick than a lip tint in that respect – no matter how long you wear them, they’re going to transfer, if you rub your lips together they’ll move out of the lip line, and they will not even pretend to last through a meal. (Not much does anyway.)
All of the colors will leave a stain behind, but some of them are better at it than others – specifically, the best stain was left by #10 Ice Pink. The darker colors, like one would expect, will stain faster and more visibly than the light colors.
After an hour and a half of wearing No 9 at work, I noticed that while the color still looked good from a distance, when I looked up close a lot of the product had settled into the fine lines on my lips. I don’t own a lip primer, so I can’t say whether that would help extend the wear time or wearability of this product. (Clearly I should start shopping for one, though.) There wasn’t a ton of tint left behind when I wiped my lips, unfortunately.
Overall, I wasn’t particularly impressed with these tints. I know that there have been some really nice pictures of the different colors on SokoGlam’s Instagram, and I’m not sure how those folks got their lips to look that pretty (and I don’t know how long they stayed that way, either), but if you’re reading this and you know the secret I’m happy to take any advice.
Despite the good color selection, the not-awesome texture of these products, the difficulty I had applying them, and the really short wear time make these a product I can’t really recommend in good conscience. I likely won’t wear them often myself – so at least I got them for cheaper than the going rate! I’ll probably just click them all together into a stack and stash them somewhere on my overflowing desk.