I love Korean beauty, I love TONYMOLY, and I love bananas. So when I was #TrynaGetTo50 on the Ulta site a while back (I just invented that hashtag to express the feeling of hunting around the Ulta site for things to add to your cart to get you to free shipping), and I saw that they had the Magic Food Banana Hand Cream here for $9.99, that was it. I added it to my cart quicker than you can say, "I don't care that I already own 30 other hands creams, I NEED THIS ONE."
I should add that the price of this hand cream at Ulta is pretty competitive compared to other major US retailers (it's $12 at Urban Outfitters, Birchbox, Lord & Taylor, and even on the TONYMOLY US website), plus Ulta does not exclude TONYMOLY from their coupons (yay!). But you CAN get this product for less if you want to go with retailers that specialize in K-beauty and ship from Korea (like Korea Depart). and you can also get it for less on Amazon but be sure to check where the item is coming from because if the seller ships from Korea, you might have to wait a few weeks to get your order. I've ordered Korean beauty products from sellers on Amazon who ship from Korea, and I think the longest I've had to wait was three weeks to get my order. So that's just something you should be aware of if you're new to K-beauty and you're expecting your order within a day or two. NOT going to happen if the seller ships from Korea.
So now that I've been using this hand cream for over a month, let's get to this review!
TONYMOLY Magic Food Banana Hand Milk
(retail: $9.99 at Ulta, 1.52 oz.)
Made in Korea
So can we talk about how adorable this packaging is? In real life, it's NOT the size of an actual banana. Well, I take that back. It's actually about the size of a mini banana (the tube is about four inches long). I had it on my coffee table the other night and, from a distance, it looked exactly like a mini banana.
Once you twist off the cap, you'll see that the dispenser tip is VERY small. I'll get into this more in a moment, but for now I'll just say that the opening of the tube is quite small, which means it dispenses just the tiniest ribbon of product.
My photo above is an extreme close-up of this product on the back of my hand. In real life, this little bit of product has about the same circumference as a piece of yarn.
Once you start to spread this hand cream onto the skin, it breaks down quite easily.
So first let's talk about the fragrance, since I know that personally, that was the thing I was most curious about when it comes to this product. This hand cream smells EXACTLY like banana flavored Laffy Taffy to me. It's a sweet, artificial banana fragrance, through and through. It's my opinion that artificial banana fragrance usually goes one of two ways for people: you either LOVE it, or you absolutely DETEST it. I happen to love a good fake banana scent, so I'm super happy with the way this hand cream is scented. The scent is medium-strong during application, but it fades pretty quickly. After an hour, I can no longer detect it unless I put my hand right up to my nose, and even then it's pretty faint.
So now let's talk about the consistency and performance. It's almost automatic for me at this point, when it comes to something that comes in super-cute packaging, to assume that the actual product inside the packaging is going to suck, or at least be a little lackluster. When I saw that this was called "hand milk" I immediately envisioned a thin, watery product that would yield zero to little actual hydration or moisturization. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this is not the case at all.
Looking at my pics above, you can see that this product has a thicker consistency; it's a cream--not a lotion or milk. It's not so thick that it's a butter though--it's definitely a cream. It breaks down quickly on the skin, and it's easy to spread. However, once I start working this into my hands, it sort of "gums up" a bit. The texture turns a little gummy, and then it becomes a little sticky/tacky. BUT, after a few minutes, once this product has absorbed into my skin, that gumminess completely goes away. So I'm then left with skin that just feels soft--not sticky, tacky, or too waxy.
As for performance, again, I was pleasantly surprised. After application, my hands continue to feel soft and moisturized for several hours, even after one hand-washing (it doesn't really stick around beyond one hand-washing though). Shea butter is the third ingredient in this hand cream, and it also contains coconut and macadamia seed oil, so it's no surprise that this hand cream softens my skin and adds some nice hydration.
BONUS: due to the extremely narrow opening, you can get great, targeted application with this product. The tiny opening does not lend itself to dispensing a lot of product quickly, but I have found that my favorite way to use this hand cream is on my cuticles (seriously, it's great for cuticles!). So I LOVE that I can squeeze the tiniest strip of product directly on my cuticles without wasting a drop. I honestly have to wonder if TONYMOLY intended for people to use this on their cuticles, because the narrow tip feels like it was made for cuticle application.
FINAL VERDICT: Some products are all about the packaging. But with this hand cream, it's not design over substance. I actually really like this product and it works quite well on my dry hands. I love the artificial banana scent (your mileage may vary there) and I REALLY love using this product on my cuticles. I absolutely do not regret this purchase, and I see myself repurchasing in the future. And NOT just for the adorable packaging.
The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.