Review: Half Moon Eyes Milky Jelly Toning Essence

I’m surprised I’m writing this review. I honestly didn’t think I’d get around to it, because for the first week of using the toner/essence, I was a little bored and unimpressed. Then two weeks went by, and I did a 180. SPOILER: that baby soft skin? Where did it come from?!

This product was provided to me by the company- as usual, this does not affect my opinions. See my Disclaimer tab for full details.

Half Moon Eyes

This brand was totally new to me. With a quick look on their website, they claim to be about simplicity and new ingredients, with a fun twist. I like trying new companies, so I was happy to give their products a go!

Milky Jelly Toning Essence- Purpose

The toner has a LOT of aims: “pore care, moisture supply, skin protection, concentrated moisture retention, skin texture care”.

I’m calling it a toner despite the name ‘toning essence’ because that’s how I’ve tested it and used it. I actually find it too thin and not moisturizing enough to put in my essence category. But this is just my opinion! To me it’s definitely a toner.

How to use: First, shake the bottle. Then apply directly to face after cleansing. The website suggests using their cotton pads to wipe face with. They also suggest using it as a mist by decanting into a spray bottle, or alternatively soaking masks in it to make a sheet mask. I’ve stuck with it as a toner for testing purposes.

Product Details and Ingredients

Amount: 180ml

Ingredients (as per Memebox):

Water, Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Water, Hyaluronic Acid, Ficus Carica Fruit Extract, Silica, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Avena Sativa Kernel Extract, Allantoin, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Adansonia Digitata Fruit Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Nut Extract, Morus Alba Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Illicium Verum Fruit Extract, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sorbitol, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Trideceth-10, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance

Initially the centella asiatica leaf extract jumped out to me- my skin looooves this extract for calming redness, as well as the aloe leaf extract. The tea tree leaf (Melaleuca Alternifolia) water should be antibacterial while hyaluronic acid should add some moisture. Note that there’s no alcohol at all!

The marketed ingredients are fig  extract and silica powder. These are the claims the HME website makes:

Fig extract should ‘refresh skin’ and help with skin troubles and inflammation

Silica should help control excessive sebum and remove dead skin cells

I’m actually struggling to find any studies or extended information about either of these ingredients in skincare, so can’t really comment on the accuracy of the claims either way. I know silica is usually used in makeup formulations to absorb oil and sebum, but I haven’t heard of it as much in skincare for those purposes. Anyway, here’s the cosdna analysis if you’re interested.


The packaging is pretty standard and sturdy. A solid plastic bottle, nice design with deep pink/red and black text. It seems robust enough to take traveling which I’m happy about!

The dispenser is also a standard toner dispenser, with a small enough hole to prevent product wastage.

Texture and Scent

The scent is a sweet, powdery scent which I neither like nor dislike. It’s fine!

The texture is just like water. Not much slip when applied- just a very thin liquid. Very toner-like! You do have to shake it before use…the silica powder settles in the bottle so it needs mixing up. It dries down to a matte finish which I appreciate for the first product in my line up, and particularly for summer skincare.



Okay so as I stated at the beginning, I had no idea what to expect from this toner, and wasn’t really sure it was doing anything. However as time has gone by, there has been one extremely significant change in my skin. The texture. My god, this toner has totally surpassed all expectations for the way it has softened and conditioned my skin like no other product I currently use. I’ve tested it continually for about three weeks, using it (almost) every morning and night, with no other major changes in my routine. I am 100% certain this toner is the difference- I even stopped using my peeling pads, and yep, still just as soft skin using the toner alone.

In terms of controlling excessive sebum and pore care, I’m tentative to make any firm conclusions…for the past few months I’ve been experiencing very tiny red pimple breakouts. Nothing major, but enough to bug me and have me searching for a solution. Since I’ve been using the toner, these have to some extent reduced and been more under control. It may have happened with or without the toner, but I do feel like the product has something to do with it. 

For moisture, I find the toner gives my skin a small boost (up to roughly 15% from 0%  according to my skin measuring device). I like to follow with a hydrating toner and a hydrating essence to get the full experience of light hydration, rather than relying on this product alone, before moving onto creams. I don’t find it particularly moisturizing for my normal/combo skin.

However, the quickness at which the product absorbs makes it an awesome choice for mornings, and for this time year. It’s one of the most lightweight products I own, and I definitely appreciate this.


The drastic improvement of my skin texture alone means I will definitely be keeping this in my routine. It won’t be one I reach for when I’m in a rush and need an all in one product, as it doesn’t provide enough moisture compared to other toners/essences I own; however it will be a permanent fixture in my routine generally, because I’m so impressed with my newly found baby soft skin. I also intend to keep an eye on how my skin condition (with regard to the tiny pimples) continues with use of this product.

Price and Availability

According to this page of their website, Half Moon Eyes products are quite widely available both domestically in Korea, and internationally, which is great! However with a google search, the toner seems to be out of stock in all the easy spots for international buyers (Althea, KMall24, and Memebox). This is unfortunate and I’m gonna try and find out more about this and update my post! It’s seems to be about $15-$20 a bottle, which judging how slowly I’m going through mine, seems great value! 


Have you tried this toner? Or if not, would you want to? What appeals to you? Let me know!

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