The Japanese skincare line Awake has been low key under the radar Stateside. Until now. A sister brand to tarte cosmetics, the range is back on the beauty scene serving revamped lewks with the catchy ‘Tokyo Meets New York’ slogan. Think a Kawaii cousin of Glossier. Definitely millennial. Kindly sent over a few of the formulas pre-release, I’ve been experiencing my own Awake months. Below are my musings on the Balance Shot, Ray of Bright, and Gelactic Dream Mask.
The tri-phase liquid is your all-in-one toner, moisturizer, treatment essence. Aiming to balance oily and combination skin, the formula mattifies excess oil with Cotton Powder, hydrates using flower waters, and nourishes with a blend of plant oils. This antioxidant concentrate highlights Squalane, Meadowfoam Seed, Jojoba, and Safflower Oils among others and feels surprisingly weightless on the skin. Shake, splash into the palm of your hand, press into skin.
My combination skin absolutely loves it. With that said, the first four ingredients are water, alcohol, caprylic/capric triglyceride, and dimethicone. Were it hydrosol instead of H2O, I’d be starry-eyed. Luckily, neither alcohol nor silicones bother me, so I’m enjoying every drop of my Balance Shot. It works great under sunscreen, too. $38 (50ml)
Ray of Bright
Almost perfect. This lightweight moisturizer is packed with soothing plant oils and extracts (Aloe, Jojoba, Licorice Root) and absorbs beautifully. The very subtle hint of glow makes me look awake. No trace of shimmer. Love the slim tube packaging, but hate that it omits SPF. The Japanese definitely have the lock on making sunscreen luxurious and user-friendly. If Ray of Bright provided UV protection, I’d be hoarding. Because won’t layering SPF over it kill the dewy vibe? $26 (50ml)
Gelactic Dream Mask
A sleeping mask fanatic, I was particularly ecstatic to try this overnight treatment. Unfortunately, it proved to too rich for my combination skin. Those with drier complexions will most likely enjoy it and I will give it another try the moment our Connecticut winter returns. Fueled by Rice Germ Oil, Honeysuckle, and Sesame Sprout Extracts, the thick gel cream is the last step in your bedtime routine. It seals in the moisture and delivers a brighter and more plump appearance by morning. $38 (110ml)
The story goes that Maureen Kelly launched tarte right next to Awake at Henri Bendel 17 years ago. Enamored by the Japanese aesthetic and plant-based approach, she had immediately become a fan. Kose now owns both brands. Awake’s comeback results from collaborating with the tarte team.
Visually, the line is adorable – thoughtful details, practical containers, impressive textures. Products are void of Parabens, Mineral Oil, phthalates, Triclosan, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and Gluten. They do contain Fragrance, Alcohol and Dimethicone. An excellent entry point for those wanting to establish good skincare habits, the range is simple without being basic. Truthfully, this thirty-eight-year-old face requires a boost of active ingredients (acids, retinoids, and so on). I’m very much intrigued by the description of Dew Drops and Firma Shot.
Available at awakebeauty.com where you can save 10% on every order with code BARTAWAKE.