The History of Whoo Gongjinhyang Mi Essential Primer Base – Luxury Primer

Another luxury primer which highly infused with skincare benefits. This is the first-ever primer I’ve ever used and still my current fave, aside from the recent L’Essentiel Pore Minimizer Shine-Control Primer from Guerlain.

I first tried it when I got this in cushion pack from my cushion purchase, Gongjinhyang Mi Luxury Golden Cushion as it’s bundled up as a deluxe miniature size. After trying it, I’ve decided to get it in a full-size bottle, to my surprise the retail bottle looks extremely luxe.

✵✵ Product ✵✵

The product comes in a plastic bottle but it doesn’t look cheap at all. The top cover was in golden embossed with its iconic brand logo. And it’s a pump-type dispenser bottle.

Royal Holiday 2019 Set

This particular set was a seasonal set that consists of the following product

  • Gongjinhyang: Mi Essential Primer Base
  • Gongjinhyang: Mi Luxury Lip Rouge No.24 – Red Orange
  • Gongjinhyang: Mi Glow Lip Balm – Orange
Royal Holiday 2019 Set

Although the price point is on the high side this comes in 40ml slightly higher than other high-end primers that usually come in 30ml only.

Since I’ve gotten the cushion form primer, I’ve always refilled the primer since the bottle is not travel-friendly. However, for those that are interested in the cushion primer, they don’t sell it individually but it comes packaged or bundles with the seasonal launch of the Gold Cushion. That’s how I have gotten mine.

Sometime the deluxe miniature will also come in tube form bundle with other cushion or cosmetic item but it’s meh for me in terms of the packaging. I prefer the cushion primer very much.

In term of application, it’s creamy cum watery and upon massaging it create a perfect canvas for you foundation and it’s not tacky at all. In term of scent, it’s very soothing not overly medicinal like their skincare range.

✵✵ Notable Ingredients ✵✵

Similar to L’Essentiel Pore Minimizer Shine-Control Primer, this primer is also packed with a wholesome of skincare benefit ingredients even including some luxury jewelry ingredients, flowery extract, fruit extract, medicinal herb, and ginseng. Including their most iconic secret formula known as Gongjinbidan that was use across their skincare range. It’s mainly made from Deer Antlers, Angelica Root, Japanese Cornelian Cherries and Wild Thyme.

Some of the notable ingredients are:

Image courtesy of The History of WHOO


AMBER powder which has antimicrobial, antioxidant, moisturizing, and skin-smoothing properties. It enriches the cells with oxygen, smoothes fine wrinkles, and refreshes skin color. 

GOLD is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties.

PEARL POWDER is said to be detoxifying and is used as an anti-inflammatory and a relaxant. Pearl powder contains amino acids, calcium, and trace minerals and has many benefits for the skin. Similarly, CORAL POWDER has the said trace mineral as well.


NELUMBO NUCIFERA FLOWER EXTRACT aka LOTUS extract has skin-soothing and antioxidant properties. Similarly, CHRYSANTHEMUM SINENSE FLOWER EXTRACT is also good in skin-soothing.


CARTHAMUS TINCTORIUS FLOWER EXTRACT aka SAFFLOWER has the ability in skin whitening due to the content of strong inhibitors of melanin synthesis.

POLYGONATUM ODORATUM EXTRACT famously known as SOLOMON’S SEALS is used widely in Kbeauty known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and good in skin conditioning too.

ROSA CENTIFOLIA FLOWER WATER aka CABBAGE ROSE also has anti-oxidants and its astringent properties help tighten pores and reduce the redness and inflammation.


Aside from flowery extract one of the main ingredients is PUNICA GRANATUM FRUIT EXTRACT aka POMEGRANATE. It’s rich in antioxidants that help fight and repair free radical damage from the sun and environmental stressors such as hyperpigmentation and age spots. Studies have shown the efficacy of Punica Granatum extract in protecting the skin against UVB-induced damage. Even Estée Lauder has a full skincare line that focuses on the use of pomegranate.

CORNUS OFFICINALIS FRUIT EXTRACT aka CORNELIAN CHERRIES is rich in Vitamin A and, VELVET EXTRACT aka DEER ANTLER contains collagen and amino acids both also a good anti-inflammatory and antioxidant


As their skincare range is famously known for using a lot of medicinal herbs and ginseng so it’s not surprising that they’re infusing these into the primer as well:-

ATRACTYLOIDES MACROCEPHALA ROOT EXTRACT. A plant extract commonly used in Chinese and Korean herbal medicines. It has soothing and antioxidant properties. Similar to THYMUS VULGARIS EXTRACT aka THYME have these functions as well

GLYCYRRHIZA GLABRA ROOT EXTRACT aka LICORICE also has skin-soothing properties. Also, licorice root may be effective in improving the look of an uneven skin tone and soot sensitive, reddened skin.

REHMANNIA GLUTINOSA ROOT EXTRACT aka CHINESE FOXGLOVE is also good skin conditioning. Similarly, ANGELICA ACUTILOBA ROOT EXTRACT also has a similar function plus it’s anti-inflammatory too.

CNIDIUM OFFICINALE ROOT EXTRACT has skin conditioning emollient. Ingredients that act as lubricants on the skin surface, which give the skin a soft and smooth appearance. OPHIOPOGON JAPONICUS ROOT EXTRACT. It protects the skin from dryness by boosting the skin’s moisture-retaining ability and brings a more refined texture.

CIMICIFUGA RACEMOSA ROOT EXTRACT aka BLACK COHOSH is an anti-microbial. And is also able to inhibit suppression of the formation of melanin. Because of its active constituents flavonoids, it carries antioxidant properties Glycoside in black cohosh, it retains moisture for longer periods. Also, it draws moisture from the surrounding environment, making skin well moisturized.


Another highlighted ingredient is KAOLIN CLAY aka WHITE SOIL, previously used by the royalty and aristocratic women in Europe and China. It has absorbent properties that can absorb excess oil and sebum which can help to reduce shine. It can also draw out oil, dirt, and other impurities from the pores. It also increases the makeup lasting power. Kaolin also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce redness and swelling around existing blemishes.

It also contained MICA a highly controversial ingredient in the cosmetic world, dealing with the scandal of child laboring but it is very difficult to identify or make sure that they’re getting from the lawful-source.

✵✵ Result ✵✵

I’ve been using this primer as my base after my skincare regime before I put on foundation. However, do note that this has shimmer on it due to the ingredient Mica in it. Upon layering of foundation, on top of the primer, the shimmer blended well and makes your foundation looks good and has this natural glow and shine to it.

It helps to refine pores and wrinkles but I’m not sure will it works on the deep wrinkle. Since most of the ingredients are skin soothing and skin conditioning, I’ve noticed that if I have redness due to breakout it was soothed and skin appear velvety smooth as well. It does color correct immediately if you refer back to my application images

Even after 6 or 12 hours wearing it, your foundation adheres longer and skin is still hydrated and there is this illuminating effect that looks natural but not too overly glowy.

The only difference between Gongjinhyang: Mi Essential Primer Base and L’Essentiel Pore Minimizer Shine-Control Primer is the ability to color correct. This primer has the green color to correct redness for the skin. While both similarly awesome packed with a lot of skincare benefit ingredients.

✵✵ Overall Rating ✵✵

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Overall I like how the natural herbal ingredients extracted soothe and cool the skin, while moisturizing skin. It also covers facial imperfections, smooth skin. It corrects your skin tone and light at the same time and makes your make up even more gorgeous and natural. Your face becomes radiant, naturally spotless.

For me, I will use Gongjinhyang: Mi Essential Primer Base if I wanted to have a radiant and illuminating look while I will use L’Essentiel Pore Minimizer Shine-Control Primer if I wanted to have a mattifying look.

So will I purchase this again, yes I will continue to purchase it especially if it comes in a coffret set as the only downside is this is quite an expensive primer but this does last me quite long for around 5-6 months for this 40ml.

*I’m an Asian guy with an oily combination skin condition in my early 30s and living a tropical climate with hot and humid weather.
**Reviews are based on my own experience usage, research online and knowledge shared between beauty advisors.

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6 thoughts on “The History of Whoo Gongjinhyang Mi Essential Primer Base – Luxury Primer

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