I've been crazy busy at work and haven't been keeping up with my posts, but have a few things to share. Tonight however, in the spirit of spending a relaxing Friday night staying in, I'd like to share my thoughts on one box in particular: the Memebox At Home box. The theme of this box was pampering yourself for a relaxing night in, and it was definitely one I enjoyed receiving, if nothing else for the sheer entertainment value. For reference, I paid about $26 for this box including international shipping from Korea.
Side note: the instructions recommend using it in the shower, and letting it sit on your skin for 3-5 minutes before rinsing. Is it just me, or does anyone else not have time to stand in a shower for five minutes not getting your legs/stomach/butt wet?
Next up we have the cotterang Blackhead & Black Mask Economic Kit (full sized, listed as $29).
This neat little blackhead remover kit comes with a petri dish, cloth strips (40 for your nose, 20 for your chin), a formula that you spray onto the strips (Memebox called it Blackhead-Out Sauce, which is a cooler name than the actual name, which is Blackhead Out Source), a pair of pincers/tongs to grab the wet strips, 25 black sticks with a q-tip on one and and a blackhead remover on the other, and a plastic bag for it all. I was excited to try this as I have crater-sized pores that get filled up with sebum every single day and had high hopes that this would draw them out. It's a bit different than other pore strips in that you spray the formula on the cloth strips and keep them on your skin, but the strip isn't stick, so I felt the need to continue pressing it down to ensure constant contact. Also, it doesn't harden and pull out the gunk in your pores - the instructions actually say to remove the strip before it dries completely and then to remove the "extracted blackheads' with the q-tip sticks. I'm not sure why you're not supposed to let these dry, but I've tried it twice and didn't really notice any difference (and there certainly wasn't anything pushed out of my pores enough for me to remove it with a q-tip). That being said, I think my pores might actually be more clear than usual, in terms of that gunky sebum stuff. I used a different pore strip and nothing really came of that either, so maybe I just don't actually need this right now? On the other hand, I have more blackheads than usual (I usually have no blackheads but lots of gunk, and now it's reversed), but this didn't seem to do anything for blackheads. In any case, I'll definitely try again another time.
The next product is great for those of you who take better care of their nails than I do, or who use nail polish a lot. It's the with shyan Ruby Pusher and Eraser ($17) - this is a solution that you put on your cuticles and rinse off after 30-60 seconds. You're then supposed to use the included cuticle pusher to push your cuticles up and scrape off the loose, dead skin from under your cuticles. Let me say - this stuff is named Eraser for a reason. It actually stung quite a bit when I put it on my cuticles, which was not pleasant. I don't know if it's dissolving my skin cells or what, but hopefully that means it's actually doing something. That being said, after about 45 seconds it really did make it easier to push my cuticles back with the included cuticle stick (sorry for not having a clear picture of that, but it's a ceramic, slanted tip that gets under your cuticles very effectively). I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be scraping my cuticles off, but I tried to scrape out whatever was "under" them. The picture below shows my nails before and after using this, and to be perfectly honest I think my nails look better before I used this stuff, but that's because my cuticles are now just pushed up and loose (and my nails are slightly scraped). I think once they've recovered a bit, or if I figure out a good way to scrape off the loose cuticle, it will probably look better. Ultimately though, I thought my nails were fine the way they were, and although this might work, it's just too much trouble for me, with too little payoff. If this something you care about though, I think it would work quite well!
Before and after:
The last two products are the RiRe Cool Dr. Scalp+ and Hot Speed Manicure ($11). The Cool Dr. Scalp+ is supposed to cool down scalp temperature to prevent hair loss (I was not aware hair loss was related to an overheated scalp...) and also remove impurities and dead skin cells from your scalp. Though I don't expect much from the first half of these claims, removing impurities and dead skin cells sounds good, especially since I tend to have an oily but flaky scalp. I'm not totally certain how to use this - it says to apply directly onto your scalp whenever and wherever needed, no washing necessary. I'm wary of the grease/heaviness-factor of putting a cream directly on my scalp on dry hair, but I massaged a small amount in my scalp when my hair was still slightly damp, and it didn't seem to make my hair any greasier. That being said, I didn't notice any cooling effect and I'm not really sure what other effects I would see in terms of cleansing my scalp without rinsing. Maybe I just need to use more, but I'll reserve that for a day where no one will see my potentially product-overloaded scalp. It does smell relatively nice though, and seems fairly light (similar in texture to the Palan Crysence Hair Essence we got in Memebox 12). I will definitely keep trying it, but I'm sad it's such a small tube (speaking of which, it's kind of weird that it's in a lip gloss type tube, with a slanted tip with a hole in the middle). If I end up liking it, it's not going to last very long.
This Hot Speed Manicure, though... I'm not really sure what this is about. First of all, the name literally makes no sense. You're supposed to apply it to the ends of your hair and it's supposed to deliver nutrition and create a strong protein layer for maintaining a healthy moisture balance in your hair. I guess the Manicure is a reference to the protein, in the same way protein is related to nail care? I'm honestly not sure. As for the hot and speedy, this is neither hot nor is it any speedier than any other hair treatment out there. But I won't hold that against them - a lot of foreign products have names that don't work particularly well in English, and it doesn't detract from the product itself. But on that note, holy crap does this stuff smell like baby powder. As in, this makes my hair smell like baby powder more than putting baby powder in my hair (and I used to use baby powder as dry shampoo so I have lots of experience in that area). The smell was so prominent that I literally put it in my hair and then immediately went to the bathroom to try to rinse it out (and as someone who hates waiting for her hair to dry, this was a big deal). The smell itself is not that bad in and of itself, but it's just really not what I want to smell like, and it's strong enough that other people would be able to smell it too (in particular, the guy I thought I might be seeing - nothing kills the mood like cuddling with someone who smells like your grandmother's house). Because I rinsed it off immediately, I can't speak to what this does for your hair (although my ends are very soft today, but I don't know if it has anything to do with any residual product). I suppose I will try it again someday, but only when I know I won't be in close contact with anyone before my next shower. Sadly though, this means no matter how effective it is, I'm never going to want more because it kind of defeats the purpose if I can only use it when in isolation mode...
In conclusion, somehow despite the fact that most of these products were a bust for me, I actually still had a lot of fun trying them out and I don't think it was a waste of money. If nothing else, $26 for a nice cuticle pusher, some disposable blackhead extractors and a foot peeling gel that I will probably eventually use (once I deal with some of these more stubborn calluses) plus the sheer entertainment of being surprised by the box and trying everything out was totally worth it for me.
What did you guys think, and did you have any more luck with any of these than I did?
If you're interested in trying Memebox, they have some promotions going on. If you go through my link here, you can get 3 reward points back (equivalent to $3 credit) for the Vitamin Care box, Herbal Cosmetics box (this one looked great!), Collagen Cosmetics, Dermo Cosmetics 2, $5 in points back for the Anti-Aging 3 box, $10 in points for the IOPE 2 box and $2 in points for the Whole Grain 2 box, Diet Box, All about Eyes box.