Saturday, September 20, 2014

Birchbox Customer Appreciation Day

Birchbox Soho Store Customer Appreciation Day
Inside the Birchbox store

Yesterday, in honor of its fourth anniversary, Birchbox held its first Customer Appreciation Day.  What does that mean, you ask?  It was actually pretty sweet.  Birchbox made in-person deliveries across the country to people who were "nominated" (i.e. entered into the contest).  I sadly was not one of the lucky recipients, but judging from their Facebook pictures, it looks like Birchbox showed up to deliver tote bags (not sure what, if anything, was inside), flowers and balloons, which I think is super sweet.  They also notified a bunch of people that they would be receiving Birchbox treats in the mail - yet again, I was not one of the lucky ones.  Thankfully, for those of us who were not lucky enough to get treats delivered to us but who are lucky enough to live in or near NYC, anyone who stopped into the Birchbox Soho store got to put together a free Birchbox to take home.  How could I say no to that?
Birchbox Build Your Own Birchbox Box Soho Store Customer Appreciation Day
BYOB: Build Your Own Birchbox!

So I pushed out of my mind the fact that I would have to be late to work (the store doesn't normally open until 10:00 am, and today they didn't let people in until around 10:15 am) and made my way over to Soho, and thought I'd share a bit of it with you guys who couldn't make it.

This was the first time I've made it to th Borchbox store, but it's really nice! It's a very clean, modern looking space and they had it decorated with balloons and gold confetti on the floor.
Birchbox Soho Store Customer Appreciation Day

There are little stations with vanity mirrors in the middle where products are laid out to try, and then there are also products lining the walls and organized by category and need, like this skincare wall which has a section for oily and acne prone skin, among others.
Birchbox Soho Store Customer Appreciation Day

Sadly since I was already late for work I didn't really get to stick around and explore the offerings, so I made a beeline for the build your own Birchbox station (as did everyone else).
Birchbox Soho Store Customer Appreciation Day Build Your Own Birchbox Box
So many Birchboxes!
The first thing you do here is pick your box color, then you get to the really fun part - picking your samples! One rule, though, you're only allowed to pick one thing from each category (I think the categories were body, face (skincare), hair, fragrance and makeup).  Sometimes I think Birchbox forgets it's own rule when curating our boxes - ahem. But I digress.  Sadly the selection and process were not nearly as extensive as it was when I went to their NYFW pop up shop, but I guess I shouldn't be.  Rather than just browsing and picking out your samples out of giant, candy-store tubes lining the walls, you just move down the line of cases that display the sample choices, and an employee fills your box with your choice in each category. There were roughly 3-5 choices for each one, which basically like your typical pick-your-own-sample, but for your entire box!  Unfortunately a lot of the samples offers I had already tried or wasn't interested in, but I still found a few I'm excited about and they change every month so the options will always be different.

What I ended up choosing:
Body: Color Club nail polish in Peace, Love and Polish. I don't know why but I am seriously loving this polish right now.  Not usually into bright hot pink nails, but  this one is not only a great shade of pink (which would look great with a tan, btw) but it has a gorgeous gold sheen that makes it 100x more appealing to me. In the picture below, you can't really see it on my nails because I put a coat of Sephora/OPI's It's Real 18K Gold on top, but you can see the sheen in the bottle. So pretty!
Other options: I think there was a Whish body scrub, but I can't remember anything else... 

Birchbox Color Club Nail Polish Peace Love Polish Swatch

Face: I chose the Supergoop Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream with SPF 37. I've never noticed any difference from using eye cream (I don't yet have wrinkles or dark circles) but I try to use it on the off chance it may actually be effective in preventing wrinkles. But since I don't see any immediate effects I have no real way to distinguish between eye creams, so one easy way for me is to get eye creams with SPF, which is rarer than it should be! I figure no matter what, it has to be good to protect that delicate skin from the sun, right? 
Other options: Suki exfoliating foaming cleanser, a Marcelle 8-in-1 serum (I think) and I can't remember what else.

Fragrance: they had about four fragrances (of which I only remember two - Harvey Prince Ageless, which I chose, and Folle de Jolie, which I've already gotten in my Birchcbox). They had tester strips for each fragrance so you could smell it before choosing, which is nice, though they only had one of each that was reused. While this is economical and makes sense as long as you can still smell it, some people might want one that hasn't been held up to other people's noses all day. I didn't care though. 

Hair: Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment. While I just got the spray version of this in this month's Birchbox (and since I rarely use leave in hair products I have way more than I need), the other two options were a curl cream (I have straight hair) and Fekkai's glossing shampoo and conditioner (good sizes! They were bottles and not foil packets) which I have tried and don't love. And the Macadamia oil spray has seemed nice so far, so I'm ok with having another formulation of it.

Makeup: this one was kind of a bust for me. I chose the Laura Geller GlamLASH Dramatic Volumizing Mascara (which is .2 oz, almost 3/4 of the full size!) even though I'm up to my ears in mascara and I rarely use it, because the other options were the Cynthia Rowley eyeliner in silver (which I already have two of, thanks to Birchbox), the Manna Kadar sheer glo shimmer lotion (which I also have two of, thanks to Birchbox), the Anastasia clear brow gel (which I have at least one of from Birchbox) and I think there was one other option but I can't remember what it was. 
Birchbox Soho Store Customer Appreciation Day Build Your Own Birchbox Box Harvey Prince Ageless Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment Supergoop Eye Cream SPF Anti-Aging Laura Geller GlamLASH Mascara

All in all, not as thrilling as the NYFW box I made (with the amazing variety of samples there, it was impossible to choose just five of the ones I wanted to try) but it's still definitely nice to be able to pick your own samples. (And let's not forget that Birchbox was giving these away for free, so I really have nothing to complain about!)  One thing I do wish they retained from NYFW is a card that describes all the possible samples and includes brief instructions on how to use it, and the employee helping you can check off the ones you chose.  Not that I need instructions for these particular products, but it would be helpful in general. 

That's pretty much it, aside from the cute bag they put the box in (though walking into work with a bright pink bag that says BYOB at 11 am is maybe not ideal) and the jars of delicious candy they had out.  It was a total coincidence that I only got pink candy! 
Birchbox Soho Store Customer Appreciation Day Build Your Own Birchbox Box
Birchbox Soho Store Customer Appreciation Day

Anyway, I thought it was a nice event and certainly wouldn't mind if they did this every year! Happy anniversary Birchbox!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Memebox Scentbox #6: Sweet Shop + Coupon

Sweet Shop is the final scent theme in the latest series of Scentboxes from Memebox (check out my reviews of the Floral box and the Tropical Fruits box!) and it was also the one I was looking forward to the most, as I suffer from a serious sweet tooth.  That being said, it did not really turn out as I expected.  Maybe it's because I have a sweet tooth for baked goods and also love baking, but when I hear "sweet shop" I think of a bakery, so I was expecting something more along the lines of chocolate and cupcakes, particularly since the box was described as leaving you smelling "like yummy sugar crystals and sprinkles" - classic baking decorations!  Instead, the box seemed more directed at sweet things in general, including fruity scents that made up 50% of the box.  Given that I already had a separate tropical fruits box, I wish they had had more different scents in this box, but oh well.

Anyway, this is box in full:

Memebox Scentbox #6 Sweet Shop Unboxing Review

The first product is the Pure Smile Jewelry Scrub Glitter Sugar Scrub in Amethyst (full size, $8).  I'm honestly not sure why this was included in the box, except for the fact that it smells vaguely sweet?  But even then I can barely smell anything.
Memebox Scentbox #6 Sweet Shop Unboxing Review Pure Smile Jewelry Scrub Glitter Sugar Amethyst

Also, there is this exceedingly helpful diagram on the back (sorry about the poor quality - I decided to take a picture after putting away my camera), which I interpret to mean that this scrub will make sure to get all the precious gems and hearts from out of your pores so that you can be a sparkly naked dancer who likes to shower on tip toe while standing on one foot.  So there you have it!
Memebox Scentbox #6 Sweet Shop Unboxing Review Pure Smile Jewelry Scrub Glitter Sugar Amethyst

The second product is the Hello Everybody SPA Vita Berry Shampoo (full size, the full set is ~$29 on Wishtrend).  Unlike the scrub, this smells very sweet - kind of like the smell of artificial strawberry jam - probably because it's made with 10 berry "complexes".  It's not bad, but it does seem a little bit like something a 12 year old would want to smell like.  I don't mind it though, and I will keep using it since it seems like a perfectly good shampoo that's just as good as what I was using before.  I do wish they had included the conditioner, because I generally like to use shampoo and conditioner that go together, but right now I use this with Amika's nourishing hair mask, and my hair seems relatively soft. (Also I had used this a few times before taking the picture, so there was more to start with, in case anyone is wondering).
Memebox Scentbox #6 Sweet Shop Unboxing Review Hello Everybody SPA Vita Berry Shampoo

The third product is the Hope Girl Tinted Lip Balm in Strawberry (full size, $12).  Again, with the fruity scents!  This may as well have been the "not tropical fruits" box.  But oh well.  I do love tinted lip balms, although this one's not my favorite.  It's not as moisturizing as I'd like, and I would have preferred one of the other colors (Love Peach or Hot Cherry, both of which looked like deeper pink/red/orange).

Memebox Scentbox #6 Sweet Shop Unboxing Review Hope Girl Tinted Lip Balm Strawberry

Memebox Scentbox #6 Sweet Shop Unboxing Review Hope Girl Tinted Lip Balm Strawberry Swatch

Finally, the last product(s): Pure Smile Choosy Lip Pack Shining (in White Pearl and Pink Pearl).  Finally, something truly "sweets"-related!  Sort of.  At least, they have a picture of candy on them... I'm not sure what White Pearl and Pink Pearl have to do with anything though.  I've gotten these before, in my first ever Scentbox actually (Grapefruit).  They're odd-looking lip masks (see the packing below to get an idea) that are enriched with collagen, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid and honey to deliver intense moisture and nutrition to your lips.  You're supposed to apply it after toner (do you put toner on your lips??) and leave it on for 5-30 minutes (depending on how long you can go without talking, I guess?) then pat any remaining essence on your lips.  I was saving the first two for a special occasion (i.e. severely dry lips or, you know, a hot date...) so I haven't actually used them yet, but now that I have four I suppose I can be a little less choosy (pun intended...sorry, it just came to me!) about when I use them.  As long as they work decently, I'm happy to have multiples.
Memebox Scentbox #6 Sweet Shop Unboxing Review Pure Smile Choosy Lip Pack Shining White Pink Pearl

Anyway, that's the Sweet Shop box for you.  As I said earlier, I was expecting a different kind of sweet, and I still wish it had been more "bake shop" themed, but I'll use most of it. I may avoid future scentboxes though unless it's a specific scent I really love.

If you're interested in trying out Memebox (they have some fun boxes right now, like the Wine and Cheese box, which has the famed Bounce Cheese Cream in full size - this is not a recommendation! I bought it but have no idea if it will be a good box or not), you can use the code O4UP for $5 off your purchase.  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Memebox Scentbox #5 Tropical Fruits Unboxing and Review + Coupon

As I mentioned in my last post, I bought the latest three Scentboxes from Memebox (see my review of the Floral box here).  The second box was themed around tropical fruits, and without further ado, here it is!

Memebox Scentbox #5 Tropical Fruits Unboxing Review

This round of scentboxes was advertised (I believe) as having at least 3 full sized products, so it's nice to get a couple extra products in there.

Memebox Scentbox #5 Tropical Fruits Unboxing Review Boutique Bebe Coconut Pack SoapThe first item is the Boutique Bebe Coconut Pack (Memebox says $20, but I see it for about $9 on Gmarket).  Memebox says this pack (i.e. mask) is made "entirely" from all-natural extra virgin coconut oil, though the packaging itself lists quite a few other ingredients, including olive oil, argan oil, shea butter, vitamin E, rice bran oil, snail extract, propolis and salicylic acid.  This looks like soap, but Memebox calls it a "soap-like pack" and it's only meant to be used 1-2 a week, for deep cleansing, treating enlarged pores and improving skin elasticity and firmness.  Per the instructions, I lathered this up, massaged on my face for 2 minutes, and then rinsed off.  I didn't notice much difference in my pores, although some of the little sebum plugs seemed very close to the surface (if that was the work of the pack, I would still need a nose strip or something to actually get them out).  Although my face felt pretty clean, I tested the ph of the foam afterwards, and it's pretty alkaline, at a ph level of about 9.  This would dry out my (or anyone's) skin, so I don't think I will keep using this, sadly.  On the plus side, I always see the silver lining in unusable products in that I don't feel so bad wasting them, and I can take them out of the loong line up of things I have to use up!

Anyway, the second item is the Ladykin Twinklight Soft Foam Cleansing in Kiwi (full size, $10).  Unfortunately this was also more alkaline that I'd like in a face cleanser (less so than the coconut pack, but higher than 6, though I don't remember the exact number).  It's unfortunate, because this one smelled nice, and seemed to cleanse my face just fine.  It's supposed to be rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin C, but the high ph and drying effects mean I won't be using this long enough to test out those claims.  Sigh.
Memebox Scentbox #5 Tropical Fruits Unboxing Review Ladykin Twinklight Soft Foam Cleansing Kiwi

The third product is the KONAD niju Mango Moisture Hand Cream ($6).  This hand cream is enriched with argan oil, shea butter, olive oil and vitamin E and smells pretty much like mango.  I wouldn't say it's the most wonderful, real mango smell ever, but it's pretty decent.  The lotion itself leaves a slightly waxy feeling on my hands though, so it's not my favorite out there, but it will get used.
Memebox Scentbox #5 Tropical Fruits Unboxing Review KONAD niju Mango Moisture Hand Cream

The next item is interesting in theory - it's the KONAD Scented Nail Polish in Orange.  The name pretty much says it all, but this is nail polish that, when dried, is supposed to smell like oranges for up to 7 days after application.  Unfortunately, I don't really wear orange nail polish, so I don't have much use for this, though the color was actually nicer than I expected from looking at the bottle.  As for scent, it did smell kind of like oranges right after I applied it, but it faded away very quickly that same day.  It most definitely did not last 7 days!  Interestingly, Memebox says that if you want to scent to last longer, you should apply top coat after the scent wears off.  I'm not sure if this is just a bad translation, but I'm not sure how applying top coat after the scent is gone would make it last longer...I'm also not sure why it's a desirable thing to have your nails smell like fruit, but hey, to each his own.
Memebox Scentbox #5 Tropical Fruits Unboxing Review KONAD Scented Polish Orange

Swatched on one nail because I didn't need a full hand of mini oranges:

Memebox Scentbox #5 Tropical Fruits Unboxing Review Konad Scented Polish Orange Swatch

Finally, the last item is the Evasa Vitamin Body Wash in Papaya ($6).  I never really loved vitamin water that much, but I'll drink it if it's there and I'm thirsty.  I feel pretty much the same way about this uncannily familiar-looking body wash.  I would have preferred most of the other scents (pomegranate, lemon, strawberry and grape, which I would not have wanted).  Papaya isn't a fruit I love, and I don't love the scent of this.  It's not unpleasant and it's fairly mild, it just isn't necessarily something I would get excited about bathing in, so I will probably give it away.
Memebox Scentbox #5 Tropical Fruits Unboxing Review Evas Vitamin Body Wash Papaya

Overall, this box ended up being a bit disappointing for me, with two face products I can't use, a waxy lotion, a nail polish I won't use and a body wash I have no desire to use, but I guess you win some you lose some.  At least they generally stayed within the theme of tropical fruits, so I can't complain too much.

If you're interested in trying out Memebox, you can use the code O4UP for $5 off your purchase.  Enjoy!

Memebox Scentbox #4: Floral Unboxing and Review + Coupon

As you may know, Memebox (the Korean skincare/beauty product curated box service) has launched a series of Scentboxes, or small boxes ($15 each, with at least 3 full sized products, so far they have always included more, though not all full sized) that revolve around a particular scent as its theme (check out my review of the Grapefruit scentbox here).  I most recently bought a bundle pack of their three latest scentboxes: Floral, Tropical Fruits and Sweet Shop, which was $30 total, or buy 2 get 1 free.  I wasn't really interested in the Floral, but since I liked the sound of the other two, I figured it couldn't hurt to get the bundle and get that one free.  On that note, today I'm reviewing the Floral box:

Memebox Scentbox #4 Floral Unboxing Review

The first thing in this box is Sally's Box Friendly Cherry Blossom Hand Mask ($2).  This is a glove-shaped hand mask that has cherry blossom extracts and shea butter, which is supposed to intensely hydrate and nourish dry, rough hands.  I look forward to using this when my hands get dry, though I probably won't need it for a while.

Memebox Scentbox #4 Floral Unboxing Review Sally's Box Friendly Cherry Blossom Hand Mask

Memebox Scentbox #4 Floral Unboxing Review ESTHE Shower Cologne Body Perfume Spray Floral DreamThe second product is the ESTHE Shower Cologne (full size, $26?) in Floral Dream, which is a "refreshingly fruity and citrus floral scent".  The other possibilities were Rosy Glow (a soft, lovely rose bouquet scent) and White Musk (a delicately sensual white musk scent).  Name aside, this is essentially a body spray.  It smells fine, though nothing I would go out and repurchase again. I don't know a lot about perfume, but this smells like the kind of body spray you would get from Bath and Body Works - kind of sweet and pleasant, but not sophisticated (not that I'm complaining).  Not overly floral either.  The scent doesn't seem to last very long though.  In any event, I'm kind of meh about this.

Memebox Scentbox #4 Floral Unboxing Review L'OCEAN Feromonika Perfume Spray Ios FreshConsidering floral scents are my least favorite of the three, I'm slightly disappointed that half of this box is straight up perfume, rather than floral scented beauty/skin products that I would otherwise use.  But I guess that's not exactly unexpected for a box dedicated to a particular scent.  In any case, the third product is L'OCEAN Feromonika Perfume in 05 Ios Fresh (10ml, $12).  The description of this is a bit odd.  First, it says the Feromonika Perfume series is known as "pocket perfume" due to its small, easy to carry packaging, but I'm not sure how this is any different from, well, every other travel sized perfume spray or rollerball.  Second, it says L'OCEAN infused internationally popular high-end fragrances and infused them into this series.  In other words, this is a knock off perfume?  Kind of an odd thing to put in a curated box...Lastly, the name suggests some connection to pheromones but nothing is mentioned in the description.  The box, however, states that it contains l-muscone, which is the synthetic replica of the primary component of musky scents, and is supposed to make this scent "elegant yet seductive".  While I'm not typically a brand name snob, it seems a little odd to include a product that is so clearly meant to be a cheap, knock off version of something else.  I feel like that would be like Birchbox going to CVS and picking up those "If you liked Dior J'adore, you'll love this!" perfumes.  In any case, this also smells fine but not mindblowingly amazing.  It does smell fresh, so I guess that's good?

Memebox Scentbox #4 Floral Unboxing Review Secret Key Perfume Hand Cream Petit No. 2 Orange Basil JasmineAnyway, the fourth and final product in this box is the Secret Key Perfume Hand Cream (30g, listed as $10, but Memebox itself sells it for $5).  This hand cream comes in 6 different fragrances, which are supposed to last on your hands while the cream itself keeps them moisturized. The fragrances aren't listed (only numbers 1-6, or technically "petit no. 1-6").  I got number 2, which, according to a list I found online, is Orange Basil Jasmine.  I don't really pick up any orange or basil, unfortunately, and it smells mostly powdery.  I would have preferred most of the other scents, but oh well.  It works decently well as a lotion, but again, nothing special.

No. 1 is Jasmine Orange Peach
No. 2 is Orange Basil Jasmine
No. 3 is Orange Citrus Rose
No. 4 is Bergamot Peach Rose
No.5 is Bergamot Lily Musk
No. 6 is Lemon Orange Apple

In short, I didn't love this box (but wasn't expecting to, as someone who doesn't love floral scents) so I'm glad I didn't buy it separately.  I do wish it hadn't been 50% perfume though, because if you don't like the scent of the perfume, there's nothing else you can do with it, whereas I'm totally willing to use other products that incidentally have a floral scent.  But what can I do.  Thankfully I enjoyed the other two scentboxes more, and will post those shortly!

If you're interested in trying out Memebox, you can use the code O4UP for $5 off your purchase.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Memebox Traveller's Beauty Kit Unboxing and Review + Coupon

[So I know I just posted a Memebox unboxing, but in the interest of catching up on my reviews... I'm trying to crank these out].

Ah, the Traveller's Beauty Kit.  This kit contains travel friendly beauty and skincare goodies so you can look your best without lugging around your entire bathroom.  I suppose it would have been too much to ask to get this in time for me to actually use it on my one and only vacation, eh?  This is the one box I wanted by a certain time that was comfortably in the estimated delivery date, and it was the one box that took forever to get here.  It took the longest time getting to the US of all the boxes I've ordered, and then when it finally got here, it was delivered the very afternoon I left on vacation.  Of course, it got here after I had left for the airport.  So frustrating, given that so many of the things in this box would have come in handy on my trip... but I guess it was not meant to be.

I threw out the box already, but here are the contents of the Traveller's Beauty Kit (and also the pouch that came with it, though the pouch was nothing to write home about for me):
Memebox #25 Traveller's Traveler's Beauty Kit Unboxing Review
Memebox #25 Traveller's Traveler's Beauty Kit Unboxing Review

Memebox #25 Traveller's Traveler's Beauty Kit Unboxing Review Amini Traveller Kit Moisturizing Body Cleanser EmulsionThe first product (or two) is the Amini Traveller Kit, with Moisturizing Body Cleanser and Emulsion (30 ml each).  Memebox says these are "full sized", but I suppose it's a full-sized travel duo?  In any case, it's a pretty standard body wash + moisturizer set, with a mildly citrus scent. The body wash was pretty ordinary, but I do like the body emulsion.  I felt like it really does moisturize my skin rather than just covering it with a layer of lotion.  Although it's not the most chic packaging, I actually wish I had more of this (which is unusual for me - body lotions tend to all be one and the same to me).

The second product is one I really wish I had had on my trip.  It's the T.P.O. No-Wash Toner Sheet (full size, $10), which is a cleansing wipe.  Although I have plenty of these at home, vacation would have been the ideal time to use them.  After running around all day, I would go out at night but wouldn't want to wash my face three times in one day, so these cleansing wipes would have been perfect, whereas I don't have as much reason to use them at home.  I'm also curious if these are any different in that they're called Toner Sheets - I can't tell if they're supposed to also tone in addition to remove makeup and cleanse.  In any case, I already have an open package at home, so will wait until I finish that up before opening these.  One thing I found interesting is that the outer packaging, which markets this as a travel product, seems to have no connection to the product inside, as far as design goes.  That being said, T.P.O. apparently stands for Time, Place and Occasion, so maybe the entire brand/line revolves around products that can be used on the go?
Memebox #25 Traveller's Traveler's Beauty Kit Unboxing Review T.P.O. TPO No-Wash No Wash Toner Sheet Cleansing Wipe

Memebox #25 Traveller's Traveler's Beauty Kit Unboxing Review Easydew EX Active Smoothing SerumThe next item is a small (5 ml) sample of Easydew EX Active Soothing Serum.  This serum is made from Swiss glacier water (sounds nice, but I'm not sure what the benefits are... most google search results lead to product pages, which I am wary of) and it's supposed to cool and refresh dry, irritated skin.  It also has monk's pepper berries (sidenote: apparently the plant is known as Chaste Tree because it was believed to be an anaphrodisiac.  So, you know...  if your face is feeling a bit too lusty, you know what to use) which is supposed to sooth and repair damaged skin. I haven't used this yet, as my skin is neither dry nor damaged, but it feels like a pretty typical serum.

The next piece of the beauty kit is the ideeB Sweet Jelish Eyeliner ($11).  This came in two colors (Ultra Fine Pearl Black and Champagne Gold Brown) and I received the Pearl Black.  This is described as both an eyeliner and eyeshadow in an easy-to-apply product.  I'm not sure what makes this an eyeshadow, except for the fact that you can smudge it, and it doesn't smudge so easily that I would actually use this as an eyeshadow.  At most, I might smudge my liner a bit to make it smokier, but I think that's true of most pencil liners.  I'm also not sure why this is a traveler's item, except for the fact that it's waterproof.  I guess that's helpful if you're swimming or sweating while on vacation, but the connections seems tenuous to me.  In addition, this seems to be one of those annoying products that is made of plastic but has no internal mechanism to push the liner out, so you have to use a pencil sharpener on plastic, which I hate, and which is not as travel friendly as a twist up liner.  Also, I have about 100 black eyeliners to use up, which may put a damper on my enthusiasm for this.
Memebox #25 Traveller's Traveler's Beauty Kit Unboxing Review ideeB Sweet Jelish Eyeliner Ultra Fine Pearl Black

As for application, the liner goes on smoothly enough.  It's not as easy as kohl pencils for my waterline, which is primarily where I wear eyeliner, but it does show up, and doesn't seem like it would smudge.  The color is black but not deep, jet black, and has a bit of shimmer which is (thankfully) not too noticeable.
Memebox #25 Traveller's Traveler's Beauty Kit Unboxing Review ideeB Sweet Jelish Eyeliner Ultra Fine Pearl Black Swatch

The next product is another I really would have liked to have on my trip, and which is less useful now.  It's the Pure Smile Powder in refresh Sheets (sorry about the bad quality... I decided to retake the photo and was too lazy to break out the real camera).  This is a set of 10 deodorant sheets with a powder-infused formula to clean and refresh yourself.  Again, these would have been great at the end of a long day of sightseeing when I don't have time to shower before dinner or going out, especially since it comes in a cute little package that would easily fit into any bag.
Memebox #25 Traveller's Traveler's Beauty Kit Unboxing Review Pure Smile Powder in Refresh Sheets Deodorant

Memebox #25 Traveller's Traveler's Beauty Kit Unboxing Review S&B Aqua Tint OrangeOh well.  The next item is a fun one, and it's the S&B Aqua Tint in Orange ($4).  These are cotton swabs that are filled with lip stain liquid.  You twist the plastic on one end, and the liquid very quickly seeps into the other end, leaving you with one disposable cotton swap with enough lip tint for one application on your lips.  I think this is a cool idea, but maybe not the most practical.  It is definitely convenient to have disposable, one-time use make up products, but to carry this case around, I may as well just carry a lip tint, since there are plenty that are smaller than this case.  That being said, it's still a fun product to use, and there's no doubt I will use them up.  I've only tried one (I would have swatched again for a photo, but since there are limited uses, I decided to save them) but the color was much less intense than I expected from the name and the look of the swabs.  It's possible I was just wearing lip balm at the time and that interfered with the lip stain absorbing on my lips, but I prefer the natural look anyway, so I like that it was a tint but not a full on lip color or bright stain.

Memebox #25 Traveller's Traveler's Beauty Kit Unboxing Review S&B Aqua Tint Orange

The second to last product, again, would haven useful on a vacation... It's the NoTS UV Protection Sun Cream SPF 50+ PA +++, and it came in a box with 10 foil packets.  Normally I wouldn't be a fan of getting 10 foil packets instead of just a small container, but it would be convenient to have on vacation (for example, if I want to bring one packet to the beach and not bring the whole container just to leave it sitting out in the sun).  Now that I'm home and spending no more than 10 minutes in the sun on the average day, I don't have much use for SPF 50+, so I'm not sure when I'll use these.
Memebox #25 Traveller's Traveler's Beauty Kit Unboxing Review NoTS Protection Sun Cream

The final item is (spoiler alert) yet another product that would have been more useful to have on vacation than it is to have it at home.  It's the Pure Smile Hand Gel - Maldives Dancing Waters, in a 30 ml bottle ($2).  This cute little bottle of hand sanitizer contains collagen extracts, jojoba extracts and ascorbyl palmitate (an antioxidant and... food additive?).  I don't have much to say about this, except that it's cuter than Purell and, as far as I can tell, works just fine.
Memebox #25 Traveller's Traveler's Beauty Kit Unboxing Review Pure Smile Hand Gel Maldives Dancing Waters

So that's the Memebox Traveller's Beauty Box.  Overall I thought it was good box that I would have gotten a lot of use out of if I had had it on vacation.  What do you guys think?

If you're interested in trying out Memebox, you can use the code O4UP for $5 off your purchase.  Enjoy!

Memebox Brightening Skincare Unboxing and Review + Coupon

Wow, I am so behind on my unboxings, it's slightly overwhelming.  I just got back from a much needed vacation, which was lovely, but left a long trail of unreviewed boxes waiting for me... The first of these is Memebox #24: Brightening Skincare.  I've always had uneven, ruddy skin (there is nothing I want more than flawless, even skin some people are so lucky to have!) so I jumped right on this box.  Brighten away!  I got this box for only $13 due to $15 worth of points that I had to spend, so it would be hard for this box to not be worth it for me.  Without points, it would have been $27.  (Sidenote: Memebox randomly gives out points to existing accounts, and each point is equivalent to $1 in credit).

 Here's the box:

Memebox Special #26 Brightening Skincare skin care review unboxing

Memebox Special #26 Brightening Skincare skin care review unboxing ISPREN rx Magic Eye Solution Wise PatchThe first item is the ISPREN Magic Eye Solution Wise Patch ($3).  This single use, hydro-gel (whatever that means) eye patch is supposed to sooth and lock in moisture and nutrition into your eyes, hydrating and brightening your under eye area.  More specifically, it treats "panda-eyes", thus, I suppose, the very enlightening diagram of a sad panda cheering up when he loses his black eyes (personally, I'm offended on behalf of all pandas out there who think they need to get rid of their spots... what are they trying to say here??)  Anyway...thankfully I don't really have dry eyes or dark circles, so even if this worked I probably wouldn't be able to tell.  I'll probably give this away or wait for a day when I really need it.

Memebox Special #26 Brightening Skincare skin care review unboxing Finco Solution SpotThe second product is the Finco Solution Spot (full size, supposedly $42).  This is a clear gel that targets red, uneven spots or emergency break outs.  It's supposed to sooth and brighten up uneven, reddish spots and acne scars.  The "important" ingredient (I refrain from calling it the main ingredient, because the first two ingredients are water and glycerin) seems to be agrimonia extract.  Based on a quick google search, it seems to inhibit hepatitis b (just what I needed!) and have antioxidant properties.  It can also act as an astringent and is antibacterial.  I don't see any consistent material on its effect on acne scars, but astringent and antibacterial sound good for break outs.  That being said, I'd prefer something more obviously targeted at unevenness - I rely on prescription strength products for break outs, so probably won't be turning to this anytime soon for those.  I did try it on one red bump I had on my arm, and it didn't seem to do anything, but I'd have to keep using it to really tell.

Memebox Special #26 Brightening Skincare skin care review unboxing CLEOSIS all in one water shining finisher The next product is the CLEOSIS All In One Water Shining Finisher (full size, $39). According to Memebox, this combines a toner, essence, moisturizer and primer all in one.  That's a lot of functions for one product, particularly given that all of the above typically have different textures!  In any case, it's used as the last step of your skincare routine (though really, doesn't toner through primer just cover everything?) and it's supposed to hydrate, firm up, brighten, and smooth out uneven skin texture, using galactomyces ferments, rice bran ferments, pumpkin ferments and other ingredients.  This sounds like quite the multi-purpose product, though I'm doubtful it can achieve all of these things.  Trying to keep my expectations realistic, I've been using this as a moisturizer (and only a moisturizer) and it has worked just fine, but I haven't noticed anything noteworthy yet.  It does have an interesting texture - it comes out as a white cream, but once I rub it in, the feel left over on my skin is more like that of a serum.  Definitely intriguing, and I will continue to test it out.

Memebox Special #26 Brightening Skincare skin care review unboxing Yufit Eon Wheat Germ 97 EssenceThe next item is the Yufit Eon Wheat-Germ 97 Essence (full size, $36).  I received another product from this same line in Memebox Global #13 (review here).  I liked the wheat germ cream, although when my skin was sensitive it stung a little, so I'm looking forward to using this.  It's a whitening, anti-wrinkle, brightening and moisturizing essence (a light serum) that moisturizes and balances uneven skin tone and texture.  This has a very watery consistency - just barely thicker than water, so it feels very light, which makes me feel like I could put it under my prescription treatments without interfering with efficacy.  I think this is another product that would require prolonged use to see if it works

Memebox Special #26 Brightening Skincare skin care review unboxing Dermahouse Perfect Whitening Moisture MaskThe last product in this box is the Dermahouse Perfect Whitening Moisture Mask (full size, seems to be roughly $12 value based on looking at a few other sites).  This mask can be used as a wash off mask (washing off a thick layer after 10-15 minutes) or as a sleeping pack (overnight, on top of your skin care routine), and it contains niacinamide, which is a form of vitamin B3 that has anti-inflammatory properties and is useful for preventing moisture loss and evening pigmentation and dark spots.  I'm not sure how concentrated the niacinamide is, but I am definitely willing to give it a shot.  I used it as a wash off mask and it did sting a tiny bit at first (probably due to my sensitive skin and the fact that I had just used my Clarisonic), but it went away quickly and I didn't see any other negative effects.  It was a tad difficult to wash off completely, and I think it would be useful to have a Konjac sponge or washcloth to wash it off, though with enough effort my hands did the trick.  I think my skin did look slightly lighter (not necessarily more even though, just lighter all over), so  while not hugely noticeable, my first impression is that this does in fact do something.  Next time I plan on trying it as an overnight mask to see if the effects are more noticeable.  If so, I'll report back!

Anyway, as I said earlier, for $13, it would be pretty difficult for me to think I didn't get a good value out of this box.  While I don't think any item was over-the-moon exciting, I will definitely get use out of almost everything in this box, and everything but the eye patches are full sized so I will definitely be able to test them out over a long period of time.  If any of you have thoughts on this box, please do share!  I'm very curious to see other people's experiences with the products I test out.

If you're interested in trying out Memebox, you can use the code O4UP for $5 off your purchase.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Memebox OMG Box Unboxing and Review + Coupon

Hey all!

Today I'd like to share Memebox Special #16 OMG Box - this is one of the Memeboxes I was most excited about, and it did not disappoint.  The OMG theme was supposed to bring us weird and wacky products, which are my weakness.  I just adore trying products in new formats or new ingredients, and whatnot, so this box was perfect for me.

This is the full box, chock full of fun things:
Memebox Special #16 OMG Box Unboxing Review

The first item in the box is the Hope Girl Night Diva Gloss in Pink Drop:

Memebox Special #16 OMG Box Unboxing Review Hope Girl Night Diva Gloss Pink Drop
Memebox Special #16 OMG Box Unboxing Review Hope Girl Night Diva Gloss Pink Drop Swatch

Memebox Special #16 OMG Box Unboxing Review Hope Girl Night Diva Gloss Pink Drop Light Mirror

This is full sized and retails for $22 according to Memebox.  I have to say, this was the least exciting thing in the box, particularly since I'm not really a lip gloss person.  What's "different" about this gloss is that it has two colors in the tube (a pink color and a coral color) and the cap lights up so that you can apply it anywhere (even in the dark) using the mirror on the side of the tube.   I wouldn't say this is anything that would make me look twice at a lip gloss, but I do have to say it's practical, especially since the light is conveniently placed in the cap so that it shines directly on your lips as you apply the gloss.  (Also, I once received a Modelco lip gloss that had a mirror, but the mirror was placed on the applicator itself, so you could only use it after you applied and not during, which was less helpful).

Memebox says this gloss is non-sticky, moist and spreads easily.  I do think it's somewhat less sticky than other lip glosses I've tried, which I appreciated, but it's still no tinted lip balm, which I live by.  As for the color, it's a bit sheer, but it's a nice shade if you're not looking for much payoff.

The second product is super cute, and it's the SKINAZ Premium Vitatablet (full size, $46 according to Memebox).  These little tablets contain vitamin C and "aroma oil" (supposedly 300g of vitamin C, but since the size of the product is only 39g, I'm a bit confused as to how that can be...).  There are two ways to use these: either by dropping a tablet into water and rinsing your face with it, or using the vitamin water as a facial mist or for your hair, bath or babies (the baby use is also not really spelled out...).  I was a bit sad to see the jar is somewhat empty once you take out the two packets placed inside to keep moisture out, so there are a lot fewer tablets than I expected.  That being the case, I will probably try these out once or twice to rinse my face, but I'm more likely to use this as a facial mist in order to make the most out of them.  I haven't used them yet, since I have multiple facial mists to get through, but will report back on anything noteworthy, though the skeptic in me doesn't expect a whole lot of noticeable difference from vitamin C-infused water, in whatever shape or form.  I still think the tablets are adorable though...
Memebox Special #16 OMG Box Unboxing Review SKINAZ Premium Vitatablet Vitamin Tablet

Memebox Special #16 OMG Box Unboxing Review SKINAZ Kissable 24h hour Lip Tattoo Sweet Wine
The third product is one that was revealed in spoilers, and it's the SKINAZ Kissable 24H Lip Tattoo in what I think is Sweet Wine (full size, retails for $18).  This is a very unique lip stain, in that when you apply it to your lips it looks at first like a very pigmented, shiny lip gloss, but after 10-15 minutes, it's completely dried, and you peel it off to leave a stain on your lips that is supposed to last 24 hours.  The color looks pretty intense when applied (see picture below), but once it's peeled off, it's a nice color that is strong enough to be noticeable but not so bold for someone who prefers lip tints over lipstick.  The only thing I don't like about this is that the application is not the easiest in the world.  It's very sticky and a little thick, which makes it hard to apply it as precisely as you would other lip products, but thankfully this hasn't caused any real problems, in large part (I believe) because the color is more sheer so you don't get such sharp lines where the product ends.  The other difficulty is in waiting the 15 minutes.  It doesn't seem to dry very well when there is moisture on your lip or where your lips are touching, so unless you only apply it to where your lips don't touch, it seems best to not close your mouth while it's drying, otherwise your lips will stick together, which is kind of annoying.
Memebox Special #16 OMG Box Unboxing Review SKINAZ Kissable 24h hour Lip Tattoo Sweet Wine Swatch

The next thing in my box is certainly interesting... it's the Pure Smile 3-Step Oh! My Busty!? Bust Pack ($6).  In short, this is a mask set for "taking care of your bust" and keeping it soft and moisturized.  The first step involves massaging a gommage onto your chest to exfoliate.  The second step is a hydro-gel pack (and have no fear, it can be worn under a shirt!  Just in case you want to be able to go out in public while you take care of your dry boobs) which is worn for 10-15 minutes.  The final step is a cream. Honestly, this seems a little pointless to me.  Though there may be plenty of things I'd like to address in my cleavage (or lack thereof) area, dryness is not one of them, so I don't really need a 3-step system to keep it moisturized.  More importantly, even if it were to get dry, I'm not sure why any of this is particular to your chest.  It seems as arbitrary as needing a 3-step system to keep your forearm moisturized, since I'm guessing the same things would apply all over your body.  But I suppose I'll try it, strange as it may seem (particularly since they took the time to provide this wonderfully helpful guide on the back).  Also, what does "Oh! My Busty!?" mean??
Memebox Special #16 OMG Box Unboxing Review Pure Smile Oh My Busty 3 Step Bust PackMemebox Special #16 OMG Box Unboxing Review Pure Smile Oh My Busty 3 Step Bust Pack
The second to last product is this cutely packaged Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask (full size, $18 + shipping on Amazon).  This is a carbonated mask that contains green tea extracts, pomegranate extract and charcoal extract as well as carbonated water, which is supposed to penetrate deep into your pores to clean them out.  I'm not really sure where the clay comes in, and I get the feeling it's only called a clay mask because it starts off dark gray.  It also functions as a cleanser, because you're supposed to use it on a dry, uncleansed face.

Memebox Special #16 OMG Box Unboxing Review Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask

The consistency of this mask is pretty thick (though less thick than many clay masks), but as soon as you put it on your skin, it starts bubbling and foaming up.  It's pretty odd, and it immediately becomes a light gray color as it turns into a sort of foam.  During the five minutes you're supposed to leave it on, you can definitely feel the bubbles forming, and it almost tickles a little bit.  It's not an unpleasant feeling, but it's definitely different.  After 5 minutes, it becomes completely foamy, which kind of makes you look like you have a face covered in shaving cream.  When washing it off, I noticed that there may be some spots that don't just rinse off and leave a slight residue, so it would be helpful to use a soft washcloth or Konjac sponge or something to make sure you get it all off, though I'm able too with enough effort.  I was a bit skeptical of how well this would clean my skin, but it seems to leave my face pretty clean afterwards, and I haven't felt the need to use another cleanser after it.  I haven't seen any noticeable improvements in my skin, but it hasn't had any negative effects either.  I'll keep using it to see how it performs more long term, but for now, it seems like a decent and fun (albeit it slightly more time consuming) cleanser/face mask.

Before and after 5 minutes:
Memebox Special #16 OMG Box Unboxing Review Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask

The final product in the OMG Box is the Ladykin Aqua Exfoliator for Body (full size, $14).  This is supposed to give you a "quick glimpse" of the word of Korean public baths and scrubs, as a gentle exfoliator containing "cellulose components" of papaya and pineapple extracts.  You just spray it over your body after showering, and then you're supposed to gently massage away any dead skin cells.  I'm always wary of these "exfoliators" that instantly ball up on your skin, and this is no different.  Usually, however, they are a gel consistency, while this is more of a liquid spray, so at least that's slightly different.  After trying this on my legs, I do think this does exfoliate somewhat - my legs did feel slightly smoother afterwards, but I still prefer more intense scrubs for my body as my skin is not particularly sensitive, and the payoff here seems too minimal for me to use it all the time.  Oh well.
Memebox Special #16 OMG Box Unboxing Review Ladykin Aqua Exfoliator for Body
Memebox Special #16 OMG Box Unboxing Review Ladykin Aqua Exfoliator for Body
Anyway, there's the OMG box for you.  I thought this was a really fun box.  I know some people were disappointed by the lack of an OMG-factor in that none of the products were really shocking, but I still thought the products were fun and different, and they are all things I've enjoyed trying.  For me, that makes it totally worth it, and I can't wait to get OMG 2 and 3!  Did anyone else get this box?  What did you think?

If you're interested in trying out Memebox, you can use the code O4UP for $5 off your purchase.  Enjoy!

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