Happy 2014 everyone! I can’t believe we’re already nearing the end of January :'( I hope this year will be good to all of us – let’s all do amazing things and create wonderful memories with people we love ♡ It’s been almost a month since my last post (OOPS) and almost a whopping 3 months since my last real post with substance… JK DBSK IS SUBSTANCE. I have some Real Life Grown Up changes that I’m excited to share soon, but I recently picked up something special and wanted to go ahead and get this post up ASAP!
(ﾉ´ヮ´)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Baby’s first beauty box!! I was chatting with my friend Amanda (hi!) a while ago about beauty subscription services and she introduced me to MEMEBOX, a Korean beauty box curated by the team behind OnStyle’s ‘Get It Beauty’ cosmetic & skincare show. Some of you may be familiar with their Get It Beauty Self web series featuring demo vids by kpop idols like f(x)’s Sulli, 4minute’s Gayoon and THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL EVER, Nana of AfterSchool. While I think the show itself is hit or miss, I like their blind product tests and it’s fun seeing what new trends are out there. I missed out unfortunately on the first two boxes, so when I saw the 3rd edition up for sale and it being a ~special global edition~, I had to treat myself to the January box~
Each MEMEBOX retails for $21 for approximately 2 full sized products and 4 deluxe samples per box. Shipping is an unfortunate $6.97 for standard delivery, but MEMEBOX issues $7 back in credit to spend on your next order. So if all you purchase from the site are MEMEBOXs, that works it out to $21 inclusive of shipping on all future boxes. 01-25-14 Not sure if this is a temporary or permanent change, but MEMEBOX no longer offers return point mileage on orders, instead they’re offering upgrades to express shipping for the price of regular delivery. The one I ordered was created for the new year, so it came with 5 full sized items, 5 deluxe samples and a promotional upgrade to express shipping – my box arrived in just FOUR DAYS.
The 3rd edition box was a global edition, which is extra special because I believe the selection of brands differ between the Korean MEMEBOX and the US one (with the US service receiving lesser known brands), so I was excited that I’d get to try the same products that Korean subscribers do. The 5 full sized items in this box were the: the Dr. Jart+ eye serum, Papa Recipe lip mask, Secret Kiss eyeliner, Nuganic sunblock and Aritaum lashes and the 5 sample sized products were the Dear by Enprani moisturizer, the TONYMOLY lip tint and the 3 Banila co. CC It Radiant samples in their trial kit. OOOOOH
Important at this point, to mention that MEMEBOX is not actually a subscription service like Joliebox, Glossybox or Birchbox where subscribers are automatically billed and sent a new box each month. MEMEBOX are announced when they’re available for purchase and each box is only produced in limited quantities with the possibility of restocking in the future. This means you can’t tailor your product preference to exclude things you have no use for, but it also means that you can technically wait for an unboxing review before you go ahead and make a purchase.
Dear by Enprani Bounce Cheese Cream (30ml)
Full Size: 75ml for $29 – Sample value: $11.60
When I first opened the box and looked over the product list, I was surprised to see that this moisturizer was actually a sample sized product because it’s so big! I’m slowly but surely hitting the end of my Sana moisturizer and the end of winter is nowhere in sight so this came at really opportune time. I’ve seen the Enprani brand before in small shops in Flushing, but I don’t know if I ever noticed it enough – I definitely didn’t pay attention to realize that they had launched a ~feel good raw beauty~ line. I can’t seem to find much information on the brand, but Park Shinhye is the brand ambassador and what I would give for the Korean girl glow :'(
Bounce Cheese Cream is quite a name to give to your product, but before you laugh about it, be aware that there’s a second moisturizer in the Dear by Enprani line called “Melted Cheese Cream.” I’M HUNGRY. The Bounce Cheese Cream’s one-of-a-kind name is because it’s main ingredient is whey protein, a by-product created during the production of cheese. The use of whey protein as a key ingredient is also probably why this moisturizer has the texture that it does. It pulls apart kind of like … well … stringy cheese. Truthfully, while the initial encounter with the texture feels off-putting, it’s actually a nice moisturizer. It has a faint floral / baby powder scent and spreads out very nicely on my face. Despite looking like it would clump (like cheese curds?! oh god) or be sticky, it wasn’t greasy at all, sunk in quickly and didn’t wash off in the morning. I haven’t used it enough to tell if the “natural protein will perfectly hydrate and firm [my] skin,” but I like it enough at the moment to reach for it over my favorite Sana moisturizer.
Dr. Jart+ V7 Eye Serum (15ml)
Full Size: 15ml for $38
I think I had a little heart attack when I opened the box and I saw this because HELLO IT’S DR. JART (!!!) and because I’ve been whining about eye products for the longest time. I’ve got a bad baaaaad case of milia and dry undereyes so I’ve been stuck between wanting a rich, creamy eye cream to combat my undereye thirst, but simultaneously being terrified that it will give me more milia madness. An eye serum, on the other hand, sounds like it’d be the perfect formulation (higher concentration of active ingredients & a thinner consistency) *^*
The V7 Eye Serum claims to have 7 essential vitamins that will solve all your life’s problems help treat dark circles AND puffiness. It’s unscented, light in texture and seems to wear well underneath my concealer. I’ve only tried this out for a few days, and I’m happy to report no real problems so far, but it’ll probably take more than a few uses to see if it’ll do anything for puffiness or my dark circles. It does seem to hold up well in the moisture end so it’s looking good! I am probably the most thrilled about getting this in the box and since it’s retail value (markup after import is nearly $50) made up for the price of the box entirely :OOO
TONYMOLY Delight Tony Tint Red (1.5ml)
Full Sized: 9ml for $3 – Sample Value: $.50
Another item I was pleased to see in my MEMEBOX! I’ve been wanting to try something from TONYMOLY for the longest time and their lip tints are one of their bestselling items. I was actually pretty disappointed that this wasn’t a full sized item because the color is really lovely and it would have been nice to have the full sized version. The markup on imported TONYMOLY products is ridiculous -nearly 3x it’s retail value!! I wish this box had included the full sized version since it’s terrible having to pay almost $10 for a $3 item :(
The TONYMOLY Delight Tint comes in 3 shades: Cherry Pink, Red and Orange Cha Cha and the one that was included in this month’s box was shade #2 Red. I compared it to two other red shades I own (and previously swatched here & here) and found that the pigmentation was really quite nice. The blurb for this item says that the tint provides full color in one swipe giving you and I agree… but only if you can get it to tint your lips evenly. The eternal struggle for dry chapped ladies like me is how to avoid the unintentional gradient lip :/ The solution for me sometimes is to top it with a sheer red (the Revlon balm) which really helps.
The TM tint wears for about 3-4 hours while drinking and eating regularly. It’s mostly faded by midday, but there is a bit of a light tint left if you look real close. It smells kind of amazing – like Kusagai Muscat Grape gummy snacks???? – but it fades almost as soon as you apply it, so if you’re not a scent person – it’s alright! Overall, it’s a great basic tint if you’ve got well moisturized lips and can manage to find it for a reasonable price (read: not $10).
Banila Co. Radiant kit
Look how cute this sample kit is!!! Banila Co. is another brand I’ve been wanting to try and I love that this box included a kit because it means I get to try all the things. I secretly wish that the brightening cream was also a deluxe sample and not satchet ones, but hey shh no complaining.
Banila Co. It Radiant Brightening Cream (1.5ml x 5)
Full Sized: $25 for 50ml – Sample Value: $3.75
I regret that I’m writing this post without having the chance to use the brightening cream much, but I did give it a look over and it looks like a standard ~luminous white~ moisturizer, which I don’t think will be everyone’s cup of (white) tea. I’m not sure that it worked any miracles on my skin, but it was a nice light comfortable face cream.
Banila Co. It Radiant CC Cream (10ml)
Full Sized: $25 for 30ml – Sample Value: $8.33
I haven’t had enough experience with CC creams to have more than a neutral opinion about them, but I like that I have a chance to try one without committing to a full tube. The Banila Co. Radiant CC Cream is a light pink/white tinted cream that fades when you massage it into your skin. The “brightening” effect comes into play when you consider that you’re wearing a white base underneath your makeup so technically everything’s going to look like it’s got a bit more oomph. The Banila Co. CC cream has no pigmentation in it so it doesn’t really offer any coverage alone. I don’t know if it did much for correcting any color on my face, but I think I’ll have to try it a few more times to tell.
Banila Co. It Radiant CC in Melting Pact (1.5g)
Full Sized: $28 for 13g – Sample Value: $3.24
I think I coo-ed a little bit when I opened this mini CC pact box because it’s so small and cute omg :3 The trial kit came with the Banila Co. CC pact in the shade Light Beige, which I believe is the lighter of two shades – the other being Natural Beige. This is where it’s obvious MEMEBOX isn’t a tailored subscription service because it would be pretty frustrating getting a product that only came in super light shades. Korea, pls. I was very fortunate that I not only could wear this shade, but it turned out to match my exact skintone, which is some sort of rare miracle on it’s own. I applied it with my fingers (because the sponge was kinda of too cute to use) and it went on very smoothly. I would say it gives a medium coverage with a natural to satin finish. Oil control could be better, but it did help me avoid the dreaded desert face which is where my skin sucks all the moisture out of my makeup. This is my favorite of the three products in the trial kit because it actually surprised me by how well it met my foundation requirements. I’m so used to liquid foundations & bb creams that I think it’s just the slightest bit dry, but I’m definitely going to consider picking this up when I’m done with the 29348028 base products I already have open.
Here’s a full face shot of the Banila Co. products and the Tonymoly lip tint:
Aritaum The Professional Eye Lash – Baby Cat Eyes (Full Sized)
Full Size: $3
A friend of mine once saw a review for an Aritaum eyeshadow with the most incredible pigmentation and that set us on a journey of Great Lengths to locate a retailer that sold Aritaum products outside of Korea. Alas, it was without success, but it did familiarize me with the Aritaum brand which I’ve finally started seeing being carried the same shops that sell mid/high end boutique brands like Iope and Espoir.
I was hoping that my first Aritaum item would be something I could test lovingly, but unfortunately, I wear glasses almost exclusively and don’t see a chance in the future where I would get to wear these lashes :( This sadly seems to be a product I won’t get to try personally :'( From my limited lash wearing experience, I can say that the band is thin and flexible, while the fibers themselves are on the stiffer side / rather synthetic in texture. I can’t say much about the glue since I haven’t had a chance to use it, but I believe most people have a lash glue they always tend to stick to (ha) so the included glue likely wouldn’t make or break the product.
Secret Key Secret Kiss Twinkle Waterproof Gel Pencil Liner in Deep Black (1.2g)
Full Size: $8 for 1.2g
The next full sized item in the Jan MEMEBOX was a black glitter gel pencil liner by Secret Key, which is a new brand introduction for me. I haven’t had the time to do more research, but I did see some items on the Secret Key site that look familiar to other very famous products ayyy lmao. I don’t wear pencil liner very often anymore to be honest, but I did give open it up to give it a few swatches~
Here’s the Secret Key liner swatched alongside two other sparkly black liners that I own, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner in Oil Slick and Trish McEvoy’s Intense Gel Eyeliner Pencil in Black. Of the two, the Secret Key liner is most similar in appearance to the Trish McEvoy liner; both contain dark blue glitter whereas the UD liner has silver glitter. Of the three, the Secret Kiss was the least creamy and took a few starter swipes before it deposited enough color. However, it also was the liner that smudged the least after I rubbed at my hands a few minutes later. The much creamier UD and suuuper creamy TM smudged a lot more in comparison so it all boils down to a trade-off between creaminess and staying power. I think the quality of the SK liner is comparable to it’s price and it’s a good eyeliner for $8, but given that it may be difficult to find the brand & taking into account import prices, it might turn out to be a better deal to find something else from another brand.
Nuganic Customized Sunblock Fresh SPF 50 PA+++ (40ml)
Full Size: $45 for 40ml
Another big full-sized item that I thought was rather generous to include because of it’s size & supposed retail value. Nuganic is also a new brand for me and I admit that I was hecka impressed at the fancy botanical ingredients listed in the product. Sadly, I still haven’t been able to give this a try as I already have 2 open SPF products, but I did have V translate a few reviews for me and the general consensus is that people seem to find it non-greasy and melts into the skin nicely without a white cast, which sounds like all you can ask for with sunblock. How quickly can I use all of my sunscreen so I can play with this :'(((((( I’ll give you all an update when I do so I can confirm if anyone in the world actually needs to spend $45 on sunblock. Great formula so it dries comfortably without any residue and grease. I can wear this as my daytime moisturizer instead of having to layer something underneath. I don’t know the necessity of spending $50 on a product that’s hard to find in the US though :T
Papa Recipe Princess Lip Gel Patch (Full Sized)
Full Size: $3
I’ve never heard of the Papa Recipe brand but oh my god it’s so cute – the little papa doodle? WAHHHH. I can guarantee you that I’m going to look & feel silly using this lip mask, but heck yeah I’m going to try it. I feel like I’ve mentioned that I’m a compulsive lip licker so my lips are always painfully dry (I know it’s a bad habit but I’ve yet to figure out how to quit it :c) and it’ll be interesting to see if this actually does anything! I probably won’t get to it till this weekend so please check back! It felt & looked as silly as expected and my lips felt nice afterwards, but I don’t know if I see the necessity of having this. It’s fun to play with, but it does’t do anything that a good sugar scrub and moisturizer couldn’t handle.
Overall, I’m really pleased and satisfied with the products I received in this box. The total approximate retail value was a whopping: $124.42. There are some items that I know I’m going to get a ton of use out of and others less so, but that’s the expectation with mystery boxes so it’s alright! I like that there was a good mix of well known and lesser known brands; it’s a great chance to learn about new brands that could use some more exposure. I do think that the selection in this box may be an exception since it was a “global” box and it being the first one of the year probably meant it got a few more special things than the regular boxes that were previously offered. However, as far as beauty boxes go and with this being my first experience, I’m happy to say that I’m 100% on board with MEMEBOX. I will probably be getting the 4th one just for kicks so that’s something to look forward to if you’re interested!
ETA: NOOOOOOOOOO I’m sorry to say the 3rd box isn’t available anymore. I’m sorry that this post wasn’t up sooner aw jeez. The 4th box is going back and forth between being sold out and being available, but this one doesn’t come with any mileage points so unfortunately there won’t be any credit offers for the next purchase :(
The 3rd edition MEMEBOX is still available here on the MEMEBOX website and the 4th edition, which is also a global box, is already up for pre-order here. I recall there being $5 credit promotion for new sign-ups that you can use for any order w/ no minimum, but unfortunately I no longer see the promotional banner :( It doesn’t hurt to try though! – give it a day or two to see if the credit will show up. Let me know if you pick one up!