Friday, 25 April 2014

Memebox Luckybox #1 (One) Review

Memebox is a subscription box based in Korea, which has since spread out to provide products internationally (currently, 31 countries). Koreans are really big on skincare, which makes this pretty much the perfect box for me! This is a review of their first Luckybox, rather late because of some errors in shipping and because I've spent a long time thinking about the products and trying to find someone to translate the items for me. Unfortunately, I haven't found anyone so this review won't be as in-depth as it usually is.

Box Overview 
Box: Memebox (Global)
Price: $15 (for Memebox Mini), $23 (for Memebox Global or Luckybox), $23-$39 (for Nakedbox), $32-$70 (for Superbox), + shipping ($6.99 for standard, $23.99 for express -- in Canada, at least)
Ships to: United States, Canada, and 29 other countries -- check here
What's inside: Korean beauty products. Specifics for each box may be found on their website.

Luckyboxes are compilations of some of the best items from prior Memeboxes or Luckyboxes. Luckybox #1 contains items from Memeboxes #1 to #6-2. Thus, it contains a mixture of full sized and deluxe sample sized items.

The box arrived in a plastic bag shell, and I was stunned at how small it was -- just about twice the size of a Beauty Box 5, or less than one foot by one foot. Despite this,they managed to pack eight items! 

Monetary values provided are in neither USD or CAD specifically and should be taken as rough estimates, given that one would likely purchase this from eBay or from the supplier themselves (thus having to convert money).

Tonymoly Delight Tony Tint Red 1.5mL/0.05fl oz || Estimated value: $0.83
Detrimental ingredients of note: Some kind of fragrance (a sharp, chemical grape scent)
This lip stain comes in a really cute container that has a heart shaped applicator! This sample is really tiny, but you only need a little bit of stain to get an immediate effect. This is a bright red colour, and makes for a nice gradient lips effect, which I vastly prefer over regular lip stick because I find it more subtle (my lips are quite rosy and prominent to begin with). Unfortunately, this tint dries out my lips very, very quickly and only lasts a few hours at a time.

 SEP Face Lifting Mask Full size || Value:$14
This is the first hydrogel mask I've ever used, and I definitely prefer them over paper masks. This mask is different from most because it of the pretty lace detailing, which is actually real lace and not a printed on pattern! Apparently, the lace is the same used for body shaping underwear. I'm unsure if this somehow helped me apply it to the face, although it was quite easy. It was also easy to put on because it was in two parts (one half for the eyes and forehead, one half for the mouth and chin). The mask claims to have lifting, firming, anti-wrinkle, brightening, and moisturizing properties.

I put this on after nearly a month of hemming and hawwing (it's $14!), and kept it on for half an hour after a shower. I found that it did a fantastic job of moisturizing my skin. It was very soft and smooth. I'm not really in need of lifting, firming, and anti-wrinkle effects, so I have no opinion on that. My skin did look a little bit brighter, probably because it looked so smooth. I'd love to try this again, but it's far too expensive for me.

Danahan Bon Yeon Jin Essence 12mL/0.4fl oz || Estimated value: $13.42
Beneficial ingredients of note: Red ginseng, "herbal extracts"?
I'm too young to use this product, which advertises to fight age by repairing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I'll probably swap this out, since giving it to someone as a gift would probably be offensive...

Mamonde First Energy Serum 10mL/0.34fl oz || Estimated value: $2.65
Beneficial ingredients of note: Flower vinegar from the Lonicera flower?
This serum is 78% aged flower vinegar made by fermenting the Lonicera flower for 60 days in a clay pot. There is also pure flower extract added in the product. I'm not sure what the other ingredients are. The Lonicera flower appears to have some anti-inflammatory effects, but I'm not sure if fermenting it changes what it does. They claim to provide moisture and skin renewal. As it is a vinegar, the pH of this product should be fairly low. Thus, it can work as a kind of toner. I've been using this on and off and I'm surprised by how long it's lasted. I don't think it's made any sort of real difference in my skin, but it hasn't made any negative changes either. This also came with a small sample packet of Mamonde's CC cream (a BB cream with SPF), which I thought was O.K.

Too cool for schools Aqua Gel Mist Full size || Value: $12
Beneficial ingredients of note: Rosemary leaf water?, trehalose, baobab tree extract
Detrimental ingredients of note: Perfume (last on ingredients list)
I'm pretty neutral on this product. It's not quite hot enough for me to care about using it. I'm sure I'll use it a lot when I'm outside in the summer, despite the perfume. Rosemary leaf water likely just means rosemary leaves diluted in water and so probably has little effect. If it means rosemary extract in water, then it may have antioxidant activity. Trehalose has beneficial properties for the cell membranes of your skin cells. Baobab tree extract may be an antimicrobial ingredient.

Nuganic Customize Pore Control Essence Full size || Value: $30 (from eBay)
Beneficial ingredients of note: Aloe, many various fruit and vegetable extracts, salicylic acid
Detrimental ingredients of note: Alcohol (high on list), fragrance (low on list)
This has way too much alcohol in it. I strongly advise that you do not use this item, because while it will work in the short term, long term effects can be very bad. Alcohol disrupts the cell membrane, drying your skin out a lot. Your skin responds to this by overproducing oil, causing more breakouts in the end. I did actually use this as a spot treatment on a fussy pimple. And... well, yeah, it worked. It's alcohol. That's what it does. But it didn't remove the pimple completely, and after I stopped using it on that spot another pimple erupted in the same area. Sigh.

CNP Laboratory Cleansing Perfecta 50mL/1.69fl oz || Estimated value: $11.66 (from Amazon)
Beneficial ingredients of note: Rosemary leaf water?, sweet basil extract
Detrimental ingredients of note: some citrus fruit extracts (likely not enough to cause harm), lavender extract (likely not enough to cause harm)
I'm also neutral on this. It's just a plain cleanser. I wouldn't say it's the best cleanser, either; it didn't work super well on removing my eye makeup.

Dear by Enprani Bounce Cheese Cream 30mL/1.0fl oz || Estimated value: $10
Beneficial ingredients of note: Whey protein, shea butter oil, honey
Detrimental ingredients of note: Fragrance (second last ingredient on list) 
This cream is probably one of the deciding factors in why Memebox got super popular all of a sudden. Many people have raved about it, and I'm going to be one of them! This cream has a super strange texture due to the whey protein. It's almost like a sticky Greek yogurt in texture, if that makes sense. It leaves my skin incredibly soft and firm, thanks to the whey protein (made from milk, thus the "cheese" cream).

However, it never soaks in. Ever. To test it out, on one of my days off I put on a normal amount all over my face in the morning. No joke, it had been over 12 hours and my face still felt sort of sticky/dewy. Because of this, I just try to use it at night and by the time I wash the residual cream off it has done its job. And what a good job it does. I do wish there wasn't any added fragrance, especially since the cream still smells like a public bathroom soap.

I bought this box for $23.00 + $6.99 shipping, and received over $90 in Korean skin care and make up products. I will not use the anti-aging essence or the pore control essence, reducing the true value of this box to me to around $50. Still, that is a great value if only for allowing me to try products that I cannot get from Canadian stores and for introducing me to the Bounce Cheese Cream, which I love.

I have since continued to purchase way more boxes from Memebox, and so far it seems that the quality is keeping up fairly well. I highly recommend you check them out. Despite their common usage of alcohol and fragrance (nothing uncommon in North America, after all), they definitely have some gems.

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