Monday, March 30, 2015

Goodal Phytorain Murumuru Seed Hydra Serum Review *Allergy Warning*

I purchased the Goodal Phytorain Murumuru Seed Hydra Serum as part of the set below in the Korean Beauty Starter Kit #Beginwithskin box.

I was very excited to try this product due to the positive reviews this item received. Out of 25 reviews, only 1 reviewer gave it a negative review. The negative review said that she tried out the Goodal Phytorain Murumuru Seed Hydra Serum and broke out in red rashes.

When I read reviews I always read the negative reviews first because that is where you will find out if anyone was allergic to or had any side effects from the product. Knowing full well it might happen to me, breaking out in a rash, I gave it a cautious try. I spot tested the lower half of my left face. I rarely break out around the sides of my jaw or my cheeks. Most of my breakouts occur in the T-zone, around the mouth and chin.

Here are the results:

It wasn't pretty. Overnight the skin became pink and bumpy. It wasn't acne, it wasn't itchy, and it didn't hurt. The bumpiness went away in about 2-3 days.

Now I am not telling people to stay away from this product. Most people who used it, had good results. However, if you have sensitive skin like me, be cautious and aware that this is a possible reaction. The key is spot testing! I'm very sad it didn't work out with this product. I will contact Memebox and see what they can do. I really don't want to return the box because I love the cleansing oil so much and I have yet to try the bunny mist.

Good luck and hope this information has been helpful.

Here are some Memebox coupon codes to make your shopping more enjoyable:
1. 15% OFF skincare products with code 'LOVEYOURSKIN'.
2. 15% OFF Korean makeup products with code 'makeuplove'.
3. $20 off your purchase of $100 or more using 'MARCHMADNESS' Expires on 3/31/2015
4. Get $5 OFF when you buy 2 or more Korean beauty boxes on our APP. Use code 'BOXPARTY'. Expires on 3/31/2015
5. Get 5% off every mobile APP purchase with '5OFFMOBILE.
6. 15% off your 1st Korean cosmetics purchase! Use code 'WELCOME'. (you have to sign up for a Memebox account if you want to use this code).
7. 10% off on orders including soothingsista eyeshadow. Use code: SOOTHING10

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Skinfood Black Sugar Cleansing Oil Review

I really love this item. For those if you who have seen the post concerning my daily night routine, I mentioned I was using extra virgin olive oil until my proper cleansing oil arrived. The cleansing oil I was referring to was a rice water one which I ordered from Korea more than 2 weeks ago and has still yet to arrive.

So I ended up buying the Memebox and using the one that came in the Korean Beauty Starter Kit #beginwithskin

The reason why I love this item is because due to my acne condition when I am in a professional setting I end up wearing makeup. I don't wear a lot of eye makeup, sometimes I will use eyeliner and mascara, but most of the time I have no eye makeup.

My everyday make up routine is basically prep skin, use Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place liquid foundation. Let me tell you this is one of the best foundations I have used, it doesn't move even when I sweat. I shall give a full review on that foundation in another post.

I follow up with blush, contour, sometimes a little Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Powder Foundation with SPF 20 if I need a little mover coverage in some areas, to remove shine, or to tone down some of the contour or blush.

One of the really important things to know about me is that I grew up in a household where the only woman was my mother. My mother doesn't really wear make up so my knowledge regarding makeup is mostly self taught through countless experiments of trial and error, and learned from the internet.

I do not use a makeup remover. The reason being the makeup wipes that are so popular are kind of expensive, if you end up wearing heavy makeup at least 5 days of the week, you need to use more than 1 wipe a day to remove everything. I did use some of the sample makeup removers I received to remove water proof eye makeup because that stuff doesn't come over otherwise. But generally I assume the make up just washes off when I wash my face.

The problem I was having with the olive oil routine was that it didn't remove enough of my makeup. I didn't realize it until I tried the Skinfood Black Sugar Cleansing Oil and saw a HUGE difference.

So I did a little experiment to show you the effectiveness of Olive Oil vs Skinfood Black Sugar Cleansing Oil . SIDE A is Olive Oil and side B is Skinfood Black Sugar Cleansing Oil.

So step 1: I actually just came home with a full face of makeup I daily wear and I had this makeup on my face for around 8 hours.


I used Olive Oil first on only HALF of my face, Side A. Skinfood Black Sugar Cleansing Oil on the other half side B.

I then used my Neutrogena Rapid Clear, because a lot of the Korean face washes I purchased contain parabens and was breaking me out. I know this face wash is safe for my skin. I used this wash on BOTH sides of the face but I used one hand for each half of the face so as not to mix or drag residue from one side of the face to the other.

After cleansing I used the $2 toner from the daily night routine blog post with a cotton pad. I used a different pad for each half of the face and these are the results.

Side A of the face was cleansed with olive oil and then the Neutrogena rapid clear face cleanser, followed by an alcohol based toner on a cotton pad.

Side B of the face was cleansed with Skinfood Black Sugar Cleansing Oil, followed by Neutrogena rapid clear face cleanser, and the same alcohol based toner on a cotton pad.

The Skinfood Black Sugar Cleansing Oil doesn't remove 100% of the makeup but does a lot better job than the olive oil. The Skinfood Black Sugar Cleansing Oil has replaced the olive oil in my routine at least until I find something even better.

I also felt you had to cleanse a bit harder if you used olive oil because since its a pure oil it leaves that thick oily film on your skin. The Skinfood Black Sugar Cleansing Oil was a much lighter oil, had a pleasant citrus fragrance. Although, I like the smell I think some people can find it comparable it to the lemony citrus scent in some of the American cleaning products. So if you don't like that scent, you might not enjoy this one. This oil also washed away a lot better than the olive oil, but you still need to wash it with some kind of soap afterwards. It does leave an oily film, but a lot less thick compared to the olive oil.

A revelation hit me when I was doing this experiment. I wonder if make up remover is the American equivalent of a Korean cleansing oil? Because both products are oil based as you need oil to remove makeup. The Korean cleansing oil also claim to remove sebum and other oil based impurities on your face. Theoretically the American makeup removers should naturally do the same since oil can wash away other oil impurities. I might do a test of the Skinfood Black Sugar Cleansing Oil vs my Elizabeth Arden makeup remover sample I received as a gift when I made a purchase.

So this has replaced the olive oil as a staple in my daily night routine. I wish you good luck on finding products that work well for you. You might want to give this item a try.

Remember Memebox allows you a full return of your order.
- They pay for your return postage if you change your mind about an item.
- Even if the item has been opened and used
- As it is within 30 days of purchase.

So don't be afraid to try new things!

Here are some Memebox coupon codes to make your shopping more enjoyable:
1. 15% OFF skincare products with code 'LOVEYOURSKIN'.
2. 15% OFF Korean makeup products with code 'makeuplove'.
3. $20 off your purchase of $100 or more using 'MARCHMADNESS' Expires on 3/31/2015
4. Get $5 OFF when you buy 2 or more Korean beauty boxes on our APP. Use code 'BOXPARTY'. Expires on 3/31/2015
5. Get 5% off every mobile APP purchase with '5OFFMOBILE.
6. 15% off your 1st Korean cosmetics purchase! Use code 'WELCOME'. (you have to sign up for a Memebox account if you want to use this code).
7. 10% off on orders including soothingsista eyeshadow. Use code: SOOTHING10

Friday, March 27, 2015

New Korean beauty store THE YEON carries rare items in NYC Chinatown

I stumbled across this gem just walking home headed towards the trains station. Seeing that it was a brand new opened cosmetics store I went in to take a look and was absolutely floored when I saw this item. I had originally saw this item on Tried and Tested Shu An's Seoul Shopping Haul. Take a look at the video if you would like a video demonstration of how the item is used.

This item is quite hard to get in the states and The Yeon sold it for $11.99 which is crazy because it is on Korea Depart for for $12.15 (not including shipping). A really great find and they had testers. I cannot stress the importance of testing makeup items in person before you buy, especially this one because:

1. The shade is not the same color as the tube coloring.
2. Product is a lot darker when you first apply it.
3. It should show up differently on people with different lip tones, because this product is just a tint.

The Korea Depart carries 8 shades, The Yeon only had 3 shades.

First let me tell you a little about this store. They actually have two locations. The one in Chinatown and one in Flushing. The one in Chinatown I went to is located here: 53-55 Division St. New York, NY 10002.

It opened about a week ago. The name of the store "The Yeon" is actually the stores own line. The Yeon is a brand new Korean beauty brand. The store also carries other popular Korean beauty brands in addition to their own. 

Wow look at all the different face masks they stock!

I saw they stocked It's Skin serums (unfortunately I am allergic to them). Above the It's Skin serums is the Prestige brand, I believed they also carried the Prestige famous snail cream.

They also carry some items from Etude house but not a large selection.

I was informed that this was their new product and they were the ONLY brand to carry this item. It is called the BC stick and has an SPF of 45, which is high enough to prevent sun damage.

I was given the BC stick as a gift to try out and review since it is a new product. I was told it is a pore concealer and it has a light coverage. I tried the tester on my hand at the store and the product was very sheer. I couldn't read any of the ingredients because it was all in Korean. I did rinse my hand without the use of soap and the product didn't wash off. I was told it wasn't water proof but it may be water resistant.

So I end up purchasing the Lip Tint. I will do a full review of it in my next post. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE it.

The sales rep told me the return policy is before you walk out of the store, so basically you can return the product as long as you don't leave the premisses. I saw a customer ahead of me purchase about $100 worth of cosmetics. She received free samples and very good customer service. The sales rep was helping her pick out and recommending products.

I did not receive any samples when I purchase the lip tint so I am assuming you need to purchase a certain amount or a certain type of product in order to be eligible, maybe skincare. I was also informed by the sales rep you can also request samples upon purchase.

Because a lot of the packaging I saw only had ingredients written in Korean. If you are concerned about skin allergies or sensitive skin, like me, I suggest you do an online ingredient search regarding the product before you purchase. You can also try the tester and see if you get any negative reaction.

They carry some of the most popular brands in Korea, so if you happen to be in Chinatown NYC drop by and take a look. Happy shopping!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Korean Beauty Store Nature's Republic discovered in Chinatown

So how I found this store was actually pretty random. I had passed by it before, but today I saw there was a really good sale on their nail products in front. They had nail polishes 2 for $1. So I happen to pick up a bottle of nail polish remover and saw it was made in Korean.

Upon going in, I saw the store sold a lot of Korean skincare and make up products. Score! Now I have never heard of this brand. I asked the sales rep and she said the store had been around for 2 years! However, korean beauty products are pretty new to me and it was the internet that really brought korean beauty products to my attention.

It was located at 151 A. Centre St., New York, NY 10013. 

That outside wooden tables is where I saw the clearance items located.

I didn't have time to look around a lot but I did look at some of their skincare products, mostly toners since I am in dire need of a good one and noticed none of the products I looked at contain parabens. It is such a big plus in my book.

They were also nice enough to give me some samples to try out and review.

Nature Republic Snail Solution Foam Cleanser
Nature Republic Argan Essential Deep Care Hair Pack
Nature Republic The First Emulsion
Nature Republic The First Essence
Nature Republic Snail Solutions Skin Booster

To be honest I am not exactly sure how to use the emulsion or booster. Or if I use all 3 items together. I will definitely look them up and give them a go and write a review of my impression of them.

Their policy is 7 day refund on unopened items and they give out samples when you purchase over a threshold. I believe you can probably request samples as well. The sales rep told me roughly $30, $50, $100 will warrant you different sample levels. Their sales rep are also friendly and pretty knowledgeable about the products. I was told the products have information in English, Chinese, Japanese and a few other languages.

 They also have amazing sales and clearances, usually those items are located in the front of the store. Explore NYC Chinatown and give this store a try, I mean 50 cents nail polish sale is pretty hard to pass up.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My first Official Memebox purchase

Okay so I bought products from Memebox, but this is the first time I purchased a box set. I purchased this box because it was the ONLY skincare box available and these things sell out fast. After I finished checkout I saw the Holika Holika Soda Pore Cleansing Cream (one of the reasons I bought this box was because the Holika Holika wine mask was so good) contains parabens. Which, I am sadly allergic to.

Then to my delight I saw this box had restocked!
The Intro to Korean Beauty #beginwithskin box $39 claims to a $71 dollar value.

So before I go any further I think you all want to know is the box worth the value?

Skinfood Black Sugar Cleansing Oil (item not available for purchase by itself on Memebox)
It's Skin Cleansing Foam (item not available for purchase by itself on Memebox), only the eggshell one which is $5. I have previously seen the Skin Cleansing Foams in other scents for $5 at Membox before.
Goodal Phytorain Murumuru Seed Hydra Serum $29 on Memebox
Tony Moly Bunny Mist (for dry skin) listed as $15 on Memebox (they have a mist for oily skin too, but I have seen that the oil skin one usually goes for cheaper than than the dry skin one.)

If we compare to the price Memebox sells its items for, the price is worth it because the Goodal Serum and Bunny mist is $44 combined. But how does the prices measure up to other vendors?

I do not include ebay prices.

 Skinfood Black Sugar Cleansing Oil $14.23 on amazon
 It's Skin Cleansing Foam $13 on amazon (this one is tricky because I have seen it for only $5 at Membox before, but product is no longer available it seems).
Goodal Phytorain Murumuru Seed Hydra Serum $27.99 on Amazon (hard to find not a lot of vendors carry this item)
Tony Moly Bunny Mist (for dry skin) $14 at Urban Outfitters (assuming you purchase in person at the store, otherwise the item goes for $16 and up when you include shipping from other vendors) I believe you can also get it at the Tony Moly store in chinatown nyc for I believe 12 or 13 dollars. However, I don't think most of America is fortunate enough to have access to a TonyMoly store.

So adding up all these prices the value is $69. Yes the box is totally worth the value! Keep in mind that buying products separately is more expensive in general because of the shipping cost added per product.

Why did I purchase this box?

I had heard great things about this box and only the face cleanser contained paraben (which I am hoping is small enough quantities so I can still use it). If not Memebox has a great return policy. They also give you a repaid label to return items at not costs to you!

Anyway I messaged Gwen asking her to cancel the 1st box, about 24 hours of me ordering it. I received no reply, only to find out as of today it was shipped. Ouch, big dent in my wallet as both boxes will be coming in.

I decided since it will come in anyway I will give the products a try and hopefully I will not have any bad reactions.

Box #2 the begin with skin box has arrived today!

It came with a FREE Meme Mask!!! Who doesn't love freebies.

It also includes this neat card which tells you how to use the product.

My only gripe is that not everything had the ingredients listed. I have no idea what ingredients are in the bunny spray. I will go do some research and hope that I am not allergic.

Looking forward to giving you a review of these items and also items I had previously received. Many times I find I have to use an item for a while to be able to give a more complete and accurate review. I hope this information was helpful to readers and good luck!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Korean Beauty Store TONYMOLY opens up in Chinatown

So one of the things I love most about living in New York city is that there is everything here. Brands from all over the world at your fingertips (well most of them anyway). I was super excited to run across a Tony Moly store that has recently opened up in Chinatown! Some of prices of the items are cheaper than Memebox and you can TEST the product.

Testing the product is super important, you can smell it and see if the makeup shade is one you like or one that matches your skintone. One of the things I love most about Tony Moly is their cute packaging! From the Panda brightening sticks to the hand creams shaped like fruits.

You can find them at 234-238 Canal St., #112,  New York, NY 10013

That Panda Dream eye stick is super cute!

They are currently have a sale on a couple of items, so being the shopaholic I am I gave this product a test run and then purchased it. In hindsight I probably should have gotten that Butter one besides it too as it was richer.

I purchased the TonyMoly 92% Pure Eco Aloe Gel. It was a total of $9.13 for a large size and I received a free Whitening mask! I told the lady working there I was also interested in the BB creams as I have never tried Korean BB creams before and she gave me two samples of different BB creams!

- Great customer service
- Prices are lower or about the same range as what you would purchase online
- Free samples or complimentary products
- no waiting for get your products or worry that its been lost in the mail!

I love samples will def go back to try some of their other products. I have my eye on their cream cleansers. The size is large and it is ONLY $5. I didn't purchase it because I intended to run an ingredient check to see if I was allergic to anything in it. They smelled fantastic though. So if you are around Chinatown NYC, go take a look!