Thursday, May 28, 2015

Review: XO MEMEBOX Hydrogel Mask

I received a Memebox Hydrogel Mask with with a Memebox I purchased a while ago. I held off on using the mask because I didn't have a need for it. The mask promises hydration, anti wrinkle, and whitening.

I had a really bad case of dry skin when I used the mask. My skin was peeling, it wasn't painful, just dried from the overuse of acne products, mainly benzyl peroxide. I tried it and LOVED this mask. Im ordering it as I type this blog. I plan to gift one to my mother, my friend's mother, my friends, and to myself.

This is what the mask looks like.

The mask is in between a clear sheet of plastic and the white sheets of paper as seen in the picture below. The paper has a texture like plastic.

They recommend you leave it on your face for 20-40 minutes. It felt so nice on my face I left it till the mask dried up. I also used the leftover serum in the mask package on my hands and neck. It made my skin so soft and moisturized!

I read some reviews on the Memebox Hydrogel Mask and the most common complaint was that the mask slipped off the face because it was in two pieces. I actually like the two piece fit. I think you can fit it to your face better. I also did not have a problem with the bottom half slipping.

You must overlap the masks a little if you don't want any slipping issues, I also laid down for like 10-15 minutes, this gave the mask time to dry a bit. When you first put on the mask, the pieces are so wet that if you overlapped the bottom and top half they will not adhere so well and might slip. I suggest lying down after application for a while to let it dry. If you simply must move around, perhaps use a blow drier to dry were the mask connects a little so you won't have slipping problems.

This is the mask after it is dried. As you can see the two pieces are stuck pretty well together where they overlap on the sides of the mask.

This is the texture of the dried mask. Even dried the mask retains a lot of the jelly texture. Upon closer examination and dissection of the mask it is a stretchy fiber plastic material woven into a mesh, kind of like fabric and coated with a gel texture rubber.

Conclusion: I LOVED this mask. Masks aren't something you should you everyday. In the Korean skincare routine, you use masks on an as needed basis in addition to your routine. I had excessively dried skin and this mask was wonderful. My face was well hydrated, but not oily. I also loved the scent, it smells herbal and naturally scented. I think I can smell a bit of ginger and chamomile in it. The scent is relaxing to me.

All the dead skin on my face peeled off. My skin was already peeling due to the excessive dryness. After applying and removing the mask, when I woke up the next day my skin was soft but the dead skin was peeling everywhere. I used a gentle face scrub and it removed all the dead skin. My face was so smooth and soft. I love this mask. The gel texture feel great on the skin and it actually retains the serum very well, keeping it from drying out and staying on your face longer.

I also had no allergic or any negative reaction to it. Would definitely recommend and it is a decent price. On the Memebox site is it $3 each (which is pretty pricey in my book), but if you purchase in a pack of 5 masks it becomes $2 a mask which is a decent price for something of such quality. Especially since it shouldn't be something you are using on a daily basis. Today is the day after I applied the mask and the effects are still very noticeable.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review: Its Skin Babyface natural eyebrow pencil in #2 Deep Brown

I purchased this brow pencil from KoreaDepart around March. I have been using it for a while and really love it. I bought it for my mother. My mother has very thin and sparse eyebrows. My mother is the type of person who wears makeup maybe twenty days out of a year during special occasions such as weddings. So its suffice to say shes a beginner at make up. Her night routine consists of washing her face with her hand soap and putting on her Neutrogena hand lotion on her face.

I have tried many times to introduce her to other forms of skincare and cosmetics but it never really sticks. She either forgets to use it or do not recall how to apply it. I have a very close bond with my mother and enjoy doing her makeup for her when she heads out for special occasions.

The Its Skin Babyface natural eyebrow pencil was only $1.93! Really good price. It comes in 4 shades:

1. Natural Black
2. Deep Brown
3. Yellow Brown
4. Grey Brown

This is what the eyebrow pencil looks like.

One side has a spoolie.

The other side is a slanted tip.

The product is actually a triangular slanted pencil. The design is really cool because that way you never need sharpening and can create thick and thin lines!

This is my mother. As you can see her brows are sparse and the effect is that it makes her look older.

 Eyebrows Before                               Eyebrows After

My mother wanted a natural look. I just followed her natural brow and filled it in. I love this brow pencil because the color goes on very light. It is hard to mess up. You can simply build up the color to the shade you want. That being said, after getting the Deep Brown, I realized I probably should have gotten natural black.

The reason why I didn't go with black is because I have bad experiences with black eyebrow pencils. Many of them are not forgiving and if it is easy to overdo it and hard to fix or remove once you mess up. Brown, on the other hand is easier to work with if you make a mistake.

I realized I should have gotten the black after seeing how light the Deep Brown color was. I realized that the black would have also been a light black and would have looked natural without being overwhelming.

I will definitely purchase this product again. The price is so good, less than $2 and I love the design. The pencil is designed to never have to be sharpened but able to provide both thick and thin lines. Also comes with a spoolie on the other end which is really convenient.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Why I Decide to Cancel My 1 Year Subscription of BirchBox

In my previous posts I mentioned I purchased a year subscription of BirchBox. I was super excited the box it came in was so beautiful.

I do love the items I got except the perfume. I selected skincare as my preference and they catered very well to it. So why did I cancel?

If you order a year subscription you can cancel in the first month only. Behind my reasoning to quit was this. 

1. I didn't see the value.

The reason I quit was because I didn't see the value in the box. What it comes down to is you are in a sense paying two dollars per item in that box. So ask yourself, are you willing to pay $2 for every one of those items?

The only item I would have paid two dollars to try was the Real Chemist peel. I wasn't super interested in the Templespa balm, it looked like something you would get at a hotel amenities package and the other two items, the Supergoop and Jane Iredale lip and cheek stain were just too small to be worth the value.

I did a lot of research on Boxycharm and might consider that one instead. That box is $21 and has fill size products which supposedly retails for $80+ that is pretty crazy. Only problem is they are very heavy on make up items and I am a skincare junkie, not so big on the makeup.

2. I have easy access to try skincare and cosmetics.

I would buy the box if I lived somewhere where it wasn't so easy to find or try new skin care/cosmetics items. However, I live in New York city and samples are easy to come by. Also, if you want to test the product there Sephora and so many stores where you can walk in and swatch the product. The TempleSpa is what I consider a standard sample size, but the Supergoop was so ridiculously small you can probably try about the same amount free in a store.

So to find new products I think the do online research and then go test the products in store before purchasing is probably my best bet.

3. Mandatory perfume samples.

I also didn't like the fact that you are basically forced to receive perfume samples. I don't like or wear perfume, it makes me dizzy. When you answer the Birchbox survey you select between an option to receive less than 6 perfume samples a year or more than 6. It would be great if they had a no perfume sample option.

So that is basically why I canceled my Birchbox subscription. I did get great value after my cancellation. Apparently you get to keep all your Birchbox points, my friend got to keep her referral points, and I got to keep my free rms lip balm (value of $25) at no extra charge.

The customer service was good and fast. I requested a cancellation right after my box came and I was unhappy with the sample sizes. I email them asap because I joined Birchbox late into the month and didn't want them to ship my 2nd months box. I received a response and cancellation within 24 hours.

Overall, I think their box designs are pretty, but they don't add any value to me because I'm probably just going to end up throwing them out. I have too much clutter. The products are not low end brands and they cater pretty well to your preferences. I think if someone lived in an area where its difficult to sample new makeup and skin care items, this is a great subscription, but not in my case.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Memebox Partial Box Returns and How It Works

A few posts ago, I mentioned I bought this Memebox and was allergic to the Goodal serum.

Price: $39

At the same time I had asked to cancel this box. However, the lady I was e-mailing went on vacation and I got a response from her temporary replacement some days later who informed me the box was mailed and I could return it as soon as I received it. It arrived, but I couldn't help but peek at the goodies.

Price: $40

I decided to keep the:

How Memebox calculates the refund is # of items in box divided price of box. So to Memebox all items being return will get the same value.

So I was refunded  a little under $10 for the Goodal serum which was retailed as $34 in the box set. I was okay with it because without that item and with the refund my box was $30 for $40 worth of items though not as great a value. To see what Memebox valued the items click here.

For my second box I was refunded $24 since I kept 2 items. Each item was given a value of $8 since the box had 5 items and cost $40. Value of It's Skin Secret Solution Clear Essence $15.50. Value of Skinfood Facial Ice Vita Mist $17. To see what Memebox valued the items in the second box click here.

Total of both item $32.50 - $16 = $16.50 added value

So including items from box two my total costs for all the items I got were $42 with a value of $56.50Which is okay bur nowhere near the value I wanted which was the $39 for $74.

I will say this the current partial refund for boxes Memebox is offering is not a good idea. This is because you lose out when returning high value items from the box and people can easily take advantage of the partial refunds by keeping only the most expensive items in the box. I think the refund should be percent based on the estimate value of the item as part of the whole value of the box.

For example if you have 4 items:

1. $10
2. $10
3. $5
4. $5

And the box was $20, if you return a $10 item you should get 1/3 the value of the box since the product $10 is 1/3 the total value of the box which is $30. So you should get  $6.60 instead of $5 (which is the system Memebox currently uses). I think this way, it is fairer and people cannot take advantage of the system as easily. The more expensive the item they keep, the more of the box value is taken out for it.

Here are some discounts for you Memebox lovers:

1. 20% OFF orders above $100 including the Nylon #ItGirlPalette using 'NYLON20'

2. 15% OFF your order including the Nylon #ItGirlPalette using 'NYLON15'

3. $4 OFF Nylon Magazine & Memebox collaboration eyeshadow palette. Use code 'NYLON4'

4. 5% OFF Chocolate & Wine Box with code 'OHWEFANCY' 

5. 15% OFF skincare products with code 'LOVEYOURSKIN'. Get flawless skin with Korean cosmetics!

6. 15% OFF Korean makeup products with code 'makeuplove'.

7. Get 5% off every mobile APP purchase with '5OFFMOBILE' Shop the best in Korean cosmetics now! 

8. 10% off on orders including soothingsista eyeshadow. Use code: SOOTHING10

9. 15% off your 1st Korean cosmetics purchase! Use code 'WELCOME'