I Feel Fancy: a Royal Nectar Original Face Mask & Moisturizing Face Lift with Bee Venom Review

I purchased the Royal Nectar Original Face Mask & Moisturizing Face Lift after doing some extensive reading on the fascinating topic of bee venom utilized in cosmetics. Seemingly overnight, it was being touted as the natural alternative to Botox, with Royals and celebs singing its praises.
As far as Bostox –¬†I have no issue with people choosing to partake in elective procedures and may find myself doing the same at some point down the line (a little light dabbling at most, I’m sure), but as it stands I would much prefer to go the natural route on my way to what I hope will be aging gracefully. I’m of the mindset that youth doesn’t make one beautiful, but we can certainly be our best at any age. Being in my early thirties, I think I’m already slightly late for the prevention train, but you know what they say… you better hurry and catch up! ūüėČ
That slight urgency is partly what led me to what can be considered a somewhat high-end product with prices of each of these items averaging at about $65. This purchase pre-dated my Korean cosmetics obsession and I realize that there are a great many, effective skincare items out there that contain bee venom and are a fraction of this price tag. However, one of these items remains a HG for me and one I will continue to repurchase.


bees-venom

First, a bit about bee venom in cosmetics. I noted in a prior post that the cosmetic benefits of bee venom are derived from its tricking the skin into believing it has been lightly stung. This causes our body to direct blood towards that area, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, which promote skin repair. The venom also acts to remove excess keratin and sebum, eliminate acne inducing bacteria, and block inflammatory agents within skin pores to heal acne lesions. So this reaction promotes cell regeneration and has tremendous healing properties, which of course lead to the much-touted, anti-aging benefits..

bee venom honey

Chemical-Composition-of-Insect-Venoms

Royal Nectar’s Face Mask & Face Lift are made with New Zealand Manuka honey, bee venom and a soothing blend of waxes and oils. Manuka honey is quite an impressive ingredient in its own right. Clinical studies have shown it to have anti-bacterial properties, targeting one bacteria in particular РStreptococcus pyogenes Рwhich is associated with wounds.
Real Manuka honey comes only from New Zealand because ithe Manuka tree that provides the pollen for Manuka honey is native to New Zealand.
Here are the full ingredient lists, which are wonderfully brief and fairly comprehensible. The only item that some may find unrecognizable is¬†‘ticaxan’, which is another name for xanthum gum and used as a viscosity agent in cosmetics. The rest is a lovely melange of bee venom, Manuka honey, and waxes/oils – as advertised.

royal nectar


manuka bee

This range of apitherapy products is produced in New Zealand by Nelson Apiaries. Formed in 1973, Nelson Apiaries Ltd is a family owned business operated by Philip and Evelyn Cropp. Philip’s grandfather started producing honey from hives in the Nelson area on a part time basis over 100 years ago. Over the past 25 years the company has grown substantially and has diversified into the natural health market., specializing now in the increasingly popular Manuka honey, bee venom and other apitherapy products. Based in the upper Motupiko Valley, Nelson Apiaries, in conjunction with it’s sister company Rainbow, now has approximately 4,000 hives sited throughout the Nelson and West Coast areas of the South Island of New Zealand. Placed in the pristine bush and forests of this beautiful part of New Zealand, the hives produce a variety of natural honeys free from insecticide or other agricultural sprays. [source]
I really love that this little gem is made by a family business and the pride they have in their product is evident in the quality of what they produce.


royal nectar

I’ve used a great many skincare items throughout my life that make a great many claims and promises. It’s rare that any of these are delivered upon, and if you are so fortunate as to find something that truly works, it typically takes a considerable¬†amount of time and continued effort on your part to ensure this happens. I was sincerely taken aback by the essentially overnight results I saw with this mask.
It can be utilized in two ways – either as a wash off mask that you leave on for 20 minutes or so and then remove or in a thin layer as an overnight mask. I thought I would get more traction with the latter option so I opted to use this as my evening moisturizer. I’m not exaggerating when I say that my reflection greeted me with an audible, “Oh, wow” when I faced the mirror the following morning. What acne scarring I had was significantly reduced and my complexion had an overall brighter/refreshed tone. Since I began to use this under a Korean-made sleeping pack (Elizavecca Green piggy Collagen Jella Pack) I found the efficacy to be even further improved. This may be due to prolonged use, but I also believe the sleeping pack helps the product to absorb better.

My Experience – Royal Nectar Moisturizing Face Lift

royal nectar

As you can see from the above ingredient labels, the two products are essentially identical, with the main differentiation being that the Face Mask contains a greater¬†concentration of the two main compounds. Can I pin-point the ingredient on which I can hang this ‘lifting’ clam? Not really. Do I think it’s necessary to utilize both the Mask and Face Lift in tandem? I wouldn’t say so. Though I voice this with the caveat that I am still fairly young. If my skin were more mature, I might see more benefit in utilizing these creams both day and night. As it stands, this is a perfectly lovely moisturizer and still packing those power-house ingredients, so I certainly wouldn’t poo-poo it if you’re considering purchasing one or the other. However, to me, the Mask is really the star of the show.

royal nectar royal nectar

Both products¬†are a lovely, light cream consistency with a slight yellowish hue. They place nice with my combination skin and I think they would be appropriate for someone with dry or oily skin as well (and normal, of course). The consistency really seems quite universally-appealing. They don’t have a strong scent (which I really appreciate), though the aroma is slightly floral and sweet.

I do plan to test out some Korean products with similar compounds in order to compare and contrast, though I must admit I am partial to the fact that these particular items are manufactured at the source. I am eager to see what my findings will show and will certainly update this post accordingly.
In the interim though, I would highly recommend trying the Royal Nectar Original Face Mask. You can purchase samples direct from Nelson Honey here, which would be a nice way to dip your toe in. I would love to hear of your experience if you decide to do so!

Quality Time with my Blackheads No More Memebox: a Superbox #63 Unboxing & Review

This box was a dark horse for me. It became what amounted to a fixture on the Memebox site; ever-present, yet unassuming. I didn’t feel I had blackhead issues to the degree that would warrant a box specifically-suited to their annihilation. However, as time went on and I saw that Pore Care 3 was, tragically, not getting a sequel, I began to look at Blackheads No More with new eyes. Could this box be the answer to my pore problems?

On a whim, I decided to put at least one of these seemingly unloved boxes out of its misery and bring it home. After seeing the initial unboxings, I had mixed feelings. All the items seemed appropriate enough for the theme, but there wasn’t much flash there to get me excited. I stoically awaited my box to see where my feelings might settle. Well, I am very happy to report, after spending weeks’ worth of quality time¬†with this box, that it quickly became one of my favorite and most utilized. Read on for details!

blackheads

Blackheads. Just the word itself gets people riled up!

If you’re one of the many people that suffer from blackheads, it’s likely that you’ve been fighting a losing battle. There’s a hoard of products out there that claim to clear blackheads, but are they really effective? Right now, you may think that the best way to remove blackheads is to squeeze them with your fingers, but that’s really not a great idea.

With the help of this Blackheads No More Box, a mix of blackhead clearing, blackhead preventing, and pore minimizing essentials, you’ll pull out all pore-cloggers straight and clean and shrink oversized pores for the best skin you’ve ever had! 


   migabee

Migabee Hot & Cool Pore Care Set

(30ml, 30ml, 70ml, RV $43)

1. Hot Pore Peeling System
Opens up clogged pores by heating up the surface of the skin with pepper extract infusions, and adds steam deep into the pores for effective surface skin exfoliation.

2. Cooling Mask Clean
This multi-function, multi-purpose mask/cleanser tightens enlarged pores and soothes irritated skin. When used as a facial mask, it calms and soothes the skin after exfoliation. When used as a facial cleanser, it removes oil, dirt, and other impurities from deep within the pores.

3. Peppermint Mist
Spritz your way to blackhead relief! Infused with a powerful blend of peppermint and witch hazel, this mist will refine pores and leave skin with an ultra-clean sensation!

Impressions: I was surprised to find that this set was considered full-sized, as it’s quite small. I fear that this may not allow for too many applications because I really enjoyed using it. As you will see from the images below though, these products definitely do come in larger sizes/tubs, but I’m assuming Meme is considering this a full-sized set and the value is still relevant to the set itself (?). Some people have noted that the Hot Pore Peeling System gets too hot, but I didn’t find that to be the case. I think I’m fortunately in that my skin isn’t terribly sensitive at all. On me, this created a pleasant enough warming sensation and a noticeable improvement of clogged pores. I have to add the caveat here that this most definitely does not compare to my beloved D-Toc, as far as peels go, but it was certainly still effective. The Cooling Mask was a welcome second step as it cooled and calmed my skin and also helped to cleanse away any remaining residue. I didn’t find the mist to be especially useful as a final step because I would have preferred one with soothing ingredients such as aloe rather than further ‘medicating’ with peppermint and witch hazel. Having said that, I definitely do enjoy the mist on its own, throughout the day, when I want to give my skin a refreshing boost while also combating clogging. Overall, I was certainly pleased with this set and think I will save the remainder for any extended travel that I do.

 migabee

migabee2


nella pore astringent

Nella Fantasia Pore Control Astringent Gel (180ml, RV $34)

This Pore Control Astringent Gel is an all-in-one pore toning gel formulated to control excess oil, sebum, and blackheads by refining and tightening enlarged pores. It contains witch hazel extract, grapefruit, persimmon extract, white willow extract, jasmine oil, cabbage rose oil, lemon oil. 

Impressions: All I can say is I¬†hope there is a drag queen out there just ROCKING the Nella Fantasia moniker. Nella Fantasia is now my sassy biffle. I wasn’t all about the Nella Fantasia life initially because ‘astringent’ has a negative connotation for me and brings to mind thoughts of alcohol-heavy, acid-mantle stripping horror cosmetics. I’m glad I put my preconceived notions aside and tried this item because it’s pretty fantastic. I keep it in the refrigerator and use it almost daily, after cleansing, to tighten my pores. I can visually see that it does the trick, but garnered further proof when I decided to pluck a stray hair or two after using this gel and hurt myself like a motherf*er. The pores were tight, any excess oils were removed, my faced felt lovely and clean. I would recommend definitely having a hydrating mist at the ready though. I typically follow this up with my mist booster from Earth & Sea Cosmetics. This was a new step for me in my skincare routine and one I think my skin really needed.


pro you foam cleanser

ProYou Pore Control Foam Deep Cleanser (100ml, RV $34)

currently on sale in the Memeshop for $20

The invigorating cleanser contains a powerful blend of pore refining ingredients to remove impurities and excess sebum without drying or irritating the skin. This carbonated bubbles in the formula remove impurities from pores to reveal smoother skin. It exfoliates dead skin cells while it soothes, protects, and softens the skin. It contains carbonated water, hyaluronic acid, collage. 

Impressions: I LOVE this cleanser. I love it so. I knew after the first time I tried it that this one was special and after testing the pH I had my confirmation. This cleanser is very-well balanced with a pH around 6, so pretty perfect for our skin. It’s clear to see from the highly moisturizing ingredients that this lovely foam would be good to us. What really brings the product over the top though, is not just that it’s gentle, but that it’s incredibly effective in cleansing the skin while remaining so.

It pumps out as a greenish-tinted gel that you spread evenly over your face and then the magic happens. As you let it rest there, it bubbles up and becomes a foam that continues to carbonate on your skin and clearing out impurities as it does so. After a minute or so, I typically go at the foam with item 5 from this box (the pore brush) to give it a further cleansing boost. I’ve seen a noticeable difference in my skin since I’ve begun using this cleanser.

The cleansing step of our skincare routine is where we are liable to do some of the most serious damage to our skin. A lot of cleansers out there are extremely harsh and alkaline. Substances leaning toward the basic side of the pH scale (high pH) can be great cleaners, but cosmetics with this chemical makeup¬†can strip our protective acid-mantle. This layer protects us from external bacteria and once that barrier is stripped, we leave ourselves vulnerable and¬†breakouts can occur. So it’s really important to find fantastic cleansers, such as this one, that will cleanse but do so while protecting our skin’s balance. I will absolutely be repurchasing this one.

As an aside, I can’t speak highly enough about the ProYou line of cosmetics, in general. Right now it seems like the Memeshop is the only place to really find them and I will continue to come back for more.


dermahouse deep cleanser

Dermahouse Deep Cleansing Cream (150ml, RV $18)

This Deep Cleansing Cream cleanses in one step, effectively washing away dirt, impurities, and makeup from the face and eyes. Formulated with aloe vera water, avocado oil, hydolyed collagen, and squalane, it forms a protective hydration shield on the skin to prevent dehydration and leave skin smooth and supple. This pure and mild formula is ideal for all skin types.

Impressions: I was initially at a loss as to why two cleansers were included in the same box, though I quickly realized this is essentially an oil cleanser in cream form. So I have been using this when I’ve worn makeup as my first cleansing step. I felt as though I hit the jackpot with this box because here was another mild, balanced cleanser that really did the job. I find that it removes my makeup extremely well, though some stubborn eyeliner may take a few extra swipes. You can really feel this ‘shield’ that’s described above and it first struck me as rather unpleasant; as though residue was being left behind. But once you rinse all you really feel is nice, clean skin.


cheek room pore brush

Cheek Room Pore Brush (1ea, RV $36)

Over 310 thousand fine bristles thinner than 0.045mm gently yet effectively clear away trapped oil, dirt, and other impurities from pores, leaving skin refreshingly clean, blackhead-free, and ultra-smooth!

Impression: Please excuse the photo above because the brush is still damp and isn’t shown its full glory. It’s difficult for me to get a picture of it fully dry because I use it multiple times each day. It’s like angel wings are gently brushing up against my face, this thing is so incredibly soft and luxurious. There are many variations of this brush out there and you should be able to find something comparable for far less money. I don’t think it’s an item I would have ever purchased for myself, but I am so happy to own it. I truly feel it has made a difference in how well my skin is cleansed, but I would probably get it all up in my face either way because it just feels heavenly and can be pretty relaxing.


purederm nose strip

Purederm Nose Pore Strips Charcoal (6ea, RV $6)

This Nose Pore Strips Charcoal is a one-step pore care treatment specifically designed to unclog excess blackheads, whiteheads, dirt, and oil piled up in your pores. You’ll fee a dramatic difference after just one use.

Impressions: Well, nose pore strips aren’t anything new or revolutionary, but as far as pore strips go these are quite nice. I’ve been using them in conjunction with my Volcanic Clay mask from Earth & Sea¬†Cosmetics and beyond being color-coordinated, which is of course essential ūüėČ I’ve found these to be very effective. More so than the Holika Holika Pig Nose 3-step Kits, which are about 400% more expensive. The cacao version of this set of 6 strips is on sale for just $2 right now.


memebox

Overall Impressions

This box sold for $39 + shipping, so quite pricey in comparison to other boxes and I’m sure this was one of the deterrents that kept people away (for a time, myself included). The overall Memevalue is $171 and while that could definitely be argued as inflated, I think there is no doubt that I more than got my money’s worth. I have a great many cosmetics items on hand right now and for me to have received a box fairly recently and to have already incorporated all of it into my daily routine really speaks volumes. This box may have lacked flash, but it had an abundance of¬†substance!


November Discounts

If you utilize any of the links above, you will automatically receive $5 off a purchase of $100+ or $10 off a purchase of $150+

In addition to this, you can stack another $5 discount off purchased of $30+ with the following codes: A4JKQ1 or 4VCJXK or…

Get $5 off on orders when you buy 3 or more Memeboxes using the code MEMEBUNDLE3

Get $8 off on orders when you buy 4 or more Memeboxes using the code MEMEBUNDLE4

Get free shipping on purchases over $70 on USA only Memeshop items with the code FREESHIPPING

Happy Memeboxing!


***This post contains affiliate links***

Where have you been all my life? A Secret Key Lemon D-Toc Peeling Gel Review

I’m going to begin this review with what some may consider a bold statement, but I truly feel it down to my core – this may just be the best skincare product I have ever used.

Soon after embarking on my voyage of beauty discovery, I realized I needed a peeling cream in my life. These creams exfoliate the skin, removing dead cells, revealing a smoother, brighter skin beneath, and evening out skin tone. Most of my previous exfoliation experience has been with abrasive cleansers. St. Ives Apricot Scrub, anyone? While I can’t dog what has been a cult favorite, I realized that a chemical exfoliant may be kinder to my skin. I’ve spent the majority of my life being pretty rough with it; my worst offense happening on those many days and nights that I didn’t pay it any mind at all. Looking back on that, I feel my skin truly deserves the daily pampering it’s now getting. Ah, the folly of youth.

My search for a peeling cream began a couple of months ago and I quickly stumbled onto what is an adorable and popular option – the TonyMoly Appletox Peeling Cream.

Appletox

The green is Appletox Peeling Cream & the red is Appletox Honey Cream

The cutest, right? The cream also smells strongly of, as you might guess, apples. While I was waiting for this little gem to ship, I stumbled onto an Instagram post from the lovely Kelsey of All These Lotions and Potions (yes, more blogger PDA may be forthcoming. I can’t help myself!). She had just hauled the Secret Key Lemon D-Toc Peeling Gel and was singing its praises. Soon after, Christine of MMnoob joined the conversation and my resistance faltered. So before I even had the Appletox in my possession, I had the D-Toc on order. I knew these beauty gurus couldn’t steer me wrong and I was not disappointed!

The Appletox arrived shortly after and it was… fine. The packaging was to-die-for, the scent was lovely, and the peeling efficacy was acceptable. Had this been all I knew of peeling creams, I may have lived out the rest of my life in blissful ignorance. But then D-Toc came into my life, and nothing was ever the same. I had high hopes, but certainly not expectations, so when my skin began peeling before I had even finished applying the product, an audible “wow” had escaped my lips. This product took off in seconds what seemed to me like a lifetime of skin gone by. I’m just going to get gross for a moment here, so fair warning – ¬†I literally had to stand over my sink when I did this because dead skin was just falling off my face in clumps. It sounds pretty hardcore, but it felt like nothing! This is one of the most gentle products I have ever used, and I would even venture to say, more so than the Appletox. The latter came with a very slight stinging sensation for maybe a fifth of the payoff. The D-Toc was SHOCKINGLY effective. I’ve just never had a skincare product deliver to this degree and so immediately. And then came the afterglow. It’s like I had a brand new face. My skin was smooth, radiant, and even-toned. Blemish scars and discoloration that I’ve accepted to be a permanent fixture were visibly reduced. I LOVE THIS GEL!! I want to shout it from the rooftops. Nothing has made such a difference in my skin as this unassuming little tube.

I promptly ran to tell my husband that despite his continued refusal to try any of the Korean beauty products I try to spritz in his direction, ¬†this… THIS he needed to experience. About a week later, he actually came asking for it and I was legitimately giddy. Why is it so exciting to indoctrinate people into this addiction? I wanted to record this moment for posterity! That, he refused, but he obligingly applied the D-Toc and soon after began a repetitive dialogue, alternating between¬†of “gross” and “this is awesome”. When he was done and I got in my “I told you!” ūüėČ he noted that he will now “have the skin of a beautiful, k-pop girl” haha. The amazingly unfair¬†thing¬†is, I think he’s more apt to get there than I am! The man is blessed with gorgeous skin he doesn’t have to put any work into. I told him not to get any ideas about moving in on my dressing area inner sanctum, but I quite enjoyed sharing ūüôā

Please do yourselves (and maybe your loved ones) a favor and try this product that has garnered instant holy grail status in my regimen and in my heart.

Currently, it can be found for $12.48 on Amazon with Prime shipping (!) and $9.99 on eBay, both with free shipping from very reputable and trustworthy sellers in SK.

Please also head over to read Kelsey’s fantastic review of the D-Toc!

LEMONDTOCPEELINGGEL

A Brief Interlude with my OMG2 Memebox: a Special #32 Unboxing & Review

Nothing says love like when I come home to a surprise Memebox waiting for me on the dining room table – a siren’s song calling to me at the end of a long and stressful workday, promising new cosmetics goodies and unadulterated joy – nothing says love like seeing that and still going over to say hi to my husband first. I hope he appreciates the sacrifices I make on his behalf.

This box was a surprise because it was sent to me by the lovely people at Memebox (thanks Lauren!) and I was quite excited upon opening it because this was one in a long line of boxes whose unboxings I’ve seen online and instantly coveted. Somehow that excitement ended up fizzling a bit for me¬†when I initially dug into this box in person, but I think I got to the crux of my issue ¬†and it actually has nothing to do with the products that made up the contents. It took me a while to put my finger on it, but in looking over the box it dawned on me that this really screams ‘mature’ woman. Between the gold, the lavender, the snakeskin, the wrinkle-balance masks – I kind of felt like this box should go straight to my mom. She would have been thrilled, but alas, I’m definitely keeping a good chunk of these items because once you get past the (probably only odd to me) aesthetics,¬†you get to some killer cosmetics. Is there an OMG factor to them? I really wouldn’t say so. I’ve come to view the OMG series as containing unique/interesting cosmetics ingredients, but nothing that I would call all that weird and funky. A part of me feels maybe this series warrants a re-branding. Maybe make it an Oh! box instead and temper expectations a bit ūüėČ

omg

If you haven’t had enough of our kooky beauty obsessions, take the OMG 2 beauty challenge!

We rounded up some of the kookiest and most unusual beauty trends that took Seoul by storm! From funky makeup trends to cool skin and hair treatments, these fun cosmetic innovations will definitely inspire you to rethink your current makeup routine. Loaded with even weirder, even funkier Memebox cult favorites, this box is a must have for beauty enthusiasts and beauty-holics!

OMG2

Cristallin Celllulose Mask (28g x 2, RV $10)

These concentrated cellulose sheet masks encourage the skin’s natural recovery function by providing a rich infusion of nutrition to help improve skin’s clarity and elasticity. Plus, the jelly-like texture feels like an octopus wrapped around your face.

First Impressions: Alright Memebox, I feel like you just tacked on that last sentence because someone in HQ decided you need to justify why you’re putting masks in an OMG box. Despite that being a bit of a reach, these look like really wonderful gel masks and special since we typically only get the sheet variety from Memebox. Most gel masks are geared for the eyes only, so it’s quite lovely and luxurious to have a couple for your whole face. Gel masks can calm irritated skin, shrink pores and blood vessels, and¬†lend themselves to an¬†overall soothing experience. This particular variety has targeted ingredients for anti-aging, firming benefits. I’m going to stick these in the fridge before use for the ultimate refresher and really can’t wait to try them.

  Ladykin Vanpir Dark Repair Cream (50ml, RV $50)

on sale in the Memeshop for $25

This Vanpir Dark Repair Cream is a clinically proven skin brightener that restores luminosity, corrects weak moisture barriers, and protects skin from future discolorations. This moisturizer with melanin-inhibiting green tea extracts visibly helps to diminish dark spots and discolorations while restoring clarity and brightness to dull, uneven skin. It also has anti-aging properties to enhance the look of skin by reducing the look of fines lines and wrinkles. It’s infused with Damask Rose, hyaluronic acid, and ummm Dragon’s Blood (?) to get you your best looking skin ever!

First Impressions: The packaging has adorable, little vampire teeth on it, which almost sold me right then and there.¬†I¬†was curious as to how this cream would compare to the Osho and I feel as though Osho came out ahead, in reviewing¬†the ingredients. That cream is formulated without¬†ethanol, benzophenone, mineral oil, alcohol, artificial color or fragrance, while I can’t say the same for the Vanpir (which contains at least¬†half of them, from what I can tell). Now, I’m not a stickler for natural cosmetics, but that is always my preference, as I don’t want to be too harsh to my skin. The hyaluronic acid in the Vanpir instantly piqued my interest, as that ingredient is purported to have healing and anti-aging properties, but I think I will be passing this one on since I do own the Osho and enjoy it. I think my mom would really like this and I’m trying this new thing called not hording everything that comes into my¬†possession.

Milky Dress Bohr-effect Carboxy Gel (1 set, RV $24)

on sale in the Memeshop for $8

Turn back the clock with this Bohr-effect Carboxy Gel! This 2-step facial mask cleans deep down into pores to extract pore-clogging bacteria, and firms and tightens sagging skin. The result? Facial contours appear sculpted and newly defined, lines and wrinkles look nicely smoothed, and skin is moisturized to perfection. Over time, skin’s strength, resiliancy, and volume appear renewed and you’ll see a remarkably younger, revitalized look. Directions:¬†Apply the gel mask onto a cleansed face. Massage a generous amount all over cheeks, forehead, and chin. Place the 100% naturally made Korean paper mask sheet over the face. Layer on a second layer of the gel mask over the sheet mask. Leave on for 10 to 20 minutes. Remove. Rinse with tepid water.

First Impressions: I don’t usually include usage instructions in my reviews, but I had to add this one because I think part of the OMG factor here, is OMG that seems like a process! In all honesty though, I CANNOT wait to put my time in with this product because I kind of love that this will be a bit of a science experiment. Carboxy refers to carbon dioxide therapy and the Bohr-effect is how this CO2 will be formulated. This occurs when the gel is combined with the mask and is supposed to result in the stimulation of collagen and cell activity delays, creation of new cells, smoothing of facial features, improvement in fine lines and wrinkles, and deep exfoliation. Very excited by all this! This item could be considered OMG, but definitely more in the sense that OMG, that’s interesting rather than strange.

Priori Aroma Ac Moisture Gel Mist (100ml, RV $24)

Enriched with bee venom, propolis, sophora roots, balloon flower roots, and Multi Ex Magnotics, the Aroma AC Moisture Gel Mist helps soothe and treat skin troubles and blemishes. The lavender aroma essential oil is also infused for soothing and purifying both your skin and soul.

First Impressions: It’s finally happened. I found a mist I don’t like ūüė¶ I really thought it an impossibility, but I find the scent of this one rather unpleasant. I know there are people out there who have very strong opinions about lavender and I didn’t think myself among them… but… you guys know how much I love my mists! To that end, I think I will be keeping this and seeing if I can get over it. Unlike most of my other mists, which are largely glacial water and aloe based, this one is packed with some wonderful skincare ingredients that not only soothe, but also treat. So it would really benefit me to douse my face in this now and then. I think I may save it for next summer, keep it chilled, and then have it handy for some poolside action. The thought of that already has me liking this mist more.

Seatree Syn-Ake Essence (45ml, RV $20)

This was randomly selected from either the Essence, which is what I received, or the Total Solution. For the life of me, I can’t quite figure out what would be the difference between these two.¬†

Seatree Syn-Ake Essence contains youth-preserving ingredients, such as Syn-ake peptides, similar in composition to snake venom, and hylaluronic acid to help deliver targeted repair – as needed, where needed. Recommended for all skin types, ages, and ethnicities, it visibly addresses uneven skintone, lines, and wrinkles for a visibly firmer, more radiant, and more supple skin.

First Impressions: Finally, a syn-ake item!! I’ve been dying to try this cosmetics ingredient since first reading about it a few months back. As the description above alludes, syn-ake is a synthetic agent, so not actual snake venom because that would definitely hurt some people. Syn-ake replicates the effects of a peptide that is known as Waglerin 1, which is a component of the venom found in the Temple Viper, a poisonous snake native to southeast Asia. How cool is that?! Syn-ake is designed to work much like Botox, which reduces muscular contractions in the face and reduces cell movement; thereby keeping the skin smooth. The concept behind Syn-ake is that since snake venom causes muscular paralysis, a synthetic derivative of the venom would work to temporarily deaden the muscles in the face to prevent the formation or deepening of wrinkles (source). I feel that I’m at the right age to try this sort of thing. I don’t think I could ever get Botox because I find that it¬†effects your appearance and expression to a severe degree, but this certainly seems like it may be a viable alternative.

Haruen Dorothy Haruen-S (1ea, RV $26)

This volcanic rock rollerball absorbs excess oil, grease, and other blackhead and acne inducers just by rolling it across your skin. Made with 100% volcanic rock, this mattifier controls oil and eliminate excess sebum and shine for a fresh look and longer-lasting makeup application.

Impressions: Unlike the rest, I’ve actually spent extended quality time with this item because after seeing it in the box originally, I purchased one without hesitation when it first became available in the Memeshop. My T-zone is forever and always a moist mess. I’ve won some battles, with the help of some fantastic cosmetics items I’ve received from Meme, but the war rolls on. So I was very interested in exploring an alternative to blotting sheets. I must admit, I was somewhat disappointed and that only has to do with the severity of my oiliness. When I find myself reaching for this at the end of a long day, it certainly does what it’s intended to do, but it takes a few repetitions of rolling, letting dry, rolling again, before my skin is clear. It may help if I remember to use it more regularly, so I’m still giving it a chance and trying to work out the kinks. The concept is very interesting and I had definitely never seen anything like it, so points on the OMG front for that.


Overall Impression

¬† I did not pay for this box, but it originally cost $29 + shipping. It contains six full-sized products (with more than one of the masks – yay!) and a total memevalue of $154, though it’s $113 when adjusted for current prices. This box was a bit of a mixed bag for me, but overall I found more than half the items to be quite interesting and unique. I think Memebox may have a tough road ahead with this series. On one hand, this level of OMG isn’t enough for some hardcore k-beauty fans that have sort of been there done that, and know of some of the truly bizarre cosmetics¬†out there. But on the other hand, Memebox doesn’t want to alienate what may be a broader swath of their global customer base, who may not want to go too far out there. OMG 3 has already been released and shipped out and that one struck me as very similar to this box, in that the products seem quite good, but somewhat lacking in the weird/funky/OMG department. So if you’re out to try some cool and different cosmetics, I certainly wouldn’t shy away from the OMG series, but if you’re looking for more of a shock factor, you may want to pick up those weirdly wonderful items directly. OMG 4 is already sold out, but you may be able to grab it when it gets closer to the shipping date (Nov 18th) and boxes that people may have cancelled typically pop up.


November Codes

If you utilize any of the links above, you will automatically receive $5 off a purchase of $100+ or $10 off a purchase of $150+

In addition to this, you can stack another $5 discount off purchased of $30+ with the following codes: A4JKQ1 or4VCJXK or…

Get $5 off on orders when you buy 3 or more Memeboxes using the code MEMEBUNDLE3

Get $8 off on orders when you buy 4 or more Memeboxes using the code MEMEBUNDLE4

Get free shipping on purchases over $70 on USA only Memeshop items with the code FREESHIPPING

Happy Memeboxing!


***This post contains affiliate links. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and I’m under no obligation to Memebox. However, I am a collaborator and have been provided this item for review***

Quality Time with my Free from Oil & Trouble 4 Memebox: a Superbox #55 Unboxing & Review

I have been itching to talk about this box because it became a favorite soon after I had it in my eager possession, but I wanted to wait until I thoroughly tried everything and could give you some meaningful feedback.

Oil and Trouble I know well. Intimately, you might say. I have combination skin with an incredibly overactive T-zone. The rest could probably be considered ‘normal’, though very prone to clogging. So, trying to find that magical combination of products that would play nice with my skin and not leave me positively gleaming has always been an exercise in alchemy. When Memebox released this 4th installment of their Free from Oil & Trouble series, I didn’t hesitate to throw my money at them.

oiltrouble

YES. A thousand times, Yes.

Tried and true‚ÄĒour Free From Oil & Trouble #4 is filled with the newest and best¬†trouble-fighting¬†and oil controlling¬†products!

Turn down the shine and control excessive sebum with our Free From Oil & Troubles #4! This is the ultimate go-to box for covering those pesky little pimples, treating blemishes, and keeping skin matte all day! Our oil absorbing products are proven to work-fast, so that your skin is left refreshed, smooth, blemish free, and healthy-looking!


insobeau Acinc Blemish Spot Solution (15ml, RV $20)

Consisting of half liquid and half pink powder, this Acnic Blemish Spot Solution has a double layer to target skin troubles and red spots. Its mandarin and unshin oil formula from Jeju Island is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, and C for relieving skin redness, lowering stress levels and protecting the skin from possible infections and further damage. 

Impressions: This item was one of the spoilers that was announced in advance of the ship day and it got me very excited because I was already shopping around for a Korean spot solution. As you can see, it’s still mixed up from shipping in the photo above, but this settles to a bottom pink, powder layer and then a clear, oil layer on top. The idea is to dip a cotton-tip straight down and into both solutions and then apply this in thick dots over trouble spots. I really waned to love this and it’s not that I dislike it at all, but I just don’t find that it’s especially effective. I think I was expecting something more akin to American blemish treatments, which have acidic ingredients that really give spots a serious fight. I enjoy that this item is much more natural and seemingly aims to soothe those spots into submission, but I was anticipating something more instant and impressive. I will happily continue to use this item because I’m sure it’s infinitely better for my skin than the alternative I noted above, and honestly it wouldn’t kill me to learn some patience.


Pro You Aroma AC Cream (60g, RV $54)

The Aroma AC Cream is made from Pro You’s special Multi EX Magnotics formula consisting of green tea, grapefruit, machilia, and thujopsis dolabrata extracts, and works to tighten up enlarged pores and control the sebum level of your skin. It also contains various essential oils – juniper berry, lavender, and tea tree – which help soothe and purify irritated skin.

Impressions: I adore the Pro You brand. I’ve learned of their existence through Memebox and that seems to be the only place you can readily find a limited¬†selection of their various lines¬†– unfortunately, this item is not yet among them. I received Pro You products in both my Anti-Aging 3 and Daily Dose of Beauty boxes, and all I have to say is keep them coming!

I have been so eager to try this cream, but I had barely put a dent into my beloved Goddess Cream and I wanted to wait until that was gone before opening another, but my curiosity and unadulterated excitement about this item got the better of me. Most creams/moisturizers are much too heavy for me. My T-zone is a shining beacon before I even finish application and my makeup has no chance of survival. I thought I had found my HG in the Goddess Cream, and by no means does this product take away an ounce of my love for that beautiful, peachy gel… but wow, I think I may have found another HG. I honestly didn’t even realizing a mattefying moisturizer existed outside of my wildest dreams, but Memebox has brought us together. In addition to sebum control – which has been the most impactful for me – this cream is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients to treat problem skin. Antioxidants help prevent environmental damage, build collagen, help skin heal, and produce healthier skin cells.¬†With this type of ingredient, you really can’t have too much of a good thing. Anti-inflammatory ingredients serve to¬†reduce signs of inflammation, such as swelling, tenderness, pain, irritation, or redness. I have already picked up a backup from a sale in one of the Memebox FB groups, and I’m comforted to know that I won’t be without this gem for a while.


The Skin House Dr. Clear Magic Toner (130ml, RV $25)

Enriched with tea tee extracts, Dr. Clear Magic Toner is a spray-type mist toner which works to soothe and control excess skin blemishes and to balance out the skin’s moisture/oil level for a clearer, healthier-looking complexion overall. Contains mallow flower, hyssop,common thyme, red clay Jijangsu, Ecklonia cava Kjellman in Kjellman & Petersen extract.¬†

Impressions: This was the first toner I received from Memebox – huzzah! However, my excitement was tempered a bit by the news that this product contained methylparaben. Of course, red flags went up for me, but after doing extensive reading on the subject (including published research), it seemed the consensus was that methylparaben is not harmful in the concentration found in cosmetics, even over time. It’s an anti-fungal element and utilized as a preservative. Having been comforted somewhat ¬†– and not having another toner on hand – I pressed on. I do like a lot about this product. The fact that it’s a mist is incredibly convenient and I find I’m able to distribute it quickly and evenly. I do also think it’s quite effective, in that it calms my skin and also does a nice job of prepping it for the steps ahead. However, I can’t quite get over the scent. I wouldn’t call it unpleasant and it may be some of the thyme notes that I’m getting, along with the mallow flower, which is a skin conditioning agent. Either way, it’s just not doing it for me. After getting all up in my face with the heavenly-scented Ariul mist from the Earth & Sea Cosmetics box, following up with this is just downright unpleasant. I’m using it for now, and I do think it certainly does the job, but I will be moving on once I receive another toner option. Life is too short to deal with funky cosmetics!


Benenet Herb & Bee AC Control Serum (60ml, RV $38)

The Herb & Bee AC Control Serum contains bee venom, which is 75% protein and has proven effective in relieving, protecting, repairing, and hydrating the skin, and also 5 different kinds of herbal extracts from grapefruit, cintron, eucalyptus leaf, sophora root, and clove flower which all help maintain a healthy skin balance.

Impressions: Bee venom works by tricking the skin into believing it has been lightly stung, which causes the body to direct blood towards that area, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, which promote skin repair. In addition – and more relevant to this product – the venom acts to remove excess keratin and sebum, eliminate acne inducing bacteria and block inflammatory agents within skin pores to heal acne lesions. The other, herbal ingredients are largely antioxidants, which we covered above. So all very, very good stuff and yet I was rather¬†taken aback by just how effective this serum is. It really does help to control sebum and treat blemishes, while still leaving my skin hydrated. The consistency is on the thinner-side for a serum and the scent is just ¬†what I would call ‘fresh’. I have already snagged a backup from a Memebox FB group (again), so I am very pleased to have an extensive supply of this hard-to-find item.


    Eggs

Lindsay Linzy Egg Pack (60g, RV $12)

The Linzy Egg Pack is a blackhead and pore controlling cleanser kit consisting of a White Egg and a Red Clay Egg. Firs, the White Egg is made from real egg whites and witch hazel complex, which work to cleanse away any skin impurities clogged up in your pores. Then, the Red Clay Egg containing red clay and NMF complex effectively tighten up enlarged pores for a smoother, suppler complexion.

Impressions: Witch hazel acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and astringent all in one, while NMF is a moisturizing ingredient. The foundation of these eggs though are egg whites and red clay; the former draws out oils and tightens skin, while the latter is largely utilized for its absorbing properties. This item was the first spoiler from the box and while I was intrigued and thought the eggs adorable, I questioned the possible efficacy of something so ‘cutesy’. This was the first item I used after receiving the box and man, was I pleasantly surprised. First of all, these eggs – particularly the Red – smell absolutely divine. I truly feel, at times, that the degree to which I will like a box begins with whether or not I’m overtaken by an amazing scent upon opening it. It just helps to start on the right foot! Back to the eggs. These are first and foremost, wonderful cleansers, but they also do some amazing things for my skin that I noticed after even the first use. It’s rare that you find a product that delivers on its claims, but these two, cute eggs really did help to clear out and tighten my pores. A lot of Korean cosmetics brands make variations on this theme, but I can only speak to this set in particular.

Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t include a word of warning. One of my fellow Memebox Addicts and AMAZING blogger/writer, Kelsey from All These¬†Lotions and Potions had nothing resembling my experience with these eggs. In fact, her experience was quite traumatic. So, two decidedly opposing opinions, but that’s the risk you take with skincare… everyone’s skin is different and products may react differently with them. I really should be patch-testing before slathering every hot, new thing that comes along on my face :/ But, in those initial, whirlwind moments with a new love, we don’t want to consider heartbreak!


Compact

ideeB Goodbye Oil Pact (12g, RV $12)

The shine-stopping translucent pressed powder blots oil and keeps shine at bay. The lavender shade applies invisibly and works on every skintone. Try it on naked skin or over foundation or touch ups any time throughout the day because the formula contains super lightweight, oil-absorbing ingredients to get you shine-free results.

Impressions: I was so pleased that Memebox included a makeup item in this box and this turned out to be a great one. I had been using the Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Pact and was quite happy with it, but excited to get another variation. I imagined they would be about the same, but the most impactful difference is that the ideeB’s powder is a bit looser and much easier to pick up. Consequently, the application is much easier¬†and it’s nice to have the option to apply with a powder brush rather than just the poof. The compact is¬†slightly larger than the Innisfree, which I prefer as well. The lavender tone the description mentions is so invisible, in fact, that I would be hard-pressed to identify it at all. Honestly, it looks completely white and translucent. But that’s fine with me. I don’t know how well this would work on darker comlexions, but I don’t find that it whitens me at all. Rather, it blends quite nicely with my skintone or makeup and is hugely effective in controlling excess oil throughout the day. I have already picked up a backup for this item as well.


Overall Impressions

This box cost $32 + shipping and contained six full-sized items. The overall memevalue is $161 and the value to me is exceptional. I really adore the great¬†majority of this box, having purchasing backups for half the items¬†already, yea… I think I’m a fan. I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase the next in this series, as it seems to be perfectly tailored to my skin type and concerns.


November Codes

If you utilize any of the links above, you will automatically receive $5 off a purchase of $100+ or $10 off a purchase of $150+

In addition to this, you can stack another $5 discount off purchased of $30+ with the following codes: A4JKQ1 or 4VCJXK or…

Get $5 off on orders when you buy 3 or more Memeboxes using the code MEMEBUNDLE3

Get $8 off on orders when you buy 4 or more Memeboxes using the code MEMEBUNDLE4

Get free shipping on purchases over $70 on USA only Memeshop items with the code FREESHIPPING

Happy Memeboxing!


***This post contains affiliate links***