Review – from Jeju or from Heaven?

When the spoilers came around for memebox’s From Jeju edition, I clamoured to find them. This was one box I had been looking forward to for quite a while. It felt like it took forever for its shipping date to arrive, and then even longer to actually ship to my door. I was mid-wait when I saw the first unboxing picture of the box, and just like that, the great white hope, the excitement, the anticipation was dashed. Upon first look, it seemed to me to be a pretty unexciting box. My initial thought was, wait … two products that are one use only, a hand cream, a sample size … sigh. So, I waited for my own to arrive, knowing that and reminding myself that even when a box doesn’t excite you when you see it online, it is totally different when it is in your hands.

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Jeju arrived tonight and I unpacked it with my usual zeal. I read the information card and looked through my box’s contents. As I drove home from the post office, I unpackaged the hand cream and rubbed a little between my palms.

This is where my attitude got put in check and things started to turn around.

The Yeon hand cream smelled, downright heavenly. Floral, soft, practically effervescent! Normally, I find floral scents very hard to take because they tend to be intense. Though this one is strong, it is beautiful and the aroma mellows quickly. It isn’t greasy or oily in the slightest and it sinks into your skin incredibly rapidly, and the finish is silky verging on powdery. I absolutely love this “Jeju Canola Honey” Silky Hand Cream, and I never say that about hand creams.

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Later on, while soaking my worries away in my tub, I kept staring at the rest of my box’s goodies. I hadn’t planned on trying anything new because I am still gun-shy from my experiences with the Linzy Egg Soaps but if I finally liked a hand cream, maybe that was a cosmic sign.

I cleansed with the “SanDa Wha” Oil Cleanser and was pleasantly surprised. It smelled sweet, mild and of chamomile. It felt incredibly soft and wonderful between my fingers, and my skin loved it. No issues with irritation and it left my face feeling comfortable. Also did a commendable job removing my makeup. I was disappointed off the hop when I saw it, because it is very small. Memebox says it is full size and though I like it, I still question that. It is 30ml, I hope it will last and it should, as you don’t need much to cleanse your face.

I followed that with the “HallaBong” Peeling Toner. Ok, I know I keep harping on the scents of products this time around, but oh my God – this toner smells freaking unbelievable. Fruity, fresh, crisp and clean. It is an absolute treat for your nostrils. Now, I didn’t find any “peeling” to speak of, in this peeling toner … but I have to confess I used the Lemon D-Toc peeling gel this morning, so this might have altered the efficacy of this Hallabong toner. Yet, that doesn’t take anything away from its impressiveness. This toner left my skin looking so bright and awake I will have to start using this in the morning. It also didn’t irritate my skin, not even the left over red bumps from my recent breakout. I was happily applying this toner over and over, smelling it and making Hubby smell it. I love love, love this!

Then, since I was riding high, I threw caution to the wind and whipped out the “Skindeco” Volcanic Pore Clay Sparkling Heating Mask. This stuff is bizarre! But bizarre in the best way! First off, the texture is other-wordly. It looks and feels like hard-whipped whipped cream, it looks almost dessert like. It even smells kind of dessert like! It is light brown, and silky soft. It is very thick but easy enough to apply over your face. It quickly heats up, and while you remove it, it heats up even more (though I tend to react differently than most with these Korean heating masks) I enjoyed it. I left my pores cleared out completely. The texture was the most surprising, at first glance I thought it was dried out but it wasn’t at all … it was just trying to trick me. I think this mask will be a favourite among Memebox addicts worldwide. It could have qualified to go into an “OMG Box” without a doubt.

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These three products are my standouts from the “From Jeju” box from Memebox. I feel like I may have judged this box sight-unseen, harshly and with undue haste. Also, I think I was swayed into thinking this was going to be a poor box because the packaging of these products are rather ho-hum. Yet, after trying these products for myself, I am convinced that this box is a quiet winner. The box also included a one-use sleeping pack from Etude House, a sheet mask and a serum. The serum, in my opinion, was rather mediocre. It didn’t smell of anything particularly yummy, and it was slightly oily. It didn’t sink into my skin as fast as I would like, either. I am trying the sleeping pack tonight, mainly just to be rid of it, and the sheet mask will go into my collection of sheet masks for use later on. All in all, this little box changed my mind and made me put my attitude away. I think the four products I mentioned in detail above make this box worth the money, which is something I questioned early on. Perhaps this will teach me to get my box first before having an opinion about it.

We can only hope. Until next time Beauty-mavens. Be safe out there.

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Yes, I Am Sleeping With Him

Some times ladies and gents, it’s not a man that saves you. Once in a while, if you scream “rescue!” a face moisturizer arrives, proudly, on a steed and dressed in shiny armour, the knight to your damsel in beauty-crisis-distress!

No, seriously.

Many of you know, that last week I was brought to my knees by a skin care mis-step. As you may also know, this mis-step kept a record. On my face. And, for a week my Hubby was forced to inspect my face twice daily, once nightly, to discern a careful answer to, “Ok. How does it look now?”

He finally told me today, after we finally agreed that we started to see the red-splatter monster begin to fade, that it was in fact my “worst reaction and breakout ever.” Bar none. Nothing else makes a wife feel sexier, folks.

Every night in recent memory I have been labouring over my face. Today was the day I was attending a baby shower of a very old and dear friend – and I was intent on fixing my face for the event. Even if the internet at every turn told me, no, you can’t heal acne overnight – Well, screw you interwebs! I have to find a way! I refuse to be the woman at the shower that terrifies the kiddies. Halloween is over!

So every night it was a flurry of safe cleansers, cold compresses, moisturizers, tea tree, hyaluronic acid … praying … meditation … deals with the devil – a little clarity for my soul – you know. The usual. By last night, things had started to even out and clear up. It wasn’t perfect, and at the baby shower I looked like the living-dead as I foundation-ed like a maniac and powdered my already white face with even whiter powder. People kept asking me if I was “feeling alright,” and that’s when I kicked a baby and ran like hell.

Ok that didn’t happen. But people? It wasn’t my best day for vanity and I felt less than celebratory.

So let’s move on, shall we? To the good news portion of this shitshow post. We have a helpful creature in our midst! Something that I think really went to bat for me while I fell apart under the stress of my chicken-pox-on-acid like breakout on my face.

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If this were a man, I’d be sleeping with him.

No, I mean that literally. This is what I went to bed with, on my face – and I fell in love.

This is a really good moisturizer. The Pro You Aroma AC Cream. It is for “troubled” skin and its formula is extremely pleasing. When you have a breakout, the last thing you want, or least the last thing I want is to be left too oily from a moisturizer. But conversely, I also don’t want to dry out my skin. For me, excessively oily moisturizers (which I find is most of them) just add to the problem – I inevitably find new pimples cropped up the next morning. If I use a harsh cleanser and follow up with a lacking moisturizer then the next day when I try to apply makeup to my face but my spots are dried, peeling, crunchy and disgusting. Nothing covers them, and it is a horrible task to even try. These are the mornings that Bestie gets a text from me stating I am cancelling any foreseeable plans for hanging out in public.

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I was surprised to find myself liking this cream, and even more surprised to see myself going back to it, time and time again. I haven’t been a fan of other Pro You products thus far, their wrinkle care cream in particular (you know one, huge gigantor tub, came in the Anti-aging 3 box) that one was just way too freaking rich for my skin. I quit using it after a short stint, I was sure it would break me out. Why does that tub have to be so huge?! So, when I opened this AC cream by the same company, to say the least I was dubious.

Pro You managed to make a very rich cream for troubled skin that is non-irriating, non-stinging, and absorbs like a dream. Absorption is always on my list of grievances with moisturizers. I always feel like they sit on my skin, slough off or leave me sticky or tacky. This one absorbs rapidly, so much so you have to have quick fingers to spread it out quicker than it dries. But it does dry, and it soothes and it feels cooling on the skin. I was happy to find something that didn’t burn my skin, or the spots even if I applied it directly after cleansing. As far as effectiveness, I only have a short window to study its efficacy. But within the week my acne lightened up, and at least 40% of it disappeared. What’s left are the stubborn spots, but even those are well on their way to being healed. It wasn’t greasy when I put it on, and it wasn’t greasy when I woke. This cream came with my “Free from Oil and Trouble 4” box, so I can only guess it was fate – it was my reprieve from those egg soaps from hell.

In the end my dear beauty-lovers, I am on the mend. Today, I braved sunlight and I put on pants. That should signal to you that this crisis is almost adverted.

Until next time, Beauty-babes. Be safe out there.

A WTF Moment

Everything was going so well. i mean, so well. at first, i had apprehension but as more Korean goodies arrived at my doorstep, the more my worry faded, and the more fun I had and for a while even I – the always critical one – saw a noticeable change in my skin.

Was it anything more than the mystique of the magical looking elixirs, that convinced me of significant and positive epidermal change? Well, we could argue that long into the night. The point is, me and the “probably Korean drugstore products” as Hubby would say, well we were getting along. Making beautiful beauty music. But, I guess I always knew that one day it would come to a screeching halt.

By no means is my skin perfect. Who’s is? Yet, my skin and I, we’ve got an accord. I know her, intimately. I know her inside and out, I know her tendencies, I know when she’s about to get bitchy and I know how to put her back in her place, but all bets were off when I started experimenting with lotions & potions from afar.

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Usually with a proper cleanser, and a decent drugstore foundation I could pull off looking like a female. Win. Sure, sometimes people would tell me I was more pale than the dead … but what of it? I was a stranger to the tan, but lucky to have just bouts of hormonal acne once in a while, and as I aged my skin got a little less sensitive. We were in a good place. So what drove me to dally and gamble with my skin care routine?

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The promise of “even better skin.” A harrowing thought now that I’ve taken a turn down another path: Reaction a la ma-face-she-go-boom.

It is extremely hard to nail down a culprit to label devil but I have a hunch! Dick Tracy hats on, Beauty Detectives.

I am not as smart as many of you out there currently receiving Memeboxes. Most of you open one product, use it and then open another. Or you all have specifically rendered routines where you have three or four (five, six … twelve) products you use over the day and night and you become well accustomed to each one and their results on your individual skin. Very smart Memeboxers!

I am more a student of chaos theory? Yes, I have a few items I use without fail because I love them (e.g. LJH Tea Tree Essence) but with every box that arrives, I’ll throw something new into the mix. I play it fast and loose, and shoot from the hip. And, apparently I’ve gotten a little too bold with it. I had a really good run with my skin for so long, and I stupidly started to feel invincible. New cleanser? Yes! New serum? Why not? New moisturizer? Hells yeah, baby. Pour some sugar on me, I am your sweet sweet cherry pie!

… Wow. Total Eighties hair-band flashback.

New (weird, odd smelling, EGG SHAPED) facial soap? Again, I said yes but this time, I hadn’t realized I was in the presence of pure evil.

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photo credit: memebox website

I was so excited to receive my “Free from Oil & Trouble 4” box from Memebox and this one had some real winning products. I figured one night, as I was lazily soaking in the tub that the “Linzy Egg Soaps” would be nothing short of deeeeelightful!

I wish I could smack those soaps right out of the hands of Kelsey of the past, but no. I left my Wiccan powers in my summer jacket. AGAIN.

Now, I know it is unfair to point the witchy-poo finger at the eggy soaps, but I have thought about it. It is the only new product I’ve introduced in the last week. Everything else that is relatively new has been with me now since the last box I received which was weeks ago. Thusly, I elect the eggies as the evil-doers.

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Here’s the D-L on the haps, peeps. I broke out in the weirdest (angriest) way. The pimples came and they came with friends. They were the red, painful kind – not a lot of whiteheads or blackheads, just round painful dots, ranging in size, spread out from the underside of my chin up to about mid-cheek. Against my white skin, they looked exactly like little constellations splattered out from chin to lip to cheek. Constellations as in just like the stars, but in pimple form. But curiously? Less attractive. And, definitely less romantic. You get a sense of what I mean by the pictures above – the polysporin I’m using to quell the rage and take the edge off the pain, covers their pattern pretty exactly.

For about three days now the infection has been spreading and worsening, because I didn’t think the innocent white and red eggs were the issue at first. I also did some things in an attempt to calm my skin, that I found out recently you should not do. Not ever!

One. I tried popping the buggers.

Ok. So I know already that isn’t what you’re supposed to do – so sue me.

Two. I tried using a hot compress to help heal up the broken skin.

Apparently, no! You should be using cool water, to calm, close the pores and not irritate.

Three. I introduced yet another new product. Blithe Patting Water (soothing & healing green tea). Something which had no hope of helping! Zero chance because let’s face it, this was no small skin freak out and again, *hangs head in shame* I used super heated water.

So Beauty Adventurers, where does this leave us? Well, it leaves me to go to a baby shower on Sunday looking like my good old halloween pal, Freddie. And, it leaves you with this cautionary tale. Yours to use as the last line of defence!

What was my last line of defence, you ask? Well my darlings, I have a two-year old that was obsessed with the evil eggs from the moment he saw them … So after the obligatory will this give you flesh eating disease? check …

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Holy Grail Beauty Must-Haves

For the longest time, this term as far as it related to beauty products made no sense to me. I didn’t know what a “holy grail” item was because I rarely finished any beauty product unless it was out of necessity, like shampoo or conditioner. More often that not, even if I found something I loved, I either quickly lost interest or I physically lost it before the real love affair began. (Hello, Bonnebell lipsmackers, I think lost you most of all)

There are, of course, the holy grail items you hear about through the beauty grapevine. And for a time, I listened and followed suit, buying up whatever was the hot ticket. This is how I came to be the temporarily proud owner of many beauty-mistakes: the quintessential 90’s pixie cut with blonde frosted tips, orange lipstick, roll-on body glitter, chunky glitter hairspray, neon blue mascara, frosted pink lipgloss – just to name a few. Let’s just say I didn’t exactly make high school easy for myself. That haircut especially, haunted me for many years … *shrugs off chills* egads. It just didn’t always register with me that my pale skin, big eyes, and freckles just wouldn’t look so hot coupled with many of these trends … ah, the folly of youth.

And, so? It goes on. And, it gets worse. We finally grow up a little and learn to not blindly take on every trend whole-hog and we become a bit more discerning in our tastes. Yet, no matter how old we are, if our best friend finds something and shouts “Holy grail! Holy grail!” we all still jump in line, don’t we? Even my Bestie – the makeup neophyte – even we have this relationship when it comes to mascaras. If I ever stand a chance of holding a cosmetics-related chat with her then you can bet it’s about that. If she finds one, I buy it. If I find one, she’ll roll her eyes but usually she’ll buy it too.

But none of these situations truly constitute finding a real holy grail item. These are just scenarios where we amuse ourselves while we wait for the real thing to come along. And for me? It never did. I would use certain things a few times, maybe repurchase them if I was really caught up but eventually something new would come along and I was a terribly disloyal harlot and frankly, when it came to cosmetic brands, I really “slept around,” I liked them flashy and I liked them cheap. Hence the Bonnebell and roll-on glitter filled purses of my youth.

But now, as I stand at the end of my twenties, staring down my thirties, my relationship with cosmetics has changed. I have to be more thoughtful with what I splash on my face, and sadly, I have to spend more money and give myself over to the going theory that you get what you pay for and with cosmetics and makeup that really tends to be the truth.

In my recent explorations into the Korean beauty market, and on the back of a well researched friend’s opinion I found something that fits the bill. A truly holy enough item to call itself grail.

Now at first when I was buying and trying new products from Korea I was hesitant about anything that alluded to “whitening” or “peeling” … even the mention of skin-brightening or descriptions of dead skin cells sloughing off … I just buried my head in my western beauty ideals and stayed away. It wasn’t until I was more versed, and did my own research that I finally became open to these ideas. And now, frankly these elements are integral to my new skin care regime.

On Instagram, I had started to follow fellow beauty bloggers, and thrill-seekers in the Memebox/Korean beauty sphere, and a few became friends and the more we all talked, the more I valued their opinions, reviews and suggestions. Christina, another Vancouver-based Memebox lover posted a picture, late one night on Instagram that hooked me straight away. A peeling gel she had received in one of her Memeboxes, and she touted it as being an almost-holy grail. Suddenly, at two am, I found myself skulking around ebay to find this illusive lemon peeling – magic – gel. I had to find it. It became an obsession. I the hunter, it my prey … ten dollars later it was mine. My own. My prrreeeecious. *cough cough*

Two weeks later, it arrived and it sat on the bathroom shelf for a while more … even though I had taken the plunge, I was still terrified to try it. The idea that I would apply this and my skin would drop off horror movie style to the floor and I would have no one to blame but myself, stopped me every time I reached for it. It became a game of chicken. Nightly. And every night, I lost.

One night somehow I found the balls it took to whip it out and slather it all over my face. Listen, I told myself You’re married. If your face falls off, guess what? He still has to love you. He took vows and shit. Girl. He has to love you even if you come out looking like Voldemort. Go on. Do it. 

and so, I did.

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Here is my review of the Lemon D-Toc Peeling Gel by Secret Key

If you’ve never tried a peeling gel before, take a breath and be brave – it is worth it. If you think you’ve exfoliated successfully, try this and see what a peeling gel can really do, things that an ordinary exfoliant can’t do, even in its most sudsy, soapy, moistest dreams.

I think I thought that dead skin cells were few and far between, and that I obviously had the issue covered by exfoliating twice a week. Bah, oh Kelsey of the past. I laugh heartily at you. Fool!

This peeling gel is miraculous for one reason. It is an incredibly gentle yet effective product that not only renews your skin, but removes your dead skins cells and lets your true “best skin” emerge. You’d think that a lemon extract peeling gel product would have to be particularly harsh to be effective, but not so with this Secret Key winner – and that in itself was extremely surprising.

I sparingly applied the gel to my face and even before I had evenly distributed it, I could already feel my dead skin begin to ball up underneath my fingers. It took less than thirty seconds for the gel to permeate my skin’s surface and begin to remove all the waste. It didn’t burn, irritate, leave my skin red or inflamed in any way – and for someone with sensitive skin, this was a huge shock – I kind of expected my skin to scream out in agony, or break out, breakdown or break up with me entirely … but she remained calm. Bloody fucking miracle. I washed away the bits of old skin with warm water, and my skin didn’t feel dry or tight which I expected. It felt extremely clean, so soft and oddly moisturized which I did not expect.

But the best came after looking in mirror aprés my pampering session in the tub. My face was bright. Beautiful. And as I inspected, it truly was descaled and smooth. Best of all was my acne scaring; all of it was at least a shade or two lighter. The old red marks where my hormonal acne had gotten the better of me and I bugged it far beyond the point of necessary, all of those reminders of breakouts past were remarkably diminished. Anyone who battles hormonal breakouts – and is like me, always has their fingers to their face to “cover it” or bug it – would know that even after those breakouts heal, they leave behind a red spattering of marks that only a decent foundation can really hide. Yes, they do fade over time, but it takes eons, and by the time they fade, a new breakout has begun and the cycle begins again. It’s heart-wrenching.

Well, this gel helped more than anything else I’ve tried to help heal, hide or blur those marks, and I wasn’t even expecting that as a result when I applied the Lemon D-Toc for the first time. It was a perk and it was glorious. I sincerely urge you to try a peeling gel if you’re so bold, and I think this one by Secret Key is something to consider. Gentle, effective, and surprising. Give it a whirl.

A few tips from me to you:

One, with this product less is more. Two, you don’t need to leave it on long. Just cleanse then apply, wait a second and then rub & rinse. Three, don’t use it more than once week. Since it is as effective as I say, it is pointless to use it more often. I used it a second time in a week where I had previously used the gel and I had no dead skin for it to find, so it ended up being unnecessary!

If you’ve tried this or something similar, tell me about it below! This newly appointed holy grail item comes to me by way of my fellow beauty adventurer “Mmnoob” – A braver soul than I by far so check out her blog too – We thank her for her bravery and for her need to share her beauty secrets! Beware though, if you’re the jealous type. She has the most beautiful skin EVAH!

Until next time, beauty-bots. Be safe out there.

Thoughts on Memebox’s Restocked Boxes – Zero Cosmetics Box

Since joining in on the Memebox fun in late July, I quickly realized I had missed quite a few boxes since the company’s inception. When I found out Memebox “restocks” some popular boxes from time to time, I began to watch very closely to see if any old missed opportunities popped up.

In my early relationship with Memebox – as with all my relationships – I was very chaste. (Hubby is snickering) I was extremely choosy and I let many boxes slip by even if I was interested, I rarely pulled the trigger. By September of course, I had a full-blown addiction to the hot pink box and I rapidly fell to other extreme. On a high, I sailed through a few weeks buying boxes on a whim, catering to my fancy, my mood and ignoring any telling signs that maybe, just maybe, not all the boxes were right for me. After doing some calculations late that month, I drearily made myself revaluate and once again I slowed right down, however, when a certain restock hit my radar – I aimed. I fired. Target acquired.

“Zero Cosmetics” was on my list because I am always on the lookout for natural, simple skin care options, because the fair british skin I inherited from my father rarely takes on cosmetics of any kind without struggle or utter rejection in the form of the angry “Fuck you PIMPLE” – You know those beasties, I am sure. Zero Cosmetics promised nature’s best options for any myriad of skin issues and even though I had intended to dam-up my purchasing, I let one more slide in the gate.

To me, the term “restocked” means that. Re-stocked goods. We’ve gone out and acquired the contents of a certain box to sell again, hoping to capitalize on its earlier popularity. Ok. So that is completely fair. You are a company. You’re money-hungry, and by God we the consumers, well we love you for it. Here here! But what I don’t think I realized, or maybe I just didn’t think long enough before I metaphorically injected myself with the online shopping high – “Restocked” can mean whatever they want it to mean.

Every Memebox I have received thus far has been very well presented. Not only have they been packed well, I’ve had no leaks or breaks and most of all everything has been safety sealed and wrapped up tight. This is something I personally really appreciated about the box and the products I receive inside. My restock was different.

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Now, I have heard (after the purchase was made) that restocks were cancelled boxes or send-backs but I guess I didn’t really heed that information at the time. It wasn’t until I received my box and I was ravenously tearing into it, that I thought to myself, Whit-a-tick. Where is this box actually from?

Much of my box’s content was clearly untouched (the soap was wrapped, and the sheet masks obviously still enclosed) but the creams, serums and so on – none of them had safety seals. So many boxes in, I was used to and comfortable with those safety seals, so missing them got me to reconsider my decision of investing in a restock.

So, call me crazy, but I guess I feel just a little divided on the subject. I think I knew all along what a “restock” could be, so I can’t really be upset. Can I? A cancelled box that never left the warehouse is one thing, but a send back is another. In that sense they aren’t restocks so much as they are “refurbished”. The more I think about it the more I feel like one of two things probably should have happened on Memebox’s end.

One, they could say up front, what we all are thinking or what many of us know – give us, the customer, the head’s up, tell us where the restocks come from, and two, maybe sell them at a discounted price if they are in fact, refurbished boxes. Then I think you would have all the information you would need to make the decision that is right for you. I still don’t know if I would have bought this box now after receiving it the way I did. I also don’t know if I blame Memebox for being vague or if I blame myself for not thinking about what “restocked” meant in reality. So, I put this out to the interwebs to foster some conversation.

What have you thought about restocks? Have you received one in the condition I received mine? Is it better to know, or is blind acceptance easier? Of course … it is possible my situation was a one off, hell, it is possible that just not all products come with safety seals – but I don’t know, so, of course I am filled with questions!

I ask you fellow beauty-addicts and memeboxies – How do you feel about the “Restocks”?

Ancient Practice For Modern Girls

Well, Let’s face it. There is just something primordial and satisfying about slathering your face in mud. I can’t be the only one who feels this way – am I? I mean I know I am the cheese … and mayhaps in this case the cheese stands alone?

I ask you to walk with me on this one. When I am stripped down to my all-together (that’s naked, darlings) and I sink my fingertips into in the cool, soft, pliable clay of my mask packs, I am instantly soothed. Then, as I spread the muck across my face, the warrior in me emerges, slowly at first and then more and more – meeeeoooow – and by the time my face is fully greyed-out, I begin to feel a kinship between me and ancient man. Going back thousands and thousands of years my ancestors did this very same thing. You know … late on Wednesday evening, when the little cave-babies wouldn’t shut their gobs, and the cave-husband forgot to take the carcass out, again … you can bet our cave-sisters took a stroll to the water’s edge and packed on some clay for relaxation, therapy, and of course to cleanse. Believe it or not – getting mucked up – is a very natural thing to do, even now, in the age of sanitation, technology and zero relaxation time. For me, a clay mask is a beauty must, a soul rejuvenator and mind relaxation tool … all reasons why I may or may not have purchased several varieties of clay pack in the last few weeks, two of which tonight we shall discuss in finite detail. Parchment and quills at the ready, beauty geeks!

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The Volcanic Ash Pore Pack from Secret Nature is from the raved about Earth & Sea box. A slow-starter for me, because by the time I had hit midway to the bottom of the jar my thoughts were undecided. A few weeks ago, I explained my findings like this:

This is a great middle of the week mask. It hasn’t broken out my über sensitive skin – yet – and it is easy to apply and wash off. What I like about this clay mask is pretty simple – it’s non irritating and the 100g container is enough product to get 5 – 7 masks applied. Many of you might get more as I tend to really pack on products like this in thick layers. I don’t mind the fragrance but I don’t love it – It’s a little pine needle-y but in a more chemical way than say, natural but fear not, it’s light and it dissipates. As for results I find this mask helps to just keep my facial skin “calmed” I can’t say it does more than that however, that is fine with me – for a mask that’s a result I would expect but not one you always get! I find the action of applying it very therapeutic, it is velvety-smooth and because of that it doesn’t quite dry like other clay masks. Its very unique texture is extremely smooth, and the clay has a very subtle blue hue or undertone. If you leave it on for eons it will dry for the most part. If you require that your mask dry, try applying less than I apply, if you like it dried out and tightened on the skin. Is this mask a repurchase for me? Probably not simply because I’m not in love, it was a great mask to play with and to experiment with but I’m not keen on the scent, not enough to buy again, however, if it is as integral to my clear skin as it could be, I may have to reconsider.

Now, a few more weeks have passed and I am a little more “in love” with this mask, one because I’ve now compared it to another, and two because I think this mask had a larger effect on my clear skin than I had given it credit for prior. Also, call me crazy – don’t worry my friends do – but the scent grew on me, and that is saying something. Usually I am pretty steadfast in my opinions … don’t know if you’ve noticed. So after some real quality time with Secret Nature’s Volcanic Ash Pore Pack, I can say it is effective. Not only does it clean the pores, but it calms the skin really well, and quickly. It doesn’t irritate the epidermis or the olfactory – Also, I got way more than 5 – 7 uses out the 100g, like Kelsey of a few weeks ago told you. That chick is batshit crazy. This pack delivers ten uses or more. After use, my skin felt clean, and primed for absorption of further skin care. This mask gets a solid 7.5/10 and find it for yourself, here.

In the other corner we have a mask I picked up from Memeshop (on the memebox website) as part of a late-night, wine-induced small spending-spree. At the time my skin was going through its usual hormonal breakdown mid-month, culminating in those deep-seated, painful bumps that are both unpopable and impossible to calm. When they descend – it’s all hands on deck – and fingers – and it just makes it all worse. Enter Velieve White Clay Mask.

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I know, I know. It is a stunning picture – thank you. I get asked this all the time, and no. No, I do not model.

On to my findings. All right. yes. I saw the Toucan on the label and was definitely swayed by the stupid tropical creature. But let’s remember, it isn’t just me that is always raped and pillaged by good packaging … but the bird and then the “limited edition” comment on the top … oh it was all so good and before I knew it, it was in my basket. I paid around 15 dollars in USD for the beaked bird and its clay. When it arrived, I went against good sense and dove into it before finishing my last open clay pack – but it was a good thing. These two packs ended up being very different from each other.

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Velieve’s clay pack was a lighter in colour (white amazonian clay) and is a more dense clay and therefore it felt much dryer to apply. It also dried quicker and more throughly than the volcanic one from Secret Nature. It has no discernible fragrance which for me is a good thing, and usually means it won’t be as reactionary with my skin – my rule tends to be, more smell more chance of holy shit my face just blew up. This clay mask is effective but maybe a tad average. It does do a lot of what the first mask did, but just on a lesser scale, I suppose. I did feel it just wasn’t as active in taking out the red or calming the inflamed areas as well, but it did leave my skin dryer – not too dry – and more matte than the volcanic ash mask. If that is your preference, then this mask would be great for you. For myself, I did find this mask useful for the morning routine because my makeup went on my skin flawlessly and with ease because my skin was calm and matte after the mask application. This reason was the one quality that both set it apart from the other mask and differentiated it. In the end, I enjoyed it and it did perform as expected, I just wish it did more to heal up and calm breakouts, so 7/10 is where it stands.

I have been looking for a more in-depth list of the ingredients than the memebox website provided, when I come across an English list of ingredients for both masks I will be sure to add them for your perusal.

In closing, if you should take anything away with you from this piece, then let it be this: slapping a little war paint on and having a soak will do more for you than you think. And maybe, just maybe you’ll feel akin to your ancestors too. Until next time beauty-adventurers, be safe out there.

Don’t be Daft – I Have Many Obsessions – This is Just One of Them

This was me in july when i received my first box. 2014-08-07_1407380172

My dear friend Chelsea’s voice was ringing in my head, “Beware products from overseas! They’ll burn your skin off!”

Ok, well. She said something like that anyway. I usually listen to Chels, my beauty guru. She knows everything about cosmetics, she has exquisite taste and she is obsessed with sparkly trinkets and glitter just as I am. If I wasn’t already twenty years deep with Bestie, I’d consider giving Chelsea the best friend crown. Katrina, my best friend is going to read this and be thinking my head would look prettier separate from my body. Well? Not everything can be helped, Bestie, and our relationship would be healthier if you didn’t roll your eyes at me in Sephora when I ask your opinion on eyeshadow. For shame. Sephora is holy.

So, against my friend’s advice I ordered my first box. When I received it weeks later, its hot pink outer shell and wondrous and zany innards made my beauty-geek fingers tremble. It was cosmetic-love at first sight. it wasn’t long before I was obsessed with this company called “Memebox” and I was chatting online in the forums, posting and gabbing on Instagram. Actually, I’ve met and made some fantastic new friends from all over the world. These twenty-something dollar boxes have improved my social life. It went from non-existent to expensive but riveting.

Now, I’ve been in deep with these pink boxes since the summer and I’ve acquired a few more boxes since I decided I might try my hand at being a beauty-blogger. So this, my dear ones, is the recap of what I’ve experienced so far – in rapid fire speed.

I’ve been unboxing my treasures on Instagram and doing small reviews on the products that to me were gems, and the products that did less than shine in my opinion and they have been fairly well received by my small audience of friends in the memebox addiction realm. It has been fun, but the more I posted the more I grew and nurtured this new compulsion: to blog about beauty. Why? Well, because I am already a mommy-blogger and writing is in my blood. It was only a matter of time before these two loves got into bed together and shagged. Now, here we are, in post-coital beauty bliss.

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That’s a selection of my unboxings – and don’t worry, mom. That “selection” is most of what I’ve acquired. From the top down we’ve got the Earth & Sea Box, The Anti-Aging 2 Box, The Honey Box, The Moisture Surge Box, The Anti-Aging 3 and finally, The Whole Grains 2 Box. As I said I’ve done a few mini-reviews on products here and there and in the coming days I will post those findings here on the blog for your amusement as your personal product-testing-monkey.

As for how this blog will unfold, well, as far as memebox is concerned, I will do unboxings but I will focus on reviews of individual products because this is what I see the least of, out there in the blogosphere. And, it is what I love to read personally, not just a product’s specs as given to us by the company or memebox but how it feels, smells, reacts and if it follows through on its claims. You know – the real beauty nitty gritty.

You know I’ll bend toward the more “natural” products I receive so expect to see a lot of that but please leave a comment if there is something you’d like to see, discuss or have reviewed, you know should anyone ever see this little blog … she’s a modest one but she desires to be undressed by your eyes! Huh. I think sounded way less creepy in my head.

And, I believe in transparency! So, tonight I became an affiliate to Memebox because it was time. I spend enough money so I better just have a link for those of you wanting to tread down the path I did. It’s nice here. Think I’ll stay. Join me, won’t you?

I’ll have a link below of course, but here are few things to know: Memebox is a company based in Seoul, Korea. They have another headquarters in San Fran USA. They are non-subsciption service catering to those who desire new and cutting-edge Korean Beauty Products. Adventurous spirit an asset. By non-subscription I mean you don’t get a box every month or at any interval that is set by the company – you set the interval. Buy a box here, or buy twenty boxes there – it is completely up to you. The boxes are themed, come in different sizes and run the gamete of prices from $15 to $60+ dollars (USD) though the majority of boxes are priced at $23. I have exclusively purchased boxes between the $19 – $29 dollar mark (except one. Damn you Anti-Aging Box 2) because I am a stay at home mom on a budget but the boxes I’ve received have exceeded the purchase value and have been well worth it. Though be knowledgable, in doing some research I have found that memebox can inflate or overstate the retail value of the individual products – but that doesn’t seem to affect the box price, just memebox’s estimated value of the box. In short, the boxes are a great, extremely fair deal but if you want individual products and you’re looking at memeshop (on the memebox website) some times it pays to look at ebay or amazon to compare prices.

I look forward to blogging about all my upcoming boxes, discussing with you the winning products, the poopers and hopefully giving you reviews you find helpful and engaging.

To all my other beauty bloggers out there, thank you. Your blogs have truly made me feel apart of a little community, I hope this blog finds its place among you. Now. Onward. To beauty adventures!

http://us.memebox.com/memebox-global?acc=228bbc2f87caeb21bb7f6949fddcb91d
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{Disclaimer – all boxes on this blog have been purchased by my own money, and all links are affiliate}