Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cynthia Rowley: The Game Face Palette Review and Swatches

I am one lucky lady, my friends! LisaLeah, a friend of mine that I met over on the makeuptalk forums, wanted to surprise me with a holiday gift this year. She is probably one of the sweetest women I've met on makeuptalk, and I've met a lot! Christmas was tight this year (for a lot of us!) so it was such a wonderful surprise when I got an unexpected package from Birchbox in the mail! (This was only the beginning of her surprises...she completely spoiled me!)
Along with a beautifully scented room spray and 2 Illume candles, was this kind-of-amazing Cynthia Rowley palette! I haven't really tried much from Cynthia Rowley's cosmetics line aside from a lip tint and the black and silver eyeliners I've received in past Birchboxes, however I've always been curious to try more. 
This palette is called 'The Game Face' and contains 10 eye shadows, an applicator, and a mini eyeliner.
When I unwrapped the black and gold box, I found a very bright, geometric patterned palette inside. I love how unique this looks!
Here's the first look! This palette has a magnetic clasp and a nice-sized mirror, as well as two large highlight shades. It looks like the rest of the shadows are set up in 2 specific rows: warm tones and cool tones.
Look at these neutral beauties!
As I mentioned before, there was a Cynthia Rowley black eyeliner and shadow brush included as well. The brush is pretty standard for most palettes. Not the best shadow brush I've ever used, but it will do in a pinch if you don't want to lug all your brushes along with you when traveling. 

Let's take a look at some swatches!

Cool Tones
From Left to Right- Ace, Wildcard, Bullseye, Knockout
Here are the 4 cool-toned shades in the palette. These shadows are incredibly soft, buttery and pigmented. I was oohing and ahhing over them as I swatched each one!

Ace- This is a stunning shimmery taupe shade, that swatches a bit deeper in tone than it looks in the pan. This would make a fantastic all-over-the-lid shade, or even as a little shimmer on the inner corners.
Wildcard- This is a gorgeous grey/blue shadow with a subtle silver shimmer. While this shade looks straight up blue in the pan, it has a more gunmetal/teal appearance when applied.
Bullseye- This is a straight-up satin grey, although it will appear matte on the lid. These are truly some of the best matte shadows I've used in a long time. I can't get over how soft and pigmented they are!
Knockout- Of course, what's a neutral palette without a matte black? This one is a bit more fun in that it has a very small amount of silver shimmer, but not enough to detract from it's inky goodness. Beautifully pigmented and easily blended, too!

Warm Tones
From Left to Right: Rookie, Undefeated, Winning Streak, Hat Trick
Here are the 4 warm-toned shades in the palette. These have the same soft, buttery formula that the cool toned shades do. I barely had to tap my brush into the pan to get these intense, pigmented swatches.

Rookie- This is a peachy-toned shimmer that would work well as the all-over-the-lid shade for the warm tone crew. This is another shade that swatches with a bit more depth than it looks like it has in the pan. 
Undefeated- While this shade is similar to Rookie in that it's a peach toned, it leans more pink/nude, and has less shimmer as it's more of a matte/satin finish.
Winning Streak- An absolutely stunning, shimmery bronze. This shade glides on like butter, is incredibly pigmented and super beautiful. Definitely a great one to have when creating a brown smokey eye.
Hat Trick- This is a matte, slightly satin finished taupe/brown shade. It's actually quite unique in tone compared to things I already have in my collection. It's really lovely and a nice, subtle shade to use in the crease.

The Highlights
From Left to Right: MVP, All Star
There are also 2 larger-sized shadows in this palette that are great to use in multiple ways. These can be applied all over the lid, as a highlight, or even to blend out and tone down deeper shadows.
MVP is a pearly white shimmer while All Star has a golden shimmer. Both are absolutely lovely, and stick to the cool/warm theme going on throughout this palette.
Overall Thoughts
Seriously, I absolutely LOVE this palette. I have enough neutral-toned shadows to last me a lifetime, but something about this palette truly stands out to me. I love that it includes the cool toned shades, which you don't see very often in neutral palettes. The shadow pans are all quite large as well, so this is an excellent value at only $40. 
The shadows are beautifully pigmented, but don't apply so intensely that they're un-blendable. They have a great consistency: very soft and buttery. You do have to be careful with soft shadows, as they tend to have a small bit of fallout and it's easy to pick up too much product on your brush. Go easy with these and build them as much as you need to.
I'm absolutely thrilled to own this palette and I've been having a blast playing with it and creating different looks. It's actually pretty versatile for a neutral palette! I definitely recommend picking this one up if you're in the market for a new neutral palette with a twist!

For ingredient information as well as a fun video tutorial, check out the Birchbox website. You can also pick this up on their site for $40 and free shipping! Yay!

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Walmart Beauty Box Winter 2014 Review and Unboxing

In case you haven't heard, Walmart has recently jumped on the Beauty Box bandwagon. Their first box was back in the Fall, and it was actually pretty nice for the low price tag. I decided to continue the subscription because it's only $5, and I don't really shop the beauty section of the drugstore/big box stores enough to really know what's new and exciting there. I think $20 for 4 boxes of samples each year is a pretty good investment to help me figure out what I'm interested in trying out!

The Walmart Beauty Box is actually "free", except they charge $5 for shipping. So really, I like to look at it as $5 per box since most subscriptions don't charge for shipping. Rather than releasing boxes every month, the Walmart Beauty Box is released once per season, or 4 times a year. Everything included in the box will obviously be available for purchase at Walmart, so I wouldn't expect any high end brands in here. 
 The box is packed similarly to a typical subscription box, although mine did not come with an info card or anything to give more information about the products included. To my knowledge, there were actually a few different variations in the boxes. No one is exactly sure if the boxes were sent out at random or not, but since you do enter your birth date in when you check out, that was my guess as to how they decided who got which box.

I received the Fall box already, and now it's time to check out what was in the Winter box!

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in "Maple Kiss"
I was really happy to see a full size lipstick in this box, although my happiness quickly faded when I popped open the cover to reveal a weird brown-toned lipstick. I'm not entirely sure who would look good in this shade, but it looks like it would work with warmer-toned, caramel-colored skin. I didn't bother to swatch it as I know it would look terrible on me, but from the swatches I've seen around the internet, it's pretty true to what it looks like in the tube. I actually really like the Color Sensational lipstick line, so I was sad to get a shade that wouldn't work for me. I also found it kind of strange that they sent out a color that wouldn't work on most people. A basic pink/nude or even a red would have worked better, I think.

Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder
Nivea Cocoa Butter Body Lotion
There were a couple of foil packet/card samples in here as well, although I really just consider these extras. The powder card sample actually has more powder on it than you would think, and I was able to get at least 2 uses out of it. The Dream Wonder powder actually has fantastic coverage, and you might even use it as a powder foundation! It doesn't leave behind a powedery-look on your skin, which is also nice. If you were going to pick this up, I would suggest going a shade lighter than what you normally get, as they do seem a bit darker all-around when taking a peek at the other available shades. I actually liked this enough to consider picking up a full size.
Also included was a foil packet of the Nivea Cocoa Butter Body Lotion. I'm usually not a fan of foil packets, especially when it's a product you might need more than one use of to determine if you like it or not. This lotion is nice enough. It has a light cocoa butter scent, which is pleasant, and there was enough product in the packet to apply this to my legs. I like the way this feels and I've always been pleased with Nivea lotions in the past. I got through body lotion pretty quickly, and I like basic/natural scented lotions, so I actually may grab this as well once my Whish body lotion is gone.

L'Oreal OleoTherapy Oil Infused Shampoo & Conditioner
Interestingly enough, I haven't seen or heard about this line yet, so I'm assuming it's relatively new in 2014. It's sulfate-free, and uses 6 different flower oils to smooth out and repair dry, damaged hair. I did a little review-hunting on these and surprisingly, I'm seeing a LOT of very positive reviews. The scent is pleasant, and while I haven't had a chance to really use these yet, I'm going to as soon as my current shampoo/conditioner combo is done. I have very fine hair, however I'm noticing reviewers saying that this doesn't weight their hair down or feel greasy, so I'm even more intrigued. Pretty happy to have these generously sized samples!

Olay Fresh Effects Everything Off Makeup Removal Wet Cloths
I don't know what it is lately, but I went from having absolutely no facial cleansing wipes to having about 4-5 packages of them from recent subscription boxes. While it's really not good to use wipes to actually cleanse your face, these are really handy for removing makeup before you cleanse. I also like to use makeup/cleansing wipes to take off my sleeping pack/spot treatments in the morning when I wake up. Admittedly, they're also really good for those nights when you're exhausted and don't feel like washing your face. This is (and should) be a rare occurrence, but it's much better to use these than to sleep with a full face of makeup. I have used these long ago, and while they're not the best cleansing wipes in the world, they do a pretty good job. I'll happily use these!

Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream
Honestly, I think I have had at least 5 tubes of this stuff since it was first released. It seemingly crept into a zillion different subscription boxes, and it's really not anything special. It's touted as a BB Cream for the body, however it's just a very mildly tinted moisturizer with a slow-building, minimal self tanning effect. It doesn't actually make you look tan, but it does kind of even out the skin tone the longer you use it. I'm not interested in products like this, and I get along just fine with my whitening products for my body, so like all the tubes before, this will be passed on.
Overall Thoughts
This season's Walmart box is a little hard to gauge in terms of how I feel about it overall. Out of the 6 products featured, there's really only 2 that I have no interest in using, however the only thing I'm overly excited to try is the L'Oreal Shampoo and Conditioner. The foil packet/card samples left something to be desired, for sure. However, I can't really complain for a box that costs $5 shipped. I subscribe to this box so I can try some of the new drugstore products out there, and this definitely helped me do that. I think overall the box has so far succeeded in what I was hoping it would do for me, so I will continue to subscribe. This box was definitely not as good as the previous Fall edition, but it's still enough to be worth the $5. 
The next box coming out will be the Spring edition, and will be shipping sometime in March.
If you're interested in signing up for the Walmart Beauty Box, you can do so HERE.

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Boxycharm December 2014 Review and Unboxing

Like Birchbox, Boxycharm is another box that took absolutely forever to arrive this month. Showing up on Christmas Eve was kind of stressful, as I had so much to do for the holidays and not enough time to photograph everything and make sure I get up the review before the end of the month! Blogging troubles! I apologized for the dark and grainy photos here and in a few other reviews over the next couples of days- all of them were taken on Christmas Eve night so I could guarantee timely reviews for all of them! The good news: I got a new camera for Christmas from my lovely and wonderful mother, so once I figure out how to use it (I'm truly a 90 year old woman when it comes to technology) you'll hopefully be seeing a improvement in future photos! Yay! Now back to your previously schedules Boxycharm review.

Boxycharm is a beauty subscription box that while usually includes makeup, occasionally includes hair and skincare as well. Much of the time the products included are full size. The cost is only $21 per month.  
 The theme this month was "Jingle Belles."
It's the most wonderful time of the year...to be a Charmer! This December, we are spreading holiday cheer that is sure to make you jolly. So, unwrap this months BoxyCharm and have yourself a charming holiday season this year!

Eva NYC: Hungry Hair Oil Treatment ($9)
There were a few different variations of product from Eva NYC that could have been in this box, and I received the hair oil. This oil treatment intensely nourishes, hydrates and smooths the hair. It contains argan oil, which feeds hair with vitamins and nutrients while keravis protein increases strength and flexibility. This is a deluxe sample size of this product. This one being 30ml and the full size is 100ml. I'm usually weary of hair oils since I have very fine, thin hair, although there are some I can use that work quite well. Luckily this is one of them! I have seen this brand in a few different subscription boxes and I've always been interested to try their line. I'm not hair-product obsessed, but since I'm dealing with some hair issues lately, I've become more interested in them. This oil is actually very light on my hair and doesn't weigh it down at all. It has a very nice scent, and makes my hair feel smooth and soft. I was surprisingly happy with this product!

Lina Lashes: Luxury Mink Lashes ($30)
While there are some people that immediately groan when they see false lashes in their subscription boxes, I'm not always disappointed. I do wear false lashes, although not nearly as often as I used to. If only I had the time and energy to wear them daily! It's amazing how glamorous and dramatic your eye look can get with the right pair of lashes. These ones are packaged in a pretty purple box, and are pretty intense as far as volume and length go. These are long lashes! I do like the fullness and the natural way they are cut, however I might have to trim them down a bit to get them to be workable for me. While these are made from siberian mink fur, they are 100 percent cruelty free as well as sterilized and hypoallergenic, with no chemicals or dying involved. $30 seems like a heck of a lot of dough to shell out for a single pair of false lashes, so while I don't think I'll be buying these again, I'm sure I'll get quite a few uses out of this pair.

Coastal Scents: Revealed Palette ($19.95)
Boxycharm has the retail price of this palette at $39.95, because that's the "list price" on the Coastal Scents website. However I am very familiar with this palette, as I already own it and the Revealed 2, and I know for a fact that these palettes have never sold for more than $19.95. They are also frequently on sale for around $10. Because of this, I'm putting the value at the highest price I've seen it listed for.
Value issues aside, this is a truly fantastic palette. I did a more detailed review with swatches and dupes for Naked and Naked 2 if you're interested. You can view that here. The pigmentation is beautiful, as it is with all Coastal Scents shadows I've tried. It's kind of awesome that they included this palette as I was planning on gifting it to my sister for Christmas this year. It's a great gift since it's such a perfect combo of Naked and Naked 2, and much more affordable!

Mistura Beauty Solutions: Retractable Beauty Brush ($19.99)
I have never heard of this brand before, but I'm kind of obsessed with this brush already! The bristles are a super-soft synthetic material, and applies blush evenly and smoothly. The metal tube packaging is sleek and seems well made, although I have heard some people have had issues with it falling apart after a few uses...yikes. I like retractable blush brushes as I usually keep one in my makeup bag. I currently have a small Philosophy retractable brush that has seen better days, so this couldn't have come at a more perfect time for me!

Be A Bombshell Lip Crayon in "Shameless" ($14)
Cue the chorus of boo's and hisses! I'm sure there are plenty of people who love Be a Bombshell Cosmetics, however I am not one of those people. I find their products to be overpriced, cheap-feeling in terms of packaging, and not at all long-lasting. This was another product that was varied in the box this month. I believe the all-over color stick as well as lipstick were also featured. I've received a lip crayon from this brand in an Ipsy bag long ago, and while they apply beautifully and are pigmented, give it an hour or two, and you'll see that the color has all but disappeared from your lips. Shameless is actually a pretty unique shade in my opinion. It's not quite red, not quite pink, and even has a tiny bit of a nude/brown undertone to it. There are also small flecks of glitter, but it's barely noticeable when applied. If I didn't already know this product was poor quality, I'd actually enjoy this- it's a really pretty shade and nicely pigmented when first applied.
Overall Thoughts
Boxycharm costs $21 a month, and the December box has a total value of about $93.
This box was on another level compared to last month for me. I really love everything this month in theory. The palette is one of my favorites, although I already own it, and while the lip crayon is a lovely, unique shade, I won't be using it due to the lack of long-term wear. The lashes are a bit dramatic for my tastes, but it can be rectified with a little trimming action. My favorite product this month would definitely have to be the retractable brush, next being the hair treatment oil. I think this is a nicely curated box with a really outstanding value, although I do think they need to cool it just a bit with the Be a Bombshell and Coastal Scents. It seems every month at least one of these brands makes an appearance. I'd like to see more Tarte or Tarina Tarantino, which are both fantastic brands that Boxycharm is partnered with. I was pretty sure that I was going to cancel after the blah November box, however this is more than enough to keep me wondering what they have up their sleeve for 2015.

If you're interested in signing up for Boxycharm, they occasionally have a short waiting list, so I would jump on it now if you are hoping for a January box! You can sign up here: Get BoxyCharm!
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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

Birchbox December 2014 Review and Unboxing

Even though this was the Holiday box, and it's the time of year where we should all be in bright and merry spirits, I can't help but be a little miffed at Birchbox. My box usually arrives mid-month, however this year it didn't arrive until Christmas Eve. It wasn't an general issue, as most of my friends and acquaintances online had received their boxes long before mine. I messaged Birchbox since they usually have such amazing customer service, however I was basically brushed off and did not have any of my issues addressed. I may have gotten a not-so-great CS Rep, but needless to say, I was less than impressed. I was hoping that my Birchbox contents would at least make up for it. The beautiful blue box is certainly a lovely sight, isn't it?

What's Birchbox?
If you're unfamiliar with Birchbox, they are one of the reasons why subscription boxes are such a huge deal! They weren't the first beauty box, but they were one of the first, and definitely the original low-cost beauty box to hit the market.
For $10 a month, 4-7 deluxe beauty and lifestyle samples are delivered to your door. You take a little beauty survey when you sign up that helps them choose samples they think you would most enjoy. Birchbox is always fantastic for trying new up-and-coming brands, as well as some higher-end. I still use this subscription as a way to "try before I buy" because it's truly set up to be exactly that.

What's the Points System?
Each box you get contains a random number of samples, however the average amount is usually 5. When you receive your box, you can try out the products, and then go on the Birchbox website and review them. Birchbox awards 10 points per review, which is equal to $1 to spend in their shop. So at the end of it all, you're spending $10 on a box, and getting $5 or more dollars back in credit on their site. This pays off big when you find a product you really love and want to buy a full size. More often then not, you can pick it up for free with the points you've earned over time. 

 Each month has a different theme, and this month it was "Decked Out."

From Birchbox:
With apologies to Scrooge, we find it hard to feel anything but buoyant this time of year. There's anticipation of a pile of brightly wrapped presents, the glow of a family gathering, and of course the fizz of excitement before a big soiree. We designed this Birchbox to help you start the celebrations a little early. It's filled with festive beauty samples picked just for you, plus a special gift from our friends at GAP: $10 to spend at any of their stores- no strings attached!

There was a card in my box that included a $10 credit to spend at GAP, which I thought was pretty nice! I haven't shopped at the GAP in years, but I'm always down for using a coupon!

Lord & Berry: Paillettes Glitter Eye Pencil in "Black"
Number 4 Hair Care Shampoo and Conditioner
Jeff had received these exact products from Number 4 in one of his recent Birchbox Man boxes, so I wasn't exactly over-the-moon about getting them in my box as well. The good thing is, this is a sulfate-free line. Jeff loves the shampoo and uses the conditioner packets too, so I'm passing these on to him. 
The Lord & Berry eye liner is, for lack of a better word, boring. It's a very tiny sample size, less than half of a full size liner, it seems. It's a black liner with some silver glitter in it. It doesn't really go on incredibly silky, it doesn't stay on longer or better than any of my other liners, so while this may be great for someone who doesn't have a ton of makeup, it was kind of a let down for me.

Rusk: Texture Spray
Manna Kadar: Lip Locked
Embryolisse: Lait-Creme Concentre
This texture spray from Rusk is a medium-hold hair spray that gives volume and shape while keeping hair's nature bounce. I am ridiculously picky about my hair spray. There are only a few that I will use and love, although I tend to stick with my classic Tresemme Hair Spray. This Rusk spray is nice, but it doesn't really give much volume to my fine hair, so I'll be passing this on.
The Manna Kadar lip gloss is the sample that I chose this month, and despite it's tiny size, I actually really love this! It's a primer, stain and lip gloss all in one, and it packs an intense punch in pigmentation and shine. The color is very flattering and would work on almost any skin tone. I love that it leaves behind a bit of a stain so my lips still have a color on them once it wears away. I'm also loving the purse/pocket-friendly size!
I've seen this Embryolisse moisturizer show up in quite a few Birchboxes, so I'm not surprised that it finally made it's way into one of mine. This is apparently a pretty popular moisturizer that heals dryness as well as preps the skin for foundation. As you know, I have an insane amount of skincare products, so I will probably pass this sample on as well.
Left: Lord and Berry Eye Pencil / Right: Manna Kadar Lip Locked
Overall Thoughts
First off, can you see my cat Jonah peering creepily over the top of the Birchbox in this pic? I mean...why does he always feel the need to be lurking around whenever I take photos? This guy loves his beauty products!
Anyway, back to my Birchbox- while this might not be the best box I've ever received, I do think that objectively it's a nicely curated box. A little heavy on the hair products for me, but I still think you could use all of these items while getting ready for a fun holiday party. I don't think I will use anything in this box aside from the lip gloss, but that's not really Birchbox's fault- more so the fact that I just have way too many products that beat out the ones here. Overall it's a decent box, just not for me.

If you're interested in signing up for Birchbox, you can do that here!

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Memebox: Dirty Gal Review and Unboxing

So we're finally starting to come to the end of the seemingly endless Memebox reviews. I do have a few coming to me, but since the releases have dramatically slowed, I can finally get back to have a non-memebox centric blog! You know I love My Memeboxes, but there are so many other reviews I'd like to work on, so I'm glad for a little break in the swarm of pink boxes. 
I swear, I had no intention of buying this box! I know you're all nodding your head in sarcastic agreement, but really- I had passed on this box and made a solid decision not to get it. For some reason, it was priced at $32, which is way higher than I will usually spend on a Memebox, so for that reason alone it was out of my mind. Then Memebox went on a strike it seems, and almost completely stopped releasing boxes. I had memepoints in my account for quite some time- almost enough to cover this box entirely, and this one just kept calling to me. The siren song of fun masks and goopy-messy skincare gloriousness. Once I saw the first 2 spoilers (the first ones listed on the info card below), I caved. Who can resist a snail mucin cream and a blue-colored face mask? I couldn't pass up an opportunity to terrify my fiance with a goopy blue face, guys. I just couldn't.
 (product info card tells you more information and how to use each product)
 
 If you're new to Memebox, they are a website that sells Korean beauty products, but their most popular items are of course, the Memeboxes. These boxes are full of deluxe samples and full size Korean beauty products and are delivered to you all the way from Korea. Memebox has been kind enough to create a FAQs page that you can view HERE if you want more info on the boxes, as there are many to choose from!

This particular box is one of their special edition boxes, which are based around a specific theme.
  "Dirty Gal" cost $32 plus $6.99 shipping, and includes 5 products.

From Memebox:
Think dirty. Play dirty. Cake fights, sticky syrup, muddy tracks, grease stains and more, these are some icky-sticky situations you wouldn't want on your skin and body...or do you? Say bye-bye to Miss Clean Freak and unleash your inner dirty girl with this box- bursting with so called "dirty" but oh-so-fun beauty ingredients! Join in on this hot mess because it's all about dirty fun fun fun in this box!
Esthetic House: Mayo Hair Pack
(Full Size Product: $12)
While I'm normally pretty meh about receiving hair products in my Memeboxes, lately I've been getting some really fantastic products. Now I'm opening my arms up and inviting them into my beauty product hoard. Give me all the amazing hair treatments, Memebox! This one is most likely in the Dirty Gal box since it's a "mayo" hair pack, which sounds kind of gross, except I've been hearing for decades that slapping some mayo in your hair is great for making hair soft and shiny! Korean brands tend to call their conditioners "hair packs" and it seems like it's the same for this one, as it's applied to wet, clean hair and left on for 3 minutes before rinsing. I haven't tried this yet as I'm still finishing up a conditioner, but I've been hearing a good buzz about this product!

Pure Smile: Muddy Girl Masks in "Mud" and "Kaolin"
(Full Size Product: $2 each) 
I received one of these masks in a different type in my first Cute Wishlist box. I admittedly gave it away to a friend who was desperate for some clay mask love in her life. These are wash-off mud masks made from clay, mud, and pearl extracts. They work to soothe, purify and moisturize the skin. I'd say they're your typical mud/clay masks. I like that they're individual use packets, as they're great to toss in my overnight bag when I travel. I do wish a little bit that these were replaced by a full sized product of some sort, considering this box only has 5 products and it was a more expensive box than most. These will get used, however, so I guess I can't complain too much!

B&SOAP: Mamie Blue Wash Off Pack
(Full Size Product: $29) 
This was one of the products I knew was going to be in the box and woo boy am I excited for this one! Known as the "smurf facial mask", this blue herbal-scented goodness is used to clear away dead skin cells and vacuum up impurities from the skin. Infused with peppermint, soothing evening primrose oil and more, this mask is great for all skin types. You use this like you would any other mask- slap it on a clean face, let it rest for 10-15 minutes and rinse. It's been suggested by other bloggers to mix this mask with a bit of water, as it's very crumbly and doesn't spread very well. This product should be used within 1 year of unsealing. I find that the packaging of this product reminds me a LOT of Lush, which is something I think they were going for. I'm cool with that. I love me some Lush, I just hope this product performs as well as their masks do!

Cleomee: Natural Donkey Oil
(Full Size Product: $83) 
This is a gentle and nourishing oil made from a blend of natural EGF donkey oil, olive oil annatto oil grape seed oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil and macadamia oil. It delivers rich nutrition and replenishment deep down into the skin. It's free of parabens, phenoxyethanol, artificial coloring, benzophenone and mineral oil. 
It doesn't really have a scent to it. It smells like a natural oil. It's very liquidy and absorbs nicely into the skin. I've tried to do some research on donkey oil and how it's made, but most of the cosmetics I find are made with donkey milk, not oil, so information was hard to come by. I'm assuming it's made similarly to how emu oil is made, which you can read about here if you're interested. Basically it comes from the fat of the animal. Kind of gross, but hey- I put snail goo and bee venom on my face, right?

Dr. MJ: Real Mucin Restore Cream
(Full Size Product: $46) 
Speaking of snail goo, here we have a ridiculously gooey, stringy, snail mucin-filled cream! Snail mucin is renowned for it's skin regenerative and revitalizing properties, and I am a huge proponent of it. I find that my skin feels incredibly soft, looks brigher and more clear, and has an all-around healthier appearance since adding snail mucin-based products into my routine. This particular cream supports natural cell regeneration to decrease the appearance of wrinkles, replenishes moisture and maximizes the skins elasticity and firmness. It is VERY stringy. So much so that it strings out all over the place when you're trying to apply it. While this is a wonderful little gimmick, it does get a little annoying and messy when trying to apply it. This product feels nice on the skin and isn't sticky, even though it looks like it should be. I really want to add this into my routine and see how it works for me in comparison to my Benton steam cream. We'll see!

Overall Thoughts
This box cost $32 +$6.99 shipping, and has a total retail value of $174.
I still feel like this could have easily been a $23 box, considering many of them have had higher values that this one. Having said that, the $174 value of this box is still substantial. I would have liked to see maybe 6 products, or 5 full sized products instead of the 2 small (and inexpensive) Pure Smile masks. The good news is: I really like everything in this box! I think there's a great variety of product in here, considering I was assuming it would be mask-heavy. Mud masks are the easy answer to a "Dirty Gal" theme. The mayo hair pack and snail mucin cream fit the theme really well, and are the 2 products I can see myself using the most. Overall, I'm very pleased with this box, and think it's a fun theme as well! If they release a similar box in the future though, I won't be picking it up unless it's back down to the $23 price range! $32 is just too much of a gamble when it comes to Memebox for me.

MEMEBOX COUPONS AND DEALS 
$5 off on entire order when you purchase 3 Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE3  
$8 off on entire order when you purchase 4 Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE4 
Free shipping on orders above $70 from Memeshop: FREESHIPPING

MORE WAYS TO SAVE
Shop through my Referral Link and save even more:

Spend $100+ through my referral link and automatically save $5 off your purchase!
Spend $150+ through my referral link and automatically save $10 off your purchase!
(you can combine these deals with the coupon codes above to save even more!)

Value Sets!
You can also save money and get upgrades on shipping when you bundle boxes together! Check out the Value Sets!

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Memebox: Brighten and Correct Review and Unboxing

It's no secret- I love brightening/whitening products. I've always had a slightly uneven skin tone with redness around my nose and mouth, dark circles and blotchy spots. As pale as my skin is, it's not as glow-y and healthy-looking as I would like it to be. Most western skincare doesn't really focus on brightening and evening, however there are endless options in the kbeauty world- All of them ready to brighten, smooth out and even the complexion. Since I tried my first whitening product, I was completely hooked! Brighten and Correct was another one of those boxes that I bought before even reading the description. I knew it would be filled with brightening elixirs beyond my dreams, and of course, I just had to have it!
(product info card tells you more information and how to use each product)
 
 If you're new to Memebox, they are a website that sells Korean beauty products, but their most popular items are of course, the Memeboxes. These boxes are full of deluxe samples and full size Korean beauty products and are delivered to you all the way from Korea. Memebox has been kind enough to create a FAQs page that you can view HERE if you want more info on the boxes, as there are many to choose from!

This particular box is one of their special edition boxes, which are based around a specific theme.
  "Brighten and Correct" cost $23 plus $6.99 shipping, and includes 5 products.

From Memebox:
How to kiss dark spots, age spots, hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone goodbye! While makeup trends are fleeting, clear and dewy complexion will never be out of style! We tapped into what skin tone brightening and correcting skincare essentials the trendy ladies in Korea (skincare experts, we swear!) are stocking up on this season, and we're sharing their skin care secrets with you!

 AHC: Hologram Collection Whitening Serum
(Full Size Product: $89)
I recently received a different product from this line in my "Next Best Thing in Skincare" box, that had a magical-looking holographic swirl in the center. While this one is less exciting-looking, it's still quite lovely! This is a whitening serum that contains acerola berry, camu camu berry, niacinamide, ice plant, hyaluronic acid, kiwi and tomato. These ingredients are all effective in moisturizing and revitalizing the skin, in turn bringing out a clearer, brighter complexion. I sadly have to report that this serum also contains a large amount of alcohol, which can be irritating to sensitive and acne-prone skin, so I'm not going to be using this. I'm still struggling through the daily battle with my hormonal acne, and I don't want to use anything that might make it worse. So alas, this lovely product will be passed on!

Ariul: Spa Water 24Hours Moisturizing De-Tox Mask
(Full Size Product: $26) 
I really love the Ariul brand, and this product is actually quite interesting! It's kind of like a mix between a cleanser and a mask. It creates hydrating and pore clarifying bubbles that penetrate deep into the skin and removes impurities and blackheads. Not only does it clean your skin, but it provides moisturizing, brightening and tightening results as well! Memebox says this works best for those with dry or irritated skin since it detoxes and clarifies without stripping the skin of natural oils. This product is used by taking a small amount and spreading it on your face. Once the bubbles begin to form, you add lukewarm water and massage the skin. Then simply rinse off with water. It's called a mask, but I think it is used like and in place of a cleanser. I don't have anything like this in my current skincare stash, so I'm happy to try it!

WITHME: White Perfection Hydrating Cream
(Full Size Product: $43) 
This hydrating cream has over 24,000mg of silk concentrates and ocean complex. It's rich in protein and amino acids that effectively detoxify skin of melanin pigments while the blend of sea minerals and coral reef extracts deeply relieve and replenish dry, exhausted skin. I always love a product that will get rid of melanin pigments. Even though we can see most of them with the naked eye, it's amazing how many of them are lurking under the surface! I'm not entirely sure if I will use this product on my face or not yet. I'm going to have to do some spot treatments on my body to see how my skin reacts, however I'm still happy to use this on my legs and arms!

Ladykin: Broccoli Super Brightening Cream
(Full Size Product: $14) 
Ladykin has become one of my favorite brand in regards to quality and interesting products! I especially love the Broccoli toner (which is currently in my daily skincare lineup!) and this brightening cream is part of the same line. It contains 75% broccoli extract, which has an antioxidant effect on the skin. Vitamin C and E calm, heal and brighten the skin while diminishing the appearance of uneven skin tone, dark spots, age spots and fine lines. This product can also be used on facial or body skin. I have been so busy with the holidays that I haven't even had a chance to crack this baby open yet, but you can bet I'll be using it soon!

Boscians: Cycle Repair Whitening Spot
(Full Size Product: $24) 
Apparently this product is a repeat from previous boxes, although luckily it's new to me!This is a whitening spot treatment that contains green bud complex, which reactivates the skin's balance cycle. This reduces signs of uneven skin tone and darkened spots while brightening up the whole complexion. A rich blend of hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates dry skin, leaving it supple and soft. When I first hear the phrase "spot treatment" I immediately think of acne care, however this is really a spot treatment for dark and uneven spots on your skin. It's applied under the eyes and over any dark or uneven spots you may have on the skin. I have been using this for a couple of days now, so nothing major to report, but I'm interested to see if this lightens the area under my eyes at all!

Overall Thoughts
This box cost $23 + $6.99 shipping, and has a total value of $196.
This box is everything I hoped it would be and more. So many whitening and brightening goodies for me to try! I did notice that there was an underlying "detoxifying" theme to this box as well, which I'm always down for! The value and curation were outstanding, and there's only one product I won't be using: the AHC Whitening serum. Other than that, this a well-rounded box of really nice products. I'm especially excited for the Ariul mask/cleanser and The Ladykin broccoli brightening cream! After seeing this box and the previous Snow White box with a similar theme, I can feel confident that Memebox knows how to curate a whitening/brightening box. I'll definitely be picking up any future boxes with a similar theme!

MEMEBOX COUPONS AND DEALS 
$5 off on entire order when you purchase 3 Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE3  
$8 off on entire order when you purchase 4 Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE4 
Free shipping on orders above $70 from Memeshop: FREESHIPPING

MORE WAYS TO SAVE
Shop through my Referral Link and save even more:

Spend $100+ through my referral link and automatically save $5 off your purchase!
Spend $150+ through my referral link and automatically save $10 off your purchase!
(you can combine these deals with the coupon codes above to save even more!)

Value Sets!
You can also save money and get upgrades on shipping when you bundle boxes together! Check out the Value Sets!

post signature

All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.