Thursday, February 26, 2015

Memebox The Empress's Secrets Review and Unboxing

This is the 3rd and final box I picked up during the Memebox sale, and I've got to say- seeing this on my porch today was kind of bittersweet. I was super excited to see that pink bubble mailer, but I also knew that this is the last old-school Memebox I will probably ever get. As I've mentioned in previous reviews, and as many of you Memebox fans probably already know: Memebox is no longer shipping Internationally, and they are now based and only shipping in the US. While that may not change my ability to purchase items from Memebox, it has changed the kinds of boxes they are currently putting out. They're definitely not like they used to be, and unfortunately none of the new boxes have been of any interest to me, personally. So I decided to take my time opening this box and having fun reading and testing out all these products- who knows if I'll ever get a chance to again!
(product info card tells you more information and how to use each product. Some recent boxes have included these types of cards, which direct you to a virtual info card on the Memebox website.)
 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. Memebox has been kind enough to create a FAQs page that you can view HERE if you want more info on the boxes and what they offer.

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

From Memebox:
 Queens in ancient Korea used a (regimen) chock full of nature's most precious ingredients to beautify and enhance their natural beauty. Various ancient herbs, oriental medicines, flowers, rice powders and more natural and effective recipes were prized among the royalty, and their effectiveness and potency are still prevalent today. Unbox the Empress's Secrets to reveal the mystical beauty secrets and solutions of the east!
Purederm: Makeup Cleansing Tissues in "Green Tea Extract" ($6)
 I understand that these cleansing wipes were added into this box because of the green tea extract, but I can't help but chuckle imagining an ancient Korean empress whipping out her silver foil package of cleansing wipes! These are pretty standard, and from a low-cost brand, Purederm. Having said that, I still really love Purederm products! I am obsessed with cleansing wipes, but I don't use them to actually cleanse. They're great for removing sleeping pack and spot treatment residue in the morning, plus they make my skin feel fresh and clean right out of bed! I'm one of those people that wakes up 2 hours before I have to get ready for work so I can enjoy my morning cup(s) of coffee and check all my daily websites- so having my skin feel fresh before my morning shower is awesome. I actually just ran out of my Face Shop Herb Day Cleansing Cloths, so I'm super happy to have these!

Tosowoong: Syn-ake Wrinkle Free Essence ($30)
 This is an essence that is used to help fill fine lines and wrinkles while helping your skin maintain a healthy moisture/oil balance. It's got lots of awesome ingredients in it, so I'm totally ready to add this into my routine! I am a tiny bit nervous though, as the only other time I used a product with Syn-ake complex (it was a SeaTree essence) I got little red bumps all over my face. I'm not sure if it was the syn-ake or another ingredient in that product, so I'm willing to chance it and give this one a shot. If you're unfamiliar, Syn-ake is a peptide/synthetic snake venom, which is used to sort of mimic the effects of botox- it temporarily fills and smooths fine lines and wrinkles. Some of the other ingredients featured in this essence are also excellent. First is Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, which is a fermented ingredient that helps improve skin texture, calm troubled skin and provide hydration. Next is Niacinamide, which helps lighten dark spots and brighten the overall appearance of skin. There is also adenosine, which helps combat wrinkles and fine lines with also improving skin's elasticity. So overall, this sounds like a fantastic anti-aging product! 

Lime Nature: Double Very Moisturizing Cream ($39)
This cream is enriched with acai berry complex and a rich blend of ancient medicinal herbs like chuanxiong rhizome, peony, licorice root, kudzu root, portulaca, and cornflower. It's is a gentle formula that delivers rich moisture and nutrients deep down into the skin. While this cream sounds absolutely lovely, I find that the scent is incredibly overpowering. I am not someone who is normally sensitive to fragrances, but this cream is extremely heavily scented, although I'm assuming it's coming from the herbal ingredients. It's very herby/floral. After swatching this on my hand, I could still smell it over an hour later and it started to give me a headache. It's a shame, because this product sounds really lovely. I might have to pass this one to someone else though- I have a lot of creams to get through and I'd rather not take the chance of a migraine using this!

Daltokki: Facial Scrub ($30)
 This is the second Daltokki product I've received through Memebox, and both times I've had the same reaction to the creature on the packaging: A mixture of sheer horror and amusement. It's absolutely ridiculous looking- I don't know whether to laugh hysterically or run away!
 Here's a close-up of the texture of this scrub. It's incredibly thick and kind of reminds me of cream cheese!
This facial scrub is made from Korean glutinous rice cake, which is known to be rich in vitamins and nutrients. It works by smoothing and clarifying the skin by exfoliating dead skin cells without hard stimulation. It has a sticky, thick consistency, but once it starts being massaged in, it become thinner. I'd definitely say this is a gentle scrub, however Memebox mentions on the info card to not let any water get into this container, as the rice cake extracts could spoil. I used a large spatula to remove this first before I wet my face and applied it. I gently massaged this on my skin for about 30 seconds and rinsed with warm water. I didn't really see a visible difference in my skin after using this, but it definitely felt much softer! I normally don't use abrasive scrubs on my face, but this one felt gentle enough to give it a try. I really do like this product quite a bit! If it starts to irritate my face, I will most likely finish using it up on my body.

Soy Bio+: Fermended Lumpoule 5ml x2 ($25)
(Full Size Product: 5ml x14 $174)
This product has popped up in quite a few Memeboxes, and has been one of the more buzzed-about, popular products because it not only works well, but it also contains safe and gentle ingredients for all skin types. The word "lumpoule" comes from a combinatio of the words "lump and ampoule." Korean beauty brands love blending words together like this all the time, it seems! This product is a facial ampoule that is made from 100% Korean fermented soy bean lumps. It prevents the formation of fine lines and brightens the complexion. You can use this like a regular ampoule and apply a few drops directly to your face before applying your moisturizer, or you can mix it a couple drops into your cream. I've heard fantastic things about this product, so I cannot wait to start using it!
The Empress's Secrets cost $23 + $6.99 shipping and has a total value of $130.
This box is a bit hard to judge for me. While I think that all the products are really wonderful, I don't necessarily think of an ancient Empress when I see them. I feel like the the older "Oriental Medicine" Memebox from a while ago hit the nail on the head theme-wise much better than this one. Having said that, I can understand why most of these products were included- and the reasons were mostly ingredient-based rather than appearance/packaging based. It would have been really great to see a more visually oriental/ancient box, but hey- I can live with creepy human-faced bunnies too! Overall, the products included are all things I will happily use, and I would have enjoyed the cream too if it didn't have such a strong scent.  I can't help but be a little sad that this could potentially be my last Memebox unboxing for a long while! Although I am holding onto a shred of hope for Memebox. I still think that the new US boxes can be turned around and made better. I guess we'll all have to wait and see what they have in store!

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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.


  1. I'd love to try that moisturizing cream and facial scrub. So funny that creepy bunny thing!


  2. Great review! I miss old Memeboxes even if they have scary looking bunny product packaging and not so to theme boxes. I got this box too and I am so excited to add the lumpoule and Syn-ake into my skin care routine in the future. Even though the creepy bunny scrub is not to appealing visual wise, I think I still want to try it. Does it smell like rice cakes? Or does it have a different scent? #kbeautybloghop

    1. haha I love the creepy bunny scrub especially because of the creepy bunny! LOL It's definitely a conversation piece when I show it to people! ;) I don't think it smells like rice cakes, but it's a subtle fresh scent. It's quite nice!

  3. Oh that bunny! I do really like that scrub though and I've been using it about once a week. I got the box when it first launched and although I wasn't sure at the start this one has grown on me (It was much much better than it's partner, the Cleopatra Box by far!).

    1. I agree Charlotte! The Cleo box was definitely sub par, although the great thing I noticed is the cleansing wipes have a ph of 5, which is very rare to find in face wipes, so I'm really pleased about that!!

  4. Great review! I really enjoyed this box and have been using most everything in it (the rest waits its turn). Now I'm slightly concerned this cream's scent will be overwhelming for me as well. Will have to investigate when I get home. #kbeautybloghop

  5. Have you gotten any refunds from Memebox yet? I haven't heard a thing back from them on any of my reviews.

    1. Hey Pegi- I haven't received my refund yet, however one of the ladies on the makeuptalk forum got an e-mail from Lauren about it. She said that she wants to finish all of the final commission payouts for all the memebox affiliates and international customers etc before she starts doing the refunds for the reviews. Lauren did assure her that it would be worked on as soon as possible, so I'm hopeful it'll happen soon!

  6. That's good to hear. I was getting a little worried.