Thursday, June 18, 2015

Memebox X Botanic Farm: Brand First Impressions (Pearl Shining Primer, Salmon Egg Hydrogel Eye Patch, Sheet Masks)

It's been awhile since I've done a review for Memebox, however they recently reached out to me to do a review of some products from Botanic Farm. I was totally unfamiliar with this brand, so I was more than willing to dig into some of their products and see what they're all about!

Botanic Farm is a new brand to the Memeshop and while they have a wide variety of products included in their line, Memebox carries quite a few of their sheet masks as well as some interesting skincare and makeup goodies!

From the Botanic Farm US Site:
At Botanic Farm, we believe in going green and protecting the environment. That's why the ingredients used in our products are grown on our farms. Our products are made from natural ingredients. We guarantee that all our products are made from natural grains, plants and flowers. We use recycled fabrics for our masks and patches. All printed materials are made from soy ink. We constantly strive to find ways to provide great quality products as well as protect the environment.

Firstly, Memebox sent two different types of sheet masks: a hydro gel and a regular sheet mask.

Polar Energy Hydrogel Mask ($5- on sale for $4 through Memebox)
What it is:
This hydrogel mask is specially designed to effectively seal the nutrients it supplies the skin. This particular mask has harpagophytum procumbens as its main ingredient which is rich in moisturizing and firming ingredients. This effectively improves the skin’s overall condition and texture by helping the skin produce newer and healthier cells to replace troubled and damaged ones.

While Hydrogel masks tend to be more expensive than the regular pulp or paper ones, I tend to find them a little...busy. I dislike that they have so much soggy plastic packaging on them. First you open it up, then you have to separate the upper and lower halves of the mask. Then each half of the mask has plastic on one side and paper on the other that you have to peel away in order to place it on your face. Something about this entire ordeal just irritates me. I'd rather yank out a regular sheet mask, unfold it, press it on and go about my day. Having said that, There are some hydrogels that really do wonders for my skin. While people claim that they stay moist for longer than paper masks, I don't always think that is true. This particual mask contains "harpagophytum procumbens" which I discovered is also known as "Devil's Claw." This is an herb that is used for a variety of different things, despite it's terrifying name. It's most commonly consumed to relieve joint pain, so it was a bit strange for me to see it listed as the star ingredient in this mask. It's also relatively high up in the ingredients list, which is always a good thing! But what does it actually DO for the skin? When used as a skincare ingredient, it can act similarly to honey in that it has natural antibacterial, anti-inflammitory and moisture-binding properties. 
I found that this mask adhered firmly to my skin and didn't do the "downward sliding action" that some hydrogels tend to do. It stayed saturated with essence for the entire 20 minutes that I wore it as well. When I removed the mask, I did notice that my skin felt physically firmer and looked more refreshed. It's not very common for me to notice immediate changes in my skin after using a sheet mask, so even if the "firming" of this mask was temporary, I still quite enjoyed it. I also had no issues with irritation or breakouts. If you're looking for something to temporarily firm and enhance the overall appearance and texture of your skin, you might want to give this one a try!

Natural Energy Sheet Mask in "Sea Mustard" ($2 through Memebox)
What it is:
The Sea Mustard Mask is rich in antioxidants which thoroughly detoxifies the skin’s impurities. It helps the skin recover from damage while also providing proper hydration to keep the skin soft and smooth. This relaxing mask is infused with several herb and fruit extracts that nourishes the skin keeping the skin at its healthiest condition.

I love getting affordable sheet masks with interesting ingredients. Sea Mustard is definitely one of those ingredients as I don't have anything in my skincare collection that contains it. Doing a little more research on it, I discovered that Sea Mustard is also called miyeok in Korea, and is regularly used as a salty seaweedy addition to soups and salads. In skincare products however, it is included because it is loaded with vitamins and minerals that help nourish and detoxify the skin. What is interesting is that Phytessence Wakame (the other word for sea mustard in Japan) actually blocks the enzyme that breaks down hyaluronic acid; and as most of you know- Hyaluronic acid's job is to keep you skin hydrated. 
While I used and enjoyed this sheet mask, I honestly didn't notice any magical immediate changes to my complexion. As with most other sheet masks, my skin felt more hydrated, but little more than that. I can say that there was no irritation or breakouts after using this. Since this is a low-cost sheet mask, it might be one that I would purchase again to see if there were any long term benefits with regular use. If you have dry, sensitive skin though, this might be a great mask to try to bring some moisture and nourishment back to your skin.

Salmon Egg Hydrogel Eye Patches ($30- on sale for $25 through Memebox)
What it is:
Sagging Eye Bags? Stubborn Dark Circles? Botanic Farm’s Salmon Egg Hydrogel Eye Patch effectively eliminates these imperfections around the eye area in an instant. With its rich blend of premium ingredients including salmon egg, snail slime filtrate and colloidal gold, each hydrogel patch gives the thin skin layer around the eyes more strength and elasticity to be able to prevent further damage caused by the environment’s harmful elements. It also contains aloe vera extract that gently soothes sensitive skin.

I absolutely must-have eye hydro gels or eye patches on hand at all times. I'm not entirely sure what draws me to them so much,, but since my eyes are usually the area that need the most care, I find that sticking on a good hydro gel tends to take care of some of the immediate issues in that area. They've become part of my morning routine where after washing my face, I apply some eye gels, make a cup of coffee and enjoy the morning on my porch. Not all eye patches are created equal, however, so I was interested to see how these Salmon Egg patches would work. Because, uh...why salmon eggs?
Apparently there's an enzyme in salmon eggs that helps breakdown and gently exfoliate dead skin cells, while also having natural anti-aging effects.
My major gripe with hydro gel eye patches is that they can be a pain in the butt to get out of the jar they come in. Most companies will provide some sort of "eye-gel-getting" tool, and Botanic Farm has included a small spatula. I personally found this tool didn't help me much in retrieving the gels without them getting stuck together, so I ended up using a pair of plastic tweezers from a different package of eye gels. The tweezers work much better!
I apologize for the blurry photo here- I would have taken a better one had I known this one was such a mess prior to using 75% of these eye gels! Regardless, Most hydro gels for under the eyes look the same. They have a "comma" shape, as I like to call it. These ones are yellow in color, however they're transparent when you pick up one individually:
At first, I found that compared to the eye hydro gels I was using prior to these ones were much more saturated with essence, but as I used a couple pairs, I realized it was only the top 2-3 that were a bit on the dryer side. There is plenty of essence in this container, though. If you want to re-saturate any of the top eye gels, simply flip the container upside down for 10 minutes or so!
While the "comma" shape wasn't an absolutely perfect fit for me, it was a close one. What I love about these particular gels is that they are thick enough to last for 30 minutes on the eye without drying out, however they're not so thick that they slip and slide around on my eye area. I place them on, and they stay exactly where I put them!

I have found that these gels could honestly be my new favorites. Even after one use, I can see a visible decrease in the overall puffiness of my eyes and a very minimal (yet still noticeable) change in my dark circles. I've been using these ones a day for the past couple of weeks now, and there has been a significant improvement to my dark circles and puffiness issue. I've been searching for an eye gel that's affordable ad that worked- and these do both. Plus they ship from Memebox's US warehouse so I won't have to wait a month for them to show up! I rarely repurchase things since I have a large skincare stash that I like to go through first, but in this case I am definitely repurchasing these once I run out. One of the best eye gels I've tried so far!

Pearl Shining Primer ( $25, on sale for $20 on the Memebox website)
What it is:
Having troubles with dull and uneven skin? Botanic Farm’s Pearl Shining Primer delivers a healthy, radiant glow in an instant. Infused with premium pearl essence, this primer has very subtle micro shimmers that  perfectly highlight the skin while  giving a much better definition to the face. It also makes the foundation/BB cream last longer by minimizing oil build-up. This primer is also formulated with Almond Oil and Avocado Oil which are both rich in Vitamin E and this rich blend enhances the skin’s condition by making it smoother, softer and healthier.

I've seen more than my fair share of beauty bloggers slamming "shimmery primers" and rarely even bothering to try them out first. Koreans really love the look of a healthy, bright skin tone, and pearlized primers can help achieve that effect. I never understood the idea that these wouldn't be useful because they're shimmery-looking! They blend out and give a really beautiful effect to the skin, but more importantly, we have to remember this is a primer, not a BB cream. You're supposed to put something OVER this and not wear it alone! When you wear these types of primers correctly, the results are a light, smooth and even complexion with a healthy glow.

This primer is a bit different in the way it's dispensed, as you can see below:
The cap comes off to reveal a pump-top with a smaller opening in the center where the primer comes out. I found this application process a bit difficult to use considering I use my finger when applying products, not a sponge. However, this type of packaging works very well for anyone using a beauty blender, makeup sponge or other sort of applicator.

Here's a concentrated swatch of the primer:
You can see it has a pale pink base with a pearlized pink-tone swirled within it.
Once you spread and blend out this primer, it does give quite the shimmer to the skin as you can see above. However, Once a BB cream is applied over this, you really only get the glowy effect of this primer and not the shimmery mess that you're expecting. This particular primer did a great job brightening up my face and giving me a bit more of a lively appearance. It looked natural, and it also surprisingly helped with oil control! I was pretty dang happy about that!

Overall Thoughts
 I'm thrilled to see Memebox starting to introduce newer and/or lesser-known bands into the Memeshop. While I am a big fan of some of the bigger, more popular brands, one of my favorite things is to try out new brands and their product lines. I think Botanic Farm has a great line of interesting products ( for example: they've got a really neat soybean pudding sleeping pack!) and they include new and interesting ingredients into each product. The sheet masks I received today were average to above expectations, which I was impressed with. I haven't been overly wowed by any sheet masks lately, so I was happy to see that the Botanic Farm hydro gel exceeded what I had hoped for it. Of course my favorite product would definitely be the Salmon Egg Eye Gels. I wish I had the money to buy dozens of them and gift them to friends and family, that's how much I'm loving them right now. 

If you're interested in checking out more of their product line or want to pick up any of the products here, you can do so on the Memebox Website!


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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.

4 comments:

  1. Those eye gels sound amazing! I've been trying out the primer too and I like it so far. I'm not sure why pearly/shimmery primers get so much hate - they're not for everyone, but they can look really good under makeup if they don't have big chunks of glitter in. Or as a highlighter. Whee!

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    1. I know right? I see a lot of people immediately writing off pearly primers but they really make my skin look so gorgeous!

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  2. I'm seriously loving the eye gels. I agree that they works REALLY well for depuffing.

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    1. I totally agree. I have a lot of puffiness in the morning and these take it away almost completely- definitely a new fave of mine!

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