Wednesday, October 28, 2015

PopSugar Must Have: October 2015 Review and Unboxing

I'm not going to go into my monthly spiel about how amazing PopSugar Must Have Box is and why I think that to this day, no matter how many subscriptions come out it's still the best overall in terms of value and product curation. You all know by now how I feel about them. So I'll just say this: If you're not subscribed yet- you should probably do that. (Although I would suggest you wait until Cyber Monday- their sales are always insanely good!)

The Deets
PopSugar Must Have Box is a subscription that sends you full size "must have" items from all areas of interest: fitness, beauty, skincare, home decor, books- you name it! You never know what is going to show up in these boxes, and that's why they're always so much fun to recieve! 
PopSugar costs $39.99 per month, however you can save more by buying a longer subscription, or if you gift yourself a box each month, you can use the frequent coupon codes they have available. You can use the code (REFER5) to save $5 off your first box, currently!

Each month, Lisa Sugar (PopSugar's Founder) will put all of the things that inspired the box on the info card.
This month was inspired by:
Autumn, Restful nights, cozy, irresistible, breast cancer awareness.

 Savvy Sleepers: Luxury Satin Pillowcase ($36)
Let me just say how ridiculously excited I was to see this pillowcase! First of all, this is a very unique item that you don't tend to see in subscription boxes. Second of all, I was doing research on sleeping habits and how they effect/don't effect your skin etc. The idea behind satin pillowcases is that they help prevent sleep wrinkles and help reduce hair breakage. I've seen people be skeptical of this, but it's true! (Read more about the benefits of sleeping on Satin here) Most the time, sleeping on a cotton pillowcase isn't going to give you wrinkles, however as we lose collagen in our skin, it starts to lose it's ability to "snap" back. I know form personal experience! I sleep on my right side- without fail. Every single night. Over the years I've noticed a wrinkle form right below my eye where my face squishes into the pillow. It slowly goes away over the course of the day- but I'm concerned one day it's going to be here to stay. I love the idea of a soft, slippery pillow case helping me avoid those "sleep wrinkles!" This pillowcase also has a little hidden pouch inside where you can hide something away, or for a more practical use- put some lavender sprigs in there to help you relax before bed!

Mindy Kaling: Why Not Me? ($25)
I know plenty of my friends and family who absolutely love Mindy Kaling. She's an actor, producer and writer who just so happens to be hilarious, although I will admit I never watched her TV nor have I read any of her books before. Having said that, I've only heard great things about her previous book, so I'm actually looking forward to reading this. I could use a good laugh every now and then!

Belgian Boys: Stroopwafel ($1.59)
I can confidently say that I drooled a little bit when I saw this snack in my box this month. These are one of my all-time favorite sweet snacks! Take a 2 waffle cones and flatten them out, put some gooey caramel between them and you've got yourself the most delicious treat you'll ever snack on. These are just perfect as they are, however they are made in this round shape so you can place them on top of your coffee mug or tea cup to warm/soften them up. They are also ridiculously tasty that way, too!

Easy, Tiger: Brown Paper Liquor Bag Set ($8)
Hmm. Well...I'm sure these are awesome for some people, but this was the one item in the box this month that I will most likely not use. I don't think I've ever gifted someone a bottle of wine before, and if I did, I don't think I would wrap it in a brown paper bag. I don't know...these aren't a terrible idea but I feel like these would have been more appropriate for the November or December Box. They just seem kind of misplaced with the rest of the items this month. I suppose they'd be cute for anyone who drinks/gifts a lot of wine, but unfortunately that's not me. 

Richer Poorer: Hope Slipper Socks ($15)
Last month I said I would not be happy with the October box unless it included a candle and/or a pair of comfy socks. Looks like PopSugar delivered! These socks were designed by and exclusive to PopSugar. They chose the pink color not only because it's their brand color, but because of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I have been wearing these non-stop since I got this box, honestly. They pull up almost halfway to my knee, they are incredibly, ridiculously soft, they're thick and warm, AND they have little grippies on the bottom so I won't slip and fall while rushing to turn my heater on in the morning! Probably my favorite thing in the box this month, honestly! Give me a pair of comfy socks and I'm happy!

The Honest Company: Sea Salt + Sugar Body Scrub ($17)
The Honest Company has been all over the place this past year, but I haven't actually tried any of their products personally. I'm happy that my first product from them is a body scrub. I don't really use them that often during the Summer, but I feel like I blow through body scrubs in the Winter! This one contains whole grain sugars and salt to exfoliate while shea butter and almond oil hydrate the skin. This has a very light lavender/vanilla scent. It's super relaxing! It seems like the perfect product to use during a before-bed shower!

It's a 10: Miracle Leave-In Product ($11.96)
This is a sample size product and is considered one of two "special extras." This mist adds shine, stops frizz, detangles, conditions and makes your hair smell amazing. I am an avid fan of the "light" version of this spray since my hair is pretty thin, although I will definitely be using this one as well. It's one of my favorite products for my hair because it has a very pleasant scent that lingers in my hair long after I've used the product. I feel like my hair is so much easier to brush after I use this, and my split ends look a lot less dead and scraggly!

Danielle Stevens Jewelry $40 Monogram Gift Card/ Coupons
The last "special extra" was a "gift card" to Danielle Stevens Jewelry. The bummer about this is that it can only be used on the monogram pieces, which I have never really been into. Plus the least expensive monogram item is around $50, so I don't think I'll be using this at all. PopSugar also included a bunch of coupon codes as well as a card that states  that they have made a donation to "Right Action for Women" in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Overall Thoughts
PopSugar Must Have costs $40 per month, and the October box has a total value of $102.59. If you include the special extras the value goes up to $154.18. Both are great values, although I don't really consider the Danielle Stevens gift card as part of the value since it's not an actual item, nor is it enough to outright purchase anything on their site without putting money into it. I do think it's a nice bonus item though- especially considering Christmas is around the bend! It might be a good thing to use to put toward a Christmas gift for someone!

As for the overall curation of this box, I did think it was a little odd. If you take away the "special extras" since they're really not part of the overall curation, I think that it could work. I see this curation as a relaxing night at home. Start off with a warm shower and use the sugar scrub,  slip into those comfy socks and crawl into bed to read a book and snack on a stroopwafel (yummm). Then head to sleep on your new satin pillow! The only product that doesn't work here, like I mentioned earlier, is the paper liquor bags. They just throw the entire vibe off of this box. I think a  fall-scented travel candle would have been a  much better choice, but that's just me! I think that the curation was decent, and I will definitely use almost everything here as usual! No major complaints, although not the most mind-blowing box I've ever gotten.

I do know that the November box will include a Tarte Eye Shadow Quad, so it's already being set up to be awesome in my opinion! Excited to see what else they'll have in store for us!

If you're interested in signing up for a PopSugar subscription, you can do that HERE.
(Use code REFER5 to get $5 off your first month!) 

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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, October 25, 2015

The 3b Box: Beauty Beyond Borders October 2015 Review and Unboxing

Even though I cut down on all my subscriptions, I couldn't let go of 3B. I decided I would allow myself to keep obviously any subscriptions that I have prepaid for, as well as 2 that I pay for month-to-month. 3B was one of the two that made the cut. Why? Well first off, it's only $12 a month. There are fewer and fewer subscriptions around nowadays in that price range that actually offer a great value. What I really enjoy about 3B is they've kind of picked up where Birchbox left off- introducing me to new products with full size and deluxe samples. The only difference is that 3B is Asian Beauty- primarily Korean, while Birchbox focuses more so on Western brands. I find that I've been consistently using the products I get in my 3B box, which to me, makes it more than worth it. Plus $12 a month to get a little kbeauty surprise in the mail each month isn't too hard on the wallet!

What is 3B?
3b (stands for Beauty Beyond Borders) is a subscription service that I have coined the KBeauty Birchbox. While you receive mostly Korean products, they have also included Japanese brands in the past as well. Normally the boxes contain deluxe samples, however they have been known to also include full sizes! 

The Cost
Only $12 a month! (that includes shipping!)
(3b currently only ships to the US)

What's In the Box?
Each box contains a collection of  4-5 deluxe samples that are new or popular in Asia but hard to get your hands on. The products will change each month, and you’ll get to try new skincare, haircare, nail care, and cosmetic products. Sample products range from go-to brands such as Lioele, Etude House and Skinfood to high-end premium brands like SK-II, K, and Sulwhasoo.

Where Do I Sign Up?
You can learn more about 3B, and sign up for their monthly subscription HERE. 3B is quite popular so there is occasionally a waitlist to subscribe, so if you're interested- the sooner you sign up the better!
While this is called the 3B box, and it does arrive in one, your products are housed each month in a cute organza bag. I really prefer these bags to getting full-on makeup bags (like ipsy for example) because these are easily stored away to be used again, are lighter to ship and take up less space. I can only use so many makeup bags, so I'm never a fan of receiving them each month through various subscriptions.

DHC: Alpha-Arbutin White Mask
DHC is "Japan's #1 direct skincare company" according to 3B, but I'm just excited to try more Japanese products! This sheet mask fights dullness and discoloration while helping eliminate aging concerns and sun damage. Arbutin brightens the skin while mulberry, serine and peony work together to moisturize and enhance skins radiance. While I'm always saying I have way too many sheet masks, I'm happy to expand my horizons outside of Korean brands, but I also have a soft spot for brightening sheet masks due to how well they even my blotchy skin tone!

It's Skin: Power 10 Formula VC Effector
Full size product alert! This serum is rich in vitamin C and green tea extract to help suppress melnin formation to reduce the appearance of dark spots, freckles and acne scars. I am in a constant battle with my acne scars considering I was a picker for many years. I love trying products that promise to help eliminate them! This serum also helps refine the skins texture overall and brightens the complexion. It's suggested to use this after cleansing and toning, so I'm assuming it can be used during the essence/serum step of my routine. I'm really excited to give this a try since my Missha ampoule is on it's last pump!

Lador: Perfect Hair Filler
I am almost positive I got this product in a past Memebox and never ended up trying it myself. I've been getting more into hair products lately now that my hair is becoming healthier, so I'm all about these little vials now! Apparently this is a concentrated ampoule that contains protein, silk amino acid, keratin, collagen and ceramide. It's like a cocktail of everything your hair loves! This treatment is used to condition and repair even the most damaged hair. To use this, you apparently mix the ampoule with water in a 1:1 ratio and it turns into a cream-like consistency. It's then massaged into the hair and left on for 20 minutes then rinsed. I'm not sure if this is used on dry or wet hair though, so that's something I'm going to have to look into!

Holika Holika: Good Cera Toner and Emulsion
The Good Cera line from Holika Holika was one of the first I tried from the brand years ago. It's really a great line for normal or dry skin in particular because it is formulated with ceraminde, which helps skin retain it's moisture and elasticity. Of course, these are used in this order: toner, then emulsion to moisturize. I wouldn't say that these are mind-blowing products or anything, but I remember enjoying them- especially in the colder months. I have combo/oily skin and I was still able to use these without an issue in the past, so I'll definitely use these little samples!
Overall Thoughts
Honestly, for $12 a month, can you really beat 3B? There are a few kbeauty subscriptions out there nowadays, but none are as inexpensive as 3B. And as inexpensive as they are, they still manage to deliver a great value. I think this was a really great box this month and had a nice variety and interesting products. We received 5 completely different items, and one of them was a really substantially-sized serum. I also like that they gave subscribers 2 of the hair treatments instead of one. I was a little unsure with 3B at first, but month after month they have been improving and including a wider variety of brands, which I'm extremely happy about. Even though I'm overloaded with beauty products, I'm able to work the items I get in my 3B boxes into my routines easily!

There is frequently a wait list to subscribe to 3B, so if you're interested I would sign up as soon as possible. You can get on the wait list here. Right now they're only shipping to the US, but they have been openly asking their customers where we would like them to ship to next. So if you live outside the US, make sure you get in touch with them and tell them you want them to ship to your country!
 If you'd like to learn more about 3B, 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.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Aesthetic Content Candles Review and GIVEAWAY!

While my addiction to candles is pretty strong year-round, it tend to peak as soon as the Autumn weather starts to roll in. I'm not sure what it is, but there's something so soothing about filling my house with fall-scented candles on a brisk Autumn day. I tend to burn through them so quickly that I'm always looking for new and interesting scents and brands to fill my collection. While I used to only buy inexpensive candles, lately I've been really interested in smaller, luxe brands that feature their own unique flare and scent choices.

Recently, I was contacted by a brand called Aesthetic Content to do a review of their candles. While I immediately wanted to say yes, I always make sure to research a product and a company before agreeing to a review to make sure it's relevant to my reader's interests. But also, I want to make sure it's a quality brand that I would purchase myself. I was immediately drawn to Aesthetic Content's unique scents and chic packaging, so I knew I had to tell you guys more about them!

Not only does Aesthetic Content feature unique, high-end candles, but a wide range of vases, bowls, candle holders and decorative objects to add style to any interior. Some of their pieces are absolutely stunning!

About Aesthetic Content's Candles
Handmade from top quality ingredients and infused with serenity, our exclusive scents are the product of sifting and shaking elements from nature, travel and history together to form new and unexpected combinations, which both enliven and stand out. Made in the USA, our luxury scented candles are free of dyes, parabens, sulfates, pesticides and major allergens.

-Creamy soy-based wax and metal free cotton wicks produce minimal soot and smoke with a full, clean burn.
-High concentration of essential and fine perfume oils fill a room with rich, long-lasting fragrance.
-Stylish crystal clear gift boxes, candle containers and cork lids are reusable or recyclable.

2 Sizes Available 
9.5 oz Filled Glass Candle (50 hour burn time) $38 each
2.0 oz Travel Tin (10 hour burn time) $13 for a set of 2

Winter Bosco (Filled Glass Candle)
The full size candles all come sleekly packaged as you can see above. The full size candle I have here is one of those perfect scents that transitions you from Fall to Winter. The scent notes are a blend to help recreate the feel of a snowy balsam forest through fresh cut boughs of black spruce, silver fir and white pine.
As I mentioned above, each of the jar candles comes packaged in this clear gift box that can easily be reused. It's a very sturdy polystyrene cube- I put potpourri in mine once I took the candle out!
How beautiful are these containers? I love the cork lids and the simplistic yet classy glass jar. These are minimalist while still being chic. I feel like these candles could really fit any decor beautifully!
I think what I love best about the container is how it beautiful it glows when the candle is burning! It creates such a warm atmosphere. 

I found that this scent was very masculine, but not so much that I didn't enjoy it myself. It definitely smells like something you would light on a chilly winter evening while the snow is falling! I found that the scent throw is incredibly powerful- in a good way! I lit this on my dining room table and within an hour a good portion of my apartment had the faint smell of this candle. The wax melted smoothly and evenly, and created an even wax pool within about 2 hours. Aesthetic Content recommends burning these candles for at least 2-3 hours at a time to create an even melt pool, otherwise you run the risk of the candle "tunneling" which is never a good time! They also recommend that you trim the wick to 1/4 of an inch each time before burning. 

Ginger Bomba and Pelle Vanilla (Travel Tins)
This scent is a lot brighter and more warm than the previous. It was my fiance's immediate favorite because of how unique it is! This scent is boldly spiced, combining fresh ginger, white tobacco leaf, eastern patchouli, citrus peel and alluring fragrant cloves. While it has a obvious 'spice' to it, I find that the strong use of the citrus peel  gives it an almost fruity scent. It reminds me of the candle holders I used to make as a child out of orange peels and cloves! It's really a beautiful scent that is perfect to burn at any time, although I prefer this one during the morning when I'm getting ready for work.
I had a feeling that Pelle Vanilla would be my favorite scent when I read the descriptions, and I was 100% right. This stunning fragrance is a collection of mexican vanilla bean, sueded leather, blood orange, sandalwood and patchouli. It's really an indescribable fragrance- You can definitely catch the vanilla immediately- it's warm and inviting. It would almost be dessert-like in it's sweetness if it weren't for the sueded leather and sandalwood that kick it up a notch. The blood orange and patchouli are definitely there, but both are very subtle low-notes in the scent overall that make it a lot more rich and layered. I'm absolutely in love with the scent and plan on purchasing a full size as soon as my next paycheck comes in. I cannot get enough of it!

Other Available Scents
These aren't the only scents available in their collection, however! If these don't sound like your cup of tea, I'm almost certain one of the other unique scents in their collection will interest you!

  • Sereno Seas- Ocean beeze, sea water, cucumber, fresh melon, white cedar driftwood
  • Giardino Blossom- ylang ylang flowers, lily blossoms, yellow rose, star jasmine
  • Lavender Pera Bianca- white pear, french lavender, jasmine blossoms, tahitian vanilla bean
  • Citrus Paradisi- pink grapefruit, citrus peel, bubbly champagne, eucalyptus
  • Midnight Brezza- cedar wood, vetiver, sandalwood, musk, clove

New Scents for Fall:
  • Winter Bosco - fresh balsam, white pine, black spruce, silver fir, snow
  • Ginger Bomba - cut ginger root, white tobacco leaf, citrus zest
  • Fumoso Cedar - smoked cedar wood, rosemary sprigs, golden amber
  • Pelle Vanilla - sueded leather, blood orange peel, Mexican vanilla bean, sandalwood
Overall Thoughts
I think Aesthetic Content makes some beautiful and incredibly high quality candles! I love their long, clean burn time, the strong throw of the scents, the recyclable packaging and unique scent choices. There really isn't anything I don't love! I buy the women in my family a unique candle for the holidays each year, and I think this time I'll be buying them from Aesthetic Content. I think their scents match a wide variety of different preferences while still being beautifully unique. Definitely a big winner for me, and highly recommended!

GIVEAWAY TIME!
Aesthetic Content was awesome enough to offer a giveaway to my readers! Fill out the form below by following me and Aesthetic Content on our social media outlets, and you can win 1 FULL SIZE candle of your choice from Aesthetic Content! (Get the Pelle Vanilla!!)


To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget above.  The prize is one 9.5 oz Filled Glass Candle of the winner's choice. The retail value of this prize is US $38. The winner will be chosen at random by a random number generator. Winner will be contacted through e-mail provided by Rafflecopter account, and will have 24 hours to respond before they are disqualified and a new winner is chosen. Name and address will be required if chosen as winner in order for prize fulfillment.
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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.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tonymoly Strawberry Seed 3-Step Nose Pack and Egg Pore Shiny Jewel Soap Review and Coupon!

Even if you've only dipped your toes in the vast waters of Korea Beauty, I'm willing to bet you've heard of TonyMoly. Along with Etude House, they seem to be two of the most popular brands in the world of Korean Beauty. I personally think the reasons are simple: Their both incredibly affordable, and their packaging is some of the cutest you'll ever see. I'll be the first to admit that I regularly purchase products solely because the packaging made me squee with delight. 
Recently, Memebox sent me a couple of classic TonyMoly products to review for you guys, and while I've tried both of them before, I think they're both things that are regularly purchased due to their claims of saving those of us with giant or clogged pores. Let's check 'em out!

What It Is:
While you may have seen the famous Biore Pore Strips in the drugstore hundreds of times, you may not know about these 3 step nose packs. Many brands have their own version, however the TonyMoly one is the one I have seen around the most often. Instead of just a simple nose strip, this product has 3 different nose strips total- each used for a different purpose. The result is the removal of blackheads and impurities from the nose to leave behind clean, smooth skin and smaller pores.
A Word On Blackheads / Sebaceous Filaments
Before I continue with this review, I do want to mention that it's highly unlikely that those little bumps on your nose are blackheads. I spent years of my life buying pore strips and yanking out all those little pore clogging buggers, only to find them showing up again in a few days. Blackheads don't act like this though, and what you're most likely dealing with are sebaceous filaments. I don't want to steal anyone's photos of how to tell the difference between the two, but this site has a great photo of both so you can decide which one's you're dealing with.
Everyone has sebaceous filaments, but what exactly are they? 
They're essentally attached to the hair follicles on your face and produce sebum which looks like a waxy substance. When you pull a pore strip off and see a bunch of pale yellow dots on it, those are not blackheads- it's simply sebum- you can't get rid o them for long because it's part of your skins natural existence, but you can use products (cleansers, exfoliators etc) that will help keep their occurrence at bay. 

A blackhead will appear on your skin when the sebum that is clogged into your skin reached the surface of your skin. The head turns black when it oxidizes. These are very obviously blackheads because when they are extracted, they have a very dark "head" on them and are usually a bit harder than sebaceous filaments. 

The 3-Step Nose Pack may help a bit with removing sebaceous filaments that might be bothering you, but they're going to come back pretty dang quickly. So a product like this is fine to use once in a while, especially if you end up with a couple of blackheads on your nose here and there. I would say that you don't need  to use a product like this very often though.

How to Use:
As I mentioned above, there are 3 steps to this nose pack. I will go into detail about each one below so you know what the heck each one does!

Keep in mind, to use all 3 steps as recommended, you will need to set aside 30-45 minutes. I usually use these on the weekend in the morning when I'm just lounging around the house!

Step 1
Step 1 consists of a cotton mask that is similar in feel to a sheet mask. The essence that it is soaked in is used to open up your pores to prepare them for step 2. It is recommended that you leave this on for 15-20 minutes.
This had a fruity scent to it, but I also detected something spicy- like cinnamon maybe? It's really a pleasant scent in my opinion! While this is nicely soaked in essence, I did find it didn't stick very well to my nose for very long. Every time I tried to talk to my fiance, I felt the mask start to lift up off my nose. I would suggest patting it down well and not talking or moving your face at all while wearing this step!

Step 2
Step 2 is the one that most of us are already familar with: the pore strip. Your nose should still be a bit wet from Step 1, however I added a tiny bit of water to my nose as well to help this stick well. Simply apply this to your wet nose and press down until it sticks. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and you should feel it harden/tighten up on your nose. After the allotted time has passed, slowly and gently peel this strip off your nose. You'll be able to see all the gunk and sebum that has been pulled out of your nose. I am pretty diligent with exfoliating and taking care of my crater pores, so this didn't pull much of anything out of my nose.

Step 3
Step 3 is my favorite step! This mask is sort like a soothing hydrogel mask and it's made of a very thin gel material. This step is used to soothe the pores after using Step 2, which can be a little irritating to the skin at times. It claims to close your pores back up after opening the with Step 1, however I really feel it's more or less used to soothe the skin. This one is recommended to be left on for 5-10 minutes, however I would suggest you leave it on for longer if you have the time. It feels really nice on the skin! I left mine on for close to 20 minutes.

Results
Honestly? None. I don't know how else to get around saying that, really. This was a fun little pack to use, it had a nice scent and felt pampering, but I didn't feel that Step 1 opened my pores, nor do I feel like Step 3 closed them. The nose strip was just that- a nose strip. I will say that if you consistently struggle with an excessive amount of sebaceous filaments on your nose, or if you're one of the few that deals with blackheads, this 3-step system is definitely a step up from a typical nose strip. I especially like the soothing 3rd step as my nose tends to feel a little irritated after using a pore strip. I would recommend this if you are a regular user of pore strips, however if you exfoliate regularly (chemically or manually) you most likely wouldn't need to use a product like this.
The TonyMoly Shiny Jewel Soap is a perfect example of mega cute packaging being the sole reason for purchasing something. I know that now there are tons of brands packaging bath bombs and soaps in these cute little egg cartons, but one of the first ones I ever saw was from TonyMoly!
What it is:
Remove waste from your skin and clean off any excess impurities that collect on your skin throughout the day. Tighten and brighten your complexion with this sebum reducing and pore shrinking shiny jewel egg soap for nourished and well-cleansed skin.  Formulated with egg whites, red clay and shea butter, to extract, shrink and purify those pores while still keeping your skin moisturized.

These soaps are 5-in-1 in that they provide cleansing, nutrition, pore care and hydration. It's also suggested that you later these soaps and use it as a mask pack at during nighttime cleansing.

This is actually a different version of a TonyMoly product that has been around for awhile now: The Egg Pore Shiny Skin Soap. The Jewel Soaps that I have here differ in that they have "gold and silver content." According to the TonyMoly site, the new ingredient formulation create a, "way more powerful new egg." Their words, not mine! haha :)
As this infographic describes, the ingredients are actually made from an egg fermented in vinegar for approximately 1-2 weeks. Acidic components from the vinegar and nutrition from the egg combine to create a special pore care solution. It creates rich bubbles that provide a soft massage in the morning and a powerful, smooth cleanse at night.
While the original Egg Soaps contained one egg white soap to use in the morning and a red clay soap to use as a night cleanser and mask pack, these eggs seem to be similar to each other in that the only clear differences are one contains silver flecks and the other contains gold. Almost all the information online that I can find are for the original Shiny Skin Egg Soaps and not these Shiny Jewel Soaps, so I apologize for not knowing if there's a clear difference between the two- even the official TonyMoly site doesn't specify. 
Personally, I continued to use these as I did the original egg soaps: The white one in the morning and the brown on in the evening.
Using these is pretty self explanatory: Use the white soap in the morning as a cleanser, and the brown one in the evening as a cleanser and pack if desired. 
Here's the honest truth on these guys, though: I only used these one time. I find that these soaps lather incredibly well, so if you're into a bunch-o-lather and have oil control/pore issue, these might be something you should look into. However I vividly remember the original egg soaps breaking me out really terribly, and I just got my skin back to normal after a hormonal breakout and didn't want to risk it. I have also read quite a few reviews from people saying their skin had a "purging period" with these soaps. However I want to make my stance on purging perfectly clear here when I say I don't believe it exists 99% of the time. According to skincare experts, there are very few products that would actually cause your skin to "purge" itself. Accutane and retinoids are pretty much the only skincare products where purging periods have been clinically identified. They thin the epidermis (upper layer of the skin) and thicken the dermis (lower layer of the skin) and increase cell turnover. This naturally pushes acne that is still in its beginning stages from the lower layer to the upper layer where you can see it.

If your using a simple cleanser and your skin begins to breakout, chances are that product is not right for your skin and you should not continue using it in hopes that it's a purging period that will come to an end. I can't tell you how many people I've seen encouraging the "purging" theory or accepting it as fact. I would hate for one of my readers to damage their skin due to me not acknowledging my thoughts on purging in regards to a specific product, so there you have it. Sorry for the little rant, but it was important to discuss with this product in particular due to the many "purging" reviews I read.

The Good News 
Even though I did not have good experiences with the previous version of these egg pore soaps, a close friend of mine has used them many times and thinks they works beautifully for her oily skin. I chatted with her briefly about why she likes them and she gave me the following reasons:
- Helps with sebum production and oil control
-Makes skin feel fresh and clean without drying it out
-Does not irritate her skin
-Seems to temporarily shrink pores with regular use

So as I always say, what may work for one person might not work for the other. While these soaps haven't played nice with my skin, it seems they're a preferred cleansing option for my friend. If these soaps are appealing to you and it seems like the things their intended to correct and help are skin problems you struggle with, then by all means give these little guys a go! They're super cute!
Overall Thoughts
While I don't think either of these products will save your oily skin or large pores, I do think they have the potential to help with certain skincare concerns, even if temporarily. The 3-step Nose Packs are great for an occasional "pore care routine" as I like to call it! As for the Egg soaps, Egg-based skincare has always been good for pores and oily skin, so keep an eye out for egg based products and research reviews, ingredients and consumer opinions before pulling the trigger. Not all egg-skincare is created equal! Having said that, if you're looking for something cutely packaged for gifting purposes, or want to grab these to try for yourself, they might work well for you!

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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, October 18, 2015

Treats Box: Travel the World Through Food! Review and Unboxing

Ever since I discovered Snack Fever's Korean snack box, I've been keeping my eye on other Asian and generally International Snack boxes. It can get a little repetitive when you're getting the same old snacks repeatedly in Western-based snack boxes. It's incredibly exciting to get a package full of snacks you've never tried before! I love bringing them to work with me and sharing the experience with my coworkers!

Treats Box is really a perfect box for someone who wants variety in terms of where the snacks come from, but also wants that adventurous aspect in terms of the actual snacks that are included. 

The Deets
Each month, Treats Box sends a selection of snacks from a different country right to your door. A different country is featured every month, so you'll never be bored! 

Plans and Price
Treats Box offers two different snacking plans so it'll fit into anyone's price range!

Standard Pack
Contains 4-5 International Snacks for $12.95 per month.
Premium Pack 
Contains 8-10 international Snacks for $24.95 per month. 

Shipping
You receive your first box within a week of your first order, so no need to wait forever for your snacks!

Shipping is FREE to anywhere in the United States. Treats Box  does ship worldwide, however Additional shipping charges will apply for international addresses. For international shipping, Treats Box subsidizes part of the expense for the shipping in order to reduce your cost.
For the Standard Pack: -Shipping to Canada is $5.56
-Shipping to Mexico is $9.47
-Shipping to other countries is $10.73
For the Premium Pack: -Shipping to Canada is $8.86
-Shipping to Mexico is $13.15
Shipping to other countries is $15.80 

I was sent this box for review purposes- so while I received it in October, I believe this box in particular was actually their August Box. The September Box featured snacks from Korea. 

This Box Features Japanese Snacks, so of course I could not WAIT to dig in!
Treats Box provides a basic info card with a color photo of each item along with the name and brand of the product. I do wish there was a little bit more information so I knew what I was getting into before diving in, but hey- I guess it adds to the adventure!

Uegaki: Kaki-no-Tane Rice Crackers
First of all, this is a VERY generous size bag of crackers. Seriously it took me days and days to get through! My fiance was pretty put-off by the fact that these crackers "looked like maggots" but hey- i thought they looked pretty tasty! These crackers have a very light, yet crunchy consistency with a very slight soy sauce and red pepper flavor. They have a bit of spice to them, but it's not overwhelming at all.

Calbee: Soy Sauce Potato Crisps
I brought these crisps to work with me so my coworkers and I could try them together. These chips look exactly like thick cut french fries. The only difference is these are crunchy like chips. They do give a bit of a "stale french fry" vibe at first, but everyone agreed that once you start eating these, you really can't stop! The Butter Soy Sauce flavor was actually really tasty even though it sounded a little off-putting to me. I was a big fan of these!

Gilco: Pocky Tsubu Tsubu (Strawberry)
Ahh Pocky. One of the most popular Japanese snacks there ever was. You can get classic Pocky in almost every store that sells food- and even in some that don't! I mean...you can get Pocky in Walmart, folks. I have tried lots of different varieties of Pocky, but never the strawberry kind! These are little shortbread-type cracker sticks that are dipped in different types of chocolate- this one being a strawberry yogurt type. I found these to taste EXACTLY like the Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bars, which are a favorite of mine. Because of that fact, I ended up eating this entire thing within one day at work. I just couldn't stop!

Kasugai: Fruit Gummy Assortment
These individually packaged round-shaped gummies are actually insanely common in Japan and China. I think they must be pretty popular consdering how may companies make their own versions. This was a very generous sized package of Strawberry, Mango and Lychee flavored gummies. The kids at work were all more than willing to help me try these out! These gummies are soft, not sticky like a typical fruit snack. The consensus was that the strawberry was the best flavor, an the Lychee was the worst. I heard repeatedly that the Lychee gummy tasted like "perfume" which I have to agree that it sort of did! The Strawberry and Mango flavors were both really tasty, though!
Uha: Cola Puccho
These are little taffy-like candies with a...surprise inside. They are cola flavored, and when you chew them, there is a liquid inside that bursts out and bubbles up in your mouth. They really taste exactly like a regular cola- which I'm not a fan of. I thought these were pretty gross, but there were quite a few of my coworkers that disagreed with me and thought they were delicious! I think if you like cola or the fun idea of these candies, they might be a hit with you!

Morinaga: Milk Caramels
This box contained quite a few individually wrapped soft caramel chews. They were yummy- but nothing too remarkable to speak of!
Meiji: Watapachi Cotton Candy
 This was a fun one! This brightly decorated package contained a decent hunk of watermelon-flavored Cotton Candy, which is pretty unique in itself- however there was a little surprise mixed in there: Pop Rocks! It was a bizarre, yet really fun combination with a sweet, yet pleasant flavor!

Gilco: Giant Caplico Strawberry
This was the snack I was most excited to try because of how interesting it was! I wasn't entirely sure what I was getting myself into with this, but from what I could tell it's an ice cream cone filled with aerated chocolate. The inside of the cone is filled with regular chocolate while the top was strawberry-flavored. I took a big ol' bite off the top and I was confused to say the least. I really liked the flavor, but the consistency of the chocolate kind of reminded me of candle wax. I definitely wasn't a fan of it, however I handed it over to my coworker who exclaimed, "It's chocolate! It's delicious!" and promptly wolfed down the entire thing. So hey- it may not have been my cup of tea, but she certainly enjoyed it!

Amanoya: Himearu Rice Crackers
We started with a bag of rice crackers and we're going to finish with one! These ones are much different than the first ones though- they're more traditional in terms of shape and size and have a very different flavoring on them. One of the kids at my work said, "is that a bag of chicken?" because these little crackers really do look like popcorn chicken when you take them out of the bag. Hilariously enough, the seasoning on these is very similar to a chicken seasoning! I can't really describe it, but it's really unique and quite delicious! Everyone at work loved these and we were all fighting over them until the bag was empty. Probably the fan favorite of this box overall!
Overall Thoughts
How fun is Treats Box? I loved how large the snacks were in particular! There servings were so large that I was able to share these snacks with my friends and coworkers without a problem. I love the wide variety of sweet and savory snacks as well. I think this was very well curated! I will admit that I'm a little bit biased toward Asian snacks, so I'm not sure how much I would enjoy snacks from countries outside of Asia, however I have to admit I'm completely clueless to other countries snacks for the most part! I think this is such a fun, adventurous box that would be such a blast to gift to someone of any age. The kids at work has so much fun with this as did my coworkers. I also think it's great for someone who likes to be a little more adventurous with their snacking! I love that Treats Box also offers 2 different size boxes so that it can be affordable for everyone!

If you're interested in signing up for Treats Box, you can do so HERE
You can also save 15% off your first box if you subscribe to their e-mail list! (A Pop Up will Appear shortly after you visit the site!)
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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.