It’s Throwback Thursday and while I’d like to be humblebragging and self-humanizing on social media like most sane people today, I’m a kbeauty junkie and that means *surprisingly loud knuckle crack* BLOG POST. Aww yeah.
Two moments of fan-b history inform this post.
The first moment would be my unboxing of Global Memebox 19 in February 2015. At that time, with a disappointing box soaked thanks to a broken glass toner bottle and sad heart due to Memebox’s announcement in early 2015 that they would only be shipping to the U.S., I wrote “It’s not a breakup, it’s a break (I hope)” and stopped buying boxes.
6 1/2 months or 196 days later, the break is over.
That Shara Shara is the brand to lure me back to boxes might come as a shock if you’ve been following this blog for awhile. The reason?
Well, Shara Shara makes a mega creepy fairy sun cream and it ended up in the My Cute Wishlist 3 Memebox last fall, to my great horror.
I thought that Shara Shara would never recover in the eyes of international fans on account of being associated with a demonic figurine, but reviews for the various bomb ampoules (honey, berry, and aqua) have been very favorable since they were curated by Glow Recipe, so Shara Shara is back in business and they seem to have overcome The Doll Incident of 2014.
So much so that I finally passed the demented doll along to a fellow lover of weird and skincare and went heart-eyes when I saw that Memebox was offering a Shara Shara brand box (now sold out) that included either a honey or berry bomb.
Now, I’m still terrified of owning a lot of stuff, but I’m also cheap (in part because I’m trying to stick to buying the stuff I review, whenever possible, due to laziness and distinguished professor-level email correspondence skills), so the tipping point was the price. The box cost $33 shipped, but I had a code for 15% off (WELCOME), which brought the whole thing down to $28.05. It would be pretty difficult to buy just a Shara Shara bomb ampoule for that price, let alone get some other potentially interesting stuff with it. I was in. U.S. shipping, free shipping, and coupon codes get me excited, what can I say, I’m a basic af kbeauty addict when it comes down to it.
A First Hurdle
Upon opening my box a wonderful smell greeted me.
Wait. That’s not good. Either one of the products was so loaded with fragrance that it penetrated plastic or there was a…
Well, shiz. That’s an unintended callback to my final global Memebox! My cleansing sherbet melted, as sherbet cleansers tend to do in summer and when traveling, no shock there, really–the same thing happened to me while going back and forth to Berlin in 2014 and 2015.
I wasn’t too stressed about this–I just logged into the Memebox Help Center or Desk or whatever it’s called and filled out a contact form, attached a bunch of clear photos showing the box damage and the inside of the jar, and asked for a small amount of shop credit rather than a new product since I reviewed 15 oil cleansers a few months ago and will be working through the test bottles and jars for the rest of my life.
Memebox got back to me within 2 hours (I contacted them during the California work day) and deposited 10 Memepoints (each equal to $1) in my account. Umm, that was dead easy and totally awesome. Given that points can be used in conjunction with a coupon code this means that I’m going to shop HARD at Memebox soon.
So far, massive upgrade from Memebox Global yaaaas!
Berry Berry Waterful Cleansing Sherbet | Full-Size 75ml ($16)
Ingredients: Mineral Oil, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, PEG-12 Isostearate, Polyethylene, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Water, Butylene Glycol, CI 14700, Fragrance, CI 17200. CosDNA Analysis.
As I mentioned, I tested 15 first-step cleansers earlier this year, so uhh I feel pretty comfortable evaluating this quickly. lol
This is most similar to Banila Co’s famous Clean It Zero except it smells fruity and delicious and the jar is not as well designed (hence the leak). I quickly tested each balm on different sides of my face and found them to be almost indistinguishable aside from Shara Shara’s yum smell and maybe?? less meltiness from the Banila Co (meltiness is next to godliness in balm cleansers imo).
Here are the ingredients, side by side. Keep in mind that ingredient order really doesn’t tell us much in kbeauty since a difference in U.S. and Korean regulations results in Korean ingredient lists that don’t read exactly from highest concentration ingredient to lowest; for more information on that see my explanatory post.
|Shara Shara Berry Berry Waterful Cleansing Sherbet||Banila Co. Clean It Zero|
PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate
Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil
Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil
Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract
Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract
Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract
Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract
PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate
Rubus Suavissimus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract
Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Extract
Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract
Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Leaf Extract
Angelica Polymorpha Sinesis Root Extract
Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract
Malpighia Glabra (Acerola) Fruit Extract
Epilobium Angustifolium Leaf Extract
Aside from the leakage issue, I like this better than the Banila Co Clean It Zero on account of the superior (to me) smell and slightly better melt.
That said, I don’t love balm cleansers and I find the polyethylene in them a bit sketch; for more info see my 15-cleanser review. Polyethylene is the stuff in skincare microbeads that caused them to be banned, so I’m not totally sure that this is different aside from the fact that it’s mixed into the balm in a less visible way.
I prefer regular oil cleansers for a few reasons, but this seems like a good product in relation to other balm cleansers.
Kissing Sugar Lip Scrub | Full-Size 10g ($8)
Ingredients: Black Strap Powder, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Mica, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polybutene, Mineral Oil, Microcrystalline Wax, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Ceresin, Petrolatum, Sorbitan Olivate, Octocrylene, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Fragrance, BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Shell Powder, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Honey Extract, Water, Ethylhexylglycerin, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol. (from All of Cosmetics) CosDNA analysis.
I received this lip scrub some time ago in a Memebox and I struggled to remember why I didn’t like it.
Upon taking off the lid, I was hit with a gloriously warm and delicious vanilla scent.
The sugar and walnut granules seemed a bit harsh for my taste, but not completely awful.
And then I felt the texture when I attempted to remove the scrub. Urgh. Disgusting. It was like slathering my hand in super Crisco.
It just feels awful. This is getting the boot. If you want a good lip treatment check out Pure Smile’s Snail Lip Treatment.
Black Source Eye Sunglass | Full-Size 8g ($3)
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Panthenol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Allantoin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Psidium Guajava Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Litchi Chinensis Fruit Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Adenosine, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance. CosDNA analysis.
As you can see from my Instagram sheet mask selfie, I had a lot of fun with this mask. The essence was plentiful, but not drippy. The “sunglass frames” were cozy and felt nice. The mask stayed nicely hydrated and plumped my undereye lines nicely.
Aside from being mad cute, the sunglasses were actually really good for my skin because I could hydrate my eye area while hitting my jawline/jawcurve and cheeks (my hormonal acne trouble zones) with a good strong dose of BHA at the same time. I used to wonder why people would use masks like this for any reason other than cute selfies, but protecting my delicate eye skin and getting a strong dose of the acid that keeps my skin in line totally paid off. I sometimes have dryness that accentuates my eye smile lines (I’m a happy bunny most of the time!) and patches of irritation thanks to traveling chemical exfoliants, my skin is all smooth and happy today.
Honey Bomb All in One Ampoule | Full-Size 250ml ($30)
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Diglycerin, Betaine, Pentylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-51, Piper Methysticum Leaf/Root/Stem Extract, Phellinus Linteus Extract, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Honey Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Propolis Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Pueraria Thunbergiana Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Bambusa Vulgaris Water, Hamamelis Virginiana Flower Water, Soluble Collagen, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA, Caramel, Sodium Polyacrylate, PVM/MA Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, Acacia Senegal Gum, Folic Acid, Ceramide 3, Cholesterol, Raffinose, Tromethamine, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol. (list copied from Glow Recipe’s product page with minor edits by me) CosDNA analysis.
These Shara Shara ampoule bombs have been making waves in the international Asian Beauty fan community (god, that sounds nerdy) after Glow Recipe stocked them. I was curious. My main question was…
How the hell does one use 250ml of product before it expires?!?? I opened this yesterday and I’m already sweating bullets because I see that it expires 12 months after opening, which means, damn, I need to SLATHER this on. This ampoule can apparently take the place of a toner, essence/serum, and moisturizer. As in, you can put on this one product and it will cover all three steps. hmm
Real talk: my first impression is “why are we so hype over this”? I look at this ingredient list and think “sheet mask essence concentrated into something between a liquid and gel with caramel added for color along with a cocktail of nice extracts”. That’s most skincare, to be honest, but I’m not here for most skincare.
I’m testing this carefully because:
- my skin does not love anything that’s convenient or all-in-one. It’s oily, so it thrives when there are multiple steps that build moisture layers; one-shot products tend to end up a heavy mess on the surface of my skin.
- I have a tendency to over apply product, which results in some stickiness and shine on my skin.
- the smell doesn’t blow me away. 20% of the smell is honey, which is nice, but the remaining 80% seems like…chemicals? Not in a bad way, but it’s just not love-inducing. If faced with the choice between applying this or something stupidly yummy like Aromatica’s Rose Absolute First Serum…yeah, everything is coming up roses.
All that said, my skin seems to have liked this today and it remained dewy even in places where I often have some dryness. I’m thinking that I’ll attempt to use this as a moisture booster–but sparingly. And maybe slather it on my legs or something in the winter to somehow work through the 250ml (gulp).
While looking at info about this product I found this interesting note on the Glow Recipe website product page:
Given that Memebox seems to only be selling the Berry Bomb at the moment (and the Glow Recipe Berry Bomb product page doesn’t mention being the sole U.S. distributor), I’m guessing that this may be the reason you can’t find the Honey Bomb for sale at Memebox now (and the reason most people got Honey Bombs in their Shara Shara boxes–Memebox likely needed to dump a shitton of otherwise unsellable Honey Bombs). So, yeah, if you want this and don’t feel like buying it from Korea, it looks like Glow Recipe is the spot to get it.
I’m on the fence about the Honey Bomb, but I’ll keep testing and report back on my Instagram and Snapchat (username for both: fanserviced).
Water Girl’s Ice Cream | Full-Size 50ml ($18)
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Glycereth-26, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Panthenol, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cetearyl Olivate, Dimethicone, Sorbitan Olivate, Tromethamine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carbomer, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Polyacrylate-13, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Isostearate, Benzophenone-5, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, CI 42090, Fragrance. CosDNA analysis.
Creams always freak me out a bit because they can offer such a fine array of ways to make one’s skin die, but this actually looks fab for grouchy skin like mine. Butylene Glycol and Dimethicone rate 1 out of 5 (5 being most dangerous) as potential acne triggers and Carbomer rates 1 out of 5 as a potential irritant. That’s it. Rock on.
This product has a really interesting smell–it’s somehow spicy and cool. I have no idea how that’s achieved, but it’s a fascinating scent. Not a scent I’d associate with nature, but it’s also not displeasing. It may be a natural scent, but made of 15 things from nature all mixed together in a strange way. Clearly my mind is blown–and I kind of like that.
The texture is similarly interesting–it’s a gel-cream that ends up clear once you rub in the right amount. The ingredients are pretty standard for a cream like this, but the ingredients for my favorite cream ever (SN Plant Stem Cell Cream) are also pretty ordinary once you look past the plant stem cell culture and its fabulous for my skin. Ultimately a cream just needs to be…good at what you want it to do, dumb and obvious as that sounds.
The Water Girl’s Ice Cream felt quite moisturizing when I wore it today over the Honey Bomb, but that may have been the result of combining two serious moisturizers. I’m surprised by the few skin triggers, smell, and feel of this cream, so I think I’ll keep using it when the mood strikes and report back on my Instagram and Snapchat (username for both: fanserviced).
Are we back together for good?
I consider this a damn fine Memebox and I thought that the customer service resolution of my product issue was ideal.
Do I plan on buying many boxes in the future? Absolutely not–I just don’t need that many products that I don’t select myself (even when I buy my own products I end up cutting them hard and fast from my collection).
Can I see myself buying another box sometime in the next six months? Sure, and especially if they did a, say, Re:cipe brand box or something like that.
If this box is any indication, Memebox has a few things that are still very…Memebox, both good and meh, but I think that the direction extremely promising and I can especially see why people new to kbeauty would love the boxes–much as I did one year ago.
The Shara Shara Memebox is currently sold out, but there are Shara Shara products (including some of these) available at Memebox for individual purchase. If you’re new to Memebox you can follow this link to save 20% off your first purchase of $25 or more.
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