When my Global 19 Memebox, more recently dubbed the January Box, arrived at my office something seemed off. The box lacked its usual structural integrity. When I opened the bubble wrap envelope I found that the box was soaked thanks to a broken [glass] bottle of toner. Gwen, CS expert, handled my broken toner claim and credited my account 5 Memepoints with just about zero stress on my part.
I thought about skipping this toner-soaked review, but I wanted to take this chance to explain my upcoming Memebox hiatus and reflect back on the Memebox Global era. I’ll try to fight the urge to get more metaphorical than a high school student who has just discovered the use of symbolism in The Great Gatsby, but I can’t promise anything. This soaked, broken box pretty much sums up my feelings about Memebox right now.
Just a few weeks ago Memebox sent an end-of-Friday-business message to customers outside of the U.S. explaining that Memebox Global was becoming Memebox USA and would therefore no longer be shipping to them. 10 February at midnight international orders ended.
The cessation of international Memebox orders happened before–last spring–but this shift is very different. Whereas in the past Memebox Global still shipped from Korea and continued to ship to Canada and Japan, this break involves a name change (Memebox Global –> Memebox USA), change of shipping location (Korea –> California), and no exceptions to the U.S.-only shipping rule. It truly seems that, at least at this moment, Memebox is going to try to become more American and isolationist than nineteenth-century presidents whose names only my husband remembers. Congrats on becoming the James Monroe of the kbeauty world, Memebox USA.
Memebox Global was a company that sent boxes of Korean skincare and makeup products to customers around the world. It stopped shipping to international customers in February 2015. Since February 2015, Memebox has operated from California under the name Memebox USA, where it still sends boxes of Korean skincare to customers in the U.S.
Global Memebox 19 /January Box Info Card
The Choute Aurora Pearl Base 30ml, $18
I feel like I’ve received about three or four different version of this type of product in Memeboxes–yet another sign I need some time off.
I don’t love adding anything to my face that makes it lighter and the pearlescent finish is usually fine, but it can make my bb cream finish feel absolutely disgusting, especially after a long day at work. Blech.
This isn’t a bad product–I just really don’t want to wear it.
Secret Nature Moringa Seed Toner 130ml, $31
This is a toner that’s supposed to clarify and hydrate skin. In this case, it clarified my info card and hydrated my box and the other products.
A glass bottle of toner, sent in January/February from a freezing-ass cold country to another freezing-ass cold country without a protective bubble wrapping to cushion the many blows–yeah, I can see why this broke.
Pureplus+ Acai Berry Magic Bubble Cleansing Foam 80ml, $12
Pureplus+, a brand that makes low priced drugstore-level products, makes a foaming cleanser and it ended up in my Memebox. Oh boy, this is going to be good. I wonder what the pH is like…
10. Are you freaking kidding me? Like…I feel like it takes extra hard work for a cleanser to be that awful for your skin. (For information why pH matters see this post from Skin&Tonics.) Disgusting. I wouldn’t even use this on my hands.
Also–$12? In what universe? I feel like the ridiculous $29 bejeweled Beauty Blender holder is less ludicrous than $12 for this cleanser. jfc
Mimi Lauryne’s Beauty Lesson Hand Cream 50ml in Rose Fleur, $17
This hand cream just honestly does not do it for me. From the “grandma’s favorite gift shop” lotion smell to the weakass formulation that does dry fairly quickly, but doesn’t provide much lasting moisture, this hand cream is not up to code.
I’m a super fan of the Enesti hand cream from another Memebox (My Honey) and I happen to have a bunch of different Enesti hand creams arriving from Avecko tomorrow, so there’s no way this is escaping the trash. I don’t even want to try to give this away–I like the people I know too much to stick them with this when there are so many good hand creams out there.
Esthetic House Vitamin 3000 Vitamin C Vita-Cream Capsule Cream 30ml, $24
So this is supposed to use capsule technology to delivery pure vitamin c to one’s skin.
Umm…why not just…deliver pure vitamin c to one’s skin by dropping some onto it? OST 20 and 21.5 exist. They use a stated amount of Vitamin C. This? No idea. From what I can tell it has tons of vita in its name, but it gives me no life.
Syndrome Cosmetic Pouch Samples: CB Revitalizing Fermentation Essence 1g x 2 and CB Cream Gold 1g x 2
Pouch samples. I just can’t.
The Revitalizing Fermentation Essence was thicker than I expected. One use revealed nothing special or awful about it.
The CB Cream Gold was an absolute nightmare for me. As I mentioned, I’m not looking to get any pastier.
This thick, greasepaint-like cream was bright white and basically turned my skin into a reflecting board and settled into my fine lines. Yikes.
The End of the Memebox Global Era
The broken toner was the best part of this box and without it, the whole is as incomplete and uninteresting as Memelife without the international Memebox fan community. And yet–even an intact bottle of toner wouldn’t have been enough to overcome the “meh-ness” of this box. I’m trying to find the best products out there, not accumulate more junk that I don’t want to use.
I’m just not certain that the current incarnation of Memebox is going to help get me to the kbeauty promised land and until I am, I’m out. This decision is motivated in part by work demands and the fact that I’ll be out of the country for half of the next six weeks, making receiving shipments harder, but in this case work seems like a good excuse to take a break from a relationship that has grown increasingly one-sided.
I don’t regret the time I spent hooked on Memeboxes; they were perfect for me as I was building a collection after a decade of higher education-related student poverty. In my early days, most of the boxes tended to be hits and I was able to quickly amass a huge collection of really good products.
As time went on I still found great products, but owning so many things made me unhappy, and the treasures were fewer and farther in between. The move to a US-only Memebox is something that I expected, but it wasn’t welcome news at all.
What made Memebox Global great wasn’t just the products and value, but the experience of being part of an enormous and passionate community of people all receiving and discussing the same products at the same time. It was never just about the products–it was about connection. To pull the plug on that one Friday evening at 6 p.m. doesn’t sit right with me. Sure, businesses can make decisions and they need to look after their own interests, but I also get to do that.
For some customers, Memebox may still offer a useful service and value. Right now, I’m not one of those people.
In a kbeauty landscape that’s increasingly rich and available to fans, Memebox USA is just another new kid on the block. Nothing I’ve seen so far from the US boxes has inspired FOMO (fear of missing out) in me. Until that changes (and I do want it to–but I’m not going to be the bitch who comes crawling back for anything less than consistent amazingness) consider us on a break, Memebox USA.
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