While visiting a nature preserve as a child I once leaned into a rose to smell it and got stung by a bee, cartoon style. This shouldn’t suggest that I don’t like nature, but it does hint at the reasons I don’t trust it completely. Nature can give us magical things like the freshwater inland seas I’ll be visiting next week. It also gives us anthrax. So “nature” or “natural” aren’t necessarily selling points for me; the products themselves need to show me the best of nature to win my love.
When I first saw the From Nature Memebox I had a “meh” response. In my estimation, some of the least natural Korean products claim relationship to nature. Have you smelled Nature Republic emulsions? I swear, they’re like another layer of perfume. Plus, I’ve found that Korean products in general are close to nature, if going by the presence of snail slime and bee venom (in helpful anti-aging form). From Nature could mean any one of thousands of products.
Then I saw the contents of the box. Again, I was wary. The items looked good, especially the plant stem cell cream, but the $39 price tag scared me off, especially with the release of more mysterious boxes. I kept chasing after something unknown rather than the now unboxed From Nature.
Now having From Nature in my clutches thanks to Memebox sending it to me as a sample (whoa!!!), I realize that I’m an idiot. Trumping the boxes that I picked out, From Nature has ended up being my favorite box of all, packed with truly useful, luxurious products that have actually replaced some of my former favorites. It’s rare, I think, for a beauty box to deliver a whole lineup of hits, but here in the box I failed to pick it happened. My only regret is that I didn’t grab it myself earlier so I could share how great it is before it went out of stock.
Memebox is a subscription mystery item beauty box company minus the subscriptions. Each box may be purchased individually and the regular Memeboxes come with 4 to 8 deluxe samples and full-size Korean products, with most of the products focused on skincare. Although From Nature is called a Memebox, it’s really Superbox-style because it has full-size products.
This is a Press Sample
Total paid (box + express shipping): $0. This box was provided to me at no cost as a sample from Memebox. This is the first time fanserviced-b has accepted what is called a “press sample”–an item provided for no charge for the purpose of review. I’m generally wary of accepting press samples and sponsorship for fan-b (if anyone even cared to do so ahahahah) because I’d like to make sure that the content of the blog reflects the products and shops that I’m most excited to talk about at the moment—I’m a control freak, so the blog is supported by ads and affiliate links that pay the blog a commission rather than sponsorship. Affiliate links pay for things like the blog’s design, web hosting, some of the products that I review, and giveaways that I design (as opposed to those offered in partnership with companies). Some bloggers prefer to have sponsors, but I answer emails and make deals all day, so I kind of enjoy quietly setting the agenda for fan-b and keeping emails to a minimum ahahahaha. This policy may need to relax and tighten over time depending on the course the blog and industry take, but I’ll keep you updated on any changes and tag anything that I receive at no cost for the purpose of review as “press sample.”
The vast majority of the critical information about the Memebox products is in Korean, of course, so Memebox includes a helpful description card with each Memebox that has product and use information along with measures of size and valuation. Here’s the From Nature info card (click to enlarge).
The philosophy behind this blog is that I need to get my skincare and cosmetics supplies up-to-date after 10 years of broke studentness, but I don’t have tons of space and cash to do it, so each product is scrutinized for its value and could be immediately eliminated from my supplies if it’s not performing well (sent off in a Mommebox to my mom). With my goals in mind, here’s the fanserviced-b ratings rubric:
- Five stars: I love this product so much that I want to give it to people as gifts and discuss it all the time. I want to buy more immediately.
- Four stars: I really like this product, I’ll use it happily, and it is welcome in The Drawers for the rest of its beautifying life. I will consider buying it again in the future.
- Three stars: This product is good, but I’m hoping to find something better one day. It can stay for now and I’ll consider it under review, but I haven’t yet fully welcomed it into my heart. Given the range of great products out there, it is likely that this one will be out of The Drawers before I’ve used it all up. I doubt I’ll buy this again.
- Two stars: I have mixed feelings about this product and I’m going to send it out for a second opinion. Product: to the Mommebox (the boxes of items I’ve rejected that I’m shipping to my mom for a second opinion)! I will not buy this product again.
- One star: I actively hate this product and I wouldn’t even give it away. I consider it my life’s work to convince other people not to waste their money on this terrible product.
I’ll also assign a “value to me” for each product. This is the amount I’d be willing to pay to keep this product in my supplies; if I’m only planning to use a little bit of a so-so item, expect those values to be slashed mercilessly. When I find something really great I’ll assign the item the full value and possibly note a “+” if it’s really exceptional and makes my heart beat faster.
Let’s see how the products in From Nature fared after testing.
SN-T Goddess Cream 50ml ($19)
This is a light, watery cream–more like a thickened, clear emulsion. It smells delicious and fresh like Iope’s Plant Stem Cell Renewal cream. I’m so incredibly happy with the Goddess cream because summer is here and I need a very light moisturizer. The problem with my current moisturizer (Benton steam cream) is that my skin is oily and not dry, so adding things like propolis and special oils to my face afterwards is impossible; it creates a balm on the surface of my face that’s great for promoting healing because it functions like face neosporin, but it’s miserable to wear out and it does not play well with my bb cream, which ends up never really setting up–which I know it can do due to wearing it without moisturizer on a few occasions. I could spend the summer walking around like an oil painting. This moisturizer is light, absorbs quickly if you’re careful about not using too much, and allows for the incorporation of other active and sources of moisture.
One thing that worried me about this cream was the inclusion of rosemary oil. I’m actually a bit allergic to rosemary when I eat it–nothing terrible, just a runny nose and a small itchy patch on my tummy. I wondered if the cream would make my face itchy and miserable so I naturally smeared it all over to test it. Ha. A digression: one of the good things about having terrible skin is a feeling of “well, screw it, let’s just see how this works.” It’s nice although I’m looking forward to the day when I have reason to protect my mug.
The rosemary doesn’t seem to pose major problems. My skin feels a bit warmer than usual after I first apply it, but nothing crazy or seemingly allergy-specific. I’ll monitor the situation.
Rating: 4. This is preliminary. If I can master the moisture balance and this continues to work for my skin, it has a good chance of becoming a 5.
Value to me: $16; I’d pay $19 if it included shipping.
Dewytree Tea Tree Blemish Solution Mask 27g x 2 each ($6)
I’m really amped about tea tree oil and I’ve never tried a Dewytree mask before, so I’m excited about the inclusion of these masks. I’m in the middle of mask month right now, trying to test a pre-set lineup of masks before 1 July, so these will have to wait.
Value to me: $6. I prefer paying $2 for masks, but I have paid up to $6 each for quality masks, so $3 each seems fair.
Lanoa Natural Soap – Sulfur 100g ($17)
I just can’t with bar soap, sorry. This smells really natural and interesting, but I can’t use this on my face because bar soap pH is too high and I’m trying to do my moisture barrier right. I’m torn between using it as body soap or giving it to someone as a gift. The box is decorative and pretty. I’m tempted to keep this as a gift for someone with less pissy skin and who digs natural things.
Value to me: $5 (nice but incomplete gift)
Ramosu 100% Propolis Extract Ampoule 10ml ($20)
Ok, this is so freaking exciting. As you may know if you’ve been fangirling with me for a little bit, the most exciting thing I’ve been playing with lately are raw ingredient mix-ins from the NYC Skylake shop. Well, here’s a raw ingredient that’s hot like Greek Fire: propolis, the stuff bees collect and stuff into their hives to keep them sealed and free of fungal and bacterial growth. Opening this was insane–it involved removing a tight plastic cap, unpeeling a metal top and ring, then pulling off a rubber stopper. But hey, we need to keep those natural ingredients pure and contained. After setting my propolis free I was easily able to snap on the dispenser top that seals nicely and dispenses one drop at a time.
I really dig this extract. What I appreciate most about this is being able to control how much and what type of moisture I’m getting. I use the Goddess Cream as a base then mix in one drop of propolis and two drops of my self-designed face oil mix (I’m still testing my mix–details to come after giving it some time to show what it can do). Since my moisture situation changes, I like being able to make daily adjustments. Skincare can be creative like makeup, I think, and I love adding to my vials of active ingredients.
Value to me: $20++ I pay $5 per much smaller vial of active mix-in. This is at least four times the size of those vials, so I’m really happy with the pricing on this.
Swanicoco Cell Emotion Gommage Peeling 100 ml ($25)
This peeling formula really surprised me. I honestly don’t think that the snail part is critical because the peel stays on one’s face for such a brief period. It’s not like my skin feels snail mucin and opens up the gates to it, and it alone. What is critical is that this formulation beats my favorite gommage product, Too Cool for School’s McGirly Rice Scrub, which earned a deserved 5 out of 5 stars in a previous review. To be clear about what this product means by “gommage:” the peeling isn’t something that’s really happening to your skin–the formula balls up on itself upon hitting oil, taking just loose dead skin cells with it. This Swanicoco peeling formula smells better, balls up more effectively, and leaves my skin even softer than the Too Cool for School McGirly scrub. I’ve never had a product test better than a 5 star product on my blog before (in part because I only rarely rate something that high and fan-b is fairly new). I’m kind of in shock, but delighted that I’ve found this.
Value to me: $18. I really don’t think I could justify paying more than that for a gommage peel.
Moongkle Nutrition Intensive Repair System 25g x 2 each ($?)
I was a good lil’ blogger and attempted to test this, but I made a fatal error: I used an Etude House Silk Scarf hair treatment cap to contain my hair while letting this sink in and the essence or whatever on the cap actually rubbed into my hair, contaminating the test. That’s important to note because Silk Scarf is probably the one Korean product that I’ve tried with which I’m REALLY unhappy. The Silk Scarf formula and cap combined to basically coat my hair in a super processed-feeling something that took a few washes to get out. After having treated my hair with bleach for years I’ve been working diligently to try to get it to recover, so I get irritated when a product from a brand I trust ends up making my hair so damaged that it feels kind of sticky when wet for awhile. Urgh. So my test was really not ideal. This treatment seems fine, but not exceptional. I’m noticing that my hair is getting oily and itchy sooner than usual, which is common for just about any conditioning hair treatment I try other than conditioner. This needs more testing and Silk Scarf is getting exiled to the trash.
Value to me: $6. I’d pay about $3 per tube.
Overall Rating of Memebox From Nature: 5. So the one box that I didn’t pick ends up being the best-rated one, go figure. I can’t determine if this is due to perhaps having very specific expectations when I ordered other special theme boxes that weren’t in line with what I received, the special delight one takes in using things that were free (although that can also work against the products where they’re valued less), or perhaps the box was this rock-solid. I’m guessing some mix of all three, but mainly the fact that the products worked really well.
Overall value to me: $71. Even according to my critical assessment of value, this box is worth far more than the $39 price. The box is no longer available for sale, which is unfortunate because this is my favorite of all those that I’ve tried so far, including a few boxes that I’ve received and have yet to review.
- From Nature
- Luckybox 2
- Luckybox 1
- Makeup Edition
- Memebox Global 11
- Mini #2
- Memebox Free from Oil & Troubles
I suspect that Memebox From Nature was available for purchase for a bit after it was first sent because it was billed as a regular Memebox when it was in fact a really super Superbox.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Clicking those links before you shop means that fan-b receives a small commission, which helps to support the blog. Please see my full disclosure for more information.