For most Memebox reviews I attempt to critique the products and assign them values I would willingly pay to keep the items I like in my collection. Spoiler alert: this review is a bit different from most. After laughing at the idea of a Whole Grain box, I ended up loving this one best of all that I’ve received, crazy, I know. This turned out to be the perfect box: packed with full-size products, all of which I have or will actually use, stated values that seem to be in the ballpark of what I’d pay to keep them in my collection, and a value far beyond the $23 retail price. Best of all: I won this in a giveaway hosted by Karen from Unpack the Box and Memebox waaah! I worried that I might just like freebies (my second favorite box is From Nature, which was sent to me by Memebox to review), but after trying almost everything I’m pretty damn delighted with this one. It treats everything from eyes to feet and hands–it has great balance and variety.
I’m typing this review into my iPhone on the subway, on my way home from work, and I can’t wait to get home and use some of the products again. Yessss.
So here’s my ode to Whole Grain. In case you missed or loved this box, Memebox announced Whole Grain 2. I see now that this theme offers a lot of possibilities (including fermented products), so I’m thinking that it’s going to be another winner.
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 full-size Korean products, with most of the products focused on a stated theme.
Info Card 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 info card (click to enlarge).
Grinif Nature Oatmeal Scrub Bar 130g ($9)
I guess this was supposed to be face soap, but I’ve been avoiding bar soap for pH and sanitary reasons, so my husband and I are using this as body soap. We both like it–there’s grit in the bar that gives it some exfoliating power and it’s not super scented. It’s a heavy, big, cold-cookie-dough-like brick of soap, so the value seems legit to me.
Herbclinic Rice Bran Powder 80g ($8)
I mixed this mask powder with Benton’s Aloe Propolis gel, as suggested in a Memebox Facebook spoiler. I wasn’t impressed with it as a pack mask–the smell was very, uh, natural. BUT when I was washing the dried mask off my skin I used it to exfoliate. The particles were tiny and felt good–kind of like a cat licking my whole face. I woke up in the morning to unimaginably soft skin with a texture that I’d describe as fine. I’m going to use this as a gentle scrub from now on. I suspect that a heat therapy oatmeal mask (see below) followed by a rice bran scrub would leave skin totally soft and smooth.
Purebess Galactomyces 100% 50ml ($15)
I’m delighted with this first essence. It’s made out of similar fermentation extracts as SK-II and Missha’s Time Revolution. Much like IOPE’s Bio Conditioning, this sinks into my skin crazily fast and makes it thirsty for the next step in my routine. There’s no smell and the texture is like water except perhaps thinner, if that even makes sense. This is a super win for me. Between this, the Centella Asiatica ampoule from Oil & Trouble 2, and the Global #13 fermented soy lumpoule (lol) my skin is glowing and hydrated these days.
Purebess Galactomyces 80 Eye Cream 50ml ($20)
I have received…at least four eye creams since entering the Memeverse. I’ve never used eye creams before, to be honest. Having acne as an adult meant that most of my skincare investment went into treating and covering my skin. Now that I’m exposed to Memebox I am trying a greater variety of products. This eye cream is in the top two eye creams that I’ve received and it may be the best–testing will tell. I prefer eye creams that are thick and sink into my skin quickly–this one sinks right in, but manages to keep my eye area noticeably hydrated for a very long time. This eye cream has no distinct smell. What I like about this is that when I wake up after using it I can tell that I’ve moisturized my eye skin–it’s incredibly soft and dewy, but not oily at all and it doesn’t seem like the cream is sitting on the surface of my skin. This is important because I’m testing various solutions for covering dark circles without ending up with wrinkle-induced undereye lines of makeup; a cream that’s not sinking in will work against even the best undereye concealer and actually make one look older rather than younger and more awake. This one helps with that problem.
Anti-Stress Heat Therapy Mask Oatmeal 150ml ($12)
This mask comes out of the tube a bit like foamy yeast mixed with water and sugar and looks like donut glaze when applied. I slapped it on my face and it temporarily warmed my skin. Ok, that’s cool, but so what? Well, the so what is that this mask softened a whole bunch of dead skin that was otherwise clinging to my face (I’m using a retinol prescription medication for my troubled skin these days, which is great but means more dead skin hanging about). After wearing this mask I rinsed it off and was able to just roll dead skin off with my hands via a nice watery massage, my preferred method of physical exfoliation. Although this mask is thick and gooey, it rinsed easily and didn’t leave behind any sort of residue. I dig it.
Purederm Rice Bran Collagen Mask 18ml x 2ea
I tried one of these paper masks a few night ago. It fit pretty well. I didn’t notice anything exceptional about the mask, but it was moisturizing in that way most budget-friendly basic masks that contain glycerin and hyaluronic acid are. Cool–consider this something like a My Beauty Diary mask: welcome, but nothing crazy.
Purederm Daily Moisturizing a Hand Mask Oatmeal, $7
This hand mask was really cool. The package contains two thick paper (and maybe coated with wax?) gloves. They’re sealed shut, so you cut them open at the wrist area to get your hand in. Inside, there’s a nice pile of rich hand cream that you can sort of squish around to cover your hand and fingers. The cool thing is that I can’t stand having my hands both out-of-use for 30 minutes, so I used just one glove on my left hand. Once I was done with the left, there was product still in the glove so I stuck it on my right hand–score! I clipped the package with the unused, uncut glove shut, so I’ll be able to get two treatments out of this. Score!
Purederm Invigorating Foot Scrub Walnut 25ml, $4
I should really use this scrub, but I need to do another round of foot peeling mask, and I’d like to use this after the peeling is done to finish things off. So I’ll save this. It looks good, but I’m concerned about sending a bunch of walnut grit down the drain–my NYC rowhouse (think Sesame Street–it’s filmed at a studio in my neighborhood) is about 100 years old and I swear the pipes are older, so…hmm.
- Whole Grain
- From Nature
- Luckybox 2
- Memebox Global 13 (the lumpoule is so awesome)
- Minibox 3
- Luckybox 1
- Memebox Global 12
- Minibox 2
- Makeup Edition
- Memebox Global 11
- Memebox Free from Oil & Troubles
- Free from Oil & Troubles 2 Superbox
- Dermocosmetics 1
- Memebox Hair & Body 2
- Dermocosmetics 2
Overall, this box was bangin’. The boxes in the “ingredient series” from early July turned out to be killer awesome. I loved this to pieces and I actually bought the Aloe Superbox with some points I won in an Instagram contest because it seems to be similarly amazing.
I also love that this box introduced me to Purebess, the company that made the galactomyces essence and eye cream. This seems to be a company that makes crazily budget-friendly versions of trendy skincare items. I actually looked into Purebess while writing this review and found that they make a snail essence that can be found on eBay for under $8 including shipping. The ingredient list isn’t as great as that of Benton, but I’m willing to trade a less impressive list of actives for more certainty that my snail slime won’t be contaminated.
For me, Memebox works in two ways: by giving me products that will add something to my routine that I didn’t have before and by introducing me to brands otherwise not on my radar. If the brands are budget-friendly or so good that I’d sell a kidney to buy them, all the better.
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