I may have to start giving out packaging awards. Cashless, satisfaction-only awards, but still. These subscription boxes keep upping the ante in the aesthetics department. I mean, just look at that Memebox!
If you've been reading subscription box or beauty blogs these past few months, you've probably come across Memebox. In case you haven't, I'll give you a short intro. Memebox (pronounced mee-mee-box) is a Korean beauty service based entirely online that just recently started shipping internationally. Its website has a virtual shop (the aptly named Memeshop) in which you can buy all manner of Korean beauty products and tools. But probably the coolest thing about Memebox is that you can sample a variety of its products through its Memebox Global packages, one of which I'm reviewing in this post.
Memeboxes are announced for preorder to email subscribers once every week or couple of weeks, after they've been curated and prepared. The contents of the boxes are a complete mystery -- all you know on signup is you'll be receiving an assortment of four to eight full-sized or deluxe sample products from the Memebox store. Each edition is numbered (for example, here I'm reviewing Memebox #7), and contains the same products, save for the occasional color, style, or fragrance variation. These "original" boxes are $23 each, to which you'll need to add a $6.99 fee for shipping and handling (you can also upgrade your shipping for an additional fee).
Aside from the original boxes, there are occasional Luckybox, Superbox, and special edition releases, too. Luckyboxes compile items from previous sold out original Memeboxes; Superboxes carry only full-sized products; and special ed. boxes are generally curated around a theme, like bath and body products or all-natural items. These are usually a little pricier than original boxes, by the way.
If you're thinking, Why Korea? I'll just say this -- Korea optimized and popularized the BB cream. You can thank it for your L'Oréal Magic Skin Beautifier, ok? Need I say more?
Really: Korea loves its beauty, skincare, and cosmetics, makes them well, and packages them beautifully (always a boxfullove bonus). For a little more info/backstory on Korean beauty products, click here, here, and especially here.
But what you really want to know is what's in the box, right? What's in the booooox?
A whole bunch of gorgeousness, that's what.
(We got really fancy with the photo shoot here, huh?)
Mise en Scène Curling Essence 2X. $10 for a full-sized 150ml tube. My deluxe sample is 30ml, or about $2.
Guys, I couldn't find this product anywhere online. It's not sold in the Memeshop, unfortunately, and furious Googling only led me to the conclusion that the Mise en Scène brand is part of the Amore Pacific parent company. I'll keep investigating. Anyway, this is a leave-in conditioner that is purported to "rejuvenate dry damaged hair," per the Memebox information card. It has a great light floral scent with musky undertones.
A quick word on the Memebox information card: Thank goodness it's included! A vast majority of the product packaging text and application details are in Korean, so there would've been a lot of interpretive dabbling and trial-and-error and funky results involved without the insert, which is mercifully printed in English.
Leaders Insolution Bio Medi-curing Mask: Aqua Dressing. $3 for one 20ml mask, so $6 total for two.
Woo masks! I haven't used these yet, but I think they are the famous Korean paper masks I've been excited to try. These are hydrating and moisturizing, and made with 100% coconut jelly (!). They are also supposed to "dramatically reduce the appearance of you [sic] wrinkles!" My budding eye crinkles and I think that sounds like a plan.
These are not sold in the Memeshop either, and were sort of difficult to track down online, so I linked you guys up to the brand's website... which is all in Korean. Feel free to exercise your right to Google Translate, and good luck.
Dr. G Bio-RTx™ Mentor Cream 5. $35 for a full-sized 50ml. My deluxe sample is 20ml, so about $14.
This is a "moisturizing & enhancing skin barrier cream for dry skin." If you ordered this box, you might have received the oily skin version (#3) or the sensitive/damaged skin version (#7) instead. My skin does the combination thing, so #5 is fine with me. I am not entirely sure what "Bio-RTx™" is all about, but if my new skincare mentor Dr. G endorses it, I'm sure it has to be good. That's Dr. G there on the right side of the box -- I wish we'd taken a bigger picture of him, because the illustration is seriously adorable. The cream itself is thick but looks water-based, and has a great fresh floral scent.
Recipe By Nature Slowganic Cleanse: Lemon, Green Tea, & Adlay. $40 for a full-sized 100g tub. I got three 10g samples, so my box is about $12.
These guys are facial cleansers, packaged adorably in little individual plastic containers just like the ones you see drawn on the box in the photo above. The fact that we didn't photograph them out of the box is an epic fail! Oh well. So the lemon and adlay (what the heck is adlay?) samples are white and soft and jiggly, and look kind of like mozzarella balls, while the green tea sample is grainy and looks almost solid, like a scrub. These are made with "organic raw materials, such as lemon extract, lime oil and herbs." The lemon cleanser is available in the Memeshop, so you can click on the "Lemon" link above to check it out; the others may exist on the Recipe By Nature site, also linked above, but I can't be sure -- enjoy Google Translating into Korean!
Catrin Natural 100 Mineral Sunkill SPF 42 in natural beige. $38 for a full-sized 12g, which is exactly what I received. Score!
This is such a cool idea: a powder sunscreen! If these exist in the US, I'm totally unaware of them; and that's fine with me, because I'm sure they're not as beautifully packaged as this guy. After you pop off the white top, you'll see a sponge pouf attached to the bottom portion of the container. Unscrew the pouf attachment, dip it into the powder below, and dust over your face. A word of caution to the non-pale: this "natural beige" goes on really, really light, so it may not work for a medium complexion. Also, I wouldn't use this in place of, say, BB cream, since doesn't really provide any coverage (not that it's supposed to). As a side note, I love the name of this product. Sunkill sounds super over-the-top hardcore. I think this powder should be applied while \m/ .
And finally, my favorite item in Memebox #7:
a;t Fantasy Holic Makeup Designer Kit in Black Tea. $23 for a full-sized kit, which is what I received.
See what I mean about packaging? This is impeccable.
The contents of my Black Tea tin:
- Three eyeliner pencils in velvet pink, blind red, and golden khaki.
- One eyeliner crayon in urban black.
- One lip and cheek crayon in rose beige.
- One set of 10 nail stickers and a small nail file.
While I probably won't ever wear the lacy, glittery-pink nail stickers (really, really not my style), I love and will definitely get lots of use out of the rest of these items. But even if I didn't, receiving this gorgeous tin with its little wooden pencils and chubby eye crayon was treat enough in itself. It's almost unbearably pretty. I love the Victorian-stamp look of the front illustration, too.
If you're curious, you can also check out the second variation of this tin, the Jaysop Herb Tea version, by clicking the product link above. The tin, pencil and crayon colors, and nail sticker design are different, and really just as great.
All totaled, the items in this box add up to $95, which is an amazing value considering the $29.99 cost of this box -- not to mention to discovery, oddity, surprise, and fun factor. I didn't really know what to expect from this box (the idea of possibly receiving cleansing cocoons, for example, kind of freaked me out), but I absolutely loved it, and --amazement!-- I'll be able to use all the included products.
Another awesome Memebox perk is that it's not really a subscription service: there are no recurring charges, so if you're not into a newly-released box, you can simply choose not to buy it. You can buy as many or as few boxes as you want -- but just be aware that they tend to sell out really quickly.
Interested in finding out more? Click here to check out the Memebox website, or click here to go straight to the curated box section. Once you creat an account, you'll get 2 Memepoints (each point = $1) to apply towards your first purchase. Through March 31, you can also use code SHIP4CHEAP to get free shipping up to $7 (thanks to Unpack the Box for the tip!).
What did you guys think about Memebox #7? Are you down to try Korean skincare and cosmetics?
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