Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's starting

I'm back! And something is going down in the office.

My lovely trash/recycling pile:

I still have yet to decide if this stash is impressive or horrifying.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Memebox: My Honey Box

I entered the Memebox world 2 weeks after the first Honey box sold out. I am obsessed with honey, and was beyond upset about this. I even tried buying all the items in the box on my own, but with some of small-brand South Korean products – I only found 2 of the products.

So when Memebox released its latest My Honey Box, I was so excited and ordered it in about 2.5 seconds. My box just arrived, so I haven't tried any of the products yet – but I am SO thrilled about everything in it.  :)

1. MIGABEE Antipollution RE-Peeling, 100 ml
Full size product: 100ml ($37)

Product Description: This is a pell-off type of facial pack enriched with natural ingredients renown for nourishing and brightening effects – honey, bee venom, propolis, royal jelly. It'll work to exfoliate dead skin cells, blackheads, and whiteheads and to control excess oil and sebum by maintaining the skin clean and well-balanced.

How to use: Spread the pack adequately over your face. The texture will be sticky and honey-like at first but it'll quickly start to dry off according to the skin temperature. Remove when it's completely dried off.

2. Mi Click Manuka Honey Treatment, 30 ml
Full size product: 30 ml, ($5)

Product Description: Enriched with high concentrates of honey, the Manuka Honey Treatment delivers nourishment, repairs damaged ends, and provides an intensive protein care to your dry hair. The natural manuka oil infused also works to renew damaged cuticles and restore silky gloss to your hair.

How to use: Towel-dry after shampooing. Take an adequate amount on your palms and softly massage it in throughout your hair. Rinse off after 5-10 minutes.

3. Enesti Apple & Honey Shea Butter Hand Cream, 50g
Full size product: 50g ($5)

Product Description: The heavily nourishing honey and vitamin-rich apple formula of this hand cream works to moisturize, purify, and firm up dry hands.

How to use: Apply the hand cream generously over your hands as often as possible.

4. From Nature Multi Effect Collagen Honey Mask, 1 each
Full size product: 1 each ($1)

Product Description: Containing high concentrates of real honey and collagen extracts, this nourishing Honey Mask delivers deep nutrition and improves skin elasticity by creating a protective moisture barrier over your skin. Plus, this mask is packed with over 9 different herbal ingredients for soothing and brightening up the overall complexion.

How to use: After toner application, spread the mask sheet over your face. Rest for 15-20 minutes, remove, and pat in the remaining essence for full absorbance.

5. EDMONG Honeybee Water Cream, 50 ml
Full size product: 50 ml ($29)

Product Description: Enriched with honey extracts, natural spring water, propolis extracts, aloe vera water, hyaluronic acid, and green tea extracts, this Honeybee Water Cream is a fast-absorbing moisturizer which strengthens the skin's natural restorative properties. It's free of paraben, artificial coloring, mineral oil, benzophenone, BHT, talc, etc.

How to use: At the end of your daily skincare routine, apply the cream evenly over your face and massage it into the skin for full absorbance. It can also be used as an overnight sleeping pack.

6. DAYCELL Essential Honey Lift Massage Cream 150ml
Full size product: 150ml ($20)

Product Description: This is the perfect solution for dehydrated, sagging skin. When gently patted onto the skin, the natural honey and collagen complex of the massage cream delivers deel nutrition and firms up the skin elasticity by creating a tight-knit gel network on the skin. Plus, its unique honey-like, gooey texture glides smoothly and absorbs deeply into the skin.

How to use: Take an adequate amount in your palm and massage it over your face as if patting the product into the skin. Gently roll it on the skin until everything's absorbed. Rinse off the next morning.

7. Pure Smile Snail Lip Treatment in Honey, 10g
Full size product: 10g ($5)

Product Description: Enriched with honey extracts, snail mucus extracts, grape seed oil, shea butter, and many more naturally-derived nutrients, Pure Smile's Lip Treatment moisturizes, nourishes, and protects dry, chapped lips.

How to use: Apply a small amount of the lip treatment over your lips. It's especially recommended to be used overnight for an intense lip care.

Memebox: Earth & Sea Cosmetics

I didn't purchase this box until the first spoiler (volcanic ash pack) was released. Now, I can't imagine not buying this box – because this box appears to have volumes of potential. And I'm so excited to start trying the products.

1. Tosowoong Super Aqua Cooling Gel, 80g
Full size product: 80g ($34)

Product Description: The Super Aqua Cooling Gel is an ultra-cooling cream gel that provides long-lasting freshness and comfort to the face and body. Full of minerals and nutrients from glacier waters, this gel is ideal for cooling overheated skin and relieving irritated skin, Deep sea minerals also strengthen and moisturize skin so that you can have firm and supple skin all day long.

How to use: Evenly distribute a penny sized amount onto skin and massage until fully absorbed. Use daily morning and night after toning skin.

Initial thought: I'm excited to try this, but it would freeze me out at the moment. Saving for the summer.

2. Secret Nature Volcanic Ash Pore Pack, 100g
Full size product: 100g ($36)

Product Description: Enriched with organic Jeju complex and mineral rick volcanic ash, charcoal, green tea, and pine needle extracts, this Volcanic Ash Pore Pack works wonders for controlling excess sebum and tightening enlarged pores. Plus, it's free of paraben, artificial fragrance, and artificial coloring, and suitable for all skin types.

How to use: After toner application, spread out the pack evenly over your face and rest for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Initial thought: !!! I'd been wanting to try this item for awhile, and it's value alone is worth more than the box – so I had to get it.

3. Dewytree Mineral Healthy Sun Cut Loose Powder SPF35 PA++, 10g
Full size product: 10g, ($34

Product description: Dewytree's loose powder is enriched with natural minerals and essential oil for maintaining your skin's moisture level and leaving a long-lasting silky finish to your makeup. Plus, it has a UV protection level of SPF 36 PA++ and uses an air pocket puff that does not clog the pores with powder application.

How to use: Directly pat on the air pocket over your face at the last stage of your makeup routine or in throughout the day for quick fix-ups.

Initial thought: Could be nice. Not sure if I'll be keeping this.

4. Shara Shara Black Charcoal Mask Purifying, 23g
Full size product: 23g, ($2)

Product description: Shara Shara's Black Charcoal Mask contains high concentrates of charcoal powder and volcanic ash complex for clearing your skin of dirt, impurities, and sebum clogging up your pores. It also works to soothe and protect sensitive skin with its wine and aloe vera leaf formula.

How to use: Place the mask over your face and rest for 15-20 minutes. Remove and pat in the remaining essence for full absorbance.

Initial thought: The packaging is adorable! Excited to try it out.

5. Elizavecca Elastic Pore Mask Cleansing Foam, 120ml
Full size product: 120ml ($29)

Product Description: Made from 6,000mg of charcoal, 3,000mg of collagen from pig skin, and spider extracts, the Elastic Pore Mask Cleansing Foam is a mask and a facial cleanser all in one. As weird as the combination of charcoal, collagen, and spider extracts sounds, this black mask will penetrate deep into you pores, clearing away all dead skin cells and blackheads with bubbles as fine as a spider web. A quick 5 minutes every day is all your ever need to treat enlarged pores and excess skin impurities!

How to use: Spread the Mask Cleansing Foam evenly over dry face. Then, wet it with a little bit of water and gently roll your fingers thoroughly over your face for 3-5 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Initial thought: Sold.

6. Ariul Spa Water 24 Hours Moisturizing Refreshing Mist, 100 ml
Full size product: 100ml ($18)

Product Description: Ariul SPA Water 24 Hours Moisturizing Refreshing Mist is made from pure spa water extracted straight from Belgium rich in minerals and various amino acids. The Mist works to deliver an instant replenishment into your skin, creating a moisture barrier for preventing any dehydration for all day long. It can also be used as a boosting serum for enhancing absorbance of other skincare products.

How to use: Spray the mist 30cm away from your face and gently pat it in for full absorbance. Apply after cleansing as the first stage of a skincare routine or whenever your skin feels dehydrated.

Initial thought: So excited for a backup serum booster! Boosters are the only way my skin can absorb it's new skincare routine.

Memebox: Moisture Surge

The second I saw this box, I purchased it. My face is incredibly dry and begs for moisture on a constant basis, so I figured it was meant to be. And when the box still hadn't sold out several weeks later, I thought of the nasty Kansas winters and purchased another.

After receiving the box, I'm thrilled to have it, but I'm still not sure it's 2-box worthy, but only time will tell.

1. insobeau Hiaromax Vitamin Stick
Full size products 10g ($29)

Product Description: A quick 1 second swipe of the Hiraromax Vitamin Stick along especially dry areas of your face – eye contours, mouth contour, cheeks – will instantly replenish and moisturize the skin for a brighter and suppler cpmplexion overall! Plus, the rich vitamin and hyaluronic acid formula works to cool, soothe, and even treat enlarged pores.

How to use: Appy the Hiraromax Vitamin Stick  before or after makeup application on dry areas of your face.

Initial thought: I questioned this product the most, so naturally it was the first product I had to use. It's like a giant chapstick that you use on your face and body. And placing it on my dry face was instant relief. That said, it's only been 10 minutes and my skin feels dry again. Hopefully it will do better on my dry, winter elbows in several months.

2. Wish Forumla Premium Ampoule Mask
Full size product: 1 each ($14)

Product Description: This miracle PremiumcAmpoule Mask improves the skin's natural recovery power while it also works to combat wrinkles and deeply nourishes the skin, leaving it moist, supple and radiant.

How to use: Place the mask sheet evenly over your face. Rest for 15-20 minutes, remove, and pat in the remaining essence for full absorbance. 

Initial thought: Loved it! My skin felt so incredibly hydrated after using this mask. And the mask's scent is rather delightful.

3. original raw Deluxe Kit ver 3.0 30 ml X 3ea
Full size product: 30ml x 3 each ($60)

Black Bubble
Product Description: Made from all naturally derived cleansing complex, the Black Bubble boosts its auto-bubble system which works when the oxygen transmitter from its formula meets the air and automatically transforms into fine minute bubbles for cleansing deep into and throughout your face.

How to use: Take a dime-size amount of the Black Bubble and spread it evenly over your face. Wait for 5 seconds until it starts to create bubbles. Then, gently massage it onto your face and rinse off with warm water.

Chan-mool Patting Essence
Product Description: Tangly and jelly-like textured, this Chan-mool Patting Essence relieves, moisturizes, brightens and tightens up the skin all in one, by creating a protective moisture barrier.

How to use: Apply the essence in the place of a toner and pat in a generous amount onto the skin.

Water Block Black Jam
Product Description: The black component extracted from plants and the super hyaluronic acid combine together to create a moisture wall over your skin. A single application will last you up to 48 hours without any further re-hydration.

How to use: After Patting Essence application, take a small amount of the Black Jam and spread it evenly over your face. It can also be used as an overnight pack when applied thickly.

Initial thought: This spoiler item, is what got me to buy the second box. I'm really excited to try these items.

4. ROSEMOON RICH 53% Collagen Smart Balm 50 ml
Full size product: 50 ml ($47)

Product Description: This Collagen Smart Balm is a nourishing facial cream for deeply hydrating the skin and strengthening the skin's innate strength and functions. Experience super soft, moist and well-protected skin the next morning with this collagen-rich formula.

How to use: At the very last stage of your skincare routine, spread the Collagen Smart Balm evenly over your face and pat it in for full absorbance.

Initial thought: I'm excited to have a back-up finisher on hand. And this one sounds really nice. Can never go wrong with collagen.

5. imface Vio-Xellose Neck Patch, 10 ml
Full size products: 10 ml ($5)

Product Description: Naturally-derived coconut jelly texture, imface's special Botanical Wrinkle Complex extracts and adenosine complex all work to treat signs of aging along your neckline. This product is free or paraben, benzophenone, sulfate, artificial pigment, and artificial fragrance.

How to use: Wash and cleanse the neck first. Spread the neck patch evenly over your neck and rest for 20-30 minutes. Peel away the patch and massage in the remaining essence to maximize its effect.

Initial thought: I love sheet masks (well, really all masks), but I've never used a neck mask before. I'm excited to give it a try.

6. Dermahouse Aloe Vera Moisture Mist, 120 ml
Full size product: 120 ml ($14)

Product Description: It's a moisture splurge for all those super dry and sensitive skin out there! Whether your face is overwhelmed from excessive exposure to sun or dry and irritated from an exhausting day, Dermahouse's Aloe Vera Mist delivers an instant replenishing and soothing effect with just a single spritz! Experience softer, healthier, and more radiant skin.

How to use: Spray the mist evenly over your face whenever and wherever necessary.

Initial thought: More aloe vera?!?! It will be nice for the summer, but I was hoping this box would be moisturizing tools to use in the brutal winter months ahead.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Memebox: OMG 2

OMG boxes are meant to showcase all the wacky skincare products that South Korean skincare can offer. When I entered the world of Korean skincare, I entered a world of bee venom, snail slime and possibly even bird poop. 

I bought the first OMG to be startled and open up my skincare portfolio, but OMG 1 left a lot to be desired. OMG 2 stepped up the game some. But hopefully future OMG boxes have more of a shock value.

The box...

The products...

1. Cristallin Cellulose Mask

Product Description: These concentrated cellulose sheet masks encourage the skin's natural recovery function by providing a rich infusion of nutrition to help improve skin's clarity and elasticity. Plus, the jellylike texture feels like an octopus wrapped around your face.

How to use: After cleansing the skin, adjust the mask onto the face for a snug fit. Wait 15 minutes. Remove. Do not rinse.

Initial thought: I cannot get past the octopus comment. WTF OMG writers. (10 minutes later) I finally got past the comment enough to give this mask a try, and I didn't like it. The mask is thicker, which I found made it more difficult to conform to my face and it kept slipping off. My face does feel smooth, but I can get similar results with less annoying masks.

2. Ladykin Vanpir Dark Repair Cream

Product Description: The Vanpir Dark Repair Cream is a clinically proven skin brightener that restores luminosity, corrects weak moisture barriers, and protects skin from future discolorations. This moisturizer with melanin-inhibiting green tea extracts visibly helps to diminish dark spots and discolorations while restoring clarity and brightness to dull, uneven skin. It also has anti-aging properties to enhance the look of skin by reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

How to use: Apply a dime-sized amount all over the face avoiding the eye and mouth areas. Use morning and night.

Initial thought: Vampires?!?! Yes!!! But seriously, I am sold on this stuff. After only three days of using it, I received a compliment about how great my skin looked. I have splotchy red patches on my cheeks, and it took it away after the first use. I can only use this cream at night though, because it is thicker and takes a good while to absorb.

3. Milky Dress Bohr-effect Carboxy Gel

Product Description: Turn back the clock with the Bohr-effect Carboxy Gel! This 2-step facial mask cleans deep down into pores to extract pre-clogging bacteria, and firms and tightens sagging skin. The result? Facial contours appear sculpted and newly defined, lines and wrinkles looks nicely smoothed, and skin is moisturized to perfection. Over time, skin's strength, resiliancy, and volume appear renewed and you'll see a remarkably younger, revitalized look.

How to use: Apply the gel mask onto a cleansed face. Massage a generous amount all over cheeks, forehead, and chin. Place the 100% naturally made Korean paper mask over the face. Later on a second layer of the gel mask over the sheet mask. Leave on for 10 to 20 minutes. Remove. Rinse with tepid water.

Initial thought: OMG that's a lot of steps. Although, I do like things that help unclogged my pores, so I'll definitely be giving it a try.

4. Priori Aroma Ac Moisture Gel Mist

Product Description: Enriched with bee venom, propolis, sophora roots, balloon flower roots, and Multi EX Magnotics, the Aroma AC Moisture Gel Mist helps soothe and treat skin troubles and blemishes. The lavender aroma essential oil is also infused for soothing and purifying both your skin and soul.

How to use: Spray 10 inches away from your face as often as needed throughout the day.

Initial thought: Bee venom?!?! Sold.

5. Seatree Syn-Ake Total Solution AND Seatree Syn-Ake Essence

Product description: Seatree Syn-Ake Total Solution contains youth-preserving ingredients, such as Syn-ake peptides, similar in composition to snake venom, and hylaluronic acic to help deliver targeted repair – as needed, where needed. Recommended for all skin types, ages, and ethnicities, it visibly addresses uneven skintone, lines, and wrinkles for visibly firmer, more radiant, and more supple skin.

How to use: Total Solution, After cleansing and toning the skin, apply a dime-sized amount to the face and massage. Essence, Cleanser and tone skin. Soak a cotton page with Essence and gently wipe all over the skin.

Initial thought: I was under the impression I was receiving both, but I only received the essence. Essence would be my first pick among the two though, so it will definitely get used.

6. Hauren Dorothy Hauren

Product description: This volanic rock rollerball absorbs excess oil, grease and other blackhead and acne inducers just by rolling it across your skin. Made with 100% volcanic rock, this mattifier controls oil and eliminate excess sebum and shine for a fresh look and longer-lasting makeup application.

How to use: Roll the volcanic rock across the skin to absorb excess oil. Use before or after makeup.

Initial thought: If my skin wasn't dessert dry, I would be all over this. To the trade list it goes.


Want to try Memebox? Enter the code 2LZ4 for $5 off. 

Memebox: My Cute Wishlist 2 unboxing

While the items in My Cute Wishlist 2 are nowhere as cute as the items in the first Cute box, I think I'm more pleased with this box than most. Mainly because two of these items were on my wish list.  :)

The box...

The items...

1. Sally's Box Friendly Berry Berry Lip Patch

Production Description: Infused with various berry extracts rich in vitamin C, this lip mask hugs all the curves of your lips and enhance them for luscious and kissable lips. Use twice a week for deeply moisturized, smoochable lips!

How to use: Place mask onto lips for 10 to 20 minutes. Removed and pat to absorb to absorb the remaining product.

Initial thought: While I'm not a huge fan of berry, this will be a nice lip treatment for the winter.

2. It's Skin Babyface Petit Blusher (4 colors available)

Product Description: Highlight and illuminate cheekbone and complexion with this blendable blush available in an array of luminious colors. Cheeks will look radiant with a subtle glow that perfectly compliments smooth, perfected skin.

How to use: Use a powder brush or powder puff to dab on blush to the apples or cheeks for a radiant flush.

Initial thought: Once I saw this was in the box, my only thought was "please let me get the lavender one." I thought lavender blush was ridiculous until I was persuaded otherwise on a makeup forum last month. Since then, I've been stalking lavender blush like it's my job. And to my joy – the lavender shade is what I received (see, from the picture it isn't that scary). I tried this blush last night, and I'm already in love. I have issues with typical blushes because they look too extreme or fake on me, but this blush acts like a pink highlighter, giving me a glow with a slight pink tint to it. Amazing.

3. RoseMine Perfumed Hand Cream

Product Description: This protective, emollient formula uses the living energy of lily and hesperides to deeply nourish the skin, and nails, creating sublimely smooth results. This lovely scented hand cream will instantly transport you to paradise! Enriched with shea butter, rose water, argan oil, and mango seed butter, this hand cream delivers instant moisture and nutrition for healthy hands and nails.

How to use: Apply a small amount to hands and massage until fully absorbed. Apply as required throughout the day.

Initial thought: This item was also on my wish list! I'm a sucker for cute packaging and things that smell like rose. I received the scent Nana's Lily, and it has a wonderful, delicate lily scent to it. The lotion is thicker than I was expecting, but it absorbed quickly and less than a minute later my hands didn't feel sticky – so I'm considering this a major win.

4. Evas Vitamin Cleansing Dessert

Product Description: These yummy Vitamin Cleansing Desserts completely remove makeup and impurities to give you the best down-to-the-pore clean feeling! Micro bubbles penetrate deep into the pores to extract blackheads, whiteheads, and all acne-causing bacteria to give you flawless skin!

How to use: Massage gently onto wet face to remove makeup and impurities.

Initial thought: I received the chocolate version of this in my Cacao box. After one sniff, I traded it, and I'll be doing the same with this one, the berry mix. I cannot stand the smell of overly sweet things, and this smells like berry frosting to me. Sadly, I think the other two scents, lemon and red wine, would have probably worked for me too. 

5. SaintPeau Collagen Pudding Sleeping Pack

Product Description: This fun overnight facial mask is infused with 52% natural collagen to give you the look of radiant, more youthful skin. This jello-type collagen mask fills in fine lines and wrinkles and delivers deep and intense nourishment to the skin to help slow down the signs of aging.

How to use: After cleansing and toning the skin, massage a generous amount of the facial mask to the face. Leave on. Sleep. Wash off the next morning.

Initial thought: Confusion as to why this is in a cute box. I get that pigs are cute, but there's many cuter piggy packaging out there. That said, I'm getting ready to pack the sleeping pack I got in my Cooling Care box away for the fall/winter, so this one is a welcome surprise.

6. The YEON Style Y fruity Swirl Lip Balm

Product Description: This deep-sinking, conditioning lip balm melts across your lips for a dewy, kissable pout. Jojoba oil moisturizes and locks in hydration,and the non-greasy, never-sticky formula has a juicy flavor and hue that flatters every smirk.

How to use: Rub on lip balm onto clean lips for best results.

Initial thought: Ehhh. I have so many lip balms. Not interested in giving this one a try right now.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A rainbow birthday party

Disclaimer: Yes, I know Audrey turned two in January, and yes I know it's August and I'm just now writing about it. I will milk my heart condition for all it's worth on this one.  :)

Up until a month before Audrey's birthday party, I was set on throwing her a nautical party. Then my grandpa died. While I sat with him at hospice, I decided we needed a rainbow. And with that, it clicked.

I've always loved rainbows.

Exhibit A: Audrey's Halloween costume from last year, made by yours truly with some wine-courage in me.

And with that, I had invitation-inspiration:

While I had lots of decor debates with Audrey's penguin birthday, this theme just fell together for me perfectly. It was truly meant to be. And her party was a great success.

My favorite overview. Those circle paper streamers were quite the project, but totally worth it. Thank you Martha Stewart paper punch.

The food (mini pig-in-a-blankets, veggie and beef pinwheels, rainbow fruit salad, cheesy potatoes, pasta salad and orzo salad):

Menu labels are easily my favorite thing to design! They are simple to make and go a long way visually.

These water bottle labels didn't stay on as well as last times, but it was still a fun decor visual.

I found these adorable rainbow cups at Oriental Trading company. Fun for the kids, and spill-free for me.

For dessert there were lemon, strawberry and chocolate cupcakes, cake pops, and sugar cookies.

 Favor table – Aside from the rainbow cups, each child got a rainbow sucker and wand.

I debated about not making the rainbow wands because, well, they sounded annoying to make, but they were a huge success and the kids loved them.

Paper streamers hanging from the kitchen chandelier.

I make family books each year on Blurb, and I thought doing a "birthday guest book" spread would be a fun idea.

And of course, my birthday girl. Also, I've decided, I'm making a tissue paper number every year for her to stand next to on her birthday – I just love these too much.