Review: Wishtrend Klairs Moisture Rescue Set

Some time ago, I was contacted by Wishtrend to see if I would be willing to review their new “Moisture Rescue” kit, which was composed of several Klairs items–the Supple Preparation Facial Toner, Rich Moist Soothing Serum, Rich Moist Soothing Cream, and the Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Sheet Mask.

After jumping up and down for about five minutes (this was the first time I’ve been approached to review a product!), I immediately replied with a resounding yes. I’ve spent the last few months testing the products to give a more comprehensive review. Wishtrend sent me the set for my honest review, and I did not receive any compensation outside of the set.

Here’s a first impression of the Moisture Rescue Set. From the left: toner, serum, cream and mask. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Another view of all the items sans mask.

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My thoughts on the Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner: decent bottle, product is gooey with little to no scent. See my pictures below: SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Toner on my hand:SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Toner once rubbed in:

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Impressions of toner: it is indeed nice and hydrating and does not leave a sticky residue. It’s decent for the price, and those sensitive to fragrance will appreciate that it is pretty unscented. It’s not going to steal me away from my absolute favorite SU:M37 waterfull skin refresher, which smells divine and is super hydrating, but is a more than decent cheaper substitute.

Next up: the Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum

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Like the toner, the serum is colorless and odorless, and a smidgen thicker:

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Once it’s been rubbed in:

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Ingredients list:

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Overall impressions of serum: similar to the toner. Does what it does well, unpretentious, strikes me as a good workhorse product.

Next: the Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream

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Again: a generic, but pleasantly thick white cream that dissolves easily.

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It does a decent job hydrating, but my skin still needed more moisture than it could provide (granted, my skin is outrageously dry in wintertime.)

And finally: the Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Sheet Mask

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This is perhaps my favorite product of the set. It’s extremely calming and hydrating, and I often use it whenever I’ve irritated my skin one way or another. I purchased a set of these before, and will definitely repurchase them again.

Overall thoughts on set: The Klairs Moisture Rescue Set is decent. It’s a good value for its price, and unpretentious. It worked best for me when I tried it while traveling to Vancouver, BC in early January; however, upon returning to the Northeastern US where I live, my skin needed way more moisture than this set could provide. I also have extremely crazy-dry skin though, so Your Mileage May Vary–I have the suspicion that it would provide more than enough moisture for people with regular dry skin.

I can’t find the set any longer on the Wishtrend site, but Wishbox No. 17 contains everything in the set plus a scrub and blemish cream for $62.12–a really good value if you consider the price of each product individually. You get $5 off on any order if you sign up on Wishtrend and enter my code 193336110. (Also, note that if you purchase anything on the “free shipping” zone of the site, your entire order will ship for free.)

Would I recommend this set? Yes, I would recommend it as a good starter set for someone just starting out with Korean beauty. It’s a versatile set that seems very calming and nourishing for most types of skin, with a minimal chance of a negative reaction (my skin is very sensitive, and I did not break out at any point trying these products. Admittedly I haven’t run the ingredient lists through COSDNA though). It reminds me of the Clinique Moisture Surge line–simple and unpretentious, and not too expensive. For those after more bells and whistles though, I’d recommend something else. It’s a good staple, but won’t rock the worlds of any veterans anytime soon.

Note: Some of the links on this post are affiliate links that go into supporting the maintenance of this blog, but do not influence my opinion of the products. I’d appreciate it if you shopped with them 🙂

Memebox Anti-Aging Box: Review and Unboxing

With the passing of every year, any mention of an “anti-aging” product sounds increasingly like a siren song. It’s no surprise then that I recently purchased the Memebox Anti-Aging box. I’d also heard on various forums that Memebox generally delivers good value on their Anti-Aging boxes, so felt like I could take the plunge even though the contents of the box hadn’t been revealed yet.

First Impressions:

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Information Card:

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Item #1: Bory Wrinkle Repair Serum

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Ahh Bory, again with that seductive “for professional use only” subtitle. It’s supposed to contain EGF to enhance collagen production and Acetyl Hexa Peptide that is supposed to work like botox! Botox without the injections? Sounds a little too good to be true. These sound like pretty awesome ingredients though (additional key ingredients include Coenzyme Q-10 and Lipidure-PMD for hydration). I’m looking forward to trying this!

Item #2: Esthetic House Collagen Herb Complex Eye Cream

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Ok this is the biggest container of eye cream that I’ve ever seen. It’s 100ml, pretty much the amount you get when you purchase a regular face wash. Memebox says you can apply it around the eyes, mouth, brow area and neck–something I might do since *ahem* those areas need anti-aging help as well. Key ingredients: marine collagen, herbal complex and adenosine. I’m a little daunted by the size of this product though–it seems possible that it might never run out!

Item #3: Tosowoong Snail Natural Pure Cream

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I was pleased to see this as I’m running low on one of my favorites–the Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream–described as “the precious” by many of a K-beauty blogger. This seems like a light emulsion that would be a good replacement. I’m excited to try it. I sampled it below on my hand, and also patch tested it on my jawline–so far, so good!

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Loved the texture–it was smooth and light and disappeared immediately after rubbing it in.

Item #4: Ernesti Day to Day Pomegranate Acerola Foaming Cleanser

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Memebox seems to be sending out a lot of Ernesti foaming cleansers nowadays. I’m heavily saturated with cleansers, and much prefer oil or cream cleansers, so I’m going to sell or gift this. The Memebox description says that it dissolves makeup as well as has a “microbubble” effect for deep cleaning. Sounds promising.

Item #5: Puresmile Mask 5 Pack Box

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PureSmile has been an okay but not outstanding brand for me. I’m happy that they’ve included snail and bee venom though. I’ve been meaning to try bee venom, this will be a good introduction.

Overall: Again, as I wrote in my last post, I’m unimpressed by the number of items Memebox sent. I’m pretty happy with the variety of items though and outside of the cleanser will make good use of them. I’m especially excited by the Bory “works like Botox” wrinkle serum!

Note: Unfortunately, Memebox will no longer be shipping to countries outside of the United States, China and Korea as of mid-February 2015 (boo, Memebox!), so I’ve linked to products that are available outside of Memebox above, if I can find them. Note that some of these are affiliate links that go towards the maintenance of this blog.

Memebox Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize: Review & Unboxing

My skin has been so parched this winter–so much so that I’m regularly getting dry patches of flaking skin around my mouth everyday, despite sheet masks & heavy moisturizers–that the “Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize” Memebox was a really easy sell to me! This is a review and unboxing of the items.

First impressions:

first looks at box

Information Card:

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info card 2

Item #1: Bory Aqua Calming Cream

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I haven’t cracked it open yet, and have not been able to find much information about the Bory brand on the Internet yet. I’m intrigued by the label “professional use only,” but wonder if that’s simply there to get me excited? Memebox says that it contains aloe vera, chamomile, mineral water, oriental medicine and “propriety Multi EX BSASM” <–I have no idea what that is. It is described as “lightweight,” which makes me think that it’s probably not heavy enough for me to use currently as my skin is currently as dry as a desert. I’ll keep this for when it gets warmer.

Item #2: Bory Q-10 Moisture Eye Serum

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I’ve never used an eye serum before, only eye creams. Since it’s Korean I wondered if it were supposed to function along with a cream for a complete eye regimen. The skin under my eyes are some of the driest parts of my face, so adding an extra moisturizing step sounds really good to me. I just cracked it open this morning. The bottle is a sturdy plastic and the consistency of the lotion pretty “serum”-like, creamier than an ampoule but runnier. I’m excited to see if it’ll make any difference.

Item #3: Vella Fresh Creamy Soap

bory eye serumThis Vella Fresh Creamy Soap is supposed to be a “whipped cleanser” and sounds pretty amazing–it contains concentrated donkey’s milk, three types of honey and four types of floral extract. I’m really tempted to try this but I have so many cleansers already that I’m probably going to gift this or sell it.

Item #4: Shara Shara Lemon Honey All-In-One-Cream 

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I really loved the smell of this cream–the combination of lemon and honey is a winning combo to me! Here’s how it looks when first on my hand: SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

And when rubbed in. Doesn’t leave a sticky residue, and smells wonderful. I’m really glad I got this.

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Finally: the EChoice Floral & Shea Butter Hand Therapy in Pure LilySAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI‘ve started to collect hand creams and was pleased to receive this one–shea butter is one of my favorite ingredients and I love the scent of lilies. The fragrance of this hand cream is all right–smells more artificial than I would like–but the consistency and the overall product is fine.

Overall: I’m disappointed that Memebox no longer ships out more than 5 full size items. I’m used to receiving better value from purchasing them. I like what I’ve received, but of what I’ve tried so far nothing seems to be a Holy Grail product. They are useful though. However, if I had known the contents of the box ahead of time, I would probably not have purchased it.

Note: Unfortunately, Memebox will no longer be shipping to countries outside of the United States, China and Korea as of mid-February 2015 (boo, Memebox!), so I’ve linked to products that are available outside of Memebox above, if I can find them. Note that some of these are affiliate links that go towards the maintenance of this blog.

A Quick & Easy Post on Acids: Why, Which, How

In my forays throughout the K-beauty bloggerverse, I’ve come across some really useful posts on skin acidity which has drastically changed my individual skin regimen. Two of the most detailed and powerful pieces on this subject can be found on Skin & Tonics and Snow White and the Asian Pear’s blogs.

I’ve written this post for those who want a quick and easy guide to why acids, which acids, and how to use acids.

WHY ACIDS?

Our skin is naturally acidic, with a pH range of between 4.0-6.0, the average being 4.7. This acidic level is beneficial for our skin. The acid level stops the growth of harmful bacteria and organisms which would otherwise grow on our skin. (You can read more about the acid mantle and the moisture barrier in Skin & Tonics excellent post here).

This means that many of the cleansers that we use daily damage our skin as they disrupt the acid mantle. The majority of cleansers have a pH of 7.0 to 10.0, which compromises the acidity of our skin and disrupts the moisture barrier formed by this acidity. This leaves our skin dry, irritated, red, sensitive, and acne-prone. This is true even of high pH cleansers that claim to be “gentle” and “pH balanced.” Note that most cleansers do not list their pH levels on their labels.

I became thoroughly convinced of the importance of a low pH cleanser when I stopped using a “gentle” cream cleanser (pH of 7.0), replacing it only an oil cleanser and a low pH cleanser. Prior to stopping the high pH cleanser, my skin was outrageously dry. I was blaming it on the winter, but my skin was becoming ridiculously dehydrated to the point where I was reapplying my sleeping pack multiple times overnight and still waking up with parched skin. Once I switched to a low pH cleanser, however, my dryness calmed down tremendously, and my skin became less sensitive.

Low pH cleansers I have used and would recommend:

WHICH ACIDS? 

Upon further research I next learned that apart from helping you to maintain a healthy moisture barrier, that our skin benefits a great deal from the use of applying acids to our skin. Topical acids chemically exfoliate your skin, causing your skin to slough off old cell layers and replace them with new and healthy cells. AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) are excellent for dry skin, BHAs (salicylic acid) really helpful for reducing and getting rid of acne and Vitamin C for lightening scars, evening out and brightening your skin tone. All of these acids are also effective for pore minimizing. They are the only products that can actually clinically claim to minimize your pores with efficacy.

These are the products that I have been using that came recommended by other beauty bloggers:

I’m impressed by all of these products. They’ve improved my skin very quickly and I have seen a lot of difference in a short amount of time. I’ve linked mostly to Amazon above, but the cheapest place to find most of these products is RoseRoseShop which ships from Korea.

HOW (TO USE)?

Snow White and the Pear has an extremely detailed and helpful post on how to use your topical acids here, but here’s my quick and dirty version.

Your acids should go on bare skin, meaning as soon as you dry your face after having washed it. All your acids should go on before you begin any hydrating steps (toner, serum, essence, emulsion, cream etc.) And you want to apply your acids in the order of the product with the lowest pH first. Wait 20 minutes in between each step because it takes that long for the acids to lose their effectiveness.

The following is the order most people suggest:

  1. Cleanse face with oil cleanser and foaming cleanser. Dry face.
  2. Apply the Mizon AHA BHA toner to force the pH level of your skin down, a critical step to allow the acids to work more effectively. You can apply it to your face directly with your hands or use a cotton pad.
  3. Apply a few drops of the Vitamin C serum. Wait 20 minutes.
  4. Apply a few drops of the BHA liquid. Wait 20 minutes.
  5. Apply a few drops of the AHA serum. Wait 20 minutes.
  6. Continue with rest of skin care regimen.

In all, since I got rid of my high pH cleansers and started using acids as part of my regimen, my skin has shown a great deal of improvement. Incorporating acids and being more well aware of the pH level of the products you use are steps that I would recommend everyone to add to their skincare routine. The move has only improved my skin, and not worsened it in the least.

Note: This post contains affiliate links which go towards the maintenance of the blog.

Review: #Memebox Christmas Collection #1, Stress Free Holidays

After a really long box drought, Memebox released two boxes: a skincare box (box #1) and a makeup box (box #2). I was excited to get them and snapped them up as a value set, although I’m not very much into makeup. When the box spoilers became available, I wasn’t terrible impressed by the makeup box so I sold it off immediately. I didn’t take any pictures of that box, so here is the review of the one box which I did keep (some of), the skin care “Stress Free Holiday” box.

Information Card Side #1:

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Information Card Side #2:  2014-12-13 19.37.54Product #1: Recipe by Nature Ice Cream Swing Set Gloss 01 Very Lovely. Full Size, 6g.

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IMG_20141214_160756Memebox says that this gloss is infused with jojoba seed, argan and grape seed oils–a fantastic combination. Also, I thought the packaging on this was super cute but since I already have enough lip balms and I don’t go through them quickly enough. I’ve put it up for sale, hopefully it’ll be taken soon!

Item #2: Angel’s Black Head Eraser Coconut 97%, 100g. Full size product.IMG_20141214_160820

IMG_20141214_160832Does anyone else think this looks like Kiehls packaging? I thought it was a nice concept–Memebox says that the soap is made from 97% pure coconut oil extracts and carbonated hot spring water, and can be used to treat acne, blemishes, blackheads and wrinkles. Sounds pretty amazing but I already have enough cleansers and blackhead treatments in line so I’m planning to sell this.

 

Item #3. Dipodeur Dress Perfume, 150ml, full size. I received the Lemon & Ylang Ylang scent (there were also Orange & Fiore, Rose & Flower Garden, Figuier and Glass Leaf, Lime and Madarine and Iris & Whitebouquet).

I’m not a fragrance wearer so I’ve sold this as well, but I took a cursory sniff of the product and it smelled wonderful. If I wore scent, I would have kept this.2014-12-14 16.56.41

Next up: DD’ell Moisture Facial Mask Gold Kiwi. I’m super excited to try this because I’ve had really good results with gold facial treatments so far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Item #5: Neogen Neoday’ Don’t Cry Deodorant Stick. The name of this product is too funny. I’ve heard really good things about this brand, but wasn’t too impressed by this product, and have sold it off. 2014-12-14 16.55.50IMG_20141214_160855

And finally, Item #6: The Shara Shara Gold Label Repescargo Cream.

I LOVE the idea of this product–gold AND snail, both of which have worked really well for me before. As you can see from the pictures below, the cream is nice and thick, and I like the fragrance–it smells clean and not overly floral, which is a nice change for me.

IMG_20141214_160903 IMG_20141214_160931 IMG_20141214_160936 IMG_20141214_160955 IMG_20141214_161026Overall, I was a little disappointed by this box because there were only two items in it which I was excited to use. I know that at least others will be enjoying the products I wasn’t terribly excited by though, which makes it a little better. Overall, I’m most excited by the gold snail cream, and if it works out well, I’ll do a separate review.

 

 

Review: Ariul Spa Water 24 Hours Moisturizing DeTox Mask

In my previous review, I wrote briefly about the Ariul Spa Water 24 Hours Moisturizing DeTox Mask, which I received in the Memebox Brighten and Correct box. I was so excited by the mask–beautiful packaging, plus promising bubbles and moisture–that I got to work using it immediately! So while it’s fresh in my mind, here’s my review of the mask.

Here’s a little recap of what the bottle and packaging look like:

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The bottle feels nice and heavy, and I like the subtle bubbles at the base of the image.

The description of the product states that it “creates hydrating and pore clarifying bubbles that penetrate deep into the skin. It effectively removes all pore-clogging impurities and blackheads for good! These sparkling bubbles will not only leave your skin spick-and-span but also deliver deep moisturizing, brightening, and tightening results! Highly recommended for those who suffer from dry and easily irritated skin, this detoxifying mask will detox and clarify without stripping the skin of natural oils.”

Sounds pretty good right? Well here was my experience with the mask…

Before I started, I tried a swatch of it on my hand:

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As you can see, when you initially apply it, the texture is thick and silky.

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It really only started bubbling when I spread it around more thinly. This is in a minute:

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And after two minutes:IMG_20141211_154957

The instructions say that you’re supposed to massage it when it starts bubbling, which kind of thins out the bubbling.

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When I put it on my face, it foamed up probably like an inch over 10 minutes. The instructions didn’t say how long to keep it on for, so I left it on for about fifteen minutes. I liked the smell, it reminded me of a Johnson’s & Johnson’s rainwater bath gel I used when I was little.

This is what it looked like on my face just after its peak, after the bubbles started reducing.

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After fifteen minutes, I massaged the mask onto my face which dissipated the bubbles almost completely. They didn’t come back, and left a thick sticky film on my face.

Once I washed the film off, however, my skin felt squeaky clean but a little *too* clean–my skin felt  a little irritated. :/ I have been experiencing some bad skin irritation recently though, and my skin might be a little more sensitive than normal. I felt some heat generating from my skin, which I felt might not be a great sign, so I slapped on a hyaluronic acid mask for 20 minutes right after, which calmed my skin down.

So: I didn’t have the greatest first experience with this mask, but I haven’t lost hope on it. I’m pretty amused by the bubbling effects and think my skin did feel a lot cleaner after–it might just be a little too harsh for me right now. I’ll wait until my skin calms down before I try it again, and hope for better results next time!

The Ariul Spa Water 24 Hours Moisturizing DeTox Mask is on sale at the Memeshop for $26.

Memebox Discounts for December: 

$5 coupon code on $30 or more (S&H and taxes do not apply): QH7V71 (1 time use only)

$5 off 3 or more Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE3

$8 off 4 or more Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE4

FREESHIPPING: Free shipping on purchases over $70 only on Memeshop items

$5 off a $100 order: AFFILIATE-5165-68I68-DOWR 

$10 off a $150 order: AFFILIATE-0778-7NC2K-OVDW

The last two coupons are stackable with the ones on top.

#MemeBox Brighten and Correct: Unboxing and Review

So my Brighten and Correct Memebox, which I ordered a *looooong* time ago, finally arrived, and I am so pleased! I love all the products –or at least am very much looking forward to trying them out!  Below is my unboxing and review.

First looks at box:

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Information card side 1

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First item: the Ariul Spa Water 24 hours Moisturizing De-tox mask. I will do a more complete review of the mask in a bit, because I just tried it out. When I first opened the box I fell in love with the packaging–the bottle seemed heavy and well made, and I loved the idea of a moisturizing bubble mask. IMG_20141211_153116 IMG_20141211_153152 IMG_20141211_153218

Next item: the Ladykin Broccoli Super Brightening cream. Memebox says that this contains 75% broccoli extract which has an antioxidant effect. I’ve never seen any broccoli skin products so far so I find this intriguing! The description says to apply to a “cleansed skin,” but I’m not sure if this will be moisturizing enough for me currently–my skin is incredibly parched from the cold and dry weather.

Broccoli Cream

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Now: The  AHC Hologram Collection Whitening Serum.IMG_20141211_153323

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I think this Hologram Whitening Serum is my favorite product in the entire box–because of how interesting it looks! I love the DNA type swirls, and that the product appears to be creamy, despite being a serum. The description says that the serum contains a highly concentrated blend of acerola berry, camu camu berry, niacinamide, ice plant, hyaluronic acid, kiwi and tomato. I haven’t tried most of these ingredients, but the two that I recognize (niacinamide and hyaluronic acid) I love and work well with my skin. Check out the close up of the contents below:

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Next: the WITHME White Perfection Hydrating Cream. I’m in need of a really moisturizing cream, and may try this out pretty soon. I’m intrigued by the description: “… contains over 24, 000mg of silk concentrates and ocean complex. The silk formula rich in protein and amino acid effectively detoxifies the skin of melanin pigments while the blend of sea minerals and coral reef extracts deeply relieve and replenish dry, exhausted skin. While I’m a little wary of whitening products, they aren’t supposed to bleach your skin (Hello Michael Jackson!) as much as even out your complexion, so I’ll probably give this a whirl.

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And finally: the Boscians Cycle Repair Whitening Spot. This product contains green bud complex, which is supposed to encourage your skin to reduce uneven skin tone and dark spots. I like the fact that it also contains a “rich blend of hyaluronic acid,” which can be used to hydrate dry skin. I wonder if I can apply it directly to my cheeks and around my mouth, which despite wearing face masks and sleeping packs every night are occasionally flaking.
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In general I’m really thrilled by this box and am very happy I got it. I love all the products, particularly the emphasis on hydration on most of their descriptions. Yay Memebox!

Memebox Discounts for December: 

$5 coupon code on $30 or more (S&H and taxes do not apply): QH7V71 (1 time use only)

$5 off 3 or more Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE3

$8 off 4 or more Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE4

FREESHIPPING: Free shipping on purchases over $70 only on Memeshop items

$5 off a $100 order: AFFILIATE-5165-68I68-DOWR 

$10 off a $150 order: AFFILIATE-0778-7NC2K-OVDW

The last two coupons are stackable with the ones on top.