February 24, 2016

[Review] Jini Beauty Box February 2016 (Normal/Combination Skin)

It’s here! It’s here!

I’m so excited to be bringing you guys another review of a new subscription box—and in one of my favorite categories: Korean skincare!

When this box was first announced I did a whole post explaining the concept and features, so if you’re looking for more in-depth information head over here for a full run-down. The Sparknotes version: Jini Beauty Box is a new Asian beauty subscription box launched by blogger, Geekinheels (Jenny) and her friend, Sunny. The box is unique among the quickly growing AB subscription market because it focuses on monthly boxes curated by skin type (Dry/Mature, Normal/Combination, Oily/Acne, and Sensitive/Troubled). Each box contains 1-2 full-size products, and 3-5 deluxe samples for $24.95 per month (discounts available for longer subscriptions).

Disclosure: I paid for this box with my own money. All views expressed are my own, authentic opinions. This post does not contain any affiliate links. 

Now on to the fun stuff!

February 2016 Normal/Combination Skin 

The products were securely packed in a cardboard box with the company logo on it. They also included an info card, which is very important for a box that deals with skincare, especially when the instructions and ingredients on the packaging may be in another language. The card doesn’t contain an ingredients list, but they’ve provided an ingredients list for all of the products on the website here. Additionally, they’ve posted the contents of all of the February 2016 boxes here, which may help if you’re having trouble deciding between skin types. Or maybe, like me, you just have to peek into everything. Look, we both know we’ve been through each others’ medicine cabinets, so let’s just own up to it and call it even, shall we?

What the card does contain is a brief description of each product and directions for how to use it. It also tells you where it fits into your routine, which I think was very smart and helpful. We’re off to a great start!

Ciracle CosRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner

From the card: 

“This toner provides daily exfoliation that leads to clear, smooth, and even skin without the harshness of intense chemical exfoliators. The AHA/BHA is a mild formulation of .1% in the form of willow bark water and apple water that will unveil your inner glow and in the process, allow better absorption of nutrients into your skin.

Directions: (After Cleanser) Spray the toner onto a clean cotton pad and lightly sweep or blot the pad over your face”

Full size. Retail value: $16
This product has actually been on my wishlist for a few months. I ended up buying the Acwell 5.5 toner instead, so this will be on the back burner for a while, but I was thrilled to see this included in the box.

Mineral Water, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Water, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Water, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Lactate, Glycolic Acid, Water, Betaine Salicylate, Allantoin, Panthenol, Ethyl Hexanediol

 Banila Co. Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm

“This classic cleanser dissolves every little bit of your makeup with the same clout as a traditional oil cleaner — except it’s a sherbet-like balm that doesn’t strip your skin dry in the process. The balm magically melts into an oil upon application. Thanks to papaya extract (exfoliation) and acerola extract (brightening), your skin will feel nourished as well as clean and free from makeup, dirt, and impurities.

Directions: (First Step Cleanse) Scoop out a small amount of the balm and massage into dry skin until it emulsifies into oil. Wet hands and rinse off. Follow with a foaming second cleanser.”

Deluxe sample size (7g). Retail value: ~$3.50

Another product that was already on my wish list! I was actually just getting ready to buy this when I saw a spoiler on the Jini Beauty Box Instagram stating that this would be included in this month’s box. I’ve been a lover of cleansing oils for several years now (check out my posts on two Western cleansing oils, and how and why I double cleanse if you’re new to cleansing oils), but have been more interested in cleansing balms lately after trying the Clinique Take The Day Off cleansing balm. The texture of this balm was less grainy than Clinique’s version, and melted more easily. Haven’t used this enough to form a solid opinion on it yet, but so far I like it.


Mineral Oil, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, PEG-10 Isostearate, Polyethylene, Butylene Glycol, Water, Rubus Suavissimus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract, Aspalathus Linearis Lead Extract, Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Leaf Extract, Angelica Polymorpha Sinesnsis Root Extract, Papaya Fruit Extract, Acerora Extract, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, BHT, Butylparaben, Acid Red 18, CI 15985, Spice

Etude House I Need You Vita Complex Mask

“This sheet mask contains multiple vitamin derivatives that work together to brighten dull skin. Niacinamide is the star ingredient of the vita complex — it’s an all-around antioxidant that not only brightens the skin, but strengthens its barrier and increases ceramide levels.

Directions: (After Toner) Put the sheet mask on your face and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Remove the mask and massage the leftover essence from the pouch into skin for extra softening.”

Full Size. Retail value:  $2

I’ve only used one mask from the Etude House I Need You line before (hyalunronic acid), and had to cut the eye holes to fit, which kind of put me off from trying any more from that line. I’ll give this one a try though, it’s right up my ally in terms of what I look for in a mask. I wanna glow brighter than a phone screen at 3 am, is that too much to ask? P.S. I do most of my sheet mask reviews on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there if that’s something you’re interested in.


Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Alcohol, Panthenol, Carbomer, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Allantoin, Niacinamide, Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Calcium Pantothenate, Maltodextrin, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pyridoxine HCL, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Leaf Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Silica, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance

Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb

“This ‘cream’ is really a gel that contains a hydrating herb called Lady’s Mantle, which helps deliver supple moisturization despite the deceivingly lightweight consistency of the gel. The aqua bomb has a minty scent and feels slightly tingly, yet cooling and refreshing upon application.

Directions: (After Essence or Emulsion) Scoop out the gel and lightly massage into skin, taking care to focus on any drier patches.” 

Deluxe sample size (10 ml). Retail value: ~$10

The Aqua Bomb is new to me, but I’ve tried the Belif Moisture Bomb before and quite like it, which is surprising because I don’t usually like gel moisturizers. Even when my skin was more on the oily side (#RIP2myyouth, bonus points if you get the reference. Let’s be friends?) I didn’t really enjoy the texture because it always made my skin feel sticky. The Belif moisturizers, on the other hand, feel more like water in the sense that there’s an immediate sensation of moisture. I can see this being an awesome moisturizer for spring/summer due to the cooling sensation, although based on my experience with the Moisture Bomb, the hydration level is probably adequate enough to make it an acceptable winter moisturizer for most skin types.


Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Methyl Trimethicone, Glycerin, SD Alcohol 40B, Dimethicone, PEG/PPG/Polybutylene Glycol-8/5/, Cyclomethicone, Dimethiconol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 60, Malachite Extract, Phenyl, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Panthenol, PEG-150, Carbomer, Tromethamine, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Avena Sativa Kernel Extract, Calendula Officinalis, Nepeta Cataria Extract, Rubus Idaeus Leaf Extract, Baptisia Tinctoria Root Extract, Stellaria Media Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Leaf Extract, Equisetum Arvense Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica Leaf Extract, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Stearic Acid, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, C14-22 alcohols, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cholesteryl hHdroxystearate, Cholesterol, Ceramide NP, Triethanol Amine, Trisodium EDTA, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis, Citrus Aurantifolia Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Citronellol, Limonene, Citral, Geraniol, Linalool

 Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence

“This multi-tasking essence provides soothing, hydrating, brightening, and wrinkle repairing benefits through the power of yeast. It contains 80% fermented yeast extract (Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate), which repairs and nourishes the skin on a deeper cellular level. The essence also contains niacinamide, which improves elasticity and revives tone and texture, for daily refined skin. 

Directions: (After Cleanser or Toner) Dispense a small amount of essence onto a cotton pad (or your hands!) and pat lightly onto the skin until completely absorbed.”

Sample. Retail value: ~$0.66

This is often compared to the famous SK-II Facial Treatment Essence since they serve essentially the same purpose and feature the same main ingredient: Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate. Having tried the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence and not been very impressed with it, I’ve never been that interested in trying the Missha FTE, but since I have the sample, I’ll give it a go.


Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Bigida Ferment Lysate, Propanediol, Niacinamide, Polyquaternium-51, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Betaine, Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Extract, Pirper Methysticum Leaf/Root/Stem Extract, Beta Vulgaris Root extract, Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Cassia Alata Leaf Extract, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Pentylene Glycol, Water, Trehalose, Disodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Adenosine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Raffinose, Tromethamine, Acetic Acid, Lactic Acid, 1-2-Hexanediol, Caprytyl Glycol, Hexapeptide-9 Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate

Mizon Original Skin Energy Placenta 45 Ampoule

“The ampoule contains 45% mammalian placenta, which sounds unpleasant, but it’s surprisingly good stuff for your skin. The placenta stimulates cell regeneration that normally slows down as the skin ages. You see reduced wrinkles and fine lines, brightened skin tone, and faded dark spots after continuous use.

Directions: (After Toner) Dispense ampoule onto palm. Lightly rub hands together and dab over face until absorbed into skin.”

Sample. Retail value: ~$0.57

If you’re new to Asian skincare, don’t worry, it’s not human placenta. Normally, it’s the extract from a cow, pig, or sheep placenta. I haven’t tried any products with placenta, but I’ve seen it in other products before. I’m crazy enough about skincare that I’ll put damn near anything on my face if there’s science to back it up, so my reaction to products such as this that use ingredients that aren’t common in Western skincare is pretty much “Huh? What’s it do? Ok, gimme.” What’s a little placenta between mammals, eh? Mi placenta es su placenta. Too far? Ok I’ll stop.


Water, Butylene Glycol, Hydrolyzed Placental Extract, Niacinamide, Glycerin, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tropolone, Adenosine, BetaGglucan, Disodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Propylene Glycol, Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Extensin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Achillea Millelfolium Extract, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Potassium Sorbate

TonyMoly Delight Tony Tint in 02 Red

“Finally, a lip stain that’s lightweight and long-lasting at the same time! This tint contains jojoba seed oil to encourage cellular regeneration for youthful lips. Rosehip and argan oils help prevent lips from drying out. The sheer formula allows you to build the color, layer by layer, to go as light or dark as you wish.

Directions: Wipe excess tint from applicator, then apply tint in one or more sheer layers until the desired color intensity is achieved. Tint needs to be blended quickly due to fast drying.”

Deluxe sample size. Retail value: ~$4

This tint is both more pigmented and more hydrating than tints I’ve tried in the past. I used to love the Revlon lip stain, but it was quite drying. The other tint I’ve used was from The Balm, and I didn’t like it at all. It was too sheer, the texture felt like saliva, it had no staying power, and it would sometimes ball up on my lips. This tint from TonyMoly doesn’t appear to have any of those problems. I can definitely see myself getting a lot of use out of this.


Water, Glycerin, Trehalose, Triethanolamine, Ci 15510, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer Emulsion, Propylene Glycol, Glucosyl Stevioside, Glyceryl Caprylate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Ascorbic Acid, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Rosa Canina Seed Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract

Total value of the box:  ~$36.73

Final Thoughts:

I’m very happy with this box. I felt like there was a good variety of products, a good amount of value, and several of the products are things I would have picked out for myself, so I’d say they did a good job picking products that fit well with normal/combo skin. The absolute only negative thing I have to say is that I wish they had included more than one of the sample packets for each product, or that there had been multiple of the same product. It’s quite difficult to tell whether or not you like a skincare product from a single use. But in the grand scheme of things, not a deterrent from the subscription. I actually want to give them props for their customer service. The boxes shipped out a little late due to a supply chain issue caused by Lunar New Year, and they emailed their subscribers to let us know about the delay. Communication goes a long way, and this simple act gave me reassurance that they care about their customers.

I think Jini Beauty Box is great for anyone who wants to take the guess work out of Asian skincare products, or for someone who is always looking to discover new products. It’s also great if you have sensitive skin and get frustrated by other subscriptions because they often include products you can’t use. Overall, I would say I happily recommend Jini Beauty Box, and I can’t wait for next month’s box!

If you’d like to subscribe to Jini Beauty Box, you can do so here
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