April 24, 2016

[Review] Jini Beauty Box Normal/Combination Skin March 2016

Aaaand we’re back. Excuse the long break between posts, I’ve been bogged down with schoolwork and also went out of town for a bit. You know how it is when you go out of town, it takes awhile to get everything back to normal, especially when you go out of town the week before finals start (thanks mom). I may or may not still have a load of laundry to do. Ooops. Anyway, on with the review.

If you haven’t heard of Jini Beauty Box before, they’re a monthly Asian beauty subscription box that retails for $24.95. The box usually contains mostly skincare and occasionally one makeup item per month. You’re promised 1-2 full size products and 3-5 samples. The unique premise with this box is that it’s curated by skin type (normal/combination, dry/mature, oily/acne, or sensitive/troubled). If you want to learn more about this box, I have an entire post here that explains everything about this box in-depth. I also have a review for last month’s box here if you’re interested.

Disclosure: I paid for this box with my own money. All views expressed are my own, authentic opinions. This post contains one referral link (Memebox).

This month’s box included 3 full-size items (sheet mask, hand mask, and cleansing water), and 3 samples. 

The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Water (Full Size 5.07 oz/150 ml)

Retail value: $10.41 (Amazon)

Jini Beauty says: “Rice water is an amazingly simple, yet effective ingredient for cleansing and smoothing skin in one step. Mild organic brown rice is a natural exfoliant and coupled with Japanese apricot extract, this cleanser helps remove makeup while also exfoliating dead skin cells during the cleansing process. Directions: (First Step Cleanse) Apply a few pumps of the cleansing water directly onto dry skin and massage in a circular motion over eyes and face (or dispense first onto a cotton pad to wipe onto skin instead). Rinse off well with lukewarm water.”

The bright side of this review being so late is that I’ve had longer to test out the products. I can’t always fit new products from subscription boxes into my routine right away, especially skincare, but I’ve used this about 10-15 times now. I can’t say that I’ve seen any of the exfoliation benefits, but my skin is used to some heavy-duty acids and tends to be unfazed by products meant to exfoliate gently. However, I do feel that this product does a good job of removing makeup, with the exception of waterproof mascara. I’ve been using Covergirl Lash Blast Waterproof for most of the time I’ve had this product, and it was basically hopeless trying to get that off. But, I can say the same for nearly all of my other cleansers. I’m convinced that this mascara is actually an alien life form that clings to my lashes until it dies, so when I just can’t seem to get this mascara off, I don’t hold it against a cleanser. It did a good job of removing all of my face makeup and my non-waterproof mascara, but you would definitely want to follow up with a second cleanser as part of a double cleansing routine. It also didn’t cause my skin to breakout or sting my (quite sensitive) eyes at all. Overall, I like it, and it’s something I’ll get a lot of use out of.

Tosowoong Pure Blueberry Mask Sheet (Skin Whitening*) (Full Size)

*Just to clarify, ‘skin whitening’ in most Asian beauty products just indicates that it lightens pigmentation from sun spots, acne, etc. not that it will bleach your skin. 

Retail value: $2 (Peach & Lily)

Jini Beauty says: “Indulge in delicious blueberries for dual “skin whitening” and wrinkle fighting effects for your skin. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants that strengthen collagen for elasticity and nourish skin by eliminating toxins that lead to dullness. Directions: (After Toner) Unfold mask and lay over face, leaving on for 10-20 minutes, then pat the excess serum into skin for additional absorption.”

I haven’t had a chance to use this yet, but I definitely will.

Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence Rose Edition (Deluxe Sample Size, 30 ml)

Retail Value: ~$4.00 (Memebox full size (150 ml) $20) 
Get 20% off your first purchase at Memebox by using my referral link: http://share.memebox.com/x/OavdLI I’ll also get $10 to shop at Memebox, which helps me to buy more products to review on the blog. If you decide to use my referral link, thank you so much, I really appreciate it! If you’re not a fan of referral links, it’s cool, we’re still friends. 
Jini Beauty says: “This limited edition essence is formulated with Rosa Centifolia flower water for special hydration. Secret Key boasts that 94% Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate provides 10 benefits including anti-wrinkle, whitening, elasticizing, moisturizing, and exfoliating functions, that are delivered together in the first step after cleansing. Directions: (After Cleanser) Dispense the essence onto a cotton pad and gently wipe all over face. To treat areas that require extra care, soak the cotton pad with the essence and apply to the area for 3 minutes.”
Again, haven’t had a chance to work this into my routine yet. It’s a good sample size though, and something I definitely will use eventually. Judging by the use of galactomyces, I’m guessing this is supposed to be along the same lines of the infamous SK-II treatment essence, which I wasn’t that impressed by, but I’m totally open to trying alternatives.  

Caolion Pore Original Pack (Sample Size, 7 g)

Retail Value: ~$2.00-2.07 ($20 eBay, set of 10 samples (7g each), or full size (100 g) Amazon $29.50)
Jini Beauty says: “This mask’s claim to fame is its “magical” ability to minimize pores through deep cleansing, exfoliation, and hydration. Glacier clay, volcanic ash, and charcoal help draw out impurities and excess sebum, while Alaskan glacial water purifies and hydrates without overly drying the skin. Peppermint and menthol provide an intense soothing and cooling effect that really lasts! Directions: (After Cleanser) Apply the mask evenly over face and concentrate on covering areas with most visible pores. After 5-10 minutes, rinse off the mask with warm water.”
This was probably the most exciting part of this month’s box for me since I’ve been eyeing this mask lustfully since the Caolion brand first popped up at Sephora. Holy menthol, Batman! Wow, did this make my face feel cold. The ingredients that cause that sensation can irritate the skin, but I think all except the most hard-core skincare junkies will make an exception every now and then for a fun masking experience. I, for one, definitely will. The mask itself was a green-tinged gray with a thick, smooth texture. Clay-based masks often go one way or the other for me: either I end up with itchy, uncomfortable skin the entire time I’m using the mask, or I forget I even have it on. Luckily, this mask fell into the latter category. The cold sensation started to build within a minute or two of applying the mask, got really intense to the point where I felt I had just stuck my face in the freezer, which continued for about 3-4 minutes, then it subsided pretty quickly and left only a subtle cooling sensation behind. The texture of this mask was a bit surprising to me because it felt a lot more moist than most clay masks do. When I washed the mask off after about 8 minutes, there was a pleasant, refreshing feeling, and my skin really did feel more hydrated and soft, which is very surprising for a clay mask. Most clay masks leave my skin feeling dry and tight. My pores were also less visible, and my skin felt very clean without feeling stripped. By morning, my pores were back to normal, but my skin still felt soft, hydrated, and seemed to be a bit less oily. Overall, I really liked this mask and would totally consider buying the full size. It’d be a great treat for the summer months when I feel like I’m melting.

The History of Whoo Secret Court Cream (Sample Size, 1 ml)

Retail Value: ~$0.83-2.00 (Amazon, pack of 30 [1 ml each] samples for $24.80)
Jini Beauty says: “This cream fit for royals is more like a condensed balm that melts into skin to immediately infuse 32 herbal ingredients of the highest quality. Your skin will stay youthful and energized from herbs such as Japanese catnip for anti-inflammatory boosting and mint for instant pore tightening. Directions: (Last Step) Gently massage the cream into skin until it melts and becomes fully absorbed.”

I’ve had a sample of the Jinyul cream from The History of Whoo before, and it was one of those products that had me shouting at the sky, “why, cruel gods, why must I love expensive products??” Given my past experiences with the brand I had high hopes for it, and I wasn’t let down. It has a luxurious balmy texture that feels amazing on the skin and instantly made it feel more hydrated. It also had a lovely herbal scent that reminded me of a garden. I think between the Jinyul cream and the Secret Court cream, I still prefer the Jinyul cream, but they’re both lovely. I can’t speak to the long-term effects of either, but short-term, they’re very elegant, soothing creams. The History of Whoo products are absurdly expensive (but so prettehh, ugh), and the full size (50 ml) of this cream retails for over $100, but you can often find samples of this and other super high-priced creams in sample sets for much cheaper on Amazon, eBay, and a few Korean retailers. You won’t get as much product, and you lose out on the beautiful packaging, but it’s a good way to indulge in some more expensive products for much cheaper. I mentioned in my review for the February box that I wished they would include more than one of these little sample packets because it’s difficult to judge a product from a single use. While this month’s box only contained one packet, the April box (review coming soon) did have two packets, so clearly they’re listening to their subscribers, which is awesome.

Etude House Hand Bouquet Rich Butter Hand Mask (Full Size)

Retail Value: $5 (Beauteque)
Jini Beauty says: “Pamper your dry hands with this ultra moisturizing treatment and revive your hands for spring’s manicures. Contains fragrant shea butter and olive extract for luxurious moisture. Directions: Massage the shea butter onto clean hands. Put on the hand mask gloves first, then insert your hands into the clear plastic gloves. Keep the gloves on for 15-20 minutes. Rubbing your pressure points is optional!”
I thought this was a nice inclusion, and something my poor hands desperately need. I put my hands through the ringer on a regular basis between cleaning, doing swatches, and other little projects around the house, plus I’m basically the worst ever at remembering to moisturize my hands. A nail technician would probably scream if they saw my cuticles. I’ve been saving this for my next manicure, which seems to keep getting put off since I’ve been so busy. When I do use this, I’ll update you guys somewhere on social media, either Twitter or Instagram

Final Thoughts:

The total value of this month’s box is somewhere between $24.24 and $25.48 (not accounting for the cost of shipping if you were to buy each of these products individually), so approximately the same as the price of the box. I would’ve liked to see a slightly higher box value, like last month’s which was $36.73, but that being said, I’m still happy with the box overall. It’s a good selection of products which are all useful to me and appropriate for my skin type. I would recommend this box to someone looking to try new products and expand their collection, or someone who wants to try Asian beauty products and doesn’t know where to start or what they should be using for their skin type. The info card that’s included every month is very helpful, so I feel like this box is very beginner friendly. They also include a full list of ingredients every month, which can be found here on their website. If you’d like to subscribe to Jini Beauty Box, you can do so here

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