May 13, 2016

[Review] April 2016 Jini Beauty Box for Normal/Combination Skin

Hey friends! Today I’ve got another review for you, this time for the April 2016 Jini Beauty Box for Normal/Combination Skin. This has quickly become one of my favorite subscription boxes, and I think this is the best box yet!

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. Ingredients for all of the products included in the box can be found here.

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.


Missha Near Skin pH Balancing Cleansing Gel (Full size; 8.80 oz)

Retail value: $21 (Beauteque)
Jini Beauty says:

This mild cleansing gel is a nice pH 5 to help balance your skin’s pH level in the very first step. Get ready to experience the optimal effects of your serum and other skincare products after using this cleanser! Bonus- the pH 5 also protects your skin’s moisture barrier. Directions: (First Step Cleanser) Do not wet skin; first massage a small amount of the gel into dry skin, then emulsify the gel with warm water. Continue massaging the foaming gel into skin and rinse off.

I’ve actually been using this as my second step cleanser for the past couple of weeks, so I don’t know how well it works for taking makeup off, but for a second cleanse, it’s wonderful. I’m completely in love with it. It’s functional and easy to use, it emulsifies well and rinses cleanly, and most importantly, it doesn’t strip my skin of moisture, which is a major problem I have with other cleansers because of my oily-dehydrated skin. I hate feeling like I need to slather on a bunch of products to replace the moisture I’ve just lost through cleansing, so this product is basically a godsend for me. The smell is also very pleasant, it’s a subtle fresh, sweet green scent. It smells familiar, but I can’t seem to figure out why. It also foams gently, maybe not enough for foam-addicts, but enough for those who just prefer a foaming cleanser over a non-foaming one. I have a few other low pH cleansers that I like, but this one is my favorite because I can use it in the shower, unlike some of my other low pH cleansers that have packaging that really isn’t shower friendly. While this isn’t the most fun cleanser ever invented (so a bit of a negative if you’re a skincaretainment lover) it does exactly what I need it to. This cleanser also contains SLS, which can be too irritating for some people’s skin, but I haven’t had any negative reactions to this cleanser. For me personally, there aren’t any negatives to this product. Bonus: The retail value of this product nearly covers the cost of the box by itself, so we’re off to a great start.

The Saem Zoo Park Brightening Lamb Mask (Full size)

Retail Value: $2.44 (Korea Depart)
Jini Beauty says:

This mask is so much more than an adorable character mask that might have you mistaken for a little lamb. It’s soaked in milk protein to remove dead skin cells for brighter skin, as well as to restore moisture for ultimate silkiness. You can say baaaa to that! Directions: (After Toner) Place sheet mask over face and leave on for 15-20 minutes.

Yes, my eye-holes are a bit lop-sided…oops.

This mask was so much fun! I’m such a sucker for these cute character masks, but this one was extra fun because I got to scare a few people too. The lamb face is cute, but I have to admit, there’s something creepy about this mask too. As my sister put it when I told her it was supposed to be a lamb face: “A lamb or Silence of the Lambs??” As for the actual experience and effects of the mask, they were both nice, though not mind-blowingly awesome. The mask was soaked in essence and there was very little remaining in the pack. The essence was clear and silky, like the essence that’s found in the majority of sheet masks, and it had a faint, generic skincare smell, maybe slightly floral. I say “generic skincare smell” because it seems like a scent I’ve smelled many times before, but it doesn’t seem to distinctly smell of anything specific. The fit was good, thought the mask didn’t quite cover the sides of my jaw, and the nose flap was too long, but that’s a common problem for me since I have an abnormally small nose. It started to dry out around the 15-20 minute mark, which is about as long as I like to leave my masks on anyway, so that was perfect for me. At first it felt like it left a bit of a film on my face, and my skin was immediately glowy and soft. The film-like feeling faded after about 10-15 minutes, after which my skin just felt silky. The silky skin and the glow stuck around until morning. Overall, I’d give this mask a 3.7 out of 5. How do you feel about this mask? Does it make you think of a petting zoo or is it making you want some fava beans and a nice chianti for dinner?

SU:M 37 Secret Repair Toner (Deluxe sample size; 5 ml)

Retail value: ~$0.90 (eBay; set of 20 deluxe samples for $17.90 or full size, 150 ml, $70.17 at w2beauty)
Jini Beauty says:

It’s no secret that fermentation of deep and rich ingredients encourages their efficacy in doing everything from refining skin texture to optimizing the balance of oil and moisture in skin. This toner contains enzymes and amino acids which repair skin from beneath the surface to improve skin elasticity. Directions: (After Cleanser) Dispense the toner onto a cotton pad and gently swipe over face.

This came at a perfect time for me. I ended up with a massive breakout on my face (seriously, it’s like it has its own cavern system, zits on zits on zits in two big clusters) because like an absolute idiot I forgot to clean my brushes. Ugh, rookie mistake. Anyway, massive breakout means broken skin because I’m terrible and can’t stop myself from popping and picking (I haaate texture to the point where I pick at breakouts without even thinking about it), which also means that I have skin that needs help healing. This, paired with the SU:M 37 Secret Repair Emulsion also included in this month’s box has really been helping with that. The texture of this toner threw me off at first, it’s a little thicker than most other toners I’ve used. I’d compare it to a slightly thicker version of the LJH Tea Tree Essence. The scent is quite herbal/medicinal, which I don’t mind, but I know that some people are put off by those types of scents. It’s quite strong at first, but it fades once it’s applied to the skin. I definitely think it’s effective for repairing damaged skin. It also contains niacinamide, which helps to fade the pigmentation left behind by breakouts, sun damage, etc.


SU:M 37 Secret Repair Emulsion (Deluxe sample size; 5 ml)

Retail value: ~$0.98 (eBay; set of 20 for $19.50 or full size, 130 ml, $75.52 at w2beauty)

Jini Beauty says:

This lightweight emulsion has fermented ingredients, just like its toner counterpart, to improve skin elasticity while delivering nutrients to your skin. In fact, more than 80 fermented plant extracts are mixed together for the “secret repair” formula, and the resulting scent is a surprisingly pleasant herbal citrus. Directions: (After Toner) Use a Q-tip to scoop out the emulsion and dab onto forehead, cheeks, and chin. Smooth the emulsion evenly over face and massage into skin.

The texture of this is thick and creamy, but easily spreads onto and absorbs into the skin. It’s light weight, but packs a punch of hydration. The scent of this product is more citrus and less herbal than the toner. I’ve used this emulsion both in conjunction with the Secret Repair Toner and separately so I could really gauge which product was doing what. The toner seemed to do a better job of repairing the skin, whereas the emulsion was better for hydration. Ultimately, I saw the best results when I was using them together, which makes me extra glad that they included these samples together in the same box.

Too Cool For School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack (Deluxe sample; size unknown)

Retail value: ~$0.64 (Rose Rose Shop, set of 10 for $3.19 or full size 100 ml/3.4 oz for $18 at Memebox)

Jini Beauty says:

This sleeping pack is almost too cute to use and yummy enough to eat! It contains pumpkin extract, which has exfoliating enzymes that work to smooth your skin overnight. Licorice root oil serves as an anti-inflammatory agent and hyaluronic acid locks in moisture. Directions: (After Toner) Spread the pack over your face and leave on overnight. Rinse off in the morning and enjoy glowing skin all day!

I was stoked to see this in this month’s box because it’s something I’ve wanted to try for a while. I’ve read reviews of this product before, so I knew that this product wouldn’t look like or smell like pumpkin (I didn’t detect a scent at all, actually, so a bonus for those who prefer fragrance-free skincare), which I know is a bit of a disappointment for many people. What did surprise me was the texture. I was expecting something much thicker since it’s a sleeping pack, but it’s really more of a gel, and quite a silicone-y one at that. Considering the texture, I was surprised by how much I liked it and how well it worked. I hate slippery, silicone-heavy primers, but this didn’t feel heavy the way some primers do, it just had a bit of a slippery feeling. It also helped to seal all of my other layers of skincare in, which is one of the many functions of silicones (found in this product as several variations of dimethicone). I’m so happy that Jini Beauty included two sample packs of this product in this month’s box since that was the only complaint I’ve had about this box. Some of the samples they’ve included in previous boxes were only enough for one use, which makes it difficult to tell whether or not you like a product  (yes, I would like some cheese with my whine, thanks). These packets are big enough to get a couple of uses out of each, so these are a great sample to receive. Consider me content. Thanks for listening to your customers, Jenny and Sunny!

Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Cushy Blusher in Beach Break (Full Size; 20 ml/0.67 fl. oz.)

Retail value: $23 (Sephora)
Jini Beauty says:

The next wave of blush is the cushion! And TCFS wants you to ride the wave with its hydrating cushy blusher. Achieve a sheer, natural look with this blush which contains rose oil and lily extract to help soften skin. Beach Break is a peach color that is universally flattering on all skin tones. Directions: Squeeze tube until the blush rises up onto the cushion. Dab onto cheeks and use the cushion applicator to blend outward. For more vibrant coverage, build color with repeated application.

How cute is that packaging?! This was the product I was most excited about this month, but my favorite actually ended up being the Missha cleanser, with this blush taking second place. I love the color, texture, finish, and scent of this product, but the applicator has given me a bit of trouble at times. I had no problems the first time I used it, but the second time I went to use it, it felt like it was clogged and I had trouble squeezing the blush into the cushion. I tried it again just now, and it didn’t feel clogged, so maybe it was just a fluke, but I felt it was worth mentioning for anyone considering buying the product separately. Now, back to the things I did like about this product.

The blush came with an extra cushion sponge, which is awesome for keeping things sanitary.

When you start to squeeze the package, this is what the blush looks like as it saturates the cushion.

This is what it looks like before it’s blended. It smells amazing, just like a bouquet of fresh roses. The texture is smooth, you can immediately feel the oils in it, but it doesn’t feel greasy at all.

Blended out, it’s a sheer peach that reminds me of watercolor, which I absolutely love. I like to apply it with the cushion, then blend it out with my fingers. I didn’t notice it eating through my foundation like some liquid/cream blushes do, nor did it settle into my pores. The finish was very skin-like, not overly dewy or matte, more of a satin finish. I this will be great in the summer months when I’m wanting more of a minimal look.

Final Thoughts:

The total value of this month’s box was ~$48.96 (not including shipping costs associated with buying each item separately), which is very nearly double the price of the box, and the highest box value so far (February’s box was ~$37). I loved everything in this month’s box. It was a great array of products, and they were all products I’ll get a lot of use out of. Additionally, they all are well-suited to my skin type. In my opinion, this box keeps getting better and better. Many of the products I’ve received in these boxes have made it into my regular rotation, and several of the products I’ve received were products that were already on my wish list or products that I was unfamiliar with/wouldn’t have thought to purchase for myself, but ended up loving. I can’t wait for May’s box!

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. Reviews of all of the previous months’ boxes, as well as additional information about the service can be found here. If you’d like to subscribe to Jini Beauty Box, you can do so here. Additionally, Jini Beauty can be found on Instagram (they post spoilers for each month’s boxes!) and Twitter. I can also be found on Instagram and Twitter, come hang out with me!

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