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In jewelry, Lifestyle, review, subscription box on
September 30, 2017

Rocksbox Review | September 2017

Goooooood morning beautiful people! jk I’m writing this Rocksbox review on a Friday night fueled by what some people would describe as “way too much coffee.” Pfft, I don’t need that kind of negativity.  You’re still beautiful though, I wasn’t kidding about that part <3

Whatever time you’re reading this, it’s a great time to talk about jewelry right? Right. Let’s see what was inside my most recent Rocksbox!

Disclosure: This post contains a referral link, which is clearly labeled. Choosing to make a purchase using a referral link may mean that I receive some form of compensation at no additional cost to you, the consumer.

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In jewelry, Lifestyle, review, subscription box on
August 28, 2017

Rocksbox Review | August 2017

Raise your hand if you love jewelry, but get bored of wearing the same old pieces.

*Raises hand*

What about playing around with different looks to find something that fits your personal style?

*Raises hand*

Now keep your hand up if you have the budget to keep buying tons of jewelry you might only wear a few times.

*puts hand down*

If you’re anything like me, the idea of being able to wear new jewelry all the time without spending a fortune is a pretty exciting thought. It turns out, there’s actually a way to do that: Rocksbox!  Rocksbox is a way to try before you buy, or a fun way to switch up your look for those of us with commitment issues. You can rent 3 pieces at a time for $21 per month with free shipping both ways. I think it’s a pretty exciting concept, and I think you guys will love it. I’ll be sharing a review of my first Rocksbox with you, as well as giving you guys some more info about Rocksbox and what to expect if you decide to sign up.

Disclosure: This post contains a referral link, which is clearly labeled. Choosing to make a purchase using a referral link may mean that I receive some form of compensation at no additional cost to you, the consumer.

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Review: Jini Beauty Box Dry/Mature Skin March/April 2017

We’re changing it up this month! If this is the first one of my Jini Beauty Box reviews you’ve read, then this won’t seem strange at all to you, but my regular readers will know that I usually subscribe to the normal/combination skin variety. In light of the changes my skin has been going through thanks to Differin, I decided to try the box for dry skin this time around. It was also nice to change it up a bit. Since the selection window in March, my skin has actually bounced back to its natural state of being combo to slightly oily, but I enjoy hydrating products no matter what my skin is doing at the moment. This is actually one of my favorite boxes in all of the time I’ve been subscribing to Jini Beauty Box, so I’m very excited to share this box with you!

Disclosure: I purchased this box with my own money. This post does not contain affiliate links.

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Review: Jini Beauty Box Normal/Combination Skin January/Febuary 2017

I’ve been subscribing to Jini Beauty Box for about a year now, so I guess you could say things are kinda serious. I love that this box offers a mix of sheet masks, full size products, and deluxe sample sizes. Wanna see what was in the January/February box for Normal/Combo skin? Read on!

If you haven’t heard of Jini Beauty Box before, they’re a bi-monthly k-beauty subscription box that retails for $44.95. The box contains mostly skincare and one or two makeup items per box. You’re promised 6-8 full size products/deluxe samples, 2 sheet masks, and a few bonus sample packets. 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. Ingredients for all of the products included in the box can be found here.


You have until March 13 to sign up for the March/April box!

Disclaimer: 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.

 

 

 Neogen Real Fresh Foam Green Tea Cleanser | Full Size

Retail value: $19 Sephora | Soko Glam

Jini Beauty says:

Wash away dirt, impurities, and excess oil with fermented green tea extract. This beloved cleanser brightens and hydrates skin without stripping away its natural moisture. Directions: (as step 2 cleanser) Pump 1 or 2 dollops of the cleanser into hands and lightly massage foam onto wet face. Rinse off foam with lukewarm water.

My Thoughts:

I haven’t really used this cleanser enough to form an opinion on it yet. My skin is quite dry at the moment from the Differin gel I’ve been using, so I don’t feel like I can really give this a fair shot. After my skin settles down, I’ll begin using it more regularly and update you guys at some point. For now, here’s what I can tell you. The pump dispenses, big, soft, fluffy foam that doesn’t immediately break down into a liquid, so it’s like rubbing fluffy clouds on your face. There’s not much of a scent to it in my opinion, but I have seen a few people mention it had an artificial/chemical-y smell to it, so proceed with caution if you’re very sensitive to smell. To me it doesn’t really smell like anything, just… clean? This cleanser also rinses easily and doesn’t leave a film behind.

Double & Zero Piggy Girl 3-Step Nose Pack | Full Size

 

Retail value: $?

I couldn’t find an active listing for these because they’re sold out everywhere right now. My estimate based on similar products would be between $2-5.

 

Jini Beauty says:

Each step plays an active role in clearing up your nose: step 1 melts and controls the sebum, blackheads, and other gunk inside your pores, step 2 cleanses and removes all that gunk, and step 3 tightens pores with collagen and soothes skin with witch hazel bark. Directions: (After toner) Adhere the given nose strips in order of steps 1 to 3 and leave on for the number of minutes specified by the clock diagram at each step. For step 2, wet nose thoroughly before using the strip. Gently tear off or remove the strips after use.

My Thoughts:

I’m not really the ideal candidate for blackhead removal strips because I don’t really have any on my nose. I know, I know, don’t throw tomatoes at me! I had them a lot as a teenager, so I know the struggle. That being said, I did see a few little nasties on the pore strip when I peeled it off, so it does work. Step 1 was a wet strip to help loosen the gunk. Step 2 was the sticky get-ready-to-rip-this-off-your-face-and-see-gross-stuff strip. Step 3 was a biocellulose sheet mask for the nose area to help soothe the skin. I didn’t experience any irritation from it and I thought it was fun to use. It’s not something I would repurchase because, like I said, I don’t really have an issue with blackheads on my nose, but I did enjoy using it.

Mamonde Moisture Ceramide Sleeping Peeling Mask | Deluxe Sample Size

Retail value: $ 3.15 (15 ml) | Full size $16.78 (80 ml) Amazon

Jini Beauty says:

This ingenious sleeping mask doubles as an exfoliator that melts away dead skin cells in your sleep. Hibiscus improves skin’s natural moisture barrier to maintain hydration during this peeling process. Directions: (Last step of night skincare) Spread the mask evenly over face and leave on overnight. Wash face as usual in the morning.

My Thoughts:

I’m totally fascinated by this because it’s something I’ve never seen before. It combines the exfoliating and brightening power of an acid with the hydration of a sleeping pack. What’s more impressive is the addition of ceramides to help strengthen the moisture barrier, which can be deteriorated if the skin is over-exfoliated. The texture was great: thick, soft, and comforting, but not so heavy it felt like my skin was being suffocated (not that skin actually breathes, that’s a myth). It also smells amazing, just like hibiscus. I’m a total exfoliation junkie and I love a good wallop of moisture, so this is something I’m really enjoying. It also came at a perfect time as I’ve been low-key burning my face off with Differin (if you wanna know more about that, check my Instagram). I feel like this mask really helps to seal in all of my other layers, and I love the concept of hydration + exfoliation, so this is something I can see myself repurchasing.

Mamonde Moisture Ceramide Light Cream | Deluxe Sample Size

Retail value: $9.60 (15 ml) | Full size $31.99 (50 ml) Amazon

Jini Beauty says:

This hibiscus cream has a special ceramide formula that provides fresh hydration without any stickiness. It helps smooth away flaking skin and rough patches while building a firm moisture barrier. Directions: (After serum) Dab a small amount of the cream over face and massage into skin.

My Thoughts:

This is like a lighter version of the sleeping pack, with the same light hibiscus scent that I love. I’ve mostly been layering this under the sleeping pack because I think they work well together. This is a thick cream in the jar, but once you start to rub it in, it thins out and absorbs easily. It’s hydrating without feeling heavy, so I think this would be a great every day cream for normal to combination skin types, even moderately dry skin types might like this. It leaves a nice velvety finish behind and makes my skin feel soft and hydrated. I like this cream, but there’s nothing that ‘wow’s me about it, it’s just a moisturizer. There are tons of moisturizers that I like (Belif Aqua Bomb, Dr. Jart Water Drop, Anthony Oil Free Facial Lotion, etc) and there are always more to try, so I don’t know that I would repurchase this one, but I also don’t have anything negative to say about it. I would choose to repurchase the Mamonde Sleeping Peeling Pack over this because I feel like it’s a more unique product, but they also serve different functions, and I like the way they work together.

A.H.C. The Real Eye Cream For Face Season 4 | Full Size

Retail value: $10.81 Amazon

Jini Beauty says:

Say hello to this famous eye cream that doubles as an intensive face cream. It reduces wrinkles and fights aging with ingredients such as fermented collagen, natural moisturization factor, goami extract, snail filtrate, ceramide complex, and 14 kinds of peptides. Directions: Pat a small amount of the cream under eyes and around creases. Spot treat other areas of face that are prone to wrinkles or where wrinkles have already formed.

My Thoughts:

I like this, but nothing can replace my precious Algenist Power 360 Eye Serum. This is a thick cream, with a bit of a perfumey scent. I don’t really notice it when I’m applying it, nor does it irritate my sensitive eyes, but it’s there. This cream also forms a bit of a barrier, which is something I like in an eye cream, and it hasn’t given me any millia. I haven’t been using this long enough to see results, but I do like it so far. Algenist has just totally spoiled me for all other eye treatment products.

Peripera Milk Moist Lip Balm in Peach Milk | Full Size

Retail value: $6 Club Clio

Jini Beauty says:

Say goodbye to dry chapped lips with this tinted lip balm in strawberry milk or peach milk flavors. The lip balm is infused with milk extract rich in moisture, protein, and vitamin D. Directions: Squeeze tube to dispense lip balm and apply directly to lips.

My Thoughts:

This smells so good😍 I love pretty much anything peach-scented, so this was an immediate winner for me. The balm is thick, plush, and non-sticky, with a slight orange tint. It’s quite hydrating and stays on well, but for me the main draw is the scent.

 

A’Pieu Tangle Jelly Mask Grape | Full Size

Retail value: $3.80 Amazon

Jini Beauty says:

This sheet mask contains 1,000 ppm of grape extract to vitalize and brighten your skin tone. The elastic jelly texture allows for deeper nourishment and absorption of the extract. Directions: (After toner) Place mask over face and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Pat remaining essence into skin for additional absorption.

My Thoughts:

I haven’t used this yet, but keep an eye out for a review on Instagram sometime in the next 1-2 weeks (it takes me a while to go through sheet masks, especially in the winter).

Natural Pacific Premium Metal Snow Mask | Full Size

Retail Value: $4 eBay

Jini Beauty says:

Your skin will enjoy radiance as bright as snow through this mask’s active ingredients of pearl extract, niacinamide, and vitamins. The unique silver coating helps retain moisture to allow for higher absorption and longer lasting hydration. Directions: (After toner) Adhere mask over face and leave on for 10-20 minutes. Massage in the excess serum.

My Thoughts:

I haven’t used this one yet either, but I’m super excited about it. I haven’t tried any of the metallic sheet masks yet, and I’ll take any excuse to wear a mask that I can use to scare my sister! Again, look for a review on my Instagram.

Bonus Samples:

I received the Holika Holika Good Cera Super Cream and the Too Cool For School Pink Girl Jelly Base as my bonus samples this month. I haven’t tried either of these products before, so I’m excited to give them a try!

Final Thoughts:

The total retail value of the January/February 2017 box was between $58.36 to $61.36, depending on the cost of the nose pack that I couldn’t find a price for, and not including the bonus samples. The cost of the box is $44.95, so that’s at least $13.41(possibly $16.41+)  more than what I paid for the box. I would like to see a little bit higher box value, especially since it’s now a bi-monthly box, but I also tend to cut smaller companies like Jini Beauty a break on box value (as long as it’s above what I paid!) because I know they don’t have access to the same bulk purchase discounts and distribution deals that larger companies like Ipsy and Birchbox have. I also factor in what my personal value of the box is, and since I’ll use everything in this box, it has a high value for me. I know that may not be the case for everyone, so take a look at previous boxes on Jini Beauty’s website or my previous reviews (note that these are all for the boxes prior to Jini Beauty switching to bi-monthly boxes) to get a feel for the boxes and to assess whether or not you think the subscription would be a good fit for you. I’ve consistently discovered new and exciting products in these boxes, including some I now consider favorites, such as the CosRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner and the Cosmo Monster Aqua Gel Sunscreen, so it just makes sense for me to continue subscribing to Jini Beauty because I get so much out of it.
I think Jini Beauty Box is a great choice for beginners especially because it provides a variety of products tailored to your skin type and a helpful info card that even tells you where to use the product in your routine. As someone who’s been using Asian beauty products for quite a while now, I feel like I still discover new products, especially some lesser-known gems such as the Cosmo Monster Aqua Gel Sunscreen. If you think this box would be a good fit for you, I definitely recommend giving it a try.

A full list of ingredients  for the products in this box 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!

Thanks for reading!
xx
Cristine

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

Hey friends. Now that I’ve had a chance to use everything in this month’s box, it’s time for me to share my thoughts with you.

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, along with one makeup/cosmetic 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.

Disclaimer: 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.

Holika Holika Glitter Nails, “Flower Shower” (Full size)

Retail value: $5.48 (Jolse)
Jini Beauty says:

Pretty up your nails with the sparkly shower of glitter in this Holika Holika nail polish. The pink, red, and white flecks will add a quick pop of dazzling color for summer!

Directions: Apply polish to bare nails over your usual base coat or as decoration over another nail polish.

 

I only applied this over an existing manicure briefly before taking it off, so I can’t attest to the wear time of this polish. What I can tell you, is that it applied smoothly and that the base has a red tint which showed up on the white polish I applied it over. The little red flowers did tend to gather near the bottom of the bottle, so you may need to shake the bottle and dig out the flowers with the wand if you’re specifically trying to get the flowers on your nails. All of the other glitter in the bottle applied easily. Overall, I like the polish and thought it was a nice inclusion as this month’s cosmetic item, especially since it arrived in plenty of time to use it for a 4th of July or Canada Day manicure.

Neogen Dermalogy I’ll Give You The Optimum Moisture Milk Cream Essential Mask  (Full size)

Retail value: ~$3.37 to ~$4.45 eBay $10.11 for a set of 3, Amazon $44.44 for a set of 10

Jini Beauty says:

Enjoy the milk, pine mushroom, and green bean infused in this mask from Neogen’s dermalogy series! These power ingredients help even out skin tone and blemishes and impart smoother and brighter skin overall.

Directions: (After Toner) Carefully place the mask over face and leave on for 20 minutes to allow for maximum absorption. Gently massage any leftover essence into skin.

 

The essence in this mask surprised me. I was expecting it to be a milky/lotion essence, but instead it was a clear, slightly thick essence that just smelled milky, though it was a slightly sweet powdery milkiness that reminded me a lot of shea butter, which isn’t actually an ingredient in this mask. The milk in this mask comes from milk protein extract. It also contains niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, grapefruit extract, and pea extract. This mask contains added fragrance, so I would probably avoid this one if you have a sensitivity. As for the actual scent of the mask, it wasn’t really noticeable while I was wearing the mask. The mask was made from thin cotton, not quite as thin as a silk mask, but definitely thinner than the majority of cotton sheet masks on the market. The mask had adjustment slits around the chin area only. The fit was pretty good for me, a tiny bit wide from cheek to cheek, but the lip flap wasn’t too big for me, which is usually my biggest trouble area with masks. There was a little bit of essence left over in the packet (about half a teaspoon), but the majority of it was coating the sheet mask, which was just short of dripping. It didn’t have any sort of backing, and I did have a little bit of difficulty unfolding this mask because it was so thin and so well-coated in essence. I wore the mask for 36 minutes, which is definitely longer than I should have, but I got distracted by Instagram, oops. Overall, the mask made my skin feel hydrated, which was awesome because my skin was super dry the night I used this. It left my skin feeling slightly slick, but didn’t feel filmy or tacky, especially once I added the rest of my skincare products. I liked the effect it created and would definitely use this again.

Purple Tale 5 Steps to Lovely Skin Kit (Full size)

Retail value: $7.99 PurpleTale, Beauteque
Jini Beauty says:

This 5-in-1 skincare kit is perfect for traveling and takes care of your entire skincare routine in one convenient pack. The products have been formulated with RGII, which is extracted from ginseng saporin through advanced fermentation technology, and repairs aging and damaged skin cells to deliver a youthful glow. The result is brighter, more even toned skin plus whitening, and your skin will feel supple and softer!

Directions: Tear off each packet and follow the instructions provided at each step for the foam cleanser, ampoule, bio-cellulose sheet mask, facial cream, and neck cream.

 

I’ve seen this all over Instagram and AB blogs, and it tends to get rave reviews, so I was pretty excited to try it. Oddly enough, the part of the kit I was most nervous about ended up being my favorite. Since there are five parts to this mask, I’m going to go ahead and discuss them separately.
Step 1 is the cleanser. It was a white cream-to-foam cleanser that smelled somewhat like SweeTarts with a hint of citrus. As I was rinsing it off, I could feel it stating to make my skin feel rubbery and squeaky clean, which is something that I personally don’t like. It did dry my skin out more than any of my regular cleansers do, but it didn’t make my skin feel stripped. (At the moment, my skin is slightly oily on my forehead and nose, and slightly dry on my chin and cheeks, but it easily delves into dehydrated or oily-dehydrated territory if I don’t work to maintain my skin’s balance) If I were to use this kit again in the future, I would probably just use my own cleanser, especially because I have enough trouble keeping my skin hydrated as it is. So, the cleanser was a bust for me.
On to Step 2, the ampoule. The ampoule was a clear, slippery serum that sank in quickly and easily, though it did feel kind of heavy on my skin, and had a slightly tacky finish. I didn’t notice any immediate effects from the ampoule besides it replacing some of the hydration I lost through cleansing. There was no discernible smell, despite the added fragrance that was in every step of this kit, so probably not something you would want to use on sensitive skin.
The sheet mask was Step 3, and unfortunately it was a bio-cellulose mask. Loads of people love bio-cellulose masks because they’re so good at clinging to every curve of your face. I, on, the other hand, feel like I have a trash bag clinging to my face, especially as the mask dries out and clings even tighter to my face. It’s a texture I just don’t enjoy in sheet masks, but I totally get the reasoning behind using a bio-cellulose mask right after an ampoule to aid penetration of ingredients. I think most people will enjoy this step, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

 

It was a two-piece mask, divided like a hydrogel mask typically is, horizontally above the mouth. The essence was thick and slippery, and there was a ton of it left over in the package. That’s actually another downside to bio-cellulose masks, they don’t hold essence the way that cotton or silk do. As a result, they tend to dry out a bit quicker. I did apply a bit of the left over essence to my face before applying the mask though. The mask was wrapped in a very thin backing on both sides of both pieces of the mask. It was a bit difficult to unwrap, but the wrapping was definitely necessary because of the thinness of the mask itself. The fit was good overall, but the nose piece was a little too long for me. Keep in mind, though, I have a small nose, so this will probably fit most people, especially people with larger noses, just fine. The flap above the lip was super thin, so I was able to avoid the biggest problem I usually have with sheet masks. Yippee!
After the sheet mask comes the facial cream, Step 4. I lost my notes for the last two steps, unfortunately, so these will be from memory. I can’t remember what the face cream smelled like, since it was over a week ago, but I do remember thinking that it was just ok. There wasn’t anything particularly memorable about it, which is probably a good thing in this case, because it means it didn’t cause me any problems or frustrate me in any way. It did feel like it helped to seal in all of the other steps though.
My favorite step ended up being Step 5, the neck cream. I was actually terrified to use this because my neck is just as acne prone as my face, if not more so. Putting any form of skincare on my neck nearly always causes me to break out, and you can even see that I already had a blemish on my neck in the sheetmask photos above. I know how important skincare for your neck can be, especially when it comes to anti-aging, but I just can’t do it. However, this cream may change that for me. Not only did I love the texture of the cream and the way it sank into my skin, it didn’t cause me to breakout at all. It made my skin look and feel more hydrated. While the rest of the steps of this kit aren’t something I can see myself using again, I would definitely use the neck cream again. I’m still shocked that it didn’t break me out. I do love the concept of this skin kit, especially because it would be great for travel, but since a few of the steps didn’t really fit with my personal preferences, I probably wouldn’t use it again, with the exception of the neck cream and maybe the face cream.

Sulwhasoo Renewing Kit  (Deluxe Sample Size)

Retail value: $4.25 eBay, set of 2 kits (4 pcs total) for $8.50

 

The kit contains 2 items: the First Care Activating Serum and the Essential Firming Cream.

First Care Activating Serum (4 ml):

Jini Beauty says:

Rebalance your skin and replenish its nutrients with this first step serum. Milkvetch promotes natural skin circulation, while dwarf lilyturf and licorice boost the synergy of concentrated Korean medicinal herb extracts to restore skin’s healthy radiance. The serum helps prep your skin to “activate” its efficacy in receiving your next skincare products.

Directions: (After Cleanser) Apply the serum with your fingers and gently massage into skin to enhance penetration.

 

The serum was a thin, translucent, medium brown liquid that absorbed into the skin super quickly without leaving anything but smoothness behind. It had a strong herbal smell that I personally found to be very pleasant, but may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I felt like this was the type of product that you know is doing something for your skin, you just can’t pinpoint what. Maybe if I used it for longer, I’d be able to figure it out, but I’ve already finished off my sample of this and the full size is $84, so probably not buying that any time soon. I would consider purchasing more samples of it though, because ultimately I did like it.

Essential Firming Cream EX (5 ml):

Jini Beauty says:

This cream can be used for day or night to help firm and tone your skin. Adlay millet detoxifies skin and promotes elasticity, while pomegranate, ginko, and green tea extracts supply potent antioxidants to deliver radiance. Your skin will be nourished both inside and out!

Directions: (After Essence or Serum) Scoop out a tiny amount of the cream with your finger or a Q-Tip. A little goes a long way! Gently massage the cream into skin.

I definitely agree that a little bit of this goes a long way. It spread easily, and has a thin, lightweight texture. The scent of this is similar to the serum, but the scent is way more subtle. I’m about half-way through the jar now, and I haven’t noticed it firming at all, nor have I noticed any other effects beyond moisture. If I had to choose between the two, I’d definitely pick the serum, hands down. I think a cream that’s $95 for the full size should do more than moisturize. At least now I know it’s not something I’m interesting in purchasing.

Petitfee Premium Gold EGF Eye Patches (Full size)

Retail value: $10.98 Amazon
Jini Beauty says:

An innovative substitute for eye cream, these hydro gel eye patches are infused with EGF (epidermal growth factor) and pure gold to help stimulate cells and restore elasticity. They also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles while moisturizing, plumping, and firming the under-eye area with aloe vera, ginseng, caviar, and green tea extracts. One jar contains 60 gold-flecked eye patches, so there’s plenty to go around for nightly pampering!

Directions: (After Toner) Use the spoon to lift out a patch. Adhere patch to the under-eye area and leave on for 20-30 minutes.

 

This is one of the items I was most excited for this month, and it turned out to be the biggest let down. I have horrendous dark circles and often suffer from a dry undereye area, so eye patches are always something I’m wanting. However, they also tend to be the first thing kicked out of my cart when I’m trying to bring my total down, because I don’t really need them, I just want them.

 

The patches are made from hydrogel and come soaked in a thin, clear serum. I love that this comes with a little spatula, which is both helpful and hygienic. The patches are nice and large too. They cover from the bottom of my eyes all the way down to my cheek bones, and also curve up to cover the area where crows feet form. They feel nice and soothing at first, but then they begin to sting my skin near my cheekbones. At first I though it was maybe just an interaction with my acids, and tried using the patches on nights I wasn’t using acids. Still stung. Oddly, they never stung my eyes or the area immediately below them, but further down my cheeks. I didn’t have any active or even any healing acne spots there any of the times that I used them, so I don’t know what would cause them to sting. I’ve tested the serum on my arm, no stinging there. These also didn’t do much for me in the way of hydration, so for me, these are definitely a pass.

 

Also, something worth noting: these are a different shape than the “eye and spot patches” from the same brand. The eye patches from the eye and spot patches are thinner “C” shapes, rather than the swooshes you see above. If these didn’t irritate my skin, I’d say these were good eye patches because they fit well and stuck to my skin without me having to constantly readjust them. Unfortunately, these just didn’t work out for me.

Final Thoughts:

The total value of this month’s box was between $32.07 and $33.15

The stand-out products for me this month were definitely the Neogen mask, the PurpleTale neck cream, and the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum. I really like that there’s been a variety of products in every box. A lot of other K-beauty subscription boxes tend to be all sheet masks, or if they are a mix of products, a lot of them tend to be gimmicky things that I would never get any use out of (that’s just personal preference, not throwing any shade). Even though not everything was a winner for me this month, they were at least all things that would potentially be useful to me. Have you tried any products from this month’s box? If so, let me know what you thought of them in the comments down below!

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!

Review: May 2016 Jini Beauty Box for Normal/Combination Skin

Another fun box from Jini Beauty this month! This month’s box included a couple of products from brands I hadn’t heard of, which is always fun, plus an interesting surprise in the form of a hair essence.

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.

Disclaimer: 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.

Sometimes if you’re really lucky, your cat will “help” you with your blog photos. Clearly he likes the packaging of the Sansooyu Yoon Gyeol Peeling Gel, too.

 

Reme+G 3-in-1 Aqua Peeler Kit (Full size)

Retail value: $6 (GlowRecipe)
Jini Beauty says:

This 3 in 1 kit is awesome for treating yourself to a peeling treatment at home. Step 1: Wipe your face with the giant cotton swab, which has been saturated with AHA complex for gentle exfoliation and removal of dead skin cells. Step 2: Nourish and brighten skin by massaging the vitamin-rich serum into your skin. Step 3: Finish your treatment with a hydrating sheet mask designed to lock in moisture and soothe skin with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera. Directions: (After Cleanser) Follow the 3 steps that are outlined above and also on the back of the kit.

I’ve actually used this product before (original Instagram review below) and though I enjoy the concept of it, the acid concentration isn’t high enough for my mega acid-loving skin. I do feel it’s effective for skin that doesn’t have such a high acid tolerance, and it’s worth trying at least once for the fun of the giant q-tip alone.

Step 1 is to rub the giant cotton swab all over your face. It has a slightly unpleasant smell and leaves a tacky finish, which hangs around for a bit after you’ve finished using the product. It’s only tacky to the touch though, I couldn’t actually feel the product on my face. According to the instructions on the packet, you may experience some tingling during this step. Since my skin has such a high acid tolerance, I’ve never experienced any tingling with this product. People with sensitive skin should exercise caution, though.

Step 2 is to apply the serum. It’s a very liquidy, amber-colored serum that smells fresh and slightly like citrus. It absorbed quickly into my skin.

Step 3 is the sheet mask. It had a generic, unfragranced sheet mask smell that didn’t smell of anything specific. The fit was good, and the material was comparable to a mask from any of the major Korean manufacturers such as Etude House, Tony Moly, and Nature Republic. It was comfortable and lightweight, but not as thin as the silk masks from Taiwan.

My order from @hkcplaza arrived! Picked up a few things during their 60% off sale. 🍬#leejiham Tea Tree Essence I usually stay away from tea tree products for fear of drying out my skin, but I’ve heard several people with dry or dehydrated skin say they had a good experience with it, so I’m willing to give it a go. Tried a bit on the back of my hand last night, first impression: absorbed quickly, smell wasn’t overpowering, and didn’t seem to dry my skin out at all. 🍬 Reme+G 3-in-1 Aqua Peeling Kit Used this last night, and while I enjoy the concept, I can’t say I’m impressed with the results. The giant cotton swab was amusing, but the serum in step 2 was quite sticky. The sheet mask portion of the kit fit well and had a lot of serum, not in a messy, drippy sort of way, but in a ‘how the hell has this thing not started to dry out yet’ way. I left it on for 35 minutes and it was still really wet. I just couldn’t take it anymore because the heater kept coming on and it blasts cold air before it gets warm. My face was freezing ⛄️ I think if you’ve never used AHA before or are used to a low strength AHA, you might have better results with this since it’s 6% lactic acid, but for me it was too gentle since my skin is used to the 14% AHA serum from Alpha Hydrox and Sunday Riley Good Genes, which is 40%. I could practically hear my skin asking “6%, is this a joke?” Love the concept of this though! 🍬Take Out Spa #myrenewbottle and #mybrightbottle sheet masks Haven’t seen or heard much about these, so naturally they wandered into my cart. If any of you have tried them, let me know what you thought! 🍬Samples LJH Hydra Whitening Cream and Vital Firming Lotion
A photo posted by Cristine Crawford (@hey_itscristine) on Feb 2, 2016 at 6:53pm PST

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Sansooyu Yoon Gyeol Peeling Gel (Full size; 150 ml)

Retail value: $17.30 (ebay via RoseRoseShop or direct from RoseRoseShop for $5.17+shipping)
Jini Beauty says:

For weekly exfoliation, Sansooyu’s peeling gel provides mild but effective exfoliation to rid your skin of ‘debris’ built up from dead skin cells. The gel is infused with Oriental herbal and plant extracts plus collagen to help protect your skin during the exfoliation process. Directions: (After Cleanser) Apply the gel to a dry face and massage into skin to remove dead skin cells. Rinse off the gel with warm water.

There’s not much information available about this brand in English, but from what I’ve been able to find, it’s a hanbang (traditional Korean, herb-based medicine) brand. They seem to have some other interesting products too, mostly face creams and such, and yes, they all have equally gorgeous packaging. I’d love to see this brand again in a future Jini Beauty Box, especially since it’s a brand that the mainstream U.S.-based AB retailers haven’t picked up yet, to my knowledge.

There’s a bit of controversy over whether or not peeling gels really work the way that the marketing claims they do (more on that from Michelle at LabMuffin and Colin from Colin’s Beauty Pages), but the gist of the controversy is that in many cases the ‘dead skin’ that you’re supposedly rolling off is actually just the product balling up on itself, the same way a primer might ball up when applied over a moisturizer that it doesn’t get along with. The controversy isn’t that these types of products don’t work at all, but rather just that they don’t make your dead skin cells roll off of your face in the way that the manufacturer usually claims it will. A lot of times, the conclusion that’s reached is that the balled-up product ends up acting as a gentle physical exfoliator.

Personally, I really enjoy these types of peels because they give me the satisfying feeling of a scrub without using anything too abrasive. My favorite is the Skin Inc. Pure Revival Peel, but it’s expensive, so I’ve only ever used the samples I could get from Sephora and then sobbed a few tears when it was gone. One of the things I liked about that peel is that my other products seemed to be more effective after using it. I felt the same effect with this product, but to a lesser extent. Using this product makes me feel like there’s less… crap, gunk, whatever sitting on top of my skin, it got rid of some of my dry patches from healing breakouts, and it helped to make my skin smoother. It smells like most peeling gels do—a little bit plasticy with a touch of alcohol (faintly), and it has a thin gel texture that rinses cleanly. If I was going to choose between them, I still prefer the Skin Inc. peel because it was more intense, but I like this one enough to continue using it as part of my regular routine.

Etude House Pink Vital Water Serum (Deluxe Sample; 5 ml)

Retail value: ~$1.22 (RoseRoseShop, set of 4 for $4.87 or full size (80 ml) for $11.09)
Jini Beauty says:

The ‘Pink Vital’ is a different kind of serum—75.54% pink peach water gives a light, watery texture to the serum, which allows for quick absorbtion. Moisture, nutrients, and antioxidants easily soak into the skin without leaving behind any sticky residue! Directions: (After Toner) Dispense the serum onto a cotton pad and gently swipe over face.

 

The serum is thin, milky, lightweight, and smells fruity. To me, it doesn’t quite smell like peaches, more like strawberries, but either way, it’s light and fruity. I wasn’t that into the Etude House Pink Vital Water Serum. It didn’t have any negative effects on my skin, but it also didn’t have any noticeable positive effects either. It absorbed very quickly and didn’t leave a sticky residue. I don’t really have anything to say about it beyond that.

 

 

Etude House Skin Note Deep Moisturizing Hydrogel Mask, Brightening Up (Full Size)

Retail value: ~$3.20 (Amazon, set of five for $15.98)
Jini Beauty says:

Indulge in this amazing hydrogel mask from Etude House, to experience a mask that locks in moisture and essence better than a regular sheet mask. The brightening version has pearl extract and Vitamin C for radiant and glowing skin results. Directions: (After Toner) Unfold the mask and remove just the opaque film from the upper and bottom halves of the mask. Carefully adhere the exposed halves over your face, then remove the transparent film covering the other side. After 15-20 minutes, take off the mask and massage the remaining solution into skin.

This was actually my first hydrogel mask, since I usually try not to spend any more than $2.50-3.00 per mask, and most hydrogels are at least $3. After using this mask, I might be a bit more likely to splurge though. While it did provide basic hydration, I didn’t notice any major brightening effects from this mask. However, I really liked the feel of the hydrogel and it fit well. Like the Reme+G mask, this just had a generic sheet mask smell. I left it on for about 15 minutes, and didn’t have any issues with it sliding around at all. I probably wouldn’t purchase this mask again since I’ve used other masks that give me a more noticeable effect, but I would purchase other hydrogels.

 

Somang Keratin Silk Protein Hair Aqua Essence (Full size; 110 ml)

Retail value: $11.49 (Amazon)
Jini Beauty says:

This hair essence is made with keratin, silk protein complex, and 7 types of floral extracts to nourish and heal any damaged layers of hair. It’s a multi-purpose product that delivers and locks in moisture, strengthen hair cuticles for silky shine, and helps untangle hair to prevent breakage. Essence isn’t just for skin! Directions: Spray onto wet or slightly dried hair before styling.

This was my surprise favorite of this month’s box. I’ve been getting more into AB hair care products, so I was happy to see this in the box, especially since it contains keratin, which my hair responds very well to. I have very long, thick, frizzy, tangly, unmanageable hair, so I’ve tried a lot of products over the years that claim to make hair softer and easier to brush. Most of them have let me down, and the first time I used this product, it actually let me down too. I sprayed a bit in my damp hair, tried to brush it, and ran into the same problem I usually do: my hair was too tangly to get a hair brush through it and the hair essence didn’t seem to help. The next time I used it, I sprayed a lot more product on since it hadn’t seemed to weigh my hair down at all. I think this was part of why it worked better the second and third time. I also waited until morning to brush my hair, and I was completely shocked by how easily the brush went through my hair. I haven’t noticed it making my hair any softer, but it does make it look shiny and healthy without making it look greasy, even when I’ve used it on my roots. I keep forgetting to spray it in my hair before I go to bed, so I’ll update you with a more thorough review of this product once I’ve used it more. The texture is lightweight enough that I think even those with fine or thin hair could use this without fear of losing volume. The scent is nice too, sweet and herbal, but not so strong that it would compete with a perfume or be disturbing to coworkers in an office environment. I didn’t notice the scent throughout the day or night, but I do think the scent is strong enough that it might bother you if you are particularly sensitive to smells.

Final Thoughts:

The total value of this month’s box was ~$39.21

Although not every product in this box was a winner for me, I still enjoyed this month’s box. As usual, there was a good array of products, and I felt like I got my money’s worth. I will say this though, if you’ve never signed up for a subscription box before, you should be mindful of the fact that you probably will receive some products that you just don’t love. It comes with the territory since you’re not personally picking out the products that you’ll receive. If you’re not flexible with what you’re willing to try, and unwilling to accept that you probably won’t like every single thing you receive, subscription boxes may not be for you. I just want everyone to be happy with their purchases. This blog has never been about telling people what to do, it’s about giving people more information so that they can make an informed decision that’s right for them. I enjoy the surprise of subscription boxes, and especially the ability to discover new products that may not have been on my radar before.

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!

Have you tried any of the products from this month’s box? Let me know what you thought of them in the comments!