I know this review seems really late (I can't believe its the end of January already!), but I have a really good reason for being so delayed. This isn't actually my original box. My original box got lost somewhere between the Birchbox Warehouse and the first shipping checkpoint. After contacting customer service when it became obvious my box was super lost, they sent me out a new one ASAP. But it did mean my box has only been here for a little bit and I've only now finished testing everything out. So let's jump right in before any more time passes by.
This month I chose to just get the guest editor box, which was a k-beauty themed box! For those unfamiliar with that term, k-beauty stands for Korean beauty and typically is more skincare and natural looking makeup based. I've been wanting to try some k-beauty stuff for a while now but was unsure of where to start so this was a perfect introduction sort of box.
Technically there are seven items in the box, but two are bonus items so they don't really count. Only one real makeup item, everything else is basically skincare stuff. No hair items at all, which was a little strange. Don't know if I've ever gotten a box without at least one hair item in it.
This is the only item I haven't tried yet, and that's because I'm testing out another primer right now. While I've heard of this brand before, I've never used anything from them before so I have no idea if they are a good brand or not. This is the 3D effect Flash Cream Radian Primer by IPKN NEWYORK. My understanding is that it's a face primer with SPF 15 and illuminating properties for that glowing, natural face k-beauty products are known for. I'll let you know on Instagram when I use this and what I thought of it, but for right now it'll go into my stash.
I'm a HUGE fan of face masks, I do one probably 4-5 times a week. Clay masks are my usual fare just because I own so many of them (so so many, I may have a problem), so I was really excited to get a new to me brand of clay mask. This is the re:p (real elemental practice) Bio Fresh Mask with Real Calming Herb. There are no parabens, mineral oils, alcohol, animal ingredients, or other nasty for your skin products in this, which is awesome. It left my skin feeling nice without that tight feeling you sometimes get from clay masks. According to the packaging it should help soothe and hydrate your skin, which I'd have to agree with for the most part. I'll continue using this one for sure.
The other mask in the box is actually one of the reasons why I picked this instead of the regular Birchbox. I always see sheet masks on Instagram or at my local Asian store and I've been really wanting to try one. These are basically like one of those no stick gauze pads that has been soaked in skincare goo and cut into the vague shape of a face. You put in on and leave it there till the sheet dries out. These aren't washed off like a clay mask, any residue left on your skin once you remove the sheet should be patted into you skin.
So I said vaguely like your face for a reason. This mask at least fit horribly. I don't know if I just have to skinny/small of a face or what but it felt about 2 sizes too big and none of the holes really matched where my eyes or mouth was. I will admit that I really liked how my skin looked and felt once I took the sheet off but it wasn't a particularly comfortable experience. I'll give sheet masks another try just to see if it was a brand specific issue, but I probably won't become a sheet mask collector anytime soon.
One of the major differences between k-beauty and the skincare stuff you see here in the states is a difference on the focus. Take toners for example, most of the ones you buy here are for oil control or to help get rid of acne. Korean toners seem to focus more on hydrating the skin and giving it a boost of ingredients to help it look plump and radiant. This Waterest First Essence by Goodal is the perfect example of that. This is a toner (I think) that you are suppose to pat into your skin instead of wiping with a cotton ball like my usual toner. I'd call this almost a gel moisturizer it was that hydrating. I really liked this, it may be my favorite item out of the whole box. My skin always feels amazing after I use this, I need to pick up a full sized bottle for sure.
The bonus items were also from Goodal and both are a facial cleanser mostly. I say mostly because one of them is kind of halfway between a treatment and a cleanser. K-beauty seems to blur the lines between categories I've noticed. The pack on the left is the Yerba Mate Cleansing Foam and I'm not the biggest fan of it. It goes on like that old Noxzema cream stuff we all used as teens to combat our acne, but once you add water to wash it off it foams...and foams...and foams. I swear it took me longer to wash it all off my face than it took to open the pack with my teeth, squeeze some out, and rub it into my face. I spent so much time bent over my sink trying to wash all the foam away that my husband actually checked in on me.
The other pack is the Yerba Mate Bubble Peeling stuff. None of the instructions were in English so I had to look them up online, which was a bit annoying. You'd think Birchbox would have included some. This is a slightly gritty gel you rub onto your face, let sit for a bit, them rinse off. The gel foams up (think baking soda when you put vinegar on it) and is suppose to remove all your dead/dry skin. I don't think this is anywhere near what we call a peel here in the states, but the bubbling was pretty fun and made my 4 year old laugh so I guess it wasn't a total bust. I won't be getting either of these items, really not worth the price tag.
The last item is also another reason I got this box. Tony Moly products seem to be taking the beauty world by storm with their adorable packaging and I've been dying to get some of their items. This is your basic red lip/cheek tint, which I'm a total sucker for. I already own a giant bottle of red tint so I really didn't need this, but I wanted anyways.
See what I mean about cute packaging? The cap is in the shape of a little heart! I didn't even notice it at first, my kiddo pointed it out to me.
This box overall didn't really do it for me. I'm glad I got it and got to try everything in it, but none of the products minus the essence wowed me enough to want to get more. I think these products would be awesome for other people, but I have different skincare needs than what most k-beauty items focus on so I may just skip that trend. If you adore k-beauty and think there's something I need to try ASAP or know of a sheet mask that will fit my little face please let me know down below in the comments.