Tag: Subscription Box (page 2 of 2)

My First Memebox: A Korean Tries Korean Beauty Products

In my latest subscription box adventure, this Korean tries a Korean beauty product box.

I’ve seen reviews of sample boxes from Memebox, a company that sells Korean beauty products and curates sample boxes. South Korean culture is beauty-focused and produces many products we don’t often find in America. From what I gather from other bloggers’ Memebox reviews, Korean products are not only unique, but packaged in quirky ways. For example, this loose powder that comes in an orb with a bow, cupcake lifting cream, and all of these strange masks.

Memebox differs from ipsy or Birchbox in that you choose the boxes you want to order and they come in different sizes and price ranges. I chose the Makeup Edition Memebox which cost $23 + $7 shipping and was supposed to contain four to eight full-size and sample-size products. I hoped that choosing a makeup-focused box would provide me with the opportunity to try cosmetics in colors that would compliment my Asian complexion.

Subscribers can earn earn points (1 point = $1). For example, I earned seven points by sending an email to their customer service providing the name of a blog offering a referral discount and by creating an account on their website. Seven dollars covered the shipping charge so my box cost $23. You can also earn points by purchasing certain products.

I did not upgrade to express shipping so my box shipped on the 16th and arrived in my mailbox on the 23rd.

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It was not what I expected or hoped for. Here’s what I found inside:

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This box contained five full-sized products along with a sheet describing each one and listing their prices. Let’s start with my least favorite product, first.

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I wasn’t thrilled to find a makeup base. This is not a product I’ve ever used or have a desire to use. I feel like I put enough layers on my face with a moisturizer, sunscreen, foundation and powder.

This base is tinted green which is supposed to reduce redness which could be helpful for various skin conditions or scars.

Plus, what’s up with this lady on the package?

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I was as equally unexcited to find this anti pore eraser balm for similar reasons. It’s supposed to help minimize the appearance of pores and control sebum.

I tried a little bit on my hand. The balm is very light and blends into the skin easily. It really does seem to fill in skin texturing and creates a perfectly smooth surface which is cool and kind of freaks me out. There’s nothing wrong with this balm, it’s just not something I care to use. Maybe I’m weird, but I’m kind of okay being porey and a little shiny.

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As if green makeup base and pore reducing balm didn’t make this box blemish-focused enough, I got a concealer pencil.

The color matches my skin well so I tried it on a couple pimples. It really didn’t make enough of a visible a difference that I would consider purchasing it for $18.

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This blush is slightly less boring than the blemish concealers. It’s a light peach/orange color and I’ll have to try it later because I don’t even own a blush brush.

I couldn’t help but compare this box to being a kid and receiving socks from my parents at Christmas. Sure, they are practical, but not very much fun.

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This tint gloss is my favorite product in the box. At first, I was alarmed by its flourescent orange color. Fortunately, the color looks more subtle when I apply it to my lips.

It’s still an unusual color, but I like it. The gloss feels light and smooth without being sticky. And the applicator’s sponge shape is, um, interesting. . .

Concluding Thoughts:
I’m not going to sugar coat this; I’m disappointed in my first Memebox. I ordered it over a month ago because they sell out quickly and have been waiting in anticipation for fun Korean makeup samples. Although all five items are full-sized, I did not want three blemish concealing products. I had hoped for colorful cosmetics like eyeshadows, mascara, nail polish, lipsticks, and really, anything else!

For my wants and needs, this is a terrible curation of products with little variety. I don’t care if the actual value of the products exceeds the $23 I paid for the box. They aren’t items I wanted or will use, so I essentially paid $23 for a lip gloss I like and a blush I tolerate.

I won’t take my chances purchasing any more Memeboxes, but I might order specific products from their website since I’m still interested in trying Korean beauty products. I just won’t leave it up to Memebox to surprise me.

Our Second NatureBox: A Review

*This is NOT a sponsored post. We pay for our own subscription because we like mail and we like snacks!

Our second NatureBox was better than our first.

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This time around, we asked fellow subscribers what their favorite NatureBox snacks were and added some to our order.

We did experience a possible glitch, though. NatureBox advertised a small selection of $1 add-on snacks, so I chose a bag of Santa Fe Corn Stix. What we actually received was two bags of Santa Fe Corn Stix, minus the bag of Mango Orange Fruit Chews I had specified. I was initially disappointed since the Corn Stix was a $1 add-on, but we liked them so much we no longer cared.

We subscribe to the five snacks for $20 a month plan. For May, we received Sourdough Cheddar Pretzels, Bombay Curried Cashews, Citrus Chipotle Chickpeas, Big Island Pineapple, and two bags of Santa Fe Corn Stix.

Here’s what we thought of our snacks:

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Santa Fe Corn Stix: These actually turned out to be one of our favorite snacks. They are addictive and flavored with a light salsa seasoning. Jake likened them to a gourmet version of Andy’s Hot Fries. Since we received two bags, we each took our one bag to work.

Sourdough Cheddar Pretzels: This is my second favorite snack. The pretzel nubs are coated in a thick cheesy powder that has a sweet beer flavor. I love how intensely cheesy and salty they taste

Citrus Chipotle Chickpeas: I chose this flavor of chickea because I enjoyed the black pepper variety so much. The seasoning on these crunchy chickpeas reminds of the chili-lime coated snacks I enjoyed in Mexico. NatureBox’s are a little spicy (I can always use more heat) and taste more of chipotle than citrus. The seasoning powder is bright red, so I eat them at home instead of at work, lest I coat all of my work documents with freaky red fingerprints.

Bombay Curried Cashews: Neither of us is enthusiastic about this snack mix, but I don’t dislike it so much that I won’t finish it. Despite its name, the Bombay Curried Cashews mix is mostly comprised of not cashews. It also contains walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds plus dried apple, raisins and craisins. The yellow curry seasoning is milder than I expected and the whole mix is a little too sweet with dried fruits for my tastes. It reminds me of eating chutney.

Big Island Pineapple: I ordered this snack specifically because someone recommended it to me and I had an inkling Jake would like it. I don’t often seek dried fruit. To me, these just tasted like dried pineapple.

There is no photo of the pineapple rings because Jake liked them so much that he took them to work and promptly enjoyed them. He’s going to add another bag to our order next month. I have to note this snack came in the smallest portion size, clocking in at three ounces while the rest of the snacks weighed between four and six ounces.

Concluding Thoughts:
Soon after we received our first box, I was leaning towards canceling our subscription but we’ve since changed our minds.

We like having a variety of snacks to choose from during the month and the protein-rich ones are helpful for tiding us over at work. Sure, some of the snacks are healthier than others, but they’re all free from artificial colors, sweeteners flavors, trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils, and high fructose corn syrup.

Five-six bags of snacks seems like a good quantity for the two of us each month. Plus, it’s fun to see Jake get enthusiastic over the subscription service, so it looks like we’ll remain NatureBox customers for now.

Thoughts On Our First NatureBox Snacks

This is not a sponsored post. We pay for our subscription with our own money and have never been contacted by NatureBox to review their products. 

Look, snacks!

We just received our first NatureBox filled with six bags of snacks. NatureBox is essentially a monthly snack subscription service where you order resealable bags of snacks free of high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, sweeteners and flavors, transfats & hydrogenated fats. Subscribers can also sort the online listing of snacks by categories to avoid food allergens and GMO’s.

The snacks range from sweet to savory and you can pick them all out yourself or let Naturebox surprise you. We chose the snacks in our first box.

Regarding pricing, you can choose five snacks for $20, 10 for $30, or 20 for $50. Subscription box services always seem to offer promotional coupon codes and NatureBox is currently offering 50% off your first box. NatureBox states that to cancel one’s subscription, subscribers need to call at least five days before the next billing date listed on their online profile page.

We are always looking for snacks we can bring with us to work so we aren’t going out to grab more unhealthy convenience foods so we thought we’d give Naturebox at least two months to see if it’s worth the $20/month fee.

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For our first five snacks, we chose sriracha roasted cashews, pb&j granola, whole wheat figgy bars, Honey Mustard Dippin’ Stix and peppery chickpeas. NatureBox threw in a bonus bag of Toasted Cheddar Stix. I don’t know why they capitalize some of their titles and not others. 

Here are our thoughts on our first box:

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Cashews are one of my favorite nuts. I once embarassed myself at a party when I realized I had eaten all of the cashews out of the host’s mixed nut bowl.

These cashews had a pleasant sweet and salty flavor and carried a kick of heat. For whatever reason, I detect a slight fishy flavor that reminds me of fish sauce or kimchee. This could just be me, but I like fish sauce and kimchee so I don’t care. This is the smallest snack bag containing 4 oz while the other bags ranged between 4.5-6 oz.

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The texture of this granola surprised me. I was expecting it to be crunchy but it’s soft. I like the peanut butter flavor and appreciate that it’s not terribly sweet. The granola would make a nice addition to a morning bowl of cereal or a work snack, but, we wish it was crunchier. I’m not a fan of chewy granola bars.

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Sesame sticks have always been one of my favorite snacks and the honey-mustard flavoring reminds me of Snyder’s Pretzel Nibblers except a little sweeter.

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Of all six snack bags, I find myself returning to these peppery chickpeas most frequently. They are light and crunchy and spicy with black pepper. I like these so much I will try one of the other flavors.

Not Pictured: Whole Wheat Figgy Bars
Jake specifically chose these figgy bars because he’s fond of Fig Newtons. I am not. He excitedly brought the bag with him to work and now there are no more figgy bars. For detailed photos, see this blog post from The Beauty Deputy.

The bag contained five, individually wrapped bars sized somehwere inbetween a Fig Newton and typical breakfast bar.

While Jake enjoyed the bars, he mentioned they didn’t strike him as any more or less compelling than a Fig Newton.

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NatureBox generously added this sixth bonus snack bag of Toasted Cheddar Stix. Instead of being coated in honey-mustard, they are coated in cheese powder. I like their saltiness, but I taste a citric acid-like tang in the seasoning that I don’t love.

These are actually Jake’s favorite snack in the box.

Concluding Thoughts:
Our first month of NatureBox was a steal since we used the promotion to get 50% off our first box. Since NatureBox threw in an extra treat, we paid $10 for six bags of snacks. $20 a month for five bags of snacks seems steep but we’re going to give it at least one more month before we decide if we’d like to try Graze.

Friends recommended we try anything spicy, the dried pineapple, guacamole bites, lemon tea biscuits, masa crisps and sunshine chips. Interestingly, one person liked the Peanut Butter Nom Noms while another said it was the worst item they received.

Pluses:

  • The ability to choose our snacks. My tastes run salty, so I’d be unsatisfied if the boxes were skewed in the sweet direction.
  • The variety. There are so many snacks to choose, both savory and sweet.
  • Snacks don’t contain artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners, and high fructose corn syrup and you to avoid GMO’s and common allergens. We live in a smaller community with limited grocery shopping options so this provides snacks we can’t necessarily find locally.
  • It’s simply fun to receive a box of snacks each month.

Minuses:

  • $20 for five bags of snacks is not cheap.
  • The quantity in each bag of snacks varies.
  • While some of our snacks were fine, they did not taste more or less compelling than what I could pick out in the bulk section of any grocery store.

I’m becoming a subscription box hopper. We plan to try NatureBox for at least one more month at its full-priced rate before deciding if we want to try Graze. I cancelled my ipsy subscription and ordered a cosmetic-only Memebox that’s scheduled to ship mid-May (because why wouldn’t you want to see an adopted Korean try Korean cosmetics?). Then, I’ll try Birchbox

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