The Empties of January 2015

Aside from two products, January has been the month of K-beauty item testing. I went on a huge Memebox binge in October and November, and because of the sloooow shipping from Korea, I didn't get most of them until December. The result is that I am now drowning in Korean cosmetics, and have been using them exclusively in order to test out what works best for my skin.

Julep Oxygen Smoothing Base Coat

Julep Oxygen Smoothing Base Coat: I discovered the Julep Maven subscription last summer and have loved everything I've received from them since then. This base coat is no exception. I learned early on that this base coat shouldn't be used with just any polish. It's quite thick and opaque, and works best under glitters. For those who adore glitter nail polish, this base coat is a miracle worker. I used to use white glue before applying anything with sparkles so that I could just peel it off in one coat, and not sit there fussing with each nail for ten minutes. This Julep product works almost the same way, except you can use regular polish remover. It has the added benefit of allowing oxygen to permeate the nails, so that they don't turn yellow. It retails on their website for $18 (nuts), but there is always a way to get Julep products cheaper. I usually wait for the items to appear in their Savvy Deals section, Secret Store, or as an add-on option to my monthly box. A ton of coupon codes are also floating around the internet on blogs and coupon websites like RetailMeNot. There is no reason anyone should be paying retail prices for Julep.

Make Up Forever HD Primer

Make Up Forever HD Primer: I have a confession to make. When I want to wear a full face of makeup, I use two primers. Underneath Benefit's POREfessional, I like to use Make Up Forever's HD Primer in Neutral. Up until a few months ago, I was obsessed with it and would have probably refused to use anything else to prime my face. Then I woke up and realized I was using $70 worth of makeup before applying my actual makeup. But that's a story for another day. If I'm spending $40 on a product, it better perform exceptionally well, and this does. I find that the MUF primer does a better job than the POREfessional at blurring fine lines and wrinkles, and doesn't leave my face feeling greasy or cake-y. It settles in nicely, and creates the perfect canvas for applying makeup. I'm hoping to find a hidden gem in my k-beauty pile or great drugstore dupe before I break down and just buy this again.

Purederm Tea-Tree Pore Freshener

Purederm Tea-Tree Pore Freshener: This did nothing for me. I think it may have actually made me break out, even though tea tree is supposed to be good at controlling oil and reducing 'troubles' (read: acne). It left a weird film on my face, like it never got fully absorbed by my skin. Most k-beauty aficionados are Purederm fangirls, but this toner was enough to turn me off the brand completely.

Skinfood Egg White Pore Meringue Foam

Skinfood Egg White Pore Meringue Foam: I hated this foaming cleanser until I learned how to use it properly. It actually made it into the trash can a month ago, until my niece came to visit and saw it and wanted to try it out. Gross, I know. I'm glad she fished it out though, because it ended up being a really great working face wash. The trick is to use it after an oil cleanser (it's called double cleansing) and to not leave it on the face for too long, because it is way too harsh on its own. Even the oiliest face would be at risk of drying out and flaking if this was used improperly on a regular basis. Once I wash off my facial oil, I do a quick cleanse with the foam to get rid of the residue, and it ends up leaving my face feeling the perfect kind of clean.

Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Liquid Nose Pack: I purchased this product on its own from TesterKorea because it was on sale. I need to use something to unclog my pores and this seemed like a good bet. It's liquid, so you can apply it to any part of your face with large pores. My issue was that I could never get the correct coverage. If I spread it too thick, it would never dry, and washing it off was a huge mess. Plus, my pores were still clogged. If I spread it too thin, it didn't grip on to the gunk properly, and peeling it off was a huge mess. Again, the pores were still clogged. I gave it five good tries until I gave up and tossed it. Goodbye $4.

Solucion 9 Aztec Therapy Shampoo: I need more of this shampoo, stat! I'm so sad I only received the tester in my Hair Salon Memebox and not the full size that they had sent out previously. It's a tiny tube, but lasted me a week because it cleansed my hair so well. I only needed to lather and rinse once. Forget the repeat. My scalp is also perpetually dry in the winter and the shampoo didn't exacerbate the issue like most of the others I've used before and after it. If anyone knows where I can get a bottle, please let me know!

La'dor Perfect Hair Filler: I also really liked the La'dor hair mask I received in the Hair Salon Memebox.  It left my hair shiny and feeling super soft, but also strong. I noticed I didn't suffer as much hair breakage during the styling process as I usually do. My hair still looked healthy after basically frying it with a flat iron. Yay for Korean hair care! The biggest downside of this hair treatment is that you need to mix it, 1 part solution to 1 part water, so you need to remember to have something on hand in the shower or bath to do that in.

Note: Memebox has notified it's international customers that they will no longer be shipping to countries outside of Korea, China, and the USA. For anyone who is k-beauty curious, I recommend heading over to the blog Fanserviced-b for reviews on a lot of great products and information on where to buy them.


  1. I have some of the Lador hair fillers sitting around wasn't sure when to use it. So I just use it after a shower then wash it out? Just like a hair mask?

    1. OOhh and also how long did the effects last for?


    2. I used it in the shower. I just washed my hair as soon as I got in and then applied the treatment. I left it in until I was done with everything else so that I didn't have to get in and out of the water. I wash my hair every other day, so the effects of the hair mask held up for that long at least!


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