I’m not a beauty box person. I’ll read unboxings and reviews on the blogs I follow, but no box has tempted me since the great Oh Sheet Mask! debacle of 2014. Most of the beauty boxes I’ve seen are nothing but a bunch of samples (which I already have about 5,000 too many of), products destined to gather dust in my linen closet until I put them in someone’s care package, and, at best, one or two items I might actually be willing to try. A box is a big commitment and an even bigger risk. That’s why the Beautibi Spring Fling Beauty Box, which Jen from Beautibi sent for me to check out, is the first box I’ve reviewed here, in over a year of AB blogging!
Beautibi Spring Fling Box unboxing
I’m posting this review to give you guys a taste of the Beautibi curation style and box value. The actual Spring Fling box is sold out and likely won’t be restocked, since that’s how Jen rolls. If you’re into beauty boxes already, you probably have some random K-beauty cleansing wipes somewhere in the house. Go grab a pack to clean away the tears without roughing up your skin. But do keep reading if you’re curious about Beautibi boxes!
Jen’s talent lies in finding products, like the L’Herboflore and Maskingdom sheet masks she stocks, whose aesthetics elevate them from simple beauty products to extravagant indulgences. Beautibi isn’t a place for budget basics. Turns out that that’s just as true of Beautibi’s boxes as it is of the shop’s à la carte selection. Maybe even more so.
The experience started with the actual box. Not lightweight, flimsy, collapsible corrugated cardboard, the signature Beautibi box is heavy, made of densely pressed, ultra-solid cardboard that’s so high quality I thought it was wood at first. (Mine is now displayed on top of my skincare organizer, where it holds the prettiest cream and lotion options in my current daily rotation.) I don’t usually like to harp on packaging this much, but this box set the tone beautifully.
What was inside the box justified the luxurious presentation. The Spring Fling box didn’t contain a bunch of sample foils and mini travel-size products. Nor did it contain products from brands already well known to Western AB enthusiasts. This wasn’t a budget or beginner’s box. This was a box of specialness with the distinctive Beautibi vibe, elegant and feminine and classy without going over the top or taking itself too seriously.
Spring flowers were the theme of the box. The full-size Femmue Global Youth Spring Water toner and Global Youth Spring Lotion emulsion star damask rose and a touch of jasmine. The Femmue sheet masks feature chamomile, elder flower, peony, and lavender. Rose was one of the two flavor options for the AYU.Co lip treatment. Even the sunscreen, a deluxe sample of Thankyou Farmer Shimmer Sun Essence, lists some botanical extracts in its ingredients.
Toner, moisturizer, lip balm, sheet masks, and sunscreen are all basic building blocks of the K-beauty skincare routine and gave the box a lot of practical value, while the specific products chosen added a heady dose of charm, especially for rose lovers! Which I actually am not, but we’ll get to that in a few minutes. My point is that the items in this box are much more useful, in my opinion, than a box full of peeling gels and eyebrow stains and other stereotypically gimmicky K-beauty products would be. And I’ve seen lots of those kinds of boxes. I was able to incorporate every product in this box into my daily skincare routine!
Oh, and one last thing before we get down to product reviews. I need you guys to know that Beautibi launched this box right around Easter and included an actual, literal Easter Egg.
Nestled among the recycled/recyclable paper crinklies in the egg was a single miniature fake flower with a strip of paper rolled around its wire stem. My strip unrolled to reveal a free shipping code. (First one to request it in a comment on this post can have it, by the way. Fiddy luhhh you.) The Easter egg was the final touch that made the box feel like a labor of love. Those things must have been a giant pain in the ass to assemble.
Now that we’re done with the aesthetics, LET’S GET RRRRREEEEAAADDDDYYYYY TO REEEVIEEEEWWWWWWW!
Preliminary Match: AYU.Co Ultra Rich Lip Treatment and Thankyou Farmer Sun Project Shimmer Sun Essence Reviews
Every beauty box I can remember seeing unboxed has contained a mix of little things and big things. The two “little things” in the Beautibi Spring Fling Beauty Box were the AYU.Co Beautiful Rose Ultra Rich Lip Treatment and a 15ml deluxe sample of Thankyou Farmer Sun Project Shimmer Sun Essence.
AYU.Co Beautiful Roses Ultra Rich Lip Treatment
Unboxing the AYU.Co Beautiful Rose Ultra Rich Lip Treatment was almost as fun as unboxing the actual Spring Fling Box!
Founded by Ayuko Carlton, Los Angeles-based AYU.Co (formerly known as Tokyo Factory) makes “natural, vegan, harsh chemicals-free and cruelty-free” products with a sophisticated aesthetic not often seen in the Crunchy Natural category. I like the designiness of the brand and have enough of a soul to appreciate the cruelty-free claim (though I wonder if the label applies all the way down to raw ingredients or only to finished formulations). I could not care less about the organic status of the products and dislike the scaremongery use of the word “chemicals,” but those things aren’t turn-offs for me, and I know some of you will be drawn to the promise of elegant organic beauty products, so enjoy!
AYU.Co Beautiful Rose Ultra Rich Lip Treatment ingredients: Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, alkanna tinctoria (alkanet) root, pelargonium graveolens (rose geranium) oil, rosa damascena (rose) extract, tocopherol (CosDNA)
The Beautiful Rose Ultra Rich Lip Treatment is an oil-based balm, solidified to a harder texture than any lip product I’ve ever tried before. The smooth surface of the product doesn’t give, not even to a good firm poke. Instead, it softens slowly into a lush-feeling oil blend with a subtle rose fragrance and no taste whatsoever. A thin layer keeps my lips feeling soft for several hours between reapplications. I have other balms that moisturize for longer (Vaseline Lip Therapy in Rosy Lips* was my go-to until the AYU.Co came along), but the Beautiful Rose Ultra Rich Lip Treatment sinks in more thoroughly and sits better under lipsticks. Gooier balms tend to encourage my lip color to slide off. At night, I like to apply a thick layer of the Beautiful Rose lip treatment over a drop of Hada Labo lotion. The soft lips I wake up to are almost as nice as the soft lips of my Lord Fiddy. I’m sorry if that grossed you out. Back on topic, this is a lovely lip moisturizer that will last me approximately forever. I use it as a nourishing cuticle treatment, too.
Thankyou Farmer Sun Project Shimmer Sun Essence
Surprise number two of the Spring Fling Beauty Box was this little tube of sunscreen from new Korean beauty brand Thankyou Farmer, which Jen just added to Beautibi’s à la carte lineup. The Shimmer Sun Essence is SPF 30 and PA++, which really bummed me out. At first.
Thankyou Farmer Sun Project Shimmer Sun Essence ingredients: Water, cyclopentasiloxane, glycerin, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, ethylhexyl salicylate, alcohol, caprylic/capric triglyceride, isoamyl p-methoxycinnamate, niacinamide, diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate, glyceryl stearate, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, dimethicone, titanium dioxide, polysorbate 60, mica, 1,2-hexanediol, tocopheryl acetate, portulaca oleracea extract, plukenetia volubilis seed oil, nelumbo nucifera flower water, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, althaea rosea flower extract, silica, PEG-100 stearate, cetearyl alcohol, triethoxycaprylylsilane, beeswax, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP copolymer, hydroxyethyl acrylates/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, stearic acid, sodium acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, xanthan gum, polyurethane-11, isohexadecane, polysorbate 80, adenosine, disodium EDTA, tin oxide, fragrance, phenoxyethanol, CI 14700 (CosDNA)
I take my sunscreen very seriously. None of the sunscreens I use on my face are less than SPF 50 or PA++++. In fact, until now I’ve only used Japanese sunscreens, like my HG Biore Watery Essence. SPF 30 PA++ sounded hardly better than running around naked-faced outside in the glaring SoCal sun. But I’m much more rigid about UV protection than many people. That’s a neurosis, not a standard. Also, since no other product I’ve tried from Beautibi’s inventory has let me down, I felt like I had to give this sunscreen a chance. So on the morning of a day when I was a little under the weather and knew I wouldn’t be going any farther than my patio, I squeezed out two finger lengths of the Shimmer Sun Essence and slathered it on.
Of course the Shimmer Sun Essence didn’t let me down. Judging by cosmetic elegance alone, I love it even more than Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence. It’s a silky lotion that provides light emollient moisture, dries down quickly, gives no white cast whatsoever on my NC15 face or slightly tanner hands despite its hint of brightening pinkish tint, and leaves no greasy feeling for me, even over a heavy cream like the J.One Hana Cream I’m currently testing. It smells like roses with a pleasant hint of classic sunscreen fragrance.
But the Shimmer Sun Essence isn’t for everyone. True to its name, it’s shimmery. It’s very very shimmery. IT’S VERY FUCKING SHIMMERY. I AM NOT KIDDING ABOUT THE SHIMMER!!!
It’s an illuminating makeup base wearing a sunscreen costume. If you’re into matte skin, you should absolutely avoid it.
I happen to love the pinkish-gold shimmer of the product. Used at less than full strength, the Shimmer Sun Essence creates a beautiful dewy glow. The glow gets intense at the full 1/4 tsp dosage but is easily controllable with a light dusting of translucent powder (I use Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder* with a fan brush). And when used under BB cream or cushion, this sunscreen delivers a smooth and radiant look. As a final bonus, it works well with all the creams, cushions, and BB creams I’ve tried it under. It hasn’t pilled up or flaked off on me once.
The Shimmer Sun Essence does wash off easily, though. I tested its staying power with Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash and my new holy grail Sulwhasoo Snowise EX Cleansing Foam*; both cleansers removed it completely without oil cleansing beforehand. So if you’re looking for a long-wearing, high-protection sunscreen, look elsewhere. But if SPF 30 and PA++ are enough for your needs and you like the idea of an everyday sunscreen that doubles as a radiance-boosting makeup base, you could end up falling in love. I like the Shimmer Sun Essence so much that I now use it as my everyday sunscreen. The protection is enough for that: I haven’t gotten any tanner or more freckled from everyday sun exposure than I was when I used my Watery Essence. I wouldn’t wear this to the beach or on a hike, but for regular days, it protects my skin while making me feel a little prettier. Can’t beat that! I’ll be getting a full size of this whenever I find it at Beautibi or elsewhere. And until then, I’ll be buying the deluxe samples to tide me over.
The Main Event: Femmue Global Youth Spring Water and Global Youth Spring Lotion Reviews
Both of the full-size anchor products in the Spring Fling Beauty Box were from Korean brand Femmue, which Jen explained first approached her in December of 2015 to discuss a partnership. Femmue’s products utilize botanical ingredients that offer aromatherapy as well as skincare benefits, something that Jen told me resonates with her because she regularly uses aromatherapeutic essential oils in a diffuser to relax and wind down.
The Global Youth Spring Water and Global Youth Spring Lotion – Intense use damask rose extracts. Now, roses are not one of my ingredient biases. I love the smell of actual roses but hadn’t had much success with rose-based skincare (Aromatica doesn’t appeal to me, numerous rose sheet masks failed to impress me, Mamonde’s Rose Honey Sleeping Mask clogged my pores, and the very well-liked Re:cipe Rose Petal Cleansing Oil grossed me out because to me it didn’t smell like lovely fresh roses, but like the mummified long-dead rose petals coincidentally swirling around in the oil). As with the Thankyou Farmer Shimmer Sun Essence, however, I was willing to give the Femmue products a chance.
Femmue Global Youth Spring Water
The Global Youth Spring Water is a light hydrating toner, similar to Dear by Enprani Moistfull Booskin but thinner and more watery.
Femmue Global Youth Spring Water ingredients: Water, butylene glycol, glycerin, niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate, polysorbate 20, dipropylene glycol, ethyl hexanediol, ethylhexylglycerin, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, PPG-26-buteth-26, ficus carica (fig) fruit/leaf/stem extract, rosa damascena flower water, sodium citrate, carbomer, fragrance, tromethamine, adenosine, caprylic/capric triglyceride, citric acid, bellis perennis (daisy) flower extract, lilium candidum flower extract, ceramide 3, hydrogenated lecithin, disodium EDTA, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, gnaphalium leontopodium flower extract, houttuynia cordata extract, jasminum officinale (jasmine) flower extract, saussurea involucrata extract, lecithin, phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate (CosDNA)
I kind of have a lot of toners open at the moment, since I was only halfway through my Moistfull Booskin when the Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr Honey Toner came out and you guys know how I feel about the Miss Flower & Mr Honey cream and essence oil and hydrogel masks. But what the hell, what’s another bigass bottle of toner between friends?
Femmue Global Youth Spring Water is a nice toner. The fear with botanical-themed and aromatherapy-themed products like this one is that they’ll end up far too fragranced, or that they’ll be all pretty fragrance with no particular skin benefits (see: Too Cool For School Aroma Garden sheet masks). The Global Youth Spring Water does what a hydrating toner should do: it puts down a softening layer of hydration to help my skin absorb subsequent products better (or rehydrates my skin to get it back to post-cleanse receptivity after I’ve done a brief BHA wait time or a longer tretinoin wait time). Unlike many similar products, it doesn’t contain any drying alcohols, and it doesn’t sting my skin, not even at its most sensitive. Finally, it smells really pretty! When I get suckered into trying a rose-themed product, this is what I expect it to smell like. Essence of fresh pretty roses, not artificial flower fragrance. Score. I’ll happily keep the bigass bottle in my rotation, and I reach for it pretty often.
Femmue Global Youth Spring Lotion – Intense
I’m still pretty biased against emulsions because I’ve hated so many more emulsions than I’ve ever liked, having only really liked one so far, but the Global Youth Spring Lotion – Intense leaped over the first emulsion hurdle by having an actual pump bottle instead of coming in an annoying tall glass bottle like many others, so this, too, I slotted into my routine when a free spot opened up.
Femmue Global Youth Spring Lotion – Intense ingredients: Water, dicaprylyl carbonate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, polyglyceryl-2 dipolyhydroxystearate, butylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, niacinamide, vegetable oil, sodium hyaluronate, cetearyl alcohol, dimethicone, sodium polyacrylate, sodium stearoyl glutamate, glyceryl caprylate, ethylhexylglycerin, ficus carica (fig) fruit/leaf/stem extract, rosa damascena flower water, xanthan gum, fragrance, tocopheryl acetate, adenosine, cardiospermum halicacabum flower/leaf/vine extract, echium plantagineum seed oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil unsaponifiables, octyldodecanol, bellis perennis (daisy) flower extract, lilium candidum flower extract, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, disodium EDTA, phenoxyethanol, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, gnaphalium leontopodium flower extract, houttuynia cordata extract, jasminum officinale (jasmine) flower extract, saussurea involucrata extract, citric acid, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate (CosDNA)
Femmue Global Youth Spring Lotion is billed being a “serum to lotion” multitasking product, with lots of antioxidant plant extracts as well as anti-aging ingredients like niacinamide and adenosine, and after trying it several different ways, I do think it works best as a combo serum and lotion. Though very fluid, the smooth white lotion has a dense, rich quality. It’s not a “sink in fully and leave no trace behind” kind of lotion. Instead, the Global Youth Spring Lotion (Intense) has a silky emollient feel and lays a sheer gloss over skin, smoothing out the surface and adding luster. As with the Thankyou Farmer Shimmer Sun Essence, that may not be for everyone, but I happen to enjoy it, since I prefer dewy to matte anyway. The lotion feels soothing and nourishing on my skin and helps it stay supple all day long, except on the extra arid or tretfaced days. Interestingly, this lotion’s scent reminds me of sake (rose-infused sake, I guess) when I first apply it but settles within about 15 minutes to a more conventional clean rose fragrance.
Thoughts: Looking at the picture above makes me realize that what the Spring Fling box contains is essentially a full post-cleanse skincare routine for skincare enthusiasts who love roses. I’ve had days, like today, where I’ve layered the lotion over the toner and added the lip treatment and sunscreen on top. Based on the results, I’m guessing Jen also tried all the items together. The consistencies of the products mesh seamlessly, with no product pilling, and the fragrances all merge into a light and beautiful rose scent that’s about 100x better than spritzing on perfume, at least in my perfume-averse opinion. The scent is barely noticeable for the most part, but once in a while, when I turn my head just the right way, I get a mood-boosting whiff of roses. I’m all about skincare that lifts my spirits as well as my jowls, so for me, these are a winner, whether separate or together!
The Bonus Round: Femmue The Botanist Sheet Masks
Of course, a Beautibi box wouldn’t be complete without some sheet masks, would it? Continuing the botanical theme and extending the introduction to the Femmue brand, the Spring Fling Beauty Box contained four sheet masks from Femmue’s The Botanist line: Elder, Chamomile, Lavender, and Peony. Here. Have my Instareview of the masks.
Ready for some #sheetmaskreviews? I tried out four #Femmue The Botanist #sheetmasks curated by @beautibi for the #Beautibi Spring Fling #beautybox. If you've ever tried Too Cool For School's Aroma Garden #sheetmask series, you might understand what I mean when I say that the Femmue Botanist masks are what the Aroma Garden masks wanted to be. These beautifully scented masks are both #skincare and #aromatherapy. There are two different kinds of Femmue mask, creamy and watery. Each type's ingredient lists are identical except for the featured extract. I do wish there were a little more differentiation between the masks but then again, choosing based on the floral flavor instead of claimed effects is fun! All the masks are delicately fragranced (no headaches) and stay moist for 45+ minutes for me. My favorites were the Peony and Lavender masks. These two contain milky lotion essence in incredible soft, stretchy, clingy, comfy microfiber sheets. Forget silk masks. Microfiber is better! Both the Peony and Lavender masks got my skin tone nice and even, with redness reduced and irritation calmed. They also did a nice job firming and moisturizing my skin. If I had to choose between them, I would pick the Lavender because of its lovely lavender fragrance. The Chamomile and Elder masks contain the more common clear, watery essence type. The masks sheets used in these is unusually thick and sturdy, a little stiffer than I'm used to but not stiff enough to create fit problems. The material holds on to lots of essence and also holds on to a chill super well. If you like refrigerating your sheet masks, you'll enjoy these for how long they stay cold. The Elder mask had the most brightening effects of the four masks. Both it and the Chamomile mask also hydrated my skin and gave it that awesome dewy-from-within glow. I'd choose the Elder mask from these two for the glow. Ingredients are in the comments. #fiftyshadesofsnail #rasianbeauty #kbeauty #koreanbeauty #koreanskincare #instareview #skincareproductreview #launchingtoday #sheetmaskaddict #koreansheetmasks #asianbeautyproducts #asianbeauty
And the ingredients:
The Botanist Chamomile Mask (yellow packet; watery essence with bamboo fiber mask sheet; calming/hydrating): Water, butylene glycol, glycerin, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, carbomer, arginine, betaine, ethylhexylglycerin, xanthan gum, dextrin, sodium polyacrylate, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, 1,2-hexanediol, phenoxyethanol, parfum, disodium EDTA (CosDNA)
The Botanist Elder Mask (blue packet; watery essence with bamboo fiber mask sheet; hydrating/radiance): Water, butylene glycol, glycerin, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, sambucus nigra flower extract, carbomer, arginine, betaine, ethylhexylglycerin, xanthan gum, dextrin, sodium polyacrylate, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, 1,-2 hexanediol, phenoxyethanol, parfum, disodium EDTA (CosDNA)
The Botanist Lavender Mask (lavender packet; lotiony essence with microfiber mask sheet; revitalizing/soothing): Water, butylene glycol, glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, lavandula angustifolia extract, sodium hyaluronate, carbomer, arginine, polysorbate 60, glyceryl stearate, cetearyl alcohol, sorbitan sesquioleate, ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-hexanediol, phenoxyethanol, parfum, disodium EDTA (CosDNA)
The Botanist Peony Mask (pink packet; lotiony essence with microfiber mask sheet; blooming/radiance): Water, butylene glycol, glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, paeonia lactiflora root extract, sodium hyaluronate, carbomer, arginine, polysorbate 60, glyceryl stearate, cetearyl alcohol, sorbitan sesquioleate, ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-hexanediol, phenoxyethanol, parfum, disodium EDTA (CosDNA)
I know, I know. Most of the products I just spent thousands of words describing aren’t available for purchase on their own, and the Spring Fling Beauty Box is OOS. But like I said, I wanted to give you guys an idea of what Jen’s box curation is like, for those of you who might be interested in her other boxes.
For my purposes, the Spring Fling box was everything a beauty box should be. I look at beauty boxes as opportunities to discover and be surprised and possibly fall in love with products or brands that I wouldn’t hear much about otherwise, whether because they’re new or niche or just more focused on formulation than marketing. That’s exactly what this box provided. Each thoughtfully selected item is interesting on its own and fits well into the theme, creating a cohesive set of products, each product turned out to be above average in quality, and the box even gave me a surprise standout: the Thankyou Farmer sunscreen!
I’m still not super into boxes from other shops, but the Spring Fling Beauty Box has me much more open to Beautibi’s boxes from now on. On top of everything else, the attention to detail in the packing and design make these absolutely perfect for gifting the beauty lovers in your life.
Do you like beauty boxes? Which one is your favorite?