‘SECRETKEY is back & this time, it’s decked out in Valentine’s Day colors – red & pink!’
This is the second version of a Secret Key Value Set that they did (I think) and this one was apparently themed around the colours of Valentines Day (or perhaps more romantically and less commercially, also the colours of the marriage equality symbol!).
As this was likely to be the only ‘Valentine’ I would get this year I decided to treat myself, having already tried one of the products before and really enjoyed it. This box cost $35 including shipping (£22.70 approx) and contained 6 products (3 sheet masks count as one) at a Memevalue of $156 (£101.10 approx) ….not at all bad, but obviously the products can be found cheaper elsewhere as usual.
After a bit of judicious googling I found the Secret Key website, which is very lovely and in keeping with their ethos of ‘cosmetics which have nature in‘.
They promise to – always pursue healthy beauty, to always supply customers with high quality products at a reasonable price, use natural and environmentally friendly ingredients which can be used safely for every skin type and they will continuously support the environment campaign to leave a clean and beautiful environment for our descendants.
That sounds pretty damn good to me!
The company logo (at the top of the page) represents the following:
(Source: Secret Key Brand brief)
Secret Key makes a wide range of products arranged into different product lines. I have used some of the different lines before. I especially like the Lemon D Toc Peeling gel.
(Source: Secret Key Product Brief)
1. Super Plumping Jelly Cream
Full Size Product: 50ml ($38.40 / £24.90)
This super plumping jelly cream will erase the years off your face. Facial contours appear plumper and newly defined, lines and wrinkles look nicely smoothed, and skin is moisturised to perfection. Over time, skin’s strength, resiliency and volume appear renewed and you’ll see a remarkably younger, revitalized look.
– Contains the 10 best super foods in the world ~ Salmon Egg, Blueberry, Orange, Sweet Almond fruit, Broccoli and Pumpkin.
– It is a jelly-type Cream and helps to keep your skin supple.
– It contains beta-glucan which is good for moisturizing and repairing the skin.
– Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 is especially helpful keeping moisture in your skin.
– Whitening and Wrinkle Improvement – It is a dual functional Cream.
– Adenosine helps to improve reduction of wrinkles.
– Niacinamide inhibits producing melanin in the skin so helps to keep the skin clean and clear.
– 5 Free – does not contain paraben, mineral oil, benzophenone, phenoxyethanol animal oil or alcohol.
This product, along with their Let me Know CC Cream, passed the US FDA stability testing in 2013.
How to use: After washing or basic skin care, dispense an appropriate amount and apply evenly along the skin texture. If you feel dry on the skin, apply it more than usual and then go to bed. You can apply it not only on the face but also on the neck.
Ingredients: in Korean but the key ones are Niacinamide, Adenosine, Beta Glucan, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Extract of Salmon egg, Blueberry, Orange, Sweet Almond Fruit, Broccoli and Pumpkin.
I managed to get a pot of this in a sale in the UK Meme Facebook Group last year and finished it a few weeks ago. This Jelly was the main reason that I bought this box. It comes in a heavy bottomed glass jar with a little spatula (although I did not get the spatula last time, that was not a problem as I used it fairly quickly and always with clean hands). It was a bit difficult to extract with your fingers though, due to the jelly like wobbly texture, so I would advise using the spatula!
When you warm it in your hands prior to applying, the gel turns into more of a water based essence texture and applies to your skin easily and quickly.
I really enjoyed using this. It isn’t wonderful for underneath makeup on skin as oily as mine, as although it is not greasy at all it does make your skin shine (the desired look for a Korean girl I understand) so I used it as my daily moisturiser on days when I wouldn’t be wearing makeup (most of the week at the moment) and it functioned perfectly well in that capacity.
What I absolutely loved about this product was the texture and cooling feeling that it gave to my skin. It is just an absolute delight to use. It absorbed fast and well and as I said, did not feel at all greasy (I hate that!). I am not opening this one yet as I am going to save it for the summer due to the aforementioned cooling refreshing ability but this is the promotional picture of the texture and look of the gel cream.
The gel cream smells a little bit floral but only mildly to me. I really missed this one when I finished it and I think that it contributed very well to the more polished, tightened appearance of my skin over the past few months. I don’t really have many wrinkles for it to try out those claims on but I definitely did not see any new ones appearing and my skin felt moisturised and hydrated at all times. It may not be moisturising enough for those with drier, more dehydrated skins and you may need additional moisture if using this.
This product is widely available in the usual places at very good prices. Beauty Net Korea / f2plus1 (their ebay account) at the best price about $14.99 (£9.70) with free postage; Korea Depart and Tester Korea,
2. Super Plumping Gel Oil
Full Size Product: 30ml ($42 / £27.25)
Super Plumping Gel Oil has a three layer system – 1st layer: refreshing gel, 2nd layer: hydrating moisture lock, 3rd layer: nourishing oil – to combat dryness and signs of aging.
The refreshing gel transforms into a hydrating liquid upon contact and turns into a non-sticky oil texture to better absorb into the skin. The unique formula is made with salmon egg extract, blueberry, orange and to provide 24 hour hydration, anti-aging benefits, skin brightening and skin resiliency. It is a skin friendly product for sensitive skin.
How to use: After facial wash, apply appropriate amount on skin and spread gently.
Using right after facial wash: Lightweight instant moisturising
After essence or mixed with cream: prolonged deep moisturising and nourishing
Mixed with basic makeup cosmetics: if mixed with BB cream or foundation, it enhances adherence and moisturising. To bed, you can apply it not only on the face, but also on the neck.
Ingredients: in Korean but the key ones are Niacinamide, Adenosine, Beta Glucan, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Extract of Salmon egg, Blueberry, Orange, Sweet Almond Fruit, Broccoli and Pumpkin.
I am intrigued to see how this differs to the Jelly. As far as I can tell, the main difference will be the delivery mechanism / the texture – rather than from gel to watery essence, this one goes from gel to oil. That sounds to me like it will be richer and more moisturising, perhaps one for the night time in the summer rather than the day … for me at least. I would not be thinking about mixing it with a BB or foundation as they suggest, that would be a recipe for a very shiny face indeed! Flashbacks to high school?
I do very much enjoy facial oils. Despite having oily skin, I know that they can often really suit my skin and give me a glow that I don’t get from bog standard moisturising creams. I am enjoying the one by IOPE at the moment and have already bought a back up of that one.
This is what it looks like in action (not my hand .. mines a hell of a lot paler than that!):
Yeah, I’m not going to be throwing confetti at my face to see if it sticks either 😉
3. Starting Treatment Eye Cream
Full size product: 30g ($26.40/ £17.10)
This is a special and concentrated treatment for the weak eye area. It helps the sensitive skin around the eye to be elastic and revitalised, providing plentiful moisture to the area and creating a moisture barrier that helps the skin be moist all of the time. It also has a double functioning component: anti wrinkle and whitening. It will also calm down irritated and exhausted skin around the eyes. It is very suitable for sensitive and weak skin as it contains no stimulating ingredients.
How to use: Release appropriate amount onto the skin and and pat until absorbed.
Ingredients (They were on the inside of the box!!): Water, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Niacinamide, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose, Distearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Beeswax, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Acrylates / C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Stearic Acid, Butyrosperum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Adenosine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Acanthopanax Senticosus (Eleuthero) Root Extract, rh-Oligopeptide-1, Lecithin, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Ceramide 3, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Triethanolamine, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance.
I am very happy to get an eye treatment with galactomyces as a main ingredient. I have another in my stash by Purebess to use as well and it will be interesting to compare the two. I am using the IOPE eye cream at the moment, which I am very much enjoying – much more visible results than the Pro You one I was using before it.
I therefore won’t be opening this for a while as I am aware of the speeded up expiry once a product is opened. The texture of the cream looks like this – very gel cream like, nice and light:
This is available to buy at Beauty Net Korea for $7.20 (£4,70) with shipping included and the other usual suspects (but for more money!).
4. Berry Milk Hand Cream
Full Size Product: 60ml ($8.40 / £5.40 approx)
This is a hand cream made with donkey milk and 3 different kinds of berries, which moisturise and smooth the skin and nails. It also contains hyaluronic acid which creates a moisture protection layer, keeping skin healthy and moisturised and collagen which improves the moisture levels and skin elasticity as well as being smoothing at the same time. It is meant to penetrate deep into the skin without leaving it feeling heavy or sticky.
How to use: After washing hands or whenever feeling dry, release appropriate amount on the back of hands, nails and fingers. It is recommended to apply whenever the hands are feeling dry.
The blurb on the front is in English – Donkey Milk is rich in essential fatty acids, minerals and other nutrients (and) has the most similar structure to human breast milk, and it’s active ingredients quickly and gently permeate through the skin, leaving it silky soft, smooth and moisturised without irritating the sensitive or dry skin. It also protects the skin by maintaining the balance between moisture and oil in the skin, keeping it soft, smooth and supple all day long.
A demonstration on how to milk a donkey, in case you hadn’t guessed:
I have traditionally really badly neglected my hands. From years rooting around in the soil, dust and mud (Archaeology) to a desk job and just never really having the time or inclination, I have pretty much left them to get on with it themselves. I gave up wearing nail varnish years back, mainly because it never stayed on anyway so there wasn’t any point.
When I discovered Memebox, I also rediscovered the joy of pampering a much neglected part of my body. One of my boxes last year, From Jeju, had the most wondrous hand cream in it. It smelt lovely and sank in like a dream. Unfortunately all dreams must come to an end, right? (Right? Memebox??). I finished the tube…….
Luckily, I can obtain this miraculous cream online but in the meanwhile I am trying out other products to discover whether that one was a fluke or whether my hands were just crying out for moisture from any source. So far my experiments have been a failure … that one cream is still the holy grail …..but now I have this one to try, could it be??
hmmm …. one small problem there, we all know what happens when seeking the holy grail…
Again as I haven’t yet opened this (fear?), here is the promo picture to show the texture:
You can buy not one but two of these potential HG’s at Beauty Net Korea for $7.20 (£4.70), including shipping. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
5. Sweet Glam Tint Glow (Fuschia / Pussia Purple)
Full Size: 3.5g ($33.60 / £21.80)
This is a lipstick that moisturises like a lipbalm, due to it containing Lanolin oil which has a strong moisturising effect. It provides a natural and soft colour, that lasts a long time without stickiness. It forms a protective film on the lips and provides a glossy natural effect. It can be layered for a stronger look or applied once for a slight glow.
How to Use: Apply to lips as needed. Can be used under, or in place of lipstick or lip gloss.
It looks very vibrant in the photograph but is actually a sheer pretty glossy purple-y pink in real life. I have worn this and it was very easy to wear, felt comfortable and stayed moist. The colour was a little too pale for my lips though, however many coats I applied. This is the theory:
This is a swatch on my skin (very pale!), with the leftover tint from the Skin Factory tattoo tint above (please ignore .. they are pretty similar though!):
The full range is available at BNK (Beauty Net Korea) for $9 each inc shipping (£5.80 approx).
6. Snail + EGF Repairing Mask Pack x 3
Full Size Product: 20g each ($7.20 for 3 / £4.70)
Tightening / Brightening / Moisturising / Restoring / Soothing.
These masks have a dual function essence that has Whitening & Wrinkle diminishing properties including over 90% of yeast ferment filtrate. They also contain filtered extract of snail and ingredients of EGF, which will make your damaged skin look much healthier and smoother. This concentrate type of essence will revive the healthy skin rhythm keeping the skin moist and with a clear tone. This Essence with rich nutrition will help improve the condition of your skin and provide continuous moisturising effects after application so that your skin can remain healthy and hydrated.
They have 7 intensive results of Hydration, Resilience, Brightening, Wrinkle diminishing, Soothing, Rearranging skin texture, and Anti-oxidation.
How to use: After washing face and applying toner, open the pouch and unfold the mask gently. (For sensitive skin test it on the back of your hand first before applying on the face), Place the mask onto the face and adjust to fit the shape of your face. Leave it for 15-20 minutes. After removal, tap the rest of the essence into the skin gently to make sure it is all absorbed properly.
Ingredients: in Korean but the key ones are Snail Mucin (Chondrotin Sulfate), Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Albutin, Adenosine, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Leaf Extract , Grapefruit extract and Rosemary Leaf Extract. It also contains rhEGF, which helps skin firming.
I have actually tried one of these masks as I also received one just before this in a new mask subscription pouch by the very wonderful MaskGenie. This mask was one of 10 included in the January subscription pouch (I also have the Feb), both of which I will be writing up very soon (and promise to be a lot quicker with the March one!).
Sheet masks are all pretty similar. It is rare to find either a really terrible or a really amazing one. This was one of the good but not amazing ones. The fit was a bit off (after all everyone’s face shape is different). There were huge gaps at either side of the nose and the mask was incredibly wide on me with excess folds at the cheeks (I don’t have a narrow face!).
The mask did not smell of much and had a decent amount of essence soaked into it. I invariably always fall asleep when I have a sheet mask on and I did when I tried this out, when I woke up some hours later it was bone dry and even the essence that is usually left in the pouch (there always seems to be plenty with a lot of brands) was non existent.
The mask left my skin feeling comfortable and clear but it was not luxurious or special in any way. I did compare it unfavourably with the Benton Snail Bee Mask, which has a similar function.
Having said that, I am happy to have another three as I use masks at least a few times a week and it is great to have some standard useful ones of different types for when your skin has different needs.
These can be bought at BNK for $5.40 for 3 with free shipping (£3.50).
7. Teeny tiny Starting Treatment Essence 7ml
Full Size Product: 155ml (not sure on full retail or Meme price)
This is another Galactomyces based essence, similar to the ones I have mentioned before in my previous post on the Elizavecca Value Set. I think that this one is a bit different in that it is not solely a Galactomyces essence but contains other goodies as well. It contains the yeast proteins at 50% and also Vitamins B1, B2, Niacin and Folic Acid. It is supposed to have these advantages: anti wrinkle, whitening, elasticity, soothing, moisturising, sebum control and keeping the skins texture trim (firm?). Contains no parabens, mineral oil, benzophenone, alcohol, animal oil, artificial colour or artificial fragrance.
How to use: As the first step in skin care after cleansing. Apply onto a cotton pad or hands and then to your face, patting softly and evenly.
Ingredients: in Korean, key ones are Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Albutin, Adenosine, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Leaf Extract , Grapefruit extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Chamomile Extract, Green Tea Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Witch Hazel Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Ground Cherry Fruit Extract, Chopi Tree (Japanese Pepper Tree) Fruit Extract.
I do like getting surprises, however diddy. This little bottle will contain at least a few applications though and will be very useful when I write a short comparison post for various types of Galactomyces based essences. It is also amazingly cute 🙂
The full size is available at BNK for $16.11 inc shipping (£10.40 approx).
I really like this box and will use everything in it. The lipstick may need to be used on top of something else but I am interested in checking out the darker colour. It was a well put together selection of products but I feel a bit like the red/pink theme was just a bit arbitrary and it could have just have been a ‘Season 2’ box like the Elizavecca and perhaps had a bit of variation in the cream / oil being from different ranges. Having said that, I am pleased that they didn’t as these are the ones that I know suit my skin so far.
Any questions or comments about this box or any other please don’t hesitate to ask, Skin Factory next!
……and remember to watch out for those vicious bunnies on the route to finding your holy grail products…..