Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mishibox - March Box Review | Korean Beauty Subscription Box



Today, I am back with yet another Mishibox review! I got the March box a while back, but didn't get a chance to post about it before.  Here's a look at the products that were included in March!

MSHIBOX is a brand new monthly beauty subscription box that delivers hand-picked, top-quality Korean beauty products straight to your door! Every (adorable) box comes with a combination of 4-6 sample-size and full-size products. It can be anything from skincare to makeup and all the amazing things in-between. 

The cost of this monthly subscription box is simply unbeatable - $19.95!!! And, amazingly, you can choose to subscribe for the entire year (and save $12), or buy one box at a time. And they now offer FREE world wide shipping. 

I would highly recommend giving this awesome subscription box a try. The products you get are pretty high-end and very popular in Asia, plus you won't be able to get some of them anywhere else in the USA or Canada. 

MISHIBOX folks also opened up an online store where you can buy any of the products previously included in the box. Personally, I love that option, as I love one of the products included in the past boxes (The Ceramizing Cream from Skin Watchers) and was super happy that I was able to order a second batch of it!

What's in the box?!

* Featured in this photo are two more products that weren't included in the box, but which I bough on the Mishibox website in addition to the box (The Aloe skin toner, Ceramizing Cream), Blueberry mask, Skymilk and two cream samples were included as a bonus.

The June 2015 box included:

  Enzyme Powder Wash from @skin_watchers_shop
 | full size

        My thoughts: I really like using it. It's something I've never used before and it took a couple of times to get used to it, but I love the deep clean and almost scrub-feeling it offers. It leaves my face feeling very fresh and clean. It's a product I would buy again for sure!


  Graymelin Foot butter | full size

     My thoughts: Living in high desert can take its toll on your skin, especially your feet and elbows, so this was just the perfect product for me. I actually ordered one of those from the Mishibox store, not knowing it would be included in the box, but no regrets there. It's a thick cream that moisturizes amazingly and smells divinely (like butterscotch candy). I definitely recommend it!


  Fascy Moisture Bomb Hand Cream | full size
     My thoughts: I don't use hand cream very often, as I work on my computer a lot and just don't like the greasy feeling of them, so I haven't been using this one a whole lot, but it smells really nice and seems to moisturize well. If you're into hand creams, I think this line might be worth giving a try!


  Monthly New Feet socks pack | full size

     My thoughts: Haven't used it yet, but I love the concept! These are socks that you sleep in, that exfoliate and regenerate your skin. I am waiting for some colder days to try these out, but they sound awesome!


  Pure Green Tea Whitening Mask | full size

     My thoughts: I love Korean sheet masks. That is all. 


  Package Melt Me Softly Blackheads Nose Pack

     My thoughts: Haven't used this one yet, either, but from my experience, all the products designed to help remove the black heads are wonderful. I've tried a couple of them, and while I don't have blackheads myself, they do help clear your skin a lot and exfoliate any sort of gunky stuff that might be hiding in your pores. 

Find out more:
Check out MISHIBOX Website and follow these amazing guys on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date with their shenanigans :)






Monday, May 22, 2017

Book Review: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly




Series:
Standalone
Genre:
Adult, Historical Fiction
Publication Date:April 5, 2016
Pages:487 (Hardcover)
Published By:  Ballantine Books
Website:Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac Girls on Goodreads
My review copy:
Received in Once Upon a Bookcase Club Box

Where to get:

  



Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this debut novel reveals a story of love, redemption, and secrets that were hidden for decades.
 
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.
 
An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.
 
For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.
 
The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.

(Goodreads)


Somewhere in a corner of our hearts, we are always twenty.
If I’d known I was about to meet the man who’d shatter me like bone china on terra-cotta, I would have slept in.
Turning oneself to the misfortunes of others is the best way to dispense with personal troubles. Hadn’t Lord Byron himself said, “The busy have no time for tears”
It’s just a thing, Kasia. Don’t waste your energy on the hate. That will kill you sure as anything. Focus on keeping your strength. You’re resourceful. Find a way to outsmart them.


      Written with compassion, but also unflinching objectivity, Lilac Girls is an absolutely riveting and haunting WWII story about brutality of war, courage, love and survival. Boasting a diverse, incredibly well drawn cast of characters, it's a profoundly affecting, often-times completely devastating and heart-breaking look at Holocaust through the eyes of three very different women - a Polish girl named Kasia, an ambitious German doctor, and an American philanthropist working for French embassy in New York.

     This book was... Everything and more! I am so thankful to Michelle from @onceuponabookclubbox for choosing it for her first adult box, otherwise it's likely I would've missed it! Or I would've at least put off reading it. Once I started reading, I couldn't put this book down. The writing style was incredibly compelling and heartfelt, and the alternating points of view offered a great deal of insight, not only into the minds of people trying to survive the concentration camps, but also into those on the other side of "the fence", like Herta, or even people across the ocean, observing the events from afar, trying to help those affected. All three women had fascinating, breath-taking stories to tell, and they all invoked many feelings in me. I despised Herta, despite the rare glimpses of her humanity, she was not a very positive character. I liked Caroline and admired her for the work she did during and after the War. And most of all, I connected on more than one level with Kasia. As someone who grew up in Poland and had grandparents directly affected by the War, I sympathized with Kasia, I understood her struggles and fears, I respected her strength and defiance. I loved her. I loved everything about her. She was an absolutely marvelous character - one that is an inspiration to me, now and forever. 

     Not only is Lilac Girls a beautifully written, engaging, often times shocking and heartbreaking story, it's also - or most of all - very powerful and important, and so relevant to our times! I loved the the different perspectives and how the characters' lives intertwine with one another, I loved Martha's absorbing and evocative writing style, and I loved that the story continued beyond the War years, to show us the consequences and how everyone was affected by the War events in the years after. It was a phenomenal reading experience and Martha is one ️immensely talented writer that I will be following closely from now on!




Once Upon a Bookcase Box:

I received the book in the very first Once Upon a Book Club box, and if you don't know what that is, let me enlighten you: it's the most fabulous subscription box ever. Michelle, the lady-boss behind this box, picks a book every month and then adds 3-5 special gifts that come beautifully wrapped and numbered with certain pages. Once you reach a certain page, you get to open the gift. All the gifts are related to the story, too! They're super meaningful and make the reading experience so much more amazing!

Take a look at the photos of the book box I got and if you're interested in subscribing, Michelle now offers the adult version and the young adult version of this box, and you can use code EVIEBOOKISH for 10% off!!!




Friday, May 19, 2017

Book Review: Want by Cindy Pon



Genre:
Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publication Date:June 13, 2017
Pages:336 (Hardcover)
Published By:  Simon Pulse
Website:Cindy Pon

Want on Goodreads
My review copy:
Received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review

Where to get:

  



From critically acclaimed author Cindy Pon comes an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller, set in a near-future Taipei plagued by pollution, about a group of teens who risk everything to save their city.

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?

(Goodreads)


"I took a leap of faith", she said to me. It was my turn to jump.
Nothing big was ever gained without sacrifice.
Books aren't afraid to show you the truth. 
Seize control of the narrative. Redirect the plot.


We are all creatures of this earth, of this shared ecosystem.

     Welcome to near-future Taipei, the world divided between yous (the ones who have) and meis (the ones who don't). The world, in which the air is so polluted and filled with viruses, the sky is no longer blue and people who can't afford luxurious and incredibly expensive suits designed and sold exclusively by a dirty international corporation based in Taipei. 

This was what it meant to be a you, to have. To be genetically cultivated as a perfect human specimen before birth - vaccinated and fortified, calibrated and optimized. To have an endless database of information instantly retrievable within a second of thinking the query and displayed in helmet. To have the best air, food, and water, ensuring the longest possible life spans as the world went to rot around them. 

Jin Corporation isn't only responsible for the invention and manufacturing of the protective, ultra-advanced suits that keep the polluted air away, ensuring a healthy, comfortable life for the rich of the world. The company also makes sure that the suits are in high demand in the first place. They are powerful, merciless and won't stop at anything to get their way. And that includes corruption, threats, murder and endangering lives of thousands of people. 

If I had learned anything growing up, it was that there were no guarantees in life. But that didn't mean you simply sat back and never tried.

A group of young environmental activists has come up with a wild and extremely dangerous plan to stop the Jin Corporation. They're clever, resourceful, unafraid to take the risks and willing to sacrifice for the cause. All they want to do, is make a difference. 

We follow this story through the eyes of Zhou, a teenage boy who lost his mom to the sickness caused by the city's pollution and viruses. He's the one charged with infiltrating the corporation, in order to destroy it. To do that, he needs to pretend to be one of the rich yous and befriend the Jin Corp CEO's daughter, Daiyu. This near-impossible task gets even more complicated when Zhou begins to develop feelings for Daiyu...

     Want is a powerful, intelligent, and very deftly plotted Sci Fi novel with environmental undertones that feel all too familiar and real for comfort. Deadly smog, corruption, social divides - it's all stuff we are faced with presently, all around the world. It really isn't too hard to believe/connect with the plot of this book, as the ideas explored by Cindy Pon aren't some far-fetched, vague, fantastic schemes pulled out of a magical hat. These are all issues that surround us. 

    As someone who was recently diagnosed with asthma and went through days upon days of not being able to breathe, I feel like I was able to get into the mindset of the meis in this book more than I usually would. And even though Cindy Pon didn't include any gruesome details in her descriptions of the people suffering as a result of the low social status and inability to afford air purifiers and suits, the idea of people suffering such horrible fates got deep under my skin. 

     Want isn't only about environment, activism and trying to stop an evil corporation from destroying the world completely. The story is much more than just that. It's about friendship, sacrifice, and unlikely allies. It's also about love and how we shouldn't judge people based on their appearance, social status, or family roots. And it's written in a very captivating, fast-paced style that keeps you flipping pages till you hit the back cover. I breezed through this book, it was so good! And I really enjoyed getting to know the diverse cast of characters and cheering them on their mission. I definitely recommend reading it, especially if you enjoy action-packed plot lines, drool-worthy food descriptions and books set in Asia. 


I loved Want so much, I actually made two designs inspired by this story. You can check them out here:



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