Injustice: Gods among us

Let’s make a couple of things clear:

  1. Fighting games are really boring. Outside of the Mario exception1, I’ve never enjoyed a fighting game. I did put a serious number of hours into Mortal Kombat for the SNES way back when, but then my entire game collection would consist of two games at any given time, so I would play what I had and like it.
  2. Super heroes are stupid. They’re a kind of enjoyable stupid when they get to stay in their own unique worlds, but when they start sharing a world, the stupid becomes brain-achingly bad.

In other words, there’s nothing to indicate that I will find even the tiniest sliver of enjoyment in Injustice: Gods among us.

But it was on sale and it has Lobo in the banner2, so I bought it anyway. I’m a total sucker and why did I ever give Steam my credit card.

I hate this game.

That was to be expected, but after playing it a bit, I also hate it for a number of other reasons.

Controls

I’ve played this with a wired Xbox 360 controller, and I’ve found the controls to be flaky as hell. I frequently jump when trying to move backwards or forwards, and a number of combos are all but impossible to do intentionally. When going through the tutorials, I had to skip a number of moves because even after several dozen tries, I simply could not get the keys listed on the screen to do what they were supposed to.

Thankfully the fights are easily winnable with just basic moves and the occasional incidental special move.

The animation

For a game that is all about throwing bodies around, these guys are surprisingly and inconsistently badly animated.

In the actual fights, the animations are mostly good. I rarely see anything obvious enough to bother me. It’ll do.

But the cut scenes. Oh dear god the cut scenes. People are bending at the waist, not at the hips. The corners of the mouth are going straight out to the sides, not bending back along the teeth. The insides of mouths are lit by an unknown light source, rather than being dark. Wrists bend all wrong. Eyelids head into non-Euclidean space whenever somebody blinks. These are all common problems, and they are all terrible.

Wonder Woman

I know the characters in this game have stylised bodies. They have fantasy bodies, and as long as they’re consistent, that’s fine. But there’s stylised, and there’s … Wonder Woman.

Wonder-Woman

I don’t even understand what’s going on with her physique. Waist down, she’s fine, if perhaps a bit on the slim side for the amount of muscle she should have.

But from the waist up? Nope. Not unless she’s had breast and shoulder enhancement surgery. That upper body does simply not belong with that lower body.

The other women in this game do not have this problem. They are stylised and idealised, but at least their halves look like they belong together.

As for Wonder Woman’s metal bra… It’s so low-hanging fruit I won’t even bother with further comment.

Lobo

The character that made me purchase this damned thing isn’t actually in the story. He’s a DLC, and is only included because I got the Ultimate Edition.

… but I kinda like that bit

The story

As much as I hate super heroes in a shared world, the story going on here is pretty clever. I like it as much as I can like a story where I hate the setting. We all know this game exists purely because super hero fans want to have a great big melee with random heroes and villains beating the crap out of each other, and with that in mind I’m even more impressed with the story.

The graphics

The stages are gorgeous, both to look at and to play. There is a perfect amount of interaction with the environment. The transition between stages is excellent.

The characters are beautifully distinct. Each character’s moves are excellent and feel appropriate, and even such small things as a character’s walk is on target. Their super moves range from badass (Hello, Batman!) to slapstick (Hello, Green Lantern!).

Little things like the power meters are just right.

Depeche Mode

Unexpected, but appreciated.

Lobo

Lobo is just as loud, crude and rude as he should be. Taking a shotgun to Batman’s brooding face and stomping on Green Arrow’s is satisfying. Oh Lobo, you alone are worth my €4.99.

So…

I hate this game. But Lobo. Oh, Lobo. I’ll let you beat up random super heroes any day.


  1. The Mario exception is as follows: Even if a given genre of games is all stupid and boring, the Mario game in that genre will still be entertaining. So racing games are dull, but Mario Kart is great fun. Fighting games are boring, but Smash Bros is amazing. 
  2. Also Wee Hughie undercover as Zod

Memebox Superbox #48 Daily Dose of Beauty

The mission of Superbox #48 Daily Dose of Beauty is to bring something special to every day of the week. My weeks feel far too long far too often, so having a little something to brighten each day is nothing to scoff at!

This all looks and sounds very comfy, and when I say all, let me also say that this box is packed. There’s no tissue paper for padding here, which seems a bit of a gamble with two glass bottles in the pack. Both survived, though!

Screw the strange and random order the products are listed in on the product card, let’s look at them sorted by day.

Monday

Today is Makeup Monday, so it’s time to beat the monday morning blues!

Cheek Room Eye Shadow

Cheek Room Eye Shadow

For Makeup Monday we have … the neutralest eye shadow ever. I already have a dozen eye shadows in this shade or close-enoughs. Not impressed yet.

I got this product in 03 Honey Pink.

Tuesday

Today is Treatment Tuesday, so give myself the ultimate skin pampering session that’s fit for a queen!

Sally’s Box Delight Hydrogel Mask

Three sheet masks in different flavours; Ceramide, Collagen and Panthenol. I already have a pile of different sheet masks and will happily add these to it. While I don’t really feel that such masks make a difference to my skin, setting aside the time to wear one does wonders for my mind.

I’m glad instructions and ingredients are in english on these, because the Memebox product card gives a description and instructions for a lip gloss — specifically the lip gloss that was included in Office Essentials, I believe.

D’ran Aqua Wonder Intensive Renewing Serum

D'ran Aqua Wonder Intensive Renewing Serum

One of the many potential steps in the korean skincare routine, this particular serum is meant to be applied after emulsion. A single squirt is easily patted into the skin, and feels quite nice. I can definitely find a use for this in a comforting pampering routine.

Wednesday

Today is Weird Wednesday, so time surprise myself with crazy beauty who-know-whats!

Yu Choo By Me Steam Silk Hair Pack

Yu Choo By Me Steam Silk Hair Pack

I’ve never heard of hair steam treatments before, so I’ll have to trust the product card when it claims such treatments are expensive, and this product is an affordable alternative.

From the instructions, you wear this hair pack as you would a shower cap. You apply it after towel-drying your hair, let your hair soak in all the super amazing oils for fifteen minutes, then rinse off.

I have very well-behaved hair, and previous experiments with hair oil has only led to intense washing to get the damned stuff out again. I’m not excited for this at all. It’s just a single-use pack, so I might try it when bored, or I might give it away to someone with dry hair.

Thursday

Today is Therapy Thursday, so give myself a therapeutic relaxation session!

Grinif Rawganic Jojoba Golden Oil

Grinif Rawganic Jojoba Golden Oil

Rawganic: When organic just isn’t natural enough. Bah.

The hideous buzzwordiness and the lavender fragrance put me off in puke-worthy ways, and I have oily skin rather than the “extremely dry skin types” this product is intended for. No thanks.

Eglips JolieBeBe Lip Treatment

Eglips JolieBeBe Lip Treatment

I hate the feeling of dry lips, and this lip treatment is adequate for fixing that. It’ll find room in a bag or other.

Friday

Today is Funky Friday, so it’s time to glam up and let loose!

Croquis Bulgeum Lipstick

Croquis Bulgeum Lipstick

This is supposed to be a lip essence, lip stick, lip tint, and lip gloss in one. It’s also either broken or really stupidly designed.

What may look like a typical lip stick bullet is a hard plastic tube with liquid inside it. I can twist this tube either way, but I cannot get product to come out consistently. When trying to swatch, I got a great big squirt of product. When trying it on my lips, I only got enough product for 3/4 of my lip surface.

Croquis Bulgeum Lipstick swatch

This product looks and feels quite nice, but what good is that if I can’t get to it?

I got this in 01 Campari Orange.

Weekend

It’s finally time for Wrinkle-free Weekend, so time to de-stress and erase the years off my face!

ProYou S Wrinkle SC Renewal Ampoule

ProYou S Wrinkle SC Renewal Ampoule

Going by the description, this is clearly a product of pure magic. It does all the good skin things — nourishes! improves! treats! rejuvenates! — while containing nothing bad — no evil parabens! no evil mineral oils! no evil artificial things! Parabens, mineral oil and artificial ingredients are not scary, and I do not have an irrational fear of them. Reading this just makes me annoyed.

The product does feel quite nice on the skin. I don’t have any wrinkles and don’t expect any soon, but I suppose it can’t hurt anything but my pride to use this for the sensation’s sake.

Verdict

Most of these products are useful, but this box doesn’t excite me. Necessities and comfort items just don’t.

As I often do, I want to punch the hype/fear-machine writing the product descriptions.

Box value

This box cost $29 plus $6.99 in shipping. It contains six full-size products and four single-use packs.

Product Stated retail value
Cheek Room Eye Shadow $8
Sally’s Box Delight Hydrogel Mask 3 × $13
D’ran Aqua Wonder Intensive Renewing Serum $43
Yu Choo By Me Steam Silk Hair Pack $9
Grinif Rawganic Jojoba Golden Oil $36
Eglips JolieBeBe Lip Treatment $8
Croquis Bulgeum Lipstick $20
ProYou S Wrinkle SC Renewal Ampoule $96
Total box value $259
Since writing this review, Memebox has changed significantly. They no longer publish frequent & interesting boxes, and they no longer ship outside of the US.

L.vida Baby Angel

L.vida Nail Polish LC-06 Baby Angel

Woo, it’s not a sheer bridal pink! It’s a thick, nearly opaque baby pink creme that unfortunately applies very patchily. Even after two coats there are visible bald patches.

I’ll try thinning it before I wear it again, if I decide to wear it again. I don’t particularly like the colour on me, although I’m starting to want darker autumn colours now, and this is definitely a spring colour.

Even with a sturdy top coat, this polish chipped on me after only two days.

L.vida Baby Angel is available from Memebox.

Lip Factory August 2014

Lip Factory is am american subscription beauty box with a focus on lip products. I’ve subscribed to it for a few months, and my general impression so far is not very good. The boxes are sent out late each month, so shipping time ensures I won’t get it until the following month (and after I’ve been charged for the next box). The packaging was good for the first couple of boxes I received, with a black Lip Factory box inside a shipping box, but they dropped the inner box months back. The filler material inside the box is nasty brown paper strips, which is probably environmentally friendly but looks ugly and smells bad.

In opening the August 2014 box, the first thing I noticed was that all the products were covered in a fine brown dust. The exact same brown as the filler strips. I attempted to clean it off before photographing, so now I have brown dust everywhere on myself instead. Lovely.

There’s no theme to this box, so the products are a typical random beauty box selection.

LASplash Mineral Blush

LASplash Mineral Blush

Feeling cheeky? Open this month’s beauty box and discover a fabulous, long wearing cheek color to fit your most blushing of moods. This pure mineral blush will give you a beautiful, healthy tone that looks ultra natural. LASplash Mineral Blush creates a soft, radiant glow ideal for all skin types, including sensitive and problematic skin… So don’t be afraid to brush on this blush.

I got this in Beach Party, a pale pink with shimmer. I like the colour a lot, but I’m not sure I want shimmer in my blush.

This blush comes in the form of loose powder in a sifter jar. I’ve had loose powder blushes before, and when I say “had,” I mean I’ve thrown them all out.

I strongly doubt I’ll use this, so this goes into the swap box unopened.

LASplash Lip Lacquer

LASplash Lip Lacquer

We love our gloss here at the Lip Factory! This one from LASplash is a great addition to our addiction. Sheer coverage with a hi-shine finish is the perfect combination for the ultimate hydrated lips. Infused with vanilla mint this non-stick, moisturizing formula is enriched with nourishing Vitamin E and Shea Butter. Beautiful finish and good for your lips… sounds perfect to us!

I got this in Barely There.

It’s a lip gloss. I have never met a lip gloss I haven’t actively disliked or worse. I’ll pass.

Medusa’s Makeup Stick It Eye Primer

Medusa's Makeup Stick It Eye Primer

Train that eye shadow to sit and stay all day and night! Smooth a thin layer of this all natural primer on your lids and demand your eye products to stay put. It’s not only great for eye shadows but absolutely perfect for pigments. As an added bonus there’s no color to it, so it can easily be used on any and all skin tones.

The lid on this jar was loose when I took it out of the box, and the actual product is partially covered in a fine layer of brown dust. Lovely.

I will clean it up and use it, though. Without a good primer I may as well not bother with eyeshadow, so having a stash is essential. While I prefer my primers in packaging that doesn’t require tools to use, I haven’t tried this brand before and look forward to seeing how it performs.

Cult Nails Lacquer

Cult Nails Lacquer

All Cult Nails lacquers are made with a vegan friendly formula, contain no animal byproducts, and are never tested on animals! They are also free of Dibutyl Phalates (DBP), Toulene, Formaldehyde, Camphor, and Formaldehyde Resin.

The list of Scary Nail Polish Chemicals has grown from three to five in the last few years, and I see this one ticks all the boxes. I’m always annoyed to see this list, because it’s 80% scare-mongering. Less bullshit in my cosmetics, please.

That said, I love the look of this polish in the bottle, and I’ve heard many good things about Cult Nails. Looking forward to trying this.

I got this in Dance All Night. It applies about as well as a chunky glitter like this can.

Cult Nails Lacquer swatch

Pink Powder Parlor Lipstick

Pink Powder Parlor Lipstick

Our name isn’t Lip Factory for nothing! We can’t live without lippies around here. We feel like lipstick is pretty essential to complete a makeup look, and is one cosmetic that few women are ever without! You won’t be able to resist this lipstick from Pink Powder Parlor. This lipstick will glide on effortlessly and won’t slip and slide off your pout. It is Vitamin E enriched which has a soothing and healing property to it and adds much needed moisture to keep those lips, super, extra kissable and who doesn’t want that?

I received this in 301. There is no name or even brand markers on the packaging. Speaking of the packaging, this matte black tube doesn’t just look really stylish, it also offers noticable resistance when opening. This is not going to come open in my bag.

I initially thought this light pink would go on sheer, but nope. This is a full-coverage pink, and it actually doesn’t make my pale face look ghostly. That puts it on a very short list of wearable light pinks for me. Just a shame it’s arriving around autumn time, when I’m more likely break out the wines and berries.

Pink Powder Parlor Lipstick swatch

The texture of this lipstick is thick and bit dry. It doesn’t feel drying, but the product sensation is strong. I can very much feel that I have something on my lips, more so than with other lipsticks. It transfers lightly enough that I expect it will survive a cup of tea, and possibly a non-greasy meal.

Red Cherry False Lashes

Red Cherry False Lashes

Wanna add some glam to your completed eye look? We thought the answer would be yes, so we went ahead and added some lashes to your August box! These Red Cherry lashes are designed to create various effects and to naturally accentuate different eye shapes. Made of 100% human hair, these lashes come in various natural and glam styles to add instant wink to your eyes.

I received these in #110. I’ve never worn false lashes, and should I decide to try, I don’t think these would be the place to start. They look kind of scary. Maybe for Halloween?

Verdict

Lip Factory continues to be 50/50 on the hit and miss for me. The stated retail value for the items I’ll definitely use don’t add up to the price I paid for the box. I continue to wonder why I’m still subscribing to this.

Box value

This box cost $22 plus $10 in shipping.

Product Stated retail value
LASplash Mineral Blush $15
LASplash Lip Lacquer $9
Medusa’s Makeup Stick It Eye Primer $8
Cult Nails Lacquer $12
Pink Powder Parlor Lipstick $10
Red Cherry False Lashes $2.50
Total box value $56.5

Memebox Superbox #44 No Makeup Makeup

No-makeup makeup is a damned neat trick to know, and one I have yet to master. Can the Memebox Superbox #44 No Makeup Makeup give me a quickstart here? We’ll see.

The description says:

Sure, the “I just wake up this pretty” look looks simple, but it’s actually one of the hardest looks to recreate! Play up your natural features with an always in style and always wearable barely-there makeup look. Let your skin do the talking with skin perfectors that allow for a flawless and luminous complexion and enhance your features with stunning and versatile natural colors that will give you a refined and elegant look. Finish off with a naturally pretty pout and rosy flushed cheeks, and you’ve just earned yourself a black belt in beauty.

No kidding it’s hard. Let’s have a look at the products.

Macqueen New York Mineral CC Cushion Cover

Macqueen New York Mineral CC Cushion Cover

This popular Mineral CC Cushion is wideligy acknowledged for its high level of UV protection and moisture, effective and long-lasting coverage, and its non-sticky, silky after touch previously unfounded in any other CC or Air Cushions. Dab away with the Mineral CC Cushion to feature the ultimate no-makeup look, because it’ll bring out the most natural and healthy-looking glow on your face! Plus, the high concentrates of bamboo water deliver instant soothing and cooling effect, making it perfect to be used in the summer times.

I love cushion foundations. They give a lovely, light coverage, have a pleasant cooling sensation on application, and are handy to carry and re-apply. I love them so much I opened this up despite knowing that #21 is just too dark for me.

Macqueen New York Mineral CC Cushion Cover swatch

Sigh. The downside of cushions is the unhygienic packaging. Since I had already contaminated this cushion with the swatch, I went ahead and tried it on my face. I managed to look at my mask-like visage for almost a full minute before frantically cleaning my face.

On the plus side, the compact case is re-usable. Just pop out the cushion by pushing firmly from the bottom.

I tried inserting the cushion into my Etude House Minnie Mouse case, but the two are not compatible. The Macqueen cushion is about a millimeter too big to fit.

Drww. Power Lift Strong Cream

Drww. Power Lift Strong Cream

Containing Omega 3.6.9, hyaluronic acid, and 5 different kinds of flower seed extracts, Drww’s Power Lift Strong Cream works to treat skin darkening and wrinkles. The best part of this cream, however, is in its function as a makeup booster. It can also be applied in small amounts along the T-zone for highlighting your features before or after makeup. What’s more, mix it in with a makeup base or a foundation and apply on your face for a naturally glowing and radiant complexion.

I can’t quite place where “makeup booster” belongs in a routine. It sounds kind of like a primer, kind of like a hilighter? A bit of experimenting shows that it works wonderfully as a very subtle hilighter.

Milky Dress Silky Velvet Primer

Milky Dress Silky Velvet Primer

The Silky Velvet Primer works to make your skin soft and silky before application of base makeup. Made from “USDA” patented organic ingredients such as rhodiola rosea root extracts, damask rose extracts, and rosemary leaf extracts, this primer is gentle and adheres thinly and smoothly to the skin, filling in all the uneven skin texture and fine lines & wrinkles for a long-lasting, velvet-like skin condition.

I’ve used a number of different primers, and they’ve all been quite similar: Transparent gel that makes the skin look smoother. But this stuff? It’s white, and does not go on transparent. It does not make the skin look smoother at all, quite the opposite — I haven’t seen my pores look this big and defined since Benefit hello flawless oxygen wow!

Hideous stuff. I don’t think I can swap this in good conscience, so I’ll probably just bin it.

DD’ell Gel Color Pot

DD'ell Gel Color Pot

A whitening, anti-wrinkle, brightening, and moisturizing facial essence Now this Gel Color Pot is a real multi-player when it comes to featuring a natural, no-makeup look. It works as a light snowy-colored shadow and a highlighter all in one! Its texture is cushiony and creamy when applied, and the sublte pearls and sophisticated color formation brings out the best in your complexion.

This seems like a pretty darned decent hilighter. I just wish the packaging was anything but a jar.

DD'ell Gel Color Pot swatch

It looks glittery on the swatch, but beautifully natural when applied lightly to the face.

ProYou Vita CC Lip Essence

ProYou Vita CC Lip Essence

Enriched with vitamin E, shea butter, jojoba oil, and macademia oil, this Lip Essence works to deeply moisturize dry, chapped lips and protect it from further dehydration by delivering nutrition from within. What makes this lip product so unique is that when applied, it’ll alter its color according to individual’s lip color and PH level. Thus, the vita CC Lip Essence will not only moisturize and care for your lips but also add natural color and radiance at the same time!

Oh, this is the gem of this box. The packing is big and awkward, but the product is outright amazing.

ProYou Vita CC Lip Essence swatch

Changing colour “according to individual’s lip color and PH level” sounds like so much woo to me, but this is a clear gel that does gain colour when touching skin. The result is shiny like a gloss, feels like the most intense lip treatment ever, and leaves a light, natural-looking stain.

I love this product to bits and want to have one in every strategic location.

Missha The Style Perfect Concealer

Missha The Style Perfect Concealer

The Style Perfect Concealer naturally covers up skin imperfections and dark circles and prevents skin tone from darkening throughout the day. The gentle formula soothes the skin yet at the same time strongly adheres to the skin for a long-lasting coverage.

I was overly optimistic about the cushion, but the handy window in the lid means I can clearly see this product is way too dark for me without even breaking the seal. Into the swap box unopened.

Verdict

The type of products chosen for this box’ theme are good, but the actual products vary so much in quality and usefulness to make this box a gamble.

The description implies that a cheek colour product is included, but there’s no such product in the box.

Box value

This box cost $29 plus $6.99 in shipping. It contains six full-size products.

Product Stated retail value
Macqueen New York Mineral CC Cushion Cover $23
Drww. Power Lift Strong Cream $60
Milky Dress Silky Velvet Primer $30
DD’ell Gel Color Pot $16
ProYou Vita CC Lip Essence $24
Missha The Style Perfect Concealer $4
Total box value $157

The stated retail values feel even more inflated than usual in this box, but between the Power Lift Strong Cream, Gel Color Pot and Lip Essence, I think I got my money’s worth.

Since writing this review, Memebox has changed significantly. They no longer publish frequent & interesting boxes, and they no longer ship outside of the US.

Memebox Special #26 Hand & Nail Care

You may have noticed that I’m a bit of a nail polish enthusiast, so naturally I grabbed Memebox Special #26 Hand & Nail Care when it became available.

The description says:

At Memebox, we believe that healthy and pretty hands are a girl’s best accessory, that hands should be as smooth as a baby’s bottom and that crazy manis are the best pick-me-up for any crappy day! So, treat and moisturise hands and nails to prevent early signs of aging, strengthen and pamper nails to perfection to create that impeccable nail salon-done look!

I feel reasonably certain I’ve seen most of what the nail market has to offer, so I’m expecting staple products from new brands here rather than anything brand new and super exciting. Let’s see!

PURE SKIN Hand Care Pack

PURE SKIN Hand Care Pack

The grape extracts, witch hazel, grapefruit extracts, collagen, baobab tree extracts, and olive leaf extracts included in the Hand Care Pack not only work to deeply moisturize and nourish your roughened hands but also to remove any excess skin impurities and firm up signs of aging on your hands!

This looks to be a sheet mask for your hands, which should probably be called a glove mask. I assume your hands will be useless for the 20-30 minutes you’re supposed to wear these, so you’d better remember to pee first.

I’m curious what kind of “skin impurities” are so common on hands that there are products to remove them. Seriously, I have no idea.

SUR 3D Nail Art Kit

SUR 3D Nail Art Kit

Create gorgeous nail art in minutes with this revolutionary polish that uses a Nail Art Pen to create an amazing nail art design.

This kit contains a dark green magnetic polish, a magnet with a stripe design, and a nail art pen in dark blue. Neither of these things are revolutionary, but they do make for a nice kit.

I have some doubts about the colour choices, though. I don’t think the blue is going to show up very well against the green, and what’s the point of having these items in a kit if you can’t use them together?

I may already have a magnetic polish of this colour, and I definitely have a magnet with this pattern, so those go the swap box. The pen stays with me.

PURE PLUS Hydrogel Moisturizing Nail Patch

PURE PLUS Hydrogel Moisturising Nail Patch

Enriched with collagen, milk, pearl powder, gold, and paraffin, this hydro-gel type Nail Patch delivers intense moisturise and nutrition deep into your nails within just 20 minutes of application, for a visible improvement in your nail condition.

The picture on the product card shows a packet that is indeed labeled PUREPLUS, but as you can see the packet I received is labeled ROCKACHIC. The font and style is exactly the same, though, and the sticker on the back of my packet says PUREPLUS.

This product looks like it will be excellent for emergency care. My hands have started drying out in the winter, so I expect to give this a go a cold winter’s day.

with shan Dr. Care Set

with shan Dr. Care Set

This Dr. Care Set is an emergency kit for your split, broken nails. Dr.001 strengthens from the root of your nails and works to protect them from further damage. Then, use the Paper File to file away the nails into the right shape and length.

This looks like a pretty typical nail strengthener. I have very soft and weak nails, so I use such a product every time I paint my nails. I don’t know if they actually help, but I do it anyway.

The nail file is … a paper nail file. Nothing more to say about that.

I have several bottles of nail strengthener already, so this will live in the swap box for now.

BARBINIE Shea Butter Hand Cream

BARBINIE Shea Butter Hand Cream

Enriched with abundant shea butter and aloe vera extracts, this Shea Butter Hand Cream delivers deep nourishment and moisture relief and helps maintain moist, supple hands.

A hand cream was a given for this box. The scent was chosen randomly, I received Violet Musk. The tube is sealed, so I can’t easily decide if the scent is okay for my sensitive nose.

Shara Shara Soft Hand Gommage

Shara Shara Soft Hand Gommage

This is a gentle, moisturizing peeling gel for dry, callused hands. The Gommage works to remove any hardened calluse and skin impurities, leaving your hands soft and silky smooth.

Again with the skin impurities.

I don’t really need or use scrubs or peels anywhere, and I wasn’t even aware that hand peels existed until this moment. Straight to the swap box.

with shan Baby Hand Set

with shan Baby Hand Set

Infused with lemon juice and vitamin E, the Treatment Oil is gentle on the skin and helps nourish and soften the roughened calluses and cuticles on your nails. The Nail Wall File then works to gently file away away the softened calluses and cuticles, making your hands moist and soft like real baby hands!

The oil sounds like a pretty typical nail oil, but the file confuses me. The instructions say to soak the file with the oil, then file away “all hardened sides and cuticles.” Does this mean you’re supposed to use the file on the skin around the nail? It sure sounds that way.

I’m pretty freaked out by the thought of filing away my cuticles, so I think I’ll just ignore the file and use this as any other nail oil.

The type of this product was selected randomly. I received Lemon Treatment Oil.

Verdict

I got pretty much exactly what I expected in this box. Most of the products are useful to me, but I also already have most of them, just from other brands.

This box would be excellent for someone who is just getting into nail polish. Just put a bow on the box and you have a gift ready to go.

Box value

This box cost $23 plus $6.99 in shipping.

It contains five full-size products and two single-use packets.

Product Stated Retail Value
PURE SKIN Hand Care Pack $4
SUR 3D Nail Art Kit $29
PURE PLUS Hydrogel Moisturizing Nail Patch $8
with shan Dr. Care Set $13
BARBINIE Shea Butter Hand Cream $18
Shara Shara Soft Hand Gommage $6
with shan Baby Hand Set $9
Total box value $87
Since writing this review, Memebox has changed significantly. They no longer publish frequent & interesting boxes, and they no longer ship outside of the US.

Textile to Markdown in WordPress

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Textile, and much prefer Textile over Markdown. Yet I find myself working in Markdown all the time, because while you can find any number of helpful Markdown tools, the app selection for Textile is shit.

The syntax for the two is similar, but different in key points, and using both in different places means it’s easy for a tired brain to start typing in one in an environment that supports the other. For this reason I’ve decided to standardise on Markdown as much as possible1, and that includes converting my WordPress-based blog from Textile to Markdown.

Searching…

My first course of action is, of course, to search for a ready-made solution. A completely automated all-in-one conversion tool, just install a WordPress plugin and go!

I can find nothing suitable, or at least nothing suitable that has been updated in the last couple of years. I’m very wary of WordPress plugins that aren’t kept up-to-date; more than once such plugins have brought my network down hard. I’d rather not deal with the hassle.

On to the next solution.

The swiss army knife

I’m highly allergic to PowerPoint and Word gives me hives, so I’m already intimately familiar with pandoc for dealing with documents in all sorts of formats. Pandoc will happily eat Textile and shit Markdown, so there’s big job sorted.

This isn’t a very neat solution, mind you, as I have no automated way of getting the Textile out of WordPress and the Markdown back in. On the other hand, since I intentionally trashed the majority of my blog a few years back, I don’t have too many posts to edit. In other words: Fuck it, I’ll do that bit by hand.

So I copy out the contents of a couple of posts, paste it as text files, and shove it through pandoc. Success! Well, almost. There’s a couple of snags.

First is that I’m getting setext-style headers. I have to force atx-style headers.

Second is that my chosen Markdown implementation, Jetpack’s Markdown module, outputs a line break at every line break in the source. Standard Markdown only generates a line break at a blank line or a line ending in a double space. I have to force no wrapping in the output.

Third is that I’m getting a weird table syntax that pandoc loves, but is not at all supported by MarkdownExtra. I have to disable every table extension I don’t want to make sure I get the one syntax I can use.

Fourth and definitely worst, pandoc is forcing smart punctuation on me, and no amount of double-checking the spelling of --no-tex-ligatures will fix it. This is a pretty big problem, as it breaks any WordPress shortcode with attributes. Fuck sorting that out by hand. I’m going to need a serious replacement tool.

The chainsaw

I’m not familiar with any suitable replacement tools, so I ask cute boy his recommendation. His immediate response is sed. I grab the binaries and dependencies, open up the manual …

… and realise I have been handed a chainsaw for sharpening a pencil. Oh dear.

Since the manual fails at explaining even the basic invocation and even more so at providing some simple examples a poor newbie can work with, it’s time to go searching, testing, swearing, and searching some more.

An entirely unreasonable amount of time and Coke Zero later, I’ve managed to get a basic search and replace to work. I’m slowly drowning in temporary files that aren’t removed automatically, but it works, and I can move on to the task of matching the fancy Unicode punctuation riddling my files.

Further searching on this specific topic finally leads me to the UTF-8 encoding table and Unicode characters, and finally I can get this goddamned fucking shit to work properly.

Final touches

I’m almost there, but there’s still work to be done.

Pandoc’s conversion is not perfect. It randomly pukes out link syntax where there is no link, deletes a space here and there, and escapes underscores — even underscores in links. There’s no obvious pattern to this, so there’s only one solution left: Manual editing. A nice Markdown friendly editor does the job: MarkdownPad or MdCharm does it for me, but as already mentioned, there’s no shortage of good Markdown editors out there.

The final problem comes in the form of undocumented behaviour in Jetpack’s Markdown. The big one for me is that it doesn’t support tables without a header row. At all. Tables that don’t warrant a header row (or would be better with a header column) have to get one, because making shit up after a few hours of beating pandoc with a shovel and suddenly learning sed is the easiest task ever.

The result

So here’s the final workflow:

  1. Copy contents of post(s) to text files on local machine.
  2. Run batch script on text files to convert to Markdown and do some cleanups with sed.
  3. Do manual cleanup in a Markdown friendly editor.
  4. Copy Markdown output and paste back into each post.
  5. Pat self on head, because throat is sore from all the swearing, and I damn well deserve a pat.
REM Convert all *.txt files (containing Textile) in current folder to *.md (containing Markdown)
FOR %%i IN (*.txt) DO pandoc -f textile -t markdown-simple_tables-multiline_tables-grid_tables --atx-headers --no-wrap -o "%%~ni.md" "%%i"

REM Do all the replacements in the 'replacements' file to all *.md files
sed -i -f replacements *.md

REM Delete all the temporary files sed leaves behind
del sed*
# Left single quotation mark
s/\xe2\x80\x98/'/g

# Right single quotation mark
s/\xe2\x80\x99/'/g

# Left double quotation mark
s/\xe2\x80\x9c/"/g

# Right double quotation mark
s/\xe2\x80\x9d/"/g

# Horizontal ellipsis
s/\xe2\x80\xa6/.../g

# Em dash
s/\xe2\x80\x94/--/g

# <hr> to ---
s/<hr>/---\n/g

# Prettify lists
s/^-   /* /g

# Fix escaped dollar signs
s/\\\$/$/g

# Fix un-converted headers
s/^h1\. /# /g

# Fix stupid underscore fix
s/attachment\\_/attachment_/g

So that was fun, and I probably have to do it again for a couple of other sites in my network, since the Textile plugin was activated globally for … a few years. I’m already looking forward to it.


  1. Which means I’m going to start typing in Markdown at Obsidian Portal, and swear even more when I remember it’s the one place I have to use Textile. 

Memebox Special #25 Traveller’s Beauty Kit

As a serious travel minimalist, I could not purchase the Memebox Special #25 Traveller’s Beauty Kit fast enough. Finding good travel products is hard, so I will absolutely take a boxful of suggestions!

The description says:

Whether you’re heading out for a weeked road trip or flying out to your dream vaca destination, there’s no need to say bon voyage to looking your best. Travel light and still look like a million bucks with all your beauty needs on hand with this traveller’s checklist of what to stow when you’re on the go! Packed with all the easy-to-go makeup, skincare, body essentials plus Memebox’s summer special limited makeup pouch to carry your goodies, this Box is a travelling beauty’s delight! Toss these travel-friendly goodies straight into your carry-on, so looking fabulous will be on your itinerary, no matter where your destination!

The box is so packed there’s only a token amount of tissue paper in it, so this all looks very promising!

Amini Traveller Kit

Amini Traveller Kit

Enriched with various organic extracts and natural essential oil, Amini’s popular Traveller Kit consists of a Moisturising Body Cleanser for gently cleansing your body and a Moisturising Body Emulsion for re-filling moisture deep down into your skin.

Shower gel and moisturiser in handy travel sizes. I typically bring a bar soap instead of gel to cut down on liquids, but I’ll grab these for a trip where I don’t need to worry about ridiculous liquid rules.

Both products have a distinct scent I can’t quite place. Kind of like a fruity alcoholic drink? It’s quite mild and not bothersome.

The moisturiser is very thin and light, as you would expect an emulsion to be — a western-style moisturiser is much thicker and heavier. This should be perfect for my skin, which only occasionally wants a little bit of moisture, and finds typical lotions far too heavy.

T.P.O No-Wash Toner Sheet

T.P.O No-Wash Toner Sheet

T.P.O’s No-Wash Toner sheet is a cleansing tissue which works to remove even the most stubborn makeup residues from your face without having to rinse off afterwards. This all-in-one cleansing tissue is the perfect beauty essential for when you need to quickly, easily yet thoroughly cleanse all unnecessary gunk out of your face.

Wipes like this is the only makeup remover I bother carrying when travelling. A good cleansing oil may do a better job, but wipes are so much more convenient. Such packs tends to dry out so quickly I only get one trip out of a pack, so having spares is appreciated!

The lid on this is pretty serious, and the sticker underneath even more so. This should preserve the moisture inside for quite a while.

I used a wipe to remove the swatches of the eyeliner and the lip tint, and it fared well against both products. I had to go over both several times to get all the product, but both are intended to be long-wearing.

Easydew EX Active Soothing Serum

Easydew EX Active Soothing Serum

Easydew EX’s Active Soothing Serum is made from natural Swiss glacier water which works to cool and refresh dry, irritated skin and monk’s pepper berries complex which works to sooth and repair damaged skin.

It’s just as well this is just a tiny sample bottle, because this product smells so strongly that putting in on my face would make me feel sick. It was donated to my mother before I even finished writing this review.

ideeB Sweet Jelish Eyeliner

ideeB Sweet Jelish Eyeliner

An eyeliner and an eye shadow combined in one smart, easy-to-apply item, ideeb’s Sweet Jelish Eyeliner comes in three most popular eye makeup colors and its softly gliding, creamy gel texture makes it possible for makeup beginners to feature a finely defined and naturally blended look! Plus, it’s totally waterproof and won’t ever wear off from water, tears, or sweat.

It amuses me how Memebox seems to think using eye pencils as eyeshadow is something brand new that koreans only recently thought up.

The colour of this product was randomly selected. I received 02 Ultra Fine Pearl Black.

This is a plain pencil, no twist-up, no built-in sharpener. Considering how eagerly Memebox has thrown pencil sharpeners at me in the past, I find it strange that one is not included in this box.

ideeB Sweet Jelish Eyeliner swatch

This is not a very dark black. One swipe goes on grey. There’s a noticable amount of glitter in it. I found it difficult to apply sharply to the eyes, so I’d save this for intentionally smudgy looks.

Pure Smile Powder in refresh SHEETS

Pure Smile Powder in refresh SHEETS

Refresh with Pure Smile’s handy deodorant-functional sheets with a powder-infused formula that works to clean, refresh, and remove bad odor from sweaty areas of your body.

From the description it sounds like deodorant in sheet form — which would be pretty cool — but I believe this is just scented wet wipes.

Bringing this with me is one less pack I have to buy at inflated airport prices, because flying without wet wipes available is just not happening.

S&B Aqua Tint Orange

S&B Aqua Tint Orange

This Aqua Tint is not your average cotton swab, because it combines the functions of a cotton swab and a lip tint in one sensational item! Simply twist one end of the cotton swab and you’ll see how the liquid tint from inside slides down to the other tip! This is the ultimate throw-away type of lip tint to carry around with you wherever you go.

What a weird combination, but why not? Can’t hurt to toss a few of these in my bag next time I’m off into the world.

In opening, these go from weird to hilarious. You know those tampon commercials with the blue liquid? Well… In these the liquid is proper red. The effect is so disturbing I had a very sudden need to figure out how my camera can record video.

The colour applies very sheer. On the lips it looks very natural. It has that very bitter taste that lip tints often have, and feels really drying.

S&B Aqua Tint Orange swatch

NoTS UV Protection Sun Cream SPF50+ PA+++

NoTS UV Protection Sun Cream

With a strong level of UV protection, this Sun Cream is gentle in its formula (free of mineral oil, talc, tar coloring, benzophenone-4, and artifical fragrance) and works to not only protect the skin but also to hydrate and smooth out the skin texture.

I was hoping for a handy sample-sized bottle when I saw the little box, but no, it houses ten sample packets. I would have preferred a bottle. They could be useful for keeping in assorted places for “I forgot to apply sunscreen and now we’re an hour away from the hotel” moments.

Pure Smile Hand Gel Maldives Dancing Waters

Pure Smile Hand Gel Maldives Dancing Waters

Made from collagen extracts, jojoba extracts, and ascorbyl palmitate widely acknowledged for its moisture lock-in capability, Pure Smile’s Hand Gel in Maldives Dancing Waters will hydrate, clean, and refresh your easily-contaminated hands. It comes in a small, cute packaging and is easy to carry around wherever you go.

Another travel bag staple. It smells and behaves like a typical hand gel.

Memebox makeup pouch

Memebox makeup pouch

This one doesn’t have an entry on the product card, so no official description. It’s a good-sized meshbag in black with a pink zipper. It’s big enough to fit every other product in this box at once.

The fabric feels sturdy enough, but the sewing isn’t brilliant. The end of the zipper is coming out of the seams on my bag.

Straight out of the packaging, it absolutely stinks. Hopefully airing it out will fix that.

Verdict

This box doesn’t feel complete, as in I couldn’t grab just the contents of this box and be ready to go, but it does provide a decent spread of basics.

With only one straight-up nope, this box is a good hit with me. Apart from the cotton swab/lip tint, there isn’t anything brand new or super interesting for me, but with an upcoming holiday getting a stash of travel staples doesn’t hurt.

Box value

This box cost $23 plus $6.99 in shipping. It contains five full-size items, one travel-size item (not full size as Memebox claims!) and two samples. No retail values are stated for the samples; they would typically be free anyway.

Product Stated Retail Value
Amini Traveller Kit $10
T.P.O No-Wash Toner Sheet $7
Easydew EX Active Soothing Serum
ideeB Sweet Jelish Eyeliner $11
Pure Smile Powder in refresh SHEETS $1
S&B Aqua Tint Orange $4
NoTS UV Protection Sun Cream
Pure Smile Hand Gel Maldives Dancing Waters $2
Total box value $35

As you would expect, most of these products are quite cheap. Cost-wise, this box is the worst value I’ve gotten so far, although most of this is stuff I would be buying anyway.

Since writing this review, Memebox has changed significantly. They no longer publish frequent & interesting boxes, and they no longer ship outside of the US.

Memebox Special #23 Girls’ Night Out

It’s time to open up the Memebox Special #23 Girls’ Night Out! The description says:

Nothing beats spending time with your besties! Who else is going to be there for you through your ups and downs, from your most unlovable moments to your silliest? Now, glam up and make unforgettable Instagram-worthy memories with your best girlies with our Girls’ Night Out Box! Save the muted nude makeup for the office, and add some pizzazz to your look with bold look-at-me lashes, drama queen cheeks, and red carpet worthy lips for a never-ending clubbing night! Complete your clubbing look with your favourite party dress and killer heels for an unforgettable night!

This is describing someone who is … not me. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything even remotely like that, nor have I ever desired to. Hopefully I’ll find something I like anyway? The chances are good, because this is the most densely packed Memebox I’ve received so far.

Kskin Bulgarian Rose Pheromone Perfume Pink Angel

Kskin Bulgarian Rose Pheromone Perfume Pink Angel

Infused with rosa centifolia flower water, rosa damascene flower oil, and white musk fragrance, this roll-on type perfume can be applied easily and quickly just before heading out for a romantic date or a party out with your girls.

I’m not all that big on smells. My nose seems very sensitive to some component frequently used in perfumes, so most perfumes smell soapy and artifical to me. This perfume falls into that category. There’s a definite rosey scent to it, but it smells like a scented deodorant.

A shame, because I like the packaging. It’s beautiful and roll-ons are as practical as perfume can yet.

Forest Story Water Essence Hair Perfume Soft Soap Fragrance

Forest Story Water Essence Hair Perfume Soft Soap Fragrance

A quick spritz of this Water Essence Hair Perfume will deliver moisture and nutrition to your dry hair and and a nice soapy fragrance that’ll rid away any food or cigarette smell at the same time!

… so here’s a scented product intended to smell like soap. Oh good. I do love random irony.

It definitely smells soapy. Not particularly nice, but not particularly bad, either. I don’t have dry hair, but I’ll keep this for the “get rid of cigarette smell” promise. While I don’t like this soapy scent, I’ll take it over smoke stink any day.

A.m.oK cosmetics N.S.M Soft Moose Waterproof Liquid Line

A.m.oK cosmetics N.S.M Soft Moose Waterproof Liquid Line

A liquid-type eye shadow in four of the most popular shades, N.S.M Soft Moose Waterproof Liquid Line is much easier to apply than the average powdery shadows which simply do not last long enough in the state of your exact liking. This liquid shadow offers beautifully pearly, glittery, and glossier finish that fixes your eye makeup perfectly in place all day and all night.

Soft moose

I hate this product just from typing out the name. My fingers nearly knotted themselves in attempting to type out this ugly mess of uppercase, lowercase, and punctuation.

At the same time, I am highly amused. Soft moose? I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

The colour of this product was selected randomly. I received 550 Elegance Purple. It looks and behaves like any other mousse eyeshadow.

A.m.oK cosmetics N.S.M Soft Moose Waterproof Liquid Line swatch

Secret-Stargirl S-Style 2set

Secret-Stargirl S-Style 2set

Add more definition and volume to your eyes with Secret-Stargirl’s popular girl-group lashes that come in five different styles to match your mood and day!

As I believe I just mentioned, I haven’t used false lashes. These ones also look pretty scary.

There’s no mention of what these lashes are made of in any language I understand.

Croquis Dual Concealer 02

Croquis Dual Concealer 02

Containing an anti-wrinkle concealer and a spot concealer in both ends, this Dual Concealer is definitely a must-have for when you’re heading out for a good night out, because Dual concealer will take care of any extra coverage needed or even possible emergency redness of skin or smudges around your eyes.

I’m still looking for that perfect concealer. Could this be it? It does appear to be pale enough for me, and the coverage looks good.

Croquis Dual Concealer 02 swatch

A.m.oK cosmetics N.S.M Special Nail Lacquer

A.m.oK cosmetics N.S.M Special Nail Lacquer

These are high-quality nail lacquers which come in a variety of trendy, radiant, and glittery colors to be worn for any occasion from a party night, a graduation dinner, to even a beach day out! They’ll be a fun, colorful addition to your hands!

Argh, that horrible name again. Fuck A.m.oK cosmetics and the horse they rode in on.

The colours of these products were randomly selected. I received OR239 and OR208, neither of which are listed on the product card. They look blissfully glitter and shimmer free.

Kepaclub Maxi Lip Tint Glow

Kepaclub Maxi Lip Tint Glow

Maxi Lip Tint Glow goes beyond simple lip coloring. It moisturizes, removes dead skin, and plump up your otherwise dry, chapped lips! With a long-lasting, silky finish, it glides onto your lips and steins it naturally like a tint.

The search is over, guys! I’ve found the BB cream of lip colours! Moisturising is a common claim these days, and plumping isn’t exactly uncommon either, but exfoliation in a colour product? That’s a new one.

The colour of this product was chosen randomly. I think I received 01 Classic Pink. It’s boring, sheer, and not particularly flattering for my skin. It feels very nice, soft, and balmy against the lips.

Kepaclub Maxi Lip Tint Glow swatch

Verdict

Whoever chose the products for this theme knew what they were doing. None of the items feel out of place. Theme-wise, this is the strongest box I’ve received.

The products aren’t the best fit for me, but the concealer and nail polishes will definitely be used.

Box value

This box cost $23 plus $6.99 in shipping. It contains eight full-size products.

Product Stated retail value
Kskin Bulgarian Rose Pheromone Perfume $12
Forest Story Water Essence Hair Perfume $3
A.m.oK cosmetics N.S.M Soft moose Waterproof Liquid Line $18
Secret-Stargirl S-Style 2set $11
Croquis Dual Concealer $32
A.m.oK cosmetics N.S.M Special Nail Lacquer 2 × $10
Kepaclub Maxi Lip Tint Glow $23
Total box value $119
Since writing this review, Memebox has changed significantly. They no longer publish frequent & interesting boxes, and they no longer ship outside of the US.