Subscription boxes have taken off in recent months, with many people looking to find a way to bring travel to them while stuck at home. On top of this, subscription boxes introduce a great way to try products from other countries in order to find what you like.
NomakenoLife is one of these companies. They are a company that is based in Japan, but one that also includes Korean products in their boxes – especially in their beauty box. However, on top of the beauty box, they also have many more boxes.
The company behind NomakenoLife (also referred to as NMNL) also creates many other Japanese food and culture boxes. From snack boxes (Tokyo Treat) to crane game rewards (Tokyo Catch) the company behind NMNL has a massive variety of different boxes that can be explored.
In this review, I want to have a look at their January 2021 box. Different boxes are available every month, and the products inside are randomised depending on the month. NomakenoLife does promise 8/9 items per box, and usually these are half Korean products and half Japanese.
They also have great reviews. Not only on their own website, but from what I have seen from other reviewers there are many people very happy with these gift boxes. With that in mind, I am excited to share my experiences with the January 2021 NMNL box!
This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please refer to my affiliate disclaimer. I received a free product from NMNL for review purposes. However, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Types of Boxes
As previously mentioned, the company behind NMNL offers many boxes other than just beauty boxes. They offer 4 boxes total, and each offers a random assortment of different goods.
- Tokyo Treat. Snacks from Japan
- Yumetwins. Kawaii subscription box with cute items
- NomakenoLife. Korean/Japanese beauty box
- Tokyo Catch. Claw machine reward items
Other than the boxes offered by the company, they also have a storefront named Japan Haul. I think this is a great idea, because subscription boxes are a great way to experience items or food once.
However, since they only include one of each item, it’s easy to eat (or use) the products that you particularly like very quickly. The inclusion of a storefront gives users a quick and convenient place to purchase more of items that they might really like.
Although Japan Haul has mostly Japanese items (as the name suggests!) you can also find Korean beauty products from the past and current NomakenoLife boxes. On the store you can find popular brands such as Etude House, Holika Holika, and Tony Moly.
Across the range of products that these companies offer it’s a great way to experience items from Korea and Japan. Especially at times when travelling is hard, these boxes bring a fun and exciting way to ‘travel’ from home.
Cost & Shipping
NomakenoLife offers many different pricing options for the boxes and it also offers some incentive programs (more on that soon!). Depending on how long you want to receive the box for, you can pay monthly, 3-monthly, 6-monthly, or annually. Each step up provides a slight discount.
The standard price is $35 per month. One box will be sent out per month, meaning that you are looking at about $35 per box. However, if you purchase an annual subscription you can reduce this price to $31.50 per month (paid annually).
The shipping fee will vary based upon where you live and which shipping option you choose. However, the shipping prices start at around $10 for most countries, with delivery estimated to take less than one week. For countries without express shipping, free shipping is offered but the delivery may take 2-3 months.
I was curious about the pricing of the box compared to purchasing the items outright, so I did some research into the pricing of the products outside of the NMNL box. I was quite surprised with the results! I checked through some of the most popular Korean cosmetic websites and this is what I found:
|Cost||Japan Haul||Internet (Other)|
|Mise En Scene||$8||$8|
*I could not find the exact product elsewhere, so this is the price of a similar product.
Considering that the box costs $35 (or less if you subscribe for a longer plan), this seems like a good deal! I did my best to find identical items online, and from other stores the cost of all items comes out to nearly $50. For some items I couldn’t find identical counterparts, but I found a similar product and compared that price.
Interestingly, Nomakenolife also provides their own comparison of prices vs Amazon. Above is the graph that they use. Many of the items are linked and the prices seem to be accurate with only small variations. From both my own research and NMNL’s testing, it seems like at worst you will be getting equal value. At best, you will save $5 or more.
Overall then, it seems like the cost of the NomakenoLife boxes is surprisingly good. Not only will you find some products that may be hard to find on the internet outside of Japan/Korea, but you are getting them at a decent price – you can even include shipping and still come out better off!
NomakenoLife also offers rewards for a variety of different contests and other activities. If you scan the QR code in the included pamphlet, you will be able to review the gift box. Reviewing puts you in the draw to win more gifts which change regularly.
In the January 2021 box the pamphlet also showed the results of a selfie challenge that users could enter. Winning this challenge provided the winners with some further cosmetics from the Korean brand A’pieu (a well-known brand). These competitions are very cool and provide many opportunities to receive further items.
On top of these competitions, a streak feature has recently been introduced. Every time you get a box, you can enter the code and activate a streak. You will get points based on how long your streak is (how many boxes you get) and are able to redeem these for bonus items. Most of these rewards are small collectibles, but it’s a nice bonus and cool to be able to choose some items while still getting the surprise of the mystery boxes!
January 2021 NMNL Box
The January 2021 box had a total of 8 items, with a wide variety of brands represented. Korea and Japan both had 50% representation and as promised, there were 7 cosmetic items and one tool/device related to beauty. A full list of the items in this box is below:
- Mediheal Essential Mask
- Mise En Scene Extreme Damage Repair Hair Mask
- BT21 Hair Clip
- Innisfree Matte Mineral Setting Powder
- UR Glam – Lip Oil
- Fascy Moisture Bomb Hand Cream
- UR Glam – Eyeshadow Palette
- Microfibre Hair Drying Glove
After using most of the items I have a good time trying a range of different beauty products from these two countries. As I am not fully familiar with beauty products myself, I also gave some to my girlfriend (she also blogs) to try. Overall, we were happy with the products.
The UR Glam products weren’t fantastic and after doing some research it turns out they are the Daiso cosmetic line from Japan. Although they weren’t great, we still used them – especially the lip oil. Some of the other products, however, such as the Mediheal mask, mineral setting powder and hand cream were very good and of high quality.
I particularly enjoyed using a few items including the Mediheal Mask. Korea is famous for its skincare products, and there is no skincare product more famous than sheet masks. I used the mask before sleeping it my face feeling fresh and rejuvenated when I woke up in the morning. Compared to other masks I have tried, the Mediheal mask felt a lighter and was easier to wear.
The hand cream from Fascy was also great, especially for the Korean winter. Winter in Korea is very dry and it’s not uncommon to have peeling skin, especially around your hands. The cream has a nice scent and was very helpful for moisturising our hands whenever outside for longer periods of time.
The microfibre hair drying glove was quite handy. I’ve never seen these gloves before and normally I use a hairdryer straight after using a towel. However, this glove was actually very useful in drying my hair faster and lessening the time I need to use a hair dryer for. It’s a very simple tool, but it’s surprisingly useful!
Whether you are someone looking at getting into Korean/Japanese beauty and learning what products you like or if you are already very familiar with Korean and Japanese beauty but looking to find new products the boxes from NMNL are a good choice. They are one of the best ways to try a variety of products.
The prices are also very reasonable – more so than I expected. From the prices I was able to find from other websites, you are actually looking at saving with NomakenoLife boxes. Often, you can even include shipping and end up spending less than you would for the products alone elsewhere.
Of course, the fact that the products are random may not be for everyone. On the flip side, the surprise can be one of the most exciting parts. It also means that you may receive products or items that you have never even heard of.
The rewards program behind NMNL is also very unique. While many subscription box services offer rewards, I haven’t seen a system as robust as the one here. There are always competitions happening, and the streaks are a nice bonus.
If you are interested in trying the boxes for yourself, or even just in checking out the website for yourself, then you can find the link below.
NMNL Box FAQ
Are the Boxes Cheaper Than Buying the Products?
Yes. From the prices that I found online, purchasing the box saved around $10 as opposed to purchasing the products separately.
Will I Know What Is in the Box?
No. What is inside the box is a surprise. However, there will always be 8/9 items related to Korean and Japanese beauty.
Are the Items Authentic?
Yes. One of the selling points of NMNL is that all of their products are authentic.
How Many Items Are in the Box?
You will get 8/9 items in the box. 7/8 of these will be beauty products and one will be a tool or device.
What Brands Can I Get?
You can find all kinds of brands. Some of the brands included are Mise En Scene, Etude House, Innisfree, UR Glam, Mediheal, and more.
How Much Do the Boxes Cost?
The boxes are $35 for one month (there is one box per month). However, longer subscriptions can discount the price, bringing it down to $31.5 per box.