Carpe Librum Box Unboxing: Sept/Oct Box

Disclaimer: Not sponsored. Paid in full with my own money. 

OK, I don’t know about you, but after receiving my first Carpe Librum box I wanted more. So when they opened up slots for the Sept/Oct Wanderlust boxed, I immediately jumped on it. The box includes 1 book and around 5 other items, complete with doorstep delivery, at $35SGD.

Here’s what I got this month:



First thing you get in the box is this Wanderlust bookmark from Crafted Van. If you’re not familiar with Crafted Van, they have an assorted range of magnetic bookmarks available for purchase online! There’s also a handmade luggage tag (can’t remember from where, sorry!) as well as a personalised postcard with a message from the owners of Carpe Librum.



The book I received is Land of the Midnight Sun: My Arctic Adventures by Alexander Armstrong. I don’t know much about it — there’s only 2 reviews about it on Goodreads at the time that I’m writing this post. It is a non-fiction book that entails his journey as he heads to the Arctic.


Also in the box are these 2 charms. Not very sure what they’re for, if they’re meant for charm bracelets, or to be worn with the string attached? There’s not much information about this charm so I can’t tell you much. They’re very cute, but I don’t see myself utilising these charms in the near future. I can’t attach them to my Pandora bracelet either, so I’ll probably end up passing it over to someone else.


Lastly is this 4 set travel drawstrings. They’re made of this plastic/pvc material so it keeps your stuff waterproof. Probably will pass this on to someone else since I already have my own set of travel drawstrings. Slightly disappointed that they didn’t check the item, because the biggest drawstring came with stains that I couldn’t remove, so I can only give away the other 3.

So… I don’t know. I don’t feel like I can get much use out of this box, so the price tag does lean a little heavy in that aspect. Of course with book subscription boxes there are bound to be boxes that you don’t like or you can use the items, so I knew going in that it would be 50/50 that I’ll get something I like. I do notice that there is a lack of book-related items, compared to the other boxes available out there which tries to get as many book-related items as possible that can match the theme.

After two boxes, I can’t say much about this service. I don’t think I will be repurchasing another box from them for a while and maybe source out other boxes. But we’ll definitely have to see how this service does grow and maybe they will curate more book-related items for future boxes. It’s something to consider that I hope they can look into.


Korean Beauty Secrets: A Practical Guide to Cutting-Edge Skincare and Makeup By Kerry Thompson and Coco Park

Korean Beauty Secrets: A Practical Guide to Cutting-Edge Skincare and Makeup By Kerry Thompson and Coco Park
Published 3 Nov 2015 By Skyhorse Publishing


Summary: Kerry Thompson and Coco Park, the writers behind the influential beauty blogs, Skin & Tonics and The Beauty Wolf, come together to bring you Korean Beauty Secrets: A Practical Guide to Cutting-Edge Skincare and Makeup.

With advice on how to assess your skin, build a routine, and apply and shop for a wide variety of makeup products, this guide shows you how to achieve the look of flawless, radiant skin—with makeup—and without! This guide is your gateway into the alluring and sophisticated world of Korean beauty—for all skin types and ethnicities.

From the multi-step Korean skincare routine to chic Seoul-inspired makeup looks, this full-color handbook offers product explanations, advice, tutorials, and insider information that will have you immersed in the trendsetting beauty culture of South Korea in no time.

Kerry’s blog, Skin & Tonics, has a loyal cult-following thanks to her in-depth, scientifically-informed reviews and skincare tips, with a particular focus on Korean beauty products and Asian skincare philosophies. Kerry’s enthusiasm for skincare began at a very young age and eventually grew into a passion for documenting her skincare adventures and sharing them with the world. Her mission is simple: try emerging skincare products from all over the globe, and distinguish between marketing hype and legitimately effective solutions. Kerry can often be found perusing peer-reviewed clinical research, or speaking with cosmetic chemists and industry insiders. As an early U.S. adopter of the Korean beauty philosophy, her relationships in the Korean beauty industry and continuing quest for knowledge make her an ideal guide to the unique and seductive world of Korean skincare.

Coco Park is a digital journalist, artist, and the beloved beauty writer behind the heavily followed blog, The Beauty Wolf, which features art and reviews dedicated to Korean makeup and skincare products. Coco also works as a freelance K-beauty correspondent, and is a repeat guest beauty author at XOJane. She’s been featured in numerous Korean beauty articles in a number of publications, including Fast Company and The Daily Mail. Coco, a certified esthetician and makeup artist, has lived and worked in Dallas, NYC, Toronto, and Montreal. Her lifelong immersion in the beauty industry and specific, in-depth knowledge of Korean beauty trends make her the perfect adviser to lead you through the exciting, ever-changing world of Korean beauty.

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Today’s book review is going to be slightly different. I’m a huge fan of Korean skincare. When I saw this book in the beauty section I just knew I needed to read it and devour its content. I’ve reviewed several fashion, self-help, beauty books on Pretty Bookmarks before, but this book by far takes the cake.

The book talks mainly about Korean beauty skincare — how the Koreans view skincare as more important than the type of makeup you’re wearing and how Korean skincare has expanded over the last couple of years. Compared to the ones I’ve reviewed on PB, Korean Beauty Secrets is one of the most comprehensive skincare book that I’ve read. It really goes into the details of what types of ingredients are most commonly found in Korean skincare (and other skin cares), what types of ingredients they’re experimenting with, what the benefits and disadvantages of each ingredient or product is. That’s what I love about this book — its really a full practical guide for beginners and non-beginners. Anybody at any age can pick this up and easily digest the information. What I love about this book is that it also has a full translated list of ingredients from Korean to English, which is definitely helpful for non-Korean speakers who wish to purchase Korean products but are wary of certain ingredients.

Inside is also a compilation of different bloggers skin care routines, as examples of how you can mix and match different products, not just Korean products but any products in the market to cater to your skin type. And of course, every beauty book is not complete without a set of make up looks and advice.

I love that this book is not afraid to list down the products and names of brands that they’ve used or that people are using in the market. I believe the authors are long time users of Korean products as well and have researched into what they’re doing and what they want people to know very well. As somebody who loves skincare and Korean skincare, I feel like I’ve benefitted a lot from just this one book compared to the others I’ve read and that definitely have gotten a lot of takeaways from this book.

Definitely one of the more beneficial self-help, beauty-related books that I’ve read so far and I feel that it’s worth sharing with readers of Pretty Bookmarks, young, old, male or female! Everyone can benefit from this book and can learn so much about skin care and how to better manage their skin.

As always, if there are other beauty related books that you’ve read and loved please share them in the comments!

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