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Subscription Service Review – Beauteque Mask Maven

Mask Maven Subscription for October 2016

Today I have another subscription service review for you. I still have several more I will try to get reviewed before the end of November, so if anyone wants to get one as a Christmas present for someone they have plenty of time to do it. And don’t forget to check out my previous reviews of the So Choix Subscription and the Sephora Play Box if you haven’t already.

Service Name: Beauteque Mask Maven

 

Price: $13 – $15 a month, depending on how many months you pay for at once. And if you use my code KAREN you can save an additional 10% off your subscription. My discount code does not expire and can also be used on individual products.

 

Where Is It Available: Beauteque ships to the US, Canada, Europe (certain countries only), Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore.

 

Who To Get It For: Anyone who loves Korean Beauty or sheet masks. Or anyone who is interested in trying it out.

 

What You Get: Nine sheet masks of various types and brands. Though occasionally there is an extra thrown in.

 

Drawbacks: This really depends on your perspective. The only drawback I could think of is that you don’t have any say in what type of sheet masks you are getting. So if you have extremely sensitive skin like me there may be an occasional masks you can’t use. But for the general population they are all masks that should be good for all skin types.

 

The Details: I will share with you what came in my October 2016 Mask Maven subscription so you can get an idea of what to expect.

This is how the Beauteque Mask Maven is mailed

This is how your Mask Maven subscription will show up every month. It comes in a plain white bubble mailer with the Beauteque logo clearly marked on the envelope.

How Mask Maven is wraped

All of your masks are usually in one of these drawstring bags. And then you get one or two printed pages with it. This month there were two.

List of the masks in Mask Maven and how to use them

On one of the cards, the one you get every month, is a list of all the masks you got and how to use them. This can be especially important to keep because the mask themselves don’t always have English directions on them. It also lets you know what the theme for the month is. This month’s was theme was After Party Masquerade.

Beauteque's 30 Day Challenge

Occasionally you get these 30 day Mask Maven Challenge Callender with your order. There usually is special promotions associated with it on Beauteque’s social media. The calendar itself just helps you plan out the best way to space out using your masks in a 30 day period.

All of the masks included in the October 2016 Mask Maven Subscription

Here are all nine of the masks I received this month in my Mask Maven subscription. I will show you each of them up close below, as well as links to each.

My Beauty Diary Caviar Sheet Mask

This is the My Beauty Diary Roe (Caviar) Mask. It normally sells for $1.99 but is on sale for $1.00 for the month of November. Use this mask to restore a young, beautiful complexion.

Ariul 7 Day Pomegranate Mask

This is the Ariul 7 Days Mask in Pomegranate. It normally sells for $1.99 and is on sell for $1.00 for the month of November. Use this mask to improves the general health and radiance of your skin. It also firms and improves skin elasticity.

Ariul 7 Days Tea Tree Mask

This is the Ariul 7 Days Mask in Tea Tree. It is currently sold out on Beauteque’s website, check their website to see if it has been restocked. However, I am sure that it sells for the same price as the other masks from this brand, $1.99. This mask can be used for clearing up your complexion. It controls sebum without over-drying your skin.

NOHJ Superfood Honey Mask

 

This is the NOHJ Superfood Honey Mask. It is also currently sold out on Beauteque’s website. Based on prices for the other masks from this brand I would guess this sells for around $2.50. Use this mask for many things. Honey is good for moisturizing, soothing sensitive skin, and helping acne. And you can’t see this in the picture but the package is 3-D. It’s really cool packaging, and worth buying at least once just for that.

Esfolio Birds Nest Essence Sheet Mask

This is the Esfolio Bird’s Nest Essence Sheet Mask. It normally sells for $1.99 but is on sale for $1.00 for the month of November. This mask I have used previously, and if you have read any of my post about sheet mask then you know esfolio is one of my favorite brands. Use this mask to moisturize and brighten your skin.

Tsaio Stayed Up Late Mask

This is the Tsaio Stayed Up Late Mask – Emily. It sells for $2.25. There were two of these in the bag this month. Use this mask to brighten and firm your skin. This is one of the ever popular black masks.

Berrisom Horror Mask in Black Rice (Skull)

This is the Berrisom Horror Mask Skull – Black Rice. It sells for $3.00. Use this mask to provides elasticity, moisture, and health to skin. Plus these fun character mask have the bonus of making great Instagram and SnapChat pictures.

Tony Moly I'm Real Tea Tree Sheet Mask

This is the Tony Moly I’m Real Mask Sheet in Tea Tree. It sells for $1.99 on Beauteque’s website. (I would like to point out that this same mask sells for $3.75 at a national retail chain. I’m not going to name names, you can figure it out easily enough. Just saying don’t overpay for these guys.) Use this mask for soothing your skin and to help combat blemishes.

 

Who Will Like This/Who Won’t: You will love this if you are a sheet mask addict who likes to discover new sheet mask or if you want to try new mask but don’t know where to start. This is probably not for the person who doesn’t like to try new things with their skin care.

 

Where To Sign Up: You can sign up at Beauteque’s Subscription Website. And don’t forget to use my code KAREN to save the extra 10% off your order.

 

In all honesty, the two subscriptions I get from Beauteque, are the ones I love the most. I love makeup and fun things that come in other subscription boxes, and I really love getting my other subscriptions. But trying Korean skin care through Beauteque and seeing the actual change in my skin, that is worth more than anything else to me. I have not had a painful outbreak from my allergy to Balsam of Peru in over two years now. I owe that to Beauteque and Korean skin care.

So tell me in the comments below if you have tried the Mask Maven Subscription before and what you thought about it if you have.

 

 

 

 

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Subscription Service Review – Sephora Play Box

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As I told you last time when I review the So Choix Subscription, I want to make sure I reviewed some of my favorite services and products before Christmas. I thought this time and from now on I would structure this slightly different, so you will have to let me know what you think.

Service Name: Sephora Play Box

Price: $10.00

Where Is It Available: In the 48 contiguous US states.

Who To Get It For: Yourself. Because of the way the Sephora Play Box is structured, I don’t think they are allowing you to do gift subscriptions. But everyone should give themselves a gift. So Treat Yo’ Self girl.

What You Get: You get five deluxe samples and a bonus fragrance sample every month. Always products carried at Sephora. These products are somewhat customized to you. You fill out a small survey when signing up pertaining to your skin type, coloring, and hair type.

Drawbacks: Sephora Play Box is new, and Sephora is still working out the kinks. They haven’t been the best about communicating with customers about why things work the way they do or announcing that things are changing. This has created some hard feeling for some people, especially since some people didn’t understand why they were getting a different box than what Sephora was showing being opened on YouTube.

The Details: First let’s take a look at my October box. I will give you my thoughts on each element as we go whether it be positive or negative.

How the Sephora Play Box is shipped.

I actually like the way these are shipped. The outer box is really secure, and its distinctive to the brand.

When you first open your Sephora Play Box

When you first open your box there is a pamphlet laying on top with a play card that you can take into the store for 50 extra points on your account to be used toward a future reward. So every other box you would get another deluxe sample of your choice. Or save them up and get one of the larger rewards of your choice.

Pamplet that comes with the Sephora Play Box

The pamphlet folds out and tells you all about the products and how you use them. I actually don’t like how this folds out. I prefer when the info is printed booklet style, or second choice would be on a small sheet. I do believe the Play Box originally came with a booklet and changed to this format right before I got into it.

Under the pamplet is a bag that holds all your products

Just und the pamphlet lays a cloth drawstring bag that holds all your products. This is also something that was changed. Prior to my getting into the subscription service it came in a box, hence the name Sephora Play Box. I have heard mixed things, including some people say they love that it comes in these bags. I personally do not like the cloth bag. They just get tossed. I would rather have something I could reuse like a box or a makeup bag.

October 2016 Sephora Play Box Bag says "Lipstick and Chil

This months bag says Lipstick & Chill on the front. Again, I heard a lot of people say they thought that was cute. I really just am all the nahs about it. __ & chill is starting to get overplayed, especially by a bunch of people who don’t seem to understand what it means.

What came in my October Sephora Play Box

What came inside my October Sephora Play Box

And here is what came in my Sephora Play Box for October 2016. I will show you a more close up picture and details below of each item. From the best I can tell this is one of four possible boxes you could have received for the month. If anyone know the number is different, please comment below.

Fragrance sample Derek Lam 10 Crosby Silent St.

This month they sent me DEREK LAM 10 CROSBY Silent ST.  as my perfume bonus. I haven’t opened this, and I don’t really plan on it. Most of the scents they send me I don’t like and aggravate my Balsam of Peru allergy. I probably will at some point do some giveaways with the massive amounts of perfume samples and deluxe samples I have collected. Let me know in the comments below if that is something you would be interested in. Of course they say they consider these just a bonus, so I don’t really care.

Now down to the main products.

Madam C.J. Walker Scent & Shine Coconut Oil

From a pretty new brand that Sephora has started carrying I got sent the Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture Coconut Scent and Shine Oil. The size received in the box is .15 fl oz. For a better idea of size, its about the size of one of the mini perfumes you can buy at pharmacies. It is a decent size and should last a while, especially considering what it is.

The Estee Edit Flash Photo Gloss

So this is probably not as self explanatory as the last item, unless you are already familiar with the product. This is the The Estée Edit Flash Photo Gloss. It is essentially a clear gloss you put on either alone or over your other lip product to make your teeth look white even if they aren’t. The size you receive in the box is .1 fl oz. It is about the size of any mini lip gloss.

Farmacy Skin Dew

This was the product I was probably most excited to see in the bag this month. It is the Farmacy Skin Dew Hydrating Essence Mist & Setting Spray. I had been wanting to try products from this brand for a while, but they have a pretty hefty price tag. I just hadn’t been able to bite the bullet without trying the products first. The size received in the box was .68 fl. oz.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

I am also pretty happy to get to try this Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum. But as much as I am excited to try this, I think I am a little apprehensive. I don’t know how Glycolic acid will go over with my super sensitive skin. That is one of the big reasons I never even thought about buying this, but that is the great thing about a subscription like this. The size sent in the bag is 5ml.

Smashbox Always on Matte Liquid Lipstick

The last item is a Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver’s Seat. Driver’s Seat is described as a warm pink. I have not tried it yet, but looking at it in the tube, its not a color I care for. But that is not unusual. When it comes to makeup lipstick is one of my favorite things, but 90% of time the shades sent in subscription boxes are not the colors I like. I can not tell you the size of this product as it doesn’t seem to be marked on it, but the tube itself is about the same size as the one from Estee Edit.

I thought I would also share with you a small list of some of my favorite things I have received the last few months in my Play Box.

Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick

Origins Maskimizer™ Skin-Optimizing Mask Primer

Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm

 

Who Will Like This/Who Won’t: If you are strictly into makeup or strictly into skin care you won’t like this box. But if you like trying a variety of things, and you want to try them before you buy then this may be the box for you. Also if you find you prefer smaller sized items of cosmetics this is definitely a good box for you.

Where To Sign Up:  http://www.sephora.com/play

Overall this has been my favorite month yet. For $10 I feel like even if I don’t like everything or there is something I don’t want to use, there is always someone in my life who will appreciate it, or I can use it in a future give away.

Let me know in the comments below if you have the Sephora Play box and what you think.

 

 

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Subscription Service Review – So Choix

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As we move into the middle of October I catch myself thinking over and over about how fast the year has flown by. The older we get the quicker the years move by. And before you know it the year will be over. So something I wanted to do before the year ends is start sharing with you all some reviews/an overall look at the subscription services and products that I have really enjoyed over the last year. And who I think they may make a good gift for. Yes, I am already thinking of Christmas gifts.

Many of you have probably not heard of a company called So Choix. First your probably wondering how to say the name. According to their website Choix is pronounced “SHWAA”, and is French for “choice”. This kind of plays into how their service works, but we will get into that in a moment.

So Choix is a beauty subscription service with essentially an online store attached. So anything you try you can also buy. Of course you can also buy things from them without trying, but I wanted to focus on the subscription service today. Now this service works different than most beauty subscriptions. With So Choix nothing is a surprise, unless you want it to be.

The company was started with people in mind who aren’t able to get into their local beauty counter to try samples for one reason or another. Maybe you live too far away, your too busy, or you just don’t like the experience of going to beauty stores. Or if you are like me, some of the things you want to try are just not available at your local stores or they are items you would not normally be allowed to sample. Of course if you are somewhere like Sephora they will always let you swatch just about anything, but swatching something is not the same as really trying it. And don’t even get me started on Sephora’s lighting. I can’t tell you how many times I put something on my skin and thought it was a great match there, but as soon as I got the item home and looked at it in sunlight or normal lighting it looks like it belongs on someone else.

So if you don’t buy in store what do you do? You buy online of course. But that leaves you unable to try anything before buying. So with all those issues in mind So Choix created their subscription service. They allow you to pick the samples you want to try, and each month you pick five high end products to receive. You are allowed up to two of the same item if you feel you need more of something. You are also of course allowed as many options as they have in color options. They do have things in just about every category you would find in Sephora.

If you choose to pay monthly for your subscription it cost $15 a month, but you can get it for as little as $12.50 a month if you pay for the full year in advance. You can also buy extra samples if you wish, but that is not part of the subscription.

When you get your items in the mail they come in a bubble mailer (this is a recent change, but a welcome one). Inside the bubble mailer you will find a box that looks like this:

So Choix Subscription ServiceIts roughly the size of a jewelry box you get when you make a purchase at a department store. And then when you open it, this is what you see:

Beauty subscription service So ChoixYou have all your samples inside, there is also usually cotton tucked in there during the shipping. I took this out before I snapped this picture. And in the lid is a list of all of the things you received. Your samples are all labeled as well.

In this particular order I received a Gucci Nail Bold High Gloss Lacquer, a sample of Guerlain Meterites Pearl Base, Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Aquacealer Concealer, and two shades of Smashbox BB Cream.

When you choose your items they go into a Queue. You can organize them how you like, or if you prefer to get surprises I believe you can set it up so that they send you random items instead. Each sample you get is a generous portion that should be enough to get at least two to three uses out of, and in some rare cases more.

For every month that you get your subscription and for every purchase you earn points. Those points can be used for coupons to save on future purchases or redeemed for premium sample sizes of products.

I have found this subscription most useful for several things. First, as I said earlier those items you typically can’t just walk into Sephora or any other makeup counter to get a sample of. So things like nail polish, lip liners, and solid powders. Second has been items I can’t get locally and am considering purchasing online. Its nice to be able to decide if the product works for me and what color I should use. And last but not least, it makes a great way to get travel friendly sizes of products I already use. I don’t like taking my high end products with me on trips, especially on a plane. These are perfect sizes to throw in a carry on bag.

They have been sending disposable applicators, which I never use. But I believe they are switching to those being upon request. I think that the majority of people have said that they have their own tools to use if they are at the level of buying high end products.

So who do I think that this would make a great gift for. I think anyone who is a makeup lover, anyone who likes to experiment with new makeup, and anyone who love beauty subscriptions and is looking for something different to try.

 

So let me know if you have tried So Choix, and did you enjoy it? What did you find the best use for the samples?

 

 

 

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Why And How My Skincare Routine Has Changed Part 1 – Being Introduced to K Beauty and Beauteque

What to decide about my skincare

What to decide about my skincare

I have mentioned in a post or two my involvement with Beauteque, and have hinted at an upcoming post. So this is a little past due. And of course if you started following me on Instagram then you have seen some of the products I have been using. This post is a two parter about how I came to be involved with Beauteque and promoting them, and what my current skincare routine is. It is two parts because 1. there is no way to fully explain either of those two parts without the other, and 2. if I tried to combine them into one, it would be unbearably long to read.

So lets start with how I first come to hear about Beauteque. I, like a lot of other people, watch youtube videos. I watch a lot of makeup tutorials. I also watch some unboxing videos,  especially if I am considering a new subscription box to try. I like to see what is in their past boxes and see if I think its worth the price for me. So as I was watching some unboxing videos it recommended that I might like one by a YouTuber named victoria donelda. And here is the video I watched:

After I watched that I was intrigued because I had heard about Korean skin care and beauty a little bit, but I hadn’t really made any major efforts to find any. And honestly I didn’t know where you could get it in the US at the time other that Sephora, and it seemed so expensive there. I definitely think skin care is worth spending money on if it works, but as I have talked about many times it is really tricky for me due to my Balsam of Peru Allergy. Laying down premium money for something I may not be able to use is not something I like to do. So hearing that there was a Subscription service, I thought hey maybe I should give it a try. I had just given up a couple subscription boxes I didn’t really like that well, and I was looking for something new to try.

For me subscription boxes, especially when it comes to skincare and makeup that are new brands to me, are a good route to go. They are usually set up where you get a good sample of a variety of things and it comes with cards that explain the products. And usually the price is better than if you bought it all individually. So I looked at their website and found they had not one, but two subscription services. They have the first one that was shown in the video called the BB Bag and then they have one where you strictly get different types of masks called Mask Maven. Clicking on the links will take you to see what was in a past months bag.

The BB Bag runs $24 a month and you get 6 to 8 full sized products as well as a cosmetic bag. The Mask Maven is $15 a month and you get 9 to 11 masks of various types. And if anyone was looking for their Head to Toe Box, I am sorry but they fazed those out some time last year. After looking over Beauteque’s website and viewing several other unboxing videos of their subscription services I decided to sign up for both services. Quite honestly what I really thought would happen is I would sign up and get them for a couple of months. I thought I would maybe end up at best with one or two products that I could use, and the rest would be put to the side to use as gifts for various people. Because 90% of the subscription services I have tried, that is what happens. However that was almost a year ago, and now I could not imagine giving up my subscriptions.

I started out with just those subscriptions, and I tentatively tried a few items at a time. It was kind of a relief the first few times I used a sheet mask and didn’t have a bad reaction. I was really worried because the packages do say they have fragrance, and that is usually a big no for me. What I have since learned is that fragrance in Korean beauty is very different from fragrance in the US. The best example I can give you is this. Think of your favorite fruit and what it smells like. Now think of the perfume version or lotion that might be sold here at a store like Bath and Body works. It always has that heavy chemical smell doesn’t it? But Korean products almost smell like the actual item, and most likely its because most of their skincare is actually made from the real item instead of some chemical process.

But obviously, using a product and it not causing a bad reaction is not enough to keep using something. What I did notice was each time I used a sheet mask my skin would look or feel a little better than my normal for a few days. So I started becoming more interested and really put some effort into researching Korean Skincare and Beauty products. It was really decision time, did I want to continue getting products and experimenting with them, or did I want to cancel my subscription?

How Asian Skin Care Layering WorksThee first thing I looked closer at was the actual company I was buying from, Beauteque. I started by digging around on their website. And I have to say, after reading How Beauteque Was Started, I was impressed and felt a bit of a connection to the company.

So I did some more research and one of the the things I can across was the graphic you see to your left on Pinterest (you can click on the picture to see it larger, or follow the links to the articles below to see it explained). I have since seen several graphics that are similar, but I still think this one is the best for a beginner.

The graphic led me to a couple of wonderful blog post from a blog called Darwin Discovered. They had done a two part series about Asian skincare. The first article is 5 Observations on Asia’s Skin Care Culture and the follow up article is The Asian Skin Care Technique: Layering. I continued to read other information, but I really feel those were the integral pieces that made me decide to not only continue on with Korean Skincare, but to start giving it a real try.

I had essentially decided that I was going to start adding more items in a little at a time, and giving an Asian beauty routine a try. There was really only one problem, I fully admit that while I knew a lot about makeup, I was a bit skincare illiterate. I feel like I had always tried to take care of my skin with the basics. That for me was cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. And of course I knew that there were items available for wrinkles, but I hadn’t really felt I was there yet. Looking back at a year ago, I feel a little clueless.

I did start adding products in right away. I won’t talk about what in this article, that will be covered in part two. But what I added in the immediate were the things I was more familiar with. One of the things I had no clue about was Essences and Serums. I had noticed that some of the sheet masks that I had been using said they contained them, but I hadn’t really given it much thought. So my search to find out what they were lead me to this video:

I immediately became hooked to this ladies videos. If you are interested in Korean skincare and you want some of the science behind it or a just a decent explanation of the hows and whys of the products, the you should subscribe to Gothamista’s Channel on YouTube.

Over the next few months I started adding various products to use. I feel like I have my skincare routine now about 80% to where I want it. I am still learning and trying things. My skin has made such drastic improvements, I didn’t even think were possible for me. I feel like a whole new world has been opened up for me, and I am so thankful for it. And so when Beauteque sent out an email offering the opportunity to become a part of their new Social Beauty program, I jumped at the chance.

As I had mentioned in a post a few months back (and this was just a couple of weeks before this offer happened) I was looking for ways to help add income to our household so I could keep the blog going too. So I kind of felt like that if I do get any kind of earnings from promoting them it was a amazing opportunity since I had already been doing some post on my own personal Facebook page about how wonderful these products were. To maybe earn some money for something I was already doing, and its something that might actually help someone else, I was definitely on board.

So I want to be completely up front with everyone, like always. Yes I am affiliated with the company now. However any of the products you see me posting about are products I bought myself because I actually buy from them and believe in them. They have made a real difference in my life. I had been buying and using their products a full eight months before signing up to be affiliated with the company.

How it works for me is I have a coupon code, which is my name KAREN in full caps. When you use it on Beauteque’s Website you receive 10% your complete order including sale items and subscription services. On their website you can not stack coupons, so you have to figure out which one works best for you obviously. So sometimes you may go to the site and see they have a coupon code that is for 15% off something or for a free item with purchase. So the advantage with my coupon code is being able to use it even on sale items, because many of the other codes do not let you do that. However if you prefer to use one of the other codes, but you would like to still show me support, I still can receive credit for referring you if you type my code into the comment box when you are checking out. And because I also know some people feel funny about using coupon codes for whatever reason, you do not have to give me credit at all. But if you have severe problems with your skin like I have had all my life, I highly recommend giving some products a try. Give it 30 days and just see if it makes a difference.

I don’t think this is necessary to say for most people, but let me just put this out there, everything stated in this article is of my own opinion. I am not a doctor, so please do not take my opinion as anything more than an opinion. I deal with a serious allergy, but I do not have symptoms as bad as a lot of people, so I have more freedom to try new things to see what works for me. Even with these products I still carefully read the ingredients and avoid any of the natural ingredients I would typically be allergic to like lavender essential oil. If you are dealing with a serious allergy, please don’t take my word for it, consult with your doctor before trying anything.

Now that that is said, I want to hear from those of you who have tried Korean skin care, or even Beauteque. What have your experiences been? Have you had improvements in your skin as well? Do you do a typical Asian skin care routine or are you trying to build up to it? Have you tried anything from Beauteque? What were your thoughts?

 

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